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Celebrating 35 Years Of McDonald’s Halloween Buckets

Celebrating 35 Years Of McDonald's Halloween Buckets

Halloween in the eighties ruled. Being born in 1982, this allowed me to live most of my childhood throughout the glorious decade, following being an angsty pre-teen during the Grudge era, and ending my adolescent years as the Class of 2000. I feel pretty lucky to have experienced these monumental changing of the tides; but one thing that has changed too much and I fondly miss, is the way Halloween WAS growing up. Most people could attribute that to, “eh, it’s never the same as when you were a child”; which is of course, true. However, some Halloween traditions should never have gone away- and that one is the McDonald’s Halloween Buckets.

I’ll never forget the first commercial I saw for these national treasures. It was during a CBS airing for Garfield’s Halloween Adventure, which I uploaded in it’s entirety WITH that commercial in the most cringe way possible, but hey, I tried. Anyways, I along with all other kids my age became obsessed. With the arrival of October meant shopping for noisy plastic costumes with masks at our local Sav-On drugstore, Halloween community carnivals, Halloween parades at school, and of course McBoo and friends.

The orange bucket Happy Meals that originally were released in 1986, resembled that of a pumpkin and had a variety of three available; McPunk’n, a traditional jack-o-lantern face; McBoo, a ghost face; and McGoblin, the “scariest” of the three- which is the one I still have to this day!

The buckets themselves were nowhere near large enough to take on a night of heavy tricks or treats, but they sure were great storage pails and maintained a versatile function for the past 30 years. This little bastard went from holding my Polly Pockets and stickers in the 80s’, to pins, hair accessories, and makeup in my teenage 90s’, and circling back today in 2021, where I actually use it to hold my rather large collection of face masks. Not a terrifying Halloween mask by any means, but considering everything, they’re just as scary these days.

While most know to believe the Halloween buckets weren’t available until 1986, that’s not actually entirely accurate. McDonald’s ran a test promotion in the Boston and New York area with prototypes of several Halloween Happy Meal Buckets from October 11 thru October 31, 1985 . After a successful run, they were introduced nationally in 1986. They came back the following year after but for some reason were absent in 1988. Then in 1989, the buckets got a mild makeover with McBoo turning white and a new friend- the McWitch, complete with pointy hat on the lid!

In 1990, the buckets added some glow in the dark flair to the designs, while changing the faces entirely to a more cartoonish look- one that I personally think is less than the originals, but not a bad second-place prize if these are the ones you had. In 1991, the buckets were replaced by vinyl glow-in-the-dark trick or treat bags, which get a LOT OF SHIT by Halloween bucket lovers, but I actually used this fucker for trick-or-treating and it served me well. The handles seem pretty flimsy, but this bastard held up for a full bag filled with Tootsie Rolls and Mr. Bones. So I can’t hate on them.

To keep in with the now tradition of refreshing the successful Halloween product, 1992 saw another makeover to McPunk’n, McBoo, and McWitch with minor facial changes, but with the addition of a new cookie cutter lid!

And that my friends, was the last time we got a quality McDonalds Halloween Bucket. After taking yet, another hiatus in 1993, the pails came back, with a more “modern” makeover that just sort of plain sucked. McWitch looked like an angry cartoon drunk, and even though they still had the cool cookie cutters, it seemed less magical than their predecessors.

After this monumental modern fuck-up, the pails again disappeared until 1999, when they came back only as a duo, with no more spoopy faces. Instead we got Halloween scenes that wrapped around the bucket featuring Mcdonald Land characters. On the upside, the cookie cutters were still there.

In 2001, the quality diminished further and the cookie cutter lids were abolished entirely. We got the same cartoonish scenes around the pail, but we got bat handles instead on the lid now- which although sort of cool, were so damn uncomfortable, cutting into your palms like Shakaka the Great White Bat trying to escape Ace Ventura’s hands while running through the jungle.

In 2010, Mr. Potato Head was apparently spooky enough to get a themed Halloween pail. This is where the downfall of a soft society began folks.

The 2011 pails were somewhat of a return to nostalgia with a pumpkin or a monster face, along with the again, gnarly bat handles. But that was the last time we would see Halloween faced pails at all. Following years brought cartoon themed buckets such as Scooby-Doo, Monster High, and eventually Minions pails. Then, the year that ended it all in 2016, the pails made their final appearance with It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown– in which I guess if they’re gonna go out, at least it’s with a Halloween classic and not a damn Potato Head toddler toy.

