Boo Berry is back in stores again, but this year, they didn't even change the box or offer anything new. Even the poster on the back is the exact same as last year! Now, I was about to be completely annoyed with General Mills when I found out that they DID put out something new for Boo Berry this year after all:
Now this is very unexpected... Boo Berry appears to have joined forces with Fruit By The Foot for an all new "Razzle Boo Blitz" flavor. While there's no indication on the box that these are a limited edition flavor, I would stock up on them now while you can because I'm pretty sure they won't be easy to find after Halloween is over with. I haven't found a box of 'em myself and can't comment on the flavor yet, so I'll have to get back to you guys on that one as soon as I find some. Looking forward to eating 3-feet of Boo Berry goodness. (update: after looking more into it, it looks like GM just slapped Boo Berry's face on a Fruit By The Foot flavor that's already been around for a while.)
But as far as the cereal boxes go, come on General Mills... we wait all year long for this stuff. The least you can do is provide us with a little something more than you offer with your normal cereals. Throw in some Boo Berry themed toys or stickers or something in the boxes if you're not gonna at least do a new design for chrissakes.
You included cool cheap stuff with boxes in the past... so it's not like we're asking for too much here.
In other news, next Friday we'll be attending the 5th annual EyeGore Awards "Scaremoney", which will be honoring people such as Roger Corman, Patricia Arquette, Don Mancini, Corey Feldman and more. But the best thing about it? Michael Berryman is going to be hosting the event as the "Master of Scaremonies". It should be a really cool event and after we're done there, we're heading straight to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios.
This year is promising to be their best one yet as Freddy, Jason and Leatherface are all going to be there. What's great is that each of these areas will be treated much like the movies. For Jason, we'll be going to Crystal Lake, for Leatherface we head on over to the Hewitt house, and for Freddy we'll not go to the asylum where he was born, but we'll experience some of the dream sequences from the movie (the Roach Motel scene from Elm Street IV is supposedly one of them!). Naturally, the classic Universal Monsters such as Dracula, Wolf Man, and Frankenstein will be there as well. Even Chucky from Child's Play is supposed to be there. So yeah, expect a lot of great photos from those events and more. (here's the commercial for HHN for those of you who are interested. I wonder if Robosaurus will be there again...)
I'm also happy to report that production is going extremely well on our super-secret Halloween flash game! It's so secret that I might be killed for even mentioning its very existence, but that's the risk I take to bring you guys the latest and greatest news. You can expect our big Halloween game to be unveiled sometime in late October. Until then, have you experienced the horrors of our Haunted House Candy Hunt game yet? If you haven't fought the grim reaper and taken his candy, you don't know what you're missing out on. Who wouldn't want to be a Jedi of Halloween?
One thing I can tell you about this game is that it *should* have all original music by yours truly. I finally got my new MIDI controller (the M-Audio Axiom 25 for you music hardware tech geeks out there) and I'm gonna spend a lot of time figuring out how to get it to do what I want over the next month. It shall OBEY! I've also had to write more text for this game than probably all of my previous games combined, so it's been a lot of fun so far... time consuming as hell, but fun.
On a final note, this Sunday (9/30) also marks the return of my current favorite TV horror hero: Dexter. That's one hell of a good way to say goodbye to September and hello to October if you ask me.
And on a final-er note, make sure you enter our kick ass "Create A Horror Movie Poster Contest!" going on in the forums right now. There are some truly killer entries so far that you've gotta see! Hope you all plan to participate in the contest (if you haven't already).
Survey: We all have particular horror movies that we absolutely must watch once every year come October. For me, it's without a doubt John Carpenter's "Prince of Darkness". It's primarily because I always thought it was one of the few truly scary/eerie horror movies ever made and I love the storyline. So how about you guys? What's at least one horror movie that you always make a point to watch every October to help get yourself into the Halloween spirit?
For as long as I can remember, I've thought Halloween has been fighting a losing battle against Christmas. I'm not saying the two holidays are at war with one another and there's certainly room for the both of 'em since I firmly believe you can never have too many excuses to take a holiday (and I happen to like a lot about Christmas too), but I do think Christmas starts popping up too early each year as if to say, "No Halloween, you're not allowed to have the spotlight all to yourself." If you've been in any retail stores, I'm sure you know exactly what I'm talking about as many of them already have a bunch o' Christmas decorations up for sale and it's not even October yet.
