Let’s Have Another Staring Contest…….

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Dr. Herbert West from Re-Animator!  Oh – look at the determination in his bulging eyes. Don’t fret.  You can break him.  Just don’t break any pencils out of frustration.  Stay focused.  Think about the fact that Bride of Re-Animator is a pretty good sequel.  Wait. What are you doing?!?  Don’t look away!  Oh – I see.  Barbara Crampton just walked into your field of vision while not wearing a bra.  Dammit, Herbert West!  You win this round!! Now you have nothing left to do but go get a job at a sideshow.

Horror Movie Posters I Love: Mausoleum (1983)

Sometimes I like to just gaze upon poster art for 80’s horror movies.  And a lot of times, that poster art is better than the actual movie.  So, let’s see……I wonder if the 1983 movie Mausoleum is all poster art and ‘no bite’, as far as the actual movie goes.  I’ll get to the latter in a minute, as I recently re-visited Mausoleum on Amazon Prime.  But first……the poster!

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Well damn.  Isn’t she a beauty.  The ‘dripping blood’ font in the title….the predictable, but clever tagline (Centuries of evil have just awakened)….and the rather cool looking skeleton gripping the mausoleum.  All signs point to the poster art being better than the movie!  But seriously folks – how fun were the 80’s when it came to horror?

Speaking of fun – did you know that none other than Aunt Esther from Sanford and Son (LaWanda Page) is in this movie???  Oh – and her scene is soooooo Aunt Esther.  But anyway – like I said, I recently watched Mausoleum again and……it stinks.  But in a good 80’s horror stinky way.  Like some aged cheese.  The poster art still gives me a horror boner, but if you have time and want a good time – seek out Mausoleum and embrace the 80’s madness!

‘Son Of Monsterpalooza’ Convention Coming (September 12th-14th) To Burbank, CA!

One of my favorite conventions to go to, especially before the Halloween season gets into full swing, is Son Of Monsterpalooza!  With the yearly favorite Monsterpalooza giving birth to this spawn a few years back – it gives the crowd another chance to witness some of the best in makeup fx, horrifyingly awesome costumes and cosplay, and your favorite celebrities from the past and present!

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This year’s Son Of Monsterpalooza is shaping up to be a doozy – whether it’s the 30th Anniversary presentation of Killer Klowns From Outer Space on Friday night or the appearance of actress Kathy Najimy who will be on-hand to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Hocus Pocus throughout the weekend!  That’s just a taste, with more celebrities and panels to be announced for the 3-day weekend of frightful festivities.  So, if you’re in the LA area and want to see what all of the fuss is about, head on over HERE for more details on tickets and announcements.  Stay spooky and get ready for Son Of Monsterpalooza!

Anticipation Alert: Puppet Master – The Littlest Reich (2018)

Oh, Puppet Master franchise……how I love and loathe you all at the same time.  I can remember renting the first in your series in 1989 from my local Mom & Pop video store.  It was a devious and delicious surprise that introduced me to some of my now favorite tiny little terrors:  Blade, Pinhead, and Tunneler to name a few.  And I kind of developed a crush on Leech Woman.  Don’t judge.  But anyway, for me – the franchise took a steep nosedive when the sequels starting getting lazily churned out by Full Moon Features.  A few new snazzy puppets were introduced along the way (Torch, Six-Shooter) – but overall the sequels were consistently a snoozefest.  But now…..could the Puppet Master franchise be reborn??

Enter into the ring, Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich!!  I will admit – when I first heard about this new sequel, I lazily rolled my eyes.  Then I saw that S. Craig Zahler (Bone Tomahawk, Brawl In Cell Block 99) wrote it, and my interest began to sway the other way.  Early word started to roll in that this movie pushed the boundaries as far as gore and ‘tastefulness’, not just in regards to the Puppet Master franchise – but for horror movies in general.  And because of that, my interest started swaying even more!  Then……the ‘red band’ trailer just recently dropped.  Check it out below, now!

