Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Friday Night Flashback: Images From Chiller Theatre 2004

Tonight's Friday Night Flashback involves a trip bak to 2004 for my first horror convention. It was April 2004 when my best friend Ryan and I took a quick trip up to East Rutherford, NJ for the world famous horror show, Chiller Theatre. Chiller Theatre had been on my radar for quite a long time but many roadblocks stopped me from attending them. But, finally Ryan and I were able to make the trip up to the Garden State for a weekend of indulging in horror and other geeky goodness. I was hoping this convention would open my eyes to a whole new world that I've wanted to enter for quite sometime...and boy did it!



Every convention has to have a major draw for you to attend. And since my childhood, the 1966 BATMAN was played constantly in my household, becoming a family favorite. So when the opportunity to meet Adam West, Julie "Catwoman" Newmar, and Frank "The Riddler" Gorshin, I had a hard time saying no. Add one of my heroes in the world of wrestling Rowdy Roddy Piper, and it's an easy sell. And sure there many, many other stars for me to meet and mingle with, but I had no clue how big and wild this show would be. With big legends from the horror world such as Tom Savini, Caroline Munro, Brinke Stevens and many more, it certainly was a great show to kick off my horror movie convention journey. Hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I did experiencing the thrills of meeting these legends!




Adam West. That's me kneeling in the front(yes, with hair.) and my friend Ryan









Rowdy Roddy Piper with the "LWO Heavyweight Champion of the Galaxy". The LWO was a fan group I was apart of at the time.





Julie "Catwoman" Newmar



Frank "The Riddler" Gorshin. Frank died a year after I met him. It was an honor to meet him. RIP. 





Richard Hatch of Battlestar Galactica.




Lou "The Incredible Hulk" Ferrigno



Team Troma



-Chad

Monday, October 10, 2011

In Memoriam: David Hess

The world of horror movies is a very odd one, wouldn't you say? We actually look forward to seeing villains chase after and make innocent people their victims. I guess that says something about us, but all I know is some characters are just too memorable to forget and not like. Some are so charismatic and so memorable we can't help but love them. And the subject of the "Hell Of Fame"(or should that be "Heaven Of Fame"?) is honor of the all time greatest actors to portray a  villain in horror movie history. Mr. David Hess, whom was sadly taken away from us this past Friday, October 7th 2011 at the age of 69 due to a heart attack.

Mr. Hess portrayed the character of "Krug" in one of the most controversial horror movies of all time, Wes Craven's stunning low budget masterpiece, "Last House On the Left" in 1972. In it, Mr. Hess portrayed the leader of a group of 4 degenerates that were set out to kill and main everything and everyone in their path, including two young and innocent teenage girls on their way to a concert. Why? Because he could. Krug didn't care and had absolutely no shame in humiliating and harming whomever he wished. A highlight of his disgusting behavior is a famous scene where he tells one of the young women to "PISS YOUR PANTS". Out of pure fear, she does. He even tells one of his compatriots to "BLOW YOUR BRAINS OUT", which, as Krug closes his eyes, the young rebel does just that.

Aside from acting, Mr. Hess also composed music. In fact the soundtrack for Last House was sung by Krug himself. Another interesting sidenote is Mr. Hess also co-wrote the "electric-rock opera" known as the Naked Carmen with Mr. John Corigliano, which also gained the two a Grammy Award!




Krug was one of the most disgusting, sadistic and dangerous characters in the history of not just horror, but cinema in general. The irony there is David Hess was one of the nicest men you could ever meet. I got to meet Mr. Hess at Horrorfind Weekend in 2010 where we discussed his role of Krug. I told him one of my favorite parts of the movie was when a young girl was begging to be let go and asking if her friend got away. Krug stares down at the young innocent and silently shakes his head with a look so menacing it would make anyone cry in fear. David even re-enacted it for me as I was telling him and told me "Sometimes thew best acting is not saying anything at all." A very profound point. And to top it off, he even signed my dvd "To Chad-PISS YOUR PANTS,! David Hess".

It seems that David Hess' legacy as Krug will live on forever, which is fantastic. For a man so talented, so outrageous on screen, he deserves it. Mr. Hess will be missed by us all.

Now go on...PISS YOUR PANTS!!!


-Chad

A Tale Of Two Cons: Horrorfind Weekend 2011/Monster Mania 20

My apologies to my fellow DE'ers for my lateness on my two convention reports. I've been currently planning my escape from Maryland to the Rochester area and it's been soaking up my time. That aid, I do have a few things I few I need to let out. You see, in the month of September I had the pleasure of attending two conventions. As noted in previous reports, I attend with my girlfriend Laurie and help out at her Knit Terrors table, which seems to be a real big hit amongst con-goers. That's definitely given more purpose in attending conventions other than running around buying bootlegged copies of Sid and Marty Krofft productions.

So, imagine my joy when I found out that Horrorfind Weekend in the world renowned battlegrounds of Gettysburg, PA is on the weekend of my birthday, I got super excited in record time. After all, what better way to spend the weekend of my birthday than spending it at a horror convention with my girlfriend and my friends? It can't be beat! It's a win-win situation. Besides, after attending my first Horrorfind in 2010, I had an absolute blast, so I was expecting to even more fun now that I was staying the entire weekend. The best part, is Nicole Fiss wasn't there to drool over any of the guests.

It got even more exciting for me when my hero Rowdy Roddy Piper was announced as a guest. Actually, a funny twist of fate, I was on my after picking up a Roddy Piper doll on clearance at Target when Laurie texted me with the news. I almost caused an accident when reading my text at the stoplight. Thankfully, that didn't happen. But it came close.

So with the elements of Roddy Piper, meeting Amanda Wyss for the first time, a birthday celebration with horror royalty in the form of Kristy Jett of Fright Rags and the masterminds behind VHSPS, how can I lose?!?!

Well...

Monday before the convention, an announcement that Roddy would be unable to appear. Panic started throughout the Horrorfind fandom and people demanded answers. Even I asked questions and was rudely shouted at for asking with a famous "we'll let you know when we let you know!". The verbal shenanigans with Horrorfind continued until about Wednesday or Thursday before the show, finally confirming Roddy's appearance. I was able to be rest assured that he would be there which made my attending so great, (details in a second), but I felt that maybe the staff could have handled the fans questions better.

So, Thursday came and I, excited as heck, came to the hotel. I was staying with Laurie, Kristy and Sean of VHSPS where we partied like maniacs. We stayed in the secondary hotel for the weekend which was a very nice hotel and very large. No complaints there whatsoever.

