THOUGHTS IN SPACE
I love Halloween. Not because I still get dressed up and try and go trick-or-treating – myself, I certainly do make the rounds as a father monitoring the kiddos – but because it has become my binge time for horror movies.
I love horror movies: slasher films, with lots of gore pre-torture style films; Hammer films; Universal Monsters; horror classics like Psycho; and “modern” classics like Pet Cemetery 2, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Child's Play. My wife, however, does NOT like horror films, and my children are nowhere near old enough to partake in my love of these films, so I rarely take the time to watch them. But this time of year it is too hard to resist.
I developed a love of horror films probably around eight-year-s old, the age my oldest is now. It was the height of the VHS / Beta wars, and Friday nights meant going down to the local video cassette rental store with my father and brother to pick up 2 or 3 movies to watch over the weekend. My older brother was into horror movies, which meant I got to see more than my fair share – even if I wasn’t old enough. Throw in the early days of cable TV and HBO and, well, let’s just say my kid doesn’t watch even a tenth of what I saw at his age. (I still don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing!)
But Halloween isn’t just for me, I want my oldest to enjoy cartoons and films that take him to the edge of being scared. Question is, what? What is appropriate for kids these days? Clearly he isn’t going to watch Poltergeist or Psycho or even Mr. Boogedy. And, I don’t think he’s ready for Goosebumps yet; he has a strange, strong fear of mummies and skeletons and ghouls. So, maybe I need to reach even further back and find some classic early 80s cartoon Halloween specials – anything and everything BUT Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin, which for some reason I just can’t stand.
So what should I show him? Over the coming days, I will do my best to dig up and showcase some classic old kid’s cartoons. And, in that vein, I’ll start off with one of my all-time favorite spooky animated shorts, one that I distinctly remember being shown over and over again on a reel-to-reel projector in elementary school: