Throwback Thursday: The Mist (2007)

“There’s something in the mist….”

Frank Darabont adapts a Stephen King story for the fourth time with 2007’s The Mist. Darabont already did The Woman In The Room, The Shawshank Redemption, and The Green Mile, but this was the first time that Darabont tackled a full blown tale of terror from King. With amazing performances from the likes of Thomas Jane, Andre Braugher, Marcia Gay Harden, and Toby Jones, it’s no wonder that this film is so amazing. Top it all off with four future members of the cast of The Walking Dead and that show’s make-up supervisor, and you’ve got the perfect storm for a great film.

In the film, a powerful storm blows through a small town in Maine. David and Stephanie Drayton and their son, Billy, assess the damage to their home and David and Billy head into town for supplies. Along for the ride is their occasional neighbor, Brent, an attorney who has had a number of run-ins with David in the past. While all of this is happening, a mysterious and thick mist rolls across the small town and the surrounding areas. While in the grocery store, David, Billy, and Brent become trapped inside the building after the mist covers everything and everyone. Alarms sound, screams and roars are heard, and a small group of store employees and patrons hunker down to battle an unseen enemy. As the day grows long, factions begin to form throughout the group. Brent heads up one of these factions, the “Outsiders,” made up of vacationers and visitors from out of town. Mrs. Carmody, a local religious fanatic, begins to make proclamations and prophecies about what is happening and quickly forms another, more bloodthirsty group. A third group headed up by David also forms. It features level-headed members of the local community and a few of the store employees. Brent’s group heads out into the fog, hoping to find help. Carmody’s group seeks out sacrifices to the beasts and turns on David’s group. David and his faction make a desperate attempt at escape. Who lives? Who dies? Who are what are the real monsters in The Mist? Watch it to find out what happens!

Darabont does an amazing job of showing us just how quickly humanity can spiral out of control. The people in the store initially help one another fight off the beasts that attempt to kill them but quickly turn on one another. All of this is delivered in a chaotic fashion that only adds to the suspense and terror of the film. The CGI creatures look pretty good, but Nicotero’s practical effects really shine in this film. Thankfully the mist manages to hide many of the shortcomings of the CGI.

The cast is amazing. Everyone delivers an amazing performance. Thomas Jane carries the film as David, but he gets a ton of support from Andre Braugher, Sam Witwer, Alexa Davalos, Toby Jones, Frances Sternhagen, and many others. Marcia Gay Harden steals every scene that she appears in as her character, Mrs. Carmody, embraces her divine destiny as the leader of religious zealots. Rounding out the brilliant cast are four future castmates from The Walking Dead. Laurie Holden and Jeffrey DeMunn have prominent roles in the film and it also features Juan Gabriel Pareja and Melissa McBride in small roles. McBride is of special note, as her character is only on the screen for a few minutes but they are very powerful minutes.

This film’s ending is brutal. I won’t spoil it here, but do know that if you’ve read Stephen King’s novella, Darabont took some major liberties with the film adaptation. In fact, King loves the ending that Darabont used in the film. The first time I saw it, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s simply wonderful.

The Mist (2007) Directed by Frank Darabont Shown from left: Laurie Holden, Thomas Jane and Nathan Gamble

This is definitely one of my favorite Stephen King adaptations. The story is interesting, paced extremely well, and shows us all that the worst monsters in the world are actually folks that look just like you and me. Be sure to check out the madness that is The Mist.

Thanks for checking out my review! See you again soon!

NECA Halloween II Toy Capsules

Perhaps they came from a sadistic Easter Bunny???

When I saw this bag of nine toy capsules sitting on the shelf at Walmart, I was a tad perplexed. Sure, I’d already seen and passed on the Universal Monsters Toy Capsules, but these Halloween II capsules caught my attention. Perhaps it was the orange and black bag and capsules? Maybe it was Michael Myers’ face on the bag? Whatever it was, I was compelled to purchase this bag of surprises. There was also a Chucky bag but I decided to pass on it for the time being.

