31 Days of Horror ’22: Diving into Week Three

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We’re back this week with the next seven movies in this year’s 31 Days of Horror. This is the third iteration of the 31 Days of Horror; you can find the one chock full of classics here. As for this year, we have classics, newbies and deeper cuts peppered in here and there. You can check out the first week here and the second week here if you see a movie you missed on the calendar below.

There will be one more post after this one: The Final Ten Days. Now that that’s established, let’s go ahead with days 15-21.

A Micro-rant from The Void

For those that are going to stay away from some of these films because of tiny little words you have to read, please try and push yourself to do so. There will be subtitled movies in this week as well as next week, and if you aren’t open to subtitles, you’re going to miss out on a lot of good horror. As Bong Joon Ho said, “Once you overcome the 1-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.” Alright, micro rant over, let’s get to the goodies.

October 15th: The Slumber party massacre (1982)

The Slumber Party Massacre': Slashing the Patriarchy - Bloody Disgusting

We’re cheesin’ it up with a cult classic: The Slumber Party Massacre. A film in which was written as a parody but then shot as if it was a slasher. Therefore, it is hilarious and has quite a bit of meta humor before the time meta-horror was popular. There isn’t much to say for plot as the title gives it away immediately but be prepared for a hilariously cheesy and somewhat bad movie that is fun, nonetheless. A charming example of communication is crucial in the filmmaking business.

How about a slumber party where no one gets murdered? First off, the food of a sleepover is definitely pizza. Therefore, try out these dunkable Pizza Bites that keeps that lovely greasy goodness all folded into the dough for a relatively mess free snack. You gotta add a little sin to the party, so try out this sweet Malibu Sunset–doesn’t even taste like booze which is every young drinker’s dream. If you’re not into the drinking thing, that’s alright too–I found this Virgin Sunset for you. To keep up with classic 80s slashers, the double feature has to be Prom Night to double down on the fun and comfort cheesy slasher films can bring.

You can rent The Slumber Party Massacre on Amazon Video or flaunt that you’re cultured in the genre by adding it to your collection here. Check out the custom sticker I made for this romp of a film on Redbubble.

October 16th: THe Omen (1976)

The Ace Black Movie Blog: Movie Review: The Omen (1976)

Alright, fun and games are over. When it comes to classic horror films, The Omen ranks up there. A very dreadful story that doubles as birth control, this had to make the list this year. Evil children are always creepy, but the Devil in an actual child? Absolutely terrifying. The more stressful element is for the parents–how do you handle this situation? The Omen deals with that stress throughout its runtime and it is a very worthwhile watch. It might have you side eyeing your little ones, however.

We’re dealing in terms of heaven and hell here, folks. Protect yourself by drinking this Sainte Trinite cocktail which has to be just as effective as holy water. You can make an ode to Mother Mary herself if you prefer the alcohol-less route with this Virgin Mary Mocktail. We can’t have it all pure up in here however, as we want to convince Damien we’re on his good side. Make a dish in his honor with these ‘Devil’ Deviled Eggs–a deviled egg recipe with a twist. The double feature has to do with evil children as well, but she wasn’t born evil. Go visit Regan with The Exorcist.

Rent The Omen on Amazon Video and if it isn’t in your physical collection already, you can get that here. You guessed it, I did make a design for this one too.

October 17th: Raw (2016)

Raw (2016) is a Radical Coming of Age Horror Film That Gives Women Power  Over Their Desires – Flip Screen

This one is a doozy. Raw is one of the best horror films I’ve seen in recent years, and it is also one of the most disgusting. A vegetarian freshman is hazed to eat raw meat upon her arrival at university. After ingesting, she develops an animalistic craving for flesh–both animal and human. Quite an interesting take on a coming-of-age film. This is Julia Ducournau’s debut feature-length film, who recently released the bonkers Titane in 2021. However, it seems like she’s been in the game for years as she never fails once in this movie to intrigue and terrify.

This is a French film, so it’s time to indulge in some French food. I decided to go vegetarian as meat might not be appetizing during this film’s run. Therefore, check out this savory Triple-Threat Onion Galette and snack on it if you’re not queasy. This is also a college film, and you might need to remember your college years in order to forget Justine’s. Get a big group and plan a sleepover, then make the iconic college party drink Hop, Skip and Go Naked–which contains a lot of booze. If it’s just you and a buddy, however, indulge in this Blood Orange Lemonade which you can keep as is or add booze to take off the edge. Cannibalism is a rough topic, but fascinating, nonetheless. A double feature to stay on topic but lighten it up is the cult classic Parents.

You can check Raw out on Amazon Video or add some surreal culture to your shelf by adding it to your physical collection here. You can check out my slick typography design for this film here on Redbubble.

October 18th: Shutter (2004)

Fatal Frame: Chilling Thai Horror Film 'Shutter' Turns 15 - Bloody  Disgusting

At the turn of the century, there was quite a boom of Asian horror. We got Ringu and Ju-On: The Grudge from Japan, but what about the other countries? Out comes Shutter from Thailand. A ghost story that has to do with cameras is sure enough to give you the creeps. Shutter follows Jane and her boyfriend, Tun after Jane hits someone with her car and murders her. Noticing that there are figures appearing in the background of her boyfriend’s photographs, she fears it is the vengeful spirit of the young girl she hit. This one is twisty turn-y and is a must watch for any horror fan.

