Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The Joys of Black Friday!

We're officially in the home stretch of the Thanksgiving season. It's been a pretty busy few weeks for me and I'm sure you as well but in just a matter of hours, it'll be worth all the effort. I can feel the excitement creeping up more and more! Of course after a long day of Parades, food, and family telling the same stories over, I'll have Black Friday to look forward to!

Good thing I have Monster to help me recreate the mood for this one...

Oh yeah. The only time lining up at 3 am for 20 dollars off a 4K tv seems somewhat sane and...logical? I don't know. I feel like I can always find better deals on Mercari or even used on Amazon, but that weird comradely with other psychos in line makes it somewhat comforting. Besides, it's just not a Thanksgiving evening without about 600 flyers and circulars on your dinner table. It's a weirdly comforting feeling.

Black Friday actually holds a lot of positive memories for me. The first one I ever did was in 2003 and my big reward for dragging my best friend Andrew to Best Buy at 4 in the morning while relying heavily on cigarettes and Pepsi was 3 cd's, a Playstation 2 game and a couple Anchor Bay horror dvds (ya know, back when Best Buy had an enormous horror section). Andrew was a great sport and picked up a few PS2 games but he wanted nothing more than a nice hot McGriddle and to go back to bed. For two 20 year old guys, who probably were more used to a good smoke and drink and sleeping in until about noon or so on a day off, this was a different experience for us. Fun though! And I'm glad I got to share it with my best friend.

While that was a good starter, in 2006, I'd bust my biggest nut. That was the era where Jakks WWE Classic Superstars were reaching one of their highest points. Some of the best characters of wrestling's past were being created for the first time in 15-20 years. Brutus Beefcake, Demolition. All the faves. And on Black Friday that year, KB Toys and Kmart offered some serious deals that I couldn't pass up. KB offered 3 Classic Superstars for $20, which considering they were $15 each at the time, wasn't something I would turn down. So I decided to load up on my collection and grab 3 figures, which is good since the store had already sold so many. Pickings were slim but hey, Ken Shamrock, Bam, Bam Bigelow and Kamala are nothing to sneeze at. Of course, K-Mart is where the real gem was...

K-Mart rolled out an exclusive "Real Scale Ring" set which was a replica of a WWE ring, except a LOT bigger than a normal ring. This was no rinky dink toy, it was a 20' x 20' ring with a real cloth ring mat, die cast ringposts, foam turnbuckles and ropes that didn't require me to tie them with horrible knots like I used to with WWF Hasbro Rings. It was more like a giant model than a toy and I was more than happy to humor the store and pay it. The asking price for this beauty? $50. Special Black Friday price. You'd think they were done and officially hooked me but then they threw in the big guns: Exclusive Rowdy Roddy Piper and Hulk Hogan figures would be included. Well, crap. Now I really can't turn this down!

Just pretend this is K-Mart, as hard as that is to do...

So I drove from KB to my local K-Mart. By this point it was about 5:30. K-Mart opened at 6 am and I was determined to be the one to grab that ring and figure set. Once the doors opened, I flew to the toy section like the giant kid I am and grabbed the only set they had! It was a flawless victory. I was overjoyed. I couldn't wait to get home to put it together and immediately construct a sweet display on my shelf. The guilt set in rather quickly though, as I checked out and started walking out. A woman came up to me and asked if they had anymore because she wanted one for her son. I broke the news that I got the only one and she looked super defeated. Normally I would feel bad and would be happy to give up my bounty for the greater good but I was super drained at this point and wanted to get home. Not my proudest moment, but hey, my credit card got charged and I was feeling cocky and victorious. Little Billy would have to wait another day.

And then, on the way home, I proceeded to stop at another Kmart and pick up two more Classic Superstars. Before you ask, yes I still lived in my mom's basement. Shocking, eh?

For no reason, here's Monster and Bullseye.

I'm sure you too have a very similar story about having fun during Black Friday. I'd love to hear it!  Sound off in the comments with your best Black Friday memory!


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

He-Man at the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade!

Now, I've written about our pal He-Man before, but this is one subject I've been wanting to cover since I started blogging. In the words of Blade from the live action Masters of the Universe movie "I've been waiting a long time for this!"

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The Horror Movie BBQ Podcast: Garfield's Thanksgiving!