Sold.  Sold.  Sold.  I’m so sold, that I’ll be going to the LA premiere on August 14th – so stay tuned for my review.  I can pretty much already tell this is in my wheelhouse.  Gore, gore, gore?  Check.  Things I probably shouldn’t be laughing at that could send me to hell?  Check.  Thomas Lennon is in this for some reason?  Check.  For those who can’t go to the LA premiere, Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich will be hitting select theaters and VOD on August 17th.  Killer puppet lovers of the world unite!!!

Review: Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival 2018 (Long Beach, CA)

Yessssss!  It’s finally time for the Halloween convention season, and what better way to kick it off this year than with a trip to the Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival in downtown Long Beach, California!

This was my third year going to Midsummer Scream, and it keeps getting bigger and better every year.  And unfortunately more crowded.  It’s a gift and a curse.  But yes, everything that made last year’s convention stand out was back this year:  The Hall Of Shadows (individual mini haunted houses in a darkly lit massive area), The Black Cat Lounge (where you can pet and play with a bunch of adorable kittens in a creepy circus environment), and of course……all of the creepy costume-goers who roam about the area eagerly awaiting your arrival to give you a good fright.  Oh my god – here comes one now!

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Nothing gets me more into the ‘spirit’ of Halloween than a good convention, and specifically Midsummer Scream.  Focusing on the haunts and everything that is Halloween – there were also tons of vendors selling their ghoulish goodies, a picture and meet & greet opportunity with Elvira herself (Cassandra Peterson), and you could even get a hot pretzel with cheese sauce!  Ok, the last thing was not impressive – but everything else this year was.  Except the aforementioned size of the crowd, which keeps getting bigger each go around.  If they can find a way to make it a little less claustrophobic in the vending aisles, then I feel that would make a big difference.

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Other than that one little negative, Midsummer Scream was frightfully good this year and they’ve already announced next year’s dates of August 3rd & 4th!  Plenty of time to think and prepare a good costume and plenty of time to think about an escape plan if you get too scared in The Hall Of Shadows.  Spooooooooky.  Thanks again to Midsummer Scream for another BOOtiful convention!

Spooky ‘ScareLA Convention’ Turns The Lights Off This Year! (August 25 + 26th)

‘Tis the season for horror and Halloween-themed conventions!  And one of my favorites to frequent out here in the Los Angeles area is the ScareLA convention in downtown LA. Going into it’s sixth year now, ScareLA combines everything horror + a full Halloween-time experience.  But this year……it’s going to get darker.  Literally.

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It’s been announced that ScareLA will immediately set all attendees into near darkness throughout the entire convention, giving those who are lucky enough to go a fully immersive Halloween-style experience!  Being called ‘Descend Into Darkness‘, the convention will be a first of it’s kind, not only being darkly lit throughout – but also featuring a ‘theme park feel’ as well…..including full-sized haunts, experiences, and rides. Spooooooooky and amazing!!

Now, if you can’t get to the LA area on the weekend of August 25th + 26th – then follow my Instagram story to stay connected to all of the ghostly goings-ons that will be happening (shameless plug).  If you do want to attend ScareLA in person though, then head on over to their site HERE and snatch up those tickets and get more info.  And while you’re there, use promo code INSTAMONSTER to get a discount on your tickets!  Word to the wise, this event gets PACKED – so get there early if you are going!  Happy Summerween, everybody!!!

Man’s Best Fiend: The Hidden (1987)

Who doesn’t love dogs??  They’re cute.  Loyal.  And they can leap through doors and kill you if they’re inhabited by an otherworldly parasite.  Alright!  Welcome to one of my favorite 80’s horror movies (and sometimes criminally slept on)……a little movie called The Hidden that came out in 1987 (I was only 11-years-old…..yikes).

