Purple Stuff Podcast Halloween Minisode #4: Escape From Castle Dracula!

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To us, Halloween has officially kicked off, thanks to Dino Drac posting his first video of the season. Of course, The Purple Stuff Podcast’s Halloween celebration had already been in full swing with our new minisodes. We bring you a spooky new installment that is sure to be the perfect antidote for those who still think it’s too early to celebrate Halloween! (It’s never too early!)

In this episode, me and Matt drive to Philly to check out an Escape Room that he read about. This attraction wasn’t your run of the mill escape room as you can gather from the picture above. We entered an escape room that was basically Castle Dracula, our favorite haunted attraction of all time. We’ll tell you all about our excursion trying to find the place and what we encountered inside! It was a total blast. There couldn’t be a more perfect way to get into the vibes of the season. I’m getting excited just thinking about it.

As always, thanks for listening and reading! Please subscribe on iTunes and leave us a bunch of stars if you dig the show!

CM Punk Rescued at Jersey Shore: A Sexy Armpit News Brief

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If the wrestling news and rumor sites are accurate, it’s been reported that CM Punk is now officially a “former WWE Superstar.” I still have a slight amount of hope that it’s all part of storyline though. Whether Punk ever returns to the ring or not, he still deserves a vacation. His woman, WWE Diva AJ Lee, begged him to go to Wildwood this summer, and becoming a softy in his old age, Punk gave in. Ordinarily he wouldn’t be caught dead in Jersey, but the irony is that he WAS almost caught dead there. Watch the Sexy Armpit news brief above for all the details on this near fatal occurrence. Later in the news brief is a video montage of The Sexy Armpit and Dinosaur Dracula’s trip to the Wildwood boardwalk! Music by The Brigantines. See them live playing shows this summer! Listen to a Free track at their official site: www.thebrigantines.com

Castle Dracula Was My Jam

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Growing up, a lot of my friends would brag about exotic vacations lasting several weeks that they went on every summer. I was never jealous of them because my family went to the Jersey Shore every summer, more specifically, Wildwood. If you remember the Santa Cruz scenes in The Lost Boys, the type of vibe happening on the Wildwood Boardwalk wasn’t too much different, and of course…all the damn vampires!

Although I enjoyed going to Wildwood immensely, I think I took many aspects of it for granted since the majority of my attention span was spent on daydreaming about Castle Dracula. Then, once I was actually on the boardwalk and in close proximity of the sinister fortress, I’d spend the next few minutes walking slowly toward the ornate Castle, spending every moment in awe of the dread it beamed up and down the boardwalk. For me, Castle Dracula was a mecca.

Aside from some funny stories at the local restaurant The Captain’s Table with my sister and my cousins, my main memories are of anticipating, and finally getting to go into Castle Dracula. When my sister was younger and more brave, she would come with me as we both had a blast getting the bejesus scared out of us. Of course there was boardwalk games, prizes, ice cream, and boogie boarding, but none of it was ever high on my priority list.

Once inside that Castle, my mind was in utter disbelief that I was actually about to experience my favorite haunted attraction again, and it was all located right in Jersey. Although I loved Disneyland and Disney World, I didn’t need to, nor did I get the opportunity to go to Disney every year like some of my friends. A lot of them seemed like they didn’t truly appreciate how grandiose their trips seemed to other kids who weren’t as lucky. Now, I’m so not implying that I was “less fortunate,” because that would be ri-f*cking-diculous. I was overjoyed to walk the boardwalk, fantasizing about one of the greatest dark rides the Jersey Shore has ever offered. It felt like it was there for me, and it was…for a long time.

Castle Dracula burned down in 2002.

Check out Matt’s amazing tribute from the X-E days:
And Dark in the Park’s got cool stuff about it as well:

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 110: Great Adventure’s Fright Fest

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This year’s edition of Six Flags Fright Fest T-Shirt and Hoodie offerings
Amusement Parks and Halloween always make a great combination. Thrill rides in the chilled night air, and goofing around with your friends usually leads me to feel like there’s a horror movie plot being created in there somewhere. Whether there’s a killer lurking in the park or some supernatural entity is haunting one of the attractions, the Halloween season is prime time to head to your nearest amusement park and experience the fun of the season. We’re spoiled in Jersey because every year Six Flags Great Adventure becomes infested with ghosts, zombies, crazy clowns, and vampires for their annual Fright Fest celebration. Just remember to get there early. We didn’t.

