“Halloween 2018” Will Pay Homage to Every Other “Halloween” Movie

That means we’ll get a Silver Shamrock tribute, right?!

Here at Nightmare Nostalgia, we don’t really cover too many current events and films, with the exception of course to anything referencing throwbacks to classics. However, this is Halloween, and the return of the one and only Nick Castle as “The Shape”. So yeah, I don’t really think I need to give any further explanation.


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Anyway as you may, or hey may not have heard, Halloween 2018 is set to be a straight sequel to the 1978 immortal classic with John Carpenter producing and overseeing the ominous score. And of course, one of the most beloved scream queens of our generation Jaimie Lee Curtis reprising her role as Laurie Strode. It doesn’t really get any better than that folks. That is until news coming exclusively from Flickering Myth this morning via an interview with co-writer Danny McBride who says the new film will hold references to the other Halloween films in the franchise.


“This picks up after the first one. The Halloween franchise has kind of become a little bit of like choose your own adventure, you know like there’s some many different versions, and the timeline is so mixed up, we just thought it would be easier to go back to the source and continue from there. It was nicer than knowing you’re working on Halloween 11, it just seemed cooler, ‘we’re making Halloween 2‘. We do [reference the other movies]. For fans, we pay homage and respect to every Halloween that has been out there.”


With no official title yet other than Halloween, the film is helmed by David Gordon Green with a script by Green and Danny McBride. Along with Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle returning, the film stars Judy Greer (War for the Planet of the Apes, Archer), Andi Matichak (Orange Is the New Black), Will Patton (Shots Fired), Virginia Gadner (Runaways), Miles Robbins (Mozart in the Jungle), Dylan Arnold (Mudbound) and Drew Scheid (Stranger Things).

Hell unleashes on Haddonfield on October 19, 2018. Are you ready?! Stay tuned for further updates!


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Featured image via The Mad Butcher- Deviant Art


Vintage Halloween Horrors: The Creepiest Ben Cooper Masks Ever Put on the Market

It’s not an opinion- it’s science folks. The beloved Ben Cooper masks and costumes are a symbol of yesteryear’s Halloween. A time where making the neighborhood rounds in noisy plastic costumes while carrying your mom’s pillowcase for the candy haul, or if you were the cool kid, a McDonald’s McBoo Bucket, was the highlight of the year for many little horror-heads everywhere. Whether your Ben Cooper costume of choice was a Master of the Universe, or the doll of false dreams Barbie, I think we can all collectively agree that while we all thought we looked super cool, turns out we really were creeping the shit out our parental units with what my Dad refers to as, “Plastic Heart-Attacks.”

I suppose he has a bit of a point…


Although completely unintentional I’m sure, there truly is no denying the subtle creep factor these costumes gave off looking back on them now with adult(ish) eyes. While of course, these collective images of plas-tastic nightmares are on top of my unsettling Ben Cooper masks list, I challenge anyone reading this to say that they could never picture a serial killer hiding underneath these simple, yet chilling stringed- facial huggers.

Happy the Clown

Ben Cooper Clown

Image via Etsy


Straight out of your worst nightmares, Happy the Clown surfaced from the company sometime in the ‘80s and in my humble opinion, is the damn creepiest of the many Cooper clown variants over the years. Possibly due to the fact it always reminded me of the heavier set of the trio of clowns from 1989’s Clownhouse. Just. NOPE.

Ghostbusters Egon

Egon Ben Cooper

Image via Etsy

This Egon mask take from The Real Ghostbusters Saturday morning splendor from the mid-‘80s is pretty much the scariest thing ever. My train of thought runs, the simpler the mask, the creepier it comes across. The mildly surprised expression from the Ghostbustin’ favorite makes for something quite eerie here. Give me the ghosts over this plastic nightmare any day.

Beatle Paul McCartney

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Image via Pinterest


This. Is just bizarre, and I can’t look away. Perhaps what is most perplexing, is how the hell this was deemed a normal mask in 1964. Vintage Halloween never seems to let me down as modern times doesn’t hold a candle to this kind of gem. As stated, my favorite part about this is that is not meant to come off as creepy. Beatlemania never looked so damn terrifying.


King Kong (1976)

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Image via Etsy

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Image via Ebay– Both equally as horrifying.

Because 1976 Kong wasn’t quite scary enough, the fine folks at the Ben Cooper Company just had to release this little number. OK, I know you’re probably thinking, this isn’t so bad? I’ll admit, this is a more personal thing for myself, as 76 Kong traumatized the crap out of me when I was a kid. Aside from the freaky mask, the smock is wonderfully designed with Kong in battle atop the World Trade Center. Which just reminds me of the gory as hell ending from the Dino De Laurentiis production. I got my big girl panties on. Bring on the jokes.


Hairy & Scary

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Image via Pinterest

The Hairy & Scary line of Cooper masks add a little extra edge and while all variants of the curly-headed mask are sufficiently frightening on their own, THIS gorilla mask races to the front of the line with the creep factor. Although if you’re asking me, the mask looks more like its channeling the Zuni doll from Trilogy of Terror. Which is why I felt like I would be doing a disservice to readers if I didn’t mention this sucker.


The Chattermouth Cooper Variant


Image via Etsy

The highly recognizable Chattermouth Ben Cooper line that disables those muffled voices inside the plastic masks, and stepping up the game with a moveable jawline. Productive? Yes. Less horrifying? Not even a little bit.


