Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My Little Horror Pony!

Earlier this month, Kristy Jett and myself debuted a new column for The Blood Sprayer, called Little Shops of Horrors - naturally, to pimp independent horror shops that we dig. In the first installment, written by yours truly, I profiled a girl by the name of Beckie Forcier, who turns innocent My Little Ponies into creations straight out of the fiery depths of hell. This post led to me striking up a little Facebook friendship with Beckie and as a thank you for me writing up the piece, and hopefully getting her some sales, she was awesome enough to create and send me my very own Little Horror Pony, which arrived today on my doorstep, just in time for my birthday. I present to you, the newest member of my family, My Little Freddy!!

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Awwww, isn't he cute? Thank you so much Beckie, you rock and I will cherish and love him forever!

Be sure to head over to Beckie's Etsy shop, My Little Horror Ponies, and check out some of her creations, which include the likes of Ash, Pinhead, Jason, and Captain Spaulding!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Team Edward or Team Jacob?

In celebration of Twilight : Eclipse being released today, Fright Rags has just unveiled a new t-shirt design, encouraging you all to abandon teams Edward and Jacob and come on over to Team David!

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Pick it up and show your support for true vampires!

Dear The Collector,

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I am happy to say I am no longer on the fence about you, as I was when I first saw you in the theatre. You blew a dog in half with a shotgun, decapitated a defenseless feline, and I now see that you're a pretty kickass little movie. You're oozing with style, your killer is iconic and reminds me of an oldschool horror villain and your good guy turned bad guy turned good guy is, rare for a horror flick, quite complex and relatable. Well done and I apologize for being so critical of you and faulting you for reminding me too much of a Saw movie. Sometimes it just takes a second viewing to really fall for a movie and i'm glad I gave you one.

Blood, Boobs & Black Gloves!

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Ladies and gentleman, ITALIAN HORROR WEEK has officially begun over at my second home on the web, The Blood Sprayer. Starting this past Sunday and continuing through the whole week, the site has been and will continue to be taken over by all things italian horror - Argento, Fulci, you name it. There have already been several great posts by several great people, including a look at the films of Sergio Martino and a story about how Demons forever changed one horror bloggers life, and the posts will continue to pour in at a rapid pace throughout the week. So affix some needles to your eyelids and keep a close watch on The Blood Sprayer all this week, as some of the best horror bloggers in the world turn their attention to the country responsible for some of the best horror films ever made!

I'm admittedly not the most knowledgable person when it comes to the world of italian horror, but I do intend on popping up a post over there at some point this week.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Freddy In Space Turns 2 Years Old Today!

I honestly can't believe i've been doing this for two years already, especially given the fact that prior to starting this blog, I hadn't commited to any one thing for more than a couple months. In addition to having this blog for two years, i've now had a job for almost a year and a girlfriend for almost three - i'd say i've done a lot of growing up these past couple years, and a lot of that is thanks to that now almost three year old relationship. I awoke this morning to a nice little note that Jen typed up for me in Wordpad and I wanted to share it with you guys. I don't know if this makes up for her publicly outing me on my secret love for Serendipity last night, but it sure helps!

Freddy in Space, I was there from the very begining when you took your first little steps. Like that blood sucking baby from Grace it was hard not to feed your needs. Your hope and desire to bring horror to the computer screens of every boy and girl is remarkable, especially for a 2 year old. But as I watch you blossom into something that resembles the love child of Sasquatch and the creature from The Host, I know the greatest horrors are not too far ahead. They don't call it terrible-twos for nothing! This year Knock 'em dead Boots ♥

Jen, i'm not sure I ever would've started this blog if it weren't for you inspiring me, motivating me, and giving me the courage to do so. So thank you and you're right, the best is still yet to come.

Adrienne King Presents, Crystal Lake Wines

Up until this point, Crystal Lake's greatest export has been Jason Voorhees. Adrienne King, Final Girl from Friday the 13th and perhaps the greatest adversary of the Voorhees family, is aiming to change that, with her new private label of wine she's dubbed Crystal Lake Wines. Produced and bottled by one of the oldest wineries in Southern Oregon, Crystal Lake Wines are availabe in the form of a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Chardonnay. Take a look at the labels below, lest you think these are a name only tie-in to the Friday franchise, which by the way celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. I should also note that these labels feature artwork done by King herself.

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This wine has the classic cab flavors of black current, plum, herbs, and peppers, perfectly balanced with a touch of vanilla oak and moderately firm tannins.

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This wine is loaded with flavors of pear, pineapple, and has a wonderful crisp finish. This is a perfect wine for your summer picnic!

