Continuing the 13 Days of Halloween film fest, last night we watched the Paris Hilton classic, House of Wax.

I can’t even type that with a straight face.

We watched The Mist. Husband liked the movie and liked the ending. I liked the movie but didn’t like the ending. That may not make sense, but really, how can you dislike a movie that features Andre Braugher? Plus, it has Marcia Gay Harden as Sarah Palin.

I’m not sure how to describe this one without spoiling something for someone. How about: mist rolls into town, townspeople get trapped in a grocery store, there’s something in the mist, terror, suspense, human drama and gloppy gore effects ensue. It’s remarkably well-paced, no small feat for a movie that’s contained in one location for most of the 2 hour running time.

I will say that it was a very effective ending, but it was really depressing.

If you’ve neither watched nor read Rosemary’s Baby, that rare text that is relatively unchanged in adaptation, beware of spoilers.

I haven’t seen Rosemary’s Baby in ages so I decided to kickoff a Halloween marathon with it. This is a movie that seriously stands the test of time. It’s also the rare film that I can tolerate Mia Farrow in. The cinematography, the editing, and the camera angles brilliantly convey Rosemary’s downward spiral into fear, paranoia, and her ultimate break from reality. The casting of so many brilliant older character actors as the Satanists is probably what saves the movie from devolving into camp.

When I said I was going to rewatch this one, a friend scoffed at the character of the patronizing doctor who forbids Rosemary to read pregnancy books or talk to her friends and family, saying he made the movie dated and unrealistic. She hasn’t encountered some of the doctors I have over the past few years – many, like the doctor in the film, also considered the best doctors in town and thus infallible.

But I digress. Let’s get back to those Satanists. Ruth Gordon and Sidney Blackmer are pitch perfect as Minnie and Roman Castevet, the annoying nosey geriatric couple who make keeping tabs on their young neighbors into an Olympic sport. Unbeknownst to Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse, the young couple who move into the apartment next to the Castevet’s, when they aren’t being busybodies, they’re worshipping Satan. Quicker than you can say, “deal with the devil,” struggling actor guy sells out Rosemary in exchange for a successful acting career. Rosemary senses something is wrong with her pregnancy, her neighbors, and her husband. Terrific point-of-view shots through keyholes and peepholes and reflected images, such as the glimpse of herself Rosemary catches on the side of her toaster give the viewer the same slightly distorted perspective Rosemary seems to be experiencing thanks to the daily “vitamin drinks” supplied to her by Minnie Castevets.

This is a fine film which was nominated for many awards, features a stellar cast, looks terrific, and has stood the test of time. Consequently, it’s being remade by Michael Bay. This is such an idiotic idea that we can only assume the Devil is making him do it.

I know I’ve been harrassing you to read defective yeti forever. It’s been awhile, so it’s time for another reminder.

Read defective yeti.

Halloween: Post Mortem is an amusing post in it’s own right, but more importantly, it reminded me of something bizarre I noticed on Halloween.

What was up with all the kids trick or treating as Santa Claus? Not a demonic Santa Claws. Just…Santa Claus. It was freakish and strange.

Here are a few suggestions to make sure you’re in the spirit of the season. I’m feeling lazy, so this isn’t an exhaustive list. Consider it…selective.

There are of course a million books on Halloween and horror and such, but I’d suggest two by David Skal. The Monster Show is a terrific cultural history of the horror film. Death Makes a Holiday: A Cultural History of Halloween is, like the title states, a cultural history of Halloween.

If you want to read more about classic horror movies but don’t want to leave the warm glow of your computer, Monsterfest is a blog run by AMC.

If you’re looking to update your Netflix list, TVGuide has an intriguing list of less-traditional horror movies. I think some of them may even be part of the Netflix streaming service (which I haven’t tried since it only works on my office PC, not on my Mac). Of the movies on the list, I’ve only seen Guillermo del Toro’s The Devil’s Backbone. (You know, the guy who made Pan’s Labrynth). If the others are even half as good as Devil’s Backbone I think it’s a list worth investigating. I may have seen The Crazies, it sounds familiar. (A joke about co-workers would be like shooting fish in a barrel so let’s just move along). I’ve been dying to see another movie on the list, Black Sheep, for a while. reviews classic horror movies and also has a cool biography section.

So there you have it. What you have, I don’t know. But you must have something. Celebrate accordingly.

If you should find yourself at a Halloween Party that is skewing to the Right and is populated predominantly by Hill Staffers, the following tips may be useful to you. They may even save your life.

Unacceptable Conversation Topics: welfare, minorities, why you think airport security should be federalized, abortion, immigrants, the poor, taxes, sweat shops, homosexuality, the futility of the war on drugs, Ronald Reagan, single mothers, gay parents.

Acceptable Conversation Topics: anthrax, anthrax, anthrax, anthrax, anthrax, anthrax, anthrax, anthrax, anthrax, Dick Cheney, anthrax, anthrax, anthrax, anthrax, anthrax, anthrax, anthrax, anthrax, anthrax, anthrax, anthrax, anthrax, anthrax, anthrax, anthrax, anthrax, anthrax, anthrax, anthrax, anthrax, anthrax, anthrax, anthrax, anthrax.

Additionally, do not attempt humor. If you tire of the relentless name-dropping and answer the inevitable “what do you do?” by deadpanning that you are a dominatrix, do not worry about the ones who scatter, worry about the one who stays to chat.

I enjoyed the Jaws reissue on DVD so much the other night that I felt compelled to watch the Jaws 2 reissue. I rented this one, I did not buy it. Let’s be clear – I may be crazy but I’m not stupid.

Jaws 2 was pretty awful. I knew it was bad going in, but I really didn’t remember it being this, well, awful.

There’s a fine line between bad and awful. But if you can transcend mere awfulness, you can reach the sublime state of Bad, which is more good than bad, really.

I believe I’ve explained all this to you before. My problem was that I had 4 mixed up with Jaws 3/3-D (the one at Sea World) which was was a bad/good interlude bordering on Bad before the franchise descended into bad/awful territory in Jaws 4D, wherein our hero pursues Brody’s widow and a drunk pilot played by Michael Caine to the ends of the earth.

You think the shark isn’t our hero? Oh baby, you haven’t seen all 4 of these in a row in a while have you? Yikes.

This took a deeper toll on me than the time we watched all of the Planet of the Apes movies – in their entirety – more than once over the course of one weekend. I thought I was made of stronger stuff but clearly I was mistaken. How do I know this? Because after I finished viewing Jaws 2 I got it into my head that watching a series of inferior sequels in one stretch was a good idea.

I not only watched Ace Ventura, Pet Detective, but I laughed. I didn’t laugh nearly as hard at Ace as I did at my next selection, the unintentionally hilarious Halloween 2.

I swear to you Donald Pleasance is method acting and has apparently been given the instruction to feel the pain of Cornelius in Escape from the Planet the Apes. He delivers a line and then shuffles off in this lurching way I can’t describe. Why does he walk that way? We never see his feet, maybe he’s wearing McDowell’s Ape-suit feet, necessitating the otherwise illogical loping/shuffling gait but still not explaining why he swings his arms that way. I simply don’t get it. Neither does Jamie Lee Curtis, which may be why her character spends the whole film hiding not only from her brother, but everyone else in the cast.

Do not try this at home, that’s all I have to say.