Countdown

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Halloween mood setting in.......

Not sure why, but I'm totally getting in the mood for Halloween - BIG TIME!  I'm not sure if it's the cloudy, cool weather the last few days, or the influx of Halloween related research I've been doing on the web.  Whatever the reason, expect a huge increase in Halloween themed related posts from here on out!
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Monday, June 27, 2011

Assassin's Creed getting a little dose of horror?

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As you may have heard Assassin's Creed Revelations is coming out just in time for the holidays on November 15th, 2011.  What you may not have heard is who may be referenced in the game, and let's just say he's somebody we're all probably a little familiar with!  During the course of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood you hunted for an item which was referred to as the "coins of Vlad".  This may have been a reference of things to come for as you may have read in the title it appears as though Vlad the Impaler will be making a return in Revelations.  The picture below shows some of the items that you will receive should you purchase the Some sharp eyed gamers have noticed in the picture below how Vlad may be referenced in the game.  If you pre-order the Assassin's Creed: Revelations Animus Edition from Gamestop you will receive, among plenty of other goodies, a mission which is described as such; -Explore the prison of legendary Vlad the Impaler, the scourge of Constantinople who inspired the myth of Dracula. Seek out the hanging cell of the infamous leader to retrieve his personal blade, a deadly close quarters dagger capable of dispatching any foe.  Sounds pretty awesome that yet again they are using our favorite inspiration for Dracula to tie into a video game doesn't it?  Go and pre-order yours now to ensure you get a little of that horror flavor in your version of Assassin's Creed: Revelations this November!
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I purposefully made this picture gigantic so you could see the little square that mentions the Vlad the Impaler mission.  Below is a picture which shows all the pre-order goodness!
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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Are You Afraid of the Dark? Episode 4

Tonight we have ourselves the series' first Halloween special, which is also based off of a classic horror tale as you will find out in the "Bonus Trivia" section.  Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this story..........................
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Original Air Date: 10/31/1991 & then 9/5/1992  (yes, it was shown on Halloween long before the show proper actually aired, see Bonus Trivia)

Episode Synopsis: The story starts with Kevin peer-pressuring his good-natured pal Doug into pulling a prank on the neighborhood elderly woman who is rumored to be a witch (every good neighborhood has one of these types, no?). The two knock on her door on "prank night" just before Halloween while dousing the place in shaving cream. Unfortunately, the "witch" happens to open her door mid-shaving-cream-stream and gets it in the face. The boys run away, but the witch stands there cackling and is quite obviously planning her revenge. It's no surprise that when the boys knock on the door again the next night on Halloween, that the "witch" is ready with a treat (or trick?) of her own. She offers the boys a piece of wood that resembles a claw (hence the episode title, "The Tale of the Twisted Claw") and tells them it will grant their wishes -- with a creepy caution to be careful what they wish for. The boys quickly learn of the claw's wish-granting power and why the "witch's" disclaimer was necessary. But can they figure out how to get rid of it?

Storyteller: David

Featured Fiend:  An old bag, who is probably a witch, and a magical piece of wood shaped like a claw.
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Freakiest Moments:  After our main characters prank the old lady/witch, they run away as the old lady bursts into a fit of maniacal cackling.  Another freaky moment is when Kevin unintentionally spends one of his wishes commenting on the existence of Doug's parents.  Immediately following said wish, the phone rings and a sorrowful voice informs the boys of some terrible news involving Doug's parents.  Our final freaky moment is when Doug wishes his grandfather was still around to help.  Guess whose classic car quickly comes rolling down the street shrouded in an ethereal mist?
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Totally Radical 90's Moment, Dude:  Observant viewers will count at least three mullets, paying careful attention to scenes in Doug and Kevin's school hallways.
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Gratuitous Screenshots:  Little slices of "The Tale of the Twisted Claw"
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Reminding us that this was an "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" Halloween special

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They should have known she was a witch what with the creepy puritan witch family pic hanging on the wall

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Another creepy part in this episode is when a gang of rascals tries to steal Kevin and Dougie's Halloween loot! 

