Happy Halloween!

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Holy shit, it’s Halloween. Finally? Already?!

The 2013 Halloween Countdown isn’t over yet (COME BACK TONIGHT!), but I hope you enjoyed it. More importantly, I hope you enjoyed the whole damn season.

I know I have. Usually, Halloween gets here, and there’s a tiny voice inside me screaming, “That’s it?” Not this year. I may have not been at my prolific peak, but brother, I lived the gimmick. I went to pumpkin patches, a scary amusement park and several costume shops. I saw a horror movie in theaters. (Okay, it was the kinda-sucky Carrie remake, but it still counts.) I partied with friends under the glow of seasonal spirits and Beistle wall decorations. I did it all!

I was close to having no regrets, but the truth is, there was one. I didn’t carve a pumpkin this year. It’s the one tradition that got away from me, and while I guess there’s still time to make it happen, I decided on a different last-minute activity:

1

This year, I carved a TURNIP.

This was suggested by Goob over on Dino Drac’s Facebook page, and it made perfect sense. Many say that jack ‘o lanterns originated in Ireland, where people killed turnips instead of pumpkins. I loved the idea. I also loved how my nearest supermarket actually carried super gigantic turnips suitable for such a task.

We’ll get back to the turnip in a few. First, other things!

2

That’s today’s candy bowl. Bring it on, trick-or-treaters.

Longtime readers know that this is kinda weaksauce for me. I usually give out entire Ziploc bags filled with treats and toys. I’m taking it easy this year, because the mere thought of going out to buy Ziploc bags right now is literally capable of making me puke.

But it’s not like the kids will only get one piece of candy. I’ll throw big handfuls into each sack. Trick-or-treating seemed to be a slowly dying fad around here, but after last year’s hurricane-related cancellations, I’m betting that we’ll get more than ever. Kids have good memories. They’ll remember getting dicked over last Halloween, and go to twice as many houses this year.

At least, that’s what I’d do.

5

The sad thing about ending the Halloween Countdown? There’s so much junk that I never got around to writing about. This happens every year!

Much of it will be lost or tossed, because there’s always collateral damage. But the good news is that many of the leftovers aren’t really specific to the season, and now I’m armed with spooky topics for whenever I feel like writing or vlogging about ‘em.

Honestly, my main takeaway from the 2013 season is that I don’t want its fun and flavors to end with it. Spooky stuff can be enjoyed all year!

4

Okay, back to the turnip.

Carving it is a biiiitch. I knew I was in trouble when even the most encouraging turnip carving guides barely stopped short of suggesting that this could drive a person to suicide. On the other hand, I learned that there really ARE turnip carving guides, and that’s terrific.

3

Looking over Dino Drac’s archives, my Halloween season doesn’t seem as full as it was. Actually, for one reason or another, I didn’t write about all of my experiences. I mentioned them in the intro, but here are a few specific memories that I’ll cherish for at least two weeks:

1. Visiting Freddy In Space HQ with Ms. X, and being treated to a fun and hilarious cider festival, where myriad vendors tried to convince you that their two ounces of alcoholic cider were better than everyone else’s two ounces of alcoholic cider. Mr. and Mrs. Freddy were awesome hosts and became great friends, and I’m hoping our meet-ups won’t only happen during the orange months.

2. Going to see Carrie with Jay from The Sexy Armpit, if only for this one specific part: We went on a Sunday afternoon, and the theater was almost totally empty. The only other people there were a family of four, sitting in the middle of the last row. Jay asks me where I want to sit, I say “you pick.” Despite the forty thousand empty seats at our disposal, Jay marches with authority right toward this family, and sits three seats away from them. During the whole long ass walk, I’m watching their faces, and they obviously think we’re psychopathic murderers. Also, I was completely stoned.

(PS, did you know that I cameo’d in Jay’s Halloween special? I did!)

