Films that feel like October, Part II

On Monday, I wrote about a few films that make me feel the shift in seasons and the cooler weather. With Halloween approaching, many would consider horror classics that should be in the mix of film viewing this time of year. While I enjoy a good scare, those films don’t necessarily feel like autumn to me. Around Halloween I gravitate towards Tim Burton’s Ed Wood or the classic animation special, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown brings back a sense of childhood and wonderment for me. I don’t remember watching it every fall, but there is something so feel-good and traditional about it. It makes me long for those evenings of innocent treat-or-treating, before girls suddenly dress in costumes that are suppose to be sexy. I’d be happy to eat some candy corn and watch it any day.

For something a little different though, there’s Ed Wood. I discovered this film while in college and became slightly obsessed with it at the time. Johnny Depp plays the overly ambitious, but troubled 1950s film director Ed Wood. The film is based in truth: Ed Wood was a Hollywood outcast and is often called the worst film director ever. (Perhaps you’ve heard of Plan 9 From Outer Space? That was him.) Wood befriends an eclectic group of friends including an aging Bela Leguosi -Hollywood’s original Dracula- to create his next “masterpiece” despite the consistent lack of support from the studio system.

Ed Wood is one of Burton’s less talked about films, but it’s one of my favorites. Depp transforms into Wood and it is a joy to watch. The film hosts another wonderful ensemble cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Bill Murray, Patricia Arquette and Martin Landau, who one an Oscar for his portrayal of Lugosi. I’m drawn to comedies and this is partly why I love this film. There is a bit of insider film humor included, but there’s also Wood’s drive. The determination to make his dreams come true resonates with everyone. How you get there is half the fun. (Plus, there’s angora sweaters! #SweaterWeather.)

To add to the mood of this Halloween weekend picks, make some hot apple cider (and spike if you like!) Whether or not you’re handing out Halloween candy or eating it on the couch while watching either of these titles, the cider will make a nice pairing.

What’s your favorite Halloween candy? What film puts you in the spirit of tricks and treats? Let me know in the comments!

Hot Apple Cider
from Southern Living

2 quarts apple cider
1/2 cup molasses
4 lemon slices, cut in half
12 whole cloves
2 (2-inch) cinnamon sticks
1/4 cup lemon juice
Garnishes: cinnamon sticks, lemon wedges, whole cloves

Bring cider and next 4 ingredients to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.

Remove cinnamon sticks and cloves with a slotted spoon; stir in lemon juice. Garnish, if desired.

Watch the films mentioned in this post:
– It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on Amazon, iTunes or add to Netflix queue.
Ed Wood on Amazon, iTunes or add to Netflix queue.
– Or even better, support your local rental store!