The latest episode of The Purple Stuff Podcast has arrived! In this show Dino Drac and I talk about CREEPY COMMERCIALS! It’s surprising to think that something we as a society tried to avoid like the plague by either running to the kitchen for a snack or fast forwarding the breaks during a show we taped, can be so chock full of nostalgia. As much as we tried to tune out commercials we couldn’t escape them and that’s why they’re so embedded in our brains. Whether the terrifying imagery was burned into our eyes or the jingle was memorable, commercials and public service announcements deserve their own episode on The Purple Stuff Podcast. Specifically, we’re discussing ads that were either subtly horrifying for us when we were young or traditionally spooky in some way. The ads we bring up include everything from Elvira partying it up in Norman Bate’s house, Vincent Price and luxurious red velvet bound books, and a haunted forest of fruit snacks, so you can’t go wrong here! Here’s a playlist of the commercials we talk about it if you would like to listen and watch at the same time, but be careful your brain doesn’t explode! Thank you for listening to the show and if you would like to support The Purple Stuff Podcast you can visit www.Patreon.com/PurpleStuff
Purple Stuff Podcast: Universal Monsters!
Halloween is here! The season has flown by unusually fast this year. If you’re like me, you’re savoring every last bit of it. To assist with that, The Purple Stuff Podcast is back with a new episode for you. We hope you will check it out as you’re making final tweaks to your costumes, or just hanging with your friends having some Pumpkin beer. Our subject this time around is one that permeates pop culture this time of year: The Universal Monsters!
You’d be hard pressed to find a horror or Halloween fan who doesn’t have at least a small portion of their heart dedicated to one of the classic roster of Universal Monsters. Even if you’ve never seen any of the original films, you likely have an affinity for Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolfman, Bride of Frankenstein, The Creature, and The Invisible Man. Their likenesses have been with us our whole lives via movies, advertising, toys, and cartoons. Halloween is always better when they’re around in some fashion.
This episode of The Purple Stuff Podcast is dedicated to various incarnations of these characters. Par for the course, you won’t be hearing the typical entries from us. Matt from Dino Drac and I bring up some of our favorite instances of these horror icons that don’t get a lot of attention. It’s a fun one as we discuss breakfast cereal, action figures, and music videos. Hope this helps enhance your Halloween season! It’s not over yet Bay-bay!
As always, thank you for your continued support! We wouldn’t be able to do this without you. Thank you for reading, listening, and watching our exploits. If you would like to support the show, we’re on Patreon! Each month we record a special bonus show for our Patronies there. Other than that, have you watched The Sexy Armpit Halloween Special yet? If not, be sure to check that out after you hear the podcast!
The Halloween Special 2019 Is HERE!
I usually don’t think it’s necessary to go into a whole explanation of what The Halloween Special is all about, so I will let it speak for itself. What I can tell you is that, as always, we had fun making this and I think it really shows. The work that I put into it on a personal front usually brings me to the brink of death, but in the end it’s all worth it. I get 3 or 4 hours of sleep for about a month straight due to late night editing and filming pick up shots and b-roll. Do I take this too seriously? Maybe, but it’s what I love. It’s not like I’m making the Shining, but it’s nice to have dreams.
I pushed really hard to make this one move quicker and have a run time that was roughly in line with a TV sitcom episode. I would love to talk about my inspirations but a few of them would be spoilery. One of them isn’t though and that’s the Rocky Horror Picture Show. It’s NOTHING like that and nowhere near that epic level, but I always aspire to those heights. This was more of a nostalgic type of fun party romp and I hope you have fun watching it. Happy Halloween and there is a quite a bit more to come this season between more videos from me AND also coming to you is more Purple Stuff Podcast with me and Dino Drac! Thanks to everyone who helped me make this Special happen. From the title intro to the music to the cast, it’s always a labor of love. If you haven’t yet seen what brought us to the party, go back and watch the previous 7 installments! They’re all there in a neat little playlist.
Purple Stuff Podcast: GREEN EDITION
The Purple Stuff Podcast has gone GREEN! Matt and I compiled an entire podcast of things that are green. As always, you can check it out on your usual podcast apps or by clicking the link above. Grab some expired Ecto Cooler and a handful of jellied spearmint leaves and get ready to listen to our emerald colored antics. In this episode we deliberate about everything from seasonal McDonald’s offerings to a swig of a special beverage in The Last Jedi. There’s also a dissertation on Jay’s favorite soup and Matt’s affinity for a certain type of pie. St. Patrick’s Day may mean that you get tanked on green beer, but do it while listening to The Purple Stuff Podcast! Thanks for listening!
THE HALLOWEEN SPECIAL 2017
Shit is crazy, yo. That’s about the best I could come up with for an opening line.
During previous Halloween seasons, I’ve been able to ramp up the lead-up to my Halloween Specials. I loved posting a production journal on here for at least one or two of them, but it wasn’t in the cards this time. This year, even though free time is basically non-existent, I still magically whipped up a special, with the help of my friends of course! I ran into a bunch of speed bumps on the way.
A whole script basically went into the trash. I wrote this pretty epic script that, once it was too late, I realized would be entirely too much to film. Not so much about the length, but even the logistics, locations, and money. Although I love the script and it had absolutely everything in it, I came to terms with the fact that I just couldn’t pull it off so late in the game. I swore I would write the script early in the year that way it would give us extra time to film, storyboard, and even block everything out like actual filmmakers. Wrote it early I did. Threw it away late I did as well. To say I was pissed off at myself for wasting so much time and effort was an understatement. Continue reading THE HALLOWEEN SPECIAL 2017
ExtraComicular Activities #4: We Return to The Clifton Comic Book Expo!
2016 is history and I haven’t posted a damn thing in 2017 yet, but history is gonna change…
Recently, Matt from Dinosaur Dracula expressed to me that he was really charged up to dig through some long boxes. Coincidentally, there was a comic show coming up by me and I’m always up for comics. There’s nothing better than an old school comic book show. Picture a big room filled with geeks awkwardly attempting to navigate around other people trying to scan through thousands of old comics crammed too damn tight into long cardboard boxes. I’m talking about a true comic show run by local dealers where you can actually get some steals. This is the type of show that isn’t bogged down in ridiculous hidden advertisements from media conglomerates and not speckled with tables hawking products or podcasts that have nothing even remotely to do with comics.
