Tag Archives: horror movies

Creature Features: The Beautiful Practical Effects of 1988’s “The Blob”

Nightmare Nostalgia Presents Creature Features: An ongoing tip of the hat to some of horror’s greatest monsters throughout the genre that don’t seem to get the recognition they wholeheartedly deserve.

I don’t care how stubborn, or pompous this may sound: Computer generate all the damn monsters you want with the world’s greatest CGI program and programmer running it. It still won’t look better than practical effects and I certainly can’t appreciate it as much. The perfect example of such splendid monster-movie-magic is of course, Chuck Russell’s vision of the 1950’s Sci-Fi B movie, The Blob jello-molding it’s way into 1988.

 Creature Features: The Beautiful Practical Effects of 1988's "The Blob"

Thinking back to my childhood years, I clearly remember my first interaction with this glorious film, that at the time, I had no idea was a remake. In a pre-internet era and films relying on physical media such as TV spots and the good old-fashioned newspaper to get the word out. The one other way to draw unsuspecting fans into a film post-theater release, was the almighty VHS box art that would stare at you from the lined-shelves of the horror section like a haunted painting. This film, like many others of that time, sold itself to a tiny Patti with the cover-art alone that both intrigued and terrified me as a child. The simple showcase of what I later learned to be Paul’s fate displayed on the front of the rental, initially scared the shit out of seven-year-old me. I’m not entirely sure why, as growing up in a horror-loving-household watching Halloween at the tender age of two, this piece of art gave me the skeevies. I can distinctly remember only a few VHS horror art covers having that sort of effect on me. For almost 2 years, that pink, gooey man screaming at me through the art cover taunted me every time the parental units and I made a family trip to our local Action Video for the weekend rentals. And it wasn’t until I was allowed to ride my bike across the busy street by my damn self I was cut loose to roam the horror shelves of that mom and pop video store and rent freely on my own. Whatever I wanted. So of course, I gravitated to that jerkoff blobby Paul who has been tormenting the hell out of me. I had to see what this was about just based on this one picture alone. And now, 30 years later, it has become one of my all-time favorites.

Creature Features: The Beautiful Practical Effects of 1988's "The Blob"

 

Which brings me to the point here: That one image from the film doused in practical effects reeled me in and like many films before this gem in the ’80s, was balls-deep with beautifully done man-made monster magic. From Paul’s tragic demise to Vicki being eaten from the inside-out, The Blob is filled to the brim with dazzling and believable imagery that STILL looks better than a lot of modern day effects. The team responsible for igniting a fear of jello-molds everywhere was that of Tony Gardner, Chet Zar, and Bill Sturgeon of Alterian Studios. Who have since released some REALLY FUCKIN’ COOL behind the scenes stills on making that “extraterrestrial” man-eating glob that every fan of the film should take a gander at.

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LONG LIVE PRACTICAL EFFECTS.

Creature Feature: The Skeevie Inducing Norris-Thing

Nightmare Nostalgia Presents Creature Feature: An ongoing tip of the hat to some of horror’s greatest monsters throughout the genre that don’t seem to get the recognition they wholeheartedly deserve.

Last October, some friends, the better half, and myself witnessed the glorious spectacle of John Carpenter live in concert. Now, normally I never bother to leave my Gollum cave of gloom and somber for shows and concerts these days unless it’s totally worth sliding some pants on for. But hey, this was John fuckin’ Carpenter and his orchestra playing the theme songs to some of horror’s finest films- his films. I sure as shit wasn’t going to pass this up and just as I had expected, it was a night to never be forgotten. From Halloween, They Live, and of course today’s focal point The Thing, it was a perfect way to head into Devil’s Night last October.

#thething #johncarpenter #horrormovies

A post shared by Patti Pauley (@misshorrorghoul) on

With what is arguably (I guess) one of John Carpenter’s greatest pieces of cinematic art turning 36 this week, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to talk a little about the goddamn Norris-Thing. In the 1982 film, we see a handful of variations of this “thing” ranging from an ordinary human, a cute husky, also a not-so-cute halfway transformed husky, to well-something ungodly such as this. Which in itself, comes in three (3) count em, forms of infested Norris all in under five minutes.

Beautiful.