3. Since I spent much of the Halloween season as an arguable bum, I had time to help Ms. X shorten her commute with several pickups. Here and there, I’ve had plenty of great drives, blasting spooky music while soaking in distant neighbors’ Halloween decorations. I freakin’ loved it. (Just don’t tell Ms. X. I pretended to hate it so I could cash in for a later favor. Oh, so we’re supposed to go to your cousin’s wife’s brother’s son’s third birthday party? Nuh uh, I spent half of October driving you around fucking Bayonne.)

4. Oh, and there was the time we went to a local pumpkin patch, which is really just a garden center that throws piles of pumpkins over hay. This place usually has a small haunted house attraction (a trailer, basically), and though we never went inside, we sure loved looking at it.

Well, while buying whatever we were buying, we got into a discussion with the owner about it. He said that the attraction fell into disrepair after Sandy, but he still wanted to hear about our favorite parts. We came up with horribly vague answers, because despite clearly telling this man that we’d been going on his attraction for years, we never once actually did. I have no idea why we lied, but it’s not like we could’ve expected this sort of inquisition. His line of questioning was so specific and trap-filled, I nearly broke down and cried the truth. Instead, we kept saying things like, “Oh the WHOLE THING was great, we can’t pick one favorite part!” I’m not exaggerating: The conversation went on for a full fifteen minutes.

Ah, Halloween. I’ll miss you, baby.

6

In another way, I’m glad that Halloween is almost over. For someone who does what I do, it’s a grind, and there isn’t a lot of time for mindless futzing.

Now I’ll have plenty of time for that. Now I can finally watch all of the horror shit that’s been collecting on my DVR since August. Now I can play with all of my TOYS!

Shown above are just some of the fun things that I haven’t had a chance to enjoy just yet. I can’t wait to dive in. Some of it was bought, some of it was gotten through trades, and some of it was sent to me by kindly internet folk. Saturday is going to be like Christmas morning. I’m gonna spread everything across our living room floor, and roll around like I’m a cartoon cliche in a pile of money.

Some of what you see came from two of my favorite online seller types. Kyle from Electric Zombie and Ross from 8-Bit Zombie (Notice a theme?) both do INCREDIBLE work, and it’s been amazing to see them branch off from wearables into totally insane bric-a-brac. Check ‘em out, and tell ‘em I sent you. They’ve been good friends to Dino Drac!

(While I’m near the subject – special thanks to Judson. He knows who he is, and he knows why he’s being thanked!)

(And oh yeah, I shouldn’t leave out Billy, from Veggie Macabre. Bill has been as good of a friend as a weirdo blogger could possibly have, and I urge everyone go to read his mile-tall pile of spooky posts.)

7

AND NOW BACK TO THE TURNIP.

It’s finished, and it’s pretty good! I didn’t get too creative with the face, I guess because ANY face on a turnip seemed miraculous enough. This may need to become a new yearly tradition. I like messing with turnips way too much.

Thanks to everyone for reading/watching Dino Drac, and for your amazing (seriously AMAZING) support and encouragement. You make it so easy for me to never stop doing this, and I appreciate that to death. Have a wonderful Halloween!

(And come back later! I’m not done! There’s still one stone left unturned. If you’ve been reading me for a while, you probably know what it is.)


57 Responses to Happy Halloween!

  1. Happy TurnipsWeen to everyone!

  2. Thanks again Matt, see you this Christmas!

  3. What did you think of Carrie? I enjoyed it, wasn’t as good as the original, but hell of a lot better than most remakes. I thought the girl playing Carrie was great.

  4. It’s been one hell of a trip. This was my first year reading your countdown, and here’s what it did for me: it got me off my ass. I always talk big about Halloween, but the truth is I usually end up only doing a few little things to celebrate. This year, reading your posts, my excitement for the season doubled and I *really* made the most of it. Tonight will be epic. Happy Halloween!

  5. @DerDavenWarrior: I enjoyed the movie, but I wouldn’t disagree with most of the criticisms about it. And then I’d tack on the “but if you enjoyed the movie, the movie was fine” defense. Meta or some shit.

