VAIL – Halloween used to be about the fear. Some people reveled in it by ignoring their parent’s rules and sneaking over to a friend’s house to watch the now-hilarious “Friday the 13th;” others crafted the goriest costumes possible, just to scare off trick-or-treating toddlers in My Little Pony outfits. Even costume-less pranksters running around with silly string and eggs lived for scares – this time based on the fear of getting caught. Now, Halloween has morphed into an opportunity to play dress-up at parties that are pretty much the same as any other night, except everyone’s in costume. Don’t get me wrong; that’s extremely important – I want to break dance, too, and dressing up as Colonel Sanders gives me just the amount of anonymity I need to pull it off. But I can’t help but have a bit of nostalgia for when vampires and axe murder victims at least matched the number of pimps n’ hoes. Club 8150 featured an “MTV’s ‘The Real World’ Halloween Party,” hosted by “Real World” alumni Tech Money and Cameran, and it seemed as good a spot as any to troll for some frightening costumes. I knew the odds were against me, as Halloween fell on a Tuesday, but if psuedo-celebrities and a $500 cash prize can’t bring out the zombies, what can?
Tech performed a half-hearted DJ set, and while he was sub-professional, he made genuine attempts to get the crowd jumping. Cameran mostly stood around looking peckish in expensive jeans, feigning an interest in learning how to DJ over Tech’s shoulder. Apparently, their agents didn’t get them the memo about Halloween, and they were dressed in street clothes – unless of course, they were going for some bizarro-world parody of themselves. If that’s the case, much respect. Halloween is notable as the one night of the year when good girls get to dress evil, and evil equals sexy, but rarely did that intersect with a frightening getup. All manner of Raggedy Anns, Bavarian Beer Maids, Alice in Wonderlands and other hot’n bothered fairy-tale characters stalked the dance floor in practically identical leggings, short skirts and checkerboard prints, but I couldn’t tell any of them apart. A special mention goes out to a group of matching devilish roller skaters – their hellfire costumes weren’t necessarily terrifying, but the thought of skating over spilled beer and the uneven floorboards in 8150 certainly inspires terror in me. A few girls dared to be scary: A forelorn-looking zombie cheerleader left the dancefloor for the bar, perhaps sad at not finding her brain-eating squad. It soon dawned on me that evil spirits might go underrepresented once again at their own big day, so I looked around for the big runners-up: clever costumes that inspire laughter. A post-pregnancy Britney Spears, back in fine form, threw herself out on the dancefloor and tossed little Preston in the air with abandon. Ian Linnan made for a pitch-perfect Dog the Bounty Hunter, and his fiancee Joanne was perfect as Dog’s racktacular wife and partner-in-crime, Beth. Mike Lewis played Will Ferrell’s “more cowbell” character to the hilt, thrusting and banging on his real cowbell through practically every song. But my personal award for the night goes to Ryan R., who was dressed as a member of the Dick Cheney Hunting Club. He wore an orange vest and hat and carried a shotgun, and he had little quails perched on his shoulders. But the piece de resistance came when he turned his face to reveal a gaping shotgun wound, presumably inflicted by the addled VP on a botched hunting trip. His costume had humor, style, execution and genuine terror behind it, and for that, I salute him. With a shotgun. Arts & Entertainment writer Ted Alvarez can be reached at 748-2939 or email@example.com.Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado