THE SEXY ARMPIT HALLOWEEN SPECIAL 2017

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. 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. Continue reading THE SEXY ARMPIT HALLOWEEN SPECIAL 2017

Purple Stuff Podcast Minisode #3 – Dollar Store Junk!

LISTEN HERE!

Dino Drac and I are back for another Halloween minisode! These have been a lot of fun so we bring you another installment of our aural lust for Halloween. In this episode we check out Dollar General and my old decrepit K-Mart. What we bring home may not exactly be considered “treasure” to most, but it brought us some more early signs of the season. We hope you enjoy this one! You can check it out on iTunes and Stitcher and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode! Thanks for listening and reading!

SAMMI CURR Pre-order Begins TOMORROW at NOON!

ETSY.COM/SHOP/CRYPTOCURIUM

12 PM EASTERN TIME FRIDAY 8/18/2017

In this video I show off The Sexy Armpit & Cryptocurium’s exclusive limited edition Sammi Curr sculpture. We are so pumped to bring this to you. There will be 31 of them up for pre-order tomorrow 8/18 at Noon Eastern time, so don’t miss out!

PURPLE STUFF PODCAST HALLOWEEN MINISODE 2

LISTEN HERE!

The Purple Stuff Podcast’s 2nd Halloween Minisode is now available! In this episode, we decided to document our trip to the dine-in movie theater. Obviously, we wanted to see something spooky and Annabelle Creation was the perfect choice. I’m a big fan of the films in The Conjuring universe, although Matt hasn’t really seen them. In this abbreviated episode we run down the details of the trailers we saw, the food we ordered, and maybe even a little bit about the movie too! We hope you enjoy this fun little installment of The Purple Stuff Podcast. You can subscribe to us on iTunes and if you want to support the show, leave us a positive review on there! Thanks for reading and listening!

SAMMI CURR, a Sexy Armpit Exclusive From The Cryptocurium

This is an ultra-limited run of 31! Pre-orders for this horror-metal masterpiece will begin on Friday, August 18th at The Cryptocurium Etsy store. 

I’m extremely excited to announce The Sexy Armpit’s first exclusive collectible. This incredible sculpture of Sammi Curr from one of my favorite horror films, Trick or Treat, is a result of collaborating with my friend Jason McKittrick from The Cryptocurium. It’s quite a tag-team of New Jersey horror freaks and it’s been a long time in the making! Jason’s homemade horrors speak for themselves. His creations are sculpted and painted by hand and are versatile since they include magnets on the back as well as a d-ring if you want to hang them on the wall. With unparalleled artistry, he handcrafted a brand new vision of Rock’s Chosen Warrior! I can actually hear Fastway blasting in the background every time I look at this beaut. This is a must-own for Trick or Treat fans and horror fans in general. Do whatever you need to do to get this mega limited , crash the Etsy server if you have to. If you pre-order you’ll have it in time for Halloween. Show your support for Sammi and The Sexy Armpit by purchasing this over the top cool sculpture. Once you receive it, be sure to tag @SexyArmpit and @Cryptocurium! #NoFalseMetal

 

Attack of the Morningside Monster – Film Review

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Recently I watched the 2014 independent horror/thriller Attack of the Morningside Monster and in this post I’ll provide you with my spoiler free thoughts on the film.

First, the synopsis. Set in the fictional small town of Morningside, New Jersey, we’re immediately introduced to an ominous figure in a black hooded cape whose about to apprehensively cut someone in half with an electric blade.

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After we’re acquainted with the central characters, a body is found in the woods. From there, the police force, Sheriff Tom Haulk (Robert Pralgo) and Deputy Klara Austin (Tiffany Shepis), begin to piece together what can only be described as a series of ritualistic murders in their quiet town.

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What’s stumping the cops is the symbol of a crossed out eye that’s left at the scene of each murder. Deputy Austin offers that it might be a gang sign similar to those she saw during her time working in the Bronx. The killer intentionally leaves this mark at the scene of his crimes in the vein of a ’60s Batman villain, which strikes me as silly. Why would the killer go out of their way to draw attention to themselves?