Each bag comes with nine surprise toy capsules. These capsules are exactly like the ones that you might find in a candy machine. One of the cool things about them is that the orange side of the capsules features the Halloween II title. Apparently the nine surprises in each bag are the same, so there’s really no need to pick up two bags unless you really want a pair of whatever collectible catches your eye.

Just so you know, I’m about to spoil what’s hiding in those capsules. Below this image of Michael Myers is a description of and photos for all of the items. You’ve been warned…..

The nine surprises are actually pretty cool. Here’s a list of all nine of ’em.

  1. Michael Myers Keychain
  2. Halloween II Magnet
  3. Halloween II Lanyard
  4. Halloween II Shoelaces
  5. Michael Myers Eraser
  6. Miniature Silver Shamrock Skull Mask
  7. Miniature Micheal Myers Mask
  8. Haddonfield Memorial Hospital Patch
  9. Michael Myers Pin

I really like the pin, keychain, magnet, lanyard, and shoelaces. All of the items appear to be of superior quality. The magnet is a tad on the thin side but I’m okay with that. The lanyard will definitely be put to good use because I can use it at work. The shoelaces will probably go to my daughter as she’s the only other horror fan in the family. She’ll probably end up with the keychain as well.

There’s really not much else to say about these miniature surprises. They are well made, look cool, and are perfect for any Halloween II fan or Halloween fans in general. If I can find them, I might grab the Universal Monsters set as well. I’m still on the fence about the Chucky set, but I’ll let you all know if and when I get those two sets!

Thanks for checking out my post. See you again soon!

Enso Rings Star Wars Collection

Power of the Dark Side Silicone Wide Ring.

“I can feel your anger.”

Enso Rings has released a number of silicone rings in their Star Wars Collection. I believe that the initial release was earlier last year. Since then, there have been character rings, lightsaber rings, and more with the most recent collection based upon the Disney+ Series Obi-Wan Kenobi. Another recent collection that Enso released is the Star Wars Wide Collection featuring three rings that focus on three important scenes from the original Star Wars Trilogy.

L To R: Power of the Dark Side, Suns of Tatooine, and Trench Run.

I was fortunate enough to get the Power of the Dark Side ring to review for a third party group. I’ve worn and reviewed plenty of generic silicone rings over the years, but this particular ring is special. Not only is it wide and true to size, it’s also very durable, features vented slots to reduce sweating, and has an amazing battle scene emblazoned upon it featuring Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader battling one another as Emperor Palpatine conjures Force Lighting.

The box that my ring arrived in whenever I received it.

I really love this ring. It is definitely a conversation starter and I know that it would be a great gift for any Star Wars fan. I’m very tempted to pick up the Hello There ring from the Obi-Wan Collection. All of these rings are beautiful and I can see collecting them becoming a habit for me.

The Star Wars Classic Silicone Ring Collection.

I’ve already worn my ring a few times and have had a number of people ask me about it. Most of them are just curious strangers but a few of them were big Star Wars fans. Enso has a ring and/or ring collection for you no matter who your favorite Star Wars character, film, or series happens to be and you’ll really appreciate the love and care that they put into each one of these rings.

My ring in the box.

Thanks for checking out these Enso Rings with me. Please note that I did not receive this ring from Enso nor did they have any input into my review of the ring. I was just given a unique opportunity and figured that my blog readers would enjoy a closeup look at these beautiful rings.

The Palpatine side of my ring.

The Year Of KISS: Peter Criss (1978)

“Vaccinated with a Victrola needle….”

In a daring attempt to bring a little bit of sanity back into the world of KISS, Paul, Gene, Peter, and Ace went their separate ways to write, record, and release four solo albums, one for each member of the group. All four of the albums, released on September 18, 1978, shipped platinum and featured iconic images of each band member on the cover. The Ace Frehley album is considered by many to be the best of the four releases. On the other end of the spectrum, and a bit unfairly in my opinion, is the Peter Criss solo album. The album was blasted by critics of the day and fans alike but time has proven to help the overall opinion of the band with many folks to a certain degree.

