Monday, October 31, 2011

Dr. Terror's Halloween Special ... In Three Horrifying Dimensions!!

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This past weekend I received a little package from my boy James Harris, who runs the horror blog Dr. Terror's Blog of Horrors. I guess I didn't need to clarify that it's a horror blog, eh? Anywho, inside the package was a pair of Dr. Terror's 3D glasses, one of only 55 pairs handmade by James and sent out to horror community friends of his. A pretty cool and unique little blogging collector's item and I was totally honored to be one of the select few that was sent a pair, but at the same time I was kinda wondering to myself what James had up his sleeve here. Why exactly did he make 3D glasses in the first place?

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Here we are a few days later and everything makes complete sense now, as James just launched a little 3D Halloween horror special on his blog, a compilation of images from horror movies that were never in 3D, which James has converted into 3D. So that's what those Dr. Terror's exclusive 3D glasses were for. And here I was thinking James was just being all random and shit!

Obviously, if you're not one of the super cool few who was sent a pair, you can see the images in three dimensions by slapping on any ole pair of 3D glasses you might have laying around your house, such as the ones you got from that Nightmare on Elm Street Collection DVD box set. For what it's worth though, I think wearing a pair of red and blue Dr. Terror's spectacles gives you a lot more street cred in the horror community. Just sayin.

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See? Even Freddy himself agrees.

Head over to Dr. Terror's Blog of Horrors to check out the 2011 Halloween Special, in three glorious dimensions. He even included several three dimensional clips from horror movies that were actually in 3D but which you probably never actually got to see in 3D, such as the third installments in the Jaws and Friday The 13th franchises!

Awesome idea for a Halloween post James and I love that you went out of your way to make this even more special by making your own 3D glasses. I've seen just about everything given the 3D treatment in the last couple years, but I can't say i've ever seen a blog post in 3D. You sir would totally win my creative blogger of the year award, if I were to ever give out such an award!

Leslie Vernon & Victor Crowley Celebrate Halloween With Fright Rags!

Everybody's got their own way of wishing you a Happy Halloween and Fright Rags' way just so happens to be by releasing two new t-shirts and limited edition posters, honoring two of the very best horror movies in recent history. They simply wouldn't have it any other way. Isn't that why we love them so damn much?

Check out the new Behind The Mask & Hatchet Fright Rags merch, for my money some of the best stuff the company has put out to date!

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*Limited to 125 prints and signed by Leslie Vernon himself, Nathan Baesel*

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*Limited to 250 prints and signed by Kane Hodder*

The fact that Adam Green and Fright Rags have teamed up just makes me so damn happy. When they first told me the news a while back I was absolutely ecstatic and I couldn't be happier about the retro VHS style artwork they came up with for the shirt & poster, which is so perfect and fitting for the film. From what i've heard, Green himself was blown away by the art and said that he wished this was the original poster for the film. Ben told me that artist Justin Osbourn designed the art as if he had never actually seen the movie, as that's the way many of those old hand drawn VHS box arts were done, which really gives it that slightly off old school vibe that perfectly captures what they were going for with the design. My opinion may be a biased one whenever it comes to anything Hatchet related, but this shirt is in my opinion the best one Fright Rags has ever come out with, which is saying quite a lot being that they've put out some seriously awesome shit in the past.

Anywho, both shirts are also available as hoodies (rocking my Leslie Vernon one as we speak!) and remember, the posters were only printed in very limited quantities, so get on that quick if you want one/both of them. Get the shirts and posters over at FRIGHT RAGS!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

10 Printable Cutout Halloween Masks!

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Are you one of those last minute kinda people who still, even though it's now Halloween day(!) doesn't yet know what you want to be, whether you're dressing up to scare trick or treaters, go out trick or treating yourself (never too old!) or attend a costume party? Worse yet, are you broke? Believe me, I know how depressing it is to have an empty wallet when it comes to Halloween costume decision time, so allow me to give you ten possible solutions, all of which are absolutely free of charge and only require a printer, a pair of scissors, a piece of cardboard and a string. Simply print and cut out the image of your choice, glue it onto a cardboard backing, affix a string to the sides and voila, you've got yourself the easiest and cheapest Halloween costume you could ever dream of. You'll thank me when you're not regretting dropping $60 on a shitty store bought costume come November 1st!

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HULK HOGAN - PRINT NOW!

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TROLL 2 GOBLIN #1 - PRINT NOW!

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TROLL 2 GOBLIN #2 - PRINT NOW!

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CHRISTOPHER WALKEN - PRINT NOW!

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HP LOVECRAFT - PRINT NOW!

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EDGAR ALLEN POE - PRINT NOW!

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DAVID BOWIE - PRINT NOW!

