Halloween/Full Moon Extravaganza : Trick ‘r Treat (2007) (Recap #77)

trickrtreat

Title: Trick ‘r Treat

Released: Started the film festival rounds in the US on Dec. 9, 2007, with theater release on Oct. 4, 2009 followed by DVD premiere Oct. 6, 2009 (Yeah, this movie got kind of fucked over, distribution-wise.)

Written and directed by: Michael Dougherty

Description: Interwoven stories demonstrate that some traditions are best not forgotten as the residents (Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, Dylan Baker) of a small town face real ghosts and goblins on Halloween. Tales of terror reveal the consequences of extinguishing a Jack-o-Lantern before midnight and a grumpy hermit’s encounter with a sinister trick-or-treater.

Nostalgia Time!


This movie is described as an anthology. And, okay, I guess. It’s an anthology the way Pulp Fiction is an anthology. It’s not an anthology in the way that usually comes to mind when someone says “anthology.” It’s not made up of self-contained vignettes that we stick with from beginning to end. We do jump around some. Apparently the writer/director wanted to do a cut that kept all the stories together like a traditional anthology, but honestly, I think that would take away some of the magic of this movie.

I don’t remember exactly when I saw this for the first time, but I fell in love with it immediately. Whenever I can, I’ve made it annual Halloween viewing, which wasn’t always easy since it seems like it’s rarely streaming anywhere that doesn’t require an extra rental fee. This year, I just said “fuck it” and bought it at the Vintage Stock in one of our local malls. (The mall is struggling, but still alive. For now.) I had actually forgotten what movies I was going to look for when we got there, but fortunately it was prominently displayed on a Halloween shelf when we walked in, and I was like, “Oh, yeah, fucking duh! Trick ‘r Treat!”

Anyway, Happy Full Moon Halloween!

Continue reading “Halloween/Full Moon Extravaganza : Trick ‘r Treat (2007) (Recap #77)”

Recap #71 – Full Moon Blowout: Tales From the Crypt “The Secret” – ep 2.18

tftcthesecret
Cover art by Mike Vosberg

Title: The Secret

Series: Tales From the Crypt

Original Airdate: July 31, 1990

Description: A 12-year-old orphan is adopted by a rich childless couple (William Frankfather and Grace Zabriskie) who harbor a dark secret. However, the couple themselves do not realize that the young orphan has a dark secret of his own.

Note: This wasn’t actually the cover photo I wanted to use, but every screencap I could find was way too spoilery. So instead, enjoy the episode art that the Cryptkeeper shows us going into the episode.

 

Nostalgia Time!


Boy, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these full moon werewolf recaps, huh? I’m really slacking on them! But here we have the second of the two whole werewolf episodes Tales From the Crypt ever did, and like the other one, this one also has vampires. Well, who doesn’t like vampires with their werewolves, I guess.

So, I really dig this episode. I know I didn’t include it in my favorites list I published a while back, but for a while I had this episode on constant rotation. Due in part to Larry Drake, whose performances I always enjoy. (RIP. And seriously, he’s the only good thing about Dr. Giggles.) Vampires, werewolves, mysterious goings-on . . . yeah, this episode sells it hard.

Continue reading “Recap #71 – Full Moon Blowout: Tales From the Crypt “The Secret” – ep 2.18″

Recap #67 – The Cheerleader by Caroline B. Cooney

cheerleader

Title: The Cheerleader (Vampire’s Promise trilogy, Book 1)

Author: Caroline B. Cooney

Published: June 1991

Tagline: She would do anything to be popular.

Description: She wants it all. But he wants more.

The cheerleader. The beautiful, popular girl who sparkles with energy and excitement. The girl everyone looks at with envy. The girl Althea longs to be.

Althea is a nobody. Invisible. She gets no phone calls, shares no laughter, has no friends.

Until she meets him.

“Suppose,” he says with an evil smile, “that I could make you popular.” All Althea has to do is agree to a simple bargain. An evil bargain. And she becomes a cheerleader.

But Althea wants more.

And she’ll do whatever she has to do to get it.

Nostalgia Time!


Boy, you wouldn’t think a book called “The Cheerleader” would turn out to be about a vampire, would you? Or, a . . . wishpire? Djinnpire? Vamdjinn? Vajinn? . . . Vagina? . . . I’ll stop now. It’s a goddamn vampire who grants wishes, okay?

