ExtraComicular Activities #4: We Return to The Clifton Comic Book Expo!

2016 is history and I haven’t posted a damn thing in 2017 yet, but history is gonna change…

Recently, Matt from Dinosaur Dracula expressed to me that he was really charged up to dig through some long boxes. Coincidentally, there was a comic show coming up by me and I’m always up for comics. There’s nothing better than an old school comic book show. Picture a big room filled with geeks awkwardly attempting to navigate around other people trying to scan through thousands of old comics crammed too damn tight into long cardboard boxes. I’m talking about a true comic show run by local dealers where you can actually get some steals. This is the type of show that isn’t bogged down in ridiculous hidden advertisements from media conglomerates and not speckled with tables hawking products or podcasts that have nothing even remotely to do with comics.

Since NJ is my thing, let me clue you in on the city where this comic show went down. It’s the city where Rupert Pupkin hails from, the birthplace of Vera Farmiga and Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, it served as the backdrop for a ton of scenes in The Sopranos, and it’s also home to a legendary place called The Gates of Hell. If you’re from the area, you know exactly what I’m talking about, but maybe you didn’t realize that they also have a pure, longstanding comic show that has been unfazed by trends. This is the Clifton, NJ comic show, the same show that I wrote about a couple of years back. Matt was super excited for that one as well. He’s onto something because stocking up on reading material during a cold ass winter ain’t a bad idea at all! He’s also detailing his windfall of comics over at Dino Drac so check that shit out when you’re done here! I can easily say that the plastic grocery bag I hauled home this time is 1000% better than that last time. Wanna take a look at some? Here’s 10, solely based off how eye catching their covers are.

1. Dracula Versus Zorro #2 (of 2)

Topps Comics, November 1993

During the comic book boom of the early ’90s, every company wanted IN on the comic book game. Though they were almost never in the same conversation as DC and Marvel, Topps had some decent comic book offerings. Starting in 1992, their lineup of well known licenses can only be described as wildly eclectic. During their 6-year stint, Topps ran comics from mega movie hits like Jurassic Park, TV shows like The X-Files and Xena: Warrior Princess,  horror icons like Dracula, Frankentstein, Jason Voorhees, and Leatherface, and even the indescribably bizarre Barbi Twins Adventures. Shuffled in between was a classic hero who’s said to have inspired Batman. Zorro was created in 1919 and he’s still popping up in the comic pages, most recently with Dynamite Comics. Much like the Lone Ranger, I was introduced to Zorro as a young kid by my Dad (of course!) Reinforcing my interest in these characters were toy lines and cartoons for both LR and Zorro in the early ’80s.

I had forgotten that Zorro once faced Drac, but I’ll be damned if this cover doesn’t have me totally intrigued right now. The backdrop of a stained glass window bathes this cover in gorgeous hues of pink and purple. In the corner to my right, wearing all black, the man who leaves his mark in the form of a slashed Z, ZORRO, meets his match against the blood sucking DRACULA himself…and the Z-man even takes second billing! Since this is the second issue of a two-parter, we pick up the adventure right when the getting’s GOOD! It’s like an old fashioned swashbuckling movie serial where everyone’s fate (including the readers) is in Zorro hands! Giant rats are about to eat Zorro alive, but he’s fighting ’til the death. All veiny and gnashing his fangs, the ghoulish Drac is about to pounce as the enraptured Carmelita looks on in wicked delight. This is an old fashioned heroic horror adventure and now I have to hunt down the first issue.

2. G.I. JOE #43

Marvel Comics, January 1986

This issue was another one I picked out solely based off its badass cover. The grim reaper blasting a machine gun?!! Of course, auto-included. Wish there was a G.I. Joe figure of that guy. The story is thin and there’s nothing worth noting about this issue except for a two page ad where Spider Man plays detective and goes on a search to find Cap’n Crunch.

3. Betty and Veronica #104

Archie Comics, October 1996

With the upcoming premiere of Riverdale, everyone’s going to try to claim their lifelong alliegience to Archie Comics, but let’s be honest, before they revamped the characters with a horror/supernatural twist, the Archie gang wasn’t necessarily in the spotlight. I actually read the books quite often many years before the revamp because I always found them to be stupid fun, but mostly due to my affinity for the art by Dan DeCarlo and Dan Parent. Through the years, I’ve posted a few cool Archie items I picked up here and there, and I’m genuinely excited for the new era of these characters. Ironically, when I was a kid I thought the Archie comics were pretty dopey, so I think I’m aging backwards. Regardless, Betty and Veronica have consistently been one of the more entertaining aspects of Archie Comics, and the shenanigans depicted on this cover are a prime example. Betty faking the need for CPR so Archie comes and makes out with her, aw man, that’s the sales pitch right there. This book is filled with cheesy jokes and a few ridiculous storylines, but what do you expect? What will happen when Betty trips over Veronica’s in-line skates? Will Betty sue Veronica for real or is this just a ludicrous misunderstanding? You must read it to find out!

4. Darkhold: Pages of the Book of Sins #7

Marvel Comics, April 1993

I’ve got to be completely honest here, I’ve never heard of or read this comic series before, but look into those mesmerizing eyes! What the hell could she be so freaked out about? Oh, right, the SLIME! Coincidentally, DEATH BY SLIME is how I want to go out. Frankly, I don’t even care what’s inside this book because this cover needs to be framed. From what I gather, and I’m probably only a quarter accurate, is that the Darkhold book is sort of like the Necronomicon of the Marvel Universe. And go easy on me if that’s way off base. This comic features Scarlet Witch, Dr. Strange, a giant monster, demonic war planes, and…Ectoplasm Raining From The Freaking Sky. Ectoplasm Raining From The Freaking Sky. Sold. I’ll take it!

5. ALF #24

Marvel Comics, December 1989

Alf’s girlfriend Rhonda always amused me with her ginormous super wacky pink hair. Naturally, this one was a must buy. The cover to this issue features wordplay involving the fact that Rhonda’s Back with an obnoxious arrow pointing to Rhonda’s “back,” but we really know what they were going for. Marvel worshipped that Melmacian ass. How can you go wrong with a comic that proudly offers Alf making uncomfortably perverse jokes on the cover of a comic geared toward 7 year olds? In the oh so slight chance that none of that appeals to you, this issue includes a random Rocky reference. Alf’s working out with a boom box blasting “Gonna Fly Now” while rocking a Philadelphia shirt and doing Sly Stallone impressions. A++.

6. The Real Ghostbusters #3

NOW Comics, January 1992 

Out of all the comics I used to collect when I was a kid, NOW Comics were in a class by themselves. At the time, even mentioning NOW made my friends confused because it wasn’t Marvel or DC. In retrospect, NOW didn’t get enough credit. Unlike other independent comic companies, the majority of their books were printed in full color on high quality paper while even the big companies were still using cheap news type paper. I was hooked on all their big titles including Fright Night, Terminator, Married with Children, Twilight Zone and all of the Green Hornet iterations. What was cool about their Real Ghostbusters series was that it was perfectly in line with the cartoon and enriched the RGB lore with further adventures. You’d even see some ghosts that you didn’t see in the show. Many of the issues offered some outstanding art (especially some of the later run) and this line is worth a day of nostalgic marathon reading.

This cover is worth it just for Egon and Ray’s getup. If you dig the cover, you get a free pinup poster of it inside! As a kid, the idea of that was better than the actual poster itself. It would cause me so much heartache to know that I had to try to dismantle the staples from the comic in such a delicate way as not to ruin the comic while trying to remove the poster. Didn’t they ever hear of perforation? Currently, I have a class action suit against all comic companies in the ’80s for taking years off my life.