Phantom of the Opera


Image via Pinterest

The 1964 Phantom Ben Cooper mask looks more like Leatherface than a Phantom, but maybe that’s why it’s so damn scary. The acidic burns on both sides of the face rather than just the one, gives this version of the Phantom in the Ben Cooper universe a slight edge, even if it’s not what we’re accustomed to seeing. I like that ballsy move. You have to respect that.


Hobo with a Bowtie


Image via Etsy

Clearly, the Ben Cooper Hobo is modeled after the infamous melancholy hobo clown Emmett Kelly. If I’m wrong, there’s a hell of a resemblance going on there. Either way, you can’t argue the unnerving facial structure.
The smell of colorful plastic under your nostrils and vinyl smocks ensured that the “High Priest of Halloween” company dominated the scene of Samhain in not just the ‘70s and ‘80s, but for over 50 glorious years until the company’s fold in the early ‘90s. However, a recent exclusive with the son of the “Halston of Halloween” himself Ira J. Cooper over at Bloody Disgusting revealed that the company are in the early stages of a relaunch of the popular brand, giving us fans of what we deem, a true Halloween national treasure some hope for a return of some all-time favorites.

Is there a particular Cooper mask or costume that you feel should be included? Let’s discuss some creeptastic retro Halloween fuzzies below!


Check Out the 1979 Audio Audience Reactions From Carpenter’s “Halloween”!

I truly envy those who were lucky enough to experience a time at the movies where emotions ran high and raw; especially during a horror film, like John Carpenter’s immortal classic, Halloween.

During the glorious ’70s, horror grabbed audiences by the balls by pushing the boundaries of gore, foul language, and nudity to the point of people vomiting, fainting, and or being so disgusted to the point of walking out. With the release of The Exorcist at the end of 1973, that movie managed to do all of these for paid movie-goers. I guess nobody was really prepared to see a 12-year-old profusely stab herself in the crotch with a crucifix. (For braver viewers, that seemed to be the deal-breaker). Perhaps with the exception of last year’s controversial mother!, we rarely see that sort of impact on audiences today.

Kind of sucks, doesn’t it? We’re so desensitized these days.

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Maybe not as extreme as Freidkin’s adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s literary masterpiece, but Halloween had one hell of an impact on audiences as well. One-half of my life givers, Robert Butrico of Queens, NY, remembers seeing John Carpenter’s groundbreaking slasher during its first initial run.

“I was there with a bunch of friends, we were really excited about this movie. We heard it was so scary! And you know what? It really was when we first saw it. We had never seen anything like it. There were a few girls who ran out of the theater screaming. That was actually pretty funny.”

And according to the presented audio below provided by YouTuber  Kyle J. Wood’s DarkCastle2012, my father said that’s pretty close to how he remembers his experience as well. And goddamn I am so envious of all this. It’s one thing to be annoyed by loud and obnoxious movie-goers at the theater, and quite another to experience a joined passion of emotions during a film. From the sounds of it below, this crowd is having a damn good time! I especially love the, “He gonna get up again!,” and the random guy in the back shouting, “One more time!

Per the YouTube description:

This is ACTUAL AUDIENCE AUDIO with matching video scenes added (a bit “out of sync” sorry) that I tape recorded inside a Hollywood Boulevard movie theater in 1979—one year after the film’s initial release.


For fuck’s sake, can we get a time machine already?!


Saturday Fright at the Movies: Before “Counting Cars”, Danny Koker Was Count Cool Rider

If you’re a die-hard reality TV junkie, chances are you may have heard of Danny Koker and his History Channel show Counting Cars; filmed right here in my hometown of Satan’s butthole, I mean, Las Vegas. (Hey, if you’re a local, you know damn well of the seething summer heat I speak of.) Before Counting Cars gained a loyal following of car enthusiast viewers, Koker made his love of motorcycles and automobiles known very well via appearances on History’s American Restoration and Pawn Stars.  Oh, and of course, dressing us a hip as shit vampire riding through the dark Vegas streets on a pimped out motorcycle.

via Nightmare Nostalgia

Ahh, the glorious nostalgic days of the Count and Saturday Fright nights. It didn’t get any better than this for us Vegas locals.



Yes folks, us Vegas horror-loving locals will always know Koker as Count Cool Rider. It seems fair to say that growing up, many local stations throughout the country had something similar going on with horror hosts serving up delightful movie gore during the weekend. On a nationwide basis, we had Monstervision with Sir Joe Bob Briggs. And while duh, I was a loyal viewer, Saturday Fright at the Movies with the Count was something special for us Vegas people. It was OURS. And very well responsible for allowing young horror fans here in the city of sin without cable, to enjoy some free horror flicks.

Airing on what used to be KVCW, virtual channel 33 in Vegas, Saturday Fright at the Movies had a respectable run from 1990-2001; and if I can remember correctly, aired around 10pm. With the exception of that oh-so-Elvis Vegas vampire opener vibe, the program followed the same formula as other horror-hosted movies nights. The Count would then do a little schpiel on tonight’s Saturday Night film and we’d dive right into it, with breaks in between commercials backtracking to Cool Rider with some trivia or some thoughts on tonight’s picture selection.

It seems via my search the through the interwebs, Saturday Fright at the Movies is mostly remembered for airing a lot of B-Movies. While I don’t argue because I do in fact remember a few occasions when it happened, the program also broadcasted titles like the TV version of John Carpenter’s Halloween, DOLLS, and as seen above Pumpkinhead II.  Speaking of which, that would be the first time I had ever seen that version of Carpenter’s immortal classic with the added bonus scenes. At nine-years-old, it blew my damn mind that Linda had borrowed that blouse from Laurie and then bitched to Bob about how “expensive” it was when he was being a tad careless with that beer.

