Saturday, January 31, 2009
The Dark Knight Joker Ski Mask and winter beanie.
For the cold and freaky: it's a great way to keep your face and head warm and look like a best supporting actor nomination.
For the criminal: it's a great way to rob a bank in style.
For the lazy: it's an easy costume for when October rolls around and you procrastinated on coming up with a costume.
It's an officially licensed item, cheap and available at bewild.com HERE.
Friday, January 30, 2009
You can find a link to People Magazine's coverage of it HERE.
As a big fan of the franchise, I was very interested in checking the series out. And then... nothing.
There was no press.
I scoured the TV listings and set my TiVo for the appropriate keywords. Nothing.
Web searches turned up old tidbits from the initial announcement but no new information. It's like the show was the Roanoke Island of television shows and no one ever seemed to mention it again.
Well HalloweenAddict.com tracked down Jon Kroll who was the Executive VP at New Line Television at the time the series was being developed. Jon was gracious enough to grant me an interview so I could try and get some answers.
Halloween Addict: "Halloween Addict readers are big horror genre fans, too, and I'm sure are curious: It's been 4 years, whatever happened to this show?"
Jon Kroll: "We produced six episodes of the show for CBS. The idea was to make people live through their actual nightmares. The results were uneven. When it was good, it was very, very good. Ultimately, CBS chose not to air the show because they didn't feel it would sustain, and while it's expensive to produce a show, it's also expensive to launch it. It was heartbreaking."
HA: "How far along did the show get in production? Was anything ever shot?"
JK: "Six episodes were shot and finished. They are in my closet!"
HA: "I had no idea the episodes were completed! You think there's any chance they'd dump 'em on a channel around Halloween just to get them aired?"
JK: "That's been discussed, but ultimately it is not likely."
HA: "How involved was Robert Englund?"
JK: "He was really fantastic. He traveled the country surprising people in their homes and getting them to recount their inner thoughts. And he was there coaxing them to relive them. He's a gentleman, a professional and an immensely talented actor."
HA: "As host was he in full Freddy makeup?"
JK: "No. he was himself."
HA: "Was Wes Craven involved with the show at all?"
HA: "If the show was further along in production, can you talk about some of the scares/dreams/challenges that were either developed or designed for the contestants? I remember reading about a minotaur that a contestant needed to face..."
JK: "There were three main types of nightmares: ones that involved stunts, ones that involved animals and bugs and psychological nightmares. The stunts were fantastic but really expensive so we couldn't do too many. We once dropped a woman off a building without telling her we were going to! Her "safety harness" was actually a descender.
"The animals were tough-- on 'Fear Factor,' people are willing to be covered with cockroaches. Someone who has had nightmares about cockroaches doesn't want to go into a room with one! The psychological nightmares were super cool, but the participants knew they were not really in danger. My favorite though was a woman with a fear of clowns. We trapped he in a house with a bunch of insane, cannibalistic clowns!"
HA: "Was a certain special effects company used? Like KNB, Stan Winston, etc.?
JK: "There were dream sequences done by Peter Kuran of VCE."
HA: "The latest remastered DVD of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" has a segment in the Special Features entitled 'The House that Freddy Built - The Legacy of New Line Horror.'
Under your reign as Exec VP of TV Production were there any other shows developed at New Line around either the "Nightmare" franchise or the acquired "Jason/Friday the 13th" franchise?"
JK: No, but i had an idea for a series based on "Final Destination" that never took off..."
HA: "Are there any other New Line horror/Sci-Fi properties that fans would like to hear were/are being developed for television?"
JK: "New Line has contracted and is part of Warner Bros. now. I haven't been there for nearly a year, so i don't know."
HA: "You also have an Executive Producer credit on the 'Blade' TV series. What were some of the challenges in bringing that to the small screen?
JK: "Doing effects, stunts, makeup and shooting nights on a cable budget sure is a challenge! But it's a great series and is available on DVD. The later episodes are my favorite. It was a wonderful experience."
HA: "As a director of such films as Menno's Mind and Amanda and the Alien and a producer on shows like 'Movie Magic,' 'Masters of Fantasy' and 'From Star Wars to Star Wars: The Story of ILM' you've been involved in the Sci-Fi and horror genres for some time. Do you have a dream project that you'd love to direct or produce?"
JK: "I'd love to do Neal Stephenson's 'Snow Crash!' I tried to get the rights years ago. For twenty years, I tried to get Robert Silverberg's 'To Live Again' off the ground to no avail. Now I'm buying some graphic novel properties... and I just wrote my first comic! It's called 'Tales of a Hippy Kid.' It's about as far from horror and Sci-Fi as you can get! You can see it at www.talesofahippykid.com. I've also just started a new company called 'Lost Marbles Productions.' We have a lot of projects in the works but nothing I can discuss at this time."
