Thursday, March 31, 2011

10 Things I Wish Were April Fool's Jokes!

The clock just struck midnight, which means we've now entered perhaps the most annoying day of the year, the day of the year where everyone thinks they're a comedian; April Fool's Day. As a horror blogger, this day leaves me with one of three choices - to talk about April Fool's Day, the horror flick, to play some kind of lame joke on you or to entirely not acknowledge this useless holiday whatsoever, the latter of which has been my stance since starting this blog. But this year i've decided to acknowledge it and bring a little something different to the table. So here are a few things that have gone down in the world of horror in recent memory that I WISH were merely bad April Fool's jokes!

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FREDDY'S NEW MAKEUP

While I wish the entire Elm Street remake was one big expensive April Fool's joke, the main gripe I had with the movie, before even seeing it, was how pathetic and lame the makeup job on Jackie Earle Haley was. I love the guy but I just don't feel he was right for the part in terms of his stature and the makeup work the effects crew did on him was downright terrible and will go down in my mind as one of the most epic fails in horror history. Freddy was always the coolest looking horror villain out there and this was an opportunity to make him even more badass looking and introduce him to a whole new generation. I feel truly sad for the young folks whose only image of Freddy is a pathetic looking turtle faced dude. EPIC. FAIL.

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HIGH TENSION'S TWIST ENDING

Goddamn I love High Tension. It's one of my favorite horror movies in recent years. And though I love it so much that I tend to look past the lame twist it ends on, I will still always wish it was just a mean looking dude as the killer rather than a hot lesbo chick who thinks she's a mean looking dude. High Tension is proof that a twist ending is not always the way to go ... and that every Cecile De France movie should have a masturbation scene.

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BRUCE CAMPBELL TURNS DOWN THE BUBBA HO-TEP SEQUEL

After years of being in relatively crappy low budget horror flicks (no disrespect to Bruce or those movies), Bruce Campbell got the role of a lifetime in Don Coscarelli's Bubba Ho-Tep ... and he totally nailed the part, delivering the acting performance of his career. Sequel time rolls around and Bruce declines, forcing Coscarelli to slap the Elvis suit on Ron Perlman. I talked with Coscarelli at a convention a while back about this and he said Bruce made the decision because he wanted to continue working on his own projects. Really Bruce? You'd rather do stuff like My Name Is Bruce than a sequel to a great movie directed by a brilliant filmmaker? Can't help but feel like you're robbing both yourself and us of another great flick. But suit yourself.



RIVER OF DARKNESS

I grew up idolizing pro wrestlers Kevin Nash, Kurt Angle and Psycho Sid and I shed a little bitty tear inside for each of them when I saw the above trailer for their new horror flick River of Darkness (which just hit DVD this past Tuesday). I grew up thinking these guys were the coolest dudes on the planet and it's a real jolt of reality to see them in their old ages slapping on piss poor makeup in a desperate attempt to make a quick buck off a shitty no budget horror movie. Ah, who am I kidding? I'm dying to see this movie, just not for the reasons the filmmaker probably hoped!

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MONSTERS HD GETS THE AXE

There has perhaps been no sadder day in the last few years of my life than the day I turned on my TV to watch MONSTERS HD and couldn't find it, soon after realizing that the channel went under. I used to love leaving the channel on in the background when I blogged and I was introduced and re-introduced to some really great stuff during its admirably long run. MONSTERS HD, I will always cherish and miss the many hours we spent together. Horror movies in high def at my disposal 24/7. Goddamn, life was good back then.

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ROB ZOMBIE HEADS TO HADDONFIELD

I know i've bashed Zombie's Halloween flicks so many times already so i'm gonna try and keep this short. It's not that I feel Rob has lost any of his filmmaking flair these last couple years, I just think he's the kind of filmmaker who should stick to directing his own stuff. Look how awesome House of 1000 Corpses was. Look how totally mindblowingly amazing Devil's Rejects was. And then look at Halloween and H2. I truly believe he did the best he could do with both films, it's just that he never should've headed to Haddonfield in the first place. Zombie used to always be against directing a remake and I really wish he had stuck to his guns on that. Win me back with Lords of Salem, Rob. I have the utmost faith in ya.

