Sure, the little squirts get to load up on free Warheads and Snicker's bars until they achieve sugar-buzz Nirvana. But Halloween is prime party time for us big folks, too. Hey, when else is it socially acceptable to dress up like Freddy Krueger, Superman or a slutty nurse? You can't rock those looks on casual Friday unless you want to wind up in H.R. for scaring and/or sexually harassing your co-workers. So get your costume all sorted out, and then try one of these to options to pre-funk for All Hallow's Eve.
Helter Skipper & the Gilligan Mansons costume party
8 p.m, Oct. 19 at Liberty Theater, 116 W. Main Ave., in Puyallup.
After 15 years apart, this popular Puyallup band from the '90s is “older, fatter and less famous,” as the handbill for tonight's reunion show reads. But of interest to today's scenesters is the band's links to Fun Police. “Up until the Fun Police I've never played in a band that was as fun as Helter Skipper,” says Kevin Schulz, a ringleader in both collectives. “We just took a bunch of different songwriters and all kinds of crazy instruments and put them in a room to see what would happen and didn't put too many boundaries on it.” The band's “borderline anarchy” mindset could only be enhanced by General Ed, the namesake for Helter Skipper's sole CD “General Ed's Naked Circus.” “He was an old man who maybe suffered from dementia,” Schulz recalls. “But he thought he was a general and he would run around naked and tell people there was a prostitution ring going on down there. There was all kinds of chaos.” Fun Police, the Bog Hoppers and C.F.A. satellite project, Furry Buddies, are also on the bill. Admission is $6 at the door or $8 if you're too cool to wear a costume. And the show is all-ages, with alcohol available for the 21-and-over set; 253-230-2503 for more info.
Tacoma Mob Riders' annual Reaper Ride
7 p.m., Oct. 27 at Broken Spoke, 1014 S. Martin Luther King Way, Tacoma
The Mob Riders organize pedal-powered pub crawls each month in honor of their two greatest passions: bikes and beer. That explains that whooping, blinking, neon cluster of bikers you occasionally see cruising towards the Red Hot some Saturday nights.
Now imagine that motley bunch dressed as vampires, killer clowns and “zom-bees.” (That would be an undead bee. Had to be there last year.) And anyone who wants to join this year's ghoulish voyage on the 27th need only show up in costume with their bike at new Hilltop hot spot, Broken Spoke. Typically, Mob Riders make four to five stops, but other locations are secret until they depart; follow the Tacoma Mob Riders Facebook group or @cruiserbikegirl on Twitter for updates.
Grindhouse Theater presents “Phantasm” on 35 mm film
9 p.m. Oct. 26 and 27, Grand Cinema, 606 S. Fawcett Ave., Tacoma
All year is Halloween for fans of Grindhouse Theater, the Grand Cinema's monthly tribute to gory horror and exploitation flicks. But, of course, host Justin Giallo has something special in mind for the actual holiday, namely director Don Coscalleri's 1979 cult classic “Phantasm,” the movie that introduced us to creepy zombiemeister, the Tall Man. Several short films will precede the main attraction, including one based on H.P. Lovecraft's “The Shunned House,” along with a costume contest and other surprises. Admission is $9 each night; 253-593-4474 or http://www.grandcinema.com for more info.
Rock n' Roll Halloween Bash with Dr. Love
9 p.m. Oct. 26, The New Frontier Lounge, 301 E. 25th St., Tacoma
What rock band embodies Halloween more than KISS? OK, shut up about GWAR and Slipknot for a minute. And don't get your hopes up that Gene Simmons and company will show up; those money-grubbing whores cost way too much for the New Frontier. But fake blood will, indeed, be spewed and peeps will rock n' roll all night thanks to local KISS tribute band, Dr. Love. The bill also includes Splendid Vengeance and local garage-rock favorites, the Dignitaries. You must be 21 and older to attend and five bucks gets you through the door; 253-572-4020 or http://www.thenewfrontierlounge.com for more details.
Zombies vs. Cheerleaders
Doors open at 7 p.m. on Oct. 27, The Lochs, 928 Pacific Ave., Tacoma
These will be the styles du jour at the space formerly occupied by Hell's Kitchen. Come dressed as a flesh eater and/or a pom-pom shaker and you could cash in with the $300 first prize for the costume contest. Live entertainment includes '80s cover band, the M-80s, Pink Bread and DJs. All ages are welcome, but the minors have to bounce by 10 p.m. Cover $10 and you can learn by following the Lochs on Facebook.