It’s the little things really. So while unfortunately, the days of channel 33 and Count Cool Rider are behind us, on behalf of us locals, thank you. For giving both kids like me staying up past bedtime and adults something really special that we, as we hold this genre very dear to us, can look back on and smile. Also, you should bring back the Count for maybe a weekly October event leading up to Halloween, much like AMC Fearfest. Errm, minus the 1,000 reruns of The Walking Dead.

Just throwing that out there.


Saturday Fright at the Movies: Before "Counting Cars", Danny Koker Was Count Cool Rider



Valentine’s Day Poetic Justice with Peter Cushing

Happy Valentine’s Day, my lovelies!

We here at Nightmare Nostalgia truly hope you have a bloody good one today! But we know why you’re here. Wherever you find yourself right now: out to eat, on your way home (or tonight’s big date) or whether you’re a single heart with a party of one you have still found yourself here with us in our happy little private asylum of dark wonders.  So huddle up close and join the Nightmare cast on the most romantic day of the year! And oh boy, does your ol’ buddy Manic have a sticky good treat for you all tonight!

Firstly, holiday horror movies are all the rage during the festive times. We have so many to choose from, and although it sometimes feels as if both Halloween (obviously) and Christmas hog all the spotlight we do in fact have some dark little delicacies to pick from every February 14th! Oh I know many will naturally go to the timeless classic My Bloody Valentine – as rightly you should – but today I want to focus on a little lesser known Valentine’s Day atrocity brought to us by the one and the only, the late great Peter Cushing!

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He and Christopher Lee are my two favorite actors of all time! More than once this dastardly duo starred in some of the greatest horror classics of the ages. Anytime the two appeared in a monster classic you could bet it was going to be grander than life itself!

Today Peter Cushing is best known by modern audiences as the cold-blooded Grand Moff Tarkin of Star Wars, a man who gives orders to annihilate entire planets, snuffing out life, erasing cultures and extinguishing entire histories.

image via vulture

To me, he will always be revered as Baron Frankenstein, who was not above murder to obtain specimens to further his heinous crimes against Life. However, when he wasn’t building monster he was fighting them as the heroic Dr. Van Helsing, a man who was a superhero long before Marvel pooped out their products over-abundantly nearly every month – and his Van Helsing was more kick-ass than the Avengers combined. Dracula ran from him!

A long while ago there was a Tales From the Crypt movie that worked as an anthology horror film, much like Creepshow. This film featured several segments of the comeuppance of some very unpleasant fellows who get to revisit their ungodly crimes right before they are dropped into the flaming horrors of Hell.

image via YouTube

One such segment is Poetic Justice. In it, we see our dear Peter Cushing who is a loving man who behaves like the local Santa of sorts. The noble widower finds discarded things among the rubble and makes toys out of their otherwise abandoned parts, giving new life and plenty of joy to the neighboring children. However, hateful eyes are turned against the dear old man and spitefully he is attacked and bullied until he no longer can take it.

The Spooky Isles
image via The Spooky Isles

It’s interesting because I first saw this movie back when I was a kid and had no earthly business watching such gruesome spectacles at such an early age – but I’d not trade it for the world! I couldn’t have been older than five, and this episode of the movie always stood out to me. So much so that I thought it was a nightmare I had dreamt up because anytime I inquired about it, no one knew what I was talking about. Then last year I picked up a VHS copy of Tales From the Crypt and to my surprise HERE IT WAS! Exactly as I remembered it.

So here you go, lovelies! From Manic with Love! Awwww.

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day and remember it NEVER pays to be heartless to others.


Tales From The Crypt / Vault Of Horror [Blu-ray]

Ivan Drago: The Horror Icon of the Rocky Franchise

As a youngling, and to this very day, Stallone’s Rocky character was and is my goddamn hero. The message of the Rocky films, and the character itself is so powerful- which is why it remains such a time-honored classic. Never give up, chase your dreams, and be the best you, you can be. A solid lesson in life any adult or child should take and run with. As a kid, I was both obsessed with these movies (I still totally am) because of the exuberant heart this franchise lays on the line.

OK, the sweet-ass montages might play a part in this as well. Warning: Watching this video may cause a sudden sprout of chest hairs. 

Now, by the time Rocky IV came around in 1985, our Italian Stallion seemed to be on top of the world. He’s the undisputed champion, gained a best friend in his two-time opponent Apollo Creed, and has more money than I think he knows how to spend- I mean, the guy is buying robot slaves for people’s birthdays’. Must be nice, eh? Seems like things are exactly where they should be in Roc’s life, and seriously, nobody deserves it more than him.

But that’s how most horror movies start out, isn’t it?

An up and coming Russian boxer, Ivan Drago, invades into the US with his Olympic Gold-medalist wife, and his evil as Hell political posse looking to pick a fight with Balboa. They figure he’s the best, so why not go straight for it. However, Creed who is a bit past his prime opts to fight in an exhibition match with the silent blonde giant in what seems like the result of both a little jealousy, and the fact he needs to prove he’s still got it as a fighter.


The sequence we see before the actual match between Drago and Creed, scared the literal crap out of me as a kid. I mean, his silent stance and glaring eyes are intimidating enough. His character really doesn’t need any extra help to look like a goddamn murderer waiting to snap. But hey, enter composing score genius Vince DiCola, and everyone is about to shit their pants.