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The claw apparently gives off radioactive pollution after granting a wish, or Cinar just thought this was a really cool "wishing" effect

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A last minute message from our creepy hag/witch to the boys who had pranked her

Bonus Trivia:
- The Tale of the Twisted Claw is lossely based off of the 
classic "The Monkeys Paw" by W.W. Jacobs -

- This episode could actually be considered the show's pilot!  It was originally aired on Halloween in 1991 before the show was picked up by Nickelodeon and then shown as the fourth episode of season 1 on September 5th 1992 -

- Yet another episode to start mid-tale instead of at the fire with the Midnight Society.  The tale originally being told was never actually finished.  After the show gets around to the traditional Midnight Society segment the show then transitions into The Tale of the Twisted Claw. (below are two screenshots from the first tale being told) -
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- Another episode to end without the proper dousing of the fire -

- The creepy old hag, a.k.a. the witch, a.k.a. Miss Clove was played by Ann Page.  Any guess as to who Ann Page is married to?  Well if you guessed Aron Tager you'd be correct!  Yes Ann Page is married to Dr. Vink (and Zeebo if we're keeping track)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's coming..... First in store evidence of Halloween

After spending ample time in my local Half Price Books, my wife decided it was time for her to have a change of scenery.  While I continued to browse for some cheap literary treasures, she took herself to the Michaels which is located right next door the the HPB.  After making my final selections which included the autobiography of one of our favorite horror icons (this will be shared in the form of a review next week!) I headed over to Michaels to find my wife.  Once in the store, my wife said to me, "You'll never believe what they have out!"  I instantly knew what she was speaking of but was reluctant to believe her, I honestly thought she was joking.  She wasn't, and here's the evidence........
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 Just some crafting pumpkins and other seasonal decor', but Halloween decor no less!

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Halloween ribbon is not of much use to me, but the fact that it exists in the month of June is what excites me.

 So does it bother you that some stores are starting to roll out their Halloween products before Summer even officially starts, or is it never too early for Halloween products to be for sale?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Are You Afraid of the Blog? Episode 3!

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Moving on to episode 3, for your blog reading pleasure!  Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this story...............

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Original Air Date: 8/22/1992

Episode Synopsis: The neighborhood kids are out for an evening of "junk food" and escaping their parents at the local theme park, "Funland," when they encounter the ride "Laughing in the Dark." The ride, a dark house or funhouse, is rumored to be haunted by a clown. When two of the kids (Weegee and Kathy, brother and sister -- chew on the wtf fact that the same parents who named one kid "Weegee" also named a kid "Kathy") refuse to go into said funhouse, their friend Josh (notably, the ginger of the group -- ginger children are nearly always trouble, especially in "Are You Afraid of the Dark?  No offense ginger ghouls haha) vows to go inside and to steal a piece of clown paraphernalia as proof of his conquest. Upon stealing said paraphernalia, Josh taunts his less-brave friends and makes it seem like the funhouse is all smoke and mirrors--until Josh is visited by the original owner of the stolen clown effects.

Storyteller: Betty Ann

Featured Fiend: A clown, who is probably also a ghost & a creepy carney who may or may not be Zeebo himself.
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Freakiest Moments: This is a clown episode and, as such, there are quite a few moments that should be referenced here. One is the fact that in the funhouse, one of the attractions (a dragon) excretes REAL FIRE. That's right: real fire shoots out at Josh as he makes his way through an enclosed fun-house, which is surely as highly flammable as Josh and his baggy '90s clothing. A second moment comes when the owner of the pilfered clown paraphernalia appears in Josh's house and calls him on the phone. As all horror fans know, when you get a creepy phone call and you're home alone, there's a good chance that the caller is A. probably a raging psychopath and B. is also probably already in your house, so you might as well bend over and kiss your butt good-bye. A final creepy moment happens when the home invader chases Josh to his bedroom and slips a message for him under the door WRITTEN ON A BALLOON. That's right: he slips a balloon under his door and inflates it and, written on the balloon's surface is a chilling message for Josh.
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Totally Radical '90s Moment, Dude: A tie here between the superfluous usage of the word "twerp" (as both a noun and an adjective, in the form of "twerpy"), and the get-up worn by Weegee throughout the episode. What was he wearing, you ask? An over-sized T-shirt tucked into baggy yet short khaki shorts.  Oh yeah, and lets not forget the brief shot of Reebok Pumps!
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Gratuitous Screenshots:  Little reminders of what a great episode this was.......

