Happy Halloween, dear readers! To celebrate, we direct you to comic book cover above, that of Batman #237, published way, way back in 1971. “A Haunting Halloween Novel,” the cover proclaims the issue to be as we bear witness to Batman and Robin battling the Reaper. We’d actually never seen this comic book cover before today, and we must confess that we’re a bit curious about it. Presumably, though, Batman and Robin prevailed, as we know the comic book series continued with them. I suppose we should offered a spoiler alert for that?
We must confess that we adore Halloween-themed popular culture. Five years ago, way back in 2010, a few Abnormal Use writers revealed their favorite scary movies. See here to revisit that piece. Our editor, Jim Dedman, wrote as follows:
The scariest movie I’ve seen would be, of course, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, although that is not the best story I have about a fear-filled work of cinema. In July of 1999, I was a first quarter law student at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. That month, I faced one of my first – and most dreaded – finals: Civil Procedure. (That frightful test, written and administered by the now retired Professor Trail, was scary enough.). After enduring that test, I took the rest of the day off, drove to Austin, and saw The Blair Witch Project, then out in theatres for only a few days, at the now defunct Dobie Theatre. Shot in a point of view fashion, the film profiled the misadventures of a group of students who venture out into the Maryland woods to explore the Blair Witch myth. The now defunct Dobie was a small, indie venue, and the particular theatre we were in had less than hundred seats. Imagine seeing that movie in such a place before all the hype and newspaper coverage ruined the original guerrilla style marketing of the film. At that time, there were still people who somehow believe the “found footage” was real. Of course, at the end of the day, I can’t say which was more horrifying, the film or the final.
Meanwhile, writer Nick Farr picked a different film:
Before I saw The Exorcist as a young teenager, I thought I was pretty tough. The Shining was boring. “It” made me laugh. Halloween just left me with a childhood crush on Jamie Lee Curtis. There was something about The Exorcist, however, that affected me in a way that Betsy Palmer (a/k/a Mrs. Pamela Voorhees) yielding a machete simply could not. Maybe if Michael Myers would have spun his head around backwards, Halloween would have been more to me than a breakthrough performance for another Hollywood starlet. Maybe if Pennywise the Clown would have crab-walked down a flight of stairs, I would not have thought of “It” as an adult-sized Bozo. Even today, when I reminisce about Regan walking into that party and innocently proclaiming, “You’re going to die up there,” chills run down my spine, and those feelings I felt seventeen years ago are resurrected. Tonight, I better sleep with the holy water.
Stay safe during your trick or treating this weekend!