Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Ariescope 2012 Halloween Short Film Reveals A Never Before Seen Halloween '78 Deleted Scene!

For the past several years, one of the big staples of my Halloween season is the short film Adam Green's company Ariescope Pictures puts out each year.  The idea is to create a short film centered around the holiday, with a single night's shooting time and as low of a budget as is humanly possible, which they actually started doing back in 1998.  You can check out all their past shorts, including the fan favorite Jack Chop and one of my personal favorites, The Tiffany Problem, over at ARIESCOPE.COM!

Though the 2012 Ariescope Halloween short wasn't supposed to hit the net until sometime later in the day today (today being Monday, even though Blogger insists on still calling it Sunday), it was just unveiled early on the Holliston Facebook page a couple minutes ago, which I would've totally missed had I not been compelled to get out of bed and spend some time on the net before attempting to fall back asleep.  I suppose I was compelled for a reason!

This year's short acts as a faux never before seen deleted scene from the original Halloween, which explains something fans have joked about for years; how the hell did Michael learn how to drive, when he had been locked up in a sanitarium since he was a small child?!

Coolest of all, the short features Kane Hodder as Michael Myers, which now gives him the distinct honor of having played Jason, Freddy, Leatherface AND Myers!

Sit back, relax and enjoy 'Driving Lessons', the 2012 Ariescope Halloween short!!

2012 Carving Patterns From Zombie Pumpkins!

Since 2002, Zombie Pumpkins has been the go to place for anyone with a desire to carve one hell of a badass looking pumpkin.  With nearly 300 patterns that range from television stars to movie monsters, cult icons to rock gods, there's truly a little something for everyone.  Though Zombie Pumpkins is a pay service, you're not gonna have to pay much to get a lot out of it.  You can get 2 patterns for a mere $2, 25 for $5, ALL patterns for $10 and all patterns plus special VIP patterns for $20.  Can't beat that!

Check out all the new carving patterns for the 2012 season, which you can scoop up over at Zombie Pumpkins!



Must mention that the Leslie Vernon pattern is a freebie, which means you can go download it and start carving without signing up or paying a single cent.  Perfect way to test run the patterns before ya sink any money into them.  So sharpen that scythe and get to carving!!

Breakfast Cereals Dress Up For Halloween : A Pictorial History!


Finally tracked down a box of Halloween Crunch last night, and as I sit here slurping down green Nilbog milk and munching on penis shaped puffs, I got to thinking about other cereals that have been pimped out Halloween style over the years.  When it comes to Halloween and cereal, we oftentimes spend so much time talking about the likes of Boo Berry, Franken Berry and Count Chocula that we don't give enough attention to the year round cereals that dress up for Halloween during the September and October months.  So I've put together a nice little gallery in honor of those cereals that have shown some Halloween love over the years.  Enjoy.

**My apologies in advance for the low quality of some of these photos.  It's not easy to find pictures of cereal boxes online, and when you do, they're oftentimes so small that blowing them up to see-able size makes them as grainy as an underground snuff film.  But I'd rather put up shitty pictures of some of them, than not put them up at all!**
















Tom Whalen & David Perillo Go Around The World In An 80's Daze!

This weekend kicked off Tom Whalen & Dave Perillo's 'Around The World In An 80's Daze' art gallery, which is on display over in California's Gallery 1988, the be-all end-all pop culture art gallery.  The show will be running through October 20th, at the gallery's Santa Monica location, and all the art from the show is now available for browsing and purchasing online.  The idea behind the show was to whip up posters centered around iconic locations from 80's films, as sort of travel brochure looking images.  Several of the pieces were based on horror flicks, so check out some of the art below!




You can see all of the art, and purchase what's left of it, over at Gallery 1988.  There are also posters over there based on Friday The 13th, Gremlins, The Fog, The Shining & The Thing, so be sure to check out the full gallery!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go grab a pint at Dorry's Tavern.

Snap, Crackle, PREDA POPS!!


A couple weeks ago, over on the Freddy In Space Facebook page, I posted this image, and remarked about how much I love these horror movie/cereal mash-ups, even if they're a bit played out at this point.  Well guess what?  This design is now available on a t-shirt through Another Fine Tee, one of those shirt a day sites that actually sells each shirt for three full days, which I guess makes them a shirt for 72 hours site.  The shirt went on sale this past Friday, and will be selling through today, for $11 a pop (plus an extra dollar for XXL sizes).

