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. (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. (more…)

Caramel Apple Twizzlers Review!

I’m getting a good feeling about this year’s Halloween candy haul…

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New for 2014, it’s Caramel Apple Twizzlers! They’re apple twists filled with caramel goo! I’d tell you more, but that’s what the video is for. Watch my review, below!

You are subscribed to Dino Drac on YouTube, right?

Good.

I can’t say that I prefer them over normal strawberry Twizzlers, but they’re still pretty good. And way strange. I wasn’t familiar with these “filled” Twizzlers before today, and, uh… yeah, they’re definitely strange.

As I mention in the video, it’s nice to see Twizzlers do something different this year. “Everyday” Twizzlers are always going to be a Halloween staple, but if Hershey wanted internet weirdos to make a fuss about the brand, this was a great step.

And now, some extra photos, for no good reason. (more…)

I found some neat old Halloween JUNK.

One of my favorite Halloween activities is raiding old pharmacies and random variety stores, hoping to score some ancient spooky treasure. I’ve been running Halloween Countdowns since 2003, and lemme tell ya, a LOT of my material came from places like those.

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Over the weekend, I hit the jackpot. An oddball bric-a-brac shop had tons of Halloween junk for sale. Just a huge variety at dirt cheap prices. In tonight’s video, I show off five of my favorite finds…

Enjoy.

(I had to shoot that video twice. Some kind of memory card error turned today into my personal hell. But I guess that’s Halloweeny in its own way?)

I’m sure most of you have similarly wackadoo stores nearby. If you never pay attention to them, this is the time of year to start. If you rely too heavily on the big chains, you’re just gonna end up with the same shit everyone else has. These weirder stores are your chance to build a truly unique collection of Halloween nonsense.

Thanks for watching! I’m going to collapse now! (more…)

The Bud Light Lime APPLE-AHHH-RITA!

We’re barely into the season, but if you look hard enough, many new Halloween edibles are already out there! With Halloween’s worth relying so heavily on spooky foods never seen before, it’s great to see so many different companies jumping on the skull train.

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One of my early favorites is the brand new Bud Light Lime APPLE-AHH-RITA, an apple-infused “margarita with a twist” that will only be available during the fall. (And I guess the end of summer, too.)

Last year’s Cran-Brrr-Ritas were a big hit, and I’m happy to report that these continue the streak. Here’s a four minute video detailing everything you need to know about Bud Light Lime Apple-Ahhh-Ritas, along with some things you probably didn’t.

Remember to drink them cold. I can’t stress that enough. (Oh, and because a few of your asked, yes, these taste somewhere in the realm of “alcoholic cider.”) (more…)

DINO DRAC’S 2014 HALLOWEEN COUNTDOWN.

Is it… is it true? It is possible? Could another year have really gone by that fast?

Is it seriously time for the… the… the Countdown?

YES.

Welcome, beloved strangers.

Welcome to Dinosaur Dracula’s 2014 Halloween Countdown.

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From now through October 31st, I am the Devil. That role is now mine to play, and I think it’s time for a shift towards benevolence. No, I am not here to urge you down damning paths. No, I am not here to scrub your sins with the loofah sponge that is fire. I am the Devil, and this year, all the Devil does is write long, aimless blogs about Halloween candy.

The Halloween Countdown starts…

NOW.

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Let’s assume you’re a new reader, or a really forgetful old one. You don’t know what a “Halloween Countdown” is. Well, no worries — I’m the Devil who likes to dish.

Born in 2003 on my old site, X-Entertainment, the Halloween Countdown has evolved into two full months celebrating EVERYTHING associated with the Halloween season, no matter how tangential. (The Devil is very proud of himself for using “tangential.”)

Old spooky toys! New Halloween junk food! Horror movies! Creepy art projects! Videos starring me in zombie makeup, with phony scars that look like the stitches on a baseball!

Freddy Krueger! Jason Voorhees! Pinhead! Elvira! Garlic Man! (Okay maybe not Garlic Man. Until now, “internet stardom” has never been uttered in the same sentence as “the lead villain from Little Dracula.”)