The album isn’t that bad. In fact, it features a pretty solid mix of soft ballads, boogie woogie, jazz, and blue-eyed soul. I could easily hear artists such as Glenn Campbell, Kenny Rogers, John Lennon, and Lionel Richie tackle many of these tracks and take them to the top of the charts. Therein lies the problem with the album, however. KISS fans in 1978 probably didn’t listen to guys like Campbell, Rogers, Lennon, or Richie. They were expecting snare-smashing rock with screechy vocals and perhaps a rasp-tinged ballad or two along the lines of Beth or Hard Luck Woman. Instead, they got crooners like Easy Thing and Kiss The Girl Goodbye and a cover of Bobby Lewis’ Tossin’ And Turnin’. This wasn’t a KISS album and the KISS Army soundly rejected it.

Criss co-wrote six of the ten tracks on the album with Stan Penridge, who co-wrote many of KISS’ early tracks including their biggest hit, Beth, and songs such as Hooligan and Baby Driver. The other tracks were written by Sean Delaney (I Can’t Stop The Rain, Rock Me Baby), Vini Poncia, John Vastano, and Michael Morgan (You Matter To Me), and Tossin’ And Turnin’ written by Ritchie Adams and Malou Rene. Criss holds his voice back for the most part on all of the tracks, never screeching or wailing as fans were accustomed to on songs like Getaway and Black Diamond.

The album featured ten tracks. Two singles were released and, unsurprisingly, failed to make an impact on the charts. The singles were Don’t You Let Me Down and You Matter To Me. The album managed to reach #43 on the US Billboard 200, making it the poorest charting solo album of the four released in 1978.

Track Listing:

  1. I’m Gonna Love You
  2. You Matter To Me (single)
  3. Tossin’ And Turnin’ (cover)
  4. Don’t You Let Me Down
  5. That’s The Kind Of Sugar Papa Likes
  6. Easy Thing
  7. Rock Me, Baby
  8. Kiss The Girl Goodbye
  9. Hooked On Rock N’ Roll
  10. I Can’t Stop The Rain

Personnel: Peter Criss (all drums except where noted), Allan Schwartzberg (drums on Easy Thing, Rock Me, Baby, and I Can’t Stop The Rain). The following artists appeared on multiple tracks. Please refer to the individual album notes for specific songs and a complete list of vocalists: Bill Bodine and Neil Jason (bass guitars), Art Munson, Stan Penridge, Elliot Randall, John Tropea, Brendan Harkin, and Steve Lukather (lead and rhythm guitars), Bill Cuomo and Richard Gerstein (keyboards), multiple backing vocalists, Tom Saviano (horn arrangements) and Michael Carnahan (saxophones).

In total, Criss had twenty-three musicians and vocalists join him on his album. Of special note are Allan Schwartzberg (Mountain, Peter Gabriel, Linda Rondstadt, B.J. Thomas), Art Munson (Dick Dale and His Del-Tones), and Steve Lukather (Toto). Only Gene Simmons had more performers on his solo album.

The primary theme of Criss’ album, at least in my opinion, is love and the influences of his past. Criss was the oldest member of KISS, so it makes perfect sense that he grew up listening to fifties and early sixties rock, doo-wop, and soul. He is also a professionally trained jazz drummer, so that influence is definitely felt across the album.

Although Peter Criss didn’t sit well with KISS fans and critics, you cannot deny that Criss was the biggest risk taker with his solo album. His album was also one of the most consistent, never straying too far from its formula. Only Ace Frehley is more consistent in my opinion.

I really like Peter Criss. It’s probably my third favorite album of the solos but that’s mainly because it is so different from the rest of the pack. My favorite tracks on the album include Hooked On Rock N’ Roll, You Matter To Me, and Easy Thing. I can listen to any of those three tracks any day of the week and they find their way into my playlist regularly. The rest of the tracks are good, but I have to be in the right mood to listen to them.

