Saturday, December 31, 2011

Vintage Video Of The Week : New Year's Evil (Full Movie!)

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Forget watching that stupid ball drop or going out to a party and having your friends scribble dicks onto your face while you're passed out drunk. That may be what New Year's Eve is all about for some, but for us horror geeks it's all about getting drunk in the comfort of our own home and watching a New Year's themed horror flick, am I right? I hope i'm right, because that's pretty much how I plan on spending my night!

For your viewing pleasure, i've chosen to feature the full length 80's slasher flick New Year's Evil as this week's Vintage Video Of The Week. There have been a few horror movies which have taken place on New Year's, which FEARnet profiled earlier today, but it's the brilliantly titled New Year's Evil that remains the ultimate horror movie for the holiday. Taking place on one particularly blood filled New Year, the film centers around a killer who announces on a live rock 'n roll end of the year countdown show that he plans on killing a woman each time the clock strikes midnight in each of the different time zones. Gotta love it!

Released in 1980, New Year's Evil has in recent years slipped into the public domain and has actually never been released on any format other than VHS, making it free to watch but expensive to own. In fact, it's even available to stream instantly on Netflix at the moment, for those with an account over there.

As with most public domain movies, a couple people have uploaded it in full onto YouTube, though the only one that has the whole movie in one part also has an annoying faux Mystery Science Theater commentary attached to it. The only other one I found was spliced up into six parts, so I suppose this is actually Six Vintage Videos Of The Week.

Anyways, enjoy and Happy New Year to you all!!











Horror Movie Empire Rings In The New Year With A Massive Blue Underground Sale!

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From now through 11:59pm CST on New Year's Day, online horror shop Horror Movie Empire is running a big time sale on all the Blue Underground titles they have in stock, with all DVD's slashed down to $8.50 and all Blu-ray's priced at only $11.50 (plus FREE SHIPPING!). Blue Underground is a cult/exploitation home video distribution company that has since the early 2000's been releasing special feature packed uncut editions of some seriously kickass horror titles, which these days are generally released on both DVD & Blu-ray. Here's a listing of just some of their releases, all of which are currently in stock and for sale over at Horror Movie Empire!

CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD

THE CRAZIES

DEAD & BURIED

DEEP RED

HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY

MANIAC (3OTH ANNIVERSARY EDITION)

THE NEW YORK RIPPER

THE PROWLER

ZOMBIE (2 DISC ULTIMATE EDITION)


Yep, the DVD's and Blu's of all of those are right now going for only $8.50/$11.50, a sale which deactivates late tommorow night. Though Amazon is almost always the cheapest place to go to buy movies, these prices are several dollars lower than the current prices on the same discs over there, so now's the time to add these to your collection if you've been meaning to do so. TAKE ADVANTAGE before the sale goes away for good!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Beer + Computer + $50 = Time For A Drunken Amazon Shopping Spree!!

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Is there anything better than having a few drinks and hopping online to buy some shit, inhibitions and little 'save your money for the electric bill' angels tossed right out the goddamn window and into oncoming traffic? It's just something you need to do every once in a while and being that i've spent the better part of the past month and a half blowing all my spare money on Christmas gifts for others, I think i've earned a bit of a drunken online shopping spree.

I've got the house all to my self tonight, the fridge is armed to the teeth with Pumking's and i'd say it's about time to head over to Amazon and rid myself of the $50 from this week's paycheck that I deposited into my checking account earlier tonight. It's been a while since i've bought myself any DVD's, so my goal tonight is to pick up as many kickass horror discs as I can for what i've got in my account. Join me on this journey, won't you, as I live update this post as I buy!

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HOUSE 2 : THE SECOND STORY - $8.99

Earlier tonight I mentioned on Facebook how much I love the brilliant subtitle of this one and I got a flurry of responses from you guys gushing about your love of the movie. Truth be told i've never actually seen this sequel, but tonight I got all the convincing I needed to remedy that!

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BEST WORST MOVIE - $8.49

Cannot stress enough how much I absolutely adore this documentary. Not sure how so much time has gone on between me seeing it for the first time and me adding it to my collection, but all feels right with the world now that i'm gonna own it. Fuck, I just used the word 'adore' didn't I? I think it's safe to say that buzz is starting to kick in.

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BEREAVEMENT - $6.77

I've heard nothing but serious acclaim for this one but have yet to check it out. Couple the low price with the fact that the disc features a behind the scenes featurette directed by my boy Adam Barnick and i'm sold. Happy, Barnick?

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KIDNAPPED - $15.00

I absolutely need to see this movie and cannot wait any longer. Fairly expensive blind buy, but i've got faith in this one. I know it's on Netflix Instant but the version on there is dubbed, with no way of changing that. Fuck that noise. This is being hyped up by pretty much everyone as a super dark and ultra bleak and brutal home invasion flick and that kinda film is right up my alley. I love home invasion movies, which is funny because my biggest fear in the world is somebody breaking into my home. Go figure!

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SUPER - $10.82

Have I ever mentioned how much I love this movie? Ah to hell with it, I adore it! I know it's not horror but it just might be Dawn of the Dead remake scribe James Gunn's masterpiece, an incredibly oddball and violent movie with a surprisingly large heart. Shut up, crime!!

Hm, let's see where we're at ...

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Well hot damn, couldn't have planned that out better if I was sober and I tried.

ORDER. PLACED.

That's about a wrap on this one. Time to get off the computer and resume drinking in a more comfortable location, where I won't be tempted to write up a slew of embarrassing blog posts. I think this is one drunken haul I won't regret making once morning comes. Then again, you never know until that time arrives!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

12 More Fan Made Posters To Melt Your Eyeballs!!

As always, click on the artists names to see more of their amazing work!

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ALEX PARDEE

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ALIEN CORSET

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BARRY BLANKENSHIP

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DANNY MILLER

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FLORIAN BERTMER

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JEFF PROCTOR

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JOCK

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KEN TAYLOR

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MARTIN ANSIN

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MATT VERGES

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PHANTOM CITY CREATIVE

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PHANTOM CITY CREATIVE

Check out my past collections of fan made poster art :

18 AWESOME MINIMALIST HORROR MOVIE POSTERS!
17 MORE KICKASS ALTERNATE HORROR POSTERS!
15 MORE AMAZING FAN MADE POSTERS!
10 MORE FAN MADE POSTERS TO SWOON OVER!
11 MORE INCREDIBLE FAN MADE POSTERS!

New Release Review : A Lonely Place To Die

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NOW AVAILABLE ON DEMAND!