More tomfoolery began as Friday morning we were informed that Horrorfind did not have all of our passes. This was taken care of, but it's a situation that shouldn't have happened. After checking in we go to our table which we were stationed next to Horrorfind cover artist Joel Robinson(which made the weekend go by quicker.). Our table, however was pretty tight and compacted and no room to move around at. Maybe I'm spoiled here, due to at Monster Mania, we're at a table that we have enough room to camp under but I digress.  In addition, the dealers room was about as large as a McDonalds dining room. Not exactly the ideal size for attendees to walk around and shop in a comfortable fashion. It was a very unomfortable spot for those looking to score a rare piece of memorabilia.


On the other hand, there's the guest room. For some, it's the end all be all reason to attend conventions. And why not? Where else can some say they can meet their favorite horror stars? A huge draw to any convention will always be a good guest list and this show had a pretty impressive guests list, I must say. Roddy Piper, Amanda Wyss and Lisa Wilcox were the guests I wished to meet. But for those who didn't care for my list, there was plenty of True Blood guests including Sam Trammel. William Sanderson of Blade Runner fame, Brian Thompson, Julian Sands, Jill Schoelen and more were in attendance as well. Convention mainstays Bill Moesely, Conrad Brooks, Ken Foree and Sid Haig also showed up. For the first time,  Sid Haig was taking special photo ops in full Captain Spaulding makeup and costume. Definitely a special keepsake for those who purchased it at the hefty price of 50 bucks, but everyone said it was worth it.


No complaints about the guests whatsoever. All the guests that I was able to speak with seemed in high spirits and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Everybody was absolutely approachable. Even Ken Foree who has a notrious reputation for being rather unfriendly at times seemed to be in a good mood as we discussed his time on Kenan and Kel.

As I said the big name for me was Roddy Piper. I got to meet Roddy this time for the third time, and everytime he's just as nice if not nicer than the last. Roddy has always been a hero of mine, and I explained to him how much he reminds me of my late father and he was very touched by hearing it. He gave me a big hug and a handshake letting me know how much my kind words meant to me. Roddy always takes interest in those who come to meet him, even wanting to know where they come from, their love of horror or wrestling, the story behind what merchandise they bring and so on. Roddy was a huge highlight for me this weekend, and I look forward to meeting him again!

Of course, as much as I considered Roddy THE name for the weekend, a lot more fans came in droves for legendary director John Waters who took time out of his very busy schedule. Of course, meeting him came with more complications. Earlier in the week, a post had been made saying that a lottery for meeting John Waters would be instituted. At the registration line, fans would pull a ticket out of a hat and if your ticket said "JOHN WATERS YES" then you were given the right to be in line for John's two hour appearance. If you got one that said "JOHN WATERS NO", then...well, sorry. So, with four vendors passes, I was given the opportunity to pick 4(even though I did take 5 "by accident"). You see our dear friend Kristy Jett is such a huge fan of John Waters, all she wanted to do to get through this already rough weekend. So when I came back with TWO "JOHN WATERS YES" tickets, she immediately became overjoyed! . And of course, Laurie got the second ticket, so I was very happy to see both of them happy!




But...

All the tickets were taken and the fans who had them were done almost an hour before scheduled. So, now the rule was "anyone who wants to meet him can before 9 pm.". This caused a lot of anger from fans and rightfully so. First they tell fans they have to take a ticket and then they give the rule "oh yeah just go for it"? They're messing with the fans and it's absolutely not ok.

The rest of the weekend went by very slowly and quite frankly we packed our stuff up and headed out a little before the actual end time. And rightfully so. We had all grown tired and exhausted of this convention.While I can't speak for the Fright Rags crew, I don't think you'll ever see Knit Terrors at a Horrorfind again.  It was an exhausting experience filled with confusion, frustration and headaches. I can speak for Laurie when I say we were very happy to get out of there...But not before I took this photo...
Gotta end on a good note somehow right?


So in contrast to the horrible experience we shared at Horrorfind, two weeks later Laurie and I found ourselves in Hunt Valley, MD(Ironically the stomping grounds of Horrorfind for years.) for Monster Mania 20. I always feel home at Monster Mania, and maybe I'm rather biased but I still feel it's the number one show in all of horror.(Chad's Note: Please remember that's my theory and does not exactly reflect the thoughts of this website or the rest of the writers.)

Now this show was pretty darn special. Aside from being the 20th Monster Mania, it had a guest lineup that would make diehard fans drool. The guest of honor was none other than MR. JOHN CARPENTER. Considered by many to be one of the greatest directors in the history of film, Mr. Carpenter has made his name scaring the crap out of us for so many years with his twisted creations including Christine, The Thing, They Live and...well you may have heard of him, MICHAEL MYERS. This weekend was also graced with the presence of many Halloween alumni including most all the men who played Michael Myers. Ironically Tony Moran did NOT show up. Also were the stars of Halloween including Tom "THE MAN" Atkins and total sweetheart PJ Soles.

Also in attendance was the one and only Jefferey Combs of Re-Animator fame, Joe Turkel from the Shining, Michael Tough who is known as the killer in the original Prom Night made his first USA convention appearance alongside Zack Galligan of Gremlins fame, Clare Higgins from Hellraiser who also made her first convention appearance along with fellow D-E writer Nicole Fiss' object of affection Tony Todd showed up for a repeat appearance.. Among these guests and 80s icon Anthony Michael Hall, was the normal smattering of the Walking Dead and True Blood guests. Yessir, if you're a diehard fan, this was the show for you!

Just as I mentioned in the Horrorfind review, I spent most of my time at the vendors table selling the goods. But I was able to have a little time to run around and meet some great guests. The guests were very open and very happy to be there. The general feeling and vote of "MVP of the Show" was Anthony Michael Hall who could be found in the bar gladly taking photos and chatting up with fans. After talking about his experience on Tales From the Crypt(I like to talk to stars about their experiences on Tales From the Crypt. It's often eye opening and very shocking!), I got a quick photo with himself!
I can never stress the importance of fan interaction with stars at conventions. It's a very important aspect of the show. As stated before, many fans swarm to the shows in hopes of catching a photo or autograph from their favorite star. And most times, these experiences can make or break the convention for fans.But, it seemed fans were very happy with all the guests they met. A perfect example of this was the 30 minute conversation I had the pleasure of having with Mr. Joe Turkel and Michael Tough about sports. Movies barely came into it, and it seemed that movies didn't even exist! We just chatted away like old friends talking about our favorite teams and players. A real great moment that I will never forget!

Now, as I said before, the main draw was John Carpenter, who many fans consider to be a "movie god". Now, I'd never compare anyone to a "god status", but this was a very big deal and I can understand why fans were excited. Mr. Carpenter is one of the biggest and most highly regarded directors of modern cinema who's always coming up with a new creative way to scare us and it's always a true honor for me to meet the directors who made my nightmares happen.

