Pumpkin Huntin’

There is no date day like pumpkin huntin’ with your spouse. We’re big fans of carving Jack-o-lanterns and the husband decided to go big this year. He bought a fancy clay tool set and a nice, new pumpkin carving set with a storage case. That boy has plans. It was a chilly fall day and we got lunch while we were out. It was a small thing that lifted our spirits.

The options.
The winners.

Do you have big jack-o-lantern plans this year? What was your favorite jack-o-lantern that you ever carved?

Tricks or Treats? October’s Spooky Viewing: Part 1

Horror is fun year-round, but there is certainly an extra bit of magic added to it as Halloween creeps nearer and nearer. We’ve both been binge-watching horror films of new and old this October, and we thought we’d share little snippets about our latest viewing pleasures, and if we dub them a “Trick” or a “Treat”. Sugar will kick things off with her terrifying tv and morbid movies she’s been watching so far this spooky season.

SUGAR’S HORROR TRICKS AND TREATS OF OCTOBER (So Far):

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Puppet Master (1989)

Total Treat. I can’t believe I snoozed on this one for so long, but I’m glad I finally watched it.

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Puppet Master 2 (1990)

Hmmm… Kind of a trick, but the end was bonkers enough to be a treat, but it still wasn’t as good as the first one in my opinion.

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Rawhead Rex (1986)

Trick. Haha so fun to watch with friends so you can laugh at how bad it is, but it was a dud of a film overall.

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House of 1000 Corpses (2003)

So. Much. Fun. A total Treat. It’s been such a long time since I re-watched this, and I’d forgotten how quotable and how many fantastic elements I love in a horror movie that are all crammed into this one.

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Scream (1996)

Treat! I’ve seen this one so many times and it’s still an entertaining watch. I love how much fun it has with the genre and all its tropes along the way.

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Child’s Play (1988)

Treat! I hadn’t realized how long it had been since I sat down and re-watched the original. I’d completely forgotten about several scenes. Makes me want to re-watch the 2nd and 3rd ones too since the one I’ve re-watched the most is Bride of Chucky.

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Creepshow (1982)

Treat! This one is a Halloween MUST-watch in my family. I visited my dad to re-watch it with him, and it was just so much fun as always. A classic horror anthology.

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Basket Case (1982)

Urm. What? Haha I can’t honestly say if this one is a trick or a treat, so why don’t we just go with both? Like a piece of candy with a razor blade in it, there are things I really like about this absolute cheese-fest, and then there are bits that just leave a bad taste in your mouth. Being a product of the 80’s, there’s some expired dialogue and whatnot, but overall I enjoyed it. I would watch the sequels for this movie because it was so bad it’s kind of good.

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Halloween Kills (2021)

Trick. I’m sorry, I think it had some good kills in it, but there were also a lot of disappointing parts too. I can only handle people being so dumb in a horror movie if it’s one I’m actually meant to take seriously. If it’s a kooky, so-bad-it’s-good kind of horror movie, I’m totally fine with it, but Halloween Kills is not one of those movies, so it had me rolling my eyes several times.

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Hereditary (2018)

Wow. Total Treat. I was not expecting any of what I got with this one. It does a good job of just being unsettling and uncomfortable to watch, and Toni Collette killed it with her performance.

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Eli Roth’s History of Horror (series)

Treat! I love stuff like this, where you just get to celebrate good horror in all its different sub-genres. It’s given me several movies to add to my To-Watch List.

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Boulet Brothers’ Dragula (Season 4)

Treat! Treat! Treat! This season really kicked things off with a bang. I can’t wait to see more of what the Boulet Bros. and the contestants have in store for us. If you love drag, and you love horror, do yourself a favor and watch this show. New episodes will be streaming weekly over on Shudder.

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American Horror Story, Season 10: Double Feature – Red Tide (2021)

Treat! I liked the Red Tide story for the first part of the Double Feature season. I thought it was interesting and enjoyed what it brought to the table in terms of the monsters and how and why they became what they are. I’ll definitely be sure to check out the Death Valley episodes too.