Pick it up over at Another Fine Tee!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Hotel Transylvania : A Fun Break From The Darker Side Of The Genre


Jen and I went out on a little date tonight, first to grab some ice cream from our favorite homemade ice cream joint and then to go see Hotel Transylvania, with the hopes that the night would bring some much needed childlike joy into our lives.  Between some recent personal stuff that's been going on, and of course the always constant consumption of R rated horror flicks, it was something we were definitely in need of, especially after somehow managing to miss last month's ParaNorman, during its theatrical run.  Happy to say that the one two punch of homemade coconut avocado ice cream(!) and this little mad monster party were precisely what the doctor ordered for us.  Remember that scene at the end of The Munsters' Scary Little Christmas, where all the famous monsters gather together to rock out and have fun?  Yea, well that's Hotel Transylvania, only expanded to an hour and a half running time.  And that's fun, if you're asking me.

I'm a few adult cocktails deep at these point, a result of some after date drinking and Saturday Night Live watching, so pardon me if this particular review isn't up to my usual professional standards.  Then again, are my posts ever really professional anyway?  I'm not sure, but I do know they're a lot easier to type when I'm sober.  Yea, I'm drunk while writing a review of a kids movie, what of it?

Ya know, it's really not often that I ever sit down to watch animated movies, and its even rarer that I go to see them in the theater.  In fact, I can't even tell you the last time I saw such a movie in the theater.  It's just not something I'm generally into, as I tend to prefer live action stuff, with real human beings and such.  Once I actually sit down and watch a lot of these types of movies, I do tend to love them, it's just the whole sitting down to watch them thing that I never seem to want to do.  Even as a kid, it was always Freddy Krueger over Bugs Bunny.  It was just never my thing.  I like real stuff, which is I suppose why I always loved wrestling.  Har, har.  You try getting slammed on that mat.  It hurts.

That said, I had an absolute blast with Hotel Transylvania (thank you, Google spell check) and its clever monsters are scared of humans approach tonight, and I gotta say, it was really nice to sit back and take in something that didn't have blood, guts and boobies in it, while still belonging largely to the horror genre.  It admittedly does sometimes get tiring watching nothing but torture and murder, and this movie provided a real refreshing break for me personally.  The usual monsters were all there - Frankenstein, Dracula, The Blob and The Fly - but it was all about fun this time around, which is something that I probably don't get enough of from the movies I typically consume.  Case in point, we watched Frontier(s) earlier in the day.  Yea, that's the kinda shit that normally assaults our senses.

It was also nice to see a movie in the theater with mostly young kids in the audience, which is something I quite frankly never get to experience (mostly seeing R rated movies, and all).  Remember in Finding Neverland when they have that play at the end, and they give free tickets to a bunch of kids, who they spread out throughout the crowd, so their joy and laughter will spread to the adults in the audience?  Well yea, that totally works, which is largely why its so much fun to see a movie like this in the theater.  Even when you, as an adult, may not be laughing, the joy of children laughing behind you is absolutely infectious, and is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.  Unless you're a total dick.

As usual with animated films, this one has a strong undercurrent of very adult messages, everything from tolerance to overcoming past fears, being a good parent to fully living your life, while even touching upon the fact that our society has come to embrace monsters more in recent years than it ever has.  So yea, all that stuff running under the fun all helps to add to the experience.  I don't know where I'm going with this paragraph, since I'm getting to the point where I just want to pass out, but I wanted to crowbar that in somewhere.  So there's that.

Here's the deal.  Hotel Transylvania isn't the greatest animated movie ever, and if I'm being honest, it's not as funny as I hoped it would be, and I didn't quite fall in love with it as much as I had hoped to.  But I still had a complete blast with it, and left the theater with a big ole smile on my face, the kind of smile that I don't typically tend to leave a movie theater with.  With the taste of ice cream still in my mouth, and while holding the hand of my 'zing', I couldn't help but feel an incredible sense of joy tonight, the joy that only comes from getting back in touch with your inner child.  OK, I'm totally drunk at this point and it's showing.  I'm a couple more sips away from an "I love you all so much!!!", and I should probably just shut up right now. 

