Dinosaur Dracula!

Facebook Halloween Games!

Admission: I play too many Facebook games. Way too many. I’ve lost countless hours to those horrible slots, bingo rounds and bubble puzzles. Though I suppose there are worse ways to waste my life. For example, I could spend all my free time painting obscene anti-religion signs using tar and blood. And I don’t do that. This opening could use a script doctor.

Even if you don’t play them, chances are, you’ve heard of the “big ones.” But for every Something-Ville or Zynga smash, there are another thousand titles buried deep in Facebook’s app list, netting only a handful of monthly users.

And that’s where the real action is. Read More…

Madd Matt reviews the Inflatable Skeleton Cooler.

One of my favorite finds of the season was an inflatable cooler, in the shape of a coffin, with a demonic skeleton bathing inside.

Fifteen bucks seemed a little steep, but if pressed, I could not name another coffin-shaped skeleton-boosted cooler that costs less.

It’s perfect for parties or as an all-year decoration. It is the subject of today’s video:

If the video is persuasive, you can purchase your own inflatable skeleton cooler at Party City. Just note that you’re gonna need a LOT of ice. Even with six bags, my cooler was only half-full. Eternally the pessimist, I should remind myself that it was also only half-empty.

And now there is ice all over my office. I will clean it later. Much, much later.

Tales from the Darkside Fansite Tribute!

This is a tribute to a Tales from the Darkside fansite that hasn’t been updated since 2005. No joke, it really is!

As of this writing, the Angelfire-hosted site is still online. It’s ancient and it looks ancient, but to me, it was – and to some degree, still is – a perfect representation of “true passion” on the Internet. This wasn’t some flashy thing built to be a huge attraction, nor was it created by someone bent on making himself a superstar. It was pure work from a pure fan, and I have to admit, it makes me a little bit jealous.

And of course, since I’m a big Tales from the Darkside nut, the site also holds a more direct attraction for me. Even if 2005 doesn’t seem that long ago, it was, and besides, the fansite was obviously built several years before then, anyway. Back then, you couldn’t find stuff like this so easily online, and the site’s information was an absolute goldmine.

Now I’m going to break down the site’s sections and include lots and lots of screenshots. Long-dormant Angelfire pages can’t last forever, and I’d like to preemptively gather some mementos of it. This is not the kind of article that will increase Dino Drac’s popularity one bit, but I think that’s the best tribute I can give this fansite. Read More…

The Halloween Corn Maze!

My city’s pumpkin patches aren’t really “pumpkin patches.” They’re the same places that sell Christmas trees in December and flowers in May. (I think that’s when they start selling flowers, anyway.) By July, expect nothing but flags.

These little outdoor “stores” serve strictly seasonal purposes, and very few of them are static. Most are converted from parking lots or currently-undeveloped plots of land, and their rustic feel is somewhat offset by the busy streets and strip malls only steps away.

But, you gotta work with what you have. During October, I always set aside time to drive around aimlessly, looking for the latest up-one-minute, down-the-next Halloween headquarters.

I found a great one today. Aside from pumpkins and a few inflatable attractions for the kiddies (it seems that no Staten Island pumpkin patch is complete without some form of inflatable Scooby-Doo slide), they even managed to work a corn maze into their relatively tiny amount of real estate.

I didn’t know what to expect, because on Staten Island, “corn maze” can mean anything. Remember the one I reviewed back in 2010? Even though I walked as slowly as my legs would allow, it only took a minute to see every last leaf in there. Other local mazes have been much bigger productions, where the proprietors rented out large chunks of the woods and filled them with everything from animatronic vampires to teenagers in werewolf costumes.

Turns out, this one was somewhere in the middle. It was small and bare compared to the “real deal” corn mazes, but for something found on a busy street next to three banks and a diner, I had to admire that it existed at all. Read More…

The Frito-Lay Frankenstein Chip Sack!

I know they’re just regular chips in a special package, but come on:

I couldn’t say no to this. A huge sack of snack-sized chip bags, made to look like an enormous Frankenstein head. Given that this monster is capable of fitting six sealed bags of chips in his mouth, I’d estimate his total height at, what, fourteen feet?

Frito-Lay always does something like this for Halloween, and actually, this year, there must be four different sacks available, plus other assortments sold inside spooky cardboard boxes. They’re all pretty nice, but nothing beats a 14’ Frankenstein with Droopy Dog eyes and one upper tooth that’s either gold or just rotted enough to look like it.

The details are phenomenal. From the chrome stitches to the oily hair, it’s inspired and inspiring. Even if snack-sized chip bags are an acceptable form of “Halloween candy,” it’s still rare to choose them over Snickers or individually wrapped Twix. Well, this freaky Frankie has made a believer out of me. When the costumed kids come knocking, I will bless them with Sun Chips and explain to them why.

Kid: SUN CHIPS? Passable, but strange!

Matt: See, they came in a big sack that looked like Frankenstein’s head.

Kid: I completely understand. Here’s ten bucks.

Now I just needed to make a monster out of Doritos and Fritos. You knew I was gonna. Read More…