Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving Countdown: Garfield Thanksgiving!

I've come to the realization that doing a Thanksgiving week countdown and not touching on the amazing Garfield Thanksgiving Special would be an absolute crime. One that I would deserve a severe beatdown for excluding...

Released today in 1989 on CBS, this classic has gone forgotten by many people, mainly due to it's lack of reruns over the years. Now I'm gonna tell you something you may not like and owning it as MY opinion alone, but I actually believe this to be even better than A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Make no bones about it, I'm the biggest Peanuts fanatic in the world and I love watching Snoopy's insane junkfood dinner, but just in terms of fun and Thanksgiving-ness, Garfield takes the pumpkin pie here. But that's a very close call to make. Now why would I make such a bold claim and make up a term such as "Thanksgiving-ness"? Well, let's take a look at this beloved holiday special and hopefully we're on the same page by the end.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Thanksgiving Countdown: A Gingerbread Turkey!

We've all enjoyed the tradition of making a gingerbread house for the Christmas season. There's not a lot of traditions that can make people smile and satisfy their holiday theme hunger quite like it. Personally, I find building a gingerbread house frustrating and time consuming. But it's usually worth and leads to happy faces and tummies and a nice photo for Instagram. Now...what if I told you that you could capture that same feeling but for Thanksgiving.

Yes folks, I'm talking about a GINGERBREAD TURKEY!!!!

This new tradition comes to the Thanksgiving table thanks to our friends at Trader Joe's. Always a popular spot for some good holiday treats and food no other store will have the balls to offer. I mean, where else can you find turkey and gravy potato chips that taste so close to the real thing, you're gonna need a nap after?

Ok, they're not the greatest. In fact, they taste downright bizarre but points for originality. Let's focus on something that you can consider the greatest.

There it is. I physically did a double take when I saw this box in the store. I knew I had to own it and assemble the greatest piece of holiday food art I could. Wasn't gonna be easy, but for my love of sweets and Thanksgiving, I would at least try. Are you ready for this? I don't think you are. I know I wasn't. This is life changing on a grand scale. Thanksgiving will never be the same again and all other food related traditions have been put on notice...

All the pieces are here to make your turkey. The tools of the trade are also included. You want to make a fabulous turkey with sprinkles, gummies and generic M&M's? Great! You don't? Hey, that's ok! It's your turkey. You be as over the top creative or just keep it basic. I'm not judging. Fair warning though, you will have to make the frosting yourself. I'm ok with that. Give me homemade, fresh frosting over that weird tubed frosting any day. That's part of the magic of this fun kit. You gotta earn it. And earn it I did.

Making a turkey to reflect my personality, was no easy task. But I did it. Not a bad looking guy so far. I'm almost gonna hate to eat him later tonight while watching Survivor Series but for the time being, he's rather precious. Sure, he looks more like that guy who fell in toxic waste in Robocop mixed with the Cryptkeeper than what's on the box, but we're not done yet. Almost there. With a little help from the wife who has more steady hands than I do, we created quite the beautiful turkey...


A gingerbread turkey! Well, kind of. A turkey mixed with the NBC Peacock, but hey since they're airing the Macy's Parade, isn't that kind of appropriate?

Now, as a gingerbread enthusiast, I rank this pretty high but as a Thanksgiving fantatic, you can't get much higher of a recommendation. If you're gonna be offering anything as a pre-Thanksgiving treat, it may as well be this. I mean, 'tis the season for everything gingerbread, but why not bridge the gap between Thanksgiving and Christmas with this?


Saturday, November 18, 2017

Thanksgiving Countdown: Talkin' Turkey With Corey Chapman

The HorrorMovieBBQ Podcast is back once again with one of my favorite people in the world and Thanksgiving fantatic, Corey Chapman of the Chap Report (maybe returning soon?) to discuss one of my favorite days of the year THANKSGIVING!

It's a great time of year, it provides some fun moments with family and you get some relaxation, unless you're one of the people going insane and running around like a chicken without a head. Or is that turkey?