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ROCKY DENNIS - PRINT NOW!

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ET - PRINT NOW!

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JASON VOORHEES - PRINT NOW!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Candy Corn Popcorn & Pumpkin Pie Soda!

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One of my favorite things about this time of the year is going into as many different grocery stores as I can find and hunting down anything with a Halloweeny packaging that allows me to consume traditional Fall foods like pumpkins and candy corn in unique new ways. Hell, I even settle for any food product that swaps out its normal color for orange (such as Halloween Oreo's) or any one that bothers to even toss a single little pumpkin or ghost on their box. I'm an easy man to please, especially in the month's that start with an O.

Over the course of the past month and a half, i've found and enjoyed many edible Halloween themed treats, everything from pumpkin pie flavored milk to pumpkin spice bagels. I've been documenting all of those finds over on the Freddy In Space Facebook page but I recently discovered two items that I simply had to give their own blog post to, which I decided on before even tasting them. Why? Because never in my wildest Halloween dreams did I ever imagine i'd be eating candy corn flavored popcorn (though I guess it's only natural that the corn kernel shaped candies have now become actual popcorn) or drinking pumpkin pie flavored soda, much less doing both at the very same time. Do I need any more of a reason than that?

I figure what better way to give these treats their own little time to shine in the spotlight than by tasting them for the very first time as I post about them? So let's fire up the microwave and pour a tall glass of fizzy liquid pumpkin pie and get this show on the road, shall we?!

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Though I continually find myself unable to resist the temptation of buying flavored bags of microwavable popcorn, such as cinnamon & nacho cheese, they always make me return to the realization that when it comes to popcorn, nothing beats the plain old movie theater butter variety. Though i'd love to say that Act 2's candy corn popcorn is an exception to that rule, it quite frankly isn't.

After popping for just about a minute in the microwave, my kitchen was filled with the scent of fresh baked sugar cookies, which is one of my favorite smells on this planet. So thumbs up for the smell portion. Gotta give another slight thumbs up to the look of the popcorn, which Act 2 made some small attempt to color to somewhat resemble candy corn. As you can tell by the picture, the coloring is quite faint and hard to notice without looking really close, but the orange and yellows are there if ya really want them to be (and I really want them to be). As for the taste, the popcorn quite frankly tastes nothing like candy corn, but more like regular unbuttered popcorn with a slight hint of something that I can't quite put my finger on. The taste isn't bad but it's certainly nothing to make me crave this particular popcorn year round and again, it really doesn't taste anything like what it's advertised as. Makes me wish Act 2 just decided to forego the flavor portion and fully color their buttered popcorn white, yellow & orange, which would've been far more appealing.

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These mini bags come in a package of 20 for a mere $3.99 at Walmart and they make great little trick or treat handouts, which is likely what i'll be doing with the remaining 19 bags. Considering I generally get less than 19 trick or treaters a year round these parts, I can probably get away with only spending 4 bucks on Halloween, which works for me.

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I've found so many different pumpkin flavored things in my travels but I was pretty shocked to see these bottles of pumpkin pie soda starting back at me at Wegmans in Rochester last weekend. I know Jones Soda put out a pumpkin pie pop in their Thanksgiving collection one year (which i've never tried), but these seemed to be less of a gag and more of a real attempt to make an enjoyable fizzy beverage out of everyone's favorite Fall dessert. And the fact that the stem of the pumpkin on the label doubled as the 'i' in pumpkin was further proof that I needed to have them. Again, i'm an easy man to please.

What I didn't realize when I purchased these was that they're organic sodas, the kind made from all natural healthy ingredients and lacking in tons of sugar and caffeine. Being that my taste buds are really only happy when the unhealthiest of foods and liquids come into contact with them, i've never been a fan of the organic sodas. When it comes to this one, there is a certain creamy pumpkin pie taste to it (as well as strong hints of cream soda and ginger), which leads me to believe that anyone that's into healthy soda and pumpkin pie would dig it, but to me it's just not the kinda taste i'm after when it comes to soda. It's not bad it's just not for me. Now if Dr. Pepper came out with a pumpkin pie soda, then we'd be talking.

Just my luck that the two Halloween treats I decide to give their own post turn out not being so great, eh? Guess it should've been Thomas' amazing pumpkin spice bagels that I made a whole post about!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Paranormal Activity 3 : Still As Potent As Ever

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There are two types of horror fans in this world; the ones that dig the Paranormal Activity movies and the ones that don't. I've got friends that love 'em and friends that passionately hate them (i'm looking at you, Kristy!), which just goes to show how polarizing these movies are. As for me, i'm a big time fan of the first two films, as I find they brilliantly tap into a simple fear that I can personally relate to; the fear of what the hell is going on in your own home while you're asleep. Guess what? Even if strange shit is going on in your house, you've simply gotta sleep every night, and there's something so frightening about the fact that you have no control whatsoever of what's happening while you're out cold in your bed. That's some scary shit and since these movies so effectively tap into that simple idea, I find them to be some of the scariest movies that have come out in recent years. They just work for me. As the box office numbers year after year are proof of, i'm obviously not alone.

