Countdown to Halloween: 13 Songs & Films that Get Me Stoked for Halloween by J.C. Lillis

countdown-with-bob

So I said I would do this list and then I realized I don’t read scary books, listen to scary songs, or watch scary movies as a general rule. I love Halloween but I mainly associate it with frantic yet meticulous construction of whatever costume the kid’s dreamed up, followed by a week of sneaking PB cups and fun-size Mounds from her candy stash. But writers are known for their Olympic-level talent for fudging it, so here goes.

Songs:

“Spooky” / Classics IV. I actually hate this song but I have a Pavlovian reaction to it: I hear the first chords and instantly think Halloween. I don’t know if it deserves its status as a Halloween classic, since the girl in the song is not particularly spooky, just sort of a flake. It kills me that the guy spends the whole song yammering about how she winks at other dudes and plays games with his heart, and yet he’s planning a Halloween proposal, like that’ll solve all their problems. Honestly I just ride out the song to hear the little “whooo!” ghostie sounds in the verses.

“Monster” / Lady Gaga. When the Fame Monster EP came out, everyone was creaming themselves over “Bad Romance” and “Dance in the Dark” and this song never got its due, despite being danceable and hilarious and awesome. If I had a Halloween party, which I won’t because that would involve cleaning and decorating, this would be #1 on my playlist.

“Time of the Season” / The Zombies. This is not technically a Halloween song but for some reason I always associate it with summer’s slow slide into fall. Plus one time my mom told me she used to think the lyrics were “it’s the time of the season for zombieeeeees,” like the Zombies were pulling a Wang Chung and name-dropping themselves in the song, so every time I hear that line I picture zombies doing jazz hands.

“Burn-Up” / Siouxsie & the Banshees. The entire Peepshow album is supremely freaky and makes an excellent Halloween soundtrack. I picked this one because it’s like a haunted hayride in song form.

“Monster Mash” / Bobby Pickett. This used to be a “dragged to the seventh-grade Halloween dance against your will” song, and then I used it in “Memory Hill” for the Lead Me into Darkness antho, and now it’s a “jaded ghost mourning unrequited love” song. It’s much nicer now.

“Red Right Hand” / Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. Like, I should’ve just said “Nick Cave” in general, because Nick Cave could turn “Walking on Sunshine” into a murder ballad, but this song is pretty much the pinnacle of Nick Cave creepiness. It’s about this evil rich power-mad dude who gains followers by preying on fear and making false promises but actually thinks of people as “microscopic cogs in his catastrophic plan,” not that someone like that could actually rise to power today.

 

 

Movies:

What We Do in the Shadows. Definitely in the top three funniest vampire mockumentaries set in New Zealand.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula. After you watch WWDitS, you might as well watch this one, because the number of laughs per minute is roughly the same. (More in scenes where Gary Oldman turns into a hundred rats or Keanu Reeves has to act British.)

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. When I was a little Catholic schoolgirl I used to want to spend Halloween with Linus in his most-sincere pumpkin patch, waiting for the elusive deity to show his giant orange face. I hope Linus is now a comfortable Great Pumpkin agnostic who counsels other young believers through crises of faith.

The Addams Family. This is the film that launched my epic, invincible crush on Anjelica Huston. We rewatched it recently and it still holds up pretty well. I think we base like 60% of our parenting choices on “what would Gomez and Mortitica do?”

The Others. This is the only scary movie I ever bought on DVD. I like how old-fashioned it is, how it relies on psychology and the power of suggestion instead of gore and special effects. It’s so well made I don’t even mind the “they’ve been dead all alonnnnnng!” ending. (No spoiler warning for movies more than 15 years old.)

Return of the Living Dead. I can take or leave most things zombie, but how can you not love a film with 1) character names like Scuz, Trash, and Spider, 2) dialogue that contains multiple references to “rabid weasels,” and 3) a scene where the zombies eat the paramedics and then radio to “send more paramedics”? (I just found out there’s this band from Leeds called Send More Paramedics, which is the best thing I’ve heard in at least two days.)