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With the assistance of a university professor, Sheriff Haulk deduces that the killer has stolen a rare Central American ceremonial mask and a tribal mace from their collection and the symbol is a ritualistic mark from this same tribe.

The killers mask itself is almost reminiscent of the Witch Doctor from Scooby-Doo:

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The movie had its quirks, quite a few of them actually. Here’s the biggest issue: I figured out the entire plot about 15 minutes in to the film.

The film gave too much away early on. Merely seeing the glimpse into the killers “lair” from the onset reveals that they’re in some kind of basement or unfinished area of a house. What the killer is doing to their prey, (removing their body parts and putting them into a bowl), combined with other glaring details, made it easy to figure out the rest of the movie.

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There’s a lot of time spent on creating dramatic scenes to divert the viewers attention when there’s really no mystery about who the killer is. If you’ve seen a decent amount of horror or mysteries, you will figured out the plot rather quickly.

More severe than the previous issues I had, is the peculiar drug angle of the film. In contrast with the bit in the summary on the back of the DVD regarding “deadly serious local drug runners,” their ring leader and his stereotypical goons are not easy to take seriously. The two street dealers who they supply are not written as if they are everyday weed dealers. In fact, you may know one or more people who buy or sell weed in your daily life and they are pretty much just like anyone else. In this film though, the girl Jamie talks about how she “really needs a hit,” as she looks all cracked out and addicted. Judging solely by the content of this film, with lines uttered by her brother like “I know where he grows it,” he’s definitely referring to smoking weed – a drug that only an extremely low percentage of users get addicted to.

Putting this whole notion over the top is the fact that after she exchanges the bag of weed with Mark (Nicholas Brendon) for his money, (with the typical “you got the money, you got the stuff?” Oh my Lord) she sweetens the deal for him, offering to orally stimulate him for another $20 bucks. BARGAIN. It seems to me that this film assumes that girls who smoke weed A) look and act like crack addicts B) are total whores. I don’t know who’s worse either, her brother/weed selling confidant, Haws, who’s constantly chewing on a match stick. Do you know anyone that does that? I’ll take back every criticism I have of this film if they can computer generate that shit right out of his mouth. Clearly, someone thought it was a good idea.

The Sheriff’s best friend from childhood, Mark has a wife with a terminal illness, so there’s no reason why he would have to go to crazy lengths to procure illegal street weed when he could easily have her signed up for medicinal marijuana. Why does he have to sneak around if his wife has a major medical reason to have it?

I realize how much painstaking work goes into making independent films and my critique of the movie is in no way an affront, since I respect the filmmakers and what they’ve created here. In fact, the writer of the film, Jayson Palmer, is a fellow Jersey guy. In an interview on the Whatever Works blog, he says that he is “…a Jersey boy, through and through. I was born in Dover and raised in Wharton, which is a small blue collar town in North, central Jersey. I have a lot of love for that small little town. Morningside is based on Wharton. Or at least the town how I remembered it growing up.” Palmer went on to mention that he “…wouldn’t be surprised if Morningside popped up now and then in some future project.”

The main cast was commendable, full of indie and b-movie veteran actors. Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Xander, Nicholas Brendon, stars and co-produces the film. His agitated performance as Mark Matthews is easily the highlight of the film. Matthews is a school teacher caring for his wife who’s afflicted with cancer and he’s doing everything he can to help her, meanwhile trying keep his own life together. His lifelong best friend is Sheriff Haulk played by Robert Pralgo who provides an almost sickeningly sweet turn as the quintessential good cop. Let’s just say both of these characters have interesting twists which I won’t spoil. And not just the token hottie, we have Tiffany Shepis as the tough Deputy Austin working for the Sheriff.

