Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween TV Specials to Make You Howl - Miss War

So it's Halloween afternoon.  I'm whipping up some nuclear pumpkin pie, and a meatloaf femur to take to Miss Famine's party tonight.  I'm putting the finishing touches on my costume (inspired by one of the episodes listed below), and making sure my new Zombie-Radar Gun is all ready to go. (This is a must-have for Halloween Safety - it distinguishes a REAL zombie from a COSTUME zombie).  And to keep my spirits up through all of these last minute errands, I've thrown on some of my FAVORITE Halloween TV episodes.

Let me know if there are any more I should throw into the mix, or if I'm missing YOUR favorite Halloween Special!

The Simpsons - "Treehouse of Horror V"
"At the end of the world, only cockroaches, Twinkies, and The Simpsons will survive."  Ok, so I made that up.  But as we're well past The End Of Days, and the Simpsons are on their TWENTIETH Treehouse of Horror, it feels pretty accurate.  We chose Volume V because of the classic "The Shinning" segment.  ("You have the Shinning, boy!" "Don't you mean the Shining?" "Shh! Do you want to get sued?")

South Park - "Hell on Earth"
No one does Halloween quite like Satan.  And no one does Satan quite like South Park.  Satan throws the biggest Halloween party the world/heaven/hell has ever seen.  Especially when he comes up with something that "Diddy didn't do."

Castle - "Vampire Weekend" 
Despite the fact that this episode aired barely a week ago, and I've already forgotten what the actual mystery was, it's already a classic in my book.  Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) dressing as a "space cowboy," (aka: his very own cult character, Captain Mal Reynolds from "Firefly") is perhaps one of the most perfect moments of television ever filmed - at least for us Whedon-Geeks.  Throw in the following Buffy nods, and sneaky Dr. Horrible riff, and it was an episode to die for.

Scooby Doo and the Ghoul School

Every time I watch Scooby and Shaggy teach a boarding school of monster daughters, I feel like a little Horsegirl again. So many tricks and treats to be found as the girls of Miss Grimwood's Finishing School for Girls train to kick the boys' butts in a volleyball match.  Now that's some Ghoul Power!

How I Met Your Mother - "Slutty Pumpkin"
There's an old TV myth that says the 6th episode of a series is THE most important episode.  By this point the show has fully come into its own and if it's bad, it's never going to recover. But if it's GOOD, well, then this show is something to pay attention to.  It's very telling that the 6th episode of HIMYM is this highly memorable Slutty Pumpkin episode.  It's hard to tell what's better, Barney dressed as a penguin drinking root beer and Kahlua, or Ted dressed as a "hanging chad." In 2005.

Growing Pains - "Happy Halloween Parts 1 & 2" 
WHY you ask, is this Growing Pains episode on the list? When we think of Growing Pains do we think of frights and scares?  No.  But this episode that features the Seaver family each trying to one up each other with a scary story inspired me in my later years.  This is why the girls and I always try to one up each other with acts of destruction.  Very important in my formative years, you see.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer - "Halloween"
In a series full of horror and monster stories, there are three specifically designated Buffy Halloween episodes. We chose this one because of the clean lines, and simply classic Halloween plot.  Kids dress in cursed costumes.  Turn into said costumes. Scooby Gang saves the day.  It's magically delicious!

Quantum Leap - "The Boogieman"

Sam leaps into a horror novelist (supposedly Little Stevie King's mentor) and is given some bad advice from the Devil masquerading as hologram Al. This episode even comes with its very own Macbeth-esque curse - fans refuse to call it by name, instead referring to it as "The Halloween Episode."

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
"There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin."  No holiday TV special list is complete without a Peanuts Even in our darkest hours here in the Apocalypse, we an always count on Charlie Brown and friends to make us smile.

And with that, I bid you all a happy, spooky, and safe Halloween.
Miss War

PS: If you haven't guessed it yet, I'm TOTALLY going to be a Slutty Pumpkin tonight.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Apocalyptic Halloween Costumes - Miss Famine

Halloween is only one day away.  The girls and I are all set for our annual killer Halloween Party, but some of our friends have recently said they have NO idea what they should be this year.  Well, here are a few Apocalypse themed costumes, sure to be an icebreaker in any crowd.