Also within these pages, you’ll see the winners of the draw Slimer contest, you’ll witness Ray vs. the Loch Ness Monster, and to sweeten the deal even more, you get to see what the actual Tobin looks like, yes, that guy of Tobin’s Spirit Guide fame! Oh, and there’s one more bizarre feature that I have been holding out on. In the ’80s, when adults needed tips on parenting, they usually picked up the latest issue of The Real Ghostbusters comic where Egon had his own section, “Egon Spengler’s Parent’s Guide For Health and Safety.” No, I’m not lying, and he even signed it at the end! Step off Dr. Phil.

7. G.I. Joe Action Force #23

Marvel Comics, August 1987

Picking up these magazine sized Joe issues at the US-1 Flea Market back when I was a kid was one of my favorite things. I was hesitant to include Action Force because I know it’s considered more of a magazine rather than an actual comic book, and I already brought up a Joe comic in this post, but whatever – this cover is too incredible not to show off! Simple, yet effective. This Cobra soldier really has a chip on his shoulder. It’s either that, or he’s been inhaling whatever’s in that toxic canister. If it’s none of the above, the sweats and bloodshot eyes could mean he’s coming down from some crazy drugs, or maybe he’s just MAD! Ultimately, it all ties back to my fixation for toxic stuff since I’m from New Jersey and live with a talking pile of sludge.

8. Toxic Crusaders #1

Marvel Comics, May 1992

Thumbing through thousands of comics you’re bound find some treasures. For me, that means finding some classic issues that I forgot had and buying them again. In this case, I probably have at least 2 or 3 copies of Toxic Crusaders #1, but it’s so good that it’s worth owning more copies just so I can make one into a Japanese war fan. The premiere issue spins the classic tale of how Toxie became New Jersey’s favorite superhero and met such cohorts as Headbanger and Major Disaster and foes like Dr. Killemoff. For a New Jersey freak like me, it’s a historical document as far as I’m concerned, and all for 50¢!

9. VAMPIRELLA #106

Warren Magazine, July 1982

You know that old saying, “I’ve never seen a Vampirella cover that I didn’t like?” Well, I resemble that remark. If I had the resources I’d buy every damn Vampirella comic that I came in contact with just so I can frame all the covers. That was the main thing that hooked me as a kid. I’d drool over the gorgeous art on the covers, then I’d thumb through the pages and notice they were black and white. FYI, my turn offs include: Black and White comic pages. See, I was able to watch black and white movies as a kid, especially horror and comedies, but when it came to reading a black and white comic book, I was flabbergasted. In my young mind, I thought “how could a B&W comic book have the audacity to sit on a shelf amongst fellow comic books that were overflowing with vivid, colorful artwork?” No matter how exciting and vibrant the covers are, the inside totally lets me down. It was false advertising if you ask me. Take this cover as evidence. It’s so unbelievably awesome that it sends your mind into a spiral of thoughts. It makes me think if the cover is this cool looking, I can’t even fathom what’s inside, but not so much. Vampirella’s dead husband is in it trying to seduce her, that’s for sure, in all his black and white glory. (womp womp)

10. DC Who’s Who Vol. XXI

DC Comics, November 1986

With the hundreds of comics that I have from when I was a kid, I don’t think I have more than one or two issues of DC Who’s Who. As a kid in the comic shop, you had to weigh your options. As it was, I used to be lucky enough to get a stack of comics on a weekly basis, but even my parents knew which ones were worth the purchase. To keep up on the main ongoing storylines, you need the base titles, not the comics that were character encyclopedias masquerading as an actual comic.

In the back of my mind I always wanted to have every single issue of Who’s Who and keep them in that badass binder. That’s right, at one point, Who’s Who came with three hole punches on the left side of the book so you can put them in a DC Who’s Who binder. It was a masterfully concocted gimmick, but still a stretch for me to justify. Doing a Google image search for DC Who’s Who will convince almost any DC fan in about 0.1 seconds that they need every single issue of Who’s Who that ever existed. That’s what made me pick up issue XXI. I’m a DC guy and reading obscure character bios makes everything right in this crazy world.

Now onto why I was hooked by that cover! Judging by this illustration of Solomon Grundy, I started thinking about how he could’ve had a career in the WWE back in 1993 against Yokozuna. Holy shit, I’ve never seen Grundy drawn to the point where he’s busting out of his shirt from eating over 4,000 White Castles. In addition to the character bios, there’s a map of Skartaris which details the Warlord’s stomping grounds. It was known to be a land where Dinosaurs somehow found their way to even though they were extinct on Earth.

Talk about stocking up on good reading material for the cold winter season! Trust me, there’s no better way to spend a snowy Saturday than to study the personal data and histories of Space Cabbie, Spawn of Frankenstein, Spellbinder, and The Spook, than in the yellowed pages of a limp, 50¢ comic.

Get yourself out to a local comic show and seek out the cheap bins! You never know what you will find. Until next time friends – thanks for reading!

A VERY SAMMI CURRISTMAS!

It’s Christmas time and someone left a mystery present under my tree. If you want to know more…WATCH THE VIDEO!

Whenever I put together videos, they always seem to hit me at the absolute last minute. That’s what happened with the latest installment of The Sexy Armpit show. A total surprise Christmas gift arrived and it was imperative for me to document it with a video. There’s like a 99.7% chance that it’s about Sammi Curr, so you guessed it, it’s all about Rock’s Chosen Warrior, Sammi Curr!

It’s called, A VERY SAMMI CURRISTMAS, because you know how I love word play. In the video, Sludgey and I spotlight my Trick or Treat collection, discuss what we want for Christmas, and there’s even an interview with Art Director and friend, Tyler Ham. We had fun throwing this episode together and we hope it brings you some holiday cheer, even if it arrived at the eleventh hour. Give it a watch and let us know if you dug it by giving us a thumbs up. Thanks for stopping by The Sexy Armpit!

Also a big thanks to Tyler Ham whose exploits you can check out at TylerHam.com

We wish you a very Merry Curristmas!

Purple Stuff Podcast Episode 36: Christmas Songs II

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CLICK HERE TO LISTEN!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and Matt and I are back with a festive Purple Stuff Podcast episode for you.

Currently, I’d imagine you’re immersed in holiday shopping, getting stuck in copious amounts of traffic, and getting tanked on some kind of Christmasy concoction. As I write this, I’m super behind with my own holiday celebration. My tree is up, but it’s still not trimmed. I’ve only watched Christmas Vacation and Scrooged so far, but I have a pile of Christmas DVDs that I still want to get to before December ends. I’m also hoping my mom or Miss Sexy Armpit makes me my favorite Christmas cookies. Beyond those traditions, the one thing I never fail to keep up with is my Holiday playlist.

Since I have a long commute for work, I get to enjoy the giant Holiday playlist that I’ve created over the years in my iPhone. Listening to these songs everyday through the end of November and all of December made it easy for me to bring some more playlist ideas to you in the latest edition of The Purple Stuff Podcast.

This is our 2nd Christmas songs podcast. If you haven’t heard our previous one, it’s episode 17 in our feed. I know some people are not big fans of Christmas music, but it’s incredibly nostalgic for the both of us and it remains a big part of our seasonal celebrations. So, in this episode, Matt and I offer up some Christmas song suggestions for you. These tracks range from traditional to obscure, but they’re all worth a few minutes of discussion. Whether it’s Whitney Houston or The Whirling Dervishes, we’re delivering an hour of audio cheer.

