Originally, my monthly theme was March Madness, but I didn’t like the story. However, I already put together a list of my fave spooky movies about going insane. Is it all in their heads or is something more sinister afoot? Gotta watch to find out. In keeping with the theme of March Mischief, I’m totally posting a March Madness movie list!🤪😄
Kicking off the 2022 Christmas gift-giving guide season with 7 gifts that don’t suck for vampire fans. Vampire fans are a picky bunch and luckily, there are numerous gift ideas that will quench their bloodlust and won’t break the bank.
Bleeding Skull Candles
Bleeding candles are all the rage. Something Different Vampire Blood Tears out of the UK sells taper candles online or through Amazon, or you can try these bleeding skull candles from Gute, which look even cooler.
Gothic Black or Purple Damask Throw Pillows
These beautiful gothic throw pillows designed by Teri Sherman and sold through Redbubble are easy ways for vampire fans to goth up a regular couch or bed. Sold in black, purple, and red.
Nothing says I’ll love you forever like a coffin ring made of Onyx from Blood Milk Jewels. Of course, there are cheaper alternatives out there for people on a budget, or pricer options, for those looking to get even more serious.
Capes are in! Okay, well, long capes like this Black and Red Reversible Cape from the Pyramid Collection is still tricky fashion and better suited for costumes, but short black capes and ponchos are definitely a thing. They go with everything from little black dresses to jeans and boots, and they keep little black hearts warm.
Bela Lugosi Collection from Creepy Co.
Bela Lugosi has an entire line of officially licensed and trademarked clothing and merch sold online through Creepy Co., which offers a number of officially licensed horror collections. Thanks to his business savvy and vigilant family, Bela Lugosi is practically synonymous with his most famous role, Dracula, the 1931 film from Universal Pictures, and I’m all for keeping that legend going. From pins to patches, socks to t-shirts, and my personal favorite, the poster pajama set, surely there is something here for vampire fans of all ages and types.
Wine Gifts from Vampire Vineyards
Vampire Vineyard won the domain name game over vampire.com and successfully trademarked a number of vamp names and images to use with their brand. Their single wines come with a cute little Vampire Wine Cape and are actually quite tasty. Vampire offers a broad range of wine, food gifts, and other merch. Everyone knows wine is the true elixir of life, so vampire fans can relax with a bottle and stop worrying over whether their blood types match.
The Vampira Diaries, 1954-1956 Book by Jonny Coffin
Maila Nurmi a.k.a Vampira, the first inspiration for all the mistresses of the dark that followed, had a bit of a rough life and it’s hard to be supportive of her legacy when there’s next to no official merchandise out there. That’s why this limited edition pre-order coffee table book to celebrate her life is so important. Authored by the eccentric Jonny Coffin, creator of the original Coffin Case, this is a chance for fans to learn a little more about the Original Glamor Ghoul and it’s sold directly through her official shop run by her family, which is nice. I hope they can capitalize on Vampira’s popularity and run a successful store. Btw, I hear only 1000 hand-stamped books will exist, so they’re likely to sell out fast.
Happy October! After starting late this Halloween season, I’m now ready to post the schedule of this year’s 31 Days of Halloween Celebration. The theme this October is dystopian Halloween. With the doomsday clock ticking down, due to savages like Russian dictator Vladamir Putin and gun-crazed trump-loving jesus-freaks, it’s probably way past time to think about how humankind plans to survive the apocalypse, in particular, how we’ll preserve our traditions and holidays, like Halloween.
Part of the month, we’ll have some fun with the dystopian Halloween-horror theme, but I have decided to mix in some good old-fashion Halloween traditional themes as well, cuz, I just love talking about those Halloween memories.
Have a safe and happy Halloween season!
31 Days of Halloween Schedule
Monday Macabre Mondays are always dedicated to Haiku, but every Monday in October we’ll explore a dystopian Halloween.
Tuesday Terror Every Tuesday, I’ll share my favorite scary movies that I believe make great Halloween season viewing.
Wicked Art Wednesdays Every Wednesday, I’ll share some spooktacular Halloween art with an apocalyptic twist. I might even post some my own original Halloween pencil stencil art.
