FEARtober (FEARnet swag!)

If you're on this site you've heard of FEARnet.  But have you heard about FEARtober!?  Starting October 1st FEARnet kicks off the holiday with a month long assault of horror films, downloads, and giveaways leading up to a 24 hour Trick 'R Treat marathon on Halloween.
To help with promotion the folks over at FEARnet HQ were nice enough to send me this!
There's a few ways you can get in on the action, check with your local cable provider to see about getting FEARnet.  For a full list of providers and channels click here.  If that doesn't work you can always view a number of films from their website.  

Halloween Sightings - The Basement 09/27/13


Ah, the first consignment store of the season.  I was a bit worried when I'd heard about this place thinking the prices might be a bit too high for my liking, thankfully I was wrong.  I have to say this is probably one of the cooler stores I've been to this season.  They had a wide range of decorations from tradition to just plain weird.  I dug it.  Cassette tapes, devil clocks, magazines with Charlie Manson's face splashed across the cover.  Yeah, The Basement had all of their bases covered for the season.


Halloween Sightings - Home Goods 9-29-13


This morning Oklahoma's first HomeGoods store had it's grand opening.  "Sure, I'll go, why not?"  I said, thinking that it wouldn't be any big deal...I mean really, who's going to get up at 8 am to wait outside of some new department store (other than me, of course.) Well to put it lightly, I guess I really underestimated the older-female population of Norman, Oklahoma.  When I say I was the only guy in a crowd of about 100 women, I'm not exaggerating.  These older ladies are cutthroat too.  Think Black Friday meets a bingo hall.


While the crowd really hindered my photo-taking abilities, I did manage to snap a few pics.  I hope you appreciate them as in taking them I received some of the most God awful looks.  To be fair I probably would have received the awkward glances without taking the photos, but I'm sure it didn't help matters.

The Devil Bat

Production Year: 1940
Release Date: 917/2013
Studio: Kino
Collection Number: 1355

By the 1940's Bela Lugosi was practically royalty thanks to his work with Universal Studios.  It was a double edged sword for the actor however, as with fame also came typecasting.  His performance in Dracula (1931) was so renowned that it lead to a slew of roles, some grand (The Raven,) while others not so much (The Ape Man.)  In The Devil Bat Lugosi plays one Dr. Carruthers, a scientist bitter after his employers find success thanks to his hard work.

DST - Universal Monsters Select Series 4 - The Hunchback of Notre Dame

It's almost October and you know what that means, Diamond Select Toys will soon be unleashing a new series of Universal Monsters into unsuspecting stores nationwide.  This series sees the release of two famous characters portrayed by two of the most notorious actors to ever grace the silver screen, The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Lon Chaney Sr.) and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Boris Karloff; Abbott and Costello Meet...)


While I do not have Dr. Jekyll in front of me, I do have Quasimodo, and if Jekyll is of half the quality of 'Modo than it's safe to say that we're in for a  real treat!

V/H/S/2 (DVD)

Production Year: 2013
Release Date: 09/24/13
Studio: Magnet
Collection Number: 1375

A few months back I had the pleasure of watching V/H/S/2 and I really dug it.  Now the folks over at Magnet are gearing up for the inevitable home video release and were kind enough to send over a DVD.  Upon my second viewing my thoughts haven't changed much.  Like the first film it suffers from having one pretty weak entry, but it saved by having a handful of great ones.   If you're interested in reading my initial review, check it out below.


Halloween - 35th Anniversary Edition

Production Year: 1978
Release Date: 09/24/2013
Studio: Anchor Bay
Collection Number: 1363

It just seems so redundant to give John Carpenter's Halloween a written summary.  It's the quintessential horror film.  Even if you're one of the few who haven't seen the film (what's your excuse!?)  I'm sure you've heard enough about the movie to give me a pretty detailed play by play.  Redundant or not, I guess I'll stick to the ol' review formula.  On Hallows' Eve in 1963 Judith Myers is brutally stabbed to death by her younger brother Michael.  The six year old boy is institutionalized, only to escape 15 years later to return to the town where it all started, Haddonfield.  Myers' psychiatrist, one Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) warned this day would come, and in very typical horror fashion his advice fell on deaf ears.


McFarlane Toys - TWD Series 4 - Riot Gear Zombies

As much as I love AMC's The Walking Dead it's still not enough to make me commit to some of the line's human figures.  The zombies though, well that's another story.  I'm extremely happy to announce that zombies of the toy line's fourth wave came out looking beautiful...Well, maybe I'm being a bit fervent.  Beautiful is probably not the best adjective to use when describing these guys, but take my word for it, they look great!

2013's Halloween gift guide


It seems like every September our favorite companies begin pumpin' out horror-themed goodies for carnivorous fans to quickly devour.  Below you'll find a list that's sure to make your wallet cry.




