Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The 2018 HorrorMovieBBQ Podcast: Thanksgiving Spectacular!

The 2018 HorrorMovieBBQ Thanksgiving Spectacular is here and boy was it a lot of fun to do!


Joining me today is my pal Jayme K aka BrainExploderrr joins me for a fun discussion about our favorite Thanksgiving tv specials, sitcom episodes, The Macy's Parade, Charlie Brown vs. Garfield, who are the major Thanksgiving icons and even pro wrestling moments!

As always, going off topic is encouraged and boy do we ever go off topic! The podcast starts off with a fun chat about the Halloween/Burger King burgers, Jayme's fantastic creations, My Pet Monster and so much more!

Enjoy! :)


powered by podcast garden

-Chad

Sunday, November 18, 2018

6 Great Things About Survivor Series 1991!

No matter how old I get, I always look back with fondness on certain wrestling events. Especially when it comes to certain seasons. Winter? I get nostalgic about Royal Rumble. Summer? Well, obviously Summerslam. Spring? You best believe I'm sitting back and waxing nostalgic about Wrestlemania's of the past with friends! But Thanksgiving holds a special place in my heart for wrestling just as much as it does the parade because as a kid, I could spend Thanksgiving night(or sometimes Thanksgiving eve) with my favorite pro wrestlers and soak in the madness that was The Survivor Series. And none got me more hyped than the 1991 Survivor Series event!



Photo Credit: CrazyMax


A little background before I continue. This was the FIRST Survivor Series to not take place on Thanksgiving Night but on Thanksgiving eve. Which works just as well. Still plenty of time to discuss the events at the big dinner table the next night. Of course, at that time, I would've rather had wrestling than football, but that's me. I'm selfish. Now though? I love seeing it take place Thanksgiving week. It still feels right.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Cringerale Love!



There aren't a lot of thing I expect to be apart of my Thanksgiving meal or else it could ruin my day. Stuffing, cranberry sauce and biscuits are three of my demands. If my plate doesn't have at least those three components, you don't want to be around me the rest of the day. I will sit by myself and eyeball you while you eat your food and make you feel as uncomfortable as possible. Of course, that's on the plate, but what about the side? Even with the most mediocre plate, there still is a way to salvage your evening plans. You're thinking "pumpkin pie, right?". Good call, but I'm talking about something that should be considered the official drink of Thanksgiving. A drink as old as time that has always found it's way to the table that I lovingly refer to as CRINGERALE!



Some prefer it with 7-Up, Sprite, Sierra Mist, heck even Mountain Dew(I've seen it), but for me, it's not Tgiving without some Cringerale. Whether it was you at the kids table, all the adults in a cigarette smoke filled dining room arguing about politics, your grandparents on the sofa, or your brother trying to look cool in the kitchen while reading a hot rod magazine, someone had at least 4 glasses filled with cranberry infused ginger ale throughout the night in my household. Homemade in a punchbowl is usually the way I took it. Oh how I remember that giant punchbowl filled with ginger ale and cranberry juice while watching adults drink booze while watching a football game, with me and my cousins would be drinking some delicious pinkish soda and thinking I belonged in the room.

How I really looked like every Thanksgiving.


For years, Canada Dry have taken it upon themselves to offer a more straight forward approach for those in a hurry. Offering both flavors in one bottle. But this year? They went all out with their design.

My goodness, I cannot drive home how amazing this bottle is. Look at it. A maroon colored Christmas sweater design! So festive! A delightful design that should pop out and scream CHRISTMAS but As far as I'm concerned, it may as well be a turkey considering how early it's being released and how close it is to our most gobble-licious holiday but a snowman is just as good. But no matter how you may perceive this, it's a beautiful looking bottle!

The drink itself is delicious. Now, like I said, I prefer my cringerale to come from a lukewarm punchbowl with minimal ice cubes, but this is just as good if not better. One sip of it sends me back to the days of my youth, where Thanksgiving meant just being there and trying to keep up with everyone else and provide my thoughts on wrestling and music. Imagine me with a corncob pipe in one hand and a glass of cringerale in the other while discussing the previous night's Survivor Series main event. Hulk Hogan vs. The Undertaker was quite the topic of conversation in my family and I was there for it. And so was Cringerale.




My only complaint is it isn't as red as I'd wish. It's a bit on the pink side. But that's such a minor qualm for such an important role in the Thanksgiving puzzle. Don't let a Jem and The Holograms colored drink drive you away. In fact, that should be another reason why this should be the first thing you wanna drink.



Of course, punchbowl cringerale isn't for everyone, some may like this even more. Making Thanksgiving is all about your comfort level. So if you're in the mood for something super carbonated, try Canada Dry's offerings. Either way, you can't lose!