HA: "Thank you so much for your time Jon and for setting the record straight on exactly what happened to this show."
JK: "No prob. Hopefully nothing here will get me sued."
So there you have it. Jon was pretty open about the whole thing and it's good to get answers.
This is one of those Hollywood tales that most people can't believe. "How can they have shot six episodes but have no intent on releasing them?" But even with effects pioneer Pete Kuran (he worked on Carpenter's The Thing, Star Wars: ESB, Robocop, The Howling, etc. etc. etc.--- see his IMDB list HERE), Robert Englund on board, and New Line and CBS backing it... it's not enough to get this show on the air. It's cheaper to toss it in Jon's closet, wash their hands of it and order another incarnation of CSI.
Oooooooo, wait. What about CSI: Elm Street???!!!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
65 Google searches later you've found something you weren't looking for.
This was one of those things I saw and went "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh YEAH! I REMEMBER THOSE!"
Back in the 80s Fleer put out a line of gum called Giant Pumpkin-Face Bubble Gum.
I can only assume this was put out around Halloween, but damned if I don't remember eating it in the summer. Maybe my mind is slipping.
Orrrrrr maybe the little convenience grocery in my home town left them on the counter FAR BEYOND when they should have.
Remember: this was a time before expiration dates were printed on everything, like today.
Then again I don't believe the Fleer gum, which you could find in packs of baseball cards, had an expiration date. It's the only gum I know of that could actually shatter in your mouth.
So take that same gum and make it into a smiling jack o' lantern the size of your palm.
Fleer Giant Pumpkin Face Bubble Gum.
What was it like to eat? Well Retrojunk.com has, what I consider to be, the most perfect description:
"When you bit into it though, it didn't immediately have the texture of the gum you were used to. Rather, it kind of slowly crumbled in your mouth with each bite. The best way I can describe it is it was like biting into one of those big, soft, chewy Sweet Tarts."
Yep. Nailed it. That was it.
I can remember eating this ONCE as a kid.
Never more than that.
I can't remember if I just never found it again, or if the experience of chewing pink glass scarred me... both emotionally and in my mouth.
Still want to check it out for yourself? Well the pics come from current eBay listings which you can check out HERE and HERE. If you're the winning bidder, give it a chew.
I'll bet you it still shatters with flavor.
Now if you'll excuse me, I still need to find a picture of Willy Wonka's 80s candy "Punky's" or "Punkys" or hmmmmmmmmmmm...
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Boy I tell ya, we may be on the cusp of a resurgence of the HORROR MUSICAL.
Evil Dead the Musical... Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street... the recently released and critically acclaimed Repo (now available on DVD HERE)... and then today in Variety it was announced that Michael Jackson's THRILLER will be heading for the theater as a live action musical.
As I young horror hound, I would watch John Landis's "The Making of Thriller" over and over until the VHS tape was literally wearing out.
This news excites me.
To be able to see a werewolf transformation live on stage and dancing zombies--I'll say that again-- DANCING ZOMBIES while bobbing my head to nostalgic 80s tunes... well... well it just warms the cockles of my heart.
Here's to hoping it doesn't suck.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Oh the things you find on the worldwide web.
Apparently there is a Halloween BAND. Not a cover band an ACTUAL BAND.
Check out their site HERE and their band blog HERE for info, press, pics, music and more.
I have to give them props (do the kids still give "props" or did I just turn 90?) for their Iron Maiden "Eddie"-esque mascot "Jack." Good stuff gentlemen.
Back in the 80s I listened to a power metal band called HELLOWEEN... mainly because the name sounded cool. "Dude, it's 'Hell' and 'Halloween' TOGETHER." Oh, and they had a jack o' lantern as the "O" in their name. You know I love me some jack o' lantern.
But now that I type it out I realize it's kinda like "Hello" and "Halloween" together. Less sinister and more polite. "Helloween, Bob! Good to see you!"
Here's a trip down memory lane. Give this a listen:
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Well have no fear because someone... SOMEONE is thinking of YOU.
You anachronistic crankypuss, you.
Check out Left 4K Dead over at mojang.com. Created for a competition it takes the zombie shotgun fest "Left 4 Dead" that was a hit on the Xbox 360 and shrinks it down to a program that could run on your Casio watch.
Flashlight, zombies, maze, killing, --that's really all there is to it right?
Turn on some Journey and squint your eyes and its like the old Atari days. You remember Atari right? Hours of gameplay then... 5 minutes of fun today.
