Archive for wolfman

Monstrous Paper Dolls

Posted in Fun and Games, Halloween Junk with tags , , , , , , , on October 5, 2018 by ranranami

I know what we’re all thinking. Monster High dolls are cute, but they’re not classic. Classic model dolls are awesome, but kids can’t play with them without breaking something! If only there was some way for a child to enjoy classic horror monsters in a creative way…

if only…
front cover
Jill Bauman and Walter Velez have got you covered! The dolls below are only a few awesome highlights from the book, and there are many more (including, for some reason, the Easter bunny and Santa Clause to save them two more issues?) Now I would actually love to just share a scan of every page, but I highly encourage you to get the book if you have the chance. Below are just a few of the awesome selections just to get a bit of a taste…
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A Tribute to Paul Naschy

Posted in Media, People, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2017 by ranranami

How best to describe Paul Naschy? Was he Lon Chaney with the face of John Saxon? Was he the Vincent Price of Spain? To tell you the truth, Paul Naschy was one of a kind. Actor, director, screenwriter, and even sometimes producer. He wore every mask at one point or another, and played ever role, from Wolfman to Frankenstein, to Dracula, and even Satan himself.

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Where Lon Chaney Jr played the American Wolfman, Naschy’s Casanova version of the role practically chewed the scenery. No matter the quality of a film, the poor dubbing, or awful edited versions that have been butchered a hundred times for American audiences, there’s no denying how compelling Naschy still is in those films. He was just that good. He was also known to be a fantastic, down-to-earth kind of person, too, which goes a long way in my book for any major star.

Shout Factory just released some epic collections of Naschy films I’d like to get my hands on, having settled for some of those more questionable releases I’ve mentioned, and it was about time too.

I couldn’t resist ending on this fantastic tribute video I found. I hope some day more of the world will really come to appreciate this brilliant man. Oh, and by the way, happy halloween!

Book(s) of the Week: St. Peter’s Wolf

Posted in Books, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2016 by ranranami

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Saint Peter’s Wolf, by Michael Cadnum

You would think it’s child’s play to write a good werewolf story. Use a full moon, throw in an okay guy who probably doesn’t have too much going on in his life, get him into a nasty accident at the wrong end of a Gypsy curse, mix in a love interest…that’s all there is to most basic werewolf stories, right? I mean honestly, that’s pretty much your general heroic cycle, if you’re simplifying it for a toddler.

Yet, I rarely run into a werewolf story that leaves me thinking ‘I really enjoyed that. It hit all the bases, and ended up being a well-rounded story about man’s struggle with his inner beast.’ Honestly, most of the good ones tend to be over 50 years old, too. If you’re familiar with the film ‘Wolf’ with Jack Nicholson, which time and again I make myself watch once a year hoping I’ll somehow manage to actually think it’s a good movie, because it does have a great cast and cool effects…

Saint Peter’s Wolf…is everything that story should have been. It is very similar, but it’s done right. It also has a very unique twist on exactly how the ‘curse’ is obtained, and keeps the werewolf as your general quadrupedal beast, rather than a man with huge teeth, a bad temper, and a body hair issue. It’s also got a fascinating protagonist who discovers that becoming the monster is actually a little bit better than what he’s already got going on. At any rate, it’s not strictly horrifying…but it’s a very good read.

Halloween Commercials

Posted in Media, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2014 by ranranami

You know what I used to love about October? All of the awesome Halloween commercials. Just a dash of plastic fangs and a sprinkle of green make-up could make a product that much more appealing in October. Here’s to the television spots that reminded us all about Halloween’s impending approach…

 





 

To Trick or to Treat: Where Did it Come From?

Posted in Around the World, Halloween Junk with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2013 by ranranami

For those of us who’ve had the greedy joy of snatching candy at multiple houses from kindly adults in the name of a holiday, Halloween was one of the greatest days of the year. Not to mention the costumes and tv specials.

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For the last century, ‘Trick or Treating’ has been a popular thing for American children. If you trace it back far enough, this past time can be traced to something called ‘Souling’. I’d be a fool not to mention Samhain here, the famously dramatic celebration of the Celts that served to ring in the dead part of the year. You know…the cold bit.

 

So first, let’s look at the apparent origins, Samhain. It’s October 31st/November 1st, as if that wasn’t obvious, at the basic practices were what you’d expect. Dealing with crops, moving livestock, and doing the hard bits anyone in an agricultural community would have to consider when preparing for winter. The fun bit was the festival, you know…the actual Samhain bit. By the way, it’s pronounced Sah-ween. Thank you, whoever decided to spell it that way. You made me look like an idiot for the last decade on the rare occasion I ever decided to mention Samhain to my grandmother. Anyway, much like the AWESOME ‘Dia De Los Muertos’, the Celts thought Samhain was the day when it was a crap-load easier for the dead to speak with them. Or chat. Or hang out. However you want to look at it, they’d be doing the opposite of what you generally expect dead people to do, which is rot and stay quiet 6 feet under the rest of the 364 days of the year. Of course you’ll all remember the main thing we’ve carried over into the modern day, lighting candles inside carved-out turnips, or even pumpkins for you dirty non-traditionalists, but they also made gigantic fires and sacrificed animals in honor of the dead, and to kind of keep them from getting ticked off at the living. They’d also sacrifice fruits and nuts, which I consider a terribly cruel thing to do, but it couldn’t be helped.

