A Full Month of Hallowe'en

NOVEMBER 1st, 2015


[John] Back in September with the awareness that October was quickly approaching and with it Hallowe’en, we realized we needed to start considering our plans for this year. Our thinking and planning was spurred by our friends over at the History Goes Bump Podcast when they asked us to participate in a round table discussion (scary in itself for us!). One of the questions we knew we would be asked was “what are your plans for Hallowe’en?” We had vaguely thought about it prior to this but we realized we needed to really solidify some sort of plan.

While looking at various possibilities for October 31st we discovered that the Toronto Symphony Orchestra was playing live with a screening of the 1960 classic film Psycho at the famed Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto. This quickly became our plan for Hallowe’en night and from that idea was born the goal of 31 movies for 31 days of Hallowe’en. Yes… 31 movies; one movie for each day of October.

[Lana] Daunting we know but to make it even more difficult, we intended on watching these movies together – and with John’s work schedule that is not an easy accomplishment!

[John] Yes, I am definitely the hiccup in these types of commitments. My work days are long and when I arrive home, I tend to keep going to accomplish more tasks. Add to that the fact that I am not nearly as invested in pop culture and social media as Lana, getting me to sit through one movie a night (or more than one in a night to make up for nights lost)…

[Lana] is a challenge to say the least!!

[John] Yup. Sorry about that. By the way… if we do this next year… could we please work harder to avoid the blood and guts and violence? Thanks!

[Lana] What’s Hallowe’en without blood and guts and violence?

[John] A happy one.

So… we began sketching out our list for the month – and I have to say that if Lana had not advertised our “31 for 31” plan, I would not have stuck to it and I probably would have had a bit more sleep in October.

[Lana] But it was so well worth it. Was it not?

[John] Yes and I never thought I would say this – but I might be horrored out for a while and I think I need to stick to the ghosties in my real life without adding the ghosties on screen for the next while. Shiny happy people are my goal for the next few weeks – (enter Christmas anyone?).

[Lana] Blasphemy! If the light hits Michael Myers’ mask the right way, it’s shiny!

[John] Mhmm.

I really am a huge horror fan (minus the blood and guts and violence) but after 31+ movies within 31 days (in addition to regularly following The Walking Dead – which I watch while peeking out between my fingers over my eyes), my brain has had it. My nervous system feels perpetually in “flight” mode and I would like to aim for an earlier bed time now. (HA!)

[Lana] But that is not all that we did. We had to include John’s speciality of a musical variety so we also chose 31 songs for 31 days.

[John] The entire musical list was not my doing – you had a hand in a good chunk of those selections too! I also wouldn’t call music my speciality but it is close to my heart – more so than movies and television.

While some of our song choices were paired with the daily movie selection, some were random, giving us some room to play.

I think one of the most exciting and entirely unexpected parts of this month-long expedition was the audience participation as so many of you followed along with us on social media. We had no idea anyone would really pay attention but as you commented and made suggestions and asked questions and even added some of our pickings to your own Hallowe’en watch lists, we realized we were deeper in this than we had originally thought.

Can anyone say “pressure”?

As October 31st neared and we realized how far behind we were on movies, my own hope of reaching our goal was dwindling. How could I possibly sit through so many more movies in so much less time?!?

[Lana] Just to give you an idea – with two days remaining, we had seven films left to watch.

[John] *Audible gulp and moan*

Not one to back away from a challenge (I really need to learn how to say ‘no’) I decided we would meet our target and settled in with a nice hot chocolate (and by ‘nice’ I mean ‘spiked’).

Our original plan for All Hallow’s Eve was to attend the Psycho screening in Toronto but life had some alternate plans for us and so we decided instead to ensure that Norman Bates would be our finale in the comfort of our own home.

So… we are now here on November 1st with an extra hour of sleep under our belts (which is really only a mental excuse for not needing to sleep in as much as I’d really like to because who needs a full six hours of sleep when you gain an extra hour in the five you were kind of planning that sort of becomes six but then you wake up because your brain says it’s later than it is and your clock says it’s earlier than you think it is and your insanity level increases when you try to do the math at 4:00 in the morning because that’s when your brain usually starts waking up but you know you don’t have to today because it’s Sunday but you think you need to get up because the clock says you should get up soon but you want to sleep in but you realize you are getting an extra hour anyway and so why sleep late but then that kind of defeats the purpose and…)

[Lana] I think you’ve started a run-on sentence. It’s cute when you talk that way but I don’t know what our readers are going to think.