Since NJ is my thing, let me clue you in on the city where this comic show went down. It’s the city where Rupert Pupkin hails from, the birthplace of Vera Farmiga and Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, it served as the backdrop for a ton of scenes in The Sopranos, and it’s also home to a legendary place called The Gates of Hell. If you’re from the area, you know exactly what I’m talking about, but maybe you didn’t realize that they also have a pure, longstanding comic show that has been unfazed by trends. This is the Clifton, NJ comic show, the same show that I wrote about a couple of years back. Matt was super excited for that one as well. He’s onto something because stocking up on reading material during a cold ass winter ain’t a bad idea at all! He’s also detailing his windfall of comics over at Dino Drac so check that shit out when you’re done here! I can easily say that the plastic grocery bag I hauled home this time is 1000% better than that last time. Wanna take a look at some? Here’s 10, solely based off how eye catching their covers are.
1. Dracula Versus Zorro #2 (of 2)
Topps Comics, November 1993
During the comic book boom of the early ’90s, every company wanted IN on the comic book game. Though they were almost never in the same conversation as DC and Marvel, Topps had some decent comic book offerings. Starting in 1992, their lineup of well known licenses can only be described as wildly eclectic. During their 6-year stint, Topps ran comics from mega movie hits like Jurassic Park, TV shows like The X-Files and Xena: Warrior Princess, horror icons like Dracula, Frankentstein, Jason Voorhees, and Leatherface, and even the indescribably bizarre Barbi Twins Adventures. Shuffled in between was a classic hero who’s said to have inspired Batman. Zorro was created in 1919 and he’s still popping up in the comic pages, most recently with Dynamite Comics. Much like the Lone Ranger, I was introduced to Zorro as a young kid by my Dad (of course!) Reinforcing my interest in these characters were toy lines and cartoons for both LR and Zorro in the early ’80s.
I had forgotten that Zorro once faced Drac, but I’ll be damned if this cover doesn’t have me totally intrigued right now. The backdrop of a stained glass window bathes this cover in gorgeous hues of pink and purple. In the corner to my right, wearing all black, the man who leaves his mark in the form of a slashed Z, ZORRO, meets his match against the blood sucking DRACULA himself…and the Z-man even takes second billing! Since this is the second issue of a two-parter, we pick up the adventure right when the getting’s GOOD! It’s like an old fashioned swashbuckling movie serial where everyone’s fate (including the readers) is in Zorro hands! Giant rats are about to eat Zorro alive, but he’s fighting ’til the death. All veiny and gnashing his fangs, the ghoulish Drac is about to pounce as the enraptured Carmelita looks on in wicked delight. This is an old fashioned heroic horror adventure and now I have to hunt down the first issue.
Marvel Comics, January 1986
This issue was another one I picked out solely based off its badass cover. The grim reaper blasting a machine gun?!! Of course, auto-included. Wish there was a G.I. Joe figure of that guy. The story is thin and there’s nothing worth noting about this issue except for a two page ad where Spider Man plays detective and goes on a search to find Cap’n Crunch.
Archie Comics, October 1996
With the upcoming premiere of Riverdale, everyone’s going to try to claim their lifelong alliegience to Archie Comics, but let’s be honest, before they revamped the characters with a horror/supernatural twist, the Archie gang wasn’t necessarily in the spotlight. I actually read the books quite often many years before the revamp because I always found them to be stupid fun, but mostly due to my affinity for the art by Dan DeCarlo and Dan Parent. Through the years, I’ve posted a few cool Archie items I picked up here and there, and I’m genuinely excited for the new era of these characters. Ironically, when I was a kid I thought the Archie comics were pretty dopey, so I think I’m aging backwards. Regardless, Betty and Veronica have consistently been one of the more entertaining aspects of Archie Comics, and the shenanigans depicted on this cover are a prime example. Betty faking the need for CPR so Archie comes and makes out with her, aw man, that’s the sales pitch right there. This book is filled with cheesy jokes and a few ridiculous storylines, but what do you expect? What will happen when Betty trips over Veronica’s in-line skates? Will Betty sue Veronica for real or is this just a ludicrous misunderstanding? You must read it to find out!
4. Darkhold: Pages of the Book of Sins #7
Marvel Comics, April 1993
I’ve got to be completely honest here, I’ve never heard of or read this comic series before, but look into those mesmerizing eyes! What the hell could she be so freaked out about? Oh, right, the SLIME! Coincidentally, DEATH BY SLIME is how I want to go out. Frankly, I don’t even care what’s inside this book because this cover needs to be framed. From what I gather, and I’m probably only a quarter accurate, is that the Darkhold book is sort of like the Necronomicon of the Marvel Universe. And go easy on me if that’s way off base. This comic features Scarlet Witch, Dr. Strange, a giant monster, demonic war planes, and…Ectoplasm Raining From The Freaking Sky. Ectoplasm Raining From The Freaking Sky. Sold. I’ll take it!
Marvel Comics, December 1989
Alf’s girlfriend Rhonda always amused me with her ginormous super wacky pink hair. Naturally, this one was a must buy. The cover to this issue features wordplay involving the fact that Rhonda’s Back with an obnoxious arrow pointing to Rhonda’s “back,” but we really know what they were going for. Marvel worshipped that Melmacian ass. How can you go wrong with a comic that proudly offers Alf making uncomfortably perverse jokes on the cover of a comic geared toward 7 year olds? In the oh so slight chance that none of that appeals to you, this issue includes a random Rocky reference. Alf’s working out with a boom box blasting “Gonna Fly Now” while rocking a Philadelphia shirt and doing Sly Stallone impressions. A++.
NOW Comics, January 1992
Out of all the comics I used to collect when I was a kid, NOW Comics were in a class by themselves. At the time, even mentioning NOW made my friends confused because it wasn’t Marvel or DC. In retrospect, NOW didn’t get enough credit. Unlike other independent comic companies, the majority of their books were printed in full color on high quality paper while even the big companies were still using cheap news type paper. I was hooked on all their big titles including Fright Night, Terminator, Married with Children, Twilight Zone and all of the Green Hornet iterations. What was cool about their Real Ghostbusters series was that it was perfectly in line with the cartoon and enriched the RGB lore with further adventures. You’d even see some ghosts that you didn’t see in the show. Many of the issues offered some outstanding art (especially some of the later run) and this line is worth a day of nostalgic marathon reading.