Say what you want about Peter Criss. It’s a much better album than critics and many members of the KISS Army would have you believe. It’s so vastly different from the rest of the solo albums that I don’t think that KISS fans were ready for it. As the years have gone by, many members of the KISS Army have found a soft spot in their hearts for at least a few of the album’s tracks. I’m pretty fond of it as well.

Thanks for checking out my review. I’ll review Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons next month during my Summer Solo Break in the Year of KISS!

The Year Of KISS: Ken Kelly, Artist (1946-2022)

Destroyer, Love Gun Cover Artist Passes Away

On June 3, 2022, the art world and the rock world lost one of its most iconic creators. Ken Kelly, a sword and sorcery artist who KISS fans know as the cover artist for two of KISS’ most iconic albums: Destroyer and Love Gun. Kelly produced artwork for other bands as well including Coheed and Cambria, Rainbow, Thunderpussy, and Manowar, among others. He also created artwork for magazines such as Creepy and Eerie.

Kelly’s work is often compared to fellow sword and sorcery artist Frank Frazetta. That’s no surprise since Frazetta is Kelly’s uncle by marriage and Kelly studied his work. In fact, Frazetta is the primary reason that Kelly was chosen to do KISS’ Destroyer cover. Casablanca Records initially wanted Frazetta to paint the cover for KISS’ new album at the time but they couldn’t afford him. According to Kelly, the record company’s art director brought in a bunch of art magazines and Gene Simmons tapped on one of the covers done by Kelly, impressed with the emotional misery of the robot that Kelly had painted. The rest is history.

The original artwork done by Kelly for Destroyer was rejected. Casablanca felt that it was too violent. After some alterations and changing KISS’ costumes to match up with the eventual Destroyer Tour costumes, the cover was approved. In 2012, Destroyer: Resurrected was released in celebration of the original album’s thirty-five year anniversary. It featured the original album artwork that was rejected by the record company. Kelly would be called upon by the band again to do the cover for Love Gun.

Kelly also teamed up with Ace Frehley in 2014 to do the cover work for Frehley’s Space Invader album.

Kelly’s work will live on so long as there are fans of fantasy, sword and sorcery, and iconic album artwork. Rest in peace, Ken Kelly, your work was and will remain amazing in my opinion.

Ace Frehley with Ken Kelly.

Fouke Monster Festival 2022

“Here, the Sulphur River flows….”

On Saturday, June 18th, myself and a friend attended the Fouke Monster Festival. Not only does this festival celebrate the legendary Fouke Monster, it celebrates all things Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti, Booger, and pretty much anything else that falls into the field of cryptozoology. It’s also a celebration of the town of Fouke, Arkansas, its people, and the places surrounding it that make this festival so much more than just another Bigfoot convention.

It took us awhile to get into the community center where the festival was held. Admission, even for those that preregistered, was slow, but the festival adjusted its schedule and made sure that everyone got their dollar’s worth at the event. A welcome message was given by Lyle Blackburn, one of my favorite researchers in the field of cryptozoology. Then the mayor of Fouke, Terry Purvis, said a few kind words (and jokingly warned all of us that the Boggy Creek highway sign better stay put) before a day’s worth of panelists gave presentations to the crowd.

Marvin Leeper started off the presentations by recounting stories centered around The Legend of Boggy Creek. My favorite story that he told was of his own high school where the kids were excited to see the film until one of their teachers told them that it was about Boggy Creek in Arkansas and not Boggy Creek in Oklahoma to which one of the students replied loudly, “Well….Hell.”

Leeper was followed by Chester Moore, Ken Gerhard, and Lyle Blackburn. While I enjoyed all of their presentations, Ken Gerhard’s panel on the Minnesota Iceman grabbed my attention. Prior to this event I was not aware of the Iceman nor did I know of its ties to Walter Mondale and Jimmy Stewart. It was an interesting talk and I hope to catch Gerhard at another event in the near future.