-Chad

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Carvel Turkey Cake!



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No. Not at my table it wouldn't, Moss. In fact, I'd encourage it because what better dessert to start off this countdown with than THE CARVEL TURKEY CAKE?!?!?


Monday, November 5, 2018

The Thanksgiving Celebration Kickoff Featuring the WWF Superstars!

Ahhh, it's that time of year! That amazing time of year where things go from spooky and orange to chilly and brown in the matter of just a few days. Still in the shadow of Halloween and still far enough from Christmas, Thanksgiving is just a mere two and half weeks away and it's time to kick those post-Halloween blues aside and soak up all the great things we can in this very brief time period. Besides, as soon as Thanksgiving dinner is over, you're gonna be thinking about Christmas. That's where the real stress begins. Don't believe me? Look at your credit card summary and just think of parking at the mall. But, that's ok. Just part of the Christmas season. You take the good with the bad. Mrs Garrett taught us that a long time ago and it still stands true to every part of our lives. But we'll worry about that bridge once we cross it.

The Ultimate Thanksgiving Mood (from last years review of Garfield's Thanksgiving)


But before your blood pressure goes up thinking about squeezing too much into December, let's just lay back, relax and enjoy what we have in front of us: the glorious Thanksgiving Celebration! Unlike, previous theme projects I've done, this one will be a real tasty treat. Yes, I'm fully aware I say that all the time, but actions speak louder than words and boy oh boy, is there a lot of action on my table these next few weeks! And what better way to kick this off than with a trip back to 1994 to revisit one of my most cherished memories of being both a Thanksgiving fan and a WWF fan? Yes, I'm gonna take you back to a time when wrestling was at one of it's lowest points, 1994. The WCW had just acquired Hulk Hogan in an attempt to boost it's name and it's biggest rival, the WWF had relied heavily on younger talent to boost it's brand. Sadly, wrestling wasn't as hip as it once was years before. But that didn't stop Vince McMahon from trying to make it relevant again. He'd throw his wrestlers at whatever venue he could to make his company bounce back from the crazy steroid trial they had been going through. Talk shows, sitcoms, whatever they could to get positive press, they would gladly sign up for. And one of my favorites? THE MACYS THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE!!!

(Apologies in advanced. The only source is a video on youtube and even then, it's super low quality.)


Ohhhh...I remember this bright as day. I believe it was announced on the Survivor Series(one of the companies biggest PPV's of the year) the night before that the best of the best would be appearing at the Parade. Heck, I was already gonna tune in to the parade but to know some of my favorites would be there? Just adds fuel to the fire, brother. Now what stands out to me now, is that show took place in Texas. Which means the wrestlers had to get on a flight pretty early to get to NYC to make this float happen. I'm guessing no sleep was on the menu for these guys that evening and the last thing they wanted to do was spend Thanksgiving morning on a float waving and acting like they loved their job. But, with the exception of one guy, they all made it work!




So, it starts off simple enough. A pre-float dance by a cheerleading troupe about driving safety kicks things off. Rather unassuming and innocent enough for a family friendly show. That is until we hear the immortal words of Mean Gene Okerlund. "WHO WILL SURVIVE?". Wrestling fans know exactly where I'm going with this...of all the songs to pick to play during a giant presentation in front of millions upon millions of people watching, why wouldn't it be THIS:





Yup. The very 1993 sounding "hit" song "Wrestlemania" by the WWF Superstars begins to play to introduce our most likely freezing cold heroes: Razor Ramon (or as Willard Scott calls him "Ray-zor Ray-mone") Paul Bearer, The Undertaker, Lex Luger, Davey Boy Smith, and Doink and Dink all come rolling down 34th street like a cannonball ready to greet the fans. Still remaining in character, it's clear the the stars and most energetic of the bunch were Doink, Paul Bearer and the Bad Guy, Razor Ramon. I'm guessing either that's a testament to their talent or the coffee in catering at Macy's was downright superb.



The float itself wasn't really anything to write about, as it was just a few NYC landmarks, what seems to be a hockey player, some sports imagery and a giant apple. Sure, you'd expect more, but hey, it's not every year we saw Razor showing off his Intercontinental title on the most beloved parade!


The hardest one to catch was The Undertaker since he kinda just stood in the back by himself, which made sense as his gimmick was that of an undead loner, mortician. He just kinda stood there in a long coat, which I'm sure in that weather, he had no issue doing. But sure enough, there he is! I know, it's kinda hard to miss a 6'7 ginger in a trenchcoat and a wide brim hat, but hey they hid him well.