Each bottle is $20 a piece, with a minimum order of two bottles, and each will come hand signed by Adrienne King. To place an order, call Valley View Winery between 11am and 5pm Pacific Time at (800) 781-9463.

Is it just me or would a signed bottle of one of these make for one of the coolest horror display pieces out there?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

[REC] 2 - It Gets The Job Done

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This past Wednesday night, in New York City, there was a press screening for [REC] 2. Due to having a blog that's built up what I guess is a good reputation over these past two years, I was invited to the event - the first press screening i've ever gotten an invite to. As if being invited to any screening wasn't an honor enough, it was all the more exciting being that it was the screening of the sequel to one of my favorite horror movies in recent years. True, the film has been available On Demand for a couple weeks now, but the opportunity to see it on the big screen was one I probably wouldn't have gotten otherwise and so I am very grateful for that. Situated in one of the most comfortable theatre seats i've been in, without an introduction and with only four or five other members of the press, several of whom had hacking coughs, the lights went out and my very first screening began....

Like most of the better horror sequels do, [REC] 2 picks up right smack dab where we were left off the last time the record button was hit, give or take a few minutes. A SWAT team and a man from the Ministry of the Health head into the hellish apartment building, intent on putting an end to the deadly virus and of course, filming their findings. Naturally, all hell breaks loose once again and the men quickly find themselves battling an unimaginable evil, even more vicious and demonic than they, or we for that matter, anticipated.

Before I get into my thoughts on the flick, can anyone out there settle something for me, once and for all? Is the title of the movie pronounced WRECK or is it spelled out, as in R - E - C? Although everyone has their own way of saying it, nobody i've asked seems to know for sure, and it's been driving me crazy lately. I prefer to spell it out, but i'd love to know how it's intended to be pronounced. Thank you to anyone who can put this one to rest! Now, back to the movie.

The formula for a good sequel, if you're asking me, is a combination of the elements that worked from the first film and new elements that serve to expand the mythology and keep things fresh. [REC] 2 fulfills both of these criteria. There's a lot of the same stuff we saw the first go around, which is fine by me given I totally loved the first film, and there's also a bunch of new elements and ideas thrown into the pot. As the filmmakers mentioned in a little booklet we were given before the movie started, this film was more or less born out of a desire to answer fan questions and speculation regarding [REC], and it does a pretty good job at that, putting to rest most of the things we were all wondering after the end credits rolled on that film. That being said, while I did like some of these new elements, ideas, and explanations, there were also a few I really didn't dig so much, one of which even came off as kind of silly. Unfortunately, to keep this review 100% spoiler free, I really can't go into any more detail in regards to that. Some of it works and some it doesn't and i'll leave it at that. Truth be told, i'd rather new avenues be explored when it comes to sequels, whether they work or not, than nothing new be brought to the table at all, so I really can't complain too much. I will however say that there is a moment of misplaced levity in the film, during the introduction of a few new characters, that only served to kill the tension and take me out of the proceedings. At this point in the events of the franchise, humor should be nowhere in sight.

So is it as scary as the first [REC], which I personally found to be at times quite terrifying? It's hard for me to say, being that I watched this one with a crowd while I watched the first alone in the dark in my room, but ya, it does manage to recapture a bit of the fear factor of the first. Granted things aren't as effective or scary because we've seen it before and know what to expect (in the first one I had NO IDEA whatsoever what to expect), and because the victims are no longer helpess normal folk but instead heavily armed SWAT dudes, but I definetly jumped a few times and quite frankly, nothing could make the Medeiros girl any less nightmare inducing - don't think i'm spoiling anything by saying she's back, and as terrifying as ever.

My only real complaints other than those couple things that I can't really go into are with the cameras themselves. At times there's too many of them going on at once, cutting back and forth, and the filming makes it feel a lot more like a movie than it does an actual event like it did in the first [REC]. Whereas in that one the events were believably being filmed to show the outside world what was going on inside the building by documenting the madness, in this one it almost felt unnecessary for the crew to even be filming and the cutting back and forth from several different helmet mounted cameras (which give it a first person shooter video game feel at times) to a handheld camera made it feel more like you were a spectator, watching the events unfold, rather than feeling like you were in the building experiencing the events for yourself. But again, i'm glad they decided to change things up a bit rather than going down exactly the same road we've already been down.

All in all, despite some plot holes and minor issues I had with it, [REC] 2 is a solid sequel and, much like the film that spawned it, a hell of a gory thrill ride. Inferior to its predecessor, yes, but how often is the opposite the case? If you liked [REC], I can't imagine you not enjoying this one too, and that's some of the highest praise you can give a horror sequel. I've gotta call this one a sequel success story.