I got in line for Mr. Carpenters on Sunday when his line was dwindling, which is normal for a Sunday at conventions. I got in line mostly to show him Laurie's Knit Terrors Michael Myers which he enjoyed. Another fun moment for me was talking to him about wrestling, as he appeared years ago on a WWE produced dvd talking about Roddy Piper's career in Portland in the 70s. I got to briefly chat about wrestling with him, but he seemed rather happy to discuss something other than horror movies. I quickly got a photo with the man, shook his hand and sped off. FYI-For wrestling fans, Mr. Carpenter told me his favorite wrestlers of all time were a tag team called "The Medics"!

A very memorable Q&A session with John occurred Saturday evening. In it, a fan asked about Escape from Los Angeles, to which Mr. Carpenter responded with a mighty "F$%^ YOU!", resulting in fans applauding and cheering.


After having the pleasure of meeting Mr. Carpenter, I met PJ Soles, a woman most famous for portraying characters in one of my all time favorite horror movies Carrie, Halloween and Rock and Roll High School. Since I first saw Rock and Roll High years ago, I've always had a crush PJ, and even though this is the second time meeting her, I had to spring for a better photo with her...
And somehow, Laurie still took me back home. Why, I don't know!

Another terrific guests encounter came in Clare Higgins who gained fame in the horror world as "Julia Cotton" in the first two Hellraisers, who as I stated, was attending her first convention. She seemed in high spirits all weekend, gladly chatting with fans wherever she went and even hinted at a return to the US for a Hellraiser 25th anniversary reunion...hmmm...


One of my other "must meets" was Mr. Jefferey Combs who I did not get a photo with. But I did bump into him on the escalator and said "Good morning Mr. Combs". Jefferey, with a grin, looked at me with his Herbert West eyes and voice responded "The name...is Jeff. JEFF.". I'd be lying if I didn't say that was a huge geek out moment.

Now, aside the guests, partying is a big part of Monster Mania. One can be up until the wee hours partying, drinking, hanging with celebs. Heck, I even had a great numerous hour conversation with Elm Street 5 actor Danny Hassel in August 2010. It's very easy for people to get swept up in the moment and having a lot of fun. Personally, since I'm not a drinker, I'm not normally up that late unless I have a great reason. This particular time though, I was up until about 4 am just hanging with friends and being very worry-free. It's a great close bond that many in the Monster Mania convention have with each other. Many consider Monster Mania to be not just a convention, but a family. And they would be one hundred percent right. You can't walk down the halls without bumping into people you know via previous conventions, the famous MM message board or whatever. Having people introduce themselves as people I only knew on message boards is a very fun experience, as well as the friendship afterwards.

It's a real great feeling to have a close knit convention like this, and I must say I felt that Monster Mania 20 was the best. I had a blast with my friends, vending, the stars, the atmosphere. I dare say I attended the best convention ever. I was also told Monster Mania 20 was the besta ttended show in it's 20 show history which leads me to believe that with TUESDAY KNIGHT'S first East Coast appearance and the return of the madman with the claw himself, Robert "Freddy Krueger" Englund, Monster Mania 21 in Cherry Hill, New Jersey will be bigger better and badder...

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hell of Fame: Freddy Krueger

In this wonderful and weird world of horror, we sure do have a lot of colorful characters. The hulking undead in hockey masks, butchers with chainsaws, candymen with hooks, cross-dressing freaks with mother issues. The list can go on for days upon days. And indeed they all deserve their place in a horror hall of fame. But none more deserving(at least int his writers mind) than the man I'm covering today.



 By now it's no secret who my favorite icon of horror truly is. Frederick Charles Krueger, known to everyone and their grandmothers as Freddy Krueger. Brilliantly played by the extremely talented Robert Englund, Freddy was the brain child of Wes Craven in his opus "A Nightmare on Elm Street". Since 1984, Freddy Krueger has haunted our dreams and scared the pants off  us in 6 sequels, a crossover film with his rival Jason Voorhess, a remake in which Jackie Earle Haley donned the famous razor glove, a often forgotten tv spinoff and a slew of merchandising that would even make Gene Simmons question his sanity!

But think about Freddy's initial introduction and origin. A child killer in the town of Springwood, Ohio is  put on trial gets acquitted on a very tiny technicality. Obviously, as any parents would be, the parents of Springwood aren't too thrilled and form a posse to take down the man who they feel should be sent to the chair. So one night the parents of quiet and peaceful Elm Street decide to torch Freddy in his own domain, sealing his fate and doing what the police couldn't do.

Well...

That is until Freddy decided to come back and get the children of Elm Street where the parent's couldn't save them...in their DREAMS. A brilliant maneuver on Krueger's part. How could the parents get him now? How can their children stay safe? The answer is they can't! Brilliant! Of course, Freddy usually goes after the wrong person and gets fried at the end. But much to the FredHeads world wide, one form or another he always comes back!


Now a lot of facets of Freddy's legacy are well know. The famous red and green striped sweater for one. His burnt face that resembles a pizza is another. But what most of the general public knows about Freddy is his weapon of choice:


THE GLOVE. Of course. When Halloween comes around every single year,  you can expect two things: Jason Masks and Freddy Gloves. Perhaps the two most iconic images in horror of the last 30 years. Freddy's glove no doubt's capture your attention. And why not! It's extremely unique! And it just looks so creepy. I mean, just imagine a serial killer coming after you with this. You'd be terrified! The glove has almost become Freddy's image in and of itself: Unique, disturbing and oh so memorable. Can you imagine Freddy without the glove? That would be like Batman without Robin, The sun without the moon, peanut butter without jelly! It just seems right that a character of Freddy's uniqueness would possess such a memorable weapon.


And boy oh boy, let's talk about the merchandising! Dolls, cards, comics, posters, lunchboxes, a 1-900 number and my absolute favorite piece, an ALBUM! Yes indeed. A real music record that features Freddy singing with the Elm Street Group and covering such hits as "All I have To Do Is Dream" and his own song entitled "Do The Freddy"!

Oh you don't believe me? Oh come on! Don't make me post the video.

Allright, you asked for it.



Told ya! This just proves how successful Freddy has become in American culture. He has became a staple of our society and in doing so the gloved wonder has found himself being accepted like none other. For some reason, Freddy has proven to the population that you can embrace and laugh at it. If we take away the fear, then it no longer has power over us. And if there's one thing the entire Nightmare on Elm Street series has made us learn, it's fear is only in our minds. And perhaps that's why Freddy has become our favorite slasher. Let's face it, if fear was a person, we'd all love to kick it's butt!

Freddy may have turned himself into a silly, wise-cracking, mascot of the 1980's slasher boom. But to me, since the late 80s when I first caught glimpse of ol' pizza face, he's been an icon of the past 30 years of horror. And I assume, with remakes and sequels and merchandising, I have to guess Freddy will be around for 30 more years.