    Great cast, moved quickly, and I do appreciate changing Carrie into Emperor Palpatine near the end. If I’m being critical, I think it was by-the-numbers, and the build with Carrie’s powers was super choppy/kind of detached. But I don’t regret seeing it at all. Compared to most remakes, it was more than decent.

  6. How’s the shrunken head doing!? He must have loved this season; it’s gone so well!!!
    Thanks for so many awesome posts over the past two months; your enthusiasm has truly been contagious!!! :)

  7. My friends apparently got flakey on me this year (what’s new…..Texas people LOL), but that ain’t gonna stop me from dressing up, either as Darth Sidious from Episode I or Eric Carr of KISS, I have either choice. And will surely find my own fun tonight, either way – fuck ‘em!

    Other than that, spreading some Halloween cheer to that cute MFer at my Dr’s office in Fort Worth, might stop by Five Below, or even Movie Trading Company and see if they have any cool “new” late 90′s thru Episode III original stuff I don’t have yet. I’m still looking to complete my Separatist Council members, so I can have Anakin-Vader slaughter the lot of them.

  8. awesome job bro like Ed McMahon im giving this countdown… three and three quarter stars!

  9. I like turnips.

  10. After seeing the difficulty in carving a turnip, this is also a day of Thanksgiving and I’m glad that we use the naturally hollow pumpkin for our Jack O’ Lanterns.

  11. In my defense I always march with authority lol…and to the last row of any theater! I can’t have people kicking the back of my seat of course. But that day was definitely interesting. We had to do “The casual rollup” on the way there because some girl was collecting money on the side of the road and was about to harrass us after I gave them money 5 times. That was just the wrong time!

  12. Happy Halloween!
    I’m stockpiling Yummy Mummy before it’s all gone. It’s so good, I’m going to be sad when it’s all done.
    Thanks for another great Countdown Matt!

  13. Happy Halloween DinoDrac gang! Matt, your stuff has long been a huge part of my Halloween experience. Thanks so much man! I can’t wait to come back tonight to see what’s in store.

  14. Oh and @Matt Thank you for being the King of Halloween as always and entertaining us. It’s been a blast, and without a doubt the best ever. Looking forward to next year!

    @Scott – PS – Eric Carr is my favorite drummer ever!

  15. Long time reader of X-E & just caught up through the Dino Drac archives during this Halloween season. Found out they have Frute Brute & Fruity Yummy Mummy on clearance (sadly not the retro boxes, though) at my local grocery store, so I plan to buy them and watch some horror movies later tonight in celebration.

    Love the Countdown, the site, and everything you do to remind me of why I love Halloween.

  16. I made a swamp monster costume for my son out of camoflague (however you spell it) hunting cover and some old netting. Caught in the net wrapped around his one arm are fish and worms and skeletal remains. The headpiece was a zombie mask that I cut the face out of and topped with a cardboard dorsal fin. Face will be painted green of course. Maybe I can now make up for the shame of my mother dressing me up like a witch one year.

    Happy Hallows, Matt! May your bathroom be haunted by a poltergeist and your closet infested with ghouls!

  17. Will the onset of an achy cold stop me from enjoying Halloween? HELL, no! A sick day from work today allowed me to wrap up in a blanket and watch “Something Wicked This Way Comes” back-to-back with “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Candy and spiced autumn tea with my lunch. And, tonight: a parade!

    A short list of the things I enjoyed this season as a direct result of the Dino Drac community: pumpkin spice M&M’s, candy corn Starburst, Halloween episodes of “Roseanne” and “Pete and Pete,” Booberry, Jones Halloween soda, “House,” “Dead Heat,” “Pumpkinhead,” “Halloween III,” and an overall deeper appreciation for what was already my favorite holiday.

    Thanks to you all, AND TO YOU MATT, for making this so much fun. Larry, I’ll miss you…

  18. Happy Halloween all! This will be my daughter’s first Halloween, and while she’s only just shy of 2 months old, I’m still gonna be loving it! I can’t take her trick-or-treating, but we’ll have plenty of fun anyway!

