Best of 2013 - Film

Best Film
The Conjuring
The Conjuring was easily my favorite horror film of the year.  Strange as it's also one I didn't end up reviewing on this website.  The film features both great direction and a great script.  The cast is pretty good too which feels weird saying as I normally really dislike actress Lili Taylor.  With the first viewing I had issues (pertaining to) the crowd in the theater.  It wasn't until the second viewing that really cemented it for me.  This will be considering a "horror classic" a decade or so from now.

Best of 2013 - Collectibles

Best Company
Diamond Select Toys
This was definitely Diamond Select Toys' best year.  The company had their hand in everything from Toys, to banks, to bottle openers.  While the Universal Monster Select action figures weren't the most iconic this year, there was a definite improvement with great improved articulation, sculpt and paint, and accessories.  The new line of banks looked spectacular and they completely impressed me with their retro line.  Let's not forget the Munsters staircase either!  Great job Diamond Select Toys!

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone has an awesome Holiday!  So far I've been pretty lucky, here's a few pictures of the haul (so far) along with a few more I took for fun.

Best of 2013 - Best head explosion of the year!

I'm breaking the rules today as this head shot actually belongs to a film that's smack-dab inside the sci-fi genre.  With that said, this was one of the best gratuitous gore scenes I've seen all year!

Elysium was released August 9th to mixed reviews, I personally loved it, especially this particular part.  I won't name any characters, but this one certainly has a slight spoiler.

Sideshow's Herman Munster Maquette (pre-order)

With the popularity of my last few The Munsters reviews I figured I'd share this bit of news.  Starting next year Sideshow Collectibles will begin releasings 15 inch maquettes of everyone's favorite monster family.  Herman's up first, the rest of the family will soon follow.

Funko Mystery Minis - Horror Classics

Earlier this year Funko released a series of stylized blind box figurines based on the insanely popular The Walking Dead.  Stores around my area had trouble keeping them in stock, though I eventually found a few at a local Hot Topic.  I really dug the look of those little pieces of plastic and was pretty ecstatic when the company revealed plans to give some of the more infamous horror icons a similar treatment.  While the Horror Classics line would be pushed back a good two months, I can happily announce they've finally made their way into stores.

We Wish You A Turtle Christmas

Sure, Billy's charming telephone calls in Black Christmas were certainly unsettling, but as frightening as Bob Clark's Christmas classic is, it doesn't hold a candle to the terrifying POS known as We Wish You A Turtle Christmas.

Horrifying...Simply horrifying.

Massacre Video - Black Devil Doll From Hell Hardboxes

Production Year: 1984
Studio: Massacre Video
Collection Numbers: 1461 & 1462

Massacre Video is (to my knowledge) the only US company that's releasing Hardboxes.  Whether or not you'll appreciate the films really just boils down to personal taste, however one thing that cannot be argued is the quality and hard work put into each release.

Toyland Toys (Child's Play)

It was a cold night 25 years ago when criminal Charles Lee Ray transferred his soul into the body of a Good Guy doll to evade a certain death, thus kicking starting a horror film franchise and saving the spirit of Christmas...Alright, that last part was bullshit.  


Production Year: 1982
Release Date: 12/16/2013
Studio: Arrow Video

From 1970 to 1990 Dario Argento was at the top of his game unleashing classics such as Suspiria, Deep Red, Inferno, and Tenebrae.  A maestro of Italian horror, no one was creating films quite like Argento's; he was in a complete league of his own.

Re-Animator - Capelight 3 disc digibook

Production Year: 1985
Release Date: 09/27/2013
Studio: Capelight
Collection Number: 1452

1985 was such a seminal year for Horror flicks, in fact I think if I were to breakdown and list 20 of my all time favorite films a pretty big chuck would be from that particular year.  Which brings us to Stuart Gordon's Re-Animator, not just one of the finest HP Lovecraft adaptions, but one of the greatest and strangest horror films to come out of the 80's.  While the film has maintained it's strong following throughout the years in my opinion it's still a movie that's very under-appreciated.

