Posts Tagged ‘Hannibal Lecter’

Well, we’re back to count down my top five villains of the past year. And what really surprised me about the top five was that while #10-6 came from ll sorts of different franchises and series, the top five came from only two franchises/series. That’s right, this year only two properties hold sway over the top five. And you can contribute that to a number of things, but I think with these franchises, they’ve been running a very long time and the writers and directors and other behind-the-scenes folks who run these franchises want to keep them running a very long time So what do they do? They come up with compelling storylines with great villains to set up against great heroes.

So what are they? Let’s find out. Remember, no villain of my creation is on this list, and no actual person is on this list either. It’s all fictional. And as always, SPOILERS!

#5: Kaecillius (Doctor Strange)

You know, this is the third time a Mads Mikkelsen character has appeared on this list (his portrayal of Hannibal Lecter were in the top five back in 2013 and 2014). Not surprising, considering that he’s not only a great actor, but he’s given great characters. Kaecillius is a former student of the Ancient One who finds out things about his master he doesn’t like and who falls under the sway of the demon-god Dormammu. His goal is to allow Dormammu’s Dark Dimension into this world, thus absorbing our universe into his. Why does he want to do this?

Well, the answer is much more sympathetic than you might expect: Kaecillius sees the world as an endless cycle of suffering and death, and wants to free the world of it, which he feels integrating our world into the Dark Dimension can do. And this is actually an admirable goal, to free the world of suffering and death. It’s the very notion that Buddhism, one of the world’s major religions, is founded upon! It’s just that Kaecillius believes wholeheartedly that by making us one with the Dark Dimension is the way to do that (believe me, it’s not), and that’s what makes him a villain. Add in his gravitas, stoic manner, and occasional one-liners, and you’ve got yourself an A-class villain with some aspects you can actually sympathize with.

#4: Lucifer (Supernatural)

Over the past two years, I’ve really become a huge fan of Supernatural, and over the past year, I’ve taken in the ten most recent seasons. And even when he’s not the main villain of a season, guess who’s a powerful influence over the series as a whole? Yep, Lucifer, the Devil himself. He’s powerful enough that even when he’s locked in a cage in Hell, he’s still capable of manipulating and directing events on Earth, which is how brothers Sam and Dean Winchester became wrapped up in monster hunting. And when he’s out of the cage, God help you. He could be following the script of the Apocalypse, or he could be making it up as he goes along, he doesn’t care. As long as he’s able to make a few quips, make someone’s life literal torture, and even kill a few people, he’s happy. The destruction he caused in Season 12 alone, and the events he set in motion with some of his actions, earn him a spot in the top five (though because most of his horrors are caused by his daddy issues, he’s a bit lower than he could be).

#3: Amara/The Darkness (Supernatural)

What’s scarier than one of God’s angelic sons? Why, God’s older sister, and the embodiment of destruction! Introduced in late Season 10 and the main villain of Season 11, The Darkness is a primordial force that God and the Archangels locked away so that the universe could exist. Freed at the end of Season 10, she possesses a baby named Amara and soon becomes a full-grown woman with a simple goal: to find her brother and settle some long overdue family business with him. That, and maybe entice Dean Winchester, with whom she shares a special connection, to join her at her side.

What puts her higher than Lucifer on this list? Well, she’s much more powerful, for one thing. And in a way, she actually caused Lucifer’s fall from grace. In her way, she’s the true cause of many of the horrors in Supernatural. Not to mention that she somehow makes fish out of water moments scary: having never lived in the human world, she’s uneducated about a lot of what goes on there, and it shows. And even when we’re laughing at how inept she is as a human, we know that she’s going to do something horrible soon. And then she does it.

If that’s not deserving of the Number 3 spot, then I’m Harry Potter (and I’m not).

#2: A.I.D.A. (Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD)

This time from the MCU’s TV universe, we have A.I.D.A, a cyborg originally designed by her creator Holden Radcliffe as a literal shield for SHIELD agents, and later a major part of Radcliffe’s plan to create a world free of suffering and death for humans…which she later subverts in order to gain freedom from her rigid programming and become a full human with emotions. And superpowers.

