Jun 12, 2019

Order of the Thinned Veil 2019

After basically becoming obsessed with the Jackling figures from The Cryptocurium, I decided this year was the year to join the Order of the Thinned Veil.


The Order, or OTV, is a yearly membership for Halloween fiends to get tricks and treats all year long. There are three levels of membership, basically the more you pay, the more stuff you get. I went for the Trick or Treat level which is the mid-level option. That means I get one package now and one later in the year.

The first shipment is the first level, or Candy Corn membership. It arrives in a plain white box but as soon as you open it, it's all black an orange.


What's this black envelope with the pumpkin imprinted wax seal?


Why it's my official membership card signed by the weirdos behind the order, Jask McKittrick and Sam Heimer! No matter when you sign up for the Order, the membership is only good for that calendar year.

Let's unpack the box and see what goodies lie within...


In the top left is a welcome letter from Lisa Morton, who's written a few books on Halloween. Next to that is the Legend of Lantern Jack who is the basis for a lot of the art. Speaking of art, that print "Vessel Vassal" is by Sam Heimer who has some absolutely amazing Halloween/horror art. Just below this is the OTV 2019 Membership pin.

On the bottom row we have a small cloth bag with pumpkin seeds! Members are encouraged to plant them and participate in carving. Then is the Pumpkin Clown wall plaque. There's a great little legend that goes with it, you can read on the OTV page. And of course, candy corn!

While this is all wonderful, what really made me want to join this year were the extras. The first 25 people that signed up, got a couple of bonus items.


Another print from Sam Heimer, called "Harvest Bound" and a witch Jackling. I can't overstate my love for Jacklings so getting this great Halloween loot and an exclusive Jackling was a no brainer!


I love this little figure so much. All the Jacklings have that country/folk art look to them but this one is a little different. She almost seems a bit creepy to me because of all the little nicks and scratches (which you can't see well in the pics). This one really makes me imagine it would be something you'd find maybe on the floor in a barn or in the woods somewhere. The others all have personality, to me this one seems to have history.

I can't wait to get the next part of my membership which will include another wicked art print and a figure of Lantern Jack!

Please check out the sites of the people behind the Order
Cryptocurium
Sam Heimer 

Jun 1, 2019

Monthly Movie Recap - May 2019



Streaming

Ash vs Evil Dead - Netflix finally got the last season and it was everything you'd expect. I'm a little disappointed at the way it ended because that is a setup I'd like to see turned into a new series!


The Umbrella Academy - Finished this up and it was fantastic! It really felt to me like X-Men by way of Watchmen. It's not a typical superhero type of comic story.

Game of Thrones - Thanks to a free 7 day trial of HBO I was able to catch the final season. I can see why people might not be happy with the way it ended but I was completely satisfied with the ending. Not many show finales do that for me.

Let's head to the big screen!


Clint Howard plays a bullied student at a military academy. I almost feel sorry for him with a last name like Coopersmith. He finds a Satanic text that he (get this) has to enter into his Apple PC to translate the Latin into English to get his revenge. Eventually things get crazy. It's a very slow build to the final 15-20 minutes and that's likely all you'll remember about the movie.

Rating: 4/10

I'm familiar enough with the original but by no means a hardcore fan (whatever that might look like) so I didn't really have any reservations revisiting the character. I was nicely surprised that it felt like a return to the classic Disney era. There's a fantastic bit of combined live action/animation and the songs, for the most part, are bouncy and catchy as heck.

Rating: 7/10

This is definitely an Art movie. One that I felt was a bit long and was a lot less on the horror than I was expecting. The look of it and the dancing were great but I think I would have been lost on some of the story had I not seen the original. I have to give props to Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton, they were both excellent.

Rating: 5/10


It's a nice change of pace from the usual zombie/infected flicks with grade school kids being the antagonists. Sure watching adults beat on flesh eating kids wears thin after awhile but it's a decent time. The cast is what makes it watchable.

Rating: 6/10

Better than what I was expecting. It was good to finally see how it all started. The main character may be ex-military but his bad ass-ness takes this Purge more into action hero territory than it should for me. Worth a look if you're a fan of the series.

Rating: 5/10

I really enjoyed the first one and was interested to see what a sequel would bring. This one switches gears from horror/slasher to more of a scifi vibe. A killer is still on the loose but the story focuses more on the time loop aspect and something else I don't want to spoil. If you liked the first one, I highly recommend this one too!

Rating: 7/10

Month
New: Rewatch: 0

Year to Date
New: 33  Rewatch: 2

May 29, 2019

Monster Prom - Game Review

While browsing Steam game suggestions, I happened upon something called Monster Prom. Monsters? Sure ok! Prom? Um...I guess?

Love interests
Monster Prom falls under the "dating sim" or "visual novel" style of game. And while that's not my usual thing, the fact that it features monsters and some fun cartoony art sold me on it.

Players
Monster Prom allows you and up to 3 friends to walk the halls of Spooky High to try and woo a date for the prom. You start by selecting one of the four students, giving them a name and choosing your gender pronoun. You're not locked into gender roles here, monsters just love other monsters! You then answer a few questions that determine your initial stats like Smarts, Fun, and Charm. The only difference between the player characters is their looks so there's no reason to play one over another aside from personal preference.


You then click around the school having crazy experiences that can boost/drop your stat levels. You'll also encounter other students in pairs and it's up to you to settle what's going on with them, usually helping out your intended prom date.

Each "week" is broken into three stages: Morning, Lunch, and Evening. Morning and Evening let you pick where you want to visit on the map that turn. Lunch brings you to the cafeteria where the love interests are paired up at different tables so you can choose who you want to interact with.

The game is presented with no instructions so you may feel it's just a Choose Your Own Adventure type dating game. Not so! Your scores matter. The love interests will only go to prom with you if you meet minimum scores in specific stats. I played through a few times to get a feel for things. But of course, there is a Wiki if you want to peek behind the scenes.


You'll have the chance to buy weird items that will either change your stat scores or open up new story content if it's flagged as "event." Just be careful, you don't know how an item will change your stats before you buy it!


If you play you're cards right, your crush might go to prom with you! Or you may face crippling rejection. Either way, there's a fun little epilogue where you get to see what some of the students are up to post-school.


In the base game alone, there are 1472 possible outcomes! It's a lot of replay value but the more you play, you will see the same events again and know how best to handle them to drive towards your desired outcome.

The art style is cute but the dialog and writing would most definitely get this game an R rating for profanity and not-so-kid friendly subject matter. The humor is funny and occasionally crude but it gives this game its own vibe. Each of the love interests has their own quirky personality and you'll quickly figure out what they like to get on their good side.

I'm having a lot of fun with Monster Prom exploring the wacky stories and experimenting with playing characters in different ways. I can only imagine how crazy it would be with multiple people playing at the same time, especially if you're going after the same person!



This Valentine's Day saw the first DLC pack, Monster Prom: Second Term, release with 2 new love interests and plenty more events and secret endings. And if that's not enough monster antics, they're currently doing a Kickstarter for the sequel, Monster Prom 2: Holiday Season. This one sounds like a lot of fun too as it will have three mini-stories to pick from: Camp, Winter Retreat, and Roadtrip.
They are crushing the $36k goal as they close in on $400k!

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