Friday, August 30, 2013

Spirit Halloween 20% Off Coupon

Spirit Halloween stores are opening across the country this weekend and they're offering 20% off one item. The coupon was emailed to newsletter subscribers today, but it's also available on their website, tucked away on their "Find a Store" page. This coupon is good all season long, but act fast and download it today. Like a ghost, it will disappear at the blink of an eye! (Be sure to sign up for their newsletter and like their Facebook page for more special offers.)


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Catching up with... Pumpkin Rot

If you love Halloween, you must know about Pumpkin Rot. For over 10 years, this uniquely gifted artist has been creating scarecrows, witches, zombies and other props better than anything I've ever seen in movies or other haunts. And he has been thoughtfully documenting the results on his site www.pumpkinrot.com. He has now assembled a page of this greatest hits and it is wonderful inspiration for anyone who dreams of building their own props (like me), or just loves the dark holiday. I can't wait to see what he does next. Also make sure to bookmark his excellent blog, What's Brewing, which features daily Halloween inspiration.

www.pumpkinrot.com


If you'd like to own a piece of  Pumpkinrot sign up for his possible return to his Etsy shop where full-size props have been sold, or visit Primitives by Kathy for a series of sinister (and happy) resin pumpkins.



Meanwhile, make sure to keep an eye out for Mr. Jones, a found footage horror film that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival this year and features props built by Pumpkinrot. The film was acquired by Anchor Bay for distribution and it seems Halloween would be a great time to release it. There's no trailer yet, but here is a terrifying clip.



And finally, Pumpkinrot's debut short film, Swamp Foetus, is a culmination of his various works with perfect amount of atmosphere, costume and props. See the wickedness below.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Gris Grimly's Frankenstein

Illustrator Gris Grimly has released his most ambitious work to date: a fully illustrated adaptation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein based on the original 1818 text. The dense novel has been stripped to the bare essentials using his unique illustration (a darkly whimsical, often steampunk-ish, gothic flourish) to tell the tale. The result is an astonishing and beautiful book four years in the making (as detailed on his Frankenstein project blog).
From the publisher:
New York Times bestselling illustrator Gris Grimly has long considered Frankenstein to be one of his chief inspirations. From the bones and flesh of the original, he has cut and stitched Mary Shelley's text to his own artwork, creating something entirely new: a stunningly original remix, both classic and contemporary, sinister and seductive, heart-stopping and heartbreaking.
Gris Grimly has previously released two illustrated volumes of Edgar Allen Poe stories, and a retelling of Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow along with several wickedly wonderful children's books. Until earlier this year, he was also developing a darker take on Pinocchio as a stop-motion film with Guillermo del Toro but it looks like this project may be dead. Keep up with Gris Grimly via his website Mad Creator or Facebook.

Look at this stunning dust jacket (front, back, spine, and flaps all-in-one image)! Available from your favorite bookseller today (or through Amazon).




Friday, August 23, 2013

You're Next: Review

Something is happening to scary movies. Filmmakers know that audiences have seen every trick in the book, so horror movies are getting smarter. I didn't have much enthusiasm for this film going in (yay another grim and hopeless home invasion movie) and I am dumbfounded by how much I love it. Yes, it's utterly, bite-your-lip brutal but doesn't linger on the somber stuff. This is one well-paced machine that stays just a few beats ahead of the audience. With no recognizable actors it was impossible to tell who was getting slashed next which created an unpredictable atmosphere. And the movie is filled with a wicked sense of humor to further discombobulate you. Add to this the fearless performance by Sharni Vinson – this generation's answer to young Jamie Lee Curtis – and you've got a rare, non-remake, non-sequel gem that's made for jaded horror fans and mainstream audiences.




The World's End: Review

The World's End is a perfectly appealing character/sci-fi film that delivers on a promise and a perfect companion piece for Shaun of the Dead. Although instead of zombies gone amuck, it's robots. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost switch archetypes this time making Pegg an alcoholic schlub who can't seem to move on from the glory days of his youth. It's a funny and often heartbreaking scenario, brought to life by a very talented cast that works brilliantly together even when the absurdity reaches a frantic pace in the second half. Sure the lengthy prologue and epilogue that bookend the movie are a touch too long but the result is wholly satisfying. The sensibilities may be anti-Hollywood, but this is cheeky, irreverent UK film doesn't take itself too seriously and just wants to bloody entertain you.