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THE LAST 15 YEARS OF WES CRAVEN'S CAREER

This is another one i've harped on a couple times before, but I couldn't not include it in this post. While I can't rag on the Scream sequels two much, being that I always had fun with those movies (at least I used to, haven't re-watched them in many many years), it's movies like Red Eye, Cursed and My Soul To Take that have really convinced me that Craven just doesn't have it in him anymore. The fact that those movies were made by the same guy who made Elm Street and Last House never ceases to amaze me. That being said, i'll always love Wes no matter what he does and i'm really pulling for him with Scream 4. I truly hope this is a return to form for Craven, though I can't say my hopes are too high. I'm CRAVEN it!

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WALKING DEAD SEASON ONE LASTS SIX EPISODES!

Good god I was so into The Walking Dead and I was totally shocked when, 5 weeks in, the AMC announcer popped on the screen and announced that the following week's episode was the season finale. I guess I should've done my research and known that already but I was completely taken by surprise and so bummed that the season was such a short one. This October can't come soon enough!

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ROMERO REPLACES SAVINI WITH A COMPUTER

George Romero is responsible for bringing us some of the greatest practical gore effects movies of all time, which is why it was so surprising and heartbreaking when I saw Land of the Dead on the big screen and found that the amazing Savini effects we came to know and love in the Dead flicks went the way of modern technology, making the movies suffer big time as a result. There's no greater proof of the fact that practical will always be better than CG than the last couple Romero '... of the Dead' movies. Please George, convince Savini to return for one last mega epic zombie hurrah for the both of ya.

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HATCHET 2 PULLED FROM THEATRES ... AFTER ONE DAY

This is another one i've talked about a few times in the past but it still makes me sad. After the triumphant announcement that Hatchet 2 would be released UNRATED in AMC Theatres, the first unrated horror release in over two decades, the film was pulled from the theatre chain almost immediately. What started out as a big victory for the genre was quickly revealed to be further confirmation that we will probably never see horror the way we want to see it on the big screen again. When I heard the news, I could literally envision studio execs sitting around greenlighting more PG-13 horror. The silver lining to this one is that I rushed my ass out to the city the day of release, so I got to enjoy it in all its glory like so few were able to/bothered to. It's a night i'll always cherish.

Reason #24 To Go Region Free : Arrow Video

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I realized many years ago that the hardcore DVD collector this day and age absolutely NEEDS to own a Region Free DVD player. Different movie releases come out in different areas of the world at different times and it's quite frankly unacceptable to me to limit myself to only the movies American disribution labels put out. Oftentimes DVD's hit the UK long before they hit here in the states and other times completely different releases with vastly different packaging come out over there but not over here; I like to keep my options open and get the best of both worlds.

Just in case anybody out there hadn't yet been converted to the Region Free lifestyle, along came Arrow Video a few years back, a UK home video distribution label that has been putting out a slew of cult classic horror films of late, released completely uncut on both DVD & Blu-ray with several discs, new special features, all kinds of goodies and kickass hand drawn cover arts that evoke the colorful and highly sexualized spirit of the Video Nasties era. The label has had a strong focus on foreign horror fare, particulary the work of Italian icons like Argento and Fulci, and has won the hearts of horror hounds the world over for their incredible releases that are clearly made by and for the diehard fans.

What's that? You want to take a peek at some of Arrow's coolest DVD art? Ok, i'll stop rambling and show you some of my favorites. But only if you promise to strongly consider joining me on the Region Free bandwagon; truly a DVD collecting life without limits!

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Head over to Arrow Video to see and learn more and if you're looking to pick any of these up, Amazon.co.uk is the place to do that.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New Release Review : After Dark Originals' HUSK

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OUT NOW ON DVD!

When a murder of crows smash into their car windshield, a group of young friends are forced to abandon the vehicle, leaving them stranded beside a desolate cornfield. Hidden deep within the cornfield they find a crumbling farmhouse – but they soon discover that instead of a sanctuary, the house is actually the center of a terrifying supernatural ritual that they are about to become a part of...

I've pimped Husk in two different posts over the last couple months, sight unseen, for two main reasons; I love killer scarecrow movies and the trailer looked pretty solid. For those past couple months i've excitedly wondered if this would be the return of the (good) scarecrow horror flick, something we haven't seen since 1988's Scarecrows (or 1995's Night of the Scarecrow, if i'm being generous ... sorry Tony Todd, but I can't be that generous!). After not getting to see it during its limited theatrical run earlier in the year and then missing its one night airing on SyFy due to prior drinking engagements, I immediately shot the just released this Tuesday Husk to the top of my Netflix queue this past weekend and utilized the ever reliable Saturday trick in order to get it bright and early on release day. So is it the return of good scarecrow horror? When comparing it to all the scarecrow horror that's come since 1988, i'd have to say yes.

