Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!


About a week before Halloween, I couldn’t help but feel delighted reading all those wonderful blogs that embark on a now traditional October Halloween countdown. I must confess that I particularly appreciate this special festivity where demons threat to tear through the flimsy walls of our imagination and run amok among us. Hailing from a country with no such tradition, in a way I feel that I enjoy Halloween even more, although in a mediated fashion through movies, novels and comic books. Safe from the inevitable perks of the real experience, I can live Halloween as a constant joy ride of dark frisson.

As I grew up without such an holyday, I tend to have a loose memory of this time of the year, associating it with the plethora of national holydays clustered around the months of October-December that I did enjoy while living in Portugal: October the 5th, November the 1st and December the 1st and the 8th were all national festivities. Cold and rainy days that I spent at home watching the GROOVIE GHOULIES and SCOOBY-DO on television, or reading SWAMP THING comic books by Bernie Wrihtson and Len Wein.

For me this time of year will forever be associated with 70s horror icons, with go-go boots, mini-skirts, wide belts, gothic castles, muddy and winding roads and lost young tourists seeking shelter in cob-webbed sinister abodes.

And so, each year, I spend Halloween watching groovy movies: BEHIND LOCKED DOORS (1968), TERROR AT ORGY CASTLE (1971), LA LLAMADA DEL VAMPIRO (1971), LA ORGIA NOCTURNA DE LOS VAMPIROS (1972) or EL JOVENCITO DRACULA (1977) all get a spin from my DVD player, alongside Hammer classics and old forties spokies. On recent years I’ve found a strange and eerie fascination with ELVIRA, MISTRESS OF THE DARK (1987) as a symbol of Halloween, a strange mix of October thrills and late summer nights, dry leaves and polyester cobwebs, a promise of sexy frills and wonderful horrific FUN.

So, have fun all you partiers. Happy Halloween!