This book would have come out around the time I was turning 10, but I’m pretty sure I read the second one in the trilogy first. So I was probably 11 or 12 when I read this series. I used to love this trilogy, and wish for my own wishpire to grant me friends and popularity (and when we get to the second book, add “beauty, brains, and athleticism” to the list). Look, I was a sad kid, okay? Fifth grade was awful, the beginning of sixth was going okay until some girl who hated me started turning my new best friend against me, then we moved from California back to Kansas and I basically just stopped going to school; fell into the throes of debilitating social anxiety and depression . . . it was a dark time in my life, especially from ages 11-14ish. That’s one of the reasons these old books meant so much to me – they were my escape.

As a kid, I read this and wanted some magical being to come fix my life, too. I probably would have done some morally shady shit to be liked, just like the girl in this book. I’ve mostly moved on from that mindset, but that sad, angry tween is still floating around somewhere in the back of my head, popping up every now and then to be angry and sad at me. I remember the wish-fulfillment present in reading this as that kid, but I no longer feel it present in reading this as an adult.

Also, a note on Cooney – her writing style is one of the more challenging ones to get through among the Point Horror authors. Not because it’s an advanced writing style or anything, but because it’s so dreamy-feeling. Some people have described it as “whimsical,” but I describe it as “gauzy.” It’s like reading everything through a warm haze. Like gauzy curtains blowing around you on a hot summer day. This can be either comforting or cloying, depending on your mood, and the particular story. I don’t think this is a thing I noticed as a kid, but as an adult it slaps you in the face. Gauzy curtains whipping around in the hot wind, slapping the living shit out of your grown-ass face.

Continue reading “Recap #67 – The Cheerleader by Caroline B. Cooney”

Recap #61 – Fright Night Part 2 (1988)

frightnightpart2

Title: Fright Night Part 2

Director: Tommy Lee Wallace

Released: May 19, 1989 (US)

Description: Three years after the vampire was destroyed in Fright Night, his sister – in the guise of a mysterious performer – seeks revenge on the heroic duo who carried out the staking.

 

 

Nostalgia Time!


First of all, that description up there doesn’t do this movie the justice it deserves, but it was the best one I could find online. This is a pretty solid horror movie sequel that nobody seems to know about, and I’ll hit some of the reasons for that at the end of this recap.

While I don’t have the same attachment to this one as I do the original Fright Night, I’ve seen it a few times and really enjoy it. In this one, they flip it from Charley screeching about vampires and having no chill, to Peter Vincent being convinced there are vampires and Charley no longer believing. There are some new elements added to the mix, while still keeping the Fright Night vibe going. I can’t say I love this one as much as the original, but it’s still a lot of fun.

Continue reading “Recap #61 – Fright Night Part 2 (1988)”

A Celebration of 90’s Horror: The Decade That’s Better Than You Remember

90sHorror
Look at all of this good horror! LOOK AT IT!

Hey, folks! Lately I’ve been hearing/reading that a lot of people think horror in the nineties sucked. Different people seem to be referring to different things – quality of movies, or the variety of movies available. I’m baffled by this opinion, as the nineties had so many great movies, and a huge variety of horror sub-genres. Seriously, the nineties couldn’t figure out what they wanted to be, so they threw everything at us. And that’s a good thing! It resulted in a decade that assured that no matter your personal horror tastes, there would be something there to please you. It was the decade that either kicked off or continued dozens of huge horror franchises. Hell, it was the decade of the Stephen King miniseries! A terrible decade for horror? I . . . I don’t understand these words coming out of your mouth. (Or your Twitter, or your Reddit, or your . . . well, you get the picture.)

So, take my hand and join me on this journey through the nineties, year by year, as we explore the best the decade had to offer.

Continue reading “A Celebration of 90’s Horror: The Decade That’s Better Than You Remember”

Recap #50b – Fright Night (2011)

frightnight2011

Title: Fright Night

Director: Craig Gillespie

Released: August 19, 2011

Description: Meet the sexy new neighbor, Jerry Dandrige (Colin Farrell). He’s dangerously charming – and utterly lethal. That’s because he just happens to be a vampire, and out for blood . . . buckets of it. After high school senior Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) makes the connection between Jerry’s suspicious activity and a steadily rising body count, he vows to end the reign of terror next door. But he can’t do it alone. His only hope is Las Vegas magician/vampire-slayer Peter Vincent (David Tennant). Together, this unlikely duo set out to end Jerry’s evil rampage. But Jerry is a ruthless, relentless killer, and he’s not going down without a fight. Get set to sink your teeth into this thrilling re-vamp of the terrifying horror classic. Featuring a star-studded cast and crawling with bonus (sic), Fright Night will captivate you from the very first bite!

