For the final week of the Month of Horror Anthologies, Derek and Larry sat down to watch the movie chosen by Larry, Tales of Halloween, which features ten stories, all bookended by Adrienne Barbeau as a radio deejay in a suburban town, where all the stories take place.
All ten of the stories have elements of humor and horror to varying levels, and it makes for an interesting mix. Let's have a look...
|Parents: This is why you always check your kids' candy.|
When young Timmy (Cameron Easton) returns from trick-or-treating, he throws caution to the wind and starts scarfing down candy from his bucket. His babysitter, Lizzy (Madison Iseman), and her boyfriend, Kyle (Austin Falk), tell Timmy that he needs to take it easy, and in an attempt to scare him straight, Kyle tells Timmy the story of Sweet Tooth.
Sweet Tooth was once a normal child whose parents let him go trick-or-treating, but would not let him eat the candy he received. Instead, after they sent him to bed, they would eat all the candy and have lots of gross sex. It's pretty weird.
Their son also finds it weird and decides that it is also unfair, so he goes to the kitchen, gets a meat cleaver, and kills both of his parents. He then eats all the candy that is left. (Even the stuff his parents were boning on...Gross!) But his hunger for sweets cannot be sated! So he slices open his parents and eats the candy they already ate!
Kyle tells Timmy that Sweet Tooth now visits people who eat a lot of candy unless they leave him some kind of tribute...
The Night Billy Raised Hell
Todd (Ben Stillwell) and Britney (Natalie Castillo) take Billy (Marcus Eckert) trick-or-treating way too early in the afternoon, at his request. When Todd starts making fun of Billy, challenging him to egg the creepy neighbor's house, Billy takes up the challenge, only to be stopped by the home's owner, Mr. Abbadon (Barry Bostwick) and taken inside, where Billy is told he is going to be taught how a real prank is done.
What follows is Mr. Abbadon and his charge terrorizing the city--stealing kids' candy, harassing parents, carjacking Adrianne Curry (as herself), vandalizing Billy's family's Halloween decorations, and robbing a liquor store. But something...just...isn't...right...
Four friends--James (John F. Beach), Maria (Tiffany Shepis), Catlyn (Casey Ruggieri), and Nelson (Trent Haaga)--spend the evening in, watching Night of the Living Dead and passing out candy to trick-or-treaters.
When James answers the door, a girl dressed as a witch (Mia Page) just stands there, not saying anything. James says, "Trick-or-treat?" to her several times, trying to get a response. And, boy howdy, does he get one! She pulls out a big knife and stabs him, finally saying, "Trick."
Discovering that James has been stabbed, the others rush to his aid. But then more kids come into the house, all of them armed and prepared to do some damage, which they get right down to, first killing Maria, then Nelson. Catlyn, however, manages to get away and runs upstairs to hide.
The kids go looking for Catlyn, who is now hiding in the attic, going through her phone and deleting some pretty horrific pictures before calling 911. But then the kids come in and turn on the lights, revealing a nasty scene...
Grim Grinning Ghost
Attending a party thrown by her mother (Lin Shaye), Lynn (Alex Esso) hears the story of Mary Bailey--a sort of local version of the whole "Bloody Mary" folk tale.
When the party ends, Lynn heads home, but her car stalls on the way. After saying "shit" a lot, she decides to walk the rest of the way. However, she feels the presence of someone--or some thing--following her.
As she gets closer to home, the presence gets closer to her, almost catching up to her just as she gets to her front door. Once inside, she puts on her pajamas and brushes her teeth, preparing for bed. While in the bathroom, she see the door open in the mirror, only to realize it was just her dog pushing it open. So everything must be perfectly fine, right?
|Oh, Lady Gaga...You're so wacky!|
This one starts off the year before, where Jack (Marc Senter) tries to console his wife, Bobbie (Pollyanna McIntosh), who is having trouble dealing with children because she is barren herself. In an attempt to cheer her up, he dresses their dog as Gretel (from Hansel and Gretel). Unfortunately, Bobbie does not take it well, and she punches Jack, knocking him out.
