Sunday, November 1, 2015

The End of Chucktober aka the Post-Halloween Hangover


It’s pretty fantastic having Halloween fall on a Saturday, as it gives all of us the perfect excuse to enjoy the wicked holiday all weekend long. However, despite finishing up a watch of Hollow Gate after falling asleep halfway through the night before, and enjoying a few Halloween episodes of Roseanne during Roseanne’s Halloween Hangover on WE (which is an awesome thing to do, by the way), the deep down feeling that the party’s over is impossible to shake.

As the day goes on and the rotted jack-o’-lanterns find their way into the trash to finish their slow dissolve into fly infested nothingness, the sadness of it all starts to settle in, knowing that it’ll be yet another long year of anticipation for the fun to all begin again. As somewhat depressing as that may sound, with the exit of another Halloween season comes the opportunity to reflect upon it, and when all's said and done, it was a good season indeed.


This year’s jack-o’-lanterns courtesy of my inflatable wife (right jack-o) and myself (left jack-o).

As per usual, the last few months have been filled with the usual intake of Halloween-themed snacks and goodies as well as a number of delicious seasonal beverages. That stuff is always a highlight for a junk-food junkie and lush like myself, that’s for certain. The only thing that might top overdosing on Halloween treats is spending a month plus watching horror films and various Halloween specials throughout the season, which actually goes well with all the Halloween junk food, as I have perfected the art of eating and watching my television at the same time. What can I say, I’m multitalented.

As mush as I love junk food and horror films, this Halloween was enjoyable for reasons other than orange-colored treats that may or may not cause cancer, and that comes in the form of my daughter, Hallowbaby herself, Clara.


Don’t be skerred, fall-jacket Jason.

Clara was born on October 25th of last year, which as luck would have it, meant her first birthday fell on the Sunday before Halloween. Now, for those of you who don’t know (and really, why would you?), the town I live in does trick or treat the Sunday before Halloween, unless Halloween lands on a Sunday, of course. This basically gave us an excuse to do a Halloween theme for Clara’s first birthday party, which was graciously hosted at my in-laws’ house.

FullSizeRender (4)

Clara’s first birthday cake, designed by yours truly. The main cake is vanilla and the cupcakes chocolate, because daddy don’t play. 


Hallowbaby digging into some smash cake aka cake that gets smashed by an infant and is a nightmare to clean up.

Timing wise it couldn’t have worked out any better, as immediately after we got home from Clara’s party, trick or treat had begun. While I don’t love the idea of trick or treat being held in the afternoon (usually from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM) and on a day other than Halloween, I am always thrilled by how many spooky boils and ghouls show up at my door looking for a handful of treats, and this year was no different. I didn’t keep count, though I really should have, but I am willing to bet at least 50 kids came to my door, and each one was greeted with a fistful of Halloween candy, which only ensured our home will A) be the cool house and B) never get egged.

FullSizeRender (2)

It’s hard to make out, but four adorable girls who came to our home for trick or treat - then proceeded to sit on the corner of my lawn and dig into their stash - wrote trick or treat on my sidewalk. My black heart melted, naturally.  

In any event, Halloween itself was enjoyable as well, being filled with special Halloween cookies, the flickering of Yankee Candle candles, tons of Halloween-set movies and horror films, and even a trip out to the local fairgrounds for a little Halloween fun, with a heavy focus on the word little. As great as the big day was, however, it was Clara’s birthday mixed with trick or treat that turned out to be the real highlight of this Halloween season, and I honestly couldn’t ask for anything more.

Here are some more notable photos from the past month of madness for you to dig into:

FullSizeRender (3)

Clara’s babysitter did a little art project with the kids, and this was the result. It is Clara’s first art piece, and fittingly it’s Halloween related. You know, because she is Hallowbaby.


Clara doesn’t care much about TV, but for some reason she was drawn to Roseanne’s first Halloween special, BOO, which only proves that she has a good chance at one day being crowned “the master.”


