Weekly Recap: Happy Haunts, Hitchcock’s Fear of Heights and E.T. Phones Home
We’re getting into the Halloween spirit here at Le Blog. This week, that included spending some time with the grim, grinning ghosts who populate Disney’s Haunted Mansion. First, Daffy Stardust took readers on a detailed tour of the classic theme park attraction. Then Kevthewriter asked why Disney’s big screen adaptation of the ride couldn’t scare up success at the box office. Finally, Daffy was back to examine some fan theories about the what exactly happens when theme park guests board their Doom Buggies. Just in case you were too busy picking up hitchhiking ghosts to keep up with everything, here is your weekly recap.
Let’s dive right in to Jestak’s daily look at celebrity birthdays:
- October 16: David Zucker, John Mayer, Kellie Martin, Kenneth Lonergan, Suzanne Somers, Tim Robbins, Todd Stashwick
- October 17: Cameron Mackintosh, Elinor Glyn, Felicity Jones, Jean Arthur, Marsha Hunt, Michael McKean, Mike Judge, Randall Munroe, Rita Hayworth, Rob Marshall, Susan Stroman
- October 18: Chuck Lorre, Freida Pinto, Inger Stevens, Lotte Lenya, Nic Pizzolatto, Tyler Posey, Wynton Marsalis, Zac Efron
- October 19: Ciara Renee, Jason Reitman, John Le Carre, John Lithgow, Jon Favreau, Katja Herbers, Michael Gambon, Philip Pullman, Rebecca Ferguson
- October 20: Dannii Minogue, Danny Boyle, Hunter King, Jerry Orbach, John Krasinski, Melanie Mayron, Morrie Ryskind, Tom Petty, Valerie Faris, Viggo Mortenson
- October 21: Aaron Tveit, Andrew Scott, Blanca Suarez, Carrie Fisher, Glen Powell, Julio Medem, Ken Watanabe
- October 22: Bill Condon, Bob Odenkirk, Carmen Ejogo, Catherine Deneuve, Corey Hawkins, Doris Lessing, Jeff Goldblum, Jennifer Lee, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Joan Fontaine
The two names that jump out at me from this list are Carrie Fisher and Tom Petty because they are beloved entertainers who we lost recently. It’s an entire week without any WTHH subjects which is something that always vexes me. But scanning the birthday lost, I don’t see any likely subjects.
In addition to the Haunted Mansion articles, our Halloween rewind included a battle between caramel and candy apples and some totally awesome facts you need to know about the cult vampire movie, Fright Night. The timing of the latter was inspired by Kevthewriter’s look at how the once-hot Twilight movies have faded from memory in recent years. I think it is interesting that a scrappy little B-movie can remain relevant for decades while a heavily promoted series of movies based on best-selling novels can be so quickly forgotten. If you are still in the mood for some classic vampire stories, Daffy Stardust is hard at work on something you can sink your teeth into.
Speaking of Sir Stardust, our man of many talents made his own contribution to low budget horror with a supporting role in the movie Live Evil. He recently updated an article he wrote about the experience of playing a zombie. If you are curious to see Daffy in action, Live Evil is available on Amazon. Before you shell out $4 for a rental, Daffy warns that readers should “keep your expectations in check for two reasons: 1) Live-Evil is a decidedly low budget production and it shows and 2) you don’t really get a look at my face.”
In addition to being on our greatest living zombie actors, Daffy is also a mean puzzle builder. This week, he took on Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller, Vertigo. If you haven’t seen this movie, your film education is incomplete. Go out an watch it this week.
The Haunted Mansion wasn’t the only theme park attraction we visited this week. While I won’t claim that Universal’s E.T. Adventure is anywhere near as successful as Disney’s haunted house, I will argue that it is a worthwhile ride that is better than its reputation would suggest. To my mind, that qualifies the attraction to be included in Under-rated Orlando. And while the ride doesn’t play on this at all, the movie did have ties to Halloween.
The Movieline archives brought is a cover story on Katie Holmes from 2002 just as she was getting ready to leave Dawson’s Creek, stars who discovered the hard way that fame and fortune are fleeting, a profile on English director Stephen Frears following back-to-back hits just as his winning streak was about to be interrupted, and an interview with David Caruso when he was trying to bounce back from the failure of his film career.
I’m going to wrap up this recap with a clip from my oldest daughter’s concert. Josie is the violinist wearing the hoodie-like yellow and blue costume. If she were facing the camera, you would be able to see that she is supposed to be a minion. The strings class got into the Halloween spirit with an instrumental version of the theme to Ghostbusters.
Next Week: Daffy does Dracula, multiple WTHH birthdays, Kevthewriter on Carrie and Netflix and more from the Movieline and Halloween archives.