"Take no heed of her...She reads a lot of books."
~Jasper Fforde

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

31 Days of Halloween #7

I love shows like The Twilight Zone and The Night Gallery.  They're so delightfully creepy.  Sometimes, I turn off the TV feeling genuinely unsettled, but most of the time, it's just a fun scare, nothing more.  (This is, of course, disregarding that episode of Night Gallery with the freaky possessed doll and the one with the painting that changes as things happen in the house.  Those were so scary!)
From the "Doll of the Dead" episode

Dark Midnight is a series by Jason Steele (of Film Cow infamy).  This is sort of his attempt at the world of late-night thriller specials.  It's not scary, and definitely bizarre, but I find that I really enjoy watching them.  I hope you do, too!  If nothing else, he certainly captures that strange, unsettling feeling of these sorts of shows.  The first link will take you to "Bet of a Lifetime", but I'm also including the links for the two other Dark Midnight episodes below:

31 Days of Halloween #6

Did you read the Goosebumps books as a kid?  I'm sure that even if you didn't, you've at least heard of them.  I know I read them.  And I always was afraid that it would be too scary.  I wouldn't call them scary, per se, and honestly, I didn't read more than a handful of them, but they were usually pretty creepy, even if I couldn't always get into the story.  That's why I moved from regular Goosebumps books to R.L. Stine's choose your own adventure books.  I forget what they were called specifically--something like Choose your Own Nightmare or Reader Beware: You Choose the Scare"--but each featured a situation similar to what children had come to expect from Goosebumps books: monsters, mystery, unsettling transformations, creepy strangers, and of course, "responsible" adults who never believed you.  There was also a Goosebumps TV show, but I never got into that.

Mr. JonTron himself, ladies and gentlemen!

The brother is a huge fan of the YouTuber JonTron.  And while I wouldn't say that I go out of my way to watch his stuff, Jon's bizarre sense of humor and obvious plethora of video game knowledge has been really starting to grow on me.  So, when I was looking for some content for this series of posts, I felt I had to look no further than JonTron.  Now, while Jon has posted many things that could be featured in a Halloween blog post, for this particular one, I'm going to stick with his Goosebumps Reviews.

Even though I never saw the Goosebumps TV show, I don't think that lessened my enjoyment of watching the JonTron critique of it.  Honestly, I think one of the best part of JonTron's reviews is watching him describe games you've never played, and shows you've never watched because he goes into so much detail...about how bad each one really was.  And by the time he's done, you're almost relieved you never experienced that game or show.  It just sounds too awful.  But, he's not all negative.  Some reviews are really positive.  And Jon's always super-funny!

If you enjoyed part 1 of this review, you can find Part Two here.  And for another bonus, you can watch the Top 13 Goosebumps Books by FamiliarFaces here as well.

31 Days of Halloween #5

Okay, so I've been pretty bad about updating these...School has been keeping me busy, along with some other things in my personal life that have come up.  The funny thing is, I know this blog is a much bigger deal to me than it is to all of you, and yet here I am fretting that everyone is going to be disappointed if I don't post 31 posts in the month of October, haha.  Still, I'm going to try and double up my posts until I get caught up on them.  I am going to do my utmost to get you 31 posts about spooks, costumes, and candy.  Just give me some time! ;)

Do you believe in ghosts?  To be honest, I don't.  But, once, when I was on a ghost tour around the city, I had a strange experience that I can't entirely explain.  We were down in a series of tunnels deep underground. It was said that sailors used to use this place at one time.  The tunnels we were in were supposed to be the most haunted.  The tour guide gave us a quick warning, before turning off the lights, plunging us into complete darkness.  It was so dark I could not see my hand in front of my face.  As soon as the lights went out, I felt an arm reach around my waist, with a hand resting on my hip.  And it remained there for a tense 30 seconds or so before the lights came on.  And it disappeared as the lights came on, so by the time I could see again, there was nothing to look for.  There was a wall to my right, and a female classmate to my left.  Behind me was a small table backed into a corner.  There was nothing under it, and a few books on top.  I wasn't backed up enough to hit the table, but even so, I feel as though a table in my back wouldn't feel the same as an arm around my waist.

