Halloween isn’t until next Wednesday – have fun, trick-or-treaters – but there’s definitely Halloweeny stuff to do this weekend.
When it’s this close to “boo” day, it’s already prime time for haunted houses and zombie attacks, preferably not aimed at the haunted houses. Although that would be cool.
Read on … if you dare. Still there? Bwah-ha-ha!
The Beast, the Edge of Hell and Macabre Cinema return to scare the chinos off foolishly willing fear seekers. So maybe have an extra pair handy while frequenting one or more of these infamous haunted houses in the city’s West Bottoms. You can choose to morbidly meander among various lunging monstrosities in the Beast’s “open format design” (uh, just not too close to the live alligator), slide down from heaven to Hades in the Edge of Hell (sorry, it’s a one-way ticket); and be appropriately repulsed by recreated scenes from horror movies in Macabre Cinema (Jason is always happy to see you … in pieces). Good luck. You’ll need it.
Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m. to…?; the Beast, 1401 W. 13th St.; the Edge of Hell, 1300 W. 12th St.; Macabre Cinema, 1222 W. 12th St.; Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $27 (ages 13 and older).
Outlandish Swedish headbangers with an ironic, satanic bent, Ghost seems tailor-made for Halloweeny entertainment. The Grammy Award-winning metal band’s over-the-top gala of doom is fronted by Tobias Forge, who goes by the stage name of Cardinal Copia and whose facial features are obscured by a prosthetic mask. At least I think it’s a mask. The band’s other five members are known as the Nameless Ghouls, which must make it tough to cash a check. Get down – way down – to such Ghost songs as “Ashes,” “Rats” and “It’s a Sin.” Well, of course it is. Somewhere, original shock-rocker Alice Cooper is saying, “You’re welcome.”
Saturday, 8 p.m.; Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland, 1224 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $39.50-$49.50.
Picking off the living dead via laser tag is the whole point of the annual Zombie Attack at – wait for it – Paradise Park. Too good! I mean, bad! You know what I mean. In any case, a Halloweeny nirvana is promised to all laser-tag “soldiers” in search of groaning brain-eaters to blast. While more than a few zombies will have to be coaxed from hiding places, the hunting expedition includes mobile access to the family attraction’s hayride paths to shoot up any shambling undead that don’t know any better than to get out of the way. Which none of them do. Stupid zombies.
Friday and Saturday, 7-11 p.m.; Paradise Park Family Fun & Adventure, 1021 N.E. Colbern Rd., Lee’s Summit, Mo.; admission: $15.
For families not wanting to get too spooked (if at all), there’s traditional trick-or-treating, hayrides and costume contests in four age categories (0-2, 3-6, 7-10, 11 and up) at this old-timey Halloweeny event held at Shawnee Town 1929. Be sure to register a guess in the eyeball candy counting contest – winner claws all.
Saturday, 6 to 8:30 p.m.; Shawnee Town 1929, 11501 W. 57th St., Shawnee, Kan.; admission: free ($1 suggested donation).
These surf rockers extraordinaire wearing Mexican wrestling masks – hey, everybody needs a gimmick – have served as veteran pure-popster Nick Lowe’s dynamite backing band in recent years. On their own, Los Straitjackets draws one and all to the dancefloor with non-stop instrumental guitar action inspired by such 1960s legends as the Ventures and Dick Dale. The band’s bag of familiar riffs executed with fresh aplomb is seemingly bottomless. And the beauty part is they already have on their weird Halloween masks. Request: Do “The Munsters” TV show theme!
Friday, 8:30 p.m., Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $20.
Free Halloween-focused comic books are available at this seasonal opportunity for select comic shops across the country to share their love of sequential art. Fans can choose between several locally participating emporiums of graphic storytelling, where the spirit(s) of superheroes and other popular comic characters should be scary strong – not that Batman doesn’t strike fear in the hearts of criminals on a daily basis. Thanks, Bats! Of note: Elite Comics will host 12 local “art stars,” whose work will be displayed in an adjacent gallery space with autographed examples for sale. Twenty percent of any art sold goes to the Children’s Mercy Toy Drive. If the Joker shows up, tell him no tricks – only treats.
Saturday; Participating shops include B-Bop Comics (both locations), Clint’s Comics, Elite Comics, Pop Culture Comix, Pulp Fiction Comics; for store locator info and more, go to halloweencomicfest.com.
Brian McTavish is a regular arts and culture contributor for KCUR 89.3. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.