Halloween Special: 80’s Horror Movie Posters

Movie posters and DVD covers aren’t what they used to be. Since digital streaming and media have rightly taken over, the stylistic approach to cover art is, well a lost art. This can also be attributed to the VHS vs. DVD war and many VHS companies going out of business.

This led to many movies never getting a DVD or digital release and now only exist in dusty attics, on the shelves of collectors and in the memories of 80s and 90s kids.

Kids today won’t know the special feeling of walking through a video store horror section and glancing upon these masterpieces of fright and getting scared. When I was a kid, I told myself I would watch as many of these “grown up” and “scary” movies as I could when I grew up because I’m an adult and I can watch scary movies.

Soon I learned most of these movies are complete crap (just being honest) and were marketed based on their posters and video box art. Back when I used to work at Blockbuster (if you are under fifteen and read this, look it up and get a free history lesson) I called them “poster movies”.

Seeing these posters and cover art photos is pure nostalgia for me and many others from about twenty-five and up.

Take a trip down video store memory lane today because nothing says Halloween like some cheesy horror.

 

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Shoutout to young George Clooney in this one

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Rockula, 1990’s ONLY Vampire Musical Comedy

And probably the only vampire musical comedy. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

You’re probably scratching your head and wondering what the hell Rokula is. Well, dear readers, you’re about to find out.

In honor of my own birthday, here’s a post about the majesty that is Rockula.

Rockula is a seemingly “lost” cult movie. I saw “lost” because if it wasn’t for weirdos on the Internet who upload videos to YouTube, movies like this would be lost to the ravages of time and modern technology. This is one of those movies which never survived the conversion from VHS to DVD. I’ve looked for the DVD several times and can only find the occasional bootleg copy. If this movie was ever released on DVD, it is since out of print. However, it is available on YouTube and weirdly Amazon Prime Video.

I stumbled across this movie two years ago while reading some list article about obscure Halloween movies. Whoever wrote it certainly did their homework. As a purveyor of pop culture and Halloween movies, this one was new to me. If I had discovered this earlier, my life might be completely different.

Starring Dean Cameron, Toni Basil, and Thomas Dolby, (you read that right. THE Toni Basil and THE Thomas Dolby). Rockula tells the story of Ralph,a 400 year-old vampire doomed to meet the reincarnated love of his life every 22 years only to have her die on Halloween over and over again.

Sounds like a fun premise, right?

 

It is, but this movie is a delightful shit show of early 90’s/late 80’s (because they are the same thing) madness AND random musical numbers. Also, it’s just plain weird in same parts. For example, Ralph lives with his mother (Toni Basil), the girl he loves is killed by a rhinestone-peg-legged pirate wielding a giant hambone, and he suddenly becomes a rock star hence the title. Now would be the time to say, you can’t make this stuff up. Only someone did and it was made into a movie.

This movie spoke to me because it’s a relic of a bygone era. A time when we had to leave the house and God forbid go to the video store if we wanted to a movie. A time when one-hit wonders of the last decade could actually get a role in a movie. That reminds me, has anyone checked on “You’re Beautiful” James Blunt lately? A time when one could seriously make a rock and roll vampire musical comedy with 80’s one-hit wonders in the cast. That doesn’t even sound plausible in 2016.

Rock on, 1990. Rock on!

David S. Pumpkins Is The Hero We Didn’t Know We Needed

This delightfully weird and downright silly SNL sketch is the best thing you’ll see all day. Destined to become a Halloween and SNL classic, these roughly 5 minutes of pure insanity are proof the world isn’t so bad after all.

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This is one of those sketches where the more you watch it, the funnier it gets. I’ve seen it about four times in three days and still haven’t gotten tired of it. Reminiscent of More Cowbell in its repetitive movements and anytime Chris Farley danced, this skit, called Haunted Elevator is currently winning the Internet. David S. Pumpkins’ suits have already sold out at various retailers, proving I’m not alone in my strange love for all things David S. Pumpkins.

Not only is the sketch funny, it’s random as hell, which for me is a hallmark trait of comedy. For example, why is this weirdo and his skeleton dancers in a haunted house? Who are they? Does it matter? No, it doesn’t.

Like one YouTube comment said,“This skit shouldn’t have been funny. I ended up rolling on the floor laughing.”

There isn’t much else to say about this. The main purpose of this post was to spread the majesty that is Mr. Pumpkins with the world, as well as having a “David S. Pumpkins” tag on my blog.

Enjoy!

 

Retro Halloween Commercials That Are Better Than Most Network Shows Today

I’m not even joking about that. Network TV is having a harder time than Donald Trump’s campaign managers.

It’s terrible.

But, commercials are worse. Since we are essentially living in The Jetson’s, we hardly ever have to watch commercials anymore. I haven’t had cable since January 2012 and I’m never going back. I actually someone manage to watch more TV not having cable thanks to Netflix, Hulu, and my Mom’s HBO GO password (thanks, Mommy!).

