Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

The day has finally come! As I'm too busy preparing for my movie marathon and giving away a ton of comics, enjoy a look back at how I celebrated Halloween in the past...










Creepy CBTs

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween Shuffle '09 - Part 2

I'm in the mood for some more spooky tunes...

Emerson, Lake & Palmer "Toccata"

Ok, the Giger album cover alone is enough to get this track on the list, but "Toccata" will always remind me of monster movies as it was the theme song for Channel 56's Creature Double Feature. Every Saturday afternoon, you could watch a pair of classics from Universal, Toho, and/or Roger Corman.

Mark Snow "Threnody in X"

I don't think it can be overstated that a large part of the success of The X-Files was due to composer Mark Snow. Week in and week out, he provided the audio atmosphere for some of the scariest moments on tv.

Bernard Hermann "The Murder"

Speaking of scary composers, I believe Bernard Hermann to be at the top of the list. I especially love his playful yet creepy work on The Trouble with Harry.

White Zombie "The One"

I think I've listened to this soundtrack more than any other of a movie I've never seen.

Danny Elfman "This Is Halloween"

Elfman also makes the list of scariest composers. And he's got the visual creep factor to go with the audio!

Charlie Daniels Band "The Devil Went Down to Georgia"

Practically the state theme song. Yes, the Devil did come here, though I'm not so sure he ever left. Ever seen the Muppet version?

The Cure "In Between Days"

For many Goths, every day is like Halloween without the treats. And Robert Smith wears almost as much make up as Gene Simmons.

Meatloaf "Bat out of Hell"

Most folks only know "Paradise by the Dashboard Light," but this whole album is a good listen. Not very scary, but good nonetheless.

Robert Rodriguez "His Prescription... Pain"

Robert Rodriguez's musical tribute to John Carpenter. For a couple of film directors, they are both very capable composers.

Oingo Boingo "No One Lives Forever"

If you ever have a Halloween party, this is the only album that you need.

That ends a random look at this year's sampling. Hope you have found just the right tune to get you in the mood. And if even one of these suggestions turns out to be an earworm, then the trick is on you!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


One of the biggest comic events of the year is DC's Blackest Night and IMHO, so far it has been one of the best series I have read in a long while. Masterfully written by Geoff Johns with fantastic art by Ivan Reis and Oclair Albert, this is not just another zombie story, but a real exploration of the meaning of life and death. Each issue features moments that have grabbed me (Dude. Licked. Bruce. Wayne's. Skull.), thrilled me (Black Lantern Aquaman commanding zombie sharks!), given my brain substance ("The Black Lanterns are not the invaders in this war. We are the invaders. We are the trespassers"), as well as eye candy (every two-page spread is frameable).

This week marks the halfway point in the series as issue #4 arrived in comic shops today. There's still plenty of time to join the ride! You can read issue #0 for FREE at DCU's Blackest Night site. The tie-in titles are fun, but not necessary. However, I would suggest reading both Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps monthly titles. Shout out the oath!
The Blackest Night
Falls from the Skies.
The Darkness Grows as All Light Dies.
We Crave Your Hearts and Your Demise.
By My Black Hand, The Dead Shall Rise!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pumpkins Old & New

Tomorrow night, two Halloween specials are scheduled to air at 8pm EST. Set the DVRs!

One is the classic It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Like his best friend's never ending quest to kick the football, Linus once again attempts to bare witness to The Great Pumpkin. This 1/2 hour special may be over 40 years old, but does not show its age (unlike some folks I could name).

Also airing Wednesday night (twice in one hour), is the new special Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins From Outer Space featuring the characters (and the voices) from the hit animated movie released earlier this year. The plot has to do with alien mutant pumpkins attempting to take over the Earth. Could they be lead by none other than The Great Pumpkin? Doubtful, but I'll be watching anyway.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Time to Scream

Tomorrow night, Spike TV airs the annual Scream Awards ceremony, a celebration of the past year in fantasy, sci-fi, and horror in a variety of mediums. In addition to giving out "Screamies," there are guests a-plenty including Megan Fox, Harrison Ford, Jessica Alba, William Shatner, Christina Ricci, Quinton Tarantino, Eliza Dushku, Keith Richards, Liv Tyler, Johnny Depp, Anna Paquin, Stan Lee, Tricia Helfer and many, many more.

