PCR past banners Now in our fourth calendar year
PCR #188  (Vol. 4, No. 44)  This edition is for the week of October 27--November 2, 2003.

The Hauntings of 3016 Villa Rosa Park
by Will Moriaty
"Runaway Jury"
by Mike Smith
"The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" by ED Tucker
Where's The Scary TV?....Halloween TV Highlights
 by Vinnie Blesi
Quick CD Reviews....RIP: Elliott Smith

by Terence Nuzum
Old School Haunts....Modern Monsters....Music
 by Terence Nuzum
Scary Movie 3....Soul Survivors....The Tribute
 by John Lewis
It's Halloween!
 by Matt Drinnenberg
Movie Notes....The Kid Stays in the Cartoon, Too....How Super Is He?....He's Still Got A Name
 by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Archives 2003
Archives 2002
Archives 2001
Archives 2000
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Creature's Corner

Hello fellow Fear Fanatics: Creature here speaking from the highest Tower of the "Castle." What a delightful time of year. The weather is changing, the colors of the natural world are changing. It's time for the harvest. Shall we all prepare a feast together.

Scary Movie 3
Let us see. Hmm! first up; I went to see Scary Movie 3 tonight with Ashley. I was so disappointed with the first one that I didn't even bother with the second one but since the third one was being done by a different group I decided to go see it. Why not? After all, it is the season to watch things "Scary!" I liked it. It wasn't great and it would never go down in history as being one of my favorite movies but I did enjoy it just the same. The jokes were kept within bounds and loosely tied together with the story. The film paid homage to two great movies from recent years; "Signs" and "The Ring." While there were references to several other movies (and some real life incidents) the main story revolved around the two movies mentioned. I laughed out loud several times and even felt a tinge of "The Tingler" at other times. It was great to see Leslie Nielsen light up the silver screen again. Whoever would have thought that Commander JJ Adams would ever become one of the funniest guys in modern film. I won't give any of it away, you'll just have to see it for yourselves. I think it's worth the time. On the "Creature" scale I give this one a solid TWO SCREAMS!!!

Soul Survivors
Next up is another movie I watched on DVD the other night, "Soul Survivors." For this little film about the no-mans-land between life and death you have to reach in a little farther to extract something from it. The film stars Casey Affleck, Wes Bentley, Eliza Dushku (always one of my favorites), Melissa Sagemiller, and Luke Wilson. After being involved in a horrible car accident a girl finds herself being stalked by supernatural killers after she visits a strange nightclub on the outskirts of town. She finds that her friends are spending more and more time in the club and may actually be secretly involved with the would-be killers. She begins a desperate search for the truth as to the questions of friendships and loyalties. All the while she is being stalked by the two enigmatic figures out to see her dead. The movie has some decent action shots mixed with some suspence. This is another film worthy of "TWO SCREAMS" on the "Creature" scale.

Now, gather 'round children as the hour has finally arrived. Yes, it is finally here; HALLOWEEN!!! That special time of the year when all the ghosts, goblins, and Zombies come out of hiding to parade the world's streets in their search for the ultimate treat, candy. And you thought I was going to say unsuspecting mortals. Well, here we go kiddies; stoke the fire and let Uncle Creature tell you the tale of


Benjy looked at his watch with nervous anticipation. Soon the hour would arrive when the sun would dip below the western sky amongst a dazzling display of a bright red, yellow, and deep indigo sunset. An ominous stygian blackness could be seen in the distance, slowly swallowing up the last bastions of brilliance that signal the end of day. He quickened his pace as he wanted to be sure he reached Joey's house before the full onset of night. Soon "THEY" would arrive and Benjy wanted to be sure "The Tribute" was made well in advance. One screw-up and they might regret their lack of diligence for the rest of their lives. Looking at his watch once more he quikened his pace. There was no resting on this night nor any other Halloween night for Benjy and his friends. This was to be a night of hard work and sheer determination. They would not falter in their duty.

Looking ahead he saw Joey's house in the distance. He stopped briefly at the corner of Yigdrizerd Ave and Lothregar Lane to let a car pass him. He looked to his left and a boy approached him. Without smiling or speaking the two acknowledged each other. His friend and companion, Shane had arrived at exactly the right, predetermined moment. Looking to their right another boy approached. Drew nodded as he approached Benjy and Shane. Benjy looked at his watch, nodding his head. The three boys, in a well practiced move, quickly crossed the street. As they approached the target house, as if on que, Joey emerged and joined the group. They continued on down the street, waiting for the last speck of color to disappear into the ever advancing blackness that threatened to unleash it's fury on the town of Drossligoth.