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Chucky (2021)

Too soon to tell yet on this one. I usually like to give any show a couple episodes before I decide if I’m done with it or not, so the jury is still out on this new show following the Child’s Play saga.

Scream will be adding her own horror movies and shows to the mix soon, so in the mean time, what horror goodness have you been indulging in this spooky season?? Have you seen any of the movies or shows on this list? If so, did you find them to be Tricks or Treats? Let’s talk horror! 😀

Double Feature Horor Movie Reviews: Rawhead Rex (1986) and Puppet Master (1989)

We recently made a pact to get together for a sleepover this Fall, bake some autumn-themed baked goods, and watch horror movies, so recently we did just that! We made a cinnamon apple cake, served hot from the oven with vanilla bean ice cream on top, and visited our favorite decade in horror–the 80’s! We also played several rounds of a very fun horror trivia game.

First Movie Review: Rawhead Rex

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Described as a “1986 Irish Fantasy Slasher Film”, and written by Clive Barker, this one has been on my To-Watch list for quite some time, so when Scream and I saw it available to watch on Shudder, we gave it a go! Barker wrote both the screenplay for this film, as well as the short story by the same name, originally published in the third volume of his Books of Blood series. Some of you might recognize the name Rawhead Rex as one of the many monikers of the legendary bogeyman, also known as Rawhead-and-Bloody-Bones, Tommy Rawhead, or Old Bloody Bones, to name a few. He was a monstrous creature of legend that was used to terrify kids and to keep them in line, like many fairytales of old.

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The film follows the story of a historian who travels to Ireland to research certain religious relics. Meanwhile, an old stone column is struck by lightning, thus resurrecting the monster buried beneath it known as Rawhead Rex.
It doesn’t take long for Rawhead Rex to begin his bloody rampage through the Irish countryside.

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Barker himself has been quoted as having mixed feelings about the film, saying, “I think, generally speaking, the movie followed the beats of the screenplay. It’s just that monster movies, by and large, are made by directorial ‘oomph’ rather than what’s in the screenplay. I’d like to think the screenplay for Rawhead Rex had the possibility of having major thrills in it. I don’t think it was quite pulled off.” Back in 2004, he said in an interview that he would like to do a remake of the film, but as of now, there has yet to be any news of it. I, personally, would love to see a remake of this film (hopefully with practical effects as well!)

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Q: What did you think of the movie?
SCREAM: It was absolutely ridiculous and I loved watching it with friends to laugh at it with. If I had watched it by myself, it would not have been half as fun.

SUGAR: I agree 100%, it was so fun watching it with friends, but I don’t know if I’d have finished watching it by myself.

 

Q: Did you like the overall look of Rawhead Rex? What were your thoughts on the special effects used throughout the film?
SCREAM: To be honest, he looks pretty cheap BUT it’s practical effects so they get SO many points for trying. The CGI was something special, something straight out of the 80s.

SUGAR: Haha yeahhh, they kind of fall into that “so bad they’re comically good” category for me. 

Q: Based off what you saw from the movie, would you read Clive Barker’s short story of the same name?
SCREAM: Yes, because I need a more coherent back story to this creature. The movie barely explained anything.

SUGAR: Absolutely! I’m always down to read something by Clive Barker. I’m sure it is much creepier than this movie was.

Second Movie Review: Puppet Master

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Puppet Master is a horror classic, but also one that I (Sugar) had somehow never seen before. Needless to say, Scream and her Husband decided we needed to fix that.

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After the sudden and mysterious suicide of one of their collegues, a group of psychics are called to pay their respects at the Bodega Bay Inn, but it doesn’t take long before the puppets come out to play and bodies start piling up as the survivors seek to find out just what is truly going on.

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Q: Overall opinion of the movie?
SCREAM: I love it! Creepy toys are something I connect with. Probably because I always thought my toys were alive when I was little.