Like I said, I don't believe in ghosts, but I'm not sure what happened down there.  Perhaps I had an encounter with some lusty sailor in the damp tunnels under the city.  Or, perhaps my mind was just playing tricks on me.  You can decide for yourselves, but as for me, I enjoy the ambiguity of not knowing.

A ghost with its stupid ghost face

FilmCow used to be one of my favorite YouTubers (along with VSauce, Rhett & Link, and Epic Rap Battles of History).  You might know of him from videos like Charlie the Unicorn, Marshmallow People, or Llamas with Hats.  However, his sense of humor is pretty bizarre and sometimes genuinely boarders on "messed up," making his videos something of the kind you discover when you find yourself on the "weird part of YouTube."

This video documents a day by day experience of one man (whose head looks like the top of a sesame seed hamburger bun, if you ask me!) in the Ghost House....

There are three other Ghost House videos The Reckoning, Reloaded, and The Return of Jafar) but honestly, they're not that great.  I've included them here, in case you were interested, but I think this one, like probably most of FilmCow's videos, was a one-trick pony.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

31 Days of Halloween #4

Ack!  I'm so sorry I missed October 4th!!  I was at work all day, and when I got home to start posting things, was horrified to find that my Internet had been knocked out and I couldn't get on Blogger!  Noooo!  So, that being said, I'm going to (hopefully) post Days 4 and 5 today (October 5th) and I'll try to be more on top of things for the rest of the month...

My birthday is this month.  I don't like a lot of attention on my birthday, so I generally don't tell people about it.  I'm bringing this up, though, because I wanted to show off an early birthday present I got, that also fits into my 31 Days of Halloween theme.

Oh, Frankie!  It's wonderful :O

Again, this is one for the ladies, but guys, you might still find it kinda cool.  Or maybe, you'd like to get it for that special lady in your life...because what kind of girl doesn't want a stylish black purse with Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, and Dracula on it?  (My guess is probably MOST girls, but we're just going to pretend I didn't say that).

I've been a fan of the classic movie monsters since I was in high school and I had to do a project about the musical The Phantom of the Opera.  My search for Phantom movies led me to the original 1925 film.  From there, I started researching, found a documentary on Lon's son Creighton (Lon Chaney Jr.), and from there had my first experience with the unholy trio of classic movie monsters: The Wolf Man (the others of course being Dracula and Frankenstein).  By this point, I've seen most, if not all of the classic Universal films from their respective franchises.

Of course, I'll be posting more about these wonderful movies.  But, for now, I really just want to show off my new bag.  And encourage you to either purchase this for, or show it to any lady you know who has an interest in these bad boys.  The bag is really nice, big and has plenty of room for my stuff, with little pockets inside.  I'm very pleased with it.  :)

Friday, October 3, 2014

31 Days of Halloween #3

I loved dressing up for Halloween when I was a kid.  It was only as I got older that I started to get uncomfortable and stopped wanting to go Trick-or-Treating with the Brother and my friends.  As a 20-something college graduate, I almost wish I could go back to doing that again.  I might this year.  Who knows.  I would love to pass out candy dressed as Alice Cooper.

My list of childhood costumes ranges from cats to a ladybug to a cheerleader to a clown.  And it's this last one that I feel commands special attention.  I had to be like 5 or 6, dressed up with big floppy shoes and a rainbow wig; I never thought that I was scary.  And I never thought that the costume was meant to be scary.  After all, clowns, as far as I knew, were funny characters with big red noses and painted on smiles.  But, do a quick internet search, and you can find some pretty creepy stuff.  Personally, I'm not afraid of clowns, but I can certainly understand why some people are!

So, this I suppose is your warning, everyone.  This post is all about clowns.  And if you're one of the above-mentioned folks who suffer from Coulrophobia, then I apologize in advance; I don't mean to freak anyone out.  This is all meant in good fun.

Yes, that is a clown shark.

Day #: Clowns and Clown Shark

Yes, yes, I know.  I thought I would kick off this creepy clown post with a little video called Clown Shark.  This is by the wonderful team of Rhett & Link, personal favorites of mine.  Granted, this is not their best work, but I've been finding a ton of clown related videos, costumes, etc., and I thought it would be funny to include it, too.  The basic plot is a peaceful hippie (Rhett--looking a lot like John Lennon) reveals his fear of clowns and sharks...and is then attacked by a fearsome combination of the two.  Campy, silly, a bit stupid, and actually a bit freaky.  But, I enjoyed it.