Husk is not a perfect film nor is it one that lived up to my high hopes for it, but it satisfied my craving for killer scarecrows and that's pretty much all I could've asked for from it. It's a solid effort all around that manages to capture the essence of the old school slasher flick, practical effects, cliches and all. The makeup work is terrific and the scarecrows look totally badass, the latter of which is a half the battle win for me in a movie of this type. It's short, it's fun and it wastes absolutely no time getting to the good parts, which made it an all around enjoyable watch for me despite its flaws.

What are those flaws, you ask? For one, the first half of the film comes off way too much like a ripoff of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake. It almost feels like it's filmed in the same locations with the same beats and actions. Thankfully though, that gives way to more original ideas. One of the bigger issues I had with it was a lack of gore, which was all the more frustrating given how competent the effects team clearly was, as shown by their killer 'zombie' makeup jobs (the scarecrows essentially turn their victims into zombie scarecrows). A bit more gore would've really gone a long way in terms of the overall impact and entertainment factor of the movie. I appreciate the fact that the focus was on the characters moreso than many movies of this sort, but gore is an essential element in any slasher flick and they really skimped on that in this one, which made me feel like I was watching an edited for TV movie at times, with the good bloody bits cut out.

Another gripe I had with it was how repetitive it got in several spots, with scenes and situations seemingly repeating themselves over and over. Even at less than an hour and a half it feels like the movie could've used some trimming, which I guess makes sense given it was originally a 27 minute short that was stretched out to turn it into an After Dark feature. It shows. Would love to see that shorter version of the events, which is sadly not included on the DVD and is not available to be watched anywhere online.

So despite some shortcomings and a few detours into silly territory (particulary as it pertains to explanations towards the end about what's been going on throughout the movie and how the scarecrows came to life), I quite liked Husk and felt it worked really well as a leave your brain at the door old school style slasher flick. If only the gore dial were turned up a few notches, I think I would've gotten exactly what I was hoping for from this one. Regardless, I still feel like I got my scarecrow fix. I think I can confidently recommend that all fans of scarecrow horror give this one a watch.

Wax Eye Feeds You Cereal Killers!

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Back in December of last year I made a post about a coffee table book called Cereal Killers that I was very bummed about never coming to fruition. The book was to feature horror inspired faux cereal box art and though many images from the book were released, the book itself for whatever reason never made its way to print. Cut to a few months later. To my surprise, I catch wind of a new series of trading cards set to debut this Spring, which are titled Cereal Killers and feature - you guessed it - horror themed spoof cereal box art! I'm honestly not sure if there's any connection between the failed book and the card series or if the same people are involved, but I couldn't be happier that something like this is finally coming to life.

In the vein of the Wacky Packages cards I used to love as a kid, check out the first peeks at the upcoming Cereal Killers trading cards!

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Put out by Wax Eye, Cereal Killers are set to be available for sale sometime this month. Bookmark Wax Eye and follow the project on Facebook to stay in the know!

Now excuse me while I go enjoy a delicious bowl of Exorcrisps ...

Yay or Nay? Madison County

Time is precious in our short lives and for that reason, we (unfortunately) can't afford to sit around all day and watch every single horror movie that comes down the pipeline. There are just far too many of them being released every week for that to even be possible. So we tend to judge whether or not we see a new release based on the trailer for that film, do we not? It's not always the most reliable way of weeding out the crap, as trailers can oftentimes be deceivingly good or deceivingly bad, but it's the quickest way in our fast paced lives to determine what to invest time in and what to skip.

In this new feature here on Freddy In Space i'll be highlighting trailers for upcoming genre releases and asking you guys the simple question that you silently answer without even being asked everytime you check out a new trailer; Yay or Nay? In other words, are you excited about seeing this or are you gonna sit this one out? I figure it'll be a fun way to both spread the word on new releases and spark up some interesting discussion. Ya dig?

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For our first installment, we head over to the backwoods town of Madison County. Check out the trailer below and then read on!