This cover is worth it just for Egon and Ray’s getup. If you dig the cover, you get a free pinup poster of it inside! As a kid, the idea of that was better than the actual poster itself. It would cause me so much heartache to know that I had to try to dismantle the staples from the comic in such a delicate way as not to ruin the comic while trying to remove the poster. Didn’t they ever hear of perforation? Currently, I have a class action suit against all comic companies in the ’80s for taking years off my life.
Also within these pages, you’ll see the winners of the draw Slimer contest, you’ll witness Ray vs. the Loch Ness Monster, and to sweeten the deal even more, you get to see what the actual Tobin looks like, yes, that guy of Tobin’s Spirit Guide fame! Oh, and there’s one more bizarre feature that I have been holding out on. In the ’80s, when adults needed tips on parenting, they usually picked up the latest issue of The Real Ghostbusters comic where Egon had his own section, “Egon Spengler’s Parent’s Guide For Health and Safety.” No, I’m not lying, and he even signed it at the end! Step off Dr. Phil.
Marvel Comics, August 1987
Picking up these magazine sized Joe issues at the US-1 Flea Market back when I was a kid was one of my favorite things. I was hesitant to include Action Force because I know it’s considered more of a magazine rather than an actual comic book, and I already brought up a Joe comic in this post, but whatever – this cover is too incredible not to show off! Simple, yet effective. This Cobra soldier really has a chip on his shoulder. It’s either that, or he’s been inhaling whatever’s in that toxic canister. If it’s none of the above, the sweats and bloodshot eyes could mean he’s coming down from some crazy drugs, or maybe he’s just MAD! Ultimately, it all ties back to my fixation for toxic stuff since I’m from New Jersey and live with a talking pile of sludge.
Marvel Comics, May 1992
Thumbing through thousands of comics you’re bound find some treasures. For me, that means finding some classic issues that I forgot had and buying them again. In this case, I probably have at least 2 or 3 copies of Toxic Crusaders #1, but it’s so good that it’s worth owning more copies just so I can make one into a Japanese war fan. The premiere issue spins the classic tale of how Toxie became New Jersey’s favorite superhero and met such cohorts as Headbanger and Major Disaster and foes like Dr. Killemoff. For a New Jersey freak like me, it’s a historical document as far as I’m concerned, and all for 50¢!
Warren Magazine, July 1982
You know that old saying, “I’ve never seen a Vampirella cover that I didn’t like?” Well, I resemble that remark. If I had the resources I’d buy every damn Vampirella comic that I came in contact with just so I can frame all the covers. That was the main thing that hooked me as a kid. I’d drool over the gorgeous art on the covers, then I’d thumb through the pages and notice they were black and white. FYI, my turn offs include: Black and White comic pages. See, I was able to watch black and white movies as a kid, especially horror and comedies, but when it came to reading a black and white comic book, I was flabbergasted. In my young mind, I thought “how could a B&W comic book have the audacity to sit on a shelf amongst fellow comic books that were overflowing with vivid, colorful artwork?” No matter how exciting and vibrant the covers are, the inside totally lets me down. It was false advertising if you ask me. Take this cover as evidence. It’s so unbelievably awesome that it sends your mind into a spiral of thoughts. It makes me think if the cover is this cool looking, I can’t even fathom what’s inside, but not so much. Vampirella’s dead husband is in it trying to seduce her, that’s for sure, in all his black and white glory. (womp womp)
DC Comics, November 1986
With the hundreds of comics that I have from when I was a kid, I don’t think I have more than one or two issues of DC Who’s Who. As a kid in the comic shop, you had to weigh your options. As it was, I used to be lucky enough to get a stack of comics on a weekly basis, but even my parents knew which ones were worth the purchase. To keep up on the main ongoing storylines, you need the base titles, not the comics that were character encyclopedias masquerading as an actual comic.
In the back of my mind I always wanted to have every single issue of Who’s Who and keep them in that badass binder. That’s right, at one point, Who’s Who came with three hole punches on the left side of the book so you can put them in a DC Who’s Who binder. It was a masterfully concocted gimmick, but still a stretch for me to justify. Doing a Google image search for DC Who’s Who will convince almost any DC fan in about 0.1 seconds that they need every single issue of Who’s Who that ever existed. That’s what made me pick up issue XXI. I’m a DC guy and reading obscure character bios makes everything right in this crazy world.
Now onto why I was hooked by that cover! Judging by this illustration of Solomon Grundy, I started thinking about how he could’ve had a career in the WWE back in 1993 against Yokozuna. Holy shit, I’ve never seen Grundy drawn to the point where he’s busting out of his shirt from eating over 4,000 White Castles. In addition to the character bios, there’s a map of Skartaris which details the Warlord’s stomping grounds. It was known to be a land where Dinosaurs somehow found their way to even though they were extinct on Earth.
Talk about stocking up on good reading material for the cold winter season! Trust me, there’s no better way to spend a snowy Saturday than to study the personal data and histories of Space Cabbie, Spawn of Frankenstein, Spellbinder, and The Spook, than in the yellowed pages of a limp, 50¢ comic.
Get yourself out to a local comic show and seek out the cheap bins! You never know what you will find. Until next time friends – thanks for reading!
HALLOWEEN 2016 WAS A SCREAM!
Word on the social media street is that this Halloween season was painfully mediocre. While I can’t speak for everyone else, I feel like this Halloween will go down in my own personal Halloween Hall of Fame. To its credit though, as standard as it may have been, there was still enough stuff for me to write a giant recap post about it all, so dig in and enjoy! Happy Halloween!
THE SEXY ARMPIT HALLOWEEN SPECIAL
First and foremost, our Halloween Special this year was our most batshit crazy one ever! I was really happy with it and we received a ton of amazing feedback. Thank you so much for watching it and if you haven’t yet – check it out at the link above! Special thanks to our cast and crew and New Needle Productions. Check out New Needle’s page for their annual Halloween Short!