Monday, January 19, 2009
I've got two words for you: Nazi Zombies.
I've got two more words for you: Dead Snow.
A Norwegian production that I can't wait to see, the film uses most of the standard horror devices: bunch of people head up into the mountains (to snow board)... find an ancient relic... creepy old guy warns them about the dangers... they unleash the evil anyway---- and that evil is Nazi Zombies.
Want a one line description?
Nazi Zombies in the snow.
Do you really need to know any more?
Check out that poster courtesy of MoviePosterAddict.com (no relation but a FANTASTIC site you should visit often).
Check out the trailer HERE.
You don't get much horror that takes place in the snow. Let alone ZOMBIE movies in the snow.
Support this however you can.
Fly to Sundance.
Call Robert Redford.
Buy it on DVD whenever it drops.
Write about it on your silly little blog.
Wait--- I've got that one.
Friday, January 16, 2009
I was a little too young to appreciate the 2nd wave of 3D film. The first wave or "Golden Era" of 3D started in the 50's with the red and blue cardboard glasses passed out for such classics as the original House of Wax and 13 Ghosts.
The 2nd wave (as I'm calling it) of which I'm familiar ran from 1980-1984.
Because of the PG 3D films that came out, I was able to get in to the abysmal Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn 3D.
Seriously: it WAS abysmal. Even as a 12 year old kid I knew that this movie was utter crap. And I thought Megaforce was awesome... so... that's saying something.
But my appreciation for the R rated 3D masterpieces like Friday the 13th Part 3 in 3D, Jaws 3-D and Amityville 3D had to wait for the 80s VHS boom. And then, of course... they were only 2D.
My only true HORROR 3D theater experience was for Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare. And I gotta tell ya... just because Roseanne and Tom Arnold are in the 3D... doesn't mean the world wants to see it.
And didn't Freddy die with a stick of dynamite or something?
So when I heard that they were remaking My Bloody Valentine in 3D, I was in.
A few reasons:
1) I had never seen the original.
That's a bit odd because as a guy who really soaked in the 80s slasher movies from the popular Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street series to obscure ones like The Mutilator and Bad Dreams... I can't believe I never saw it. I was a clean slate.
No expectations whatsoever... except that things should be "comin' at me."
2) An event movie in January.
Usually event movies are relegated to the summer. And as horror movies go, they're even fewer and far between.
What do I qualify as an "event" movie?
Something that you MUST see in the theater as it enhances the entertainment value. The last "event" horror movie was the Grindhouse experience. For those who missed it in the theater, you missed out on a landmark event. But you can hear me rave about that in THIS old post.
Even if this DVD comes in 3D with glasses, you just aren't going to have much fun watching it home by yourself. GO to the THEATER. And go on a popular night. Again: the 3pm Tuesday afternoon showing won't have the same audience reaction as the 8pm.
3) As someone who never got to see Friday the 13th Part 3 in ACTUAL 3D, I couldn't wait to see a horror film in three dimensions.
I want to see an eyeball pop at the screen!
I want to see a metal implement of death swung at me and me duck out of natural instinct!
I want those experiences! No matter how twisted they appear when typed out! Dammit!
So I went. I brought three friends with me, and I had a blast.
I won't give an in-depth review. You can get that on any horror site. I'll give you a spoiler free opinion encapsulated in very DVD-box quotable bites:
"A throwback gorefest that delivers on its promise of a "bloody valentine." It's a 3D thrill ride for the 80s horror fan!" There.
It should be viewed with a lot of people.
It's also VERY rooted in its 80s slasher roots.
Silent killer with a creepy mask? Check.
Bad acting? Check.
Gratuituous female nudity? Check.
Tom Atkins? Check.
Don't get me wrong: it's not a GOOD movie.
After the film was over, my friends and I were trying to make some sense of the plot and how the masked killer tied into the holiday of Valentine's Day. I gotta tell ya: we couldn't figure it out.
It is what it is.
It's a ride.
And I mean that literally.
Here's my advice to Lionsgate: license this film to Universal Studios so they can design the first Rated R, 3D ride attraction.
Think about it:
Everyone queues up through dark cave sets (much like the line for the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland).
Patrons get in a yellow mine car in groups of 6 to 8 people.
A live person in a soot-covered yellow jumpsuit and hard hat tells us that, because of the coal dust present in the mine, we need to put on our "protective eyewear" (i.e. 3D glasses) and keep it on at all times.
Then just take out all the plot points of the film and run what footage is left.
All the pick-axe throws.
All the blood spatters (accompanied by small water spits cleverly hidden in the walls).
