November 5, 2012

Halloween Wrap-Up Pt. 1

Earlier this year, the RoBeastress and I decided to have a Halloween Wedding Celebration. Fortunately, we planned it for October 27th, which ended up being just a few days before the real Halloween was cancelled in the wake of Hurricane Sandy's destruction of the coastal Northeast. We had a few different costumes and a bunch of decorative things lined up for the event, so I'm going to spend a couple days talking about that junk.

Our first costume was Carol Anne and Reverend Henry Kane from Poltergeist 3:

Why Poltergeist III, you ask? Well, there's a few reasons.

Rev. Henry Kane - Poltergeist II

Rev. Henry Kane - Poltergeist III
First, I admit that Kane is much scarier in Poltergeist II: The Other Side. From actor Julian Beck's sickly appearance (which was real--he died during filming) to his disturbing performance (the "God is in His Holy Temple" song), the character traumatized as a child. But for Poltergeist III, the character was transformed into a silly, one-note, Carol Anne-chasing lookalike with little-to-no motivation. The outfit was basically the same, but it felt less like an organic creepy spirit from the 1800's and more like a stereotypical stalking movie monster. I knew there was no way I'd be able to accurately match Julian Beck's look (at least not for a few years when I'm even balder), so I went for the more horror-like costume.

The pants, shirt, vest, and shoes were no problem because I had that stuff already (more on the vest tomorrow). The longer black coat I picked up at a Salvation Army. I stayed accurate with the peak lapels, but mine is technically double-breasted. Oh well, it fit, and it was less than $10. I got the hat at a Halloween store, and the tie was just a couple yards of black ribbon (I went with black and a simple bow because there didn't seem to be much consistency with color or knots in the movies).

The wig was the tough part. I picked up a Rocky Horror Riff Raff wig because the color and hairline was right, but it just didn't fit on my head properly. Then I completely ruined it by trimming the length. The hair quality sucked anyway. A Beetlejuice wig fit much better, even though the color was grayer than I would have preferred. I almost ruined this one too with my attempt at trimming it, but quit while I was ahead. I added some white makeup to my face to match the color of the wig's skin even though Kane didn't really have a white face. Creative license.

Carol Anne was the second reason we went with the Poltergeist III look. The red pajamas were more visually striking than whatever she was wearing in the first two films. And the Speak 'n' Spell would make a much more portable prop than a fuzzy television set...

 (while I'm on the subject, our Save the Date was a Poltergeist parody:)

At 12 years old, Heather O'Rourke was definitely a bit too old to be running around in PJs and a Speak 'n' Spell in Poltergeist III, so the RoBeastress didn't feel out of place camping it up in adult-sized, footed PJs. She picked those up online somewhere and then added the buttons and other white trimmings from a piece of cloth from a craft store. The Speak 'n' Spell was found on ebay and actually did work. Her blonde wig almost fell to the same fate as mine when she tried to trim the bangs back to eyebrow length, but she fortunately learned from my lesson.

The final reason we went with the Poltergeist III theme is because I hold the controversial opinion that it is better than the first sequel. Sure, Poltergeist II has a scarier Kane, the talented original cast, better music, and the awesome vomit monster, but the story is pretty lame. Poltergeist III mostly abandons the previous storylines in favor of a more independent theme--a modern highrise being taken over by spirits. That's interesting to me because it forgoes the usual old, spooky house in the woods. And I'm also impressed that the special effects are all pretty much done in real time. Sure, it has plenty of flaws too, but it's a fun, underappreciated 80s relic. If you only have time to watch one Poltergeist film, watch the first one, but if you have time for two, skip to the third.

For more on Poltergeist 3, go to this awesome website:

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