The Obvious Costume: 2012
EITHER dress as Roland Emmerich (good luck), OR go as a Mayan running around with a calendar or blackberry. Time’s up!

The Timely Costume: SWINE FLU
Simple but effective.  Throw on a pig mask, or even a pig NOSE will do, and stick a thermometer in any of your favorite crevices. You’ll have a feverishly good time.

While you might fight over who gets to don a red leather jacket and single sparkly white glove, you’ll ALL have fun dressing as Farrah, Walter, Billy, and the slew of other celebrities that checked out this summer, making the rest of us think that the end is near.

The Couple Costume:  ANGEL AND DEVIL

Classic. Timeless. One can never go wrong with the good old Revelations costume.  Battle as Good and Evil all night, and as an extra game, see how many souls each of you can gather throughout your party.  Most names at the end wins!

The Abstract Costume:  SWISS SUPERCOLLIDER
Wear all black except for a strategically placed Swiss flag.  Hand out chocolate donut holes all night.  People may not know what you are, but they’ll sure love that you brought treats!

The Brainless Costume:  ZOMBIE
Duh.  Maybe go with someone dressed as the Swine Flu.  Be the Before and After.

The Ladies Brainless Costume:  SEXY ZOMBIE
Less cleaver.  More cleavage.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Meatloaf Update - Now You've Gone Too Far - Miss Famine

Just as an update to yesterday's handloaf recipe, I found some new and exciting complementary body-part-loafs for you to make. Who, you ask, eats this much meatloaf? You ask too many questions. Just head into that little fallout shelter kitchen of yours and begin shaping that meat log into something we can all enjoy.

                                                    Like this! Feetloaf!

Yum! However, I would add a smoked apple jalepeno jelly to this for that special "toe jam" effect. 

No need to jump right into meatloaf brain surgery. Start simple, with a basic zombie meathead. Just don't forget the brains!

The pasta maggot is a nice touch. (happy sigh)

And lastly, I really like this meat series.

I call it "The Ex."

This one doesn't look too bright.


I call this one: "Why didn't you call me? I thought we had a really nice time. I mean, you said you'd call, but when you didn't, I called you, and some girl answered...I WILL CUT OUT YOUR HEART WITH A KNIFE" -loaf.

Sigh* Who doesn't love some yummy comfort food in the cool weather. I sure do! So feel free to submit photos of your own body part loafs!

Suck it, Rachel Ray.

Flicks that Capture that Good Ol' Halloween Spirit - Miss War


What's that?


The leaves are changing.  The air is crisp (except for during solar flares).  The nights are longer, which means more time spent inside avoiding vamp attacks and snuggling up in front of the TV, or fire, or TV on fire.  And for those nights, nothing beats a cup of warm apple cider and a good old fashioned scary movie. Except maybe a cup of apple cider spiked with vodka.

When we think of Scary Movies, we too often think of a psycho on a murderous rampage with a big ass knife, wicked claws, or an evil set of torture games.  But Miss War (that'd be me!) is feeling uncharacteristically passive today, and I'd like to curl up with some of the best atmospherically brooding films that have ever captured the spirit that is HALLOWEEN!

1.     VERTIGO (1958)
The fog. The ghost stories. The betrayals.  The swirly hairdo.  Psycho may have the slash, but Vertigo has the class.  Hitchcock's masterful tale of possession and obsession tops this Horsewoman’s lists of atmospheric October chillers. 

2.     THE HAUNTING (1963)
This original ghost story gives us a house with an attitude and a night full of organic scares.  Made in the time before computer generated special effects, The Haunting had to trust it’s story telling and camera work to scare the crap out of you. And it still does.  I dare Rolland Emmeric to destroy the world with this kind of artistry using only lights, camera angles, and creepy music.  DARE!

