So, here’s something weird. I love Halloween 4 to death, yet the film doesn’t even crack my top 3 from that franchise. I’ve never considered myself nearly the Myers nut that so many of my friends are, but here I am, sweating over whether Halloween 4 beats Halloween H20 or not.
Halloween 4 premiered in 1988, when I was finally old enough to at least be aware of which horror movies were in theaters… even if I rarely had the nerve to actually see them. In a sense, Halloween 4 was “my” Halloween movie — the first one that was still-current when I started paying attention.
I saw it years later, when I was something approximating an adult. I loved the film for many reasons, but this was the biggest: Of all the movies in this franchise, Halloween 4 simply looks the most like the Octobers of my childhood.
This was best exemplified by the drug store sequence. It’s a pretty important scene, where Michael finds his mask and threatens poor little Jamie, all while seventeen subplots converge in the background. If you need a refresher, the whole scene is on YouTube.
“Vincent Drug” was the store, and the filmmakers did such a great job of capturing the spirit a mom-and-pop pharmacy during the Halloween season. Like holy shit, I feel like I’ve BEEN to Vincent Drug. Like I’ve MET Vincent Drug. Like Vincent Drug is a person and not a store, which works nicely considering the name.
Much like the mom-and-pop pharmacies that I grew up near, Vincent Drug spent October littered with Halloween costumes and decorations. Big chain pharmacies went all-in for Halloween too, of course, but they had nothing on the mom-and-pop versions, where the wares were more ragtag and very often fifteen years old.
The longer I studied Vincent Drug, the more I realized that my feelings of familiarity weren’t limited to mere themes. I literally OWNED many of the things in that store, or at least saw them in person.
Below are six real-world spooky treasures hiding inside Vincent Drug: Read More…
There was this guy, Francis Bacon. English philosopher during the tail-end of the 1500s. I don’t know much about Mr. Bacon, but he had one really great quote:
“In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.”
Welcome to Dinosaur Dracula’s 2018 Halloween Countdown.
As has become custom, I’m kicking things off with a way-gory music video. Watch it above, or on YouTube. (And I mean watch it 10 times. Boost my cred.)
Guys, this is it. Our time of year. Our special time when happiness, however fleeting, is just a trip to Target or Starbucks away. People like you and me settle for “surviving” through most of the year. Now we actually get to live.
I used to kick off these Countdowns with half-apologies for starting so early. Not really seeing the need, this year. I feel like most people started celebrating Halloween a month ago, even if only in a kinda/sorta way.
And sure, there will be always be those in the cracks and crevices who call us wicked for doodling skeletons in late August. Pay them no mind. The world is complicated, hard, aggravating and unfair, and if looking at $5 gorilla masks in Rite-Aid helps us forget that for a minute, well, good for us.
In arguably-related news, I put on zombie makeup and reviewed a giant frog:
Madd Matt has returned as part of the 2018 Halloween Countdown. With him are five spooky and/or peculiar items that he can’t wait to gush about. Watch the video above, or in scary-ass huge form on YouTube.
More videos to come, both in and out of the makeup!
If you’re more into reading than watching, FINE, I just published a big new article, too.
Remember the drug store scene from Halloween 4? That place was loaded with real-world Halloween bric-a-brac from the ‘80s. Let’s take a closer look at the scene, and see what we can identify!
I don’t want to sit here throwing thousands of extra words in your faces. By now, I think you know the drill. Dino Drac will be updated as often as possible between now and Halloween, with a mix of articles, videos and at least one sketchy recipe. I’d like to avoid making promises about precise update frequency, but given that I now have over sixty days to work with, I think it’s reasonable to expect a fuckton of stuff.
…still, I would like to take this time to remind everyone exactly why this is such a magical time of year. During the Halloween season, anything and everything can be an adventure. Halloween turns the mundane into the marvelous. (Believe it or not, that actually wasn’t another Francis Bacon quote.)
Everything from channel surfing to grocery shopping becomes so much more during the Halloween season. Your usual BS errands take on an air of wonder. Trips to department stores feel like Disney vacations. Late night movies feel like video game power-ups.
Even the simplest things become major joys during this season. If you’ve never understood the Halloween obsession that so many people around you share, that’s the real reason. It’s a chance to live big when you’re living small.
I hope to illustrate that point ten thousand times between now and October 31st. Thank you for being a part of Dino Drac’s 2018 Halloween Countdown — my sixteenth consecutive year!