With all thread of light gone from the sky, the boys began their ritual, parading from house to house in their attempt to collect the town's offering for "The Tribute," candy. Soon the streets would fill with joyous children, all searching for the candy they have been anxiously awaiting all week. For all of them it was a night of fun and frolic. Not so the four teenage boys who quickly paced themselves from house to house to gather "The Tribute."

For what seemed like hours the boys frantically ran from house to house, trying to make sure that none of them would be left out. "The Tribute" had to be gathered from every dwelling in the small neighborhood. There was no room for error, no room for any omissions. The boys knew this and had practiced their route several times, choreographing each move with precision timing. As they ran from door to door they made no apologies for their actions which included pushing and shoving to be first in line for "The Tribute." They would accept their punishment later. For now there was no time for such trivial matters.

Nearing Exhaustion the boys stopped for a brief moment so Benjy could check the time. It was 10:40 P. M. They had a mere twenty minutes in which to complete their ritual. Overhead, the stars in the western sky began to disappear as a huge storm began to march across the void towards the sleepy little town. There were still six houses to hit before they could return to "The Patch." Tomorrow the harvest would begin as it has for over a hundred years. Nothing has ever stopped the harvest in the past and the boys were determined not to let this be the first.

They quickly navigated the route to the six houses and began their journey to "The Patch." The boys had just over twelve minutes before it would be too late, before all their determination and careful planning would be for naught.

With muscles burning, crying for oxygen, the boys focused their attention on only one thing; "The Patch." Running up the main street to the Rec Center the boys could see the raised mound at the center of town. "The Patch" was just ahead. With a little luck they would make it in time. Gasping for every breath and wincing in pain the boys arrived at the gate. The temperature was beginning to drop, the air becoming very heavy with moisture. Within minutes the rain would come. "The Tribute had to be offered before the rain or nothing could be done. Running between all the gorgeous pumpkins that lay scattered across the mound, the boys were careful not to disturb any of the swollen fruit. Reaching the top of the hill they just stared in awe at the huge pumpkin that lay at the top of the mound. It easily weighed in at well over a thousand pounds.

Overcome by cramps and fatigue the boys called out in unison amidst a flurry of tears and extremely labored breaths, "O' Lantern, Lord of "The Patch," please accept our offering."

From under the ground a huge vine emerged. It quickly shaped itself into the form of a human being, a headless one. The boys gasped but stood their ground groaning and gasping as their potassium depleted bodies began cramping them. From the shoulders a lump grew and quickly took shape. It looked like a huge pumpkin growing on the top of the vine. As the boys watched in horror a visage bagan to take shape. It quickly became and evil twisted face of a Jack-O-Lantern. It looked down at the boys and gave them an evil smile. Fire could be seen inside the hollowed out shell of O' Lanterns head.

It spoke, a hellish, hollow voice with no trace of emotion. "Bring forth "The Tribute."

The boys opened their bags with much difficulty as their bodies began contorting from the intense cramping of their muscles. O' Lantern stepped aside and waved his hands across the huge pumpkin which lay still at the top of the mound. A hole began to form and quickly take the shape of a huge gaping maw filled with razor sharp teeth. Looking into the cavernous, oral cavity, the boys saw nothing but blackness. They quickly poured the contents of their bags into the stygian blackness that was once part of the huge pumpkin. Suddenly the rain came, a deluge that threatened to flood the land. The pumpkin took in a huge amount of water before it began to close up again. Within seconds the pumpkin returned to normal as if the opening had never existed. The boys dropped to the ground, contorting into fetal positions, wracked by the cramps that would soon end their lives. O' Lantern regarded them with pity. "You have done your job well my Children. Soon you will suffer no longer. Like the salmon of your rivers you will sleep the sleep of eternal peace, knowing you have saved the town of Drossligoth and thus insuring the survival of your species. Sleep now and become one with your world for next year will you live again in the bodies of a new set of disciples. Medrigorn, he who bears the fruit your town relies on, is pleased. Drossligoth will once again share it's most famous asset, "the sweetest pumpkins anywhere," with the world. The harvest will go on, as will "The Pumpkin Festival."

At some point during his eulogy the boys stopped moving, their bodies relaxing. With a wave of his hand O' Lantern watches as a series of finger-like vines sprout from the ground, pulling the limp bodies of the boys down into the soil. The rain continued to assault the town as well as "The Patch." O' Lantern looked down to the houses and smiled. "One day you will not make "The Tribute." On that day you will see a different kind of harvest. Slowly, the vines that formed the body of O' Lantern began retracting, pulling themselves down into the soil again. A sudden bolt of lightning strikes the huge pumpkin causing it to explode, scattering seeds for the next harvest all over the mound.


I hope everyone enjoys my little contribution for this year's Halloween.

Have a safe, happy, and fright-filled Holiday. Until next week, C-Ya!!!

"Creature's Corner" is ©2003 by John Lewis.  Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2003 by Nolan B. Canova.