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Even though the movie was filmed in The Peach State, the visuals of the town evoke the more rural areas of Jersey. Parts of Northwestern and Southwestern Jersey aren’t as city-like and overpopulated as what is typically associated on-screen with NJ. The filmmakers were careful to incorporate geographical authenticity. Morningside had all the nice little touches that I expect from a film set in Jersey. All the cars had Jersey license plates, Trenton was name dropped, and one of the guys in the woods sitting around with his friends by a fire even wore a hat that explicitly specified what state they were in! I love it.

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Will you enjoy Attack of the Morningside Monster? It depends. I tend to support independent films, but, in general, horror fanatics will likely feel neutral about it. The film would’ve benefited from trumping up the scares and dropping a good chunk of the drug dealer subplot. In fact, Mark’s wife’s cancer issue was better kept as a subplot as well even if that meant making major script alterations. At 93 minutes the movie is pretty lean, but there’s still moments where the movie is meandering. It’s described on the back of the DVD as a “race against time,” but it’s not as pulse pounding as it sounds.

The film is worth watching to see how it culminates. Too much is revealed early on to make the ending hit you in the gut, but it’s not without merit. The payoff was pretty satisfying and one of the more positive aspects of the movie. One of the reveals toward the end, after we find out the killer’s identity, had a slight Twilight Zone feel to it, although I wish the entire film had that same eerie quality.

Without a big scare or a cliffhanger at the end, Morningside succeeds in providing the viewer with the notion that there’s a slight possibility that we’ll see this killer again…maybe on Netflix? A sequel would be an outstanding way to highlight the masked Shaman killer, thereby creating a new low- budget horror franchise that would likely garner some buzz and thrive amongst the horror-con scene. Ultimately, without some major tweaking, it’s limited as a franchise. Technically, you’d be cheering the killer instead of fearing. There’s still some hope though, The Morningside Monster has built a nice back story for itself.

Aside from Jigsaw from SAW, it’s a challenge to incorporate cancer into horror films because I feel like horror is my escape from the real world. While watching horror movies, I prefer to turn off my brain and just have fun. Attack of the Morningside Monster became more of a horror-drama rather than a horror-thriller. If the sex scene and few moments of gore get cut out, I could totally see this on Lifetime during the Halloween season.

Attack of the Morningside Monster is available on Video on Demand and download from most of the major online providers. On DVD 1/20/15. The movie was produced by Blue Dusk Productions and Making Monster Productions. I was provided with a review copy of this film.

Kickstart “Pretty Fine Things” A New Jersey Horror Film by Ryan Scott Weber

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From fellow Jersey guy, Ryan Scott Weber, the writer and director who brought us the Mary Horror trilogy, comes a new independent horror/thriller called Pretty Fine Things. Here’s the basic plot as highlighted at the films Kickstarter page:
“When the search for a missing girl turns up empty, her friends encounter 3 serial killers that may be involved in her disappearance.”
The movie will be fully shot in New Jersey and judging by the teaser and the promotional shots, this one is sure to be creepy as hell! The campaign ends on 8/19 so you only have a short time to be a part of this film. There are several tiers of donations available for everyones price range that offer different incentives. Some options include an official t-shirt while others include the opportunity to actually appear in the movie itself.
Ryan is on a mission to make this the best production from Weber Pictures yet, but they’ll need a decent budget to work with first. For more information on Weber Pictures, visit http://weberpicturescompany.com/ or you can go directly to the Kickstarter page listed above.

Conjuring Up Some Jersey Connections

Usually I wait for the crowds to die down before seeing a brand new movie while it’s in the theater. Ever since Insidious and Sinister boosted my confidence in the horror genre, The Conjuring trailer had me wanting to see the movie right away. I was anxiously waiting to see it, but I held off until the second weekend to avoid crowds. On purpose, as I usually do, I chose an odd time to see the film, thinking I would avoid obnoxious people. Turns out that my strategic planning didn’t make a difference, but it didn’t matter because the experience I had watching the film overwhelmingly outweighed the annoying people who surrounded me.

