Video

Oct. 30th: The Night that Panicked America (1975)

the-night-america-panicked

This ad released by ABC is strangely inaccurate. The original broadcast occurred on Oct. 30th, not Halloween night

Exactly 78 years ago on this night, October 30th 1938, Orson Welles produced a radio dramatization of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds. Legend has it that the broadcast threw listeners into a frenzy, not realizing the production was a work of fiction and thought actual Martians were invading the Earth.

To what extent that is true is apparently up for some debate, with critics citing the allegations of panic as merely hokum the newspapers concocted to slander their newfound competition…radio.

Exactly 41 years ago tomorrow, Halloween 1975, ABC aired this recreation of that broadcast and the events supposedly surrounding it (with a fair amount of artistic license, no doubt) The Night That Panicked America.

For years following its initial broadcast, local stations made a habit of airing the film on the anniversary of the original Welles radio broadcast, October 30th.

And in the grand tradition of radio and local television, the Shindig Presents Joseph Sargent’s The Night That Panicked America, available to you here embedded from YouTube.

Happy Cabbage Night, Weeners. Go panic America!

Video

Oct. 26th: House II (1987)

house-2-the-second-story-1987

“It’s getting weirder!”

I’ll say. That might even be selling this fucker a little short, to be honest.

Seriously though, 0%, Rotten Tomatoes? That seems a little harsh guys, no? Yeah, yeah, you’re just a non-entity aggregator. It’s not your personal opinion, I understand how this works, thanks. But to the small critical community comprising that 0% though, c’mon gang. Ease up a little, huh?

While certainly not the finest piece of cinema to escape 1987, it may just be the best horror-comedy-inter-dimensional-prehistoric-Aztec-fantasy-western ever produced, and there’s some fun to be had from this in-name-only mess.
You have 80’s goofball Arye Gross paling around with the weird man-servant from Fright Night and banging Tina from Friday 7. Bonus. Then they dig up Royal Dano from Killer Klowns (in a killer Chris Walas makeup) and later Cliff from Cheers shows up. And then you got Bill Maher just hanging around for no reason whatsoever being an 80’s prick. Bill Maher? Yep.

You get a crystal skull, stop-motion dinosaurs, awesome pterodactyl and dog-caterpillar puppets and the girl from Society as an Aztec virgin sacrifice. What more do you want? Halloween? Well you’re in luck pal, because House II somehow found the time to cram that in there too.

The whole beginning feels very Halloween-spooky, with the arrival at the mansion and the grave-digging, both of which lead to a fun (and obligatory) Halloween party. The festive vibe sort of tapers off after that, and so does any semblance of a coherent tone as House II officially flies off the rails and starts resembling something like a bastard child of Brisco County Jr. and My Science Project.

Yeah, this is a goofy, schizophrenic madball of a movie that throws so much bizarre shit at you it’s hard to make heads or tails of it after a point, but it’s still kind of fun. And the Chris Walas creature work is great as always.

I give this 1 dancing Frankenstein up.

Designation: Treat

Video

All Hallows (2016 edition)

Did you enjoy The Shindig’s looping montage from The Art of the Halloween Mask opening last weekend?

Do you have no idea what we’re talking about?

Either way, for your streaming and downloading pleasure we present…

All Hallows:

A Macabre Medley of Murderers, Monsters, Masks and More

 

An hour and a half silent montage featuring all things Halloween: pumpkins, parties, trick or treaters, ghost, skeletons, decorations and masks all pulled from the vast assortment of over 60 years worth of Halloween movies, TV specials, cartoons and commercials!

Perfect for:

  • Outdoor Halloween extravaganzas
  • Indoor Halloween dance-offs
  • Children’s birthday parties in February
  • Bar AND Bat Mitzvahs
  • Sitting on your couch and watching awkwardly as the soundless images whirl by

Pairs great with:

  • The Halloween Shindig party playlist
  • Dark Side of the Moon
  • The sounds of children trick or treating
  • The cries of mercy from your hapless victims
  • That dripping faucet you just can’t seem to get Charlie to fix

Enjoy Halloween Shindig’s All Hallows!

Our intent is to add to this thing yearly, as we had a mountain of footage we were not able to include by the art show’s opening. So check back next year for a even better modified and expand version!

Happy Halloween, Weeners!

 

Video

Oct. 14th: Pumpkin Man (1998)

pumpkin-man

What in the hell is Pumpkin Man? Where the hell did it come from? Why was it even made? What exactly is going on here?

I’m not sure, but apparently this isn’t an easy one to find, unless you happen to be randomly browsing the dusty shelves at Eddie Brandt’s in North Hollywood back in 2000 whatever and there are multiple copies just sitting there on a rack.

Being me, I didn’t even look at it twice, and I doubt I looked at it for very long. I’d never heard of it and was most certainly leaving with it, whatever the hell it was.

Seeing as how it’s a rare oddity and it’s only about 30 minutes, here is Pumpkin Man in all its glory for all you Halloweeners to enjoy,…or be confounded by…or to hate every sappy second of.

Me? This shit is just weird enough, and wholesome enough and Halloweeny enough for my recommendation.

I give this 1 winking pumpkin man and 2 pumpkinoid alien people up!

Designation: Treat!

Enjoy!

 

I won’t say much, seeing as how it’s just up there¬†for you to make heads or tails of yourself, but I will ask a few questions:

1. Why is there a short television special where a pumpkin helps a kid deal with divorce on Halloween?

2. What the hell is the Pumpkin Man exactly, and why does he bother turning all Jason’s friend into dope looking pumpkin heads?

3. Is he just some expression of Jason’s psychosis? If so, why can Jason’s friends see him?

4. Given his annoyance at all the kids ding-dong-ditching his house every year on Halloween, why wouldn’t Sammy Hain just sit outside one time and put the whole thing to rest?

5. Who the fuck are those pumpkinoid creatures in the beginning? Am I to understand that’s Jason and his dad on Halloween the previous year?

6. If so, where did they get sick ass prosthetic creature makeups from?

7. Are they goblins? I was convinced by a friend they were alien pumpkin people. I liked that drug addled read more.

8. Why does this exist?

Video

Oct. 12th: Winterbeast (1991)

I’m not sure if Winterbeast qualifies as a “Halloween” movie. I’m not even sure if Winterbeast qualifies as an actual movie, for that matter. It’s probably because 70% of the time I have absolutely no idea what the fuck is going on in Winterbeast.

What I do know is that Winterbeast rules.

Despite the word “winter” appearing in the title, you’ll be treated to a “Fall Festival,” a small pumpkin patch and a few plastic jack-o-lanterns here and there for no apparent reason. Halloween is never directly mentioned, and there’s definitely nothing particularly festive about the film, but the Fall Festival banner claims it’s somewhere between October 11th and 12th and that’s pretty close. Besides, when you have this many awesome stop motion, B-grade-Harryhausen monsters running amuck, a couple plastic jacks and a sign work just fine for The Shindig.

As far as I can tell, Winterbeast revolves around a couple mountain rangers, a haunted totem pole, some demonic Indian mumbojumbo and a gateway to hell.

What you’ll get feels like a half-finished cavalcade of kitchen sink nonsense, awesome over-acting, a script that seems to suffer from Alzheimer’s and more plaid than you can shake a walking stick at.

Ranger Whitman’s hero mustache game is on lock-down, and Mr. Sheldon makes for a formidable opponent in the “who can yell louder in this same argument we’ve been having for the last 40 minutes” showdown that is this movie’s plot.

The ridiculous Sheldon shows up early and takes this productions to new heights almost instantly before summarily walking away with the picture entirely by the climax. I love this dude and he’s everything that’s weird and insane and awesome about this movie.

I can’t recommend this to everyone, or even a lot of people. But there’s a certain kind of film fan out there who’s bread and butter consists of exactly the kind of low-budget, amateur madness that is the heart and soul of Winterbeast.¬†

But don’t take my word for it, you can just go ahead watch it yourself!

I give it 2 plastic jack-o-lanterns and 4 stop motion monsters up!

Designation: Treat!