SUGAR: It was great, and I’m so mad at myself for not having watched it sooner in my life. Would definitely re-watch, and will be checking out the many sequels in the future.

Q: Which puppets stood out to you? Did you have any favorites?
SCREAM: Tunneler, he’s also my favorite I think. It’s just such a horrible way to die and he has no mercy.

SUGAR: Yeah, he was definitely the scariest and most lethal of the puppets. The puppets I got the biggest kick out of were the Leech Woman and Pinhead.

Q: Do you think you could survive a night trapped in an inn with murderous puppets? What would be your weapon of choice to survive the night?
SCREAM: Yes, I do. They weren’t overly smart, the humans were just weak and stupid. I’d bring a sledge hammer to a leech fight.

SUGAR: Haha I love it. I mean, I would certainly hope I’d survive the night. lol I think my weapon of choice would be just letting Scream go to town on her puppet massacre with that sledgehammer. Backup plan being a wood chipper.

We hope you guys enjoyed our horror movie double-feature review. If you’ve seen either (or both) of these movies, we’d love to know what you thought of them! Also, have you watched any especially good (or especially bad) horror movies lately? We wanna hear about those too! 😀

Apple Cake

It is our favorite season for baking! (Followed closely by the rest of the holidays that are coming but cannot be mentioned until the #1 holiday has passed.)

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups flour

3 cups chopped apple

Directions:

Bake at 350 degrees in a 9×13″ pan for 1 hour.

Tips: Do not trust the testing. The utensil will come out clean while the dough is virtually raw under the perfect looking top crust.

Fantastic warm out of the oven with a dollop of vanilla ice cream on top.

Happy Spooky Season!

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Trick or Treat! It’s that magical time of year again, and we’re beyond excited to celebrate and revel in all the spooky delights of the season with you.

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Expect horror reviews aplenty, along with a whole slew of Halloween fun as we relish in the month of October.

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What plans are you most excited for in the days leading up to Halloween? Any horror movies you’re especially excited to revisit or watch for the first time? What are your favorite fall flavors and Halloween treats?

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What Horror Films Started It All?

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We were recently given the wonderful suggestion by none other than the fabulous Grab the Lapels to share what horror films we remember watching first. This was too fun of an idea not to post about, so let’s dive in, shall we?

SUGAR:

I started watching horror (especially horror-comedies) young and once I got started, I really hit the ground running so I’m not 100% positive on this, but I do *think* my first horror film that I actively got to pick out to rent/watch may have been Ghoulies? Going to the video rental store to pick out horror movies and snacks for the weekend was like a slumber party ritual in our home. I also have very early memories of the original The Fog and The Blob but I’m nearly positive Ghoulies was first. When I asked my parents they said it very likely could have been Ghoulies, but may also have been Creepshow.

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SCREAM:

So, I’m going to tie all three of these movies since I do not know which was first:
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Child’s Play
People Under the Stairs
I checked with my dad and he only caught me once when I was little watching things that I shouldn’t be watching from behind the couch. He said he just sent me to bed and that I was a very sneaky child and he did not seemed surprised that I did it more than once. Lmao. We also would go to Blockbuster and rented movies and bought candy every weekend.
 
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What horror film was your first venture into the genre? 🙂 Do you have any questions of your own you’d like us to answer about our favorite genres: Horror, Fantasy, and Science Fiction?

 

Yay, It’s Autumn!

So sorry for the radio silence guys! Sugar has been busy finishing the first draft to her book and I (Scream) had an emergency with my dog.

The poor boi had a bladder full of stones and required immediate surgery to save his life. Here he is, being pampered while he recovers. (Meals in bed! All the snacks!)

But other than those two BIG things in our lives, the first day of Autumn arrived!

We’ve got big plans for the season, so once things calm down within the next week here, there will be plenty of content coming down the pipeline.

GO TO HELL

You probably think I’m being a big ‘ol meany but what I’m telling you is that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, also, asphalt.