And on another note: I have yet to find a Jason album at the local Best Buy. So that's Freddy-1 Jason-0.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Trip To Camp Crystal Lake...



I went to camp for this past weekend. It's been a long wait, but I finally got there. Of course it's a journey I NEVER would have guessed I'd make. After all, what would I gain out of this? Of course being an adult summer camps aren't even a thought, and if they are then you're absolutely insane...

This summer camp was far different than any others. Ya see, June 3-5 was Monster Mania's Return to Camp Crystal Lake located in Hunt Valley, MD. Hunt Valley was previously the home for Horrorfind Weekend for years and years until Monster Mania invaded last September with their Nightmare on Elm Street 3 reunion.And that show was a blast and a half. But of course I'm a Fred-Head, so anytime Robert Englund is in town I'll be a bit biased. Camp Crystal Lake was different. VERY different. A few things stood out about this convention weekend. I'll get to those in a second but perhaps I should explain myself: I had no gain going into this convention. I've never been and most likely never WILL be a Friday the 13th fan. I can't stand the series and the series is up there with Scream as one of my least liked franchises. So why should I go? Well...Easy. I'm a horror fan and they did provide two big league guests that I needed to meet. And not to mention my girlfriend Laurie was selling her Knit-Terrors dolls(which you can get at http://www.knit-terrors.com. Sorry Phil. There's no way I couldn't. lol.)



So as I said, the name of the convention was "Return to Camp Crystal Lake" which would celebrate all that is Friday the 13th. All the elements were that usually make a fantastic convention. The stars were there, great vendors, fun events including great Q&A's were scheduled and even VIP Party was Friday night for fans to mingle with the stars and dance to their favorite hits and have some tasty cake. While I didn't attend, I heard it was the best VIP Party. And one thing Monster Mania always prides itself on is pleasing the fans. Which, in my mind is the most important thing.  As long as the fans are happy, they'll keep coming back in droves. And Monster Mania has a fanbase so rabid, they'll follow Dave Hagan to the earth and back. Loyalty is something very rare these days, so for the past 8 years Dave Hagan has been doing something right.


For fans that weren't into the killing stylings of one Jason Voorhees, you were still covered. Horror icons Lance Henriksen and Angus "The Tall Man" Scrim were in attendance. The lines for these two were the most consistent for the two days I was there. In fact Laurie's biggest celebrity meet was to be Mr. Scrimm himself as she is herself a huge Phantasm fan, and she did not walk away upset. She even delivered a small token of her appreciation: A handmade Tall Man doll, that Mr. Scrimm adored.



And my biggest want-to-meet for years, behind Robert Englund and Malcom McDowell, has been Lance. I've had many opportunities to meet him, but something always got in the way, much like Robert Englund as well. So as I stood in line waiting to meet him, I began shaking a little and became extremely star struck. He greeted me with a smile, a big handshake and after telling him what a huge fan I was, he gave me a huge hug and thanked me for being a fan. Lance was no doubt worth the wait to meet him.




Now onto the Friday guests. As I stated before, I'm not a Friday Fan, but I'm sure with the great lineup of rare and first timer guests along with the occasional fan favorites sprinkled in, this convention would have been a real dream lineup. Many people from the series showed up including the creator himself, Mr. Sean S. Cunningham who was a real sport, even referring to me as "sir"(and in his words "when you're 6'6, it's "sir"), to which I responded "let me know if you need another Jason" followed by a shared laugh. And while I met very few guests, I must say the few I did seemed to be enjoying themselves very much. I didn't see a single guest having a bad time. A lot of guests hadn't seen each other in some time, so seeing them all catch up and having smiles on their faces as well made me feel pretty good.



A high spot for me as well was when I got to tag along with the Fright Rags crew(if you haven't checked them out, head over to http://www.fright-rags.com. They are the best shirts in horror) along with Amy Steel and John Furey. Now just like my trip to a local Cherry Hill resturaunt with Joe Seeley and Lisa Wilcox, I got to know the people behind the characters. I always enjoy these moments. And at Monster Mania, it seems intimate moments with stars are always a guarantee. I enjoyed hearing stories from Mr. Furey and Miss Steel. A real pleasure.


So back to the lineup. The Jasons were all here. After all, you can't let the victims have all the fun can you? Not at all! A record 8 Jason's appeared this weekend. And while there were a few holdouts, no one seemed to be bothered. After all with all these Jason Voorhees in one room, it was a dream come true for diehard Crystal Lake-ers. I didn't hear any fans say a bad thing about any of their experiences meeting their favorite Jason and honestly, that makes me feel this wasn't a bad thing.

A few problems did arise. Mainly a competing convention not 4 hours away that split the fans in half. Saturday Nightmares was also scheduled in East Rutherford, NJ. Some fans may remember the same location being a long time home for Chiller Theatre, and in fact my very first horror convention, Chiller Theatre 2004, took place at this location. I heard many fans who arrived on Saturday said they just came from Saturday Nightmares and many on Saturday said they were actually going to Saturday Nightmares right after. It seemed that if you were in one spot, you weren't there for long as you were going to be in a hurry to get to the other show. By Saturday evening, most vendors were packing up their stock and ready to head out. I overheard one vendor say "no point wasting money on staying all weekend" as they taped up their boxes.

Personally, I have no problem with competition. But I feel that since there were two conventions int he same weekend within driving distance, maybe it hurt both shows. I've heard things about Saturday Nightmares but I'll leave it to Phil Fasso to fill in any rumors that may be flying around when he covers his experiences at the show.

Another problem may have been the theme of the show. Yes I realize Friday the 13th is one of the most popular horror franchises ever. Yes I realize this was trying to clean the mess John Gray started in Texas. Dave Hagan, as I've said before busts his butt...busts his butt to make a great show for fans of all ages to enjoy. Sadly, the single themed show and the fact that Saturday Nightmares was right up the road in New Jersey probably didn't help. I've always said, even if it's an Elm Street Themed convention, the novelty can't last all weekend and the magic is gone by the time all attendees get their guests. Attendance was not the greatest on Sunday. It seemed pretty bare. In fact I'm sure I would have been able to do cartwheels in the vendors and guests room. Be grateful I didn't.

Now, I personally enjoyed my visit to Camp Crystal Lake and give much props to Monster Mania for putting on this show. I think it was a great show, especially for those who love Friday the 13th. It was great to see a lot of fans with smiles on their faces as they got to meet their favorite stars, the stars themselves enjoying reminiscing with their former co-stars as they caught up and the laughter that could be heard in the hallways from the always enjoyable Q&A sessions. I have no doubt that Crystal Lake will always be remembered fondly by those who got to experience the fun. I was happy to be a part of the festivities and despite not being a fan, it was pretty inspiring to see a young 7 year old dress like Jason and chase people in the parking lot...kinda gives you hope that a franchise like this will live on forever doesn't it?