Hotel Transylvania is the kind of movie that makes me wish I had a kid, so I could enjoy it with him (or her).  But since I'm nowhere near ready to take on such a responsibility, let me rephrase that.  Hotel Transylvania is the kind of movie I cannot wait to show my kid of the future.  If he, or she, is not into it, then I'm paternity testing that little sumbitch.  Because he, or she, but hopefully he, must belong to that new guy that started at Jen's job that she swears is gay, in an effort to throw me off their lecherous tail.  Shit, now people are gonna think I'm saying that only gay people are going to not like this movie.  Not what I meant at all.  I'm just saying ... ugh ... nevermind!

One thing I must mention.  If there's ever a sequel to this movie, please Sony, more Parnell Fly!!!  Favorite little monster in the whole movie, and he didn't get nearly enough screen time.  **There would be a picture of him here, but I can't find a single one on the net.  No respect, I tell ya**

Take the kids.  Take the wife.  Get in touch with your inner child and take a break from the blood, guts and torture.  Hotel Transylvania is the most fun I've had with monsters in a long time.  And I promise you'll have a blast too.  Unless you're a dick.

Hey by the way.  Don't you wish there more live action kiddie horror movies, like there used to be?  Because I do.  So I'm gonna project my feelings onto you and assume you do too.  And doesn't Wreck It Ralph look completely awesome?  Because it totally does.  Glad you agree.

We now return to dark, brutal shit.  Goodnight!

What's In The PO Box?! Vintage Halloween Costume Magnets!!

A couple weeks back, artist Frank Browning and I teamed up to bring you fine folks some retro style Halloween costume designs, the first of hopefully several more series' to come, leading up to the big day.  Today, I opened up my PO Box to find in there a small package from a reader by the name of Devin Connors, who turned those pieces of art into mini magnets!  Check it!!


Is that awesome or what?  Devin sent along three full sets of ten magnets, plus a few more.  Gonna of course keep a set for myself, and send a set over to Frank Browning, but the leftovers I will be dropping into giveaway packages and various other packages I send out to you guys.  Now if you'll excuse me, I've gotta go do some decorating on my fridge!

Oh hey, by the way.  If you want Devin to turn anything into magnets for you, feel free to drop him a line at CONNORSDEVIN@GMAIL.COM.  He's super talented at turning stuff into magnets, including trading cards and even trading card packages (yep, those are indeed magnets!), and he'd be happy to hook ya up.  Thanks, Devin!!

OK.  Now I go.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Giveaway Time! Win Savage Vengeance, The Freddy In Space Edition VHS (Numbered 1 of 1!), From The Uneasy Archive!!


With the VHS resurgence now in full swing, a company called The Uneasy Archive has popped up on the scene, dedicated entirely to brand spankin' new VHS releases of cult films that they deem "uncomfortable" (hence, the name of the company).  Their goal is to "Preserve The Precarious", which they do by releasing very limited editions of rare (and oftentimes) sex-tacular cult flicks onto VHS tapes, ensuring they get into the hands of hardcore collectors, and thus never get stuffed into a box or become paperweights.  Each VHS tape is housed in snazzy clamshell packaging, with a poster included, and is limited to just over 20 hand numbered pieces.

Tomorrow, between 9 and 10pm EST, Uneasy Archive will be unleashing their seventh release, their very own VHS re-release of Donald Farmer's Savage Vengeance, the 1993 film (though supposedly shot in '88) that serves as an unofficial sequel to I Spit On Your Grave, with Camille Keaton (under a pseudonym) reprising the role of Jennifer (the last name Hills was removed due to legal issues, this being an unofficial sequel and all).  The film, which is now out of print on DVD, finds Jennifer once again getting raped in the woods, and once again exacting her special brand of post-rape revenge.  23 copies of the tape will be selling exclusively tomorrow night in the Uneasy Archive Facebook group, with a final batch of 26 selling at next month's Cinema Wasteland convention, at the Massacre Video booth.  The online copies will feature a black clamshell case (and will come signed by Donald Farmer), and the subsequent Cinema Wasteland copies will have a white case.


Now in addition to the limited regular releases of each of these VHS tapes, Uneasy Archive also tends to whip up one super duper special edition for each one, which is limited to one single piece and features alternate clamshell color and sometimes even different artwork.  The special edition for Savage Vengeance has a pink case, and it will be randomly given out to someone who orders the online black version.  Now this is where things get really exciting.  You ready?

