Oct 31, 2018

Monthly Movie Recap - October 2018

Here we are, fiends! It's Halloween! I always post the October recap on Halloween in case you're looking for something to watch later tonight. That, and November 1st is usually a Halloween in Salem recap post.

  • The Haunting of Hill House was amazing. It's not just a ghost story but also a family drama. There was one particular scene that creeped me out and I don't think I creep out easily.
  • Creeped Out: a horror anthology aimed at kids. Not sure if I'll finish the season as the episodes have been hit or miss for me. Mostly miss but I'm not the target audience.
  • The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. I haven't gotten into it but am dying to see it!

On to the movies...

Scary Stories (2018)
As a kid that was into monsters and ghosts, I don't know how I never found these at the library. The doc looks at the controversy, the creepy art, and the influence they've had on people. Definitely recommended but also suggest re-familiarizing yourself with some of the stories before you see it. 

Wolfman's Got Nards (2018)
I'm nowhere near being a huge Monster Squad fan but this was definitely the better of the two docs for me. They talk to lots of people and you get to see how this little movie has meant a lot to the fans. Two monster thumbs up!

I think I'm finding that, like Jeepers Creepers, this series is just not for me. The first one wasn't terrible but I was bored for most of this one. Again, for mortal beings, the Strangers have a supernatural ability to be waiting in the exact place where the victims try and hide. I don't think another one is coming but if it does, I'll probably skip it.

Rating: 5/10

This has been on my Prime list since the dawn of time so I figured why not in October? And I'm guessing like most people that have seen it, I fell in love with it. It's such a good time! I'm not a big vampire fan (more of a werewolf guy) so it was fun to see them play with the mythology.

Rating: 8/10

Imagine going to a carnival and seeing a wicked looking roller coaster. You know the one with insane drops and twists that has health warnings on the sign at the entrance? You buy a ticket for that ride and when you finally get to the boarding area, you find that you're going on a fun house ride. While it's not as awesome and edgy as you wanted the ride to be, it's not a bad time and you have a couple chuckles. The biggest praise I can give this is that it wasn't as bad as I was expecting. However, I really would have liked an R-rated version that leaned more into horror territory than a sci-fi buddy cop/bromance romp.

We Are Not Amused: I have two major problems with the movie and I'm not sure which one is the bigger offender: that wig or Eminem's horrible theme song.

Rating: 6/10

I don't know what movie I had in my head but I swear I'd watched this before. Loaded with atmosphere, this is a solid ghostly revenge story. There's not a lot (any?) blood but I think it's more effective being spooky without it.

Rating: 7/10

I'd never heard of this until it popped up in my Prime newsletter. The trailer got me more than a little giddy. Seems like it's got an offbeat humor to it plus Steve from Stranger Things and Domino from Deadpool 2? I'm in! It didn't quite live up to what I was expecting from the trailer. Which isn't to say it's bad, just that it's not what I personally wanted it to be. I really think this would be an awesome graphic novel.

Rating: 6/10

Fun Size (2012)
Don't let the Nickelodeon Movies thing deter you, this is a solid "teens have a crazy adventure night" flick. On top of that it takes place on Halloween in some fictional town where just about everyone dresses up for the night. If you're a Halloweirdo and haven't seen this yet, do it!

Rating: 8/10

Month Total
New:Rewatch: 0

Year Total
New: 63   Rewatch: 4

Be sure to Trick or Treat at the participating Countdown blogs by clicking below!

Oct 30, 2018

Ghoulish Games

Need something to help pass the time until tomorrow night?
How about a little game?

When you hear the name Werewolf Tycoon you might think it was one of those strategy/sim games where you have to manage...a pack of werewolves? Fear not, it's nothing so boring. You control a werewolf on the prowl!

Become the Big Bad Wolf of Werewolf Park in this werewolf stealth simulation game.
Eat as many people as you can, but pace yourself, try not to be seen, and do not let witnesses escape! Things could get tricky if too many people become aware of your existence!

Happy munching!

 This game is simple but a lot of fun. It starts getting challenging as more people pass your bench in groups because you have to be sneaky and watch out for photographers. The music sets a perfect mood for snatching up unaware pedestrians.

You can get this one on iOS, Android, and Amazon. Can't be bothered with that? You can play it online in your browser at Kongregate.

Got a little more time to kill? Grave Chase is a retro-inspired 2D horror action-adventure game in which a brother & sister must survive the month of October in the deadly graveyard of a ghoulish groundskeeper.

Grave Chase was released last year and quickly became a favorite of mine. It's got a real Zombies Ate My Neighbors vibe to it even though the games aren't that similar in play. You play as one of a pair of siblings armed with only a shovel. Your goal is to dig up all the body parts on the level and escape. The game plays out through the 31 days of October. 

