31FoT Final Recap and Awards Show!

It’s been a great month: 31 days, 31 delicious Flavors of Terror. I am now clinically insane. Here’s the full list:

  1. Hatchet II
  2. Legion
  3. The Wolf Man (1941)
  4. The Wolfman (2010)
  5. Night of the Creeps
  6. Shutter Island
  7. Dead Snow
  8. Sharktopus
  9. My Soul to Take
  10. The Legend of Boggy Creek
  11. The Crazies (2010)
  12. The Crazies (1973)
  13. Jennifer’s Body
  14. Alien Raiders
  15. Mother of Tears
  16. Dark Night of the Scarecrow
  17. Stay Alive
  18. Frozen
  19. Suck
  20. The Uninvited
  21. Carriers
  22. Paranormal Activity
  23. Paranormal Activity 2
  24. Doghouse
  25. Night of the Demons (2009)
  26. The American Nightmare
  27. Coraline
  28. The House of the Devil
  29. Saw 3D
  30. A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
  31. Splice

Hopefully you’re now sufficiently prepared for tonight’s Halloween festivities, when the membrane between the worlds of the living and the dead is at its thinnest. Whether you’re headed to a parade or a party, or just staying in with a movie and a glass of wine, have a safe, fun, scary night. Whatever you do, do not bob for apples. You may as well call it bobbing for herpes.

If you have kids, I hope tonight is trick-or-treat night. A lot of towns switch trick-or-treat night to avoid conflicting with the sabbath as recognized by most Christian faiths. (Sucks to be you, Seventh Day Adventists!) My hometown goes so far as to hold the event the Thursday before Halloween, from like 4 to 4:30, which is indescribably weak. Thousands of years ago, when the Celts began celebrating the festival of Samhain (somehow pronounced with a ‘w’) to mark the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the new year, I highly doubt they cared if it fell on an inconvenient night of the week. Celts were hardcore.

Speaking of the history of the best holiday ever, here are some fun Halloween facts:

  • Halloween got its name when the Catholic church was obliterating all traces of pagan religions in Europe. Samhain was too important to indigenous populations to wipe away entirely, so the church decided to attach it to a new Christian holiday, All Saints Day, which was to be celebrated on November 1st. All Saints Day, or Hallowmas as it was originally known, would be preceded by the Christianized All Hallow’s Eve, eventually shortened to Halloween. Someone needs to make a movie where the spirits that come across on Halloween refuse to leave, so the saints have to come down from heaven the next day to fight them. That shit would be the mad note.
  • The practice of trick-or-treating originated in the 1800s when Irish immigrants brought the custom of mischief-making on All Hallow’s Eve to America. Kids would use the holiday as an excuse to pull pranks on neighbors, but those pranks eventually got out of hand. Concerned adults decided the best policy was to pay the little monsters off with sweets and thus the extortion that is trick-or-treating was born: give me candy or I will fuck up your house.
  • Atlantic Giant Pumpkins can weigh up to 1500 pounds. That’s enough pumpkin meat for 500 pies. Each one requires 900 square feet of land to sustain its massive root and leaf system – about double the size of a typical one-bedroom apartment in New York City. They need about 150 gallons of water a day and during their peak growth period they can put on up to 50 pounds in a single day.
  • 40% of American families carve one or more pumpkins for Halloween. We carved a pumpkin this year and now that I’m reminded of how fucking time-consuming and gross it is to pull all that shit out, I understand why the other 60% say no thanks.

  • The term Jack-o-lantern comes from the legend of a trickster named Stingy Jack, who made a deal with the devil. But the devil tricked him: when Jack died, neither heaven nor hell would accept his soul. He was forced to walk the earth for eternity with nothing but a burning coal inside a hollowed out turnip to light his way. Folks in Ireland would burn candles in turnips to keep him away and when immigrants brought the story to America, they ditched their turnips for pumpkins and a tradition was born.
  • Sales of Halloween masks depicting political candidates have correctly predicted every presidential election since Ronald Reagan beat Jimmy Carter in 1980. SO DO NOT BUY SARAH PALIN MASKS FOR HALLOWEEN IN 2012. Actually, go ahead. That fucking idiot has no chance to win anything that doesn’t involve a swimsuit competition.
  • Americans buy 20 million pounds of candy corn every year, 75% of which is bought during the Halloween season. My question is, who the fuck is buying candy corn at any other time? And who the fuck likes candy corn to begin with?