Fright Fest is an annual thing for us, but we usually wind up getting on one ride if we’re lucky. The lines are super insane during Fright Fest, and the park is probably even more packed than it would be in the middle of the summer. Difference is, that it’s nicer to wait in lines and get on rides when it’s not a sweltering 97 degrees in the shade and over one hundred percent humidity.

Weather-wise, Saturday night was perfect. I was with a bunch of great people and even though we only made it on one ride, we had a blast. I’m sure it would’ve been more fun if the lines for the actual Fright Fest attractions weren’t as long. Even the average wait time for a roller coaster was an hour. While waiting in excruciatingly long lines, it helps to cling to the hope that the ride actually doesn’t break down before you make it to the last section of the line queue.

Fortunately, the ride we did decide to wait for went smoothly. Skull Mountain didn’t take that long to get through the line, probably because it’s one of the tamer rides, so we were patient. It fit into the Fright Fest theme as well. For an older, less face melting type of ride, this one still holds up after all these years. Think of it as Six Flag’s answer to Space Mountain only with a theme on the exterior that brings to mind The Goonies, King Kong, or a pirate movie.

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We were required to buy separate tickets for the haunted attractions, so we did that online at home to save a couple of bucks. Next we had to wait on another long line just to show them our print-outs to get a wristband for the haunts. This was just becoming an abysmal LINE FEST. Then we would have to wait on more laughable lines for each individual haunt. Fed up by this point, I started asking the lady a few questions about the attractions.

I was disappointed to learn that all of the attractions were walk through trails featuring live actors. I wasn’t hoping for dead actors, I was just hoping for a good old fashioned haunted house or dark ride type situation. They should mix it up and offer half walk throughs and at least one or two haunted houses that remind you of an old dark ride. I can’t tell you how many times Six Flags has sent me e-mails asking for feedback regarding my last visit to Fright Fest and I wrote them a hundred times that Fright Fest needs a good old fashioned, boardwalk style haunted house. It shouldn’t only be for Fright Fest either, it should be open year round for all of us psychos to enjoy.

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We played the boardwalk and carnival games they have in the Psycho Circus area.
Miss Sexy Armpit won me a Slimer plush! Dinosaur Dracula and Freddy in Space also won
Slimers as well only Dino Drac’s is darker shade of green than this one. I opted for the brighter one since it seemed like it was glowing like the real Slimer. The vintage melted plastic pumpkin decoration has absolutely nothing to do with Six Flags Great Adventure. Slimer is petrified of him though, and he should be, since he’s creepy as hell.

In the late ’70s, Great Adventure’s Haunted Castle was the type of attraction we needed until arsonists supposedly burned it down in ’84, killing eight teenagers trapped inside. Maybe they feel like it’s a curse if they build another one? I can’t say for sure, but maybe they fell that they aren’t experts at subtly, they prefer spending millions to create the fastest, most cheek rippling coasters the world has ever seen. Nothing wrong with that. The thing is, Great Adventure is already fully stocked with thrill rides and there’s a new one on the way for next season. Another thrill ride is superfluous, again, we need a damn haunted DARK RIDE. Attention to detail is preferred.

Keeping with the resoundingly positive note I am on, the graphic on this year’s Six Flags Great Adventure Fright Fest shirts and hoodies are AWESOME. They did get this part of the celebration correct. Apparel graphics are always a big part of the experience. You must be able to properly commemorate your visit and this year Six Flags came up with a couple of really cool looking designs. I couldn’t exit the park without snapping a few shots. America loves zombies…and paying lots of money to wait on never-ending lines apparently.

A Clerks Dark Ride? A Bit of Disney In Leonardo, NJ

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In the first episode of the Clerks; The Animated Series titled “Leonardo Leonardo Returns and Dante Has an Important Decision To Make,” Billionaire Leonardo Leonardo makes his triumphant return to Leonardo, NJ and unveils his giant monument of consumerism, Leonardo Tower. Naturally, Jason Mewes thought the tower looked “like a big bong.”

L.L’s new tower is all part of his diabolical plan to turn the town of Leonardo into a “doomed pleasure resort town where the people of Leonardo will work underground as mindless slave drones and live off the crumbs of the rich…”

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He strategically erected his new store the QuickER Stop right across the street from the real Quick Stop, nearly putting Dante and Randal’s livelihood in jeopardy. The original Quick Stop is about to go out of business, but fortunately, something good did come out of all this: Dante and Randal get the chance to go on a cool “dark ride” style tour of the new QuickER Stop.

