WHERE: In the living room of my apartment in Portland, ME
FORMAT: Blu-Ray on a Vizio 32″ LED HDTV
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Just finished a seasonal experiment, feeling a little sleepy. Also, boo.
Hey, check it out, I watched Back to the Future on the same day that the movie initially takes place. Neat-o. Before I fired up the Blu-ray player, though, I conducted a little experiment on my way home from work. See if you can spot a pattern in my October 25th that you don’t see in Hill Valley’s October 25th.
Hmm, some sort of vaguely humanoid bedsheet.
A terrifying volleyball.
An inflatable garbage bag.
An adorably stupid pumpkin.
Two blobs of mayonnaise making soup for Batman.
An homage to the adorably stupid pumpkin.
A lion guarding the eyeballs at my landlord’s office.
And a piece of trash with candy and bats on it.
Wait a minute, I may have been reluctantly raised by Jehovah’s Witnesses and never celebrated any holidays growing up, but I do believe all of these items are part of the celebration known as Hollow Eve, where children dress like corpses and eat sugar. Well, if this ritual is so beloved in America that I saw eight references to it on just a short walk home, surely there must be some indication that treat-or-tricking is around the corner in Back to the Future, right?
NO, THERE ABSOLUTELY ISN’T:
Guys, I swear, I scoured every possible frame of the movie that takes place on October 25th, and I came up with four possible clues that it’s time for Halloween in Hill Valley, zero of them definitive. First of all, in the scene where Huey Lewis scolds Marty for being too darn loud, there are several bright orange chairs in the distance. Is Marty auditioning for a Halloween-themed dance, or does Hill Valley High just like ugly chairs?
Behold the glaring evidence– wow, hold on, magnify.
Sorry, I guess enhancing is out of the question.
Alright, if that didn’t rock your spooky socks, then explain this candy dish by the door in the McFly home!
Also, Biff looks like an adorably stupid pumpkin!
You’re unconvinced. I understand. Lots of people have candy dishes in their homes year-round, and you’re not supposed to give out unwrapped candy or moms will make that face. But what if I showed you someone in an actual costume?
On a television?!
Yes, I know that the costumes in the Honemooners episode “The Man From Space” are not for Halloween. Ralph, Ed, and Alice are all dressed up for a costume contest at the Raccoon Lodge, and since the episode originally aired on December 31st, 1955, it’s likely that it took place on New Year’s Eve. (What? That’s not the episode that aired on November 5th, 1955? Nope. Already covered both episodes earlier this year, in much nerd detail.) Still, it might make sense for the syndicator to air a costume-themed rerun as close to Halloween as possible, especially since the “Classic 39″ run doesn’t contain a Halloween episode. Yet, is that the closest thing we have to proof of Halloween in Hill Valley? What about this holiday promotion?
Your mind just exploded like this photo booth.
A film sale?! A-ha! With all those precious tiny humans in their murder costumes, everyone will want to take pictures of them, so a film sale clearly indicates– no, seriously, there’s no Halloween in this movie.
So, what gives? Did they avoid all traces of the holiday because it didn’t fit in with the narrative? Did they think a few adorably stupid pumpkins would be too distracting? Did they not want to commit to the date in case of reshoots? I couldn’t say, though with all the editing around Eric Stoltz, I’m leaning towards the third option. And hey, considering Christmas shit is already going on right now, maybe Halloween was only celebrated on the day it actually happened back in 1985. Still, if the filmmakers got one thing right about October 25th, it’s all the damn campaign posters.
“Progress” better be someone’s middle name.
Oh, what the hell, I can’t wait– check out my costume, everybody!
Happy Candy Time!