If you’re not already subscribed, it would be awesome if you did! If you like listening to us, one of the easiest way to support us is to leave us a positive review on iTunes! Thanks for listening and we hope you have an awesome holiday season!

HALLOWEEN 2016 WAS A SCREAM!

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A BLOODY GOOD TIME is right! One of the coolest things from this Halloween Season for me, if not EVER was Scott Modrzynski’s art of…ME! WHAT? So amazing. Check out his artwork here: http://www.mojoswork.com

Word on the social media street is that this Halloween season was painfully mediocre. While I can’t speak for everyone else, I feel like this Halloween will go down in my own personal Halloween Hall of Fame. To its credit though, as standard as it may have been, there was still enough stuff for me to write a giant recap post about it all, so dig in and enjoy! Happy Halloween!

THE SEXY ARMPIT HALLOWEEN SPECIAL

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CLICK HERE TO WATCH!

First and foremost, our Halloween Special this year was our most batshit crazy one ever! I was really happy with it and we received a ton of amazing feedback. Thank you so much for watching it and if you haven’t yet – check it out at the link above! Special thanks to our cast and crew and New Needle Productions. Check out New Needle’s page for their annual Halloween Short!

PODCASTING AND BLOGGING

The Purple Stuff Podcast took a short break, but we will be back! In the meantime, I was a guest on the annual Nerd Lunch Halloween Show. Will from Casserole of Disaster joined us as we created Scary Movie Menus. It was a fun show so give it a listen! You can check it out at the Nerd Lunch site.

Dex over at AEIOU and Sometimes Why interviewed me for his Halloween Memories Series. It was very cool of him to invite me on there. You can check out the post HERE where I discuss Halloween memories, costumes, and other anecdotes, some that I haven’t shared anywhere else!

FOOD 

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Not actual food, but I got one at a place that serves food, so this counts: McDonald’s offered The Great Pumpkin Trick or Treat Pails which were a huge win. Celebrating the 50th birthday of this classic Halloween TV Special, these pails are very cool. Even if you don’t collect these, their lineage ties back to the ’80s when McD’s released their McBOO pails!

There was so much pumpkin flavored stuff that hit the grocery store shelves this season that they forgot to make it feel important. Rather than make a big deal about some of these products with a promotional tie-in to Halloween, it seemed like shelves were flooded with Pumpkin Spice and Candy Corn everything and not many of them had a Halloween vibe. I really hope that we see some strong, more blatant Halloween tie-ins in the future. The “Fall” offerings are usually weak. Let’s get some more spooky imagery on packaging and in commercials! I was still impressed with the Reese’s commercials, although it feels like they air only like a week before Halloween, which sucks.

After thinking on it, I agree with Matt, the pumpkin spice gimmick is getting a little long in the tooth. The only area where it will never get old is probably coffee, because there’s something about pumpkin flavored coffee that has become truly synonymous with the season. Although, as Starbucks highlighted, you don’t necessarily need pumpkin flavor to create a killer Halloween drink. Their Frappula came back this year and they even had an amazing poster touting it where the Frappula had bat wings.

Kool-Aid’s Ghoul-Aid changed its formula and not for the better. If you’ve ever had cough medicine, you know what I mean. The old blackberry formula was delicious and now it seems like they needlessly changed it and I barely heard anyone talking about it this year except to complain.

Butterfinger Skulls were pretty badass. If it wasn’t for their cardiac arrest inducing fat content, I’d be more upset to see them go.

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Even though Ecto-Cooler came back way before Halloween time, it’s still on shelves, so it can loosely be considered part of this year’s Halloween season. The release of the new Ghostbusters on video and on demand definitely fell in the prime time of the season and that brought us the insane Wayback Burgers promotion. A Slimer Shake AND a Ghostbusters burger made for a tie-in of epic proportions. Thus far, it’s been pretty much the leader this year in terms of cool stuff.

In terms of cereal, Halloween Crunch still remains at the top for me even though the box art stayed the same this year. As for other cereals, Cheerios got into the Pumpkin Spice mix. I searched like a madman and finally bought roughly 18 boxes and had a tough time finishing half of one box. It’s heavier on the spice rather than the pumpkin, but at least they gave it a shot. Maybe if they went with a more mellow pumpkin flavor and did a Great Pumpkin tie-in too? You can’t go wrong with the Peanuts.

In this post, I will brag twice. I try to keep it to a minimum, but these are instances where it’s worthwhile. First, the Japanese Halloween Garlic Doritos. I hadn’t even the slighest clue that these would ever be made when I brought them up as an idea I had on The Purple Stuff with Matt. I just conjured up a product I would like to see made and BAM, a year later, they exist…but only in Japan. We ordered them and I wasn’t a big fan of the texture or flavor as it was a little different than the Doritos here, but it was still incredible that this became an actual thing. The spooky bag art was cool too!

I must say that I came right out immediately and called it from the beginning: the Monster Cereal Election tie-in was pure garbage! For me, and I know many of you as well, the Halloween season is pure escapism. We can travel back in time and recall memories of Halloweens of the past and we can delve into other horrific worlds while watching or reading spooky movies or books. Infusing some convoluted Monster Mascot election into the promotion of the cereal this year was utter nonsense. It brought us out of the nostalgia factor for those cereals and reminded us about the most mocked presidential election in U.S history. I felt like I was really onto something with the Monster High tie-in that I brought up on the Purple Stuff as well as on Twitter many times.

MERCH!

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Matt at Dinosaur Dracula continues to enthrall nostalgia nuts with his monthly Fun Pack. His Halloween Fun Pack was one for the ages this year. You can subscribe at his website www.dinosaurdracula.com

8 Bit Zombie released one of their coolest and most unique items ever: The Monster Squad Lunchbox and Glass set. The cartoonish art by Matt Skiff is freaking awesome and the whole idea of this set brings me back in time. It’s such a cool addition to my collection.

If you haven’t visited the Cryptocurium, Jason McKittrick has been creating his own horror inspired sculptures and magnets for a while now. He’s done a hell of a job with his monthly Trick or Treat subscriptions this season.

Rob Zombie and Fright Rags tagged up to release a bunch of cool Rob Zombie related tees and sweatshirts. As always, the artwork was superior!

We were blessed with insane Zombie straws and a Pumpkin shaped Slurpee cup both from 7-11.

Artist Travis Falligant @IBTrav has been killing it with his Lost Mysteries pins and now he has Halloween Costume Kits for sale! The “Dead Dame” is in the style of Frankenhooker and it is perfect…but it’s now SOLD OUT! I’m glad I ordered early.

We’ve seen the release of a lot of cool pins and tees this season, although Matt Skiff’s Spooky Storyteller inspired by Curly the Skeleton from Goosebumps was a standout for me.

Tyler Ham aka @Ham_FX created a print mashup of Halloween III and The Great Pumpkin and it was GLORIOUS!

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My friend Bob helped me realize that one of the most simple and dare I say overlooked aspects of this season was Walmart’s clothing offerings. They had horror t-shirts including Friday the 13th, Child’s Play, NMOES, and Hellraiser, as well as lounge pants, which are awesome. I instagrammed a pic of the lounge/pajama pants that I bought and I’vee been wearing them like crazy. They’re comfortable and they even have pockets, which is key for me. I need somewhere to put my phone once in a while.

