Dinosaur Dracula!

The 2014 General Mills Monster Cereals!

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Oh yes, the Monster Cereals are back. After last year’s legendary haul, can General Mills top themselves? Probably not, but find out in this video review, covering both the “regular” AND Target-exclusive “retro” boxes!

(Special thanks to 2 Cool Ghouls for sending the “regular” boxes my way! You’re the best!)

Okay, so the bad news is that Frute Brute and Fruity Yummy Mummy are back in the vault. A lot of folks are pissed about that, but I’m not. From a reasonable business perspective, it was tough to imagine General Mills dusting off FIVE cereals, each in two different boxes, for a second year in a row. There’s a law of diminishing returns with this sort of thing, after all. Read More…

The Unsolved Mysteries Halloween Special!

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This one means a lot to me.

Weeks after it became a regular series, Unsolved Mysteries aired a special Halloween episode. They’d only cop to it being an “all ghosts” special, but given its debut date — October 26th, 1988 — I don’t think it’s a stretch to consider it a Halloween stunt.

I loved Unsolved Mysteries from the very start of the “Stack era” (previously aired specials had other hosts), and so at the impressionable of 9, I watched this terrible parade of ghastly ghouls and reacted accordingly.

Unsolved Mysteries ranks among my favorite TV shows ever, but entertainment value aside, I can hardly think of another show that affected me so much. With spooky segments covering everything from UFOs to satanic rituals, it fascinated me to pieces and frightened me to death.

If you’re only familiar with Unsolved Mysteries from the “Farina era,” the Stack episodes were far creepier, with an added emphasis on haunting music, bleak sets, and of course, Robert Stack himself. A guy who could read Peanuts comics and make them sound like Lovecraft.

The ghost-related segments were of particular interest. They’re the ones that “got me” the most. Today I take them with ten pounds of salt, but as a kid, I accepted every Unsolved Mysteries ghost story at face value. And boy, did that mess me up.

There’s a certain type of paralyzing fear that’s exclusive to childhood. To “achieve” it, you need a total lack of cynicism and a special naiveté. Most of us forget what that fear feels like as we grow older, but when I watch these old segments again, I remember. Read More…

CHIA PET ZOMBIES. HOLY MARY.

I never expected 2014 to top last year’s incredible Halloween season, but man… I think we’re coming close. I already feel like I’m drowning in awesome Halloween shit, and we’re not even halfway through September.

…and if I was on the fence about this possibly becoming an even more impressive season, tonight’s subject blasted me over that fence with blood-soaked fucking grapeshot.

Brothers, sisters, everyone in-between! It has HAPPENED. There are HALLOWEEN CHIA PETS.

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Well, Chia Zombies, to be precise. Gooood loooord.

Longtime readers know that I’ve owned seven thousand Chia Pets, with planters shaped like everything from Garfield to Christmas trees. This series tops them all, with ease. From the highly thematic boxes to the idea that I’ll soon grow hair on a terracotta zombie head, they’re just 100% great. There should be a sticker on each box that says exactly that. 100% GREAT. Read More…

Halloween Lunchables Dessert Packs!

My time management skills are really sucking today, but it isn’t midnight yet! I have fulfilled my obligations! Here’s a new video:

Tonight I’m reviewing the 2014 Halloween Lunchables dessert packs, which include “S’mores Dippers” and “Dirt Cakes.” They’re actually modified versions of things Kraft sells all year long, but the new spooky packaging is to die for.

As is typical for me, I recorded an entire food review without telling you what anything actually tastes like. So, the lowdown:

S’mores Dippers: My favorite of the two. They’re basically inside-out s’mores.

Dirt Cake: It works, but I’d rather eat the components separately on this one. Gummy worms are already perfection, y’know? I look at this less like a “kit” and more like a “TV dinner.”

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I have a vague recollection of Lunchables sneaking these out late last year, but the packaging is definitely all new. Love that Kraft is continuing this new tradition of “holiday Lunchables,” but I do hope we get a proper “lunch kit” to go with them!

Thanks for watching. Read More…

Classic Creepy Commercials – Volume 4!

I’m very glad to revive one of last year’s recurring features: CLASSIC CREEPY COMMERCIALS!

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In this series, I blather on about ancient TV commercials, each with some loose tie to the Halloween season.

For the third year in a row, I have my friend Larry P. to thank for the ads, which were culled from his concerningly large VHS collection. Thanks so much, Larry. It wouldn’t be Halloween without a 900 gigabyte zip file from you.

Nothing can throw you back into Halloweens past quite like spooky old television commercials. Below is the first batch for this year, starring everyone from Elvira to a former Olympic hopeful. And Beetlejuice!

Right Guard “Monsters” Commercial! (1985)

After you watch this commercial, watch it again. Really process what you’re seeing, because what you’re seeing is so goddamned odd.

Here, a lovely barfly sings about how she doesn’t want Mr. Wrong, and if I’m following things correctly, “Mr. Wrong” is every guy at the bar who forgot to wear deodorant. Since it’s hard to convey how bad someone smells through visuals alone, all of the non-deodorant guys are represented as literal monsters.

For a 1985 spray-on deodorant commercial, I’m impressed with the creature effects. My favorite has gotta be the one-eyed bald alien, but that mummy is a close second. Between the ghouls and the bar, I’m reminded of the Mos Eisley Cantina. Maybe the singing woman is a younger Ackmena?

As Ackmena tosses Right Guard to the stinky creatures, they all morph into respectable gentlemen, with clean scents and fashionable suits. I hope everyone who was involved with this commercial has ten trophies to show for it. Read More…