Friday, October 30, 2020

2020 Halloween Movie Recap

This year, unlike years before, I decided to scroll through all the streaming services we have and compile a list of 30 movies I wanted to watch during the month of October. We made it through about 20 of them. Some nights I fell asleep early, other nights we were interrupted by restless children. It's all good though, some of my pics were winners others pretty crappy. Here is a quick recap of some of my favorite horror movie watches from 2020.
I had been meaning to see this movie since it was released in 2016, but never took the time to watch it. I am glad I waited until the Halloween season to explore this zombie apocalypse film. It was creepy, scary and the claustrophobic atmosphere of being trapped in a train with a butt-ton of flesh eating zombies just added to the fear this South Korean film brought to the table. 
The writing was fantastic and I actually had sympathy for the characters caught on the train and loathed the heartless businessman who would step over anyone to save himself. If you're a fan of the zombie genre, you really need to check this out. It is dubbed, so you have to get used to that, but otherwise an excellent flick.
I know Prom Night is a slasher flick classic, but I never really had the desire to see this movie. I was way more into Freddy & Jason by the time this movie hit my radar. This year would be my first viewing of this 1980 horror hit and let me tell you it was entertaining. Jamie Lee Curtis plays a character named Kim who is similar to her character Laurie in the original Halloween movie. She is seen as perfect by her classmates and seems pretty innocent, but when the death of her sister years earlier comes back to haunt her, she needs to step up to defend herself. Not only is Kim able to do that, but she also cuts a mean rug on the disco floor. 
Loved those dance scenes! Tense moments, some twists and throw in Leslie Nielsen as Kim's Dad and you have a winning formula for a great 80's slasher flick!
The Ritual (2017)
The Ritual was a movie that actually was not on my list. After a few nights of watching some 1980's horror movies, my wife wanted something more recent. We decided to watch this movie about 4 men who take a trip in memory of their fallen friend. These English blokes decide to go backpacking in Sweden. While there one of them is injured and they decide to get him help by cutting through an off trail forest. Nothing bad could come from that, right? Well it does get bad from there! The movie turns to psychological scares at this point, since you never really see what begins to hunt these friends in the forbidden forest, but by the time you do see the monster it is a shock! 
This thing is massive, deadly and pretty damn cool looking. The end left me scratching my head a little as the final 2 friends are taken in by a cult as a sacrifice to this monster that they believe to be a god. It is worth a watch and I'm glad it made it's way into my queue this Halloween! 
Hobgoblins (1988)
This was one of those movies that was so bad, it was good! I knew from the beginning that this would be a Gremlins rip-off much like Munchies, but still I wanted to see these little goblins raise some havoc! You see, these magnificent monsters have been locked up in an old defunct movie studio film vault because when they landed on the lot decades before, it was discovered that they had the ability to make people live out there wildest fantasies...with deadly results! A new young security guard frees them and it's up to him and his friends to destroy these fiends! 
The acting is below average, the effects are iffy and the story is not the greatest, but damn was it a fun and extremely weird ride! On a side note, there was an after credit scene! This was probably one of the first. Can't wait to see the 2009 sequel!
Of course there were more movies watched, these were just some of the ones that stood out. Also viewed for the first time and enjoyed were Killer Klowns From Outer Space, Hubie Halloween, The Babysitter 2: Killer Queen, Hatchet and Demonic Toys.
It really was a great movie viewing season this year, but like all good things it has to come to an end and I decided this final week would be dedicated to some of the classics that I've already watched a million times, but still love like Friday The 13th, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street and Monster Squad. The final film this year will be Trick 'r Treat on Halloween night. I hope your movie viewing was as enjoyable as mine this year. I can't wait to see what ends up on the list in 2021! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Comic Book Pick 10/28/20

  This week, the comic book I am most excited to read is...