MONSTER HIGH

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The reboot film, Welcome to Monster High, came out for one day only at the end of August in theaters and then went to video and on demand. I saw it in the theater and absolutely loved it. I was actually surprised at how much of a jump it made from a quality standpoint compared to their previous movies. The storytelling was simple, dialogue was fun, voice work was on point, and the CG animation looked absolutely fangtastic (I had to!) I consider this part of the Halloween season since it really hit the world in early September. As if a brand new rebooted film wasn’t enough, the doll line was rebooted as well. And to put the exclamation point on the season on the Monster High front, the Lady Gaga Monster High doll was finally officially announced and went up for pre-order in mid-October. This doll had a long history and to see the attention to detail that it has received is awesome. It won’t arrive to The Sexy Armpit HQ until end of December/early January, but I’d say it really capped off a fine Monster High season.

MOVIES, TV, and MUSIC

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Saturday Night Live created another classic Halloween sketch with a character who will be everywhere in future Halloweens: David Pumpkins! The Tom Hanks episode this season was strong and he put the David Pumpkins sketch over the top to become a pop culture icon in no time!

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Scream Queens Season 2 premiered and by the end of the first episode it blew the first season out of the water, and I LOVED the first season.

“If you like seeing Alice Cooper and getting stuck in the rain” – I changed the lyrics, but you know that song, don’t you? I’ve seen Alice Cooper live before, and nothing beats seeing him in the fall. Alice played First Energy Park in Lakewood, NJ on September 30th and it was cold, windy, and raining all night. Of course, the show went on! It was still a blast to see him regardless of the weather.

The FOX production of Rocky Horror premiered and it wasn’t awful. Obviously, if Victoria Justice wasn’t in it, I probably wouldn’t have been as interested in seeing it, but it wasn’t terrible. It’s impossible to reach the pinnacle of the original, but this was halfway decent. To me, more Rocky Horror is always a good thing.

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After pining for a new Blair Witch movie for 15 years, it finally happened. In disguise as “The Woods,” it finally revealed itself as a Blair Witch reboot, despite them saying it was a sequel to the original. It wasn’t what I was hoping for, but it was still cool that it exists. At times it felt robotic as if it didn’t have much of a soul. I’ve come to find out that I’m in the minority here, but I felt 2015’s “The Witch” was more in line with my expectations and preference when it comes to a new Blair Witch movie. I wanted something that would’ve added to the mythology. Plus, this one ignores the events of Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 and for that, it loses points in my cool book.

As a Rob Zombie loyalist, I was at the premiere of 31 front and center. Unfortunately, much like the Blair Witch situation, it wasn’t what I had hoped for either. Often, when a great deal of people are unimpressed with a film and I wind up liking it, I wonder “what the hell were they expecting?” In this case, I was totally expecting something more Halloweeny. I don’t mean it needed to star Michael Myers or little Sam from Trick or Treat, but I was hoping the story would be more tied into the holiday itself. More pumpkins and ghosts, etc you catch my drift. Maybe his next movie will fulfill that quota?

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AMC’s Comic Book Men had a Halloween Special starring Elvira. This episode was filmed during a blood drive in Red Bank, NJ. I went to give blood and the folks at The Secret Stash asked if I wanted to meet Elvira. Although I met her before, who am I to say no to an opportunity like that? I’m an Elvira freak! I went over and met Elvira and out of all the people at The Secret Stash that day, the moment where I go to say hello to Elvira made it into the show! What better way to cap off this Halloween Season than to say that I was on one of the coolest TV shows meeting Elvira…in NEW JERSEY!

COSTUME

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This year there were a few costume ideas bouncing around in my head, but only one that I really wanted to be. My favorite GI Joe character is Zartan, always has been. But I didn’t want to do any old Zartan costume, I wanted to do 1993’s NINJA FORCE ZARTAN!

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Most people think this is way obscure, but if you’re a fan of GI Joe and 80’s and 90’s action figures in general, you probably know about this variation of the character. The Ninja Force subset of GI Joe was much more vibrant in color and had more of an edgy look to them.

We go out every year and this year it was back to Asbury Park and we had a blast. Miss Sexy Armpit dressed as Jillian Holtzmann from Ghostbusters 2016 and she was spot-on!

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After reminiscing on all of this, it’s obvious that Halloween 2016 was pretty badass in the realm of The Sexy Armpit. I hope you’ve had a kickass Halloween Season and I’m looking forward to next year already! Happy Halloween Everyone!

The Sexy Armpit’s Trip To A Cabin In The Woods

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With my immense affinity for all things Blair Witch, how is it possible that I’ve never gone camping before?

Well, for starters, I’m not the outdoorsy type.

Through the years, various friends have asked me if I wanted to go camping with them. Inevitably, they’d attempt to try and sweeten the deal. As if the luxurious amenities of public bathrooms and shower facilities would sway my decision. On a few occasions, a long time ago, when the incentives of girls and booze joining us were put on the table, even that failed to entice me. Don’t get me wrong, I love the woods. I especially love fall foliage, but I don’t feel that I have to prove that point by sleeping in it. In theory, camping sounds like a blast, but I prefer to leave that area as a home for the bears…and witches.

There are exceptions to the rule. Going back many years, my friend Paul has asked me almost annually to head up to a cabin with his family owned by their close friends for some birthdays. See, from my perspective, a cabin is like bucking the camping system. Screw camping…who needs it when you have a creepy ass cabin to hang out in? When I first heard his offer, I almost started to give it consideration. As it goes, life got in the way and I wound up never making it up there. You know how it is. You have commitments. You have to film you and your pile of sludge getting into predicaments. You know, normal run of the mill stuff.

Eventually, I started to give this cabin some actual consideration. It was around December 2015 at a Christmas party when Paul and his close family friend Brian attempted one last pitch as to why I should head out there with them. They made it seem like I’d be in a wonderland of Fall, a veritable Halloween hullabaloo. They described drinking, debauchery, and demonic decorations. All right, so maybe I was drunk at that moment, but right then and there I had an epiphany and thought to myself, “Why the hell have I not gone to this cabin in the woods!?” I swore that when October rolled around, I’d be there no matter what – as long as it was after I premiered The Halloween Special.

Time flew and all of a sudden it was October 2016. The Halloween Special was completed and uploaded to YouTube. I was in the midst of getting the address of this storied cabin that I’ve heard so much about over the years. It was really happening and I was in for a nearly 3 hour drive (feel free to sing it to the Gilligan’s Island theme: a 3 hour drive!) Was I making the right decision? One thing was for sure, I thought way too much about what might happen there, especially left to my own devices in the car. Would I even make it there alive? The element of not knowing what this experience would entail was cool. Really, anything could happen. Would we wind up in alternate dimension? Was I going to be cut up into pieces and fed to hideous mutated beasts that they keep in the basement? Was it actually going to be a surprise birthday party for me 6 months early? That might have been the scariest option. Whatever happens, it seemed like I was in the opening credits of a real life horror movie. Then, I simply shrugged it off as watching too much AHS.

I was flying solo. Miss Sexy Armpit had to work, so she was off the hook. Since I love to drive and savor alone time, to me there’s nothing better than a good fall road trip. I was getting pretty pumped about the whole scenario. In the middle of the day I got a text from Paul: “What time are you leaving? It’s really hard to find this place in the dark.” I laughed it off with the assuredness that I can pretty much find any destination because of this newfound technology we have…Google Maps. “How difficult could it be to find?” I wondered. I got a much later start than I intended, mostly because I procrastinated and thought that the trip would be a lot quicker than it actually was. After I eeked out one more episode of Vice Principals, I mustered up the motivation to get ready, I packed up a few essentials, tossed them in the car, got gas, and headed out on the highway Judas Priest style.