As an homage to one of my favorite places on earth, Disney’s Haunted Mansion, Dante and Randal hop into a revolving Doom Buggy outfitted with a speaker to hear Leonardo’s braggadocios voice-guided tour. When the ride comes to the end, a ghostly greenish-blue apparition of Leonardo Leonardo appears in between Dante and Randal in their Doom Buggy!

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After the tour of the QuickER Stop, the guys attempt to foil Leonardo’s master plan. On the way, they bat-climb up the Leonardo Tower only to encounter two doorways. One is a your average completely regular doorway while the other is the MAZE OF DEATH! Out of two options, the marginally intelligent clerks chose the MAZE OF DEATH! Mwahahahaaaa!

The Spookhouse in Keansburg, NJ

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On a whim I recently took a ride to The Keansburg Amusement Park merely to go on a dark ride. After the extremely short ride was over, Miss Sexy Armpit wondered why I wanted to take the drive just for this ride. She also commented that it was “so old,” and for a girl who is usually scared of haunted houses, she thought this was remarkably unscary. She didn’t quite understand the history that this ride holds. This isn’t any old dark ride, this is THE SPOOKHOUSE, one of the first dark rides that ever existed, and even more incredibly…it still operates today!

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Sure, it might seem like a hokey old ride to some young kids who are conditioned to see scarier stuff in video games, but The Spookhouse (originally called The Mystery Ride) is truly a landmark in New Jersey. The cars you ride in and other parts of the ride itself date back to the late 1920s! Since I live fairly close, haunted house aficionados, dark ride lovers, and fun house freaks consider me extremely lucky to have the opportunity to hop on this Preztel Ride at my leisure.

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I can remember going to Keansburg every summer when I was a kid. My Dad always took me on the rides since he was a good sport. I don’t think he was ever particularly a fan of amusement park rides, (i.e the Tilt-a-Whirl) but he rode them with me anyway! If my mom went on rides she definitely would’ve lost her lunch!

Keansburg hasn’t changed one bit. Many of the same rides that I rode as a child are still there. As for the Spookhouse, yes, it’s been updated and blacklit, but it’s still the same classic ride. It’s truly a piece of American history. If you live in Jersey and have never been to Keansburg, it’s nothing like Six Flags or even Seaside, but it’s a lot of fun for children, it’s very reasonable, and it will bring back tons of memories from when you were a kid!

For the BEST coverage and information ANYWHERE on The Spookhouse, check out Laff In The Dark. They have a complete history of the ride as well as exclusive photos.

Also be sure to visit our friends at The Onezumiverse for more great pictures!

Keansburg Amusement Park: 107 years of Jersey charm

Ghost Ship: Walk Through Ride in Wildwood!

Calling me SUPER PUMPED after I originally saw this video reporting the opening of The Ghost Ship at Morey’s Pier in Wildwood was an understatement. Since the ride opened, there were several other reports and reviews of the ride around the ‘net and in local papers that mistakenly referred to the Ghost Ship as a Dark Ride, which it most definitely isn’t. In case you plan on hitting the Wildwood boardwalk before the summer officially comes to an end, heed my warning: The Ghost Ship is merely a walk through, and not a very scary one either.

Most of the conventional aspects of a walk through haunted house are present in the Ghost Ship. There’s a hallway with inflated walls that you have to push your way through, there’s creepy actors hanging in shadows and corners, and of course there’s times when you feel like a complete idiot because you don’t know if you’re going the right way. The ghoulish displays and the creepy atmosphere were well done and deserve credit for the fine detail, but overall it just wasn’t very thrilling.

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The Ghost Ship attraction has 2 main factors riding against it. First, it’s not much different than the majority of walk through haunted houses you’ve been to, and second, it’s pretty damn expensive for such a short length of time. One adult admission will soak you nearly $11.50, and there’s not even a nice little boat ride involved! Honestly, I was hoping the entire time I was walking through the ride that I’d eventually reach the part where we all loaded onto boats. I’d be happy to pay extra for a true dark ride, whether it’s in a boat or a coaster car. I guess it would be silly to ride a boat while inside a ship.

