Archive for the AWESOME-tober-fest Category

AWESOME-tober-fest 2016 is near!

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, monsters, movies, mummy, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2016 by Paxton

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It’s early September. The days are growing short. The spooky season is fast approaching. Some, like my good friends Matt and Jay, have already begun. It’s Countdown to Halloween time!

And yes, I’ll be doing AWESOME-tober-fest this year.  And my theme will be The Mummy!  So expect to see lots of ancient, bandage wrapped awesomeness popping up here starting, officially, on Monday Oct 3.  I’ll be covering lots of pop culture mummy things like books, comics, movies and even a few cartoons!  So mark your calendar, starting Monday October 3 I’ll be redressing the Cavalcade for the entire month of October and starting daily weekday updates featuring The Mummy!  Plus a few other surprises.

And I guarantee you, at some point during AWESOME-tober-fest, the below cartoon depiction of Alcatraz Island will show up.

alcatraz

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2009: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein book review

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, books, Classic literature, Frankenstein, Halloween, pop culture, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2009 by Paxton

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Today, I review the book that started it all, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Shelley Frankenstein cover
Mary Shelley’s tale of the Frankenstein monster is perhaps one of the most classic and iconic horror tales of all time.  Shelley’s book has spawned not only other books, but movies, TV shows, plays, satire and short stories. It’s a veritable horror franchise in and of itself.  Her book, along with Bram Stoker’s Dracula, helped ground the incredibly popular Universal Monster stable of monster movies in the ’30s. Famously played by Boris Karloff in the Universal movies and by David Prowse (Darth Vader in the Star Wars movies) in the cult favorite Hammer films, the monstrous green, lumbering Frankenstein monster created by a mad scientist looking to create artificial life is what is most popularly known by the public at large.  Is this basically what the original book is about?  Are the events in the book different?  Before this article, I had no idea.

Having never read the original Frankenstein novel by Shelley, I couldn’t answer that question.  So I picked up the classic novel for this year’s AWESOME-tober-fest and read the original novel. I had no prior knowledge of Shelley’s book (other than it existed) and all of my imagery of Frankenstein and the monster pretty much come from the Universal movies as well as cheesy ’70s and ’80s adaptations like The Monster Squad, The Munsters and The Groovie Goolies. Let’s see how different the original novel is from the image burned into our collective pop consciousness.

Frankenstein cover 2

Published in 1818, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is considered a horror classic. Having written the book when she was only 18, Shelley originally published the book anonymously. It wasn’t until 1831 that the book was first published with her name on it.  The genesis of this novel began one night when Mary Shelley, her husband Percy and Lord Byron were at Byron’s villa telling ghost stories.  They all decided they should each write their own supernatural story.  Byron began to research a vampire story that would eventually be written by another author.  Percy Shelley would die before he could write his story. Mary came up with her story after a vivid dream.  Subsequently, hers would be the only one published as originally intended.  The gist of the story centers on Victor Frankenstein and his creation of a monster from dead body parts.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2008!!! Costume and Candy!!

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, candy, costumes, Halloween, holiday with tags , , , , , on October 31, 2008 by Paxton

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It’s H-day, baby!! All Hallow’s Day. Halloween. Sam Hain Day. Black and Orange. Spooky Time. Creepy Crawlies. Dress up like a nutball and drink yourself into a blind stupor and wind up disoriented and bleeding on the back porch of some stranger’s house…with no pants (you have no pants, not the stranger, who may or may not have pants). I love Halloween!

Want to see my costume for today?  Here it is:

Sav-Rite nerd

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2008!!! A Look Back at the Crestwood Monster books

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, books, Halloween, holiday, movies, pop culture, reviews with tags , , , , , on October 30, 2008 by Paxton

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Welcome to AWESOME-tober-fest Week 5!!! I revealed yesterday that there will be an article a day starting yesterday, so here’s today’s installment.   FYI…I got sick yesterday afternoon.  So  I want you to know the Herculean effort it took to get this article out.  That’s the kind of sacrifice I do for you, my readers.