NECA - A Nightmare on Elm Street Series 4 - The Springwood Slasher
Neca's newest ANOES assortment consists of two figures, but in my honest opinion there's only one worth your hard earned cash and that's "The Springwood Slasher," a pre-burnt Freddy Krueger with an amazing Robert England Likeness.  Hands down one of the best sculpts the company has put out in a while.



Cannibal Review's Halloween mixtape!

It's the first day of Fall so sit back, read the latest issue of Horrorhound, and listen to our 2013 Halloween mixtape.  If this doesn't get you in the mood for candied apples, dead leaves, and scared/crying children I don't know what will.


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Crystal Lake Memories

Production Year: 2013
Release Date: 09/13/2013
Studio: 1428 Films
Collection Number: 1368

I was lucky enough to score a signed copy of the documentary from Dark Delicacies, it's signed by a number of cast members and also includes a bonus disc full of extended/cut interviews.

Below is a video review I filmed this afternoon, enjoy!



http://www.crystallakememories.net/

"Claw grabber" arcade games are about to get a whole lot cooler this Halloween

The company "The Toy Factory" supplies claw machines and midway games with stuffed animals across the nation. Recently it was brought to my attention that they have picked up a number of horror properties and plan on giving a few horror icons the plush treatment this Halloween season.


Cannibal Holocaust: Should it be revered or reviled?


Recently one of my favorite facebook groups asked for participants in an essay contest regarding Cannibal Holocaust.  The two topics?  "Cannibal Holocaust should be revered because," and "Cannibal Holocaust should be reviled because."  While scraping my brain in a response I was reminded of my first experience with Ruggero Deodato's cult epic, which also happened to be through piracy.  I realize that may take away some of my 'horror cred,' but it is what it is.  In my defense this was way before Grindhouse Releasing would go on to give fans multiple editions of the notorious film.  This was back in the days of 56k and Kazaa.  It literally took me 2 weeks to download the film but honestly, it was worth every second.

Aberration

Production Year: 2013
Release Date: 09/17/2013

Aberration
ab·er·ra·tion noun \ˌa-bə-ˈrā-shən\ : something (such as a problem or a type of behavior) that is unusual or unexpected

Christy Dawson (Gwendolyn Garver) could be an average high school student if it wasn't for her horrible visions.  Occasionally the ghost of a young boy will appear to her.  The ghastly warnings are painting a pretty grim picture, and things quickly worsen once her fellow classmates begin to get picked off one by one.  Things really begin to spiral out of control when she and her friend Kyle (Kristian Capalik) decide to investigate a crime scene and quickly go from students to suspects.

$4 Shriek Show blu-rays @ Fry's!


For a limited time Fry's Electronics is having a sale on a majority of their Shriek Show blu-rays.  Sadly, this sale only pertains to their B&M stores and has yet to carry over to their website.  

Halloween Sightings: Target 11/17/13

Target has been really slacking off when compared to the other department stores, it took us three different locations before we were able to find one that had a majority of their product out.

My Spooky Town display for 2013 (Spooky Town Project: Part III)

I tried to hold off setting up the town for as long as possible...I made it to September 12th.  Not horrible considering when the 12th hit we here in the USA only had ten days left until the Fall season.  I've decided to treat Spooky Town much like you would a Christmas tree, a yearly tradition rooted in a specific season.  I figure only having it out for a few months will always keep it fresh.  Every year I plan on buying a few more pieces and building onto the town.  Eventually when the technology advances I'll be able to shrink myself down to "HO" scale and inhabit the city I've built.  Yeah, I dream big.

video

If the video didn't overload your senses, I've also got a handful of pictures!


Blood Thirst / The Thirsty Dead

Production Year: 1971 / 1974
Release Date: 09/10/13
Studio: Vinegar Syndrome
Collection Number: 1173

In a remote part of the Philippines women are being picked off one by one, each drained of their precious blood.  Miguel Ramos (Vic Diaz) is having issues solving the case so he enlists the help of expert Adam Rourke (Robert Winston,) a dashing butt-chinned American detective.  Together the two hatch a plan to solve the case, Adam decides to pose as a journalist intrigued by the case of the missing women.  Visiting the victims's former place of work, The Barrio Club, he plans on gathering clues as to the murderer's identity.  Little does he know however, that the mysterious murders are not being carried out by a simple man, but a deformed monster (with a striking resemblance to our beloved Toxic Avenger.)


Rest In Pieces Mausoleum Spooky Town video review


I was lucky enough to pick this set up for $20, Spooky Town has always catered to the horror and Halloween loving crowd, but never has their inspiration been so blatant.  The "Rest in Pieces Mausoleum" features a tall, balding, white haired man in a suit that emerges from the front doors.  All that's missing is a small silver sphere.  Anyhow, hope everyone enjoys this short review video!

Mezco's Mega scale Chucky!

