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In 2011, Americans spent over 5.8 billion dollars on Halloween-related items. Five. BILLION. Assuming three quarters of the money was spent on candy and costumes, Halloween’s raison d’etre, that still leaves an enormous chunk of change frittered away on decor and gewgaws (and here I add my personal opinion that to purchase a costume is itself a waste).

It’s no surprise retailers latch onto Halloween as another excuse to push useless junk, or that the candy industry (ALLEGEDLY) tampered with time itself just to boost sales. Still, seeing the actual, physical detritus for sale is a depressing glimpse at naked capitalism, junk for junk’s sake churned out by the millions and sold at lower and lower prices until three days after the holiday, their true value is revealed in the dumpster behind the store.

It’s not all gloom and doom (though that would actually be semi-appropriate for a holiday based on appeasing and tricking the spirits of angry dead relatives into not killing you) – the absolute crap up for grabs is, in its own sad way, a Halloween treat. Below are some choice selections from Target’s vast warehouse of holiday goods:

Please explain to me what part of this wig is ‘urban’; perhaps that young Grandpa Munster’s out for a night on the town?

Of all the creeping Britishisms worming their way into American culture, ‘ginger’ is most irksome for its inherent insult and the fact ginger is not actually that color, ever.

The truly great catalog models stay deadly serious in character even wearing a mustache wider than their face.

Or a mop on their head.

He looks like a hissing cat. Also, dressing up as another holiday on Halloween should be a punishable offense.

It’s Peggy Bundy. Just call it ‘Peggy Bundy’.

This is a costume?


Look at fake prepubescent Paul Stanley’s drawn-on chest hair! LOOK AT IT.

AAAAAH! WHY WOULD YOU NOT JUST PAINT YOUR FACE? Do you truly need the frozen visage of Paul Stanley staring out at the world like a somehow more horrifying Michael Myers?

Black Metal Carnivale!

I found it. I have found the lamest Halloween costume.

First, for the crime of dressing up as another holiday on Halloween. Second, for doing so with a total third-tier holiday. Third, ‘history hero’ is not the first phrase that comes to mind to describe Columbus. Fourth, it’s not a costume, it’s a ‘disguise kit’, implying some sort of Carmen Sandiego shenanigans going on, but with whole continents instead of national landmarks. Fifth, what child actually wants to dress up as a really crappy governor and semi-competent seafarer?

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Alice Cooper and the Muppets

Spooky Cakes

“Paranoid” from Black Sabbath at a 1970′s show in Paris. All the songs from this show are amazing, and available on YouTube.

“Are you a violent person?” “Uh, yeah, if I have to be.”
Holy crap, I want the shirt he’s talking about. This thing is eminently quotable. He will fight you, he will fight your family, and he will fight the abstract concept of religion. The interview with John Christ at the end’s just as good: “How many girlfriends do you have?” “….”(shreds guitar).

I’ve actually never seen this movie. I read the book when I was 14 and it scared me pretty badly. It also didn’t help that I stayed over my cousin’s house with the rest of my extended family one night while reading it. I was in a sleeping bag on the floor next to my cousin’s raised bed. I woke earlier than everyone else, and since I was near the end figured I’d try to finish the book before breakfast. I was so engrossed one of my other cousins tiptoed in without me noticing, crawled under the bed and grabbed my arm. I shrieked for a solid minute and woke up everyone in the house, on all three floors.

‘St. James Infirmary’ from the Fleischer Bros. ‘Snow White’. An excellent use of rotoscoping on Cab Calloway’s slick moves.

Night of the Living Bread. Romero liked it so much, he put it on his official release of the movie.

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Just in time for the holiday season, I’ve compiled all that is spooky and silly into the ultimate soundtrack! Since my love of Halloween knows no bounds, it’s spilled over into two discs of pure screeching audio terror! If you’re one of the usual suspects you’ll be getting one in the mail, but if you’d like one, do ask.

I want YOU to have this album!

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