Then what happens? Drago KILLS Creed. Completly pulverizes this man’s face and bashes his brain in until Apollo is left twitching on the mat. All as his poor wife looks on in horror. As a kid seeing this for the first time, I just sat there and cried my damn eyeballs out. I couldn’t believe this shit. This monster, glaring into Rocky’s eyes, while wife Ludmilla (Brigitte Nielson)  is sitting at her table smoking and smirking like a jerkoff, expresses zero emotion with no fucks given for what he just did. Them’s are the traits of a classic serial killer folks.

“If he dies, he dies..”

What a heartless asshole.

So of course, Rocky needs to seek his vengeance. He heads to Russia (per the terms to fight Drago), grows an epic beard, and trains like a madman to face his toughest and scariest opponent to date. While an argument can be made that Drago was controlled and treated like a lab rat by his handlers, I like to think he had some sort of control of what he was doing. Towards the end of the fight with Rocky, he clearly lets the higher powers know he IS running the show. So perhaps he’s been influenced a tad, but I really don’t think they were totally to blame here.

In actuality, we really don’t know anything about Drago or his background before his fight with Creed- expect for he was a soldier. The absence of knowing what makes him tick, his tense presence, and that spine-shivering Drago Suite makes him a scary character in the world of cinema indeed. I could even go as far to compare him to Michael Myers. Oh yes, we’re going there. Everything I just said about Drago, applies to Haddonfield’s finest maniac as well. Regarding the first Halloween film, Myers was an effective and scary as hell villain because he had no rhyme or reason, no background explanation, and John Carpenter’s chilling score made him all that much more frightening.

So yeah, as a child and fearing for the life of my beloved hero at the hands of a soulless, steroid-infused boxer was quite terrifying by any means. I’m not going to lie, hearing that DiCola theme still gives me a bit of the skeevies. So here’s to you Ivan Drago: the unnamed horror icon hiding in plain sight inside the Rocky franchise.

I swear to everything holy about Mighty Mick’s Gym if they play this theme in Creed 2 to introduce Drago once again, I’m going to have to have both all the happy and horrified heart-attacks.

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Happy Dirty 30! The 15 Best Horror Films From 1988

Call me an old dried up fart-face, but it’s just so hard to accept that the legion of films we’re about to dive into, turn the dirty 30 this year. However, here we are in 2018 and our beloved movies first discovered by young horror fans at our local corner video store, are hitting a major anniversary milestone- and I’m a throwing a party for these glorious horror classics.

The wonderful years of ‘86 and ‘87 are pretty much unanimously considered from all of us, important years for the horror genre. Churning out such classics such as The Fly and Hellraiser throughout those time periods, paved the way for another banner year for horror fans in 1988; giving us a ridiculously awesome amount of films that still manage to give us cinematic boners thirty years later.

Speaking from the gut here, the year of ‘88 may just be one of the greatest years for the genre unofficially dubbed the “Slasher Decade”. From the beautifully constructed sequel to the above- mentioned Hellraiser, to the introduction of one of horror’s greatest tiny terrors in the form of a plastic doll, these movies filled our little horror hearts with all the fuzzies. For some even, opened up the door to the wonderful world of horror cinema upon seeing the hypnotizing VHS artwork that lined the horror shelves. Because as we know, video rental stores were all the jazz in this era and served as our savior from the word of mouth for the next cool movie to check out. So without further adieu, let’s retro rewind back to 1988 and look at some of the year’s best and brightest of horror!


15. “Night of the Demons”

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Night of the Demons is universally well-known among horror fans, especially from this tubular decade. Even if you haven’t seen this gem, you sure as hell remember that unforgettable VHS cover art from the video rental horror shelf. Hell, it’s what prompted me to rent the damn thing as a kid. Anyway, I feel like this delicious slice of cheesy horror isn’t mentioned nearly enough. So on the list this Linnea Quigley masterpiece goes!

Demons mixes up the perfect blend of dark humor and campy horror the ‘80s era is known to churn out. Night of the Demons pulls off this combo so well that it’s almost like the perfect example of a classic ‘80s genre film that we’ve see parodied over and over again. (Like the countless titles involving the fantastic word massacre). We have a basic set-up of a bunch of teens partying it up on Halloween night at, well, of course, a funeral parlor-duh. Because nothing bad can come of that in a horror movie, right? Even better, they perform a séance and a glorious chase between humans and demons ensues throughout the movie. Also worth mentioning is the movie’s kick-ass soundtrack which holds one of my favorite intro instrumentals of any ‘80s horror film. Give that one a listen sometime!


14. “Maniac Cop”

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If you can’t appreciate this little 1988 treasure starring the man, the myth, the mustache, Tom Atkins and equally legendary Bruce Campbell, I don’t think I want to know you- period. The movie even has the cheesiest and greatest self-titled rap song that can only rival Fat Boys’ “Are You Ready for Freddy” tune. If that alone doesn’t sell you off the bat, nothing further will so just skip this entry entirely.

In a sort of twisted Toxic Avenger/ Robocop mash-up, a no funny business cop is sent to jail on, really a minor technicality, and is mercilessly beaten to death (or so we think anyway) by the housed inmates he had sent there. A little private justice inmate style if you will. After being moved from the cell to the morgue, enter the king of chins Bruce and a dead wife that has been pinned on him. Along with a fair amount of strange murders of both criminals and innocents alike. Well, the Bruce is an adamant one and sets out to prove his innocence beyond reasonable doubt. And finds an old, thought to be dead colleague now a vengeful disfigured nutbag, behind the murders. Beautiful, isn’t it?