As of June 4th of this year, [REC] 2 has been available to download On Demand. It will hit limited theatres July 9th and come to DVD later this year. Thus, you have the opportunity to either see it alone in your own home or with a screaming audience, whichever is more conducive to you being scared shitless. Both are very different experiences, but I personally prefer to watch a scare flick alone in the pitch dark in my room, as it's really the only way I can get scared. If anyone's around, talking or texting on their cell phones, it's just not gonna happen for me. That being said, it is always a lot of fun to watch a horror movie with a packed audience who gets real into it by screaming and hollering. So take your pick!

A couple months back it was announced that there will be two more films in the [REC] franchise, a prequel titled [REC] : Genesis (2011) and a sequel, [REC] : Apocalypse (2012). The two directors who made both [REC] and [REC 2], Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza, will go off on their own and each individually direct one of them, with Plaza taking on Genesis and Balaguero helming Apocalypse. Bring it on!

What John's Up To When He's Not Blogging...

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Hey guys! It's Jen, John's girlfriend. Just wanted to inform you that your horror loving friend sat down with me tonight and watched Serendipity, in its entirety (I didn't even have to beg!). I think he might have even shed a tear or two at the end (=X). He'll probably leave a comment and justify watching it by saying that he thought it was a horror film, based on the fact that it's about a guy who hangs out with a girl for a few hours and relentlessly stalks her for seven years, but don't believe him!

Goodnight! ;)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Become a Fan of Freddy In Space on Facebook!

I know a lot of you guys and gals are already fans of Freddy In Space on Facebook, but the two year anniversary of FIS is this Friday and in celebration of that milestone, i'd love to see the number of fans jump from 384 to at least 500 by the end of that anniversary day. So head over to the page, become a fan (by clicking the 'like' button at the top), suggest it to your fellow horror loving friends, and let's see that number multiply over these next few days!

But don't just become a fan because Freddy In Space is nearing its second birthday and you feel obligated to get it a gift (or because it's my birthday next Wednesday and you feel obligated to get me one!). Become a fan because not only is it the best way to keep tabs on every new post made on here, but also because there is lots of Facebook only content and there will even be Facebook exclusive giveaways in the future, that you will only know about if you are in fact a fan. Do you need that link again?

Oh and speaking of gifts, this blog has been given perhaps the greatest gift of all this week, in the form of its first top secret press screening tommorow night. Details and review coming soon!

A Slew of New Horror Shirts!

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Wow, what a huge week this is turning out to be for the world of horror tees! First up, Fright Rags will unveil and put up for sale a whopping NINE new t-shirt designs at midnight tonight, which you would already know about if you subscribed to their newsletter - AKA go subscribe right this instant! Among the new blood will be designs for Phantasm, Street Trash, Cemetery Man and Maniac Cop as well as an entirely new line dubbed 'Killer Quotes'. Needless to say, you guys better be staying up late tonight to get first crack! (By the way, the above picture of one of the new designs was taken with a cell phone camera - wait till you see it in all its glory!)

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In somewhat related news, Jeff Zornow, the man behind many of Fright Rags' tees, whipped up the above Sleepaway Camp t-shirt, which is available exclusively at the online horror shop House of Mysterious Secrets. As with all of Zornow's work, it's an incredible piece and you should probably buy it.

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Mini Cassette Tees, one of the select few horror shirt companies I included in my list of the Top 10 Coolest Horror Shirts of all Time, also recently revealed a few new designs and they've got a killer sale going on now, with several of their shirts going for a mere 10 bucks. Head over there, check out the new tees, and take advantage of this limited time offer.

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And last but certaintly not least, Adam Green's company, Ariescope Pictures, just updated their web store, mostly with shirts based on Green's work. New Hatchet Army tees and even a Jack Chop shirt are now up for grabs. Also, you can get the official Hatchet screenplay for 20 bucks, which you can get personally signed by Green for only 5 bucks more.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Graphic Novel Review - Freddy vs Jason vs Ash

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Comic books are an incredible resource for horror fans, delivering tales that likely would never be able to make their way onto the big screen. Picking up where movies leave off, the world of comic books seems, as i'm quickly discovering, to be the place to go for what we really want to see. Case in point, Freddy vs Jason vs Ash, an epic battle between three of the biggest names in the world of horror, a battle that has been merely hinted at through subtle references in various films in the three respective franchises that the three men reign supreme. It's an encounter that we will likely never see on screen, at least in any of our lifetimes. This graphic novel, based on a screenplay that never came to fruition, and containing all six comic books in the series, brings us that battle.

