Sep 30, 2017

Monthly Movie Recap - September 2017

Posting a day early as tomorrow starts the Countdown to Halloween! As you may have noticed, the Halloween decorations are also up! Be sure to come back tomorrow for the start of the "October Awfulness" contest.

What have you seen good this month? What are you planning on watching in October? Drop me some comments and let me know.

The Conjuring 2 (2016, HBO Go)
Sure, it's a little Exorcist-y but I still really enjoyed it. Seeing this got me to start digging into the Warrens and the story the movie is based on which...isn't really as interesting. Although I'm hoping one of the future movies will be about their werewolf case.

Cool: A couple of good creep-outs. The little girl turns in a fantastic performance.
Lame: One too many spooks. As much as I dug Crooked Man it feels like he's only here so they can do a spin-off...which I am waiting for!

Rating: 7/10

Happy Birthday to Me (1981)
For 1981, it's not a bad slasher flick. It's a little slow in places and the story can get confusing as to why certain things were included that don't really pay off. I like the mystery of who the killer could be.

Cool: A couple of fun kills even if there's not a lot of gore. Love the party at the end!
Lame: The twist ending is out of nowhere. Not even Sherlock Holmes could see this one coming!

Rating: 5/10

Aaah! Zombies! (aka Wasting Away, 2007, Amazon)
I know...another zombie comedy? What this one lacks in budget, it makes up for in fun and a different take on the genre. It's definitely more of a comedy with zombies than a horror comedy but it's worth checking out if you're looking for something a little different.

Cool: Seeing things from the zombies' perspective
Lame: May not be for you if you want something less funny

Rating: 5/10

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016, HBO Go) 
It's pretty typical of what you'd expect after seeing the trailer. If anything I was expecting it to be raunchier but I think they did the right thing by saving it for maximum effect in a couple places.

Cool: Finally breaks my streak of "if Anna Kendrick sings in it and it's not Pitch Perfect, I won't like it" movies.
Lame: While it was funny, it was more chuckle here and there than laugh out loud.

Rating: 6/10

Month Total
 New: 4  Rewatch: 0

Year Total
 New: 43  Rewatch: 4

Sep 25, 2017

Looking for Halloween Helpers

Things are shaping up nicely for October's Countdown to Halloween, but I could still use a little help. For the past few years, I've been interviewing people about their experiences with Halloween as a kid and adult. I have a handful of spots open for this year if anyone is interested and hasn't participated in a previous year.

Here's all you need to do:
Comment below so I have a head count
Grab the interview questions here
Email it back to me, preferably by the end of this week. (My email is in the doc)

And that's it!
I'll let you know when the interview will go live and you can share it.

Happy Haunting!

Sep 21, 2017

Gearing Up for Halloween

Hey there, loyal reader! Things will be a bit sparse around here for the rest of the month. I"m once again joining all the Halloween junkies doing the Countdown to Halloween. If you don't know what that is, it's where a bunch of bloggers post about all things Halloween and horror for the month of October. Every day for 31 days.

Of course, doing all 31 days is up to the individual but if I'm celebrating Halloween, I'm all in! A blog post a day for 31 days doesn't happen magically (I wish it did!) so the normal time I have to write for the rest of the month will be spent prepping.

I may be running a contest starting on the 1st, so be sure to check back. I'm still trying to figure out the best way to run it but I'm hopeful I'll get everything together for it.

Until then, check out the Monster Mashup album page where you can grab 19 albums worth of Halloween inspired mashups.

Also, be sure to tune in to Creepy Co. tonight at 8pm EST when they unleash their new Beistle collection. It looks amazing!

Sep 14, 2017

Marvel Legends - Nebula and Rocket Raccoon

I've had these figures sitting around for a bit and really wanted to shoot them outside so I decided to get off my butt and do it while the weather is still decent. Plus I also wanted to play around with my new iPhone 7 Plus to see what it can do.

First up is Nebula.

This is a great figure! It really captures her weirdness. She comes with a pistol and two different left forearms. One of them is cybernetic with her normal hand, the other is the replacement arm with a claw-hand (above). If I have to nitpick, the odd belt-thing she has is where I'd do it. I feel like it should sit lower and it looks weird where it rests on her.

You can see the claw-arm better here as Rocket is running away with it. 
The Vol.2 Rocket is a big improvement over the Vol.1 figure.

It's not that I didn't like the first figure. Hell, I was thrilled just to be able to buy a Rocket figure, having been a fan of him since his mini-series in the 80s. I never thought they quite got the head right though. Rocket should not have that passive an expression!

They went a little more subtle with the fur coloration this time around. You can barely see the stripes on his tail but they did pepper in some gray on his arms. The new figure also has some crazy articulation considering his size. He comes with two pistols, two heads (mouth open/mouth closed), and a Baby Groot in Ravager outfit.