A group of climbers have made a grim discovery high up in the mountains. They have found an eight year old girl buried amongst the peaks: buried alive. Terrified, de-hydrated and unable to speak a word of English, she is the victim of an elaborate kidnapping plot.

When you see a film pop up on more than a couple best of the year lists, you can't help but take notice. Such is the case with the British film A Lonely Place To Die, a recent On Demand release that I didn't know much about but nevertheless felt compelled to drop 7 bucks on last night. In so many words, I won't regret doing so once the hiked up cable bill comes my way next month. Not one bit, even though it'll likely mean i'll have to skip a meal or two. So be it!

Remember how in The Descent things were already intense and utterly breath stealing BEFORE the creatures were ever even introduced? Well ya, that's totally A Lonely Place To Die, a mountain climbing expedition that goes wrong from the get go, with a group of climbers fighting for their lives nearly as soon as the movie begins. One wrong move and they've got themselves a one way ticket to a closed casket wake and we're literally placed directly into the action, provided with both the sweeping wide shot scope and the handheld close up action that properly collide to make us feel like we're high up there on the mountain with the characters, shitting our pants from the tension even though we're really sitting comfortably in our PJ's on our couch. Now that's powerful.

Like in The Descent, the intensity is then ratcheted up to 11 when a group of killers are added to the mix, this time humans rather than creatures but with the same general mission; to fuck up the day as much as possible. And so, what would've already been an intense movie watching experience without the threat of killers thrown on top becomes a holy shit i'm falling off the edge of my seat thrill ride, sort of a mash up between Cliffhanger and Deliverance (without the man rape ... or Sylvester Stallone) that, at least in the first half (more on that in a minute), will leave your jaw as wide as a Victor Crowley victim and your breath harder to catch than an STD from a dude at Comic Con.

People always ask me what my favorite type of horror movie is. Is it the horror comedy? The zombie film? My answer is one that I always feel weird giving, both because it's hard to explain and because it kinda makes me sound like a sick individual. But here goes nothing. Though they can fall under any sub-genre, I like my horror films dark, realistic, brutal and confrontational. The ones where we're presented with a group of characters that we like and they're then soon after thrust into a horrifying situation wherein they're brutally taken away from us one by one. The ones where your nerves are rattled and thumbprints are (figuratively) left on your throat for days after. In other words, I like my horror films horrifying. I want to be disturbed. I want to feel something.

A Lonely Place To Die, though a film which falls under more banners than simply 'horror', is one of those films, a brutal and unflinching piece of cinema where no character, no matter how integral to the plot, is ever at any point safe from the wrath of those who are pursuing him. It doesn't matter who they are or what they look like; much like in the real world, everybody is as likely as anybody else to get it next. A Lonely Place To Die grabs a hold of you from before the opening credits even begin and barely ever lets go of your throat for the following two hours. It's a nightmarish descent into a mountain climbing journey gone as wrong as any journey can possibly go, where everyday people are thrust into a world that everyday people have no place in, their good natures putting them on the bad side of some really bad people. Cue serious intensity.

One thing I cannot stress enough is how beautiful this film looks, which was one of the standout qualities about it for me. The shots of the Scottish Highlands look like they were ripped straight out of a Planet Earth Blu-ray and they're absolutely breathtaking, a beautiful but at the same time totally unforgiving landscape, the absolute worst place you'd want to be when you're running for your life from two evil dudes with sniper rifles just waiting to blast holes through you. I've never climbed a mountain, and hopefully never will come even close, but an absolutely aces job is done by director Julian Gilbey, perfectly capturing what i'd imagine it'd be like to be up there scaling the peaks, your life oftentimes dependent on the strength of a piece of rope. No thank you!

If there's anything that I didn't love about the movie it's that it morphs into an entirely different film around about the halfway mark, trading in the foreboding mountain landscape for a bustling city setting, where some kind of strange parade is going on in the streets. Aside from the setting, the movie also changes in tone, as it goes from a high altitude mountain climbing thrill ride to a grounded kidnapping flick (featuring a killer in a pig mask!), losing a bit of its intensity and edge of the seat qualities along the way. I'm not gonna say the film falters in its latter half but as far as personal preference goes, I didn't much care for this shift and I much preferred the harsh mountain atmosphere to the more typical and safe populated city one. It's not that the movie gets bad at all, it just turns into a slightly less gripping movie that I personally wasn't as into as the one it started out as. If the whole movie had been kept high up in the remote mountains it spends most of its run time in, I can't help but feel like it would've been a more effective overall experience. At the same time though, I completely understand why the shift was made. Oh well.

Aside from that the only other little gripe is that one particular character's accent was very difficult to understand. Considering he was a major player whose character and dialogue were very integral to the overall story, this was definitely bothersome. Maybe it's just me, but I could barely understand a word he was saying and I felt like I missed a few things as a result.

A Lonely Place To Die was right up my alley, a fright flick that grabbed hold of me and often left my jaw on the floor, both because of the stunning scenery and the oftentimes shocking things that happen in it. Gilbey fills the screen with beautiful as well as horrific imagery, imagery that is at times even both beautiful and horrific at the same time, and it's truly a sight to behold. Though it's not perfect all the way through, i've gotta highly recommend it and i'm pretty sure if I did make a top 10 list of my favorite movies of the year (which I don't plan to), it'd likely find itself on there. Watching the movie tonight not only ensured that i'll absolutely never even go near a mountain but also that i'll be picking up the Blu-ray once it's released next year here in the states (the UK DVD & Blu came out this week).

If you end up watching A Lonely Place To Die and you like it, i'd also like to recommend you seek out 2006's The Backwoods, a similar film starring Gary Oldman that this one reminded me a lot of. It also kicks a whole lot of ass and is further proof that if you find an imprisoned child, you should probably just walk the other way. Sorry kids!

Oh and one last thing. Melissa George should totally wear skin tight mountain climbing pants in every movie. Even if it's a romantic comedy that has nothing to do with mountain climbing. That'd be agreeable.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Innkeepers Poster Signed By Director Ti West ... Win It Here & Now!!

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When I was at NY Comic Con this past summer I met Ti West, director of one of my favorite recent horror flicks House of the Devil. He was there signing posters for a few hours on the day I was there and because he was giving them away for free, I got myself a signed House of the Devil poster and Jen had him sign the poster for his latest film, The Innkeepers, which she nabbed specifically for you folks. The plan was to give it away on here once The Innkeepers was released and being that the On Demand release date of December 30th is now two short days away, I think it's time. So let's get to it!

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If you want the signed 17x11" poster, featuring the kickass art of Tom "Dude Designs" Hodge, here's all you've gotta do to enter!