Flash forward to the current year, and Bobbie appears to have come to grips with the whole not-able-to-have-children thing, and has embraced the Halloween spirit. She dresses as a witch, and Jack dresses as Hansel, and they both have a big production for when a group of kids come to the door that involves Bobbie introducing Jack as Hansel, adding that she already ate Gretel. She proves this by pulling an entire braid (with a ear attached!) out of her mouth and showing it to them. The kids are, for the most part, fascinated.
This is repeated several times, until a single child shows up. It is a small boy, who also happens to be dressed as Hansel. Something inside Bobbie clicks, and after asking the child if he is lost, she tries to convince him to come inside the house. Jack is not too thrilled, for some reason, and makes every effort to change Bobbie's mind. When that doesn't work, Jack turns on the porch lights, drawing the attention of the boy's mother, who was looking for him.
Bobbie is livid. She rages at Jack for a few seconds, but then announces she is making cookies. She heads to the kitchen, fires up the oven, and gets to work. Jack then comes into the kitchen and tells her that he doesn't think it is a good idea for them to have kids, and he confesses he went to a doctor and got a vasectomy. Needless to say, Bobbie does not handle it well...
The Weak and the Wicked
|Can't read my, can't read my...No, you can't read my poker face!|
When confronted by Alice, The Stranger hands her a drawing, which she glances at briefly and throws away. Then she and her friends give chase, following The Stranger around the park until he comes upon a burned-out trailer.
When he glances at his watch, he flashes back to when he was a child being harassed by young Alice and her two friends, and they are all standing outside the trailer, which is burning. It turns out that she, Isaac and Bart were the ones who set the trailer on fire, and The Stranger's parents were inside, burning to death.
Snapped out of his flashback, The Stranger tells Alice that he knows it was they who started the fire, and it was time for payback. Alice, unimpressed, has Isaac and Bart beat the piss out of him, and she pours alcohol all over him, preparing to set him on fire. But then, Isaac disappears...And then so does Bart...
This Means War
Boris (Dana Gould) is putting up his Halloween decorations--the traditional "tombstones and skeletons" kind--when he sees a truck pull up to the house across the street, where Dante (James Duval) and Velma (Elissa Dowling) have moved in. They are decorating, too, but their props are a bit more...extreme. There is a lot of rubbery guts and fake blood involved. It's pretty nifty, but Boris is not a fan.
Later that night, as Boris stands out front, handing out candy to kids, Dante and his pals are being loud, obnoxious, and not a little bit drunk. They are blaring metal through a huge stereo system and partying. When Boris asks them to turn down the music, they ignore him and get even louder. Boris snaps.
First, he attacks the stereo, killing off the music. In retaliation, Dante takes a huge bucket of fake blood to throw all over the decorations at Boris' house, but Boris cuts him off, tackling Dante and fighting with him. But will Boris be able to take down the younger Dante?
Friday the 31st
A young woman, Dorothy (Amanda Moyer), bursts into a barn, only to discover that her friends have been murdered. Just as she starts to react, the killer (Nick Principe) burst through the door, wearing a not-quite-trademark-infringing hockey mask.
Dorothy hits the killer with a hammer and runs out of the barn to get away, but the killer grabs a metal spear, throws it, and skewers Dorothy, killing her. When he goes to investigate (and possibly take the body back to the barn), he is interrupted by a bright light from above. It is...a UFO. Seriously. And it beams down a tiny little alien with a pumpkin-shaped bucket. It's here to trick-or-treat!
The killer is having no part of this, and he stomps it flat, then he leaves. The squashed alien oozes into the deceased Dorothy's body, sort of bringing her back to life so it can kill the killer. But will it be able to?
The Ransom of Rusty Rex
Dutch (Jose Pablo Cantillo) and Hank (Sam Witwer) are bank robbers who have decided that there is an easier way to score even larger amounts of money: kidnapping!
