Monday, September 27, 2010

More birthday goodness.

Another toast today, and this one is as deserving as any.

Today, I'd guess most of the Horror and Hallowe'en blogiverseosphere is all a-buzz with words of congratulation and nostalgia.

You see, today is the 92nd birthday of one John Zacherle, also known as Zacherley, the Cool Ghoul!

Ol' Zach is often hailed as the "King of TV Horror Hosts", and though there are some who'd argue, I'm not one of them.

He began his TV horror host career (as 'Roland', pronounced ro-LAHnd) in September of 1957, when Philadelphia's WCAU Channel 10 asked him to host the now-legendary Shock Theatre syndication package of Universal's classic horror films.

You really need to go to his own website.

In honor of his 92nd birthday (the man really seems unstoppable, thank the good Lord), I've added to the jukebox the campy classic tune Happy Hallowe'en from his 1962 album Scary Tales.

It's a hoot, and perfectly Zacherley!

Happy Birthday, Zach!


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Making Hallowe'en, pt. Bird or Devil.

"Bird or devil?!?"

Please read the poem if you are confused.

Anyhoo... Gather 'round, for I have news.

Well, not news, really. Just a Poefixins update.

I am really digging the Raven this weekend -- his odd, wrankly, unrealistic look is very fetching... do you think?

Yeah, it's blurry. Low light and my camera don't get along very well.

You may notice that instead of the nares or nostrils I mentioned last time, there is just a tuft of feathery fur. Turns out the raven's cere is very feathery and no nostrils are visible. Makes my life so much easier. I like how it looks on him, adds some sinister shagginess.

But it really comes to life when... well, when I run test programs and it comes to life!

I don't actually plan on having him sing this song; this was just the audio file nearest at hand when I was testing all of his movements for the first time. I haven't written, therefore have yet to record, his actual dialogue!

But, the kid's getting a bit of a personality.

And speaking of kids with personality...

Today is the 11th birthday of our own resident Hallowe'en goodies reviewer, Young Will!

Happy birthday toasts all around...


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Addendum to Young Will's Hallowe'en Spree, pt. 3

When you're exploring the goods and giggles of the retail Hallowe'en experience, especially if you're chronicling the adventure for your Hallowe'en pub, you take a lot of pictures.

Funny items, stupid items, baffling items.

You take them all because you don't know which you'll use for the 'blog -- and because you just want your own proof that some manufacturer thought Gummi Brains filled with Bloody Candy Fluid was a good idea (ironically, though I use that as my example I do not actually have a picture of that item, which can be found at Walgreens).

But there were a few things I noticed on our last trip for which I had no room to comment on our last installment, and I felt the need to tack this one on.

Does anyone else find the current trend in bland or baffling product names annoying (and disturbing)?

For example:
That's right, zoom in:
I mean, mummies are many things, but 'ominous'?
What's ominous about something that cannot move its hands?
The description is a bit nebulous.  
Nebulous Mummy would be as good.
It's probably just as well -- most of the people shopping for it 
out here would probably think 'ominous' meant 
the mummy was Jewish or something.
Also, the word 'ominous' begins to look very strange 
the more you look at it.

Forbidden Fabric. Really?
"Oooh, look at those windo--"
"HEY! That's illegal! You can't do that!"
The Verboten Valance. 

A Giant Ambush Spiderweb.
Yes, 'ambush'... because you'd never see 
that web coming.

Hanging, sure.
Creep, okay. Looks more like Oogie Boogie, but he
was kinda creepy too, so I'll go with that.
But... Possessed? 
By what/whom? I see no little sixes, 
no pea soup projectiles, no spinning heads.
It's a GHOST. Should've called it that.

I didn't get a shot of the actual hat, because it was simply a hard felt 
set of different colored cowboy hats with sequined bands.
But 'Howdy Honey Hat' is just trashy.
"Howdy, honey! Buy me a beer/light my cig?"-kind-of-trashy.
Also, Howdy Honeyhat was a character from The Wacky Races, I think.
Probably the one dressed like a Hooters girl always wanting everyone to 
buy her a beer and light her cigarettes.

First, why should comb over mean 
Young Horshack Guy Poses Like Old Man
Who Must Be Bitter And Admonishing?
Also, I thought comb over was one word.
I guess my thick head of luxurious hair kept that
information from getting in.

Werewolf Howler Hands?
We tried a million ways to make these things howl.
Does this store want us to think they think werewolves are called
werewolf howlers?

