The Mommy Gamers

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    Episode 144: Mary Franx


    This week the ladies talk about Halloween, Dragon Quest Builders, the Nintendo Switch, the Pokemon Go Halloween event, The Walking Dead, The Vampire Diaries and so much more.

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    Carrie’s Favorite Scary Movies

    Today is Halloween and to celebrate, I wanted to share my favorite horror films. I was raised on horror films, and am literally named after the Stephen King novel, so horror is very important to me. There are many different types of horror films, and all of them have place in my heart. The list below, however, are my top favorites across all the genres. These are listed in no particular order.

    1) Fright Night

    Fright Night has been one of my favorite movies since its release in 1985. Written and directed by Tom Holland (Thinner), Fright Night was a story of the Boy Who Cried Wolf with a twist. Charley Brewster is a normal teenage boy with an obsessed for old horror films. When a stranger moves in next door, he begins to connect the odd behaviors of his new neighbor with a series of disappearances in the area. Charley eventually comes to the conclusion that a vampire has moved in next door to him. He has a hard time convincing anyone of what he believes, but eventually they all are forced to listen. Fright Night stars William Ragsdale, (Herman’s Head), Amanda Bearse (Married with Children), and Chris Sarandon (Child’s Play).

    2) Halloween

    The original Halloween is hard to beat in terms of classic horror films. It really redefined the entire genre, and was the beginning of the slasher craze. All of the Halloween movies (with the exception of 3.. we don’t talk about 3… too many roaches.. can not handle) are great in their own rights. However, the first is by far the best out of the series. It is the only one that truly scares me. The second Halloween was also great, but still not quite the same standard as the first. Directed by John Carpenter (Big Trouble in Little China), Halloween stars Jamie Lee Curtis (Scream Queens), Donald Pleasance (Escape from New York), and P.J. Soles (Carrie).

    3) Evil Dead 2

    All of the Evil Dead movies are fun, but Evil Dead 2 is by far my favorite in the franchise. Evil Dead was true horror, Army of Darkness was comedy, and Evil Dead 2 was the perfect blend of the two. It was scary while still being funny and ridiculous. I tend to think of Evil Dead 2 as the “porridge that Goldilocks ate” as far as how perfectly it blends horror with comedy. If you haven’t seen any of the movies in the series, go ahead and start with this one. You’ll thank me. Directed by Sam Raimi (Spider-Man), Evil Dead 2 stars Bruce Campbell (Burn Notice) and Ted Raimi (Xena: Warrior Princess).

    4) Ghost Story

    Ghost Story is an oldie but a goodie. The movie revolves around a group of old men who realize that a secret they’ve held for 50 years has come back to haunt them… literally. This was one of the first ghost movies I ever saw, and it is still one of my favorites. If you haven’t seen it, you won’t regret spending time on it. The cast alone is enough to make it worth it. Ghost Story stars Fred Astaire (Funny Face), Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. (Little Caeser), and Alice Krige (Star Trek: First Contact).

    5) The Exorcist

    The only movie that every truly scared me was The Exorcist. I think my real fear of this movie came from my extreme fear of demonic possession when I was little. I suffer from sleep paralysis, but when you’re 5 years old, it’s as close to what you can imagine being possessed is like. Because of this, I had a serious fear growing up of being possessed. I know, I know, it’s super silly, but it doesn’t change how it was for me at the time. Even still, despite being terrified by this movie, it has always been among my favorites. It’s like riding a roller coaster, you’re terrified when you’re on it, but you can’t wait to go again. The Exorcist stars Max von Sydow (Strange Brew), Ellen Burstyn (Interstellar), and Linda Blair (Supernatural).

    These movies are just my top five of all time, but there are so many more worth looking into. Fright Night 2, Shutter (the original Thai version), Let the Right One In, Ringu, Silent Hill, and Nightmare on Elm Street are all great examples of some more of my favorite horror films. What are your favorite? Let me know in the comments below, on our Twitter, and on our Facebook page!

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    How Store-Bought Costumes Ruined Halloween For Me


    I used to love Halloween. From childhood into the late 1990s, I used to wear costumes every October and then wonder why we couldn’t do it every day. I mean, wouldn’t any given Monday just be better if I could wear my Supergirl costume on the “el” as I commuted to work?

