Halloween Horror! The Titillating, the Terrifying, the Campy and the Creepy

 

The spooky season is upon us, and you greatly deprive yourself if you do not take the time to watch some scary movies! I love horror, and here are some of my favorites — the fun, the freaky and the forgotten.  In no particular order.

Crow Haven Farm – When a distant relative dies and leaves a generous will, New Yorker Maggie (played by Hope Lange) inherits a farm in Massachusetts. She and her husband are delighted to leave the big city and move into their new digs. However, upon entering the new house, Maggie has the strangest feeling she has lived there before. Is reincarnation possible?

Of course it is! But matters get complicated when Maggie and her husband adopt a witchy ten year old girl. Through the child, Maggie discovers her previous life involved the betrayal of a 17th century coven. They now plan to exact their revenge…

The Howling II “Your sister is a werewolf.” – Ben’s sister is transformed into a werewolf and killed. Determined to find answers and justice, Ben and his girlfriend Jenny travel to Transylvania with werewolf hunter Stefan (played by Christopher Lee) to investigate. There they find themselves in the midst of the Wolf Festival. A strange tribe of werewolves are led by immortal Queen Stirba who, as it turns out, is Stefan’s sister.  There are plenty of chills and thrills (plus a great Goth wardrobe!) in this borderline erotic story.

Let’s Scare Jessica To Death – After suffering a nervous breakdown, Jessica has just been released from treatment in a mental institution.  What she needs most is fresh air and a fresh start. Jessica and her husband decide to purchase a country house in upstate New York where they can get some peace and quiet to help Jessica’s recovery.  Or so they think. When they discover a young hippy squatter on the premises, Jessica decides to invite the girl to move in rather than banish her.  Bad decision!  

This woman strangely resembles old photographs left in the house…  Is the young woman really an immortal vampire? Or is Jessica simply going insane?

An American Werewolf in London – American college students David and Jack are backpacking through northern England.

They stop at a pub for some hot food, but unfortunately, the locals are none too friendly.  In fact they are downright rude, except for their simple advice. “Stay to the road and beware the moon.” 

Realizing they are unwanted, the boys head out to the moors, amidst fog and cries of a howling wolf.  They are, of course, attacked.  Jack  is killed, but David is merely wounded — and therefore left to carry on the curse of the werewolf. This truly classic film  manages to be funny, likable and shocking all at the same time.

The Witches of Eastwick – Three dissatisfied women (played by Cher, Michelle Pheifer and Susan Sarandon) live in a sleepy New England town. There, they bide their time with hobbies and gossip, not really fitting in with the locals, and longing for excitement.  One night they fantasize their perfect man and invite him to the neighborhood.  When Darryl Van Horn (played by Jack Nicholson) arrives on the scene, he is intriguing, a bit repugnant, and weirdly irresistible. Van Horn trains the women for a witchy life — including teaching them to fly, all the while keeping them under his seductive power. Then one day, the ladies become more powerful than Darryl…

Practical Magic – The Owens women, witches by birth, suffer a curse. No man should ever fall in love with them or he is fated to die — young and way before his time.  When sisters Jill and Sally (played by Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock) both fall in love, fate takes its toll.  Can the curse be broken? While it is not really “scary” this movie is great fun and perfect for Halloween, when the Owens women fly off the roof!

The Witch: A New England Folk Tale – Journey back to 17th century New England for some spine tingling dealings with real witches and a goat named Black Phillip. A family of English settlers are banished from Plymouth Colony for being “too devout.” In other words, they out-Puritan the Puritans, and the community sends them away.

The family’s luck gets worse as crops spoil and their baby is kidnapped. To make matters worse, something strange is going on in the woods… This involves unction oils, naked witches, and signing of the book in blood. Plus Black Phillip is more than a mere goat…

Kudos to director Robert Eggers for keeping it Puritanical. Eggers went to great efforts to replicate the speech and costumes of the era. He also claimed he wanted to make his “childhood witch terrors” come to life.  I know people who are so scared of this movie, they will not watch it alone!

Interview With The Vampire – I have mentioned this gem before, but no Halloween would be complete without a visit to New Orleans with the infamous Lestat, and the innocent Louis, the vampire he created to keep him company. When Louis can no longer live with the existential crises of having to kill to stay undead, all hell breaks loose. Anne Rice’s masterpiece brought to the big screen.

The Salem Witch Trials – Originally filmed as a made for TV mini series, this six hour presentation is a must see. Most folks take Arthur Miller’s Crucible as fact – it was, however, heavily fabricated to meet Miller’s dramatic goals. This mini series offers a more historic (and scary!) view of the witch trials, with great performances by Kirstie Alley and Shirley Maclaine.

Doctor Faustus – Based on Christopher Marlowe’s play. Richard Burton stars as Faustus, the occult dabbling doctor who wonders if it would be possible to summon the Devil and strike a bargain with him – a soul in exchange for worldly goods. Yes. It is possible. The movie also stars Elizabeth Taylor (Burton’s then wife) as temptress Helen of Troy.

Although it is a bit campy and the acting is over the top, I still say,  Burton, Taylor and Marlowe — What’s not to love?

The Exorcist – Some folks think this is the scariest film ever made. Although it shows it’s age, there are still plenty terrors to be had in this story of Reagan, an innocent twelve year old who inexplicably finds herself possessed by the Devil. When all cures prove futile, an exorcist is called in. Not for the faint of heart, but if you have a strong stomach, it is a must see.

Hope that gives you some viewing ideas!

Have an Happy and Horrifying Halloween!