Many people are into the walk through style attraction, so it’s easy to be sucked in by the hype and cool advertisements for it. I fell for it and was disappointed, but I bet The Ghost Ship is immensely more exciting for a kid. Boardwalk rides are all geared toward kids, as they should be. But, years ago it seemed the attractions didn’t hold back. When I was a little kid, I went to Castle Dracula on the Wildwood Boardwalk every summer, which was an authentic Dark Ride, and in comparison to The Ghost Ship, it was crap your pants scary. They just don’t make ’em like they used to! Maybe The Ghost Ship would’ve been more effective if I watched The Triangle first.

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New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments Vol.10: What NOT to Watch This Halloween: Dark Ride

I should’ve known that any movie the Sci-Fi Channel airs that’s not an established classic usually sucks ass. I wish I would’ve watched their presentation of After Dark Films 8 Films to Die For: Dark Ride (2006) before I unwittingly purchased the DVD.
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I admit I was enticed by hearing that there was finally a horror movie about a Dark Ride. Who doesn’t love Dark Rides? If it was up to me, when you walk into my condo you’re automatically invited onto a boat and take a dark ride through the place. The only catch is that the only way to get around the condo is to take the dark ride. I’d wake up in the morning with my pajamas on and my eyes half shut and take the boat over to the bathroom. I’d do my thing, wash my face, and then hop on again over to the kitchen for breakfast as I narrowly escape some robotic monsters trying to kill me. What? It’s time to go to work? This boat is damn slow and we aren’t even passed the walking corpses and the Pinhead animatronic display! I hope I make it to the front door in time! I know, I know…keep my feet and hands in the ride at all times. Forget that, we can do it cartoon style and I wouldn’t even have to take a real shower anymore. I’d hop on the boat and have water jets and soap spray me down after I go through the Dr. Satan exhibit. Shit, I may as well make the upstairs into a fountain of youth ride. Anything’s possible in dark rides, except for making a good movie about them.

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Now that’s acting!


Jamie Lynn Sigler was the real grabber for me in this one. I think her performance would’ve resonated more if she video conferenced all her scenes in from her bedroom at home. Her work on The Sopranos is masterful and glorious compared to the hack job she turned in on this film. What a mess! I’m usually a fan of really bad movies like this one, especially of the horror genre, but so much of this movie let me down. It seems like the casting folks on this film tried to get Sigler because of her eternal connection to her starring role as the daughter of a mob boss from New Jersey.

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Now that’s acting!

Being a lifelong native of New Jersey, I was excited to see that the movie was based in Asbury Park. The dark ride itself was in a haunted house on the boardwalk. One dark and spooky night a bunch of “meddling kids” broke into the attraction to pull a prank on Jamie Lynn Sigler’s cheating boyfriend. But as it turns out, there’s a killer on the loose that lives inside the Dark Ride! How much more dull can we be here? The male stars are actually the better actors in the film and that isn’t saying much.

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Now that’s acting!

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Now that’s acting!

Oh, and if you thought I was too harsh on Sigler’s performance, you have no clue what you’re in for with David Clayton Rogers performance. Here’s another idiot that thinks he’ll get further in his career if he has 2 first names. This kid redefines that old addage “don’t quit your day job.” Before he decided to become an actor I heard he would sneak into public ladies rooms and steal the money out of tampon machines. What a dick! That money benefits autistic children, doesn’t he know that? Despitef his previous career as a complete loser, someone actually let him be an actor. The fact that Hollywood is still letting him practice this craft is completely beyond me. I hope and pray to the Gods of Film that I never have to witness an atrocity such as David Clayton Rogers ever again. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t wish anything bad to happen to him, I just wish that he would realize he sucks and try his luck at another career. Isn’t there a Jack in the Box or a Carl’s Jr. you can work at?

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OK, I feel like I’m being too harsh. Dark Ride does have some redeemable qualities but what stunk most about this film is that it could’ve been so much more. Being from Jersey, I was blessed with some of the best haunted houses and dark rides ever. Take Castle Dracula in Wildwood or the haunted castle at Six Flags Great Adventure for instance would make great stories. Because of lame producers, filmmakers are constantly dumbing things down. This movie is not one that a fanboy, or an X-E fan would enjoy.

