Could It Really Be Phase I Already?

So many pumpkins

I know I say this a lot (and I’m saying it more every year), but I can’t even believe it’s here already. Halloween. The raison d’etre. That extra special 1/6th of the year where everything in my life becomes a little more vibrant, a little more vital, a LOT more orange.

There’s just something about this whole Halloween thing that reaches all the way down to the deepest part of my core and tweaks my happiness node. You could say this entire website is my attempt to figure out what that is, and obviously it’s not just one thing. It’s all of it. It’s the juxtaposition of macabre and jovial, and of youth and adulthood. Death putting a mirror up to life, making us all remember how precious it is. It’s the official beginning of the holiday season – the time when almost everybody, if they’re so inclined, gets to experience that feeling of life being generally better and more fun for a couple months.  More brains…

Ghosted by Jon on September 1st, 2014 | Filed Under Musings | No Comments -

Summer of Horror: The Birds, An American Werewolf in London, The Legend of Hell House

The Birds (1963)


Funny thing about decades: we always want to neatly divide them up and identify them by a particular set of traits like the fashion, technology, slang, and social attitudes. But in practice what we picture when we think of a particular decade doesn’t usually line up with the actual years. “The 80′s” in our minds, is really what the world looked like from about 1984 to 1992. “The 90′s” is more like 1993 to 2001. The judging by The Birds, the 50′s was still alive and well in 1963.  More brains…

Ghosted by Jon on August 18th, 2014 | Filed Under Movie Reviews | No Comments -

Bountiful Pumpkinosity

Don’t let my gun-jumping from last week fool you – this is the REAL kickoff to pumpkin beer season right here.


Oh, yeah. Thank you Total Wine, for this bounty in which I am about to partake…

First item of note: SOUTHERN TIER PUMPKING. I’ve heard of this beer from review sites, it’s supposedly legendary among pumpkin beers and has never been available in tha AZ before. There it sits. Flanking it on the right, from the same brewery is Warlock, a pumpkin stout. Pumpkin. Stout. I’ve never before tried such a thing.

In the middle are some reliable old standbys. Pumpkinhead needs no introduction. The Uinta Punk’n and Anderson Valley Fall Hornin’ are both perfect “every day” pumpkin beers, for the select few people on Earth who could even conceive of such a thing. Mind, this wasn’t EVERY pumpkin beer Total Wine had to offer at this early stage. I didn’t bother with Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat or Sam Adams Harvest Pumpkin. And Shipyard’s signature Smashed Pumpkin, well, that will be saved for a special occasion.

Ghosted by Jon on August 16th, 2014 | Filed Under Musings | No Comments -

First Pumpkin Beer of the Season!

This isn’t how I’d normally do it. Usually, sometime in late August/early September, I’ll make a special journey to Total Wine and stock up on every pumpkin beer that is on the shelf. Then I will ritualistically drink the best one first before I watch a horror movie. Usually that’s Shipyard Pumpkinhead.

But, there I was at the grocery store, picking up two little things, and there in the beer aisle was Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale.

Blue Moon

I walked away first. I really did. I didn’t feel ready for pumpkin beer season, and Blue Moon has always been a middle of the road one, at best. But I went back. I couldn’t leave that store with this on the shelf.

So I’m not sure if I’ll drink it tonight or save it. The first sip of pumpkin beer in the fall is one of the great checkpoints of Halloween. I don’t like to jump the gun if I can. But, it’s also Summer of Horror.

Yes… I think I’ll have it when I watch the next horror movie. The ritual must be maintained.


Ghosted by Jon on August 11th, 2014 | Filed Under Musings | No Comments -

Do You Hear That Rumbling Sound?

… it’s the sound of Halloween approaching off in the distance.

The very first signs of the season have slowly started creeping into the city. Behold, my very first personal Halloween sighting of 2014, at Costco:

Costco Lanterns

I have also gotten word from others that dollar stores have started bringing out the Halloween stuff, though I have yet to investigate on my own. Here’s proof received from a friend:

99 cents only

Of course, I’m almost certain that if I were to just walk into a Michael’s craft store I’d see a pretty complete Halloween display. And Big Lots stores are also normally early to the game. Last weekend I went to Total Wine, a part of me deep down hoping I would see a pumpkin beer on the shelf – no dice. But all good things in due time…

The phrase “Three Month Halloween” has been running through my head. I can’t do it. That line is more than I’m willing to cross. Delayed gratification is a crucial ingredient to keeping Halloween (and any holiday) sacred. But there’s so much I cram into those two months, it’s hard to avoid temptation.