It was bound to happen. And after ranting and raving about it online, I finally took the plunge and called my friend Jayme to join me for a discussion about...GARFIELD'S THANKSGIVING!

I wrote about my love of this special 2 years ago, but one writeup just doesn't do it justice.  If you really wanna hear how great it is and get a couple laughs in, you gotta check out this episode. And with the 30th anniversary of this special upon us, it just felt right to do this one!

In today's episode, Jayme and I discuss:

  • Previous Garfield specials
  • Is Jon a moron?
  • Holy crap, he really is.
  • Dr. Liz.
  • The Mount Rushmore of Thanksgiving Icons
  • Lou Rawls 
  • The greatest Thanksgiving Special of All Time?
So check it out and let us know what you thought. Where do you rank this one?

You can also check out Jayme's great artwork and shirts.


Sunday, November 10, 2019

Review: A Flock of Milk Chocolate Turkeys!

It's a pretty well known fact that Trader Joe's goes all out when it comes to their holiday offerings. If you've never had one of their famous Christmas advent calendars, you're really missing out. No holiday is left untouched and if you need any further proof, check out these amazing chocolate turkeys!

A Flock of Milk Chocolate Turkeys! Maybe a better description is The 4 Turkeymen? I'll alert Ole Anderson immediately, I'm sure he has a new gig waiting for him as the enforcer of these bad boys!

Check out this amazing box! Add a little of Trader Joe's trademark retro packaging and some old fashioned attitude, you got a treat you don't even wanna mess with, let alone eat!

What's this? A new favorite Thanksgiving character? NAY! ICON:

He may be a turkey, but there's no arguing that he's no jive turkey.

Look at that sassy turkey on the right poking his head in!

Make no mistake here, these may be basic hollow milk chocolate treats to some, but the attention to detail can't be denied. This is some next level stuff here I'm talking about here, ladies and gentlemen. Not just the quality of the mold and sculpt, but the quality of chocolate itself is absolutely amazing.

Very sweet and tasty, I suggest maybe limiting yourself to just one unless you have a serious threshold for rich milk chocolate. Which if you're like me, you probably do have a serious sweet tooth and one just wouldn't settle for one sitting. I feel bad for eating such a great treat that could've also made for a fun display piece during the big day on the 28th but I stand by my actions and the lack of sleep I got that night. 3 solid milk chocolate turkeys(my wife took one) aren't the best thing to eat before bed but they are fun!

A Flock Of Milk Chocolate Turkey's can be found at your local Trader Joe's everywhere and I suggest you pick them up sooner than later. I'm predicting these will become super popular just based off the detail, the packaging and the amazing taste. I can't recommend these enough, I really think they work as a fun dessert and something to offer guests this holiday. Plus, if we have chocolate bunnies during Easter, why not adorable/delicious/addicting/dangerously amazing chocolate turkeys?


Thursday, November 7, 2019

Thanksgiving Celebration 2019: Thankisgiving Playlist!


Now normally I start this a week before Thanksgiving but there's so much going on this season that I wanted to get a few extra weeks in. I'm sure you don't mind. Besides, it's not like Thanksgiving gets a lot of hype and buildup by the mainstream anyhow, so I guess I'll spend the next three weeks doing what I normally do all over social media and in real life: shouting about all things Thanksgiving as loudly and obnoxiously as I can until people understand just how great and exciting this holiday truly is. It'll be a fun time filled with lots of fall/turkey flavored goodness...with gravy!

So to start you off with the season, I'm going to give you just a small sampling of my famous Thanksgiving Playlist so you too can get in the fun spirit of the special season! Of course there's not a lot of Thanksgiving themed songs, so I had to get a little creative with my picks but there's some special Thanksgiving connections to these selections and I think you'll find a new favorite!

Monday, November 4, 2019

Review: Chiller Theatre October 2019

So it's come to this. After 14 years of missing out, I decided to head to Parsippany for what's considered to be the best horror convention of the season and dig into the guts and g(l)ory known as...Chiller Theatre.