So I consider it a rare thing when Halloween actually gets a chance to invade the Christmas holiday season a little bit for a change. Sure, there are always movies like "A Nightmare Before Christmas", but having worked in a video store in the past where one of the employees was completely obsessed with that movie and played it nearly every goddamned day, I grew to hate it. It's too bad too, because I actually liked that movie before I started working there. Still, there are plenty of good Christmas-themed horror movies out there such as "Jack Frost" and "Silent Night, Deadly Night" - so at least we're covered in terms of video entertainment.
You can also get a damned fine Halloween Tree and use it both in October and at Christmas time:
It's Radko's Shiny Brite Halloween Bubble-Brite Tree! This thing has not one but TWELVE glowing pumpkin bubble lights built right into it and I think you already know about my feelings with it comes to bubble lights. Unfortunately, the drawback of a tree like this is that it's small, and let's face it... the bigger the tree, the more room there will be more room for presents underneath it. More presents equals a happier you - or at the very least, more store credit when you take it all back because you didn't want any of that crap they bought you to begin with. So while the Halloween Bubble-Brite Tree is one hell of a cool decoration, I don't see it ever replacing a real Christmas tree for most people. Still, when I went to my local Michaels store the other day, I found some new Halloween items that could easily serve you well come Santa season.
Now most people simply know Michaels as an arts & crafts store, but the fact is, they really do go all out come Halloween each year. I always make a point to go in there a few times every year during Halloween season, if for no other reason, to check out the fantastic Lemax Spooky Town displays. If you haven't seen them before, you have no idea what you're missing out on. Sure they have a Christmas Town series too, but who wants to look at happy kids ice skating with glee when they can look at something like "Dr. Stretch N. Pull's Torture Factory" or "The Rest In Pieces Mausoleum"?
Even my grandma would agree that the latter sounds far more interesting. Some day, many years from now, I swear I'm going to get a house and dedicate an entire room to having the largest "Spooky Town" display that I can possibly fit in it. For those of you who don't have a Michaels near you, check out this video which showcases some of the many Spooky Town buildings and accessories and how you can create one hell of a cool display with 'em.
So, until I have an entire room that I can dedicate to nothing but animated Halloween displays, what am I to do come Christmas time? It's quite simple really...
Found these guys at Michaels the other day and they're the perfect, subtle way to have a little Halloween goodness mixed in with all of your Christmas fun. Best of all, they won't take up an entire room in your house or send you on a nosedive into crippling debt (which is something I'm sure the Spooky Town collection will one day do to me). Jingle jangle...
Survey: What are some other ways you've seen Halloween "infiltrate" the Christmas season?
Also, on a semi-unrelated note, be sure to participate in our latest Halloween contest. I got inspired by our fun horror movie posters discussion in my previous post, so I started up a contest where you guys can make your own. The horror, the horror...
Perhaps I'm just being nostalgic here, but I think the quality of horror movie posters have been going downhill for many years now. Actually, the same could be said about almost all movie posters, but since it's Halloween season, I'm focusing on the horror posters at the moment. If there's anything I blame for the decline of modern horror posters, it's gotta be Photoshop. See, back in the day, many of the posters were hand-painted masterpieces that made you want to see the movie that much more. These days, however, you can often recognize typical Photoshop filters being used in most posters. A lens flare here, a motion blur there... and don't even get me started on those annoying "collage" posters where you have a group of 5 teenagers looking right into your eyes with very serious looks on their faces while a larger photo of their stalker is in the background. It's kind of disheartening seeing that shit all the time. Of course, I am making a broad generalization here about modern horror posters, and there are always exceptions to the rule.
I guess the main difference about old horror posters is that it seemed like people had more fun making them back then. It wasn't just about marketing the movie in the most cost-effective manner, it was about creating a tribute to the movie that the fans would want to hang on their walls years after it was released. I don't know about you guys, but I'd be willing to bet that there are more people with the original "Halloween" poster hanging on their walls as opposed to "Scream".
So today I'd like to hear what some of your all-time favorite horror movie posters are - old or new. I might eventually put together a big list of the best horror movie posters sometime... not making any promises though since I already have more than enough material to cover for this Halloween season and probably the '08 season too! But yeah, share with us some of your favorite horror movie posters. Feel free to post links to said posters so we can check 'em out.
I'll get things started by sharing one of my all-time favorite classic horror posters:
On an unrelated note, is anybody else as excited as I am about season two of Dexter starting up soon? I swear, it's the best show I've seen in years.
I'm sure many of you read my big piece last year about the Ultimate Guide to the Halloween Candies of 2006, and while I definitely have another one of those planned for this season with all new candies galore, there are some candies that we won't be seeing on the store shelves. Not this year or any other year for that matter, I'm sad to say. Fortunately, Dave Jupp (who designs candies and their packaging), was nice enough to contact me after reading my article to share some pics of his insanely cool candy prototypes that were unfortunately turned down by Target.
