This year, Halloween falls on a Tuesday, all but nixing any plans for reliable midweek mayhem. So we’re stuck rocking it the weekend prior, and left with the question of what to do on the big night once the possibility of a razor-stuffed apple has lost all its giddy thrill. Plus, with the late descent of the fall chill, it’s been even harder to get into the spirit of things. But, rest assured, with five days left this month, there’s still time to get ridiculously into Halloween. A few tips:
First, you’re gonna want to get back into metal. If you were never into metal in the first place, well, that’s your problem right there. Metal and Halloween go together like Movement Nashville and enthusiasm for rockin’, like Buddytown and cool. It’s the soundtrack for worm-riddled skeletons dug up by howling wolves dragged across an eerily foggy graveyard—full of zombies punching their fists up toward the ghostly moonlight. Good metal also expertly deals with the full scope of Halloween-related fare: morbid fixations, mutations, infections, insanity and all things unholy. For one week, try skull-crackers like Iron Maiden’s “Hallowed Be Thy Name” or Black Sabbath’s “Children of the Grave.” Both are fairly horror-friendly, but don’t let anyone make you feel bad about reaching straight for “Bark at the Moon,” by Ozzy: this is your week to get right with metal, so do it your way. And if you think you’re too cool for metal, relax—now there’s hipster metal. Check out drone metal men Sunn O))) for a taste.
Put these songs on a soundtrack. Then listen to it over and over again until you can safely cast a pall on friends and loved ones with maximum efficiency. I prefer a moodier, more ambient approach to Halloween tunes—no campy “Monster Mash” here—one that allows for the dreariness of goth and punk’s fierceness. Take anything from horror punks The Misfits, though at just over a minute, “Hybrid Moments” passes the quick fix and mutation-anthem tests. I scanned The Cure’s bleakest album Pornography for the gloomiest track I could find, settling with “One Hundred Years” for its opening line, “It doesn’t matter if we all die.” After all, the point is to have fun! Go for substance over critical acclaim, too: pick the one Ramones’ song that “real” Ramones fans make fun of—“Pet Sematary”—but that it’s OK to love for its invocation of the perils of being reborn as pure evil. Also, don’t forget to feign possession, or simply despair, often.
Do try something new. Don’t sit at home watching the least scary horror movie of all time, Jason Goes to Hell. Hey, ever heard of vampire porn? Look into it—it will totally change your concept of the money shot. And don’t forget the little things. Try changing the very language you use to incorporate Halloween. Instead of insulting a friend with “Your mom goes to college,” how about, “Your mother was a jackal.” That’ll show ’em in Halloween style, with bonus points for referencing The Omen. Know anyone who’s pregnant? Maybe she’s having Rosemary’s baby, and so on.
And by all means, get the hell out of the house. The most shit-kicking fun I’ve heard about so far involves a zombie party, a shindig at a house called The Boneyard and a couple of local rock shows that are actually worth dressing up for. First, the award for Maximum Use of Halloween Show Titles goes to The End, who host bills Friday, Saturday Sunday and Tuesday with some variation on the theme: Halloween Horror Madness on Friday with local horror punks Creeping Cruds; Halloween Costume Party on Saturday; Montreal’s metal experts Priestess on Sunday; and on Tuesday a Halloween Party with local metal carnivores Butcher Priest. If you’re looking for a titillating romp horror-camp style, try Katy K’s Spooktacular Studio Fifty-Gore Girlesque Revue at the Cannery on Friday. Local pop-candy cover men The Guilty Pleasures play Friday and Saturday at Mercy Lounge. The Basement hosts The Clutters, Dave Cloud and The Pull The Strings Players’ latest “Boogie Frights” on Tuesday.
Finally, do wear a costume, but, please, can we make it evil this year? Ladies, let’s not do slutty nurse, slutty witch, slutty French maid, slutty Condoleezza Rice. Let’s do evil nurse, evil witch and so on. Frankly, evil is sexy, and in that sense it’s doubly efficient. And guys, don’t just be Yourself With One Minor Alteration so that you don’t have to actually dress up. Yes, I’m talking about people who might dress up as “The Mac guy” from those Mac vs. PC commercials. It’s Halloween, not Casual Friday.