Picking up right where Freddy vs Jason left off, Freddy vs Jason vs Ash is narrated by our hero, Ash, and is essentially a three way battle for ownership over the Necronomicon. Freddy wants it, even going so far as to manipulate Jason into getting it for him, and Ash stands in both of their ways, the only thing between ultimate evil and world domination. It's good vs evil vs evil in a deathmatch for horror supremacy.

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Opening with a serious bang, in a brilliant move that won me over right off the bat, Freddy vs Jason vs Ash recreates the end of Freddy vs Jason, in comic book form, and then even goes on to show us the fates of Lori and Will, the two sole survivors of 2003's big screen battle. From there, we head over to the newly built Crystal Lake S-Mart, and the bloody battle over the Book of the Dead begins, but not before Freddy figures out a way to emerge from the mind of Jason and cease to be merely a decapitated head alongside Mrs. Voorhees' on the mantle.

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Proving that the kickass opening was a hint at things to come, Freddy vs Jason vs Ash remains an incredible piece of work, staying very true to the franchise originals. Full of clever little winks and nods to the Friday, Elm Street, and Evil Dead franchises, this comic series was clearly made by diehard horror fans for the diehard horror fan who has seen all three franchises in full, and numerous times at that. For example, victims from Voorhees past, including Shelly and even the dead fuck himself, Crispin Glover, make brief returns and Ash utters a line about how stupid it is for Lori and Will to go back to a "cabin in the woods when they know a bunch of possessed horrors are waiting to swallow their souls" - a question we've all been wondering over the years in regards to Ash. It's little touches like these that let you know you're in good hands and make you feel that you're still in the same universes the movies inhabited. It truly feels like a continuation of all the films that would go perfect alongside a marathon of each and every one of them. What more can you ask for?

Freddy vs Jason vs Ash is chock full of great lines - "I'll send your shriveled ass back to "neverland" with the rest of you limp wristed glove wearing pansies", and a plethora of other dialogue that sounds to a tee like lines Bruce Campbell's Ash would actually spout - and incredible imagery - Freddy fucking Pamela Voorhees and reading stories to a young Jason, the jump roping Elm Street girls turning into Kandarian demons, and Ash having a dream sequence wherein his hand becomes possessed, yet again, and spawns Freddy's blades...to name just a few memorable moments. As you'd want from such a tale, the comic is ultra gory, with graphic depictions of beheadings and bodies being literally ripped limb from limb, in a manner that would make Victor Crowley proud.

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What i'm getting at here is that Freddy vs Jason vs Ash is totally fucking awesome and is an absolute must read for all serious horror fans. Sure it gets a little repetitive at times, rehashing the Freddy manipulating Jason plotline from Freddy vs Jason and having Ash come up with way too many different ways to insult Freddy, but it pretty much contains all of the things you'd want it to contain...and then some. With over 130 pages and a behind the scenes look at the creation of the comic series, this is one graphic novel that's well worth the price tag of upwards of around the $20 mark (it's only $12.23 + shipping at Amazon, but it's temporarily out of stock). Bottom line is ; if it were a movie, as it was originally supposed to be, it would probably be the greatest horror movie ever made. As it stands, as a graphic novel, it's one of the most enjoyable i've ever read.

I just can't get over how awesome it is that comic books let us see these worlds and scenarios that we could only dream of seeing on film. If anyone has any other horror comics to recommend, i'm all ears, as my interest in this world that i've yet to fully delve into has now been heavily peaked. Freddy vs Jason vs Ash was followed up by a six issue sequel, titled Nightmare Warriors, which will probably be my next read.

Hot Dogs, Bruce Campbell, and a Whole Lotta Boobies!

Last week I mentioned how I was excited about a few horror conventions coming to the area this summer, but they're not the only reasons i'm all kinds of amped up for Summer 2010. August 5th I will be heading out to Coney Island for what looks to be the greatest show ever....

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'Gimme Some Sugar, Baby : Bruce Campbell Burlesque'!

Put on by Casino O'Fortune Cookie Productions, the event is described as "the world's first all striptease, fire-eating, bald-magician tribute to Bruce Campbell, b-movie cult hero and hilarious horror icon. All new performances will be dedicated to his famous characters, movies, and the man with the chin himself."

Pair that with some of Coney Island's world famous hot dogs and i'd say i'm in for a night of unparalleled awesomeness.

