This takeoff on horror films reveals the truth about Halloween.
More accurately put: “This combination of every groan-inducing, generic horror film or scary story cliché Chick could dredge from the recesses of his sheltered, dullard mind are reminiscent of some kind of goofy hallucination that incorporates a bunch of stereotypical Halloween icons while bearing no resemblance to anything that is in any way a truth about Halloween.”
In ample time for the holiday in question (so you can get enough copies printed to hand out to trick-or-treaters instead of or in addition to candy, like some kind of asshole), I give you…
“Camp Basil Bub”? What, was “Camp Lou Siffer” copyrighted or something? I guess everyone in the Chickverse is too fucking stupid to look at a really awkward-sounding name and recognize it as the shoehorned pun it is. “Hey, guys, we’re going to be staying at Camp Thekillerisn’tdeadhe’scomingbacktokillmorepeople. I think it’s Native American or Hebrew or something.”
And, yeah, renting out an entire fucking camp on its “GRAND REOPENING” for only fifty dollars isn’t in any way worthy of suspicion.
Man, this place is just a hotbed for random animal fights. You’ve got, what, snake versus woodpecker (versus worm) over on the right, salamander versus butterfly on the bottom left, and up in the tree, it’s owl versus anthropomorphic hair pick.
“Charlie, I know why you got this place so cheap!” “Why?” “Because it — wait, why does my finger smell like I just dragged marmalade through cat entrails?”
Ah, I know why the place is so cheap: The insides of the cabins are formless voids. “We got rid of absolutely all matter, so you SAVE BIG on our campsite rentals!” There are probably, like, six thousand other people staying in the same cabins, but they’re all infinite amounts of distance away from all the others.
It’s nice that the cabin is so informative, but it’s a little creepy that it’s eavesdropping on its occupants’ conversations like that, and a little unnerving that it seems to be kinda talking to itself.
Salem High, huh? Oh, that’s real fuckin’ inspired. Does Dr. Frankenstein still teach advanced biology? Has Mr. Dracula retired yet? And wow, thirteen people were killed. Where’d that number come from? How unusual.
Come to Camp Basel Bub, home of the four-foot-tall squirrels. Or is it four centimeters tall? Either it’s freakishly enormous and standing next to the cabin, or freakishly tiny and standing on the branch.
“Gasp,” thought the house, “I just remembered I forgot to feed the cat this morning!”
You know, I was just thinking to myself, “man, these are really fucking generic ‘horror’ elements in this thing so far. He might as well just toss in a spider and some bats and, like, ghosts that look like sheets with eye holes cut into them and shit.” Well, there’s the spider.
Yep, he MUST be dead. Because, y’know, cops never make mistakes, and people can be entirely certain that they’ve actually scored successful lethal hits on a person or animal without being able to visually confirm such by viewing the body, which has somehow disappeared without a trace. TOTALLY dead.
So are these individual roofing shingles that are talking, here, or…?
What the fuck would Satan want with a dead cat?
Wow, a killer with a jack-o-lantern head! Where does Jack come up with this stuff? I never would’ve expected THAT. Not in a story about Halloween.
You can’t see it, but on the other side of the tree is a sign that says “Please remember to curb your snake”, and he has to walk around with a little inverted plastic baggy over his hand to clean up after it every time it shits or he’ll be fined.
So, what’s the back-story, here? Some mentally unstable dullfuck had a birthday on Halloween and became obsessed with it, and then snapped and started killing people as some sort of twisted self-birthday-present? WHO IS THIS BEPUMPKINED FIEND WITH THE TALKING ASS!?
Haha, wait, what? Halloween is Satan’s birthday? …what? I just… that’s… so stupid and untrue.
Hey, is that Ron Jeremy? Run, Ron! Protect the penis! Thing’s so huge and unwieldy, it’s got to be a magnet for those kinds of injuries.
