Cassie scares up costume ideas
Hey, y’all, and thank God for fall. There is no better feeling than having cool days after a long hot summer. It’s time for pumpkin spiced crap and putting up Halloween decorations. I am feeling stressed trying to come up with a great Halloween costume. Every day is Halloween to a drag queen, but the month of October allows us to get away with even more. This year I am drawing a blank on a costume. Last year, my husband and I went as Herman and Lily Munster. It was fun. Hopefully I will get a spark of inspiration soon. Time is running out.
The month of October and cooler weather also puts me in the mood to watch horror movies. I freakin’ love scary movies, especially the old-school kind. When I was little, my dad would take me to see scary movies way before I was old enough to see them. I remember being 5 or 6 years old and him taking me to the original Hills Have Eyes. It nearly frightened me to death, but my dad just laughed. I think he liked it when I would hide my face behind his arm. It was a strange bonding experience.
My fascination for horror films goes way, way back. My mother loves to tell the story of my grandfather on my dad’s side back in the 1970s in Pleasant Grove. He apparently was a cheap-ass. My grandma would hound him to take her to the movies all the time. Finally, he got fed up with her nagging and told her to get in the pickup, they were going to the movies. I was 2 years old, almost 3, and Grandma was babysitting, so I got to go, too. Cheap-ass Pawpaw drove us exactly four blocks to the drive-in theater that you could literally see from my grandparents’ back yard. She called him an asshole, but was she happy I guess to just get out of the house. The movie started. It was The Exorcist — my first movie! Mom says that I wouldn’t stop talking about the girl throwing up green stuff. These young-uns now days have Dora and Spongebob, I had Linda Blair.
Times have changed since I was a kid. People freak out if someone takes a kid to an R-rated movie. Not when I was little! Scary movies were a family event. I remember Mom and Dad taking me and my Aunt Zina to see Jaws. Zina was spending the summer with us babysitting me and my sister. I sat in her lap and clawed her to shreds with my kiddie razor talons. Sharks still freak me out to this day. Even if I am in a damn swimming pool and think of the theme to Jaws, a small part of me panics. Stupid I know, but I saw Jaws in the theater when I was 5 and it along with all the other horrible, bloody, not-kid-friendly movies might have scarred me a little.
I was 11 or 12 when A Nightmare on Elm Street came out and my little sister and I begged our dad to take us to see it. Of course, on our next trip to Dad’s (the parents were divorced by now), he took us to see Freddy kill a bunch of teenagers. It was awesome. That was the movie that started my love of special effects — trying to figure out how they did all those horrifying, bloody and gross scenes fascinated me. I think dissecting a scene in a movie to figure out how it was done made it less scary to me, but made me into an instant weirdo. I was obsessed with blood, gore and monsters.
Halloween became my Christmas; I would go all out with my costumes. My freshman year of high school, I went as Freddy Krueger, complete with bald cap and a homemade glove with plastic finger-knives. I even spray painted stripes on a red sweater. This was way before there were Spirit Halloween stores everywhere. I got second place in our costume contest. I honestly don’t remember who beat me, but I know I felt robbed.
The next year was more subdued,: I made a Spuds MacKenzie mask out of papier-mache. Spuds was the party dog used in the very popular ads for Bud Light. I think I won that year. Junior year I made an awesome set of fangs in dental tech class. (I went to the High School for the Health Professions so that was an option for us, and truthfully the only reason I took that class was so I could learn to make molds and casts for special effects.) My vampire costume was kind of lazy, but I didn’t want to go gory because I was trying to still look cute for a boy I liked. Massive fail — when he finally talked to me, I spit all over him trying to talk with those big ass vampire fangs in. Plus the teeth gave me a lisp so everything I said sounded even gayer than normal. By the way, I just looked that guy up on Facebook and thank God for unanswered prayers.
My senior year I killed it. I was in charge of a senior fundraiser so we put together a haunted house inside Room 205, our multipurpose room that was rumored to be haunted because the lights would always flicker. It was cheesy and a little corny, but had a couple of genuine scares, too. I was very proud of it. I was the tour guide and made my entire costume. I was Pinhead. (Hellraiser was huge that year.) I made the entire mask out of latex on a wig head. The pins were made from the prongs from a hair brush that I melted, painted and glued down very meticulously. It came out better than I could have hoped.
I had so much fun leading my fellow students though our haunted house. Some wouldn’t come near me and some screamed and ran away, which to me was the absolute best feeling. We raised a lot of money and had a blast doing it but it was a lot of work. That was I think the first time I used my weirdness for good. Being weird and fitting in are not easy but it is awesome when it happens.
Speaking of Halloween, who could forget the original Halloween movie. Michael Myers goes after his sister Laurie Strode to kill her and kills any and everybody that got in his way. A true classic. Laurie Strode was played by Miss Big Titties herself, Jamie Lee Curtis, and boy do I have a story about her — actually, one my mother told us years ago.
When Mom was a little girl, they lived in California. My grandpa was a ranchhand on Tony Curtis’ ranch. One day, he took my mom, who was 11 or 12 at the time, with him to work the horses. There she met a young Jamie Lee, who was also about 12. She was as my mother put it, “a little bitch!” She had a stick that she kept hitting her horse with. My mother told her, “If you hit that horse again I’m gonna whoop your ass.” She hit the horse again and so my mom whooped Jamie Lee’s ass. Needless to say, Grandpa didn’t work for Mr. Curtis long after that.
My mother told us that story a few times over the years. Most anytime we saw Jamie Lee Curtis in a movie, she’d say “I whooped her ass!” We always kinda rolled our eyes like, “Whatever, woman:” … until I brought it up to my grandpa a few years before he passed. I asked him if the story was true, he said “Hell, yes, it was true! I have never been more proud of your Momma.” I love that story, and even now every time I see that Activia pushing bitch, I think…my momma kicked her ass!
Happy fall, everyone! Remember to love more, bitch less and be fabulous! XOXO, Cassie Nova.
If you have a question of comment, email it to AskCassieNova@gmail.com.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 14, 2016.