Judging by both box office receipts and reviews, I can tell you that The Conjuring is a superior horror film and it’s success is no fluke. It seems like behind every success story is some type of New Jersey connection. The Conjuring made me feel like I was part of the Perron family as they moved into an old, possibly haunted farmhouse in Rhode Island. Eventually the audience is just as mortified as the Perrons are, but they shouldn’t be shocked at what they see since they moved there from New Jersey – a minuscule bit of trivia that is only mentioned nonchalantly by Roger Perron, the man of the house, in all his ’70s glory, played perfectly by Ron Livingston (Office Space). Roger’s wife, Carolyn (Lili Taylor), enlists Ed and Lorraine Warren, a real life couple of paranormal investigators who also teach classes on demonology.

March 2013’s Garden State Playmate, and now well known for her incredible performance as Norma Bates on Bates Motel, the lovely Vera Farmiga, plays Lorraine Warren while Patrick Wilson, star of Watchmen, and Montclair, NJ resident, plays her husband Ed. Together they visit houses that may be haunted and try to get to the source of the issue by postulating realistic reasons for what caused their “bump in the night.” That isn’t all they do for the Perron family though. You’ll have to go see that for yourself.

The Conjuring is a throwback. It’s the type of creepy film that they just don’t seem to make anymore, and damn it was just plain fun. Director James Wan and his team mixed classic movie thrills with practical effects to create an extremely tense and scary atmosphere. Wilson and Farmiga carry the film, but Taylor, Livingston, as well as the actresses who played Perron’s daughters all give outstanding performances.

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 106: KILL Tour T-Shirt from Fright Rags

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Often, when something “limited edition” comes down the pike I just have to own it. A prime example is the KILL tour t-shirt that was released as a special edition by Fright Rags recently. Fright Rags is known for printing up genius, one of a kind horror tees, and this may be one of the best they ever conceived. Check it out and you can be the judge of that.

The KILL Tour T-shirt is inspired by the Destroyer album cover art from my favorite band, KISS. Anytime the world of horror combines with KISS, it’s a win-win. The t-shirt art includes Freddy, Chucky, Jason Voorhees, and Leatherface taking the place of KISS. What knocks this baseball style tee right out of the old Roosevelt Stadium is KILL’s tour stops are listed on the back just like an old vintage concert t-shirt! On KILL’s Decades of Destruction Tour, in honor of the release of the original Friday the 13th film, the band’s May 9th, 1980 tour stop was at Crystal Lake…in NEW JERSAAAY!

Previous releases that I also HAD TO HAVE included G.I Jason (the GI Joe/Jason Voorhees mashup) and one of their beautiful Friday the 13th The Final Chapter tees. Artist Jason Edmiston was responsible for the artwork on both the GI Jason tee as well as this KILL tour shirt, but the new one may take the cake. It’s a dead heat for me. What do you think? If you own the regular black t-shirt version of “KILL,” it’s slightly more accurate to the Destroyer cover, but I opted for the larger KILL logo on the baseball tee.

You can now see why I felt so compelled to make this shirt part of my wardrobe. But surprisingly, this shirt wasn’t released without criticism since it’s hard to please everyone. The flack on this shirt was that Michael Myers should’ve been in the artwork instead of Chucky. I’m not sure why that happened, but if Myers was on the shirt instead it would indeed be perfect. I’m not complaining one bit though, I think it was an awesome idea and I’d like to see more cool ideas like this from Fright Rags.

Mary Horror Hysteria: Indie Horror In Bernardsville, NJ on Tuesday!

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MARY HORROR is showing on Tuesday November 20th at 9 PM 
at Clearview Bernardsville Cinema – Admission is $5 Bucks!