After picking their target, they swing into action, choosing the target: the son of local rich guy, Jebediah Rex (John Landis!). Their plan involves following the kid, Rusty (Ben Woolf) around while he is trick-or-treating, and then grabbing him once he is in a conveniently secluded spot.
After returning to their warehouse hideout, they call Jebediah Rex with their ransom demands, but there is one snag; Jebediah doesn't want him back. In fact, he seems positively delighted, telling Hank that the kid is their problem now, and then he hangs up.
Rusty, however, does not seem particularly concerned, and he keeps trying to get to the bucket of candy he had collected.
Hank calls Jebediah again, and tries to issue his demands. Once more, Jebediah tells them no, explaining that Rusty is not really his son, but a critter/person that showed up five years earlier and refused to leave, and then he hangs up, further confusing the kidnappers. And their problems are far from over, because while they were busy trying to figure out just what the heck is wrong with Jebediah, Rusty escapes and disappears among the crates and boxes, so Hank sends Dutch after him.
They recapture Rusty when he jumps on Dutch's back and attacks him. When they get him tied up, Hank once again calls Jebediah, but this time to beg him to take Rusty back, They even offer to pay him! However, Jebediah refuses, telling them to make sure they have plenty to feed him because he can get really hungry.
It's clear to them that this is no regular kid, so they decide to get rid of him, first trying to drown him, and then, finally, taking him back to the Rex household and setting fire to him on the front porch. Then they get in their car and get out of town, happy in the knowledge that Rusty appears to no longer be their problem...
|Do you feel lucky, pumpkin? Do you?|
When the police arrive to investigate, the only one who takes Ellen seriously is Detective McNally (Kristina Klebe), who takes the police artist's (Drew Struzan) drawing back to the station and presents it to her captain, Captain Zimmerman (John Savage). The captain is not impressed, and claims that he doesn't have time for this ridiculous case because there's a whole bunch of other weird stuff going on around town. However, Forensic Bob (Pat Healy) takes a cast of the bite mark on what's left of Ray's body, and he finds that it matches the police sketch of the pumpkin.
McNally begins her quest to hunt down and arrest a murderous pumpkin, because that's the kind of world she lives in now. Her search takes her around town, where she first has trouble finding it, but she gets a break when a mother sees her small child being eaten by it. When the woman screams, she draws McNally's attention, who gives chase as the pumpkin skitters off.
It leads her to a display that is, for some reason, in the middle of a dark alleyway, where she confronts the pumpkin after shooting two innocent ones. Unfortunately, she used up the only two bullets she brought with her, and the pumpkin moves in for the kill. Fortunately, Forensic Bob is there to save the day, tossing her a shotgun so she can turn it into pumpkin pudding.
While she is sorting through the carnage, she finds a chunk of pumpkin with a sticker on it that says it is a genetically-modified "super pumpkin". She gets a warrant and goes to the facility where the pumpkin was created and meets Professor Milo Gottlieb (Joe Dante) to question him about how the pumpkins are made. But she finds more than she expected...
How do all these stories end? Will Adrienne Barbeau have anything to do with it, like maybe bringing in Swamp Thing to save the day? Also, really? A murderous pumpkin? You'll have to tune in to find out!
Larry got a kick out of this movie when he first saw it, and he really appreciates the humor aspects of it. Fortunately for him, it gets even better with each viewing, because more and more little details are noticed: a lot of the same trick-or-treaters appear in the different segments, and everybody is watching Night of the Living Dead, with the exception of Mary from "Grim Grinning Ghost", who is watching Carnival of Souls for some reason.
Derek was pleasantly surprised. All but one of the stories was really fun, and he is particularly amused by "Friday the 31st", because the whole UFO aspect completely threw him for a loop. But more than anything, he wanted to talk about his cool new Batman hoodie, which looks a lot like this: