When the temperature starts to dip, and you unpack the warm and wooly sweaters, and girls start wearing vests, Uggs, and cradling Pumpkin Spice Lattes….it’s time for scary stories.
Enter John Carpenter’s Tales for a Halloween Night:
John Carpenter’s Tales For a Halloween Night (Storm King)
Anthony Michael Hall is now a wooden golem, and he is PISSED.
As a horror aficionado and a fan of schlocky 80’s cinema, John Carpenter is up there on my list of “good people who I wouldn’t want to be caught in a dark alley with.” His classics like Escape from New York and Halloween made him a staple in my house, as I rented every creepy movie I could find as a teenager.
This collection of six stories has a distinct Tales from the Crypt and Creepshow vibe to it, in that we are introduced to a narrator of sorts, who is going to tell us some tales. The Crypt-Keeper influence is strong, and welcome:
When your teeth and eyes are the same shade of yellow, it’s time for a check-up.
The framework is that our jaundiced friend above is taking us on a tour of the graveyard, and telling us the stories that surround each headstone he stops at. Pretty standard trope in the spooky world, but a nice twist. Kudos to John for working in the “guy who works with dead bodies never loses appetite” gag as well, as G.D. makes sure to stop for a lunch break after a particularly gruesome tale.
Is It Good?
It is. John’s eye for the macabre is just as strong today as it ever was, and the six stories are all creepy on various levels. From your classic coffin/buried alive tale with artwork this good:
“….It’s kicking in.”
To a slightly more…earthy vibe:
“…or old Indian food”
Overall I liked all the stories. All subtle twists on the standard scary stuffs you want to read at night when you should be sleeping, and then after you finish you start wondering what that sound IS out in the living room, and maybe you should go check, but if you pretend to be asleep then Cthulhu Wilford Brimley might leave you alone:
“I GOT DIABEEETUS!!! F’NAGN!”
If you are a fan of John, or the classic Tales from the Crypt comics or show, give this one a shot.