Anyway, let's get down to the good stuff with a look at some of the fantastic Halloween prototypes from the Chef Goul-R-Dee pantry of candy. If you want to see larger close-up versions of these photos, just click on any of them and they'll pop up in a new window.
First up we have Scab-A-Roni. That's right, edible scabs! Who wouldn't want to peel scabs and scars straight off o' some flesh for a tasty snack? Gotta love it. I could easily see them making Fruit Roll-Ups with these on 'em for Halloween... I mean, they have countless other peel-off shapes on 'em, so why not scabs 'n scars too?
Next up is the Body Bag of Parts, and while candies shaped like body parts aren't too unusual during Halloween season, it's the little details that make these ones special. Whether it's the arteries and blood vessels on the heart or the glob of earwax dripping from the ear, these candies just offer that extra special something for a truly distinguished horror candy feast.
Now here's one that I never thought of... candy Zombie Claws! I understand that having claws can certainly help zombies tear their victims apart to get to the braiiiiiiiiins quickly, but I never knew that they were so colorful! Maybe they're born with it. Maybe it's Maybelline!
Last but certainly not least we have Just The Heads fish heads candies. Out of all the candies, these are definitely my favorites of the bunch, and therefore, the most heartbreaking since they were rejected. Fish heads are constantly discarded by fishermen, can't we as a society at least find a use for mock fish heads in candy form?
And there you have it, a bunch of candies that never were, but should've been. After seeing them along with what the store display would've looked like, I personally think Target made a big mistake by not going with these. On the plus side though, there will be a new and improved Box of Boogers this year. Dave assures me that this time, they'll both taste better AND look far more realistic than ever before. Really looking forward to eating those boogers! Man, now that's something I never thought I'd be typing.
Survey #1: If you were designing a novelty candy for Halloween, what would it be and how would it look?
Survey #2: Most towns have some Halloween stores popping up by now, so which of you people are going to check 'em out this weekend? Going searching for anything in particular?
Up next in the blog, The Lost Art of Quality Horror Movie Posters
So today I want to talk to you a little bit about bubble lights. Why? Because I recently went to one of my favorite shops in L.A., La Luz de Jesus, which has some of the greatest books, art and novelty items you'll find anywhere in the country. While walking through the store, I noticed what can only be described as the Ultimate Halloween Bubble Light plugged into one of the walls. I immediately asked the cashier if they sold them, and sure enough, they did. Now, I like a good set of vintage Christmas tree bubble lights as much as the next guy, but this Halloween one truly takes the cake. Feast your eyes on this beauty:
Almost makes you want to shed a tear doesn't it? Even the glitter inside it is black and gold in some bright orange water. Absolute bubbly perfection. I was real happy with how that pic turned out, so here's a large still photograph of it for any of you who want a nice wallpaper image for your desktop. Oh bubble lights... can you do no wrong?
Actually, apparently they can because, with this badass bubbler, comes a set of "important safety instructions for bubble lights." And like any product, the only reason such precautions are included with them to begin with, is because at some point in time a bonehead made the mistake of nearly killing himself with it. Some of the warnings include:
-If vial breaks, do not swallow liquid. If swallowed, call your local poison control hotline.
-If liquid gets into eyes, flush thoroughly with water and contact your local poison control hotline.
Can you imagine just how a phone call like that to your local poison control hotline would go?
Operator: "Poison control hotline, how may I help you?"
Bonehead: "My bubble light broke!"
Operator: "Ok sir, but what does that have to do with you being poisoned?"
Bonehead: "I... I couldn't help myself! I had to drink it!"
Operator: "I'm sorry sir, but we didn't cover 'bubble light poisoning' in our training sessions. Can you tell me what it says on the box for this bubble light?"
Operator: "Why not?"
Bonehead: "Because I had to pour the rest into my eyes and now I'm blind too!"
You know, come to think of it, I'd love it if somebody who worked at a poison control center would release a CD of their most insane phone calls. Oh the stories I bet they could tell...
Anyway, I hope you're all enjoying our annual "Two Months Of Halloween" here on I-Mockery so far. We're really scouring the earth to bring you some extremely spiffy Halloween coverage this season. It puts a smile on my face seeing all the stores slowly become Halloweenified while we've already been covering Halloween all month long. Over the weekend, I saw the first one of those "Spirit" seasonal Halloween shops pop up in Burbank, but their selection was pretty bad. Maybe it's just because it was still early September, but the stuff they had in the shop just didn't compare to previous years. Even more odd was a huge section in the center of the store that they were using to sell framed poster prints. No, not Halloween poster prints, but random "oldies" posters ranging from photos of Marilyn Monroe to James Dean. It just didn't feel right. Fortunately, there are plenty of other stores in the area that are already doing Halloween the justice it deserves. Why, just the other day I picked up one of the most hilariously cheap Halloween gems you'll ever lay your eyes on... but you'll find out all about that later this week.
