Shit is crazy, yo. That’s about the best I could come up with for an opening line.

During previous Halloween seasons, I’ve been able to ramp up the lead-up to my Halloween Specials. I loved posting a production journal on here for at least one or two of them, but it wasn’t in the cards this time.ย This year, even though free time is basically non-existent, I still magically whipped up a special, with the help of my friends of course! I ran into a bunch of speed bumps on the way.

A whole script basically went into the trash. I wrote this pretty epic script that, once it was too late, I realized would be entirely too much to film. Not so much about the length, but even the logistics, locations, and money. Although I love the script and it had absolutely everything in it, I came to terms with the fact that I just couldn’t pull it off so late in the game. I swore I would write the script early in the year that way it would give us extra time to film, storyboard, and even block everything out like actual filmmakers. Wrote it early I did. Threw it away late I did as well. To say I was pissed off at myself for wasting so much time and effort was an understatement.

If I recall correctly, it was early to mid summer when I banged out the script. To me, this was an alternate, basically a replacement that paled in comparison.ย With work and personal stuff bubbling up all over, the frustration of having to part with something that I thought was so cool really bummed me out. Since these specials at their core are just merely a hobby, it takes every bit of dedication, focus, and every single second of personal time that I could possibly muster to get these done. Not to mention that I can barely put attention on anything other than the video while in production. You might think I’m crazy like The Cars said, but it’s my passion. I have some kind of compulsion that takes control of me, it’s almost like I don’t have a choice in the matter. Probably sounds ridiculous, but that’s probably what’s driven me to do this sort of insane stuff since I was 8 years old with my first giant Panasonic video camera. If you’ve seen The Goldbergs, it’s like that before their was a show about it.

Back to the script. I finally finished it and my enthusiasm for it started to intensify. At first, it was just a cop out, a total joke because I needed an angle fast. In the end, I wound up looking to a film and a character that I have loved for 20 years. Back when I was working at the local movie theater as a teenager is when I saw the film that this special parodies. Many of you most likely don’t care for this film, but I’ve always been all about it and I couldn’t think of a better way to pay it tribute than to infuse it into my annual horror comedy.

The actual shoot was really smooth. Again, I called upon the help of Louie Cortes from New Needle Productions for his expert cinematography. Louie being a part of this special made it so much easier on me, especially because life really isn’t being kind to me in terms of extra time for creativity. Mike Wirth and his wife Lauren, as always, are incredible to have on my team because they are really into it and are willing to put in the work which is hard to come by. Corinne as Sludgey was in top form and brought the laughs. All of these key players make this buffoonery happen and without them it would either be a giant pain in the ass and most likely not even happen at all.

Our new actress this year is the lovely actress Samantha Quintana who has starred in several independent films as well as Louie Cortes’ GOOD DAY, which is set on Halloween. When I first spoke to her about this role she mentioned that she hadn’t done much in the way of comedy so she was excited. I’m not sure how it’s possible, but she totally nailed every line and every mannerism that I was hoping for. She just waltzed in and basically came, saw, and kicked ass…then dropped the mic and went back to New York. Samantha and I were on the same page with everything and she was a dream to work with.

The editing phase posed another massive obstacle for me. My computer could barely handle much of the 4K footage. Even dumping it down didn’t help. My computer was 8 years old and it doesn’t seem that old, but to edit nearly 3 hours of footage, it almost tanked the entire computer. It was over to the Apple store to finance a Mac that I couldn’t afford just to finish this thing. I needed a new one anyway, so what better time than now? The sucky part was that it knocked me out of an entire day of editing. For some reason, it felt like the edit took forever. It’s likely that it took about the same or even less time than in the past, and it really wasn’t all that bad, it just felt like it took forever because attention span isn’t all there right now. I pushed through like a boss and made it happen though.

I’ve only watched it through fully once or twice and I can say that I enjoy it. It does feel a little weird because it’s my haphazard style of slapping this stuff together mixed with Louie’s meticulous filmmaking and camera work. It’s a cool balance although at times I am definitely not cut out for actual, by the book filmmaking. I just want to act like an idiot. And you can engrave that line into my tombstone as my final words.

Truly, I hope you enjoy this year’s special. Don’t take it serious because, it’s meant to make you laugh…and this year it may even make you sentimental. There’s a couple of sweet moments that I really like. I won’t be making that a habit, but just wanted to point it out. Oh yeah, one more thing – next year will likely be my last Halloween Special. I am not saying the characters won’t be around, just that doing this show in this capacity is getting a little out of hand in terms of time and money. If the next one is the last, I promise it will be an all out blast.