While this one does look 100% like a generic and totally by the numbers backwoods slasher flick, I must note that the setup is at least a little bit different than the generic kids unknowingly stumble into a killer while on vacation setup that this trailer suggests. The reason the gaggle of victims to be end up in Madison County is because they are investigating several murders which occured there, and they're on a quest to interview the author of a book written about the slayings in an effort to get the skinny. Regardless, Madison County still looks utterly cookie cutter to me, from the pig head mask (now where have I seen that before?) to nearly every other visual in the trailer. I'm not saying every horror movie needs to be totally cutting edge and original, and in fact some of my favorites of recent years could hardly be considered original, but this one just seems like something i've already seen a thousand times before. It gives me nothing to get excited about and it comes off as nothing more than another attempt at creating the next slasher icon. When you're pushing for that sort of thing (and the director has stated that he's hoping to turn the movie into a franchise), it rarely ever actually comes to fruition. That being said, I do give this particular killer props for wearing an actual pig head on his head rather than just a mask made to look like a pig face, which is something I don't believe i've seen since I stayed at Motel Hell back in the 80's.

If I still held the belief I held as a child that a cool poster (above) equals a cool movie, i'd probably be excited about checking this one out. But based on the trailer, I say NAY. As always, I will reserve judgement on the movie as a whole until I actually see it and I hope that I am proven wrong once I do. As a good blogger, I will of course watch and review this the first chance I get!

Madison County will be released at some point this year, though no date has been set. You can follow the latest developments on Facebook and over on the official website.

So what say you? Leave a comment below with your thoughts on the Madison County trailer!

Monday, March 28, 2011

London 1888 Honors One Of The Greatest Cinematic Rivalries Of All Time!

Before Jason did battle with Freddy, he had to first make it through one of his toughest opponents to date; a young Corey Feldman. Corey was on hand at this past weekend's HorrorHound Convention and London 1888's Christopher Ott decided to whip up a kickass screenprinted poster in honor of the event. Check it out below!

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The poster was on sale at HorrorHound and i've been told that all remaining prints will be up for sale on London 1888's website at some point this week ... if there are in fact any still left!

Be sure to keep an eye on London 1888 for the print and also head over there right now to check out some of their past genre work, which includes screenprinted posters for Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday Part 7!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Horror News Stories From The Past Week You Need To Know About : 3/21 - 3/27

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On Wednesday the first issue of the new Hellraiser comic book series penned by Clive Barker hit comic book shops across the world. In conjuction with the release, an eight page comic prequel to the series was also released, which was made available for viewing exclusively on the web. Click here to dig into Barker's return to the series that made him a household name amongst genre fans, his first journey into the hellish world where Pinhead is king since directing the classic film way back in 1987!



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Over the weekend The Weinstein Company announced the launch of TWC Games, a new venue that will see them working to create video games for "mobile, social, and console platforms" that will be based around the many hot properties in the Weinstein/Dimension Films library. What was said in the press release has gotten many horror fans very very excited; "Properties in The Weinstein Company and Dimension Films catalogue include SCREAM, HELLRAISER, HALLOWEEN, SCARY MOVIE, and CHILDREN OF THE CORN, among many others." Could we finally see some solid horror movie based video games in the near future? Only time will tell!



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SyFy announced their original pictures lineup for 2011/2012, which will see Danny Bonaduce battling Bigfoot and fist pumping Jersey Shore natives getting eaten by sharks. Click here to check out the full lineup of both movies and televison shows that the network will be rolling out in the remainder of this year and into next!



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On a related note, we finally got a glimpse at Piranhaconda this week, the next hybrid sea monster who will star in his own SyFy Original Picture. Check him out above and be sure to vote for him and others in SyFy's Monster Madness competition, which voting opened up for this past week!



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Early in the week Adam Green confirmed that a Hatchet 3 has been greenlit, following the strong DVD sales of the second journey into the swamps. At this time there is no word on if Green will be directing, but he did say that he ironed a basic plot out before filming even began on the second flick.



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In other sequel news, Deadgirl scribe Trent Haaga revealed that while a sequel to the film may be coming our way in the future, he will have nothing to do with it. Furthermore, he made it pretty damn clear that he feels the film should forever remain sequel-less, which I personally am in agreement with. That being said, Haaga did write a Deadgirl 2 script a year ago, which he says he will make available for reading for free on his blog if a sequel ever sees the light of day.



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The sequel news kept flooding in as Cloverfield director Matt Reeves confirmed that a much anticipated follow up to that film will most definitely happen, though when that comes to fruition is anybody's guess. Unlike with the Deadgirl saga, Reeves, the writer of Cloverfield (Drew Goddard) and JJ Abrams will all be involved in the impending sequel.



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For those hoping to see Darren Bousman's Mother's Day remake pop up in theatres this coming weekend, as was originally planned, i've got some dissapointing news for ya. Bousman revealed that not only will the film not be released on April 1st, but he's in fact not even sure what the distribution company will be doing with it or when it will make its way to theatres. To tide us over till whenever that is, Troma will be releasing the original Mother's Day on Blu-ray come June 7th. Click here to pre-order your copy!



