Dirty Horror Memory Lane: Twisted Sister’s ‘Be Chrool To Your Scuel’ (1985)

If you read the title and thought that my ‘spell check’ went haywire, you would be mistaken.  As I like to do from time to time, I take a trip down memory lane which usually results in me being depressed about how old I’m getting.  But not today, because this memory makes me happy!  How could it not when it involves Twisted Sister, Alice Cooper, and Tom Savini?  Yes, I’m talking about the video for the song ‘Be Chrool To Your Scuel‘ off of Twisted Sister’s album ‘Come Out And Play‘.  And the obvious misspelling in the song’s title is an ode to the school system failing the students.

Ok.  Now that you’ve witnessed the it and let it sink in – here are my favorite moments of that glorious video:

  • Bobcat Goldthwait being Bobcat Goldthwait
  • Tom Savini turning into Alice Cooper
  • Zombie cheerleaders
  • Dee Snider’s hair
  • Flaming oven mitts
  • A zombie playing the saxophone

Apparently this video was banned from MTV because of the violence involved, and not necessarily the message that schools and teachers suck.  Gotta love that Tom Savini got to showcase his skills as a special effects artist, albeit on much more noticeable low-budget level.  It’s moments like this that I love the invention of Youtube.

Dirty Horror Memory Lane: ‘Hellraiser’ Watch & Wear Promotion (1988)

Ok.  Time to show my age again.  Remember VHS tapes that you used to watch movies on?  They went into this contraption called a VCR.  And if you rented a VHS copy of a movie from your local video store, you were supposed to always be kind and rewind.  But before you could rewind, on certain movies there would be something called ‘Watch & Wear‘, and if you were smart you would have had your wallet ready back then.  ‘Watch & Wear‘ was a special promotional addition before and after the movie that would allow you to purchase memorabilia from the movie you just watched.  And the one movie that I remember most that had this option, was none other than Hellraiser!

Goddammit.  I knew I should I gotten that satin Hellraiser jacket when I had the chance back in 1988.  Now it’s just a pipe dream.  Truth be told, I would have gotten the T-shirt, jacket, coffee mug, and the gym bag for sure.  And my flipper mentality knows that these would be worth a lot more than what I would have paid for them back then.  Good luck trying to track down any of the items located in the ‘Watch & Wear‘ promotion, but if you do find the satin jacket – please make sure to contact me ASAP.

Dirty Horror Memory Lane: ‘Rude Ralph’ Toy (1986)

I remember being a jealous 10-year-old boy in my small Indiana neighborhood.  While I was at home playing with my boring Etch A Sketch, the kid down the street was pulling the eyeball on his Rude Ralph.  And no, that’s not code for something else.  He was literally pulling the eyeball on a toy named Rude Ralph and hearing it make gross and disgusting noises.  Oh the envy I had of him and his newfound ugly toy friend.  I wanted to hear something make gross and disgusting noises other than my sister.

So what exactly was Rude Ralph?  Think of it like a Madball on steroids that belched and farted.  And if you don’t know what a Madball is, then please take your eyes elsewhere.  Rude Ralph came out in 1986 and didn’t last very long due to the complaints of snooty parents.  Hence why you have to shell out a decent amount of dough on eBay to snag one now.  If you’re still curious and a bit in the dark of what Rude Ralph was, please take a look at the old commercial below.  Oh – and it has a special bonus appearance from the Breath Blasters!

Dirty Horror Memory Lane: ‘Chiller’ Video Game (1986)

Boy am I a sucker.  While I was slaving away at playing The Legend Of Zelda in 1986 as a 10-year-old kid, I could have been playing this:


Yes.  That’s an actual screenshot of a video game that came out in 1986 called Chiller.  Granted, this was not really an easy game to find, especially in North America, but it originated as a stand-up arcade game with a light gun that you used to apparently shoot and torture half-naked people. Really makes the story of Link and his quest to find the eight fragments of the Triforce Of Wisdom to rescue Princess Zelda look pretty fucking boring, doesn’t it?

Chiller wasn’t all about shooting mutilated bodies though, as you could also take out bats, wolves, and spooky skulls with your trusty light gun.  It’s good to balance everything out.  There was actually a playable Nintendo version of the game that was released in 1990 with the gore and naked bodies toned down of course to comply with the wholesome image Nintendo was trying to portray at the time.  If you own a copy of the NES version, you’re sitting on a $75-$200 gold mine by the way.  The mere fact that Chiller was originally released in 1986 with that kind of gory content is still pretty remarkable.  Check out the footage for yourself and head on over to Ebay to do some bargain hunting for a copy when you’re done:

Dirty Horror Memory Lane: ‘The Evil Dead’ Review From Siskel & Ebert (1981)

Growing up, I would constantly turn on the Siskel & Ebert TV show on Saturday afternoons to see if they were reviewing any horror movies that week.  It’s not a revelation that most horror movies that they did review got trashed (except Carnosaur for some reason), and one of my favorite reviews that they did was for The Evil Dead:

I think I will call horror movies ‘Ghoulies‘ from now on thanks to Gene Siskel.  I had never heard that term before, but I must start using it now.  But anyway, their review for The Evil Dead wasn’t a shock – but I was glad to see that they recognized the effects that were used at the time, even on the shoestring budget that Sam Raimi had.  Part of me kind of wishes that Siskel would have actually barfed while watching the movie though.  It would have been an accomplished mission from Sam and his crew.  Fun fact btw:  Roger Ebert actually gave Evil Dead II a glowing review when it came out in 1987.