Nightmare Nostalgia -The Thing 1982

The poor geologist at the heart of the chaos located at Outpost 31 had suffered a heart attack, (could you really blame the guy for his life-pumper giving out under the circumstances?) His fellow comrades rushed a dying Norris to the medical ward in an attempt to jump-start his heart and holy eight-legged-fucks was that the worst idea ever.

In the case anyone here is unfamiliar haven not seen the film (for-shame), The Thing centers around a parasitic extraterrestrial life force that likes to imitate other organisms, thus ensuring an overabundant amount of paranoia in the group as everyone suspects each other as an “infected host”.

We good? Ok, back to Norris dying on the table.

Anyway, the defibrillator is shocking away and low and behold everyone, Norris was indeed a host for this otherworldly leech as the thing begins to extract himself from the ribcage of Norris and immediately defend itself. Norris’ chest transforms into a jaw trap so powerful, even Bruce the shark would be a little envious. After chomping away at what the Thing deems as an attack on itself, (stupid alien doesn’t know what a heart attack is), it mutates even further into a Norris-Snake-Thing that again, would give Freddy-Snake a run for his money. Enter the action of Kurt Russell, our epically bearded hero to the rescue and a flame-thrower to the Norris-Thing it is.  In the midst of the fire and flames, the Norris-Thing head tears away from its presently incinerating body, grows some spider-like legs and Linda Blair crab-walks it’s happy little self across the room inducing all the skeevies and dingleberries from fellow Outposters.

A few thoughts:

As I so eloquently stated above, it always sort of bothered me how this alien parasite didn’t realize he had copied a defective heart along with the rest of Norris. I guess I would just assume the alien would automatically see through that flaw with some alien-type goggles in its DNA, but we all know when you assume, you make an ass out of “u” and me. It’s just a little thing that I always thought about during that scene, not slamming it all mind you. Just sharing what goes on with hamster wheel in my head.

What makes this scene in particular so effectively terrifying above all others, (IMHO), is the “thing” shows just what lengths it will go to survive. Sure the monster magic is insanely gorgeous. I might even say, revolutionary for its time. And sure enough, induces all the skeevies inside you to come popping out to say, “Oh hello old friend!” Especially if you have a phobia of snakes, spiders, or severed heads with insect legs altogether. The point of the matter is, like a true ’80s slasher, it comes coming. It has an agenda and will stop at nothing to reach its goal. This “thing” could literally be anywhere, anyone, or any living thing. That’s the really terrifying part, my friends.

Because it takes a village to raise a child, and apparently a huge team of artists to make movie magic like this happen, I wanted to include this clip from CineFix. Which wonderfully showcases some behind the scenes action, facts, and trivia with director John Carpenter, Norris (Charles Hallahan), and crew involving this scene in particular. Also, here’s an Amazon link because right now, there’s a hot deal on the Blu-Ray for only $7.88!! If you don’t own it yet, now is a great time to snatch this classic up.

Happy Unofficial Thing Day!

Bram Stoker’s “Shadowbuilder” Is Making Its Blu-Ray Debut at MVD Rewind!

From the mastermind of the original horrific night stalker Dracula, comes the ultimate battle between the good of humanity and one pissed off demon that was summoned to Earth, (thanks jerk-off Archbishop) Bram Stoker’s Shadowbuilder! And for the first time ever, getting a proper Blu-Ray release courtesy of our friends at the retro-loving cinematic restorations market, MVD REWIND!

https://mvdshop.com/collections/mvd-rewind

 

Featuring an all-star cast that includes Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy), Leslie Hope (Crimson Peak), Kevin Zegers (Dawn of the Dead) and Tony Todd (Candyman), Shadowbuilder is slated to hit the online store with a ton of new and exciting features including a kick-ass collectable poster this August 28th, 2018!