All these lame horror clones that make it to theaters not cutting it for you? They’re all crap if you ask me. I haven’t been satisfied with mainstream horror output in years. Setting my sights on indie horror has yielded much more entertaining results. Indie horror out of New Jersey is even better, it must be something in the water, or better yet, the tomatoes! The most recent film out of Jersey that I had the chance to check out was Mary Horror, a Ryan Scott Weber production. For horror fans, this film literally has it all: murder, a psychiatric hospital, a witches spell book, and someone even loses and eyeball!

Synopsis from the Official Mary Horror website:
Mary Horror is a normal high school senior who has just moved from Salem, Massachusetts to a small corrupt town in New Jersey. Mary’s life has not been going the way she planned. Her grandmother has passed away, her best friend Kelly has been missing for almost two weeks, and she suspects her boyfriend of cheating on the eve of her homecoming dance. A distraught Mary comes home to witness her family being brutally murdered. Being the only one to survive, she is put in a psychiatric prison to be “protected.” As two years pass by, Mary realizes what really happened that night wasn’t what she thought. As the plot unravels, so does Mary. Her time in the ward has changed her into something evil, a member of the walking dead. She realizes the truth and takes revenge on the town and on everyone that wronged her. Follow the life of Mary Horowitz, as she becomes Mary Horror!

Mary Horror exhibits some of the most technically sound independent film work I’ve seen. Writer/Director Ryan Scott Weber and cinematographer Ryan Coyle soar when it comes to shot composition and incorporating the subtle lighting and Jersey exteriors. Since the movie was filled with interesting settings and the use of real locations such as a hospital and Bernards high school, it all contributed to the realism of the film. The filmmakers were able to build the viewers anticipation as they used their production techniques to suck us into a world that we all could relate to – high school. But that’s only the beginning before things spiral out of control for Mary Horowitz. Yes, I said Horowitz…you’ll see.

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The actors took their jobs very seriously and it was clear that they were all in sync with Weber’s vision for the film. Susie Duecker, the actress who played Mary Horror herself, was quite good. It was fun to watch her become so involved in her character. Her transition from typical high school girl to an extremely unhinged one was ghastly and sublime. In my book she really understood the character which is a delicate balance since another actress may have gone on screen acting like a complete over the top psycho and that wasn’t the idea. Credit must also go to Ryan Coyle for the makeup as well as the crew in the costume and wardrobe department. Duecker was creepy as hell when she officially became Mary Horror. I only wish mainstream horror filmmakers could take the hint that simplicity can leave such an impression and we don’t need to see an hour and a half of lame CGI for the film to be unnerving.

The kickass makeup and practical effects were not used frivolously. The film has an old school horror flair, and although it doesn’t take itself too seriously in some scenes (like the one where Weber himself plays an EMT who beats up his co-worker while being interviewed on TV by a reporter) it still retains it’s spookiness. Without a huge budget, Weber managed to use subtle lightning and dutch angles to create the eerie atmosphere of the film. I especially dug a scene that utilized a strobe lighting effect as Mary was about to “interact” with 2 other characters. What tied it all together like The Dude’s rug was the cinematic quality of Scott Vincent’s score. Some parts were so triumphant and joyful, but still sent the message that all is not going to be well.

Without giving too much away, murders take place in the town of Bernardsville, NJ and it creates a hysteria all over town. I’ve always liked that aspect of horror movies when the whole town is petrified of a killer or going crazy acting like animals because all hell has broken loose. That’s captured and mentioned in Mary Horror and now life will imitate art as we have the chance to see a showing of Mary Horror in a Bernardsville movie theater as if we were actually IN THE FILM! The cast and crew will be there and so should you!

Mary Horror is filled with cool cameos. Some of the quick scenes were filmed at Monster Mania while others were full on roles! You’ll see Patricia Quinn, Troma’s Lloyd Kaufman, Jersey girl and Bernards H.S graduate Deanna Russo, as well as a hilarious cameo from Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson in the film.

Up next from Weber is the sequel to Mary Horror, Sheriff Tom vs. The Zombies. You can see the preview to this if you go to the showing in Bernardsville on 11/20!