Who's that a-tappin' at my chamber window?

Why, it's none other than SHOCKtober!

Let me tell you, she is primed and gross and ready for action. She's got her candy corns on standby, alternating black and orange plastic spider rings on every finger, and chin putty liberally applied in many places that certainly don't qualify as chins.

I admit, though, that I spent some time scratching my own "chins" figuring out just what to do for this year's celebration. It's not yet time to put out the call for y'allses Top 20 favorite horror films lists. Do I go in-depth on a single topic, à la the great 2019 Suspiria experiment? What topic could we all endure (and would hold up) for 31 days of posts? (I thought about doing 31 Days of Horror Movie Wigs, but honestly unless it's exceedingly obvious--like, slipping off of someone's head obvious--I never know if some coif is actually a wig. So the whole month would just be comments correcting me one way or the other. However...I'm not saying that this won't be a future SHOCKtober theme. Maybe after I take a class in Wig Recognition at The Learning Annex or something.)

After a whole lot of fussing and fretting, I took a cyber time machine back to 2005 (Can you believe it, girls? 2005!), the year this here blog emerged from my mind-womb, and dug around in the nooks and crannies of the inaugural SHOCKtober festivities. I was immediately brought back to the (pardon my nerdery) excitement of that first go at it: watching and reviewing a movie every day for a whole month! I'd never done anything like it, and lawd, I loved amassing the pile of movies I'd conquer. And I do mean "the pile." Streaming was not a thing, and while I had my Netflix queue all good to go, I was at the mercy of the postal service to shuffle the DVDs back and forth. I hit up eBay and grabbed a bunch of VHS tapes (I don't think the collector craze had hit yet, so you could still get good shit for cheap!).

A couple of these piles consisted solely of Friday the 13th films and Halloween films because apparently in addition to the movie-a-day thing, I did the F13 and the Halloween all-in-one-day marathons that month?! GOOD LORD. What was I thinking? Ah, the folly of youth and too many Riunites on ice! Just look at this pixelated as all hell picture as I got ready to dive into the Michael Myers saga. So many Halloweens have happened since then! So many media format changes! I don't live in the state where that picture was taken anymore! I still have that Loretta Lynn's Kitchen mug though!

It was also a real trip to get a re(peep) into ye grand olde horror blogosphere of yore. The heyday of horror blogging--if you want to call it that--was still a couple of years away, but the smaller sphere was mighty still! It was all so much more interactive than it is today, with all the cross-posting and reading each other's sites and commenting and blah blah blah. It was flashback-cool to see all kinds of blog and writer names from the ancient times, including Dark, But Shining, which a friend contributed to and which inspired me to give Final Girl a go in the first place. I clicked a lot of links on this reminiscin' journey, and Dark, But Shining is gone now, as are the vast, vast majority of the other blogs. Some have become blinking, flashing, Chinese cyber casinos. Others, the boring bot-driven page of random placeholder links (maybe you know what I mean). Others still are frozen in amber, their last few posts following the trajectory of many a blog's final days:

  • a post with actual content
  • (seven months later) a small update with a link to something
  • (16 months later) "I am sorry I haven't been updating this blog! I am back now, though"

And that was the last post, made in, like, 2008. It's understandable, and I am not judging! Seeing the graveyard filled with my earliest peers did, however, make assuage some of the guilt (yes, guilt, how silly, right) I feel over not posting here enough. Sure, Final Girl has had some fallow years, particularly when Gaylords of Darkness was running every week. Or that time I tried to retire Final Girl altogether, only to realize that I didn't actually want to. Simply, I am glad to be here, preparing for another SHOCKtober.

On the other hand, it all also made me wonder what will become of this place when either blogger or I shuffle off this mortal coil? Will Final Girl become a blinking, flashing, Chinese cyber casino? I hope whatever it is is eye-catching, at least. And I hope that at least one of you will bust out a Ouija Board, get in touch, and tell me!
Perusing that first insanely overambitious go at SHOCKtober got me all jazzed, though. I've got the whole month scheduled--think of it like that pile of Halloweens, except none of them are a Halloween (spoiler) and they're all in my mind--and let me tell you, it's a very exciting lineup of movies I'll be watching and writing about. Each movie is pulled from the 2020 master list of Top 20 favorites submitted by you guys; In other words, every day I'll post about someone's favorite movie. Many will be a first-time watch for me, while others I've seen but never written about. There are even a couple I have written about in the (relatively distant) past, but I think they're due for a rewatch and reassessment. There's a big variety of subgenres, a big variety of countries of origin and years produced and more. In the words of one Wendy Torrance, we're all gonna have a real good time. So as always...

Lock your doors...bolt your windows...pull up your pants...it's time for---

PS!! If you have subscribed to my newsletter feed thingy here at Avenue X (it's free!) to get emails about Final Girl updates...first of all, thank you! Second, I think maybe during SHOCKtober I will only send out the newsletter once a week with links to the week's posts...? I will be updating/cross-posting everyday, of course, but I don't know, I feel like daily emails would clog your inboxes and be a nuisance? Or would you like that? Tell me what you think! Man I need a "gen" "z" intern who can tell me what to do or something.