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Swigging a can of Monster and my iPod shuffling through my Halloween playlist, I was a happy non-camper. Once I made it up to Northwestern New Jersey, I passed by a giant pumpkin and had to pull over for an Instagram. You can’t pass up an opportunity to photograph a giant inflatable pumpkin monster. So, that was Detour #1. Seeing that damn pumpkin made me feel like I was on track for an epic trip. It was merely the beginning and I encounter this? The only way it could’ve been better is if it came alive and started warning me that “WE’RE ALL DOOMED!”

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Things escalated within minutes. If I told you that out of the corner of my left eye I saw a raptor, would you believe me? I didn’t even believe myself so I had to bang a quick bat-turn to investigate. I thought I was taking crazy pills. First a mammoth pumpkin monster and now a Dinosaur? There you have Detour #2. Just a friggin’ dinosaur.

As I crossed the state line into PA, things started to seem more desolate. This was the ultimate leisurely fall drive since I kept passing huge stretches of nothingness. I saw creepy abandoned houses, dilapidated old farms, and ancient cemeteries. Sure, I was out of my element, but I was soaking up the vibe. Soon, I found myself driving through the center of a small town that looked like it was straight out of a horror movie.

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Scanning around this ghost town, there was no one in sight. I was the only one on the road and apparently the only human for miles. That feeling came to an abrupt halt when I jammed on my brakes after a bear ran out into the street and almost into my car. The bear then jetted back onto someone’s lawn after he nearly hurled himself into my car. I swore I thought my poor car was going to get attacked by a bear. I was fascinated by all this though. Bears don’t live in our area so I was having flashbacks to being on the Six Flags Great Adventure Safari. The bear sprinted back over to a set of garbage cans where he continued to eat garbage that he previously attacked and clearly had been munching on earlier. This was where I nonchalantly zoomed in and took a photo for Detour #3. Saying that this ride was pretty interesting is a total understatement. I love that cliche “You can’t make this shit up!” because it usually applies to the whacked out trips I take.

Deeper into the town, I drove between a long stretch of small houses on the main road. I noticed that none of the houses had any lights on, except for one to my right. There was a house blazing with Halloween decorations. I slowed down so I could admire it for a second. What caught my eye were the vintage light up blow molds they had all over the place! I’ve been a sucker for blow molds ever since I was a kid. In fact, I used to beg my Dad to keep the ones we had, even though both my parents wanted to get rid of them after they had pretty much gone out of favor. After the ’80s, at least in our area, these wound up being looked at as tacky or cheap. Whatevs. To me, nothing beats those houses with a hundred blow molds set up all over their property for the holidays.

I was being a real creeper. I basically slowed down to a crawl and threw my car into park to snap a few photos of the house. This blazing blow mold house had a front porch that was large enough for several chairs and a dinette table. The older couple who lived there came out onto the porch with a couple of plates of food. I was so mesmerized by their blow molds that I didn’t even realize that they noticed me taking photos of their house. Luckily, this was a couple we should all aspire to be. To save myself from getting questioned by police, I did something I rarely do unless I’m seriously interested in something – I engaged them in conversation.

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“HEY! YOUR BLOW MOLDS ARE BLOWING MY MIND!” Oh my God how embarrassing, what the hell did I just say? Did I actually just say those words out loud? F–k. Yes, I really did. But, what happened next was a pleasant surprise. The biggest smile came across both their faces and they walked down the steps of their porch. They started telling me how they’ve been collecting them for years and buy them from yard sales and flea markets anytime they see them. Not only was that anecdote so awesome, but, next, they delivered a little extra Halloween cheer that made my season. I asked them if they were big fans of Halloween and the gentleman said “Oh yeah, we LOVE Halloween and we’re just about to have Halloween dinner right here on the porch!” I thanked them and told them I just had to snap a photo. They actually thanked me for the compliment and we exchanged a goodbye. This trip kept getting more and more surreal.

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Was I actually in a Halloween wonderland? This was like following the black and orange brick road. As you may have read here in the past, one of my favorite aspects of any road trip I go on are the random things that happen to me and the quirky things that I see. In both cases, they’re much cooler if you just happen to come across them by chance. There you have Detour #4. I was only halfway there and I felt like, if this was the best it got, then it was a successful trip.

To recap, there was an enormous pumpkin monster, a dinosaur, a giant garbage eating bear, and a blow mold couple eating Halloween dinner on their porch 3 weeks early. Seriously, was I in an episode of Eerie Indiana? Because that’s what I’ve always wanted out of life.

My late start meant I’d be driving the latter part of my trip in the dark. This is indeed what happened and Paul called it. Darkness started to fall and I realized that I was pretty much in the middle of nowhere. I still had about 45 minutes to go, yet I had to pee. I also realized that I had forgotten a couple of necessities and I also wanted to pick up some kind of goofy Halloween decoration. Paul mentioned that the whole exterior of the cabin is decorated for Halloween and I wanted to contribute something. Wal-Mart seemed like a perfect spot to hit for all of this. Problem was, it was 35 minutes away from the cabin in the opposite direction. Stopping at a store was imperative so I had to go off course. I was already running late, so what was another hour or four? I knew this was going to make me even later, but I figured everyone would be nice and toasted by time I got there.

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During my trip to Wal-mart, I passed the Circle Drive-In Theater on my right. For a second I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be pretty badass if they were showing a horror marathon or something to that effect? That would’ve been another notch in my belt to make this excursion even more insane. I squinted as I zoomed passed the marquee to see the lineup. The beautifully beaming sign actually had a goblin face on top of it (difficult to see in the photo). Sure as shit, Blair Witch AND Sleepaway Camp were playing as part of the Circle of Screams Halloween theme, and I couldn’t contain myself! On my way back, I tried my best to snap a pic although it came out blurry. To think that Jersey was the birthplace of the Drive-in, yet I randomly witnessed this magnificence in PA. I looked this place up and it happens to also offer a Halloween Haunted Attraction that bills itself as America’s Only Haunted Drive-In Theater! If horror and drive-ins are your thing, it’s your dream come true. Detour #5.

Here’s the guy I picked up. He’ll come into play later.

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Wisecrackin’ Simon as I affectionately refer to him, comes equipped with various classic quotes from that rotting old bastard including but not limited to: “Wait, you can’t just leave me here!” and “I can’t believe I came back from the dead for this!” followed by vibrating and moaning.

I didn’t think I could run into any more giant monsters, but I did.

This is where I ran into…a Gorilla. I am not kidding you guys. This is 100% legit. He was the coolest muthaf*ckin’ Gorilla I’ve ever seen, and he worked at a car dealership. This whole experience so far was unfathomable, better yet, PREPOSTEROUS! I was driving to a cabin and NOT tripping on LSD! Imagine if I had been on some kind of hallucinogen? Holy shit, this post would be 23x more entertaining.

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Finally, after spending way more money than intended, I started on the final stretch to the cabin. This is the part that included pitch darkness, dirt roads, and the feeling of dread that made me feel like I’d be encountering the Creeper from Jeepers Creepers at any moment. Were these streets even listed in the GPS? I couldn’t be sure, but they felt just like some of the famous scary roads we have back home that always get mentioned in Weird New Jersey.