On top of that, I love the fact that the PA movies separate themselves from most of the other found footage horror flicks by focusing on story and characters first and foremost. While most found footage horror movies are pretty damn dull and boring whenever freaky shit isn't happening, these movies manage to be thoroughly engrossing and entertaining whether anything is happening or not (and are always quite humorous in the first halfs), which is largely due to the fact that we are made to actually care about the characters in peril. Which ties in with the second thing that makes me love and respect this franchise so much; the fact that each new installment is a continuation of the same original story. Rather than going the simple route of throwing a bunch of random new characters into similar situations as Katie & Micah found themselves in, we are continually treated to new material that expands that original story and adds more and more depth to it and to the characters (and when new people are brought in, they're all tied to that original narrative). I find that so interesting, especially how everything is presented to us backwards rather than forwards, and it's that core story more so than the scares or anything else that keeps me anxiously coming back to the theater every year. It's a hell of a fascinating story and I absolutely love to be fed more of it.

Which bring us to this third installment, which is a full on prequel to both PA 1 & 2, telling the story of how Katie and her sister Kristi became connected to the evil entity we've come to fear over the past couple years. Much like how the second installment went back in time to show us what happened before the first one (...and then also what happened after), so too does this latest installment, only this time we head all the way back to 1988, when Katie and Kristi were children. Yep, it's PA in the 80's and the pissed off demon is targeting a couple little girls. Do you like? Cause I like. Everything positive I just said above about the first two films also applies to this prequel to a prequel, i'm happy to report.

There's just something about these movies that keeps me so engrossed in them, absolutely glued to every little nook and cranny of the screen and anxious to see what's gonna come next, and PA 3 is no exception to that. In fact, as much as I dug the second, i've gotta say that i'm even more of a fan of this one. In my review of the second one I talked a bit about how that one was more of the same type stuff as the first, which is exactly what I expected and hoped it would be. Such is the case with this prequel. Oren Peli and company have figured out what works, they've figured out how to scare their audience, they've figured out what their audience likes to see and they stick with that basic premise of gnarly shit being caught on camera while characters are asleep, or in some cases even while they're awake and the sun is shining bright in the background (never...safe). That's the kinda stuff we go to these movies to see and there's really no need to stray much from that formula. But again, the great thing about this series is the focus on story, expanding it and bringing new information to the table, and much like PA2, PA3 presents us with a solid story, which keeps things new and exciting despite the fact that the majority of the paranormal stuff is quite familiar to what we've already seen. The backstory we're presented with fits in really well with what we've been shown in the past and i'm continually impressed with how the story continues to evolve and never gets stale or desperate. That's not easy and it's something that must be commended. It's also quite impressive how those scares are still as freaky and effective as ever, even though we pretty much know what to expect at this point. Again, not easy to pull off.

Now there are a couple standout new elements that separate this one from the others and make it a unique and fresh experience, which is what I want to get into a little bit here.

For one, the fact that it takes place in the 80's adds a whole new level of awesomeness to the proceedings. As you've probably gathered by now i'm a big fan of all things 80's and this movie is chock full of little time specific treats, including old toys, old boxes of cereal, Back To The Future discussions and VHS tapes. That 80's vibe really adds something exciting to the movie, at least for me, and I gotta say they did a real good job of making it feel like we were watching footage that was shot back then, right down to the wardrobe choices on the characters. I found this to be awesome and it's probably got a lot to do with why I liked this one even more than the 2nd. The fact that it's set in the 80's also allows for a very organic explanation for why the (step)father is filming everything, much like how Micah ends up doing so many years later. This may seem like a minor little thing but it's always important for found footage horror movies to have a believable explanation as to why what's being shown was being filmed by a character in the first place and though it seemed like a hell of a tough task to convince us that these characters were also being filmed earlier in their lives, it all makes sense. Not only was Katie & Kristi's stepdad a wedding videographer, but didn't pretty much every dad back in the 80's snag themselves a new VHS camcorder and film their kids growing up? I know mine did. It's only natural that the dad continues filming once he realizes there's something strange going on in the house. After, of course, he tries to get his wife to make an awkward little sex tape with him.