If you're in the NY area and want to come down, check out Casino O'Fortune Cookie Productions for all the details. If you can't make it, you can always live vicariously through me, as I will be providing full picture filled coverage once I return from my night of decadent debauchery!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Sharkathalon Takes a Bite Out Of Freddy In Space!

The Sharkathalon, the horror blogging communities answer to Discovery Channel's Shark Week, kicked off this week, which would explain why you've probably been seeing so much shark related content on all of your favorite horror blogs lately. Brainchild of Bill Adcock of Radiation Scarred Reviews, The Sharkathalon is a weeklong ode to sharks in horror movies. Arriving fashionably late to the party, i've decided to get in on the fun and tell you guys a little bit about an event I attended a few years back that i've never mentioned on this blog. When you're done reading this, be sure to head over to Radiation Scarred Reviews, where Bill has a ton of shark content he's written up himself as well as daily link lists of all the Sharkathalon posts made by all the horror bloggers around the net this past week.

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I live on Long Island, New York, a place that is no stranger to the world of Jaws. Frank Mundus, the shark hunter who inspired the character of Quint from the film, was from the area as was Peter Benchley, who wrote the book, which was set on the east end. Both Roy Scheider, the film's star, and Steven Spielberg became fixtures on Long Island after the filming of the movie. So it was only natural that Long Island be the site of the first big screen showing of Jaws since its premiere, on August 24th, 2006, in East Hampton, NY. I was there. As was Steven Spielberg, Roy Scheider, and David Koepp, screenwriter of several of Spielberg's films.

As if seeing Jaws up on the big screen with an audience of fellow lovers of the film wasn't cool enough, Spielberg, Scheider, and Koepp held a Q&A afterwards. The Guild Hall, where the event was being held, got way into the event, baking up shark shaped cookies and serving up bottles of Jaws water, a bottle of which I still proudly display on my shelf to this day.

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I don't have much of a story to tell about the event other than that it was an incredibly special night, shared with my dad, that I will never forget and that I am so glad I was able to experience.

Unfortunately, less than two years later, Roy Scheider lost his long battle with cancer. That same year, Frank Mundus passed away at the age of 82. Several months before his passing, Mundus was signing autographs at an aquarium not far from my house. It was on my birthday and Jen took me there, though neither of us had any idea he was going to be there. Quite a nice little added bonus and i'm happy to say I got the opportunity to shake the man's hand.

This wasn't the most exciting read, I suppose, but it's something i've been meaning to share and now seemed like the perfect time. Viva la Sharkathalon!

Score!

Check out what I just found in the basement!

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While this is only a small portion of the Goosebumps collection from my childhood that must be lying around this house somewhere, i'd say the Are You Afraid of the Dark? book and the kickass lenticular Goosebumps bookmark make up for it!

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By the way, if you're a Goosebumps fan, you're gonna wanna pick up issue #100 of Rue Morgue Magazine, wherein there's a great piece on the series as well as an interview with the reclusive R.L. Stine.

So how many of you guys read these books in your younger days?

DVD Update - Saturday, June 19th


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^ Screener - Streets July 6th ^

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^ Screener - Streets June 22nd ^

The Thing and Funny People Blu's came from a Best Buy 2 for 20 sale, which is still currently going on. They have a few other titles in the sale, including The Strangers, Knocked Up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and Inside Man.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Drunk Love For DVD Commentaries & Friday Part 4

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Around this time last year, Paramount re-released Friday The 13th's Part 1-8 on DVD. Aside from flashy new cover arts, most of these 'Deluxe Editions' came packaged with new special features, including never before released deleted scenes. These 'slashed scenes' were the main selling point for most and convinced many to double dip and once again re-buy the majority of the Friday franchise on DVD (...for the second or third time). Due to the fact that all of these scenes were easily found on YouTube mere hours after the discs were released, I decided to hold on to my 'From Crystal Lake To Manhattan' set and not drop the extra money to get the single packaged re-releases. What I did however pick up was the Deluxe Edition of my favorite installment in the franchise, The Final Chapter. Slashed scenes and alternate ending aside, Part 4 included a fan commentary by two of my favorite people in the horror community, Joe Lynch (Wrong Turn 2) and Adam Green (Hatchet). Tonight, I spent my night cuddled up on the couch with Joe & Adam, Friday Part 4, a few cold ones, and some spicy nacho popcorn. Needless to say, it was one of the most enjoyable Friday nights i've had in a while.