Thai horror needs to be accompanied with some Thai food. Make these easy Chicken Satay skewers to snack on–they make great leftovers as they are delicious cold. Try something new with this refreshing Sabai Sabai Cocktail. If you’re not into the alcohol side of things, Thailand has quite an array of mocktails including this Ko Tao Mocktail. Continue down the path of Thai horror and check out another spooky tale, The Unseeable.

Rent Shutter on Vudu as it is unavailable on Amazon at the moment. This design for this film brings more to the eye, make sure to look closely on Redbubble.

October 19th: Nope (2022)

Film review: Jordan Peele's 'Nope' provides unsettling social commentary  with strong execution - Daily Bruin

If you’re a regular, you know that I loved this film. I understand it is one of the more polarizing films of the year, but NOPE toes the line between disturbing and hilarious during its entire runtime. A pair of siblings take over their family business after their father dies in a freak accident. Upon the opening of a theme park near their property, they see something Not Of Planet Earth lurking in the hills. The thing that makes this film disturbing is best kept secret until after watching, but you can read all about that scene here.

Upon viewing, I HAD to know what a Cactus ICEE tasted like. Well, this Prickly Pear Frozen Margarita will have to do instead, especially since the original probably didn’t have booze. I sure as hell wouldn’t give Jupe a liquor license. If booze doesn’t suit your fancy, try out this Prickly Pear and Coconut Water Smoothie. The theme park gave me discount Knott’s Berry Farm vibes, so I had to go with a Dupe of Knott’s Berry Farm Boysenberry BBQ Meatballs since no one does crazy theming better than Knott’s. For this film, I wanted to pair it with another creature feature. Therefore, be sure to check out The Host from the genius Bong Joon Ho.

You can now watch Nope on Amazon Video or complete your Jordan Peele collection by adorning it on your shelf which you can purchase here. This is the film that caused me to start these designs, so check out the OG Gordy’s Home design on Redbubble.

October 20th: Suspiria (1977)

Suspiria - Horror

Ah, Argento. Suspiria remains as one of the prettiest horror films out there. The colors, the geometric patterns and the groundbreaking cinematography in this film continues to influence the world around it and even inspire a remake in 2019 (which is also quite good). An elite ballet school has a violent, brutal secret lurking in every room, and we follow Suzy as she unravels the knots and discovers the truth–and it has to do with some freaky witchcraft. It’s a slower burn, but has some of the most brutal and iconic death scenes of all time.

Class it up with this Ballerina Wine Cocktail that is an easy sipper to nurse throughout the movie. If you’re not into an herbal wine drink, try this Pumpkin Witch’s Brew to become one with the coven. It does take place in Germany as well, so eat something that a ballerina probably wouldn’t eat with this German Beer Cheese Spread–versatile with multiple types of carbs. The double feature is another mystery-horror with its twists and turns and that is Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho, so have fun with these girls really going crazy.

Watch Suspiria on Tubi (the only platform to have Suspiria?) or have it on your shelf alongside your other Giallo films by purchasing the physical version here. I did a rather classy, painting-style design for this one, so be sure to check it out on Redbubble.

October 21st: His House (2020)

His House (2020) - Horror Movies

This was a surprise from Netflix after an overall lull in their original movies. His House is filled with terror and rich with metaphor. A couple who has escaped from South Sudan takes refuge in a quaint English town. Haunted by the death of their daughter, they struggle to adjust and take different methods of coping. However, their house seems to be haunted, and the thing haunting it is something truly evil. This is an intense, surreal ride, so try to pay attention during the times you’re able to keep your eyes on the screen.

For this film, we are blending an English drink with a South Sudanese treat. When I think of English cocktails, I immediately think of a Pimm’s Cup–a perfect tasty blend of herbs, spices and booze. Believe it or not, I found a Virgin Pimm’s as well that emulates that complexity in flavors as well. You can usually find Pimm’s rather easily in the US at specialty liquor stores. As for food, we’re going sweet with this delicious Sudanese Kahk–a recipe that might contribute to your Christmas baking as well. Shape them with these spooky cookie cutters. I chose another Netflix original turned modern horror essential with The Ritual.

You can watch His House on Netflix–a platform that sadly doesn’t have any physical copies readily available. You can check out my original design here on Redbubble.

Coming Up Next

So, there’s the third week of the 31 Days of Horror here on The Void of Celluloid. Hopefully this spawned some ideas on what to make for any upcoming movie nights this spooky season. For those that like to go hard and celebrate every day like me, go for it–I have given you the tools. We had Week 1 and Week 2, coming up next are The Final Ten Days which will be linked respectively once published.

Anyways, thanks for spelunking this void with me. If you’re new to the Void of Celluloid, welcome. Feel free to spelunk some other voids while you’re here and follow me on other platforms by clicking the buttons below. We post regularly and stay up to date about what’s going on in horror today, reflect on what went on yesterday, and plan for a better, horror filled tomorrow. See ya next time.

Popcorn (1991): A Mother of the Void Summary

The Void has given me almost free reign to decide my movies to wax poetically about.  When I told her about my pick for this installment and sent her the trailer, her response was, “Well that looks fun.” I want to remind you, fearless readers, that this is an essay on a particular horror movie. I will be sharing my thoughts as I view the picture, so there will be spoilers. If you want to watch the film first, or watch along as you read, the title is POPPING on the screen below.