Again, not really into TV, which only makes Clara’s interest in It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on Halloween morning a pretty special moment for me. Hallowbaby is clearly not a uniform; it’s a lifestyle.

FullSizeRender (1)

And lastly, I freed my lovely inflatable wife from the basement so she could take this adorable photo with Clara, in full Hallowbaby attire, on Halloween.

At any rate, I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween, and I also hope you enjoyed all the Chucktober festivities I put together this year. Naturally, things are going to slow down here on the blog now that October has passed, but I do plan on trying to put together something for December. Until next time, however, thanks for reading my endless blabbering!

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Basement (1989): Tales from The Unfinished Cellar

The basement 1989 review..

After four poorly-dubbed people find themselves mysteriously trapped in someone’s unfinished basement, they come face-to-face with The Sentinel, a spirit who informs the group that they have found the portal to hell, and now they must confess their sins. Not their sins of the past, however, but the sins they will commit in the future!

Written and directed by Timothy O'Rawe (Ghoul School), The Basement is a shot on Super 8 anthology film that went unreleased until 2011 when Camp Motion Pictures released the film as the main feature in a 5 film Retro 80s Horror Collection. Interestingly, not only did the film go unreleased, it actually sat in storage, unedited, for 2 decades before the film’s director of photography, Michael Raso, took to restoring it in 2010.

The Basement is an extremely low-budget riff on 1972’s Tales From the Crypt, in that a group of less than desirable people come to learn that the poor choices they make will lead to their undoing. This leads to four not-so-inspired tales of terror, starting off with The Swimming Pool.

The basement 1989 review

Focusing on a Black Widow-esque female character who lures men into a swimming pool for one final swim with a sea creature that sort of looks like a garden hose, The Swimming Pool is both a horrible and a wonderful way to kick off the anthology. The segment is bad in every way possible, but it’s bad in the silliest of ways thanks to the dialogue and performance by the lead actress. Of course, the entire situation is so preposterous – especially in how cheaply executed it is – that it’s difficult to believe that the segment is actually a part of reality. As I alluded to at the start of this review, The Basement has some of the very worst  ADR work I have ever heard in any film – which is quite the feat considering some of the movies I watch – and this is most true with The Swimming Pool. To be fair, however, a movie this bad only benefits from such incompetence, simply because it adds yet another layer of unintentional humor.

The second segment, Trick or Treat, is A Christmas Carol style tale about a disgruntled teacher who hates children and Halloween, and he has no problem expressing his distaste. However, his angry ways come back to haunt him when on Halloween night he is visited by a variety of creatures such as demons, witches, and the undead, all warning him that he basically needs to stop being such a jerk. Trick or Treat is one of the best segments of The Basement for a few reasons, one being the heavy focus on make-up effects, which are actually quite impressive despite the low budget. Something else that really stands out in the Trick or Treat is a dream sequence where the teacher goes on a classroom-murder spree, killing off all of his students, one by one, in a variety of bloody ways.

The basement 1989 review...

The third segment is Zombie Movie, a moderately enjoyable story that takes place on the set of a low-budget zombie film that becomes infested with real zombies. The main focus of this segment is a sleazy director who has no respect for horror, let alone the film he’s making. To him, it’s all about making a quick buck, and he has no problem being a complete dick about it. It’s obvious that Zombie Movie is commenting on the studio horror films and sequels that were churned out for a quick profit at the time, which is funny as people still seem to have the same complaints nowadays, despite looking back fondly on horror cinema from the 1980s. Funny how that works.

