Sad, Sorry, Spooky – “Halloween Party” (1950s)

As if I needed further contradiction to my lament on the stale modern state of Halloween than the one I received from my four-year-old son, here’s seven minutes of proof that Halloween in the 1950’s was about as exciting as eating a rice cake.

The title is misleading; there’s no “Party” here.  Instead there’s a brief Halloween celebration involving a Jack-O-Lantern carved in thirty seconds, a costume crisis that’s fixed in about forty-five seconds, some casual cultural insensitivities, and a whole lot of tormenting a sweet, vicious-looking german shepherd named Shep.

This is the story of Shep’s revenge.

“Halloween Party” starts with the family at home the night before Halloween, intrigued by a sinister tapping on the window. It’s Father, playing a trick on his wife and children. The trick is quickly forgotten as Father has brought with him a few pumpkins for carving along with “Indian Corn.”  There’s also a HUGE basket of apples sitting in the living room for reasons that are not made clear.

Father carves the Jack-O-Lantern in front of his family, who creepily use the terms “Sad”, “Sorry” and “Spooky” to describe it.  Junior takes his awful paper bag cat mask and tries to scare poor Shep with it. Shep growls and Junior backs off.


The family tests out the Jack-O-Lantern by turning off the lights.  Shep is frightened by the angry lit-up pumpkin and growls. The family laughs at him.


Shep will remember this.


The next day, mocked by the awful paper bag cat mask, Shep takes matters into his own hands.  He destroys the mask, upsetting Junior.  This is the most satisfying part of the film.


Mother saves the day by smearing lipstick on Junior’s face to turn him into a “lady scarecrow”, and the family heads to a creepy Halloween parade at the school.  They bring Shep, an enormous dog who has shown several times that he is afraid of Halloween masks, to the parade.  HE LEAPS INTO THE CROWD OF CHILDREN. This is supposed to be funny.


That’s the end. Really. There is no Halloween Party.


Happy Halloween.