Today, I want to talk about the the keystone topic I’ve wanted to talk about all month. It’s a series of books I remember vividly from elementary school. I finally acquired copies of the first six books in the series late last year. It was late enough that I didn’t really get a chance to talk about them last Halloween. However, now I’ve had a year to look at them so let’s take a stroll down memory lane at the Crestwood House Monster Series.

Crestwood Monsters cover

I have a very vivid memory of checking these books out from the HW Gwin Elementary school library. The vibrant orange color of the cover and the cool monster subjects made them a popular choice amongst my friends. Each book focused on a monster or creature from a movie or series of movies. The first six books included Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolf Man, King Kong, Godzilla and Mad Scientists. Most were published in the late ’70s and early ’80s. As you can see, they are also the inspiration for my blog header this Halloween.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2008!! Halloween Countdown Links

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, blogging, Halloween, holiday with tags , , , , on October 29, 2008 by Paxton

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Happy Halloween

Okay, we’ve hit the home stretch.  Halloween is on Friday.  In honor of the final three day slide into All Hallows Eve (and the final days of AWESOME-tober-fest) I’ve decided to do an article a day.  Yes, you heard me right.  AN.  ARTICLE.  A.  DAY.  Did I just blow your f%*@ing mind?  I’ll just pause a sec for you to recover your faculties…

…so, we good?  Okay, like I said, today, tomorrow and Friday are all going to have articles to finish off the home stretch of this year’s AWESOME-tober-fest!!!!!  I’m excited, I hope you are too.

Having said that, today is going to be a cheat.  Today I’m going the lazy blogger’s route and list a bunch of other blogs! Yay! Seriously, I wanted to acknowledge a bunch of other blogs that are also going through their own version of the AWESOME-tober-fest.  It’s a huge network of blogs having one giant Halloween Countdown. Many of these blogs have linked to me and many I myself visit on a daily basis.  They are all kick-ass blogs that have some really good content for you to check out.  So much Halloween stuff it’ll drive you batty (how about that appropriately Halloween-y adjective?  Yes, it was bad ass.  Thank you).

Here are the other blogs in this giant blogosphere-wide Halloween Countdown. Check out a few of them if you have the time and get ready for a new article tomorrow.

Azathoth’s Abode on the Plateau of Leng: The Dungeon
All Eyes and Ears
Armagideon Time
The Armchair Chef
Art by Bubba Shelby
Branded in the 80s
Cavalcade of Awesome
Comic Coverage
Cool-Mo-Dee
Creepy Los Angeles
Dave Lowe Design!
Digital Meltd0wn Music Blogroll
Digital Meltd0wn
Diversions of the Groovy Kind
Distinctly Jamaican Sounds
Dr. K’s 100-Page Super Spectacular
Dr. Squid’s Smorgasbord of Terror!
Drunken Severed Head
Frankensteinia
Franklin Mint Blog
Geek Orthodox
Geektarded
Gothtober
Halloween Addict
Halloween in the Time of Cholera
The Hallowe’en Tree
Harvey’s Midnight Hour
The Holiday Queen
Houses of Wax
The Horrors of it All
Horror Host Graveyard
Idle Minds Inc.
I-Mockery
John Rozum.com
Magic Carpet Burn
Mark Harvey’s World
Mike Segretto
Monsters and More
Monster Crazy
Monster Memories
Monster Rally
Monsterama
Monsters and More
Moongem Comics
Mostly Ghostly
Mother Firefly’s Faster Pussycats
Music From the Monster Movies 1950-69
Music You (Possibly) Won’t Hear Anywhere Else
Musty TV
Neato Coolville
Needcoffee
Negative Pleasure
Nostalgia Factory
A Nostalgic Halloween
Oh the Horror
Orange and Black
Para Abnormal
Plaid Stallions
Plastic Pumpkins
Pumpkin Hollow
Pumpkinrot
Random Acts of Geekery
The Retropolitan
Sailormoms
The Sexy Armpit
Skull a Day
Sweet Skulls
13 Visions
Tales to Astonish
Tikiranch Hallows
Trixie’s Treats
Universal Horror Sounds
Valhella
Vinnie Ratolle’s Records
Weird Hollow
Wonderful Wonderblog
X Entertainment