The final segment, Home Sweet Home, is about a young writer who buys a run-down home, despite being warned that it’s haunted. Shortly after moving into the dark and creepy house, one of the writer’s best friends shows up, and the two spend the evening getting wasted and talking about how this will be the perfect house for them to work on future horror projects. Unfortunately for the friend, however, there will be no future, because he is soon murdered by a demon. Overall, Home Sweet Home is a weak entry in The Basement, though it is kept afloat by some impressive creature makeup effects. The only other notable aspect of the segment is the fact that, as opposed to the characters in the previous segments, the lead character really doesn’t do anything wrong to make him deserving of spiritual reprimand. Makes almost as much sense as the 50 tea lights that are surrounding the bed that the main character and his girlfriend use to make sex.

The basement 1989 review .

The Basement is only 109 minutes long, so minus credits you're looking at about an hour or so of movie. With there being four segments, such a short runtime equals very little time to do much with each segment in terms of building up suspense. With most films that might be an issue, but in the case of The Basement, I think it helps. Spending too much time on each of these already anemic segments could be a cause for boredom, which is the worst sin that any B-movie can commit.   

Overall, The Basement is an astoundingly inept film made by people whose hearts were in the right place, which is a huge part of making a truly bad movie an enjoyable one for those who savor such entertainment.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Bad Trick Or Treat Ideas: Religious Propaganda

bad trick or treat candy ideas

Look, I have no beef with whatever you’re into. You do you the best you can, so long as you keep it to yourself. However, the second you push your agenda on me – as opposed to giving me a variety of king-sized treats – well, you, me and a dozen eggs are gonna have some words.

Giving me some religious propaganda on Halloween is not going to make me convert; it’s not going to make me think; and it’s certainly not going to make me happy, so keep that shit to yourself and go out and buy a few boxes of king-size Snickers before I leave a king-size flaming turd on your doorstep.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Goosebumps At 33: Be Careful What You Wish For

Goosebumps TV shows


Goosebumps be careful what you wish for TV

Despite being the tallest girl on the team (and likely the tallest in the state), Samantha Byrd is terrible at basketball. Her awkward frame and clumsy tendencies create issues both on and off the court, resulting in Samantha being the butt of a number of jokes among her classmates. The most popular diss that is directed towards Samantha is "why don't you go fly away, Byrd?", which is clearly a clever and well-thought out play on Samantha’s last name. I can’t even imagine how long it took her classmates to think that one up.

Goosebumps be careful what you wish for

At any rate, while on her way home from school, Samantha has a run in with a lost, eccentric middle-aged woman named Clarissa. When Samantha helps the woman find her way, Clarissa returns the favor by giving Samantha an amulet and granting her three wishes. Naturally, Samantha takes this as an opportunity to become the best player on her basketball team. While she does indeed become the best player on the team, it comes at the expense of her teammates, who have suddenly lost all of their skills and can barely dribble a ball let alone shot one properly.

As is the case with any tale featuring a character being granted three wishes, Samantha finds herself having to try to fix the mistakes from her previous wish while also benefiting herself in some way, which can only result in even more issues. And boy are there issues. Everything from turning everyone on the entire plant into flies to turning an old enemy into an obsessive best friend, Samantha finds her situation getting worse by the wish. Will Samantha be able to set everything right, or will she be doomed to live with her mistakes for good?

Goosebumps be careful what you wish for 2

Airing on August 10, 1996, Be Careful What you Wish For is your typical Goosebumps fare, dealing with everything you’d expect from an episode of the television series, including bullies, very bad decisions, overalls, and even an eccentric character tossed in for good measure. And of course, no episode of Goosebumps would be complete without a twist ending, and Be Careful What You Wish For delivers a twist ending that’s hysterically satisfying.

While there have been better and certainly creepier episodes of Goosebumps, you really couldn't ask for a better way to end this season of Goosebumps At 33, as Be Careful What You Wish For is an enjoyable and worthwhile entry into the beloved children’s series. It sorta makes me wish this season wouldn’t end...

Goosebumps be careful what you wish for 1

Until next time, kiddies, keep your nightlight on and your head under the covers…

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The 2015 Ultimate Halloween Party Music UBER MEGA-MIX!


