Everyone has their staples for Halloween watching, like John Carpenter’s “Halloween” and “Nightmare Before Christmas.” But be forewarned, gentle reader, because your master of Scarimonies (God, I sound like the Crypt Keeper), Dukey Flyswatter, will suggest some gems and themes that may have flown drastically under your radar, like a schizophrenic Vampire Bat.
Week One: Horror Anthology Films. Often referred to in Europe and England as Portmanteau films, they contain a selection of stories during the course of a normal feature running time.
Friday Oct, 7th “Pet Shop Of Horrors” (1999)
Directors: Various. Stars: Manaya Onosaka,Toshiko Seki, Miho Yamada.
This offbeat anime was a popular TV series that ran for ten volumes, featuring stories adapted in a somber mode from a bestselling Manga by Matsuri Akino. Bizarre deaths are occurring all over Tokyo, and the only connection is that all of the victims bought an exotic pet from Count D and his unusual pet emporium. Count D is an enigmatic, genderbending figure whose speech could either be wisdom or smart-sounding garbage. Either way, the detective assigned to the case has big issues about his own homophobia, which in the end, only complicates things. Nope, this is definitely not a kid’s cartoon. Each of the pet emporium’s clients has had a big loss in their life and Count D serves to help them with his special pets, but there is a contract to sign, with big penalties should you not follow the instructions. Think of it as a slightly pervy and more modern take on The Twilight Zone. I got this from a used VHS bin from Rockaway Records ages ago. Amazon has the complete collection and you can stream individual episodes on YouTube, Dailymotion and Watchcartoononline.com.