And allow me to close on this note: after this weekend I must say I was impressed. Very impressed with how everyone was enjoying themselves. So much in fact I may have to take a trip to Best Buy and give Jason another chance...

...maybe.

-Chad
http://vampiresdontwearglitter.blogspot.com

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Trip To Camp...Summer Fun Part 1!

Ahhh...it's summer! All those months filled with cold weather can now be forgotten! Sadly, the next few months will be filled with barbecues, mosquito bites, and humid air! But why bother with that stuff? Do what I do. Grab a burger off the grill, crank up the AC and forget about those mosquitoes and pop in a great movie! And luckily for you there are quite a bit of horror movies that are based in the summer. So I thought now would be a great time to take a look!

Now, when it comes to "summer time fun", nothing beats going to summer camp. And of course when it comes to summer camp related horror, one movie stands above the rest...



In 1981, Sean S. Cunningham took us to camp on "Friday the 13th". Now, if you know anything about horror you know that this the legendary horror series that revolves around Jason Voorhees, the boy who drowned at Camp Crystal Lake while his counselors were more interested in getting naughty. Years later, Jason's mother decided to take matters in her own hands and the rest is history! 9 sequels, a remake, a crossover film with Freddy and even a TV series(which had little to absolutely nothing to do with Jason.), it's been proven that Friday the 13th is a good-to-honest  cornerstone of horror movies. I guess his mother was right "you know what your gift is... no matter what they do to you, you can't die, you can never die." And with merchandising out the wazoo, you never have to leave home to go to camp! In fact when you plop down to watch your favorite massacre by the man behind the mask, you can now cuddle up with a Jason doll! I could go on and on about the merchandising, but I don't have enough space. Besides...I said I would save an entry for Jason's merchandising!

The point is simple: Jason is a phenom. And why not! He's one of the most popular killers and attractions to ever hit the movie screen. And allow me to ask you something...how many kids dress as Jason and proudly wear the hockey mask every year at Halloween? Case closed. You don't turn a $550,00 investment and slash your way to almost 1 billion dollars total without doing something right! Whether you or I like him or not, Jason is going to be around for a loooooong time.



Now, I've long said that I can't stand Friday the 13th and how I've always considered Freddy Krueger the far more superior slasher. But the fact is, you can never deny the impact Jason and his momma have made on horror. To some people Jason IS horror. And while I argue that point, I still see where they stand. As much as I love Freddy, they love Jason...and that's a key to horror movies! Variety.

Speaking of Friday the 13th, my favorite horror convention Monster Mania will be running a very special "Return to Camp Crystal Lake" June 3rd-5th! The theme of this show, as you can tell by the title, is to celebrate all facets that is Friday the 13th! If you're a fan, this is the convention for you! So many campers! So many Jasons! And oh yes...the man who made you afraid to go to camp...SEAN S. CUNNIGHAM! It will no doubt be a blast for all Friday the 13th fans! You can get all your details at the official Monster Mania web site!


Now, we leave Camp Crystal Lake and head over to another camp on the map... Camp North Pines. Sadly, this camp is a real nightmare...





1987 gave us the much forgotten gem Summer Camp Nightmare! And it's actually one of my favorite under-rated movies from the 1980s. I originally picked it up for 25 cents at a video store that was having a closing sale and eventually picked up a copy from my friend Sean of VHS Preservation Society. This movie often gets slapped with a "Lord of The Flies Ripoff" proceeding it but honestly, it's a lot better. The cast is headed up by the vastly talented Chuck Connors as he plays the good-minded Mr. Warren who has overtaken the camp with his strong Christian beliefs feeling the campers could use the good morals. Some campers grow very tired of his pushy ways and decided to push back. And so lead by Franklin, played by Charlie Stratton, they decide to lead a revolution and a mutiny as they run the camp on their terms...but maybe their terms come with a price...

Officially, this movie has never seen the light of an official dvd release. The sad fact is this movie never was accepted or even liked by a lot. Yes, it has garnered a small cult following, but I highly doubt it will ever see an official blu-ray release...

A fun piece of trivia: lead camp counselor, John Mason was played by Tom Fridley who played Cort in Friday the 13th part 6: Jason Lives! I guess, some people just love going to camp, eh?


Finally, we find our way at the end of our journey. We find ourselves going to one killer camp...it's time to stay the night at Sleepaway Camp!



My personal favorite of the three films I've discussed so far, Sleepaway Camp tells the story of young, quiet Angela, who is not too popular much like her cousin Ricky(played by Johnathan Tiersten). After she's sent to camp by her dear Aunt Martha(my personal favorite character of the series played by the fantastic Desiree Gould) she's picked on almost immediately targeted by the more outspoken and popular girls. Some girls, such as the evil brat of the camp Judy, do everything they can to pick on her and find ways to humiliate her. But...after the body count starts piling up, fingers point to her cousin Ricky. It's only after we find Angela's TRUE surprise, do they know what they were dealing with!

Now, here's where things get weird. The first Angela was played by a young Felissa Rose and Angela then appeared in the two following sequels played by Pamela Springsteen. The first Sleepaway Camp was more of a darker, serious slasher movie while the two following sequels were more light hearted. In the recent years two websites have emerged, SleepawayCampFilms and SlepawayCampMovies from John Klyza and Jeff Hayes respectively. John's website devotes itself to the sequels while Jeff's site devotes itself to the original and the fourth movie.

Sleepaway Camp has a very odd lineage from it's original release. In 1990 a fourth movie was planned entitled "The Survivor". While it began shooting, production ceased very shortly. However, all production footage can be found in the 4-disc Sleepaway Camp collection, originally released in 2002 by Anchor Bay. And some of the scenes were cut, something else transpired from this release...



Originally released with the Red Cross on the front, this box set was recalled very shortly after complaints from the Red Cross Association, which apparently did not like it's logo(or something close to it) appearing on a boxed set of horror dvds. The box art was then replaced by a similar package with the words "SURVIVAL KIT" on the front cover. Another odd footnote in the history of Sleepaway Camp. Of course, those who had their original box set, scoffed at it and gladly kept their recalled and quite collectible copies. That includes me, as well!

Just a little under a year another huge even would rock the campgrounds though...



