Dinosaur Dracula!

March of the Halloween Peeps.

Oof, the guys from Marshmallow Peeps HQ are really dishing it out this year!

Whenever I bring up Peeps, I’m assaulted with comments from those who don’t like them. I’ll admit that the last time I truly savored a Peep was probably Easter of 1987, but I still think it’s harsh — to you and to them — to completely discount a candy brand that keeps finding new ways to bring it each and every Halloween season.

After all, long before Halloween’s current “food boom,” Peeps was letting us eat marshmallows shaped like bats and cats. They lit the torch in far darker times. Let’s repay them with a little loyalty!

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…besides, if you were ever gonna pick a year to jump back on the Halloween Peeps train, THIS IS IT. Aside from their normal run of spookily-shaped marshmallow monsters, there’s a trio of much fancier Peeps in what I can only term as “new hotness Halloween flavors.”

Dipped in fudge and sold in unique three-packs, these adorable haunted chicks work just as well as decorations as they do candy. (Not long-lived decorations, I concede, but don’t act like these wouldn’t make your party table look twice as lively.) Read More…

Disney’s Scary Tales. My 1st horror rental!

A few days ago, I drove past what’s now one of my city’s thousand salons, but used to be our neighborhood’s very first video store. Converted from a portion of a long, thin house that certainly wasn’t meant to carry a storefront, the place was — and remains — a slanted architectural goof that never would’ve survived without its prime location on a busy street.

That video store went out of business in the early ‘90s. Actually, it closed down just a week or two after I convinced the owner to let me buy a giant Child’s Play 2 standee for just ten bucks. So let’s assume it was 1991.

But before competition from major chains dented their armor, that was my place. So many of my adolescent ideas about movies came from browsing that store’s crudely assembled shelves.

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For all of the confused joy I took in browsing videos from every genre, I only ever seemed to rent one of two tapes. It was either Kids is Kids, a Donald Duck compilation from Disney, or Scary Tales, which was… also kind of a Donald Duck comp. (I really liked Donald, you see. To this day, I cannot comprehend those who place Mickey higher.)

Released in 1983, Scary Tales — which was later rechristened as Donald’s Scary Tales — was a collection of Disney’s spookiest shorts. Whenever we went to that video store, it was a real struggle to resist its oversized clamshell case, or the image of disembodied demon paws lunging for Donald’s throat.

I made my mother rent Scary Tales dozens of times. (This was back before families commonly had two VCRs, so no, we couldn’t do the dual-deck record trick.)

I couldn’t have been more than five years old at the time. More likely, I was even younger. As such, Scary Tales really lived up to its name. Only blind loyalty to Donald kept me glued to the television, and in truth, some of the shorts spooked me so badly that I could only rarely finish the tape!

In a sense, Scary Tales was my first “horror movie.” I didn’t piece this together as a child, but the video taught me that being scared could be fun, or at least never boring. I guess it takes an especially prudish kid to equate Pluto’s Judgement Day with Hellraiser, but I’m telling you, I did.

Scary Tales includes six Disney shorts that were already ancient by the early ‘80s. Fortunately, all of them are on YouTube, and in serious volume. If you think you remember this compilation, these videos should help you confirm: Read More…

The Purple Stuff Podcast: Episode 5!

The Purple Stuff Podcast normally goes live on Saturday nights, but an assortment of irritating factors forced us to push it off a bit. The good news? Now it’s ready!

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In this episode, me and Jay try to come up with our ideal Halloween television marathon. Like, let’s say you were put in charge of a network’s lineup for October 31st, and you didn’t have to worry about licensing fees or any of that shit. How would you fill the hours? What horror movies and TV specials would you dust off?

Give us a listen on the player below! Or, if you prefer, you can access the MP3 directly over here.

Reminder: The Purple Stuff Podcast is also on iTunes and Stitcher!

This episode was partially inspired by ABC Family’s unveiling of their 2015 13 Nights of Halloween lineup. We goof on some of the “iffier” inclusions during the podcast, but the truth is that it’s full of awesome selections. Sleepy Hollow? Poltergeist II? I’m so in. Read More…

Dino Drac’s September 2015 Funpack!

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(Available in the United States only!)

Uh oh! Dino Drac’s September 2015 Funpack HAS ARRIVED, and in celebration of the Halloween Countdown, it’s stuffed with TERROR AND NIGHTMARES.

If you’re new to the site, here’s the scoop: Every month, I mail a new Funpack out to all subscribers. The cost is $25 per month (including shipping), and you can cancel at anytime. Automatic payments are handled via Paypal. For as long as you stay subscribed, you’ll keep getting Funpacks! This endeavor helps to keep Dino Drac afloat, so thank you!

Skip to the bottom for more subscription info, or read on to see what’s inside this month’s box!

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There are over ten items in every Funpack, and nearly all of them are n tune with the Halloween season. From weird ass Real Ghostbusters figures to Dino Drac’s Bag of Death, it’s one of the best Funpacks I’ve ever put together. I swear!

EVERY subscriber will receive ALL of the following: Read More…

Halloween McNugget Buddies were SO GOOD.

I will always be loyal to McDonald’s, and that has little to do with the company’s food. God knows how many paper-wrapped cheeseburgers I tore through during adolescence, but what I really loved about the place was how it could turn nothing days into something days.

This was especially true during the Halloween and Christmas seasons. When I was growing up, that was when McDonald’s busted out its best promotions, turning garbage trinkets into must-haves, and giving every kid a reason to beg Mom not to cook.

Through these promotions, McDonald’s taught us that holidays weren’t just single days, but monthlong events constantly building to a crescendo. If that sounds like a stretch, I’ll remind you of the time they gave away Chicken McNugget figures dressed like Frankenstein, and how that made the second week of October feel like the last.

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Yep. Halloween McNugget Buddies. Second to those adorable trick-or-treat pails, they were the best Halloween Happy Meal McDonald’s ever did.

The first McNugget Buddies promotion came in the late ‘80s, but back then, there was no Halloween branding. By the early 1990s, someone put two and two together and realized that costumed McNugget figures made perfect sense for Halloween.

Rechristened as Halloween McNugget Buddies, several sets were released at various points of the ‘90s, each with a new batch of wacky costumes. Watch this commercial — it tells the story better than I can:

At the time, Happy Meal “duds’ were few and far between, but the Halloween McNugget Buddies still shined brighter than almost every other set. We’d already been fed a steady diet of TV commercials that portrayed Chicken McNuggets as living, breathing characters with human facial features, and now we had a chance to OWN one of those cute fuckers. Really, the removable costumes were just gravy. Read More…