First go ahead and read director Ti West's recent blog post on the Glass Eye Pix website, where he talks about the negative effects downloading movies has on filmmakers like him. Once you're done reading it, leave me a comment below with your e-mail address and a simple promise, which you can even copy & paste from right here:

DEAR TI WEST, I PROMISE YOU I WILL NOT DOWNLOAD THE INNKEEPERS

That is all. Deadline for entries is January 1st at midnight. Good luck to all and be sure to check out The Innkeepers On Demand starting this Friday, a full month before its February 3rd theatrical release. Enjoy the trailer below!

Catching Up On 2011 : More Brains! A Return To The Living Dead

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BUY THE DVD!

The last couple years have seen the rise of the horror movie retrospective documentary, wherein hardcore fans have been getting together to create the ultimate DVD tributes to their favorite horror films & franchises. Lovingly crafted by the super fans for themselves and their fellow fans, these DVD's are generally extensive looks back at those films, giving us all unprecedented access to behind the scenes information about the movies we love, such as the Elm Street (Never Sleep Again), Psycho (The Psycho Legacy) & Scream (Still Screaming) franchises. It's a trend i'm absolutely loving and I was so excited when I heard that the next film to be given the treatment would be Return of the Living Dead, from some of the same people behind Never Sleep Again, perhaps my favorite horror documentary of all time. More Brains! A Return To The Living Dead hit DVD this past October and thanks to the generosity of Mr. Kris Kringle, I finally got the chance to watch it last night.

Narrated by Return of the Living Dead's Scuz, Brian Peck, the only actor to appear in all three of the original films in the franchise, More Brains! is a two hour documentary that explores nearly every aspect of the creation of the film, from the initial genesis of the idea right down to behind the scenes looks that literally take you on set and detail the filming of nearly every scene. No holds are barred as the filming process is brought to life by raw and honest stories told by not only the main cast, both humans and zombies, but also nearly everyone involved in bringing the film to life behind the camera. Infused with the same EC Comics style that made Return so awesome, the documentary is jam packed with tons of information, including behind the scenes photos and original concept art, all of which is delivered in a fun and thoroughly entertaining fashion, as the various cast and crew members shoot the shit about their experiences while sitting against backdrops that recreate imagery from the film. In other words, if you're a lover of Return of the Living Dead, there's absolutely no way you won't also love this documentary. The Tarman promises you that much.

As someone who has always been a huge fan of Return of the Living Dead but has never really known much about what went on behind the scenes in the summer of 1984, I was the absolute perfect audience for the documentary and came out the other end with a whole lot of information I never knew and the answers to a lot of questions i've pondered for years finally answered, such as why the hell it looks like Linnea Quigley has no vagina in the iconic nude graveyard dance scene. Yep, these are the things that keep me up at night. Cross that one off the list.

I guess the same can be said for any film but one of the most interesting things I took from the documentary is that it's almost a miracle that it ever made it into our lives, both because of oftentimes miserable and tense shooting conditions as well as the many stages the film went through before the cameras actually started rolling. What initially started as a straight up sequel to Night of the Living Dead, written by the guy who co-wrote that film with Romero, didn't turn into the punk rock horror comedy that we know and love until Alien creator Dan O'Bannon was brought on board to overhaul the script, and even then the original plan was to have it be in 3D with Texas Chainsaw director Tobe Hooper at the helm. When Hooper's schedule became too full, O'Bannon was given the directorial reigns, his first time ever making a film, and the rest is of course history. The whole story behind the film is utterly fascinating and again, this was all new information for me so I eagerly soaked it up like a goddamn sponge. Can you imagine a world where the Return of the Living Dead we love never existed?!

Another aspect of the film which is heavily explored are the incredible makeup effects, which were brought to life by several different artists, one of whom was fired before the film even wrapped due to his inexperience (he shares his side of things in the doc). The effects are one of the main things that has always made Return of the Living Dead stand out to me and I feel like a better horror fan now that I know the names Tony Gardner, the young rookie who created the iconic half corpse zombie, as well as William Stout, the man who brought Tarman to life. To be able to finally put names and faces to the effects I so love was one of the real treats of the doc for me, as were the behind the scenes looks at how those old school 80's effects were pulled off. Can't get enough of that kinda stuff. Viva la animatronics!

More Brains! is not only the ultimate fly on the wall experience for the Return of the Living Dead fan, taking us all back in time to experience what it was like to make the movie, but it's also an interesting look inside the mind of the late Dan O'Bannon, a mad genius that I am endlessly fascinated by. At times the nicest guy in the world and others a true terror on set, O'Bannon was an enigmatic force to be reckoned with and i'd personally love to someday see an entire documentary devoted to his life and career. That said, there's plenty of O'Bannon material in here, including on set photos, oodles of anecdotes and even the final interview he ever gave, wherein he seems aware that his days are numbered and thanks the fans for their love and support.

One of the coolest things about the disc is the special features package, a package so stacked with content that the runtime of the bonus material clocks in at 2 hours, the same runtime as the documentary itself. Included are two mini documentaries that briefly touch upon Return of the Living Dead's 2 & 3, covering everything from the disappointment that is Part 2 to the oddball qualities that have made Part 3 an enduring cult classic. Though the two films are only respectively touched upon for 30 and 20 minutes, it was cool to see them featured at all. The more recent direct to TV fourth and fifth sequels aren't mentioned at all on the disc, which really isn't much of a surprise considering they're rarely mentioned alongside the first three installments and are oftentimes completely disregarded by fans.

Also on the disc is the aforementioned full final interview with O'Bannon, which clocks in at around 30 minutes, a look at the filming locations as they appear today, a brand new video for Stacey Q's soundtrack song 'Tonight' (Toooooooniiiiiight, we'll make love till we dieeeee!!!!), a slew of documentary deleted scenes and more.

All in all More Brains! is a well rounded look at all things Return of the Living Dead, an informative and entertaining four hours that is an absolute must own for all fans of the film. Your franchise collection simply isn't complete without it. If we could only be so lucky to have all of our favorite horror films get this loving treatment!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Trailer Of The Week : Prometheus ... DUH!

Unless you were absolutely balls deep in the holiday spirit last week to the point that you didn't go near your computer until tonight, chances are you've probably already seen the Prometheus trailer, likely several times over. Nevertheless, it's my self imposed obligation to profile my favorite trailer from the past week at the start of every new week and besides, is there anyone who really has a problem with reveling in this shit again? Thought not.

So revelers, let's once again revel in the geeky glory that is the first official Prometheus trailer!