After watching, please give us a thumbs up and spread it around on social media. The best thing you can do is tell your like minded friends or family members to watch it and all of our previous installments. I receive no monetary gain from these so knowing they mean something to you guys and gals reading this is something you cannot put a price tag on.



  • JohnV

    This was great Jay! I enjoyed this slice of Halloween fun. Hope it’s not the last special from you.

  • Dick R

    I also hope this is not the last.

    I’d still like some back-story, one day, in some X-mas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, whatever special as to how Sludgy came into your life. The first time I saw one of your videos, I was more focused on the sludge thing, and what that had to do with the video. What is the background on this green slime thing…

    Jay, I suggest, if this is consuming too much time nowadays, do like the Purple Stuff podcast, don’t aim to fill lots of time. At least put something out there each Halloween. I’m not saying, “Half-ass it”, put some effort into it, yeah, but if you can only manage to get a 10 minute Halloween short together, go for it! Keep the tradition, just don’t burn out on it.

  • Jace Bandalin

    A FREAKING TRIUMPH DUDE!! I loved it, one of my favorites that you guys have ever made! Thank you so much for making these for us fans!

  • Tank Rambo

    That was Awesome! Thanks for all the effort, Jay! I’m sorry you had to ‘Kill your darling’ (i.e. The first script), but sadly, that’s often the price to be paid for progress… I think the Wishmaster Tribute was Excellent in its Own Right, though! (Maybe next year you could find a Hottie for your flick, huh? — JK — WOW, she was Great in this, and aaalmost had me forgetting about Elvira for a sec… ๐Ÿ˜‰ This is your first special I’ve watched, and now I’ll go back and check out the others as well. (Cool to put a face to the voice too – been diggin’ the PSP’s Big Time – you guys are doing Halloween Proud, and have become a Big Part of the Season for me (I’ve been following XE & DD since about ’05, and now I’ll be reading TSA as well – THANKS for all the work you put into it!) – I sincerely hope you find a way to keep doing these specials well beyond next year – they really are a Blast! ๐Ÿ™‚

    All the Best & Bloodiest, Tank -)

    P.S. – WHERE can I get those Shot Glasses?! Also, I’m gonna be searching for Mike’s shirt! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Extra P.S. – Happy F13 next week! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Tank Rambo

    Also- In the (unlikely) event you haven’t checked this out yet – It’s TASTY…!

  • Bruce Haney

    Loved the special! Best one yet? Was wondering when the neighbor girl would show up from the previous halloween specials.

  • Last years Halloween Special was really a step up but this one just blows it away. The shots, the music, the editing…Samantha Quintana…it’s truly epic. The Jinn is really creepy as well. I love those scenes. It seems like you are a bit apprehensive about including what you refer to as “sentimental” stuff but honestly, those are my favorite parts. The #BestHalloweenEver is a thing of beauty and I love it more and more every time I watch it. It strikes a chord with me.

    I also love the Weird Science influence. That’s one of my favorite movies of all time. When Samantha makes her entrance your reaction is priceless. The references alone in this Special are crazy. It’s a love letter to so many wonderful things.

    I really appreciate all of the work and love that you put into this. It shows in every way. I can’t imagine how you possibly found the time to pull this off. I admire that. I struggle to find time for my own art so when you say that next year might be the last one I totally get that. As long as you keep creating in some capacity that’s the important thing.

    Just wanted to mention that I finally watched Trick Or Treat for the first time and I wasn’t at all prepared for its awesomeness. Sammi F’n Curr! Rock’s Chosen Warrior! I can’t believe I’ve never seen this. It’s a crime. I knew there must be something to it because you always mentioned it but it far exceeded my expectations in every way. Thank you for flying the flag of Sammi Curr and getting his name out there. Wish that tour would really happen. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And Fastway…FASTWAY!!!

    You kicked some ass this year. HaPpY HaLLoWeeN!

  • Lots of fun. Wish it was easier on you! But thanks for helping to keep the fun in Halloween for us all. Enjoy the rest of the month now!

  • Chris Striegel/@ChrisIsHCFest

    I look forward to this every year. Always a fun time. “I just want to act like an idiot” – if this is your mantra (and what a relatable one it is), it shines through here. Well done as usual!