 For this release, Uneasy Archive also made up a second special edition 1 of 1 piece, which is the first time they've ever done that.  This is the Freddy In Space Exclusive Edition, which Uneasy Archive was awesome enough to create for me, and which will be given away right here right now, and will then never be seen again.  So listen up, videovores!! 


The Freddy In Space edition, hand numbered 1 of 1, is housed inside of a very special neon green clamshell case (with a partially green tape!!), with art that is exclusive to this copy (Uneasy Archive gave you Freddy In Space readers the special explicit art, cause they love you), and it will come signed by director Donald Farmer (the only reason it doesn't appear to be signed in the above photo is because the tape will be hand signed by him next week at Cinema Wasteland).  A poster will also be included, inside of the sealed clamshell case.  The coolest thing about the release, however, is that it's got the Freddy In Space logo printed onto the back cover, so there can be no mistake that this in fact the one and only Freddy In Space special edition of the release!


How fucking awesome is that?  I've given away a lot of cool shit in my years of running this blog, but this may be the coolest.  It's certainly the most special, and I am incredibly honored to now be even a small part of VHS history.  Sure do wish I could keep this tape, but I'm happy to give it away to any one of you readers out there who will truly cherish it.  So please, promise me you'll cherish it.

If you want to get your hands on it, all you've gotta do is join up with the Uneasy Archive group on Facebook, and then come on back here and leave me a comment on this post letting me know you did so.  A simple "I joined the group!" will do.  Be sure to also include your e-mail address, so I can get in touch with you if you win.  This very special giveaway will run through next Thursday, October 4th, so be sure to get your entries in before the clock turns over to midnight next Friday morning!!

If you're interested in picking up the Facebook group exclusive black clamshell addition, signed by Donald Farmer, you can do so tomorrow night over in the Uneasy Archive group.  That release is again limited to 23 pieces, and they'll be selling for $23 a pop.  After those sell out, Cinema Wasteland next month is gonna be the only way to get your hands on one of these, in any of its forms.  As for this particular edition, I must again reiterate that the one being given away right here right now is the absolute only one that will EVER be made, so this is your absolute only chance to score it.  And if don't want to miss out on adding this release to your collection, I must urge you to not forgo ordering it in the hopes that you'll win the giveaway.  I sure as hell hope you (yes, YOU!) win, but I wouldn't want you to count on winning and as a result, miss out on ever having the chance to own this.  Because trust me, it'll sell fast.  And besides, even if you do win, the editions are totally different from one another, so it'll be cool to have both anyway!

You can learn more about Uneasy Archive, keep abreast of their future releases, and check out all past releases over at the Uneasy Archive Facebook group, which you should by the time you're reading this portion of the post already be a member of!

Huge thanks to The Uneasy Archive for being so awesome and getting me involved with this release.  Honored and elated doesn't even begin to describe how I'm feeling!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Awesome Art : Xenomorphin' Into Everyone!

There is no other movie in the history of movies that has birthed more amazing fan art than Alien.  I literally see an awesome new piece every single day I make my way around the interwebs, and that's no exaggeration.  This latest compilation of awesomeness comes courtesy of comics illustrator Chris Moreno, who imagines a world where everyone is a Xenomorph.  What would such a world look like?  Take it away, Chris!


Like what you see?  Head over to Chris' website, Chris Moreno Makes It Happen, to see more of his art!

Hollywood Saves Lives : 7 Horror Movies Where Characters' Lives Were Spared By Altered Endings!


I vividly remember the first time I saw Clerks, and being totally shocked when I checked out the special features on the DVD afterwards, and saw that Kevin Smith had originally planned to have Dante get gunned down at the end of the film.  This was my very first experience with alternate endings, and I was incredibly fascinated by the fact that I had just watched a character die, who minutes prior lived to the end of the movie itself.  From that point on, alternate endings became one of my favorite DVD features, with Clerks forever putting me on the hunt for altered finales with wildly different, and far more depressing, outcomes.  What can I say, I'm a downer like that.

(That said, I'm very glad Dante lived, because I totally love Clerks 2!)

When it comes to horror movies especially, Hollywood is in love with the happy ending, where the tormented victims walk off into the sunset, and escape the grasps of their tormenters.  Because of this fascination with sunshine and happiness, Hollywood has many times throughout the years changed depressing and tragic horror movie endings, so that the films are a little more upbeat.  Here are seven films where lives were saved by altered endings! 


