Leaves are falling, the baseball playoffs are at hand, fantasy football leagues have already been through their first serious blow-ups, somebody said something about midterm exams, and it’s time to start pondering what direction to go with your Halloween costume—funny, scary, appealing to the ladies, and/or dangerously flirting with being too “offensive” for your campus speech codes. Let’s try to make the upcoming weekend inspirational on all counts.
MLB-wise, the American League pits the Angels vs. the Royals and the Orioles vs. the Tigers, while the National League sees the Nationals against the Giants, and the Dodgers taking on the Cardinals. The NFL barrels into week five (already) of the 2014 season with a full slate of Sunday matches.
At the movies, scary doll flick Annabelle and married-people suspense thriller Gone Girl hit screens. On TV, the stand-up sitcom Mulaney debuts, Bob’s Burgers returns, and Tom Sizemore battles the Jersey Devil in Dark Haul on SyFy.
Eclectic live music events include hip-hop giant Nas, EDM big-shot Steve Aoki, metal monsters the Black Dahlia Murder, and Life in Color black-light rave happenings in college towns in Massachusetts and Oregon. You can also tour Madison, Wisconsin breweries on a bicycle.
Here are the 15 coolest things to do this weekend.
Annabelle in theaters
The creepy doll from last year’s demonic possession horror hit The Conjuring gets its own spinoff movie, and even if the flick consisted of a two-hour close-up on that monstrosity’s grotesquely grinning wooden face, it would still be terrifying. Alas, Annabelle also mixes in a home invasion by a Satan-worshiping cult and the origin story of how that heinous plaything came to be, so fright fans should have plenty to scream at here.
This is it now. The playoffs. For real. The first round of them anyway. Over in the National League, the Cardinals will be playing the Dodgers in L.A. tonight and tomorrow, while the Giants play Detroit in D.C. The American League does a bit of Stadium hopping with the Angels hosting the Royals on Friday, and then vice versa on Sunday; likewise the Tigers will play the Orioles in Baltimore on Friday, and then switch to Detroit for Sunday’s game. We’re confident you can keep up.
Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare Haunted Houses
Halloween-season haunted house attractions are opening up this weekend all over the country and the gore-soaked granddaddy of them all is Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare, with locations in Scottsdale, Arizona and just outside of Chicago. Each site boasts three major, utterly immersive scare venues created with cutting edge technology that based on Zombie’s films: The Haunt of 1000 Corpses, Lords of Salem in Total Blackout, and The Haunted World of El Superbeasto in 3D. There’s also the Bloody Boulevard, a morbid midway with wandering monsters, freak shows, and other ghastly delights. Check out the website for full details.
Gone Girl in theaters
Sure your girlfriend and maybe even your mom read Gone Girl, the bestselling novel, so maybe this looks like a chick flick. Just bear in that the plot is a sick and scary mystery, and the film is directed by David Fincher, who’s made artfully brutal masterworks on the order of Fight Club and Seven, along with Zodiac, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and the all-time college classic, The Social Network. All that means is that you should probably get gone to the movie, dude.
The Black Dahlia Murder and Suicide Silence
Extreme heavy metal barrels into the Windy City as the Black Dahlia Murder and Suicide Silence storm Chicago’s truly excellent rock venue, the Bottom Lounge. Erupting up out of Michigan, the Black Dahlia Murder’s monstrously popular melodic death metal is as devastating as the heinous true-life crime for which the group is named (do not do a Google image search without a barf bag handy). Riverside, California’s Suicide Silence do deathcore properly and proud, incorporating black metal, groove metal, grindcore, and thrash. Expect to see a lot of black t-shirts at this show, and to be able to hear nothing for days afterward.
Life in Color
Life in Color bills itself as “the world’s largest paint party” and residents of the supremely colorful college towns Worcester, Massachusetts and Eugene, Oregon will have an opportunity Saturday to see if that’s true—and/or to make it so. The happening promises live DJs, spontaneous EDM raves, and thousands of revelers splattered with dayglow paint underneath black lights and pulsing strobes set on “super seizure” mode. Do we dare say they’re getting down and letting go “ecstatically”?
