Two more days till Halloween, Halloween, Halloween! Two more days till Halloween…
You decided to keep reading because you thought I was going to discuss Halloween III: Season of the Witch…didn’t you?
It’s all part of my master plan to lure readers in. So many false promises.
I promise, if you keep reading, you won’t be disappointed.
We’re now two days before the holiday, and it’s very important to know how you – yes, you! – can stay safe on Halloween. It’s also important for you to question all Halloween safety tips that come from the out-of-sync mouth of an animated jack-o-lantern, as presented by an educational company that starts off their short film with smoke, disco music, and disembodied masks on fishing wire floating before you.
I really wish I was making this up.
Halloween Safety (Second Edition) is Coronet Films’ followup to 1977’s Halloween Safety. Because Coronet smoked some and figured one educational short about Halloween was not enough, and hey, this is the best marijuana we’ve ever smoked. Did someone say chocolate? Because I’m craving chocolate!
For someone who has never touched the stuff, I certainly sound like the foremost expert on pot-induced munchies.
I’m not. So, before you ask, no.
As our, um, film starts (after a countdown that reminds me of that one line in Wayne’s World – “You didn’t say two or one.”), we’re treated to actual footage of what went on during the pitch session.
Lots and lots of smoking.
As masks float by on fishing wire, we begin to wonder if Advisor W. Ronald Olin, PhD advised the making of this opening. I mean, listen to that music – this is supposed to be 1985, and the 1977 special didn’t even have this music. No, seriously, :13 in…the sirens will make you think the cops are coming to arrest you for the contact high you’re getting from watching this short. It’s at this time that we’re wondering who this was being catered to – children needing to learn Proper Halloween Safety, or the teachers who saw smoke and said “yes, this is what I need right now. Excuse me, kids.”
We’re then treated to a scene of children trick-or-treating, and a greeting by our friendly narrator, who implores viewers to find him.
This is how all horror movies start, kids.
And it turns out that the narrator we’re looking for is…
A freakin’ talking jack-o-lantern…an animated freakin’ talking jack-o-lantern with a mouth that’s far out of sync with what he’s saying. And if you think the image of that is creepy enough, his voice is the nightmare fuel that keeps you awake at 3 a.m., living in fear of a low-budget animated jack-o-lantern finding you in the middle of the night.
You’re really wanting to watch Halloween III right now, aren’t you? Because it doesn’t quite scare you the way this does.
Animated Jack O tells us that he loves Halloween, and that’s while it’s a fun time, it can also be a scary time…if you don’t practice proper Halloween Safety.
First up, we go to the home of Corey and her father. They are going to carve their own jack-o-lantern, and Animated Jack O is all too happy to provide tips to properly perform a lobotomy and surgically remove the innards of a defenseless pumpkin – er, carve a pumpkin safely.
First, draw a face, then perform the lobotomy, then scoop out the insides (oooh, that tickles!), and then carve the face with a small knife, cutting small slices and always cutting away from you. But not before washing your hands, of course.
Animated Jack O offers a tip for a safe alternative to lighting a jack-o-lantern if you live in a home with a wood porch…use a flashlight. Of course, he quickly glosses over the dangers of candles in general, inside or outside of a pumpkin. But he says you already know about this.
Now, Mr. Animated Jack O, how do you know this? How do you know I’m a smart person, confident in my abilities to discern the dangers of candles? Coronet obviously seems to believe they’ve covered this imminent danger before, so they move on…to a neighboring house…
Now we meet Jeremy and Jessica. Jeremy is a robot, and while it looks great, it’s actually a Design of Doom. Jeremy can’t bend his knees, nor see very well. He may fall down just about anywhere and everywhere (seriously, who wrote this?), but there proves to be a perfect solution to Jeremy’s potentially dangerous walking hazard…
Functional AND with the times!
And a larger slit for the eyes will help with that seeing hazard that the lovely brains at Coronet so graciously glossed over. Because reminding you that you too can be a 1980s fashion-forward robot with leg warmers on your knees is far more important that ensuring you can see properly.
And then there’s Jessica. The eye holes on her mask are difficult to see through. What can she do to remedy this?
Stock footage from something trying to be Halloween. Not to be confused with Season of the Witch.
Makeup! It’s always just the right size, and as long as you don’t get it in your eyes, everything will be ok.
Let’s cue up that leftover disco music – it’s time to trick or treat!
Animated Jack O reminds children of safely trick or treating – removing masks to cross roads, looking both ways to cross roads, not cutting across yards or empty lots, using reflective tape on costumes so drivers can see you, as evidenced by the neighbor who takes Polaroids of all the children in their costumes…wait…what the hell, Coronet?!
The film also briefly touches on the sick way some people choose to have fun…good old-fashioned vandalism!
To be honest, that brick wall had it coming.
Throwing eggs, spray-painting property, smashing pumpkins – some people don’t know what fun really is, according to Animated Jack O. But he does.
And then he winks at me, as if it’s perfectly fine to do so.
I’ve decided sleep is overrated at this point.
Children should always travel in groups when trick-or-treating, and have adults with them. And always remember, if someone whom you don’t know very well invites you inside their home, always say “no thanks.”
Also, don’t stop at homes without outside lights. And carry a flashlight if it’s dark, but don’t shine them in drivers’ (or others’) eyes.
And then it’s time to go home and take stock of the loot!
Get an adult to help inspect all candy – torn or punctured wrapping, or candy that just looks funny should be discarded, candy bars should be broken in half and checked, fruit should be cut, and be suspicious of candy that looks like drugs or medicine.
Coronet figures this is harmless.
Animated Jack O reminds you of how scary Halloween can be – not because of witches or ghosts or make-believe – but because of real things that can spoil your fun. He then quickly recaps everything we learned during the film, and reassures you that if you can do all that, you don’t have to worry about any real-life scary things happening to you…right?
And then the final token of proof that the people behind this film were clearly causing the smoke we saw earlier…
I shit you not, This Ghost. And he sounds like he’s high as he wishes all the children a happy and safe Halloween.
“And don’t forget…I know where you live.”
Naturally, his appearance brings on the disco music that is featured so prominently in this film. Seriously, why was this music a thing? Perhaps he’s the Ghost of Coronet Past?
And that’s Halloween Safety (Second Edition). So let’s sum it all up:
- Disco music still existed in the Coronet World of 1985.
- Animated jack-o-lanterns talk…and wink.
- Pumpkin lobotomy and de-gunking is borderline cannibalism.
- Robots can wear leg warmers in the name of safety and functionality.
- Your neighbor taking a Polaroid of you is perfectly fine. Think nothing of it!
And a whole bunch of other stuff about crossing roads safely, throwing out bad candy, and vandalism is bad.
All the important ways to stay safe on Halloween.
According to an animated jack-o-lantern who only appeared after disembodied masks floated in marijuana smoke to disco music.
And This Ghost.
Look folks, I never said educational shorts were particularly educational. At least, not the way they should be.
Seriously, just watch. The pain won’t hurt you once the contact high takes over.
And since this wasn’t the first time an educational short extolled the importance of Halloween safety, let’s see how it was done in 1977…
We’re two days and counting to Halloween, and we’re not quite finished yet.
Oh no, there’s more to come. When did Allison’s Written Words ever not do a holiday to death?
Seriously, Ides of March. It’s creepy. And worth celebrating!
I shall return…Animated Jack O shall not!
And neither shall This Ghost.
Seriously, sleep = overrated.