PODCASTING AND BLOGGING
The Purple Stuff Podcast took a short break, but we will be back! In the meantime, I was a guest on the annual Nerd Lunch Halloween Show. Will from Casserole of Disaster joined us as we created Scary Movie Menus. It was a fun show so give it a listen! You can check it out at the Nerd Lunch site.
Dex over at AEIOU and Sometimes Why interviewed me for his Halloween Memories Series. It was very cool of him to invite me on there. You can check out the post HERE where I discuss Halloween memories, costumes, and other anecdotes, some that I haven’t shared anywhere else!
Not actual food, but I got one at a place that serves food, so this counts: McDonald’s offered The Great Pumpkin Trick or Treat Pails which were a huge win. Celebrating the 50th birthday of this classic Halloween TV Special, these pails are very cool. Even if you don’t collect these, their lineage ties back to the ’80s when McD’s released their McBOO pails!
There was so much pumpkin flavored stuff that hit the grocery store shelves this season that they forgot to make it feel important. Rather than make a big deal about some of these products with a promotional tie-in to Halloween, it seemed like shelves were flooded with Pumpkin Spice and Candy Corn everything and not many of them had a Halloween vibe. I really hope that we see some strong, more blatant Halloween tie-ins in the future. The “Fall” offerings are usually weak. Let’s get some more spooky imagery on packaging and in commercials! I was still impressed with the Reese’s commercials, although it feels like they air only like a week before Halloween, which sucks.
After thinking on it, I agree with Matt, the pumpkin spice gimmick is getting a little long in the tooth. The only area where it will never get old is probably coffee, because there’s something about pumpkin flavored coffee that has become truly synonymous with the season. Although, as Starbucks highlighted, you don’t necessarily need pumpkin flavor to create a killer Halloween drink. Their Frappula came back this year and they even had an amazing poster touting it where the Frappula had bat wings.
Kool-Aid’s Ghoul-Aid changed its formula and not for the better. If you’ve ever had cough medicine, you know what I mean. The old blackberry formula was delicious and now it seems like they needlessly changed it and I barely heard anyone talking about it this year except to complain.
Butterfinger Skulls were pretty badass. If it wasn’t for their cardiac arrest inducing fat content, I’d be more upset to see them go.
Even though Ecto-Cooler came back way before Halloween time, it’s still on shelves, so it can loosely be considered part of this year’s Halloween season. The release of the new Ghostbusters on video and on demand definitely fell in the prime time of the season and that brought us the insane Wayback Burgers promotion. A Slimer Shake AND a Ghostbusters burger made for a tie-in of epic proportions. Thus far, it’s been pretty much the leader this year in terms of cool stuff.
In terms of cereal, Halloween Crunch still remains at the top for me even though the box art stayed the same this year. As for other cereals, Cheerios got into the Pumpkin Spice mix. I searched like a madman and finally bought roughly 18 boxes and had a tough time finishing half of one box. It’s heavier on the spice rather than the pumpkin, but at least they gave it a shot. Maybe if they went with a more mellow pumpkin flavor and did a Great Pumpkin tie-in too? You can’t go wrong with the Peanuts.
In this post, I will brag twice. I try to keep it to a minimum, but these are instances where it’s worthwhile. First, the Japanese Halloween Garlic Doritos. I hadn’t even the slighest clue that these would ever be made when I brought them up as an idea I had on The Purple Stuff with Matt. I just conjured up a product I would like to see made and BAM, a year later, they exist…but only in Japan. We ordered them and I wasn’t a big fan of the texture or flavor as it was a little different than the Doritos here, but it was still incredible that this became an actual thing. The spooky bag art was cool too!
I must say that I came right out immediately and called it from the beginning: the Monster Cereal Election tie-in was pure garbage! For me, and I know many of you as well, the Halloween season is pure escapism. We can travel back in time and recall memories of Halloweens of the past and we can delve into other horrific worlds while watching or reading spooky movies or books. Infusing some convoluted Monster Mascot election into the promotion of the cereal this year was utter nonsense. It brought us out of the nostalgia factor for those cereals and reminded us about the most mocked presidential election in U.S history. I felt like I was really onto something with the Monster High tie-in that I brought up on the Purple Stuff as well as on Twitter many times.
Matt at Dinosaur Dracula continues to enthrall nostalgia nuts with his monthly Fun Pack. His Halloween Fun Pack was one for the ages this year. You can subscribe at his website www.dinosaurdracula.com
8 Bit Zombie released one of their coolest and most unique items ever: The Monster Squad Lunchbox and Glass set. The cartoonish art by Matt Skiff is freaking awesome and the whole idea of this set brings me back in time. It’s such a cool addition to my collection.
If you haven’t visited the Cryptocurium, Jason McKittrick has been creating his own horror inspired sculptures and magnets for a while now. He’s done a hell of a job with his monthly Trick or Treat subscriptions this season.
Rob Zombie and Fright Rags tagged up to release a bunch of cool Rob Zombie related tees and sweatshirts. As always, the artwork was superior!
We were blessed with insane Zombie straws and a Pumpkin shaped Slurpee cup both from 7-11.
Artist Travis Falligant @IBTrav has been killing it with his Lost Mysteries pins and now he has Halloween Costume Kits for sale! The “Dead Dame” is in the style of Frankenhooker and it is perfect…but it’s now SOLD OUT! I’m glad I ordered early.
We’ve seen the release of a lot of cool pins and tees this season, although Matt Skiff’s Spooky Storyteller inspired by Curly the Skeleton from Goosebumps was a standout for me.
Tyler Ham aka @Ham_FX created a print mashup of Halloween III and The Great Pumpkin and it was GLORIOUS!
My friend Bob helped me realize that one of the most simple and dare I say overlooked aspects of this season was Walmart’s clothing offerings. They had horror t-shirts including Friday the 13th, Child’s Play, NMOES, and Hellraiser, as well as lounge pants, which are awesome. I instagrammed a pic of the lounge/pajama pants that I bought and I’vee been wearing them like crazy. They’re comfortable and they even have pockets, which is key for me. I need somewhere to put my phone once in a while.