Dust of your dancing shoes and, while you’re at it, your dancing partner (at least after you’ve dug them up first) and get ready to get ghoulish, because it’s time to unleash the 2015 Ultimate Halloween Party Music UBER MEGA-MIX!

With a number of new additions (and a few subtractions), this year’s playlist is new and improved and tailor made to get you in the ghostly groove! Better yet, not only is this year’s playlist a MEGA-MIX, it’s an UBER MEGA-MIX, which makes it 100% more UBER than last year’s playlist, therefore, 100% more awesome.

At any low-heart rate, hope you enjoy cutting a rug to this Ultimate Halloween Party Music UBER MEGA-MIX, but please be warned: we are not responsible if the rug cuts back…

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Salute Your Shorts: Sweet Tooth

Sweet tooth halloween short film

After a young trick-or-treater has a run in with a bully on Halloween night, the young boy’s father shows up, and soon it becomes apparent that the bully messed with the wrong kid.

Created by Zachary Shore as a part of his first year CalArts film character animation class, Sweet Tooth is short, simple and to the point, all the while retaining an effortless and unexpected charm. The beautifully hand-drawn animation has a muted, almost black and white look to it, and the sketchy, unfinished appearance of the animation adds a nice visual aesthetic to the short.

Sweet Tooth comes in under two minutes, yet delivers a tasty little slice of morality. Quite simply, there’s always someone out there who’s bigger and badder than you are, so be careful who you mess with because it might come back to haunt you in the form of a vengeful vampire dad.

Salute Your Shorts 3.5


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Post of Chucktober Past: Great Story, Emily

I’ve been doing this Chucktober thing for seven years now and there’s a whole lot of content as a result so I thought it would be nice to take a trip down memory lane and revisit a post from Chucktober past. Really, that’s not all too complicated, so I won’t waste anymore time on unnecessary details outside of saying that this post originally appeared on October 27, 2010, and it’s one of my favorites. Hope you enjoy!

Great Story, Emily

I've had a really tough time figuring out what to dress up as for Halloween, so I took to the internet as my guide and found this news report focusing on the hottest costumes for 2010!! Boy, I sure hope it helps with some creative and original ideas that'll stand out amongst the masses!

First off, while I do dig the clown outfit, Emily Deem should probably consider going as a mute. Not necessarily for Halloween so much as she should just become a mute.

So the first costume is brought out, and it's the Mad Hatter from that Tim Burton movie. I just love how Foot Locker describes the costume as being comfortable because Jesus can wear his own pants with it. I was more or less thinking the costume sucked because Jesus has to wear his own pants because, you know, the costume doesn't come with any. Also, is the hair awesome, Emily? Is it really? I'll pass on this one.

Finally, when the one costume I was waiting for the entire time makes an appearance (the Alice costume, naturally), I learn that the shoes are extra?! I totally can't afford all of that, and all the other girls at school are definitely going to laugh at me if I don't wear the right shoes. They really do make the ensemble pop.

The last costume is barely even worth mentioning, as we’ve already seen the idiot store owner wearing it for the last two minutes. Oh, but now it's on a little girl, so it must be cute, right? Wrong. If they wanted to do a family theme, they should go as father and disappointed in her father daughter. That would be more fitting.

You know what, forget it… this stupid news report didn't help me find shit. And seriously, Emily, do you think getting a news camera wet is a good idea? I love how her lame flower joke fails when she misses the camera the first time, and she’s then forced to reign it back in with her wit and charm. But the best part of this whole thing is the condescending female studio anchor saying "That was fun" with the excitement of someone that just found out they will be raped by an alligator everyday for the rest of their life starting in one hour.

Unless my luck should change, it looks like I might be wearing my go to costume for the 27th year in a row…


Thanks for nothing, Emily.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Chuck Norris Ate My Baby is in no way endorsed by or affiliated with Chuck Norris the Actor.