Another big change here is the addition of a brilliant new way of filming the activity, through the use of a camera device the father rigs up using his wife's old fan. He sets up the camera on top of the fan's oscillating head, which allows him to film what's going on in the entire kitchen/dining room area, rather than just one small section of it. These movies have always been limited to what the stationary cameras can show and though a bunch of security cameras were added to the mix the second go around, this oscillo-cam provides for the most coverage yet and ends up adding a whole lot of tension to the proceedings, as the camera slowly moves from side to side, sometimes showing us evil shit that is going on and other times drifting us away from the action, forcing us to wait until we're focused back on what's happening. It's a brilliant little addition and a totally inventive new element within the found footage sub-genre which really added a whole new dimension to the film.

If there's anything negative I have to say about the movie, it's that the ending gets a tad bit too hokey for my liking, and a little pet peeve of mine from the first one once again presents itself. On top of that, everything isn't as neatly wrapped up as I would've liked it to be, leaving me with more questions about some stuff than it did answers. But I think at this point everyone involved is aware that these nuggets of moneymaking gold are going to continue for years to come, so they've gotta leave some doors open and I totally get that. Besides, I guess it's a high class complaint to say that a franchise installment leaves you fiending for more, am I right?

I most certainly am dying to learn more about the paranormal adventures of Katie & Kristi and I honestly cannot wait till next year to find out more. Paranormal Activity 3 not only did its job, and did its job quite well, but it once again proved that this franchise is one of the best things the genre has got going for it these days. I love it and I loved this third installment, just as much as the previous ones. If you're a fan of the first two, I expect you'll feel the same way.

By the way, interesting to note, pretty much nothing that we saw in any of the trailers for this one is actually seen in the movie. Not sure if this was intentional or if a lot was just recently cut out, but I found it kinda cool that the trailers spoiled absolutely nothing for us, which trailers so often do these days. It was also nice to see that in the actual movie you really don't see the demonic entity (thank god!), as the trailers were suggesting you would. But ya, it's best to go into these movies not knowing much about them or what's gonna happen in them, so i'm sorta feeling like the trailer was intentionally cut together to throw us off. We shall see once the DVD comes out, I suppose. All I know is, i'll be happy to add it to my collection!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New Release Review : Atrocious

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OUT NOW ON DVD!

In April of 2010, Spanish police reported the discovery of 37 hours of recorded evidence that shed new light on a gruesome murder investigation. The found footage documents a family of five spending their holidays at their summerhouse, where brother and sister Cristian and July Quintanilla pass the time investigating a terrifying local urban legend. As their investigation intensifies, strange occurrences in and around the house escalate rapidly, before culminating in unspeakable atrocities.

I think it's safe to say that most of us like to watch horror movies because we enjoy being scared. Even though many of my favorite horror movies are ones that were never intended to be scary, I love nothing more than to be scared shitless while watching one, which is quite rare, especially these days. Due to the fact that it is so rare for my 25 year old desensitized self to find myself scared by a movie, I get incredibly excited whenever any horror movie is hyped up as being the next great scary movie. Atrocious, released this week by Bloody Disgusting Selects, is one such film that has been getting a lot of hype lately within the community, with many friends of mine touting it as one of the scariest and best found footage horror flicks in some time. Naturally, I found myself quite excited to sit down and watch it tonight, lights off and the volume way up, totally thrilled about the idea of having the daylights scared out of me and being forced to plug in the nightlights at bedtime. Such is the dream of the horror fan, is it not?

So ya, the Spanish made Atrocious is another in a recent string of found footage horror films, which have been coming at us hot and heavy in the last several years with no signs of slowing down (especially since Paranormal Activity 3 just did big numbers at the box office). As i've said in past reviews of similar movies, i'm pretty damn burnt out on the whole found footage horror thing at this point. If someone comes along and does something interesting with the idea or tells a compelling story through the use of the format, such as a Paranormal Activity, an REC or an Evil Things, I can fully get into the style and find that it actually enhances the viewing experience and scare factor. But here's the problem. Most of the found footage horror films that have been unleashed in the wake of Paranormal Activity being such a money making hit have been totally devoid of story and lacking in anything new or original, with the gimmick being used as a crutch more than a means to enhance the storytelling. Thus, we've ended up with a slew of cookie cutter found footage horror films in the last few years, carbon copies of one another that are totally predictable at every turn and are in fact even hard to differentiate from one another. While Atrocious isn't necessarily a bad movie, it does unfortunately fall more into this category than it does any other, at least in my eyes.

Atrocious is pretty much found footage horror 101, part Paranormal Activity and part Blair Witch Project, with a little REC and even a little Ring thrown into the mix, full of night vision scares and characters running around with shaky cameras screaming in the dark. Maybe i'm just desensitized to all of this being that i've seen so many similar movies, but it just didn't work for me. I never found myself scared and, because what little story that was there was so predictable and cookie cutter, I never found myself engrossed in it either. Even at just over an hour and 15 minutes, I still found myself bored by the majority of the movie. For me, it was just another one of those found footage films that relies solely on the concept, throwing a bunch of characters into a supposedly haunted area, armed with cameras, and allowing them to run around, scream and see something spooky every once in a while. Sorry, but i've seen it all before.

