Thursday, October 10, 2013

Here comes Halloween! Are you ready?

The topic this week from the League of Extraordinary Bloggers is:

Here comes Halloween!

So if you are interested, click the link and read about what gets me in the mood... for Halloween!

Halloween has always been a big deal with my family. Actually pretty much every holiday has been a big deal to my family. There are some holidays that rate differently among each of us though. For example my dad treats April Fool's Day like the holy grail of holidays. He does his best to prank everyone. My mom and aunt go on overload for Thanksgiving. By Christmas we're all ready to pass out. Halloween though has always been the one holiday where we all just really enjoy the changing of the seasons, eat a ton of candy, watch horror movies, and (sometimes) find fun costumes to wear. Nothing gets me ready for the spooky spirit of the season quite like thinking about the necessary ingredients for the perfect Halloween!

Haunted Houses

I love the whole idea behind haunted houses, but I have never once stepped foot in one. Ever. I get that it is the job of the haunted house people to scare customers, but I just have never wanted to actually enter into a house and be terrified by real people. I remember the church we went to growing up had a Halloween fair every year, and they converted a covered basketball court into a haunted house. So I got in line with my dad and brother and was all set to walk through this Haunted House. As we got closer, I totally chickened out. I couldn't take it. I was way too scared. Who can't take the church Haunted House? I mean, what could have been so frightening? Looking back I feel so lame! Who does that?

Part of Halloween is getting your scare on! Which is exactly what happened one year when I was in high school. I loved having friends over and renting horror movies from the mom and pop video store down the street and just having fun. This one year though, my friends wanted to go trick or treating. Emphasis on the trickery part. I hung around a mix of people in high school. We were all a blend of styles and looks. It was all freaky chic cool. So I had this goth girl friend and she really wanted to frighten some boys and ghouls, so she literally crawled into the bushes in my parent's front yard and would jump out at all the people walking up the sidewalk. Soon the whole neighborhood was stopping by Miss M's house to get frightened. It was just so much fun and always reminds me that getting scared can be fun, but it's more fun to be the one doing the scares. I just need to maybe get over my fears though. So maybe, just maybe, I'll go to my first Haunted House. Next year.

Horror Movies

My parents would probably like to think that they aren't dorky, but they are totally dorky for movies and pop culture. Where else would I have gotten it from? I grew up in a movie household. If we weren't at the movie theaters, we were busy renting or watching movies on television. I don't quite know how to explain this. I grew up in a household where I could sort watch whatever I wanted, within reason. What does that mean? It means I got to watch horror movies when I probably should not have been allowed to do so. Horror movies though were a staple of our Halloween season (if not the rest of the year.)

The mom and pop video store I just mentioned was called Midway Video and that was where we went for our movie fix. I was always transfixed in this store, because they had everything. New releases and all kinds of other movies from various genres. It was like the library, I'd just get lost perusing all the VHS tapes with their interesting box art images. I couldn't help but wonder what kind of stories were inside each tape. The horror movie section was always the best, because they always had the most interesting box art. I'd just pick a horror movie each weekend. It truly was the best. In fact I need to maybe see if the Cult Film Club can help me, there are a few movies I remember watching as a kid, but I can't remember the names. I just remember story lines and scary moments.

Horror movies are such an integral part of Halloween! I love nothing more than watching some horror movies to get me in the spirit of things. I just wish there were still some mom and pop video stores in the area. Nothing was better than having the video clerk recommend all kinds of movies I would have never normally been exposed to.


I want candy! Halloween candy! Getting scared to death is only half the fun of Halloween, the other half goes to the diabetic sugar rush one gets from the massive amounts of candy to consume. The best thing about candy around Halloween time for me was when my brother got old enough to enjoy the holiday. We worked together to maximize our caloric intake. He had his favorites and I had mine. Together we'd just marvel at all the wrapped sugar in front of us. My particular favorite candy brands have always been Sweetarts, Nerds, Starbursts, and Payday bars. Yes, Payday. That sweet caramel with salty peanuts has always been one of my favorites. There are just two problems with this. 1) According to my parents, Payday candy bars were always an older person candy bar and therefore I was channeling my inner old person with every bite. 2) I'm allergic to peanuts. So not only do I enjoy a senior citizen treat, but I also break into hives. Scary, I know. Every bite is worth it though.