[John] They will appreciate the honest look at the internal ramblings of John Lilies… it’s entertaining isn’t it?

Okay, it’s sad really. I know. Did I mention that I might be a bit tired?

Moving on… Thank you everyone for being a part of this crazy endeavour and thank you for your suggestions too! If we make this happen again next year we hope you will stick it out with us again!

[Lana] Next year??? What about Christmas?

[John] I love you. I really do. Please don’t ever doubt that.

[Lana] 25 for the 25th? That gives us a week for New Year’s!

[John] Deep breaths. Slow, deep breaths.

[Lana] Too soon?

[John] I love you. I do. I’m breathing. Let’s maybe chat later about this, maybe…

We thought we should recap, so… Here’s our list of…


1. The Conjuring (2013) – Based on the true case files of the Warrens.
2. Annabelle (2014) – Before The Conjuring, There was Annabelle.
3. Carnival of Souls (1962) – She escaped death. Now it wants her back.
4. Lost Boys (1987) – Sleep all day. Party all night. Never grow old. It’s fun to be a vampire.
5. Frankenweenie (2012) – The electrifying dog is back from beyond the grave.
6. 13 Ghosts (2001) – Terror has multiplied.
7. Ginger Snaps (2000) – She’s got the curse.
8. Poltergeist (1982) – From a dimension beyond the living, a terror to scare you to death.
9. Poltergeist 2: The Other Side (1986) – They’re Back.
10. Poltergeist 3 (1988) – He’s found her.
11. The Changeling (1980) – …an experience beyond total fear.
12. The Exorcist (1973) – Something beyond comprehension is happening to a little girl on this street, in this house. A man has been called for as a last resort to try to save her. That man is the exorcist.
13. Halloween (1978) – The trick was to stay alive.
14. Wishmaster (1997) – Careful what you wish for.
15. Flatliners (1990) – Some lines shouldn’t be crossed.
16. Beetlejuice (1988) – Say it once… say it twice… but we dare you to say it three times.
17. Silver Bullet (1985) – It started in May in a small town and every month after that whenever the moon is full…It came back.
18. Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) – She is the only one who can stop it…if she fails, no one survives.
19. The Amityville Horror (1979) – Houses don’t have memories.
20. Ghostbusters (1984) – They’re here to save the world.
21. The Uninvited (1944) – From the most popular mystery romance since “Rebecca”.
22. The Crow (1994) – It can’t rain all the time.
23. Jeepers Creepers (2001) – What’s eating you?
24. The Shining (1980) – Heeere’s Johnny!
25. Carrie (1976) – You were warned never to push Carrie to the limits. Now you must face the evil consequences.
26. Rosemary’s Baby (1968) – Pray for Rosemary’s baby.
27. Witchboard (1986) – Never play it alone.
28. House on Haunted Hill (1959) – The doors are locked at midnight.
29. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966) – Peanuts, pumpkins and pleasure for the whole family.
30. As Above So Below (2014) – The only way out is down.
31. Psycho (1960) – A boy’s best friend is his mother.

1. Bloodletting by Concrete Blonde
2. Ghosts by Cellmod
3. Bela Lugosi’s Dead by Bauhaus
4. Cry Little Sister by Gerard McMann
5. Lullaby by The Cure
6. Here Lies Lily Brant by iVardensphere
7. Bad Things by Jace Everett
8. Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon
9. Time Warp from the Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack
10. Dark Thing by Johnny Hollow
11. Voodoo by Godsmack
12. Forsaken by Disturbed and Jonathon Davis of Korn
13. I Put a Spell on You by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
14. Nightmare on My Street by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
15. Living Dead Girl by Rob Zombie
16. Pet Sematary by The Ramones
17. This is Halloween by Danny Elfman
18. Strange to Say by Dragonfly Lingo
19. The Monster Mash by Bobby Pickett
20. The Banana Boat Song (Day-O) by Harry Belafonte
21. Bad Moon Rising by CCR
22. One, Two, Freddy’s Coming for You
23. Dead Souls by Joy Division
24. Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr.
25. It Must Be Halloween by Color Theory
26. Bloodsuckers by Johnny Hollow
27. After the Flesh by My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult
28. Peek A Boo by Siouxsie and the Banshees
29. Bloodwater by iVardensphere
30. Psycho Killer by The Talking Heads
31. Every Day is Halloween – Ministry

[John] As if that weren’t enough… Lana filled some alone time with a small handful of extra films. I squeezed in three extras myself… compared with Lana’s 31 additional viewings. Crikey!