Honestly, watching A.I.D.A.’s arc from naive robot woman to calculating assistant, to calculating supervillainness, to a powerful human woman with strong powers and emotions like storms, was one of the most fascinating things in this season. It kept you on the edge of your seat, wondering what she was going to do next as she pursued her goals of humanity, freedom, and even the love of one of the main cast! That, and her ruthlessness in accomplishing those goals, whether she was doing so under programming driven by twisted logic or spurred on by her newfound feelings, made the story all the more gripping. She’s definitely one of the show’s best villains, and deserving of the second-highest spot on this list.

#1: The Leviathans (Supernatural)

The Leviathans were a thing introduced in Season 7 five years ago, but I just met them this past fall. And my God, were they the best villains on the show! Primordial beings that are older than most of the angels, they were God’s first creations in His new universe. Ultimately, they proved too hungry to be controlled and God put them away in Purgatory lest they eat the universe to bits. Released back into our world at the beginning of Season 7, they quickly possess humans in order to inhabit physical form again, with one goal in mind: feed. At first they’re just looking for a quick fix in the short term to get their sustenance, but as time goes on and their king possesses the body and memories of billionaire businessman Dick Roman, they start organizing. What’s their grand plan? Simply to feed.

There’s something kind of scary of an old and powerful race of beings whose sole goal is to satisfy their hunger, and the best way to do that is to feed on humanity. And they do it with businesslike precision, coming up with this whole five-year plan for turning America into their personal McDonald’s (I’m assuming the rest of the world would follow in time). It’s this precision, along with their difficulty in being killed, that made them stand out to me as villains not only on Supernatural, but through the whole year. Lucifer and Amara may be looking for revenge on their mutual family member, but when it comes to beasts that just want to feed, they just can’t be beat.

 

So that’s this year’s list, my Followers of Fear. But tell me, who were your favorite villains this past year? Do you have any critiques of my choices? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

And expect another blog post from me either later today or at some point tomorrow, my Followers of Fear. I’ve got a new review, and I hope you’ll want to read it.

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Big news, my Followers of Fear! On August 2nd, I will have reached five years of blogging! Yeah, five years. This blog (and the wonderful people who follow it, thank you very much for sticking with me through thick and thin) has been with me through four years of college, numerous articles on Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors, two visits to Europe, one-and-a-half internships, a very long period of unemployment, four published books (plus three at various stages of the editing/compilation process), too many short stories to count, a couple of which were published in some magazines and two anthologies, and a weird period of my life where I hunted down a serial killer while consulting with and developing an unusual relationship with another serial killer.

Oh wait, that’s the plot of Silence of the Lambs. Never mind.

Anyway, in honor of the big day, I will be doing a few things differently (and I don’t mean buying myself a cake in honor of the day, though that might happen as well). For one, I will be doing a Q&A, with questions provided by you, the readers. If there are any burning questions you’ve wanted to ask me, you can ask those in the comments up until July 31st, and I will answer them.

However, if you ask me to tell you where I live, or if I will marry you, I will have to decline on both counts. Sorry obsessives, I don’t want to end up in a real life version of Misery or Yandere Simulator.

Also, if you want to know what scares me, I’ll tell you right now: the Alvin and the Chipmunks cartoon from the 1980’s. I’m pretty sure the chipmunks from that show are actually the result of a strange genetic mutation, either from nuclear fallout or genetic engineering, and the males in that species all have some deformity in their middles that prevent them from wearing anything but long muumuus. Why else do the Chipettes get actual clothes but the title characters don’t?

I’m also terrified of large spiders. Tiny ones, I can deal with. However, if I can make out individual features on its face or it looks like it could easily stretch across the palm of my hand, I will scream like a little girl. It’s happened before.

I also want to hear feedback from you, dear readers. What do you think I’m doing right as a writer and a blogger? Anything I can improve upon? What posts do you prefer from me? Tell me in the comments below, so I can make Rami Ungar the Writer an even better blog.

Another reason to look forward to the big day, I’m going to be doing a giveaway on August 2nd in honor of the big occasion. I will be giving away an autographed copy one of my books (your choice of which one), that I will send to the winner after winning. I’ll give the full details on the day of the anniversary, so if you want to participate, check in on August 2nd. I’ll announce the winner in a subsequent blog post.