Then comes a series of odd little things. 
Things I actually like, and would enjoy handing out
to little ToTs, but the concepts are a bit weird.

Mice, rubber mice, plastic mice, fine.
Stretchy, though? 

Still not as threatening as this:
Good God! That's a terrifying thought.
An army of stretchy frogs invading our cities!

Sorry, Frog Queen, but this is not as terrifying to me as 
the army of stretchy frogs.
Still, it's a bit shivery.

I get that they're eyepatches with actual eyes on them.
Not too unclever, I suppose.
But what exactly is so 'zany' about the idea?
What kid would want it based on the term zany anyway?
I mean, who really uses that word for anything anymore?

Lastly, this time around, I have to emit a real bronx cheer for 
this manufacturer so badly missing some easy, slam-dunk,
home run item naming opportunities...
God, come on! 
They're Eeriasers!

Say it with me. That's right:

I can understand why they might have stayed away
from this one (had they thought of it, which I know
they didn't!), but seriously, these are

And if you go back up to the pic of the Stretchy Mice,
and look to the right, you'll see the blandly named
Fake Fangs.

Which should be called Fanks.

Yes, fanks.

You're welcome.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Young Will's Hallowe'en Spree, pt. 3

Something funny is happening with my pictures and Blogger, and this simple post took three attempts over two days to post correctly.

Still, whaddaya expeck fer nuthin'? No complaints here... not when I can still (eventually) post stuff like this.

So... last week, Young Will and I headed to a well-known national chain place after a fun meal at another well-known national chain place.

It begins with something-goofy-that-is-somewhat-like-glasses.

It always does.

Actually, it began and nearly ended in this section, because it is absolutely HUGE:
 ... and we could've spent all day just there.

I mean, look at all those sweets!

Gummi eyeballs, as well as:
Gummi Tongues and
bags of Jet-Puffed Ghostmallows and
little rock candy bits in lab beakers you can
shake like maracas and
 the long-awaited first ever Hallowe'en themed Pop Tarts
from Kellogg's and
OH MY LORDY milk chocolate covered Pumpkin Peeps?!?


But, though we love our diabetes-inducing treats, neither of us actually
eat a lot of sweets, and we moved on to the far more fascinating
It is pretty crazy there.

Seriously, it is. Here's proof:
"Folks we're so insane we're blowin' out our stock at prices so far below
our own cost the only way to say it is we're just plain

Lots of great stuff here.

CDs, DVDs;
metal signs, outdoor decor;
old friends;
old classics, and
a few new friends.

Actually, one of these newer plush treat bucket friends kinda creeped me out:
Is he broken or something?

Just beyond this oddity I noticed its more creepy decorative cousin:
What the heck is that? Picasso's Guernica meets Classic Monster lawn decor walking like an Egyptian?
I had no idea what to think, but thankfully, Young Will brought me back to sanity
with a request.

"Hey Uncle Mike, come see my latest creation:
The Skull Snowman!"

No glue or even Velcro? I'm impressed.

"... and look at this cool haunted house!"
Very cool indeed! But hey, it's old and full of all kinds of creepy thi --

WHY does this happen every time? The big ol' arachnids seem to
be magnetically attracted to Young Will!
Tired of being startled by the eight-legged demons, Young Will
summoned his courage enough to slough the thing to the floor:
where he vanquishes the foul foe!

Funny, mere seconds after I snapped this image, I saw this:
... crawling out from under the shelving. It's impossible to show in scale without
anything for reference but this thing was teeny-tiny. Like, tiny.
Itsy-bitsy enough to go up a waterspout.

An Autumn Person, I found her a safe haven before we moved on.

Our entomological side trip done, Young Will's thoughts turned to props.
Louella Parsons or Minnie Pearl?

OH, it's not a hat at all...
Ooops! Props, right!

Our Little Warrior.

Our Little Captain.

Our Little Village Person.

"If you wear this long enough, will you start to smell like a hot dog?"

Probably. Being a hot dog is likely to be thirsty work.

Apparently, so is Hallowe'en shopping...

"This is a much better Hallowe'en cup but it's really heavy!"

Let's go for something lighter, then.

I think this should be his costume. Seriously.

We began to get tired, and needed to be elsewhere soon, but as we were leaving,
Young Will spotted something:

Apparently, Rest In Pieces is even funnier than Napoleon Blownapart.


Oh, by the way, his sister really is a witch.

Both of them.