  19. Happy Happy Halloween, Halloween, Halloween,
    Happy Happy Halloween,
    Silver Shamrock!

  20. Happy Halloween, Matt! You’ve really helped make this season feel special for me over the years.

  21. SCOTT!!!! Eric Carr, I love you for this. The best KISS drummer!!!

    Also As much as I love Halloween and am sad it’s over we now come to my FAVORITE holiday… THANKSGIVING!!!

    Matt: Cue my annual pitch to ask for some TG posts. I loved your limited but excellent TG stuff in years past! Two of your best posts ever = Remaking Charlie Brown TG and Macy’s TG parade.

  22. Drew – love ‘The Fox’. Don’t get me wrong, Peter Criss is good when he’s good – but Eric was pretty much spectacular, full-time. Can’t believe it’s been nearly 22 years this November, I believe. I already listened to “Carr Jam ’81″ from KISS – Revenge today to get in the mood, whether as Eric OR Sidious. And I just opened my red FX light saber a few minutes ago.

  23. Oh, and Happy Halloween, Matt!

    With all the not-all-that-crazy-about-Halloween boors I call friends here in TX, you’ve helped me keep my holiday spirit at least to a 50% level this year. Not too thrilling, not totally sucky. Just “NEXT year better be MFing better, even if I have to start on it in January!!”

  24. Thanks for sharing your Halloween season! I had a pretty good one too. I went to a corn maze – not a haunted one but it had a “vortex tunnel” and a bounce pillow next to it. I watched Dracula: Dead and Loving It, and I finally saw The Haunting after loving the book a couple years ago. I read lots of scary stories at night by myself. I carved a pumpkin. Today I dressed as a cat for work, and I’m hoping to tag along with my sister and niece for trick or treating + bonfire with marshmallows.

    Happy Halloween everyone!

  25. Thank you for keeping our spooky spirits up this year! I’ve been pitching the site to anyone I find who needed a does of Halloween goodness! Can’t wait to see what you get up to tonight!

    I second the request for some Thanksgiving posts – At least a link to the old parade reviews, those are so long but some of my favorite articles to reread year after year!

  26. Scott: Agreed. I like Peter also but he’s always so pissy. I like how Eric always seemed to be having a blast and was just happy to be playing.

  27. There is truly no holiday like a Dino Drac holiday.

  28. HAPPY HALLOWEEN YA’LL!!!!!!! I just wanted to stop by and wish you a good time. Once again, nice countdown this year Matt.

  29. Great turnip jack-o-lantern. Bet that’ll get a few odd looks when it’s sitting out there at night.

    I know what you mean about being half-glad the season is done. I’ve been reviewing a Halloween-appropriate movie every day for the month of October, and while it was fun, it’s nice to finally have a few days where I can just relax before getting back to my usual schedule.

    Glad to hear some of the spooky subjects will continue periodically throughout the year, though. Halloween-appropriate doesn’t mean Halloween-exclusive, after all. It’s been great reading and watching it all the past two months, though.

    Happy Halloween!

  30. Yeah, Eric Carr was a good guy, took time to hang out and chat with the fans. Pretty much the polar opposite of, let’s say, Vinnie Vincent! LOL

    I love Vinnie too, he’s my Guitar Hero numero dos!

  31. Happy Halloween, Matt! Thanks for doing what you!

  32. Happy Halloween! DinoDrac helped make the season memorable :)

  33. Happy Halloween!!

  34. Happy Halloween everybody! Have a great night. Take a spooky evening stroll. Watch some Are You Afraid of the Dark? Eat some bite-sized candy bars. We only get this night once per year!

  35. I totally had that Frankenstein Stretch Screamer back in the day.

  36. I don’t feel the spirit this year, but I always love reading the Countdown.

    That picture with all the loot you received is making me so happy.