Lone beams of helmet lights cutting through the darkness.
It makes itself!
I know the question you all REALLY want the answer to is: Did I get my eyeball popping fun that I missed from not seeing F13 3 in the theater? Without spoiling anything I will say this: I was NOT disappointed.
Friday, January 9, 2009
I gotta tell ya: I smiled a lot when I visited my local multiplex and saw this standee in the lobby.
Nice to see that hockey mask showing up again.
And as far as marketing goes: the standee was working.
Two girls with their mom saw the thing, stuck their head in and took their picture with their camera phones. They giggled and even the mom said "Neat!"
See? Homicidal maniacs DO bring families together.
I don't know if you can see it in the picture there but you can post your photos on a dedicated Facebook page at:
On the Facebook page you can find downloadable desktop wallpaper, a link to a Friday the 13th merch store, a t-shirt iron-on (special iron-on printer paper NOT included), and ---what I think is the coolest item offered--- a PDF of Jason's mask you can print-out at work, scare your co-workers and get fired for wearing at your desk.
Hope it doesn't suck!
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Am I dating myself with my "remember-when-MTV" stories?
Well, I wrote about it a bit back in my "Halloween Mix Tape 2008" post. You can read it HERE.
Or for the extremely lazy I'll just recount it:
FEAR was awesome. Sort of a "Ghost Hunters" meets a game show, with some truth or dare lumped in.
Here's the description from Wikipedia:
MTV's Fear was an MTV reality show in 2000, that placed a group of 5 or more contestants in an allegedly haunted location and led them on a series of dares over two nights to explore whether or not the place was haunted.It was great. The bastard child of the Blair Witch Project.
SO--- now that we've got that out of the way. The CW is debuting a new show tonight called "13: Fear is Real."
And I gotta tell ya... it looks sorta like the same show.
From the CW website, they describe the show as:
Thirteen people compete to "stay alive" as they face their deepest fears in an all-out elimination competition and scare-fest. Pitted against each other in situations straight from the horror movies, the 13 will face shocking surprises, psychological scares and lots of "beware of the dark" moments, all designed by a "mastermind" of terror. In addition to frightening them, he'll also entice individuals to work in concert with him and against the others, creating a situation in which the 13 will not only look over their shoulders but will also never be certain who is real before them.
Each week, one unlucky victim will be "killed off" via frightening challenges and game-playing until only one person is left to win the grand prize of - fittingly - $66,666.
Now as I'm a fan of showmanship I can appreciate the William Castle-esque flair this show is making the effort to have. Like the fact that there's "13" people. Or that it's the horror set staple of a "cabin in the woods." Or that the contestants are competing for "$66,666." I'm a sucker for that stuff.
Which on a side note: Doesn't that seem like petty cash? $66,666? That's like $1.99 after taxes, my dad would say. I mean we live in a world now where one spin of a wheel can get you a shiny 100 Grand. I can go on another show, point to a suitcase and get $200,000. Am I right?
Where were we?
Oh right, the show. Check out the cast and you'll see real life caricatures as contestants. You think I'm generalizing, but go look at that cast HERE. Now if I said "Pick the burnout dude. Pick the ditzy blonde." I'll betcha you could do it. Just sayin'.
PROS: It's a bit of a limbo time for horror on TV, so this show may just scratch that itch. Plus: it's produced by Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert who gave us the Evil Dead movies. Those guys know scary.
CONS: It's on The CW. It's a reality show. How "scared" can you get about getting "killed" if you know you're on a television show that's engineered to scare you. No one's getting "killed" here. Everybody calm down.
A Halloween Addict's opinion: catch it if you're bored tonight. Catch it online and see if you like it. Raimi is my draw.
It's on tonight at 8pm on The CW.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
What do you do to stave off the cabin fever, keep warm and bring a little sunshine into your Halloween Addiction?
Well may I recommend the "Happy Hooterween" sweater from BaadSheep.com. For a measly 20 bones, you can get this... er... bee-you-ti-full Halloween-themed Christmas sweater---just like gramma used to make and momma made you wear.
Just look at it.
No, don't look away.
LOOK... AT... IT.
Those M&M-like buttons... that smiling jack o' lantern visage... that pesky witch flying by the moon...
Glorious isn't it?
I think the BaadSheep.com folks nailed it when they called it "A Nightmare Before Christmas-esque confusion of wool."
It's enough to make you say "My god... it's full of stars."
Wear it ironically while sitting by the fire on those cold winter nights.
Use it to win an "Ugly Chistmas Halloween Sweater" contest.
Make it part of your "Zombie Grandma" Halloween costume.
The possibilities are endless.