Next thing I knew I was driving through some kind of campsite where tons of teenagers were running around wildly with masks on scaring everyone. I was so overstimulated by that point that this was not surprising me in the least. Screaming Masked Teenagers? PAR FOR THE COURSE. Nothing compared to what I’ve seen. I later found out that this was a nearby campsite that was hosting their annual haunted attraction…an attraction that I’d been illegally K-turning my way back out of. Minutes later, the GPS had me turn into someone’s dirt driveway that wasn’t my intended destination, but fittingly looked like I had just entered into the Wrong Turn franchise. I had a hell of a time backing out and nearly hit a tree. That’s when I caved and called Paul. He made it very clear that the cell service there is spotty and he was right. He hopped in his car to find me and I was literally down the hill from where I was supposed to be.

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I drove up a big hill into an opening in the woods. Yup, it was a cabin…in the middle of nowhere! As I parked my car I was in awe of the huge bonfire they had going. This fire looked like it was big enough for 35 people to sit around it. I greeted everyone and went inside to make a drink. I brought Tequila of course and wasted no time cracking it open. Inside the cabin, the decor reminded me of my Uncle’s basement. There were animals that had been stuffed greeting me from all angles. Some of them even had Halloween masks on. This was going to be interesting. It couldn’t have been more Evil Dead/Cabin in the Woods if it tried!

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In the bathroom, I zeroed in on a random frame with a hologram of a demon faced girl. Always a fun Halloween gag. It was perfect.

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The exterior of the cabin was being illuminated by the bonfire out front. All around the porch there was an eclectic mix of witches and skulls and demons hanging and eerily dancing in unison with the breeze. The air was crisp, a perfect October evening, hoodie mode=activated. I sat with Paul and his family and enjoyed my drink. I explained to them that I had a totally whacked out time driving up there.

Suddenly, the next thing I knew, I was being awoken by an incessantly spooky theremin sound. I swore the fact that now the sun was out and I was half asleep on a top bunk bed with a theremin playing meant that I had literally crossed over into the Twilight Zone. I hit my head on the ceiling as I tried to climb down from the bunk to figure out what the hell was going on.

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I walked out into the living room area and everyone was up talking, laughing, and enjoying breakfast. I was being treated like a king and all I did was arrive, raise hell, and drink Tequila. A brisk, gray Sunday morning was being celebrated with good friends over some crispy bacon, eggs, English muffins, and Orange juice. What the hell did I do to deserve this? Did they secretly feed me mind altering drugs to go out and sacrifice one of those kids at the campground to Lucifer and they just knew the right smoke screen to distract me? Mmm breakfast. I’m like Homer Simpson. And, suuure get The Sexy Armpit drunk and make him do your bidding. I see. The plot thickened.

It wasn’t just me who was mystified, because it seemed as if none of us remembered what happened the night before. Legitimately, the last thing I remembered was playing Cards Against Humanity. The rest wasn’t even a blur. It just skipped from the card game to the spooky theremin waking me up. What happened in the meantime?

Something insane could’ve taken place the night before and I would’ve had no clue at all. My brain immediately went into deduction mode. Was it the Blair Witch? Did she possess the cabin to make us lose a gap of time?

After breakfast, Paul brought in the Halloween decoration guy that I bought. We’ll call him Simon for the hell of it. He had no idea where this dude came from and he was asking everyone if they happened to know his origin. I told him I bought him at Walmart, but I didn’t remember taking him out of my car at all. It felt like he mysteriously made his way onto the porch on his own volition. I needed to piece together the events in those missing witching hours.

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I found plenty of photos like this on my phone

Some of Paul’s friends had photos and videos on their phones. It was all there, although I had no recollection of any of these events. There was a video of us singing and dancing like idiots, nothing out of the ordinary when you hang out with me, but it was like seeing a clone of myself doing these things. I wasn’t even hung over at all, I actually felt great. That’s when I checked my phone to see if I had taken any pictures or video myself. Sure enough, I found a few photos that, for the life of me, I didn’t remember taking AT ALL! I had to believe there was something that overcame me while out in those woods so I couldn’t recall any of this. Was a I temporarily possessed by the Blair Witch?

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There was also this blurry photo of a family of deer congregating on the lawn in front of the cabin. Finding this and not remembering taking it was quite amusing…and creepy! I headed home with the bizarre notion that I may never fully understand what happened at the cabin.

The next day, it all came together in a form of a text message from Paul and all it included was this photo:

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In the middle of the previous night, in the wee hours, over a game of Cards Against Humanity, Paul’s sister thought it was a good idea for us to do shots of Jameson. Mystery solved. That’s one way to erase your memories and create a gap in your consciousness! The next time you suspect The Blair Witch is up to her old shenanigans, blame it on the Jameson.

It was more fun to believe that I may have been possessed by The Blair Witch, but there seemed to be enough evidence to the contrary. Buzzkilling it all even more, I found out later that I wasn’t actually in the Twilight Zone either 🙁 The spooky theremin that woke me up wasn’t my mind’s internal soundtrack, but actually Paul’s friend’s phone receiving non-stop text messages.

With that, my yearning for an actual Blair Witch experience of my own has been debunked, but there’s always next year.

If you enjoyed this insane trip, why not watch our 2016 HALLOWEEN SPECIAL on YouTube right now! Thanks for reading!

Halloween Special PREVIEW!

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So, this is it. We are here. It’s October!

I’m sitting at my desk with the window cracked open. I’m literally being blasted with cool fall wind and it feels awesome. There’s apparently a hurricane developing, so that’s added to the ambience of the last few days. I also cleaned my disaster of a desk to get me prepped for the season. A pumpkin candle is blazing and I just ate a bag of Japanese Frito-Lay Halloween Pack bat-shaped thingies and I’m now primed to provide you with an official Sexy Armpit Halloween Special update: You can join us if you tune in at 8pm ET on October 7th, 2016!

Tell us about The Sexy Armpit Halloween Special this year.

As many of you know, each year I produce a Halloween special for our YouTube page. This year, I’m proud to tell you that this will be our 5th installment. I pour pretty much every bit of life I have into these annual videos. During production, everything and everyone in my life gets pretty much ignored from start to finish usually. My bills stack up. I neglect the gym. All I think about is the special. Ultimately, my main inspiration, aside from the desire to make it the best special it can be, is Halloween.

Halloween is everything. There are memes that always say Halloween is year round, and obviously Ministry sang about it being everyday, but realistically, the season happens once a year. It’s fleeting. Capturing the essence is vital to appreciating it in the moment. Once it’s November, it seems like the non-Hallo-freaks have moved on. If you breezed through the season, without truly memorializing it, all you can do at that point is be bummed and pissed at yourself for not soaking up as much horror and pumpkin guts as you could. Of course, I watch Horror all year long, and am obsessed with Halloween throughout the year, but that’s what makes this time of year special. All the stuff I love is magnified x1000. That’s why I tried my damnedest to get the special done fairly early this year.

Would it be possible for me to actually enjoy the season without killing myself making a short film AND trying to put together Halloween costume? I figured if I got a little bit of a jump on things, I wouldn’t have to be feverishly editing until the witching hour. While I’m still putting the finishing touches on it currently, it’s nearly ready for public consumption. The head start actually granted me some extra time to put a teaser trailer together too, something I didn’t have the time to do previously for any of my videos. You can watch the teaser above if you haven’t already!

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This year, the Halloween Special is quite different than anything you’ve seen from us before.

As I rewind several months, I recall a hot June afternoon in downtown New York City. I had set up a meeting with Louie Cortes, a New York filmmaker (his company is New Needle Productions), and a fellow Halloween and horror freak. Louie and I had been following each other on social media for a long time and not only did we have a lot of friends in common, but we’ve traveled in the same circles, attended the same conventions, and plain and simple, share a ton of the same obsessions.