The reboot film, Welcome to Monster High, came out for one day only at the end of August in theaters and then went to video and on demand. I saw it in the theater and absolutely loved it. I was actually surprised at how much of a jump it made from a quality standpoint compared to their previous movies. The storytelling was simple, dialogue was fun, voice work was on point, and the CG animation looked absolutely fangtastic (I had to!) I consider this part of the Halloween season since it really hit the world in early September. As if a brand new rebooted film wasn’t enough, the doll line was rebooted as well. And to put the exclamation point on the season on the Monster High front, the Lady Gaga Monster High doll was finally officially announced and went up for pre-order in mid-October. This doll had a long history and to see the attention to detail that it has received is awesome. It won’t arrive to The Sexy Armpit HQ until end of December/early January, but I’d say it really capped off a fine Monster High season.
MOVIES, TV, and MUSIC
Saturday Night Live created another classic Halloween sketch with a character who will be everywhere in future Halloweens: David Pumpkins! The Tom Hanks episode this season was strong and he put the David Pumpkins sketch over the top to become a pop culture icon in no time!
Scream Queens Season 2 premiered and by the end of the first episode it blew the first season out of the water, and I LOVED the first season.
“If you like seeing Alice Cooper and getting stuck in the rain” – I changed the lyrics, but you know that song, don’t you? I’ve seen Alice Cooper live before, and nothing beats seeing him in the fall. Alice played First Energy Park in Lakewood, NJ on September 30th and it was cold, windy, and raining all night. Of course, the show went on! It was still a blast to see him regardless of the weather.
The FOX production of Rocky Horror premiered and it wasn’t awful. Obviously, if Victoria Justice wasn’t in it, I probably wouldn’t have been as interested in seeing it, but it wasn’t terrible. It’s impossible to reach the pinnacle of the original, but this was halfway decent. To me, more Rocky Horror is always a good thing.
After pining for a new Blair Witch movie for 15 years, it finally happened. In disguise as “The Woods,” it finally revealed itself as a Blair Witch reboot, despite them saying it was a sequel to the original. It wasn’t what I was hoping for, but it was still cool that it exists. At times it felt robotic as if it didn’t have much of a soul. I’ve come to find out that I’m in the minority here, but I felt 2015’s “The Witch” was more in line with my expectations and preference when it comes to a new Blair Witch movie. I wanted something that would’ve added to the mythology. Plus, this one ignores the events of Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 and for that, it loses points in my cool book.
As a Rob Zombie loyalist, I was at the premiere of 31 front and center. Unfortunately, much like the Blair Witch situation, it wasn’t what I had hoped for either. Often, when a great deal of people are unimpressed with a film and I wind up liking it, I wonder “what the hell were they expecting?” In this case, I was totally expecting something more Halloweeny. I don’t mean it needed to star Michael Myers or little Sam from Trick or Treat, but I was hoping the story would be more tied into the holiday itself. More pumpkins and ghosts, etc you catch my drift. Maybe his next movie will fulfill that quota?
AMC’s Comic Book Men had a Halloween Special starring Elvira. This episode was filmed during a blood drive in Red Bank, NJ. I went to give blood and the folks at The Secret Stash asked if I wanted to meet Elvira. Although I met her before, who am I to say no to an opportunity like that? I’m an Elvira freak! I went over and met Elvira and out of all the people at The Secret Stash that day, the moment where I go to say hello to Elvira made it into the show! What better way to cap off this Halloween Season than to say that I was on one of the coolest TV shows meeting Elvira…in NEW JERSEY!
This year there were a few costume ideas bouncing around in my head, but only one that I really wanted to be. My favorite GI Joe character is Zartan, always has been. But I didn’t want to do any old Zartan costume, I wanted to do 1993’s NINJA FORCE ZARTAN!
Most people think this is way obscure, but if you’re a fan of GI Joe and 80’s and 90’s action figures in general, you probably know about this variation of the character. The Ninja Force subset of GI Joe was much more vibrant in color and had more of an edgy look to them.
We go out every year and this year it was back to Asbury Park and we had a blast. Miss Sexy Armpit dressed as Jillian Holtzmann from Ghostbusters 2016 and she was spot-on!
After reminiscing on all of this, it’s obvious that Halloween 2016 was pretty badass in the realm of The Sexy Armpit. I hope you’ve had a kickass Halloween Season and I’m looking forward to next year already! Happy Halloween Everyone!
Halloween Special PREVIEW!
So, this is it. We are here. It’s October!
I’m sitting at my desk with the window cracked open. I’m literally being blasted with cool fall wind and it feels awesome. There’s apparently a hurricane developing, so that’s added to the ambience of the last few days. I also cleaned my disaster of a desk to get me prepped for the season. A pumpkin candle is blazing and I just ate a bag of Japanese Frito-Lay Halloween Pack bat-shaped thingies and I’m now primed to provide you with an official Sexy Armpit Halloween Special update: You can join us if you tune in at 8pm ET on October 7th, 2016!
Tell us about The Sexy Armpit Halloween Special this year.
As many of you know, each year I produce a Halloween special for our YouTube page. This year, I’m proud to tell you that this will be our 5th installment. I pour pretty much every bit of life I have into these annual videos. During production, everything and everyone in my life gets pretty much ignored from start to finish usually. My bills stack up. I neglect the gym. All I think about is the special. Ultimately, my main inspiration, aside from the desire to make it the best special it can be, is Halloween.
Halloween is everything. There are memes that always say Halloween is year round, and obviously Ministry sang about it being everyday, but realistically, the season happens once a year. It’s fleeting. Capturing the essence is vital to appreciating it in the moment. Once it’s November, it seems like the non-Hallo-freaks have moved on. If you breezed through the season, without truly memorializing it, all you can do at that point is be bummed and pissed at yourself for not soaking up as much horror and pumpkin guts as you could. Of course, I watch Horror all year long, and am obsessed with Halloween throughout the year, but that’s what makes this time of year special. All the stuff I love is magnified x1000. That’s why I tried my damnedest to get the special done fairly early this year.