The folks over at Mezco were kind enough to send me dozens of pictures featuring their upcoming 15 inch Chuck figure!  It's part of their "Mega Scale" line and features multiple points of articulation, Chucky's Good Guys signature outfit, knife, and actual metal staples in his head!

The winner of the Mad Monster Party contest has been chosen!

Congratulations Bill Desmond!

If you haven't liked the facebook page yet be sure to head on over, there will be another contest up soon!

The ABC's of Friday the 13th!

A few weeks back I began reaching out to fellow horror geeks in an attempt to create this list.  While it was a bit arduous the list is complete and I'm pretty happy with outcome.  I realize Friday the 13th happens a few times every year, but with Warner Bros releasing the complete collection on blu-ray today along with numerous other horror blogs getting in on the action, it would just feel wrong to not do something special.  I want to thank everyone who suggested a word or a phrase, if yours didn't show up it was certainly nothing personal, I've just been in a huge rush trying to get this finished and I do fear a few submissions might have fell through the cracks.  

So without further ado...

Alice was the first person to make it to the credits in any Friday the 13th film.  I'm sure actress Adrienne King had no idea what she was getting herself into at the time, while Friday the 13th wasn't the first slasher film it's notoriety and her character's popularity still live on to this day.  Congrats Adrienne, you were one of the first "survivor girls!"

Halloween Sightings: Garden Ridge 09/11/13

If you're lucky enough to have a Garden Ridge in your area I'd implore you to go there immediately.  They have a large selection of Halloween items that are surprisingly moderately priced.  Some of the hanging decorations you'll see in the following photos start at $5.99.  If you're looking to stock up, Garden Ridge should be at the top of your list.

Death Force / Vampire Hookers

Production Year: 1978 / 1978
Release Date: 09/10/2013
Studio: Vinegar Syndrome
Collection Number: 174

It's been a busy year for Vinegar Syndrome, when they're not pushing out double features they're rewarding eager fans with films thought to be long gone.  Death Force / Vampire Hookers is their most recent Drive-in Double Feature release; a double bill featuring two films from director Cirio H. Santiago.  First up is Death Force, a mish-mash of kung-fu and vigilante justice with a dash of blaxploitation thrown in for good measure.  Doug Russell (James Iglehart) and his two partners (McGee; Leon Kennedy and Morelli; Carmen Argenziano) have just made a pretty big score overseas.  Things seem to be going pretty good for Russell when his two friends get greedy and decide to take him out.  Butchered and left at sea Russell's nearly lifeless body washes up on an island inhabited by two abandoned Samurai soldiers.

The Lords of Salem (blu-ray)

Production Year: 2013
Release Date: 03/03/13
Studio: Anchor Bay
Collection Number: 1174

I caught Zombie's latest effort back in April when it was originally released.  While I thought it was better than his last two films, I still had a few issues with it.  Below is a small excerpt from my previous review.
"Even though I did not care for his last two outings I've always felt Rob Zombie was a good director.  Halloween and (especially) Halloween 2 suffered in the dialogue department while the latter just had a bit of an inane story.  Visually though, the guy know's what he's doing and occasionally he does pump out a very good movie (Devil's Rejects, anyone?)  When the first trailer for his newest effort was revealed I was a bit surprised, while it certainly featured some of the insanity the guy is known for the preview seemed to show a different style.  Gone were some of his more hectic filming techniques seemingly replaced by a much more composed style.  Read More.

Wither

Production Year: 2012
Release Date: 08/20/2012
Studio: Artsploitation Films
Collection Number: 1304

Wither is Sweden's answer to The Evil Dead, a film about a group of friends having a nice weekend retreat in an isolated cabin who eventually have to deal with possession and dismemberment.  I'd probably have to use both of my hands and one foot if I were to count all of The Evil Dead homages I've seen in recent years, thankfully this film is leading the pack as far as quality goes.

The friends are a bit on the cliched side, you've got your sweet innocent couple, smart-ass younger brother, a clueless tag-along buddy, and a few hopeless females.  Much like Raimi's 1981 horror opus, the bad things start in the cellar.  This time around one of those hopeless females I referred to earlier manages to find her way down into the creepy earth floor cellar.  I know exactly what some of you are thinking but I must interject, without awful, stupid decisions a lot of our favorite horror flicks would be mighty boring.  So yes, this dumb decision causes this poor girl to become 'infected,' thus kick starting the carnage.

Halloween Sightings: Spirit Halloween 09/03/2013

It seems like every town has a Spirit Halloween.  While I can attest that some of their animatronics are poorly made, it's still a lot of fun walking around the store.


This year Spirit decided to call an old Hollywood Video it's home.  While this location is a lot smaller than the one they normally inhabit, I really dug the change.  Things were a bit crammed, but the space was used well with nearly every inch of the store covered in product.