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In a follow up to last week's rumor that Stephen King would be writing a future episode of The Walking Dead, it was more or less confirmed that not only will that happen, but that King will also share writing duties with his son Joe Hill. Though it's still not 100% set in stone, King himself revealed these details to Entertainment Weekly, which turns this one from rumor to legit news. As of now, it's merely a matter of the deal between him and the show officially going through.



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And finally, an official airdate was announced for the documentary Scream : The Inside Story, which will air on the BIO Channel next Wednesday (April 6th) at 9/8c, with replays later that night and early the next day. Don't worry about missing this one thanks to a bad memory, as i'll be sure to remind you about it when that day comes closer!


As always, leave a comment below to discuss any or all of this past week's top new stories!

11 Awesome Horror Model Kits!

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Though I don't have a single one in my collection, i've always been way into browsing through model kits on the web. While the big toy companies generally only release figures based on bigger name horror movies, artists from around the globe have been for years utilizing the model kit platform to give collectors toys based on movies/characters that the bigger companies will probably never delve into it. A model kit is basically a blank piece by piece reproduction of an artist's sculpture, which the collector can then put together and paint however they see fit. Other times, the artists just sell them fully painted and fully put together, which is great for talentless folks like me. Here are 11 kickass horror kits I have recently come across in my travels, most based on movies we will likely never see official action figure releases of!

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House


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Psycho


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Fright Night


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The Exorcist


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Rawhead Rex


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Phantasm


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Zombie


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Carrie


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The Funhouse


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The Gate


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Cat's Eye


While there's no one stop place to pick up all of these, you can get several of them over at Monsters In Motion. Also keep your eye on eBay, as horror model kits are always popping up over there!

Help a Zombie Out!

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The other day I got an e-mail from a Freddy In Space reader by the name of Steven Uden, who is currently in a competition wherein the winner receives a walk on role as a zombie in the upcoming UK flick Outpost 2 : Black Sun. The contest is being held entirely through Facebook, with comments on the zombie audition photos of the contestants serving as votes. Whoever gets the most comments/votes on their picture by this coming Wednesday (the 30th), will be flown out to the set April 2nd - 4th and will get the full zombie makeover treatment and their big break as an on screen zombie in a big budget movie. All i'm asking is if ya got a few extra minutes to spare, help a fellow Freddy In Space reader out by heading over to the Prepare To Be Scared Facebook page, clicking the photos tab on the left and then leaving a comment over there under the photo you see below.

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Picking favorites aside, Steven does in fact have the coolest looking entry picture, which has been reflected by the fact that he's already pretty well in the lead at the present moment. Just figured i'd offer my support to try and ensure he stays in the lead and gets to fulfill one of his lifelong bucket list dreams. Good luck Steven. I expect to have a full report of your experience when you return!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Fright Rags Does The Monster Mash!

Already posted about this on the Facebook page but just in case ya don't follow the blog on there (what are ya waitin' for?!), I must tune you into the news that Fright Rags just put up their Limited Edition Monster Mash t-shirt this morning, which probably won't be around for much longer. Limited to only 300 pieces worldwide, the 10 color shirt features the amazing artwork of the horrifyingly talented Jason Edmiston, who pays tribute to the most iconic faces of horror of all time in a shirt produced in conjuction with Famous Monsters of Filmland. Check this shit out!

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Snatch yours up for $24.95 before they're gone for good!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Halloween Comes Early, Courtesy of Full Moon!

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Just got an e-mail from Full Moon and though I tried to go to bed without posting about its contents, I ended up getting too excited to sleep. Above you will see what I saw when I opened the e-mail; Series 1 of Full Moon's brand new Collector's Masks!! Let me pass the baton over to Charles Band, who will give you all the details on both these and the new line of shirts that will be hitting FullMoonDirect.com tommorow!!



Quite frankly I don't care too much about the shirts, it's the Gingerdead Man and Castle Freak masks that make me giddy as a pope at an elementary school graduation. Don't know how much they're gonna be selling for but we'll soon find out when they go up for sale tommorow morning!

For now, I drift off to sleep and dream of this year's Halloween costume, wherein I will combine the Shrek gingerbread man costume with the soon to be mine Gingerdead mask, thus making myself the envy of every Halloween party in the country! Mwahahahaha!

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