I recently downloaded the second issue of The Haunted Toybox and read this MAXx FX article reprinted here. MAXx FX was a fantastic toy idea that didn't survive the marketing monster. But now, with Face Off and the heightened interest in makeup and special effects, I think it's time to revisit Max Miracle, Master of Make-UP and Special Effects. Issue two also has articles on Monster 500 (which had me running off to Toys R Us to find them; and I did), and Rat Fink and Rad Rods (which made me drool). Johnny Lightning's Creepsters (wish TRU had continued that line) and a lot more is stuffed into the issue, too. With permission from the mad toymaniacs at The Haunted Toybox here's The Lost FX of MAXx FX.
The wonderful thing about The Monster Times newspaper-styled magazine was its coverage of horror and science fiction and comic books. This first TMT collectors issue includes Star Trek, UFO, Lost in Space, The Outer Limits, and a report on the 1972 Star Trek Convention. Due to the inexpensive (aka cheap) printing and paper, some pages were cut incorrectly, but you can still read it all.
The past few years Target has focused more on party decorations than quirky-fun-quotient Halloween items, but whatever they put on the shelves it usually has style. Skeletons and skulls are always a staple too, and this year I'd say the Skull Totem is my favorite, followed by the Talk-back Skull. The light-up eyes owl also turns its head and hoots, which is attention getting, and the Day of the Dead decorations are nice accent pieces. The Haunted House in Dome has bats swirling around when you press the button. One thing to note: the Talk-back Skull is very presentable as a showpiece, but check the back of the plastic dome before you buy one. There's a screw that holds the skull to the dome and some domes were badly cracked around the screw.
Snagged this at a local Lowe's Home Improvement store. Only this and another were on the shelf, so I'm thinking it's a keeper. Snakes move while she foretells your doom. Cool. I'll post a video of it in action. Lowe's also has a full-size skeleton in a cage, but my wife was with me (she's not a Halloween fanatic or monster buff like I am), so I couldn't sneak it past her. But I love her anyway.
Found some more fun decorations for my Halloween home at Walgreens. This year, so far, has been stellar at providing decorations, blow-ups, and animatronic toys to spook the neighbors with. I'll have a video of the Animated Rocking Granny (not a granny I'd like to have, mind you) and the Animated Haunted Tree posted soon, but they're keepers for sure. I couldn't resist. The large banjo playing skeleton is really cool, too, but I have a smaller version that takes up less space. But definitely a good table topper choice if you're throwing a party.
I love Krull. It's the quintessential 1980s movie that mashes up a little of this, a little of that. This 8.5 x 14 inches, 24 page, pressbook is surprisingly complete in promotional variety. You have the Krull-ering Contest to color in our hero and damsel in distress, the A-maze Your Audience maze activity, and two photo quizzes named Other Worlds and Heroes. Now if they only had given away the Magical Glaive as a theater promo, I'd be in heaven now, tossing it about bringing down my foes.
CVS Stores is ramping up their Halloween offerings this year. I found a Raven skeleton, singing and dancing candlestick, very creepy animated clowns, light-up skull, Frankenstein Monster head in a jar (lights up, too), animated haunted castle (take that Lemax!), skull-light lantern with scary voice, a candy bowl to die for, and Mr. Pumpkin and Mr. Zombie solar powered nodders. Whew. This Halloween's haul I'm taking from retailers is looking quite good indeed.
Another splendidly designed folder-styled double bill pressbook from Howco International for their drive-in trade: My World Dies Screaming and Lost Lonely and Vicious. My World Dies Screaming touted using the gimmick of subliminal perception with their "The First picture in 4th Dimension, See it without glasses!" This 4th dimension consisted of using one-frame images to heighten your anxiety and fear. Needless to say, it wasn't "destined to be the most talked of picture of all time!" But you can admire the hyperbole at least, as it is attention-catching.
In the early 1990s I had researched background information for an article on the film Burn, Witch, Burn, which was to appear in FilmFax magazine. During my research I borrowed a 16mm print of the movie from film historian William K Everson. Everson and I got to talking about the specifics of the film and he suggested I get in touch with one of its screenwriters, George Baxt, who was, at the time, living in New York. His number was listed in the phone book. I called him and made an appointment to interview him. During two visits and a few follow-up phone calls we talked not only about Burn, Witch, Burn, but also touched upon the other genre films he was involved with. The article I eventually wrote regarding Burn, Witch, Burn ended up in Scarlet Street magazine instead of FilmFax.
My interview with this Edgar Award winning author turned into more of a general rap session where he shared his interesting insights and recollections for Circus of Horrors, Burn, Witch, Burn,Vampire Circus, The City of the Dead, and Shadow of the Cat. Within this article I’ve arranged Baxt’s insights and recollections according to each relevant movie discussed.
Gog and Magog go bad. Originally shot for 3D, it was mostly shown flat due to its release during the tail end of the 3D craze. I vaguely recall seeing this movie, but not sure if it was in a theater or on television. Not bad for a budget of $250,000. Robotic and computer construction very 1950s. Premise has NOVAC, the computer, being manipulated to control Gog and Magog, the two robots, as its henchmen. Mayhem ensues.