It’s been 35 years since the nostalgic Halloween buckets entered our childhood Halloween fantasies and while these little pieces of big corporate plastic may seem trivial, they serve as a staple of fond Halloween memories for the kids of past generations. It would seem fitting if indeed, McDonalds celebrated this milestone with a grand return of McBoo and friends, however, I haven’t heard of any plans to do so. McDonald’s was once, the king of fast food Halloween and no one did better promotions for the favorable holiday than the french fry giants. I’m not sure what’s happened in recent years that the company has turned the cold shoulder to our beloved holiday, but it’s almost as if it’s become a traumatic break-up with an abusive ex. They barely acknowledge the holiday even exists anymore. In any regard, I’ve championed for the comeback for as long as I can remember, and I’ll never stop fighting the good fight.

Shudder Celebrates 40 Years of Elvira With “Anniversary Very Scary, Very Special Special.

Horror fans’ favorite streaming service Shudder announced that in celebrating 40 years of the Mistress of the Dark, Movie Macabre is back with Elvira’s 40th Anniversary, Very Scary, Very Special Special to air on September 25th, 2021 at 8 PM.

In a statement from the Queen herself: “It’s always tough turning 40. But what better way to mark the occasion than a one-night stand with Shudder, the spookiest of streamers? It’s going to be the ultimate Hallow-anniversa-ween bash, and you don’t want to miss it.”

The slinky horror hostess will host a slew of classic horror films, starting off with her very own 1988 flick, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark! After that, we have William Castle’s  House On Haunted Hill (1959) with The City Of The Dead to follow. And to top off the cherry on this horror sundae, Messiah Of Evil sees the end of the marathon special.

Cassandra “Elvira” Peterson is known throughout the world as the ultimate Queen of Halloween. No words have ever been more true and the forever young beauty holds the title strong 40 years after the first appearance of the Elvira persona. Cassandra and her best friend, Robert Redding, came up with the sexy punk/vampire look back in the early 80’s after winning the role to bring back the show Fright Night, a local Los Angeles based television horror show that presented low-budget horror and science fiction films. Fright Night became Movie Macabre with the sexy new host and the rest is history. Elvira is one of the most recognizable horror icons today and has etched her place in horror history as a cult favorite and legend in her own right- and a damn sweetheart to boot.

I’ll never forget the day I met the legendary hostess and I can say without flinching, she is the most down to Earth, loveable woman I’ve ever come across who truly enjoys what she does and her fans. I’ve met quite a few celebrities’ through interviews and cons throughout my horror blogging run, and she maintains my favorite after all these years.

Even though she refused to share her forever young beauty secrets with me.

Wizard World Las Vegas 2015

Five Horror Movie Remakes That Got It Right- And Five That SUCKED

The horror remakes- a debate that has long plagued the horror community causing more internet fights in the past twenty years than the 80-year-old Boston Red Sox and Yankee fan debacle. If you’re a member of the horror community, you know exactly what I speak of.

This is also the only time I’m probably ever going to talk about Rob Zombie’s Halloween – so you can possibly guess where this is going and the answer is yes, I’m fully prepared for the Zombie fans to come at me.

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Actually, I’m about as threatening as a teacup chihuahua with three teeth, so be gentle.

Anywho, my personal take: I rather enjoy the bulk of remakes. Ironically, as much as I cuddle nostalgia, I fear the fuzzy feels of such damage any new take on a beloved horror classic may get in the way of giving a tried and true GOOD reboot a chance. Sometimes, the remake/reboot surpasses the original; while others fall so flat, it can makes us absolutely PISSED that a movie studio butchered a horror tale/icon into a steaming pile of shit. In any regard, the classics are always there by our side, like a faithful friend in times of sadness, rage, and happiness. So, are emotions appropriate when a remake just flat out sucks? I think so. We as fans are what drive this genre and we can make or break the industry. It’s entertainment and while I wholly appreciate an artist’s perspective and their visions to do as they please with a creator’s consent, you better be prepared to answer to a legion of fans that put said property on a pedestal- much like an old friend.

That being said, let’s first get into five horror remakes that are so joyous and beautiful, even the original can barely hold a flame to them.

The Thing (1982)

I think it definitely goes without saying John Carpenter’s vision of The Thing is so mind-blowing, that when horror fans speak of it, they talk about this version 99% of the time.