In keeping with the figures 6" scale, Baby Groot is just 1.5" tall! They did pretty good with his paint apps considering his small stature.

Except for one spot on his right foot that looks like he decided to paint on of his toenails. 
But hey, everyone's entitled to feel pretty, right?

Sep 5, 2017

Easy-Macro and the Alien Spider

Just a heads-up, if you're not a fan of spiders, even in photographic form, you should probably not continue.

I picked up this neat little thing called Easy-Macro which is a macro lens attachment for your phone's camera. Okay, it's not so much an "attachment" as a rubbery band with a lens that stretches over your phone. For $10 it seemed like a fun impulse buy so I gave it a shot.

When not in use you can wrap it on to the card which then slips into a little credit card sized envelope so you can put it in your wallet. I've been playing with it around the house getting up close with all sorts of things including my fingerprints.

I bought it from Photojojo which has all sorts of neat stuff for photography. They always send a little plastic dinosaur with your order so I figured he'd be a good test subject.

A couple days later, I was putting out the trash and noticed a spider had built a web between the trash bin and the fence. It wasn't any kind of spider I'd seen before, it was very colorful. It also had more of a horizontal thing going with its web as opposed to what you might normally think when you picture a spider web.

Thanks to, I was able to find out this is a Venusta Orchard Spider. This site has a great set of drop down menus you can use to narrow down your mystery creepy crawly. This spider belongs to the family Tetragnathidae which are long-jawed orb weavers. From what I've read, the females are the web spinners in this species.

Fun Fact: This is the only spider to get its Genus name from Charles Darwin.

Macro photography requires a steady hand and an equally steady subject. In addition to having to get within about an inch, I was trying to not damage the web (which was intricate and hard to see) plus there was a bit of a breeze bouncing our little arachnid around. They also like to hang upside down in the web and while it is a few feet off the ground, it was challenging to maneuver the phone up under it without disturbing anything.

I could tell it was colorful when looking at it but didn't really appreciate it until seeing the macro photos. I thought it looked very alien, not only because it's green, but also because of how it almost looks like it's made of crystal. This of course reminded me of the crystal spider from the movie Krull. If you click on the photo, you can get even closer and be able to see some of the eyes as well as tiny hairs on the legs that help detect vibrations in the web.

I tried, without the macro lens, to get pics of the web because it is very interesting to look at. It's horizontal with many layers which I could almost picture as being floors in a house. Using a phone camera to try and capture a spider web in daylight is not an easy thing.

I went back and took this one yesterday as there was a bit more sun shining there than the first couple I took. To my surprise, she had constructed a more traditional web but horizontally instead of vertically. Now I'm thinking the multi-level "house" web I saw was probably the remnants of few previous webs in the same general area.

You can read all you'd ever want to know about the Orchard Spider here.

Sep 1, 2017

Monthly Movie Recap - August 2017

Happy Force Friday!

If you're doing your shopping online, hit this Amazon link and/or this Entertainment Earth link to go right to their Star Wars pages.

Not a whole lot of movies this month. Movie watching time was spent watching Voltron Season 3 and keeping up with Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures since they ran the new season M-F instead of once a week. If you're a Star Wars fan (or have little fans) and you're not watching the Freemakers, you're missing out!

I liked the first couple but even as they continue to get more ridiculous, and worse, I am in this for the long haul. I am on this series like Finn on Sharknadoes. I will ride this franchise out until one of us dies. It will probably be me.

Cool: Possibly time travel in the next one!
Lame: I feel like there were a lot of celeb cameos based on how long the camera lingers on them but I have no idea who most of them are.

Rating: 4/10

Hell House LLC (2015, Amazon)
If you're not burnt out on the whole found footage thing, this is a pretty decent one. It's got the added bonus of people setting up a haunted attraction in an actual haunted building. Set a movie around Halloween and I'm there.

Cool: There's some good creepy moments. They do a good job of ramping up the weirdness.
Lame: I swear some scenes have a musical score, which shouldn't happen if you're watching found footage.

Rating: 6/10

*Young Frankenstein (1974, Netflix)
Rewatched this to prep for seeing the musical production. I haven't seen this in decades. Now that I'm more into the classic Universal horror movies, I have a whole new appreciation for what Brooks and Wilder did with this.

Rating: 8/10, Classic!

I was promised Kane Hodder and Bill Moseley driving around an old ambulance and carting off accident victims for torture and/or murder. While it did deliver this in small doses, I was really expecting something more. I was hoping they would somehow be the main characters. Instead we get the usual assortment of dopey high schoolers that we just want to see die.

Cool: The bad guys have a backstory. The gore is good when we get it.
Lame: The bad guys are more interesting than the kids. The plot seems a little over complicated for a slasher flick.

Rating: 5/10, it's not terrible it just wasn't what I wanted it to be

Month Total
 New: 3  Rewatch: 1

Year Total
 New: 39  Rewatch: 4