The film for this view is “Popcorn” from 1991. This is director Mark Herrier’s only time to sit in the director’s chair. Harrier has mainly spent his time in front of the screen, in bit part in TV shows like Bosch, The Practice and MASH. He also appeared in the very popular 80’s Porky’s franchise. The film stars horror staples Dee Wallace (The Howling, The Hills Have Eyes), Jill Schoelen (The Stepfather, Cutting Class), as well as veteran actors Tony Roberts (Serpico, Annie Hall) and Ray Walston (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Sting). 

With its feet still firmly planted in the 80s, this is a fun film. While it is not well known, some notable horror films have found some inspiration in this little film, and I will reference them as we go. 

In the BEGINNING

The film starts with the sound of dripping water and slowly focuses on a number of different latex masks floating in water. The very stylized title glistens across the screen. The camera now scans the room of Maggie (Schoelen) who is having a nightmare in her very bright bedroom. Personally, I can’t sleep in a room that bright. However, she is a college student, and apparently, they can sleep through anything. Her dream involves explosions, a young girl who looks like her, a creepy, hippie man, and a flaming sword.

Horror Movie Review: Popcorn (1991) - Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging  Life

The hippie man is actually just a head on a table that has now decayed, and the little girl is running away. The coloring in this scene is very vivid, giving it a quality of Dario Argento’s films. Maggie stirs in her bed as flames appear around the young girl and suddenly a bound woman is shown, calling the name “Sarah”, over and over on a loop. The little girl moves her hand and Maggie mimics the movement. Seriously, between the light and movement, this girl either ran a marathon the day before, or I want to know what medication she is on for when I suffer from insomnia. 

In the dream, the little girl’s hand is grasped by a man’s hand. She turns to look at the man, but all we can see is the child, and the outline of a man, and the once flaming sword in front of her. Hippie Man, whose head is now firmly attached to his body, raises the sword over his head, as he slowly says “Sarah”. We hear Maggie’s alarm clock and this is what wakes her up, gasping. 

Hello Maggie and Suzanne

Maggie instantly grabs a tape recorder next to her bed, she talks about this “same” dream she is having, expanding on the details. We now cut to Suzanne (Wallace), Maggie’s mom, as she is getting breakfast ready. Man, do I feel like a crappy mom. This woman is dressed, hair and makeup perfect. She has cooked breakfast, but the counters are completely clean.  I mean the goddamn burner covers are on the stove. The rest of the house appears immaculate. I’m calling it right now. This woman is a psychopath!

Anyway…. Suzanne answers a phone call. At first there is no one on the other end. The person on the other end finally asks for a person, and Suzanne says, “Sorry, wrong number.”  The voice then says, “Remember who the ninth circle of Hell is reserved for.” and then hangs up. This just makes Suzanne look and the phone, make an amused sound and hang up. 

Maggie enters the kitchen and says she doesn’t have time for breakfast. Don’t piss off your mother. Maggie is recording details of her dream into her tape recorder and when she mentions the name Sarah, Suzanne’s face slightly tightens. She asks her daughter why she named her character Sarah. Maggie says she doesn’t know and then makes a standard Citizen Kane reference, used when a filmmaker wants everyone to believe that they know a lot about cinema.

We now see Maggie driving up to her college, the University of California at Oceanview. This looks like a very high class institute of higher learning. She is rushing to class, still dictating to her recorder, when an earring-wearing mullet man attaches himself to her face.  Without even a hello, he is telling her how much he wants her and to come back to his place. Maggie is a serious filmmaker, we know this because of the Citizen Kane reference, and she tells Mark, despite his begging, that the only energy she has right now is to work on her film. He tells her that he is not going to wait forever. 

The Horror-THon

We are now in a classroom? I say this in a questioning way because the seating is just concrete risers. They explain that the film students have been bounced around from room to room, and now they are stuck in a music room. The risers make even less sense now. The students in this class consist of three girls, three boys, the teacher and his assistant. No wonder they keep getting moved. This film department is not bringing in much money in tuition. One of the students, Bud, is in a wheelchair. I immediately thought of Franklin from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and knew this kid was in trouble. 

The professor calls Toby to the front of the class to explain his idea for a fundraiser for the department. Toby suggests that they put on an all night horrorthon. The other students make fun, and it is here that I saw familiar. This scene is very reminiscent of the movie discussion in the film class in “Scream 2”. There are others as the film goes on, but maybe it is just me…

Popcorn (1991) - IMDb

The appeal of this horrorthon is that the film will be shown with the original gimmicks that they were released with; smell-o-vision, shock-o-vision, etc. There just so happens to be an abandoned theater, named Dreamland. It is three weeks from being torn down, and the horrorthon will be the last event that will be held there. There is concern that they will be able to get everything ready in time, when out of nowhere, Dr. M (Walston) appears. He says he is there to help, and all his gear is outside. Toby explains that Dr. M owns a movie memorabilia shop, and it is all they will need.

Dr. M passionately explains how the classic movie theaters were run. He tells them that he is there to help them turn this into a memorable evening. Then…wait…. what is this I hear….it can’t be?!  Oh yes, it is. A music montage of them all working together, to an upbeat song, with almost a ska rhythm, singing the joys of “Saturday night at the movies.” Everyone is happily cleaning and mugging for the camera, and they are making masks, getting costumes ready and testing the special effects. 

