November 1st, 2010


Halloween Wrap-Up

I hope everyone had a great Halloween weekend!

Mine was a blast. Alexa and I decided not to attend the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. We had been willing to give up our Halloween weekend for an actual political rally to restore sanity to the national discourse, but not for a live Daily Show with musical guests (though we did enjoy watching the simulcast on Comedy Central). So, instead, we hit the town.

Friday night was the traditional "Procession of Ghouls" at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine uptown. This year they showed The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari before the procession. I hadn't seen Caligari since college and it was wonderful experiencing it again, especially inside a gigantic Gothic cathedral with pipe organ accompaniment. Then the procession followed, and as always the Ralph Lee-designed demons and monsters were a treat. This year some friends with children came with us, and though the kids were bored by the black-and-white silent movie, they really got into the ghouls.

Saturday, we went to our friends Sarah Langan and J.T. Petty's annual Halloween party. Unable to find any new costumes I liked, I recycled one from a couple of years ago and went as the priest from The Exorcist. As you can see in the picture below, Alexa went as my hot demon girlfriend, and our friend David Wellington went as Jason. (That's the golden fleece around his neck. He also had a Jason Voorhees hockey mask and machete for extra meta.) I don't know what face I'm making in this picture.

Halloween TV didn't disappoint either. The five-part UK miniseries Dead Set, shown here on IFC all week, was a lot of fun. As a zombie story, it didn't bring anything new to the table, really, but the cast was great. You really got the sense these people were vapid fame-seekers on UK's Big Brother. Andy Nyman in particular was amazing as the scumbag producer Patrick (he also had all the best lines: "You specimen!") Bonus props for including BBUK's actual hostess Davina McCall as herself and her zombie self. I'm told some other Big Brother vets were used as zombies as well and that it was shot in the actual Big Brother house, which is cool. As I said, it's a zombie story, so it's pretty much everything you've seen before, but the underlying allegory of mindless hordes descending on the Big Brother house worked well. I didn't care for the quick-cut editing, but it did keep the violence from being overly graphic and helped leave a lot to the imagination.

We also caught "A Study in Pink," the first episode of Stephen Moffat's new Sherlock series on PBS' Masterpiece Mystery. Great stuff, and I can't wait to see the next two. The brilliantly named Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have a wonderful rapport as Holmes and Watson, and the updating of Conan Doyle's characters and plotlines to the modern day worked a lot better than I thought it would. I've recorded last night's second installment, "The Blind Banker," for later viewing.

At the risk of ODing on zombies, I've also recorded last night's season premiere of AMC's The Walking Dead to watch when I have a chance. I'm very excited about this one!

Despite what the calendar says, our Halloween continues tonight with a one-night only production of The Poe Project at Symphony Space. Opera inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's stories? This is going to be cool!


In other news, today is the last day of my eBay auction of various rare, limited edition, signed science fiction and horror books. You can still get them for cheap! Don't miss out!