The promised fourth movie entitled "Return to Sleepaway Camp" was produced in 2003. Around 2004 and 2005, Jeff Hayes' site would include many stills and even a few soundbites from the movie. And it seemed every year we were promised the release. Which eventually come in 2008, after a 5 year battle concerning legal and production woes. But after all that time, what was delivered was a pretty good effort featuring some of the original characters played by the original actors and new characters played by Steve Schirripa and Issac Hayes and featuring small cameos by the band CKY as camp counselors.  While it was a good film and did make longtime fans very happy about the wait, it also proved successful for rumors of a 5th movie!

While rumors abound of John Klyza putting together the final and full cut of the Survivor, even garnering an article in Fangoria, this has yet to be seen. And while the excitement for another Sleepaway Camp movie would excite, I highly doubt we'll see it due to many reasons which I won't get into.



There you have it...three fine examples of summer time frights! But wait! There's more! The next entry will tackle two of my favorite beach disaster movies...Jaws and Blood Beach! Join me will you? And don't forget to bring your sunblock!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Remembering: Hello Mary Lou Prom Night 2!

In my very first entry of this blog, I discussed my history of how I became a fan of horror. And since that first blog, I've gone into discussions about vhs, memorabilia, and a few other things. But now, seeing as this IS a horror blog, I thought I'd take a look at one of the movies I discussed in that very first blog. A movie that I hold a lot of love for. A movie that never really caught on like it's predecessor. This entry is dedicated to Hello Mary Lou Prom Night 2! And with prom season just around the corner, why not celebrate my personal favorite in the series!








Before I get into this movie, perhaps it would help by explaining that while it has title "Prom night 2", this film was NOT a sequel to the original Prom Night starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Leslie Neilsen. In fact the only theme that remained are Hamilton High's prom. Other than that, it has absolutely no ties to the first movie. In fact, without the title "Prom Night 2", this is an entirely different movie with all new characters, an entirely different story and a much different tone. Indeed while the first Prom Night was a pretty dark and serious horror film, Prom Night 2 delivers a little more tongue in cheek and lighter tone with it's story. And, in my opinion, makes for a more entertaining movie. The first Prom Night movie has been called "boring and dull" by many others in the horror fandom and I wholeheartedly agree. I saw it as a Halloween ripoff with prom being the theme. However it should be noted that out of four Prom Night movies and 1 remake, Mary Lou Maloney is the ONLY character to be featured in more than 1 movie. And an even more interesting note, Brock Simpson, is the only actor to play in each of the original Prom Night films, playing a different character in each film. It should also be noted, he is the son of produce of the first Prom Night and executive produce of Prom Night 2, Peter S. Simpson.


Now, let's get down to the story. Be warned: THIS DOES INCLUDE SPOILERS.

The story of Hello Mary Lou goes as follows: In 1957 the lovely Mary Lou Maloney(played by Lisa Schrage) was taken to the senior prom by Bill Nordam(played by Michael Ironside). Later in the night, Mar Lou decides to go home with another guy, upsetting Nordam in the meantime. Bill then decides to get revenge on his former sweetheart by lighting a stink bomb and dropping it on her during her prom queen coronation. But in doing so, he sets her on fire!


Talk about a hot date!

Mary Lou goes up in flames and perishes. 30 years later, Vicki Carpenter, a prom queen candidate roams around the basement of Hamilton High and opens a trunk with Mary Lou's sash and crown. In opening this sacred trunk, she unleashes the curse of Mary Lou. Many tragedies then hit the school and Vicki gets possessed by Mary Lou's spirit. Meanwhile, Bill Nordham has become principal of the school and witnesses all of these strange occurrences. His son, Craig is Vicki's by chance and the sins of the father are passed on to the son as he too is in the middle of these events.

Michael Ironside as the Principal with a secret!

Vicki's personality goes from quiet, mousy wallflower to a seemingly stuck in the 50s wild child. On the road to prom, she single handedly eliminates her religious fanatic mother, Father Cooper (who was the young man Mary Lou ditched Nordham for in 1957), and her friend Monica in the most disturbing scene in the movie when she is crushed in her own locker.
Vicki, invoking the spirit of Mary Lou Maloney and Joanie Cunningham.


Prom night finally comes, and many more bodies will lie in the morgue after the night is through. Vicki finally gets her crown and in doing so resurrects Mary Lou herself. After a nightmarish prom, Mary Lou's crown is returned to her. Apparently, all these shenanigans were all over Mary Lou getting her crown back. Yep. You read back. A scene is then shown of a young Bill Nordham and Mary Lou dancing at their prom before we cut back to 1987 with Vicki being rescued out of the same trunk all these events started from her boyfriend. Bill then drives off playing "Hello Mary Lou" and then movie ends.


Now, from the way I typed out the story, it may seems like I couldn't care less. But in fact, this movie has it's charm. The movie invokes spirits of Carrie and Nightmare on Elm Street while peppered with fun special effects, including a wild "chalkboard jacuzzi" and a possessed riding horse in Vicki's bedroom. The death scene that I spoke of involving Monica sticks out like a sore thumb and is usually remembered by anyone who witnesses it. While the young cast wasn't known before or after, many have moved on to somewhat successful work. Justin Louis who plays Craig Nordham, went on to play Art Blank in Saw 4 while making many co-starring roles in tv and movies. Wendy Lyons and co-star Terri Hawkes went on to play Queen Serenity and Sailor Moon in the wildly popular anime, Sailor Moon.

In 2003, a region 1 DVD release of the movie was released and Canada. It would be 5 years until it finally came to American DVD markets with a release coinciding with the remake of Prom Night and even found itself on a triple feature disc with Carrie and Swimfan. Between it's original release in 1987 and now, it has been shown frequently on TV as a weekend movie in different parts of the country and of course USA Up All Night.

A fun piece of trivia: Many have said that the theme of "Seinfeld" plays while the camera cuts to a scene where Craig and Vicki enjoy a breakfast at diner called "Jerry's".This is absolutely false.

In recent years, the Prom Night series got a real shot in the arm with the remake of the original. And when that film flopped and failed miserably, the hopes of any sequel got flushed down the toilet. Who knows, maybe one day we'll see Mary Lou come back, but it seems doubtful. Until then, it's great to know that Mary Lou finally got her crown.

Well...I take that back...




Yep, a direct to video sequel was released in 1990. However, I won't touch this with an entry.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Monster Mania 17 Report

So Monster Mania 17 has come and gone. And it was a pretty wild ride...

Monster Mania is a very popular convention in Cherry Hill, NJ, and has for many years. And since it's inception in 2003, it has grown to be one of the most popular conventions in the country. I've known fans from Australia and England to come over once or twice a year to visit the mega-show! And the rabid fans of the show usually are the real stars. Monster Mania's fanbase is very loyal to the convention and always enthused to hear the latest rumors and guest lineups. The fans definitely make the show a lot of fun and very memorable. It's one of the very few conventions where I've made true friends. In fact Saturday morning was spent with my "gore mentor" and a very great human being Mr. Phil Fasso at Old Country Buffet. And it was quite a pleasure to spend breakfast discussing conventions and the fandom.