(W) Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, Tom Waltz (A/CA) Kevin Eastman, Esau Escorza, Issac Escorza
It's the TMNT event of 2020! Springing from the minds of TMNT co-creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird comes an epic like you've never seen before! In a future NYC far different than the one we know today, a lone surviving Turtle goes on a seemingly hopeless mission to obtain justice for his fallen family and friends. Kinetic layouts from Eastman, inks from Esau and Isaac Escorza and a thrilling script full of surprises from longtime TMNT scribe Tom Waltz all combine to make this one of the most memorable TMNT stories you will ever read!
Oversized in both format and page count, this is a perennial TMNT tale that can't be missed!
SRP: $8.99
Synopsis Provided By: 

Monday, October 26, 2020

Throwback Jam of the Week: 10/26/20

  Throw on your jumpsuits, and hop in the Ecto-1 as we take you back to the 80s! Without further ado, here is the 20 Years Before 2000 THROWBACK JAM OF THE WEEK!

Artist: Alessi
Song: Savin' The Day
Album: Ghostbusters: Soundtrack (1984)
Peak Billboard Hot 100 Position: N/A
Bonus Fun Fact: The band Alessi is made up of twin brothers Billy & Bobby Alessi. They have released 11 albums since 1976 with "Water" released in 2018!

Friday, October 23, 2020

Some Memories of Halloween past

It's almost here! Halloween 2020 is almost here! While it may be extremely different than it has been in the past, my wife and I are dedicated to making this a freakin' awesome and memorable day for our kids. There will be games, costumes, candy & spooky movies to make October 31st a night to remember. I just hope that we can give my kids some great Halloween memories, just like I have from when I grew up. Below are a few of those memories that I would like to share with you.
Oreo & The Cube
My family consisted of 5 kids, so I know my Mom had to be pretty frugal with the money so we could be fed, stay warm, get an education and have a roof over our heads. This led to her making some of the most memorable costumes I have ever worn! Every now & then my Mom would take it upon herself to make our Halloween costumes and I would say this was around 1985 when she made me an Oreo Cookie and my brother a Rubik's Cube. I remember my costume consisted of 2 pieces of cardboard cut from the box of a Kerosene Heater we had. I know this because the front of the cardboard was painted brown by my Mom, but the opposite side still had the image of a cat & dog nestled warmly around the heater on the inside. She attached the two pieces with string so it could easily sling over my head & shoulders and then she hot glued some stuffing to the inside to create the illusion that I was filled with creamy filling! 
My brother was a cardboard box with cut outs for his head and arms. This was painted various colors to mimic a Rubik's cube. I really give my Mom credit for originality and giving us the opportunity to Trick or Treat, but getting in and out of vehicles in those costumes was a real pain in the butt and over the amount of time we were out getting goodies, the string and cardboard really started cutting into our skin. I'm sure we got a great haul that night and for that I thank my Mom!
Thundercats NOOOO!
It was 1987 and I was in the 2nd grade and I still loved the Thundercats. I had the toys, watched the cartoon after school and even read the comics. I remember having a sword of Omens of my own and even a claw shield and I would play with those all the time, pretending I was Lion-O saving my family on 3rd Earth from the menace of the evil Mutants and their leader Mumm-Ra. My Mom saw that I loved this show so much that she decided to make me a Lion-O costume for Halloween that year. I was excited at first when I heard about the idea, but I think I set my expectations too high.
I went to school at St. Joseph's Regional in Newton, NJ (me and my brother were sent there because my Mom said we "Needed discipline") and every year the school would have a party and parade around the block to celebrate this day of fun and adventure, but it just so happens that was the day my body decided to go against my best wishes and get sick. My Mom could see the disapointment on my face, so she said she would drive me to school so I could take part in the parade and I could wear my new Lion-O costume. Alright! I got up, got ready and after I put on my costume, I realized that this thing showed a lot of leg! It was like wearing one of those wrestling slingletts that A.C. Slater made popular on Saved By The Bell, but somehow even skimpier in the crotch!
I was embarassed, but still went with my Mom to the parade. I refused to get out of the car and the actual night of Halloween decided to re-use my Ghostbusters costume from the year before which was also made by my Mom, but covered up much more of my body! God bless her, she really did try and I greatly appreciate everything she has and continues to do for me, but I'm sorry Mom that Lion-O costume still gives me nightmares!
Mischief Night Mishap
I can't remember the year exactly, but I know it must have been the early 90s. The night before Halloween me and my buddies would go out and do a little "decorating" of our own in town. Traditionally this was called Mischief Night, Devil's Night or some of the old timers called it Goosey Night, anyway we would go out with our friends and our Dad always told us that it was our decision whether or not if we wanted to go out and if we did and got caught he would not bail us out. We went out! I don't want to give out too many details, but we had fun and didn't do anything destructive. We didn't key cars, smash eggs or break windows, but somewhere along the night one of my friends managed to set off the alarm at our local school which brought the cops out.
We were too young to drive and we were pretty far from home, so we did all that we could to dodge getting caught. We went through woods, headed down back alleys and hid behind dumpsters. It was almost like the movie "The Warriors", but in NJ. Finally we were almost in the clear and on our way home when my brother told us to duck down this street that he swore the cops would never go down...
We turned the corner and the cops were right there. In a panic we threw my buddy's Dallas Cowboys bag that was full of our supplies up a hill and as the cops were talking with us and we pleaded our innocence, the bag came rolling down the hill and into the street! We were busted! The cops took our names and numbers and called our parents. That weekend we spent some time cleaning up the town and it was a pretty crappy way to spend Halloween, but we did the crime, so we had to do the time. Lesson learned!
I know to some people these may seem like negative memories of Halloween, but honestly they were some of the best. There were many Halloweens in my life besides the ones I talked about above and the majority of them were AMAZING! I love the life I've lived, I love my childhood memories and I LOVE HALLOWEEN!!! Feel free to share your own Halloween memories in the comments below.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Comic Book Pick 10/21/20