The reimagining of the 1951 sci-fi classic The Thing That Came From Another World, directed by Christian Nyby was part of the alien and science-fiction film phenomena that plagued the 1950s’; and it’s truly hard to believe that the reboot made 30 years later, was beat down into “elitist critic” oblivion by a bunch of newspaper cinematic snobs. YEAH I SAID IT. However, the horror fans have the final say and have made this movie, and rightfully so, as a top tier horror classic surpassing the original in the past almost 40 years and a film that serves as a rite of passage into the horror genre world. Carpenter’s tension driving alien “who dun it” and “who is it” theme along with state of the art masterful effects, and hey an adorable bearded Kurt Russell, is the perfect if not THEE example of how to remake a horror film the right way.

Pick up the special Blu-Ray here!

The Fly (1986)

Much like with Carpenter and The Thing, David Cronenberg delivered a horror movie staple with his body-horror reboot masterpiece, The Fly. Again, with stellar performances from both Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis, Cronenberg and Goldblum managed to elevate this weird science fiction catastrophe into a full-blown horror story of love, desperation, gore, and tragedy- the type that earns Oscars people.

The Fly originally released in 1958 by 20th Century Fox starring Vincent Price, is surely not forgettable by any means and is a classic in its own right. However, Cronenberg’s nightmare scenario that unfold son screen in his vision of the cautionary tale is not just one of the greatest remakes, but one of the greatest horror movies, ever. PERIOD.

Learn all about insect politics here!

The Blob (1988)

Masterminds of horror Chuck Russell and Frank Darabont collaborated to bring this nightmarish Jell-O commercial to life; and we haven’t been the same since.

The Blob of 1988 largely shares the same plot as it’s counterpart released 30 years earlier. But thanks to the relaxation of film censorship and advances in practical effect, ol’ Blobby now has the ability to dissolve faces and hide inside bodies, while forming tentacles to grab it’s victims and turn their limbs into blood soup. The original 1958 film starring Steve McQueen, although considered a classic, stands nowhere near Kevin Dillon and his magical mullet made exactly 30 years later. Russell’s film is superior in every way imaginable, and in my opinion, one of the finest horror movies to watch.

Slither on over to Amazon and grab it here!

House Of Wax (2005)

2005’s House of Wax is one of those rare remakes of a remake that takes hints and cues from another movie that has zero to do with the wax films altogether- and nails the fuck out of it.

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, the 2005 version is loosely based off of the 1953 movie starring Vincent Price- which is a gem in itself by the way but doesn’t really follow the same formula of plotlines other than murdering people and turning them into wax figures. The 1953 film is based off 1933’s Mystery of the Wax Museum, starring King Kong‘s Fay Wray and is closely related in the storylines. Now, 2005’s House of Wax takes all these elements and THEN some from 1979’s Tourist Trap and we have a pretty good and goddamn horrifying horror movie. In the case of Tourist Trap, it feels so painfully obvious with a ton of similarities between the two flicks; watch them back to back and you’ll see what I mean.

House of Wax 2005, has gotten a lot of underserved shit over the years and I’m not so sure I understand why. The film is grotesquely executed in such a way where the films before it, were yes, skivvies inducing given the subject matter, but they look like Barney and Friends in comparison. I hate to say that about a Vincent Price movie that I actually love to death, but it is true. Plus we get to see Paris Hilton get a rod shoved through her skull. Who wouldn’t enjoy that?

Relive the horror of the wax museum by clicking here!

Dawn Of The Dead (2004)

George Romero’s 1978 classic Dawn of the Dead didn’t need a remake. In fact, I would consider the whole trilogy untouchable. Yet here we are with the collaboration of James Gunn and Zack Snyder and they pulled it off beautifully. Not bad for a pair of comic book move guys; but hey stranger things have happened like cough, David Gordan Green and Danny McBride rebooting Halloween.

Snyder’s Dead is great in the sense that it respected the original and then made it relevant to audiences of the time. The horror and dread of being trapped in a mall during a zombie apocalypse embedded into the mind of a whole new generation along with some gruesome kills, without a doubt this remake commands our respect. Let us not forget a zombie gave birth to a zombie baby as well in this version; a scene I so happened to watch in theaters while I was eight months pregnant. And the answer is YES, I was fuckin’ horrified. Thanks Snyder for almost putting me into early induced labor.

No need for Sam Goody, especially because it doesn’t exist anymore… Grab it here on Amazon!

Now… The Remakes that make me want to vomit.

Keep in mind, this is purely my own opinion, much like every other wanker blogging on the interwebs. But, seeing as how I have a platform here, I’m gonna go ahead and give my unsolicited ramblings on these remakes that are just pure SHIT.