Bonus Feature Include:

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the main feature.
  • Original 2.0 Stereo Audio (Uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
  • Audio Commentary from Director Jamie Dixon
  • NEW! ‘Making of Shadowbuilder’ featurette (HD, 33:22) (featuring director Jamie Dixon, writer Michael Stokes and stars Andrew Jackson (The Shadowbuilder) and Tony Todd (Covey)
  • NEW! ‘Shadowbuilder: Visual Effects’ featurette (HD, 13:26)
  • NEW! ‘Shadowbuilder: Kevin Zegers’ featurette (HD, 5:00)
  • Reversible, 2-Sided Artwork
  • Spanish Subtitles
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Collectible Poster

 

Official Synopsis:

A demon is summoned to take the soul of a young boy, who has the potential to become a saint. If the demon succeeds, it will open a doorway to Hell, blazing a terrifying trail of destruction, possession and mayhem and destroy humanity. Now the fate of the world hinges on the final outcome of a renegade priest’s battle with the soul eating Shadowbuilder .

Also, just check out this reversible cover art! Be sure to pick this one up to add to your retro horror movie collection!

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As “JAWS 2” Turns 40, Let’s Look At the Rare, Extended Helicopter Attack Scene!

The epic sequel to Speilberg’s 1975 film that had us all fearing for our lives stepping foot unto a beach, turns the classic 40 years young today. And to celebrate, I’m showcasing what the MMPA decided to censor to audiences theatrically back in 1978 for JAWS 2– the goddamn death of the helicopter pilot! And if you haven’t seen it, trust me, it’s so damn satisfying.

As "JAWS 2" Turns 40, Let's Look At the Rare, Extended Helicopter Attack Scene!

 

Yes, friends, another animatronic Bruce came back to terrorize Amity Island as revenge for Bruce numero uno being blown to smithereens by the local sheriff. While I certainly have a lot of love for this movie, I mean fucken aye it’s JAWS people, it certainly restricted itself on the lack of blood as opposed to the first film. In fairness, there wasn’t a TON of gore in the original JAWS. However, this one had barely any at all. And we’re talking shark attacks here! You’d assume there would be buckets of red corn syrup all over the damn screen. But alas, on the heels of the mondo success of the first film and cringy studio execs, JAWS 2 had to be watered down a tad to appease the pearl clutchers of the generation.

Before we get to the scene in question, that was shown during various TV runs during the 80’s (which is why I even knew it existed), can we just appreciate just how badass Bruce II really is? I mean, this shark seems ten times scarier and more malevolent than it’s brother, cousin, whatever from the first movie. Not only does it take down the water skier in the first half of the film, but the boat and driver with it resulting in blowing the damn thing up. Of course, that was the work of the obviously terrified boat driver in the midst of a Great White eating her boat, but eh, gotta give credit to Bruce II for making it possible. And then we have this wonderful helicopter scene, in which if you’ve seen the cut version only, kind of raises some questions on the whereabouts of the pilot.

Here we have this poor guy just trying to do his damn job and help these teenagers out. Bruce II isn’t having any of this shit. He’s like, “HOW DARE YOU TRY TO HELP THESE KIDS! I’LL SHOW YOU BY GOD.” And he sinks a friggin’ helicopter. But, what the hell happened to the pilot? We can just assume he drowned if anything. And he does of course, but we actually get to see it this time. And it looks as if he serves as a tasty snack after all for the hungry island visitor. Visual satisfaction at the very least. Also, if you listen very closely, the pilot’s screams sound an awful lot like Hooper’s when he’s attacked underwater in the shark cage.

So here it is! Originally uploaded on YouTube by RetroTV from an ABC original airing complete with a LEGGS pantyhose commercial at the end to break away. Because, you know, that’s super important here. Enjoy and happy anniversary JAWS 2!

{Video} Behind the Scenes VHS Retail Promo For “Poltergeist III”!

In February of 1989, video shop owners were targeted with the promise of immense Poltergeist profits with the final installment of the trilogy ready to be consumed by movie aficionados looking for their perfect Friday night scare at the local video rental outlet. With today being the 30th anniversary, a monumental milestone for tragically Heather O’Rourke‘s final film, I figured let’s rewind back to the film’s initial era and take a look at the exclusive VHS promo given to multiple video store chains to get this film in their shops!

{Video} Behind the Scenes Video Store Promo For "Poltergeist III"!