[Lana] As a movie buff, I’m the kind of person who waits for the scenes after the credits, who watches the bonus material on their discs and reads about upcoming features. Consider this my extra content.

[John] Aside: When Lana calls himself a “Movie buff” he isn’t kidding. You should have seen the look he shot me when I said “It’s just a movie, if I miss it it’s not end of the world.”

[Lana] Blasphemy!

Anywho… here be our list of extra bits of entertainment:

Bonus Features

1. The Fearless Vampire Killers, or Pardon Me But Your Teeth are in My Neck (1967) – You’ll never know what bit you…but you’ll love it.
2. Stephen King’s It (1990) – Your every fear – all in one deadly enemy.
3. What We Do in the Shadows (2014) – Some Interviews with Some Vampires.
4. The Babadook (2014) – If it’s in a word. Or it’s in a look. You can’t get rid of…The Babadook.
5. Paranorman (2012) – You don’t become a hero by being normal.
6. Paranormal Entity (2009) – Decide the truth for yourself.
7. The Strangers (2008) – Lock the door. Pretend you’re safe.
8. Trick ‘r Treat (2007) – Poison, drowning, claw or knife. So many ways to take a life.
9. The Last House on the Left (2009) – If bad people hurt someone you love, how far would you go to hurt them back?
10. 7 Below (2012) – Evil has found a new home. (John’s bonus – “Not worth it”)
11. The Haunting (1963) – You may not believe in ghosts but you cannot deny terror.
12. After (2012) (John’s bonus – “Meh”)
13. Vampyr (1932)
14. The Haunting of Molly Hartley (2008) – This Halloween her past is yet to come.
15. Darkness Falls (2003) – An eye for an eye. Your life for a tooth. (John’s bonus – “I wouldn’t watch it again”)
16. Drag Me to Hell (2009) – Christine Brown has a good job, a great boyfriend and a bright future. But in three days, she’s going to Hell.
17. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006) – Jason, Freddy, Myers. We all need someone to look up to.
18. One Missed Call (2008) – What will it sound like when you die?
19. The Craft (1996) – Welcome to the witching hour.
20. The Haunting in Connecticut (2009) – Some things cannot be explained.
21. American Werewolf in London (1981) – John Landis – the director of Animal House brings you a different kind of animal.
22. Sleepy Hollow (1999) – Who will it come for next?
23. The Innocents (1961) – Apparitions? Evils? Corruptions?
24. The Cube (1997) – The only way out lies within your own mind.
25. Tales of Halloween (2015) – One night. One town. Ten chilling stories.
26. Paranormal Activity (2007) – What happens when you sleep?
27. The Hunger (1983) – Nothing human loves forever
28. Howl (2015) – Last train. Full moon. All change.
29. Exorcismus (2010) – There are some things best kept secret.
30. The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966) – G-G-Guaranteed! You’ll be scared until you laugh yourself silly!
31. Wolf (1994) – Inside every man there are two people - one good, one beast
32. Practical Magic (1998) – Prepare to come under their spell.
33. The Cabin in the Woods (2012) – If you hear a strange sound outside…have sex.
34. Blair Witch Project (1999) – In October of 1994 three student filmmakers disappeared in the woods near Burkittsville, Maryland, while shooting a documentary… A year later their footage was found.

1. Big Bad Wolf by The Wolf Sisters
2. Hallowe’en by Steven Lynch
3. How Soon is Now by The Smiths
4. Feed My Frankenstein by Alice Cooper
5. Halloween theme
6. Jump in the Line (Shake Senora) by Harry Belafonte
7. Somebody’s Watching Me by Rockwell
8. Killing Game by Skinny Puppy
9. I Fall to Pieces by Patsy Cline

We would especially like to thank Patrick Keller, Josh Wood, A.G. Ruff, Yvonne Pulkkinen and Paula Nicholson for suggesting movies to increase our viewing pleasure.

We hope everybody had a safe, scary and eerily wonderful Hallowe’en!!!