13. “Phantasm 2”

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Plainly speaking, I’m not a huge fan of the whole Phantasm franchise. (Cut me some slack, we all have different tastes.) However, if I were to choose only one from the series to watch, Phantasm 2 would most definitely be the winner.

Continuing with returning characters Mike and Reggie, Phantasm 2 picks up several years later with Mike institutionalized on the belief that the events in the first film were nothing short of his own wild imagination. Oh, if only it were that simple Mike. After being released from the asylum and reunited with Reggie, the pair embark on a journey that leads them straight to the forever now iconic, Tall Man. And if you know anything about the Phantasm movies, you know damn well it’s time to get weird- and it sure does. But in the greatest of ways.  

Almost ten years later and a larger budget the second time around, the effects gave away a greater nightmarish look to those epic, murderous spheres. Which I think we can all appreciate.  Aside from the elevated effects, Angus Scrimm is the glue that holds it all together with his snarlish expressions and the feeling of uneasiness in his presence as the Tall Man. What a legend and is still sorely missed by us all.


12. “Monkey Shines: An Experiment in Fear”

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Infamous for his zombie films, George Romero gave us something different, and quite special in 1988- Ella the homicidal monkey. Also, goddamn if this one isn’t underrated and not talked about nearly enough. This adorable little monkey was absolutely terrifying and I frigging love it.


Ella is brought about when an athlete turned quadriplegic due to an accident, needs some help with daily duties and a little-added cheer in his now forever changed life. Enter Ella, an experimental monkey injected with human brain tissue turned service monkey. At first, the pair are actually adorable as hell. They really seem to take a shine to each other. However, Ella’s infatuation with her human friend takes a dark turn into some Marky Mark Fear type jealousy and she becomes a homicidal ball of fur and cuteness. She might be batshit insane, but she’s  pinch-the-cheeks delightful doing it. Which makes the idea that much more terrifying. She’s even adorable when she takes an angry piss on her once master and he calls her, “a slime” Actually, I laughed pretty damn hard at that.


11. “Waxwork”

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Ok, seriously: Fuck Madame Tussaud’s. Let’s hit up a Waxwork!

Imagine stepping into your favorite monster’s world. What would you do, and are you even prepared for it? Waxwork answers these questions for a couple of college students, (Zach Galligan-Gremlins, and Deborah Foreman- April Fool’s Day) among the crew. The six friends visit a Waxwork exhibit run by none other than David Warner (The Omen) that displays some iconic horror wax figures in all its glory. However, this magical house of wax can also give you a run for your money and life if you step inside one of the displays. You’ll end up in your favorite monster’s world and possibly become a part of it forever in the form of wax.

1988’s Waxwork is campy fan service entertainment at its damn finest and should be treated as such. If you love the classics Night of the Living Dead, Dracula, and Frankenstein, it’s kind of hard not to crack a satisfied smile during a viewing of Waxwork. Sure, it’s no masterpiece, but I dare you not to have some fuzzy feelings towards it after a watch. It just makes you feel you damn good about being a horror fan.


10. “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers”

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1988 brought about the much-anticipated return of a horror icon from a seven-year hiatus, and after a foul outcry from fans who were pretty displeased with Season of the Witch. Welp, studios gave in and resurrected Mikey from the dead to unleash hell in Haddonfield once more. And although I have no issues with Halloween III personally, (in fact I frigging love it), I’m forever glad The Return happened as well.

The Return brings a once vegetable Myers awaken by the mere utter of the word “niece” and back to Haddonfield to finish off his one remaining family member. We get another dose of Donald Pleasance back as the ever-persistent hunter of Myers, and we’re introduced to one of today’s modern scream queens, Danielle Harris as Michael’s niece. It doesn’t hold that same type of magic as the original two sister films, but has its own spark of charm that has kept it a fan favorite with Halloween fans.

It may not be everyone’s favorite chapter of the life and times of Myers; but in between the Autumn essence of those beautiful opening credits that continues its feel throughout the film and Reverend Jackson P. Sayer, lies a pretty damn good sequel to the Halloween films.


9. “The Blob”

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Not everyone loves a remake of a true classic. But, in the tradition of The Thing and The Fly, once again a cinematic remake proves that it can be better than the original. Chuck Russell’s The Blob not only is superior to the 1958 sci-fi film, but more grotesque and memorable as well. Russell deserves all the praise here guys. Think about it for a second; how the hell do you take a campy B-Movie monster that looks like a mound of Jell-O and make it scary as fuck? Throw in some horrific death scenes at the hands of the Blob, have it swallow a child, and fling some body parts around the screen. Also, instead of using the “it came from outer space” gimmick, the thing was a government biological experiment. Which sort of makes it that much more horrifying. As the saying goes, “No beast on land, sea, or in the air is more dangerous than the man who rules the land.”

With a pre-Saw Shawnee Smith and Kevin Dillon taking on the ever-growing eater of children and star quarterbacks, The Blob is a gruesome step-up from its predecessor. There are a few cheese moments that take away from the more serious tone of this version. Like for example, Meg (Smith) shouting one-liners at the blob with a machine gun in hand. But hey, it’s the ‘80s. A slice of cheese is to be expected and especially when dealing with a man-eating, two-ton wad of Bill Cosby endorsed dessert.