The planning phases may have begun, but the celebration must wait for now.

Ghosted by Jon on August 8th, 2014 | Filed Under Musings | No Comments -

Summer of Horror – Monster Squad, REC, Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Monster Squad (1987)

The Monster Squad


Watching Monster Squad for the first time – as a capital A Adult – I couldn’t help but feel short-changed by my childhood. Why hadn’t I seen this movie? It’s basically Goonies with classic horror monsters. Young Jon would have lost his shit to see this.  More brains…

Ghosted by Jon on July 24th, 2014 | Filed Under Movie Reviews, Reviews | 1 Comment -

Summer of Horror 2014: House, The Blob, The Amityville Horror

House (1986)


How do I describe House? It’s very 80′s. It’s a B-Movie.

And I’m already out of adjectives…. this doesn’t bode well for Summer of Horror 2014. I’ll start by describing the plot, and maybe that will clear the writer’s block.  More brains…

Ghosted by Jon on July 7th, 2014 | Filed Under Movie Reviews, Reviews | No Comments -

Summer of Horror 2014!!!

summer of horror 2014 banner

I’m starting to get sick of saying the words, “I can’t believe it’s here already”, but it’s the truest thing that comes to mind at times like this.

It’s Summer, which officially begins on Saturday, but has begun in the hearts of Phoenix residents like myself the day we had to keep running the air conditioning through the middle of the night. We will not know the state of not-hot until roughly October. But that’s OK (kind of), because I have Summer of Horror!

The bigger, bloodier sequel to last year’s Summer-long horror movie marathon, Summer of Horror 2014 will continue my own horror film education with more bonafide classics, cult classics, modern masterpieces, and obscure curiosities. Like last year, I will review every movie I watch on this site, grouped into threes. Unlike last year, I will not be attempting to put them into tidy categories, nor do I plan to follow any chronology or logical order. The movies will be watched in whatever time frame and order is most convenient. I also want to involve more collaborators this year, and make it more of a group project. So if you know me (and if you’re reading this site, odds are you do), and want to join in on the fun, the more the merrier. I will try to announce which films I’m planning to watch in advance.

If you will permit a small amount of back-patting, I’m rather fond of this new Halloween tradition. Scope creep though it may be, it feels to me like an organic way to slowly ramp into the Halloween season, which takes the torch promptly at the passing of Summer. Before we know it, Costco will be rolling out their annual one or two Halloween props, way too early. Then Michael’s will jump in and all hell breaks loose. It may come too quickly every year, but I still can’t wait.

Let the Summer of Horror commence…

Ghosted by Jon on June 16th, 2014 | Filed Under Uncategorized | No Comments -

Oculus Review


Some strange patterns have emerged lately in the theatrical release dates department. Logically, the best time to release a horror movie in theaters would be September or October …. right? Why not capitalize on society’s seasonal fascination with spooky? Somehow, movie studios have collectively agreed that the entire month of October now belongs to whichever annual horror franchise is the current top dog, and there’s no room for anything else (currently the top dog is Paranormal Activity). As a result the studios seem to be left without a clear time frame in which to dump all their unproven new horror films into theaters. “Unproven” in this case meaning “not a franchise or a remake”.  More brains…

Ghosted by Jon on April 15th, 2014 | Filed Under Movie Reviews, Reviews | No Comments -

Review – The Conjuring


Every year there seems to be a horror movie that gets released to moderate to high acclaim in the middle of the Halloween season, and try as I might to see it, I end up being too busy to do so before Halloween is over. Then, even if it comes out on video before the end of the year, I’m in no mood for horror.

I know I’m the weird one here. I know most people – if they can stomach horror movies at all – can watch them at pretty much any time of year. But as you may well realize, Halloween is sacred to me, and horror movies are such a large component I am compelled to keep them in a Summer-Autumn box. February is normally way out of season for horror in my life, but I needed to see The Conjuring. Too many people have told me as much.  More brains…

Ghosted by Jon on February 4th, 2014 | Filed Under Movie Reviews, Reviews | No Comments -
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