Oh, and one more note: I’ve got a couple of interviews coming up. One is with a blog I discovered through my friend Joleene Naylor, who will be releasing an interview soon. The other is actually a podcast. I’ll be rejoining my friend and colleague Dellani Oakes on her podcast, Red River Online Radio (links to follow soon) to talk books, authors, and maybe reading an excerpt from Video Rage. Get excited!

Alright, gotta go. I’m looking forward to hearing your questions and feedback, and I’m especially looking forward to celebrating this big milestone with you. Let’s have a good time on the second, shall we?

Until next time, my Followers of Fear!

If you are as big a nerd as I am (and if continuing trends are accurate, you probably are, because the meek are inheriting the Earth and all that), you’ve probably heard a bunch of news about Doctor Who over the past week or so that has made fans of the show and just people in general who are friends of those fans freak out. These pieces of news boil down to three main points:

  1. Steven Moffat, showrunner for the show since Series 5 and writer since Series 1, will be stepping down from his position at the end of Series 10. The showrunner position will be taken over by Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall.
  2. Because of the Olympics and everything else happening in 2016 this year, we won’t get any new episodes of Doctor Who till the Christmas Special at the end of the year. Series 10 will start up in the Spring of 2017.
  3. Peter Capaldi, who play’s the Doctor’s 12th incarnation, may also be leaving the show at the end of Series 10, so as to let Chibnall start fresh with a new Doctor.

Okay, the first piece of news isn’t that big a shock. Moffat’s retirement has been rumored for a while now, and we can see that he’s leaving the show in good hands, seeing as Chibnall has written some pretty well-known episodes of both DW and its spin-off Torchwood. The second piece…annoying, to say the least, but considering that this year is going to be pretty crazy, perhaps a good call by the BBC.

As for Capaldi leaving…I know that the average Doctor stays around three series. That’s how it’s been since DW came back in 2005. But oh my God, doesn’t it feel a little too soon?! Even my dad is a little amazed that Capaldi’s leaving, and he only knows the show as that thing his kids are obsessed with and that he’ll have to check out if he ever has the time for Netflix. And yeah, it’s been too soon, and Capaldi’s Doctor has only had so much time! And let’s face it, while I liked Jenna Coleman’s Clara, she did at times overshadow the Doctor. I was really looking forward to seeing the Doctor grow and have adventures without having an appendage that took up so much of the story (there, I said it, are you happy?!).

But I’ve had time to calm down, and I have to say that if Capaldi does want to leave, then so be it. I’m not going to be too happy about it, but I’ll accept it if I have to. I just hope that Capaldi decides to stick around for two more series instead of one, or at the very least Series 10 is just the most awesome thing ever.

And now I’m thinking, “Who’s going to replace Capaldi?” Trust me, you’re all probably thinking it by this point as well. And I know that they won’t be announcing it until probably a few months before we see this new Doctor. Still, I thought I’d jump the gun and give my predictions for who would make a great 13th Doctor (technically 14th, but let’s not get crazy here). Heck, my Predictions post for Batman vs. Superman actually hit the mark a little, so maybe I could actually get this right.

And let me just say before I start that I will not be putting Benedict Cumberbatch on this list. Yeah I know, lots of his fans would love him as the Doctor, but seriously, the guy’s already playing a Doctor and Sherlock Holmes! He’s got enough iconic roles to fill up an IMDb page!

So here it is. The actors and actresses who I think would not only make great Doctors, but maybe take Doctor Who in an interesting new direction for a whole new era.

Hayley Atwell

Hayley Atwell

Not just my top choice, but the top choice of a lot of people. Her name’s come up several times already as a possible successor for Capaldi. Not surprising, considering she’s got quite the resume, most notably as bad-ass, takes-no-shit 1940’s secret agent Peggy Carter in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. Atwell’s also done two DW radio dramas, so she’s definitely familiar with the franchise already. She would have no trouble taking the TARDIS key in hand, and Atwell’s already expressed interest in playing the Doctor, so why not?