8. “Friday the 13th 7: The New Blood”

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The seventh chapter of The Friday series brings about super zombie Jason and the man who breathed new life into the Crystal Lake slasher, Kane Hodder. Which makes The New Blood something really special when you look at the bigger picture. You can easily pick apart Hodder’s Jason from all others who have played the icon.His deep breaths, the menacing stance plus the way he moves around, make Hodder’s portrayal the most memorable, and a favorite among us fans. This being the first time Hodder slipped on the hockey mask, makes for a monumental moment in horror history indeed.  

The New Blood introduces us to Tina, a telekinetic teen brought to Crystal Lake for some therapy per her asshole doctor. During one of Tina’s episodes, she manages to raise Jason from the depths of the lake, and thus we can begin our official Friday the 13th film. The premise of a Carrie-like foe for Jason may seem a bit silly to some. But in the same breath, we’re talking about an undead being that has been resurrected FIVE times to maintain his excellent teenage kill record. So, come on. It’s not that bizarre really. Plus, I think it’s pretty funny to watch Jason struggle to kill this broad.


7. “A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master”

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You’re probably noticing a pattern of slasher sequels here. The jig is up- I’m a big-time sucker for the continuations of our horror icons. And Dream Master is no exception.

Aside from Dream Warriors, Nightmare’s fourth movie in the franchise is definitely my favorite of the batch. The Westin Hills survivors return in Dream Master along with a new group of fine, fresh meat attempting to carry on with a normal life. But hey, nothing is normal about being an Elm Street kid. Freddy is awoken once again, by the mighty power of flaming dog whiz no less, and picks off the kids one by one.

Dream Master has everything going for it in a great sequel. A strong, likeable female lead (Lisa Wilcox), and a vengeful Freddy with just the right amount of sense of humor, (I’ll never NOT laugh at,“How’s this for a wet dream?!”). The soundtrack kicks all the ass, and we got some really unique and memorable teenage kills. Sheila’s death and sunken in dummy stand-in inside the classroom gave me nightmares for weeks. Also, a chick turns into a cockroach. What more can you ask for?


6. “Pumpkinhead”

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Yet, another 1988 film with the balls to kill a kid, and the birth of one of horror’s coolest looking monsters. Add in the mix a vengeance-seeking Lance Henriksen and one crazy looking witch, and we got ourselves a national horror treasure.

Henrikson plays a grieving father, Ed Harley, who is hell-bent on making the reckless jerks who killed his son pay dearly. In doing so, he visits a supposed witch to seek help. The witch warns him that vengeance comes with a price, but Ed gives no fucks. On the witch’s orders, Harley digs up a disfigured corpse, brings it to the witch who revives it with blood from both Harley and his deceased son, and boom- Pumpkinhead on the loose!

What makes Pumpkinhead so damn special aside from Henrikson and a unique new monster movie, is the feeling that no one really gains a victory in this film. It’s all rather, sort of depressing when you think about. This isn’t your typical good vs evil horror flick. I see it more or less as a grotesque Aesop Fable that genuinely evokes emotions of the viewers. A monster story that makes you…feel things. Can’t really say a lot of horror movies on this list can pull that off. But Pumpkinhead is sure one of them.


5. “Killer Klowns From Outer Space”

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Before I say anything else, I just want to express my great sadness that there’s never been a sequel to this glorious festival of cotton candy cocoons and toxic cream pies. Such a travesty.

The title says it all really. A flying circus tent of horrors lands in a small town full of extraterrestrial painted nightmares looking to feed. Only a select few are hip to the fact that a race of alien clowns have invaded and are harvesting civilians of Crescent Cove for supper, so it’s up to them to stop it.

For a little B-movie about alien clowns no less, becoming such a cult-smash over the past 30 years, is something that cannot and will not be ignored. Made from the minds of the Chiodos Bros, Killer Klowns is raunchy, silly, and damn enjoyable whether you’re on your first or 100th viewing. I’m pretty sure we’ll still be talking about this ridiculously amazing movie in the next thirty years. All hail the mighty Jojo Klownzilla.


4. “The Serpent and the Rainbow”

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Of all of the wonderful index of film from Wes Craven, it seems odd to me that The Serpent and the Rainbow often gets the shaft. Not today friends, not today.

The black voodoo magic movie starring President Alien ass-kicker Bill Pullman as a professor in search for “zombie powder”, was inspired by the novel from Wade Davis. The Harvard scientist Davis dug deep into the culture of Haiti’s rich history of voodoo, with a specific focus on the undead. The movie inspired by the intriguing novel slowly burns with magnificent detail about the voodoo culture. So much so, there really hasn’t been anything since quite like it. Over the years, fans and critics have slammed the film for its inaccuracy in regards to the source material, but I feel like that’s just a bit unfair. The deal was made for a fictional horror movie loosely based on the book, not a documentary. And in my humble opinion, tops the pops as far as psychological thrillers go.

The imagery is entertainingly gruesome and my skin crawls every time I revisit this Craven joint. If you’ve yet to see this gem, be warned claustrophobes. There’s a coffin scene you won’t soon forget for years to come.



3. “ Hellbound: Hellraiser II”

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In regards to horror sequels, there isn’t too many out there that rival the original. However, Hellraiser’s sequel Hellbound certainly lives up to its predecessor and dare I say, slightly improves on it as well.