So what fun Halloween stuff have you guys seen in your towns so far? Anything I should know about? As always, feel free to make suggestions for anything else you'd like us to cover on the site this Halloween season!
p.s.: I hope you've been collecting all of Max's "Scary-Ass Cards: Series II" so far because there are plenty more to come! More Halloween contests coming soon too!
Halloween season on I-Mockery has officially begun! We'll be packing this site so full o' Halloweeny goodness over the next two months that you'll be puking up zombies and crapping ghosts before you know what hit ya. So how do I want to kick things off in the blog for my favorite time of year? By reviewing the "reimagining" of one of the truly great classics in horror movie history: Halloween.
Allow me to preface this post by saying some things about Rob Zombie's previous work. I really loved a lot of his old music videos and remember being excited when it was announced that he would be writing and directing his first feature horror film. Sadly, House of 1000 Corpses was a big letdown for me. I didn't like much at all about it, and almost walked out of the theater because it was boring me to tears. The Devil's Rejects, however, I thought was a huge step in the right direction and was one of the most entertaining films I had seen in a while at the time. Everything about that movie was great from the improved directing to the well-written script. And hey, it did have Michael Berryman in it too, and that never hurts a horror movie in my book.
So I was on the fence when it came to this new Halloween remake, figuring it had a chance to bring the series back to life (after all, we're talking about a series that recently had Michael Myers stalking Bustah Rhymes during a reality show webcast... doesn't get much worse than that), but it could also continue the trend of awfulness. Either way, I went to check out the new movie with an open mind.
With that out of the way, allow me to share my thoughts on Rob Zombie's "Halloween". I'm sure a good bunch of you won't like what I have to say, but I'm not here to kiss ass, I'm here to tell ya my honest thoughts about this flick. If you haven't seen the movie yet, please know that there are some potential spoilers below.
Wow. Please tell me this was all an elaborate joke on horror fans. How the hell did this ever get greenlit? This wasn't a reimagining of the original Halloween story, this was a raping of it. Rob Zombie has somehow managed to take one of the most infamously evil horror icons and turn him into a Kane-sized ogre who had a bad childhood. Now I had already mentioned that I had some serious doubts about trying to tell the backstory of Michael Myers because it simply wasn't necessary. Michael's backstory was perfect the way it was in the original when Dr. Loomis explained: "I met this six-year-old child, with this blank, pale, emotionless face and, the blackest eyes... the *devil’s* eyes! I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realized what was living behind that boy’s eyes was purely and simply... evil!" Perfection. All we ever see of Michael Myers as a child in the original is through the eye holes in his mask as he kills his first victim. Then we get that perfectly eerie slow zooming out shot of him standing outside with the bloody knife and a blank stare.
In Rob Zombie's version, we get far more information than that. Instead of Michael just being born of pure evil, Rob has completely fucked up the story by having Michael's evil come as more of a reaction to the household he grew up in. An abusive stepfather who was always insulting him and fighting with his mom, who was of course, a stripper. You can just tell that Rob thought that by adding in a mean stepdad who threw around profanities like they were confetti from the hands of Rip Taylor, that he was making the movie far more shocking. Wrong. The only shocking thing about it was how bad the script was. So as a result of living in such a nerve-racking household, Michael spends his time killing small animals for a while to let out his rage. RAGE! Eventually, he's ready to start killing real people... but instead of making it creepy, Rob just has this kid act out his methodical killings as brutally as he possibly can. Honestly, I thought Macaulay Culkin was more frightening in "The Good Son" than young Michael here... and that movie sucked. I'm a huge fan of blood and gore, as you all know, but that is not what the original Halloween was about nor is that what made it such a classic.
Oh and forget about that creepy zoom-out shot in Rob's version... but hey, we do get to see Michael sulking on the sidewalk while the song "Love Hurts" plays. I shit you not. I'm sure he thought it would be really funny or creative scene, but this isn't like that perfect moment in The Devil's Rejects when they drive towards the cops, guns a' blazin' to the tune of "Freebird". No not at all... this was just pure shit and felt way out of place.