Backstory: I first attended my first horror convention, Chiller Theatre, in 2004 and was instantly hooked. I proceeded to attend many other conventions but I never found my way back to the one that started it all for me. The last Chiller I did was in 2005 and it was one of the most enjoyable conventions ever. So naturally I wanted to go back to but something always stopped me. Car issues, medical, money, family, whatever. I just wasn't meant to attend just yet. But not this show. I was determined to get to it no matter what. It had to happen. It was either or now or never. Well, after all the roadblocks for the last 14 years, I finally did it. I was here. I couldn't believe it.

Well, it didn't take me long to feel comfortable. The atmosphere in the lobby alone was welcoming, and familiar all at the same time. The hotel had a fun, modern lobby that was somewhat easy to navigate around. And it didn't take me long to see a celebrity roaming around. Mr. Robert Wuhl, aka Arliss Michaels and Alexander Knox from Batman 1989, was seen grabbing himself a warm coffee. Kinda felt like a throwback to when I saw Adam West grabbing a soda at the gift shop during my first Chiller.

After checking in, I started roaming around. First face I see hanging outside? The Chiller icon himself, Animal! This guy has always been a favorite among fans for his sarcasm, gravely voice and amazing cosplay. Great to see him still holding down the fort and keeping us laughing!

So, finally I was in. I stopped into the vendors and was almost immediately greeted with multiple tables filled with action figures, posters and my personal favorite...

BOOTLEG DVDS!!!! So many! TV shows, movies, pro wrestling, banned cartoons, Something Weird compilations, everything!!!! I've seen a lot of conventions start clearing these vendors out in favor of legit labels, so this was a big shock to me. Anytime I can walk in and see a unofficial copy of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends with a terribly basic cover and 47 discs packed into one cheap case, I'm happy.

Oh and of course....I had to buy a wrestling figure in the vendors room! Which was clearly meant to be since my friend Brandon gifted me this awesome LJN ring. Yes, I know it's a Jakks ring but it;'s technically an LJN ring mold, so save it. Anyway, Big Herc came home with me simply because I love ridiculous 80s wrestlers who were clearly meant to be a giant rubbery action figure. I think Hercules sums that up perfectly. And if you're not buying wrestling figures at a horror con, you're not really attending a horror con.

So time to meet some guests.

Up first: Tori Spelling of 90210 and Saved By The Bell. Tori was in one of the main parts of the hotel lobby set aside for the big names and reunions and she certainly brought out a big crowd. For good reason too, as she couldn't have been sweeter. She seemed to appreciate everyone coming out and thanked everyone to see her. I told her how much I loved her as Violet Bickerstaff on SBTB and she had a laugh as she thanked me.

Brian Tochi:

This familiar face, who played in movies such as Revenge of the Nerds and Police Academy, will always be known as Leonardo to me. He provided the voice of the blue bandanna'ed leader of the Ninja Turtles in first three live action movies and had even more energy and enthusiasm than probably anyone else int he convention. Very fun to meet

Mark Blankenfield:

Another Saved By The Bell alumni. We got to talk about his involvement and how grateful he is that the show will be played for so many future generations and how much fun he had being apart of such a lively cast. Really funny guy who also appreciated anyone stopping by and chatting.

Hayley Mills is hands down the VIP guest in my opinion. She gave everyone a nice hug and wanted to get to know every person that walked up to her. She was beyond sweet and everyone who met her instantly fell in love with her. With her trademark accent and warming personality, she felt like an old friend. You can tell my excitement in meeting her in my photo.

If you know me, you know I love the live action Masters of the Universe movie. I've written and podcasted and ranted and raved about it until I was blue in the face. So finding out that Robert Towers who played Karg in the movie was in attendance, I knew I had to meet him and get him on my teaser poster. He was alongside his former cast members of the Banana Splits. And while he had no photos of Karg, he was so grateful for me bringing my poster and getting to talk about the movie. He took his time in hearing what the movie meant to me and vice versa, I got to hear some fun stories about him filming his role. He also had his wife take a photo of us with my poster as a memory, which meant a lot to me. It was an absolute honor to meet him and if you see him at a convention near you, please take the time to meet him. He's an absolute gentleman!

Now. The reason I came to this show: Robert Wuhl. One of my all time favorite comedians and actors. I've been a huge of his thanks to Batman, Arli$$, and even some of his lesser known roles, like in Mistress, Hollywood Knights, and so many others. So, seeing him added to this show, really helped me get my butt in gear and head down. When I met him, I got to hear some fun stories about Batman, including how great Tim Burton was when it came to allowing improvisation on set. How else would we have gotten "King of the Wicker People"?

