Dinosaur Dracula!

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…

Five Random SPOOKY Action Figures!

Continuing with my “Five Random Action Figures” series, I thought I’d make this edition a little more appropriate for the Halloween Countdown. This time, our five random action figures are all TERRIBLE MONSTERS!

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Camouflage Swamp Thing
Swamp Thing, 1990

This toy series found root (heyoooo) in the Swamp Thing animated series. Good lord, what fantastic figures! Most notably, the villains came with what were essentially finger puppets, which they could (loosely) wear over their heads to become “monsters.”

There were several different Swamp Thing figures available, of course, and Kenner did a great job in differentiating them. One Swamp Thing glowed in the dark. Another had his left hand attached by a string, to serve as an organic snare. A third could actually fall apart, into what was supposed to look like a pile of harmless branches, even if it really just looked like a dismembered Swamp Thing.

The guy pictured here is Camouflage Swamp Thing. With a little cold water, all of his green parts will turn brown. (I guess to assist him with sneak attacks from the mud?) It was the same gimmick that those old Matchbox cars had, but it was a hell of a lot cooler to do it to Swamp Thing. Read More…

Cheetos “Bag of Bones” Review!

It’s been a beautifully gloomy day, complete with an especially long thunderstorm. I’m so looking forward to camping on the couch with sunflower seeds and Michael Myers. But first, this!

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Oh, man. GORGEOUS. I’m not completely sure if they’re new for 2014, but they definitely weren’t around last year. It’s the Cheetos BAG OF BONES! With “bones” in four different shapes, you’re afforded the chance to make complete skeletons out of white cheddar Cheetos! YAY!!!

Get the full scoop in tonight’s video:

It’s pretty early, but I think these are gonna be one of the big highlights of the season. I keep looking over at the bag and thinking, “Thank God I bought two.”

Enjoy, and thanks for watching.

It’s a Saturday in September. Go do something spooky! Read More…

A Halloween photo from 1992.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

This one was good for 1174.

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No, it’s not mine. I do not know these people.

I bought the photo from someone on eBay of all places. It spoke to me in ways even my own photos rarely do.

It’s from 1992, and it perfectly encapsulates the Halloweens of my childhood.

It reminds me of Halloweens from just a few years before then, when I would’ve been around the same age as these mysterious boys. (I’m guessing they were 10 or 11? For the sake of this piece, let’s assume they were.)

Everything about it is so on-target. Especially the spirited yet incomplete costumes, which were clearly the result of a quick trip to their local pharmacy’s Halloween section.

When I was that age, that’s what Halloween was like for me. My friends and I were still young enough to go trick-or-treating, but too old to act like we really cared about it. We all did the “cheap Jason Voorhees” thing. For some reason, those hockey masks felt more like cool hats than “childish” Halloween costumes. We felt safe in them. We’d found a loophole.

Preteen social stigmas aside, those were some of my favorite Halloweens. We were finally old enough to go out alone! We were finally old enough to venture beyond the same boring five blocks we’d grown up trick-or-treating around! And we were finally old enough to do it all at night. It was like we were masquerading as adults and kids at the same time.

The photo sparks more memories than that. Look at that house! Is that my house? I’m pretty sure I used to live in that house. We had the same wood paneling. The same free wall calendar. The same crappy fan!

Let’s zoom in a little closer… Read More…