The Possessor

It is the night before the big show. As they finish up, they find a film canister. They decide to run it and we see the close up of an eye. The face on the screen says, “I am the possessor.” There are scenes of gore, and then it is HIPPIE MAN.  Scenes from Maggie’s dream play out on the screen. She is reacting and passes out. The classmates have carried her out into the lobby, and she asks what the movie was. The teacher explains it is a film called “The Possessor” made by a 60’s cult leader named Lanyard Gates. They used to make art films. He supposedly murdered his whole family at a showing of the film. The class decides to not show the film at the festival. 

We now see Suzanne, looking a little spooked, as she is closing up her door to the balcony. Maggie makes matters worse when she walks into the room, making her visibly jump. She asks her mom if she has ever heard of Lanyard Gates, which makes Suzanne even more nervous, but she denies knowing who that is. Maggie explains about the film they found, and how this movie is what she has been dreaming about. Suzanne tells Maggie she wants to skip the festival, but Maggie refuses. She says she has to see this through. They have a sweet mother daughter moment and the phone rings.

The same voice is on the phone as earlier, referencing the ninth circle of hell again and when Suzanne asks who it is, it repeats, “I am the possessed.” Suzanne is visibly upset and the voice on the phone says, “I want her.”

Suzanne screams “NO”, and the voice on the phone suggests that they talk. He tells her to come to Dreamland and to bring her gun. Well, first of all, Suzanne is obviously hiding something. Secondly, this is not the way you ask a woman out on a movie date. I mean it has been a while since I have been asked out, but I am pretty sure this would not be a very successful method. And lastly, you are telling an obviously nervous woman, with at least a few mental disorders, to bring a gun on said date. I see a Dateline special in their future. 

The Date from Hell

Of course, Suzanne goes to the theater. Dressed all in black she exits her car, gun in hand. As she approaches, the marquee lights up, then suddenly the letters start flying off the sign at her, and the title Possessor appears on the marquee. A single ticket is issued from the empty box office. Suzanne retrieves her ticket, and the door opens.

Exhumed & Exonerated: 'Popcorn' (1991) - Bloody Disgusting

Suzanne hears the voice on the phone and follows it into the theater. She talks to the screen, confirming that she does know who Lanyard is. Now mostly in the dark, a figure appears in the balcony. She hears special effect noises and runs to the back of the theater.  She sees a figure approaching her and fires her gun. The figure falls to the floor as she cries. This prompts a big hug. Maybe this will be a successful date after all. You go Suzanne!

Maggie wakes the next morning and finds breakfast and a note waiting for her from her mom.  With the events of the previous evening, it is obvious that Suzanne was not home to make this loving gesture. 

We cut to the night of the big and once again…it is a musical number! Imagine how much better Halloween would have been if Laurie had broke out singing a chorus of “Somebody’s Watching Me.”  Carpenter really missed the boat on that one! All the costumes are on point and they are playing their part. Maggie is manning the ticket booth, when handsie Mark with the ultimates from earlier shows up with a very blonde date. Maggie plays it cool, while Mark is visibly regretting his decision. I hope for his sake the goodie bags with your 3D glasses and nose plugs comes with condoms. 

A scarred hand drops some crumpled money onto the ticket booth counter and asks Maggie if the films they are showing are as shocking as “Possessor”, but he refers to her as Sarah in the question. He quickly walks away, and Maggie rushes out to follow him, but secures her replacement before leaving. She should be dressed as a girl scout!

Maggie and MArk aren’t meant to be

The first movie begins and the audience is lively. Maggie spots her target in a different balcony and he leaves, exiting the lobby before Maggie can catch him. 

Mark is no longer very enthusiastic about his date and tells her he will be right back. Hello…. Way to keep breaking the rules asshole. Pressuring a girl to have sex, showing up with a nonvirgin who is an obvious target, and now, “I’ll be right back.” Please kill this man of principle alone!  He heads out towards the lobby.

Maggie has made her way up to the projection booth, where Toby is keeping an eye through the tiny window. Maggie tells him that she thinks Lanyard Gates is in the theater. He is of course skeptical, but Maggie tells him she is sure it was him. Toby says since nobody identified the body, there is a possibility that he could still be alive. Maggie’s reaction is that of excitement, with her thoughts being about her movie. Toby tries to convince her to call the police, but Maggie tells him there is no way the police would believe them. He leaves to take a look, leaving Maggie in the projection booth. 

Toby makes his way downstairs. He steps outside a suspiciously cracked door to see if there is anything or anyone there, and the door shuts behind him, leaving him locked out.  Meanwhile in the theater, Mark’s date makes a new friend, who sits beside her without protest. 

 We now see someone approach Maggie from behind. A voice says “BOO” and Maggie punches boytoy Mark right in the face, knocking him on his ass. 

Here comes the carnage

Behind the movie screen the teacher is getting the big mosquito ready to make its debut. He has all the switches flipped and is ready to send the critter flying. The crowd goes wild, and he is like a kid on Christmas morning. From above, another set of hands with a different remote takes control of the big bug, suddenly sending it the teacher’s way, impaling him, and leaving him dead on the floor. Maggie’s new man of interest comes and drags the teacher off stage. 

Horror Movie Review: Popcorn (1991) - Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging  Life

We now see more of the masks in the water that we saw at the beginning of the film. The newest addition is a mold of a teacher’s face. 