How do you get hordes of sci-fi geeks even more excited about the possible prequel (..more on that in a second..) to one of the greatest sci-fi horror films of all time, directed by the same guy who made that film? Well, the answer must be that you cut together a trailer for the new movie that is a total homage to the classic's original trailer, because my nerd excitement totally goes off the charts every time I lay eyes on this 60 seconds of pure geek nirvana. While it's still not clear to what extent Prometheus actually has to do with the Alien films, this trailer is a borderline remake of the original trailer for Alien, which is simply too awesome for words to express. From the title text reveal to the shots used, the sights and sounds utilized here totally evoke the spirit of the original Alien trailer and it's hard not to picture yourself in a dark theater back in 1979 seeing that trailer for the very first time, whether or not you were even around to experience it back then (yes, it's so awesome that it brings back memories that you may not even have stored in your brain). That's what I call marketing genius, the kind of marketing that ensures that every flabby geeky ass on the planet will be plopped in an uncomfortable seat on opening day, popcorn and soda at the ready.

So then, what exactly does Prometheus have to do with the Alien films? Is it actually a prequel to Alien, as it was originally billed? The answers to these questions are still being shrouded in a lot of secrecy but from i've gathered over the last several months, Prometheus is not so much a prequel to Alien as it is an original story that takes place in the Alien universe. In other words, don't expect to see any Xenomorphs spitting acidic venom, but do expect to once again be fully immersed in the atmosphere and vibe of Alien, likely to the point that you'll be expecting a Xenomorph around every corner. If i'm right about this, then i'd say this trailer is just about the perfect representation of the film, being that it evokes the spirit but also feels like something different than what we've been before.

But that's just my two cents. We probably won't know much about what to expect until we're fully immersed in the experience and I for one think that's a beautiful thing. If it were up to me, we'd know nothing more than we know now right up until the June 8th release date.

Gotta ask ... is anyone's chest not bursting with excitement about this one?!

What Santa Left Behind In 2011 ...

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When it comes to Christmas, my family generally spares no expense at making sure everyone has a damn good one. It's a character trait that has been passed on to my brother & I by our parents, as is evidenced by the strained relationships with our bank accounts for the first couple months of the following year. It's stressful and it's expensive as all hell, but it's totally worth it when you're sipping spiked nog and watching your loved ones open awesome gifts.

While Christmas is obviously about a lot more than just gifts, and though I much prefer to give them than to receive them, this go for broke approach to the holiday also results in me getting a whole lot of cool shit on Christmas morning, which I really can't complain about. I always tend to come on here after Christmas and share my haul, and this year i've decided to take a bunch of pictures and upload them to an album on the Freddy In Space Facebook page, rather than make a post with 20 pictures on here that I have to resize and get HTML codes for and all that jazz. The past month has been stressful enough for me, so I figured it'd be easier and probably better for all to just do it this way.

So head over to the Freddy In Space Facebook page and check out the album 'What Santa Brought In 2011!' to see all the badass horror related shit Santa tossed into my home this year, everything from DVD's to Freddy In Space business cards(!) to a blood caked screen worn robe from Quarantine. I shit you not. Go check it out!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Watch Christmas Evil & Oodles Of Other Horror Films ... Instantly & For Free!!

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Every once in a while an appealing ad pops up on the sidebar of my Facebook page, one that's different from the usual garbage. Last night I was stalking my friends' walls when I came upon an ad for BMovies.com, a website which instantly streams hundreds of horror films, absolutely free of charge. All of the titles on the site, which also fall into other genres like westerns & kung fu, belong in the public domain, essentially meaning they are owned by the public and thus can be watched, exhibited, downloaded and uploaded by anyone, anywhere. Of course this means that many of the films are pure garbage, but there are also a lot of gems in there, films that have, fortunately for us, in one way or another slipped into the public domain throughout the years. For example, Night of the Living Dead famously entered the public domain when re-titled prints of the film were accidentally not labeled with copyright indications as the original prints under the title Night of the Flesh Eaters were. As a result, we've ended up with a hundred different DVD releases of the film, with it available to watch free on hundreds of different sites around the web. BMovies.com collects all those public domain horror titles together and makes them easily accessible to us all.

Worthy of noting, given the time of the year, is that Christmas Evil is available to watch instantly on there, for my money one of the very best Christmas horror films ever made. They've also got some titles that are either out of print on DVD or were never put out on DVD, such as Evilspeak (OOP) & The Boogens (not on DVD). So ya, pretty cool little site.

Head over to BMOVIES.COM to browse through their catalog and watch some free movies. And if you get the chance, and you've never seen it, try and cuddle up with Christmas Evil either tonight or tommorow night!

Friday, December 23, 2011

9 Must See Christmas Horror Short Films!

Have you either already seen every Christmas themed horror movie there is to see or just aren't gonna have the time between last minute shopping, wrapping gifts and spending time with your family these next two days to sit down and watch any of them? Have no fear, you can still get your fill of holiday horrors on the quick. Check out nine short Christmas horror films that won't take up too much of your time, but are totally worth the time they will eat up!



MY NAME IS KRIS KRINGLE - DREW DAYWALT

Master of abbreviated horrors Drew Daywalt fills your stocking with holiday fear in this short, which sees Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3's Leatherface, R.A. Mihailoff, as an evil blood covered Santa Claus whose naughty list you do not want to end up on!



TREEVENGE - JASON EISENER

Before he introduced us to the Hobo With A Shotgun, Jason Eisener showed us the horrors of being a pine tree around Christmas time with Treevenge, a short which sees Christmas trees finally banding together to exact their bloody revenge on those who chop them up and display them in their homes!



THE WINTER STALKER - STEPHEN REEDY

He watches you while you sleep. He'll punish you if you're naughty. He breaks into your house on Christmas morning. There's no denying that there's something inherently creepy about Santa Claus, whether he means well or not. Stephen Reedy teams with artist Alex Pardee to brilliantly tap into that fear with this one!



FATHER CHRISTMAS - KIAL NATALE

Three siblings uncover a dark family secret in this unsettling Christmas tale, which manages to make your skin crawl without showing you a thing.



A CHRISTMAS TREAT - TIM SULLIVAN

Before he became a household name among genre fans, 2001 Maniacs director Tim Sullivan made this short back in 1985, when he was just 19 years old. The four minutes of terror, centering around a young boy who gets the surprise of his life on Christmas morning, nabbed Sullivan the Fangoria Short Film Search award that year!