Each day adds gets more challenging: the board gets larger and new creepy crawlies are introduced with different ways to hinder you. On top of that, the Grave Keeper wanders around listening for your shovel digging.

There are random weather effects such as blowing leaves and stormy nights, perfect for Halloween playtime! You'll feel like you're playing a SNES game when you die because you'll want to chuck the controller across the room before picking it up to have another go at it.

Grave Chase is now less than $5 on Steam.
That should keep you plenty busy until the sun goes down tomorrow!

Be sure to visit the participating Countdown blogs by clicking below!

Oct 29, 2018

Headless HorseMonday - Custom LEGO

I've been eyeing a LEGO Headless Horseman on Ebay for quite awhile and decided this year was the time for him to come home. If you do a search for him, you'll find multiple variations. Some have plain black outfits, some have skeletal horses.

This is the one I ended up going with.

I'll probably try to hunt down a better looking body for him at some point. Not that the sinister gentleman look doesn't work for him but I'd like to find something more period appropriate. What sold me on this particular version is the horse. While the skeletal horses look cool, they can't rear up on their back legs like this one can. An essential pose for the Headless Horseman!

I took the flaming hair piece from an odd bootLego fig I got this summer. I even mention in that post that I'd likely use this piece on a Headless Horseman. I don't think it ever looks quite right in photos, it always looks like a big ol head of red hair to me.

It looks a little better with dramatic lighting.

 Headless "fact" of the day
The Horseman's iconic flaming pumpkin head was not a thing until Disney told the tale in The Adventures of Ichabod. In the original story, the Horseman throws a decapitated head at Ichabod and Disney thought that a little too graphic and inserted their own brand of nightmare fuel. I know I read this at one point but haven't been able to find proof again, so I"m just going with it!

Be sure to Trick or Treat at the participating Countdown blogs by clicking below!

Oct 28, 2018

Terrifying TV ads

Tune your TV dial for these spooky specials...that is if you're TV still has a dial.
Click on any of them to get a better view.

This as presents a tough choice: Bugs Bunny or Real People. I was a big fan of both but also worth noting, on the right page is a listing for a Halloween episode of Happy Days Again.

Here we have not the Garfield Halloween special followed by It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. One of the sponsors is Peter Paul Cadbury's candy bars. I definitely don't remember those. Most people only associate Cadbury with eggs.

AKA, The Night Dracula Saved Halloween. I bet this one had some good ads as it was sponsored by Kenner! I haven't seen this one but don't know if I can submit myself of Judd Hirsch as Dracula. If you want to give it a go, it's on YouTube. Fun fact: the special was shot at the Lyndhurst mansion in Tarrytown, NY (aka Sleepy Hollow).

Rich Little showing his four favorite Tales from the Darkside? Sign me up!

Growing up, channel 3 was not a broadcast channel for me, it was always the channel I put on so I could play Atari. So for me, this almost takes on a weird vibe where the channel that normally is all static will show this movie if you tune in at 11pm.

Be sure to visit the participating Countdown blogs by clicking below!

Oct 27, 2018

The Monster Album (1964)

It's a nasty rainy day here near Salem so we're tossing on some monster surf/hotrod tunes to chase that storm away.

The Monster Album was released in 1964 and despite the cover is more light hearted than scary. In addition to Halloween staples like the Monster Mash, Haunted House, and Purple People Eater it's got weird ones like The Ghoul from Ipanema, Frankenstein Meets the Beetles and a Karloff knock-off covering A Hard Day's Night.

The real stand outs for me are Dracula Drag and My Baby Loves Monster Movies. They're both very catchy and would be great to listen to while driving your Dragula by the beach on a moonlit night.

Click the album cover to put it n your treat bag!

Be sure to Trick or Treat at the participating Countdown blogs by clicking below!

Oct 26, 2018

2018 Halloween Playmobil

Playmobil is (pardon the pun) killing it this year for Halloween! They put out a fun, portable Haunted House set last year but they went above and beyond this year.

I collect any Halloween/monster type Playmobil figures so picking all these up was a no brainer. I first saw them for pre-order on Entertainment Earth but the expected delivery was after Halloween. That would not do! Since TRU closed, there is no local place to get my Playmobil fix so I went right to Playmobil and ordered all three sets. I also found some other spooky stuff but I'll get back to that.

Quick note: the back drop for the photos is the previously mentioned Haunted House.

The first set is a Frankenstien (FRONK-en-steen) monster and a vampire. They're a little similar to the figures that came with that Haunted House set. But maybe I'm being monster-ist because they're not that similar. 

This Monster has a bald pate instead of a full head of hair and his clothes look maybe a step up the social ladder. Mr Vampire has a cape to die for that matches his vest. He's also carrying a scepter topped with a tiny red bat. But that mustache tho...