They didn't really do a lot on this float other than wave and act bored, especially Luger who clearly did not want to be there that morning, but it still was cool enough to make me excited as a young fan. WWF didn't pop up much, but when they did, I was always ready to soak it in. And while I sat on a couch in my mom's time share in the Outer Banks, I was soaking it all in. It was enough to make me race in the other room where my mom was reading (most likely wanting some peace and quiet) and I screamed DID YOU SEE IT? DID YOU SEE RAZOR RAMON? DID YOU SEE THE UNDERTAKER? THAT WAS SO COOL! If I recall she just nodded and said "yeah, they looked great!" or something and went back to her book. My mom knew wrestling meant so much to me, but sometimes she had to humor me to shut me up. Moms are smart like that. They won't hurt your feelings but they won't lead you on to how much they don't care.


Photo Credit: Jr's BBQ

The WWF would participate in later parades with much more elaborate floats. The one I remember the most was 2001 and 2002 when they had a ring float, commentators table, a giant screen and several superstars waving. A big highlight is when some reffered to Jerry The King Lawler as Jerry The RING Lawler, unbeknownst to the King. I'm sure he had a good laugh over that one after he heard about it. The later floats looked great and more high tech, don't get me wrong but nothing is as special to me as the 1994 float. Besides, the later floats didn't feature that insanely ridiculous Wrestlemania song now did they?



For the record, every year since 1994, I've held out hope they'd return for another float. Maybe this year? Who knows? Maybe we'll finally be able to see John Cena as he elbow drops a Snoopy Balloon or even see Matt Hardy and Vanguard 1 welcome the viewers to the Hardy Compound Float? How DELIGHTFUL!

For a fun flashback, you can read my review of the amazing 1989 Joker float from last year's Thanksgiving Celebration here.

-Chad

Friday, October 12, 2018

Why Exorcist 2 Isn't So Bad Afterall!




Exorcist 2 gets a rap for being a less than stellar sequel as well as one of the worst movies of all time, which compared to the original, legendary Exorcist, I understand as to why. An over the top, crazy movie featuring multiple stories as to how the events in the previous movie still plague multiple people makes for an interesting story. Unfortunately too much packed into the movie made it for a rather unfortunate experience. Now I will say, I'm always intrigued by the idea of what happens to characters in horror movies AFTER a life altering experience, so for that plot point, I give it credit. For the rest of the movie, well, it's not so pretty.


However, throughout everything BAD in this movie, there is a bit of good to witness. And today, I'm gonna be your guide throughout this infamous flick to show you why you should consider giving it a second chance!


THE MUSIC:


Tubular Bells was an instant classic and to this day remains one of the most iconic in movie history. Of course, it wasn't used in this movie, so instead it was up to iconic composer Ennio Morricone to bring a memorable score to set the mood to. Bringing the experience of a musical genius and an eerie tone, the music captures you and draws you in to an experience you won't forget.


THE TEASER:



Oh man, talk about drawing you in. I'm a huge fan of 1970s trailers. It's mainly their unique ability to show you so little and intrigue you so quickly. And for a sequel to the Exorcist, there sure was a lot to be intrigued about. Nowadays, we take teasers, trailers and posters for granted that we forget that a teaser is just that: not a lot but just enough. This trailer really doesn't show a lot but gets your attention with it's eerie voice over, quick cuts of stills and simple tagline. A real hidden gem in terms of teasers.


JAMES EARL JONES:








I don't exactly know how James Earl Jones feels about this movie, but his performance as a scientist obsessed with controlling bugs, only to dress up as one, was easily my favorite. He also communicates with animals and puts them in their place. Which, I don't know if this was his audition for Mufasa in The Lion King or what but if it was, he earned it. James Earl Jones is one of the greatest actors we've ever seen and you can look at all his performances and tell that he doesn't half-ass anything whatsoever. He delivered prettywell and if you walk away from this movie remembering anything, it'll be him.


THE CITY:


Photo Credit: OnSetShotOnWhat
Going from DC to NYC to rehabilitate and help Reagan was a pretty smart idea, especially since this took place at a time when NY had so much character and became even a character itself.



WATCHU TALKIN' BOUT KIMBERLY DRUMMOND?



That's right, Arnold, future teen star and talented actress, Dana Plato makes one of first appearance in this very film. Playing an autistic child who befriends Reagan, the seeds of a very memorable (and sadly tragic) career were planted here.




MAX VON SYDOW:


 I mean, come on. It's Max Von Sydow. How else can I truly convince you to watch this without mentioning this acting legend? Reprising, to some, his most famous and iconic role as Father Merrin, a role that earned him a Golden Globe nomination is really just all you need to pick up this movie.

