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Showing posts from 2013

Have Yourself a Scary Christmas!

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Scary Movies for the Holidays

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As we head into the final weekend before Christmas, many of you will be exhausted from long days of shopping, decorating or other yuletide shenanigans. It's time to kick back and watch a holiday-themed scary movie! Many of the holiday horror movies came from the 80s when serial killers and bad taste were in fashion. Some films veered towards the sleazy (1984's  Don't Open Until Christmas ), or unwatchable (1980's Christmas Evil ) but they're were meant to offer counter programming for the excessive cheer and goodwill. Below is a list notable (but not necessarily great) scary movies for the holidays. Some are family-friendly fare, while some really should only be seen by hardcore horror enthusiasts. Watch at your own risk. 1. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)  – This Finnish film is probably the single best holiday-horror hybrid. It tells the story of the "real" Santa and his demon elves. It's also a strangely touching coming-of-age story an

A Celebration of Friday the 13th

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Tomorrow marks the last Friday the 13th of 2013. We had only two hexed days this year and next year we only have 1 (in June)! For horror enthusiasts, this calendar day is a perfect opportunity to celebrate Jason Voorhees (and his mother... and his impostor... and his body possessing soul?) with a Friday the 13th movie marathon. (The first two are the best but if you need a viewer's guide to the series  read this post at Bloody-Disgusting .) The Blu-ray Box Set Warner Bros. released  Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection  on blu-ray this fall, which includes all 10 movies in the series plus  Freddy vs. Jason,  and the 2009 reboot.  The set also includes a "Killer Extras" bonus DVD and a 40 page booklet excerpted from the 2006 hardcover book,  Crystal Lake Memories.  (Editor's note: Amazon suspended sales of the box set due to production problems that scratched several of the discs. If giving this set as a gift make sure you the store has a decent return poli

Angry Orchard Cinnful Apple

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The Boston Beer Company (the people behind Samuel Adams) likes their seasonal beers. And this year, their hard cider line Angry Orchard put out a seasonal flavor called Cinnful Apple . It's a perfect spicy blend for the holidays and it also features their scary tree artwork with a bloody red background. It's semi-sweet with an almost candy apple-like flavor with a subtle cinnamon kick that doesn't overpower the tart apple.  At a party last weekend, a kid kept staring at the bottle and asked me why I was drinking Halloween beer at Christmas. I'm not sure I understand the marketing angle of this cider, but it's scary, so that alone is a reason to love it.  (Make sure to check out their site for hard cider cocktail recipes!)

Scary Cookies II: The Recipe to Die For

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Yesterday I posted about making scary cookies. Today, Britta, Webmistress of the Dark has shared her favorite recipe for a dark, delicious (and deadly addictive) Pepperkakor, a Swedish ginger cookie thats much more tender than traditional American brick-like gingerbread. I first encountered this cookie at IKEA since they sell Anna's Ginger Thins at the checkout counter. Oddly, many recipes for Pepparkakor call for black pepper so add 1/4 –1/2 tsp if you feel the need to scare the taste buds. Britta writes: Below is the recipe I used for the gingerbread I just made. I went conservative with the flour because sometimes the weather changes the moisture, and I've had times when too much flour made the dough too crumbly to roll. I think it needed up to 1/2 cup more flour to roll without sticking. Below are some additional tips: Roll directly onto silicone baking mat , then scoot the mat onto the baking sheet before putting in the oven. (You can use parchment paper but that s

Scary Cookies

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One day I will no longer be invited to holiday cookie swap parties, but until then, I will be bringing scary cookies to unsuspecting merrymakers. I know the season is all about tinsel and jolly reindeer, but is it wrong to include cookies with sparkly blood? Gravefully, Fred & Friends  agrees with me and makes some great cookie cutters. You can use standard gingerbread man cookie cutter and simply use a knife to cut off arms and heads, or form bites. If you are making a lot of cookies, you might want to get Fred's ABC Gingerbread Cookie Cutters , since it will go a lot faster with a pre-made mold. This is a perfect use for sparkly red blood gel icing. Festive and grisly! These  Gingerdead Men Cookie Cutters  make the job easier by employing the cut-n-stamp action – you cut out the shape with one side and stamp the design into the cookie with the other. If you are not great at frosting cookies, these are also much easier to decorate. You make a runny icing

ThanksKilling: The Musical

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Happy Turkie Day!?! After the kids and grandparents are soundly tucked away for the evening, perhaps a late-night horror movie will settle your overfilled gullet. There aren't many Thankgiving-themed horror movies, but if you can appreciate cheesy, raunchy, grade Z, puppet mayhem you must check out  ThanksKilling   (available on iTunes) and  ThanksKilling 3   (available on Amazon Prime and iTunes). Yup, those irreverent geniuses skipped part 2 since most horror sequels suck, and the third movie in franchises tend to jump the shark altogether. Thankskilling 3 features not only "Turkie" from the first movie but a host of other puppets – sort of like a low-brow, post-apocalyptic and bloody  Avenue Q (the Broadway show with naughty puppets). In a bizarre twist, the movie has leapt from screen to stage with  ThanksKilling: The Musical brought to you by the wonderfully twisted folks at  Balagan Theatre  company. Balagan's off-kilter answer to the "tradition