I didn’t get to listen to all of Lyle Blackburn’s presentation because I was scheduled to take a tour of Fouke hosted by Craig Woolheater, but I did talk to Lyle at his table and purchased his Momo book and had it and my copy of his Boggy Creek Casebook autographed. I thanked Lyle for answering my question about hurricanes and Sasquatch sightings on his podcast, Monstro Bizarro, which I highly recommend. He was an extremely nice guy and an all around cool dude. Be sure to check out his website for information on upcoming appearances, to purchase his books and other items, and to check out his podcast and his band, Ghoultown.

The highlight of the Fouke Monster Festival for me was the actual tour of the Fouke area. Prior to the festival, my experiences in Fouke began and ended at the Monster Mart. Don’t get me wrong, the Monster Mart is a definite must see (I visited three times while at the festival), but it is only a small portion of the legend of Boggy Creek. To get a better perspective on the events surrounding the film and the Fouke Monster itself, I highly recommend taking a tour of key sites in the area. I got to see where Boggy Creek begins (pictured above) and a number of the sites where sightings and encounters occurred not only in the film, but over the entire history of Fouke. It was an excellent tour and if you attend the festival in the future, I highly recommend taking advantage of this great tour.

Of course, no trip to Fouke is complete without a visit to the Monster Mart. Every single time that I have visited the Monster Mart, they’ve added something new to their growing Boggy Creek exhibit. I love this place. I love Fouke, Arkansas. I love the Fouke Monster Festival. Check it out for yourself!

Below is a gallery featuring photos from the driving tour of Fouke, a few more shots from the festival, and photos from the Monster Mart.

Thanks for checking out my review of the Fouke Monster Festival. If you visit the festival or just happen to be driving near the area, swing by the Monster Mart for some awesome Boggy Creek souvenirs and a great exhibit and be sure to visit Allen’s Burger Center for some home style hamburgers and other delicious treats! Oh, and the festival also celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of The Legend Of Boggy Creek. I might just be revisiting that film in a couple of months!

The Year Of KISS: Ace Frehley (1978)

“I hope you suffer…..”

KISS was on top of the world in 1978…..at least on the surface. Behind the scenes the band was falling apart. What was really going on with the band? It depends on who you ask. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley have been accused of being control freaks who tried to bend Ace and Peter to their will. Ace Frehley apparently wanted the band to move in a heavier direction and his drug and alcohol abuse was supposedly spiraling out of control. Peter Criss was also battling with alcohol and drugs and apparently struggling with his band duties. All four of them also wanted a break from one another. There are tons of other reasons, truths, lies, etc., that I could mention, but that’s not why I’m making this post. I’m here to talk about the four solo albums by KISS released in 1978. The first one that I’m going to look at is Ace Frehley.

Just one quick search on the internet will reveal that Ace’s solo album is almost unanimously considered to be the best of the four releases. Fans and critics alike have waxed poetic about how amazing this album for years is and I have to admit that they are absolutely correct. Ace knocked it out of the park with this album. It’s one ripe rocker after another with only What’s On Your Mind and the instrumental Fractured Mirror slowing things down slightly.

Prior to the release of Ace Frehley, the Space Ace was known for only one vocal performance on a KISS album. That performance was Shock Me from Love Gun (1977). On his solo album, Ace took charge of vocals on all of the tracks except for the aforementioned instrumental piece, Fractured Mirror. He also performed all of the guitars on the album (lead, rhythm, bass, and acoustic) with a few minor exceptions. Drums were handled by Anton Fig on all but one track and his future bandmate in The Most Dangerous Band In The World, Will Lee, handled bass duties on three tracks. The rest of the band was comprised of talented studio musicians who provided amazing accompaniment to Frehley’s blistering guitar work.

Ace also handled nearly all of the songwriting duties on the album. No slouch when it came to KISS’ prior albums (Frehley wrote early KISS staples such as Cold Gin, Getaway, Parasite, and more), Frehley wrote five of the tracks by himself, co-wrote three others, and covered New York Groove by Hello (written by Russ Ballard). The songs are heavy, nearing a heavy metal sound at times, and showcase Frehley’s amazing guitar work.

