My consumption of crap goes up by a lot in October, it’s a natural side-effect of so many shops having so much Halloween stuff at such cheap prices, for one month of the year two thirds of all shops sell affordable material goods aimed at exactly the sort of person I am, so I shall have to do a Halloween edition of Examples of Crap I Waste My Money On – sorry about that.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.
Winky and Wonky
Right this has a rather long backstory that I’m going to tell you, sorry: Sainsbury’s has been offering these little wind-up toys for a £1 each for a few years and a year or so ago I bought two – a side-stepping pumpkin and a skeleton – but the third (a mummy) was sold out. I intended to start this blog last year and even wrote and photographed a few bits and pieces for some Halloween articles (these were utter shit) and those two wind-up toys were the models for those articles (they were not shit, they were great models) the same as Ooky has been this year, I named them Binky and Bonky because they are perfect names. This is the mummy I couldn’t get that year (Winky) and a different pumpkin who hops along and looks uber cute (Wonky). Wind-up toys are just fascinating and delightful; if you’re no longer fascinated and delighted by wind-up toys you are dead inside, seek therapy.
Life-Size Plastic Skeleton!
(Halloween Spooktacular, Wilko, 2015)
Ooooh yeah! I was very excited to find a life-size skeleton I could actually afford this season, but since then a few things have come to light that have, if not tainted this beast, then shown it in a new light – the first is that his hands have been put on back-to-front the second is that no matter which way you pose him, he always looks exceedingly camp, we dealt with this by naming it Betty and becoming completely comfortable with his sexuality and giving him a little inflatable ghost friend to keep him amused when he’s in the loft.
Curly and the Horrorland Horror!
(Goosebumps Shakin’ Creatures, Toymax, 1993)
Why is Goosebumps stuff so expensive? I thought 90’s nostalgia was the red-headed stepchild of pop culture, if this is so true then why am I expected to play £20 minimum for anything vintage Goosebumps – with the exception of the actual, y’know, books. I have to do way too much looking/waiting around to find anything for a decent price. Anyway I finally got myself a Curly Shakin’ Creature AND it came with Horror Shaking’ Creature too (which I already have, though I shan’t turn down a second) for a tenner – in your face eBay.
(George at Asda, 2015)
I went back and got one of these. At £10 I thought they were way too expensive but then I found out they made a noise and moved and that was it, I resent paying a tenner for vintage Goosebumps merchandise that is actually collectible and desirable by people other than me but I’ll happily pay it for a worthless plastic crow so long as it makes a noise and flaps it’s wings – AND?! - It makes a noise and flaps its wings! Haunted Mansion fans may know that there is a reoccurring Raven in the ride that was once meant to be the ride’s narrator, this is what I see when I look at my Creepy Crow flapping and squawking, and anything that reminds me of the Haunted Mansion is worth a tenner? Yeah, that’ll do for an excuse.
The Inflatable Scream!
(The Unemployed Philosopher’s Club, 2013)
I have been looking for one of these since I was too skint to buy it in Brighton in 2013. I don’t have a lot of favourite paintings but I have a complete fascination for Edvard Munch’s The Scream and have since I was small, I dunno, maybe it represents how I’ve always felt, or maybe I just like really creepy pictures (and given that the other picture I can name that I really like is Ophelia by John Everett Millais and that shows a dying/dead woman…). Then some creative fuckers made an inflatable version of it! Inflatable toy The Scream! This bastard stands 18” – two G.I. Joes tall - and I finally found one… at a Steve Earle gig. If you’ve heard of Steve Earle you will know he’s a country rock singer who is not in any way known for his love of fine art, so why was he selling inflatable Screams? He wasn’t, he just so happened to be performing in a pretentious minimalist theatre place that sometimes exhibits art work, and their gift shop had inflatable Screams. The moral of this story is that you never know where inflatable greatness will turn up, that and there should be more merchandise of paintings– who wouldn’t want a Mona Lisa action figure? Or a Lady of Charlotte resin sculpture? Or an inflatable S. Mutt urinal? Exactly.
Various Cheap Horror DVDs!
Early this month I had an uncontrollable urge to watch Blair Witch Project but found I didn’t own it, which was very strange – not because I particularly like the film but because the DVD is never more than £1.50 in any shop in the country, having rewatched it I can see why, though I do get enjoyment out of just watching well written human interaction. On the other hand I do particularly like Scooby Doo and The Reluctant Werewolf, it’s the cartoon I most associate with Halloween and I was shocked to find I didn’t own a copy anymore, I’m going to watch it on October 31st, in the morning, and pretend I’m at my nan’s and am 8. The rest of this motley selection I’d never seen before, if you’d like a quick set of reviews:
Trick ‘r Treat: Brilliant, completely in love with it, my new essential horror film, it’s all about Rhonda
Escape From Tomorrow: technically I guess this is shit but it’s utterly enthralling, it transfixes me each time I watch it, even the stupid spunk scene.
The Houses of Halloween aka The Houses That October Built: worth owning just for the walk-throughs of the Halloween haunts and the scenes with Porcelain in them, I want a Porcelain action figure
Dead Silence: pretty good, but not brilliant, some good scares and some terrible CGI tongues (not I will not put that context)
The Big Foot Tapes: I dunno I haven’t seen it yet, Jurassic World came out I haven’t stopped watching that long enough to watch a shitty Troll Hunter knock-off.
Aaand I’m done, thanks for sticking with this all the way through, your reward is a monkey in a pumpkin: