Tuesday, October 21, 2008

HALLOWEEN: gifts and ideas for celebrating Halloween on a budget

Halloween is almost upon us once again, and the amount of items available in stores made me wonder why isn’t Halloween made into even more of an event? Maybe an unearthly Easter. Think about it- you could have jolly old Satan Claws come and fill your stocking with guts, surround your Halloween tombstone with goodies and rotting carcasses, and then you could all sit down to a pleasant Halloween dinner of roast pumpkin and Gutted Bystander. Really though, it could be turned into more than just simple Trick Or Treating and bobbing for apples, even in these financially erratic times.

Halloween can be a riot for both kids and adults, and can serve as a bonding experience for friends and families. Involving children in Halloween styled games can be a great way to entertain youngsters and educate them on traditional pastimes (even when their origins have become so obscured by popular culture). Dressing up can be fantastic fun for all, and properly supervised Trick-Or-Treating is a great thing for making memories.

But halloween shouldn't be limited to kids parties. With all kinds of themed events on in clubs, cinemas etc, there's lots that the adult Halloweener is able to sink their teeth into (sorry). There's a great deal of Halloween themed merchandise that make great gifts, such as licensed horror movie memorabilia and other merchandise such as action figures, posters, statues, and of course the movies themselves. You could check out things like the ever-creepy Living Dead Dolls, or movie collectibles created by MacFarlane Toys, NECA and Sideshow Collectibles.

Do you want a fun Halloween in? Gather your friends, some suitably kitsch horror movies (Go for the cheese more than the darker stuff- zombie films, cheap B-movies, Chucky,  A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th and its billion sequels, films you can shout at), Halloween snacks (stock up on kids snacks and themed sweets- there's nobody saying the grown-ups can't have some fun too), add some suitably camp music (I recommend 'Project 1950' and 'American Psycho' by the Misfits, and anything by the Cramps) and voila, you have the makings of a fun Halloween party in your own home. While that sounds like a typical night in at our place, there are people out there who are actually normal. Somewhere. I suppose. get your place decked out with fake cobwebs and plastic skulls and make an event out of it.

Looking for an evening's worth of viewing? A few recommendations for you:

The Evil Dead, Friday the 13th, An American Werewolf in London, Bad Dreams, Hellraiser, Evil Dead 2, Return of the Living Dead 2, Creepshow, Day of the Dead, Trick or Treat, Re-animator, Scanners, The Burning, Poltergeist, Hellbound: Hellraiser II, A Nightmare on Elm street, Class of Nuke ‘Em High (okay, this is a spoof but it still kicks ass),. TITLE. EVER), Dead Zone, The Gate, The Hunger, Killer Klowns From Outer Space, Monster Squad, Sorority babes in the Slime-ball Bowl-O-Rama….. There's literally thousands of them. See what fun there is to be had.

There's a wealth of ways to go to make your Halloween memorable. Get things underway with a movie night as suggested above, then maybe go along to a themed party or pub night. Preferably dressed up. Check your local listings for events in your area that you can go along to and take part in, the more ludicrous the better. If all this sounds like a no-brainer, that's because it really is. With little effort you can transform this commercial event into something really enjoyable. Don't think of it as more cost- think of it as a break from normality and a way to have some fun down in these difficult times.  Halloween celebrations shouldn’t be all about handing out sweets to bored kids on your doorstep- it should be enjoyed and relished. I mean, how often can you actually run around dressed as a bloodied monk during the rest of the year? Actually, best not answer that question.


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