Taken straight from a VHS copy belonging to the curator (unadjusted tracking and all) of Poltergeistiii.com, it truly is a beautiful vintage piece of history that unfortunately, makes me a little sad at the same time. Of course, all horror fans are aware of the untimely death of the genre’s favorite young demon attraction Heather O’ Rourke before the film was ultimately finished. So anytime I see the film, or promos regarding it, that’s always in the back of my mind. After the passing of O’Rourke, the director, cast, and crew didn’t even want to continue and the film was almost scrapped altogether. But, the powers that be pounded too much money in the project, and insisted the film be finished so here we are. While many consider the rounded out trifecta the weakest installment of the trilogy, I for one, appreciate the film for what it is, (and come on, it’s a fun popcorn flick) and have all the respect in the world for Heather’s final on-screen appearance.

Anyways I’m rambling. On to why you’re even here beloved VHS heads!

The seven-minute retailer promo offers some really cools facts, behind the scenes shots (not seen in other featurettes), interviews with the cast and crew, and of course details on the monster magic used to perform in the film! Including the infamous garage puddle scene! The retail price for the video was advertised to shop owners as $89.95 a piece, (and now you know what contributed to those pesky overdue fees) and purchases included a rad as hell 6-foot tall standee of Reverend Kane, an original theatrical poster to display, and a custom-made mobile counter display of the film to grab the attention of rental goers! What I wouldn’t give to own one of those retro rental artifacts!

Check out this national piece of VHS treasures below and give Poltergeist III a revisit today!

Shudder Dishes Out Some Old School Scares In May!

Welcome back my little fiends, it’s your favorite freak show carnival host – Manic Exorcism! I’m back with some exciting news for you. Originally I was going to post a great big article covering my latest obsession. Oh yes, there is a magnanimously hideous power on the near horizon, one I just can’t hardly wait to share with you all. But I’m sad to say you have to wait just a teensy bit on that. So as I blue ball you all, let me fill in your time with some exciting news.

This may just prove that I have the attention span of a chipmunk, but as I sat down to do some editing I flipped on the Shudder app for a little background noise – because silence is disgusting sometimes. To my surprise, once Shudder opened up I was immediately treated to the one and only Reggie (Reggie Bannister) guitar pickin’ in the cult-classic Phantasm.

 

Boston Hassle
image via Boston Hassle

You see, Shudder always provides streaming movies that play around the clock. Technically you’d never have to choose a movie and just trust in Shudder TV to provide you scores of relentless entertainment. Wait a minute though! I must assume some of you may not know what the heck it is I’m talking about. Just in case you didn’t know – Shudder is the horror equivalent of Netflix and Hulu. They provide horror fans horror movies! In the past, they have included exploitation favorites such as Cannibal Holocaust and The Beyond. Who the Hell else does that?

 

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image via bloody-disgusting

 

Where else will you find New York Ripper and Maniac Cop together in the same place?

Not to mention now is a kick ass time to join in! I shit you not, this month they just added The Evil Dead (I’m talking about the all-time splatter classic here), Tobe Hooper’s Salem’s Lot, the original IT with all of that Tim Curry goodness, as well as Cat’s Eye! For God’s sake, they have Cat’s Eye on here! If you’ve not seen that Stephen King classic then stop reading this right now, go to Shudder and watch that movie! No King fan’s life is complete until they’ve seen BOTH Quitters Anonymous and The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill! Holy ol’ Jesus! What are ya’ll waiting for? We’re talking about meteor shit here for goodness sake! And just because Shudder loves us so very much, we can now watch BOTH because not only is Cat’s Eye on there now, but they’ve also included CREEPSHOW! I could die happy. Old school Stephen King favorites are only a click away.

 

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image via House of Tortured Souls

 

So why wait? You know you’re just dying to see these nostalgic nightmares. Sleepaway Camp, Pieces, C.H.U.D, Prom Night 2: Hello Mary Lou, Night of the Creeps, Street Trash and The Gate are all here. We have the original Wicker Man, The Prowler, and not to mention Madman! Madman is here, people! When’s the last time you watched Don’t Go in the Woods? Or how about The Mutilator? And you know it’s vacation season, so what better time to rewatch Tourist Trap?

Asian horror films are here along with some amazing horror documentaries such as Crystal Lake Memories. For only $4:99 a month, it’s a steal!

Rare horror movies

International horror movies

Classic horror movies

Modern and original scares too

They’ve got it all.