DST - The Munsters - Series 2

With the success of the first wave of The Munsters action figures, Diamond Select Toys would continue with a second series which was released this past October  This time around the line was primarily dedicated to the episode Hot Rod Herman, with a figure of Uncle Gilbert being the lone exception.  When I finally got around to opening these guys I was decently impressed with the results, but it wasn't until I got around to building the family's staircase that I was thoroughly convinced that this might be one of the coolest sets of the year.

DST - The Munsters - Series 1

While I've covered a lot of Diamond Select Toys' Universal Monsters products, I've yet to cover any of their awesome action figures based off of The Munsters TV series.  With loads of accessories, great sculpts, and the option to build an electric chair, I figured it was high time I got with the program.  

Toad Road

Production Year: 2012
Release Date: 12/17/2013
Studio: Artsploitation Films

After years of alcoholism and drug abuse James (James Davidson) decides it's time for a change, but before he gets a chance to kick his bad habits he meets Sara (Sara Anne Jones), a young girl who's just starting her journey down roads he no longer wishes to travel.  Taken with her, he begins to introduce Sara to different hallucinatory substances.  Sara is essentially looking for nirvana through hallucinatory trips.

The Whip and the Body

Production Year: 1963
Release Date: 12-17-2013
Studio: Kino
Collection Number: #1436

Kurt Menliff (Christopher Lee) returns to his family's castle after a long absence only to find himself estranged.  That's not to say it's undeserving, Menliff is a ruthless, uncaring, bastard.  While his family feels great contempt for the man, they still take him in.  It's pretty obvious Kurt has returned for a very specific, maniacal reason, but thankfully for his family Lee's character is soon found murdered.

I am Zozo

Production Year: 2012
Release Date: 11-19-2013
Studio: Image Entertainment

I am Zozo centers around 5 friends who decide to spend their Halloween in a secluded cabin because, well, what could go wrong?!  Right off the bat there's no power, rather than call things off they stick it out.  Their next logical step?  A Ouija Board of coarse.  Joking aside, typical horror cliches aren't what's wrong with this film, it's the lack of anything horrifying really taking place that's detrimental to this movie.

The Ghostbusters are coming back to Big Lots *update*

Back in August I reported finding a number of Ghostbusters toys in various Big Lots department stores.  Mattel shipped out a number of products to the local chain ranging from 12 inch GB figures to He-man items.  It was priced to move and by mid September most of the stuff was cleared out.

I'm happy to report that Big Lots is getting more stuff in, as of early November a number of stores started receiving more items from Mattel.  Included in the shipment?  The elusive second 12 inch two pack featuring Winston Zeddemore and Peter Venkman.  I've personally only found the second two pack, but people seem to be finding a ton of new items.

Monster 500 - Zoom Zombie

Toys R Us has thrown their hat into the monster game this holiday season with their exclusive line of souped-up hot rods controlled by a clique of zombies, mutants, and creatures.

The Monster 500 series consists of smaller die-cast cars, electronic cars, and two big playsets.  Today I'll be taking a look at the deluxe Zoom Zombie.

DST - Universal Monsters - Frankenstein and the Creature bust banks

Let me just go ahead and get this out of the way, The Creature From the Black Lagoon bank is probably one of the best things that Diamond Select Toys has done as far as Universal Monsters go.  The detail of the sculpt is just tremendous.  Creauture, Creature, Creature, Creature, Creature!  There, I'm done.  Did I mention that Frankenstein's monster is also in this line? 

DST - Universal Monsters - the Bride and the Wolfman bust banks

These two banks are the last Diamond Select Toys Universal Monster items for the 2013 season.  Sad times, making things even worse are the reports that 2014 will likely be the last year for Diamond's Universal Monster releases.  I'm sure some other company will come around and give us cool things eventually, but I've been a huge fan of what Diamond has done with the license and I'll certainly be sad to see them go.