  37. I’d like to wish Matt and all my fellow DD fans a Happy Halloween.

  38. I like how you think outside the box on these things, Matt. Also, I like how your cameo in that video had you reference WPIX’s Shocktober, before the WB and CW came along. (They don’t really seem to be pulling it off this year, though they are broadcasting the Greenwich Village Halloween parade, but ever since Bill Carey (who was responsible for the mid-90′s mass firings at WCBS) came along and messed everything up, the station’s a shell of it’s former self.)

  39. I’m going to get a bit mushy here for a second..The middle two weeks of this month were some of the hardest I’ve ever dealt with. There were times I felt like curling up in a ball in the corner, and just breaking down. Instead, I would go to Dinosaur Dracula, and instantly my day was better. Even if there was nothing new posted, a quick search in the archive brought a smile to my face and helped me forget the day’s difficulties.

    Thanks for all your hard work Matt. I know I certainly appreciate it. Happy Halloween to you, and everyone else in Dinosaur Dracula’s world.

  40. super longtime reader (over a decade, for sure), maybe first time commenter? second time? i can’t remember. anyway, i just want to say that this year’s halloween countdown was fantastic, and i’d like to join in thanking you for everything that you do to keep us entertained!

    remember that, for every person who comments with thanks, there are probably 50 people who feel the same but don’t take the time to comment (like me! well, except for this one time).

    long live dino drac!

  41. My brief flirtation with the worst call center job in the world ate up my October, sadly. I think this year I’m just gonna curl up with Hocus Pocus and the halloween specials of a few cartoons.

  42. Happy Halloween to Matt and everyone! I did have to work, but I got off early enough to walk with our local Halloween parade and have pizza with my dad and his girlfriend and some friends of theirs. I also got to see my 3-year-old nephew trick-or-treating. Not only did he wear a cute dinosaur costume, but so did his father. (I don’t know why my sister didn’t – I guess they couldn’t talk her into it.) I spent a quiet morning watching Halloween specials.

    I like the turnip – I don’t know if I’d be able to carve it myself, but I think the simple face is cute.

  43. Well, that just made my day, which was Halloween, which is awesome. Happy Halloween.

  44. Thank you Matt for all your hard work and making me smile with each new post.

    Happy Halloween in Twenty Thirteen.

  45. Amazing countdown this year! I was checking DinoDrac each day like an advent calendar. Sterling work Matt + Mad Matt

  46. This was the best. I literally had a Dino Drac tab open on my web browser everyday since the countdown launched.

    I’m glad beyond words that this is a thing that exists.

  47. Generic Madball! My Halloween season is now officially complete. Thank you!

  48. Great stuff this year, Matt! Appreciated, as always. Happy (belated) Halloween!

  49. Spooky topics are also already appropriate year-round because Dinosaur Dracula is a Dracula year-round.

  50. Review that big spider on the orange cardboard! Do it! Do it! Do it! Or at least give us a clear picture! I have one right next to me!

  51. Happy late Halloween and thank you Matt for the shootout. You are king.

    I missed the whole damn day traveling for work but I with you guys in spirit.

    Now…the C word.

  52. This Halloween was bittersweet for me. My twin niece and nephew had their first Halloween and I took them trick r’ treating, however; at a family party, someone stole my Remco Dracula Mini-monster figure I got for Christmas when they came out. We use them as decorations now on this haunted house display I built with my mom when I was like, 5 years old. Some folks, man.

  53. Now that’s old-school!

  54. I moved overseas six years ago and haven’t had a real Halloween since. This year, however, managed to be pretty awesome–and it’s all thanks to you. Rock on, Dinosaur Dracula! I owe you!

  55. You did an outstanding job on the countdown this year, Matt, and I appreciate all the effort and work you put into making it so great.

    The Halloween season of 2013 will go down as one of the best Halloween seasons ever. Your move, 2014. Don’t fuck it up.

  56. Hey Matt,

    Happy belated Halloween! I’m no expert, but that looks like a rutabaga rather than a turnip – I could be wrong. We use them fairly interchangeably in North America, but they are different vegetables. I think a turnip might be easier to carve than a rutabaga as the interior has a spongier texture.

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