So let's hit the Monster Mania review, shall we! My experience at this show was a little different than my previous trips. For this show, I helped my girlfriend Laurie vend her Knit Terrors dolls and goods( http://www.knit-terrors.com) for most of the weekend. So if I wasn't at the table, then I was running around the hotel like a headless. I didn't get to check out as many events as I usually do, but for good reason. This was the first convention Laurie and I would attend as a couple. We met, ironically AT Monster Mania in Hunt Valley in September 2010 and since then, we've been in a very loving relationship.

But, as I said, Monster Mania is very popular. How popular? So popular that it was able to score the first time signing appearance of one Nick Castle, the producer of Halloween and the original Michael Myers. And Ace Frehley from some band I'm sure you've never heard of. This Monster Mania showcased a rather different guest lineup. It varied from horror stars to a rock star to science fiction tv stars from the 60s. It was a rather eclectic crowd, but seemed to really draw in the fans. The big money was on Nick Castle being the big money draw for the weekend to die hard fans. And indeed he was a big deal to most fans who were very excited to meet the one man who played Michael Myers who eluded them for years. Now, personally I am NOT a huge Halloween fan as others are, but I could still understand his relevancy. With the exception of Jamie Lee Curtis, this is the biggest name of the legendary Halloween legacy. This was a big deal that drew Halloween fans from all over, and they did not leave unhappy. Nick was a great guy and was very warm and receptive to everyone stopping by to offer their gratitude or just to say hello. I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say I hope this isn't his last show.


Ace Frehley's legacy will speak for itself. With a price of $30 for an autograph, $30 for a photo with him and charging $500 to sign a guitar(no that doesn't include a guitar HE provides. That price would be for him to sign YOUR guitar), I can probably guarantee he won't be showing up to any future shows.

The rest of the guest rooms seemed pretty good. All the guests seemed happy to be there and having a lot of fun. It's always great to talk to first time guests and get their opinion. Such was the case with Mr. Ricky Dean Logan from Back to the Future 2 and 3 and Freddy's Dead who said he was enjoying himself. And he certainly always had a smile on his face every time I saw him!


As I stated earlier, I didn't get to do my share of events but that's quite alright. Another fun aspect of Monster Mania is it's "party atmosphere". It seems everywhere you go at anytime there is a party going on. It's pretty nice actually, because everyone has the same goal: To enjoy their weekend the best they can. So when an infamous group called "The 509's" decide to have a few of their favorite drinks and watch a few awful movies and riff on it the entire time, you know you're in the right place for fun.

The dealers room in Monster Mania is another attraction. In it you can find many great treasures that you probably won't find anywhere else. Rare dvds, posters, action figures, artwork and off the wall memorabilia. You just never know what you'll find walking around that room. I once picked up two Elm Street "street signs" from the late 80s, "Bloody New Year" dvd and Fright Flix trading cards. It's always amazing to see the outstanding wares brought in by the great vendors. And recently it was announced the vendors room will be expanding, so you KNOW I'll be on the prowl for some goodies!

While I wasn't active in the convention as I have been in the past, I must confess this was a pretty good show. The attendance didn't seem as big as the last few shows. I do believe because of the diverse guests who seemed more like a lineup for regular memorabilia show, some fans were alienated by the sci-fi guests and unusual additions of a rock star. But that's ok. Not everyone can be pleased. Some people made this the very first Monster Mania they attended and were not dissatisfied. Some long time fans WERE dissatisfied by the initial lineup and the lack of it being an "all horror show". Some compared it to "another horror convention in New Jersey" and ultimately anyone who attended took something from the show. Good or bad, it's they're choice. Not everyone can be pleased. Me? I criticized the show early on, but was proven wrong very quickly.

At the end of the weekend the show was a success and a ripping good time! My personal favorite Monster Mania to date...Now I have to prepare for my next trip(s): Saturday Nightmares in East Rutherford, NJ and Monster Mania 18: Return to Crystal Lake in Hunt Valley featuring an homage to Friday the 13th! Guests at Saturday Nightmares include Tippi Heddren, Sid Haig and much much more. Guests at Monster Mania include Sean S. Cunnigham,  Lance Henricksen, Richard Brooker and many more. It's going to be a great weekend that I'm looking forward to. Let's hope I don't pass out of exhaustion!!!

You can get more details about Monster Mania at http://www.monstermania.net. Saturday Nightmares can be seen at: http://www.saturdaynightmares.com

In my next blog entry, I'll be counting down my top 7(yep! Lucky number 7!) horror movies that didn't catch on. Also known as the "Top 7 Awful Horror Movies" list. Everyone always has a list like this, and I love awful horror movies. Hope you'll join me!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Anthology Films! More "Boo!" For Your Buck?

In the world of horror, you have many such a vast variety of films to pick from. Slashers, psychological thrillers, supernatural themed horror. The list goes on and on. But what if you wish to have as many themed horror genres crammed into an hour and a half? Well, sir! I have just the pick(or picks) for you! The horror anthology film!











Seen above with that rascal the Crypt Keeper are a few selections from my personal collection. We have(from left to right) Shock Chamber, the first season of Tales From the Crypt tv series, the double dvd set of the Amicus produced Tales From the Crypt and Vault of Horror, Deadtime Stories. On the ground are (left to right) Creepshow, Tales From the Hood and Chillers. While this entry is on anthology FILMS, The Crypt Keeper demanded "HIS" television series be included. Actors can be a burden to work with sometimes.

But enough of him, let's move on. Anthology films will usually entail 3 or 5 stories which may or may not interlock within each other. The central theme will be included in the story line sometimes.  Creepshow, my personal favorite, used five stories that seemed to come directly out of an EC Comic book of the 50s which, in those days usually meant that the villain of the story would find his comeuppance in an ironic or personal demise involving his flaws as a human. In Creepshow, the stories revolve around the main antagonists and their flaws. And by the end of the segments, they all met their demise in very comic-book like fashion. A true hallmark of the old EC Comics. Creepshow is a true classic and stands the test of time and is truly my pick for the greatest anthology film of all time.