 This week, the comic book I am most excited to read is...


(W) Michael Moreci (A) Todor Hristov (CA) Francesco Francavilla
It's Halloween night in Hawkins, Indiana and Will, Mike, Lucas and Dustin gather in Castle Byers to eat candy and scare each other with a spooky story, revealing the quaint town's deepest kept secret: the Child Eater of Hawkins. Comic tie-in with Netflix's hit show, Stranger Things! Takes place six days before season 1 begins!
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis Provided By: 

Monday, October 19, 2020

Throwback Jam of the Week: 10/19/20

 Throw on your Black suit, and head to outerspce as we take you back! Without further ado, here is the 20 Years Before 2000 THROWBACK JAM OF THE WEEK!

Artist: Will Smith feat. TRA-Knox
Song: Black Suits Comin' (Nod Ya Head)
Album: Men In Black II: Soundtrack (2002)
Peak Billboard Hot 100 Position: 77
Bonus Fun Fact: The video for this song features cameos by Trey Smith & Meagan Good. This song reached #1 on the Billboard UK R&B charts.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Halloween Comic Covers

Halloween is one of my most favorite days of the year and comic books are one of my most favorite things to collect. It's always great when two things you love can come together and make one great piece art. To me, that's what the comic book covers below represent. Some of them are directly Halloween inspired while others are creepy enough to be showcased during the spookiest of all times. This year my entire family has decided to be Ghostbusters for Halloween. Some of us are still working on our costumes and so while the rest of us wait, at least we'll have some comics to read and keep us entertained! I hope you enjoy these 13 covers from my personal collection as much as I do!

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Comic Book Pick 10/14/20

 This week, the comic book I am most excited to read is...


written by PETER J. TOMASI art by NICOLA SCOTT cover by KENNETH ROCAFORT card stock variant cover by LEE BERMEJO
Spinning out of the events of “The Joker War” and Detective Comics #1027 comes a tale of the beginning of the end for Gotham City’s status quo. With tensions flaring and a new mayoral candidate making his anti-hero agenda known to the city, Batman and his allies are stretched thin to keep the peace. But just as things couldn’t look any worse, a string of gruesome murders has left a trail of the most corrupt in Gotham City losing their heads...literally. If Batman doesn’t quickly find the killer—the Dark Knight will be next.
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis Provided By: Comic Book Resources

Monday, October 12, 2020

Throwback Jam of the Week: 10/12/20

  Throw on your Proton Packs, and don't go near it as we take you back to the 80s! Without further ado, here is the 20 Years Before 2000 THROWBACK JAM OF THE WEEK!