 

 

 

Parallel Universes & The Berenstein Bears

berentsein-bears-parallel-universe

We all remember the Berenstein Bears, right?  That wacky family of talking bears that got into all sorts of mischief?   They even had their own cartoon show. The Bears were outlandish, witty and fun. I remember their name distinctly. It was Berenstein. Such clever alliteration.  As  I got older, I even pictured the Berenstein Bears as Jewish comedians, right up there with Seinfeld or Larry David.  I am certain —  positive — I mean,  lie detector test SURE —  that the name was Berenstein! Stein with an ‘e’.  However, it seems I am wrong.

There currently exists not one book, not one cartoon, dvd or vhs of the Bears in which their names are spelled Berenstein. Look ‘em up on Wiki.  Their name, it seems, is Berenstain (like a grass stain or a stain in your blouse.)  It has, apparently, always BEEN Berenstain.

Huh? This actually freaked me out.  How do you remember the name?

I had some of the books, like this one:

Berenstain learn to read

I first became aware of this of few days ago while perusing youtube for parallel universe vids. The one I happened to find stated several ‘matrix glitch’ incidents which could be explained as parallel universes. But the spelling of the Berenstain Bears really hit home for me, because I DEFINITELY remember them as ‘Berenstein’. And so do a lot of other people.

I am a believer in parallel universes.   Even before this Bear phenomenon, I have been certain they exist. As I have stated in other blogs, recent findings of quantum physicians suggests that there may be as many as eleven different dimensions existing on unseen microscopic planes.  If these multi-dimensional planes exist, why not parallels of space and time? Past, present and future could all actually be happening at once, cutting through distance in a super-imposed matrix of reality.

Cool, huh?

space-suits-shot-from-a-parallel-dimension-6

Some psychics and paranormal observers have suggested that humankind actually move through several different parallels on any given day.  The problem is, the parallels are so similar that we do not notice the slight differences. Like the spelling of a bear’s name, for example 🙂

This matrix glitch has become a bit of a pop cultural phenomenon.  There are TONS of other videos out there exploiting the theme and declaring that all sorts of commonplace items have ‘mysteriously’ changed names. Take Jif peanut butter. Was it always Jif? Some claim it was  Jiffy.

For the record, and as a bona-fide peanut butter connoisseur, I contend it was always ‘Jif’! There was, however, ‘Jiffy Pop’ popcorn.  There is also Jiffy Lube and Jiffy Cakes. Memory is selective. Memory is peculiar.

Here are some more examples of the so-called matrix glitches: Is the product Fabreze or Fabreeze? Coca-Cola or Coke-Cola? Sex in the City or Sex and the City?  Captain Crunch or Cap’n Crunch?  Fruit Loops or Froot Loops? What was Forest Gump’s famous line — either ‘Life IS like as box of chocolates’ of ‘Life WAS like a box of chocolates’?

Yeah I admit it sounds a bit contrived.

I contend it was always Fabreze. It was always Cap’n Crunch. It was always Froot Loops. This being because advertisers, like rock bands, know the value of bad spelling. It draws attention to the product. That is why we had The Beatles, not The Beetles.  (Interestingly I notice as I type, my spell check does not even pick up Beatles as a misspelled word!  Way to go Lennon 🙂  )

I contend it was always Sex AND the City – this being because the city of New York was considered a character in the show as much as Carrie, Samantha, et al.

Coca-Cola? You know the story and it is true. In the 1920’s when cocaine was still legal in America, this soft drink did indeed contain strains of the substance itself.  It was always Coca. (At least I think so…)

The doomsday theorists have taken this whole parallel thing one step further. They are claiming the King James Bible itself has been tampered with.  Pop quiz for Bible enthusiasts:  Does the Lord’s Prayer ask ‘Forgive us our trespasses’ or ‘Forgive us our debts’?  Do the ‘Lion and the Lamb’ sit together in the peaceable kingdom, or is it the ‘Wolf and the Lamb’?   Well now. The poor old Bible has been interpreted and translated from Aramaic, Greek, Hebrew and Latin so many times, it would actually be strange if we did NOT have some  ever changing words in it.

Here is where Dana Carvey pops in, purses his lips and asks: “Could it be… SATAN??”

satan

 

Although there are a plethora of youtube clips exploring this phenomenon, I will include the following because it makes an interesting comparison to Star Trek. (Incidentally, I remember ‘Interview With THE Vampire’, not ‘A Vampire’, which is apparently correct in this current matrix… but I am a huge Anne Rice fan 🙂 )

 

At any rate, I also contend that no matter how you remember any these words, parallel universes DO exist and they always have existed. It is only now that they are actually coming to the surface in tangible, pop culture type ways. Finally!  (Thanks, Berenstein Bears!)

What starts out as tiny, seemingly insignificant words can grow to greater awareness, paradigm shifts and life changing phenomena.

Would you like to live in another parallel where, for example, the current system of banking is changed? Would you like to live in a parallel where water is abundant? (Yes, California, I mean you.)  Would you like a parallel where food, clothing and shelter are adequately provided for all regardless of economics and demographics?

But where would all this stuff come from? you ask. Well now.  Where did electricity come from?  Where did this very internet upon which you are reading, actually come from? Either the grand Magi pulled it out of her hat, or there are several hidden parallels which are constantly adding to the development of humankind. Which is kind of the same thing, really…

Nikola-Tesla-1

To take it one step further, would you like to live in a parallel where wars are eradicated, where hatred and power-mongering have been replaced with love and world peace?  Well then. Follow your matrix. It is the human mind that leads to discoveries, inventions and the archeology of new dimensions.  We will get what we think about. Whether we want it or not. We will achieve as little, or as much, as we believe to be possible in human capacity.

BrighteningthePath