Enough with the history lesson. Without further ado, I bring you…

The 31 Flavors of Terror I-Scream Awards!

Goriest Flavor: It was a close one, but the prize for Goriest Flavor goes to Hatchet II. Easily one of the worst overall movies, but you’d be hard pressed to think up a grosser way to kill someone than ripping him in half and pulling his torso out of his skin by the spine. Runner up: Saw 3D.

Scariest Flavor: Paranormal Activity. The found footage thing doesn’t do it for some people but I always find it effective as long as the actors are believably natural. This one had a few flaws but I was on the edge of my seat for the whole 90 minutes.

Most Nicable Flavor: Coraline. I wasn’t wild about the movie, but it had its moments and if you have kids this is your best bet. Good options for grown-ups who can’t stomach gore or scares are The American Nightmare and the original Wolf Man. Neither one is gory or scary at all, but they’re very interesting, especially for film buffs, and a great way to get into the spirit of the season.

Funniest Flavor (Intentional): Suck. Some pretty decent jokes, and I’m a big fan of the movie’s writer/director/star, who does deadpan humor as well as anybody. Doghouse came in a close second.

Funniest Flavor (Unintentional): Sharktopus. Someone needs to turn this into a Fringe Festival musical immediately.

Biggest Letdown: Jennifer’s Body. What the fuck, Diablo Cody?

Worst Flavor: Sharktopus again! Really nothing else can even come close, unless Syfy decides to churn out a sequel…

Best Flavor: I was expecting Splice to take the top honors, which is why I saved it for last. While it was good and creepy, the Best Flavor award has to go to the straightforward satanic thriller, The House of the Devil. Splice would actually come in after several other movies, all of which I highly recommend: Alien Raiders, The Crazies (2010), Frozen, Carriers, and Paranormal Activity. If you’re in the market for a good scary movie, any of these will fit the bill. Tell ’em Adam sent ya.

Before I go I want to thank my buddy Rob Campbell, creator of the site’s amazing artwork, and my wonderful co-star, Nicole, who supported my efforts, loved me, cleaned up after me, and let me hog the TV all month. You’re the best, baby. I’d also like to thank you fine folks for reading and commenting and following on Facebook, you made it all worthwhile. I hope everyone had fun, I know I did. Stop by around 10 tonight and maybe I’ll have little bonus something or other to tide you over. Happy Halloween, everyone. Now go get scared!


8 Responses to “31FoT Final Recap and Awards Show!”

  1. Bob McClure Says:

    Happy Hallwoeen Adam & Nicole!!

  2. I’ve totally enjoyed reading your reviews. Great structure, humor and and eloquent delivery! Excellent job. I think Nicole deserves a month of mushy chick flicks and good trashy reality tv now:) love the tees! Xo

  3. Congrats on a month of hard work and dedication! I’m looking forward to another marathon of movie watching and reviewing next year. Thanks for being my co-star. I love you. Now hand over the remote!

  4. thanks guys, happy halloween to everyone!

  5. This was such a blast to read, and I am now more in the mood for a scary movie (or twelve) than I’ve ever been. These were the most entertaining movie reviews ever. Happy Halloween, Adam, and I hope you continue with some weekly installments, at least, until next year!

  6. Hooray! Happy Halloween!

  7. […] beautiful score by Jeff Grace, who also scored the excellent House of the Devil (last year’s Best Flavor Award winner!) and Meek’s Cutoff. Even if all the original music boils down to about two or three main […]

  8. […] I’m a big Ti West fan because of The House of the Devil, which you may recall took home the top honors back in 2010, and because his name sounds like someone opened a second location of a hip Asian fusion […]

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