Now if I did like anything about the movie it was that the last 15 or so minutes, the only moments in the movie where anything really happens, were pretty effective and well done, particularly a twist ending that i'm not gonna lie and say I saw coming. I sorta wonder if the movie would've been more effective had we been kept in the dark about what exactly was causing the events in the film, rather than having that twist thrown in, but it was fairly cool and provided for a couple nice little moments at the end, which I admit might've spooked me out a bit had I been alone in the house watching it tonight. So props to the film for that.

One more thing I just want to mention is how the film is cut together, with the beginning and end utilizing a rewind effect that takes us backwards through the found footage and, particularly at the end, is used to manipulate us and sort of Tarantino the story by showing us the end of the tape and then going back in time and showing us stuff we didn't see before. I don't mind that in a regular movie but when it comes to found footage, I always hate stuff like that that takes you out of the realism of what you're experiencing. Kinda like when these types of movies have CGI (Grave Encounters) or a score running through the background (Evil Things is at times guilty of that). Are we really supposed to believe that the police found this footage of people being murdered and then stylishly re-edited it to make it more entertaining and scary? It's a minor gripe here, but it's something that always bothers me about these movies.

Anyway, I oftentimes feel like i'm just tired of these found footage movies as a whole but i'm beginning to realize that that's not really the case. It's not that i'm tired of found footage horror, i'm just tired of watching the same found footage horror movie over and over. Like with any type of horror movie, whether it's found footage or a zombie movie or one made on a budget of 20 bucks, i'm just looking for a good story, one that brings something new and exciting to the table, and it seems found footage horror flicks more than any other type are continually unoriginal and uninspired, oftentimes only being made to cash in on the success of the good ones, which I guess is why I feel like i'm just through with them. I thought the same thing about vampire movies until Stake Land came along and the same about zombie movies until Zombieland came along and i'm sure a found footage horror film will soon come along that will restore my faith in the filmmaking style. For now, Atrocious did not do the trick.

... Wherein I Attempt To Make Homemade Candy Corn!

When I started up Freddy In Space, I never envisioned that I would someday be able to play host to my very own cooking show. But tonight, in the spirit of Halloween, i'm going to be doing just that, as I recount my recent adventures in making my very own homemade candy corn. I've always been a lover of the stuff and when I found a recipe online that promised me that I could make it myself (who knew?!), I simply had to try it. So come with me, will you, as I channel my inner Martha Stewart and do something a little bit different 'round these parts!

I shall start where all cooking shows start; with the ingredients ...

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Needed for this particular recipe was 8 ounces of mini marshmallows, a pound of sugar in its delicious powdered form, two tablespoons of water (some dude at some point suggested that the high rates of cancer in my area may be attributed to the tap water, so I don't take my chances) and yellow and orange food coloring, the latter of which I discovered through this experiment is never found in any collection of food coloring available in stores (thankfully, red & yellow's lovechild is, you guessed it, orange). As for the beer and the Halloween 2 DVD, neither are required ingredients for this recipe, though I find it criminal to make any Halloween themed treat without a pumpkin beer in your hand and a horror flick playing on the TV. Swap it out with any movie of your choice. As long as it's not Zombie's H2. I kid. But seriously.

**CANDY CORN FUN FACT : AN ESTIMATED 20 MILLION POUNDS OF CANDY CORN ARE SOLD EVERY YEAR!**

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The first step is dumping the marshmallows (4 heaping cups worth) into a bowl, tossing the water on top and then placing the bowl into the microwave until the little guys start to get all puffy and gooey. You know how when you put a Peep in the microwave it gets all soft and mega sized? Ya, that's what we're going for here. Oh and my microwave isn't really that filthy. It just shows up that way in pictures sometimes. Must be the spirits of messy experiments past. I swear.

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The recipe called for a nukeage time of only a single minute on high but my marshmallows required nearly double that before they were able to be stirred into this slimy consistency. Give them as much time as they need in there until stirring them around with a rubber spatula makes them free of all lumps. Good, now give the melted marshmallows a taste. Pretty fuckin' yummy, eh? Savor it while I give you another fun fact that I may have stolen from Wikipedia.

**CANDY CORN FUN FACT : OCTOBER 30TH IS NATIONAL CANDY CORN DAY!**

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Now add that powdered sugar to the mixture, all at once. Stir until you can stir no longer, which should happen pretty soon, as you'll find that the mixture of powdered sugar and nuked marshmallows quickly becomes a mess of hardened and super sticky goop. Yum.

