Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What Halloween Means To Me '13 Day 16: Patrick Rea

While I don’t know this to be a fact, I think it’s a pretty safe guess that there is not a more prolific maker of short films on the horror scene today than Patrick Rea.  The 30 or so that he has made in the last decade are consistently awesome and have racked up awards up and down the festival circuit.  A Man and His Finger was one of the winners of the inaugural Fangoria Blood Drive back in 2004.  Having lived in Savannah and dealt with the green vest demon bitc… I mean Girl Scouts, I think Get Off My Porch is probably my favorite of his shorts.  Many of them are available online, so get over to his imdb and start Googling some titles.  You’ll be glad you did.  I discovered him through his excellent feature Nailbiter, which I reviewed back in June of 2012.  It’s currently available at Redbox, so you have no excuse for not seeking Mr. Rea’s work out.  So Patrick, what does Halloween mean to you?

“Halloween has always been my favorite holiday, but like anything else, the lead up to Halloween is better than the actual day itself; especially if the day of Halloween falls on a weekday.  Early in my childhood in the 1980's, Halloween was a big deal because I got to dress up and get candy.  I think I dressed up as Skeletor twice and Mumra (Thundercats) at least once.  I was always excited heading to the store and going through the long rows of costumes that had the plastic suits and masks.  It wasn't until the late 80's, early 90's that Halloween became something different all together.  It was my chance to see what horror movies were popping up in the TV Guide.  I would circle the ones that I wanted to watch without my parents knowing and pray I didn't get caught. 

My fondest memory was in 1990, when I attended a Boy Scout Halloween Party at a cabin near the Platte River.  The older scouts decided to bring the original "A Nightmare on Elm Street," "Child's Play" and the recently released on home video, "Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan."  I'll never forget coming home and bragging to my mother about what we watched.  That was the real beginning for me, because the following year I was in charge of bringing movies, and I remember despite various parents protesting, I selected the newly released "Misery", "Graveyard Shift" and "Tremors" to the Halloween party that fall.  The following year I was relieved of my film renting duties, and we were forced to watch less horrific fair.  I remember one specific year where we watched the movie "Geronimo" at our Halloween party. 

While in high school in the 90's, there was a small competition between the classes to see who could smash the most pumpkins on the local viaduct.  Our senior year, I remember thinking we hit the jackpot when we found a handful of pumpkins sitting out by a mailbox near the street.  Foolishly, we immediately grabbed the pumpkins and ran, only to hear a voice from the house yell, "Smell your hands!".  We realized at that point that we had been duped by several students from the freshman class.  They had covered the pumpkins in 'raccoon urine'!  The smell burned the eyes and nose.  We rushed back to our friends house and washed all over our clothes.  Sadly for those dastardly freshman, they would later have to answer to several senior football players who decided to avenge us. 

Halloween has lost a little of its allure, mainly because I watch so many horror movies over the course of the year.  But really for me, it's now about the change in the weather and the excitement of knowing that other people are gathering to enjoy horror movies and other traditions.  We have also started a new family tradition of staying at a cabin over an October weekend in Nebraska and going to the pumpkin patch.  So, the Halloween season continues to be special to me.  Most importantly, this year will be my daughter's first Halloween, so I'm excited to introduce her to some of our traditions, granted she won't be able to cognitively understand the holiday for some time.  Hopefully she won't mind that we are dressing her up as an Ewok!”

 15 days ‘til Halloween, Halloween, Halloween.  15 days ‘til Halloween, Silver Shamrock.


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