The album features nine tracks. Only one single was released, New York Groove. It reached #13 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and was the highest charting single from any of the four solo albums. The album itself charted at #26 on the US Billboard 200, making it the second highest charting solo release of the four. It has since gone on to become the best selling solo album of the four releases.

Track Listing:

  1. Rip It Out
  2. Speedin’ Back To My Baby
  3. Snow Blind
  4. Ozone
  5. What’s On Your Mind
  6. New York Groove (single and cover song)
  7. I’m In Need Of Love
  8. Wiped-Out
  9. Fractured Mirror (instrumental)

Personnel: Ace Frehley (all guitars except those listed below), Anton Fig (drums), Will Lee (bass guitar on Ozone, I’m In Need Of Love, and Wiped-Out), Carl Tallarico (drums on Fractured Mirror), Bill Scheniman (bell on Fractured Mirror), Bobby McAdams (power mouth on New York Groove), David Lasley, Susan Collins, and Larry Kelly (backing vocals)

One thing that I’ve noticed about all four of these solo albums is that each of them seemed to focus on specific themes. Ace’s album appears to have most of its focus on alcohol and drug abuse and love won and lost. Of course, Ace delivers all of these songs and themes on the back of massive guitars.

Frehley’s album is definitely my favorite of the bunch. Many people claim that it’s the most KISS sounding album of the four but I have to disagree. It’s the most Ace sounding album of the bunch. Had Ace Frehley remained in the band and managed to somehow influence Gene and Paul to move the band’s sound in his direction, later KISS albums would have been harder and edgier in my opinion. I would love to be able to hear a KISS album featuring Ace, Paul, Gene, and Eric Carr released in 1989. It would be much better than Hot In The Shade in my opinion. Alas, that’ll never happen.

My favorite tracks on the album include Rip It Out, Ozone, Snow Blind, and Wiped-Out. That being said, there isn’t a bad track on the album at all. Every single song is a keeper, and that’s rare on any album. It’s been said that the love shown to both Ace and his solo album made other members of the group, especially Gene and Paul, jealous of his success. That may or may not be true, but I’m sure that it didn’t help the chaotic atmosphere within the band. If nothing else, it showed the world that Ace could write and perform music just as good or even better than his bandmates.

Thanks for checking out my review of Ace Frehley. Next week I’ll be taking a look at the album that is considered to be the worst of the bunch. I won’t name it for now, but I will say that I’m actually a fan of the album and will do my best to defend it. See you again real soon!

Throwback Thursday: The Blood Suckers (1967)

“In spite of this dreadful accident, I welcome you to my villa.”

Whether you call it La Isla De La Muerte, Maneater Of Hydra, Le Baron Vampire, or Island Of The Doomed, 1967’s The Blood Suckers is quite the messy flick. It’s plot centers around a mad scientist, Baron von Weser (Cameron Mitchell), and his passion for plant life…..and not humanity. In the film, the baron welcomes a small group of tourists to his secluded island villa where he shows them various types of plants that he either transplanted to the island or concocted in his own laboratory. The tourists begin to die off one by one due to an apparent “blood disease” that seems to be running rampant on the small island. Soon enough, survivors start to wonder if one of them is a murderer or even a vampire. Who lives? Who dies? Whodunnit? Sit through The Blood Suckers to find out!

The film was directed by Mel Welles who, ironically, portrayed Gravis Mushnick in 1960’s The Little Shop Of Horrors, another film about a carnivorous plant. To be completely honest, that film is exactly what came to mind when I started watching The Blood Suckers. Also credited as directing the film (at least on IMDb.com) was Ernst Ritter von Theumer who, along with Welles and Stephen Schmidt, is credited as writing the film. Welles’ direction was okay, but the editing was atrocious. Many scenes abruptly ended and went right into another scene set somewhere else on the island.

The acting was also off kilter. Star Cameron Mitchell did a decent job as the wicked baron and I really liked the performances of George Martin as David, Elisa Montes as Beth, and Hermann Nehlsen as Professor Demerist, but the other players in the film seemed to be either poorly directed, poorly written, or just underwhelming. Matilde Munoz Sampedro was annoying as Myrtle, a lady hellbent on taking photographs of everything. Rolf von Nauckhoff and Kai Fischer were totally bipolar as the married Robinson couple who would fight with one another and then speak sweet nothings to each other with the flip of a switch.