As far as i'm concerned, commentaries are the most unappreciated special feature out there. Everyone loves the deleted scenes, gag reels, and mini documentaries, but they always seem to overlook the commentaries. 'Why would you want to watch a movie with a bunch of people talking over all the dialogue?', they say. For me, commentaries are the best special feature there is. Not only do they entertain, and in effect give you the opportunity to watch your favorite movies with the people directly involved in them, but they also serve as an incredible wealth of knowledge and i'd go so far as to say they're pretty much the best schooling in the art of making movies that you can get. True, it would be idiotic to listen to a commentary on a film you've never seen, but to listen to the director and/or actors talk about a movie you've seen and loved a dozen times before is a real treat. Like I said, it's almost like you're actually watching the movie with them. On a lonely night, you can always pop in your favorite flick, click on the commentary, and your lonely self is suddenly watching a movie with a crowd. Truth be told, before I found a woman who was stupid enough to fall for me, I spent many a night getting drunk and listening to the commentaries of my favorite horror films. Yep, while you were out partying with your friends and getting laid, I was watching Evil Dead with Bruce Campbell - who's the cool one now!

Now Adam Green and Joe Lynch, though talented filmmakers in their own right, obviously had nothing to do with the making of The Final Chapter - they were both under the age of 10 when it was made - but they're uber fans of the flick and the franchise in general and thus, they're the perfect people to wax poetic about it. Their commentary is so much fucking fun and it's incredibly educational as well - these dudes know so much about the making of the film that even they sometimes feel like they were involved with it. As they point out towards the end, rather than go MST3K on the film and poke fun at it, they spend the hour and a half sharing their knowledge and genuine love for it and it's a true pleasure to sit back and experience the film with such huge fans of it, my adoration for Green and Lynch's individual contributions to the horror genre aside. That being said, I wouldn't complain about a Green and Lynch commentary being included with the DVD release of every single horror film ever made....

I don't really know where i'm going with this, as i've had a few tonight and my writing prowess pretty much goes out the window past my second beer, but I just wanted to let you guys know that I spent my night watching the best Friday film of all time with two of the people I really look up to in this world. I don't know about you, but I take a lot of comfort in the fact that there are a wealth of these experiences to be had that are currently sitting on my DVD shelf, just waiting to be experienced. I love you DVD commentaries, I love you Friday Part 4, I love you child version of Corey Feldman, and I love you Joe Lynch and Adam Green.

And on the note of throwing out I love you's, the true sign that you've had too much to drink, i'm gonna call it a night.

The Freddy In Space Horror Convention Survival Guide!

We're a few days shy of the official start of summer and here on the east coast, this means one thing to me - the start of convention season. Yes, horror conventions are a yearlong thing, but things really tend to heat up here on the east coast in the summer, with conventions like Monster Mania and Horrorfind Weekend coming to town. I don't know if i'd go so far as to call myself an authority on horror cons, but i've been to more than enough to have learned the ropes and i'd say i'm just as qualified as anyone else to teach others those ropes. I've drawn up a list of tips that will not only help you survive your first horror convention, but they will also help you to get the most fun you can out of it. Follow them and I can guarantee you will have the time of your life.

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1) Network In Advance!

It's a lot nicer to arrive at a hotel that's got a few people in it that you know than to arrive at one packed with no familiar faces at all. As the years pass and you go to more and more conventions, you'll get to know people and that cramped and sweaty hotel lobby will feel like your second home, but if it's your first time, chances are you will be flying solo (but hopefully you've brought someone with you who you can hang out with). Most websites for conventions have forums so I suggest you hop on those forums in advance and chat with some fellow horror fans who are gonna be at that convention. Make some friends and make plans to meet up with them. Trust me, it'll be a big help and you'll have a lot more fun when you're mingling.

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2) Bring Lots of Money!

There is nothing worse than being at a horror convention, finding something you really want to buy, and realizing your wallet is empty. On the other hand, there is nothing better in this world than going to a convention with a fully packed wallet and knowing that you don't have to worry about not having enough money to buy that treasure at the end of the weekend. If you think $300 is enough for the weekend, bring a few hundred more. I'm not saying you have to spend it all, but as Clarence Worley taught us, it's better to have a gun and not need it than need a gun and not have it. Save up for months in advance, have a yardsale the weekend prior, do whatever you gotta do to ensure you have enough money in your wallet to be able to buy whatever the hell you want. Horror conventions don't come around all that often, so I personally have no problem dropping several hundred bucks on a single one. If not then, then when do us horror fans get to splurge?

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3) Get a Hotel Room For The Weekend!