Director Tony Randel takes us into Cenobite hell with the continuing saga of Kristy; this time around in a mental institution. (Recalling the events from the first film, that would drive anyone to the edge of pure insanity.) Of course, we don’t stay in that setting for long and Kristy is granted access to a grand tour of Hell and an incredible visual expansion into Clive Barker’s beautiful Hellraiser universe. Speaking of which, is so wonderfully crafted, it’s ridiculously hard not to view it as a true piece of art in motion. The makeup effects are the excellence of execution. A great example is the manufacturing of cenobites, particularly the scene where Julia pushes Channard into the labyrinth elevator. In addition, we get to see Doug Bradley in pure form, as we get to witness Pinhead’s origins. It’s just straight up incrediballs.

I’d also like to note, if you plan on revisiting this gorgeous piece of work this year for it’s dirty 30, I highly recommend the uncut version. There’s only three minutes more of the film, but trust me. Those 180 seconds make a huge difference.  


2. “They Live”

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Simply stating John Carpenter’s cult classic They Live was ahead of its time, might just be the goddamn understatement of the cinematic century.

Starring the Rowdy one the late Roddy Piper, Carpenter’s film about the world’s elite and society’s blindness towards an underlying evil is absolute brilliance. Based on Ray Nelson’s short story “Eight O’Clock In The Morning”, They Live is one of those rare films that forces us as viewers to question our world and surroundings. A homeless drifter named Nada, (Piper), discovers that the upper class of society are in fact aliens incognito and manipulating society to spend money, breed, and blindly accept their status in the world with subliminal messages. Via the mass media and advertising, constant commands are hidden to obey and conform. In other words, the truth.

They Live is just as relevant today as it was then. In the film, the rulers are portrayed as a completely different race that perceives humans as inferior – something that can easily be correlated to our elected politicians. The presence of these strong messages is one of the reasons They Live became somewhat of a cult-classic, despite the fact that it was panned by movie critics upon its first release. 30 years later, the movie’s statement still holds plenty of ground; and quite frankly, freakishly realistic. Now that my friends, is some scary shit.

I really struggled here not putting this at numero uno. Alas, there’s only one little guy who could possibly obtain that kind of voodoo power over me and my love for the Hot Rod…

1. “Child’s Play”

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Well actually, it’s no surprise really that Chucky is, the greatest attribute to horror to come out of ‘88. Spawning six sequels over the span of thirty years, Chucky and the Child’s Play series has managed to capture our hearts, (and souls), with his wise-cracking, murderous shenanigans. And we can’t seem to get enough of this Good Guy.

We’ve seen the whole killer doll plot before Chucky’s debut, but never anything quite like this. We have to give a lot of credit to the casting of Brad Dourif as the voice behind the two-foot Lakeshore Strangler. Dourif has a strong, menacing presence in his voice (remember the Gemini Killer), yet in the same breath can be quite comical as well. The moment Chucky lets Karen know he’s indeed alive paired with various obscene insults, made you jump out of your seat initially, then slump back in a goddamn giggle.

“I’ll teach you to fuck with me!”

Almost as good as that super random, “Fuck you” in the elevator.

Originally titled “Batteries not Included”, and then “Blood Buddy” before the decided name of Child’s Play, 1988 gave birth to a legendary icon in the genre we love and cherish so deeply. Apart from the iconic status, the film truly holds its place firmly as a horror classic. Directed by Tom Holland and written by Don Mancini, Child’s Play raised the stakes and opened the door for the deadly doll genre to come out and play once again.


Happy dirty 30 you wonderful, ugly little shit.



I just couldn’t help myself.


John Carpenter’s Elvis Biopic Starring Kurt Russell; Yeah, That Happened

It’s one of those things that if you didn’t know, you’re mind just got friggin’ blown like a scene from Scanners.

I was one of those people, and I’m seriously pissed off that nobody bothered to tell me that this national treasure existed. FOR SHAME on you, while I hang my own head in humility.

Anway, upon learning about this hidden-from-me-gem, I immediately ordered a copy (and you should too) from Amazon, and gave it a view over this past weekend. I was not disappointed folks.

Fresh off the massive genre hit with fans Halloween, Carpenter aimed his directorial skills toward the smaller screen with 1979’s made for TV biopic Elvis. Starring in his first of many Carpenter films, Kurt Russell takes on the daunting task of portraying the man, the myth, the lip-curl himself, along with Russell’s real-life father Bing Russell playing Elvis’ father Vernon in the film as well. Which would totally account for the believability factor as far as paternal ownership in the movie. Shelly Winters (Roseanne, The Poisedian Adventure) tackles the important role of Mama Gladys- if you’re an Elvis fan, you know how much this man loved his mama. Also starring Halloween alumni Charles Cyphers, Pat Hingle, and Russell’s ex-wife Season Hubley as Priscilla Presley, Elvis is a wonderful Carpenter family affair on-screen that respectfully pays tribute to the trials and tribulations of rock legend without diving into his death.

Made only two years after the King’s passing, the 150-minute biopic focuses on the star’s childhood, the rise and peak of his fame, and the important relationships in this legend’s life that affected an empathetic man so greatly. According to reports, there are two other versions of the film that aired in the UK beginning with Elvis’ hair being cut before his entrance into the US army, and then the death of his mother. With a great deal of the story being told before these two incidents appear in the film, I’m certainly glad that wasn’t the final cut! We cannot be deprived of that wonderful Shelley Winters, now can we?

