Dinosaur Dracula!

Vicious Videocassette Boxes!

NOTE: This is an expanded redo of an article I wrote on X-E’s defunct Tumblr account back in 2011. My hunch is that most of you have never seen it, but if it seems familiar… that’s why.

A few years ago, we did a massive cleaning/purging of our apartment, clearing out a decade’s worth of “collected junk” so this place could stop looking like a Hoarders set. During this, I ditched hundreds of old videocassettes. (Literally hundreds.)

I know that sounds wasteful. It was wasteful, but it’d truly hit a point where I needed to restore order to our lives as quickly as humanly possible. Keeping two dozen enormous bins full of mostly-irrelevant videocassettes was not in the cards, no matter how many yard sales or eBay marathons I imagined.

The only “branch” of tapes that survived that purge was my horror collection. Even during the thick of a “GET RID OF EVERYTHING I OWN” mentality, I couldn’t bring myself to trash those tapes. I’ve written about my lifelong fascination with horror videos too many times to get away with it again, but the gist of it is that I don’t look at them as just “tapes.” Some are mementos, others are art, but all are more than the mere means to watch movies in an archaic way.

Here are five of the old scary videos still in my collection – a collection I’ll have until I’m dead or surrounded by fire. Read More…

Roseanne’s LETHAL LODGE.

One of my favorite posts from last year’s Countdown was this tribute to Roseanne’s first Halloween special, titled “Boo.” The Emmy-nominated second season episode kicked off a tradition that would last until the end of the series. Every year, you could always count on the Conners to do SOMETHING Halloweeny.

“Boo” was by far the best of the show’s Halloween episodes. Most of the others had their moments, but you’d do fine scanning only through the highlights. It’s a case where the legend may exceed the reality, because even if Roseanne *probably* still tops all other sitcoms for Halloween goodness, nearly all of that reputation was won during their first at-bat.

…which isn’t to say that the others aren’t worth a glance. Actually, I like the Conner’s second Halloween adventure almost as much as the first, even if I’m probably in the extreme minority on that. From the third season, let’s take a look at “Trick or Treat!”

I could best summarize this episode as “the one where Roseanne dresses like a lumberjack.” That’s all most people remember, anyway.

After her car breaks down, Roseanne and Jackie are trapped at the Lobo Lounge on Halloween night. Jackie’s simple cat accessories are easy enough to shed, but Roseanne has no choice but to wait around in full bearded costume. At first embarrassed, Roseanne soon realizes that she has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to infiltrate “male territory,” and spends most of the episode seeing how men act when they think that there aren’t any women around to hear them.

And that’s the last you’ll hear about Roseanne’s gender-bending adventures, because they’re not at all why I’ve chosen to feature this episode. No way. This one’s all about THE LODGE.

The LETHAL lodge. Read More…

The “Terror Tires” Art Expo!


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Well guys, you didn’t let me down.

Almost eighty of you participated in the Terror Tires Art Expo, successfully changing a boring ass tire graphic into incredibly Halloweeny works of art.

Thanks a million to everyone who joined the fun. If you missed the deadline, don’t worry… there will be more crafty things to do during this year’s Countdown. Before I show you the entries, just a few notes:

1) There is absolutely no rhyme or reason to the order below. This was just for fun – not about judging.

2) I’d say that around 80% of you followed the rules as I meant them, while another 20% took them a different way. But I was incredibly vague, and it’s not like it matters, anyway.

3) If you don’t see your entry, it means I goofed, so please email me. Also, a few entries needed to be resized/cropped to fit, so if they appear a bit different from what you sent… that’s why.

There are so many bizarre and wonderful things in this collection. If any really strike a chord with you, be sure to let their creators know in the comments!

Let’s roll. (Because tire.) Read More…

“Tropical Terror” Fruit by the Foot!

Another great thing about the 2013 Halloween season is that it isn’t just about the heavy hitters. Fruit Brute and Ghoul-Aid Jammers may be getting the bulk of the press, but even plenty of the simpler things are amazing. Don’t overlook ‘em!

For example, take Fruit by the Foot’s Halloween “Mini Feet.” They’re easy to ignore in the sea of so much top shelf stuff, but if you make time for a closer inspection, your reward is a spooky snack that’d have to try excruciatingly hard to be any better. Twenty-six adorably small “Tropical Terror” rolls, fronted by a cigar-shaped mummy in orange bandages!

They inspired me enough to make a video:

Have an excellent Saturday. This is one of the eight left before Halloween. Don’t waste it.

Oh, and thanks to everyone who entered Dino Drac’s “Terror Tires” art expo. I’m gonna start assembling the entries today, which will take a while, since it looks like there’s more than eighty of them. Wow.

Some additional FBTF photos, just because: Read More…

The Real Ghostbusters Happy Meal!

If you’re around my age – and even if you’re not – you should be able to remember a dozen times when McDonald’s sweetened the Halloween season. From McBoo pails to the costumed McNugget buddies, Ronald McDonald has often seemed like Halloween’s Santa Claus, always ready to reward the burger-eating boys and girls with marvelous plastic baubles.

Course, not all of the “spooky Happy Meals” were exclusively for Halloween. Actually, some of the best ones weren’t. Here’s the case in point!

From 1987, it’s The Real Ghostbusters Happy Meal! I don’t know if it’s accurate to say that RGB was the hottest cartoon of its time, but it was certainly one of them, and it was one of those rare franchises that everyone seemed to love.

It was just such an “untouchable” property. Nobody ever spoke ill of that show. Even as kids grew older and began shunning the things they enjoyed only a year prior, RGB always stayed on that weird pedestal. People talked plenty of shit about Garfield, but nobody messed with Peter Venkman.

Its Happy Meal series was one of my favorites, because it so completely hit every note that made Happy Meals such major moments in our lives. The set had amazing boxes (easy candidates for “best ever”), and the free toys were wonderful, even despite the fact that they adhered to McDonald’s sometimes-standard of giving us toys that weren’t exactly toys.

You’ll see what I mean in a minute. Let’s eat! Read More…