      3.     SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE (2000)
We too often mistakenly credit his turn as the Green Goblin in SPIDERMAN with labeling Willhem Dafoe the “Creepiest Man Alive.” But all we have to do is look at this artsy Vamp flick to know that just ain't true.  Portraying a lonely, hungry, malnourished Vamp mistaken for an actor and cast as the Drac-knock off, Nosferatu, WD sends chills down your spine in every scene.

    4.     THE EXORCIST (1973)
      A priest, the Devil, and a lamppost walk into a bar.  Wait… no, wrong story.  This time they battle for the soul of a little pea-spewing, crab-walking girl in the classic 1973 film.

      5.     SLEEPY HOLLOW (1999)
No one understands Halloween QUITE like our good friend Tim Burton.  (The visually stunning and distinct milieu of Burton’s extensive body of work inspired us Horsewomen when we were designing the overall look and theme of our beloved apocalypse.  Can you tell?)  And nowhere does the Halloween atmosphere seep into your bones like it does in the small, damp, chilly town of Sleepy Hollow.  Annnnd, it’s got Johnny Depp.

      6.     THE SHINING (1980)
Yes, I know this technically features an “axe murderer” who “slashes” away at his family.  But I personally like The Shining for it’s uber psychotic empty hotel that sends us all slowly spiraling into insanity. Particularly the cold, stark red bathrooms.  When I found myself caught at the Standard Downtown immediately after the Apocalypse hit, THIS is the movie that I couldn’t get out of my head.  (Luckily Jack Nicholson was at a Zombie Lakers game that night.)

     7.     DONNIE DARKO (2001)
A trippy, bunny-induced count down to Halloween night all about time, space, life, death, fate, destiny, and love – and set to a rockin’ 80’s soundtrack!  Donnie Darko, we’d love you even more if you didn’t spawn a generation of “twee” movies that just won’t die.

      8.     POLTERGIEST (1982)
The only thing scarier than this television-obsessed child is the REAL LIFE curse behind the series. Check it out.

Part Halloween. Part Christmas. Tim Burton’s stop-animation fantasy is a classic that lasts from October through December.  Just ask Disneyland!

While modern zombie movies are more concerned with running from the virus at breakneck speed (28 Days Later), or poking fun at our brain-challenged friends (Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, ahem), George Romaro’s classic masterpiece was about the quiet terror the characters experienced while WAITING for the zombies to arrive.  Just sittin' around, fighting, and filling their fortress house with tension.  Now THAT’s a brooding atmosphere you can really take a… bite… out of?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Handy Halloween Recipes! - Miss Famine

Try this new and amazing version of meatloaf. Here...let me give you a hand with this one. It's made from meatloaf, ketchup, cheese (for the skin) and onions for the fingernails. Despite the texture of the skin, it is actually delicious!

You can get the full recipe here at a website called Not Martha. No, sir. I do not think Martha would approve, but the Four Horsewomen do!

And once you are finished with your Handy Meatloaf, might I suggest a Bacon Cake chaser?


Monday, October 26, 2009

Paranormal Activity (a.k.a. "He's Just Not That Into You") - Miss War

**Contains SPOILERS**

The first half of this review tells the entire movie plot line. You've been warned.

We find ourselves in a modern townhouse in the middle of Valencia, California. The sun shines, the birds chirp. We meet a happy young couple: Katie and Micah. As the story unfolds, we learn that Katie believes there is paranormal activity going on in the house and Micah has decided to invest some good money in a high tech video camera to document the occurrences.

The activities do not seem out of the ordinary for hauntings. Katie hears footsteps and creaking sounds at night. She swears she feels something watching her, even breathing on her at times. Micah laughs it all off, only half believing her fears.

As they begin to document the nighttime occurrences, we see video footage of Katie suffering from gruesome nightmares. We see a large, dark shadow pass across the threshold to their bedroom. We see the bedroom door slam shut violently. We see a chandelier swing by itself. Finally, after Micah puts down a layer of baby powder in the hallway, we see footprints (hoofprints.)

Katie finally breaks down and tells Micah that as a child she was haunted by the same demon. She believes the demon haunts her and her alone.