I can’t make any guarantees about how often this site will be updated between now and Halloween, but I’m supposing it will be over 40 and closer to 50. Which means that by November 1st, I’ll want to kill every single one of you. Please enjoy this breakdown-as-performance art, where my pending descent into madness will gain a firm digital footprint. I am the Devil.

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Last year’s Halloween season was one of the best ever. Maybe THE best ever. From Ghoul-Aid Jammers to the revival of Frute Brute and Fruity Yummy Mummy, we left 2013 wondering if we’d ever see a Halloween season that good again. Wellp, it’s time to find out. I have a good feeling. My feeling is in the “45% good” area.

Some of you may think that I’m starting too early. We go through this every year. I’m not. Besides, there are a lot of bloggers now. If I wait an extra week, all of the good candy will have already been written about. On the other hand, NOT BY THE DEVIL.

No, but seriously, it’s NOT too early. October flies by in the span of two hours, and I think we’re one decent scientist away from that being a proven fact. Halloween isn’t just about Halloween proper, you know. Things that are enjoyable all year become infinitely more enjoyable during the Halloween season. Hey, I’ve seen Dream Warriors a thousand times, but guess what? If I watch it tonight, it’s Paragraph Fucking One on the diary page.

At the start of last year’s Countdown, I suggested a few things people could do to celebrate early. Things like “take a walk” and “draw monsters on a legal pad.” Things that required action. But I’ve grown cynical in my old age. Nobody who reads “go do something” on their computer actually goes and does something.

So this year, I’m gonna work that schtick a little differently. Here are a bunch of Halloween things you can do right now, online, without moving from whatever atrociously tacky chair you’re sitting in. (The Devil’s newfound benevolence does not extend to chairs. It can’t.)

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#1: WATCH NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD!
Some kind of colossal fuckup put George A. Romero’s zombie classic in the public domain, and their loss is our gain! The original Night of the Living Dead is one of the easiest movies to find online, and in every conceivable resolution… including some that shouldn’t exist. I chose a YouTube link with a 4×3 ratio, because if you’re gonna watch this movie on the internet, you should at least try to pretend that the internet is a dusty old tube television. “They’re coming to get you, Barbara.”

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#2: PLAY GHOSTS ‘N GOBLINS!
Notoriously difficult but with such a splendid theme! I grew up with the Ghosts ‘n Goblins Nintendo game, and while I can scarcely recall beating the 2nd level — let alone ever even seeing Lucifer — something about it kept me coming back. Maybe it was the ballsy taunt? The game opens with Satan (not to be confused with Lucifer) materializing in the night sky and swooping in to kidnap your girlfriend. You can’t walk away from something like that, no matter how often it happens.

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#3: GO ON AN IMDB HORROR TRIVIA BINGE!
This is one of my private passions. Head to IMDB, look up every horror movie you can think of, and lose countless hours to their trivia sections! Did you know that Linda Blair needed bodyguards after shooting The Exorcist, thanks to death threats from religious nuts? Now you do! And everything you learn tonight, you can pretend to have known forever! I’ll never understand why Wikipedia disallowed trivia sections on movie pages. Spend a night on IMDB, and you’ll agree that they’re the best parts!

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#4: MESS WITH A VIRTUAL TARANTULA!
It’s not quite a “game,” but it’s more addictive than Tetris. On this page, you push and pull a virtual tarantula all over his home, which is apparently a three foot concrete square. (And when I say “pull,” I mean it. You can even drag the poor guy around by one leg.) Double-clicking will leave insects behind for your spider to feast on. The insects don’t move, and look more like rat droppings and spoiled pizza. Somehow, these traits blend into pure creepy magnificence.

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#5: LEARN THE TRUE HISTORY OF HALLOWEEN!
What we’ve come to accept as “Halloween” is a strange mash of traditions with roots that span thousands of years. This season, why not take the time to learn more about Halloween’s secret origins? Or maybe see how people who aren’t “us” celebrate it? I admit that linking to the Wikipedia entry on “Halloween” is weak, but it is pretty informative, so use that as your start-point. Some write Halloween off as a Hallmark holiday, but with a little research, you’ll see how completely wrong that is.