Hell, Michigan. It’s a real place. The only Hell in the entire country and you should drag someone there with you.

I want to tell you all the fun little details about Hell but I plan to drag Sugar there on Halloween so I don’t want to ruin any of the surprises for her. But what I can tell you is that there are two bars there; The Hell Hole Bar and the Hell Saloon. We did not try the first bar, we’ll have to hit that on the next trip, the Hell Saloon was fun and the food was great. I would go there just for the food and Hell puns alone.

Hell, is a popular biker destination but everyone is welcome in Hell. It’s really a tiny roadside town that fully leans into it’s name. Even the people who work there are rather eccentric.

I loved every second of my visit and couldn’t stop myself at Scream’s Souvenirs.

Even their official website is great: Gotohellmi.com

If you get the chance, go to Hell!

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (No-Spoiler) Review

Martial-arts master Shang-Chi confronts the past he thought he left behind when he’s drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is currently dominating the box office, and with good reason. It was such a treat to watch, and it also celebrates an important milestone, featuring the MCU’s first Asian superhero protagonist to hit the big screen.

Where to even begin with this one? Let’s start with the characters: I loved them. Simu Liu as Shaun/Shang-Chi and Awkwafina as Katy form the kind of friendship I just have to root for. So many movies and books and other media portray such toxic and shitty friendships, so I always love to see ones like this, where the characters fully have each other’s backs and get along really well.

Another thing that I greatly enjoyed was how the female characters in the film are not treated like spandex-clad super vixens or helpless damsels in distress. They hold their own and don’t trip into that annoying trope of girls hating each other simply because reasons.

Also, the dynamics of the family as a whole? Oof. Right in the honey nut feeli-o’s. Things are complicated, and sometimes very ugly, but also very beautiful at other points. They feel like a genuine family throughout the movie, just a very, very conflicted one.

On a side note: Recognizing lesser-utilized mythical beasties in television/film always makes my heart happy, and this film was no exception. ❤ If you don’t instantly fall in love with Morris you are a fool, and you can see yourself out. Morris aside, there are some really fantastical creatures, so if you love mythological beasts prepare to be excited.

Have you seen Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings yet? If so, what did you think? What new movies are you looking forward to? 🙂

– Sugar

Candyman (2021) No-Spoiler Review

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Even those who haven’t seen the older Candyman films know the legend, hearing it as children at slumber parties or on the playground right along with other tales like Bloody Mary. Say his name into the mirror five times, and the Candyman will appear to slaughter the person who summoned him with his bloody hook for a hand.

This sequel to the 1992 horror film of the same name does a fantastic job paying homage to the original and bringing something new and fresh to the table right along with it.

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The 2021 film draws us back into a modern-day Cabrini-Green, the now-gentrified former housing project where the original film took place. It’s been twenty-seven years since the events in the first film unfolded, and a young visual artist looking to make his name in the industry turns to the urban legends revolving around the Candyman to inspire his work. Things only spiral out of control from there, with other people whispering about the legend once more and Anthony himself being dragged deeper and deeper into the lore himself.

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Horror and social commentary are woven together in this film to give us something far deeper than your average slasher flick. This isn’t just a run-of-the-mill or in-your-face hack ’em, slash ’em style horror movie. (Not that there’s anything wrong with those, of course.) It’s more of a deeper, smothering kind of horror where it builds up throughout the film in a very satisfying way. That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of cringe-inducing horror moments, especially in the body horror department. Trypophobes, you’ve been warned. 😉

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I greatly enjoyed the cinematography. The film’s main character is an artist, and that is reflected in the artistic and stylistic way that the entire film is shot. Even the use of shadow puppetry as a visual tool for storytelling was entrancing and haunting to watch. There are also a lot of little blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments subtly peppered in that help build the tension of the film if you’re paying attention.

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All in all, I really enjoyed this latest addition to the franchise. I also think you can easily watch this installment of the series without having seen the original films. It finds creative ways to fill you in or remind you of what all has happened in the past.

-Sugar

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