Growing up we didn't have a lot of extra money to spend on fancy costumes, so our costumes were usually styled by my mom and handmade by my Nana or a family friend. They were the kind of costumes that required some squinting and slight guessing at what the costume was, but my brother and I always loved the costumes that we had.

Every Halloween there was always a Halloween party at my parent's house or a cousin's house or something. One year I was about four or five and we were having a family and friend Halloween party at my parent's place. We had everything all set up and I was just so excited! My friends were going to be arriving and I was ready to show off my costume. I was Minnie Mouse that year. The costume was a hand made mouse suit with a bow on top and a small dress over the suit. There was even a tail safety pinned on the back, and sitting was so annoying. I'm so glad that tails were phased out from human evolution. Could you just imagine how annoying it would be to have a tail to deal with? I don't know how cat people do it. (Although I guess I do have to admit, having a tail would be sort of cool.)

Anyways, I had a friend that arrived to the party and she was that kind of friend that you just knew was going to grow up and be a popular girl. We were in Kindergarten and it was just so evident then. She had white blond hair that even Emma Frost would be envious of. Her eyes were clear blue and she had this year round tan look, like she vacationed in St. Tropez every weekend or something. And while I was in my makeshift Minnie Mouse costume, she showed up in a glitzy sequined ballerina/princess costume. In most stories, this would have devolved into a silly riff off of Dynasty. You know, I'd be the girl with low self esteem itching for a fight while the sparkly blond would be rattling off a list of bothersome diva traits.

Only it wasn't that way though. We both sat together and just talked about our costumes and how cool they were while drinking fruit punch and eating cheese dip. This is such a nice memory for me because my friend did indeed grow up to be one of the popular girls and though we headed into different social circles, we were always nice to each other. Not to sound like a Care Bear after school special or anything, but it was nice that we both had friendly attitudes. There was no, "My costume is the best, yours is the worst!" Nothing like that at all. Instead we were just two kids enjoying Halloween.

I think out of all the aspects of Halloween, the costumes have always been an important part about my role in getting ready for the holiday. There is just something magical about the power of a costume. One Halloween I was still hanging onto my obsession with the doomed Supergirl movie. I just had to be Supergirl at all costs. The only thing was that there wasn't an abundance of Supergirl costumes in stores.

Anyways, my mom worked her magic and put together a homemade Supergirl costume consisting of a basic blue sweater and she added a 'S' on it with hand stitching. A red flouncy skirt was next with some red fabric fashioned for a cape. We couldn't find red boots, instead I put some red tights on with my pink high top Converse sneakers. My mousy flat brown hair and bangs topped it all off. I looked nothing like Supergirl at all, but you know what? I felt like Supergirl. I felt like I could fly and move mountains. I felt like nothing could get me down or stop me from being the coolest version of me possible. And that my dear readers is the power of a costume.

Trust this much though, I haven't always had the best fit with a costume. Why, just last year I was all set to go as Pizzazz to my friend's Halloween/birthday party, and that whole look bombed horribly. I'm sure at some point this month I will share some more stories about costumes gone horribly awry. For now though, I leave you with a photo. Since my brother and I grew up with homemade costumes, he really took it to the next level when he got older. In high school he would always create the coolest costumes for Halloween (and other events too) like Ziggy Stardust, Beetle Juice, Drop Dead Fred, and this one: Edward Scissorhands.

That's me, getting ready to get my hair did. I have never really been good at making things, but my brother on the other hand has totally carried on the torch of making homemade and awesome costumes. So that's it for me, let's see what others are up to with this week's topic!

-The Monster Cafe shares some favorite Halloween images.
-Nerd out with Patrick and the spooky entertainment that gets him in the Halloween spirit.
-The Goodwill Geek shares his Halloween icons.
-Daniel shares a visual feast for the history of Halloween!
-Kevin shares some spooky cool Halloween art.