Dark Haul on SyFy
It’s surprising to realize that Dark Haul, premiering at 9pm, is the first SyFy Original production to star great character actor turned even greater supernova of bad behavior Tom Sizemore. Alas, here we are. The plot concerns an ancient monster—the Jersey Devil, to be specific—escaping the 18-wheeler in which it’s being transported. Also watch for female lead Evalena Marie as a devilishly hot Jersey girl.
Brewery Bike Tour with Hop Head Beer Tours
Madison, Wisconsin’s Brewery Bike Tour begins at Machinery Bicycles (should you need a proper vehicle or any other two-wheeler accouterments), from which participants will ride to Ale Asylum, Next Door Brewing, and One Barrel Brewing, before reconvening at the bike shop. Just remember: PUI—peddling under the influence—is really sort of a thing, so please roll responsibly.
Hip hop legend Nas lights up Washington, D.C.’s Lincoln Theater for two shows on Saturday. He’s also promoting the movie Nas: Time Is Illmatic, a documentary marking the twentieth anniversary of his landmark debut album, Illmatic. If you can’t make the shows, do catch the flick, as its playing independent movie theaters throughout the country now.
Superstar electronic dance music DJ Steve Aoki continues a great year that began with his Linkin Park collaboration “A Light That Never Comes”, and then went to the movies with his boosting the soundtracks of 22 Jump Street, Expendables 3, and Step Up: All In. Aoki’s world conquest continues with a tour that takes him on Friday to Hakkasan in Las Vegas, on Saturday to Wet Republic at MGM Grand Hotel, also in Las Vegas, and on Sunday up to Eugene, Oregon for Life in Color. Go on. Follow the man.
NFL 2014–Week 5
Wow, we’re in week five of football already. It’s almost as though spending all day Sunday watching games might make you lose track of time. You can test that theory out over the weekend, and pay attention between some especially interesting matches topped by the Texans against Cowboys in Dallas, the Falcons versus the Giants in New Jersey, and Broncos bolting into Arizona to play the Cardinals.
Tell us if you’ve heard this one before: here’s a sitcom about a New York stand-up comedian with a disastrous love life who also constantly contends with idiosyncratic friends that include a sharp-tongued chick, a chubby loser, and a zany, bombastically intrudive next-door neighbor. Oh, and the show opens and closes with the main guy on stage telling jokes to an audience. Maybe John Mulaney —a veteran comic, Saturday Night Live writer, and star of the above-described Mulaney—has never actually saw Seinfeld, but we’ll be checking out this series debut if only to determine how much he didn’t see. Also, Martin Short’s on it as an obnoxious game show host, which is a bona fide plus.
MO’ Cowbell Marathon
St. Charles, Missouri, just outside St. Louis, hosts a daylong series of bovine-themed running races topped off by the full 26-mile MO’ Cowbell Marathon. Participants and spectators alike come in cow costumes, and everybody in the vicinity seems to be banging the instrument made extra famous—and fun—by Will Ferrell in Saturday Night Live’s send-up of “Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Öyster Cult.
Fox animation’s love-it-or-hate-it greasy spoon family sitcom returns for season five, and the general consensus is that (despite a wicked takedown on last week’s Simpsons/Family Guy crossover) the love has steadily and even overwhelmingly increased for Bob’s Burgers. The season opener is a musical, and future episodes are said to include Bob’s father complicating life, and Tina falling in love with a ghost. It all starts here.
Homeland Season Premiere
A lot of people are hesitant about the return of Homeland since one of the main characters is now dead, but the fact of the matter is that it’s still one of the best-written shows on television. And honestly Brody was starting to get annoying. Truthfully, we’ll be skipping Sunday Night Football to watch this.