The Geekender October 30 - November 1: The Halloween Edition

The weekend is upon us, and with it, a chance to sit back, relax and consume massive amounts of sci-fi, fantasy and horror pop culture. In The Geekender, our writers share a bit about what they're reading, watching and playing -- and we want to hear from you. Let us know what's on your plate in the comments!

Trent Moore: Sure, I'll be watching the premiere of Ash vs. Evil Dead like just about every other geek out there this weekend whenever I can find the time, but I'll mostly be spending the next couple days getting back to my roots and doing some trick-or-treating. No, I'm not that creepy adult hitting the neighborhood houses — my wife and I will be taking our 4-year-old son out to snag some candy, with the little guy rocking his Baymax costume (Big Hero 6 FTW). It's funny how you forget just how much fun Halloween can be from a kid's perspective, so I plan on enjoying every moment of my second go-round. Just please don't let us end up with any of that weird brown candy wrapped in wax paper. That's not still around, is it? Oh, and I've also snagged a Star Trek redshirt costume for myself, so here's hoping I actually survive the weekend.


Ernie Estrella: In case you haven't been paying attention, Vertigo Comics has begun a campaign in which they're launching a slew of new titles, both ongoing and mini-series, to show that they're not going by the wayside. I'm going to begin diving into them this weekend starting with the four-issue mini Twilight Children (by two comics legends, Gilbert Hernandez and Darwin Cooke), about a mysterious woman that could be an alien who is taken in by the people of a small sea town. At the same time, a strange white orb appears in a Latin American village, and when children touch it they go blind. The other title I'm checking out is Clean Room, by Gail Simone and artist Jon Davis-Hunt, which follows a reporter who goes undercover in Chicago to expose a cult that can extract the secrets you hold from within and have them be used against you. The art on this book is really terrific, and it's exciting to see Simone blaze a new trail in non-superhero work.


Carol Pinchefsky: I’m catching up with Z Nation, the other zombie-apocalypse TV show that’s currently airing. I’m not just doing it because I like its offbeat humor and sympathetic characters. I’m watching it in order to write an article comparing it to the current champion of zombie TV, The Walking Dead. Yes, Z Nation is a bit slapstick where it could be serious, but there are points in it that are much more realistic than the relentlessly grim The Walking Dead. Don’t believe me? Read the article — as soon as I write it.


Jeff Spry: For this most wonderful time of the year, I'm cramming as many geeky Halloween activities into one 24-hour period as is humanly possible without the use of a TARDIS. I'll be kicking the morning off with a double feature of Phantasm and Phantasm 2, then transitioning into an afternoon of hitting up my local comic shop while sipping a pumpkin mocha to snag the latest horror titles from my pull shelf, only to sprint down the block to the retro video game arcade and plunk myself down on a stool to play the Bram Stoker's Dracula pinball machine. As late evening sets in, I'm trick or treating with my friends and their baby Superman-costumed 10-month-old son in some candy-rich neighborhoods, pilfering as many fun-size Milky Ways as a grown man can from a toddler. After darkness falls, we're heading home to hand out candy and plug in the fog machine and strobe lights on the driveway to create the proper atmosphere for the inevitable waves of costumed marauders. Then, to cap it all off I''ll be gorging on powdered donuts while gulping down Tuaca-spiked cider and watching Don Knott's' comedic antics in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken. When the witching hour approaches, I plan on diving headfirst into Ash vs Evil Dead, then nodding off while playing a round of Dead Space 2 as the candles flicker out. Happy Halloween!


Krystal Clark: One of the greatest things about the holidays is themed television. This weekend, I'm going to indulge in a horror movie marathon. Turner Classic Movies is airing a string of films that include The Mummy, Dracula, and Frankenstein. Each property has been adapted, remade, and rebooted within an inch of its life. But Friday, they'll mostly highlight the Dracula of the '60s and '70s, starring the late Christopher Lee. Tomorrow (Halloween) is when they break out the big guns. House of Wax (1953), The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), and White Zombie (1932) are just of few of their offerings. I'm the most excited about The Picture of Dorian Gray. I've never watched the '40s version, and lately I've only seen the character on Penny Dreadful. This should be an interesting change.


