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Reusable Halloween Bag from Chicobag

Reusable bags are probably the most popular way that people are “going green” right now. Everybody has them! It’s no wonder because it’s a simple switch and it saves tons of resources, energy, and pollution. Trick or Treat Bags are generally reusable, but disposable plastic bags are also a popular choice.

This year you have another option for a reusable trick or treat sack from ChicoBag. 12 year old Estefania won an ChicoBag art contest and her design is on their limited edition Halloween bag. Even if you’re not going out to collect candy this year, the bag would make a good lunch tote for work or school or as a regular old reusable shopping bag.

Perhaps the sweetest part is that ChicoBag donates 10% if the proceeds. The money goes to Treeswing, which are the fine folks behind the amazing eco-friendly, family oriented GreenHalloween.org. It’s an awesome organization and besides “greening” Halloween, they’re doing a lot to bring imagination back to our beloved holiday. Check out Green Halloween for some great tips and fun ideas.

What do your kids use as a Trick or Treat Bag?
Drop a comment and let us know!
Posted on September 18th, 2008 in
Odds and Ends by Lauren

Gory decorations and pet costumes: how’s that for an unusual combination of themes?

The folks at Halloween Forum and Pet Butler recently let us know about the contests they’re running. They’re perfect for Halloween fans and Howl-o-weenies alike, so it’s time to get creative!

Scary Scene Contest at Halloween Forum

The first contest is hosted by Halloween Forum and the objective is simple. Create the scariest scene. All experience levels are encouraged to enter. So far there are simple entries like this yoga skeleton all the way up to a “blood” splattered bathroom like this chilling “Hot Dose” entry. 3 winners will be chosen and will receive prizes from BodyBag.

ENTRIES DUE: August 12, 2008
Full details here

Pet Butler HOWL-O-WEEN Contest

The other contest is hosted by Pet Butler and they’re looking for pictures of your dog in his or her Halloween costume. The categories are;

  • Overall Best Costume
  • Cutest Costume
  • Most Photogenic
  • Scariest Dog
  • Cutest Group photo

For inspiration you can check out last year’s winners.

ENTRIES DUE: October 15, 2008
Full details in PDF file

If you enter either of these contests, we would love to see your photos. Please leave a link to your entries and photos in the comments!

Posted on August 4th, 2008 in
Halloween Fun, Odds and Ends by Lauren

Barbara from Night of the Living Dead, playing the helpless femaleI love horror movies. Always have. From the time I was old enough to watch them (which was a lot younger then I would admit to my parents). As I got older I came to appreciate the classics as well as some of the new ones that came out. However, as a young man I came to the impression that women in these films weren’t good for much more than running, screaming, falling down, and dying. Well, they could take their shirts off in just about every 80’s horror movie out there, but aside from that there were, and still are, a lack of strong female characters.

As a social justice educator I tend to look at horror movies and the women in them in a bit of a different way then I did as a kid. I found something out as an adult, women like horror movies too. And as women, I can only imagine that they have a unique view of the horror genre.

The issue that many people in the social justice fields have, as well as women and men who are devoted to feminism, is the sexualization of violence in horror movies. If you have sex in a horror film, you’re dead. We all know that. It’s the way that the violence immediately proceeds the sexual act or during that has people troubled. It can have psychological consequences for impressionable young people. As I have said, I love horror movies, the gorier the better on some occasions, but I still question the need for the sexualization of it all. The horror movie industry finally caught on to the fact that their R ratings were getting their movies exposed to too small an audience, and so with no TNA and a PG-13 rating the industry opened the door for a whole new fan base. The newer movies have made a positive move away from the sexualization of the violence, which is good.

Anyway, my favorite movies had very little sexualization of violence in them. Dawn of the Dead is an anti consumerism piece. Night of the Living Dead is a statement on human relations and how we treat each other. They still have all the splatter, and the women seem to have more powerful places in the films. The 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead has the heroine cast as a toughened survivor. In the Dawn of the Dead remake the main character is a strong woman. Resident Evil has a woman at the helm.