When Oren Peli independently made Paranormal Activity, the original ending saw a possessed Katie killing Micah, and then being shot dead by police, who enter their home to find her covered in blood, and wielding a knife.  When Paramount acquired the film, after deciding to not just go ahead and completely remake it like they originally planned, they shot two new endings for the film, one of which also saw Katie dying, like in Peli's original cut, only this time a result of her cutting her own throat.  This ending appears as an alternate ending on the home video releases of the film.  The other ending, which ended up as the final ending, saw Katie demonically lunging towards the camera after killing Micah, but surviving the events of the film.  Obviously, the idea behind keeping Katie alive was for the purposes of continuing the story with future sequels.  As for the lame-o demon face morph, well, that's just typical Hollywood, screwing up awesome indie films with their bullshit effects!


In the original ending of Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3, Ken Foree's character Benny doesn't live to see the end credits roll, with Michelle being the only survivor of the hellish events.  As you can see above, Benny gets his head ground up, courtesy of Leatherface's chainsaw.  Now story goes that in test screenings of the film, the audiences took such a liking to Foree's character that they didn't want to see him die.  Catering to those desires, New Line went out and shot an entirely new ending for the film, which sees both Benny and Michelle surviving.  Now the funny thing about that is that they left in a portion of the scene where Benny's skull meets up with Leatherface's chainsaw, a maiming that it doesn't quite look like a man would be able to survive.  And yet, because audiences demanded it, Foree shows up at the end of the film, with nothing but a small wound on his head.  Now that's one badass motherfucker!! 



There were actually three different endings to 28 Days Later that saw Jim dying, two which were filmed, and one which only made it to the storyboard stage.  The one you see above, where Jim dies on a hospital bed after being shot, was the original ending for the film, which test audiences deemed too bleak and depressing.  Director Danny Boyle considers this ending the 'true ending' to the film.  In the ending that ultimately ended up being put in the finished film, Jim survives his gunshot wound, and joins the rest of the survivors in a desperate plea for help from a passing aircraft, their fates unknown.


Though neither end is exactly happy, the original UK ending to The Descent is a whole lot more grim than the one shown to American audiences.  In the American version, Sarah emerges from the underground cave system, and drives off to safety.  In the original UK version, Sarah emerges from the cave in a dream sequence only, and is shown in actuality to have never escaped.  In a very poignant moment, she hallucinates that she sees her dead daughter down there with her.  Though not shown, the implication is that Sarah is killed by the crawlers.  The ending was considered too dark and hopeless for American audiences, so the dream sequence became reality, and Sarah survived to see a lackluster sequel.  Go Hollywood! 



Though never actually filmed, the original script Romero wrote for Dawn ended with Peter and Fran killing themselves, Peter using a gun to get the job done and Fran brutally thrusting her head up into the blades of a helicopter.  This ending was reportedly tested for filming, with the cast of Gaylen Ross' head that was to be used for the scene becoming the head of the African American male that is exploded during the tenement scene early on in the film.  The behind the scenes shot of the dummy above is the only evidence we have that this ending was at one point set to go from script to screen.  Inevitably, we ended up with the ending we all know, where the fates of Peter & Fran are uncertain.


There were a few alternate endings to The Butterfly Effect, with the one seen above being the one most different from the final cut.  In this batshit crazy version of the ending, Evan travels back in time to when he was in his mother's womb, and strangles himself with his umbilical cord, thus eradicating himself from the planet and sparing everyone the pain and grief that came along with knowing him.  Yea.  Fucking grim.  And weird as shit.  In the much happier and less awkward ending that ended up in the film, Evan only goes back in time to prevent him and Kayleigh from ever meeting, so that the negative impact he brings upon her life never actually comes unto her.  God, that movie is weird.  



True to the ending of the musical, the original ending of Frank Oz's Little Shop Of Horrors was a whole lot more grim than the ending that made it into the final cut.  In the 23 minute original ending, both Audrey and Seymour are eaten by Audrey 2, and Audrey 2 and its duplicates begin taking over the world, attacking big cities like New York and Cleveland.  Though both Oz and star Rick Moranis prefer this ending, it received negative reviews from test audiences, and the finale was re-written with the happy ending of Audrey & Seymour surviving, and destroying Audrey 2.  So in this case, I guess you could say Hollywood saved the entire world!

Must mention that the full original ending to Little Shop was included on the just released Director's Cut Blu-ray Digibook release of the film, which you can grab over on Amazon!

