Saturday, October 27, 2007

INTERMISSION: HAPPY HAPPY HALLOWEEN



Well, it's that time of year. A time for pumpkins, for getting treats, for dressing in costumes. That's right. It's time for the annual Hallowed Be His Name Fall Festivals at your finer protestant churches! It's also that time of year we see quotes like this one from Jerold Aust of The United Church of God. "Halloween is anything but harmless. It focuses one's attention on witchcraft and demonism, which flies in the face of the holy God Almighty! When parents not only allow but also encourage their children to celebrate witches and goblins, they are teaching them that it's acceptable to deal in demonism."

There's no denying that a few people (usually teens) with an interest in the occult find some of the darker imagery accompanying Halloween especially enticing and will use it to further their obsession. But does that mean we abandon the holiday altogether? From a Catholic perspective, the answer isn't as simple as trotting out a couple of Bible verses and calling the whole thing off. (We do have that whole All Souls Day thing to take into account after all.) For anyone who hasn't made up their mind on the subject of Halloween and wants to do some quick reading on the topic, a good starting point is the Catholic Update article How Halloween Can Be Redeemed by Page McKean Zyromski. It briefly discusses the pagan origins of the celebration, the Church's efforts to Christianize the event, the Christian-tinted superstition behind trick or treating, the origins of the jack o' lantern, and the positive lessons we can draw from the holiday itself. For the Catholic, this holiday, like any other day, isn't about retreating in fear, but rather using our (properly developed) discernment to find what (if anything) exists in the event that points towards our relationship with God. So go check out the article, it's a good primer.

For our part, we here at The B-Movie Catechism would rather light a candle than curse the darkness. (Which is a good thing. Being Catholic we tend to have a lot of candles lying around.) As a service to those who would rather steer away from some of the more suspect imagery floating around out there, but are tired of the same old shepherd or prophet costumes year after year, we offer up five wardrobe suggestions based on some of the classic movies we've reviewed. They're guaranteed to be a hit while avoiding any hint of those nasty witches and devils.

EEGAH from Eegah! A perennial favorite around these parts. While Biblical literalists might at first be hesitant to wear this due to Eegah's caveman-like appearance, keep in mind that the movie suggests a possible link to the Nephilim, so you're covered. A big stick and a fake beard is all that's necessary for a truly eye-catching ensemble. Dead goats are optional.

ZORK from Deafula. While the titular star of the movie would make an interesting costume choice himself, we believe that vile henchman Zork is the true scene-stealer from Deafula. Born in an alternate universe where everyone speaks in sign language, yet cursed by God for his terrible sins to to be handless. At the end of the night you can even offer a lesson in redemption when you remove your cans.

RO-MAN XJ2 from Robot Monster. A goldfish bowl and an old fur coat (faux fur acceptable) is all you need to bring this scouge of humankind to life. God promised he would never again end the world by deluge, but that leaves an infinite (-1) number of possibilities for what could happen in the future. Theoretically, that includes extraterrestrial ape-bots. An added bonus to this costume is the ability to use your head to hold your candy.

THE REVEREND ESTUS W. PIRKLE from The Burning Hell. As noted in the review, this is a guy who (literally) scared the hell out of people in the early 70s. Part of a dying breed due to the rise of the mega-churches, this bundle of fire and brimstone can still deliver a fistful of the fear of God when necessary. For full authenticity be sure to bring along a bowl of cooked spaghetti so unwitting sinners can thrust there hands in it and experience a terrifying preview of the worms, the tormenting worms!

TARANTELLA from Mesa Of Lost Women. Attitude is everything in this get-up, ladies. While the clothing itself instills little fear, watch in awe as grown men flee in terror while you perform the deadly Dance of the Spider outside their doors. Dressed as one of Dr. Aranya's genetically mutated amazon spider-women, you too can be the living embodiment of "the wages of sins (of the flesh) is death."

That's it for this year. We hope we've been of service. Happy Happy Halloween everybody!

7 comments:

D. G. D. Davidson said...

Ah man, you beat me to it! The Sci Fi Catholic's article on the joys of Halloween is still in its embryonic stages (i.e., not roughed yet).

EegahInc said...

Yeah, but I went for the cheap laugh and left the explaining to someone else. Mine's pretty site-specific too.

Histor the Wise said...

They're all good costume ideas, Eegahinc, but I noticed that you overlooked one major class of costumes: animal outfits.

I'd suggest dressing up as a frog from Frogs, or as The Deadly Mantis, or maybe even Godzilla. Although scary, they aren't demonic creatures, and they're sure to spark discussion on God's decision to let dangerous animals exist.

Histor

PS. I think I'll dress up as Zork.

EegahInc said...

Excellent ideas for costumes. It was probably my aversion to Furries which kept me away from suggesting them.

I just realized I referenced something here about Zork I left out of the review. At the end of Deafula, when everyone is receiving forgiveness from God, Zork's cans disappear to reveal his newly restored hands. (Actually kind of a neat way to show how forgiveness restores communication now that I think about it.)

Histor the Wise said...

Ro-Man has fur, but I understand Furries aren't interested in robots....

Everyone receives forgiveness from God at the end of "Deafula"? I KNEW God was good at heart!

And it is nicely symbolic...

Histor

michelle-peterson said...

Well! The costumes are just Awesome.
I love Fashion and costumes very much... Me and my family ( i hope every single person) eagerly wait for Halloween
to dress up like princess some time like devil. So lets have fun this Halloween
.

Kelly said...

Yah! we all wait for Halloween
. So that we dress up like princess and rule around for some time. Wow the feeling is too good when you think of parties and full of enjoyment around you.

Waiting for Halloween
.