I just recently saw What We Do in the Shadows and all I can think of looking at this figure is Vladislav. It's totally the mustache.

The next set is this delightful Reaper and Mummy. I always find it funny when the personification of Death is reproduced in a kids toy. The Mummy actually comes with that spiderweb as an accessory. It's a nice bit of decoration but I could have gone for something with a bit more Egyptian flavor like an ankh or something. I have an Egyptian queen I picked up from an older blind bag series so maybe they can hang out in the off season.

The last set is a Wolfman and Witch. I somehow only just now am noticing that the Wolfman's feet are not the same color as his skin! He is, understandably, one hairy dude. The detail work on the Witch's is wonderful. She's wearing a little necklace and has a few mystical doodads hanging from her belt.

In addition to the figures, they also put out two new Halloween sets. I passed on them both but if I had room to keep the Haunted House out year round I would snatch it up because I've got too many figures that need a place to hang out.

This Night Walk set is pretty cool. It comes with a real flashlight that you can shine through the trees to make the faces light up. I think it's just the right amount of spooky for little kids to have their own not-too-scary adventures.

But this Take Along Haunted House is where it's at! It comes with the same Vampire in the first set, a more zombie looking version of the Monster, and a rando villager that I'm presuming is a Renfield-type. There's also a coffin, some lab equpiment, and a spice rack complete with little jars with animal labels on them. If you take out the floor, the house folds in half so you can take it along with you. It's currently marked down at Playmobil from $40 to $32 but only until 10/28.

If you want to get a better look at these sets, head over the to Action Figure Barbecue, he gets up close and personal with some great photos.

Be sure to visit the participating Countdown blogs by clicking below!

Oct 25, 2018

Now Hear This - Son of Halloween 2018

Looks like I posted a little early with the previous Now Hear This because a bunch of other great Halloween music dropped since then. Clicking on any album cover will take you to a place where you can download or buy the album.

Dubstep may not be your thing. Hell, I didn't think it was my thing until I got hooked on Figure's Monster albums where he slips in horror movie sounds and dialog. Not sure if you'll like it? Hit up his Soundcloud page where you can stream any of his tracks. Not everything he does is horror related but you'll see the Monster albums. I recommend starting with Vol.1 or browse them and see if he's done a track on your favorite creepy classic.

Thanks to the Cult of the Great Pumpkin for cluing me in to Bojo Baby's mix tapes on Bandcamp. No fancy mashups or pulsing dubstep, just good ol fashion compilations you can toss on for a party.

I found The Holophonics while searching Bandcamp for Halloween tunes. They're a ska band (remember ska?) that do some killer covers. Even if you're not big on ska, you have to admit they offer a different twist on songs you've heard over and over during the season.

I also recommend checking out their catalog where they cover 80s hits, video game themes, holiday songs, pop hits, and even Despacito.

Be sure to Trick or Treat at the participating Countdown blogs by clicking below!

Oct 24, 2018

2018 Halloween Hot Wheels - LSB & Sandy Claws

We're crossing the finish line today with the final two Nightmare Before Christmas Hot Wheels. I can't believe it's only one more week til Halloween!

The seventh car in the series is that mischievous trio of Lock, Shock, and Barrel. They're up to no good in a Cockney Cab II.

Considering how small Hot Wheels are, they put a lot of detail into the side art. The graphics are the same on both side but what really makes this one for me are their masks on the hood.

If you run into Lock, Shock, and Barrel, their captive can't be far behind.

Sandy Claws rounds out the set in the Power Panel van.

He's not looking too happy but I guess if I were thrown in a sack by three little brats, I probably wouldn't be thrilled about it. The colors really pop on this one and it got a very Christmas-y vibe to it. I can't imagine red tinted glass would be great for driving.

The other stand out thing is the metallic red they used on the wheels which makes them look like they're made out of candy canes or at least peppermint candy. I don't know if it would be overkill, but I might have gone with red plastic instead of white for the headlights/wheel well part that runs down the side.

That's another year of Halloween Hot Wheels in the books.
Which ones were your favorite?

I think I have to go with Jack and Sally. Jack's car is just awesome and Sally have the best character color paint job.

In case you missed any, check em out below.

Be sure to visit the participating Countdown blogs by clicking below!

Oct 23, 2018

Garbage Pail Kids - Oh, The Horror-ible

The Garbarge Pail Kids are back and they're taking on the icons of horror and sci-fi. I was pretty excited for this set, given that it released around Halloween, and ordered a box online. What I didn't realize was that Topps has changed how they refer to things. There used to be retail and hobby boxes, with hobby being the ones that had a guaranteed "hit" of a sketch card or something else desirable. Now they are called hobby and hobby collector boxes. Ugh. To make a long story short (too late!) I ordered a non-hit box, the up side is these are cheaper than the collector boxes. Enough boring stuff, let's get to it!