Maggie is explaining all the backstory to Mark, when Toby returns, telling of his adventure of walking around the building. Mark proceeds to piss off Maggie, who sends him back to his blonde. 

Everyone returns to their posts, and when Mark tries to get his seat back, he finds his replacement not very cultured, but really good with his hands. For the second time tonight, Mark’s ass is on the ground. 

Bud is getting ready to shock the shit out of the audience and tells Tina to go get their teacher because he needs help. Tina, who is the teacher’s pet, was already looking for him. Maggie is out in the booth, listening to her tape recorder, smiling at the sound of her own voice, when Suzanne’s new boyfriend’s voice comes on, once again calling her Sarah. She tried to rush out of the ticket booth, only to find the door blocked. She pushes hard, hears a thud, and Mark is down for the third time.

Utter Chaos: The meat of the movie

I know he wanted to lay flat on his back, but this is not the way to go about it my man. Maggie runs to comfort him, because after all the crap he’s put her through, that is exactly what we women do. I would have laughed and stepped over him…but that’s just me. Maggie tells Mark she has proof that Gates was there. When she goes to show him the tape, it’s broken. They go to find Tina to see if she saw anyone mess with her recorder. 

Tina makes her way backstage to find her favorite teacher. She sees him securing the mosquito and he motions for her to come to him. Bud sends Maggie and Mark backstage as well, giving them a flashlight, because that is always welcome in a movie theater. 

Bud now gets to have his fun, zapping the audience with electrical shocks. He make quips and takes great joy in torturing the audence. 

Not from these events… but I had to include this photo.

Tina meets up with the “teacher”, but his newly made mask is still wet. As she goes to kiss him, it sticks to her face, and she pulls away in disgust. The mask rips off and reveals a burnt and mutilated face underneath. The crowd mutes Tina’s screams. Maggie and Mark come across a newly deceased Tina, who is now being puppeted by her killer. He mimics her voice, and sends them on a wild goose chase. Mark, of course, pulls a Toby, and locks them out of the building. 

“Tina” comes into the box where Bud is having his fun. Tied up and wired up, Bud is the target for the big shock. The killer has a recorded message for him, explaining how it will all go down. Bud tries desperately to reach the switches, but the lights the killer referenced in the recording start going off. 

Maggie and Mark end up back in the lobby, after scaling a fence to get back inside. Mark is limping and has ripped the ass of his pants. Maggie, of course, is unscathed. They once again go off looking for the teacher. 

Bud is still struggling, and almost makes it to one of the wires, but he is too late. The electricity going through him knocks out the power and knocks him out of his wheelchair. With the power out, Leon and Joannie decide the only logical thing to do is to of course have another musical break, so the run to have the band get on stage. How they will play without power, I am sure they will figure out something!

SOme more Musical moments

Maggie and Mark are now joined by Cheryl, who is helping keep Mark upright. Not very well, because he manages to fall down the stairs. See boys….this is why you don’t pressure girls into doing things they aren’t ready for! Karma is real!  While Cheryl helps Mark, Maggie goes to talk to Bud. 

Popcorn 1991 Sale, 48% OFF | avifauna.cz

The band takes the stage, playing the chart topper “Pocomania Day”. The crowd is jamming and grooving. Maggie, on the other hand, has the very pleasant task of finding what remains of Bud…or is it. Suddenly the man of her dreams, who is also her mom’s new boyfriend, is sitting in Bud’s wheelchair. He calls her Sarah again and says, “What, no kiss for daddy?” GROSS! And I would tread lightly dude. We have seen how this girl handles Stepfathers! Maggie denies being this man’s daughter. She runs away, as memories come flooding back. 

Maggie runs into Toby and tells him everything. That she remembers everything, that she is Gate’s daughter, and Suzanne is not her mother. Just then Mark’s blonde comes stumbling out of the dark. Toby takes Maggie away before words or blows begin to fly. They go and sit behind the stage, and she continues to tell Toby the whole story.

Toby comforts her and tells her he is there for her. They head downstairs to get to the circuit breakers and fix the lights. Toby falls down the stairs, Maggie retrieves his flashlight, as she shines it around the room, it is not Toby she sees, but her teacher. She sees Tina, but not really. She hears noises surround her, and Gates appears behind her. 

Puzzle pieces fall into place

Popcorn (1991) - IMDb

The lights turn back on, and the third movie begins…Although I don’t know who starts it. 

While she’s tied to a chair, the killer reveals to Maggie his snazzy Toby mask. He shows her the different masks he wears. This is actually a pretty good bit. He settles on Toby to continue his story. Maggie asks him if he is not her father, why is he doing all this. Toby reveals that he was in the theater the night of the fire. He was burned over most of his body and blames her for everything that happened to him. He gives her a demonstration of how he puts his face on. Toby tells Maggie he is going to recreate the end of Possessor as it should have been. 

Mark’s Blonde makes her way out to the lobby where he is being bandaged up by Cheryl and Joannie. Blondie, I know this is not her name, but I already have too many names to keep track of, tells Mark that she saw Maggie and Toby getting friendly with each other, and they left together. Blonde’s new man comes out and it is Cheryl who takes care of business. Joannie tells Mark where Toby lives and he heads out to see what is going on. 

Pee and pinatas? The Final Act

Meanwhile, in the basement, Toby wheels out a Suzanne pinata. It must have been a really tight hug, because she is in a full body cast. Toby shows his full crazy, leaving mother and daughter to catch up. 