There was a two-fold reason for me reaching out to Louie. First, I just couldn’t keep looking at his Instagram and watching his short films on his YouTube without finally shooting the shit with him over a beer. Secondly, I wanted to pick his brain about his filmmaking process. In my constant pursuit of trying to improve my output, I figured I could probe Louie’s brain to see if he could shed some light on a few questions I had regarding how the pros do things.

Aside from some advice, and a few laughs, I honestly didn’t expect much to come of our meeting. When it comes to my own creative endeavors, I like to do things my way. That’s pretty common amongst creative people from what I’ve seen, but I’d never really thought of the possibility of collaborating before. Sure, I have friends who help with the show in many ways, but ultimately, it’s always my baby. I like to see it through. I’d never entertained the idea of a collaboration because I hadn’t spoken to anyone who wound up being serious or followed through on their claims. I’ve been asked many times by people if they could appear in or help out with the show, but often, they wind up flaking out when they find out how much work is involved. Fortunately, a legit collaboration was actually on the horizon.

Louie and I met at this punk bar downtown and had a few drinks. It was one of those meetings that, if we ever did hit it big and became famous one day in some kind of insane fantasy world, this is the type of story that we’d be able to share when being interviewed. It’s like those legendary stories you hear about how Madonna gave her demo tape to a DJ at a club in NYC.  It was just a simple meeting that has already kicked into high gear. When we met up that day I seriously had no clue that by the end of the summer we’d be much closer friends and have basically all the footage for my Halloween special filmed. Needless to say, I’m glad we met up! Louie is on point with his work and also an exceptional dude. We’ve already discussed more possible projects on the horizon, but for now, I’ll concentrate on the present.

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So, what exactly makes this year’s Halloween Special so different than previous years?

First and foremost, Louie’s production company New Needle Productions handled the filming of the majority of the special. The shot composition, lighting, and high quality of the video stemmed from Louie’s expertise and all added a completely fresh take on what The Sexy Armpit Show really is all about. It looks so damn good! Louie did a kick ass job and he’s a total pro. A huge thanks goes out to him.

The vastly improved visual aspect helps bring the horror/thriller storyline to life. Of course, it’s still complete nonsense and an all out horror-comedy, but there’s a pretty intriguing story in there…one that hasn’t yet been explored in our videos. In fact, not to spoil anything, but in this one you’ll witness a major shakeup at Sexy Armpit HQ that could have repercussions on the future of the show!

What I’m most proud of is the fact that we keep improving each year. To me, there’s no point in doing the same thing every year because that’s boring. This time around, the special is pretty batshit and just the right kind of whacked out that you need to enhance your Halloween season. You’ll see some awesome cameos and familiar faces as you’ve seen in previous installments, but, trust me, this is a whole different ball game. With all that said, I don’t want to give up any spoilers, so you can watch for yourself on 10/7!

As always, I want to send out another giant thank you to the cast Miss Sexy Armpit @MissSexyArmpit, Mike Wirth a.k.a @IdiotAtPlay, Holly Knapp @Frankenholly, Jeff Somogyi @Sommerjam, Dari Mehl, Frank Campisi, and Lauren Wirth @TheNerdyPumpkin. Everyone did a bang up job again this year and each cast member brings so much to the table. By understanding my bizarre mind, they make it easy for me to bring the stories to life. It might sound like I’m making these specials sound more monumental than they actually are, but that’s how important they are to me.

Make The Sexy Armpit Halloween Specials a part of your Halloween Viewing!

Even though I make these videos, I still have fun watching them too. They become these warped video yearbooks to look back on. Each year, I usually suggest trying to incorporate a viewing of any or all of The Sexy Armpit Halloween Specials into your seasonal viewing. For example, if you plan on watching Poltergeist or Halloween, use our Hallowen special as a funny lead-in. Maybe throw in a Halloween cartoon as well! I know you all can pull YouTube up on your TVs and the best way to enjoy these videos is on your big TV with all your Halloween lights and decorations in full effect. Get some candy corn and pumpkin beer and really feel the season. If you do this, take a pic and post it somewhere on social media, that will help us get the word out! If you want to thank us or support us in any way, the best way is to get more eyes on it and for that we thank you!

I’m proud of what my crew and New Needle accomplished together. These Hallowen Specials are truly comprised of passion and hard work. The only compensation we receive from these videos is you, our friends, fans, readers, viewers and social media companions, getting a kick out of watching them. Sure, it would be nice to be funded one day, but there’s nothing that satisfies me more knowing that a good portion of you were able to sit back and have some laughs for a brief spell during your Halloween celebrations. That is what makes me want to continue, otherwise, I’d be laying around like a lump watching mediocre horror movies on Amazon Prime.

As I was saying at the start, it’s October. It’s officially here! It’s time to start working on your costume, decorating, and planning your Halloween viewing for the month and hopefully The Sexy Armpit Halloween Special can be a part of it!

ShopRite or Shangri-La?

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Adults traversing their entire state chasing down juice boxes is normal right? Who knew we’d be grown ass adults searching feverishly for a tiny box of green juice that we used to bring in our lunch boxes as kids. It makes sense though, it’s sort of similar to finding the fountain of youth. Ecto Cooler hasn’t been on store shelves in so long that having the opportunity to suck that ectoplazmic green elixir out of that beautifully retro Hi-C container is worth going to the ends of the earth for, or in my case, New Jersey. And I pretty much did just that. Those color changing Ecto Cooler cans were procured on a wild goose chase that you can hear on a recent Purple Stuff Podcast, but the elusive juice boxes were still, well…eluding me. By the time you read this, you’ll probably have gulped down 3-4 cases of juice boxes already, but let me tell you about the night that I finally found them.

Continue reading ShopRite or Shangri-La?

Getting Those Great Adventure Vibes!

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Ever since I was in my teens I had a season pass to Six Flags Great Adventure. I can’t say that every friend of mine was as hell bent on constantly spending their summer days incessantly riding some batshit crazy roller coaster of fury, but there always seemed to be a select few who were brave enough. Brave enough not only for the thrill rides, but also to voluntarily take the trip with me. Some of my friends still tell stories about our trips there ’til this day.

Maybe they reminisce about those crazy times because life was pretty simple then. Aside from the shore and malls, there wasn’t a ton of stuff to do in suburbia. We went swimming in our pools, hung out playing board games, went to the movies, all the standard fare. Compared to that stuff, not living too far away from Great Adventure was like holding a key to an action packed alternate dimension. I’ve written about Great Adventure plenty of times here at The Sexy Armpit, and if you’re from the Tri-State area, you know all about its allure, especially when you’re a teenager. Even if you had to get a little crew of friends together and get dropped off by someone’s parents, the whole experience still made me feel like a wild, reckless adult. A trip with me to Six Flags never lacked controversy, that’s for sure.

A season pass to G.A was like having a VIP laminate to a concert. Once I got my license, that season pass got used anywhere from 10-15 times in a season. That was back when having fun and filling up my summer days with cool shit was basically my job. With the ability to drive my friends and I down there came the opportunity to elevate these excursions to Ferris Bueller levels. I blasted music in the car, exceeded the speed limit by at least…9 miles per hour, and maybe we didn’t eat pancreas, but we inhaled Quick Check subs and chugged Mountain Dew in the parking lot (right before nausea inducing rolling coasters.) It was a tradition for me to get us into a few scrapes on the way down there, and there was usually the inevitable “disagreement” with a line cutter or some other miscreant.