 Now, with all those reasons don't you think it's time to give this movie a second chance? Well, you can Scream Factory's newest release! Check out these extras:



Bonus Features

DISC ONE (118 Minute Cut Of The Film):
  • NEW 2K Scan From Original Film Elements
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Director John Boorman
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Project Consultant Scott Bosco
  • NEW What Does She Remember?An Interview With Actress Linda Blair
  • NEW Interview With Editor Tom Priestley
DISC TWO (102 Minute Cut Of The Film):
  • NEW 2K Scan From Original Film Elements
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Mike White Of The Projection Booth Blog
  • Original Teaser Trailer
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Galleries Including Rare Color And B&W Stills, Behind-The-Scenes, Deleted Scene Photos, Posters, And Lobby Cards

So there you have it. New features including TWO versions of the film, new interviews, documentaries, commentary and scans of the film, you got all you need to truly determine whether or not this movie deserves to be considered one of the worst of all time. For a "bad movie", it sure does have a lot of great stuff going for it. You can thank our friends at Scream Factory for allowing us to give another movie we once tossed aside another fair shake. You can pick it up right here!



-Chad

Monday, October 8, 2018

Review: Saved By The Bell The Complete Series By Shout! Factory

 

 

Synopsis:

We're so excited! We're so excited!

Missing your favorite pals from Bayside High? It's alright, 'cause you're SAVED BY THE BELL! Conduct your own class reunion with this Max-ed out collection of the iconic 90s Saturday morning sitcom. The adventures of Zack and his friends – Kelly, Slater, Jessie, Lisa, and Screech – were a cultural touchstone for a generation of teens. Now, you can relive the laughter, lessons, and love (Zack + Kelly 4EVER) all over again. From JFK Junior High to Cal U, Miss Bliss to Mr. Belding, Malibu Sands to Hawaii, and dance contests to "dearly beloved!"
With 118 episodes from all three series – Good Morning, Miss Bliss, Saved By The Bell & Saved By The Bell: The College Years, plus both movies and a locker full of special features, this Zack Morris megaset is a must-have for fans!




Thoughts: 



After a few basic releases by previous companies by NBC, that had almost no effort outside a commentary or two to accentuate the series popularity or even truly entice fans. But Shout Factory has picked up the ball and ran all the way home with it.

First the elephant in the room. Let's talk about Miss Bliss. For those who may not remember, Good Morning Miss Bliss was the series that made all this happen. The original series that would be somewhat of the model as what the show would become starred Hayley Mills as the titular character and introduced the characters of Lisa, Screech, Zack and Mr. Belding. After being looked at as a bomb, it was cancelled and only a handful of characters carried over to the next series. This was always thought of as something that would never see a home media release. Indeed, for years many fans had relied on bootleg sets from conventions or other methods such as torrents or bootleg sites to complete their set. Now they have their chance to own it legally. A few notes of course. The original Miss Bliss intro used on the Disney Channel will not be included. This shouldn't be a shock as many fans had thought them to be lost or even extremely altered once the show got repackaged as "Saved By The Bell" in the early 90s during syndication. Another concern for some fans were as to whether or not the syndicated "Zack Introductions" were included. By that, I'm referring to intros done with Mark Paul Gosselaar running down the stories of the episodes at the beginning in a way to bridge the two shows so the audience wouldn't be confused. Some episodes in the collection do contain these, some do not. On top of that, some of the original brief cold opens are included, while some episodes just go straight into the SBTB intro. The original pilot, featuring a slew of future teen stars like Brian Austin Green, Jaleel White and Jonathon Brandis is not included either. But for those who are keen to the way TV sets are released, this can't be a shocking development as most collections don't include pilots for one reason or the other. While it would be a nice inclusion to the set, the SBTB purist in me isn't bothered. With none of the cast of the actual Miss Bliss series or even any connection to the later series, there's little to focus on here.


In my opinion, just getting these episodes at all is nothing short of a miracle. Miss Bliss was a good show, a little weird if you had been introduced to the Bayside Universe later on. For most, getting these on dvd was always the holy grail. And while not complete, it is good to finally own. It's a little on the corny side and can come off as dated but for some, this will be the main reason to buy this set.


Now on to the main series! The show that changed Saturday morning forever! The main series became a huge success after a rocky beginning (the show was not a huge favorite of critics at first) by introducing ridiculous situations with charismatic characters that all teens could somehow relate too and live vicariously through. The only characters to be brought on from Miss Bliss was, Belding, Zack, Lisa and Screech and some more favorites were introduced: AC Slater, Kelly and Jessie and the show flourished. To some, this was the best Saturday morning tradition and for some, still remains a favorite to watch with a giant bowl of cereal every weekend (yes, me.). All the favorite episodes are presented with great sound and picture and in some cases, with the most memorable episodes,  include commentary from cast, crew and fans.


