Monday, November 2, 2009

Morbid Monday (or the weekend that ate Thriller Thursday and Freaky Friday)

Wow, so its really hard to justify missing two post days last week when I honestly had nothing to prevent me from doing so.  Thursday was a bit of a rush though, as I had decided to miss school on Friday for doctors appointments and had a mad dash after school to put together sub plans and class lists so the sub would not be lost the next day.  I also had to call my thespian club parents and make doubly sure that they really wanted to cancel the fundraiser we had planned for Saturday's Halloween Parade.  Then, since I knew I didn't have to be up Friday morning for school, I stayed out late with a friend of mine.  So, its easy to see how frivolity can really sap your day of post writing time.  That's only Thursday though.  Friday I really do have no excuse, I didn't do all that much.  I just forgot about it because I had Friday evening, and all of Saturday's events on my mind.  I know, I know...excuses, excuses.  But at least I am back with a fresh post for this, the first Monday of November!

My weekend was fairly nice, especially since I gave myself a 3 day weekend instead of a 2 day.  It still went by quickly since I had so much crammed into it.  Friday I accomplished a lot...I got those appointments taken care of, I did lesson planning, got my grades in, got my thespian club list compiled, and ran some errands.  It was a highly productive day.  Then Saturday I drove to the city to have lunch with a friend of mine at Olive Garden (one of my faves) and then went to see Young Frankenstein: The Musical downtown.  I love seeing a live show, and there was an added treat.  The original Broadway Frankenstein, Roger Bart, was playing the lead!  You may know him from his work as Roger Bannister in the remake of The Stepford Wives or as Carmen Ghia in the musical film The Producers.  I was understandably star struck.  Later that evening I drove to visit my father and hung out with him for a while.  I had planned to go out to the big Halloween bash there, but fell asleep before it was time to go (the dang event didn't begin till midnight...I'm old I can't stay up that late with nothing to do).  Sunday had a leisurely morning followed by an uneventful drive back home where I did the grocery shopping and then retired to the seclusion of my home.  To be honest, I'm glad to be back at work.  I was a little bored being away from it on Friday (and felt a little guilty at having to miss) but it all evened out.  I'm just happy I don't feel burned out like I sometimes do after a busy weekend.  This coming weekend should prove to be much less eventful and more like a lazy weekend.  I love those sometimes, especially when I can find a few DVDs at the library to curl up with.

Speaking of films I should give a quick recap to the ones I had planned to discuss Thursday and Friday.  For Thursday, I wanted to discuss a little seen and under appreciated Halloween set film from the early 90s that I remembered fondly and decided to watch for Trick or Treat (and I was so disappointed that I didn't get a single trick or treater at my I'm stuck with all this blasted candy).  The film was a riff on old alien invasion films and used Orson Wells's "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast to tremendous effect.  That film was Spaced Invaders.  No, it is not high cinema or good comedy...but for a holiday diversion, you could do a lot worse.  It tells the story of a group of five lost Martians who, while trying to find their way back to the battle with another alien race, intercept the "War of the Worlds" broadcast and follow it to a small American town called Big Bean where they believe the invasion is actually taking place.  Oh, and it takes place on Halloween.  Its cute, unoffensive, and worth a few chuckles.

The next film I wanted to discuss is actually two films that I always choose to view as one when Halloween rolls around.  They tell two halves of the same story, so I think it is criminal to not watch them together and for simply isn't Halloween without them.  I, of course, am referring to Halloween and Halloween II. Oh, and yes friends, I do mean the originals.  For me, there is something wonderfully traditional about these two films and watching them back to back on Halloween night, especially part II with its more orange tint and loud holiday decor hung around Haddonfield Memorial Hospital.  Watching these two movies takes me back to when I was in junior high and either on channel or another would be playing them back to back as part of a marathon.  For those who don't know the story (is there really someone out there who doesn't?) part one deals with the escape of the psychotic Michael Myers, who murdered his sister when he was 6 years old, from a mental hospital and his journey to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois where he chooses to stalk a pretty young girl named Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis's first big role) and her friends as they babysit some kids for that Halloween nights. Meanwhile, his psychiatrist, Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) is trying to track him down and stop him.  Part II picks up right as part I ends and finds Laurie being taken to Haddonfield Memorial Hospital while Dr. Loomis continues to try and track Michael down and find out why he was after this girl, following his miraculous recovery from six gunshots.  Michael finds his way to the hospital where Laurie is being kept and begins to hack his way through the staff in order to get to her.  I feel that both films work as an exercise in suspense and fright while also building off each other in order to tell the story of one horror filled night. The trailers for both can be found below.  Happy viewing!

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