Would it be possible for me to actually enjoy the season without killing myself making a short film AND trying to put together Halloween costume? I figured if I got a little bit of a jump on things, I wouldn’t have to be feverishly editing until the witching hour. While I’m still putting the finishing touches on it currently, it’s nearly ready for public consumption. The head start actually granted me some extra time to put a teaser trailer together too, something I didn’t have the time to do previously for any of my videos. You can watch the teaser above if you haven’t already!
This year, the Halloween Special is quite different than anything you’ve seen from us before.
As I rewind several months, I recall a hot June afternoon in downtown New York City. I had set up a meeting with Louie Cortes, a New York filmmaker (his company is New Needle Productions), and a fellow Halloween and horror freak. Louie and I had been following each other on social media for a long time and not only did we have a lot of friends in common, but we’ve traveled in the same circles, attended the same conventions, and plain and simple, share a ton of the same obsessions.
There was a two-fold reason for me reaching out to Louie. First, I just couldn’t keep looking at his Instagram and watching his short films on his YouTube without finally shooting the shit with him over a beer. Secondly, I wanted to pick his brain about his filmmaking process. In my constant pursuit of trying to improve my output, I figured I could probe Louie’s brain to see if he could shed some light on a few questions I had regarding how the pros do things.
Aside from some advice, and a few laughs, I honestly didn’t expect much to come of our meeting. When it comes to my own creative endeavors, I like to do things my way. That’s pretty common amongst creative people from what I’ve seen, but I’d never really thought of the possibility of collaborating before. Sure, I have friends who help with the show in many ways, but ultimately, it’s always my baby. I like to see it through. I’d never entertained the idea of a collaboration because I hadn’t spoken to anyone who wound up being serious or followed through on their claims. I’ve been asked many times by people if they could appear in or help out with the show, but often, they wind up flaking out when they find out how much work is involved. Fortunately, a legit collaboration was actually on the horizon.
Louie and I met at this punk bar downtown and had a few drinks. It was one of those meetings that, if we ever did hit it big and became famous one day in some kind of insane fantasy world, this is the type of story that we’d be able to share when being interviewed. It’s like those legendary stories you hear about how Madonna gave her demo tape to a DJ at a club in NYC. It was just a simple meeting that has already kicked into high gear. When we met up that day I seriously had no clue that by the end of the summer we’d be much closer friends and have basically all the footage for my Halloween special filmed. Needless to say, I’m glad we met up! Louie is on point with his work and also an exceptional dude. We’ve already discussed more possible projects on the horizon, but for now, I’ll concentrate on the present.
So, what exactly makes this year’s Halloween Special so different than previous years?
First and foremost, Louie’s production company New Needle Productions handled the filming of the majority of the special. The shot composition, lighting, and high quality of the video stemmed from Louie’s expertise and all added a completely fresh take on what The Sexy Armpit Show really is all about. It looks so damn good! Louie did a kick ass job and he’s a total pro. A huge thanks goes out to him.
The vastly improved visual aspect helps bring the horror/thriller storyline to life. Of course, it’s still complete nonsense and an all out horror-comedy, but there’s a pretty intriguing story in there…one that hasn’t yet been explored in our videos. In fact, not to spoil anything, but in this one you’ll witness a major shakeup at Sexy Armpit HQ that could have repercussions on the future of the show!
What I’m most proud of is the fact that we keep improving each year. To me, there’s no point in doing the same thing every year because that’s boring. This time around, the special is pretty batshit and just the right kind of whacked out that you need to enhance your Halloween season. You’ll see some awesome cameos and familiar faces as you’ve seen in previous installments, but, trust me, this is a whole different ball game. With all that said, I don’t want to give up any spoilers, so you can watch for yourself on 10/7!
As always, I want to send out another giant thank you to the cast Miss Sexy Armpit @MissSexyArmpit, Mike Wirth a.k.a @IdiotAtPlay, Holly Knapp @Frankenholly, Jeff Somogyi @Sommerjam, Dari Mehl, Frank Campisi, and Lauren Wirth @TheNerdyPumpkin. Everyone did a bang up job again this year and each cast member brings so much to the table. By understanding my bizarre mind, they make it easy for me to bring the stories to life. It might sound like I’m making these specials sound more monumental than they actually are, but that’s how important they are to me.
Make The Sexy Armpit Halloween Specials a part of your Halloween Viewing!
Even though I make these videos, I still have fun watching them too. They become these warped video yearbooks to look back on. Each year, I usually suggest trying to incorporate a viewing of any or all of The Sexy Armpit Halloween Specials into your seasonal viewing. For example, if you plan on watching Poltergeist or Halloween, use our Hallowen special as a funny lead-in. Maybe throw in a Halloween cartoon as well! I know you all can pull YouTube up on your TVs and the best way to enjoy these videos is on your big TV with all your Halloween lights and decorations in full effect. Get some candy corn and pumpkin beer and really feel the season. If you do this, take a pic and post it somewhere on social media, that will help us get the word out! If you want to thank us or support us in any way, the best way is to get more eyes on it and for that we thank you!
I’m proud of what my crew and New Needle accomplished together. These Hallowen Specials are truly comprised of passion and hard work. The only compensation we receive from these videos is you, our friends, fans, readers, viewers and social media companions, getting a kick out of watching them. Sure, it would be nice to be funded one day, but there’s nothing that satisfies me more knowing that a good portion of you were able to sit back and have some laughs for a brief spell during your Halloween celebrations. That is what makes me want to continue, otherwise, I’d be laying around like a lump watching mediocre horror movies on Amazon Prime.
As I was saying at the start, it’s October. It’s officially here! It’s time to start working on your costume, decorating, and planning your Halloween viewing for the month and hopefully The Sexy Armpit Halloween Special can be a part of it!
This Summer Is Gushing With Ghostbusters!
I refuse to apologize for relishing in this full-on Ghostbusters renaissance we’re living in. When you’re chugging 2 cans of Ecto Cooler like they’re Steveweisers, kneeling before a towering homemade altar of symmetrically stacked Twinkie boxes, and floating on bags upon bags of fluffy, heavenly Ghostbusters Marshmallows, this type of euphoria demands that you get a sample of it like Venkman got that mucus. We’ve got new action figures, new Hot Wheels, a new Tobin’s Spirit Guide, new Ectoplazm, and who the hell knows what else is on the horizon! Regardless of what you think of the new Ghostbusters movie, this is a magical time and shame on you if you’re letting it speed passed you like the subway ghost. In the world of The Sexy Armpit, I’m soaking it all up and appreciating every aspect. The premiere of GB2016 is upon us, and in honor of it, I’m going to show you how I’ve been savoring even more Ghostbusters shenanigans.