Another favorite of mine is the cult classic Tales From the Hood which was released by HBO Films in 1995 and directed by Rusty Cundieff and stars many fine stars of the genre including Clarence Williams III, Wings Hauser, Corbin Bernsen, and even from Creepshow 2 Tom Wright among so many others who make this pick a great time. The movie twists the old EC Comics formula and takes it a step further with gritty stories from the confines of a funeral home and tells the story of four short stories that are based around an African American view of horror. Many central themes are drugs, racism, gangs and many other central themes. This movie was originally looked over as a "in the hood" movie which were rather popular at the time, but this movie stands on it's own. It was released by HBO Home Video in 1998, but sadly currently out of print. However, if you find it on Ebay or Amazon on dvd, it is worth a spot in your movie collection and gets one of my highest recommendations.This movie in my mind got it right. It's visually striking, can be humorous at times, and has 4 exciting stories and fantastic acting. While the movie wasn't isn't as popular as Creepshow, I personally feel it was a good pick.




Sometimes, you'll have a lot of silliness and dullness to the point that the movie is unwatchable to a small degree. In 1987 Troma films tried their hand at the anthology film with "Chillers". To be fair Troma IS not known for their serious side but more known for their wacky and slapstick side. Not to say Troma did not produce their share of classics(an entry in the future will discuss more), but this particular pick is a little on the...odd side. In Chillers, 5 strangers are stranded at a backwoods bus station and divulge of their recent dreams and how they "seemed so real". We the viewer get to relive those dreams as the strangers re-tell them. The problem with this particular movie(and many other low budget anthology films) is it starts off somewhat promising and even interesting with the story of a girl who falls for a swimmer, who she then realizes has been deceased. Fair enough, we then go into the favorite amongst fans of the film(and yes there are fans of this selection), the store of three boys who travel with their scout-master only to discover a unique secret about him. Then things start to slow down in the last three stories which involve satanism, an evil Spanish creature, and the power to bring people back from the dead. The problem with this film isn't really the stories. It's the visual style. This movie comes off very flat and dull. It goes from interesting to "yawn" within the span of 30 minutes. However, the first two segments are very fun to watch, especially with the performance of Scoutmaster Bob(also known as "WOLF!") who may be the shining star of the film. 

Anthology films are a favorite of mine. Perhaps due to me watching Creepshow at such a young age. Anthologies are a great way for a horror fan to have more "boo" for your buck. If your a fan of horror and want a little variety in your viewing pleasure, these are the perfect way to go. And in the span of over 20 years of watching horror, I've come across many good and bad anthology films. But then again in horror movies, we wouldn't have it any other way...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Trip Down Memorabilia Lane Part 1! (Freddy Krueger)

Much to the inspiration of my dear friend and fellow wrestling fan(and Batman 1966 fanatic!) Josh of JW's Wrestling Memorabilia, I've decided to do a blog entry(and maybe more!) showcasing the interesting, the memorable, the "wow, why did they make that!" in HORROR MEMORABILIA!
So with that, I begin my journey. I suppose everyone has their favorite piece of memorabilia. Be it a worn out vhs copy of The Horror of Frankenstein, an autographed photo of Vincent Price, a Pinhead action figure, or even a Freddy Krueger Snowglobe! I've seen collections that showcase a specific movie, trend, character, or just anything that a fan could get their hands on.

Personally, my collecting habits are a little(or maybe vastly depending on your definition of "fan") different. I've always focused on collecting VHS and DVDs. Just as recent as 2001, I began collecting autographs from horror stars and icons. But, in between being a young lad watching Creepshow and being a loud and obnoxious adult who watches movies like "The Carpenter", I've amassed a small collection of neat knick knacks that make my room go from "smelly basement" to "creep, smelly basement with slashers everywhere!".

Obviously my collection, much like yours I'm sure, has it's favorite...

Yep! Surprised aren't ya? Obviously everyone's collecting habits are different. Me? I like unique crazy stuff that you would find at a yard sale or a collectible store and say "wow! what is THIS?!?!?". For example:




A Freddy Krueger YOYO?!?! Yep, in the late 80s as Freddy and the Elm Street saga was slashing it's way to the top, we began to see silly merchandise opportunities for the Springwood Slasher. Freddy was everywhere. His glove was a very popular Halloween accessory. He appeared as action figures, in comic books, squeeze balls, sticker albums, pajamas, even a CAR SUN SHADE! These are just tiny examples. I could go on and on. The point is, when it comes to horror, most people don't want the movie to end after the credits! They want to live it by any means necessary! And this is where the merchandising really comes in handy.

Are you on a long trip and that radio is making your ears bleed? Sit back and enjoy "Freddy's Greatest Hits" by Freddy and the Elm Street Group. Yep, Robert Englund himself stepped into the studio to lay down some tracks with an allstar band called "the Elm Street Group" in this release. And of course the answer the yes...I DO have this entire record on my iPod. What can I say, it comes in handy when traveling to horror conventions!





Even a board game! Wow! What better way to spend Friday night with the family than celebrate your favorite killer? Don't forget the popcorn!




Perhaps my favorite piece of Freddy Krueger merchandise would be the infamous "Talking Doll" released in 1989 by Matchbox Toys. Most famous for those little diecast cars, the nice folks at Matchbox figured they would take a chance by releasing a doll of that pizza-faced maniac. And it would worked too...

That is until a bunch of parents had a problem with it. I mean a HUGE problem. A lot of parents objected to walking down the toy aisle and hearing a doll scream "Welcome to Elm Street" and a handful of other phrases. This WAS 1989 though. At that point the worst we had seen was Skeletor. So, after a hearing enough Matchbox took the toy out of the stores and pretty much stuck with toy cars. But that wasn't Freddy's last hoorah in the toy aisle.





In 1998 Todd McFarlane and his company "McFarlane Toys" released a new toy line called "Movie Maniacs" with consisted of Freddy, Jason, Leatherface and would eventually have many other horror luminaries including Edward ScissorHands, Predator, Ash from Evil Dead, The Terminator and many many others. These figures were extremely detailed down to a T. Everything was represented perfectly; his glove, the sweater, the hat, even that sinister snear that Freddy get's when he decides to gut his victim. These figures were and still are, highly collectible and very sought after due to their fantastic craftmanship. A variant in the line showed the characters with blood stains all over their bodies to simulate the villains at what they do best, and we all know what that means!



Many other companies have put their finger in the Freddy pie. Releasing many Freddy-related merchandise from lunchboxes, toys, posters, t-shirts, wallets, even a Halloween candy dish! The merchandising has become a little bit more refined these days. Now you can walk into Spencers and find Freddy dolls and bracelets and shirts. Heck, FYE still has many Freddy merch as well! It's all fantastic too. It puts horror out there for the masses to enjoy. Besides who wouldn't want a 3-D Poster replica of the original Elm Street theatrical poster!


But what's collectible for me, could very well be garbage to you. And that's alright! Collecting is all about personal taste! I'll return to this subject in the near future. There's so many great pieces of merchandising and horror subjects with odd merchandising that I'd like to cover and will. I hope you'll return to enjoy the trip with me
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Next entry: I return to discuss horror anthology films! Thanks for reading!