The film did manage to find itself on Elvira’s Movie Macabre, so that should tell you how excellent this film is, but I must say that the special effects and gore were top notch for such a low budget production. It ultimately falls flat, though, and while I won’t tell you to watch this film, I won’t stop you from viewing it. There is something oddly appealing about it that I just can’t put a finger upon, but it’s definitely not a must-see film.

Thanks for taking a look back at The Blood Suckers with me. It is available on a number of free streaming services and has been released on numerous home video platforms over the years. My suggestion to you is that if you’re going to watch it, check it out on a free streamer first.

Throwback Thursday: Halloween III: Season Of The Witch (1982)

“Eight More Days ‘Til Halloween, Halloween, Halloween….”

Still not interested in writing or directing a Halloween (1978) sequel and hoping to spinoff an anthology series of Halloween themed films, John Carpenter and Debra Hill decided to throw out Michael Myers and Laurie Strode and take their film series in a totally different direction. The result was 1982’s Halloween III: Season Of The Witch starring Tom Atkins, Stacey Nelkin, and Dan O’Herlihy. The film was directed by Tommy Lee Wallace, Carpenter’s first choice to direct Halloween II (eventually directed by Rick Rosenthal) and his editor and production designer on the first Halloween film. It was the first and only film in the series that did not feature Myers as the focal point of the story.

In the film, an exceptionally annoying commercial featuring Halloween masks produced by the Silver Shamrock Novelty Company is played over and over promoting the masks and a special surprise on Halloween night. A delirious shopkeeper, clutching one of the masks and screaming about how “They will kill us all,” ends up in the hospital where Dr. Daniel Challis works. He is then murdered by a mysterious man who sets himself on fire in a car outside of the hospital after committing the crime. Dr. Challis and the shopkeeper’s daughter, Ellie, head out to Santa Mira, CA, home of Silver Shamrock Novelty, to find out what’s really going on with the masks.

After arriving in the small town, Ellie and Dr. Challis discover a number of odd things about the Silver Shamrock Company, it’s owner, Conal Cochran, and his employees. They also develop a May/December relationship with one another. As they dig deeper into the mysterious company, they uncover a devious plot by Cochran to kill anyone wearing one of the masks on Halloween night. The deaths trigger snakes, spiders, and other creepy crawlies to come out of the destroyed heads of the victims wearing a mask. Dr. Challis and Ellie decide that they are the only ones who can stop Cochran. Are they successful? You’ll have to watch Halloween III: Season of the Witch to find out!

This film was considered a failure upon its initial release and I can absolutely understand why it was seen that way. The film has zero connections with the stories of the other films in the franchise except for the fact that we see a commercial for the original Halloween film on televisions in the background. I’m positive that audiences went into the theater hoping for Michael Myers to pop up at some point in the film and stab someone but that never happens. There are two connections to previous films, however, with Jamie Lee Curtis providing an uncredited performance as the voice on the town curfew system and as the voice on a phone recording and Dick Warlock portraying one of the android killers in the film. He portrayed Michael Myers in the second Halloween film.

The story is a mishmash of science fiction and horror and simply feels out of place. Had it been released under a different title it might have fared better because it isn’t a terrible film. It’s just nothing special. The cast is pretty solid, especially O’Herlihy as Cochran and Nelkin as Ellie. I have to admit that the romantic moment shared by her and and Tom Atkins (who is twenty-four years older than her) was a bit creepy, unbelievable, and probably tossed in only for some brief nudity but, hey, I guess that it could happen. The special effects are dumb, even for a film made in 1982. The music was okay but nothing compared to the iconic music from the original Halloween film. I will admit that the film’s poster is one of the coolest ones that I’ve ever seen. It’s so much better than the film itself. I also enjoyed the way that the film ended. I won’t give that away here, but it’s an excellent way to finish the flick.