    My disillusionment with this most wonderful holiday of the year – I mean, come on, no family obligations, just dressing up as someone else and getting candy, what’s the downside? – began about the time I started looking for a Hogwarts costume one year. I couldn’t find a nice long Gryffindor robe that would make me look like a student at Harry Potter’s school. Ah, but I could find a Sexy Gryffindor Robe, so if I wanted to I could both freeze in the Chicago night and look like the Harlot of Hogsmeade instead. Whee.

    A year or two later, my well-meaning husband actually went to Target and picked out a Halloween costume for me – a Sexy Soccer Player outfit. See, being a kick-ass female footballer isn’t sexy enough in itself. I have to be pink and black, wearing a mini-skirt and carrying a matching ball-shaped clutch purse with thigh-high socks on. I’m sure that’s really helpful out on the pitch. Actually, I’m amusing myself imagining a chick in spiked heels tripping across the grass trying not to break a nail while Abby Wambach and Megan Rapinoe fly past on their way to possess a not-pink ball before it gets to Hope Solo.

    If only I was a cosplayer – but my skill with needle and thread and makeup is pretty negligible. If I could sew (or afford to buy quality handcrafted costumes made by actual seamstresses), I wouldn’t be at the mercy of costume makers who think that Every Single Costume Available for Women must be cheaply made, super-short, frilly, lacy, sequined, patent leathery or otherwise girly, feminine and skimpy.

    Leaving aside questions of sexualization, and how the ubiquity of such costumes might be internalized within the psyche of young girls, I just want to say that I like pink and glitter and tutus as much as the next woman who played with Barbie dolls all throughout her youth. I’m not the type to slut-shame. I get that this is what many women want – and it’s not at all wrong for women to want to look beautiful and desirable. I get that this is how costume companies make money. I’m not going to delve into the societal issues this brings up about women’s self-esteem and images in the media and all that important stuff. But is it wrong to want some choice here?

    When it comes to Halloween, donning a costume to look and act like someone else, I don’t want my only options to be Whore In a Ghostbusters Outfit, Whore from Gotham, Whore With Tongue from the VMAs, Whore Dressed in A Nurse’s Outfit, or Whore Garbed Like Food With Strategically-Placed Bits (Get It? Get It?!). Ultimately it’s no choice at all, if I’m only being asked to choose between 31 flavors of Woman Dressed As Someone Else’s Sex Fantasy.

    ninjaturtleAnd then there’s the issue of WHOM these 31 flavors represent. Sure, we girls get to co-opt male superhero roles by dressing up as Iron Man or Captain America (only sexier! With glitter and ruffles!). But my main problem with gender-bending costumes is that I wish there were more famous, well-written (and better-represented on the silver screen) female superheroes so that girls wouldn’t feel the need to become their male counterparts. I mean, I loved Spider-Woman and Batgirl and Supergirl and Wonder Woman and Laurel Kent (was rather devastated when she turned Manhunter) as a girl. But it’s way more likely for you to see a girl in a Spider-Man suit at any given Halloween gathering. I’d like to see more actual kick-ass females in the mix.

    Of course, we as women all want to look good. But I don’t think I’m the only one who finds store-bought costumes to be degrading, impractical and unimaginative. All I want is the option to not look like bait for rapey assholes, no matter my age.

    My beef with all these sexualized costumes has to do with the fact that I like dressing up as someone else to channel their strength, their abilities, their experiences. It’s fun, to put yourself in someone else’s shoes – to pretend. It’s just that not all of my dressing-up fantasies involve putting out for someone. Sometimes, I want to actually look and feel like an interesting, powerful woman, one who is interesting and powerful regardless of how traditionally “sexy” she may or may not be. The lack of options here is discouraging at best, harmful and misogynistic at worst. It is what has made Halloween lost some its wonder and excitement for me.

    I am still going to sneak some of my son’s candy, though. Just sayin’.


    [box type=”info”] Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy, opinion or position of The Mommy Gamers.[/box]

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