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Some people reminisce about high school. Me? I’ve been reflecting on all the years I’ve been going to G.A. and it’s incredible how many memories I have at this place. Comparatively, I’m proud of what I accomplished in high school, but I wasn’t a fan of it at all. I always wanted to be somewhere else. I knew I was going through the motions. A testament to that is the fact that I met most of my closest friends that I still talk to way before high school. A ton of people go to high school reunions, some gossip about people they graduated with, and some never really let go of that period of their lives. To me, those 4 years can’t hold even the tiniest birthday candle to the immense amount of time I spent through the years at Six Flags Great Adventure. It might sound preposterous, but it’s been part of my entire life. It served as a backdrop for long summer hangouts with friends, and as the pinnacle of romance for a 17 year old kid with a driver’s license and a bring a friend free pass. If you can’t relate to that, I guess you’ve never tried to impress a girl by taking her on The Skyway? Now that’s class! Sure you could tell a girl you were picking her up in an actual CAR, a licensed road vehicle, but when you offer the opportunity to take a leisurely flying wicker seat ride, that gained you a day or two of her adoration. That is, at least until she revealed that she secretly had eyes for a guy on the intramural football team who laughs at all your jokes in 5th period, plus she didn’t really want to hear you gush about what kind of impact A Lonely Place of Dying had on your life. But that’s a whole other 19 paragraph post, isn’t it?

Do you remember the names of all your teachers from high school? I don’t, save for a select few. Did you have a moment from your prom that still gives you the butterflies? I don’t. But, I can tell you that I get choked up just thinking about how I’ll never get to ride The Great American Scream Machine ever again. Of course, I should be more than satisfied that I’ve ridden it literally hundreds of times in its entire 20 year existence. Now that Nitro has turned 15, I’m already worrying that I won’t know how to cope if it ever leaves us. Scream Machine and Nitro are my favorite coasters of all time and I’ve probably spent more time on them than I’ve spent with most of my relatives and that’s saying something since they each last a little over 2 minutes.

Mind you, it wasn’t all “More Flags, More Fun.” A lot of it, the parts we ignore for posterity, kind of sucked – and still do! Take for instance, the often blistering heat, sunburn, sweat, agitation, fatigue, and hunger. Long ride lines were never a good scene, but they usually indicated that the ride was worthwhile. A big chunk of time was spent hanging on the steel railing and saying dumb things with your friends or trying to make our with your then-love interest. It’s easy to suck up those negatives to be enthralled by repeated whip-lashings for 35 seconds, but damn, each one of those seconds makes us feel like all life as we know it could stop instantly and we’d all have abnormally huge smiles with rippling cheeks permanently plastered on our faces. What could be more fun? It makes some people drool. Others vomit. Come to think of it, those peeps probably don’t revere all this nonsense as highly as I do.

By now, you’ve gathered what Great Adventure symbolizes to me. My affinity for the park hasn’t changed, but my trips to Great Adventure have. They aren’t as dangerous. They don’t involve near death experiences on the New Jersey Turnpike (well, most of the time) and they’re a heck of a lot shorter. As an example, I’ll leave you with a summary of our latest Great Adventure excursion.

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Miss Sexy Armpit and I made our way down to Jackson, NJ after work one night last week. Considering they close at 9pm, that didn’t leave us much time. By the time we got down there we had a solid 2 hours and we didn’t plan on wasting it. Traditionally, as long as we get to ride Nitro, we’re happy campers, but this time we rode their newest roller coaster, The Joker! At first, it seemed like it wasn’t running. This was a possibility since the ride broke down shortly after it opened and many riders got stuck. I assumed it was just stopped for repairs, but as we got closer, the ride was indeed operating, so we were in luck. I had every intention of riding it, although Miss Sexy Armpit needed a bit of coercing. She wasn’t fond of the idea that the coaster cars themselves spin around while the coaster was running. This could be extremely vomit inducing for some people. She relented and we hopped right on. The ride turned out to be pretty tame – almost more of a wild Ferris wheel gone haywire. I laughed maniacally the entire time like Cesar Romero, so I can see why they named it, The Joker. We were glad we rode it, although, much like The Dark Knight Coaster, it’s not on my must-ride list.

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Number one on my absolute must-ride list is Nitro. The lines were pretty much non-existent this late in the day, so we got right on without a long wait. After that, I convinced Miss Sexy Armpit to stay on for one more ride. Even though we technically only went on 2 rides, we accomplished our mission.

Then, as always, I checked the DC Hall of Justice store. I’ve mentioned this place before, but to reiterate, this is the ultimate gem of a store that DC Comics fans might want to consider buying admission to the park just to gain access to this shop. It’s not a gigantic store by any means, but it’s about the closest answer to the DC Super Hero section of the old Warner Brothers store in the mall that we may ever have. I didn’t pick anything up this time, mostly because I had something else in mind that I was hoping to find on the way out.

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Last stop was the Main Street Market. For regulars, this is the first shop you see after you make your way through the metal detectors (yes the park has excellent security.) I was asked if I needed help finding anything and in my best Lando Calrissian voice I said, “As a matter of fact you can…” Then, I explained that I had heard about a few Great Adventure t-shirts that had just been released with the vintage logo on them. He had no clue what I was talking about. The poor kid looked at me like I just posed him a question that Einstein couldn’t figure out. Finally, Miss Sexy Armpit dumbed it down for him, “it has like…a rainbow with stars…” “OHHH YEAHHH!” then it dawned on him that we weren’t complete psycho nutjobs after all and actually perfectly normal customers towing the Great Adventure retro t-shirt line.

Before we even got to the park, I had it in the back of my head that I absolutely HAD to get this shirt. Thanks to Miss Sexy Armpit for getting it for me. I’ve always had a major soft spot for the old Great Adventure logo, and years back, I even made a Sexy Armpit parody of it. (Below you can save the Sexy Armpit/Great Adventure iPhone Wallpaper) Perhaps even more coincidentally, I’ve been scoping out actual vintage Great Adventure tees on eBay for such a long time: Check out this ridiculous old post.

What does this all mean? I really don’t know, but maybe it’s just my way of telling you that you should get out of your house and go to your nearest amusement park this summer and maximize your fun! Thanks for reading!

Follow me on Twitter @SexyArmpit and Instagram @SexyArmpit

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Into The Junk Shop, Flyboy!

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I’m telling this story backwards…have I gone MAD?!

As you’ve gathered, the things I do are not very traditional. It’s not like I venture off to golf getaways, weekend wine tastings, or to the batting cages and for beers with the guys (as I pretend to sucker punch you in the stomach like guys do). None of that would ever happen in my life. Even though I’m an actual adult, I do things that bear the ever so slight possibility of being misconstrued as juvenile, but what the hell do I care? One of my recent posts documented my trip to an NXT wrestling event in Asbury Park. If you’ve read that, you know what a blast it was, but I haven’t yet told you about what happened before we got there! Put it this way, it wasn’t your average Friday afternoon. Continue reading Into The Junk Shop, Flyboy!

NXT: Con. Hall Brawl in Asbury Park!

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Let me catch you up on some of the cool shit that’s been going down in The Armpit of the Universe.

A couple of months back, I scored tickets to see NXT Live on February 19th, and I basically forced Dinosaur Dracula to come with me. I didn’t give him much of a choice at all – it was like, “Dude, I got tickets to NXT, don’t make plans that day.” Matt was on board for it and I was extra pumped. It wasn’t only momentous for the fact that I’d be seeing an NXT house show virtually in my backyard, but there was a little more to it. Continue reading NXT: Con. Hall Brawl in Asbury Park!