Dino Drac’s 2023 Daily Halloween Thing!

Welcome to Dino Drac’s Daily Halloween Thing! The 2023 edition! Check back every day from now through 10/31 for a haunted hodgepodge of spooky reviews, memories and more.

Tuesday, October 31st:

Happy Halloween, everyone! Yeah, on a Tuesday! I know that isn’t optimal, but I hope you’re still managing to squeeze some last spooky drops out of the season.

I realized earlier that Halloween the Cat hasn’t appeared on the site all season, so it’s only fitting that he gets to close out this year’s tiny-sized Halloween Countdown.

(His new thing is begging for me to bring him outside to sit for a few minutes. He has no interest in wandering around, and with his condition, I wouldn’t be able to let him, anyway. He just wants to observe the world, and swipe a few treats on the way back.)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this year’s Countdown, however small it was. It was an interesting experience, as I barely even mentioned these updates on social media. It was really just for you old schoolers, and in many ways it was nice to remove the usual pressure to make everything “link-worthy.”

Gotta thank everyone who’s been commenting along the way, too, whether on this page, or in the Spooky Foods Graveyard, or on After Dark. I can’t even remember the last time I checked my traffic, so comments are really the only “metric” I have to know that people are reading at all!

I do plan to run a similar diary feature for the holiday season, though I haven’t decided exactly how that will look, or what the frequency will be. But yes, expect something! In the meantime, you probably know my socials, but if not, look for me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter/X, and Bluesky.

I’m going to throw on Halloween III and try to resist these leftover packages of Sour Patch Kids. Happy Halloween to us all, and may the Harry & David catalogs land in our mailboxes tomorrow afternoon. Love ya.

Monday, October 30th:

Hide your eggs, it’s Mischief Night! We’re hours from Halloween as I type this, and it’s time to take stock. How did you feel about the 2023 season? Highlights? Lowlights?

I’ll keep it real. It’s been a pretty “ehhh” season for me, but I kinda knew that it would be, even before it started. Seems like the majority of folks I’ve spoken to feel the same way, so I guess there was just something in the air this year. It happens!

That doesn’t mean it was all bad, or even half-bad. Actually, it was weirdly nice to have such a low-key season. There was really never a time when I worried that I wasn’t doing enough spooky things, nor did I lose sleep if I missed a certain item, promotion or event. I just kinda hid in the back, watched some horror movies and plowed through my pumpkin candles.

It was quiet and different. I don’t think I’d want that every year, but in 2023, it felt right.

On a related note, we just posted this month’s Purple Stuff bonus show over on Patreon, where we’re hosting The 2023 Halloween Season Awards – a chance to hand trophies out to the best things these past few months had to offer.

If you had to choose, what was your favorite thing about Halloween ‘23?

Sunday, October 29th:

A lifetime ago (okay, it was 2019), I posted my father’s old recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds. It’s become a reader favorite over the years, and this is one time where I’ll accept the kudos, because I know that recipe rocks, and I’m positive that it can turn anyone into a pumpkin seed fan.

I’m bringing it up because a whole bunch of people sent in photos after following the recipe this season, which warms my heart and makes me really, really wish that I’d remembered to buy a pumpkin. Yeah, it’s been that kind of year, ha.

ANYWAY, I know some folks wait until the very last minute to carve their jack-o’-lanterns, so if that’s you, don’t chuck the seeds. You’re not gonna believe how good they taste after you pour a gallon of oil and half of your spice rack over them.

Saturday, October 28th:

Did you know that there was a Fright Night computer game? Released for Amiga computers in 1988, the cool twist was that you got to play as Chris Sarandon’s character, Jerry Dandridge. The vampire!

And it’s not like they reworked the story to make him the hero, either. The (admittedly repetitive) gameplay had you guiding Jerry around a mansion looking for victims to feed on. You’d enter rooms, march up to people and bite their necks. That was pretty much the entire game.

Fright Night has some, erm, graphic graphics. There’s a room strewn with bloodied body parts, Chiller-style. There are floating lady monsters with exposed nipples. Wild stuff to see, especially from a game released in ‘88!

Here’s a playthrough of the game. Dig that funky music – I may have to add a track or two to the Halloween Jukebox next year.

Friday, October 27th:

Sad to hear about Richard Moll’s passing today, at the age of 80. Best known as Bull from Night Court, he was in a million other things, and also was an insanely accomplished voice actor. (Two-Face from Batman: TAS!)

Dude brought the smiles wherever he went, but to keep things on-brand for a Halloween blog, I’d like to champion one of his darker performances. Moll played Big Ben in the 1986 horror-comedy, House, a longtime favorite of mine. (If you don’t remember if you’ve seen it or not, it’s the movie where the mounted marlin comes alive, Billy Bass-style.)

Moll plays a dead Vietnam vet who returns as a monstrous zombie, seeking revenge on the soldier he blames for being captured. House is a complicated movie that blends seriously dark themes with some pretty goofy haunted tomfoolery. It works, and Moll was a big reason why.

Thursday, October 26th:

Pretty much everyone knows Mr. Boogedy by now, but far fewer remember how it premiered – as part of ABC’s Disney Sunday Movie, in April of 1986.

Disney had had umpteen versions of that “show,” spanning literal decades. From ‘86 to ‘88, though, it was simply The Disney Sunday Movie, which ran on ABC at 8PM sharp. This was appointment TV, especially since it was where several theatrical releases had their broadcast premieres.

Of course, Mr. Boogedy was made for television, so this April ‘87 airing counted as its WORLD premiere. That’s a big reason why the film is so nostalgic for some folks. Imagine being a kid in 1986, seeing that classic Disney intro, and then getting hit with a green monster who shot toxic Force Lightning. It had to leave an impression!

(PS: If you’ve never seen Mr. Boogedy, it’s on Disney+.)