Be sure to check back at Cool and Collected for more posts as they come in! While you remain cool and collected, also be sure to check out more information on the upcoming Cool and Collected magazine. To help make this magazine happen, Brian (owner of Cool and Collected) needs backers on his Kickstarter campaign. This is going to be the ultimate pop culture collector magazine and it won't happen without help from the bestest dorky folk from around the world! Head to the Cool and Collected Kickstarter campaign now and learn more. (I'll also be posting more on this topic in the coming days.)

I hope you are all doing well! And get ready! Tomorrow marks the exciting crossover event of toy Miss M heading over to do a guest review on ThEpic Review! What will the review be on you ask? I'm keeping mum for now...


  1. Thinking about my costume for this years party and am leaning towards a bandage wrapped Invisible Man. : )

    1. Now that's a good idea! I like that. If you do that for Halloween, I hope you take a picture. That sounds really cool. I don't think I will be doing anything this year.

  2. Fun post! I love horror movies and specials, all month long. And we decorate, as well. Haven't done a costume in awhile, but I have horror tees I wear. :)

    1. Oh I totally forgot about the specials! That is true. I don't usually dress up either. When I do it is usually a failed attempt. lol Thanks for the comment, hope you are doing well.

  3. Great read. I miss home made costumes. I still remember my mom sitting at the table sewing my mummy costume together. Maybe I can get her to dig up the old photos.

    1. That sounds cool! I remember having friends that were thrilled to be a mummy for Halloween. I seem to recall a time where the main monsters were always big hits for Halloween costumes. Old photos would be cool to see! I don't have any of mine with me, but I know they are somewhere at my parents.

  4. This was so cool, I was totally there with you in each memory :)
    Especially the Minnie/Sequined princess story. One time my mom was out of town and my stepdad had to care for us. I showed up to a brownie Halloween party in the only costume left at MacFrugals (remember that store?!) that would fit me... a Donald Duck costume! All the other girl's were princesses, ballerinas, glittery and poufy little lovelies.... and I was the Duck.
    I have to find a photo of that! Thanks for this long, awesome post :) It's good to hear more about the blogger's I love, about there personal memories.

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this! Yeah, my mom was really good with making bows, so that was real easy. And as for the dress, it was just a basic simply dress over the mouse suit. I vaguely recall MacFrugals. We lived in an area that had not really been developed that much. I know we had a K-Mart close to us, and there was a store that may have been a MacFrugals, but now I'm not sure. I need to ask my parents if they remember.

      And I will be more than likely positng more personal memories about Halloween. I know I don't always post the personal stuff, but I do every now and then! : ) I hope you are doing well!

  5. Said it before, say it again, I share the view of Halloween that the vampires on Buffy had. It's the one night of the year that I want to take off from being a creature of the night. I already look enough like a vampire (or at least the Vampire Diaries version of looking like a vampire. Pale skin, leather jacket AMAZINGLY sexy! of course. Even though I've always been going for punk rocker I think I come off as vampire) but I also happen to be obsessed with classic horror and other genre fare, and it just annoys me that we get one month out of the year to focus on this. I do it every month out of the year. This Halloween stuff is the reason why we only get monster cereals for one month instead of all year!
    Make no mistake, I loved Halloween as a kid! But something happened over time, maybe it was cause I worked at Halloween U.S.A and had to deal with one too many frat guys looking for "'Condom Man" costumes, but I just get annoyed by it now.
    That being said, I loved the part where you talked about the Video Store! Remember how scary the movies looked from the covers of the boxes when you were a kid? Then when you were older "Critters" wasn't quite as scary as you'd hoped it would be.

