Cryptid Monster Marathon – Monstrous, The Retreat, and Dawn of the Beast Movie Reviews

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.

The Retreat, 2020 (377 Films)

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.

Continue reading “Cryptid Monster Marathon – Monstrous, The Retreat, and Dawn of the Beast Movie Reviews”

Spooky Indie/Small Businesses with Great Halloween & Horror Gifts

The Saturday after Black Friday is always Shop Small Business day. No supply chain issues. You help the economy. You help independently-owned and small businesses thrive. You find amazing, fangtastic gifts for your favorite Halloween and horror lover. Helping makes you feel good. Everybody wins!

In Burbank-Los Angeles, SoCal:

Dark Delicacies – If you’re looking for horror books, horror collectibles and memorabilia, and spooky novelty items
https://www.darkdel.com

Camp Horror/Bearded Lady’s Mystic Museum – If you’re looking for horror clothing, horror movie collectibles, strange vintage oddities, and spooky novelty items https://beardedladysmysticmuseum.square.site

Halloweentown Store – If you’re looking for Halloween costumes and masks, horror clothing, Halloween and horror collectibles and memorabilia, and spooky novelty items
http://halloweentownstore.com

Monster-A-GoGo/Kreepsville -If you’re looking for horror or goth clothing and spooky novelty items
https://store.kreepsville666.com

Local Boogeyman – If you’re looking for creepy T-shirts, horror clothing, horror props, and spooky novelty items
https://www.localboogeyman.com

Elsewhere in the US:

Bug Under Glass – If you’re looking for museum-quality insect shadow box art and frames
https://bugunderglass.com
Me and Annabel Lee -If you’re looking for Edgar Allan Poe and Victorian Gothic gifts
http://www.meandannabellee.com
Wicked Clothes – If you’re looking for spooky T-shirts and creepy clothing
https://www.wickedclothes.com
Darkside Displays – If you’re looking for Halloween and horror props, collectibles, and party supplies, and spooky novelty items
https://www.darksidedisplays.com
JPsHorror – If you’re looking for Halloween and horror collectibles and memorabilia, and spooky novelty items
https://jpshorror.com
Spooky Cat Press – If you’re looking for spooky gift wrap, prints, and stickers
https://www.spookycatpress.com/collections/gothic-gift-wrap

Etsy Favorites:

The Bewitching Cauldron – Spooky books and wares
https://www.etsy.com/shop/BewitchingCauldron
Blackheads Pups – Spooky collars for your pups
https://www.etsy.com/shop/BlackHeartPups
Creepy Candles – Spooky candles for your home
www.etsy.com/shop/creepycandles
DiabolicaBoutique – Spooky bath bombs and soaps
https://www.etsy.com/shop/DiabolicaBoutique

For folks in the U.K.:

October 31st Store – Halloween collectibles, housewares, memorabilia, and spooky novelty items
https://october31st.co.uk
Blackstar Ceramics – Spooky ceramics
https://www.blackstarceramics.co.uk
Dolly Cool – Spooky jewelry and enamel pins
https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DollyCool

Small businesses were chosen at random. Many I’ve purchased from in the past and they’re good people. All of them ship almost anywhere (check their website for shipping costs and details).

If you know of a local, independently-owned, small business that provides great gifts for Halloween and horror fans, share their link and location in the comments.


Thanksgiving Night Movies

The turkey is cooked, the pie devoured, and the guests are all passed out in the living room…you survived Thanksgiving…time now to kick back with a cocktail and watch some really bad horror films filled with annoying victims who didn’t.

Blood Rage – currently on Tubi
Nothing says Thanksgiving like a murderous bad twin on a rampage. Run-of-the-mill low-budget 80s slasher, good for laughs and showcasing the once impressive state-of-the-art gory special effects of that time.

Thankskilling – currently on Pluto
For those wondering what would happen if our turkeys turned on us and tortured us with bad puns before killing us, this one’s for you. Exactly what you’d expect for $5,000 Kickstarter film that promises boobs in the first few opening seconds of the film.

Black Friday – currently on On Demand
Bruce Campbell. Zombies. Black Friday hell. I mean, what more do you need? Okay, fine, a group of toy store employees fight off hordes of Black Friday shoppers infected by some alien parasite. It’s a decent horror-comedy and like all good Zombie films, it has a little something to say about consumerism, customer service, and corporate greed.
It’s campy, it’s fun, it’s a gross-out fest, and it’s a Thanksgiving film. Make sure dinner is settled in your tummy before watching.

Kristy – currently on Tubi
Yes, I watched this because of the name, but it turned out to be a great thriller about a evil killer cult that randomly stalks a girl named Justine spending her Thanksgiving break on campus alone, believing her to be a “Kristy” aka a follower of God. It is a bit of a slog in the beginning and the story is not exactly original or even scary. That said, it is nicely shot and the acting is decent. Once things pop off, the cat and mouse chase is enough to keep the tension going. This isn’t a slasher per say, but I was definitely rooting for Justine to be a final girl.

Pilgrim – Only on Hulu
Hulu’s Into the Dark season 2 has given us some great horror for all holidays and this is another truly creepy gem, beautifully shot, well-acted and genuinely scary. I should probably mention that I think historically pilgrims for real were evil people. Why someone thought to invite weirdos to re-enact the first Thanksgiving is beyond me. The question we keep asking throughout the film is whether these pilgrims are some crazy religious cult or demonic souls returned from the netherworld. This is definitely my idea of Thanksgiving hell.

Welcome to the new Halloween Horror Haiku!

Halloween Haiku is now Halloween Horror Haiku!

Why the change? I want to expand more into the horror genre and blog more about horror movies, books, creators, etc. I’ll still write haiku and post about all things Halloween. Honestly, I don’t think my blog will be much different.

Be sure to bookmark the new website address:
www.halloweenhorrorhaiku.com

Social Media Handles
Instagram: @halloweenhorrorhaiku
Twitter: @Halloweenkristy
Pinterest: @halloweenkristy

If you find broken links or missing items, gimme a shout-out in Comments or email me at Halloweenkristy@gmail.com

Thanks for your support and for joining in this journey with me.

Halloween Kristy

Poe Sundays

On Sundays, we celebrate the Master of Macabre, Edgar Allan Poe

Fun Fact: Readers of the day were so horrified by the story’s violence, they complained to the editor of the Messenger, the first magazine to publish Berenice. Poe himself later removed 4 paragraphs of text, thus, many early publishings are missing the detailed heinous act of Poe’s story.

Poe was angry at being forced to self-censor his own work, believing a story should be judged solely by how many copies it sold.


You can read Berenice in its entirety here:
https://poestories.com/read/berenice

Poe Sundays

On Sundays, we celebrate the Master of Macabre, Edgar Allan Poe

Fun Facts: Poe himself had an obsessive fear of being buried alive do to catslepsy, a state where someone occasionally falls completely still and is unable to move or speak. There were a few cases of it happening during Poe’s lifetime that made the papers. No doubt those stories left a huge impression on the author.

Poe Sundays

Every Sunday, we celebrate excerpts and quotes from the works of the Master of Macabre, Edgar Allan Poe.

Fun Facts: It seems Poe was influenced by a number of other authors of his time to write a story based on the Spanish Inquisition, after reading History of the Spanish Inquisition by Juan Antonio Llorente. William Mudford’s The Iron Shroud, a short story of iron torture chamber was also an influence, as well as George Sale’s translations of the Qur’an, for which many of Poe’s works were heavily inspired by.*

Monthly Haiku Corner – June

New month, new theme: Graveyard Life

pretty young girls
fresh flowers on the tombs
graveyard chatter