Technology and medical advancements have eradicated small pox and given us phones that play videos, but we still have to watch the occasional commercial. If that isn’t injustice, I don’t know what is. Where’s Superman when we need him?

Since there are wonderful people on the Internet who upload “retro” videos to YouTube, we can relive a time when we had to watch commercials and they were better.

I’d probably punch a baby for a can of Slice. I’ve also given my husband permission to sleep with Elvira if ever given the chance. For those of you younger than about twenty-three, Slice was awesome. Sorry, not sorry you missed it. More for us!

Nothing gives me the warm fuzzies like this Dunkin’ Donuts commercial. Donuts and Halloween are two of my favorite things. Dunkin’ Donuts was a huge deal for me when I was a kid. By the way, I still love it. The chain wasn’t very common in my area until the past several years, so getting to go to Dunkin’ was a treat. If I was a death row criminal, their strawberry frosted would a part of my last meal.

Pizza Head is the ultimate obscure 90’s reference. I loved this as a kid. Now, as an adult I fully appreciate the amount of alcohol and drugs it probably took to get the brain power to create him. The marketing creative time who created Pizza Head will forever hold a special place in my 90’s kid heart.

McNuggets are gross. Don’t think anyone will try to fight me on that. When they are felt and dressed as monsters? Freaking precious. The Halloween McNugget Buddies are important to me (did I really just write that? Yes, I did. I need more things to do). These little “chicken” blobs are pure nostalgia for me. I’ve had the Frankenstein MuNugget in the picture below for probably twenty-two years. There is a large amount of these for sale online and have a weird cult following.

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This is anything more American than keeping a Happy Meal toy for over half your life? Image.

Let’s celebrate Friday the 13th by honoring a fictional serial killer in a hockey mask

Happy Friday the 13th fellow, weirdos!

Only to be rivaled with Halloween, today is the next spookiest day of the year.

Whether or not you are superstitious or even give a crap about Friday the 13th, we can’t deny the impact on our culture, especially when it comes to the movie franchise sharing the name with the infamous day.

Even if you don’t like horror movies or the series, you’ve probably seen at least one or more of the 12 films in the series. The theme song alone can make the faint of heart weep and want to watch the Hallmark Channel.There’s a reason why there is a marathon every time Friday lands on the 13th day of the month. The cleverly named horror franchise is a cultural icon because there’s nothing America loves more than a psycho butchering teens for having sex in the woods.

I spent three years of my late teens and early twenties working at a Blockbuster (RIP). Horror was by far the most popular genre of movie. Being a horror fan, I was the go-to person for recommending new and old fright flicks. After working there a while, I noticed that even during the heyday of torture porn and horror movie ultra violence people tended to love the classics the best.

No more so than Mr. Hockey Mask himself, Jason Voorhees.

Horror fans tend to compare what I call The Big Three; Freddy, Michael, and Jason.

 

Back in my video store days, this is what I noticed when it comes to three of my fav fellows; people are the most scared of Freddy and Michael yet like the Jason movies the best.

Interesting observation.

Here are my theories regarding the matter:

You can’t avoid Freddy Krueger. You have to sleep and if he’s going to kill you, there’s no way to stop him. Freddy is the only one of these guys with a personality and who actually speaks which is maybe why people are so afraid of him. Not only will he kill you in your dreams, but he can say something funny while he’s doing it. Also, he’s supernatural so there is no concrete way to control him.

Michael Myers on the other hand is straight up psycho. Unlike Freddy and Jason (although he wasn’t supernatural until later in the series), Michael isn’t supernatural. Even though he’s survived numerous gunshot wounds and other trauma, Michael keeps coming back. Mainly because we kept watching the movies. The thought of a mute, cold-blooded killer who used to be a little boy in a clown costume hacking you to bits is terrifying. Plus, you can’t avoid Halloween. So if you’re a babysitter or a dumb drunk teenager on Halloween in Haddonfield, Illinois sorry about your luck.

Jason Voorhees is also a mute psycho but a sympathetic one. Even though we love violence and horror, people still have a soft spot for a disfigured child with a crazy mother. Said child eventually grows up to be an undead serial killer but it’s all good because of sequels.

 

Back to the sympathetic aspect of the character. Jason was ignored and bullied by his fellow Camp Crystal Lake compadres and counselors. When he becomes a crazed and awesome killer, he takes out his frustrations and vengeance on those who remind him of his bullies. 

I believe that is something we can relate to on some level. Not that I’m saying we all want to put on a hockey mask and slaughter those who have wronged us. But there is something satisfying and feeds our inner sociopaths in seeing bullies and other jerks get decapitated in the most ridiculous way possible. In movies, of course. I feel like the fact we subconsciously feel sorry for him leads us to root for Jason instead of being scared of him.

That’s just my theory.

Now enjoy this awesome video of Jason killing people set to “Come On Eileen”.