If you know of any other instances like these ones, please do leave a comment below and let me know!

Trailer Thoughts : Paranormal Activity 4 (Trailer #2)

Oops, wrong picture.  Oh well, I'll leave it.

I've found the Paranormal Activity franchise to be an extremely polarizing one amongst horror fans.  It seems you truly either love the series, or you totally hate it.  And I've got friends who fall on both sides of the coin.

When it comes to me, I absolutely love the franchise and consider myself a huge fan.  I was totally hooked from the first one and I've enjoyed each one since.  Hell, I think I even like each new installment more than the last one.  I love how the franchise taps into the simple fear of what the hell is going on in your house, while you're asleep, and I feel that the films have been incredibly effective at not only providing the chills and thrills, but also at painting an incredibly compelling and constantly evolving portrait of one haunted ass family.  That story above all else is what draws me in, year after year.  In fact, a large part of the fun of seeing these movies for me is piecing them together and discussing them with friends afterwards (hey Jesse!).  It just totally works for me.  All of it.

So then.  The second trailer for Paranormal Activity 4 hit the net in the wee hours of the morning today, and it's home to lots of new footage that wasn't seen in the first official trailer.  Going forwards this time, instead of backwards, PA 4 takes place five years after the most recent events of the first three films, and centers around a new family, who live next door to Katie and Hunter (now called Robbie).  Scary shit ensues.

Check out the trailer and then we'll talk about it!!

**HEY, YOU!  If you're foggy about the timeline of events from the somewhat confusing trilogy, head over to Dread Central, where they've whipped up an incredibly helpful little timeline that should explain it all, and refresh your memory!!**

While I love how the story up until this point has unfolded in a backwards fashion, I think that it's great that this one is instead going to go forwards, and bring some closure all around to the series.  "All the activity ... has led to this", proclaims the film's tagline, which has definitely perked my ears up big time, right off the bat.  Could this be the last one?

But what's most exciting for me about this one is that it was again helmed by Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost, the men behind PA3 (and the film Catfish, which you NEED to see if you haven't yet!!).  Paranormal Activity 3 and its 80's spin on the proceedings was my favorite movie of the whole bunch, and I have complete faith in everything those guys do.  A new installment in the franchise is exciting enough for me, and them directing it is but the icing on the cake.  Sort of like each time it was announced that Darren Bousman would be again helming one of the Saw films.  We're in good hands here, PA fans.  The best of hands.

So yea.  I love the franchise, and I've got absolutely no reason to not be excited about this next installment, which looks to be the conclusion to the whole ordeal.  I will be there opening night, October 19th, and I will be as giddy as a little schoolgirl.

By the way, Kinects are fuckin' creepy, man.

Are you excited for this one or do you belong in the 'We Hate Paranormal Activity' camp?  I don't judge either way.  So leave a comment and let me know!

Ript Apparel's Got Your Boomstick!


This is the design that's available today over on Ript Apparel, which you can get printed on everything from t-shirts and hoodies to coasters and iPhone cases.  A fusion of Army Of Darkness and Full Metal Jacket, with a little Evil Dead 2 thrown in the mix (cackling deer head!), the art comes courtesy of my buddy Nik Holmes, and it's available today and today only.

Get it on a shirt for a mere 10 bucks, or on other things for varying prices.  Go forth!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Cool Shit On Etsy : Killer Klowns Bottle Cozy!

One of my favorite pieces of imagery from any horror film is that of the cotton candy cocoons from Killer Klowns From Outer Space, which the Klowns encase their human victims in, and then proceed to drink their blood through a straw.  So in love with that imagery am I, that I even painted an egg to look like one of the cocoons, last Easter!

So you can imagine the sheer delight I experienced when I logged onto Etsy the other night, did a random search for Killer Klowns goodies, and stumbled upon one of the most amazing things these eyes have ever stumbled upon.  Behold ...



Words cannot even express how brilliant this is.  And how much I absolutely need it.  Crocheted and stitched by hand, the cozy was made by an Etsy company called Crochet Cozies, and is selling for 35 bucks.  The price may seem a bit steep, but I think the joy of drinking from a cotton candy cocoon, just like the Klowns do, is an experience that is simply priceless.  In fact, I don't think it, I know it.