    1. Yeah, I mean I can see where you are coming from. There are certainly some things that annoy me about Halloween. (Frat guys in condom suits would totally be at the top) But I think the month long celebration is not just about costumes or horror movies. I know that is what I posted, but I certainly watch horror movies throughout the year too. I don't just celebrate that in the month of October. And I certainly get invited every now and then to costume parties that are not in the month of October, but I think for me Halloween has a sense of nostalgia about it. But then again, that is one of the reasons I like celebrating holidays. It reminds me of my past and also feeling a sense of community with like minded people. Ya know, the frat condom costumed guys. ; )

      I do wish that the Monster Cereals were around year long like they once were. As it stands I will be stocking up on Frute Brute because it is amazing and tastes so good that I will miss it when it is gone. I don't know, there are aspects of "Halloween" that I do hold onto and celebrate all year round, but then there are others that just really get me in the mood for fall. The time change and the night falling earlier, that to me is all about Halloween. It's the start of something exciting.

      I did love the cover to Critters. But I have to say Ghoulies was always one that had a cover that seemed worse than it was. lol

    2. I just talked to my cousin this weekend, whom I love dearly,her and I, and my other cousin (both older girls,I was the only boy) we used to go trick or treating,and we reminisced about those days. Good times! My favorite thing to get in my bag was nerds! (and didn't I just bring up the nerd blizzard with you the other other day?)I liked Smarties too! I liked the fruit candy. So I bet I would love Fruit Brute! I haven't opened my cereal boxes. I won't eat any unless I buy an extra box that I can actually eat!
      Ghoulies was the absolute gold standard for VHS box art ! It was all about the toilet and the tag line! "Ghoulies, They'll get you in the end!"
      As a gift to you, as a fan of VHS horror, and because you are a Texan, I present this link to the great Joe Bob Briggs Ghoulies 2 Monstervision episode!

    3. Oh my goodness I love looking at that link! I so miss Joe Bob Briggs on my screen. I had such a crush on him too, we'd stay up and watch him on HBO. It was like required viewing. I love this link.

      Now I don't know if I asked you this or not, but which is your favorite Nerd flavor? I love the grape and cherry Nerds, whcih always annoyed me because they were paired with strawberry and watermelon. I mean I like strawberry and watermelon too, but the grape and cherry were always my faves. I even like the Rainbow Nerds, minus the fruit punch though. Those white nerds are just too grody for me. And ever since you told me about the Nerd blizzard, i have been dreaming about Nerds. Just this last night I dreamt I was at the grocery store and they had these iced cheesecake-like bites with Nerds sprinkled on the outside and in, in the frozen section. I kepts trying to buy a bag, but I'd either get lost or someone would bump me out of the way with their cart, or something. lol

      You should really get an extra box of Fruit Brute. It is amazing. I can't sing its praises enough. lol I hope you are doing well!

    4. I am glad you loved the link! I think,though Joe Bob was on "The Movie Channel" though right? Not HBO. I only know this from youtube videos and him talking about it in interviews, because I never saw that version of the show when I was a kid! The "Drive in Theater" version I mean. I never had any of the movie channels at my house in the 80's, I think the first real "specialty" cable channel we got was Disney. (I was an only child, and it was just me and my mom, so I think she just went for the kid oriented channel.)but I was first introduced to Joe Bob by reading about him in a cult movie book , where they talked about how awesome he was, then-when I was in about 8th grade, he became the host of Monstervison on TNT (a show I had been watching since 92-but it rarely was hosted, except for a brief period with Penn and Teller) and I was hooked. I found one of his his books, Joe Bob Goes Back To the drive In, at a library sale and he has influenced my writing ever since!
      Don't have a fave Nerd flavor cuz I luv em all. BUT I don't remember if I told you this or not, one fond memory of an 80's toy/candy thing that I have is when my dad (who passed away when I was six) bought me Nerd shaped candy holders with nerds in them! I shit you not! They looked like the cartoons of the Nerds they have on the boxes, but they were plastic, and you uncorked the bottom of them and the Nerds came out! We must look this up and see if it really happened or not. Maybe I just dreamed it.
      And I can't believe you guys never had the Nerd Blizzard at Texas Dairy Queens!! Did you have the Nerd Rope there? (that's a candy rope with nerds all stuck to it that you used to be able to buy at gas stations!)
      I feel we are kindred spirits though, because, even though Joe bob is a Texan, in the book I have, he talks about how he picked Cleveland as the city he was most connected to. (and I of course was born in Cleveland and live in a suburb of it) He picked there to do his first live show. SO many funny lines in that piece about Cleveland! His friend tells him, "You know Joe Bob, if your mind was a city it would be Cleveland!" , and, when he said, "I had some friends show me around down town, one night, I hope one day they'll find their bodies."-and my most favorite was his Cleveland version of New York New York, where he said "I wanna wake up in the city that never works!"- all amazing. I recently saw on Youtube a video, he did the last ever interview with Ghoulardi, the classic Cleveland 60's horror host and you can tell Joe Bob knows Cleveland.
      I'm gonna buy an extra Fruit Brute to eat. Kinda craving Boo Berry and Yummy Mummy too!

