Monday, August 25, 2014

Book(s) Of the Week: "In The Haunted House"

Our recent podcast episode brought to mind a few children's books I'd like to recommend. Not suggestions for the adult audience, of course, but perhaps for parents. I was recently at a teacher's store with my mom helping her shop for supplies, and I spotted this little gem on the shelf. Needless to say I couldn't help myself. I had to read it...

Written in rhyme, as I find a lot of holiday books tend to be, each page has a cute illustration, most of them with flaps to open up. Not strictly a pop-up book, because there are no tabs to pull, but the illustrations rather reminded me of a less dark Edward Gorey.

I wish I could share some of the pictures inside, but it's a very short book, and much nicer to see them on the page anyway. This is a perfect way to start October off this year for the little ones. I'd even say it's easily a classic, based on the art alone.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Hallow-Holics Podcast, Ep. 2: Children's Horror Films

Bringing you another episode this week of our little podcast. This week we tackled a few darker children's films, or at least family-friendly.

Here's the archived video of the episode:

Here is the video we mention in the episode:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Horror Flick of the Week: Ghostbusters (1984)

Re-watching this film for our upcoming podcast episode, I was reminded that this is just a fun movie. Sure, it may not be as niche as Sugar Hill, and certainly not as dark as Dagon...but not all horror movies are made alike. Some are horror comedy, some are more kid-friendly. Barring the sexy times between the keymaster and the gatekeeper, you've got yourself a pretty solid (and enjoyable) kid-friendly movie here.

Sure, some of the effects are dated. It's hard to find a movie more than 6 years old that doesn't have dated SFX...but I'm still a bit more intrigued by the stop-motion statues than I would have been if they were cgi monsters.

It spawned two cartoon series, a mega cache of merchandise (I've got a Slimer doll tucked away on my shelf right now) and even got itself a tidy little lawsuit from Huey Lewis, which ultimately got settled out of court.

It's a good weekend picture. It's a good movie to watch with kids. It's a good movie to watch with friends. Ghostbusters (and the sequel) are ultimately just good movies, and worth re-watching every couple of years. I'll save further opinions for our upcoming podcast, but I think it's fairly obvious I won't have much negative to say about it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Vintage Comics - Adventures Into Darkness, Issue 5: Death Follows Orders, The Phantom Hounds of Castle Eyne, and The Chimes of Doom (Pg 10 - Pg. 17)

Is it just me, or does the girl in the first page of the story look rather like she's advertising something? The way she poses and's a bit staged. The first story today deals with an incredibly common theme in the 40s and 50s horror comics, namely evil Nazis coming back from the dead in some way. It wasn't a unique theme in dead snow, for those of you who may not have read a few of these. One of these days I'll post the 'Hitler's Head' comic, I swear I will.

Though the stories may have awkward wording in this comic, I will say that I love the colors. I also love the sheer amount of action packed into the panels.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Hallow-Holics Podcast, Ep. 1: Introductions and Chit-Chat

Hi guys, this is officially the first episode of the 'Hallow-Holics Podcast', which will (hopefully) be a weekly/bi-weekly little event with myself, Chris, and Julianne. Sometimes other guests if we can talk them into it. It's pretty much topics you might find on the blog itself, just in audio form. Once you've listened to the episode, here are the pictures mentioned. There may be some cursing, but not an excessive amount.

The archive is being updated, but episode 1 is now on youtube!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Hallow-Holics Podcast Needs You

Hey guys, a little update today, I'd like to hear from the readers what you'd like in a Halloween and Horror related podcast I'll be posting up on the blog. Please comment on this entry about any topic at all you'd like to hear about, from Halloween traditions, to stories, to shows about movies and people. My friends and I who will be hosting the show would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Horror Flick of the Week: Masque of the Read Death (1964)

It's a tough go for me to say I like Roger Corman movies. I should, I mean...he's (arguably) the true king of low budget horror and even just low budget movies in general. His skills at creating a 'decent' film with relatively little money in an incredibly short amount of time are legendary. Thanks to him, many people got their launch in the industry. This all sounds great...but I've hardly seen many of his movies that left me astounded. I also read a pretty inflammatory book of interviews about him once which kind of put me off Corman for awhile. But I digress, because I'm not here to talk about his faults today. I'm here to mention one of my favorite Corman (and Price) films which itself stands as a pretty good example of the incredible movies he was capable of when he actually tried.

Some day Mister Corman will receive a very good post from me, but I don't want to spend all of this entry focusing on him. I want to focus on my flick of the week, 'Masque of the Red Death'. Loosely based on the Poe story of the same name, and I say loosely because the movie adds a thousand more details. Good ones, which managed to flesh out an otherwise decent but not outstanding Poe story.

I can't help but wonder if Corman went on a Bava binge before undertaking the explosion of color this film turned out to be. Everywhere you look, the lighting and the costumes match the setting just so. I really can't stress enough how absolutely stunning this picture was.

Everyone in this movie is at their best. Vincent Price. Hazel Court. Roger Corman himself, directing of course. I might even go so far as to say that I think this is his best movie. It also goes incredibly with a good bottle of red wine, to match the mood.

There is a lot of dialogue and presentation in the whole film, very minimal action. But when the action does take place, it is very gruesome. Especially Hazel's scene wherein she marries the devil and soon...'joins him in their nuptial rights'. Masque is a very good introduction piece before delving into a heavier cinematic work, like 'Kill Baby...Kill' or 'Black Sunday', both excellent...but very long movies.

In short, I highly recommend this 'Masque of the Red Death' for anybody who loves a good bit of color and period clothing...with a little bit of blood thrown in for good measure. But you can also take your pick of the other colors of death, if you like too...