Monday, November 05, 2007

Jack Chick Halloween Special - Part 2

In case you missed Part 1, just scroll down and read it you lazy bastard!

Jack Chick has spent the last 40 years putting the "mental" back into "fundamental" with his hateful little comic book tracts. These "Chick Tracts" rail against all the things that are wrong with the world: Catholics, hippies, rock music, astrology, evolution, etc. But for some reason, the one item that rides at the top of God's shit list is Halloween. Why? Well, the reasons are so myriad and insane that it would take several pamphlets to enumerate them. Fortunately for us, Cap'n Jack has set out to do just that, which brings us to the second entry in his crazy-ass parade...

Boo! (1991)
Like the much touted "War on Christmas," Jack Chick believes that the true meaning of Halloween has been lost amidst all the secular hijinks and commercialism. You see, when kids put on those Batman costumes and wander from house to house asking for candy, they are actually reenacting an ancient ritual where druids used to put on Batman costumes and wander from house to house asking for children and virgins.

Our story opens with Charlie, a high school student in his mid-30s, renting out a campground for the annual Salem High School Halloween party. And the name of this campground is... wait for it... Camp Basil Bub! Haw, haw, haw! Our middle-aged high school student gets a hell of a deal on the place because just one year ago, 13 people were... MURDERED! And despite the fact that the killer was riddled with bullets and still got away, Charlie gets right to planning the evening's festivities. You know, music... snacks... sacrificing a live cat at midnight. And as the honking high school students drive away, a sinister figure with a pumpkin head and a pet snake suddenly realizes that he forgot his chainsaw.

Midnight comes, and things are getting mighty wild at Charlie's Halloween party. The three or four people who showed up are gathered around an altar for the cat sacrifice when, suddenly, the pumpkin-headed man bursts into the cabin WITH HIS CHAINSAW! So apparently he went home and got it, thus neatly wrapping up what could have been a storyline left dangling for years. Take a lesson, writers of Lost!

Anyway, the pumpkin-headed killer dices up everybody at the party except for one guy, and a mouse and a cat, all of whom flee the grisly scene. Apparently, the sole survivor calls the police, and one of the deputies interrupts the Chief, who is using black magic to levitate a coffee cup when he gets the news of the massacre.

Forty minutes later, the Chief and his sombreroed federales have emptied their guns into the pumpkin-headed killer, who removes his mask and reveals himself to be... SATAN! The sight of the effete Prince of Darkness proves too much for one of the deputies, who lapses into an Irish brogue as he flees.

Satan makes his way to "the village" and, for nefarious reasons we mere mortals may never understand, decides to cap off an evening of slaughter by scaring a Christian. He crouches outside the window of the "Village Church" and peers inside at Joey, a fine young man who apparently spends many an evening praying until after midnight. So what was Joey praying for? No idea. I think he was pissed that he didn't get invited to the Salem High Halloween party, so he asked God to send an unstoppable killer to hack up Charlie and his friends with a chainsaw...

As Joey makes his way home from his marathon prayer session, the devil jumps out and tries to scare him. But Joey's faith in the Lord is strong! He rebukes Satan, who literally runs for the hills while shouting swear words that are apparently best left to the imagination. Joey defiantly shakes his fist and tells the devil that he hates him *and* his lousy birthday!

The next day, a clearly shaken Joey goes to see his pastor, which seems like a reasonable course of action once you've had a personal run-in with the Hoary Master of the Netherworld. I mean, let's face it. Once you've come face to face with the very embodiment of evil, you're going to have some questions of a very spiritual nature.

What Joey wants to know is if Halloween is really Satan's birthday.

"Of course not, you retard," the pastor almost replies. He then launches into the standard Jack Chick diatribe about druids and human sacrifice. Now, this kind of bothers me because early on in the story, the devil himself referred to Halloween as his birthday. Why would he lie about something like that? I swear, sometimes Satan can be such a bastard!

Anyway, the Insane-o-meter gets cranked up to 11 as the pastor explains Satan's plot to Joey. Satan uses Halloween to trick little kids into becoming werewolves and witches, and then they commit human sacrifice, which God really hates. Not because it's murder, but because it makes a mockery of the crucifixion, which Satan is trying to keep you from hearing about. And THAT, Pastor Moe Howard informs us, is his trick.

I can't help but be disappointed with Chick at this point. Usually he puts a lot of thought into his conspiracy theories. I mean, he's concocted a secret history of the world involving lost Israeli tribes, the Illuminati, the European Union, the Lincoln assassination, the liberal media, and the Catholic Church. That's batshit crazy writ large, my friend! But what do we get for Satan and Halloween? Some half-assed attempt to connect a bunch of unrelated dots. Let's face it. This "wicked scheme" is even lamer than Joker's attempt to conquer Gotham City by becoming King of the Surfers.

So that's pretty much it for Boo! In an epilogue of sorts, we see that Joey managed to scare the devil back to Hell by talking smack about his birthday. Whimsically dressed in his pumpkin head, Satan laughs good-naturedly as a tormented soul shakes his fist from damnation's flame and calls him a rat.

Powerful stuff.

Next: A kid dies tragically on Halloween night, and a Sunday School teacher comforts his friends by assuring them that he's burning in Hell. Don't miss Happy Halloween!


Professor said...

okay I'm terrible I know but I jsut cannot get into this! I'm sorry! i'm still reading, tho!

Farrago said...

Great label! "How I stopped thinking and learned to love the lord!" HAW! HAW!

And "using black magic to levitate a cup" made me nearly pee myself!

scarletvirago said...

Carefull, you're bitter-baptist roots are beginning to show.

Eric said...

Wow, some folks you can look at and think, well I can pretty much imagine the type of nurturing events that led up to where they are now. But nothing that I can imagine (and I'm fairly imaginative) would lead me to understand where Jack Chick evolved to. HAW HAW HAW, what a laughing place.

Irb said...

Professor: That's okay, sweetheart. It takes a special blend of Baptist upbringing and cheerful blasphemy to fully appreciate the Jack Chick experience.

Farrago: I'm still toying with starting a blog specifically about Jack Chick. If I ever do, I'll call it "Jack Chick's Funnybook Gospels, or How I Learned to Stop Thinking and Love the Lord."

Scarletvirago: Beginning to show? Where the hell have you been?

Eric: I can only imagine Jack Chick had a worse Baptist upbringing than I did. Of course, he didn't have stacks and stacks of Jack Chick tracts to keep him entertained during the sermons, which is why he turned out like he did...