Pumpkin Liquor Cocktails

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Pumpkin's days are numbered since Fall "ends" with Thanksgiving. Celebrate a great season with a cocktail using the new Kahlúa Pumpkin Spice Liquor or Fulton's Harvest Pumpkin Pie Cream Liquor.  These two liquors make simple pour-over-ice-and-serve drinks, or you can make a cocktail. Take a look at the following recipes. Kahlúa Pumpkin Spice Martini Recipe from Kahlúa 1 ½ parts Kahlua Pumpkin Spice 1 ½ parts ABSOLUT Vodka Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with orange zest. Kahlua Caramel Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe from What's Cookin' Chicago 8 oz fresh brewed coffee 1 part Kahlúa Pumpkin Spice liqueur 1 part half & half 2 tablespoons whipped cream 1 tablespoon caramel sauce Combine coffee, Kahlúa Pumpkin Spice liqueur and half & half in a large mug. Top with whipped cream. Drizzle caramel sauce over whipped cream to garnish. Mellow Pumpkin

Dracula (2013 TV Series): Review

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Three shows in and Dracula continues to both surprise and stupefying. Even though this is a “limited series” I’m not sure how this show ever got made. It’s a gothic period piece set in England and with a reimagining of a classic monster villain. It’s artistically rendered with lush set pieces, hundreds of extras, period clothing and cars, gratuitous sex, vicious gore, and it’s all strangely absorbing. In this version, Van Helsing reanimates and enlists Dracula to aid him in destroying a secret Order of the Dragons who are hellbent on controlling the world through capital, energy and oil. Dracula’s plan is to develop a new energy using electromagnetic science (!) to satiate the world’s energy needs (which gives the show a cool steampunk leaning). Jonathan Harker, Mina Murray, Lucy Westenra, and Reinfield are all sort of thrown in subplots, triangles, yada yada. With such a departure from the source material, using the character names from Bram Stoker’s classic is simply a means to

Grabbers: Review

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Grabbers is a horror-comedy from the UK & Ireland that pays homage to B-movies, sci-fi, and buddy cop movies. It’s a mix of Tremors, Slither  and Gremlins with a touch of Shaun of the Dead and the result is a frothy, inebriated, and entertaining creature feature. When an outer space monster wrecks havoc on a small island village, the local sheriffs discover that the only way to avoid being eaten is to be cold-stone drunk. (Yes, this is definitely worth seeing while knocking back a few beers.) Grabbers doesn’t take itself too seriously or aspire to be more than the run-of-the-mill monster movie, but its perfectly gleeful, offbeat tone manages to create a fun atmosphere that horror-comedies rarely achieve. This is due largely to the brilliant assemble cast, crisp writing, and a brisk tempo that keeps the action moving. Also, looking at this CGI monster, it’s difficult to believe that this is an indie film and not some overblown Hollywood schlock. The gore is minimal but the oc

Catching up with Britta, Webmistress of the Dark

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Several years ago, I purchased a copy of Eerie Elegance to review for my Halloween site. Upon looking at the publication information, I realized that the author lived 5 minutes from my house. Clearly fate wanted to bring us together, and this year I had the honor of joining her Scream Team. Over the course of four months, we worked tireless hours to bring her vision for her 20th annual Halloween party to life. The theme was Nightmare Before Christmas (in honor of it's 20th Anniversary) which long-time readers may know is my favorite movie of all time. Before we get to all the pictures, videos, and behind-the-scenes madness, Britta, Webmistress of the Dark shares some insights about her Halloween. Why do you like Halloween? Halloween is the most creative holiday. Not only are creative costumes a must, but so many varieties of decor can work for Halloween themes...and even better when you have fun making your own! What are must-have essentials for your Halloween decor? Candl

When Ghosts Attack: Review

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Paranormal TV shows continue to be churned out on a weekly basis. The latest to catch my eye is called  When Ghosts Attack  which premiered last month on Destination America. It feels more like an extension of their other hit show  A Haunting which features first-person accounts with the actual victims and reenactments with strangely similar-looking actors. The focus of this show is a very specific: malevolent forces that cause physical harm . Many paranormal experts believe that ghosts are rarely able to move objects – most don't even have enough energy to visually appear. Often physical hauntings are believed to be caused by non-human forces (shudder), so perhaps this show should be called When DEMONS Attack. That's probably a little too intense for Destination America but it makes this well-produced series more compelling. Each story is given a short 30 minutes to unfold and rarely offers a resolution for the victims, many of whom simply flee. Viewers of haunting shows k