Robert, much like all the guests I met at this show was was super appreciative of everyone coming by and it showed by how much fun he was having. When I asked him what his favorite quote from Batman, he responded in classic Robert fashion with "My favorite was "Thank you, Mr. Burton, for giving me a job". I don't normally get this starstruck, but after all the years of being entertained, I couldn't contain my joy. I thanked him for coming to the show and what a thrill it was to meet him.

For a show that took me so long to get back to, it felt like home. I've been let down by a few conventions lately and this show picked me back up. I originally had planned on giving up conventions after this one what with the rise of enormous prices, inflated egos of promoters, and other disappointments, but this seemingly reenergized my love of conventions. It felt like great to be back and it felt right to be there. Every guest I met was absolutely stellar, my group of friends had a fantastic time, laughs were had, and I even got to meet some people that I've only known online, which is always thrilling to do.

Don't have any complaints in terms of anyone I met. My only issue with the entire convention was the rooms the guests were in, which were very small almost offices. About 5-6 guests in each room but not a lot of room for attendees to move around. Which, when it came to finding where certain guests were located, was a pretty useful deal. But they felt so cramped. Even then, it's still not enough to make me swear the show off. I can almost guarantee it won't take me 14 years to come back. I'd give this show the highest rating I can and recommend anyone who's never attended to make the trek. So I hope to see ya next time in Parsippany. Next year will be the convention's 30th anniversary and I for one look forward to partaking in the festivities. Especially if it means more bootleg dvds and Batman cast members.

 I think you'll know which room is mine...

Yes, I had My Pet Monster guarding my room. It worked. Everyone was pretty quiet on my floor!


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

The HorrorMovieBBQ Podcast: The Real Ghostbusters!

Strap on your gear! Cross those streams and hop in your Ecto1! Because it's time to chat about the legendary REAL GHOSTBUSTERS!

Of course, earlier this year, I discussed my love of Ghostbusters 2 on a previous episode, but I've been waiting to discuss this iconic toyline and cartoon that so many people still hold so near and dear to their Ecto colored hearts! Joining me on the episode is my TPIF cohost and 9lovable scamp Tommy "TC" Coombs and from the Toys That Made Us, Richard Mayerik. In this episode we discuss:

  • Our introductions to the series
  • Our favorite episodes
  • Best figures
  • Favorite vehicles
  • Filmation Ghostbusters...?

And so much more! So pop open that box of Ecto Cooler, enjoy a Twinkie, put your feet up and enjoy!


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Review: DinoDrac Spooky September 2019 FunPack!

It's not Halloween without the presence of certain things: Candy Corn, pumpkin candles, horror movie marathons on tv, and of course DinosaurDracula, the amazing Halloween icon who has been entertaining us with some spooky goodness for almost 20 years now and in those years, he's also offered us some great maildays with his iconic FunPacks. I don't normally purchase FunPacks or subscription boxes as much as I used to, but Matt's FunPacks are usually the lone exception. This months subscription box may be his best yet...

So if I'm going to review this, I'll need a little assistance from a mini Dinosaur Dracula himself...

Thems the goods right there. So much Halloween goodness in one small package! Coming home to this after a long work day really helped turn my mood around. It's almost like that same feeling as when you were a kid and that mailaway toy finally arrived! I've ordered a few packs before, but this was one I couldn't turn down for multiple reasons:


As we see in this awesome poster, Rark (of the infamous My Pet Monster Family) is enjoying his Halloween early with a rather spooky looking vintage Cherry Coke can. Although he seems to be taking his sweet time, because those spider-webs look rather fresh. Hope there's no arachnid shenanigans in that can!

The stickers are pretty fantastic as well, which depict the mascot of the site as Freddy Krueger and in another, represent DinoDrac After Dark, which became Matt's "secret site" after midnight! I'm a huge sticker collector, so these will certainly be put to good use once I get a new laptop or even on my VCR which is literally more sticker than machine at this point.


