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!

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Full Moon VideoZone: The Original Special Feature

In a time well before DVD and Blu-ray were the standard formats for cinephiles, there was the almighty VHS tape. Looked back upon with a fondness similar to that of a mother for her first born, especially for genre fans, VHS was where home cinema would truly come to fruition. It was the start of a revolution; a major evolutionary leap that continuously grows with each day that passes. Looking back at the VHS format now is a nostalgic romp, bringing many of us back to a time in our youth when hours were spent in front of a television, eyes fixated, with no more than the glow of the screen illuminating the room around us. This is a time when there was an innocence to watching movies and, in many ways, was the best time cinematically in our lives.

As much as I still love the nostalgic aspects of the VHS format, and even actively collecting it, can you imagine a world where special features didn’t exist? With the advent of DVD, Blu-ray and now UHD, cinema nerds have been filled to the gullet with multiple commentaries, trailers, behind the scenes, and anything and everything else you can think of. I doubt any one of us could fathom living without these “extras,” and it wasn’t so long ago where we settled for no more than a handful of trailers before our feature presentation (if we were lucky) after we pushed those beastly black beauties into our VCRs.

Full Moon Charles Band

Nevertheless, before there was ever a Blu-ray disc, a DVD, or even a Laserdisc, there was Full Moon’s VideoZone. A bounce back production company that came after the fall of Empire Pictures, Full Moon Productions was the brainchild of Charles Band. Band had a clear vision for this new company: produce low-budget genre cinema with a polished look that the audience would associate with big budget productions. In keeping with the Sci-Fi, Horror and Fantasy elements found within the films that Full Moon produced, Band apparently wanted the company to have the overall feel of a comic book, which would tie into the birth of VideoZone.

Inspired by the positive response to the making-of segments that Full Moon had attached to some of their earlier films, VideoZone made its official splash in 1991 at the conclusion of a sequel that would prove to be one of the studio’s most popular flagship franchises, Puppet Master II. Occasionally introduced by Charles Band himself, each video magazine-style VideoZone featurette would come in at around 25 minutes and focused on the making of whichever film you had just watched. Filled with insightful and ambitious interviews with the cast and crew, a look at how certain makeup effects were done, and a chance to watch the film from the creative side of the lens, VideoZone was as groundbreaking as it was entertaining.

Full Moon VHS Charles Band

Growing up at this time, I simply loved the films that Full Moon churned out, and still very much appreciate the style of movie that the company brought to the table. However, as much as I enjoyed the features themselves, I can honestly say that the best part of any Full Moon production was the VideoZone segment. Being a kid that loved horror movies, it was quite incredible to be able to go behind-the-scenes with these featurettes. It was also something that worked as a learning tool for what would become a lifelong passion, which would be movies and the every intricate detail that goes into making them.

VideoZone played at the end of every Full Moon VHS release from 1991 to 2000, opening the door wide enough for fans to sneak a peek at how the films were brought to life. It also served as a great marketing tool for Band to hock Full Moon products and share the latest movie news, which was a brilliant way to keep Full Moon fans in the loop. Even though the innovative VideoZone is no more, the always market savvy (and maybe a tad sketchy) Band still keeps the interactive dream alive in the modern age with video blogs pimping classy cinema such as Evil Bong 3D and Gingerdead Man 3 and continuously promoting Full Moon on his social media accounts. And personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Chucktober Presents: Indoor Halloween Decorations 2020!

Cool Indoor Halloween Decoration Ideas

It’s October 1st, which means it’s time to kick off the sickest and twistedest celebration of all, Chucktober! 

A month-long celebration of all things Halloween and horror, Chucktober is guaranteed to make you shake and shiver! Though, I suppose that could just be speed wearing off, but there’s no denying the results. 

After finally having finished decorating the inside of my house for Halloween, I figured the best way to kick off this season of insanity is by sharing the results with you via this handy video posted on my YouTube channel, which I just know you are already subscribed to... RIGHT?!  

I’m pretty happy with how everything turned out, especially the witch’s cauldron and the spooky village, both of which were handmade by my own hands, both of which I was born with. Beat that. 

I expect I’ll have the outdoor Halloween decorations finished in the next few days, and when I do, I’ll be sure to share my results with you here. Until then, please enjoy the video, and happy Chucktober, friends!

If you'd like more amazing Chucktober content, CLICK HERE!! 

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