You can get your very own over at Crochet Cozies on Etsy, where you'll also find all sorts of other awesome cozies, inspired by everything from Rocky Horror to Labyrinth, Ren & Stimpy to Mario Bros.  Ah what the hell, while we're here, check out another one of my personal favorites ...

And with that, you've completely won my heart, Crochet Cozies!!

My Latest eBay Win : Goosebumps Shakin' Creature!


As a result of the Goosebumps book series and then television show rising to mega popular heights with kids in the 90's, it was only natural that a slew of Goosebumps themed toys and products would flood the market, which was most certainly what happened.  Everything from board games to video games to all manners of different toys made their way onto the market in the mid to late 90's, oftentimes based around iconic characters from the books, like Slappy The Dummy, Cuddles The Hampster and the ever popular mascot of the franchise, Curly The Skeleton.

Now what's most interesting about the world of Goosebumps toys is that several of the toys were clearly influenced by some of the coolest toys from years prior, mostly ones from the glorious 80's.  There were little 'Monster Bags' that dissolved in water to reveal Goosebumps toys, a take on the Trash Bag Bunch.  There were round squishy gross out balls, reminiscent of Madballs.  And there were even rubber monster puppets made to look like they were being held captive in their boxes, a clear ripoff of one of my personal favorite toy lines of all time, Boglins.

And then, there were the sound activated Shakin' Creatures, put out by Toymax in 1996, which took the Boglin concept to a whole new level.  I had never even seen one of these until a couple weeks back, and when I found this one on eBay, I of course had to have it.  It was opened up but with the original box still in pretty good shape, which is always a big time plus.  The cost?  A mere $9.99, with $8.00 shipping.  Not too shabby, if I do say so myself!

This particular Shakin' Creature is based on 'The Horror' from the book/TV episode One Day At Horrorland.  I have been able to find absolutely no information on this line of toys, which is something that seems to be common with many of the Goosebumps toys.  I don't know if a lot of them are really rare or what, but aside from popping up on eBay from time to time, it seems to be next to impossible to track down a lot of these toys, which could simply be a result of not too many people talking about them around the web.  Thank god for loser geeks like me who never grew up, am I right?!

This little guy has a hard plastic head and a set of rubber arms that were clearly modeled to a tee off of Boglin arms.  I think I just inadvertently created a Boglin centipede.  And I think it was awesome.

Where was I?  Oh right.  Inside of the plastic head on this guy is the battery pack, which I was happy to see arrived at my house fully stocked with three AA batteries.  Lastly, he's got a string attached to his head, presumably so you can hold him up in the air while he wiggles around and screams like a madman.

Let me guess.  You want to see 'The Horror' in all of his shakin' not stirred glory, don't you?  I would never dream of denying you such pleasures.  For my new pet and I have got such sights to show you...

Again, really can't find any information, or even images, about these things anywhere on the net (though the back of the box reveals that Curly was also a part of the line), and I'm pretty sure a Google search after this post is posted is gonna bring you right back to this post, and this post only.  On the one hand that makes me very happy, but on the other I can't help but wonder if I scored a great deal on something sorta rare here.  Could just be wishful thinking, but I must say that there is a strange marking on this little rubber/plastic hybrid creature that has me wondering...


It may be a little hard to see, but he's got a tattoo on his left arm of a yellow heart, with "#10" written in black in the middle of it.  Does this mean he's a limited edition of only 10, or does 'The Horror' simply have a serious crush on the number?  The answer to that question may forever drive me crazy, I'm afraid.

Nevertheless, I love this guy very much, and the fact that I can't find a single picture of him on the internet makes me love him even more.  It probably isn't worth much of anything, but it's not really about money or rarity here.  It's about this little guy making me one happy big guy.  And he's doing an admirable job on that front, I'm happy to report.  If he keeps it up, I'm even considering getting a #10 yellow heart tattooed on my arm, in solidarity.  Neither of us will know what the fuck it means, but at least we'll be in this thing together.

Two against the world, Horrorland Horror  Two against the world.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

House At The End Of The Street - Wait, David Hess Isn't In This?!