Topics discussed:

-Where has Corey been?
-Corey's favorite pregame ritual.
-Black Friday legacy.
-Katie Holmes as an art school goddess.
 -The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
 -That time I drove around around town all morning to buy a bunch of wrestling figures.

powered by podcast garden



Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Joker At The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!

Well, Thanksgiving is almost here, but the Thanksgiving Countdown has begun on the blog. I'm a huge fan of this very special day. Why? There's a lot of reasons I'll explore throughout the next week or so, but quite frankly one of the big reasons I love the big day is none other than the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.

The pageantry! The floats! The lip syncing! The dancing turkeys! How can I not love this parade? There is literally nothing to hate. And it bridges the gap between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Once you see Santa coming down that street, it's all over. You're ten years old again and you believe in everything great this world has to offer. It's a beautiful 2 hour time period where absolutely nothing can bother you or go wrong.

Welll...There's always an exception to the rule. Just like there's always a Joker in the deck...

1989 was the year. A pretty solid year for the Parade but a pretty huge year for Batman. Now, obviously, Batman was the biggest movie of the year and anything that had black and gold was automatically a license to print money. Of course, anything that had the Joker involved as well became white hot. So obviously, the natural inclination is to include either Batman or the Joker into the Parade somehow right? Maybe have The Joker run around and steal things from kids in the audience, maybe even recreate the float scene from the movie and have Batman fly in and beat him up? Not bad ideas, really. I mean those could work big time. Especially since the VHS was being released a week or two before. It would be great hype for that and a great time for the Parade.

Therein lies the problem.

They gave us The Joker, but they didn't really give us The Joker we knew and loved. He at least threw money out to the crowd and kinda resembles the scene from the movie. But why is there an elephant on the float? I mean, ok, to his credit he looks like The Joker, but instead of playing pranks, shooting people and calling out the Caped Crusader to the ol' duke-a-roo, someone decided to put him on a float with a bunch of kids singing about clowns. I always have to keep in mind that this event is for families and no way would they ever consider a poison gas expelling float while The Joker laughs at people dying. The Joker would never wear yellow gloves either.

Part of the appeal of this act wasn't just the man in purple, but who was PLAYING him. The announcers of the show kinda hinted at that the man behind the makeup was someone famous, but it was our task to guess WHO.
There he is...

So let's see our options. It's a Joker. It's 1989. Hmmm...

Bill Murray? Nah. He's prolly back home watching the parade with his 800 brothers.

Robin Williams? Expecting him to even consider it after being lied to by WB would be silly.

Hulk Hogan? No way, brother.

So who could it be? I'm stumped!

The big reveal finally comes. The answer is...



Yup, Presidential impressionist and comedian extraordinaire, Fred Travalena became The Joker. It kinda makes sense they'd get a comedian if you think about and it's probably best they chose Fred instead of say, Andrew Dice Clay or Sam Kinnison. Mr. Travalena is a funny guy and all, but stepping into that purple suit after Nicholson was an unenviable task. Now, I'll admit, Fred tried his hardest to make this his own and really seemed to have fun but I could forgive him a lot more if his choice of song wasn't so corny. I'm making a bigger deal about this terrible than I should but I still find it insanely irritating. It's a song about clowns and playing cards. Listen to it without punching your screen and I'll buy you a Pepsi.

As a fan of The Joker, I was pretty let down by this but as a fan of the Parade, I give it some slack and let it slide. It is what it is, it's silly, it's fun, and everyone involved is having a ball. And in the end, isn't that what the spirit of the Parade is all about? Corniness and fun?


Friday, November 10, 2017

What A Lovely Day For A Transforming Exorcism...

A few weeks ago, I found myself down in the DC area for a fun afternoon of toy robots and legendary voices. I must be in town for TFCon, the annual Transformers convention! I also attended the Toronto edition in July with my longtime buddy, JD of General Geekery, where I met voice actors Michael Bell and Arthur Burghardt, but this show was a bit different. Toronto was a lot of fun and I hope to make it back next year, especially if the caliber of voice actors is what it was this year!