Lisa Granshaw: I've been continuing my read through of the Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens novels. I finally finished Star Wars: Lost Stars by Claudia Gray, which I really enjoyed. I like how it offered a unique look into the Empire and can't wait to learn more about the events it briefly touched on taking place after Return of the Jedi. This weekend, I'm going to start reading Aftermath by Chuck Wendig which I was finally able to get my hands on. I've heard this book discussed a lot among fans so I'm excited to see what it's like. Considering how good Lost Stars was, I'm going in with high hopes for this book, too.


Matt Dorville: This weekend, I'm going to be seeing a science-fiction play off-off-Broadway starring the Editor-in-Chief of Blastr, Adam Swiderski. He's in Blast Radius, the second in The Honeycomb Trilogy (I saw the first of the trilogy, Advance Man, the week before and really enjoyed it). Science-fiction plays, especially off-off-Broadway ones with good reviews, are a rare breed, and I'm curious with how they're going to advance the plot (I hear the sequel begins years later but I'm purposely avoiding spoilers as I hear there are great twists in the storyline). The overview is that the human race is under the control of a race of insectoid aliens and the plays tell the story of a Floridian family that is subjected to their rule. But the real reason to go see it, is the amazing acting chops of Mr. Swiderski (Aw, shucks - Ed.), who I'm hoping to see for the first time on stage. Break a leg, Adam!


Evan Hoovler: In honor of Halloween, I'm going to try to finally understand the celebrated prog rock album In the Court of the Crimson King. I enjoy prog rock, from Floyd to Yes to Rush, but every time I've heard King Crimson's In the Court of the Crimson King, I'm left scratching my head in a Trout Mask Replica sort of way. On Halloween night proper, I'm planning to put the kids to bed and watch the fifth Paranormal Activity film. Films one and three were good, so I'm hoping there's some sort of odd-number rule here akin to the Star Trek films' "even-number-are better" phenomenon. If we don't like it, American Horror Story: Freak Show recently came out on Amazon Prime, so we can turn over to that.


Matthew Jackson: My sister and I have a bit of a Halloween tradition. Sometime around October 31, we like to sit down, maybe open a bottle of wine or something a bit stronger, and watch The Worst Witch, the HBO original movie starring Fairuza Balk as a very bad student at a school for witchcraft. Think Harry Potter, only much sillier, and with terrible special effects. But hey, the great Diana Rigg plays the scary headmistress, and you get to watch Tim Curry do this:


Don Kaye: Since it is Halloween weekend, it's going to be horror Blu-rays in the player for me this weekend. A lot of classics and cult gems get released or reissued around this time of year, obviously (my wallet is still screaming in agony), making it a great time to catch up on old favorites that are getting a fresh remaster or even making their digital debut. Among the items on my menu this weekend are a healthy dose of Hammer (Taste the Blood of Dracula, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, Dracula Has Risen from the Grave and The Mummy, all out in a new set), Burnt Offerings, White of the Eye, The Brood (from Criterion!) and the truly weird British flick Scream and Scream Again, which found Vincent Price joining the always formidable Peter Cushing/Christopher Lee combo. And we'll see where things go from there...


Adam Swiderski: This weekend, I'll be celebrating with one of my favorite seasonal movies: The Crow. OK, it's not quite The Exorcist, but the film adaptation of James O'Barr's gothic comic does feature Devil's Night (the night before Halloween, for the uninitiated) pretty prominently, and its hero - played by the tragically-struck-down Brandon Lee - fits in perfectly on a holiday filled with ghosts and ghouls. A face full of candy and some sweet '90s nostalgia should make for a potent mix. Fire it up!


You've heard what we're up to -- now it's your turn! What movies, books, comics, shows and games will you be diving into this weekend? Let us know in the comments!

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