AWESOME-tober-fest 2008: Remembering Cracked Monster Party

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Cracked magazine, Halloween, holiday, Monster Party, nostalgia, pop culture, reviews with tags , , , , , on October 22, 2008 by Paxton

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Welcome to AWESOME-tober-fest Week 4. For those that are just joining us, AWESOME-tober-fest is my countdown to Halloween which includes spooky articles each week covering things like scary books/movies, candy, etc. I’ll discuss these things each week until we finally reach “H-Day” as I like to call it (or Halloween, for the layman). Since we are celebrating in October, and this is the Cavalcade of Awesome, the name of this countdown is AWESOME-tober-fest. If you missed any of the first three weeks, here’s a handy dandy list:

Week 1: I review gallons of Halloween sodas
Week 2: Some of my favorite scary movies
Week 3: I Survive Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights

All caught up? Good, let’s get started with today’s topic; Cracked Magazine’s Monster Party.

I was going through an old chest of mine in the garage a week or so ago and found my old stash of Mad Magazines.  Along with all my Mad mags, there was also a huge stash of Cracked magazines.  Talk about hitting the mother lode.  I loved reading Mad and Cracked magazine when I was a kid.  I would wait each month to buy the copy and read it endlessly until the new issues came out.  I even bought the Super Specials and Collector’s Editions which only reprinted material I already owned, but I didn’t care.  I loved the spoofs, parodies and humor of my Mad and Cracked magazines.  I saved every issue I bought of these magazines and stored them carefully in this chest when I was about 13 and it was left there until I opened it a few weeks ago.  I had found my own personal Arc of the Covenant.

Raiders of the Ark

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2008!!! I survive Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights!!

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Florida, Halloween, Halloween Horror Nights, holiday, Orlando, reviews, roadtrip, Universal Studios with tags , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2008 by Paxton

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Welcome to Week 3 of AWESOME-tober-fest!!! Hope you’ve enjoyed the first two weeks so far. I started off week 1 talking about creepy Halloween sodas. Then, on week 2, I discussed a few of my favorite scary movies. What’s on deck for this week? Well, as teased to you at the end of last week’s article, Steph and I took the plunge and went to our first Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights this past weekend. Universal Studios theme parks hold this event annually and this year marked the 18th year they have done it. I’ve been wanting to go since we moved down to Jacksonville but we never did and thanks to some cheap, discounted tickets at work, we were able to do it this year. In case you didn’t know, ever since around 1990, during the Halloween season, Universal Studios closes its doors (along with Islands of Adventure) around 5:30 – 6pm and clears out all the people. Universal then sets up the scare zones and haunted houses and opens the doors again for people who bought Halloween Horror Nights tickets (yes, it’s a separate ticket). There are as many as 8 haunted houses that are setup in various parts of the park as well as what are called scare zones. In these scare zones are park employees who dress up in scary costumes and follow around patrons trying to creep them out or scare them. Like the haunted houses, each scare zone has a different theme, usually based around what haunted house is near it. Halloween Horror Nights usually has an overall theme each year, too. Last year, with Freddy, Jason and Leatherface it was called the Carnival of Carnage. The year before that they did a “best of” theme with all the best haunted houses and scare zones from the years prior.  This year, the overall theme was Bloody Mary; which included famous myths, legends and fairy tales.  Bloody Mary is the spririt that would appear to you in a mirror if you said her name 3 times.  She’s in the picture below on the right.

It’s a pretty cool theme if you ask me and I was very excited to see what Universal did with it.  So, after work on Friday, the wife and I took off for Orlando and our scary Halloween adventure. Continue reading