During the course of this haunting, Micah shows very little sympathy. In fits of bravado he shouts macho curses at the unseen demon. He threatens to "kick the demon's ass" and puts up a fight about Katie's desire to call upon a psychic. And when she finally does, he is a total D-bag to the doc. Even against her begging him not to, he brings home a Ouija board, to disastrous consequences. His actions show that he has very little sympathy or concern for Katie's well-being. His concern is in goading the demon into some sort of Supernatural KY wrestling match. If the script had allowed for it, Micah would have made some inappropriate comments about the demon's mama.

Over the course of three weeks we see and hear the haunting escalate. Unseen things are slammed loudly into walls. The covers on their bed are pulled from them by unseen arms. Lights are turned on and off by themselves. On one particularly freaky night, we see Katie climb out of bed only to stand watch over Micah's sleeping body for an hour. She does not recall doing this.

At the climax of the haunting, we see the sheets lift over Katie's sleeping body and we see her violently yanked from the bed and dragged down the hallway. She screams for Micah who runs to pull her from the invisible arms but not before she suffers a horrendous bite mark, outlined with needle-sharp teeth marks.

Micah finally begins to take things seriously and packs the car, prepared to escape despite the psychic's warning that "It won't matter if you leave. It will follow you." He finds Katie in the hall, holding a crucifix and rocking. She tells him that everything will be ok now, and that she doesn't want to leave. But do we detect a different tone in her voice?

That night, Katie rises from the bed and stands watch over Micah again. After an hour, she turns and walks downstairs to the kitchen, where her bloodcurdling screams shake the house, waking Micah. He runs to presumably save her and suddenly, complete silence fills the house.

What happens next is horrifying and needless to say, Micah won't be starring in the sequel.


The movie is actually a delightful metaphor for bad relationships. It's very nearly a dark romantic comedy. Micah (who's name is pronounced ME-cuh) is such a narcissistic a-hole throughout the movie that he actually makes the hauntings worse. We can safely assume that in reality, he is Katie's Demon. His actions make her life harder and harder as the story goes on. And instead of taking any obviously safe options into account (Maybe call ANOTHER demonologist if the first is unavailable? Maybe don't bring the effing Ouija board into the house? Maybe be nice to the psychic who wants to help you?) he becomes obsessed with using the camera to document the hauntings, to the point that one might suspect he was goading the demon in order to capture more crazy shit on film.

It is vividly clear that Katie is a better person than Micah and that as a couple, she carries the weight of good decision making.

The fact that she becomes possessed in the end, kills him and escapes into the night, never to be seen again simply tells us that eventually she dumped his dumb ass and moved out. In doing so, she became a new person, never to be seen as her old self again.

This was the demonic version of "He's Just Not That Into You." And while I haven't slept in a week since seeing it (hell yeah it was scary!) I loved it and will use this as a training video for girls everywhere who suffer from bad relationship-itis.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Shoes To Die Violently For - Miss Death

Bonjour Darlings. I'm just back from Spain where I enjoyed a fabulous holiday with a lovely young man (blush.) While in Spain, I unfortunately encountered enough bad fashion to last me an apocalypse. The Spanish are known for their food, wine, frivolity, charm...not their fashion. For further proof, I encourage you to review Exhibit A, their most popular clothing shop. Desigual.

When has it EVER been appropriate to pair denim with pink leopard print, purple zebra stripes and pleather? Not since the New Jersey Apocalypse of 1982.

Were I not a skeleton incapable of eating, I would lose my lunch. Moving on.

Once home from abroad, I quickly took in an Alexander McQueen show to get the bad taste of the euro-fash out of my mouth. What I saw was pure Hot Apoc.

Shoes for 2010 are clearly made for the fashionista on the run (screaming), who happens to also have an impeccable sense of balance. To ride this ride, one must be able to wear ten inch or higher heels.

Leather, scrap metal, whittled bone and scales appear to be the hot shoe trend this season. Thankfully, in this post-apoc wonderland of ours, that's pretty much all we have to work with.

The bad news? This may inhibit running slightly. The good news? Now that you can't run, you can stay and fight those zombies off with your shoes that double as weapons. I mean, look at that heel!

All the best lovies. Stay sexy!