Shaun of the Dead. The other exception to my anti-zombie rule. That scene where they’re arguing over which records to throw at the zombies—I can see someone being exactly that nerdy, and that someone is me.


J.C. Lillis is the author of contemporary YA novels HOW TO REPAIR A MECHANICAL HEART, WE WON’T FEEL A THING, and the upcoming A&B, plus various other stories about fandom, friendship, love, and art. She lives in Baltimore with her patient family, a possibly haunted dollhouse, and a cat who intends to eat her someday.

More about J.C. and her AWESOME books:

How to Repair a Mechanical Heart: amzn.to/1rM486A

We Won’t Feel a Thing: http://amzn.to/1mndD6m

A&B: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32296251-a-b?from_search=true

website: jclillis.com

twitter: twitter.com/jclillis

instagram: instagram.com/jclillis

facebook: facebook.com/jclillisbooks

pinterest: pinterest.com/jclillis


 

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I Love YA Fiction is now Binge on Books plus a HUGE Book Giveaway!

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*throws confetti* *shouts* *plasters a big smile on and opens arms wide to all the guests* Welcome to the new site! We’re still just as cool and fun as before but now we can more comfortably talk about the books and book news that you enjoy. It’s a win for everyone! And you know what I have to do whenever there’s big news on the site…

binge-on-books-twitter giveaway

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Happy Holidays, a year in review, and here’s a list of books to read!

First off, Happy Holidays (if you celebrate that sort of thing)! Happy Wednesday/Thursday if you do not.

So this year was a tough one. Not to give you guys too big a glimpse into my personal life but basically it went like this:

January: wow! Look at all these books on my TBR! I have such a big reading and reviewing schedule planned. I love reading. I love blogging. I love the give and take between writers and readers! I need to do this more often. My mind is made up. Our readers better watch out cause they’re about to be astounded by the sheer number and beauty of these reviews!!!

February – August: …

September: wow! I have not blogged in months! Read a lot though…I kinda miss the blog. And facebook. And twitter. So what the heck, I’ll get back into it. {saunters slowly over to iloveyafiction.com}

October – December: Blog/Read/Social Media repeat

If you felt like skipping Judith’s year in review, that’s ok. In a nutshell, I didn’t review a lot and I’m sorry. Hope you managed to get by and found some other stuff to read. If you did, please email me with a title/author cause I will have ten days to do nothing but read.

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YA/NA Review: How to Repair a Mechanical Heart by JC Lillis

how to repair a mechanical heartHow to Repair a Mechanical Heart by JC Lillis

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services Inc

Format: Kindle edition

Genre: Contemporary YA

Reviewed by: Judith

Score: 10/10

Let me tell you a secret: I’m not sure why but I had it in my head that I didn’t like this book. Don’t look at me like that. Stop. Let me explain. I have a notoriously bad memory and it told me (repeatedly) that I’d tried How to Repair a Mechanical Heart before and for whatever reason, I just didn’t like it. No idea as to why and no idea where that came from but that voice inside of me kept whispering this crap for ages and it WAS WRONG! Dead wrong. Now, I don’t admit mistakes often – I’m an Aries, we’re perfect…and beautiful and wonderful and funny and amazingly humble – but I’m stating it for the record now, mea culpa and all that. This book is fabulous. No, wait. It’s more than that. It’s so cool that I’m sure in some alternate universe I have neon glitter pink font and some blinking gifs of celebrities screaming at anyone who will listen in order to show what an excellent read this is…cause it truly is!

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Book Reveal: We Won’t Feel A Thing by J.C. Lillis

Today on ILYAF, we’re featuring an upcoming YA release by J.C. Lillis. Now, if you don’t know J.C. Lillis, let’s change that right now! Last year, she wrote and released an amazing YA love story about two nerd boys falling in love. It was an unusual pairing of comic books, YA, and gay fiction and it really struck a chord with us. It’s called How to Repair a Mechanical Heart and if it were ever in a cover art contest (is that a thing?!), she would totally win.  See why? Read More

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