Dirty Horror Memory Lane: ‘Doorways To Horror’ Board Game (1986)

I still own a VCR.  That’s a true story.  What’s also a true story is that when I was 10 years old, I owned a horror VCR board game called Doorways To Horror.  Ooooooh – sounds scary, doesn’t it?  Here’s a commercial to show just how spine-tingling it really was.

You’ll have to excuse Teen Wolf’s cousin Harry, it was his first time on camera. Yeah, not too scary based off of the commercial and honestly not too scary when you would play the actual game too.  From what I remember about the game though, besides kicking my Dad’s ass every time I played, was that you pop a video cassette in your VCR and pause and play as you move along the board.  There were some Dracula and Witch cards or something that would come into play as well.  You can tell my memory is as fuzzy as the werewolf’s face in the commercial.  But thanks to the wonders of Youtube, my memory is coming back to me – so here is the intro to the Doorways To Horror and some of the gameplay:

If you can tolerate bad puns and equally bad jokes over clips from Public Domain horror movies, then this game was for you!  For a 10-year-old kid who was just getting into horror, it was amazing.  Looking back on it now with the Youtube clips, not so much.  But if you have a hankering for 80’s horror nostalgia, I wouldn’t hesitate to go over to Ebay and snatch one up for a decent price.  You might want to go to the flea market and pick up a VCR first though.

Dirty Horror Memory Lane: ‘The Elvira Show’ Pilot (1993)

In case you didn’t know, back in 1993 CBS produced a TV pilot revolving around our favorite top heavy mistress of the dark, Elvira.  The show was cleverly titled ‘The Elvira Show‘ and featured Elvira and two big co-stars.  I’m not talking about her giant breasts, but about a talking cat named Renfield and actress Katherine Helmond (Mona from Who’s The Boss?).

In the never bought pilot, Elvira moves to Kansas and begins her profession as a fortune teller and magic potion seller.  Hilarity and boob jokes ensue, complete with an over-the-top and unnecessary laugh track.  Even though this show failed, you can totally see that it was later resurrected as Sabrina The Teenage Witch in 1996.  Feel free to watch the show that never was though below, and make sure to keep your distance from the screen because Elvira’s boobs have a tendency to protrude.

Dirty Horror Memory Lane: The Dummy (1982)

If you’re like me and grew up on 80’s horror, then maybe you remember a little weekly running event on the USA Network called Saturday Nightmares? Every Saturday night, you could stay up and watch your favorite horror movies with the nudity edited, but usually the gore staying primarily intact.  It would usually be a double feature, and in between those features you could sometimes catch a little horror short to pass the time before diving into movie number two.

Thanks to Youtube this morning, I stumbled upon one of those aforementioned horror shorts called The Dummy.  I haven’t seen this since my days of convincing my parents to stay up to partake in Saturday Nightmares, and it was definitely a nice trip down memory lane.  Now before you watch, just know that this was a student film and it’s from 1982, so the quality is a bit sketchy. The music is great though and it’s got a creepy killer ventriloquist, so you really can’t go wrong there, right?  On top of all of that, it’s been confirmed that this short inspired the story of Chucky from the Child’s Play franchise.  Keep that in mind when you’re watching!

Dirty Horror Memory Lane: Count Creepyhead Play-Doh Set (1984)

My Mom didn’t like me playing with Play-Doh when I was a kid because I would always try and eat it.  Sure, it looked appetizing due to the different colors and interesting texture, but apparently it’s not good for your digestive system.  Much to her chagrin though, in 1984 I was already getting into my horror phase and Play-Doh must have known, because they released the awesome Count Creepyhead & Friends Play-Doh Playset.


Oh I had hours and hours of fun with this playset, until the next distracting toy for an 8-year-old came out and Count Creepyhead got tossed into the closet with He-Man.  You have to love the fact that especially in the 80’s, the horror toy business was booming and it was more than refreshing to see Play-Doh jump on board. Writing about this pulled at my nostalgic toy heartstrings and made me search Ebay to see if any of these babies were for sale.  Sadly, all you can buy that’s associated with Count Creepyhead is a purple scraping axe that came with the original package.  No offense to the purple scraping axe, but that alone just doesn’t satisfy my craving.  So until Count Creepyhead pops up on Ebay…..I shall wait.  And while I wait, I can just watch this commercial to get my fix and see how much fun the kids are having in it.

Dirty Horror Memory Lane: Madballs (1980’s)

I think I can speak for most guys who are into horror and say that it wasn’t uncommon to get caught playing with your balls when you were younger.  What I meant to say was that it wasn’t uncommon to get caught playing with your Madballs when you were younger.  There – that sounds much better.  Yes, Madballs!  The gross-out 80’s foam ball toy that had a variety of names like Screamin Meemie, Slobulus, and of course Crack Head.

Catchy little jingle in that commercial.  Madballs were all the rage for about a year or two and actually made a comeback in 2007.  They even spawned comic books, video games, and their very own cartoon.  I have fond memories of taking my Madballs to church with me, which might be sacrilegious to some and awesome to others.  I even still have my original Screamin Meemie on the premises and he’s resting comfortably in my closet as we speak.

Madballs were so popular in the 80’s, they even had their own crappy knock-offs that to this day earn more money than the originals on Ebay auctions.  That’s right – if you find a Blurp Ball, Weird Ball, or Wacki Ball at the flea market, make sure you pick it up because it could net you some sweet cash if you do.  The bottom line is that Madballs were about as 80’s as 80’s toys could get.  And they added a horror element as well, which made them a necessity for me.  I tried to pass my collection down a generation to my nephews, but they were scared shitless of them.  Pshhh.  Kids nowadays.