A VERY ZOMBIE HOLIDAY - SEAN BECKER

Adam Green's wife Rileah Vanderbilt and her gang of hot geeky chicks who call themselves Team Unicorn star in this faux instruction video, wherein the gals teach you how to survive the holidays during a zombie apocalypse. Remember parents, ammunition makes a great stocking stuffer!



CHRISTMAS NIGHTMARES 2 : HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS - ROGUES HOLLOW PRODUCTIONS & BEYOND THE GRAVE PRODUCTIONS

We've all unwrapped some pretty awful gifts on Christmas morning, but I think these two kids have got us all beat. This superior sequel to last year's short was made by/for Christmas Nightmares, a website which sets its sights on infusing Halloween style horrors into the Christmas season!



RARE EXPORTS INC - JALMARI HELANDER


Rare Exports began its life as this seven minute short, which was years later expanded into the full length film that you've hopefully seen and fallen in love with by now. If you haven't yet seen it you might want to avoid this, as it spoils a good bit of the plot of the film. Also avoid if you can't handle old man balls flopping freely about.



TERRY GILLIAM - THE CHRISTMAS CARD


We wrap things up (get it?!) with something a little different, a dark holiday card brought to life by a pre-Monty Python Terry Gilliam, back in 1968. Made for the British TV show Do Not Adjust Your Set, the cut out animation from the budding filmmaker showcases the twisted sense of humor we'd soon after come to know and love!

Have Yourself A Creepy Little Christmas : Creepy Magazine's Christmas Covers!

I think it's safe to say that there are very few people reading this right now that don't have at least some kind of childhood memory of reading Creepy Magazine, the beloved EC style comic book that ran from 1964 to 1983. While you may not remember the stories you read as a kid, you likely remember some of the eye catching cover arts that housed those stories, just as you can't get the images of video store VHS boxes out of your head. An unquestionably pivotal part of the success of Creepy Magazine throughout its 145 issue run can be tied to those lurid covers, which were frequently beautiful art pieces that simply demanded your attention. And your hard earned money.

Being that the Creepy run spanned nearly two decades of Christmas seasons, I suppose it was inevitable that the magazine from time to time used the season as a jumping off point for some stories of holiday horrors. There were several Christmas themed issues throughout the years, which had some seriously awesome artwork that oftentimes brought to life very dark and evil incarnations of our beloved Santa Claus. This morning, we look back at the best of the best of Creepy Magazine's Christmas issue cover arts!

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ISSUE #25 - ART BY RICHARD CONWAY

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ISSUE #59 - ART BY MANUEL SANJULIAN

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ISSUE #68 - ART BY MANUEL SANJULIAN

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ISSUE #86 - ART BY KEN KELLY

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ISSUE #125 - ART BY KEN KELLY

Viva la Creepy!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Amazon Deal Of The Week : Scream 4 DVD!

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THE GOODS : Scream 4 on DVD, one of my personal favorite horror films of the year. It's totally good, despite the fact that Wes Craven hasn't exactly been an impressive filmmaker lately. Believe it. Read my full review!

THE DEAL : Currently only $7.52 over on Amazon!

TAKE ADVANTAGE!!

So ... How The Hell Did Mickey Rooney End Up In Silent Night, Deadly Night 5?

One of the most interesting little factoids in the annals of horror history, to me at least, is the fact that Mickey Rooney heavily protested the original Silent Night, Deadly Night when it was released, going so far as to say that "the scum who made that movie should be run out of town", and yet, he appeared just a few short years later in a leading role in the fifth and final installment in the franchise, The Toy Maker. This has always fascinated me to no end and i've always wondered how the hell he ended up in the sequel to a horror film he was so adamantly against. So I harnessed the power of Facebook to find out ...

Brian Yuzna was the producer and writer of Silent Night 5 as well as the director of such films as The Dentist, Return of the Living Dead 3 and Bride of Re-Animator. In other words, he's kinda the man, a dude who quite frankly deserves a lot more recognition than he often gets. In any event, I figured if anyone knew the answers to my questions it'd be Yuzna and being that we were already friends on the 'book, I decided to hit him up and find out those answers for myself. To my surprise, he actually took the time out of his day to offer some up.

In his reply, Yuzna provided some details about how the film came to be as well as how Rooney came on board and what he was like on set, information that I was never privy to until now, even being such a big fan of the movie. I don't know if anyone reading this digs The Toy Maker as much as I do, but I figured i'd share the brief interaction for anyone who does. So here's a special peek inside my private Facebook messages!

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As you can see I got a little greedy and tried digging for more information, which Yuzna never replied to. But hey, i'm just thankful and grateful that he took the time out to reply to my first message. You the man, B-ry.

Thus is the beauty of Facebook, granting us fans unprecedented access to the people responsible for the shit we love and cherish.

If you missed it, check out my love letter to The Toy Maker, which I wrote up earlier this month over at my boy Tom Bryce's blog Shit Movie Fest!

Cool Shit : Silent Night, Deadly Night Custom Action Figure!

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It's fairly unlikely that Silent Night, Deadly Night's killer Santa Billy Chapman will ever be immortalized in plastic by a major toy company. Thankfully, we have customizers to fill in the blanks left by those mass market companies. Check out this screen accurate 12" Billy toy, done up by uber customizer extraordinaire One's Customs and shown off by the guy who was lucky enough to get his hands on the one of a kind piece. Always going out of his way to make his figures top of the line, One handmade not only Billy but a whole slew of accessories as well, including his trusty axe & the severed head of one of his victims. Get ready to get real jealous!!



Now all we need is a topless Linnea Quigley toy and a pair of deer antlers to hang her up on!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Human Centipede Menorah!

No horror movie in the past several years has so invaded the pop culture landscape like The Human Centipede, which received the ultimate pop culture red carpet treatment when it was spoofed on an episode of South Park earlier this year. Tonight, Conan O'Brien kicks off the first day of Hanukkah like only Conan can; by joining nine men together ass to mouth to create a beatiful Human Centipede menorah, the first candle of which he lights on his show tonight. Lest you ever doubt Coco's king of late night status, enjoy the epic lighting ceremony below!



Aint gonna see that shit on Leno, that's for sure!

Shattered Hopes : The True Story Of The Amityville Murders ... Now Available!!

You may remember that during Amityville Week, I made a post about several upcoming movies based around the shocking murders that shook Long Island to its core back in 1974. One of those films was a documentary called Shattered Hopes, a project that I became so interested in that I ended up striking up a friendship with the director, Ryan Katzenbach, who back in June gave Freddy In Space the exclusive first look at potential t-shirt designs for the doc, which you guys were allowed to vote on in an effort to decide which one made the cut. Needless to say, i've closely been following the latest goings on with the documentary over the last several months through the Shattered Hopes Facebook page and I am pretty damn excited to report that as of just this past weekend, the documentary is now available for sale on DVD. Well, at least the first part of it is ...