Artist: Doug E. Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew
Song: Spirit
Album: Ghostbusters II: Soundtrack (1989)
Peak Billboard Hot 100 Position: N/A
Bonus Fun Fact: This song was featured in the movie Ghostbusters II and there were 4 versions created including the Album Version, Instrumental Version, Extended Version & Spirit Dub.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Monster Baseball Trading Card Set!

This set of 10 Monster Baseball Trading Cards were released by Mirage Studios in 1990. Yes, the same Mirage Studios that brought us the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! The cards were drawn by renowned artsist Gahan Wilson and the entire set is contained in this one awesome wrapper/box. If you don't know who Gahan Wilson is, you may know some of his work from the pages of Playboy, Collier's or the New York Times where he created cartoons for over 50 years. In 1993 he helped create the computer game "The Ultimate Haunted House" and he was awarded with a lifetime achievement award at the World Fantasy Awards in 2005. Wilson passed away in November of 2019 due to complications of dementia. I'm not quite sure how he and the folks at Mirage got together to create this set of cards, but I think they are pretty cool looking! The fronts feature Wilson's signature artwork and the backs contain stats and bios for each of the fictitious ballplayers. I was able to get my hands on a set as Kevin Eastman was giving away one set to each person that made an order on his site in the month of September! I took advantage of this deal and you can see what was in the set below!

Overall it's a pretty cool set. My favorite has to be the Chris Lee card, an obvious nod to actor Christopher Lee who starred in many classic horror movies like "Horror of Dracula". I also really enjoyed the aliens in the set. How can you not love a guy named "Urp Barf"? I'm glad I was able to add this bit of odd Mirage Studios merchandise to my collection...just in time for Halloween!

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Comic Book Pick 10/7/20

 This week, the comic book I am most excited to read is...


(W) Cavan Scott (A/CA) Juan Samu
Great Scott! Marty McFly has just returned from the adventure of a lifetime to a new, better Hill Valley?-everything's looking up for him! That is, until Marty and his friend Doc Brown's time machine attracts the attention of the Decepticons! With one small mistake, Marty finds himself once again thrust into adventure to stop the Decepticon plot in the past, present, and future... all with the help of a new time machine... the Autobot, Gigawatt!
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis Provided By: 

Monday, October 5, 2020

Throwback Jam of the Week: 10/5/20

 Throw on your Red Leather Jacket, and dance with some zombies as we take you back to the 80s! Without further ado, here is the 20 Years Before 2000 THROWBACK JAM OF THE WEEK!

Artist: Michael Jackson
Song: Thriller
Album: Thriller (1983)
Peak Billboard Hot 100 Position: #4
Bonus Fun Fact: This was the 7th single released off the Thriller album. This song won a 1984 Grammy Award for "Best Pop Vocal Performance-Male".

Friday, October 2, 2020

Cakes my Wife Made!

Last week when I posted about my 40th birthday haul, I had mentioned that my wife had created a "One-Eyed Willie Goonies Map" cake for me. This got a lot of reaction and people wanted to see the cake. Well, check out the picture above! My wife got into cake making back when our first daughter turned 1.
For that momentous occasion, she created this amazing giraffe cake. She makes the cake from box mix, but everything else is handmade from the frosting to the fondant. She has also made candy sugar glass for the ice castle from Frozen and an Ooze Canister from TMNT!

This year my twins asked for an Evee Pokemon cake and a Ghostbusters Ghost Trap cake! It took her a couple days and a few setbacks changed the final product, but the wife pulled it off again! She even added lights to the outside and inside of the Ghost Trap! Needless to say the kids were amazed and extremely happy!

Over the years she has learned new techniques and has become a master at making candy flowers, water that looks real and ways to frost cakes with some pretty cool baking tools.

Co-workers, family members and friends have asked her to make cakes for their kids birthdays and my wife being the kind person that she is, takes the time to help with some of their requests. Most of the time, she does not have the avaialability to make these herself, but she offers to help them make the cakes and they always turn out looking fantastic!

No matter what kind of crazy cakes we ask my wife to make, she always comes through and not only do they look great, but they taste delicious! She works part time, is a mom full time and still finds a few hours a year to make us all happy! So lucky to have her for this reason and about a million others! Here are some more outstanding cakes she has made for me and our kids over the years! Start drooling...NOW!