“Ma, I don’t want to grow up.”
That was me in 1987. No, I wasn’t quoting the Toys “R” Us commercials.
One night, my parents were out of town — Atlantic City, no doubt — and I was left in my sister’s charge. As was usually the case, she only “babysat” me in quotes. She made sure I ate and made sure I wasn’t on fire, but beyond that, it was a you-do-your-thing situation.
If I’ve done my math right, I was eight and she was sixteen. That night, she had a few friends over. Three girls and two guys, as I recall. While I often tried to obnoxiously integrate myself into her soirees, those guys were loud and tall. One of them wore a leather jacket. I was too intimidated to get close. I’m sure my sister didn’t mind.
It was the typical teenage get-together, with them watching movies while devouring pizza. I hid out in my bedroom, which was fine by me, because my parents weren’t there and thus couldn’t stop me from running off with all of the junk food. (I have a distinct memory of eating a big bag of Ruffles chips, which I did in Classic Matt fashion: I’d put each one into my mouth sideways, and use my chipmunk teeth to break it down, ridge by ridge.)
Eventually, my curiosity got the better of me. What was all the hooting and hollering about? I tiptoed out of the bedroom and down the wood-paneled hallway, to peer into our living room.
I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
More specifically, I couldn’t believe what THEY were seeing.
It was a scene from The Toxic Avenger, though I didn’t know that at the time. It was the sickest and most disturbing thing I’d ever seen in a movie, at least up until that point. (Even today, I’d still put it somewhere on the list.) Read More…
It’s pumpkin season! If you don’t have one already, surely it’s on your radar. So I’m here to make a preemptive pitch:
When you carve that sucker, DO NOT throw away the seeds. Instead, roast those mofos. Roasted pumpkin seeds are fantastic, and with a bit of extra work, you can make them so incredibly delicious that you will NEVER toss the seeds again.
Beautiful, aren’t they? You’ll be amazed at how easy they are to prepare, and how much better they taste than the ones from the store. In fact, the beauty of pumpkin seeds is that you can make them taste like whatever you want them to taste like. Sweet, salty, spicy, whatever. They are blank canvases, waiting to be primed with oil and painted with spices.
I picked up this trick from my late father, who was a total pumpkin seed hound. He made several batches every October. When I was a small child, I assumed they just tasted like pumpkins and stayed far away from his annual trays — even if I still quietly appreciated the tradition. Eventually, I discovered that they’re basically just mutant sunflower seeds.
Tl;dr: You don’t need to enjoy the taste of pumpkins to adore the seeds. Don’t be afraid!
Here’s what to do: Read More…
In case you couldn’t tell by the dead leaves, the chilly weather and all of the Santa Claus stuff at Dollar Tree, it is now OCTOBER. The greatest month of the year. Time for me to celebrate with two pounds of zombie makeup:
Madd Matt returns to the Halloween Countdown with another bag of SPOOKY GARBAGE.
Spend an eerie eight minutes watching me talk about disembodied hands, bright blue pumpkins and what the package clearly described as a “horror robe.”
Oh, and there’s also a bit about an old McDonald’s menu sign. You’ll probably be most interested in that.
Gorgeous, isn’t it? I just had to splurge. Been after one of these for years. May even order a custom frame. (I mean, I won’t, but I’ll at least think about it.)
Enjoy the video! Felt good to get back on the saddle. The very weird saddle.
Happy October! As is tradition, I’m starting the month with another Halloween Mood Table. This year’s edition is a little different, though. It’s more of a Mood House.
Instead of the usual assortment of decorations, candies, books and bric-a-brac, I threw a dollhouse on top of a tiny table. It may not be as robust as some of my prior Mood Tables, but this baby has a story to tell.
You see, this is Dino Drac’s house, and he’s throwing a Halloween party. Read More…
Get set for the 24th edition of Classic Creepy Commercials, where I rescue ads from wheezing VHS tapes and willfully ignore the too-scratchy audio.
This is the third volume posted during the 2019 Halloween Countdown, which is pretty nuts considering that I wasn’t sure I’d even find enough ads for one volume. If you missed the previous two, they’re here and here.
Creep Phone, Starring YOU! (1988)
Using footage from 1986’s Troll was so brilliant. The target demo for this hotline probably never saw that movie, so kids might’ve taken it as custom footage, which made Creep Phone seem like a much bigger production than it was.
The notable thing about this particular Creep Phone commercial was the pitch for YOU to lend YOUR voice to a future Creep Phone recording. I’m guessing that was a scam and a half. You likely had to wait for the entire Creep Phone message to complete to get to their answering machine, and then call back another ten times to see if the lousy monsters actually used your recording.
And you would’ve, too. Picture it! Millions of people hearing YOU say “grrr I’m gonna eat your foot” in a prepubescent Dracula voice. Read More…