Thursday, August 22, 2013

Heroes of Cosplay: The First of Its Kind

SyFy channel’s Heroes of Cosplay has garnered a mixed reception, with cosplayers expressing admiration, skepticism, and hatred of the show. For a costume nut like me, it definitely deserved a look.

The Show 
This is a show about cosplay competitions, not cosplay itself. For me, cosplay is about having fun and paying homage to my favorite characters. HoC is about those who put hours of artistry into a costume with the intention of being judged. I’ve seen them at Cons before – it’s hard not to admire them and their extraordinary attention to detail.

In the premiere episode, we were primarily introduced to the people; many of them are familiar to people in the cosplaying world like Yaya Han and Chloe Dykstra. The second episode stuck to the same formula as we were introduced to more cosplayers and their adventures. The costumes showcased so far were stunning, particularly a steampunk Poison Ivy and a picture-perfect Merida. It’s hard not to enjoy seeing these creations walk down the runway, even if you’re a nay-sayer.

Yaya Han
The Controversy
Speaking of nay-sayers, forums were buzzing after the premier about the reality-TV-ness of the show. “They’ve turn our beloved cosplay into just another cheesy reality TV show!” many ranted. And I agree with them. But I also think that this is necessary. Besides, the tension they showcase is not fake: everyone who has cosplayed has felt the pressures of a deadline. But they did add dramatic music and use emotionally manipulative editing. Some have said they’re disappointed that only the best of the best are depicted, but I don’t mind that HoC is decidedly “elitist.” If we want a cosplay show at all, I’m afraid we’ll have to put up with these tactics. It might be formulaic and frustrating, but it’s a successful way to run a TV show.

My only real complaint so far is that we only get glimpses of the actual construction process of the costumes. For someone like me, that’s torturous. I was really hoping to learn some of the tricks of the trade by watching the best of the best. Alas, even in the second installment of the show, there isn’t much to be seen. I yearn to feel like I’m really getting to see the whole process, which the show has yet to deliver.

Should You Watch?
Overall, I’m not overjoyed with the show so far. Reality TV just isn’t my favorite. Will I avoid making plans so I can sit and watch the show? Ehhh, no. But I will almost certainly set up my TiVo and watch it when I have the time. If you feel like tuning in, it airs on SyFy Tuesdays at 10pm, right after Face Off. If nothing else, you get to see some of the best cosplayers in their natural environment, so I encourage you to give it a try and report back!



MyScaryBlog's Costume Consultant Marie Sumner is an avid cosplayer and passionate writer who owns more superhero movies and comic books than anyone should be allowed to. To fuel her hobbies and childhood addictions she writes for WholesaleHalloweenCostumes.com which gives her an excuse to talk about comics, movies, and different types of outfits all day.




Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Martha Stewart Halloween Crafts

Attention crafters, Martha Stewart's 2013 Halloween crafting line is now available online at MarthaStewartCrafts.com (and will soon be available at Michaels, Jo-Anns, and other crafts stores). The new themes this year include Gothic Manor and Animal Masquerade. In addition to wickedly wonderful paper, punches, glitter, and scrapbooking items, there's also several interesting decorating products. Here's some of our favorites.


Window cling

Ghostly mirror clings

Pumpkin sleeves – no carving!

Wine labels


Skeleton hand cutouts

Skeleton treat bags
Creepy crawly treat bags






Friday, August 16, 2013

Ghost Adventures Premieres Tonight

Lovable lugheads Zak, Nick, and Aaron are back for Season 8 (8!!) of Ghost Adventures tonight on Travel Channel at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Even with all the creepy footage they manage to capture, the best part of the show is watching these friends interact while getting scared by pebble noises (and of course watching Zak Bagans be Zak Bagans). This year's special 2-hour Halloween episode will take them to Transylvania to explore the legend of Count Dracula and visit the area's haunted castles. Set the DVR now!



Thursday, August 15, 2013

10 Poisonous Foods

Witches often give unsuspecting maidens poisoned apples, as it turns out, apples can be deadly. Here's a video describing some common (and one not so common) foods that may kill us (if eaten wrong). The most shocking was the radioactive food that I found in my pantry. Yikes!



Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Jalapeño Mice Poppers

With Halloween preparations well underway I've been looking for new recipes to feature on the site and to make for parties. Since jalapeño poppers are everyone's favorite, making them resemble fried mice is just wickedly wonderful.

