Friday, October 6, 2023

Notes on Film: A Scary Movie Month Blueprint

 by Anthony King

Plans and goals for the second greatest month of the year.

We are in full Scary Movie Month mode at this point, and although mine began with a whimper, I'm happy to say the halls are decked, the yard is haunted, and the movies are flowing! Here are five things I'm looking forward to this month.

1. A month long love letter to one of my favorite filmmakers.
While I've always been a middle-of-the-road fan of Rob Zombie's films, it wasn't until last year that my love for Papa Rob (as he's affectionately known in our home) burst through its dam. My favorite movie of 2022 was The Munsters because it's so rare to see a project in which a filmmaker poured their heart and soul into that makes it to our eyes unencumbered. The man's films seem to be constantly shat upon, yet he still puts forth his best effort, giving the lucky viewer a film that is 100% his vision. I have finally completed my home video collection of all of RZ's films, and look forward to revisiting (or finally visiting in the case of The Haunted World of El Superbeasto).

2. Head to the world of Halloween.
This one can be broken into a few sections. First, I'll be watching the first three Halloweens, which I love. Second, I'm going to revisit Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) and Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989) because I was rather low on them when I watched them for the first time a couple years ago. Third, I'm going to rewatch the first two DGG Halloweens and FINALLY watch Halloween Ends (2022). And last, I'm going to watch the only Halloween movie I haven't seen: Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995).

3. Mix in some family friendly fare.
My son, Eben, said tonight at dinner that he would love to have some friends over and watch a bunch of movies. I held back as best I could without immediately planning the whole night for him. Instead I asked what he wanted to watch. He knows that he probably can't show his friends the movies he usually watches with us (TCM, Nightmare, Fulci, etc.) so he said the usual classics – Hocus Pocus (1993), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), The Haunted Mansion (2023). I also like to mix in some lighter fare during my SMM so I also have on the docket The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1949), Halloweentown (1998), and my personal favorite of the bunch, Curious George: A Halloween Boofest (2013). If you've never seen the latter, I highly recommend it. The songs are great and it oozes autumnal flavor.

4. Watch discs I own but haven't opened yet.
For the love of god I am so guilty of buying discs and leaving the plastic on for months or sometimes years. I always tell myself I'm going to stop buying Blu-rays until I've watched all my new arrivals. Yet the new arrivals stack towers above my house and it keeps growing. New arrivals that I WILL watch this month include, Scary Tales (1993), The Last Winter (2006), Flatliners (1990), and Hostel (2005) – which was one of the first Blus I ever bought many years ago!

5. Go with my gut.
For... ever, it seems, I've always made plans. For anything. But, specifically speaking to watching movies, in recent years I've adopted a spreadsheet which tells me what I need to watch and when I need to watch it. When, inevitably, those plans fall through, I feel like I failed. Silly? Trivial? Naturally. But it helps when it comes to podcasting and writing reviews. But guess what? I'm on an indefinite hiatus from my podcast. So I've been able to watch whatever I want, whenever I want. Or not! So, even though I have a list of 40-ish movies to watch this month, the list only serves as ideas. If I draw a blank of what to watch, I can turn to the list. Something else pops up in my head? Watch it! I call it the Adam Riske approach because Adam is wise.

There you have it. My plan. Tentative as it is. I hope you have a fabulous Scary Movie Month, everyone!


  1. love it! my approach to Scary Movie Month is always scattershot. this year im going with options like: 1) movies ive had in my "to watch" stack for the last year (IE: US which i loved). 2) obscure suggestions 3) stuff from best-of last year (he used to be ambush bug on AICN). 4) great ideas from the F this reviewers and crew!!!

  2. My blueprint for SMM and Junesploitation lately has been to really dig into the streaming services I have to justify why I pay for them. I've been a lot pickier lately when it comes to buying physical media, so I don't have a stockpile of unwatched blu-rays at the moment. Instead I'm just scrolling through Amazon Prime and clicking on the 1972 horror movie that stars Tom Selleck and has a preview image of a witch wearing a costume that looks like it was rejected from the Adam West Batman series half a decade earlier.