The Great Halloween Roundup of 2013

Halloween readings from the Reason archives:

Happy Halloween!Jack T. ChickCharles Barr, "The Exorcist" (1974): Our film critic is impressed.

John Hospers, "Halloween" (1979): The Libertarian Party's first presidential nominee praises the movie Halloween, calling John Carpenter "a writer-director who, though still in his apprenticeship, may yet one day fill Hitchcock's shoes."

Tim Cavanaugh, "Sympathy for the Devil's Night" (2002): Strictly speaking, this one is about the night before Halloween.

Damon Root, "Hell Hounds" (2003): The horrifying case of the West Memphis Three.

Willow knows the score.Jack T. ChickVirginia Postrel, "Why Buffy Kicked Ass" (2003): An appreciation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Jesse Walker, "The Halloween Election" (2004): I combine a Halloween column with an Election Day column. Pundits are allowed to do this only once.

Jesse Walker, "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" (2005): Technically a Christmas article, but I'm including it for its reading of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown as the anti-Charlie Brown Christmas.

Tim Cavanaugh, "We the Living Dead" (2007): The politics of zombies.

David Weigel, "Interview With a Vampire Expert" (2007): A Q&A with Eric Nuzum, author of The Dead Travel Fast: Stalking Vampires from Nosferatu to Count Chocula.

Jesse Walker, "The Passion of the Pumpkin" (2007): An early dispatch from the War on Halloween.

Jesse Walker, "Satan's Faces" (2008): The many lives of Lucifer.

Jesse Walker, "Season of the Regulator" (2010): "a quick, far from exhaustive list of the dubious ways the authorities are now policing All Hallow's Eve."

Creepier with nudity.Jack T. ChickScott Shackford, "Meddling Officials Put Kibosh on Crazy Naked Haunted House Plan" (2013): No description could improve on that headline.

Nick Gillespie, "The War on Halloween is Not Healthy for Children and Other Living Things" (2013): Halloween killjoys and the case for school choice.

Jesse Walker, "The Legend of the Child-Stealing Gypsies" (2013): In which the fear of monsters turns people into monsters.

Jess Remington, "Halloween Sex Offender Laws Are Unjustified" (2013): The latest fashion in ill-conceived Halloween rules.

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  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    Buffy was good during the early seasons, but when it started to go downhill, it went downhill fast. I blame the introduction of Dawn The Patience Slayer.

  • SugarFree||

    There's only so long you can watch someone whine about what life has dealt them, esp if it comes with superpowers. Whiny superheroes are old and busted. If the average person got superpowers they'd be woo-hooing at eardrum-shattering volume.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Unless they were expected to use them to risk their life night after night. And they're a teenage girl. Did you even watch the show?

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    Even factoring in Buffy being under stress, that doesn't forgive her dalliance with the walking, talking, charisma-free post that was Riley.

  • SugarFree||

    What about buttsex with Spike in public? At least Riley knows anal is for those long weekends at the beach.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    Wait, what? I don't recall Spike going up the old dirt road.

  • SugarFree||

    When they were having sex on the scaffolding in The Bronze, from the angles they were both standing at, there's no way Spike was in her vagina unless his dick has a right angle. (If that's the case, establish it in continuity.)

  • SugarFree||

    I've watched the entire series 4 times. I'm not saying she didn't have a case for the first couple of years, but jeesh, this is your life, stop moping already.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    And yet every comment from you here is dripping with pancreas-related subtext.

  • SugarFree||

    Whatevs, hater.

  • Hugh Akston||

    To be fair, Nutrasweet is more like Spike than he is like Buffy. He needs regular infusions of a substance that living humans produce naturally. He has terrible fashion sense, a fake British accent, an utterly unforgivable hairstyle. And most importantly he is forever condemned to sloppy seconds.

  • SugarFree||

    Except for the accent, this is pretty spot-on. Although, technically, Spike got sloppy 4ths.

  • sarcasmic||

    The movie was classic and the show sucked.

  • ||

    Is there any time that Chick Tracts aren't appropriate?

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    When you're putting together a speech for a gay wedding? "You know, I remember when Bruce met Jim, because THE SMELL OF SULFUR WAS IN THE AIR. You could tell the attraction was mutual from THE SOUND OF THE DEVIL'S LAUGHTER.'"

  • Doctor Whom||

    And their devil pets were just so adorable.

  • ||

    If I can't convince a theoretical future fiance to elope, I'm totally working that into the vows.

  • SugarFree||

    By the way, given my graying beard and sour demeanor at work, I am dressed as Grumpy Cat for Halloween. Cat ears, a frown, and a sticker on my shirt that says "I went trick-or-treating once. It was awful." in the lolcat font styling. Cheap, accurate, and the kids all love it.

    Anyone else dressed up?

  • ||

    I'll change into it for the work potluck, but I wasn't about to run around in a women's size 12 Sue Sylvester costume all day.

  • SugarFree||

    Doesn't a gay guy dressed as a lesbian mean you just wind up going as a straight woman?

  • Snark Plissken||

  • SugarFree||

    I'm just wondering if he has a friend going as Becky.

  • Snark Plissken||

    David Burge ‏@iowahawkblog 34m
    When deciding on an adult Halloween costume, ask yourself: What Would Ron Swanson Do?

  • Raston Bot||

    He wouldn't?

  • Snark Plissken||

    I think he always dresses as a pirate.

  • SugarFree||

    Yes. Always. It's the only costume he respects.

  • Raston Bot||

    Didn't he go around fixing all the broken stuff in Andy's house while Andy was dressed as the Iceman and had his nose broken by the emo character who married Tina Fey?

  • Snark Plissken||

    I started losing interest during that whole relationship thing. Maybe it was just suspending disbelief that anyone would want to marry Leslie Knope.

  • Almanian!||

    No, I'm not gay.

  • ||

    Didn't you admit to slapping other men in a thread just yesterday? Putting on a costume would be butching up, mate.

  • Almanian!||

    I admit to nothing.

    And it's the BOYS I'm slapping, jesse. Much more...thrilling.

  • ||

    Preaching to the choir.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yeah, yeah. And neither is your boyfriend.

  • Brett L||

    Sure. I put a button-down shirt and 8 squirts of cologne on and went as a sales-guy. As we're all back-office trolls, we're enjoying it.

  • Ska||

    Has anyone done the right thing and referred to you as Tard?

  • The DerpRider||

    Zombie clown from Zombieland.

  • Voldemort||

    I used to think the "fiscally conservative and socially liberal" phrase was all about abortion and gay marriage. That gypsy article showed me what it is really about: being PC. Europeans are right to be resentful of the gypsies, they actively discourage honest work and instead parasite off of the European welfare system. They make La Raza look like the model of integration and patriotism.

  • Snark Plissken||

    Lucy Stegosaurus got a rock.

  • Snark Plissken||

    Weigal? You are dead to me Jesse.

  • np||

  • Jesus H. Christ||

    The exorcist was terrifying when it was released. I remember my mom taking me to see it at a drive-in theater with some friends when I was 11 years old. Messed me up for a while.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Who did you make out with in the back seat?

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    I remember my mom taking me to see it at a drive-in theater

    He already answered that.

  • Raston Bot||

    This movie was rated "R." It should have been rated "X." While THE EXORCIST contains no nudity-apparently a prerequisite for the "X" rating-it expels such heavy doses of supernaturalism, gore and shock that it could easily cause permanent damage to an impressionable mind. When hundreds of adults in their 30s and 40s are unable to sit through the film without fainting or becoming sick, the effect on children is bound to be even worse.

    Seriously?

  • Nazdrakke||

    I read the bold text and thought that the comment was about public schools.

  • Doctor Whom||

    I heard that someone had gone insane from watching it. Once you concede the truth that all urban legends are true, then it’s difficult to resist the moral logic that that one person was on the edge anyway that movie is pure evil.

  • Marc F Cheney||

    The Exorcist is terrible. I can't understand why it's popular.

  • Almanian!||

    Never understood the "Halloween" movie. Didn't find it scary. Slow, boring, dull. Never watched it again.

    "Hellraiser" was gross. "Elm Street" - meh - stupid. "Pumpkinhead" was kinda creepy, as was "Jeepers Creepers".

    And I always like that one with the little flying balls that chased the victims and jammed blades into their heads...what the fuck was it called? Oh yaah: "Phantasm"

  • Nazdrakke||

    Transylvania 6-5000, House, and Evil Dead for me.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    I still find it scary, but even if you don't (anymore) you still have to admit that Halloween looks damn good. I think Carpenter's masterpiece is The Thing, but Carpenter's blending of foreground and background action in Halloween give it a unique feel. I can't easily come up with another slasher movie that has its killer lurking in plain sight in the middle of the day...Scream, but that was obviously inspired by Halloween.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Never understood the "Halloween" movie.

    Let me mansplain it to you. (NSFW)

  • sarcasmic||

    I hear Rosemary is having a baby.

  • Almanian!||

    My daughter (younger one) is having a baby. Her name's not Rosemary, but I did make reference to the movie when she posted an ultrasound pic on FB.

    No one got it....rats.

  • Floridian||

    I watched the people under the stairs last night because Netflix gave it four stars. They were way too generous. I couldn't figure out if it was suppose to be a comedy or a horror movie. Also their analysis of wealth creation was elementary.

  • SweatingGin||

    Of course, at any mention of Chick tracts, have to repost these:

    Do you think he can save you from the Old One's wrath? Ha, Ha, Ha

    WHO WILL BE EATEN FIRST?

  • Doctor Whom||

  • Cytotoxic||

    The Exorcist is honestly the most overrated horror movie I've ever watched. It just isn't scary or very interesting.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Okay, but "Tubular Bells" is still a helluva good Halloween tune.

  • ||

    When they rereleased it I decided to go see it because I had been terrified of the ads for it as a child. There was a group of black folks in the front going full MST3k. When she spider walked down the stairs one of them said "Bitch, why can't you bend like that." Followed by brief silence, a cracking sound, and "BITCH, WHY DID YOU JUST HIT ME!?"

    It really destroyed any hope for suspension of disbelief.

  • Marc F Cheney||

    That.

  • The DerpRider||

    Rifftrax guys just did a live version on Night of the Living Dead. Wanted to see it badly, but was away on business. Going to buy it tonight and watch with the wife. If you like MST3K, check it out. They do just about every movie nowadays, including the Twilights, Star Wars, etc.

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