The dvd set features episodes aired in a different order and thankfully, despite the differing air dates, Shout provided an explanation as to why:

"Like many television series, the order in which Saved By The Bell’s episodes were produced does not necessarily reflect the order in which they were aired. Consequently, some episodes aired noticeably out of sequence in terms of depicting the ages and shifting relationships between the characters. This is particularly pronounced in Season Three, when Saved By The Bell began airing two episodes a week — usually a school-based episode followed by an “adventure” episode which saw the gang journey beyond the halls of Bayside. In spite of these anomalies, we have attempted to present the episodes in airing order with the notable exception of the “Malibu Sands” story arc, which is presented in sequence here at the end of Season Three, in order to best serve the viewing experience for fans. Executive Producer Peter Engel was consulted on this matter, and he approved our decision to present the episodes in this manner."



Not much I can say about this. In fact, I'm very appreciative of the effort to present a very clean and seamless continuity. Really makes the set even more special and shows how much care and effort Shout put in to this release.



Now on to the College Years. Fans who already said goodbye to their favorite characters a few months before, were presented with a look at what our heroes in college. A few characters, namely Lisa and Jessie, were left out of this series. Instead, we were introduced to new characters: Danielle, Leslie and Alex, who balanced out the familiar male cast. Also introduced, former football star, Bob Golic who played Dorm Adviser Mike Rogers, who was a comic foil to the younger cast. Appearances by Mr. Belding, Kelly and Lisa were used to peak interest but sadly couldn't. The show wasn't as successful as "the high school years" despite what NBC would hope, as some people were ready to move on to other, more mature shows or were not willing to take a show that had originally aired on Saturday mornings and essentially a live action cartoon too seriously as a prime time show. The show does remain a favorite of a portion of SBTB fans who were eager to see how their favorite characters fare in a more loose environment with a little more budget and more serious storylines. But for most, other than seeing the relationship between Zack and Kelly go through hills and valleys, the show is normally forgotten. No extras are included in these episodes.


The made for tv movies, Hawaiian Style and Wedding In Vegas also included as a great bonus. The final chapter in the "Bayside Saga". Hawaiian Style aired during the original series (1992 to be exact) so fans were super eager to accept it as another chapter in the Bayside Mythology, whereas Wedding In Vegas aired in 1995, a year and a half after The College Years went off the air, most if not all fans had moved on and ready for a small break. A nice, cute little story showcasing the big day for Zack and Kelly as they tie the knot in Vegas while hijinx arise all around them. I was 11 at the time, when the Wedding movie so I remember being excited for it, but most of my friends had moved on and didn't care. But seeing where we started with Miss Bliss to this, it's a great cap to an unbelievably fun series.


Included in this terrific looking set is a "locker filled with extras":

  • NEW Documentary: "Past Times At Bayside High: Making Saved By The Bell”
  • NEW Documentary: “Bayside's Greatest Hits: The Music Of Saved By The Bell”
  • Saturday Morning: From Toons To Teens
  • It's Alright: Back To The Bell
  • The First Of Its Class: From Sit-Com To Icon
  • Audio Commentaries
  • Photo Galleries
  • 16-Page Episode Guide
 

The new documentaries, filmed for this special set, were the highlight in my opinion. Close to an hour long about the history of the show featuring cast and crew shed light on the process of telling the stories of our favorite characters and stories. Also included is a documentary on how the music was created and helped make the show so memorable. Archived features from previous releases were also included and even though the newer documentaries are more informative, the older extras are still fun to watch, so don't write them off!


If you've grown up a huge fan and never given up on this show even when others deemed it too silly and immature to watch, this is the set you've been waiting for. Shout! Factory really pulled out all the stops to create the one and only box set you need to own. So grab your skateboard, head out to whereever DVD's are sold to pick this up and then hit The Max for a Max-Burger! I simply cannot recommend this set enough. It's pure 80s/90s perfection!


-Chad



Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Review: The Universal Monsters 30 Film Collection


  Synopsis:


Thirty of the most iconic cinematic masterpieces starring the most famous monsters of horror movie history come together on Blu-ray™ for the first time ever in the Universal Classic Monsters: 30-Film Collection on August 28, 2018, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Featuring unforgettable make-up, ground-breaking special effects and outstanding performances, the Universal Classic Monsters: 30-Film Collection includes all of Universal Pictures’ legendary monsters from the studio that pioneered the horror genre with imaginative and technically groundbreaking tales of terror in unforgettable films from the 1930s to late-1950s.

From the era of silent movies through present day, Universal Pictures has been regarded as the home of the monsters. The Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection showcases all of the original films featuring the most iconic monsters in motion picture history including Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Phantom of the Opera and Creature from the Black Lagoon. Starring some of the most legendary actors including Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., Claude Rains and Elsa Lanchester in the roles that they made famous, these films set the standard for a new horror genre and showcase why these landmark movies that defined the horror genre are regarded as some of the most unforgettable ever to be filmed.

Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection includes a 48-page collectible book filled with behind-the-scenes stories and rare production photographs and is accompanied by an array of bonus features including behind-the-scenes documentaries, the 1931 Spanish version of Dracula, Featurettes on Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., and Jack Pierce, 13 expert feature commentaries, archival footage, production photographs, theatrical trailers and more. The perfect gift for any scary movie fan, the collection offers an opportunity to experience some of the most memorable horror films of our time.

The Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection includes Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Werewolf of London (1935), Dracula's Daughter (1936), Son of Frankenstein (1939), The Invisible Man Returns (1940), The Invisible Woman (1940), The Mummy's Hand (1940), The Wolf Man (1941), The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942), The Mummy's Ghost (1942), The Mummy's Tomb (1942), Invisible Agent (1942), Phantom of the Opera (1943), Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943), Son of Dracula (1943), House of Frankenstein (1944), The Mummy's Curse (1944), The Invisible Man's Revenge (1944), House of Dracula (1945), She-Wolf of London (1946), Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948), Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951), Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954, and includes a 3D version), Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955), Revenge of the Creature (1955 and includes a 3D version) and The Creature Walks Among Us (1956).

BONUS FEATURES:
⦁    Behind-the-Scenes Documentaries
⦁    3D Versions of Creature From the Black Lagoon and Revenge of the Creature
⦁    1931 Spanish Version of Dracula
⦁    Featurettes on Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., and Jack Pierce
⦁    13 Expert Feature Commentaries
⦁    Archival Footage
⦁    Production Photographs
⦁    Theatrical Trailers



Thoughts:

Very few movies stand the test of time as well as the Universal Monsters do. For close to 90 years, the likes of Dracula, The Mummy, Frankenstein, and their spooky pals have surpassed so many other characters to become, to many, the end all be all of horror icons. Thanks to seemingly endless merchandising, multiple depictions in various media(sometimes unlicensed) and remakes, these characters remain to be favorites of those who seek out horror. But of course, to some, nothing beats the original and with Universal's 30-film collection, you can relive the frightening fun over and over again.

For fans who may have missed the previous releases and multipacks, this is your chance to experience these classics how they were meant to be seen. With a cleaned up picture and sound to present the best film quality possible, this is the definitive set to own for Monster enthusiasts.

The transfers were a pretty clean and the sound was perfect and it was like watching the movies for the first time. Especially watching the infamous "Pond Scene" in Frankenstein. Now, I'm not a huge sound and picture guy but I am major into bonus features. With such great efforts on Universals behalf to preserve these movies also comes the features. Like a toy in your Happy Meal to reward you, these features provide you a special treat! Some footage you may have never seen before including which is also a big draw for me on any release. I've seen the trailers at filmfests before but everytime I do watch one I feel like I notice something different. Whether it's a scene, the music, or even a folly on set including a wire hanging a decoration or a zipper on the back of a costume, whatever it may be, I always pick up something new! And with the great transfer, it's an even better viewing experience! A lot of


With all these movies and bonus features, there's so much to dig into here including a fun little book chronicling the history of our favorite creatures, as well as rare lobby cards, posters and advertisements. A nice companion piece to all the information you'll soak in while watching the bonus features and listening to the commentary.


In my opinion, this is the must own bluray collection for not just Universal Monsters fans, but horror fans in general. This is essentially Horror 101 in one simple package. If you wish to learn how far horror movies have come, the inspiration for most if not all your favorite slasher/serial killers, look no further. You'll learn so much and maybe even discover a new movie you've only heard of before but never watched. It makes the perfect gift for that horror fan in your life or even someone who wishes to begin an interest in horror and movies in general. No matter who you pick this up for, they'll be very satisfied!

-Chad








Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The Haunts Of K-Marts Halloween Aisle!

2003 was a pretty big year for me. I had finally got my drivers license, I got my first "real job" that I'd work at for 8 years, I was becoming a little bit more aware of the real world surroundings and I was developing my own sense of independence. I went from expecting my friends to drive me to the video store on Wednesdays for their "5 for $5" rental nights and Toys R Us to look for new MOTU figures to owning the night and driving myself. A great feeling indeed. Everything was coming together and it just made for such an amazing/life changing year for me. What does all this have to do with K-Mart and Halloween? Why am I sharing this and what does it have to do with K-Mart? Well, it's pretty simple. Humor me for a moment, please, and keep reading. You'll understand in a moment.