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Zeebo, circa 1924

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HAHA That wily Zeebo left Josh a bowl of cigars instead of spaghetti, silly prankster!

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Call C.S.I. Canada I think we have evidence Zeebo was a creepin'

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What kind of teenage male calls his friend to apologize for being a baby, all while laying in bed like a chick?  This kid really is a "twerp"

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Seriously, where the F&$K did this kid get a box of cigars.  WTF Nickelodeon, maybe Canada has no age limit on tobacco paraphernalia purchases?

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"Pick the right door and you'll go free.  Pick the wrong door and there he'll be."

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As spoken by the creepy possible pedophile carnival barker, "It's the most fun in the park, when you're laughing in the dark!"

Bonus Trivia:
- Kristen of the Midnight Society lets it be known that she does not F#$K with clowns at the beginning of this episode.  This fear is known as Coulrophobia. -

- "Laughing in the Dark" was actually the second episode according to air dates, but according to the order I have them on DVD it's the third, thus the continuity error in my blog posts. -

- This is yet another episode that starts not with the Midnight Society but with the actual story already being told.  So far that's two episodes that have started this way during Season 1! (Even though the last time this was done the story changed and we never find out what that original tale was)  This episode has some other differences that are rare in the series such as breaks in the story to show the Midnight Society and Gary closing the meeting with "Meeting adjourned" and not "I declare this meeting of the Midnight Society Closed" -

- This was also the second episode this season where the Midnight Society closes their meeting out by dousing the fire with the red bucket of water. -

- Does the creepy carny look familiar to you?  It should, it's Aron Tager, a.k.a. the good Dr. Vink from the first episode (and more to come!)  Isn't theatrical makeup just magical?  (I had no idea this was Dr. Vink until my recent studies of Are You Afraid of the Dark? episodes. -

There it is, a whole metric ton of valuable Are You Afraid of the Dark? The Tale of Laughing in the Dark trivia for you.  Anything new to you?  If so, thank me in the comments. (j/k, but seriously leave some comments haha)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Return of Sam!!!

Something one of my ghouls pointed out a few posts back was a short vid on Fearnet that showcased the return of every-bodies favorite sack headed Halloween mascot.  You guessed it!  Sam returned to deliver us all a happy Easter. (and remind us that we were half-way to Halloween!)  In case you missed it, check out the short vid below.





Words cannot describe how happy I was to see the return of Sam, but the fun didn't stop with Easter. It seems as though Mr. Mike Dougherty isn't content with just wishing us a happy Easter, because as you can see below Fearnet posted another Sam Short wishing all the fathers out there a happy father's day!



Only 5 months till Halloween!!! Are you kidding me, someone is finally going to give Trick 'r Treat some lovin and give the film it's own marathon! Count me in! I hope the hype doesn't end with father's day and continues right on until Halloween with more of these awesome Sam shorts, and hopefully during this marketing blitz we'll get some sort of confirmation about the oft rumored Trick 'r Treat 2! Actually now that I'm thinking about it, they should run the trailer for Trick 'r Treat 2 (if there will be one) at midnight on Halloween at the very end of the marathon as a awesome treat for those who stayed until the very end, almost like they used to do with the old school Halloween marathons during days of old. My idea kind of has that Halloween 3: Season of the Witch vibe going, with the whole viral video commercial vibe to it. (except hopefully the TOT 2 trailer won't make bugs spill out of your eye sockets) By the way Fearnet or Mr. Dougherty, if you steal my idea, a job with your marketing team would be great!  Or I suppose I'll settle for a link to my blog hahaha. Which short do you like better, and what are some of your ideas for future holidays?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Are You Afraid of the Blog? Episode 2!!