    5. Ya know, I don't know why I do this, but for some reason I always associate him with HBO, even though you are right. See, we didn't have official cable growing up. My dad always found shady ways for us to get cable and I remember watching a lot of HBO. And since we would all watch The Drive In Theater too, I think I have some how linked the two together even though that isn't correct. I like him a lot though. He has a very interesting story and his humor is really good. I also thought he was cute.

      But let's talk Nerds real quick, because you totally reminded me of something I had forgotten about. There were Nerd shaped candy holders! I totally had one! There was a plastic cork, and they came out. I had either a red or green one, and I know this because I ended up sticking a nerd up my nose to see what would happen. (I've never done drugs, I swear.) But yes, I remember the little Nerd holders!

      I got into Nerd Rope at an older age. I was always a bit uncertain of them, but when I used to work at a dollar store my co-worker turned me onto them and they were simply amazing, unlike anything I've ever had. I only wish though that we had Nerd Blizzards. I have been craving one ever since you mentioned it to me. Go get some extra Monster Cereals and tell me what you think too!

    6. Gaaah!! You had the Nerd Candy Holders too!!? We need to start a fucking support group for people who owned these! PLEASE do a feature on these! Look for them! I will look for them too. This is important M! We may very well be the only two people who remember this integral part of pop culture. Granted, I never stuck any nerds up my nose-but that's your deal.
      Fucking Nerd Blizzards. They were all l I got at DQ when I was a kid. But then, when I was in my first bout of college, I worked at a DQ, and we only had Nerd Blizzards for one year. then they got rid of them, cause they weren't "popular" enough!! Can you imagine such a thing? I used to have carte blanche on Blizzards being an employee, so I would dump like three pumps of Nerds into a cup half filled with ice cream on my break. Take a moment and just orgasm over how awesome that must have been! I am telling you, it was a beautiful thing.
      Someone once came in with Nerds and asked us to mix them into a Blizzard after we had discontinued them, It broke my heart to tell him no. My boss for health reasons said "never" to let outside sources bring anything to be mixed. Had no bosses been there that day I would have totally fucking done it, for the kid. For the moxy of bringing them in and moreover, for the fact that I believe Nerd Blizzards should still exist.
      And why did it take you any length of time to get into the Nerd Rope concept? Why didn't it just grab you from the minute you heard of it?

    7. So I am going to see what I can do to find these Nerds Candy holders. I don't think I have mine anymore. I have a feeling my parents probably threw it away due to it being a candy holder. I will need to find out though, because I totally remember this.

      And I am still so upset that I have never tried a Nerd Blizzard! I can't believe they were discontinued! I mean Nerds are some of the best candy ever. I also think had I been in your position at DQ I would have overdosed on Blizzards and been the size of a whale. I love softserve. I feel sorry for that kid though that wanted the Nerds mixed in, oh my goodness I just feel like I have missed out on something epic.