In order to get the full convention experience, you need to stay the weekend and you preferably need to stay at the hotel that the convention is being held at. Not only can you get drunk without worrying about having to drive home or walk across a heavily trafficked street to another hotel, but you can also make pit stops up at your room whenever you want to drop off stuff you've bought and to take power naps or refuel on alcohol. Trust me, you really don't want to have to lug around bags of goodies with you all day. Stop being a cheapskate and get a damn room. You'll thank me when you're riding up to your floor in an elevator with George Romero and that dude from Dream Warriors.

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4) Stock Up On Alcohol Before You Check In!

Maybe i'm just a closet alcoholic, but for me, you can't have a horror convention without mass quantities of booze. It's nice to grab a drink every once in a while at the bar, especially at night (which we will get to in a second), but you really don't want to be dropping all your money at the bar. On the way to the hotel, stop at a liquor store, grab a bottle of Jack or a 30 rack of your favorite beer, and then go check in. Just make sure you bring some kind of leak proof bag that you can fill with ice to keep your beer nice and cold. Some hotels even offer mini fridge rentals, which are worth it for the right price.

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5) Hang Out In The Bar!

Whether you're a drinker or not, I can't stress this tip enough. In the bar is where you will most likely have the most memorable experiences of the weekend. After signing autographs all day, the celebrities just want to have a couple drinks. Where do they go? The hotel bar, naturally. This is THE meeting place at a horror convention and it's thanks to my spending good portions of my day in the bar that i've gotten wasted with some fellow horror bloggers and taken shots with Derek Mears.

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6) Don't Act a Fool!

This a tip you're gonna wanna follow if you do plan on following tip #5. When you're in the autograph room, paying to meet your favorite genre stars, feel free to geek out a bit. But when you're in the bar, or if you encounter one of those idols when they're not signing, play it cool. When he's in the bar drinking away the hours he just spent being admired and praised, Bruce Campbell doesn't want you coming up to him and sucking him off. Chances are, he just wants to hang. We're all uber geeks on the inside, but act cool and just hang out with your heroes if you get the chance. After all, they're people just like we are.

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7) Talk To People!

This one pretty much goes hand in hand with the alcohol thing, at least for me. I've been to a couple conventions where I didn't really drink too much on a particular night and so I ended up not talking to anyone. What fun is that? A large portion of the fun that comes from horror cons is meeting and hanging out with like minded people so by all means, meet and hang out with your fellow horror nerds! Besides, you never know when that weird dude with the mohawk is gonna turn out to be the guy who gets you into that awesome party up on the 6th floor. And again, much like the first tip, it's through talking to people that you're gonna meet people who you will end up seeing at future conventions. So be nice!

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8) Take Free Shit!

One thing you are guaranteed to find at every single horror convention around the globe is free shit. Companies and dealers love to give out free posters, bags, stickers, etc. Don't be shy, take their free shit! Just try and take one of each thing so there's enough to go around. Personally, I use most of this free stuff to fill out packages that I send to giveaway winners.

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9) Buy a Fright Rags Shirt!

Ok, so they're not always gonna be at every convention around the world, but if they are, take advantage of their convention prices and buy a Fright Rags shirt! And be sure to say hello to Kristy Jett and Ben Scrivens while you're at it!

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10) Hit Up Panels In Advance!

There are almost always various panels and Q&A's going on throughout the weekend at conventions and I can't tell you how many i've missed out on due to not following this tip. These panels are always in high demand, due to the ability to hang out and chat with celebs without paying, so you're gonna want to get to the room they're being held at way in advance. If a panel is at 7pm, get there at least an hour early. If there's a panel going on at 6pm that you really don't care to attend, sit through it anyway so you're guaranteed a seat for that 7pm panel you really want to be a part of. If you want to see them all, get there before the first one starts and don't get up from your seat!

And now, for the tip we've been building up to, the simplest tip of all....

11) HAVE FUN!

I don't think I really need to tell you to have fun at a horror convention, given the fact that you already know that and that you're pretty much gonna have a blast whether you want to or not, but just think about one thing for a second. How often in your daily life do you get to be surrounded by nothing but horror fans and cool horror shit and how often do you get to be in the same building as several of your lifelong idols and heroes? It doesn't happen very often so if you're lucky enough to have a convention come around your area, cherish every single second of it and have the time of your life. Like I promised in the beginning of this post, if you follow the above tips, I guarantee you will. Get drunk, spend a shitload of money, and make memories that will last forever.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A High Def Recommendation

I have a total of 28 Blu-ray's in my collection. Of these 28, 6 are screeners that were sent to me and 11 were gifts given to me. Simple math then tells you that i've only bought a grand total of 11 Blu-ray's over the years, in comparison to the nearly 1,000 DVD's i've bought throughout the course of my movie collecting lifetime. Quite frankly, as i'm sure you can tell by now, I haven't yet bought too hardcore into the format. I'm not one of those guys who insists on converting his entire DVD collection into HD, nor am I one of the guys that gets too excited when one of his favorite movies is announced for a Blu-ray release. Bottom line is, I just haven't noticed enough of a difference between DVD and Blu-ray to really merit me spending the extra money. Yes, i'm fully aware that the two are mere dollars apart in cost these days, but when it comes down to it, I always end up opting for the DVD to save that few bucks. DVD's, upconverted thanks to the power of the PS3, tend to be good enough for me - especially when it comes to older horror titles.