Joannie and Leon are getting the smell tabs ready, when Leon says he has to run to the bathroom. Standing at the urinal, his twin confronts him. Toby pee on Leon’s leg and locks him in the stall. Then he drops an exploding gas tablet in the toilet. When Toby returns to take care of Joannie, she proclaims her love for him, thinking she is talking to Leon. This saves her life. Toby returns to the basement ranting that he doesn’t have time to talk about love. 

Now Toby, and Suzanne are behind the screen, getting ready for the live action ending of the Possessor. 

Mark is at Toby’s and talks to his landlord. The landlord talks about what a horrible tenant he was. Mark finds all the articles about the theater burning down, pictures of Maggie, and he puts together who the bad guy is. It only took a few blows to the head to turn Mark into a good guy!  

Toby starts to play the Possessor and begins to walk down the aisle. Cheryl and Joannie try to stop the projector as Mark tries to find a way into the theater. Toby is setting the final stage. Instead of just breaking a window, Mark scales the building. 

Toby begins to act out the movie that is playing behind him. Mark is doing his best Peter Parker impersonation on the outside of the building. Here are some more similarities to Scream 2 in my opinion. The opening and the ending of the film. The audience is into it. They don’t realize this is not part of the show. Mark saves the day by ziplining with his belt, but the real hero is Mr Mosquito, who skewers Toby and lets him fly like Peter Pan around the stage. 

Conclusion

Well we have come to the end of the Popcorn bucket. This little film was a box office flop. It has since become a cult classic among horror fans due to the homage to the films of William Castle. The music choices make more sense when you know the movie was actually filmed in Jamaica. And I promise, those songs will be stuck in your head for a while. 

I hope you enjoyed my take, the film or ideally both. Until next time….and who knows where the Void will lead me. Check out my last post here.


Anyways, thanks for spelunking this void with us. If you’re new to the Void of Celluloid, welcome. Feel free to spelunk some other voids while you’re here and follow me on other platforms by clicking the buttons below. We post regularly and stay up to date about what’s going on in horror today, reflect on what went on yesterday, and plan for a better, horrific tomorrow. See ya next time.

Horror Musicals: The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Screaming

It’s me, The Void. I’m stealing the Mother’s place this fine day to give you my ranking of the beautiful blending of my favorite genres: horror and musical. Yes, we’re talking horror musicals. This came to me when I heard of Stephen Sondheim’s passing, which shattered my heart into a million little pieces. May his memory be a blessing.

In this ranking, I am focusing on the stage and having movie adaptations weigh in as needed. A lot of these have no movie adaptations. I am excluding strictly movie musicals, therefore musicals like Repo! The Genetic Opera and The Devil’s Carnival are not on this list (though I respect and admire Terrance Zdunich’s writing quite a bit). I felt it wasn’t fair against these beasts of musicals, as most of these have made it to the Broadway caliber. Nonetheless, let’s slash our ways through this, shall we?

Number 9: Jekyll ANd Hyde

Before you ask, yes, that IS David Hasselhoff. Jekyll and Hyde is the stage musical adaptation of the novella The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and while it is blaring with the rock and has the iconic “Confrontation” which has the lead singing from two perspectives at once, the cheesiness level cuts the epic down to quite a low level. It’s easy to find the taped version of this musical if you’re in desperate need to see Hasselhoff deliver some epic bars, but overall, it’s not exactly my personal favorites

My favorite song is “Confrontation,” as it generated a hilarious TikTok meme and it is as epic as it sounds.

Number 8: Carrie the Musical

Poor, poor Carrie. This poor musical is cursed for failure for whatever reason, and it all lies in how its produced. The original debut was way too much and the revival was way too little, leading to it flopping on both occasions. However, the tunes are actually really well written and it is a faithful adaptation. There is a fairly impressive LA production that did do it right, but used a gymnasium instead of a traditional stage, so I believe if Carrie the Musical will never be successful on Broadway–and that is okay.

My favorite moment is “The Destruction,” as the song is a beautiful depiction of Carrie’s inner monologue and her seemingly instantaneous snap. My favorite interpretation is Keaton Whittaker’s version. Meanwhile, if you wanna see some killer stage effects, you can check out the LA version here.

Number 7: Evil Dead the Musical

Yes, there is an off-broadway adaptation of Evil Dead II. It is all kinds of cheesy and hilarious, which is the only thing you should expect given its source material. There is disco, there is showtunes and Ash takes the stage with grace. This is in the same league as the Starkid musicals and could be improv if we didn’t know any better. It’s a fun one that graces local theaters often, so definitely check this one out if you are in the mood for a good laugh.

The best song is probably “It’s Time” in which there is disco dancing and Ash sings about balls. Who could ask for anything more? Check out a rendition from 2017 here.

Number 6: Heathers

Yes, I do admit I’m stretching a bit with this one. JD is technically a serial killer and Westerberg High does seem like a living hell, so I let it pass. The 1989 film Heathers is one of my favorites, so it is natural that I fell in love with the musical adaptation. While there are some misses on the soundtrack, especially the West End version, there are some GEMS that make me laugh out loud and want to dance to a musical full of depravity. It’s a pretty loyal adaptation as well, with a few changes to character dynamics to tie it together for group numbers.

“Lifeboat,” “Dead Girl Walking,” and “My Dead Gay Son” are the shining stars in this musical, but I honestly love all the songs and only skip “Big Fun” as it can be a bit annoying halfway through. However, my favorite moment in this musical is not a song but rather this iconic moment from the original off-broadway production.

