Thursday, October 27, 2011

PSYCHOVILLE HALLOWEEN! The 2010 Halloween special occurs neatly between the end of the first series and the beginning of the second. However, the episode can be enjoyed even if you've never seen the programme with only a brief coda tying into the ongoing storyline to bewilder PSYCHOVILLE tyros. As always, the partial "LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN" who created PSYCHOVILLE show their great love for and influence by those wonderful Amicus horror films of the 60's and 70's which so informed THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN CHRISTMAS SPECIAL. In fact, on that DVD there is even an interview with the "League" discussing Amicus horror as well as a brief Amicus documentary. In case you were in any doubt. However, just watching the PSYCHOVILLE HALLOWEEN programme cannot help but bring to mind those Amicus omnibus or portmanteau films of multiple horror stories from the classic DR. TERROR'S HOUSE OF HORRORS to the early 70's E.C. Comics adaptations headlined by TALES FROM THE CRYPT. These Amicus films always had a great sense of fun and, of course, PSYCHOVILLE takes that to the Nth degree. The wraparound story concerns (for those not familiar with the series) a scary nurse who tells scary stories to a young boy. The stories concern characters in the show but do not really fit in with the show's continuity (and in fact directly contradict them which is fun). Surly clown Mr. Jelly encounters a pair of ghostly trick-or-treaters, Joy has fun with a jack o'lantern and David and Maureen encounter a possible serial killer; all done with great affection according to the old E.C. horror comics method. It's indeed a treat to see how Mr. Jelly spends his Halloween nights (TV, junk food and ladies of the evening). . .or at least how he PLANNED to spend the evening until the fickle finger of fate intervened. Joy's story is such a perfect homage to E.C. Comics that one thinks it could've been taken from an issue of TALES FROM THE CRYPT. The inspired choice of having David and Maureen dress up as the Frankenstein Monster and his Bride is hilarious but also plays up the whole incest subtext. Even the wicked nurse is having fun; she's obviously making up a pack of lies as far as these stories are concerned to scare the boy and she even takes time out to insert thumbtacks into Halloween muffins distributed at the door to trick-or-treaters. It's all splendiferous Halloween fun with that patented warped angle PSYCHOVILLE is so good at. Though, to be truthful, the entire PSYCHOILLE series is great Halloween viewing with creepiness aplenty, so the PSYCHOVILLE HALLOWEEN episode is a definite viewing must. Viewers round my neck of the woods can catch the complete two series on demand -- but not for long so be quick!
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The Halloween Comic Book Cover of the Day #27 is A CORBEN SPECIAL #1 from 1984. And the deep, dank tarn at my feet closes over today's post.

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Dis Guy said...
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