BUZZZZZZZ It’s not an actual chainsaw, it’s a novelty chainsaw-shaped vibrator. You know, between the vibra-chainsaw and Ron Jeremy, this could just as easily be an artist’s rendering of a still from a really cheesy Halloween-themed porno. I dunno, “Dick or Treat”, or “A Wet Dream on Elm Street” or something. Maybe they can incorporate incest somehow and make some awful pun along the lines of “Pump Kin”.
Carrie really ought to have listened to her mother’s advice and just stayed home. Admittedly, all she said was “They’re all gonna laugh at you” over and over again, but it still would’ve prevented this from happening.
And all the poor, helpless cabin can do is shout out in protest. No wonder it snapped and started arguing with itself — all it can do is just sit there and watch the murders.
“If it’s the same killer… we’ll need an army! Or, y’know, someone who’s taken some kind of marksmanship training, so that some of our bullets will actually make contact this time.”
He’s choking, but what the fuck did he expect eating a cake with saw blades inexplicably jutting through the pieces? And what’s he so worried about, anyway? He’s telekinetically levitating his coffee cup — he should be able to fend off the killer with such a superpower.
You know, why didn’t they just, uh… shut down the camp? Who even runs the place? Maybe they should investigate THAT person. I mean, doesn’t the name tip anyone off at all? “There’s another massacre going down at Camp Basil Bub. Wait a minute… Basil… Bub… Beelzebub. Hold on a second — that’s almost asking for trouble!”
Well, at least the cat got away unscathed. Y’can thank Satan for THAT.
BANG! BLAM! You know, I don’t see any bullet trails like there were in The Chaplain. No wonder their shots have all been so ineffective: They’re shooting blanks!
What in the name of shit? So Satan puts on a pumpkin and runs around killing people with a chainsaw. Well, then. Okay, I guess. Maybe Jesus will dress up as a pirate or something, I dunno.
Apparently when Deputy Tony Clifton gets scared, he goes all limp-wristed and starts speaking in “Old Timey Fancy Speak”. “‘Tis the Devil himself! Legs, deliver me forthwith from the grasp of peril, ‘ere I suffer unfathomable turmoil!”
Die, you @!!!**!
He’s number one! He’s number one! And he’s also totally fucking coked out.
I think the deputy’s mouth is just always open into the form of some mortified, astounded grimace. He must have some kind of jaw disorder or something. Jesus.
Saints? Uh-oh! He’s a Catholic! All the villagers are super-damned, now — as we all know, a Catholic’s blessing secretly counts as an appeal to Satan.
That dog should have been Fang. I’m… profoundly disappointed.
So, killing campers with a chainsaw and sneaking up behind people and shouting really loud. You know, so far I’m really not impressed with Satan’s tactics, here.
Huh, Satan apparently really doesn’t take well to strong disapproval. Shouldn’t it be kind of taken as a given at this point that “The Lord [disapproves of/criticizes] Satan”?
You know what this panel needs? A chase scene to the tune of Yakety Sax.
I have no clue where this is supposed to be taking place. It starts off in a Vermont-looking forest, but “the village” seems to be somewhere in the middle of a desert in northern Africa. Though that large astral body floating out in the background looks kind of like Earth, so maybe this is all some futuristic colony on the Moon or something.
Well, that’s not very nice, kid. Just because he’s the devil doesn’t give you license to be rude.
Wait, so now Halloween isn’t supposed to be Lucifer’s birthday? Then why in fuck was there so much earlier mention that it was? Gyah.
Hey, I don’t remember this boring-assed scene in even the lamest of horror movies. Get back to the goofy Satan-as-Pumpkinhead-killing-people plot.
Gee, I dunno, kid, who the fuck would have kicked rebellions angels out of heaven? Hrmm, wow, this is a real fucking toughie. Uh, was it… Gene Shalit? No wait, Gore Vidal. Molly Ringwald? Sir John Gielgud. Wait, no. Goddamn, this is really hard to figure out. Cory Feldman. It HAS to be. Aw, hell, hold on. God. This is — oh, wait, that was right? God? Wow, never would’ve expected that.