 

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image via Rolling Stone

 

Do you miss watching Tales From the Darkside? Get ready to sit back and treat yourself to some creepy fun way into the late hours of the night. They have plenty of good horror shows here too.

This is the stuff we thrive off of here at Nightmare Nostalgia. So head on over and see what all the fuss is about. Everyone else is celebrating warmer weather and the chance to get out, but you know we horror fans love to sit in front of the eerie glow of a TV and watch some bone-chilling terror. Shudder is dishing out the best horror this side of Blockbuster’s sad demise.

 

Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ Movie To Begin Shooting This Summer!

And in one fell swoop of nostalgic glory in one day, 90’s kids everywhere are creaming their jeans. Not only did we get news that an Are You Afraid of the Dark movie is slated for a Halloween 2019 release, but that Guillermo del Toro’s vision for the beloved Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books seems to not be as “Cold as Clay” as we had perceived. As news came today via Deadline that the movie is being financed AND projected to be filming as early as this Summer in Toronto.

“Internally screaming”.

Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ Movie To Begin Shooting This Summer!

Guillermo del Toro is slated to produce the film along with a credit for co-writing the script alongside Daniel and Kevin Hageman. Sean Daniel, Elizabeth Grave, Jason F. Brown, and J. Miles Dale are also on the roster as producers for the Alvin Schwartz film adaptation with director André Øvredal (Autopsy of Jane Doe, Trollhunter) at the helm.

CBS Films and Entertainment One are co-financing the movie with Sierra/Infinity and E-One reportedly distributing the feature in Canada, U.K., Australia/New Zealand, Germany, Benelux, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland making it available to buyers for the first time at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. While in the USA, CBS Films will distribute the film through good ole’ Lionsgate.

Now excuse me while I go breathe into a paper bag as I can’t even get a grip on all this beautiful news at the moment. Stay tuned as we learn more about this already established (in my eyes) national treasure.

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“IT” Writer Penning 2019 Release of “Are You Afraid of the Dark” Movie

Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this…

The Tale of the ALL THE NOSTALGIC SNICK FUZZIES.

"IT" Director Penning 2019 Release of "Are You Afraid of the Dark" Movie

Any kid of sound mind in the early ’90s will remember the all-important Snick line-up with the inclusion of what some consider, a children’s gateway to the horror genre, Are You Afraid of the Dark.  The weekly 30-minute Canadian-based Nickelodeon program that told the tales of cigar-loving funhouse clowns and traumatizing grinning jesters’, is about as beloved as they come for us nostalgic horror aficionados; and the fuzzies are about to come crapping out of jeans come 2019 boils and ghouls. Come October of 2019, an Are You Afraid of the Dark movie is making a theatrical release!

According to Variety, Paramount set a Halloween release date for the 90’s Nick gem turned film with Stephen King’s IT writer Gary Dauberman along with horror vet writers Chase Palmer and Cary Fukunaga.

No details yet on what direction the movie will take as far as plot details, as we’re still in the early stages of development. However, this retro-lover of all things Midnight Society will have her eyes peeled and keep you updated!

The Are You Afraid of the Dark movie moves from the campfire circle to theaters October 11, 2019.

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Image credit: Bloody Disgusting

 

The Rare “Child’s Play” VHS Screener Footage From 1989

The ’80s were a grand decade for the little plastic nightmare known as Chucky and I think it’s fair to say, this era belonged exclusively to the slasher. From Freddy, Jason, to Michael, the 1980’s coined the word slasher and turned it into an unstoppable phenomenon. Between brilliant marketing from all those inducing ass-whoopings from calling 1-900 numbers to every kid on your block dressed up as Freddy; sporting a plastic garbage bag Ben Cooper costume on Halloween. The era of the slasher was a glorious time to be alive for horror fans. And in 1988, a small but fierce force entered into that iconic fraternity of slasher legends in the form of what looked like, a My Buddy doll from the seventh layer of Hell.

When Child’s Play opened in theaters back ’88, no one expected the pint-sized Good Guy to launch the kind of fanfare Chucky brought to the horror game. The movie made on a less than stellar budget of only $9 million ended up pulling in almost four times that amount worldwide upon its theatrical release and ended up spawning seven sequels over the past 30 years, including an upcoming Child’s Play series in the works!

The Rare "Child’s Play" VHS Screener Footage From 1989

 

Back in the glory days of the Polaroid cassette videotape, studios such as MGM would send out promotional VHS screeners of new releases to mom and pop video stores in an effort to get that movie lined up on their shop shelves. On a side-note, I remember the first time seeing Chucky’s face at my local one-stop rental shop Action Video and my seven-year-old self, fresh off a viewing of Dolls, was immediately impulsed to rent the little sucker. Not knowing a thing about it, and so glad I did.

Anyway, these VHS screeners sent out apparently also contained some extra promotional material intended to fancy up the marketing. In this case, a six and half minute promo of a stiff as fuck Chucky salesman breaking into a rap about his movie and the cheese is so delicious my friends. Also, you gotta appreciate the gangster aspect of good ole’ Chucky taunting both Freddy and Jason in this promo.

“Jason? HA! He’s so scared of me, he’s gotta hide behind a mask.”

Beautiful. Check the video out below uploaded by YouTube channel DoctorSnowcone!

FRIGHT-RAGS Celebrates Ben Cooper Fandom With New Mini-Mask Launching This Alien Day!

I, and I’m willing to bet most of you reading this, can fondly recall some of our favorite childhood memories walking around a dimly lit neighborhood on Halloween night collecting an assortment of sugar-crack in our mom’s pillowcases. And if you were a little hellion, (hey, we were all kids once) you took full advantage of the spirit of Samhain and pulled the ever so important Halloween pranks on friends, family, and annoyed neighbors. Of course, some of these mischievous shenanigans required some stealth and if you were donning a Ben Cooper mask complete with a plastic garbage-bag-like costume, ninja-ing that prank became one HELL of a challenge. Walking around in those costumes were about as a loud as Freddy‘s razors on a chalkboard.

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In any regard, Ben Cooper masks were and remain a nostalgic staple inside our fuzzy memory banks. So I couldn’t be more excited to see that horror merch extraordinaire FRIGHT-RAGS announced a new line of mini-masks that replicate those glorious days of when Cooper was King of the haunted holiday! The first up in the series is a 1979 mini replica of the Ben Cooper Alien mask to be released on, of course, Alien Day, April 26, 2018!

Per Ben Scrivens-FRIGHT-RAGS:

“As part of our Alien Day (4.26) line up this year, I am proud to announce a brand new addition to our mask line up – MINI MASKS! For the past several years we’ve been reproducing vintage-style Ben Cooper and Collegeville vacuform masks, selling them with t-shirts as a box set. These were full size masks in full size boxes, meant to replicate the costumes from our childhood.However, with the more masks we released it became apparent that…these take up some serious space! I have stacks of them on my office shelf and as much as I love looking at them, they take up a lot of collectible real estate. We wanted to be able to enjoy the warm nostalgic fuzzies these sets gave us, but without cluttering up people’s display cases. So we went back to the drawing board and tried to think of a different way to showcase our love for these vintage collectibles, but also stay true to them as well. Enter the MINI-MASK. We captured all the details (the eye/mouth holes, rubber band, etc) from the originals, but in a package roughly half the size of an original mask/costume set so it can be displayed much easier. In fact, the box is about the same height/width of a Blu-Ray case. Our first MINI-MASK release will be a replica of the 1979 ALIEN mask produced by Ben Cooper. We recreated the mask and box, but on a smaller scale. The mask itself measures approximately 4.25” x 6” and boxed it is approximately 5.5” x 6.75”. You can see its scale when compared to a VHS tape in this image (sorry, didn’t have the original ALIEN VHS tape handy, lol). This mask is limited to 426, and will be released on Thursday, April 26 at 10am EST. It will be sold on its own (no shirt), and retail for $17. We are stoked about this release, and have several other MINI-MASKS in the works, for new and old characters. Stay tuned!”

FRIGHT-RAGS Celebrates Ben Cooper Fandom With New Mini-Mask Launching This Alien Day!

In addition, an all-new shirt and enamel pin will be released in honor of the day Sigourney Weaver became the baddest bitch in Sci-Fy-Horror history! Make sure to set your alarms and head on over to FRIGHT-RAGS for this nostalgic little diddy next week!