MADAME TUSSAUD’S GHOSTBUSTERS EXPERIENCE
There’s no better place in the world to celebrate Ghostbusters than its birthplace, New York City. Fortunately, there are a slew of Ghostbusters themed things to do in the city that are guaranteed to elevate this tremendous moment in time for you. Perhaps you want to do a self-guided tour of the filming locations from the original two Ghostbusters films? Or maybe you feel like waxin’ nostalgic, literally?
We had tickets to Madame Tussaud’s Ghostbusters Experience and man was I pumped for it! By rights, a wax museum should technically be a pretty spooky place, although Madame’s is a family attraction in Times Square, so I knew I wasn’t going to have my Batman boxers scared off me. Posing with a bunch of wax statues of Ghostbusters characters did sound like a blast, but it was how they sweetened the deal that hooked me…BIG TIME. I bought all the tickets way in advance, mainly because of how seduced I was by Ghostbuters Dimension: A Hyper Reality Experience. This is an interactive virtual reality game where I would actually become a Ghostbuster, obviously the true selling point of this whole affair, let’s be real.
It was a hot, humid day in midtown Manhattan. The sky was gray and, no joke, there was a tornado watch for the NY/NJ area. I had just started a long holiday weekend. The stage was set for a great day full of Ghostbusters fun. We just had to make it to Madame Tussaud’s in time for the 1pm tickets we had. Traffic in New York City that day was completely crazy. We got there with a few minutes to spare to shovel some fast food down our throats and then head inside.
Once we made our way into the venue. I was snapping dopey selfies with J-Lo as if she wasn’t meticulously carved out of wax. A couple more mandatory selfies with Frankenstein and The Mummy for good measure, then it was onto the Ghostbusters display!
Backdrops and motifs from the new movie were replicated and designed for photo ops. The coolest display featured Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) in a lab fixing up one of her proton packs. It was a no-brainer, a real Kodak moment:
Next up we saw the statues of Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy. They were all extremely lifelike, yet I felt like there could have been a bit more to the wax display area. A giant wax VIGO perhaps? Or staying in line with the new movie, what about Rowan? Then, that ugly little spud, Slimer, was roaming around projecting himself in fog machine clouds. It was awesome to see a walk through like this even though it wasn’t too extensive.
We finally wound up at the queue for the virtual reality experience. We showed our tickets and hopped on line. Immediately, we started to overhear several people in front of us complaining about how long they were waiting, which didn’t bode well. We were there pretty early in the day and there had already been a host of problems. Minutes later, one of the Tussad’s employees came over and started to run interference by making small talk with all of us waiting on line. She started to explain that there was some technical difficulties that they were trying to figure out.
We experienced the small talk distraction several times throughout the rest of our excruciatingly long wait. I guess it’s comparable to waiting for a ride at a theme park, almost being the next one to hop on the ride, but then the ride breaks down. The thing is, we didn’t expect a virtual reality game to have this kind of time consuming maintenance. We tried to give it a pass since it was the first day, but apparently it had worked well for the recent press preview.
In the end, we waited about 3 hours to finally catch some ghosts. I wanted to refrain from continuing to describe how hot and annoying it was to wait on this line for so long, and how just as we thought things were looking up, our anticipation was squashed once again. You can imagine how sucky it is to assume you had tickets for 1pm and then having to either A) accept them turning you away with a refund B) rescheduling you for another day or C) or toughing it out and waiting 3 hours. We chose the latter. We came, we saw, we kicked its ass…eventually.
Suiting up was a weird, confusing process. We went through the whole production of putting on the helmet, headset, vest and proton pack, and after being sent to the area where we’re about to begin, we were asked to go back to the suit-up area and take everything off and get into a whole other set of the same equipment. Were they f’n serious with this? This was getting ridiculous. Considering all the crap we waited through to get to that point, they really should’ve had their shit together.
After our second suit-up, we were ready to go! This time, it was for real. A VR viewer in the helmet dropped down over our eyes and made everything appear to each of us as if we were literally in a VR Ghostbusters world. It was incredible. I looked over at Miss Sexy Armpit and she looked like Winston Zeddemore, which is even more comical because she has no idea who that is. The light went on and we were able to head inside to start the game. We walked through a few different rooms where we had to blast a bunch of ghosts which felt just about as real as it will ever get.
The ghosts were so vivid. There was a moment where we were in a small elevator and a little Samara-looking girl phased her way into the elevator with us. Our proton packs were locked at that point for safety, because we’d probably wind up blasting the shit out of each other. Then, we headed into a library and that’s where business really picked up. You know what I’m talking about! Ultimately, we found ourselves out on the ledge of a high rise in New York City. The skies looked like they did back at the end of the original film, before Gozer graced us with her presence. The ledge was literally shaking and we had to blast an onslaught of ghosts while maintaining our balance. Moments later, we took part in the biggest finale that you could possibly imagine. Let’s just say we had to take down a big sailor. It was incredible. The strong scent of marshmallows wafted up our noses as we celebrated our triumph over these elusive entities.
I’d love to do it all again when they work out the kinks. I’d happily pay even more if they made it more like an interactive RPG where there’s more of a story and it goes for about 25 minutes. That would absolutely be worth a 3 hour wait.
If you’ve ever wanted to live out the ghost catching process that you see in the Ghostbusters films and cartoons, as it stands, this is the only way to do it. It was so much fun! Some people go to therapy sessions to work out their problems, others go to masseuses to ease their stress and pain, but I’m telling you, if I could do Ghostbusters virtual reality every Friday night, I might be the happiest son of a B there ever was. I’d march right over to Lincoln Center and twirl around like a silly goofball.
