Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Halloween: The Happy Haunting of America Review!



5 Jolly Jack-O-Lanterns
Halloween: The Happy Haunting of America 10th Anniversary Edition is a tour of haunted attractions across the U.S. hosted by Daniel Roebuck and company and produced by Chuck Williams.  The 10th Anniversary Edition adds 10 new haunts to the documentary, and the DVD itself is jam packed to the maximum with bonus features. This new edition is also full of small celebrity cameos. Look for stars like Robert Englund, Angus Scrimm, Alice Cooper, Don Coscarelli, Tony Todd, and Doug Bradley. 

My first observation about the main feature, "Halloween...The Happy Haunting of America 10th Anniversary Edition Presented from the Magic Castle," was that it wasn't necessarily a documentary in the traditional sense but more of a visual documentary, consisting of a series of pretty quick videos of each haunt.  That is not to say that the haunts weren't researched very well, because I got the impression that the filmmakers spent plenty of time recording footage. The parts where Mr. Roebuck introduced each video segment were also full of informative anecdotes about each haunt (and about the Magic Castle, which is where the 10th Anniversary Edition was filmed). On a side note: I would like to say that my home state of Michigan was given much love because nearly half of the haunts featured were located in MI.  If you ever get a chance to head up to MI you MUST go to see the spectacle that is Erebus haunted attraction in Pontiac, MI.  As Mr. Roebuck will inform you in the DVD, this attraction actually made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.

Back to the review.  Although I was expecting full video walk throughs of each haunt, that was not what I found here. But that doesn't really take away from the quality and theme of the feature itself, since the images that are provided give you a good sense of what the rest of the haunt must be like. I would also imagine that part of the idea behind this was to get the audience off their asses to go see these amazing attractions in person. I think of the main feature as more of an introduction to what the filmmakers thought were the best attractions to go to.

There are so many special features on the DVD it would be difficult to review them all, but one that's not to be missed is "Dr. Shocker's House of Horror." In this short segment, you'll get a glimpse of a massive collection of horror related masks, toys, statues, posters, and other treats all housed in what I believe to be a small museum in Mr. Roebuck's basement (?).

Overall, I believe this DVD is a must-own for Halloween enthusiasts. While the DVD has a few shortcomings, as a whole it proves to be a Halloween fan's dream, providing glimpses into the most famous haunted attractions and a wealth of Halloween extras that must be seen to be believed! It is clear that the creators of this video, like me here at HalloweenOverkill, have a Halloween obsession and for that, this DVD goes into the HalloweenOverkill Hallow of Fame.  Also click here to check out the whole extras list and purchase the DVD.


Autumnforest said...

Oh, I always wondered if they made one of these. Yahoo!!!

iZombie said...

thanks for the solid...