Friday, October 14, 2022

The 2022 Halloween Party Music UBER MEGA-MIX!


Get ready to put on your dancing shoes all you spooky ghouls

As once again it’s that time of year filled with creaks and boos

Despite the creepy setting and all that comes with it

The beats will hit so hard that there’s no way you’ll be able to sit

While all the children are out enjoying their night of treats and tricks

It’s time for us to kick off the 2022 Halloween Party Music UBER MEGA-MIX!

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Salute Your Shorts: I Love Sarah Jane (2008)

Like most 13-year-old boys, Jimbo (Brad Ashby) has that one girl he is crushing on hard, and despite there being this whole “zombie apocalypse” thing going on, he will do whatever it takes to win the affection of Sarah Jane (Mia Wasikowska).  

Written by David Michôd and Spencer Susser (who also directed), I Love Sarah Jane is an Australian lensed short film that focuses on a group of children living their day-to-day lives in a world that has been ravaged by zombies. While the details are minimal, the kids are left to their own device likely because their parents were killed at some point. To pass the time, some of the kids screw around with a captured zombie and do other things that kids without parents around are apt to do. But this is not the case for Jimbo, who is more concerned with spending time with Sarah.

I Love Sarah Jane looks at young love through the dingy windows of the zombie apocalypse, and does so in a way that is effective in its simplicity and genuine approach. The short features some very high production value with a backdrop that perfectly conveys a world ravaged by an apocalypse, all of which is brought to life by some great looking cinematography. Furthermore, the film has some incredible looking makeup effects on display, specifically with the short’s main zombie (non) threat. 

I Love Sarah Jane clocks in at about 14 minutes, and it’s a wise way to spend 14 minutes of your time, as this is a fantastic little zombie flick that adds a level of humanity that doesn't feel manufactured or generic. Check it out below. 

Horror Short movies

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

The Contraption (1977): Despite All My Rage

"Out of all the men in the world, I ended up marrying a bloody mouse."

Written, produced and directed by James Dearden, this 1977 UK made short film stars Richard O'Brien as The Man and Charlotte Cornwell providing the short's only line of dialogue. The Contraption is one of a handful of horror shorts that would appear as filler for various late night programming on the USA Network back in that wonderful era known as the 80s. I first encountered The Contraption at a pretty young age; an age when I was really falling in love with the horror genre, and seeing something such as this at that time in my youth left quite the memorable impact.

When it comes down to it, much of that impact would have to do with one thing, and that is simply how well made The Contraption is. It's effective in its simplicity and grabs your attention only to lead you down a path to a very dark place. The music as well as the sound design are nothing short of terrifying, and with the intricate sounds so amplified - so exaggerated - it is difficult not to get roped into what this man might be doing. With each intense turn of a screw, with every rip of the hand saw, with every smack of the mallet, there is a certain impact that each of these individual moments have in what they collectively lead up to.

The setting is nothing more than what appears to be a poorly lit basement, where the only light that is cast comes from a single lamp above. The darkness of this man's surroundings engulfs his project, making it seem as if he is in an alternate place where all his focus is on the task at hand. In many ways, this dark and empty setting speaks incredible relevance as to where he is emotionally, as he is a man who is working to take his own life, a man who is currently engulfed by the darkest of moments.

Watching a man carefully craft his own demise is quite impactful, seeing him actually do it just furthers that, but what really sets this short on the top shelf of quality is that one little line of dialogue. "Out of all the men in the world, I ended up marrying a bloody mouse." It's that last little touch that adds volume to what was just witnessed on screen. That line of dialogue makes you wonder why he has done this, and in a way, it adds depth to the situation and character, leaving quick theories to stew in the brain for a few moments afterwards. It's what kept a short like The Contraption embedded in a young horror fan's mind for many years to come, and even now, after so many years have passed, it still carries its weight in horror gold.

Monday, October 19, 2020

The Midnight Hour (1985) VHS Collection

Rare Halloween VHS tapes

This would certainly not be the first time I've posted about the1985 Made-for-TV Halloween classic, The Midnight Hour. In fact, it’s not even the first time I’ve posted some of my VHS copies of the movie (you can see that HERE). Regardless, The Midnight Hour is one that always deserves all the love, and I sure as hell don’t mind giving it some. That, and I have picked up a handful of very cool foreign VHS copies of the movie since I last posted about it in 2016, so I figured it would be a great time to share my updated collection with you. 

Vidmark (United States) 

rare halloween vhs tapes

Vidmark (Screener Copy)

rare halloween vhs tapes

Anchor Bay Clamshell (United States)

rare halloween horror VHS

This copy is one that I bought when it was released in 1999, and this is more than likely the first time I had seen the movie again since its original TV airing. As a result, this release holds a very special place in my heart.

United Video Kauf Cassette (Germany)

rare halloween vhs

Ixion (Japan)

rare halloween vhs tapes

Record Vision/MidWest (Spain)

rare halloween VHS movies

Video Films/Video Elit (Greece) 

rare halloween vhs tape

Each of these releases are simply very cool looking, but I find myself going back and forth between the Greek and Spanish releases as my favorite in terms of cover art. Both VHS covers just really hit that sweet Halloween horror spot for me. 