Even worse than that, Rob decided that we all needed to know why Michael Myers wears that mask. Well not just that mask, but apparently a ton of masks. Throughout his childhood, Michael spends his time making a variety of masks to cover up his face. And his reason for doing this? "To hide my ugliness." Well hellooooooooo Gothy McMyers. Nice to meet you. Here, have a box of tissues. Seriously though, why did he feel this was necessary!?
I also hated the new Michael Myers as an adult. Does he really need to be a 7 foot tall behemoth? No, of course not. Rob just doesn't get that one of the coolest things about the old Michael Myers was that while he was of average height and didn't have big muscles or anything, he was still able to overpower anybody because of some evil super-strength he had within. Rob's Michael Myers appears to not have any internal evil powers, but instead relies on the same brute strength that any extremely tall big guy with a temper would have. Again, this really detracts from the infamous Michael Myers persona. It also doesn't help that you can hear him grunting like a perverted old man sometimes when he's manhandling his victims. Michael Myers is a silent evil... I didn't need to hear him talking as a kid and I didn't need to hear his man-grunts.
I also didn't like some of the choices Rob made for who would be playing certain characters. Don't get me wrong, I've always liked Malcolm McDowell and think he's a badass, but he just didn't do much for the role of Dr. Samuel Loomis that the late Donald Pleasance acted out so perfectly. Pleasance was greatly responsible for making Michael seem all the more evil... you could just tell how weary he was from all the years of trying to get through to him and how responsible he felt for Michael. In Rob's version, McDowell just seems more surprised and panicky throughout the film with far less emotion invested in his ex-patient. Then again, when you consider the script he had to work with, that probably explains a lot. The other person I didn't need to see again was Sheri Moon. Look Rob, I know she's your wife 'n all, but you don't need to put her in every single thing you do. But if you must, at the very least, don't give her such prominent roles like the mother of Michael Myers. It's not going to help her career when most people think the only reason she has one is because she's married to you. Oh, and you also don't have to have her shaking her ass on the goddamned screen in every movie either. Lemme tell ya, that ass-shakin' really helped me understand the rage within young Michael Myers.
And speaking of ass, that's probably the most fitting word I can think of to describe the ending of this movie. After literally giving the girl a football tackle out of a window, she somehow lands on top of him, grabs a gun and presumably shoots him in the face. I say presumably because they don't actually show it, they just show her point the gun, squeeze the trigger and then get splattered with blood while we have to endure more of her annoying screams. Then it simply cuts to a black screen and we're all left sitting in our chairs wondering... WHY?
Wanna know what truly shows how bad this movie was though? Not a SINGLE moment in the movie made me (or anybody else in the theater for that matter) jump in the slightest bit. Many of them were laughing at how bad and cheesy it was throughout the film. When the credits rolled, a few people clapped while many people booed. Now I'm sure a lot of you are thinking, "Oh he just grew up on those movies, so that's why he hates this one so much." No, that's really not the case here at all. There have been quite a few remakes that I thought were handled really well - "Dawn of the Dead" for example. As much as I wanted to enjoy it, this new Halloween movie just didn't have anything going for it. If you're looking for the real "Halloween" experience, then stick with the original. If you're looking to substitute the ominous Michael Myers persona with far more noise and T&A, then go with Rob Zombie's version.
But just to show you that it wasn't my nostalgia getting the better of me, most of the people in the crowd that were booing at the end? Yeah... they were teenagers. Teenagers who I assume were the real demographic Zombie was hoping to please, and while I'm sure there are some out there who absolutely loved this movie, I was glad to see that many of them recognized the fact that they just watched pure-unfiltered shit.
There were only two good points I could come up with regarding this movie:
1) Micky Dolenz' (from The Monkees) brief cameo as a gun salesman. I really wanted to see this scene go on longer, and I suspect there is more footage out there that will be saved for the DVD release (including the alternate ending), but I'll be damned if I'm gonna buy it because nothing can save this flick.
2) Michael Myers' mask looks much better than it has in quite a while. I'm sure Captain Kirk would approve.
As nice of a guy as he seems to be and as big of a horror fan as he is, Rob Zombie has completely failed to "get" what made Halloween so great. It was the enigma that was Michael Myers. Very little about him was explained, he simply was evil through and through. This made his undying rage seem all the more potent and real. Zombie screwed it up by giving too many reasons for his anger... a troubled childhood and an emo outlook on his life.
One critic wrote the following about Rob Zombie's new "Halloween" movie and I think he summed it up best: "John Carpenter can rest easy; any self-respecting horror fan will forget this film even exists by the time the real Halloween rolls around this year."
So for those of you who have seen it already, what'd you think?
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