This is a Value, or Blaster, Box which is available in stores. These $10 boxes have 5 packs and a bonus mini-pack of 3 Bathroom Buddies stickers. These are usually boring ol rectangular boxes but someone had the great idea to turn it into a tombstone. Love it!

There are 200 base cards in the set but it's more like two 100 card sets as each card has an A and B name variant. Each pack has a puke green parallel and there are other various color parallels of differing rarities scattered in as well. All that means is instead of a white border, it is splashed with color.

Here are a few of the horror cards. There are mini sets categorized into Retro Horror (top), 80s Horror (middle), and Modern Horror (bottom). I was very happy to find the Addams Family represented in the retro set.

The Science Fiction cards have similar groupings top to bottom: Retro, 80s, and Modern. Most of these mini sets have 10-15 cards but there are only 5 in the Modern SciFi series.

Rounding out the base series are Classic Film Monsters (top) and Folk Lore (Bottom). The Creature from the Black Lagoon has a card in the Classic Film Monster set but I haven't seen one yet. I know the Krampus movie was a big hit but he really belongs in Folk Lore.

In addition to the basic cards, there are a few chase insert sets. The Classic Monster (80s throwback) stickers are only available in "fat packs" which is a $5 larger the normal pack. The Trick or Treat set (bottom) is available in the hobby box. There is also a horror poster parody series and a set of patch cards that you can only get from the hobby collector boxes. So if you gotta have em all, you'll be forking over lots of cash!

This is a really fun set and I'm diggin the Classic Monster stickers from the fat packs. If you're looking to do some trading, hit me up! You can find a list of my cards here.
Be sure to Trick or Treat at the participating Countdown blogs by clicking below!

Oct 22, 2018

Headless HorseMonday - Books

The Headless Horseman owes his origin to the printed page so I thought it only fitting to discuss a couple other versions of his legend.

First is A Sleepy Hollow Halloween which is a Little Golden Book. The cutesy art style is completely adorable and the story is told in rhyme. Being aimed at a younger audience, it tells a different version of the classic story that's less scary and more fun.

But that's not even the best part.

The book also comes with a plush Headless Horseman Itty Bitty! This is the real reason I wanted it. The book is great and all but I just couldn't pass up this pumpkin head! In case you're wondering, his head does not detach from his body.

This set is available at your local Hallmark store. If they don't have it, they can order it for you or you can order it direct from the Hallmark site and get free shipping to your store.

The next one is for the slightly older kids.

While searching Amazon a few weeks ago I found this graphic novel adaptation of the story. Even more surprising is that this is made to be used in schools. Who thought we'd see a day where comics were allowed in school?

How do I know this is made for the class room? It says Common Core right in the product title. But don't let that frighten you away. There aren't any educational pop-ups during the story. There are some questions at the end of the book to promote reading and writing skills.

The art is good and while the story may not be as in depth as the original I think it does a decent job of telling the tale. But let's face it, I'm not here for a detailed account of Ichabod Crane's struggles in Sleepy Hollow. I'm here for the Horseman!

You can get this on Amazon in print or Kindle. This same company makes other classic lit graphic novels including the Hound of the Baskervilles, Dracula, Frankenstein, Dr .Jekyll & Mr Hyde, War of the Worlds and a whole lot more. It says these are for Grade 2-3, Ages 10-14. Maybe things have changed since I was in school but when I was 10 I was in 6th grade.

At any rate, I have to give Graphic Revolve a huge hand for making these stories, that may be hard for kids to read, a little more accessible without resorting to a movie. I will definitely be checking out more of these graphic novels.

Be sure to visit the participating Countdown blogs by clicking below!

Oct 21, 2018

Monster Mail Order

Here's another round of ads to kick of the final full week before Halloween!

I don't remember where I found these but I'd guess Famous Monsters of Filmland. Each mail away kit send you the secrets of transforming a human into a creature of the night. Plus fangs and six wallet photos of film famous monsters. You cannot beat that for a buck!

Now this is a pretty cool ad! You can get a Spider-Man or Hulk costume with mask. If you're more about the monsters, they have you covered too. I am curious why the Wolfman mask is about x3 the cost of the other masks. Maybe it's got real hair.

This one's almost too weird for words! These Unknown Creatures are 5.5" plastic models with no real names and what even are they? And who can even imagine what The Thing in a Bag actually is? "It's whatever you may think it is"

We'll round out this batch with a pair of ad featuring Vincent Price. I always wanted to get this Shrunken Head kit just because he endorsed it.

Everyone knows Flintstones because they were so widely advertised but I don't think I remember Monster vitamins. Do you?

Be sure to Trick or Treat at the participating Countdown blogs by clicking below!