This being established, there are a few movies that have blown me away in HD and that's why i'm here making this post right now.

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I've been a huge fan of The Host since I saw it a couple years back and when I got a little money in my pockets earlier this year thanks to my fairly newfound job, it was the first title I decided to shell out the extra money for on Blu-ray. It took me until the other night to finally watch it on Blu and I was totally blown away by the picture quality. It was truly almost like watching the movie for the very first time. If you thought the massive creature was one of the best examples of CGI in the history of film before, just wait till you see and hear that motherfucker running around and jumping in and out of the water in high def. This is the kind of movie that was made for HD and it's transfers like this one that make me second guess my lack of serious interest in the format. I cannot urge you enough, whether you've seen The Host or not, to pick it up on Blu-ray. It's one of the best monster movies of all time and one of the most awesome high def experiences you will likely be a part of. Best of all, it's a mere $14.49 on Amazon.

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If your jaw doesn't hit the floor, i'll personally give you your money back. Just please, DO NOT WATCH IT DUBBED.

End sales pitch.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My Autograph Collection - Part 1

I'm not really all that much of an autograph seeker, but going to horror conventions over the years has given me a pretty sizeable collection of signed 8x10's, posters and action figures. I thought it might be fun to show off my collection and share some stories along the way. Being that i've got a quite few, this will be an ongoing multi part post - in other words, i'll be milking this shit for several weeks. Here's part 1!

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Andrew Bryniarski

"John is...long gone!"

I've read several reports of Bryniarski being a dick at conventions, but I didn't get that treatment. He was certaintly a bit off the wall - drinking a beer at his table and generally acting nutty - but he was nice to me. Taking one look at the man, it's not hard to see how he got the job playing one of the scariest and most imposing horror villains of all time!

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Laura Ortiz

"John - Save the baby!"

Laura Ortiz is one of the nicest people out there, a fact that was 100% confirmed for me when she agreed to a little interview on Freddy In Space, a year or so after I met her.

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Lance Henriksen

"John, Hey!"

I don't know if I was just too intimidated by his badassery and blacked out or what happened, but I really don't remember much about my meeting with Henriksen other than the fact that he was really really nice and chatted with me for a couple minutes. These little mini blackouts tend to occur when I meet people i'm a huge fan of...

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Angela Bettis

"To John, You have all the best PARTS!!"

This is one of my most prized possessions, being that I have a hardcore love for both May and Angela Bettis. I fondly remember sitting up in my hotel room pounding beers in the attempt to work up the liquid courage to go down and meet her. Apparently the guy taking our picture was staring at her boobs and Angela caught him on it and asked me if her nipples were hard or something to that effect. Yes, May asked me if her nipples were hard. And yes, she told me I have all the best parts. I think I can die a happy man now. Most men have a thing for Pam Anderson or Megan Fox, but Angela Bettis is my number one celebrity crush.

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Howard Sherman

"John - Eat it RAW!"

After Sherman signed my autograph, I walked away from his table, totally forgetting to pay. I could've gotten away with it but I would never want to short Bub some well deserved money, so I went back to his table when I realized what I had done, explained myself, and threw an extra five bucks into the pot. It seemed like a nice gesture in my mind but I gotta be honest, I felt a little douchey when I actually did it. I feel like he got the impression that I was implying that he was broke and that I was helping him out. Oh well, he was a cool dude and i'm sure he dealt with much douchier people that weekend than I!

STAY TUNED FOR PART 2!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Meet The New Freddy In Space Mascot

Introducing....

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NIGHTMARE FEDDY!!!

My dad found this over at a website called Urlesque, as part of their 25 Hilariously Inaccurate Knock-Off Toys post. Anyone know anything about it, like what country it came from or where I can get my hands on one?

UPDATE!!!

One of my awesome readers, Chris Bennett, found a Nightmare Feddy on eBay! Check it out and here's a full picture of him in all his glory!!

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He also found another bootleg Freddy figure, simply titled 'Monster'!

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Thanks, Chris!