When today’s newsletter arrives in your inbox, I’ll be in the middle of a daylong fast for Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. I’m by no means religious in the traditional sense—I’ve spent more Shabbats at
rock clubs than in synagogues. But I love Yom Kippur, even if my stomach doesn’t (note: my stomach definitely does not love fasting). As a child, I’d considered this day of atonement a suffocatingly strict holiday. But I appreciate the fact that Yom Kippur encourages those who practice to take the day and reflect on the past year so we can figure out how to be better to others and ourselves.
Yom Kippur also offers me a break from my “normal” October activity: cram-watching horror movies. I can’t think of another time of the year where it’s socially acceptable—nay, encouraged!—to spend evenings and weekends marathoning scary movies, which actually leaves me less anxious and terrified than reading about, say, what’s happening on the border of Turkey and Syria. Really, I’m here for a holiday that successfully gets people excited about wearing costumes to do something, anything, even if it’s an otherwise ordinary activity. And Chicagoans know how to have fun with Halloween.
Take “The Return of Michael Myers with Friends” video, in which a small team of dancers dressed as horror film villains—Michael from Halloween, Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Chucky—footwork in downtown Chicago. FootworkKingz dancer Pause Eddie made the video as the next chapter in a series of Halloween footwork videos that began more than a decade ago with an original short clip of Myers footworking in a Chicago alley. If you want the backstory, read this 2017 Fake Shore Drive interview with the creators of the original video: Gary “King Gmac” Ray, Karl Ray, and Lewis “Cool” Johnson. Pause Eddie’s video came out on Halloween 2017, and I just hope a few other enterprising dancers and videographers up the ante this year. Till then, I’ll likely celebrate the holiday by watching Mummy A.D. 1993, which I recently ordered from the cult director who made it, former boxer David “the Rock” Nelson (if you haven’t read the Reader’s 1995 feature on Nelson, do so ASAP).