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Using whatever means you have to, get the sticky mixture out of the bowl and onto a cutting board or large flat surface that's coated with powdered sugar. Be sure to also coat your hands with the sugar. Now it's time to knead the tacky dough into a giant ball, which is a lot easier said than done. The stuff is so sticky that it will literally adhere to your hands like super glue, but you've just gotta keep working with it and keep adding powdered sugar to the ball in order to finally make it round and free of tackiness.

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It takes a while and a lot of manpower, but it will eventually happen. I promise.

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Now you must divide the ball into three smaller balls, each one representing a different color of the candy corn. You're gonna have to keep one ball white and turn the others yellow and orange, respectively, which you'll have to do by adding drops of food dye and kneading them into the balls.

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As you might expect, your hands are gonna turn strange colors during this step of the process, but don't let that discourage you. Keep adding food coloring until your balls are fully colored.

**CANDY CORN FUN FACT : CANDY CORN WAS INVENTED IN THE 1880'S. THE RECIPE HAS REMAINED PRETTY MUCH THE SAME AFTER ALL THESE YEARS!**

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You may notice that the yellow ball looks like a ball of yellow Play-Doh while the orange one looks like the color isn't fully taking to the dough. This is because I used regular food coloring on the yellow one but didn't realize that I accidently bought gel food coloring to make orange, which proved to be very difficult to work with. The color just wouldn't dye the dough no matter how much I added, but I eventually got it looking somewhat decent. So if you're gonna make candy corn off of this recipe, be sure to get regular food coloring!

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Now it's time to roll out the balls into strands, atop your powdered sugar covered workspace. I ended up dividing the balls into even smaller balls, because I found it impossible to roll out such big strands without them falling apart. Slap the small balls onto the cutting board and roll them out with the palms of your hands till they look something like mine did above. Hopefully yours will look a whole lot nicer.

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Now you've gotta adhere the three strands together, which you're gonna have to wet them quite a bit to do. Once they're conjoined, flatten the multi-colored strand out with a rolling pin. Now it's time to turn this mess into candy corn, which you do by cutting the strand into alternating triangles. After a few well placed slices with the knife, you should end up with a whole bunch of familiar looking little treats ...

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I could've made hundreds of these little guys but I got tired and lazy and only cut up one strands worth, before getting fed up with the whole operation and tossing the rest of my dough into the trash. The whole thing was just so sticky and messy and I didn't want to deal with it anymore. Besides, I got my fun out of it by that point.

So they look like candy corn, but do they taste like candy corn? Well, if they did, I probably wouldn't have thrown them out despite how hard they were to work with. This recipe yields treats which look and walk like candy corn, but taste like nothing more than sticky pieces of marshallow covered with powdered sugar. It's not a bad taste, but the results just simply don't taste like what was promised, which makes this one a failure in my eyes. Given that one of traditional candy corn's main ingredients is honey, i'm not sure why I expected anything more than what I got. I suppose I just have far too much trust in internet recipes.

In the end I was left with yellow Jaundice hands, a stomach ache from eating far too much marshmallow dough, a whole lot of dishes and a reminder that some things are better off left to the pros. It's a good thing I had a bag of these in my pantry...

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So maybe you can't really make candy corn in the comfort of your own home, but I gotta say I had a lot of fun drinking beer, watching Halloween 2 and at least giving it the old college try. It's a fun October craft night, whether the results are impressive or not. And hey, if nothing more, I got a blog post out of it, so I can't ask for much else.

**THE FINAL CANDY CORN FUN FACT : AFTER THE SUCCESS OF THESE CORN KERNEL SHAPED TREATS, COMPANIES EXPERIMENTED WITH OTHER VEGETABLE SHAPED CANDIES, SUCH AS TURNIPS, WHICH NEVER QUITE CAUGHT ON!**

Time to make that bag of Brachs' disappear. I hope my dentist isn't reading this.

Video Games Meet Horror Movies In G4's Epictober Film Festival!

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Video game website G4 loves October as much as you and I. Only difference being, they refer to it as Epictober, in reference to the levels of geeky epicness they strive to attain each year throughout the month. This year, creative director Joe Lynch (yes, the Wrong Turn 2/Chillerama dude) has outdone himself, producing three short films from three up and coming filmmakers, as part of the Epictober 2011 Film Festival. The three shorts, all which see video games colliding with real life, have been premiering on G4's website over the course of the past three days and now that they're all available to watch, I wanted to share them on here for those whose radar they might've slipped under. Most of you have probably already seen these due to them being pimped on the big news sites as well as on your friend's Facebook walls, but I couldn't resist sharing such cool shit.