 

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It’s the Middle Ages. Now we’re onto All Soul’s Day/All Hallow’s Eve, which was basically Samhain altered to be more Catholic. That’s cool with me, because it’s better than getting rid of the day all together. The church took a lot of pagan and non-Christian holidays that were popular to the extreme, and adapted them so they weren’t eliminated altogether. Oh, they tried, but you can’t keep a dead man down (oh, no.) So the church took holy celebrations, and made them basically take place on the days that Pagan holidays might have occurred. Pagan gods and spirits were classified as evil, and let’s not even mention the old ones (ia, ia, Cthulhu fhtagn.) All Soul’s Day was officially on Nov. 2, and people still did a lot of what they’d do on Samhain. Instead of honoring the death of the year and the dead, though, they simply honored the dead. Costumes, fires, all that stuff stuck around. Yet, now people in Europe and primarily England were going from door to door asking for goodies (like pastries and meat pies, but hopefully the type without human flesh in them) in exchange for praying for the souls of the departed. Remember that Souling thing I mentioned earlier? Yeah, that’s what this basically was. Eventually this changed to envelop more types of treats, like drink and sweets. Anything people could get their grimy peasant hands on, actually.

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This brings us to present day America, the melting pot of the world…but…mostly Europeans. Traditions, culture, all of it has been carried over here by hook and crook. A lot of people disagree on this point, but it’s a general theory that Halloween as we know it really got kicking in either the 1920s or 30s, because there are articles about it in magazines. That’s generally their source. Not newspapers or books, but magazines…which makes sense, because god knows there are always freaking miles of Halloween mags on the shelf every year, starting in July. It’s the porn of holidays, right after Christmas.

 

As you’ve probably guessed, ‘Souling’ is now ‘Trick-or-Treating’. Most normal kids don’t collect meat pies or fruits and nuts if they can help it, but instead they’re always after healthy teeth-rotting candy. That’s where tricking comes in. Actually, the day before Halloween is usually when people play the tricks, and those too by jerk teenagers who’ve god grudges to bear. That’s called ‘Devil’s Night’, ‘Hell Night’, ‘Night of the Hormonal A**holes’, whatever you want to call it. This one has fallen out of practice, but it never hurts to explain why your tree got mysteriously tp’d last night.

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SO there you have it. Kids dress up in costumes and demand candy at your doorstep every Halloween, because Pagans had a thing for dead people and seasons. The more you know.

Monster Cereals, Part 2: The Return of the Yummy Mummy and the Fruit Brute

Posted in Food, Halloween Junk with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2013 by ranranami

So, just to spite me for telling you guys that they were both discontinued, the Yummy Mummy and the Fruit Brute have been brought back. But they’re not the same, my friends, not the same at all…

 

 

The Fruit Brute is no longer a general fruity flavor, but cherry. It makes sense, since he’s hairy. Hairy rhymes with cherry…let’s just be happy they didn’t change the name of his cereal, or it wouldn’t stick around for much longer. But don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed fruit brute. The great thing about all of the monster cereals is their resistance to sogginess, while still absorbing enough milk to get cool and refreshing.

 

 

Yummy Mummy is the one that really threw me for a loop. It tasted like Frankenberry, though much weaker…but then the after-taste hit me, which was really strange. I don’t think I’ve ever had cereal with an aftertaste. It was like pineapple or a fruit roll-up.

 

 

 

It was good, actually. But the back comic kind of threw me off. He said his spoon was dusty. You would think Yummy Mummy, of all the monsters, would have been chowing down on his cereal for years and laughing at all of us foolish humans, satisfying our taste buds with 3 mere flavors, but never quite knowing the joy of a really Yummy Mummy.

Horror Flick of the Week: Game of Werewolves

Posted in Media, Movies and shows, Trailers, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2013 by ranranami

 

There are a lot of werewolf movies out there. A lot of them seem to have ditched the ‘creepy village’ plot element, which is a real shame. This one didn’t. In fact, I’d say ‘creepy village’ is pretty much a major player in this story line. It’s got everything. Gypsy curses, army of werewolves, human sacrifice, aforementioned village, and a great vibe. I mean the lighting is just incredibly atmospheric.

 

With so many vampire and werewolf movies coming out in the last few years, and a huge amount of them just being…bad…this one stands out. It’s a genuinely entertaining story about a young man who goes back to the village he grew up in, and reconnects with an old friend and a somewhat evil uncle. A 100 years ago, a gypsy placed a curse on his family and the village, that on the anniversary of a terrible crime committed by one of his family members, someone of his bloodline would have to be sacrificed.

 

 

 

Obviously the poor guy doesn’t know this, because it would have been a lot harder for anyone to persuade him to go home. Taken by surprise in the middle of the night, he’s trapped in a cellar with the werewolf, along with his publisher who made a surprise visit that same day. An old friend manages to help them escape, which sadly unleashes yet another curse on the village, much worse than the first.

 

 

The same man who helped our hero escape is forced to go back to the cellar the next day, to find out if the werewolf is still there. What he finds is…a child. Yes, the werewolf was a child cursed to become a beast every night for a hundred years…

 

 

So he sneaks the kid back to his place, and they decide there might be another way to end the curse. Cut off the main guy’s pinky and feed it to the kid.

 

 

He’s not too terribly receptive to the idea, but as they say…any port in a storm, right?

 

This is a clever little film. It’s not the end-all be-all of werewolf cinema, but it’s great if you’re just in the mood for a good movie. An excellent double feature with Dog Soldiers.