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#6: READ LOTS OF “REAL” GHOST STORIES!
The best ghost stories are the real ones. Or at least, the ones that are supposed to be real. “Your Ghost Stories” is a site collecting ten trillion reader-submitted tales of actual ghost encounters, and even if you only buy into 2% of them, it’s still good for a browse. The stories range from simple unexplained moments to full-on ghost encounters, and under the right light at a late hour, they’re an excellent way to self-creep. Brew some tea and light a scented candle before visiting this one. That’s the right way to do it.

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#7: PLAY HALLOWEEN HANGMAN!
In this spooky spin on the classic Hangman game, you must correctly guess the mystery word before a hanging skeleton collects his bones. Guess the wrong letter, and the skeleton gets snarky. “Oh great, another rocket scientist.” Well fuck you too, ass. Online hangman games are usually too easy or too impossible, but this one straddles the line. Plus, even if you lose, you at least get a complete skeleton out of the deal. (The game also features fantastic music. Music that could score a person tiptoeing into the kitchen to steal cookies. Only more Halloween-like.)

I spent forever digging up those links, by the way. “Look up Halloween on Wikipedia!” Do you have any idea much thought and research goes into something like that? Ugh, here’s a picture of gummy worms on a cardboard grim reaper head:

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The Countdown is one part me and one part you. To get the most from it, I invite you to become involved. Join in the comments and take part in discussions. When I do an art project, send in a submission, even though you’re still waiting for me to put up the results from the last one. Share this site and its articles all over social media, which I admit helps me a lot more than you. I just wasn’t sure where else to stick that. Didn’t really work after “Garlic Man.”

Together, we’re gonna experience Halloween as it was meant to be experienced: Via complete and total overkill. Nothing orange is out of bounds, even if it’s a clementine. No day shall pass without a macabre celebration, so long as we can stretch the definition of “celebration” to “five minutes spent gushing over Candy Corn Blow Pops.” For the next two months, we’ll enjoy that brief period where pain is muted and the air is tainted with good drugs. Nothing can hurt us, so long as we have popcorn and Halloween 5.

Nothing can ruin it. Actually, a lot of things could, but they won’t, because I’m the Devil and I have powers. I hereby decree that everyone who reads this will have a perfect Halloween season. I know I will.

I goddamned better. Winter, spring and summer were such balls.

Welcome, beloved strangers, to Dinosaur Dracula’s 2014 Halloween Countdown.

It starts now. It started ten minutes ago.

Now here’s Madd Matt’s review of a “Clown Tangler.”

Thank you for reading/watching/being. Ave Santanas!

I mean Satanas. God, I almost hailed Tito Santana.

PS: Huge thanks to Jason Week for continuing his streak of awesome Dino Drac Halloween logos, and to Cliff for stepping in multiple times to turn my terrible CSS into delicious cake.

PPS: The Halloween Jukebox is now REACTIVATED. A relic from my past. A relic from yours, too. Enjoy around a hundred haunted songs, including two by Garfield. Just look for the blazingly obvious orange-tinted jukebox graphic on the right-side area of this page. And every other page on the site. Even the ones about how Christmas is the best time of year. (I was lying.)

Video: Sugar Cookie Pebbles Cereal!

The 2013 Christmas season hasn’t been especially hot for weird food, but if you look hard enough, there are a few big time players.

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Like this one, for example. Post’s Pebbles cereal with a limited edition SUGAR COOKIE flavor. It looks good, it tastes good, and the box features Dino wearing Grinch dog antlers. I have exactly zero complaints.

Get the whole story in this sickly sweet video review:

For the life of me, I could not find this in stores. Still haven’t. I got so fed up with the fruitless department store runs that I gave in and ordered it from some third party seller on Amazon. If you’re dying for a box, try there!