Which leads me to another subject, that is happily making progress due to not only “girl power”, but feminism too, and that is the role of the woman in the horror film. As I said, growing up I watched countless screaming, running, half naked women get slaughtered by the bad guy. Then one day I sat down with my dad and watched a movie that changed my view of women in horror movies forever. The movie was Alien. (If you haven’t seen Alien, then why are you on a Halloween site to begin with?) If you have, then you know what I am talking about. Sigourney Weaver changed my whole concept of women as leads in horror films. Sigourney Weaver plays Eleanor Ripley. Ripley didn’t scream, Ripley didn’t cower in a corner crying, Ripley didn’t fall down running, Ripley just kicked ass. Ripley didn’t need a male hero to come save her. Even in Aliens, which has a slight romantic interest for Ripley she still put his broken down butt on a ship while she went to save the day. If I want my daughter to watch a horror movie that conveys strength in women I will pop in a copy of any of the Alien titles.

Eleanor Ripley: feminist horror icon

So what to do? Obviously I can’t condone the stopping of watching horror movies. That would be absurd, not to mention boring. What we need to do is educate ourselves on the subject. We can be the responsible watchers of horror movies who understand the consequences of violence against women in our society and demand better female role models in horror films. We need more Ripleys, we need more women in horror films that can kick just as much butt as their male counter parts. If a woman is gonna get snuffed out for being stupid, then the same needs to happen to the men in the story. Why does the man get to go down swinging, while the women has to go down screaming?

With all of the women fans of this genre we need to offer them more. Scream Queens are great, but unless they are giving a war cry while doing battle with the bad guy, is that the message we want to convey? If the guys reading this want their girlfriends/partners to sit down with them and watch more horror flicks with us then maybe we need to demand a horror movie that caters to both of the genders.

In conclusion, I know that there are many people out there who are going to point out examples of horror movies aside from the ones that I mentioned as an example that I am off base. This is what is referred to as “The example illustrates the point.” The fact that you can point out a handful (or if you do enough research perhaps more) of movies that go against the grain just proves that they stand out, or else they wouldn’t be examples. I am certainly not an expert on horror films, or at least not to the standards of many. I do however, have better than a passing knowledge of social justice issues, which is why I wrote this. I still watch Alien Resurrection every time it comes on TV. And my favorite baddie of all time is Freddy. That one can be a bit hypocritical I admit. I actually stood up in the movie theater at the end of Freddy vs Jason and yelled “Oh, bulls***!” With all of that in mind though, I still like to see a woman on the screen who kicks butt. A heroine who breaks through the gender classifications and helps the hero up right before he gets hacked to bits. The Ripleys (Alien movies…duh!), Alices (Resident Evil), and Anas (Dawn of the Dead) are the start of something brilliant. Hopefully we will see more of them in the future. And hopefully one of them will be wielding a sharp instrument with which to decapitate the un-dead. Later.

This butt-kicking article is courtesy of guest writer Rick Baumgartle, a social justice educator. You can read more at his blog www.sorenkb.blogspot.com.
Interested in writing for 365 Halloween? Email us!
Posted on July 5th, 2008 in
Halloween Entertainment, Odds and Ends by

Friday the 13thHappy Friday the 13th, Halloween fiends! This is indeed the final Friday the 13th before Halloween so – depending on your interpretation of the phenomenon – make the most of this lucky/unlucky day. In April of 2007 we explored the history and some of the affects that this spooky day has wrought over the years. Today we’ll see if anything truly notable has happened on a Friday the 13th… and watch for any mayhem that might occur today.

According to Wikipedia, there have been some pretty black events that support the idea that it’s an “unlucky” day: from fire to plane crashes to a hurricane, and even the death of Tupac. I scoured the Internet and couldn’t find more than that handful of “notable” unlucky events though.

Do you think that indicates a trend, that it really is an unlucky day? Or is it just coincidence? For my money, it’s just another day that will turn out as spooky or as awesome as I want it to be. (And maybe an excuse to see The Happening.) What do you think?