A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)

UGH. This has to be on the tip top of my list for not only the worst remake, but WORST horror movie EVER. I realize that’s a bit dramatic given that there truly are worse films out there. However, the fact they turned my Nancy into a sniveling coward, is unforgivable.

The character of Nancy Thompson that Wes Craven gave us is one that many fans, women especially, look towards as a very strong, and inspiring female presence in the genre. It was just extremely disappointing to see her so frail. I understand the trauma of sexual abuse could paralyze someone, but as with the original Krueger franchise, it was very merely hinted at; not a full blown storyline which is what I really believe absolutely ruined this remake. Sometimes things are best left unsaid and turning a beloved horror icon into an in-your-face CHIMO, was probably the worst idea ever.

Halloween II (2009)

I’m a fair horror fan- Zombie’s 2007 reimagining of Halloween wasn’t perfect by any means- but it didn’t suck so bad I walked out of the theater like it’s sequel. Yeah, that happened.

Halloween 2007 has it’s own problems for sure, but it doesn’t hold a candle to this hot mess. Let’s get this straight buster, Myers is NOT Voorhees. Can we drop the whole mommy issues bullshit, please? I don’t want to have sympathy for Michael Myers, which was thrown in my face enough in the first installment. He’s a killing machine that Loomis said best, “purely and simply evil…” and THAT’S it! We don’t need white horses, “living dead girl” mommy, and Laurie Strode acting like a trashy hoe. It’s Zombie though, all his characters are the same. BOY, I CAN’T WAIT FOR WHITE TRASH LILY MUNSTER- said no one ever.

Psycho (1998)

Oh look. A shot for shot remake of one of the greatest and innovative horror films of the twentieth century. We didn’t need this, thanks.

As far as remakes go, I can understand retooling a film to make it more modern for audiences to get behind. But, with the 1998 remake of the Hitchcock classic, it nothing more than a huge waste of everyone’s time. As much as I adore Vince Vaughn and he can actually play creepy well, when you pick a film to redo like this, you’ve already set yourself up for failure. Plus Anne Heche is NO Janet Leigh and is just so unlikeable; so we don’t even feel flinch when she gets the shower treatment. It’s like, great now fuck off into the sun already with your annoying ass.

Never remake Psycho. EVER.

The Omen (2006)

How do you make a movie about the son of Satan and make it boring? Well, here we are at another almost, shot for shot remake that doesn’t have the spark or tension drive as the original.

I feel for Liev Schreiber. He’s an AMAZING actor and he carried this movie the best he could. Alas, a badly written script on a great film isn’t enough to keep anyone entertained. Also, it doesn’t help when the kid playing Damien already kind of looks like he will rip your limbs off with his eyes alone. What made The Omen so great, was the fact Damien didn’t look like the Antichrist we would expect, and a lot of the story centered around mom and dad possibly just losing their damn minds. But hey, I suppose the promo for releasing an Omen movie on 06/06/2006 was good enough to reel people in, eh?

Carrie (2013)

Oh boy. This was just a shit show of epic proportions. Carrie was the first film adapted by Stephen King back in 1976 and he’s stated many times it’s the book and later movie that gave King his big jump in his career. That’s a lot of pressure for anyone if you’re going to remake this horror tale and you better get it right. They of course, did not.

Carrie is the type of story that can do well with a reimagining, however it needs to stay solely in the 70s’ and keep that energy and timeline, or modernize and do it right. This version doesn’t stray very far from the original, except it’s modernized in a very unpalatable way. It adds nothing exciting and even Julianne Moore is so obviously trying to channel Piper Laurie into her performance; so much so it’s comedic and nothing more. Also, Chloë Grace Moretz is a great actress, but her take on the role Sissy Spacek made iconic, falls so flat that you don’t even care about her character-which is the biggest fail in this movie. The sympathetic circumstances that surround Carrie’s life make the story what it is. Horrifying, tragic, and remorseful. We just don’t give a shit here. Hell, The Rage: Carrie 2 was 100 times better than this. Actually I don’t have anything bad at all to say about that sequel. I rather enjoy it. As a matter of fact, go pick it up or stream it if you’ve never watched that. You’ll thank me later.

Well, that about sums it up as far as the good, the bad, and the real ugly horror remakes in my humble opinion. Let’s discuss down below your thoughts. Do you agree with my picks? Am I an asshole shitting on a movie you love? Eh, either way it’ll make for good conversation. Drop a comment below and let’s talk about our favorite, and not so favorite horror remakes!