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Today we bring you Are You Afraid of the Blog? episode 2 and we're stepping it up with some even more totally radical 90's moments than the last episode.  We'll also have some more gratuitous screen shots to help quell your internet a.d.d. along with some trivia to hold you over until episode 3 which will hit later this week!  Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society I call this blog post............
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Original Air Date: 8/29/1992

Episode Synopsis: When Amanda finds out she has to spend the summer at her cousin Beth's house, she is less than thrilled and for a good reason -- cousin Beth is a real bitch. The insane way she lashes out at Amanda, her own mother, and her exceptionally old and decrepit nanny is, well, insane. To put it kindly, the girl needs to take some mood stabilizers. In spite of Beth's horrific behavior, Amanda decides she'd like to hang out with Beth and her posse. In order to be accepted into the clique, Amanda must accept their dare and stay overnight at the house next door, which is rumored to be haunted. The rumors are definitely true, and before the summer's over the ghost who lives there is going to teach Beth a lesson.

Storyteller: David

Featured Fiend: A ghost -- a child ghost, to be specific

Freakiest Moment:  The ghost child offers Amanda her locket.  The "Help Me's" tagged all over the wall just add the unthinkable creepiness of the scene.
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Totally Radical '90s Moment, Dude: It's a tie here between Beth's 3" high teased bangs and her equally awesome recreational roller-blades. The bangs were a '90s art form that required a comb, at least one bottle of hairspray, and a lot of elbow grease. You've got to hand it to Beth: she might be a complete psycho bitch, but she knew how to tease those bangs.

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Gratuitous Screen Shots:  Don't have access to the show for yourself?  Use these screenshots to recreate the moment in your head! HAHA

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Children are scary, ghost children are FU#%ING SCARY!

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Another great 90's trend, the wood paneling on cars

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So in the first episode we had a guest appearance from Hagrid, now we have Professor McGonagall in this episode!  Whats with the invasion of Harry Potter characters?  (I kid, I kid)

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Little bitch got owned!

Bonus Trivia:  
    - Beth actually drops a "Zeeb" in this episode -
- Sugar is what the Midnight Society throws on the fire to make it flare up -
- According to original air dates this was actually the 3rd episode, whoops, sorry for the mistake ghouls -
                 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Are You Afraid of the Blog? Installment 1!!!

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Here we are!  The moment you've all been waiting for. (sorry for all those false promises about starting this feature a year ago) HalloweenOverkill proudly brings you the first installment of the new feature Are You Afraid of the Blog?  Before we get into a breakdown of the first episode I'd like to share a little background about the show.  Filmed in Canada, Are You Afraid of the Dark was destined to be a hit among the viewing audience at the time due to its light horror fare that every young child craved at the time.  I think many people considered this show almost as "Tales from the Crypt" light.  The show never really pushed the boundaries of horror per say, however many of the episodes were absolutely terrifying at the time and some even hold up to today's standards of creepy yet fun television.  Created by D.J. MacHale, author of such series' as Pendragon and Morpheus Road, the show held its own on SNICK for a respectable 6 years and even returned for a 1999-2000 revamp season.  Enough of the background, HalloweenOverkill presents Are You Afraid of the Dark? episode 1 otherwise known as.........................