Makeup by MadeYewLook

Now, if you made it through that nightmarish combination, perhaps we could move on to a makeup tutorial?  Have you thought of a costume yet?  If not, perhaps you might want to go as a clown.  This is more for the ladies, but feel free to watch as well, gentlemen.  I think the artist hams it up a bit too much at the start of the video, but her makeup job is so awesome that I think she can get away with it.  You can find her tutorial here.

Finally, I'll wrap this up with a song by my man Alice Cooper: "Can't Sleep, Clowns Will Eat Me". 

Please let me know what you thought in the comments.  And if you have any ideas for other posts, please feel free to share those as well.  It could be as specific as "Rhett and Link did this video called Clown Shark!" or as general as "Please show some stuff about Halloween costumes!"  Or, maybe something in the middle "I would love to see a post about Boris Karloff."

Thursday, October 2, 2014

31 Days of Halloween #2

If your childhoods were/are anything like mine was, trick-or-treating was a really fun time.  You dress up in colorful costumes and get free candy.  It doesn't get much better than that!  I'm sure, also, that you got the usual candy fare: Snickers, M&Ms, Reese Peanut Butter Cups, Dum Dums, Almond Joys, etc.  But, I'd bet that you weren't getting Musk Sticks and Salsaghetti in your treat bags.  And I'll bet that when you were growing up, most of you hadn't even heard of them! (And you might not even have heard of them until now!)

My personal favorite; Botan Rice Candy :)

When I was a kid, my aunt when on a business trip to China.  I remember her returning with all sorts of treats, covered in strange letters that I couldn't read.  I remember a bag of cookies--that tasted like animal crackers--with a picture of Hello Kitty on the label.  To 10-year old me, who loved Hello Kitty, it was the coolest thing ever!

In this video, YouTube tag-team Rhett & Link talk about different strange and wonderful (and maybe not-so-wonderful) candies and snacks from around the world.  I've tried a few strange treats myself, including Botan Rice candy and Satsumaimo sweet-potato-and-caramel rice candy.  I also love mochi, and while I have tried both strawberry and taro, my favorite has to be the sweet taste of red bean.

Of course, today's video covers more than just Japanese candies.  But, my experience really does not.  So, apart from one or two candy bars from Ireland (Crunchie, Flake--those may or may not be the actual names...) most of the non-American candy I've sampled has been from Japan.

Rhett & Link are a personal favorite of mine when it comes to YouTube channels.  And their Good Mythical Morning Show is worth subscribing to.  If you like what you see here, good, because I'm sure they will be popping up again somewhere on this blog :)  I actually have plans to bring in another one of their videos for my 31 Days of Halloween Challenge, as well.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

31 Days of Halloween #1

Ever since I started this blog, I thought it would be fun to do a 31 days of Halloween tribute all through October, with posts about everything from ghost stories to vampires to costume ideas to candy.  And I'm going to finally attempt that this year.  I hope I don't utterly botch this, and I hope you enjoy it!  If you're looking for more of a specific topic (movies, costumes, stories, etc.), please let me know in the comments, and I'll try to provide more of what you're asking for :)

Just sit back & enjoy the show!

I love classic horror movies.  There's something so fun about sitting down with a big bowl of popcorn to enjoy a film that is really not so much scary, as atmospheric and creepy.  Classics like Frankenstein and Dracula readily jump to mind.  And, as you might notice, they're both included on this list.  However, there are a few other...gems on here as well.

These films precede the rating system.  And as such, they can get pretty...creepy, messed up, you get the idea.  I've seen three of them, and have not been emotionally scarred, so I'm sure you'll be fine (although, Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Invisible Man are some of the mainstream ones, so who knows?)  Watch a few, let me know what you think.  These might be a fun alternative for Halloween movie parties; instead of conjuring up scares with Nightmare on Elm Street or The Exorcist, perhaps you can regale your guests with The Mask of Fu Manchu and Doctor X!