Pastor Paul Bunyan.
He looks excruciatingly tired. I really don’t blame him.
Why do I suddenly have the urge to buy Brawny paper towels?
So, Satan and the demons aren’t already in hell in this Tract, and they’ll instead all be sent into the “lake of fire” at some indeterminate point in the future. Which seems to differ from Chick’s usual story. And if it was Jesus who created the lake of fire, then he’s kind of a sadistic asshole, huh? I mean, this is basically outright admitting what I’ve pointed out in the past: God is incapable of forgiveness, and though the ultimate decision lies with him, he still inexplicably and cruelly sends people to a punishment that is infinitely worse than any transgression they may have committed. So either his hands are somehow tied by the power of Satan and he can’t not send people to hell, meaning he’s weak and worshiping him is kind of stupid and useless, or he’s a complete asshole, in which case the only moral course of action is to rebel against him.
Fuckin’-A, he’s really padding this one out, isn’t he? Compare this to one of the wordier ones drawn by Fred Carter — you know Jack could’ve fit this whole message into HALF this amount of space. Instead, we get one sentence per frame with talking buildings and shots of people through windows.
No, sorry, Jack, you have no idea what’s behind this celebration.
I’m sure “satanists and witches” are thinking “How DARE these little kids dress up like Spider-Man and Dora the Explorer and Ronald Reagan on this, our most sacred of holidays! It’s a shame it’s all become so commercialized, now that so many children think it’s only about the candy.”
Note to Mr. Chick: SPEECH IMPEDIMENT != AUTOMATICALLY ADORABLE
“Grr, I’m a spooky Druid! I look kinda like Saruman, portrayed by Christopher Lee! Look at my spooky worship doodad that I’m holding all spooky-like, in such a way that you can’t really be sure I’m not just going to randomly club you with it. I’m a Druid! Don’t trust me! Hate me and all of my customs and beliefs based on Jack Chick’s inaccurate descriptions! Boogaboogaboogle!”
Since when is Druidism Satanism, anyway?
Yeah, and guess what? Nearly all Christian holidays are of Pagan origins. *gasp* Easter, Christmas — all originally festivals celebrated by those “spooky” Druids.
No, “Samhain” roughly means “November”, shithead. It was the celebration of the harvest, and usually they’d light fires and perform rituals that were supposed to protect from evil spirits. But hey, at least he’s not claiming Samhain was the “Lord of Death” anymore, so he’s at least getting a little warmer.
And no, the Druids did not exchange jack-o-lanterns for human sacrifices. Why’s she protesting, by the way, if she knew what was coming? Wouldn’t you expect fervent believers would come to terms with the particular customs that they’d expect were normal and inevitable?
This is all roughly the equivalent of my taking random elements of Christian imagery and mythology (Let’s say: crucifix, taking communion, and “casting the first stone”) and making up a story about them with no regard for the chronology of history: Many Christians take communion, and little kids think it’s fun to drink the wine because they’re not old enough yet, but they have no idea what’s behind this celebration. Thousands of years ago, men in white conical hoods with eye holes used to burn crosses on the lawns of black people to remind them of the letter “t”, which stands for “torture” or “torment” — a stark reminder of the hellish punishment that would await the unholy — and they would all gather around the fire and bake morsels of bread that they’d flatten so that they could more easily pierce them with a stick for holding over the fire. They would then take turns throwing rocks and dirt at the cross to extinguish it, with the most innocent among them — usually a child — throwing the first handful. Whenever the fires got out of control, they’d put them out with whatever liquid was handy — usually wine. If the fire stayed under control, they’d get to drink it instead.