And congrats to our In Case of Zombies contest winners! There were so many good entries that we gave away more prizes than we originally announced. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Posted on June 13th, 2008 in
Odds and Ends by Lauren

Zombie Friday: Party Edition
We’re starting out this special Zombie (Good) Friday with an announcement that directly affects how awesome Halloween will be for the next couple of years. Unlike 2007, Halloween in 08′ and 09′ will be falling on perfect party days: Friday and Saturday! Since school and work won’t get in the way for many of us, that will result in more of everything we love about the holiday. More events and parties, entertainment on TV and in theaters, and even more crazy costumes and various stuff from Halloween retailers. It’s going to be one hell of a Halloween, folks. If you’ve ever thought to yourself “one of these years I’ll go all out for Halloween”, then you’ll be in great company in 2008.

And now, onto the undead!

Our 2nd favorite pop culture site in existence, RetroCrush, interviews George Romero and (positively) reviews Diary of the Dead. Robert, the brains behind the site, can also be seen in Zombie Walk, which is in the running to be a special feature on the Diary of the Dead DVD. If you want to see Zombie Walk or any of the other contestants immortalized in DVD format, be sure to give them a thumbs up vote.

Living Dead Movies Are you hazy on the connections between the Living Dead movies? Not sure if the Italian “sequels” really came from Romero’s original films, or how the Return series fits into the big picture? And what’s with all the remakes? The Genealogy of the Living Dead movies diagram will explain everything. How did I discover this? Oh, I was just browsing reviews of every zombie movie ever made in the ENCYCLOPEDIA ZOMBICA at Analog Medium. There’s actually a lot of zombie related reviews and info there, so it’s well worth a visit.

Delving even deeper into zombie movie reviews is the aptly named 365 Days of the Dead blog. It’s an experiment where the author one watches and reviews 1 zombie film a day for a whole year. Wow. Razor sharp reviews and and lots of embedded YouTube videos make it a lively read. Keep and eye out for DotD contest entries, which provide lots of unique fodder in a sub-genre that’s dying for some fresh blood. ZING!

So enjoy the rest of your Friday, and remember that it’s never too early to start thinking about Halloween. Now that you know it will fall on a Friday this year, will that change your plans? Are you likely to put more effort into your costume, party, haunt, etc?

Thanks to Shawn Wall for use of his ghastly photo above.

Posted on March 21st, 2008 in
Odds and Ends, Zombies by Lauren

Madame Talbot Tombstone Art
If you’ve never made the acquaintance of Madame Talbot, you are in for a treat. Madame Talbot’s “Victorian Lowbrow” is like an e-curio cabinet, brimming with “one-of-a-kind gothic death-themed creations”. Entering their online store is like stepping back to a time when science was nearly synonymous with magic: when a few leaches and a mixture of alcohol, opium and a little sugar cured all that ailed you. As you navigate through the endless, eerie categories, you’ll be greeted with circus freak shows, folklore creatures of the night, southern Gothic, traveling medicine shows and archaic Victorian funeral practices. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

Madame Talbot Mourning DollsThey offer “unique dark art”, much of which is produced by Ashleigh Talbot herself. A skilled pen-and-ink illustrator, she creates such wondrous art as tombstone paintings mourning dolls, and creepy Victorian posters. To add to the period-perfect mystique of these one of a kind items, Talbot does everything by hand, without the use of computers or a sewing machine. Now that’s dedication. Her sophisticated art style paired with the bizarre and ghoulish topics is our favorite mix for spooky decor. Like haunted portraits, it gives a more subtle, yet extremely creepy vibe that most Halloween/horror themed decor and art just don’t have.

vintage poison bottle
There is also a selection of vintage items that would be equally great for grim room decor or as props for your Halloween haunt. Our favorite from this section is definitely the poison bottles, some of which are still full!

Whether you’re looking for nightmarish inspiration or want to go vintage Halloween this October, you can do no better than Madame Talbot’s. Step right up, and tell em’ 365 Halloween sent you.

Posted on February 25th, 2008 in
Odds and Ends, Spooky Art by Lauren
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