10/10/08

Only 3 Weeks Until Halloween So Get Ready with this Ghoulish Doc


The Last Day of the MonsterCon '08 Movie Roundup is here, and I've been holding on to this one. As the last days to Halloween count down, I always like to sit down and watch documentaries on Halloween type subjects. The History channel always comes though with one about Vlad the Impaler, Travel will air one of my guilty pleasures, Most Haunted Live, and MTV will surely repeat episodes of My Super Sweet Sixteen (I'm sorry, that shit is scary.) When I got a chance to meet with Chuck Williams at MonsterCon, he gave me a copy of his Halloween documentary, and I couldn't wait to watch it. Ladies and Gents, here comes....

Halloween:The Happy Haunting of America. (1997-2007) starring Daniel Robuck, Bob Burns, and a cast of Horror Movie Favorites. Directed by Chuck Williams.

I want to take a moment to talk about Director Chuck Williams. Chuck has been kicking about the horror industry for years. From his first as an uncredited part as a demon in Demon Wind, his role in Bubba Ho-Tep, and the monster in Dark Walker (the mask of his character was used in last years Knocked Up), Chuck has acted in many horror and cult films. He's also a producer and produced one of my favorite low budget gems, Eddie Presley, which I can promise you I will cover eventually. He's also served as Assistant Director of such films as Dudes and Near Dark, but the only film Chuck has directed is this labor of love documentary.

Halloween:THHoA is hosted by Daniel Robuck (an actor some might recognise from Dudes and The Devil's Rejects) along with Bob Burns. They cover a number of Haunted Houses around the country, such as the Horror Hotel and the Chamber of Chills, and a few other spooky attractions like The Witches Dungeon Classic Movie Museum. There were three parts that really stood out to me. The tour of Don Post Studios, with interviews from Don Post, Jr., was great. Don Post Studios is responsible for a large number of the Halloween masks you see including the Universal Monsters and the all time best selling mask, the Tor Johnson. I also found Henry Alverez's Wax Museum really facinating. Henry has worked on films such as Total Recall, Legend, and Pumpkinhead, and his wax sculptures were just marvelous. Bob Burns also does a retrospective on his own Halloween Extravaganzas which are a sight to see. His displays, built with friends like Rick Baker, the special effects genius, were the kind of dream every horror fan wishes they could turn their house into. His Jekyll and Hyde display complete with transformation was incredible, and the personal films and archival photos Bob shared were a real highlight. Check out Bob's site for pictures of some of his other Halloween opus'.

Another incredible thing about the doc is the interviews with horror greats on their Halloween memories. Angus Scrimm (The Tall Man from Phantasm), Doug Bradley(Hellraiser), and Our Lord Tom Savini all share their stories. The one story I will most take with me is Robert England detailing the year his mother sent him out as a "Little Fidel Castro". (Now what I want to see is a kid dressed as Lil' Hugo Chavez.)

The second disk in the set features the 10th Anniversary special of Halloween:THHoA which profiles several other Haunted Houses and attractions, but suffers from the lack of varied material and interviews that made the first so engaging. It also contains the pilot for Raw Talk, a round table discussion of horror, featuring Tony Todd of Candyman and John Gulager, the director of Feast.

As adults, many of us forget the simple pleasures of dressing up and going door to door for bags of sweet goodies, but Chuck Williams never forgot. This is one to check out, folks. (You can pick it up on their site here or on Amazon.com .) It's a great film for folks with kids to get ready for the holiday, and for those without to reminisce about their own Halloween memories.
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1 comment:

  1. This one looks aweseome! Can't wait to pick it up for myself. Until then I'll have to fill my time with the documentary history channel set I bought lol

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