Plus if the BBC decides to listen to the fans and give us our first female Doctor, Atwell would be a great actress to set the bar with.

Chiwetel Ejiofor

Chiwetel Ejiofor

12 Years A Slave‘s star was a name brought up back in 2013 when speculation about who Matt Smith’s replacement would be was at its height. Not surprising, considering the depth and strength he gave in that movie and in many other roles. Eijiofor would make a very great Doctor. And not only does he do dramatic roles very well, he can do funny and quirky (he played Lola in the movie Kinky Boots, if you need proof of that), so he could probably do some fun one-liners every now and then.

And in a show where the lead has always been a white actor, this could also be a very interesting and welcome change.

Rebecca Hall

Rebecca Hall

In 2011 the BBC made a horror movie called The Awakening, which I thought was a weird little flick that tried to get into our heads and failed miserably. However, I thought the lead actress in that film, Rebecca Hall, did absolutely great. And Rebecca Hall has a great list of films to back her up: Frost/Nixon, The Town, Iron Man 3, Transcendence. She can do a lot of different roles, and I think a versatile actor is important for anyone who wants to play the Doctor.

And if she’s the only part I really enjoyed in a horror film, then you know she should be seriously considered.

Ace Bhatti

If that name sounds at all familiar to you, that’s because he played Principal Haresh Chandra in the DW spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures, being both comic and serious at the same time in many different episodes of the series. Honestly, he was one of my favorite characters from that show (which I’m surprised that more DW fans haven’t seen). And apparently he’s got a very long resume outside of SJA, including a very big role on the show EastEnders (which I haven’t seen but I’ve heard good things about). He could make a very good Doctor, and considering that plenty of actors who had smaller roles in Doctor Who later went on to play bigger roles (including Capaldi and Sixth Doctor Colin Baker), this would be only continuing a well-known tradition.

Naomie Harris

Naomie Harris

Plenty of people know her as “oh, the actress who plays Moneypenny in James Bond, right?” but she’s done a lot more roles than that. In addition to Skyfall and Spectre, Harris has done 28 Days Later, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom as Winnie Mandela, for which the actual Winnie Mandela basically said that it was the best portrayal on film of her person.

With that sort of resume and endorsements, Harris might make a very good Doctor. I sort of imagine a warm and kind Doctor, who really hates getting violent but if she gets angry even Daleks will run away from her. Kind of like the Tenth Doctor with a mix of Third’s mentor-like charms.

Jon Oliver

Jon Oliver

Enough said. I know he probably won’t leave making fun of society while at the same time improving it on HBO, but the guy’s great. I’d love to see him as the Doctor.

And my final choice:

Mads Mikkelsen

Mads Mikkelsen

I know, I know. He’s not British. He’s not even Irish! He’s Danish! He’s practically not allowed to play the Doctor! But come on! Have you seen his resume? He was amazing as Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal, as Le Chiffre in Casino Royale, and he’ll be in Doctor Strange and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story later this year. And he actually does a pretty good British accent. Can you imagine him in some fancy 19th-century garb with a side of futuristic tech? He’d make a great Doctor, and I would love to see him in the role.

And I’m not afraid to say it!

 

So those are my choices for who should be the 13th Doctor. But tell me, who do you think would be a good fit for everybody’s favorite Time Lord? Do you think I’m on to something? Do you think I’m totally off? Is there a name I missed? Do you hope Peter Capaldi will stay a bit longer as well? Let’s discuss, my fellow Whovians.

And Steven Moffat and/or Chris Chibnall: if you happen to read this and you’re looking for some new blood to help you write kick-ass episodes of Doctor Who, give me a call. I’ve been keeping a long list of ideas for stories with the Doctor and I would love to write them for you. And these ideas could also work as novels, which I’ve plenty of experience writing, so I could do my stories that way as well if you want.

Like I said, give me a call. I’d be more than happy to head over to Wales to discuss the matter further.

It’s been one week since what could very well be the series finale as well as the third season finale of Hannibal, based on Hannibal Lecter and other characters created by Thomas Harris, premiered. NBC has declined to keep the show going, and while the show’s producers Bryan Fuller and Martha De Laurentiis, as well as series star Mads Mikkelsen and the many, many fans of the show (“Fannibals” or “Lecterites”, if you will), would love to see the show go on in some form, there is a chance that the show will have to hang up the carving knife and that everyone associated with it will have to move onto new projects.