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After feeling guilty that they didn’t film in Jersey,
they flew their film crew to quickly take some footage of Asbury Park and The Stone Pony
Why didn’t the producers hire Weird NJ to hop on as consultants? Let’s talk urban legends, local myths, etc. Any film about the Jersey Devil has sucked and now they’re sucking any coolness out of dark rides from Jersey as well! C’mon…The Jersey Shore used to be famous for it’s haunted houses! It’s interesting to note that the majority of this movie wasn’t even filmed in New Jersey, but in Los Angeles and at the Santa Monica Pier. That’s most likely because it’s so damn expensive to film in Jersey.

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Horror Freak from Oregon on IMDB claims that he didn’t see the twist at the end coming at all. I think he may just be completely out of his mind. This was the most predictable movie, possibly as predictable as a Full House episode. I hate this movie so much, if I keep writing about it, I don’t think I’m ever going to want to blog again. So in an attempt to save my hobby from the clutches of the evil movie Dark Ride, my little boat ride stops here.

The Sexy Armpit’s Trip to Monster Miniature Golf

As sports go, I’ve never been truly good at any of them. I have my moments in basketball but my talents are better suited for thinking of outlandish ideas and growing slimy Captain America’s in my kitchen.

I always thought I was above “par” at miniature golf, but that one got shot down the other night when The Sexy Armpit took a trip to Monster Mini Golf in Fairfield New Jersey. I discovered this place on a Google search with my boss during lunch at work. We were thinking out loud and wondered if any indoor miniature golf places existed in New Jersey. What if it was raining one night and we just had an urge to go mini golfing? Damn, we’d be shit out of luck! So, as Google always does, it came back with plenty of helpful search results.

To my surprise, one of the results lead to Monster Mini Golf which looked awesome. I couldn’t believe I never heard of it before. Apparently it’s a chain across the country. Monster Mini Golf is basically the miniature golf version of a dark ride. I don’t see how anyone could not think that is one of the coolest things ever invented. It’s right up there with the advent of Peanut Butter and Jelly.

Not enough places take the time and effort into making their establishment original. Remember the quirky places you loved as a kid? Between the Showbiz Pizza places and Razmatazz, they all had charm. After a while there wasn’t one place that was brave enough to stand out. What happened to the “show,” and the “spectacle?” I think all people, especially kids need to escape the real world and be reminded that life is fun, not all business. I love the over the top animatronics and spooky displays that you see in dark rides and in amusement parks. It’s a mystery to me how we don’t have a place inspired by Magic Kingdom in the tri-state area. Besides Great Adventure, Sesame Place, and Chuck E. Cheese there’s nowhere to bring your kids for a fun time. Until now.

Finally there’s a place that reminds me of the type of place I loved to go to as a kid. Monster Mini Golf is the kind of place that makes a kid’s jaw hang open in awe for a while. I’ve posted a few pictures of some of the phantasmic displays you’ll see as you’re trying to put the ball in the hole in under 5 attempts. (Something I occasionally had difficulty with.) I’m usually easily amused by glow in the dark stuff and blacklights, so perhaps I was distracted?

When you’re finished with the game you can head over to the game room and play some air hockey, shoot hoops, and even get a taste of the boardwalk with some ski-ball. All the games will spit out some tickets that you can cash in for some creepy little monster toys. We all opted for the Goblin rings. We were a few points shy, but the the guy at the desk was nice enough to give us all rings anyway.

This trip was a lot of fun and if you live far from Fairfield, N.J, I recommend you plan a little trip to Route 46. You won’t be disappointed, and afterward there’s no shortage of restaurants and malls in the surrounding area. Go with a group or bring your kids and you’re sure to have a good time without spending a lot of money. If you’re apprehensive to take a far ride, then at the very least you should plan to go before Halloween. It’s one of those places that definitely has personality, and I commend the owners for being brave enough to open one in New Jersey and for having such a courteous, helpful staff.

Also, you may want to stop by Jose Tejas after the big game for some Tejas Chicken. They are the best Tex-Mex restaurant in existence and it’s authentic atmosphere will make you feel like you’re in From Dusk Til’ Dawn or something. Ever wonder about the “meat on a stick” conversation in There’s Something About Mary? Well, Jose Tejas listened and created boneless chicken on a stick with a semi-hot buffalo type sauce. After a knock down, drag out game of Monster mini-golf, they were a perfect way to end the night.
With my silly little Sony Cybershot camera I took some video and edited it up real nice for you! Take a look and leave a comment if you enjoy it! Perhaps next time I’ll take a crack at Women’s Beach Volleyball?