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Katzenbach's aim with the documentary was to once and for all attempt to accurately piece together the bewildering and oftentimes contradictory events of the day that Ronnie DeFeo killed his entire family in their home, a goal which resulted (six years later!) in nearly 100 hours of interview footage with anyone and everyone who had anything to say about that night. After editing the footage down and turning it into a narrative documentary, complete with crime scene photos as well as recreations of purported events, Katzenbach decided to split the documentary into three parts, available in three seperate DVD sets. Part 1 of Shattered Hopes, subtitled From Horror To Homicide, is what's currently available for sale, a 114 minute documentary that features a slew of bonus features and takes the viewer inside the DeFeo home on 112 Ocean Avenue like no other documentary in the past ever has, to take a closer look at what was going inside those hallowed halls both before and directly leading up to the murders. It includes never before seen photos of the DeFeo Family as well as interviews with those who knew them, those who have extensively researched the case, and others who were involved in the story, some of whom have never publicly made any statements about what they know.

The DVD is selling for $17.99 but if you're a Facebook fan of the Shattered Hopes page, you can score it for a mere $15, a deal which runs through December 23rd only. So head over to the Facebook page, give it a like, and go pick yourself up a copy while the pickin's cheap. As for the shirts you voted on, those can also now be purchased over on the official website!

Check out some footage of the documentary below and be sure to poke around both the official website and the Facebook page to learn more about this epic three part look at the Amityville murders, the ultimate be-all end-all documentary on the subject!



I will of course have a review up of this once I get around to checking it out ... which you can bet your ass will be as soon as is goddamn possible!!

Win A Handmade Human Centipede Scarf ... Right Here, Right Now!!

First off, for anyone who might've missed it, I announced the winner of the 2011 Christmas stocking over on the Freddy In Space Facebook page last night. That winner is Jeff Rego (check out his blog!), a longtime reader and supporter of the blog who somehow manages to find time between raising three kids and working two jobs to read my stupidity day in and day out. For that, he must be commended.

Huge thanks to all who entered, you should quite frankly all be commended (perhaps committed) for spending far too much of your time on here. All of your comments on that post have filled me with plenty enough inspiration to continue doing what i've been doing. As i've said many times in the past, I rarely see a dime as a result of doing this and it's positive comments and e-mails from you folks that keep me going and make all the work more than worth it. So thank you and I love you all!

Now that we're caught up to speed, it's time for a brand new giveaway. I wanted to offer up something really awesome to you folks, this being the week of Christmas and all, and I think i've got just the thing for ya ...

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Courtesy of one of the Human Santapede's top elves, Ms. Mandalin Knottyfingers, it's the one and only handmade Human Centipede scarf (a $119 value!), guaranteed to keep you warm like only a group of 12 people joined butt hole to mouth hole can. It's all the love and comfort of the centipede, without all that pesky shit and blood. Made from soft acrylic yarn, measuring 84"x5" and coming equipped with a hand embroidered digestive tract, I think it's safe to say this is one scarf that'll make all your friends totally jealous of the awesomeness you have wrapped around your body on those bitter winter nights. In fact, it's the only scarf ever made that's 100% Freddy approved! Aint that right, Fred?

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Well, at least it hides some of my scuff marks ...

Santapede wants to hand deliver this most badass of gifts directly to you on Christmas morning, so here's all you need to know in order to ensure that it's your chimney that he crawls down!

To enter, leave a comment below with your e-mail address and the answer to the following question ...

- Other than the Centipede scarf, what horror related item would you most like to find under your Christmas tree this year?

Deadline for entries is midnight Christmas morning. Good luck to all and Merry Christmas from Freddy In Space and the super talented Mandalin Knottyfingers, who thankfully for us uses her talents to bring to us some seriously bizarre and awesome shit. She's the Dr. Heiter of crocheting and I strongly encourage you to show your thanks for her hand making this scarf specifically to give it away for free to one of you guys by checking out her Etsy shop Knottyfingers, where you'll find all kinds of "adorably rotten gifts and collectibles for geeks and freaks", including a handmade crocheted Re-Animator doll!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Trailer Of The Week - REC 3 : Genesis

Last week saw the release of not only the international trailer for REC 3 but the domestic one as well, both of which are totally awesome and worth the watch, given they both feature some different footage. The upcoming prequel (as in, mere hours before) to the first two films in the franchise is being brought to us by the same dudes behind those films, and this time sees the infection not in an apartment building but instead spreading through the family of a young couple on their wedding day. Check out the international & domestic trailers below, both subtitled for your easy viewing!





As a big fan of both REC 1 & 2, I was predisposed to being excited about this one right off the bat. But now that i've seen these two trailers, I think I can safely say that any fiber of my being that wasn't yet excited about what's in store for us with this prequel now totally is. This looks to be a bit of a different experience than what we've seen so far from the franchise and I think different is exactly what the series needs, given that i'm not sure another infection film in that same cramped apartment building could be fresh and effective yet again. If some new information is presented that expands on the mythology of the infection and we get lots of chainsaw wielding sexy bride on zombie action, i'm pretty certain i'll once again be a totally satisfied customer with this one. Looks to me to be the can't miss wedding of 2012!

What say you?

REC 3 : Genesis hits theaters in Spain on March 30th. After that, it's onto REC : Apocalypse, the impending final film in the franchise.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Toxie Rides Into Shirt Punch, For 24 Hours Only!

Today's featured shirt of the day over at Shirt Punch is a design that I think you Tromaniacs out there are gonna like, a mashup between Troma's beloved Citizen Toxie & Ed "Big Daddy" Roth's counterculture icon Rat Fink!

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Just be sure to snatch it up quick, because once the clock strikes midnight Tuesday morning, Toxie will ride his mutant ass right back to his home in Tromaville and the shirt will be available no longer!

Speaking Of Scary Santas ...

So remember yesterday I made that post about creepy mall Santas? Well earlier tonight I was looking through a bunch of old family photos, looking for something completely unrelated to what I ended up finding, and there it was; a vintage Polaroid of my brother & I sitting on the lap of a fairly creepy mall Santa, me absolutely scared shitless while in his white gloved clutches.

Obviously, i've scanned the photo for your enjoyment, so please feel free to take pleasure in my childhood terror below!