Personally, I hope that the show is still able to go on, maybe as a feature film as Fuller has hinted at, or maybe moves to Starz or Amazon (though if it’s the former and not the latter I may have to wait till the show is on DVD or Netflix, depending on my financial situation). Also, I think it’s a good investment to keep the show going. Yeah, Hannibal has always been ratings-challenged, which is why NBC cancelled it in the first place. However, they knew a show focusing on a serial killer was a risk to begin with, and they still went with it for three years, as did huge legions of fans.

Why? Well obviously Hannibal Lecter is a famous character who was already well-known because of Harris’ novels, the movie Manhunter, and the three Anthony Hopkins films. But that only drew people to the show in the first place. The reason they stayed is because the show’s creators managed to take the concept of a serial killer show, and elevate it to art. Fuller and his team could’ve simply created a simple procedural show with serial killers like The Following with a famous literary and film character in the mix. Instead they built on that premise and made most of the sets exquisite to the eye, turned ordinary conversations into psychologically and philosophically engaging character explorations that could evolve into verbal tennis matches sometimes, and gave every shot a purpose in how it was filmed.

Add into all that the brilliant characters: Hugh Dancy as the socially-troubled empath profiler Will Graham, Lawrence Fishburne as the ends-justify-the-means, will-do-anything-to-catch-the-killers FBI director Jack Crawford, and of course the quiet gentleman devil with a love of grilling up those who are rude or offensive, Hannibal Lecter himself. Every character brings something to the table, making you want to watch them interact with each other right up until the very (sometimes bloody) end. And of course, the brilliant writing. Even at the show’s less exciting moments, the writers till were able to make you want to keep watching, to find out what happens next. From the growing relationship between Will and Hannibal in the first season, to the terrifying flash-forward at the beginning of the second season, and Will’s struggle to truly rid himself of Hannibal in the third season, it just kept you watching.

Hannibal is art. Creepy, bloody, psychologically strange and terrifying art, but it is art nonetheless, and that’s something you don’t usually see with television shows. I honestly can’t say if Hannibal will go on in some form or another (I’m not psychic), but if it doesn’t, at least we know that it had an ending that tied up most of the loose ends of the story, and the ones left behind we can easily guess at. And with streaming and DVD releases, fans could still watch it and relive the beautiful psychological horror that the show was.

Still, I hope for more. The show was awesome, and Fuller had a vision to continue the show, even if he couldn’t get the characters from Silence of the Lambs (I would’ve loved to see how they changed up Clarice Starling and Buffalo Bill, seeing as I found one annoying and the other slightly comical). If allowed to continue, we could see some award-worthy horror on our screens someday.

So while we wait and squirm and wonder at the show’s fate, I’ll continue to hope. Because if the story of the strange relationship between a man and a monster in a man’s skin can intrigue me and so many other people, then surely it can attract a TV executive or two. And the story that ended too soon won’t end at all.

Oh and NBC, why do you keep doing this to me?! First Dracula, then Hannibal? Stop cancelling these creepy genre shows I really like!

Last night as I was dropping off to sleep and feeling happy about setting up that new blog of mine (thanks to everyone who’s already signed up to follow that, by the way), my mind started to wander, as it usually does right before I fall asleep. This time around my mind went to horror stories (yeah, it does that quite often too), and I started to ponder character depth and development in horror stories. At some point I realized that in horror, you often have either characters who are very well-rounded and developed, or you have characters that are little more than archetypes, e.g. the Skeptical Dad, the Final Girl, The Psychic Child, The Expert, etc. And you know what else I realized, what made me get up out of bed and write this revelation down before I fell asleep and forgot? Sometimes these stories require different level of character development, depending on what the story is.