      Nerd Rope took me awhile to get into because i am odd with my candy. I wasn't sure I was going to like the soft chewy rope with the hard Nerds. I tend to like hard candy better than soft chewy candy, I am just really picky so I thought the combo would not work. I was so wrong though, because Nerd Rope is like everything. lol

  6. You'd think for such a visual holiday I'd be more into Halloween festivities, but things have been hectic lately so I appreciate being able to live vicariously through your experiences.

    As a film buff I am curious what kinds of horror titles you watched, especially given how the '80s were a renaissance era for scary movies.

    That story about your Supergirl costume actual started pulling on my heartstrings there. I grew up with Christopher Reeves as Superman in that classic escapist fantasy hero mold, so I can remember what it was like to believe while wearing the cape and "S" that you could fly too.

    1. Well Erik I am glad you were able to live vicariously through this post!

      As for the horror titles I watched, when I was a kid it was mostly slasher flicks. I loved slasher flicks and to this day I tend to enjoy slasher flicks the most out of all the kinds of horror movies. So things like Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Streets, Friday the 13ths, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Slaughter High, April Fool's Day, those are some that I can think of off the top of my head. I loved the cover for April Fool's Day, even though it wasn't that great of a movie. I also loved a lot of Hitchcock, but that was because my parents were big fans when they were growing up, so that is how I saw those movies. We also watched some Vincent Price like The Bat, House on Haunted Hill, The Last Man on Earth. I had watched either Last House on the Left or I Spit on Your Grave with my parents, and they were like, "We have to turn this off! We can't watch this with you!" I also had a moment where I was obsessed with Deep Star Six. Oh my goodness, I'd draw scenes from the movie in art class in the second grade. Just a mess.

      I also liked the zombie films, anything by Romero. As I got older and into high school things changed. I had friends that were introducing me to things like the Evil Dead, Sleepaway Camp, Suspiria, a lot of Troma, especially Troma from the 70s. I remember watching Blood Sucking Freaks on a loop. A lot of John Waters, even though that wasn't technically horror. I need to go back and really look at things, because I know I am missing a great deal of things we would rent at Midway Video. They had everything. I still need to figure out these two movies. One involved this girl who loses her mom and her dad dates this younger woman that I think is a witch? And the witch woman kills the girls friend on an escalator? I just remember being very rattled by that scene. There's also another movie I remember that had three teens, two boys and one girl, and they either get possessed by a demon or become zombies. I need to look these up. But yeah, there is a ton of stuff that I am missing, but those were all some of my favorites. Or rather, the event surrounding watching the movie is a favorite. Some of those movies are just awful, but the anticipation about what we were getting ready to watch was always fun.

      And i totally know what you mean! Superman was such a big part of my child hood in terms of movies. It was like those movies were always on. I think that is why I freaked out so much over Supergirl. It was nice to see something like that, it just made you feel like anything was possible. I just thought Helen Slater was the coolest. I hope you are doing well Erik! I had a lot of fun replying to your comment. Talk to you later!

    2. I can tell you had fun replying based on the sheer length of this comment. Clearing you were restraining yourself when you wrote the original post. haha.

      I wouldn't have guessed you were a big slasher fan, maybe it was just an unavoidable part of the decade. I've seen most of the big mover and shakers of the genre (or at least their first installments); Halloween, Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw, etc. which I thought were good on their own but I was never really into the sub genre in general. Maybe thats why I thought "Scream" was overrated as it didn't really do anything out of the norm for a slasher film other than have the characters make references to other, better scary movies.

      Its interesting you mention your parents calling for you to turn off some horror movies as it recalls a similar experience of my own. One weekend I rented the critically acclaimed animated film "Secret of the Kells", which featured an embellished, but family friendly account of the creation of Ireland's greatest illuminated manuscripts. My conservation Christian parents had no interest in seeing the movie and left the room as soon as I turned it on. The following weekend I rented the original Friday the 13th. They walked in around the time Kevin Bacon got the arrow through his neck, stating "Ack! I don't know how you watch this stuff!". Then they sat down on the couch and watched the rest of the movie, complaining the whole way through! What a topsy turvy world!