With that being said, I hope you've enjoyed this trip through my VHS collection of The Midnight Hour. If you haven’t seen the movie for yourself as of yet, then you absolutely owe it to yourself to do so, and what better time than this Halloween season?! Heck, you can watch the entire movie right down below!

Thursday, October 15, 2020

The 2020 Halloween Party Music UBER MEGA-MIX!

Dancing skeletons

Night has fallen, as have the autumn leaves

The wind whips loudly, as it travels through the wicked trees

The air is crisp, filled with the sounds of maniacal laughter

As the intensity of the Halloween season grows - it’s what we’ve all been clamouring after

Jack-O-Lanterns flicker, demons snicker, and witches lick their lips

And this can only mean one thing, you know, it’s the 2020 Halloween Party Music UBER MEGA-MIX!!

Halloween simply is not complete without filling your pointy ears with any and all Halloween and horror-centric music that one can find, and finally, after a 3 year HELLatus, I am thrilled to dust off and update my Halloween playlist! Filled with some of the best horror/Halloween songs you can imagine, you are sure to find yourself jumping up and down nonstop until the clock reaches the midnight hour on all hallows eve! So dig in, fiends, because this party is just getting started!

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Hell House ‘92: A Haunted Attraction Unlike Any Other

Halloween VHS Tapes

While many people across America enjoy various types of haunted attractions during the Halloween season, there is a segment of the population who enjoy a very specific type of haunt that isn’t quite the same as what most of us are used to. Of course the goal of a haunted house is to put the proverbial fear of God into their respective patrons. However, some haunts, often referred to as Hell Houses, take that idea to a more literal level.

This is best outlined by a 1992 VHS release of Hell House ‘92. Presented by Christian Retreat Family Church out of Bradenton, FL, Hell House ‘92 is essentially a hype video aimed at Christians and likely other churches looking for an alternative to the traditional Halloween haunted attraction. The term “Hell House” is a blanket term, and is best explained by the video’s unnamed host as “a Christian alternative for the traditional haunted houses at Halloween.” Before introducing a series of clips of what can be seen in this specific Hell House, the host goes on to describe the experience as “a powerful evangelism tool,” which is maybe more frightening than anything that Halloween as a holiday can throw our way.

Rare Halloween VHS Tapes

On the surface, the footage of the Hell House plays out like any old Haunted House, featuring creepy images meant to instill fear in patrons. Where things differ here, however, are the stories and the driving forces behind these horror scenes. Instead of set pieces featuring creepy clowns and chainsaw-wielding maniacs, the mostly teen audience is subjected to scenarios featuring suicide, abortion and interestingly enough any sort of partying. Essentially, the moral of each story is simple: be good, otherwise you will fall prey to the devil and end up dead and, worse yet, burning in hell.

Rare Halloween VHS Tapes

Throughout each set piece, patrons are led by a demonic tour guide, who continually encourages each teenager in the various scenes to do whatever awful deeds that are being depicted. Their only savior is to follow the word of God, and this all comes to a head when, during the final set piece, the viewer is subjected to a depiction of Moses discussing the importance of the Ten Commandments, which is then followed by a crucified Jesus, who makes a plea for all the patrons to not let his sacrifices go to waste. The presentation ends with the host going over the fact that after the teen patrons go through the Hell House, they can speak with counselors. Though, I feel confident that they aren’t the kind of counselors that these kids will need after experiencing such indoctrination. 

Christian Hell House 92 VHS Halloween

The entire special only runs about 15 minutes. However, and this is noted at the finish of the presentation, there are a handful of TV news reports featured after the fact, which is actually pretty fantastic for someone who loves old news footage concerning Halloween antics, especially with the bonus of it being focused on something as insane as a Christian Hell House. Unfortunately, with this being such a niche thing, info about the video and access to it is essentially nonexistent, which is exactly why my photos in this post are of the VHS playing on my TV. There are, however, numerous clips to be found featuring similar antics, one of which I will share below to give you a taste of the pure insanity that is a Christian Hell House.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Chucktober Presents: Outdoor Halloween Decorations 2020

Halloween is in full swing ’round these here parts, and with that comes the final touches to our outdoor Halloween decorations! 

Much like what was done for the indoor setup, I made some of these decorations myself, and for very little money at that. A few of the standouts are the “Smell My Feet” sign, which I made by painting over an existing Dollar Tree Halloween sign as well as adding some dangling “witch feet,” which were also a repurposed Dollar Tree Halloween decoration. The other is the witch’s cauldron, wherein I made a teepee out of dowels and some crafting string, and like the indoor cauldron, made some glowing burning embers out of great stuff and battery operated LED lights. We already had the cauldron, so all in all this decoration cost very little to put together. 

In any event, it was hard to capture how the decorations look on video, as they look best at night when all the spooky lights are on, so I ended up making a video collage of images that nicely captures everything in a satisfactory fashion. I’m happy with how it came out, and I hope you take a moment to check out the video for yourself. If you do, then be sure to let me know your thoughts as well as what you’ve been up to so far this Halloween season!

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