Let me explain. In certain scary stories, such as Stephen King’s The Shining (the book, not that poorly adapted Kubrick film), the characters are more than just archetypes and we get to know them very well. This is because their inner conflicts are just as important to the story as is the outer conflicts happening with the hotel. Jack Torrance is trying to keep his cool and be a good husband and father for his family after so many screw ups, while also fending off his desire to drink and the mental assaults of the hotel. His wife Wendy is trying to keep her family together while also keeping an eye on Jack in case he reverts to bad habits. And Danny, psychic and wise beyond his years, is trying to stay strong and endure the hotel’s attempts to kill him because he knows a lot is riding on his father taking care of the hotel through the winter. How they react to situations and grow as characters is just as important as what is happening within the hotel, so King makes sure they are well-developed.

Part of the terror (in the book, anyway), comes from the conflicts these characters wrestle with inside themselves as well as the ones the hotel sends them.

Meanwhile other stories don’t need as much character development. Take Insidious 3, for example (yes, I’m using the third entry in a horror film series, but bear with me). Besides main character Elise Rainier, most of the characters in the film do not get much character development. In the Brenner family, who are experiencing all these supernatural happenings, you don’t see much beyond the roles they play in the story: Quinn is a pretty girl with dreams of acting and is being victimized by a spirit, her dad Sean is the scatter-brained parent trying to keep his family together through grief and tragedy, and the annoying younger brother Alex is…well, the annoying younger brother. Despite not getting a lot of characterization though, these three characters do actually get some growth in the story: Quinn’s car accident and the spirit attacking her causes her, her brother, and her father to get out of their own little worlds and come together as a family to save Quinn’s life.

And of course, there are those stories that require little or no characterization or growth at all. This is common in slasher films, where the characters are often reduced to archetypes or roles (anyone who’s seen Cabin in the Woods knows what I’m talking about). This also happens in a short story I had an idea for recently (and that I might write as soon as I finish editing Video Rage). In this story, I decided that I wouldn’t spend time going over why the protagonist’s younger brother is a bratty kid or why the antagonists are as freaky as they are. The reason I decided this is because the events of the story are where the terror and intrigue come from, not from any inner growth. This is usually the case with slasher films as well: the events of the story are where we get our terror and excitement from, so more attention is pointed towards telling the story than going over any inner conflicts of the characters.

Half the fun of this show is seeing these two interact with each other.

What I’m driving at here is that how much character development is required from a story depends a lot on where the excitement and fear is coming from and how essential developing a character is in order to keep a reader or viewer invested in the story. In the case of a Nightmare on Elm Street film or the story I mentioned above, we’re reading or seeing the story because we know that the story’s events is where we’re going to get the excitement we paid to read/see. In the case of stories like The Shining or most episodes of Hannibal though, a major reason why we’re investing time into the story is because of the characters, not just what’s happening around them. This is especially so in Hannibal, because most of the conflicts and intrigue comes from the characters, their psychological states, and how they play against one another. We’re there not just because Hannibal Lecter is a famous and charismatic serial killer, we’re also there because we like seeing how Will Graham’s relationship with Lecter changes and evolves over time.

And knowing how much to balance of these two elements–character development and story-focus–is very important. Look at the remake of Poltergeist that came out recently. It was an awful film, and one of the many problems it had was that they tried to insert character development near the beginning of the film and failed miserably. Early on it focused on the dad losing his job and trying to find a new one, as well as mentioned something about the wife being a writer. I think the filmmakers were trying to translate this into an arc where the family tries to stay together and come together through rough circumstances, but ultimately the whole thread of the dad looking for a job and the parents trying to keep the family together fails to really get resolved or come together and ends up feeling unnecessary to the story. You’d think that it would just be enough to say the dad got promoted or transferred or a new job and leave it at that!

So whether it’s a zombie flick, a novel about a haunted house, or a psychological horror TV show, knowing the balance between character development and story-focus is just as important as creating a memorable and creepy villain or writing the story in such a way so that the story actually remains scary rather than goofy or just plain stupid (*cough* Friday the 13th remake *cough*). If you do, you’re more likely to write a good story worth remembering than you are to write garbage that horror fans sift through trying to find a nugget of gold.

I’ll certainly keep the balance in mind with the next story I write.

Can you say, tailored to my tastes?