Nostalgia Time!


So, like I said in my recap of the original Fright Night, I decided to recap both versions of this movie as a combination of my 50th recap for this site and my birthday recap. I couldn’t think of anything birthday related, and I suddenly got it in my head that this would be fun. So I had to run out to the mall (yep, that’s . . . still a thing) and buy this version, because I didn’t own it and it’s not streaming anywhere. Boyfriend wasn’t even aware this version existed, but when I told him David Tennant and Colin Farrell are in it, he told me, “Ah, okay, that explains why you like it.” I mean . . . he’s not wrong. Anyway, it’s just a happy coincidence that both the OG and this one came out in theaters in August of their respective years. So we’re all celebrating birthdays this month! Yay!

I don’t have the same connection to this one that I have to the original – I saw it once in February of 2012, and didn’t remember it at all. Watching it for this recap was seriously like watching it for the first time – I didn’t remember anything that was going to happen. I didn’t even remember how much I liked it before, but I found the old notebook in which I used to write down every movie I watched (look, I’m very precise about very odd things, okay?) and I found this one listed as such: “2/6/2012: Fright Night 2011 – Pretty great remake. Not as cheesy as the original.” (It was also the 32nd movie I’d watched so far that year. Damn I’ve slowed down my movie-watching since then.)

So, I guess I liked it. And I’m not alone – it has a 6.4 on IMDb, and a 72% on Rotten Tomatoes. Which is a bit higher than I expected, given the tendency of people to shit on remakes just because they can.

Also, real quick: I’m not here to compare and contrast this version with the OG in this recap. Some comparison may be unavoidable, but I’m going to do my best to approach this version on its own merits. Despite being a remake, it’s not really the same story at all, and is very much its own thing, so I’m going to treat it that way.

Oh. Except for this:

20190811_163545
Well, this didn’t clear things up at all. Also, my polls are clearly not very popular. Oh, well, at least nobody chose to call me a dope!

Continue reading “Recap #50b – Fright Night (2011)”

Recap #50a – Fright Night (1985)

frightnightOG

Title: Fright Night

Director: Tom Holland

Released: August 2, 1985

Description: Meet Jerry Dandrige. He’s sweet, sexy, and he likes to sleep in late. You might think he’s the perfect neighbor. But before inviting Jerry in for a nightcap, there’s just one thing you should know. Jerry prefers his drinks warm, red – and straight from the jugular! It’s FRIGHT NIGHT, a horrific howl starring Chris Sarandon as the seductive vampire and William Ragsdale as the frantic teenager struggling to keep Jerry’s deadly fangs out of his neck. Only 17-year-old Charley Brewster knows Jerry’s bloodcurdling secret. When Charley can’t get anybody to believe him, he turns to TV horror host Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall), who used to be the “Great Vampire Killer” of the movies. Can these mortals save Charley and his sweetheart Amy (Amanda Bearse) from the wrathful bloodsucker’s toothy embrace? If you love being scared, FRIGHT NIGHT will give you the nightmare of your life!

Nostalgia Time!


So, we’re back around to August, which means it’s time for my birthday again, which also happens to coincide with my 50th recap. This year, I decided to do something I’ve never done before, which is to recap a movie and its remake back-to-back. Hence why this is labeled Recap #50a instead of just 50. The 2011 version of Fright Night will of course be Recap #50b.

This movie was released eleven days before my fourth birthday. I can’t for the life of me remember when I saw it for the first time. I was super obsessed with vampires between the ages of about 16-19, so it was probably sometime in there. This movie is 80s as fuck. The effects are cheesy as hell. But it’s a vampire classic, and deservedly so. I’ve seen it an obscene number of times at this point, and I still love its cheesy, goofy ass.

