Dinosaur Dracula!

Nine Gnarly Horror Wikis.

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If you’ve ever looked something up on Wikipedia and wanted more information than its editors would allow, the good news is that there are dedicated wikis for practically everything these days. These wikis often lack the speed and crowd-edited finesse of Wikipedia, but they make up for it where it counts: Superfluous entries on inconsequential nonsense!

For proof, look no further than the horror genre. Every major franchise has its own wiki. Even franchises than only ten people care about have them. If you’re the type of horror-loving trivia-gobbler who likes to keep reading until unconsciousness happens organically, these wikis are a positively blessed find.

I’ve collected nine of my favorites below — but please note that this barely scratches the surface!

All of these wikis are hosted on Wikia, a site that lets anyone build an online encyclopedia for free. The trade-off is that the pages are covered in resource-draining ads. Before you start browsing, I’d suggest creating an account on Wikia. Logging in seems to limit the ads somewhat, and you’ll only need one login for all of the wikis featured below!

The next time you’re wide awake on a stormy night with an emptied DVR and no one to talk to, give one of these a try.

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a-1#1: Friday the 13th Wiki!

Description: A celebration of All Things Friday the 13th, with the strongest emphasis (obviously) on the films. While the pages on each movie are really no more thorough than what you can already find on Wikipedia, the Friday the 13th Wiki shines in its extracurriculars: There are entries on every major character (and minor) character, not to mention pages for the semi-canonical novels and comics.

Size: Currently over 430 pages, so even considering the many “stubs,” there’s a lot to read.

Appearance: White text on a gray background may kill your eyes after a few hours, but it does set the mood. Uses cool F13 images liberally.

Thoughts: Though missing some neat bits — there are no pages for the various toys, for example — the wiki is still so packed that even super devoted F13 fans are sure to learn something new. Many horror wikis are left abandoned after only a few days’ worth of work, but this one is still regularly updated.

Notable Pages: Learn about Roy Burns, who pretended to be Jason Voorhees so he could kill people more freely. Read a summary of the Friday the 13th Part 2 novelization, which believe it or not actually exists. Get the scoop on Jason’s appearance in Mortal Kombat, which pieces together every hint of inspiration to explain why he looks… the way he looks. (more…)

7 of my favorite kaiju. Well, kinda kaiju.

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When you hear the word “kaiju,” your mind probably drifts to Godzilla, or to the creatures from Pacific Rim, or maybe to the monster from Cloverfield. It’s all stuff like that, right?

But see, “kaiju” just means “monster,” and by that definition, there sure are a lot of them to celebrate… even if we adhere to the extended definition of a very large monster.

Here are seven kaiju — or kinda kaiju — that don’t hit these lists nearly as often as they should.

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#1: GORAX!
The Ewok Adventure, 1984

The Ewok Adventure is way better than you’ve heard. The first of two made-for-television Star Wars movies starring tons of Ewoks, this one sent two crash-landed youths searching for their parents with the help of everyone’s favorite droid-worshipping teddy bears.

It turned out that said parents were being held captive by the Gorax, a gnarly beast that was at least 30 feet tall. In the film, camera tricks and special effects did little to hide the fact that the Gorax was just some guy in a goofy ogre costume, but that’s kind of what made it such a great monster. That thing could really move!

There’s only one Gorax in the film, but supplemental materials indicated that there were actually a fair number of them, roaming Endor and looking for trouble. Since certain Goraxes are over a hundred feet tall, they have no problem wreaking havoc on the Ewoks’ treetop villages.

Coolest thing? While Goraxes do eat Ewoks (and stranded humans), they’re just as interested in keeping them in cages… as pets. (more…)

Ranking the Elm Street VHS Box Art!

A long while back, I ranked all of the Friday the 13th films based strictly on the merits of their VHS boxes. It was only natural that I’d do the same for Freddy Krueger!

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That’s my weird goal for today, and it isn’t as pointless as it seems! As I’ve mentioned before, videocassette boxes used to be of utmost importance. When we were cluelessly wandering video stores looking for anything that looked interesting, “great box art” often trumped movie reviews, word-of-mouth advertising and even TV commercials. This was especially true in the horror genre, where we weren’t even aware of many movies’ existences until we saw them sitting on the shelves of Ma and Pa’s Viddy Yo Emporium.

Before I start, some ground rules:

1. I’m not including Freddy vs. Jason or the remake. (Freddy vs. Jason is too much a “shared entity” to fit in, and I don’t think the remake even had a VHS release.)

2. Remember, these rankings are based on box art alone. I’m trying to toss aside everything I know about the movies to do this. If NOES was new territory, which boxes would grab me most?

3. With the Friday the 13th series, the quality ranged from “blah” to “awesome.” By contrast, even the “worst” NOES box is still pretty good. A low-ranked box definitely doesn’t indicate suckage.

Off we go! (more…)

Obscure Nightmare on Elm Street Playset.

One of the coolest A Nightmare on Elm Street toys… technically has nothing to do with A Nightmare on Elm Street.

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Bear with me. This’ll take a little explaining.

In 1988, Tonka launched a small line of Wrecking Crew toys. These were various construction vehicles that could plow over and/or straight through break-apart playsets, affording kids the chance to do what they did best: Smash shit.

With such a simple gimmick and a nearly generic look, very few people remember the Wrecking Crew series. That’s unfortunate, because hiding deep in the line was an awesome and unmistakable nod to none other than Freddy Krueger.

Seriously!

Shown above is the Abandoned School House Playset. It might not look very remarkable now, but once I show you the finer details, you’re gonna flip. (more…)

Five Ghoulish Ghostbusters Goodies!

Thanks largely to the media blitz surrounding its 30th anniversary, Ghostbusters seems hotter than ever. You know how I’m always saying that every Halloween season has “one thing” that ultimately sets it apart from every other Halloween season? In 2014, it’s gotta be Ghostbusters.

Let’s review. The movie returned to theaters. Krispy Kreme made some legendary donuts. There’s more GB merchandise now than ever before, since “doodad makers” have the luxury of catering both to kids and to old idiots like me. Tack on the confirmation of a new movie, and yeah, it’s been a great few months for GB fans.

All of the buzz inspired me to do one last Ghostbusters post before Halloween, so here are five random GB items from my collection. I’ve had some of these things for years, but most were recent pickups. You reading about them justifies me buying them, so thanks in advance!

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#1: Stay Puft Glow Mask! (1986)

I admit that I paid too much for this mostly-broken Halloween mask, but how could I resist? It’s Stay Puft! And, to the best of my knowledge, it’s pretty rare.

Cheap, plastic masks remind me of my earliest Halloweens, back when the ol’ mask-and-smock combo was the In Thing. (You know the kind. You’d get a crude plastic mask based on your favorite cartoon character, along with what was essentially an enormous lobster bib.) Had I spotted this Stay Puft gear back in ‘86, I most definitely would’ve been a Marshmallow Man for Halloween.

It’s worth noting that there isn’t a face this mask would fit. Even imagining myself with the head of a four-year-old, there’s just no way. I think it was sold less on the basis of “hey wear this” and more on the basis of “hey buy this because it’s a glow-in-the-dark Stay Puft head.” Challenge accepted, albeit 28 years late.

I can’t envision a scenario wherein I’d ever have a taxidermied deer head in my house, but I’m going to hang this mask in exactly the same fashion. It’s a trophy I can be proud of, and when I get up in the middle of the night to eat half a brick’s worth of Cracker Barrel cheese, Stay Puft’s faint glow will keep me from stubbing my toes on table legs. (more…)