Sit back, relax and enjoy a dark and twisted take on Duck Hunt, watch Mario duke it out with Donkey Kong in the real world and see what happens when the Angry Birds make their way into a Hitchcock film with Sam Balcomb's The Hunt, Drew Daywalt's Kart Driver and Gregg Bishop's Birds of Anger!







Taking pop culture mashup art to the next level. Gotta love it!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Release Review - Human Centipede 2 : Full Sequence

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OUT NOW ON DEMAND!
*COMING TO AMAZON ON DEMAND THIS FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28TH*


Hmmm ... well ... ok ... let's start off with a couple good things I have to say about this one ...

For one, I quite like the concept of this totally over the top sequel. Rare for a sequel, this one is set in a world where the first Human Centipede was merely a film and it centers around a sick and twisted fat dude who was a mega fan of that film, the kinda guy who jacked off to it with sandpaper wrapped around his dick while the rest of us were throwing up, which has inspired him to create his very own ... Human Centipede. Looking to one-up his hero, Dr. Heiter, security guard Martin aims to construct a centipede out of quadruple the amount of people, with the head of the centipede being none other than Ashlynn Yennie, star of the first Human Centipede. Ya, it's pretty damn clever and a great way to keep this centipede crawling, now that Heiter has been killed off. I remember while watching the first one wondering if any sick fan would come along and try to make his own centipede, perhaps even kidnapping the actors from the film and making them a part of it, so it was interesting to see writer/director Tom Six go down that route and show us how much more gruesome it'd be to watch someone with no surgical skills whatsoever put together such a vile creation. It aint pretty.

Secondly, I dig the idea that there are now essentially two versions of the Human Centipede out there for consumption by anyone who can handle them; a reserved & serious one and a completely and absurdly over the top graphic one. In that sense, these first two films in this budding franchise (a third is in the works..) remind me a bit of the first two Texas Chainsaw Massacre's, with the first merely suggesting its horror and brutality and the second one seeing the director of the first going all out and delivering the graphic and gory film anyone who went to see the first one opening weekend probably expected to see. So ya, it's interesting and commendable that Six has given both the 'torture porn' gorehounds and the horror fans looking for substance over gore the chance to enjoy their own version of the Centipede. All good and well.

Unfortunately, those good aspects of the whole ordeal melt away pretty much the minute the film actually begins, as we're treated to a totally substance-less hour and a half long mess of repetitive and increasingly graphic and disturbing images, which really don't present themselves until Martin actually begins building his centipede about an hour into it (prior to that, it's pure boredom). While the first Centipede was, despite its ridiculous and over the top concept, a surprisingly well made and terrifying little horror film, this Full Sequence is nothing more than scene after scene of depravity strung together with no real meaning and in the end, absolutely no point whatsoever. It's got a clear aim to offend but when all was said and done, the only thing I was offended by was the fact that I wasted 7 bucks and 90 minutes enduring it.

Centipede 2 is a step back for Six, a seriously inferior sequel that plays out like the kind of film a lesser filmmaker than he would have made had that lesser filmmaker been the one to originally come up with the idea of sewing a bunch of people together ass to mouth. It's got some pretty gruesome shit (literally) in it that I as a gorehound and practical effects aficionado can appreciate, like a woman giving birth to a baby and then accidently stomping its head in as soon as it comes out, but a bunch of disturbing images stitched together do not a good horror movie make and HC2 just simply isn't a good horror movie, nor is it even much of a 'movie' at all. More or less, it's everything I was so glad to find that Human Centipede was not.

With Human Centipede, Tom Six proved that he's well aware that a horror movie needs to have some substance to mean anything. With this one, he seems to throw all that away, perhaps in an attempt to appease the viewers of his first attempt that weren't satisfied with the lack of gore and shit that the premise seemed to promise (maybe there's a deeper meaning behind it all buried in there somewhere ... I don't see it). I guess you could say he's given those folks the movie they wanted with this sequel, showing them everything they hoped to see in the previous film but didn't (shit, mouths ripping away from assholes, the whole medical procedure in full graphic detail) and providing us all with two wholly different experiences based on the concept, but i'll personally stick with that subdued and far superior first sequence, thankyouverymuch.

Oh and for the record, the On Demand version currently available for viewing is a cut down version, not the one shown during the limited theatrical release, so I can't really say I got the full experience Tom Six intended me to get. Regardless, I hardly think a couple more disturbing images would've made me appreciate it all any more, so i'm pretty certain i'm not really missing anything.

And yet, here I find myself anxiously awaiting the third installment in this mad franchise. Sometimes I wonder what's wrong with me...