I also love these back-of-box descriptions that are basically acting as hype man for the movie. Eighties. As. Fuck. (Except the box description for the 2011 version also kind of does this, so I guess I can’t completely blame the 80s. *shrug*)

Continue reading “Recap #50a – Fright Night (1985)”

Recap #31 – Full Moon Blowout – Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Phases” – ep 2.15

buffy

Title: Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 2 episode 15, “Phases”

Writers: Rob Des Hotel and Dean Batali

Director: Bruce Seth Green

Originally Aired: January 27, 1998

Description: Buffy and her friends discover secrets about themselves as they battle a werewolf, its hunter, and their own emotions. (From IMDb)

Nostalgia Time!


I love Buffy, y’all. Even with my less-than-stellar opinion of Joss Whedon, I still love Buffy. I have a complicated relationship with some of the problematic elements of Buffy, but this particular episode keeps those problems to a minimum. I think. Xander is still awful, because he usually is, but somewhat less so than in some other episodes. If I remember correctly, this is the first werewolf episode of the series, and even though I’m sure a lot of you guys have seen it, I’m still not going to spoil anything before its time, no worries.

I didn’t start watching Buffy until the end of Season 3, and then I mostly started watching it because I was a huge Star Trek: Deep Space Nine fan, and I discovered that Armin Shimerman (Quark) played Principal Snyder on Buffy. Um, the end of Season 3 was a bad place to start watching for him, y’all. But I fell in love with the show and started watching regularly, and watching from the beginning. I think the only reason I didn’t watch it when it first started airing was because I wanted to believe I was Cool Girl™ who didn’t fall in line with mainstream girly crap. I was a judgmental idiot who had shitty opinions on things I’d never given a chance.

Anyway, Buffy, amirite, y’all?!

Continue reading “Recap #31 – Full Moon Blowout – Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Phases” – ep 2.15″

Recap #10 – Full Moon Blowout: Tales From the Crypt Ep. 4.13 – “Werewolf Concerto”

tftcwerewolfconcerto01

Title: Tales From the Crypt, Season 4 Episode 13 – Werewolf Concerto

Directed by: Steve Perry

Originally Aired: Sept. 9, 1992

Description: An Agatha Christie-style mystery sees the inhabitants of a remote hotel terrorized by rumors of a werewolf prowling the area. Not to fear, as a self-appointed werewolf hunter is amongst them. But might he have a dark secret of his own?

Nostalgia Time!


I love Tales From the Crypt and have seen every episode multiple times. I will argue that there are no bad Tales From the Crypt, even though that is just demonstrably not true, but that’s how much I fucking love this series. Having said that, this is one of those episodes I know I’ve seen several times, but I never remember what happens. But what’s to know, really? It’s a werewolf and werewolf hunter at a fancy lodge in the woods. Enough said? Let’s go!

Continue reading “Recap #10 – Full Moon Blowout: Tales From the Crypt Ep. 4.13 – “Werewolf Concerto””

Recap #4 – Goosebumps #1: Welcome to Dead House – R.L. Stine

Welcome_to_Dead_House_(Cover)

Title: Goosebumps #1: Welcome to Dead House

Author: R.L. Stine

Published: 1992

Description: Look alive! Amanda and Josh think the old house they have just moved into is weird. Spooky. Possibly haunted. And the town of Dark Falls is pretty strange, too.

But their parents don’t believe them. You’ll get used to it, they say. Go out and make some new friends.

So Amanda and Josh do. But these new friends are not exactly what their parents had in mind.

Because they want to be friends . . . forever.

Tagline: It will just kill you.

Note: Hey, guys! For even more opinions about Goosebumps, go check out the Nightmare on Fear Street podcast where Zack, Meg, and Ember talk about this book. They’re a ton of fun to listen to, and well worth your time!

Note Part 2: Since this is more of a kids’ book than my previous recaps, I’m going to try to keep the swearing to a minimum. (No F-bombs, at least.) I’m an easily frustrated, very sweary type of person, though, so we’ll see how this goes.

Nostalgia Time!


I started reading Goosebumps when I was already a bit over the target demographic – probably around 15 or so. I used to spend the night at my three-years-younger-than-me cousin’s house and read her Goosebumps books in the morning when everyone was still asleep and I had nothing else to do. I found this one in a box of my old books (along with a couple others that I do remember reading), so I assume I’ve read it, but I just don’t remember anything about it. At all. Even listening to the lovelies at A Nightmare on Fear Street podcast talk about it didn’t jog my memory much (at all, really?), so this is going to be an interesting one. I’m going in blind, guys!

Continue reading “Recap #4 – Goosebumps #1: Welcome to Dead House – R.L. Stine”