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Yep, that's me on the left, justifiably frightened of my jolly captor. I stumbled upon a couple other subsequent mall Santa pictures in the batch I was looking through tonight and not surprisingly, my brother was the only one on Santa's lap in all of them. The Santas were all just as creepy but I was nowhere to be found, likely scarred from the above experience to the point of faking sickness whenever a December trip to the local mall was scheduled. Can you blame me?!

The fact that i've always loved Christmas and don't ever remember being anything but excited about the thought of a real Santa totally proves the point I was making in the post from yesterday; there's just something inherently creepy about Santas of the mall variety!

What do I want for Christmas, sex offender Santa? To get as far away from you as humanly possible!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Vintage Video Of The Week - Tales From The Darkside : Seasons of Belief

The year is 1986. Just a few short months after i'm born, Tales From The Darkside airs their one and only Christmas special, which arrives fashionably late on December the 29th. Titled Seasons of Belief, the episode is written and directed by the late Michael McDowell, a frequent figure in the Darkside universe who would go on to co-write Nightmare Before Christmas a few years later.

Combining the themes of Christmas and horror, the episode centered around two parents who decide to instill Christmas fear rather than cheer into their two young children, in the wake of them no longer believing in Santa Claus. Thus, they weave a tale about 'The Grither', a monstrous creature that lives in a cave on the opposite side of Santa's abode over on the mountains of the North Pole, a sort of meaner and more vicious version of The Grinch. Everytime the Grither's name is spoken aloud, the parents say, the Grither's ears grow bigger, allowing him to track down the person calling out for him. Naturally, the kids begin chanting his name ...

Check out this week's Vintage Video Of The Week, the full episode of Tales From The Darkside's epic holiday extravaganza of bad parenting, Seasons of Belief!



If you're a longtime reader and you're saying to yourself right about now, 'didn't he already post this once before?', the answer is yes, I actually did post this episode back in 2008. But that was a loooong time ago and the video I embedded into that post is no longer even up on YouTube, so I felt like now was a good time to bring it back!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mother's Day (2010) : Yet Another Awesome Horror Flick That's Sitting On A Shelf Collecting Dust Somewhere

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After a bank robbery goes seriously wrong, three sadistic, bloodthirsty, criminal brothers find themselves on the run. Their childhood home seems like the safest place to hide out. But a few things have changed; their mother has been evicted and the house is now occupied by a young couple and their birthday guests. Taken hostage, the new owners and friends are forced to endure a night of blood-drenched hell. Because mother’s coming home to roost and her maternal instincts involve extreme torture and a taste for terror.

In 1980, Charles Kaufman (brother of Lloyd) released Mother's Day, a schlocky and over the top Troma film about two dimwits and their crazy mother who capture and torture a trio of chicks who are out camping in the woods. What we have here, three decades later, is Saw 2-4 director Darren Bousman's pseudo remake of that film, a dark and realistic home invasion flick that resembles the Troma original only in name and general concept. In other words, if ever a remake deserved the oftentimes cop-out title 're-imagining', it's this one, a complete 360 degree change of tone from the film it is technically a remake of. Thus, Mother's Day 2010 is one of the most original horror remakes (how's that for an oxymoron?) of all time, as Bousman relies very little on the source material for ideas and instead creates a wholly standalone tale of maternal carnage, perhaps the only remake that is more unrecognizable to its original than Michael Jackson. The result? One of the better remakes in recent years, and one of the rare ones that in fact eclipses its original by a pretty large degree.

And yet, like so many good horror movies, there it sits on the shelf (at least in the US), where it has sat since its completion last year. Originally slated for release on Mother's Day 2010, the film was indefinitely pushed back and was only recently picked up by Anchor Bay, who will apparently be releasing it stateside on Mother's Day (May 13th) of next year (at least that's the tentative plan). That said, it can be (legally) seen if you really want to see it, as it recently hit home video over in the UK. But more on all that in a minute, as i'm totally straying from my review. Now where was I ...

So ya, the Mother's Day we know and love has undergone a pretty serious makeover here and wouldn't ya know it, it looks pretty damn good as a brutal pull no punches home invasion flick, one that's got a lot more going for it than your run of the mill home invasion affair. There's a lot going on here, moreso than just bad people breaking into a home and doing some slicing and dicing, and for the most part it all works quite well.

First off, the sons have no idea that they're even in a home invasion flick at first, as they're simply returning to their childhood home after a botched bank robbery, not realizing that their mother recently lost the house to foreclosure. This provides an interesting spin on the home invasion angle (as well as makes the film quite topical and relevant to the times it's being released in), being that the family doing the invading is the family that used to live in the home they're invading, and they're none too happy that all their shit has been packed away in the garage like they were never even there. But they're not just there to take out their anger and kill the new owners, who in another interesting twist are joined at the time of the invasion by a big group of their friends. Their main goal is to get enough money from them to be able to flee the country, and they'll do whatever they have to in order to get that money (one of the sons spends the majority of the film outside of the home with one of the victims, on the hunt for cash). Oh and then we've got the sheltered daughter (True Blood's Deborah Ann Woll) of the big bad mom, who may be falling for one of the captives, a doctor who is showing her that her mother is a nutjob who has brainwashed her into believing things that aren't true, as a way of controlling her and molding her into the person she wants her to be. Oh ya, and there's also a major tornado that's about to hit the area.

So we have all this going on amidst the home invasion and though things easily could've gotten pretty sloppy with all these different angles playing off each other, they never do. Instead, they work together beautifully to keep the tension at a fever pitch throughout the majority of the film, with each of those elements revealing new layers to the complex story, a story which ends up being about a whole lot more than simply a home invasion. Rather, the home invasion serves as the backdrop to a highly interesting exploration of the darkest sides of the human condition. Again, it all works pretty damn well.

One of the main strong suits of the film is the fact that the cast of captives are not your typical cookie cutter horror movie victims, but rather they're fully fleshed out three dimensional people, who are both smart and capable of fending for themselves. They just want to get out of this situation alive and so too do their captors, and it becomes a battle to see who will do what needs to be done to attain that goal. As the story progresses, we see that there are many cracks and strains in the relationships between all of these people, some who may not even be friends and some who are perhaps more than just friends, which only adds to the realism and the terror of the proceedings. Avoiding a major pratfall of so many horror films in the past, Bousman and writer Scott Milam pump a lot of the film's energy into fleshing out the captives rather than just the captors, which makes all the bad things that happen to them all the more horrifying because not only do they feel like real people, but we actually grow to like them and relate to them as well. On top of that, the captives are brought to life by solid acting all around, thanks to the talents of familiar faces like My Bloody Valentine 3D's Jaime King, Frozen's Shawn Ashmore and Sorority Row's Briana Evigan. Again, rare for a horror movie, these people truly feel like real human beings, rather than just characters written into a movie solely for the purpose of being killed off soon thereafter.