      As a kid I was introduced to scary movies like the Universal Studios monsters and the Alfred Hitchcock movies. Mom actually rented "Psycho" for me and my brother to watch while they went out once, probably not realizing it was rated R. I remember being royally angry when Janet Leigh was killed so unexpectedly.

      Currently I'm trying to finish watching all of Val Lewton's psychological thrillers as they have some incredible cinematography for low budget features made in the 1940s. They were very much ahead of their time.

      I'd also like to add the Hammer Horror titles from the '50s and '60s to my queue. They look so appealing with bright red poster paint blood, oversized gothic sets and a metric ton of cleavage. Looks like the perfect blend of scary and silly.

    3. I did have fun with that comment. A lot of fun. I mean movies in general are something I get excited about, not so much for the movie itself, but for the experience surrounding the movie. Like I always try to make it feel like an event, like the anticipation of what I am about to watch and of course who I am watching the movie with. It is just a lot of fun for me, especially with horror movies because I still get creeped out or grossed out by things. Of course, even though I do love slasher flicks, I also enjoy other types of horror too.

      I did really like Scream though. I don't think it revolutionized horror movies, because like you said, at its heart it was just a slasher film with snappy dialogue. I think what made me like it so much was that it had celebrities that I liked form other things and was just on the edge of my seat. I wasn't used to seeing casts like that in my horror movies. That opening scene with Drew Barrymore was like, "What?! You mean to tell me she dies in the beginning!" It was just scary and caught me by surprise.

      Val Lewton is really good. I think the only thing I have seen from him was Cat People. Totally transfixed. I enjoy watching black and white movies like that. Now that is where some magic is at in the movies! I just get so lost in all of that. When I used to work at a nursing home we would have movie time during some days during the week, and I would put it on TCM and just sit there with the residents and watch these old black and white movies and I just loved it. I mean, I'd also be doing my work too, I wasn't totally slacking off, but it was very nice to be around that.

      Hammer Horror. lol Lots of cleavage for sure. lol I can't recall which it was, but I remember just being like, "Wow, that's a lot of breast." Oh goodness, now I need to remember which one it was. Thank goodness for Netflix. Right? I feel like now with Netflix I have the chance to see all kinds of other things now too, since there are no longer any video stores near me. It's just amazon and netflix now. It's kinda sad.

      So was Secret of the Kells good? I have been wanting to see that. The animation looks really good. I sometimes get really behind on things because I get consumed with television shows and catching up on movies. lol There isn't enough time to watch everything.

      I'm having so much fun talking about this! lol I have rarely talked about movies on here, but maybe I should. I clearly have a lot to say about a lot. lol Help me now.

    4. You're taking the words out of my mouth as far as movies go. Talking about movies as storytelling medium, its just like the wind up key that gets me going.

      While I didn't care for Scream, a more recent horror film I enjoyed was "Cabin in the Woods" as I felt it worked at justifying horror movie tropes rather than just referencing them. Plus it had Thor and the Yellow Ranger from Power Rangers Jungle Fury gettin' it on! Its like Joss Whedon had been reading my crack-inspired fanfic.

      Again, you're speaking my native language talking about black and white movies as I am a total TCM junkie. Much of my movie collection comes from stuff I've recorded off of there. My hope is that sometime in the future I'll get married and settle down and save a fortune on date nights because of all the entertainment we'll have at home.

      "No honey, we don't need to go out to the big expensive theater with all those people when we can just stay in and watch a classic romantic movie together."
      "Are we going to watch Roman Holiday with your man-crush Gregory Peck again?"

      Or something like that. Then again, most of my movie dates have ended awkward because of my passion for the medium has completely glossed over my female accompaniment. I could probably fill a whole book with those kind of stories.

      So far I have seen five of Lewton's nine films, plus the documentary that Martin Scorsee did about him. They made not always be well written by modern sensibilities, but they're always engaging to the point of being hypnotic. The sugar cane field scene in "I Walked with a Zombie" actually had me leap out of seat it was so effective.

      As for Hammer Horror, I only used "metric ton of cleavage" to indicate that their movies seem to operate on sensationalism. Please don't think of me as someone who needs gratuitous nudity in for a film to be good.