Ultimately this film feels like a Made-For-TV movie that was tagged with the recognizable Halloween franchise in order to trick a few folks into buying tickets. It didn’t work. The plan to continue the series with Halloween themed tales died when Halloween IV: The Return Of Michael Myers brought back everyone’s favorite slasher and righted the ship.

Season Of The Witch is my least favorite Halloween film and I say that knowing full well that there is a Halloween film out there that stars Busta Rhymes as a kung-fu fighting web series guy (Halloween: Resurrection). While many of the other sequels in the franchise were subpar, Witch went completely off the rails in my opinion.

Do I recommend it? No, I don’t. If you’re intent on seeing every film in the franchise then, yeah, check it out. But don’t come crying to me when you realize that this film is a dud. You’ve been warned!

All joking aside, I appreciate you reading my post. I’ll have more horror film reviews coming up in the near future. See you again real soon!

Upcoming Events!!!

Summer Convention Updates

I’m happy to say that I’m in full convention mode this summer! I’m attending three conventions/festivals this summer. I’ll be at two events as an attendee and one event as a guest/volunteer. I’m so happy to be attending events again and can’t wait to blog about each of them after I get home.

The first event that I’ll be attending is the Fouke Monster Festival in Fouke, Arkansas. It’s an all day event on June 18th that will feature guest speakers like Lyle Blackburn, Chester Moore, Marvin Leeper, and Ken Gerhard and a number of actors from The Legend Of Boggy Creek. There will also be a special presentation of The Legend Of Boggy Creek in celebration of its fiftieth anniversary. I’ll be checking out the speakers, looking at the goods for sale from the numerous vendors, and I’ll hopefully get one of my Ghoultown CDs autographed by Lyle! I’ll also be taking a bus tour of Fouke and numerous sites from the film. As many of my regular readers know, cryptids are one of my biggest passions and I can’t wait to attend this event!

The second event that I’ll be attending will be the Houston Horror Film Fest in Houston, Texas! I’ve been wanting to check out this festival for a couple of years now and the stars finally aligned in order for me to attend. This event is three days long but I’ll only be attending on Saturday, July 23rd. This event is loaded with great independent horror films and a ton of actors and legends from horror.

I’ll finally get to meet Felissa Rose at the festival. She has appeared in a number of horror films over the years but she is perhaps best known for her performance as Angela in the shocking Sleepaway Camp. I also hope to meet Christine Elise (Child’s Play), Rachel True (The Craft), and Tiffany Shepis (Abominable). Also in attendance will be Danielle Harris and Scout Taylor Compton of the Rob Zombie Halloween films and other horror films. Harris also appeared in the classic Halloween 4 and Halloween 5 as Laurie Strode’s daughter. The duo will also have a live airing of their popular podcast, Talk Scary To Me, at the event.

The final event that I’ll be attending this summer is very near and dear to my heart. Calcasieu SerialFest makes its triumphant return to the Brimstone Museum Annex! A worldwide pandemic limited Chapter 7 to a small event and just a few weeks later the Brimstone Museum was destroyed by Hurricane Laura, forcing Chapter 8 to be postponed last year due to repairs still underway. Thankfully the Brimstone Annex has been fully repaired but the museum itself is still being rebuilt. I’ll be volunteering at the event this year and watching chapters from tons of classic serials.

This year’s theme is “Welcome To The Jungle” and will focus on serials that take place in the deepest, darkest corners of the world full of wild animals, ancient curses, and bloodthirsty villains! Some of the serials that we’ll get to check out include The Perils Of Nyoka and The Phantom! This has become one of my favorite events over the years and I am glad to see it return!

Let me know if you’ll be attending any of these events. It would be great to meet up with you and you’d also get the chance to nab one of my stickers! I’ll have a limited amount of stickers with me at each event to hand out in order to spread the word about Ken’s Alternate Universe! Find me at the events and let me know that you want a sticker!

Thanks for checking out my post. See you again real soon!