The hour draws near to upend your buckets and devour the annual trick or treat plunder. Together, we’ve spent another October stacking up horror movie programs for your Halloween enjoyment, and what fun it’s been to make up the menu!
Week Four: I Put A Spell On You!
In Week Three, we spent the evening in some of our favorite haunted and possessed places, having already tackled two weeks of mutants and bloodsuckers. Sometimes it takes more than the right monster and the ideal setting to chill an audience’s blood to perfection. A close cousin of the traditional haunting is the good old fashioned curse. Whether a broken convenant, a vengeful malediction, or just a bit of spiteful magic, the very best spells and curses are difficult, often impossible, to break. They can be used to trap, terrorize, or hideously transform all manner of unsuspecting victims. The target of a curse may have earned it by cowardice or criminal trespass, but might just as likely have stumbled into it by accident. The lesson in all cases is clear: be careful whom (or what) you cross. Damned careful.
The most popular entries in this category are a diverse and disturbing bunch. Universal’s 1941 classic The Wolf Man set the standard, pitting Lon Chaney, Jr. against the indwelling rage that plagues mankind… with the help of a cursed wolf bite. Lycanthropy, like vampirism, is a special sort of curse that eventually merited its own special genre. Author and filmmaker Clive Barker tackled a number of nasty curses, including those that resulted in the demonic romance Hellraiser and the sleepover game turned inner-city gauntlet Candyman. Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead proved that chainsaw cannibals are far from the worst thing roaming cabin-filled woods. Infamous if less fondly remembered is the Stephen King yarn Thinner, if nothing else a memorable throwback to the classic notion of the gypsy curse.
And now for you unrepentant graverobbers, trespassers and meddlers where you don’t belong, here is a delicious triple jinx of our own devising.
First Course: Drag Me To Hell (dir. Sam Raimi, 2009)
by Dan Fields
First published August 28, 2012 by the California Literary Review
A word before we begin: The following is a comprehensive overview of the fifth broadcast season of the HBO series True Blood. It is primarily intended for those who have already watched the entire season. Plot details and surprises will be indiscriminately discussed with the aim of analyzing the narrative and thematic elements of the show. That said, this is not meant as an exhaustive synopsis either. There will be gaps, but hopefully those who have seen all or most of Season 5 will read and enjoy, and in some cases take violent issue with the opinions herein. I welcome dissent and debate, but dread spoiling the fun for unwitting souls who have stumbled in accidentally. If you do not yet wish to know crucial things that happen in this season of True Blood, please refrain from reading until such time as you have viewed the show to your satisfaction. Thanks to all. – DLF
HBO’s runaway hit True Blood has never been for the modest, squeamish, or faint of heart. The latest season is no exception, and in fact confirms that the third season was no fluke. In the supernatural hotbed of Louisiana, things are getting more bleak and nasty every day. Sookie Stackhouse, reluctant heroine of the Charlaine Harris book series turned prime-time sex kitten, has just about seen everything in the last few years, yet all signs indicate that the mayhem to date merely scratches the surface of “what’s out there.” Continue reading →