The Bigfoot Mystery

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When I was a kid, my mother’s boyfriend left the house in the middle of the night, dragging enormous boot prints through the snow in the front yard. My sisters and I thought immediately—bigfoot, sasquatch, the abominable snowman. We thought of the furry but kindhearted beast in the old Rudolph television show, but scarier, much scarier. Just weeks earlier, one of the two sisters and I had made long moaning noises, throaty groans, outside the youngest sister’s window. We got in a lot of trouble.  It was Halloween times and we lacked costumes, but we began what turned into a lifelong obsession with Bigfoot. We weren’t the only ones—for years, people have been impersonating Bigfoot by sporting both good and subpar Halloween costumes. Below are a few of their stories. Georgia Hoax In 2008, a Georgia Sheriff’s Deputy and his friend acquired a Bigfoot Halloween costume they thought would take them all the way. Claiming to have discovered a body, the pair went live with photos an

Bigfoot is Back

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Bigfoot lore is always a hot property. In the new book released this August, Abominable Science! Origins of the Yeti , Nessie, and Other Famous Cryptids, authors Daniel Loxton and Donald Prothero look at the history of a number of famous (and infamous) beasts, analyzing evidence in favor and against their existence. While Loxton writes for Skeptic magazine , Prothero is a paleontologist—the combination allows for a thorough and interesting explanation of the things we believe in. If you are a fan of Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot , prepare for a new season starting this Sunday, November 10th. It promises a global bigfoot exploration with something for everyone. Director Bobcat Goldthwait's new found footage movie called Willow Creek , which has been making the festival rounds earlier this year is slated for release this fall. (See the trailer below.) YouTube link Guest post by  Lydia Mondy , who believes in the power of belief and anchovies on pi

No Rest for the Wicked

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The first few weeks in November are a good time to decompress, sort through hundreds of photos, and store all those wicked things in coordinated orange bins. After a very long season, two major Halloween projects, and a new website that I've cooked up, I'm hoping to be caught up very soon. Stay tuned for more scary things. Guest Posts I've been running a few guest posts to share some news and information that I think would be interesting to readers of My Scary Blog. If you are interested in submitting an article, please email me at myscaryhalloween@me.com . Posts should be relevant or timely, about something scary, and express a personal viewpoint. I'm always looking for movie & TV reviews (because I can see everything), product recommendations (because I like useful stuff), or any Halloween-related photos, yard haunts, costumes, recipes or ideas (because we all need inspiration). Posts may be edited for length and clarity, and I can't prom

Pixar & Guillermo del Toro Working on Dia de los Muertos Films

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Even with the large Mexican-American population in the U.S. there has yet to be a mainstream film that embraces this very important, visually-striking, and colorful holiday. The next few years will remedy that with two upcoming family films meant to capitalize on Dia de los Muertos. The Book of Life The Guillermo del Toro produced animated film to be released in October 17, 2014. The film has been described as a Romeo and Juliet style love story set against a Mexican Day of the Dead backdrop and follows the journey of Manolo, a young man who is torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart. Before choosing which path to follow, he embarks on an incredible adventure in three fantastical worlds where he must face his greatest fears. The film is being directed by  Jorge R. Gutierrez  who is no stranger to the colorful skeletons and whimsical nature of the holiday,a and stars the voices of Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, Diego Lina and Christina Applegat

Feliz Dia de los Muertos

The Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos is celebrated over 2 days, November 1 & 2. Many think that it's the Latin Halloween, but that's not quite right. Yes, there are calaveras ("skeletons") and costumes, but it's a more personal celebration where family members gather to remember loved ones who have passed on. It's also a very colorful and ornate holiday full of colored paper, marigolds, pan de muerto ("bread of the dead"), and ofrendas ("small shrines") of the belongings and favorite food of the deceased. All this is meant to ensure that the living remain connected the past, that younger generations know their family history, and that the Mexican culture continues to embrace and respect Death (with a playful, familiar outlook). Below is a slideshow by photojournalist Enrico Martino who captured a Dia de los Muertos celebration in Oaxaca, Mexico. MEXICO, EL DIA DE LOS MUERTOS from enrico martino on Vimeo .

Final Count: 348 Trick 'r Treaters

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It took an army of fiends, but we got through the night and handed out candy to 348 trick 'r treaters. That's almost 100 more than last year! During the deluge of souls, I lurked outside to hear the comments, and many people remembered not only our house, but our specific decorations (which I rotate from year to year). I don't know why, but I find that so surprising. This year I added a projection to our front window (my first foray into more technologically-advanced decor) and most people loved it – a few were turned off by the "gore" and a few even passed our house saying it was too scary (while their kids rubbernecked with wide-eyes). Halloween is supposed to be scary! I was asked why I do this and my response is simple: to keep Halloween traditions alive. I want these kids to grow up and remember that weird house with all the scary lights, music and monsters. A few of them will wake up one day and realize that they have a yearning to create and share new

Happy Halloween 2013

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Darkness falls across the land  The midnight hour is close at hand  Creatures crawl in search of blood  To terrorize y'alls neighborhood  And whosoever shall be found  Without the soul for getting down  Must stand and face the hounds of hell  And rot inside a corpse's shell  The foulest stench is in the air  The funk of forty thousand years  And grisly ghouls from every tomb  Are closing in to seal your doom  And though you fight to stay alive  Your body starts to shiver  For no mere mortal can resist  The evil of the thriller (from Michael Jackson's Thriller)