Arthur Burghardt aka Destro

Michael Bell aka Duke, The Hulk, Chucky's Dad on Rugrats, jeez I wish I had more space...

Whereas the Toronto edition overtook the entire hotel, this show was only given two ballrooms for the voice actors, panels, and vendor area. Obviously, there was a giant difference. Now this sounds like a bad thing on paper, but the show was packed on a Sunday, which is very hard to do for most shows. Of course not attending the show on the busy day, Saturday, didn't give me the opportunity to witness just how big it could be. For me, the main draw is always meeting the voice actors and getting a chance to shake the hands of those who provided me with such entertainment in my youth. In my opinion, voice actors just don't get enough credit for what they do and the volume of work they amassed int heir careers, so it's always an honor for me to shake their hands and say thank you.

The guests in attendance for this show? Neil Ross and Jack Angel.

Neil Ross aka Shipwreck from GI Joe, among his other amazing roles!

Jack Angel aka The Flash, Hawkman, Ultra Magnus, WetSuit and so many countless others!
You definitely know them from Transformers, GI Joe, Hannah Barbera and just every cartoon in existence. Both men have worked extensively in animation and have some of the most impressive resumes ever. I only spent a few moments with each, but I got them to sign my GI Joe The Movie DVD, which is running out of room, and even told me a fun story or two about working on them. I was absolutely thrilled to finally meet them.

So after the show, my friend Andrew and I headed to Taco Bell for some lunch and a suggestion came out of me:

"Hey, Andrew. We're 30 minutes away. Why don't we hit the Exorcist Stairs once and for all?"

Andrew looked at his taco, looked at me, took a sip of his Mountain Dew Baja Blast and replied:

"Let's f'ing do this, man.".

Well now. Andrew has a had a busy weekend, was probably a little worn out from my bachelor party, his NY Giants were about to play this afternoon, so I didn't expect him to be so open. Not that I would've been upset had he said he just wanted to go home considering how busy he's been carting me around all week, but hey we once drove 3 hours for White Castles, what's a 30 minute trip to see a famous movie location? Nonetheless, after some nachos and stopping at a gas station for a cigar and some bottled waters, we were off.  For years when I lived in MD, I've talked about hitting these legendary steps before but never made my way out to Georgetown to do so. I just never made it my highest priority. But, once I moved up to NY I started to regret never going. So it made perfect sense that if we were only 30 minutes away, we should at least  attempt to head over.

Well...after a drive on the beltway, which apparently they were doing work, because this drive was not 30 minutes after all, we pulled in to a small parking lot adjacent to a gas station and lo and behold...WE'RE HERE!

 And so were many other locals to check it out as well!

First impression of the steps? Man, these suckers are HIGH!  I was expecting a lot of steps, but if you've never been here, the pictures you see don't do it justice. There's a lot of steps here and they're STEEP too.  People in better physical shape than me were having toruble conquering the devilish creation. I tried my hardest to walk up and down these things 3 times and I needed a nap afterwards. It wasn't common to see people walk or jog up, and take a breather halfway.

At the bottom of these iconic stairs is a plaque, recognizing it's legendary status as well as it's role in the movie. Not bad for a horror movie icon, eh?

I swear I'm not urinating

So of course, being a big ham, I had to wear my Exorcist 3 hoodie from Fright Rags and that lead to lots of locals asking me to play tour guide and wanting to know more about the movie. Now, that wasn't my intention, I just wanted some cool photos but hey, you wear a cape, you gotta be prepared to save people I guess!

Again: STEEP. For someone who's completely uncoordinated and trips over his own rabbits when they race around the apartment, I got a little overwhelmed here.

Just don't look down. You WILL feel like you're about to fall and plummet to your doom. Looking down from the top to bottom can especially cause a little fright. Not like Vertigo, of course but it's still a lot to take in. Thankfully I didn't fall to my death like Father Merrin...

Oh wait...

slipped on a banana peel...