This movie, was on repeat for me back then.  And not just for Claudia Christian and her leather boots.  The plot was interesting (a bit of a knockoff of The Thing, but with it’s own flair), the performances were top-notch (Kyle MacLachlan and Michael Nouri killed it), and the practical effects were a step forward for that time.  But we’re here to talk dogs!  And there’s a scene in the movie where an adorable canine becomes a murderous (but still kinda adorable) canine.  Kudos to the dog trainer on this one!  Watch below as this little guy goes ‘leaps and bounds’ above anything else to get what he wants.

Great Scenes In ‘Not-So-Great’ Movies: ‘The Pool Scene’ In ‘The Strangers – Prey At Night’ (2018)

Quick!  Name me 3 things that you need for a successful horror movie scene! (elevator/Jeopardy music starts playing)  Well, if you said:  A pool, neon lights, and the song ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart’ by Bonnie Tyler – then you win something!  But – I’m guessing nobody said those things, so my prize money should be safe.  Now – if you’ve seen the latest and only sequel to 2008’s home invasion flick The Strangers, aptly titled The Strangers: Prey At Night, then you know about the pool scene.  Easily the best scene in the movie, according this guy writing this post, it was pretty much 5 minutes of horror moviemaking perfection.  A bit of a bold statement?  Yes.  Probably.  But fuck it, I love it.  Watch below and we’ll discuss afterwards.  SPOILER ALERT BTW:  Somebody dies.

C’mon now, you can’t tell me that the scene you just watched didn’t give you a bit of a horror boner.  Now, the rest of the movie?  Not very horror boner worthy.  I dug it overall, but without the pool scene – I’m walking out super limp.  Ok, this is getting uncomfortable now.  But anyway, the choreography for the fight scene between The Man in the Mask (Damian Maffei) and Luke (Lewis Pullman) both in and out of the pool was extremely on point.  And the soundtrack of ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart’ playing in the background was 80’s vibe perfection (gotta love how the synthy score kicks at the end of the scene btw), enhancing the moment even more.  So kudos to The Strangers: Prey At Night for giving us a great scene in a not-so-great movie!  Oh – and RIP Pinup Girl.

Horror-Influenced Band ‘Mushroomhead’ Pay Tribute To ‘Evil Dead’ In Their New Music Video!

One of the better horror remakes to come out in recent years according to this horror aficionado, was The Evil Dead remake from 2013 (just titled Evil Dead now).  And here we have longtime metal/horror group Mushroomhead releasing a brand new video for their song ‘We Are The Truth‘ from the album ‘The Righteous & The Butterfly‘ that pays homage to that very remake/reboot – complete with the cabin in the woods, Necronomicon, and blood being vomited profusely from a mouth.  Let’s all not make another peep and check it out below:

Give me a moment, please.  Ok.  Can someone please tell me who that sexy-ass possessed demonic female singer was?  Oh – it was Jackie LaPonza from the group Unsaid Fate?  Got it.  Moving on…….so the video had some amazing visuals going on and faithful re-creations to some of the key moments from Evil Dead.  Points for that.  Now, Mushroomhead has been around since the mid-90’s and are obviously no stranger to anything horror (given their image is completely horror-based) – so if you’re a fan of this video and of the band in general, they are releasing a brand new DVD on August 17th titled Volume III.  Check it out and check out Mushroomhead on their upcoming headlining tour The Summer Of Screams!

Ebay Find Of The Week: ‘Final Destination 3’ Promotional Hat!

Woohoo!  Summer has officially arrived!  Now, you’re probably wondering what kind of stylish gear you could wear to all of these summertime parties to really make yourself stand out.  Well, you can relax.  Because I’ve got you covered.  Actually, I’ve specifically got your head covered……with this amazing Final Destination 3 promotional hat!

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Wow.  Look at that trifecta of color just bursting off of that thing.  Now, you’re telling me you wouldn’t be pulling all of the D-level ladies with that thing on your skull?  Clearly, this will sell fast – so if you want to beat the rush, then you can go on over to the eBay listing HERE and snag it.  And…..it looks like you can even make an offer too!  Does it get any better than this?  That tanning bed scene was pretty cool in the movie btw, right?  Ok.  My work is done here.