Oh, and after you check out the new stuff, drop by Dino Drac After Dark. It’s the site’s halfway-hidden midnight clubhouse, where people watch bad movies and talk about what they had for lunch. Dino Drac After Dark will be updated every night throughout the season!
There’s so much more to come. Some pretty big things, too. Stay tuned, guys. We’re in this together. Let’s make it count…. Dracula.
Ask and you shall receive! Well, not usually, but this time. If you’ve been hankerin’ for a new Purple Stuff, we’re finally ready to deliver:
Yes indeed, we’re kicking off the 2018 Halloween season with our fifth installment of SPOOKY SONGS. This week, me and Jay from The Sexy Armpit select twelve more haunting tracks that should give your Halloween playlist a boost.
There are some *really* deep cuts in this one, including a few songs that arguably aren’t Halloweeny at all. Hey, we’re five rounds deep into this series — it was time to get creative!
The show is also on iTunes, Stitcher and wherever else it should be. (In fact, if you’d be so kind as to review the show on iTunes, we hear it helps!) Read More…
I’m finally ready to unveil Dino Drac’s August Funpack! Really digging this one, guys. Took some odd roads to gather the materials for ‘em, and I’m pretty happy with how things turned out.
AVAILABLE FOR 3 DAYS! UNITED STATES ONLY!
There’s a dash of Halloween in the mix, too, since you will be receiving these just around the time that the 2018 Halloween Countdown gets under way. On that note, being a subscriber now is the only way to guarantee yourself a seat for the September and October Funpacks, which traditionally sell out quick!
…but I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s talk about the August Funpack! It’s basically the evil twin of last month’s box, with more than 10 items that’ll help you close the door on summer and embrace the spooky season in seamless fashion.
Funpack subscriptions are $25 a month (including shipping), and for as long as you remain subscribed, you’ll get a new package of old, cool junk every single month! You can cancel at any time without penalty, of course!
Scroll to the bottom for more info, or keep reading to learn about EVERYTHING you’ll receive in this month’s box! Read More…
Below are five more ancient TV commercials, plucked from my ginormous pile of dusty tapes. May they make you 10% happier for 2.5 minutes.
Child’s Play 3! (1991)
In terms of horror, the Child’s Play franchise was my first love. I was a late bloomer with a weak stomach, but Chucky always did it for me, even back when I was too scared to sample his peers.
The first movie was an early fave, but I was obsessed with Child’s Play 2. I rented it dozens of times, before finally rigging up two VCRs to make a perfectly legal duplicate. (Complete with crude homemade label, of course.)
When Child’s Play 3 premiered in the summer of ‘91, I knew no appropriate parties to take me to see it. Had to wait until it turned up at Blockbuster. I liked the movie well enough, but coming off the high of Christine Elise and a yardstick death scene, it couldn’t maintain the momentum.
Child’s Play 3 still feels like the “lost chapter” of the series. Aside from due props over its way-cool finale set in an amusement park, I rarely see anyone talking about it. If you skipped over this one, it’s worth your time, if only to see Don Mancini’s final attempt to write anything resembling a “conventional” horror movie before going batshit-in-the-best-way. Read More…
I’m here to tell you about the sexiest Pepsi can ever.
That’s it, right there. It was one of the four Pepsi “Cool Cans” released in the summer of 1990. The soda was the same, but the cans were given various pop art makeovers to make them more attractive to younger demos.
Special edition can designs are nothing by today’s standards, but I was in the fifth grade when this hit, and I can confirm that Cool Cans were a very big deal. Especially this one, which was such a dramatic departure from the norm.
We loved that black can, and we loved it even more after discovering its saucy secret: Read More…
Y’all heard the news about Funko’s amazing line of cereals, right?
They all look interesting, but two were of particular interest to me. You can probably guess which!
Yep, we now have officially licensed Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees BREAKFAST CEREALS. I still can’t believe it.
I’ve spent the last few weeks working every angle to be among the first to have them, which involved many pestering phone calls and way too much money. Hey, this is a special occasion!
Happy to report that my persistence paid off. Here’s my video review of these multigrain miracles:
If you’re interested in the Freddy and Jason cereals, they’re exclusively sold at FYE. (Both in-store and online.) Funko’s other cereals are sold through different outlets, so like, don’t expect to find Mega Man cereal at FYE.
I’ve never been a big Funko nut, but I know greatness when I see it. These are an absolute treasure. Great box designs, good-enough cereal and cute little toys to boot! They’re not exactly “cheap” at $13 a box, but let’s be real: Had these been SDCC exclusives, we would’ve paid double and been happy to do it. Read More…