Number 5: Beetlejuice

Now onto the Broadway baddies. Beetlejuice is a recent musical adaptation which trended on TikTok as well, specifically “Say My Name.” It’s a faithful adaptation that does not leave out the original movie’s musical moments. Ont top of it, the Original Broadway Cast Recording is amazing and not one to miss if you love soundtracks. It contains wildly good performances and was met with great critical reviews and is a fan favorite–so much so it was saved from getting booted and will stay on Broadway for an additional season.

My favorite song on this is actually a rather emotional one and that is “Dead Mom.” You can see the original Broadway Lydia perform that one here, but have some tissues.

Number 4: Phantom of the Opera

Remember when I said that we might be ignoring some movie adaptations? All respects to Emmy Rossum and Patrick Wilson, but maybe stick with a filmed Broadway version to spare your ears. Phantom of the Opera may not seem to some as a horror musical, however, its source material is strictly horror. This is a classic and some regard it the best of all time. My personal preferences disagree heavily, however I do respect this musical, hence it holding the number four spot. If you do decide to suffere through the movie adaptation, brace yourself for Gerald Butler, who should’ve never sang opera ever for the public.

While I don’t like the musical as a whole and do think the title track is a cheesy rock-opera mess, I have to give credit to “Think of Me” and most definitely to “All I Ask of You,” which is easily the most romantic song ever written. I will actually link the movie version of that one, because it is gorgeous.

Number 3: Little Shop of Horrors

I love, love, LOVE this musical. It has laughs, it’s dark and has BOPS for a soundtrack. The music is in fact written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, who wrote most of the music during the Disney Renaissance of the 1990s. “Somewhere That’s Green” is the same melody as “Part of Your World,” so there is proof it’s all good to plagiarize yourself. The movie adaptation is one of the best cult films out there, so you can do no wrong checking it out in any medium. I do recommend checking out the director’s cut as it is chock full of crazy good special effects and matches the play’s ending.

My favorite song from this is “Now (It’s Just the Gas),” which never made its film debut. You can, however, check out a version with Jake Gyllenhaal and Taran Killam here, which is simply brilliant.

Number 2: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of fleet street

horror musicals

Now this–this is my favorite Broadway musical. However, the movie adaptation doesn’t do it justice therefore it does not earn the coveted crown. Sweeney Todd is a masterpiece through and through with Sondheim behind the pen. Many consider this Sondheim’s greatest musical (myself included) and it will be known as one of the best musicals of all time. It plays out like an opera, with gorgeous, terrifying and hilarious moments flowing through. It’s a hoot, and I cannot recommend it more. I don’t hate the movie adaptation either, but some songs are missing/edited and it just doesn’t feel the same.

“Pretty Women,” “Epiphany” and “A Little Priest” is a phenomenal stretch of songs that closes out the first act and lives in my head rent free. However, Angela Lansbury is my favorite part so here is her “Worst Pies in London” in its full glory.

Honorable Mention

horror musicals

Cats. I mean this image says a thousand words.

Number 1: Rocky Horror Picture Show

horror musicals

Now here is the real number one, both tremendous in stage and screen: The Rocky Horror Picture Show. We are talking iconic images, characters, songs, dances, and species–this is the horror musical of all horror musicals. Richard O’Brien has a brilliant mind that brought this groundbreaking musicals to stages and eventually formed it into the cult film to end all cult films. On top of all of it, Tim Curry stands proud in his six inch heels, serving as an icon for many and sexy beast to all. It’s iconic, that’s all I have to say. The horror musical of all horror musicals.

“Hot Patootie” can be played on the radio while “Sweet Transvestite” has us shivering with antici…pation. However, for me, “Planet Schmanet Janet” tops my list. You can see Frank-N-Furter harass Janet here if you’re looking for something to get used to, if ya know what I mean.

The final act

So there is it is, the ranking of the horror musicals. Did you agree with some of these picks and have you heard of most of them? Who knew showtunes could be horrific? Anyways, the Mother will be back next week as well as I will be back this Saturday with Christmas horror movies out the wazoo. Thanks for spelunking with us, this is the Void detaching and signing off.

If you wanted to see a bit more on horror musicals, you can blast to the past with my September Spooky Season picks here.

horror musicals

Spooky Season, Welcome: A Guide for September Spooky Flicks

It’s now September, therefore I declare that spooky season begins now, for all of our sanities. As an author of a horror blog, I am always in the mood for a scary movie. However, sometimes it’s hard to convince the viewing party to join the fanatical ways. Therefore, I took the time this week to conjure up a loose fitted plan to ease even the biggest scaredy cat into spooky season.

Halloween' 1978: The Times Finally Reviews a Horror Classic - The New York  Times
A preview of what’s to come next month…

This will be the first installment, and while there isn’t necessarily horror forward movies on the September catalogue, there are plenty of good romps on here. This plan starts now, as Halloween candy and pumpkin spice are already making strides into a part of our regular diet for the next few months, so what are we waiting for? Let’s begin this journey and explore other genres’ takes on the spooky season.

