I know, I know... I really ought to be working on that recap of my recent road-trip vacation, not to mention a couple of other topics that are growing less timely by the second. But Halloween is fast approaching and I'm having trouble focusing on those other entries, so I'm going to give myself a break and do a quick meme that's been going around. I first spotted it at SamuraiFrog's Electronic Cerebrectomy.
- What is the worst treat to get when trick-or-treating?
A toothbrush? Thank you very much for harshing a kid's righteous sugar buzz with your sanctimonious sociopolitical statement, you damn hippie killjoy do-gooder! (A true childhood trauma, I swear; if I'd been of the miscreant persuasion instead of the passive little "good boy" I was, that house would've been egged within a millimeter of its existence.)
- What character from any horror film would you most like to play?
While I question whether The Silence of the Lambs qualifies as a horror film -- I tend to think of it as more of a suspense thriller crossed with a police procedural -- Dr. Hannibal Lecter has come to be regarded of as one of the great movie monsters, and I suspect Anthony Hopkins had a blast playing him. Plus, I do a reasonably good impression of Hopkins' Lecter voice. So, yes... Dr. Lecter for me, please.
- Would you rather be a zombie, alien, or psycho? Why?
An alien, for sure. Zombies and psychos never seem to be enjoying themselves much (aside from Dr. Lecter, at least), and aliens often have cool superpower-ish abilities.
- How many Halloween, Friday the 13th, or Nightmare on Elm Street movies combined do you have on DVD?
I have the original Halloween and Friday, so two. I have thought about adding the original Nightmare as well, but have never gotten around to it. I have no interest in owning any more entries from these series, though; the sequels invariably and inevitably suck. And don't even get me started on the remakes!
- What is the scariest movie you have ever seen?
Hm. Well, that's kind of a difficult question, because "scary" depends as much on your age, sophistication, and personal neuroses as it does on the quality of any given movie, doesn't it? For instance, the laughably mediocre 1950s "big bug" movie Tarantula scared the ever-loving crap out of me when I was about six; I remember having nightmares for days after that one. But the scariest thing I've seen in the last decade was the "buried alive" sequence in Kill Bill, Volume 2, and that isn't even a horror movie. John Carpenter's original versions of Halloween and The Fog both spooked me when I was a teenager but not so much any more, while The Exorcist is pretty damn creepy at any age. For the biggest, most pants-wetting, screaming-mimi reaction I've ever had, though, I guess I'll have to go with Tarantula.
- Lamest costume you have worn on Halloween?
I can't recall ever having a costume that I thought was lame. I've grooved on all them to one degree or another.
- Favorite Halloween treat?
- Friendly faced jack o’lantern or scary one?
Either, although I seem to recall leaning toward scary ones when I was a kid. Because scary is cool, you know.
- Have you ever had nightmares about a scary movie character chasing you?
There was that Tarantula thing when I was six. A bit more significantly, though, I've had a recurring nightmare ever since I was in college involving the monsters from Alien and Aliens. It tends to come along whenever I'm under a lot of stress, so I think it's pretty safe to speculate Ripley's bad guys are a stand-in for my real-world problems. The dream is usually along the same lines... I'm in the hallway of the multiplex movie theater where I worked during my college years, and my coworkers, loved ones, etc., have all gone missing. The place is dark and ruined, much like the colony on LV-426, and when I find something to stand on and raise one of the ceiling tiles, I see dozens of the steel-mouthed bastards swarming through the ceiling, just like in the movie. I jump down and run, and of course they're suddenly out in the open chasing me, great hordes of the things, flowing over every surface like shiny black beetles, scampering faster than any mere human can run...
How can you tell I've had that one a few times?
- Best thing about Halloween?
I love the crisp and, around here anyway, usually damp weather, and the flickering orange glow of the jack-o-lanterns. I love the nighttime searchlights from the various haunted attractions sweeping across the low cloud deck throughout the month. Candy is always great, and of course the parties are lots of fun. But most of all, I like playing dress-up, creating a character, and becoming someone else for a few hours. That was always the appeal when I was a kid, and I never outgrew it, I guess...
- Strangest Halloween custom you’ve heard of?
Well, it's not a custom, exactly, but here in Utah there's always a big problem when Halloween falls on a Sunday, because the dominant religion in this place discourages its members from working or playing on Sunday, so many towns will move trick-or-treating to Saturday night. This of course incenses many non-Mormons, so we end up having this big civic debate for two weeks leading up to the weekend in question, and then some areas will trick-or-treat on Saturday and some will do it on Sunday, and everyone is confused about what's going on.
Also, there's this fairly recent phenomenon called "trunk-or-treating," where a bunch of parents will meet in a church parking lot and the kids will go from car to car to get their candy, instead of home to home. That seems really bizarre to me, and more than a little sad.
- Person in your family who most likes Halloween (not counting yourself)?
It's a tie between my mom -- who loves to decorate and has boxes and boxes of Halloween crap -- and my dad, who delights in coming up with elaborate costumes and schemes. Like the year he turned my '63 Ford Galaxie into a drivable replica of the RMS Titanic. There's a story I need to tell one of these days...
- Are you superstitious? If so, name at least one superstition of yours.
Nope, not superstitious at all. I tend to be a major skeptic about paranormal stuff, too. I do not live in a magical world, which is partly why Halloween is so much fun, because it lets us pretend things are different for one night.
(And incidentally, I get that the question on superstition is numbered 13. Very clever...)
And now, since this meme brought it into my mind, I think I'm going to go watch Carpenter's Halloween. Watch out for the Boogeyman!