Halloween With Horror Actor Bill Oberst Jr
I’m always intrigued to find out how people, especially those who work in the horror industry celebrate Halloween. Therefore, I’ve taken time out to ask Bill Oberst Jr what his plans are and I like them a lot.
Question: Whenever I see American’s celebrating Halloween, I’m jealous as it looks like you guys really know how to celebrate it, but I’m not referring to the psychotic Michael’s out there. As you love horror and you’re soon to become a modern horror icon, would you like to tell my readers what it means to you and how you will be celebrating?
Halloween is in my top three holidays of the year, right after Christmas and Easter. All three deal, in different ways, with the great problem of human life: our mortality. What we face we are less afraid of. So I am all in favor of Halloween and scary fun. Besides, who doesn’t like to carve a pumpkin with their kids? I wish trick-or-treating hadn’t gone out of fashion. How I loved it as a child.
I still love scary movies so I’ll be spending a lot of time this month at the historic Egyptian Theater, which is within walking distance of my apartment building in Hollywood. The Egyptian was built in 1922 and it is a great place to see old scary classics on the big screen as they were intended to be seen. The theater itself is reputed to be haunted, and that only adds to the experience. So between now and Halloween night, I’ll be sitting in the balcony happily munching popcorn at this great Los Angeles landmark and watching:
ISLAND OF LOST SOULS (1932) with Bela Lugosi & Charles Laughton and DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE (1931) with Fredric March
These two are being personally introduced by the legendary John Landis (director of of AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON and MICHAEL JACKSON’S THRILLER) who will be signing copies of his new book “Monsters In The Movies,” and you better believe I will be in line with my copy!…
FRANKENSTEIN (1931) BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935) and SON OF FRANKENSTEIN (1939;) all three of Boris Karloff’s appearances as The Monster in one triple bill!…
THE INNOCENTS (1961) with Deborah Kerr and THE HAUNTING (1963) with Julie Harris on a double bill…
CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954) and
THE LOST BOYS (1987!)
One of the best parts about walking down to the Egyptian to see these great horror classics will be the walk home in the dark…time to look up at the night sky and relish each one. I can even sneak in a howl at the moon if I feel like it (no one would bat an eye; it’s LA.)
The weekend before Halloween, I’m going to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, which I can also walk to, for the Dia de Los Muertos (Day Of The Dead) celebration. There’ll be a contest for the best decorated graves, processions, singers, Day Of the Dead costumes and food, all showing that, as the website for the event says “death is as natural as life, and remembering loved ones does not need to be a somber experience.” They are encouraging costumes and I might go as a skeleton, which won’t be much a stretch for me
Finally, on Halloween night itself, I am going to start the evening with a pilgrimage to The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride (which I think is the best haunted attraction in LA) and I’ll finish it by walking along Hollywood Boulevard and looking at the weird and wonderful sight of monsters, freaks and zombies dominating the sidewalk for one evening. OK, I’ll admit it is always a little freaky on Hollywood Blvd, but never more so than Halloween…with the possible exception of Oscar Night.
Just before bed on October 31st I’ll read one of my my favorite Ray Bradbury short stories; maybe “The Tombling Day” or “Pillar Of Fire” or “The Emissary.” And then I’ll let the book fall from my hand and drift off to dream.
October is definitely a happy month!