In that year, I had started to redevelop a love for Halloween and there's a lot of factors as to why. I was working with kids and seeing their excitement as well as my coworkers constant talk about Halloween parties and their favorite Halloween memories. It was almost like a daily round table of spooky stories of trick or treating victories as kids and I soaked it in. It also helped my excitement spill over into my work and we helped present a rad Halloween party for the kids that year. In my personal time, I spent a lot of time online whether it was reading Dinosaur Dracula's first Halloween Countdown (via his former site, X-Entertainment), Roger Barr's I-Mockery and even the popular (sadly, now defunct) Fangoria message boards all of which helped me get hyped for the season. Every day, I'd check for news on dvd's from Fangoria or a review from XE or RoG on new candy or snacks or even movie recommendations, which could've come from any of the three sites. I can't imagine that Halloween season being as great without even just ONE of those things missing. I mean, not sampling a Hostess Scary Cake? Not going out and picking up a cheap Freddy glove? Just wouldn't feel right. On top of all this, I was hitting one store more than any other for my Halloween fix: K-MART.

It's hard to imagine now, but for the longest time, K-Mart was the place to be for holidays and where I come from, it was the go-to store for everything. Even as a kid, my mom would go to K-Mart for everything and I'd be in tow. The amount of action figures I'd pick up, the embarrassing trips for new school clothes I'd make while hoping no one I knew was there, and of course before we had a Halloween Spirit, K-Mart was where all of us kids got our costumes. Wanna be Sgt. Slaughter or Roger Rabbit? How about a Power Ranger? K-Mart gotcha. No WalMart or Target for us, it was Blue Light Special or nothing. So now you're seeing the roots of my love of this place and in 2003, K-Mart was probably at it's peak for Halloween goodness. I wish I had photos of their displays and items because even the most ardent Halloween fan would be crying tears of joy.


Of course, Target's seasonal notoriety wouldn't be established until years later and in many regards, Target remains the king of every holiday to this day. K-Mart is hardly a player anymore but from childhood to just about 10 years ago, the one spot we'd all go to in my town is the big red K. During this time, they got a little more adventurous and risky with their Halloween offerings. Big setups and interactive displays cool archways and if I remember it right, included a lot of animated displays. They'd have a huge variety of costumes, buckets and bags, candy, snacks, cereal, cookies, the list goes on. My favorite though? The vast amount of Anchor Bay dvds (which were known for their amazing variety of new and obscure horror movies), including the awesome Double Feature Drive In sets, would give even Best Buy a run for their money at that time. The amount of movies I picked up and discovered just in 2003 alone was incredible. It was  Halloween Utopia. I wanted to live in that moment for as long as I could. I figured "Oh man, every year is going to be bigger and better".
That would only sadly last for a few more years.

K-Mart wouldn't remain as powerful of an influence on my Halloween joy for too long. As I discovered Target and other stores (yes, my area didn't have a lot of Targets until the mid to late 2000s), K-Mart became a "second place" destination. They couldn't compete with the bigger, brighter and more fun items others would have to offer. The selection would dwindle down and the sense of Halloween wonder in the store would start to as well. It just wasn't there as much despite how badly I'd hope it would. I'd still go as much as much as I could every year until every K-Mart was closed in my area which, as much as I've teased it in the past, it was sad to see. But of course, there's still ONE K-Mart in my area. Well, a 45 minute drive that is. So, with a day off, I decided to hop in my car and drive on up for old times sake. And seemingly appropriate, I was listening to the most recent episode of the Purple Stuff Podcast which helped my Halloween Hype reach a new level

Despite that glorious sign, my hopes weren't exactly high. I've been to this K-Mart before on a regular day and it's usually a dirty mess to the point that I've even seen a worker pick their nose at a register with no one in line. It's not exactly the most revered store in the area either, especially when WalMart and Target moved literally right across the street. But I was still determined to find something positive out of this trip. I'm not fully set on giving up hope just yet. Remaining optimistic was the key to success.



Hey, at least they set up some pumpkins outside, so that's a pretty good sign, right? Ok, we're starting off on the right foot here.




In order to truly get ready for what I was about to see, I needed to start off small so I checked out their clothing section and...welp.


It's not exactly like K-Mart is known for their high end fashion. I mean, I can remember being heckled on the playground for having a pair of shoes from K-Mart as a kid, so it's not exactly new developments that they stock cheap crap. To walk in and expect a shirt featuring Freddy and Jason or even Negan from the Walking Dead wouldn't be the most reasonable idea. In their defense, these shirts are no different than the shirts you'll find at WalMart or Target, it's just the way their presented. Seemingly just thrown on the table with no fanfare. I can't help but think this could've been done better but, we've only just begun so no need to nitpick and get pissy just yet.


After all the preparation and stalling in the toy aisles and clearance sections, I finally worked up the courage to walk over the the Halloween aisles.Thankfully, it was right next to the Music and Video section which still looks like it did in 1991:



Well. Here we are...