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Original Air Date: 8/15/1992

Episode Synopsis:  In this meeting of the Midnight Society, Frank attempts to be initiated by the group by telling a story blindfolded (as only unanimously elected members of the Midnight Society can know the location of the meetings). His tale begins with two brothers lost in the woods. As night falls, the boys are desperate to find their way home--so desperate they listen to the advice of some random guy wandering the woods with a flashlight who, as the younger brother smartly observes, could be "a maniac killer in a hockey mask who's gonna slash us." The stranger, or Flynn as we come to learn is his name, leads them to Dr. Vink's (that's Dr. Vink with a va-va-va-va) cabin in the woods, cautioning them that Dr. Vink can help them but for a great price (observant ghouls and gals will note that Dr. Vink is a recurring character in the series, and this is the first of many appearances). As the boys encounter Dr. Vink (who is, by the way, not a "nutbag"), they begin to realize what the random stranger meant--but it's not until a little later that they understand how the stranger and Dr. Vink are connected.

Storyteller: Frank, who is not officially a member of the Midnight Society when he tells the story.

Featured Fiend: A ghost and a mad scientist (two for one!).

Freakiest Moment: It’s a tie between the agonizingly long minute Dr. Vink spends creepily massaging an animal brain and the moment when, shortly thereafter, he busts out a giant pair of hedge trimmers and threatens to cut the phone cord (okay, it’s a phone cord from a landline – toenail trimmers and, heck, even teeth could cut that bad boy).

Totally Radical '90s Moment, Dude: The denim. In particular, the stonewashed denim. It appears in many varieties, but the best is the sleeveless jean shirt or jacket, which Frank the storyteller sports. One of the lost brothers also pairs his denim shirt with—wait for it—dark denim jeans (paired, of course, with high top sneakers). Coming in as a close second for most "radical" '90s references is the use of the word "lame-wad."
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Gratuitous screen shots: Because you probably have Internet induced ADD and were dying for some pictures, and because you just can't get enough Are You Afraid of the Dark...

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Our first glimpse of "The Midnight Society"

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The good Dr. Vink, or is that Hagrid making a special appearance?  Hmmm................. 

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(SPOILER ALERT!) Flynn the ghost telling the brothers, "I sorta died!!!!" (SPOILER ALERT!)

BONUS TRIVIA:  Can you save yourself by ansewing Dr. Vink's riddles?
 1.  How far can you walk into the woods? 
2.  What is it that has no weight, can be seen by the naked eye and if you put it in a barrel will make the barrel lighter? 

Well what do you think ?  Too much, not enough, or just right?  Please feel free to use the comments as an open forum to share your love with me for Are You Afraid of the Dark?  Also please let me know how you liked the first installment and if you want anything changed.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The wait is over.......for real this time!

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T-minus 1 day ghouls!!!! Finally this is really happening, a real life, honest to goodness regularly scheduled feature on HalloweenOverkill. That's right "Are You Afraid of the Blog?" will be a recurring (seriously, why do I always have the urge to type reOccuring?) feature on the blog, twice a week, every week.  This won't just be recaps of the t.v. episodes either.  OHHHHH NOOOOOOO, I will be adding some HalloweenOverkill flair to each post with some humor and other trivial knowledge type information.  There will also be some special posts that will sneak their way between the regular posts.  What kind of special posts you ask?  Well keep in mind it wasn't just a show, but a book series, and even a video game!  Yes, you read that correctly, the very rare and elusive "Are You Afraid of the Dark?: The Tale of Orpheo's Curse" for the p.c. will be featured and reviewed.  I really hope everyone embraces this feature and loves it as much as I will love bringing it to you. AYAOTD was something that I looked forward to every single weekend as a child and because of my love for the show it left me with very fond memories of watching it with my younger sister and whoever was babysitting us at the time.  I remember waiting for the week to end and literally sitting in my living room counting down the hours until SNICK would begin. I would patiently watch Clarissa Explains it all, Roundhouse, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, The Ren and Stimpy Show, and whatever else would be shown until that glorious moment when the creepy AYAOTD theme would pop into the television speakers. Seriously though, I really did and still love this show and have a genuine passion for it, (aren't we all passionate about the awesomeness of our childhood?) and I hope you all enjoy this feature and maybe, just maybe I can rekindle your childhood memories and bring you back to the better days.
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