In addition to the insanity that is the show itself, expect to see previews throughout the evening for upcoming genre fare, such as V, Blue Mountain State, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Battlestar Galactica: The Plan, The Revenant, Solomon Kane, and the new A Nightmare On Elm Street.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Vic Mizzy 1916-2009

Composer Vic Mizzy passed away last week. He was responsible for a number of popular tunes in the 30's & 40's, but will most likely be remembered for writing two tv theme songs in the 60's - "Green Acres" and "The Addams Family." Regarding the latter, "Mizzy played the harpsichord and sang the vocal parts (overdubbing his own voice three times) and coached the actors during the main-title sequence (including on-camera finger-snapping by the actors)," according to a recent article in Variety. In honor of Vic, snap your fingers along...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Monster Mike's Mini Marathon Movie #3

Due to the fact that Halloween is on a Saturday this year, I can stay up a while later than on a "work night," so I'll be watching more movies! My third choice for the evening is not so much horror as it is action/adventure, but I think the title and look of the main character justifies it being included. And I have been waiting a long time to see this again!

The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh is a three-part miniseries that aired on The Wonderful World of Disney is 1964. it was also released overseas as a feature film titled, Dr. Syn, Alias The Scarecrow. Patrick McGoohan plays Christopher Syn, an 18th century smuggler who was the main character in a series of novels by by Russell Thorndike. When I saw the miniseries in the 70's, it was cut down to two parts, but still made an impression. I specifically recall gothic images of the Scarecrow on horseback terrifying the King's men into submission. I am looking forward to seeing this series in its entirety.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Last month, the Queen of Horror Comics turned forty, but she doesn't look her age! In fact, she's got a new lease on life courtesy of Harris Comics' new series, Vampirella: Second Coming. Writer Phil Hester and artists Daniel Sampere and Al Rio promise a story worthy of the legend. Issue #1 hit the stands last month and was more of a tease than her iconic outfit. I am eager to find out the who, what, and why of this "second coming." It certainly feels as though the character is moving up to the next level. And did I mention that each issue only costs $1.99? At that low price you can easily afford to see for yourself and even buy more than one of the gorgeous variant covers.

I recommend checking out the new series! If you like what you see, there's an easy way to catch up on the last forty years. Harris recently released Vampirella Crimson Chronicles Maximum Volume 1. Over 400 pages of stories beginning with issue #1. At under $20, it is an affordable way to read some great stories featuring fabulous art! My only complaint is that the cover is not the one featured at the top of this post illustrated by Frank Frazetta (no offense to Jim Silke whatsoever).

For a preview of the new series and to see all that has come before, be sure to check out

Friday Night Videos

Thursday, October 22, 2009

This Halloween, The Hunt Continues Live

I have never had a paranormal experience in my life, but I do not dispel the notion that ghosts (or something similar) exist. I completely understand the fascination with and popularity of the Ghost Hunters on SyFy. And it certainly comes to no surprise that the ratings are up this time of year (nearly twice of other competing shows, such as Ghost Lab on Discovery and Extreme Paranormal on A&E). Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson, and the rest of the crew have proven they are the best and there's even more on the way with another spin-off, Ghost Hunters Academy, premiering next month.

It has become an annual Halloween tradition that millions of viewers get to spend the night on a case with the Ghost Hunters investigating the paranormal. This year, the target is the Essex County Hospital Center in New Jersey, where it is estimated that over 10,000 deaths occurred. The TAPS crew has visited the site before, but felt it warranted another look. The place has so much history of violence and abuse, there are bound to be some restless souls still lurking. Due to my movie marathon, I will not be following the event the entire night, but it will be interesting to check in between flicks.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Treat" the Kids to Comics!

This will be the third year I'll be giving out mini-comics to Trick-or-Treaters this Halloween and they seem to be getting more popular. In fact, earlier this summer I was wandering around the neighborhood trying to find one of our cats and came across a young boy who hadn't seen my cat, but would let me know if he did. Before I could tell him where he could find me, he said with a smile, "I know your house! You're the one that gives out comics on Halloween!" It was a good feeling and yes, we did eventually find our cat.

Surprised to see that there are no new mini-comics from Marvel this year, but Dark Horse Comics, Archie Comics, Fantagraphics, and Tokyopop have some that should do the "trick."

Personally, I'm excited to read the Star Wars comic since I found out it was penned by Steve Niles. I should stock up on those!

For more details on the comics themselves, check out Previewsworld, and to locate your nearest comic shop to pick some up, go to