First, a confession. Tales Of Halloween may not be the DVD that has sat unwatched on my shelves for the longest, but I can pinpoint the exact day it came into my possession: it was one of the presents from my uni friends for my 50th birthday!
Each Halloween since 2016, I've promised myself this would be the year I rip off the cellophane wrapping and watch this anthology flick.
Finally, it has taken the October Horror Movie Challenge to get me to actually crack open the movie... and what a treat it was.
At first there's a feeling of Fog-like déjà vu when we hear Adrienne Barbeau's purring tones as the late-night radio DJ and she's the tenuous linking device between the 10 short stories (each written and directed by a different person or team) that compromise this mixed bag of Halloween horrors.
All set in and around the same nameless town - which we are told always go a bit crazy on All Hallow's Eve - the majority of the tales are darkly comedic, although some are out-and-out gruesome, and one - Ding Dong, written and directed by The Woman's Lucky McKee - veers off into arthouse weirdness for a twisted contemporary remix of Hansel & Gretel.
One story, Friday The 31st (written by Mike Mendez and Dave Parker, directed by Mike Mendez), even features a Jason Voorhees-lookalike killer (Nick Principe) running into a tiny alien, an encounter that quickly degenerates into a bizarre Evil Dead-style Grand Guignol splatterfest.
With each story being, in essence, its own "Tales Of The Unexpected", building-up to a climactic twist or shock, it feels as though Tales Of Halloween tears through its 93-minute duration in no time at all.
Peppered with famous faces, often in almost fleeting cameos, it's a great game to play "spot the big name" in each chapter of the film.
It's a pity there wasn't a bit more connectivity between the tales, even a few characters from one story appearing in the background of others would have been a nice touch, although the final story, Bad Seed (from Neil Marshall, director of Dog Soldiers, The Descent, Hellboy), alludes to the murders in the first story, Sweet Tooth and some ghostly eye-taking (eyes are a recurring target in the film) from Axelle Carolyn's Grim Grinning Ghost.
There's also a couple of creatures in different stories that look very similar, but don't appear to have any connection, which is slightly jarring.
But these are minor niggles for what is a very competent and entertaining collection of short horror films woven together into a neat, little package.
If you need a breakdown of the individual stories, check out my pal Justin's review of this flick from earlier this month (and see his stats for using Killer Pumpkins in Dark Places & Demogorgons)
You'd think that in a film with 10 different tales of Halloween-themed horror, often featuring demons and monsters, there's be quite a lot of material to adapt, but actually in many cases the revelation of the creature is the climax of the piece and we don't get to see them in action.
Killer pumpkins are magically activated when a face is carved into them. Then, using root tendrils for mobility, they attack and devour sentient lifeforms with stealth and cunning.
They are surprisingly fast for animated pumpkins, which makes them difficult targets for ranged attacks when they are in motion, but are relatively easy to kill because - for all their magical ferocity - they are still just pumpkins.
AC: 7 
Atk: Bite (1d8)
- SPEEDY: Missile attacks at Killer Pumpkins that are moving (eg. not engaged in combat) are rolled at Disadvantage due to the combination of speed and their small size.
- ENLARGED MAW: Their ferocious speed and the giant size of their mouth means they score a critical hit on natural rolls of both 19 and 20.
- LURE: Like an angler fish, when resting, the Killer Pumpkin can manipulate its inwards to resemble golden coins (or sweets) to trick unsuspecting passers-by to stick their hand in its mouth. And fall victim to a surprise attack bite. Killer Pumpkins have been observed devouring small children and halflings in a couple of bites after employing this fiendish ambush.
- IMMUNITIES: As magical constructs, the Killer Pumpkins are immune to mind control magics, sleep, charm etc
FILMS WATCHED: 31
NEW TO ME: 24