Guess it’s lame to do another Classic Creepy Commercials post so soon, but I have a lot of great ads to get to this year. I’m worried there won’t be time for them all!
(God knows your Halloween season won’t be complete until you watch a promo for a 1994 TV movie about Roseanne.)
Des Moines Theatrical Shop – 1992!
(Donated by Kevin B.)
This is quite possibly the single greatest commercial ever featured on Classic Creepy Commercials. Holy cow. It couldn’t be more perfect.
I’ve never heard of the Des Moines Theatrical Shop, and I’m actually only 30% sure about where the city of Des Moines is. Still, almost every state in the country had some version of this ad, which stretched its five dollar budget to Ed Wood levels.
Despite the fact that the commercial aired during children’s programming, it was decidedly not for kids. Oh, you’ll see ALF and maybe even Spuds MacKenzie, but beyond them, it’s just a parade of horrors.
We begin with shots of Freddy and Jason in what appears to be a Lazer Tag arena, or maybe a set from a Sheena Easton music video. The incredible thing is that they’re hardly the scariest sights. The Des Moines Theatrical Shop had its fair share of utterly bizarre $100 monster masks, and like we told you on the latest episode of The Purple Stuff Podcast, those masks were terrifying to children.
When I visualize the “scarier side” of my childhood Halloweens, it’s basically this commercial. This thing hits every bullet, from horrible masks to foggy darkness to the sounds of tuning forks having weird sex. Watch it, love it, remix it. Read More…
We’re ridiculously close to October, which is great and maybe also a little bit terrible. Remember to make the most of the Halloween season! DO SPOOKY STUFF!
…even if it’s just listening to scary podcasts for an hour. Hey, speaking of which!
Yup, we’re finally ready to drop the latest episode of The Purple Stuff Podcast. This week, me and Jay from The Sexy Armpit are doing another sequel to a previous show. In Not Your Average Scares: Part 2, we’re covering ten more things that are way scarier than they should be.
From that poor shoe’s death in Roger Rabbit to Billy Ocean’s Loverboy video, these wouldn’t be the first bullets on anyone’s list of scary things, but they all deserve to be on it.
Give us a listen by clicking the giant, ugly play button down below!
You can also download this week’s episode by right-clicking here.
Sorry for the delay on this ep, but thanks a million to everyone who poked at us to see when it’d be debuting. It’s motivating to know that folks actually care!
Oof, there is some serious nostalgia in this edition of Classic Creepy Commercials. Get ready for the feels.
Pumpkin Kutter! (1980s)
Still in production today, the Pumpkin Kutter is a miniature saw that makes carving jack-o’-lanterns a cinch. (Well maybe not a cinch, but certainly a thousand times easier than using dulled steak knives.) The tool’s simple design has since been aped by a zillion companies, but back in the ‘80s, this one was the one.
Joining the Pumpkin Kutter was the Pumpkin Scoop, which was more attractive than practical, and that’s okay, because when your shovel looks like a jack-o’-lantern wearing a condom, iffy functionality is forgiven.
Then there was the trio’s real must-have item, the Pumpkin Light. This battery-operated gizmo illuminated your pumpkin better than any candle could, and it even blinked erratically for extra eeriness. (I’m normally a candle purist, but that thing legitimately rocked.)
They’re everyday tools by 2016 standards, but as a kid, all of this orange garbage made carving pumpkins seem less like “arts and crafts” and more like “playing with toys.”
Added nostalgia points: The kitchen in this commercial looks exactly like the one my late grandparents had. I can practically smell the yarn and oil. Read More…
Get set for another batch of 2016’s best Halloween junk food!
(…with the same asterisk that we had last time. When I say “best,” I just mean “most interesting.” Sometimes, pretty things taste pretty bad!)
Butterfinger Peanut Butter Skulls!
These are terrific! I’m not sure if they’re new-for-2016 or just something I overlooked last year, but I hope these wackadoo chocolate faces are here to stay.
You’ll notice that the skulls look precisely as good as the ones on the package, which almost never happens with this sort of candy. (Ever get one of those “Christmas tree” cups from Reese’s? They look like Dittos.)
Between the chiseled teeth and the bolt-shaped cracks in the skulls, these are as much art as candy. I wasn’t sure if I should eat them or mail ‘em to MoMA.
I won’t claim to prefer these to Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, but I definitely prefer ’em to regular Butterfinger bars. They’re creamy and they’re rich and they look like chocolate versions of Halloween coloring book pages.
GRADE: A+. I can’t think of any reasonable way to improve them. Read More…
Many countries have their own exclusive Halloween snacks, and if they’re especially good, the rest of the world can only seethe and stew over their geographical plights.
Or if you’re like me, you just spend a fortune on international shipping for weird Doritos.
Below are three of Japan’s Halloween snacks for 2016, ironically from companies that we in the States consider utterly American. You’re so going to want these. You’re not going to rest until you’ve eaten these.
Garlic Pepper Halloween Doritos!
This is it, baby! This is the one! Even though I can only procure bags of Garlic Pepper Doritos from iffy mail-order companies, I’m 100% ready to call them the top junk food promo of the 2016 Halloween season. These are unstoppable, untoppable and some other almost-rhyming, half-fake word.
In fact, Jay made a pitch for Garlic Doritos just like these on the very first episode of The Purple Stuff Podcast. The execution is even better than we could’ve hoped for. I know he’s hard to notice in the photo, but there really is a vampire on the packaging. (You can see part of him on the center-left. He’s shying away from the Doritos, as if to say, “AH GARLIC I will NOT be sucking the blood from these particular chips, no sir.” Because that’s how vamps talk. He also reappears on the back of the package.)
Upon opening the bag, the stench was pleasantly akin to cheap ramen, with maybe the softest hint of dehydrated shrimp. The jet black chips taste like garlicky soy sauce, salty and tangy and completely motherfucking delicious. These are so legitimately good that I know it’s only a matter of time before they dupe the flavor and try for a broader release.
10 out of 10, A+++. Read More…
You know you’ve found the right video when there’s a goddamned McDonald’s Halloween pail on the cover:
(Look close. That’s totally McGoblin.)
Released in 1990, Halloween: Trick or Treat was the first in a long series of order-by-mail videos collectively known as The Pagan Invasion. Made by a Christian production company, the series warned God-fearing people about the occult’s secret infiltration of everyday society. It’s essentially propaganda meant to make you think twice about having fun with spooky stuff, because Jesus don’t play that.
The first tape focuses exclusively on Halloween, and by the end of it, they outright say that no good Christian should celebrate it. It’s cheesy and it’s ridiculous and I’m hardly the first person to notice that, but this video is also a secret treasure trove for Halloween and horror fans.
The footage is amazing, with shots of costume shops, video stores and even home video conventions from the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. If you tune out the hosts, it’s such a treat to see. (I’d go so far to say that the producers admonished with one hand and baited with the other, praying for our souls while preying on our desire to wallow in spooky, awesome stuff.)
The interviews are just as fascinating. A few are with former satanists (complete with helpful chyron identifying them as such) who tell horrible stories that cannot possibly be true, unless I’m to really believe that they chose this direct-to-video series as a forum to dish on murders they’d personally witnessed. Those segments felt like a mix of Unsolved Mysteries and the iffiest 20/20 exposé, so of course I loved them.
The whole video is already on YouTube and comes with my strongest (if weirdest) recommendation, but I took the time to clip out some of the especially interesting segments. Watch ‘em below! Read More…