The First Half of September: Easing In

Most of the films listed in this first half could easily be in the final week of October. I prefer to ramp up the scares then, so I put a lot of comfort in this first half. As the sunshine drifts away and seasonal depression might start to sink in for some, nothing is more comforting that goofy, sometimes heartfelt movies. I’m talking 1990s and early 00s cheesefest kind of movies. That is not a derogatory sense, as I love all of these movies myself. The movies also listed here can be good replacements for October films if you either A) have little ones to be cautious of or B) don’t like to get scared.

Practical Magic, BeetleJuice and Ghostbusters

spooky season

Topping my list is actually not a horror movie, but rather a movie about family, magic and of course midnight margaritas: Practical Magic. This movie has always been a staple for my mom and I during fall time, so not only does it bring fuzzy feelings, but also a boat load of nostalgia. It also includes many familiar faces, with the two main stars being Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. Check it out if you haven’t, it probably is my favorite film about witches (see below for hot take about Hocus Pocus, I’m sorry).

spooky season

This is also where Beetlejuice goes for me surprisingly. I usually get to this movie later in the season despite me placing it here, but this movie fits in with the semi-lighthearted, cheesy vibe, even though it is a magnificent film. I haven’t ran into many people that hasn’t heard this story before, especially with the recent surge in popularity of its Broadway counterpart, but if you haven’t seen it, I have a few questions. First, what are you doing still reading this? Second, why aren’t you watching it right now?

Spooky season

With the new sequel coming out in November, it is impossible not putting Ghostbusters on this list. This movie was a childhood staple for me, and my favorite character isn’t even pictured here and that is Rick Moranis’ character, Louis. This is forever a classic, and a good light felt romp fit for younger kids when you’re looking for some Halloween classics.

Hocus Pocus and Others: Family Friendly (Except One)

Spooky Season

Okay, okay, yes. A large chunk of the population watches this on Halloween, and I get that. But most years, I don’t even watch Hocus Pocus. It isn’t one of those comfort movies for me, even though it can be enjoyable, but–in the most hipster way possible–I kind think it’s overrated. I’m not alone in this opinion either, check out this piece from Sarah El-Mahmoud: Who Decided Hocus Pocus Was A Great Movie?Other than the three witches, every character annoys me and if the film just consisted of Winifred and the gang causing chaos rather than the weird plot they forget about half the time, I would probably like it more and consider it part of my ritual. It’s a staple for most however, so no judgement if this is in your regular spooky regimen.

Below is a gallery of other films that I like to partake in/think fit this tone. Most are kidfriendly but they are fun films nonetheless.

The Second Half of September: Dancing Through Life

The leaves actually start changing, the equinox comes and there is fall euphoria in the air. It feels like you could burst out into song any moment. So why don’t you? There are plenty of spooky musicals out there. Most are cult classics at this point, while others might have been revisited since childhood.

The Rocky horror Picture Show & Little Shop Of Horrors

spooky season

There is an obvious crowning jewel to this subgenre, which is most enjoyed at midnight in your local theater. If you aren’t giving yourself over to absolute pleasure, a couple viewings of this masterpiece will have you doing so whilst scantily clad and throwing toast at the screen. The Rocky Horror Picture Show has quite a legacy, and what kept alive is fans and notoriety. Most people have seen this film, and I haven’t met anyone who has absolutely hated it. Even musical haters have a soft spot for this film. It is truly a transcendent cultural icon, and should be indulged every spooky season, every year for how many times that you wish to watch it (I average about four times a year, it’s a deep comfort of mine). Also, yes, this gif embodies probably my favorite Frank-N-Furter moment.

spooky season

Another comfort film of mine is a bit more hush hush than the previous, but a cult classic nonetheless. Little Shop of Horrors features a great array of actors and one of the most impressive uses of practical effects and puppetry. All the songs are bops and will get stuck in your head, so much so that they may sound familiar. You’d be right, as the writers are the same people that did the music for Disney’s 90s Renaissance. “Somewhere That’s Green” is the same exact tune as “Part of Your World,” meaning it isn’t plagiarism if you steal from yourself. and the characters are likeable, even when they are doing terrible things. There’s also a weird but hilarious S&M scene between Steve Martin and Bill Murray that is not one to miss.

Claymation Classics: Thanks, Laika

Stepping into the spotlight is Laika Studios, who is responsible for most of the claymation films we see today. Not all of these are musicals, but a lot have musical elements and are perfect for spooky season. The two I want to feature are Corpse Bride and Coraline. Yes, The Nightmare Before Christmas should be a feature here too, but I do consider that film a November film in between seasons. Corpse Bride features beautiful music from Danny Elfman and adopts Tim Burton’s usual style. Coraline revolutionized claymation and pushed the limits on what is advertised as a children’s film or not. Both are spooky and perfect for pushing the limits on older kids looking for a mild scare. If they love them, congrats, you’re raising a future horror fanatic.

Honorable Mentions for A Playful End to September

Below is a gallery of other films to consider as we ramp up to October. Yes, we embrace the Bowie Bulge here.

Conclusion

I warned there was not a lot of horror on this list, and while I believe every time is horror time, this is a guide for everybody. Some people don’t like the spooks, and sometimes needs coaxing to be down to watch the scarier movies. That’s completely okay! However, if you’re depraved like me and are ready for the scares, stay tuned, as October 1st comes 31 Days of Horror, a calendar strictly for horror fans and those ready to be scared this October. Don’t forget to sign up for email notifications and I’m excited to embark with you all on The Void of Celluloid’s first spooky season. Now to feast on copious amounts of pumpkin bread.