I knew it wasn't going to be as big of a deal as it once was. I knew I wouldn't see the massive, crazy displays and most likely the offerings of horror movies that I once saw weren't even going to be anywhere near this but I still had hope. A big problem seemed to be NO SIGNAGE IN THE STORE. Didn't see one piece of decoration or any display showing me where this place would be and it seems almost like a giant inconvenience to even be put out. Sadly, after locking eyes on a very sad pumpkin display, my hopes vanished then and there.



Of course, this seemed to be the majority of the candy/treat offerings. This doesn't bode well for the rest of the selections but hey, those Popcorn Balls are a pretty unique and somewhat of a retro addition.


Make no mistake about it, if you're not the biggest Halloween fan and just need some cheap decorations or just don't like shopping at the bigger and brighter stores that offer a bigger variety or clean floors, K-Mart's selection is just fine. Costumes for adults and kids. Not exactly the worst but far from the Target Monsterville, but when you're a kid, you don't care about quality, you just wanna dress like...Stone Cold Jason Voorhees?




So apparently Jason was a huge fan of the WWF Attitude Era and continues to pay homage to his chrome-domed hero.




Yes, kids you too can be a double copyrighting infringing lunatic wielding a weird hockey stick, (which I'm assuming you have to buy separately?). So not only does this costume rip off Jason, but also offers you a shirt that Vince McMahon would reject. I'm a firm believer that Jason doesn't believe in vanity and would never want his character marketed and merchandised, so why in the world would he want to wear a shirt with his face on it sharing a name with another popular character? This is just morally confusing and I'm sure Jason will find his way to the offices of those who produced such nonsense to have a chat...


Some interesting decor here. All the inflatables were put on the top of the aisles, which kinda defeats a purpose of trying to sell them, since you can't get a good, clear view of them. Especially when they're half inflated and falling over like your drunk aunt on Thanksgiving.



Some fun home decor items. Can't really see anything bad here, just very basic. I feel like the most consistent decoration I've seen through the years of these offerings has been that weird spider web, so that was a nice sight to see again. The others though? While nice and simple, I gotta pass.




Right around the corner sits a variety of trick or treat bags. Now, I'm assuming kids still use pillow cases for Halloween but if they don't, these work too. See that witch bag on the top left? There's something about it that reminds me of my childhood. I don't exactly know why but it just does and for that, I tip my dirty Etnies hat in it's direction.





Ahhh yes, the tools of the Halloween trade. If you're on a budget and don't want to spend big bucks on actual, high quality props from Halloween Spirit, you'll be in luck here. I mean, they'll prolly fall apart once you remove them from the backing cards, but they still look nice. Ninja swords, a Scream knife and my favorite: The Zombie Spoiler. I can't help but thinking this would be a great piece for a Cactus Jack/Mick Foley cosplay, but I suppose it also works for going around acting like Negan as well. Out of everything I saw, this was by far my favorite.



And of course, with every year in K-Mart's history, you have to set up some Christmas Trees right next to the Halloween aisles. I'm coming to the realization that the company in general has very little faith in Halloween and leaves it to the bigger retail stores to provide a memorable seasonal experience. It just comes off as very old fashioned and quite upsetting. I don't know. I expected not to be blown away but not so underwhelmed that I needed to go to the Salvation Army Store up the street and buy a VHS or two to get the taste out of my mouth. I feel like this could be the very last time I go out of my way to see what K-Mart has in store for me for the holidays. If I'm in the area, sure.

Well, after a very underwhelming trip, I had to leave. But, there was one thing that caught my eye in the toy aisles that I couldn't leave without.



But that's a story for next time...



-Chad

Friday, September 21, 2018

The Horror Movie BBQ Podcast: WWF Hasbros!

After a ten month hiatus and working on other projects, I am happy to announce that the HorrorMovieBBQ Podcast is BACK and better than ever! With a subject that can no doubt please the wrestling geek and nostalgic toy fan in all of us, WWF HASBROS!


Joining me for today's episode are my friends Myles Arden, admin of the WFIGs Facebook Group and Richard Mayerik, toy-mega fan and producer of the wildly popular and beloved Netflix series The Toys That Made Us. Both guests were fantastic, have a wealth of toy knowledge and had a deep love of these plastic muscle-bound goofballs. Today's discussion consists of:

-Faveorite/least favorite figures.
-WWE Mattel Retro Line.
-Customs.
-Recent popularity.
-Prototypes.
-The infamous Orange Line.
-What's our favorite/least favorite action feature?
-Why the long face, 123 Kid?


And so much more!



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So sit back, relax and breath in the neon fumes of nostalgia! Maybe even bust out your ring and figures and get in the spirit by putting on a match while you listen too! We won't judge, since we were most likely playing with figures while recording too!


-Chad, Myles, Richard