 Uhoh...my weakness! I can't come across packs of cards and NOT open them. I have a lot of friends who would this to be sacral but it's hard enough for me not to open action figures on my wall, but trading cards are even tougher. I don't think I can just sit here looking at them. It would drive me crazy knowing something amazing is inside. And I was right...

A somewhat-Garbage Pail Kids-style Slappy from the Goosebumps pack and Eric Idle from the Casper pack. I definitely made the right decision. Both are incredible cards on their own, but together, a spooky and hilarious force to be reckoned with.

Now this is a real treasure! An actual film cell from my favorite John Carpenter film starring my hero Roddy Piper in fun custom packaging! So many legendary moments in this iconic and frightening movie, so I'm sure there's potential for a real fun and unique collectible. Let's see which frame I got...

I could be mistaken but that looks like the scene where John Nada is at the bank and starts blowing those weird faced aliens away. And a great shot at that too! Roddy looks pretty pissed off and ready to fight someone, which to be fair...was pretty Roddy in a nutshell. This will be a great item for my Roddy Piper collection!

A little overwhelmed already? Take a seat and check out these important reports. A FunPack Newsletter which is included in every month's delivery and a trademark story from Matt's youth. This month's enthralling tale is all about the time our hero watched Blair Witch for the first time. I'd continue, but I don't wanna ruin any spoilers for any future podcast or article material. Rest assured, it's a fun writeup!

Ok, back into the goods. After a fun reading break, you're gonna want to physically simulate yourself. Good thing too because these fun little mini figures from Spain came right in time! The weird skeleton and executioner not only make fun additions to your figure collections but fun Halloween decorations as well!

As great as the two are, this executioner kills me. He looks like something out of an EC Comics cover or something!

Oh yeah, that's brutal!


Always included in every monthly box is a mini snack, usually pertaining to the main theme of the season and these were a welcome addition. UTZ has always been a successful ingredient to any Halloween party or even inside a trick or treat bag. The little bag helps getting in the spirit of the season, too. It looks like it would be part of the opening of a Halloween special or a graphic in a tv spot for your local news station. Love these. And they're such a small bag, you can still share with friends...

Oh hey, Bumble...here for the party? Oh you brought a friend?

Well, it's getting awfully snug around here but thankfully there's enough for everyone!

Look at how happy everyone is! These FunPacks are a perfect party starter and a real crowd pleaser! But wait...one last piece!


To be honest, this was the "big item" for me and I'm sure many others. If you don't watch at least 3 episodes of TFTDS during the season, you may as well start over because you've screwed up major. A surefire way to get in the Halloween mood any time of the year is with this show. Now, I'm a massive fan of Tales From The Crypt but it sometimes lacks that Halloween feel. This however has a constant fall mood attached to it. The practical f/x, the music, the scenery, the stories, everything. 

And this tape contains 5 great episodes, including "The Odds", which is one of my favorites. Finding these tapes in the wild aren't easiest things in the world, but to get a fresh, sealed copy? Now that's a huge deal. Oh, and of course I'm opening it and watching from beginning to end. It'll especially come in handy anytime of the year that I need to satiate my thirst for something spooky and fun. Or just to see Danny Aiello and Tom Noonan gambling.

These Funpacks are a great pick me up and a real treat. For all the years that we've been offered these, they're still fresh and exciting, so if you're interested in grabbing yourself one of these, head over to DinosaurDracula and keep an eye when Matt opens up purchasing or subscription options! 

Warning: You'll wanna hop on these quickly, they do sell out and after seeing these great items, you can definitely see why!


Monday, September 16, 2019

Interview: Bill Moseley

Bill Moseley has done it all in film. He's played lovable goofballs, sadistic murderers, even cartoon characters.

Well, ok, maybe that's just Otis Driftwood, but if you call yourself a horror fan, you've no doubt have seen him in your favorite movies. And it thrills me to borrow a moment of his time to chat with him about his time with Rob Zombie AND Cannon films. Ever wonder what Bill was doing on the set of Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2? How did he come up with Otis' iconic look? And did Charles Manson have any inspiration on Otis? Check it out and enjoy his answers and don't forget to check out 3 From Hell, which opens today and stars Bill, Sherri Moon Zombie, Sid Haig and Richard Brake!