Sometimes (quite often, actually), horror movies come along that I have little to no interest in seeing, movies that I only find myself in the theater watching for the purpose of being able to come on here and tell you folks what I thought about them.  I'm about 99.9% sure I'm not going to like the movies that I'm referring to, even in the slightest bit, but I've always felt it's kinda my duty as a horror blogger to get out there and see all the new stuff, at least when it comes to big releases.
House At The End Of The Street is one of those movies.
(But hey, I had a free ticket to see it tonight, so at least this review didn't cost me, like they usually do!)
 If you're thinking that House At The End Of The Street is one of those movies that was made a couple years back, and is only now seeing distribution because its star recently hit it big in Hollywood, then you'd be absolutely 100% correct.  The movie was filmed back in 2010, before Jennifer Lawrence was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in Winter's Bone, and of course before she became a household name in The Hunger Games, and I would imagine that the only reason it's even seeing release now is because the studio knew it could make a few bucks off of her poor early career decision to be in it.  It happens all the time in Hollywood.  And they were totally right, as evidenced by the fact that Katniss helped elevate this hunk of junk to the top of the box office over the weekend.

As I was fully aware going in, House At The End Of The Street is just another cookie cutter, safe and totally generic PG-13 affair, the kind of movie that makes jumpy teenage girls scared, while grizzled horror veterans like ourselves sit back and wonder if it's even worth going out to see horror movies anymore.  Establishing opening scene of a prior evil, cut to a few years later, mom and daughter move into a new house that's connected to the horrific event seen in the opening ... yadda, yadda, yadda.  Ohh, and there's a cute mysterious guy ... I wonder if he'll turn out to be the killer!
The me of a couple years ago would've probably gone on and on about how crappy this movie is, but the me of today realizes there's no point in wasting my time, or yours.  House At The End Of The Street blows.  But of course it does, at least for people like us.  Ya see, a movie like this isn't for fans like us, it's for those jumpy teenage girls who want to go out to the movies, without parental supervision, and experience some chills and thrills in the safest way possible, with totally predictable outcomes and cheap jump scares aplenty.  And that's totally fine.  Wide release theatrical horror movies are, for the most part, about making money by catering to the masses.  These kinds of horror movies aren't made for horror fans, they're made for young kids on dates who want to make annoying noises and hide in the comfort of their boyfriend's shoulder when the cat springs out of the closet door.  And then text the other guy they're interested in.  Little sluts, the whole lot of 'em.
 So, my fellow horror fans, I urge you to not get bummed out by movies like this, or by the fact that movies like this continue to do well at the box office, and continue to get made, while the kinds of movies we love either can't get made, or can't get released.  And don't even bother ranting about how shitty they are, and how much they're ruining the genre.  Hell, don't even bother seeing them.  Use that time and energy to instead seek out something good, and spread the good word on those films that you do love.  Horror's not dead just because films like this, Silent House and The Possession are populating the big screens.  Those types of films are merely a profitable and tiny sub-section of the genre, that people like us need not spend so much time focusing on.  We're the ones who are supposed to be hunting down the foreign and indie gems that aren't so easy to locate, not paying 11 bucks to see the same movies over and over again, getting more and more pissed off each time.  We as horror fans have a tendency to keep watching and bitching about shit we don't like, which is totally unnecessary.  It's like saying, "I hate hot dogs with mustard on them", and then continually eating hot dogs with mustard on them.  Just stop watching the kinds of horror films that represent everything you dislike about the genre.  Simple as that.  Tweens aren't watching the horror movies we like, so why are we watching the ones they like, and then getting mad when we don't like them?  Silly, if ya think about it.

Now if I can say one positive thing about this movie, it's that there are two big twists towards the end of it that I actually did not see coming (gasp!).  Well, the last one I sort of did see coming earlier in the film, but had written it off when it seemed like things weren't going to turn out that way.  So yea, there's that.  But still, a twist ending tacked on to a shitty movie is more or less a crutch to distract the audience from poor writing for the other 95% of the film, so it really doesn't mean much at the end of the day.  If worked into a more all around well written movie, those twists could've made for an interesting film, but the writing as a whole was way too poor for anything to help make it any more watchable.  For the most part, I spent the nearly 2 hour run time hoping David Hess would spring up and slaughter the entire cast.  Hey, can ya blame me, with a title like that?!
Speaking of slaughtering.  My god.  I think I have to stop going to see PG-13 horror films in the theater, altogether.  It's not that I have anything against PG-13 horror, but I don't think I can stand to watch one more movie while annoying disrespectful asshole teenagers yap on their cell phones and scream out stupid jokes.  After the third "That's what she said!" from the fat young kid sitting in front of me tonight, I was about ready to turn that theater into an NC-17 horror flick.  Now that, would've been worth watching!