Most of the people who leave this kind of graffiti are just angsty goth kids with mascara-smeared eyes who are attaching themselves to empty symbolism that’s become associated with the counterculture, and want to demonstrate that they aren’t tools of society or whatever. I’m confident that there’s extremely little correlation (and likely none at all) between “Satanist” graffiti and actual human or animal sacrifice. Like genuine Satanists don’t have anything better to do than run around tagging any available flat surface with a can of red spray paint.
Thousands of high school students are admitted to emergency rooms each year to have pieces of witchcraft shrapnel removed from their bodies.
Does God really even have a face? I think a more accurate way to put this would be: “Satanic human sacrifices are a slap against the flat, featureless surface where one might otherwise expect God’s face to be.”
“Halloween opens the door to witchcraft! For proof, read other things that we have also written ourselves.” I wonder how many people actually fall for this “outlandish, nutty statement supported by ‘evidence’ from other outlandish, nutty writing from the same sources” tactic. I fear the answer may depress me.
Bleh, I’m getting really bored. I’ve counted the pages, and this Tract is just as long as all the others, but it seems so much longer, mostly because he’s managed to spread a page worth of content over, like, what, six pages?
Why would anyone — God and Satan included and especially — give a fuck? What does it matter? Do neither of them have anything fucking better to do? I mean, I’ve got some DVDs they can borrow, if they’re that fucking bored. Maybe we could all chip in and get them each a Nintendo DS, so that they can play video games against each other instead of worrying about this whole stupid “soul” business. I bore pretty easily, but I don’t think even I could become so bored that I could bring myself to care about all this. Just let people live their fucking lives.
You know, it’s kind of startling how similar the fundamentalist versions of God and Satan seem to be. They both share the same obsessions, they both seem to feel that the ends are worth any means, they’re both pretty fuckin’ fascist, they both have this huge interest in this stupid “soul catch” game, they’re both pretty petty, they’re both angry and wrathful, they both trick people for whatever each of them feels is some ‘ultimate plan’ or ‘greater good’… the list goes on.
Satan could spear a fish with that nose.
So, wait, how does Halloween factor into any of this? Why is it impossible for kids to go door to door dressed as Sephiroth or Frank the Rabbit from Donnie Darko or whatever collecting candy and at the same time believe in Jesus? Where is there any kind of conflict of interest, other than perhaps gluttony once they get home and pig out on all their party-size candy bars?
Couldn’t the guy in the back come up with anything better than “you rat”? I mean, the guy helped trick him into an eternity drifting between unfathomable misery and ceaseless, limitless pain — you’d think he’d at least get a “@!!!**!” or something.
And what the fuck is “the laughing place”? I feel I’m missing some crucial context, here, that’s necessary for getting this ‘joke’.
No, Jack. No, it’s not “the SMART move”. Participating in this entire shitbrained process, this whole system of Biblical “good” and “evil”, this inaccurate and just plain fucking retarded binary way of classifying the scope of all human actions, is in fact pretty fucking stupid.
“Boo” is right. Though, it’s more of the “get off the stage” variety.
We were promised a slasher-movie-style plot, but it ended up turning into practically the most padding I’ve ever seen in a Chick Tract to date. Satan puts on a pumpkin over his head and inexplicably kills a bunch of people with a chainsaw at some camp that really ought to have been shut down, and then he takes off the pumpkin and some kid scares him away and the rest of the story is about eight lines of dialog stretched over about twelve pages of Tract.
It’s like if in the middle of Saw, the killer revealed himself and then pulled up a chair in the middle of the room so that they could all sit back and talk about Hodgkins Lymphoma for the rest of the movie without any more mention of killing or any kind of explanation for what had been going on in the first half of the film. Oh, and each character only says one line every thirty seconds.
For more Halloween fun, check out the Chick Dissection archives — I’ve dissected about four or five others, and I think he still has a couple others with this theme for whatever the fuck reason.
Next week, a guest Dissection of Gunslinger by Ascendance and yours truly. Stay tuned and tell your friends.