This morning Epic Rap Battles of History released their latest video, which this time around is serial killer-themed. To be specific, it’s Jack the Ripper, the famous Victorian serial killer whose identity has never been discovered (contrary to popular reports) rapping against Hannibal Lecter, born in the novels of Thomas Harris and made famous in portrayals by Anthony Hopkins and Mads Mikkelsen. The two killers are played by Dan Bull (Jack the Ripper) and ERB star EpicLloyd (Dr. Hannibal Lecter).

And here I thought they couldn’t make me any happier when they made Stephen King vs. Edgar Allen Poe. I hope they do Stan Lee vs. Walt Disney some time. Or Alice Liddell vs. Dorothy Gale. Or maybe even Anne Rice vs. Stephanie Meyer! Those would be awesome.

Actually, I kind of predicted this battle: back in June when this video came out, I hoped for a Jack the Ripper vs. Freddy Kreuger video. Well, I got one half of that combo, didn’t I?

Anyway, enjoy the video. I certainly did.


Who do you think won? I’m having a hard time deciding, personally.

It’s October. The month where my powers of evil are at their greatest. Don’t be too terrified, the chances that I’ll terrorize your city on the 31st are actually pretty slim. Unless you live in Canada, because I’m planning on creating some Samhain mayhem up there this year. Honestly, you Canadians have had it too good for too long. You need a little tragedy and horror for once.

Where was I?

Oh yeah, it’s October. Many of you are thinking of your Halloween costumes. Personally, I’m thinking of the Eleventh Doctor, a gas-mask zombie, or Hannibal Lecter. Of course, there’s a lot of other choices out there. And if you plan to get creative with your costume, well, the sky’s the limit. You can literally dress any way you want.

Doesn’t mean you should though. Last year, I read several disturbing articles or saw several upsetting photos of what people chose to wear for Halloween, including:

  • Two guys going as George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin, complete with bloody hoodie. Can you say, horrible and not funny?
  • A couple of people in Australia donned KKK robes for a Halloween party. If this were Spain and they were actual priests, I might accept it, but anywhere else…it’s more than a little insensitive.
  • A mom in Virginia sent her son in KKK robes to school, trying to pass it off as “a family tradition”. Lady, no one believes that for a second. And if it is a family tradition, then that’s one sick family (I feel sorry for the kid. Unless he’s already been brainwashed and knew what the robes were, he probably thought he was a ghost).
  • Julianne Hough went as a character from Orange is the New Black, and put on blackface to do it. I’m only going to say two words to this one: oy gevalt.

So many things wrong with this picture.

Listen people, I love Halloween. I love dressing up as something scary when I can afford a new costume and going around being scary without people thinking I’m weirder than I actually am. But there’s a limit to what you can wear without hurting people and an idea we have for a costume may seem funny and original, but it might not turn out that way in the end.

So while we still have 26 days till Halloween, I’m asking people who are planning on creating their own costumes to examine your ideas and make sure they won’t cause offense or seriously upset someone. And I know some people get offended just by the very concept of Halloween, but I don’t mean them. I’m talking about the people who are thinking of going as an Ebola victim, dressing up as Michael Brown and the cop who shot him, or perhaps as a stereotypical Islamic terrorist or Jew (I’m looking at you, Macklemore. That was not cool!).

Often we don’t consider how our actions can affect people. Sadly, it’s still common for people, including many young people who are raised in a “tolerant” atmosphere to say “That’s so gay” or insult someone by calling them a faggot. Saying that may seem small, but in reality they can cause serious psychological harm, because implied in their utterance is that being gay or thought of as gay is bad. For an actual LGBT person such as myself, hearing this is hurtful and makes me feel like less of a person. Such words and actions are known as microaggressions, and they can have as much of a psychological impact on a person as being mugged or some other traumatic incident if they continue consistently over time.

Now imagine that harm in the form of a Halloween costume, out on the streets where so many people can see it, where it can be photographed and uploaded onto social media for the whole world to see forever and ever.

Kind of makes you think, doesn’t it? So please be considerate of others when you decide a costume. You can be scary or funny or cute or even sexy, if you’d like. But if your costume idea has the potential to cause distress, offense, or insult to someone of a different religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or even socioeconomic status, perhaps it’s better to come up with a different costume.