10 Halloween Short Films You Should Carve Out The Time To Watch This Week!

I realize that what you're about to see is going to be a bit overwhelming. Ten embedded YouTube videos is never easy on the eyes (or the loading time) and can be a lot to take in. I understand, I truly do. But i've scoured the 'Tube and jogged my brain for ten Halloween themed short films that I think you folks will dig and I wanted to share them with you. So feel free to watch one or two now and come back to this post when you have the time and keep in mind that these are all fairly short, so it shouldn't take up too much of your time to check them all out. And trust me when I say that they are worth your time.

That said, please do watch and enjoy!



TRICK

By Will Rot


Will Rot WILL creep you the fuck out with this three minute short, a warning for any parents out there with a serious lack of Halloween spirit!



SEASON'S GREETINGS

By Michael Dougherty


Most fans of Trick 'r Treat have probably already seen this, the animated short Dougherty made that ended up becoming the feature length anthology, but it's a must see for anyone who hasn't. Witness where it all began for Sam!



MAKING FRIENDS

By Michael Dougherty


While we're on the subject of Sam, here's one of several short films Dougherty made this year in conjunction with FEARnet, as a way of promoting their Halloween day 24 hour marathon of Trick 'r Treat. This one sees Sam helping a lonely little boy make a new friend to go trick or treating with!



MAKING FRIENDS

By Marvin Suarez


Yep, this one's got the same title as the one above and though it has a similar start, it's very different and quite a bit longer. This 'Making Friends' tells the story of an eight year old stutterer whose mother leaves him alone on Halloween night. After being tormented by the neighborhood kids, he exacts his bloody revenge.



THE TIFFANY PROBLEM

By Adam Green


So Green makes a short every year for Halloween and you should probably watch all of them every single year. That said, The Tiffany Problem is one of my favorites he's done, which is why I selected it. As i've always believed, you're never too old to trick or treat or engage in a bit of Halloween hijinks, which this comedic short with a sinister climax is a testament to. Keep an eye out for a Victor Crowley cameo!



THE TRICK OR TREATER

By Eric England


This one comes from the guy responsible for the upcoming horror flick Madison County and it gives terrifying new meaning to the act of eating candy on Halloween!



BOO

By Michael J. Goldberg


A ghost torments a young woman on Halloween night ... but is it really a ghost or just a mischievous trick or treater? Find out in this funny short with a clever twist!



THE BAD COOKIE

By Drew Daywalt


If you're into short horror films then you surely know the name Drew Daywalt, a prolific name in the abbreviated terrors game whose work i've featured several times on this here blog. Perhaps Daywalt's most off the wall short takes place on Halloween and centers around a killer .... pumpkin shaped cookie. The Gingerdead Man aint got nothin' on this little baked bastard. This is one you gotta see!



MY FRIEND JOSH

By Shaun Springer


Similar to the above two 'Making Friends' shorts, this award winning short tells the tale of a lonely little girl on Halloween, who has nobody to trick or treat with. She makes an unlikely friend while wandering through the graveyard in this heartwarming seven minutes of Halloween adventure.



TRICK OR TREAT

By Greg Benson


The barriers of the living and the dead collide on Halloween night in this funny and creepy short that sees two aspiring filmmakers being visited by a ghost of Halloween past. Needless to say, this is one trick or treater they will eternally regret answering the door for!

Zombie Pumpkins' New 2011 Carving Patterns!

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With Halloween less than a week away, chances are you've already carved up your lot of pumpkins for the year. But if you're the type who likes to wait until right before the big day, so your pumpkins are free of rot and flies once the trick or treaters come knocking, then you're probably gonna soon find yourself prowling for carving patterns online. For such needs, look no further than Zombie Pumpkins, a pay service that has, since 2003, given its members access to oodles of kickass original carving patterns, many of them based on horror movie and genre pop culture characters. Yes I said pay service but don't worry, you can get two patterns for only 2 bucks and all 265 of them for merely $10 (which I call the Rhonda The Retard package), so the money really isn't even an issue here. It's more about just throwing the company a few bucks to show your support for what they're doing and keep them in business for many years to come, so that you can continue carving award winning pumpkins ... for years to come. See how that works? It's a win-win for all involved.

The site currently has 265 patterns in categories ranging from 'Movie Monsters' to 'Television Terrors' to 'Kreatures For Kids', which I advise you browse through as soon as you're done here. But while you are here, I wanted to show you a few of the brand new carving patterns for 2011 that Zombie Pumpkins recently unleashed. So check 'em out below and then be on your way to printing out your patterns and gutting & carving up your pumpkins!

**The images are very small, i'm aware. That's done so you can't steal the designs for free!**

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Oh and when you're done inflicting pain on your little stemmed friends, be sure to take pictures of your work and send them over to Zombie Pumpkins so they can add them to their gallery!