These terrifying ornaments should make the transition to Christmas less painful!

It's been more than ten days since October's end and I'm still suffering from Halloween withdrawals.  Thankfully, I've got a good bunch of people backing me, one of which sent me over to this etsy.

John Tatarelli Jr mostly specializes in large scale busts and statues, but this Holiday season he's been working on a few smaller scale items as a way to get more affordable products out to fans.  A few weeks back I previewed Hallmark's upcoming Frankenstein and Xenomorph ornaments, while those won't be out until next year, you can get your Christmas tree horror fix through Tatarelli's ornaments immediately.

Diamond Select Toys - Universal Monsters - Retro Series 4

In the 1970's a little company known as MEGO began releasing clothed action figures based on various comic book and movie properties.  With sales steady the line became pretty extensive with numerous characters being released.  While the popularity would decline before the 80's hit, the unmistakable style has since been resurrected thanks to companies like EMCE, Diamond Select Toys, and (eventually) NECA.

This is my first experience with this particular series and I have to say I'm pretty impressed with how they turned out.

Bleeding Skull! A 1980s Trash-Horror Odyssey

I have a confession; I'm a total sucker for horror reference guides.  Yes, I know that a majority of that information can be obtained via the internet, but there's just something cool about digging into one of these books and discovering a new gem.  Take the SOV flick Zombies Invade Pittsburg for instance, a title I'd have likely never heard of if not for the following book.


Production Year: 1922
Release Date: 11-12-2013
Studio: Kino
Collection Number: 1426

Spiraling stair cases, Gothic exteriors, deep menacing shadows, welcome to the world of the German expressionist film.  While there are many fine examples out there, 1922's Nosferatu (F.W. Murnau) is probably the most celebrated.

Roughly adapted from Bram Stoker's Dracula, this film portrays the vampire (Graf Orlok; Max Schreck) as an evil rat-like creature as opposed to the suave Transylvanian most people are familiar with.  If you're reading this you likely already know the famous story. A Realtor named Hutter (Gustav v. Wangenheim) heads to Transylvania to pay a visit to Orlok who's looking to purchase some property.  While the sale goes as planned Hutter winds up prisoner of the count, eventually Orlok makes his way to Hutter's hometown bringing with him a grand plague of death.

Twilight Zone - The Complete Series

Production Year: 1959-1964
Release Date: 11-19-2013
Company: Image Entertainment

How does one properly review a complete television series (156 episodes) without being monotonous?  That's the question.  Twilight Zone is the quintessential science fiction/horror television show, predating classics like Star Trek and Night Gallery.

Not only that, but the number of talented actors involved with the show is just tremendous.  Dennis Hopper, Martin Landau, Telly Savalas, and Robert Duvall and numerous others lent their chops to the show.  So how does one really sum up 156 episodes in just one meager post?

Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence

Production Year: 1993
Release Date: 11/19/2013
Studio: Blue Underground
Collection Number: 1425

After the praise of the first two films a third was simply inevitable.  Maniac Cop 3 begins right where the last one ended, Matt Cordell's casket goes into the ground, but if horror films have taught us one thing it's that something as meager as "death" isn't enough to stop a good antagonist.  While the last few films painted Cordell as an evil, yet somewhat sympathetic character, the third has the officer planted firmly in "bad guy" territory.

Maniac Cop 2

Production Year: 1990
Release Date: 11-19-2013
Studio: Blue Underground
Collection Number: 1424

In 1988 two sultans of cinema sleaze teamed up to create Maniac Cop.  In the film one Detective McCrea (Tom Atkins) must solve a string of murders being committed by a mysterious undead cop.  The flick was met with much success and in 1990 a sequel was released.

The film once again reunited Bill Lustig (director) and Larry Cohen (writer,) along with actors Bruce Campbell, Robert Z'Dar, and Laurene Landon while introducing two new leads, Robert Davi (Det. Sean McKinney) and Claudia Christian (Susan Riley.)