      If you're looking to catch up on Hammer's archive, James Rolfe at has done some great video reviews of their Dracula and Frankenstein series on these sites:

      Sadly, I don't watch as many movies as I used to. Thats the trouble with working freelance. Some days theres just so much to do that you don't have time, then other days you've got nothing and I feel guilty just sitting around. Not having a consistent paycheck also means I've had to drop luxuries like Netflix's vast catalog. If times weren't so tight, you'd better believe on be stocking up on cheesy features right about now.

      I liked Secret of the Kells. The animation was great, but I don't know that the story left much of an impact, though it has been a while. I'd say its worth checking out.

      This topic was fun for me too. Like I said I have a lot of passion for the medium and I don't get a chance to talk about it enough, so thanks for giving me the opportunity to spill.

    5. Oh I really enjoyed Cabin in the Woods! I wish I had seen it in theaters. I don't usually like going to the movie theaters because it can be annoying dealing with all those people, but there is a little theater down the street from my house where the tickets are 2 dollars matinee, so when new movies come out that I have to see, I will go there.

      There is one movie I haven't seen played on TCM in awhile, and I wish they would play it again, but the Merry Widow from the 30's or 40's was just a breathtaking movie. I also like your idea of saving up the movies for date nights. That is a good idea!

      I Walked with a Zombie sounds amazing and I will have to be watching that at some point. Your comments have gotten me all interested in watching more Lewton now!

      So you like Roman Holiday? That is cool! I enjoy Gregory Peck and I also love Audrey Hepburn. I get lost in those movies big time.

      And when you typed the metric ton of cleavage part about the Hammer Horror, I wasn't thinking you were trying to say that gratuitous nudity is needed for a movie to be good. Your comment had just reminded me of my own experiences with seeing so much cleavage and it also reminded me of that time frame of films that relied on that for the genre. I got ya! : ) btw, thanks for the cinemamassacre links, that is cool!

      So I've got "I Walked with a Zombie" and Secret of the Kells to check out. I do feel ya on the freelance stuff. I lost my job a few months ago and have been relying on some freelance writing jobs and it is crazy. Like you said, one week is busy and the next can be slow. Oh well, it was nice spilling on these topics! I'll talk to you later, hope all is well!

    6. Always happy to help with link sharing. Just ask Kal. I badger him with crazy stuff all the time.

      TMC is actually having a Val Lewton triple feature on Saturday with Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie and The Leopard Man. So I'll have to make sure to record that for future date night as well.

      Audrey Hepburn is high on my celebrity crush list. It reminds me of how I was looking through my movie collection recently and it seems the two genres I have the most of are horror/suspense or romance/glamour. I must find a way to combine the two somehow.

    7. I am always appreciative of links and stuff because I ususally never know what is what. And thank you for the info on TMC! As soon as I read this comment I went straight to my television and got everything ready to record on the dvr. I am so ready for this! And I think you should totally find a way to combine horror/suspense and romance/glamour. I bet you could really come up with something cool.

    8. I just set the DVR myself, great timing really.

      Audrey Hepburn's glamorous personality is no stranger to the suspense sub genre with movies like "Wait Until Dark" or the witty caper film, "Charade". I'll be sure to let you know if I produce anything like that on my own.

    9. Ok so I recorded I Walked with a Zombie, and wow, I loved every second of it. You are right, that sugar cane scene where they are walking, it was so amazing. I am in love with this movie. As for Audrey Hepburn, I have never seen Charade, but I have heard it is good. I have also only seen bits and pieces of Wait Until Dark but I loved the way that film was shot. I am just really glad I was able to record I Walked with a Zombie, thank you for letting me know that Erik. I hope you are doing well!

  7. Your essays always hit me in the nostalgic sweet spot. I would love to see a picture of you in the Supergirl outfit.

    1. Thank you Kal! I need to find a picture and get it scanned. I am glad I am able to talk about these things. There will certainly be more for sure! lol