Jalapeño Chili Pepper Screamers



Thursday, August 8, 2013

Maniac (2013): Review

Elijah Wood loves horror films. Not the kind of thing you'd expect from a hobbit that talks to dogs. He is perfectly cast as the mousey introvert who loves three things: restoring French mannequins, his promiscuous mother, and scalping girls with pretty hair. It's as brutal as it sounds and although the Norman Bates overtones are nothing new, the twist here is that the movie is shot almost entirely from the perspective of the killer (making the audience responsible for each brutal act). Maniac is a rare remake that outshines it's predecessor – it's a dark, grim, extremely gory and an utterly compelling 80's-tinged serial killer movie for those who can stomach it.




Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Yankee Candle: Sold Out!

As usual, Yankee Candle has sold out of many of the Boney Bunch pieces, but fret not. Those still looking for 2013 pieces do not have to resort to the absurd eBay markups: the Snow White is going for $114 and the train is listed for $250. (Both of these retailed for $30-40.)











It appears that Yankee Candle might have withheld some stock to extend availability. A quick call to the customer service center confirmed that more pieces will be available the first week of September (September 3rd is stated on the website) and possibly some held for the first week of October. It was rather embarrassing to have no Boney Bunch product in stores during the month of October when the "regular" people begin to think of Halloween, especially when all the signage and catalogs feature the popular collection.

Also sold out and selling for $$$ on eBay






Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Devil's Backbone: Review

"What is a ghost?" Thus begin's Guillermo del Toro's The Devil's Backbone, a classic ghost story set at a rural orphanage during the last week of the Spanish Civil War. It's a hypnotic slow burn that's part murder mystery and part coming of age story, with a bit of historical melodrama thrown in. Produced by the acclaimed Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar, there is a strong stylistic tone throughout that complements del Toro's deft and emotional direction. Nothing is rushed in this movie and scenes unfold in tense, atmospheric trickles.

The 2001 film was restored by Criterion and released last week on blu-ray for the first time. It includes all the previous special features from the 2004 DVD release as well as slew of new extras, including an interactive director's notebook that takes you deeper into the movie. Beyond the incredibly improved picture quality, the highlight of the blu-ray is its audio which brings out the lush, dense soundtrack like never before. The pervasive wind, the ghostly yowls, the echoing chambers are all more resonant, and the lush orchestral score beautifully enhances the melancholy tone.

Because it's completely in Spanish, it may not be for every taste, but the new English subtitles (by del Toro himself!) have been greatly improved. And in the disc's introduction, del Toro says that this is his favorite movie (along with Pan's Labyrinth which he call's a companion piece) so that alone makes it a must-see/must-own for genre fans.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Halloween at Yankee Candle

The Boney Bunch and the rest of the Halloween line is now online at YankeeCandle.com! The preview party is this Saturday at 10am, and if you'd like any particular piece, shop early as they quickly sell out the more popular pieces. This year has some interesting pieces inspired by Frankenstein, Carrie (pre-blood drop), and... Snow White? Their other Halloween lines, Skeleton Crew and Black Cat are also back with several of last year's pieces. Take a look at some of our favorites.



Frankenstein and his Bride
This is totally Carrie at prom.
Bone White and the Seven Skele-dwarves, really? 
Bobbing for apples and heads
Bone dry

Bride and Groom (from 2008, online exclusive)

Black Cat Tea light Holder (from 2012)

Skeleton Crew Trio



Nevermore Raven Tealight Holder



Haunted House from Illuminations (how I miss you)

Spider Web Candelabra

Pumpkin and Ghost Votive Cups – these are awesome and cast great shadows

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Halloween Haven at Grandin Road

Halloween Haven has officially launched on the Grandin Road website. The shop is arranged by themes so exploring it all may take a while. There seems to be many headless figures, animated products, and gothic vampire costuming. Grandin Road never disappoints. Here are some of our favorites:

Bat Throw Pillow

Beaded Candelabra


Burtonesque trees

Designer Pumpkins & Pumpkin Stands

Flaming Black Charred Pumpkin

Animated Haunted Clock

Ouija Board Serving Tray


Skeleton Bull Dog

Lit Sign (perfect for blogger wicKED)

Animated Wilting Black Roses
Interactive Marble Busts

Lady in Black
Bitten Choker

Dagger Earring