Monday, August 19, 2019

5 More Rad VHS!

Well, summer vacation is over and it's time to get ready for all the fun Halloween will present us. It was a decent summer, but I'm ready for hoodies, cold wind, apple cider and lots of orange and black goodness around every corner! Now, that's still a ways away, so until then, I wanted to get some blog rust off.

Recently I got to go VHS hunting with some friends with the goal to find some gold. They found some great gems for their collections, but me? Well...let's take a peak at what I added to my ancient vhs cabinet...


Oh of course I'd pick this. It's so typical of me to add a Bronson-Cannon film that I'll probably never watch to my collection. I mean, they're not awful movies, they're just all the same. I've seen at least 67 of these Bronson movies come through my collection, but never really watched them. To me they're all the same but I still can't turn them down. Especially with all these amazing rental stickers all over the covers. Oh and Media? Oh sign me up!


Speaking of being a sucker, anytime I find a celebrity fitness video, I always have to grab it. Whether it's Dolph Lundgren sharing his thoughts of physical health benefits on the beach or even Stephanie McMahon telling potential winners how to get a slammin' booty, I'll buy them. Mainly for the laugh factor. Most of these tapes offer nothing useful and usually sit on shelves, but the terrible dialogue is usually what makes them entertaining.  Enter Jenny Garth. One of the hottest stars on tv in 1992, thanks to 90210. What she lacked in charisma, she made up for in beauty and thanks to this tape, we too could be as beautiful as her thanks to her dynamite workout and diet tips. No doubt that if anyone can help me get in shape, it's the girl that broke Dylan and Brandon's hearts!

Of course, what really grabbed me about this tape is the fact that it's sponsored by Diet 7-Up. As soon as I saw those logos, my VHS hunter instincts immediately knew what this meant: commercials. And sure enough I was right. At the end of the tape, it features a Diet 7-Up commercial and even a big advertising graphic for Nike. The amount of 90's nostalgia in this one tape can't be described, so I suggest you check it out here.


The story of this movie goes that Cheech Marin plays a magician who casts a spell to convince a little girl to buy her magical bear. And along the way...ok, confession, I couldn't get through this one. If the cover didn't feature Mr. T looking pissed off with his life decisions and Cheech desperately wanting a big fat jay while dressed like an extra from Hook, I prolly would've passed. Although further research tells me T plays a "ghostman" who encourages the freedom of all animals and almsot acts like a spirit guide to this little girl and she runs with her magical bear. So maybe I made a hasty decision in not watching this tape all the way though. Two minutes already seemed like an eternity. But Mr. T as an animal loving ghost? Hmmm...think I'll revisit this afterall.What's to lose other than my sanity?


This one wasn't purchased for the movie, although I've heard people tell me it was pretty good. But the real reason I bought it? It came from a hometown video store in Maryland that I used to frequent all the time before it closed:

Ah yes, Wonder Book...we meet again! I wrote all about Wonder Book a few years ago when I went back home for a fun adventure with some awesome friends, so I won't go too crazy into detail. I will say though, this comes not from that particular location, but another store that closed in 2006. Still in the same city, but a little further down the road. It was a weird location too. Always poorly lit and had the most massively heavy looking bookshelves containing VHS I've ever seen. It was smaller than the regular Wonder Book but actually had more VHS. I remember being there on the last day and scooping up as many tapes as I could knowing they'd either end up in a warehouse or a dumpster. Most if not all mentions of this particular store have been wiped from the internet and most people's memory but for me, spending all those hours in that store will remain with me forever. And getting this tape with all the rental stickers and labels, just helps me miss it even more!


The real prize out of all the entire lot of course was THIS. I'm a huge RUN-DMC fan and even I didn't know it existed! An action movie starring RUN-DMC, Rick Rubin, Russel Simmons, Slick Rick and The Beastie Boys? My gosh, this has me written all over it! Truth be told, it's not a great movie but it certainly comes off as a fun effort and even a late 80's blaxploitation movie. This is also from a time when New Line Cinema was taking a lot of chances to see what could work for them. Kinda similar to how Def Jam was taking a lot of chances as well, so the connection worked to some degree.

The soundtrack is fantastic, the acting is...well, the cast weren't classically trained actors, so it's as good as you can expect. However, it's a fun treasure and a fun foot note in the history of RUN-DMC and hip hop. If you ever find it out in the wild, I highly suggest picking it up!