Throwback Thursdays Preservation of Halloween traditions is important for several reasons. Every Thursday, let’s explore the origins of some Halloween traditions and muse over whether these traditions might survive the apocalypse.
Friday Fright Nightcaps Ghosts aren’t the only ones who like to get sheet-faced on Halloween. Check back every Friday for Halloween season-inspired cocktails.
Sinister Saturdays In the past few years, Sinister Saturdays have always been dedicated to food and Halloween recipes. The problem was, besides my being the worst cook in America, people are simply reluctant to let you share their recipes online, even if you give them complete credit and link back to their website. So, in the true spirit of Sinister Saturdays, we’re just going to let the demons loose that day and see what they come up with.
Poe Sundays This year’s tribute to the master of macabre, Edgar Allan Poe, will feature my thoughts on the best Poe adaptations on film.
After missing my own self-imposed deadlines in January and February, where I was to present a movie review for the month, I am determined not to miss March! Thus, I decided to triple down and do three movie reviews in celebration of our legendary creatures theme.
The truth is, earlier this March, I watched Dawn of the Beast, but it was only when I started writing the review did I realize the movie was actually the third cryptid monster film, following Monstrous and The Retreat, all directed by Bruce Wemple. Naturally, I had to watch the other two films.
Armed with a great love for campy horror films and his trusty cast of relative unknowns, New York director Bruce Wemple creates fresh horror that makes the socially conscious Gen Z crowd proud. All boxes checked. Wemple knows all the horror tropes, and these films felt like proper indie horror movies. There was decent acting, strong female characters, and lots of action. The camerawork makes good use of those shadows, close-up shots, and practical effects to perpetuate the scares and despite the low budget, the production quality was pretty good. I was even forgiving of the few man-in-a-monster-suit shots, which were super cheesy, but hey look, considering the third film was entirely developed during the pandemic, all of us should be impressed by that. I’ll be honest, I never gave much thought to Adirondack mountains before watching these films, and whatever location Wemple chose to shoot on location is some damn beautiful country. If I wasn’t so scared of the real Wendigo, I’d run out and buy a Winnebago.
There’s a lot of good psychological horror here too, especially in the second film, The Retreat. The biggest flaw of this cryptid trilogy was the films suffered from having too much story. I guess having too much story is better than having no story, right? It’s just these long drawn out or overly heavy exposition scenes take away our monster time, and when you make a feature film starring these two legendary creatures, you have got to have more monster!!
I should also mention upfront, each of these movies is stand-alone. You’ll understand each of them on their own just fine, but movie marathons are so much more fun.
Every year, I see recipes for Halloween pasta using black squid ink pasta. It always looks so fun for this time of year. Pasta is typically a fast and easy meal to make, so, after years of thinking about it, I finally found a place that sells black squid ink pasta (Cost Plus) and decided to make my own version of Halloween Spaghetti Monster. The results were delicious, even if my pictures were complete fails. (Please don’t tell me it looks like a dog.)
Black Squid Ink Pasta is made from durum semolina wheat, water, and 1% squid ink. I was always nervous that it would taste fishy, but that’s not the case. Instead, it tastes just like bland wheat pasta. The creepiest thing about black squid ink pasta is the boiling water turns a deep charcoal color and look like slimy worms once drained.
1 pkg Plain Spaghetti 1 pkg Black Squid Ink Pasta 1 jar Traditional Marinara or Pasta Sauce Black Olives (1/2 cut for monster nose and mouth) Green Olives (for monster eyes) Dash of Parmesan Cheese
For best results, follow instructions on jar
Add sauce to crock pot along with 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Cook for 3 hours on high/1 hour on low
For best results, follow instructions on pasta packages
Cook both pastas in separate big pots full of lightly salted water 1. Spaghetti for 12-14 min 2. Black squid ink pasta for 7-9 min (takes slightly less than regular pasta)
Drain water and return to the pots
Serve in bowl and add pasta sauce
Use olives to make monster face
All reheats nicely with a little tab of butter. Happy Halloween!