I'm so glad I finally had the chance to check these stairs out. If you're a horror fan and are in the area, stop by. It's well worth the drive, and the visit! Of course, if it's at night, I bet they're even creepier...

Big thanks to Andrew for being willing to travel this day to both TFCon and The Exorcist steps. I wouldn't have been able to have as much fun without him!


Thursday, November 9, 2017

The HorrorMovieBBQ Podcast: The Death of Superman!

Well, ladies and gentlemen, it's back! The HorrorMovieBBQ Podcast is ready to hit the airwaves again and boy do I have a fun discussion for you! Today's episode is all about the comic book event that changed everything, the Death of Superman! Released this month in 1992, an event so big that it even garnered big mainstream media attention, which back then, just wasn't common. We discuss it's impact on the comic game, the media, the adaptions love of Batman Vs. Superman!

My guest today is none other than the host of the wildly popular NerdLunch podcast, Carlin "CT" Trammel. CT is known for his wit, amazing hair, vast knowledge of everything geek and...something I never knew...interning at Marvel? Huh. I feel like I would've heard that brought up on the podcast before. ;)

So pull up your chair, open up your brown paper bag, put that black Superman armband, call Martha and enjoy today's fun episode of The HorrorMovieBBQ Podcast!

powered by podcast garden


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

5 VHS To Get Out Of That Post Halloween Slump!

It seems every has a case of the post Halloween blues and some are even  hesitating embracing Thanksgiving and and Christmas. Look, I get it, guys. Halloween rings in the season and everyone gets wildly excited for pumpkins and Roseanne Halloween specials. I don't blame them. Afterall, the rest of the year can be a bit of a bore unless you're a fan of locking yourself indoors during a snowstorm with french bread pizzas or sitting out by the pool with a fancy drink.

Thankfully, getting out of that slump is pretty easy and I have a few good VHS tapes to help you accept the change in holidays. Now there's no "Halloween Night" theme going on, so you'll have to pardon me if it's a bit of a reach, but they're all great choices for your "I'm in the mood for Halloween NOW" afternoon.

Monday, November 6, 2017

What I've Been Watching: Warner Brothers Edition

Annabelle Creation:

Synopsis: Several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker's possessed creation, Annabelle.

Since I never saw The Conjuring or Annabelle movies, I figured starting with the prequel would be a good idea. IAnnabelle had a lot of acclaim and I heard nothing but positives for this one so I was ready to check it out. This movie had some amazing contributions to horror's very successful year.. This movie offers a LOT of scary moments in this movie which puts it head and shoulders above some of the other horror movies I've seen this year. That alone makes it worth your time. Also, good to see Anthony Laplaglia back in on the screen as the father of the title character

Annabelle Creation  hit a home run with both critics and audiences and I think this was a good way for me to head into Annabelle and the rest of the series. I'll definitely be checking out Annabelle. If it's anything like this, I'm sure I'll be very happy.

Batman Vs Two-Face:

Synopsis: "Former Gotham City District Attorney Harvey Dent, one side of his face scarred by acid, goes on a crime spree based on the number '2'. All of his actions are decided by the flip of a defaced, two-headed silver dollar."
 Adam West sadly passed away earlier this year but before he left us, he recorded one last performance as Batman, the role that brought him the most notoriety. Also joined by Burt Ward, Julie Newmar and after much anticipation, William Shatner in his role of the evil TwoFace! I always heard the rumor that Clint Eastwood was considered for TwoFace but was abandoned after the script originally written was just too violent for the tone of the show. However, Shatner stepped into an otherwise untouched role in this particular universe and nailed it.

Two-Face hasn't been explored as much in the DC Animated universe and I hope that changes. Always liked him as a character and thought the possibilities for more stories. I know it's more inline with Batman mythology to move on to another villain in further installments, but I hope Shatner's TwoFace is considered for more sequels.  What we received was a delightful tribute to the 1960's series. A lot of fun gags, great voice acting and of course, amazing animation by Warner Brothers, and of course a hint at who will be the next villain...or is that...villainess, puddin'?