DAVE AND BUSTER’S GHOSTBUSTERS COCKTAILS
The Ghostly fun wasn’t done. Not by a long shot. I wasn’t going to give up now. Ever since I saw all the hoopla about the fancy Ghostbusters drinks and games at Dave and Buster’s, I needed to experience it for myself. Unfortunately, there’s no D&B in New Jersey, which is unfathomable since we literally have everything else in this state. As we walked outside we realized, DUH, D&B is RIGHT NEXT DOOR to Madame Tussaud’s! It couldn’t have worked out better. It’s Miller Time!
There’s no way I can’t use this: Dave and Buster’s was a BUST. We asked the bartenders about the GB cocktails and slushie and they started in on a long tangent about how they barely have any of the ingredients. At this point, they had only been available for a couple of weeks at most. “We’re out of the gummy worms, so we’d have to substitute them with gummy bears, and there’s no glowing ice cubes,” so this roughly translates to “we can make you a drink, but it won’t be Ghostbusters themed in any way nor resemble the picture on the bar.” After that debacle, I asked about the slushie and they didn’t even have the slushies at all so things were looking bleak.
The last stand would be the new 2-player seated Ghostbusters arcade game. There was a bunch of kids hoarding the game and who am I to rob them of some good old fashioned Ghostbusters fun? I was just happy to see kids so into a Ghostbusters game, so we called it a day.
It was a frustrating day yet the VR game really saved it for me. Then, to top it off, we hopped on the wrong train home, but luckily realized it before it was too late. When we finally got on the right one, we both conked out until we reached home.
ECTO COOLER/CUT GRASS COCKTAIL (BARF!)
As I mentioned, the long weekend was in its early stages. Next up, our Ghostbusters itinerary took us to Atlantic City and then Wildwood.
A bunch of us including Matt from Dino Drac, Will from Casserole of Disaster, and Juggernauts Cave were all hanging out in our hotel room in A.C with the ladies. Juggernaut asks us if we want to try this vodka that supposedly smells and tastes like freshly cut grass. The answer my inner monologue replied with was “why the f*ck would we want to do that?” Matt seemed a lot more intrigued by it, whereas I felt that the idea of it was completely awful.
In the end, the freshly cut grass vodka won out because we rationalized it. We had a ton of Ecto Cooler in the room, a beverage that is green, and grass is green so why the hell wouldn’t we mix the two? Juggernaut poured us all up some of the bizarre concoction and it was every bit as disgusting as you could imagine. But it did allow us to shoehorn in another interesting moment from our long list of Ghostbusters memories from 2016, but it didn’t make up for missing out on the Dave and Buster’s dranks.
STAY PUFT PLUSH AND GHOSTBUSTER ARCADE GAME
Living in Jersey, no summer is complete without multiple trips to the boardwalk. Even though it’s a prerequisite, it’s still a pain in the ass sometimes. Heading down to Wildwood on the freaking 4th of July may have been another one of my dumber ideas, but I have to say, we pulled it off.
This was a memorable day. It was sweltering and Wildwood was insanely mobbed with people. There was traffic and parking fees ranged from $60 dollars to over $100! If you didn’t mind walking a bit, and coincidentally had a ton of quarters, you could grab street parking for a couple of hours. Thanks to Will for making sure the meter didn’t run out! We had a few drinks, missed out on catching up with The Sewer Den, and we ate ‘roided up Mozzarella sticks! These babies were literally 3 times the size of your average mozzarella stick, much tastier, and not soggy whatsoever. Basically, if I were ever to create one of those Atkins Diet plans, it would be the Armpit diet and it would only include giant-sized fried cheese sticks with marinara sauce.
Miraculously, even more Ghostbusters memories were created. I hope you didn’t think you had to read 35,000 words and not get a mention of those rigged Wildwood boardwalk crane machines. I don’t gamble, but I do enjoy the crane machines. I blame Dinosaur Dracula for this. I always felt they were way too frustrating and I used to pump way too much money into them, but I’ve come to embrace how much fun they really are.
We found a couple of Ghostbusters crane machines and I did the $5 dollar option. On my last attempt, I grabbed a Stay Puft plush with the claw and dropped him right into the hole. That was a big win for me since I’m never successful on those. Winning a GB plush during this summer filled with Ghostbusters nostalgia couldn’t be any cooler. Well, it actually got slightly cooler. As I glanced further into the arcade we were in, I noticed the new Ghostbusters game that I missed out on at Dave and Buster’s! It was fate. That game was basically the same thing as Pokemon Go, except you blast ping pong balls at the ghosts. You use this steering wheel to lock onto your ghosts and blast them, and then a ping pong ball pops out and hit them. It’s weirdly awesome. The graphics were excellent, but the game is over super fast. Play this for the novelty factor and to add another fun activity to the gobs of Ghostbusters we’re able to partake in this summer.
RAY PARKER JR. ON ABC’S GREATEST HITS
It’s not too late, you still have a time left to dive into your own Ghostbusters activities, especially considering that the GB love-fest will likely continue all the way through Halloween. But for now, really let this summer sink in. We live in a world where Ray Parker Jr. arrived in an Ecto-1 surrounded by a troupe of female Ghostbuster dancers and performed the Ghostbusters theme song on a show called Greatest Hits on ABC. IS THIS REAL LIFE? He sounded frigging amazing as if it was 1984 all over again. I’ve watched it 8 times (click the pic above for the link). This summer of Ghostbusters is like a magnificent feast of Chinese food…make sure you slow down and savor it!
ShopRite or Shangri-La?
Adults traversing their entire state chasing down juice boxes is normal right? Who knew we’d be grown ass adults searching feverishly for a tiny box of green juice that we used to bring in our lunch boxes as kids. It makes sense though, it’s sort of similar to finding the fountain of youth. Ecto Cooler hasn’t been on store shelves in so long that having the opportunity to suck that ectoplazmic green elixir out of that beautifully retro Hi-C container is worth going to the ends of the earth for, or in my case, New Jersey. And I pretty much did just that. Those color changing Ecto Cooler cans were procured on a wild goose chase that you can hear on a recent Purple Stuff Podcast, but the elusive juice boxes were still, well…eluding me. By the time you read this, you’ll probably have gulped down 3-4 cases of juice boxes already, but let me tell you about the night that I finally found them.