Now when those bad things do happen to these people, things get pretty damn ugly and brutal, with super realistic gore scenes that oftentimes made me cringe and clench my fists in horror and disgust. The mostly practical effects are amazing, another well executed element in a film that is full of them. So, if you're looking for gore and brutality, Bousman's got ya covered, as he usually does. Not for the faint of heart, folks!

If I have anything negative to say about the movie, it's that the ending isn't as satisfying or as effective as the buildup to it, but that buildup is strong enough that a weak and typical horror movie ending can be forgiven. What we're given in the end is at least serviceable, though it's not nearly as impactful as I would've liked it to be. But what can ya do. Aside from that, I personally didn't find Rebecca De Mornay's mother character to be as compelling or standout as most people seem to have. It's not that her performance was bad or anything, she just never (to me) became that iconic villainess that I would've liked her to be. That said, she more than gets the job done in the role, so it's really just a personal preference thing there.

Much like the Saw films, Mother's Day 2010 is an experiment in the lengths people will go to survive, though it's more what they will do to others in this than the 'how much blood will you shed' idea presented by Jigsaw. It's essentially Saw meets home invasion, a brutal film with a tension level that's high from the word go and only gets higher from there, never letting up along the way. It's a multi layered story brought to life by solid performances, well thought out characters and horrific sequences of human on human brutality, which all work together to create a white knuckle home invasion flick that's both smart and highly effective, a remake that trumps its original on every single level. It's almost not even fair to compare the two, as it'd be like comparing Troma's Toxic Avenger to a raw and real superhero movie about a dude who had a bad run-in with some toxic waste, and it's cool that we've got two entirely different takes on the subject matter to sit back and enjoy, each with their own unique appeal and strengths. Nevertheless, i've gotta give everyone involved serious kudos for taking that goofy Troma film and turning it into such a dark and realistic horror film. This is the kind of boldly original remake we need more of.

As I was saying earlier when I so rudely interrupted my own review, Mother's Day was released on UK DVD & Blu-ray this past October, so if you've got a region free player you can pick that up and check it out. If you haven't yet discovered the joys of going region free, you're unfortunately gonna have to wait till at least next May to do so, when it's supposedly getting a release here in the states (likely in limited theatres and then soon thereafter on DVD). My advice? Go region free and pick up the UK DVD, so you can see it before then. It's worth seeking out.

Cool Shit : Frankenstein Gets An X-Ray!

As a hardcore lover of vintage horror toys, one of my many daily haunts is a forum on the Universal Monster Army website, dedicated entirely to vintage monster toys. Browsing through the archives the other day, I found something that was posted on there this past summer that I consider to be one of the coolest things i've ever seen. I hope you'll feel the same way!

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A poster over there by the name of Ray Castile recently came into possession of this vintage 18" rubber Frankenstein doll, which he believes to be a carnival souvenir from the 1960's. Because the doll is pretty beat up due to its old age, Ray wanted to take steps to restore ole Frank to his original glory, to prevent the inevitable complete deterioration of his new prized possession. Before doing so, he wanted to first find out what the doll's innards looked like, to get an idea of how it was constructed and figure out what would need to be done to fix it. So he turned to a friend of his ... a doctor with an X-ray machine.

Check out the results of the rubber monster's X-rays, which reveal the cracks and breaks Frankie has sustained over the last several decades, just like a peek into the skeletal system of a real human being would!

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How cool is that?!?

Vintage Toy Box : Shrunken Head Kits!

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Pressman Toy Corporation and Milton Bradley; they're two of the leading companies responsible for the family friendly games played with by children the world over. But in the 60's and 70's, when things didn't have to be so politically correct, would you believe that both companies put out toy kits that allowed kids to create their very own shrunken heads, just like the headshrinkers in the Amazon rain forest were doing at the time with real severed human heads?

The process of removing a person's head, sewing the eyes and mouth shut and then drying the head out until it looks like a tiny little creepy ass doll head hardly sounds like the makings of a do it yourself kit aimed for a core audience that spends most of their time watching cartoons, but nevertheless that's exactly the product both companies put out back in the 60's and 70's, respectively. So let's dig into the vintage toy box and take a look back at both the Pressman and Milton Bradley shrunken head kits, exports of times that toys like these make me wish like hell I grew up in!

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Pressman's Witch Dr. Head Shrinkers Kit - 1960's

The pitch behind this one was that Pressman's toy makers headed out into the deepest darkest Amazon jungles on the hunt for a new toy, something for the cool kids who just weren't impressed by the thought of making their own food in a fake mini oven. What they came back with was this revolutionary kit, which allowed kids to commit the barbaric acts that Pressman's crack research team allegedly witnessed the headshrinkers carry out over there. Brilliant!

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The kit came with 'powdered flesh' that was mixed and then poured into monster head molds, depicting the likenesses of Frankenstein, Dracula and some other melty faced abomination that may or may not be the Wolfman. Once the mix was hardened, the moldings could then be pulled and customized with provided hair and paints. 24 hours later, the heads would magically shrivel down to half their original size, providing their young customizer with a replica of a real life shrunken head. Pressman then encouraged kids to trade the severed shrunken heads with their "witch doctor" friends. Because, ya know, every group of young friends has one of those. Vern Tessio? Totally a witch doctor. Sincerely.



Check out this vintage commercial for the Pressman Head Shrinkers Kit before we move on to Exhibit B!

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Milton Bradley's Shrunken Head Apple Sculpture Kit - 1975

The following decade, Milton Bradley set out to reinvent the head shrinking wheel, which they did with the help of genre icon Vincent Price ... and apples. The kit basically came with decorations like hair and beads (for eyeballs), a carving tool and a dehydrating device called "The Shrinker", which you would put your own carved apple into after letting it sit in a solution of water and salt for 24 hours. You would then attach the apple filled contraption to a lightbulb and wait until your apple shrunk and dried out (or set the house ablaze), approximately 30 additional hours. The apple heads were then ready to be painted and affixed with beads and hair to create, as Vincent Price himself states on the packaging, "your own collection of delightful shrunken heads". Delightful indeed, Mr. Price.

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Though you really don't need a kit to turn an apple into a shriveled rotten apple, there's no denying that doing anything with Vincent Price by your side makes whatever you're doing far cooler. Especially creating shrunken heads.

Ah, the good ole days.