Apart from the obvious, and at times not so great lip-synching, Russell’s Elvis persona is by far, my favorite I’ve ever seen. You’re also talking to a born and raised Vegas girl here, and I’ve seen COUNTLESS impersonators in my lifetime; more than I even care to. But, Russell really does pull it off embodying the very spirit of the King right down to his signature movements and hell, he really does look like him too! So that’s a pretty great bonus. With portraying a personality as large as Elvis, it’s so easy to go overboard (haha) with it. However, with Russell, it seems natural. Which speaks volumes about his acting chops. Fun fact: Kurt Russell actually appeared in an Elvis film, It Happened at the World’s Fair in 1963, where a mini Russell kicked the King of Rock and Roll in the shins. Russell also dubbed the voice of Elvis seen in Forrest Gump in ’94 and played an Elvis impersonator in 3000 Miles to Graceland. So I suppose it’s fair to say Russell has had his fair share of defining Elvis moments in cinema.  However, Carpenter’s Elvis should, and I think is, his crowning achievement in his lip-curling legacy towards the once Graceland resident.

Originally airing as part of an ABC Sunday night special movie in 1979, Elvis went on to receive nominations from the Golden Globes including Best Motion Picture Made For Television and an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor (Russell). Didn’t win, but well deserved in any regard.


If you’re an Elvis fan or a lover of made for TV glory, I highly recommend picking this diddy up and adding it to your collection.

Click the image to pick it up over on Amazon!

Horror VHS Lamps and Clocks Are a Retro Decor Dream

Ever sit in bad late a night trying to read your favorite Stephen King novel all the while trying not to disturb your partner? Of course, I know they make book lights, those weird headset lights, and all those other illuminated contraptions for such a problem. But these are just way more fun than an uncomfortable hunk of metal on your head, and frankly, wicked cooler as well. This past Summer, I stumbled upon the most beautiful little Etsy shop filled with VHS fuzzies of glory. And goddamn if it isn’t worth another shout out. Behold, the Horror VHS Lamps!

Retro Halloween lamp

Constructed by Etsy seller NancyJars (Hayley Summers)these customized glorious VHS cassettes are repurposed into table-top night lights perfect for any retro lover of pop culture. Each lamp is uniquely made per the buyer’s choice as you can customize one of your very own regarding the front cover, choice of colored lights, and when requested, will use an original VHS for that ultimate retro feel.

What’s even better is that the lights are battery powered LEDs and are completely safe and heat free! So if you’re buying one for a child’s room, a bit of extra reassurance for you. Check out below a sample of what’s currently available from the UK based Etsy shop, or contact the store directly by clicking here to get one customized just for you!

The Shining Lamp

Alien Lamp

Child’s Play Lamp

IT Lamp

The Exorcist Lamp

Troll Lamp

I really don’t think I could pass up this gem.

More recently, upon the success and massive demand for the appropriately named lamps “VHS Brightlights”, Summers dabbled into making desktop timepieces. Taking old-fashioned VHS cases, much like the ones you’d find at your local mom and pop video rental shop back in the day, and transforming them into working clocks perfect for your office desk!

vhs time

The Thing Clock

Lost Boys Clock

Twin Peak: Fire Walk With Me Clock

And of course, your’s truly had to have one for my own little work area.



Make sure to follow VHS Brightlights on Instagram by clicking here!

That Time Elvira Was a Guest Commenter at WrestleMania 2

Just when you thought Elvira couldn’t get any cooler, she went and did this thing. Which was kind of one of the most bad-ass things ever..

No matter how you slice it, the world of professional wrestling doesn’t come a hair close to the magic of what once was. In the early eighties, the WWE (even though to this day I still refer to it as WWF) became a powerhouse in the entertainment industry thanks to the likes of heavily promoted heroes such as Hulk Hogan and no hero would be complete with a heel to despise, and that title belonged to the late, great Roddy Piper. Even better were the special events like Saturday Night’s Main Event, and what was to become the annual WrestleMania that brought these heavily promoted soap-opera worthy feuds to a head in an epic battle of, at the time to us kiddos, basically good guys against the bad guys. And it was goddamn glorious my friends.


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Let’s go back to 1986’s Wrestlemania 2. Not only was this the first WrestleMania to be broadcast exclusively on Pay-Per-View but also, and I don’t think I’m wrong here, was the ONLY Wrestlemania to be held in three cities at one time; New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, each with its own main event. New York had the great boxing match between Mr. T and Roddy Piper with ring commenters Vince McMahon and Susan St. James. Chicago with the 20-man Royal Rumble that mixed wrestling greats with NFL football players with voice-overs from the fantastic Gorilla Monsoon, Mean Gene Okerlund, and Cathy Lee Crosby. And last but not least along with the reason you’re here, the steel-cage match between the immortal Hulk Hogan and King Kong Bundy with ringside commenters Jesse “The Body” Ventura, Lord Alfred Hayes, and the Queen of Halloween herself Elvira in Los Angeles!




Celebrity guests have always been a fun addition to the shenanigans in and out of the ring. Whether they’re part of a feud that builds into an exciting Main Event, like the pinnacle start to the Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Connection in the early ’80s that began with Cyndi Lauper smacking her purse over Lou Albino’s noggin; or like in this case, a ringside guest appearance that generates sparks and interest to bring in viewers that may have not had to begin with. Such is the case with the Mistress of the Dark, Elvira.

Because the WWE is rather strict with their videos on the interwebs, the best I can do as far as a video visual is to send you to the official WWE website to take a look at snippets of Elvira’s appearance at the ’86 spectacle by clicking here. However, this wasn’t the last time Elvira rubbed elbows over-greased champions of entertainment…

The Queen of Halloween did some promos for that OTHER wrestling federation WCW, hyping up what was to be the annual Halloween Havoc. I mean, who else better to spread the word and give some spooky validation to the October event than Elvira?! Take a look at the promos below from 1989 and 1990!