GREAT GEEK GORGE #7

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OZ The Great and Powerful

I can’t claim that I’ve read every single OZ book like our friend Pax at Cavalcade of Awesome, but I’ve been a huge fan of the OZ films since I was a little kid. The Wizard of OZ and Return to OZ have always been a couple of my favorite films of all time. I was also fortunate enough to see Return to OZ at Radio City Music Hall when it first came out for a Disney Summer Magic Spectacular which was an incredible day at Radio City in New York. So, I was pumped when I heard a prequel was coming out. I fought the wintry weather in Jersey and headed to theater with great anticipation.

I was looking forward to seeing if this talented cast could pull of some magic of their own. They did indeed. With the directorial efforts of Sam Raimi, they did what I never thought was possible by bringing an awesome OZ film to the big screen.The key aspect that was a major element for me is if they could make me feel like I was watching a movie that was presented on a grand scale. During the film I was truly sucked into the world of OZ, albeit one that was fully fleshed out with CGI and not made up of painted backdrops. The effects were fantastic and they weren’t overdone to the point where everything looked fake. There was fantasy, scares, and a lot of jokes. There was also many nods to the original film, most importantly for me was to see how the movie would transition from B&W to color. They didn’t go for the sepia tone that is used early on in The Wizard of Oz, but the B&W contrasted even better with the vibrant world of OZ.

The cast was strong and each actor brought an authentic performance. *Spoiler* I wanted to love Mila Kunis in the role of the Wicked Witch, but I had a hard time buying her as a demonic looking evil witch since we are used to seeing her as a sweetheart as in movies like Forgetting Sarah Marshall and even when she’s a materialistic airhead like Jackie in That ’70s Show. I felt like her role would’ve had more impact if she didn’t look like a demon. Apparently, from what I’ve read, they weren’t allowed to use the specific green color makeup used on Margaret Hamilton, but if Kunis’ makeup was a little more natural looking, it may have worked better, but I’m still satisfied with the result. Also, I’m not sure if Kunis recorded the Witch’s cackle or not, but it was pretty dead on.

Aside from the standout performances by James Franco as Oz himself and Michelle Williams as Glinda, the highlights of the film is the Garden Stater Zach Braff as Frank and OZ’s sidekick Finley the flying monkey and Joey King as China Girl. Also mentioned prominently is that OTHER Wizard who Oz admired…”The Wizard of Menlo Park, NJ,” Thomas Edison! New Jersey was represented well in this film and that was genuinely cool since I didn’t expect there to be any NJ love coming from the magical land of OZ. Even better news is that thanks to a strong opening weekend, supposedly a sequel is already being formulated at Disney.

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Marvel Alliance Action Figures

In past installments of this sporadic column, I’ve warned myself not to get into collecting another series of collectibles, but in this case I was powerless. Many of you know me as a DC guy, but I’m not against Marvel in any way. As a kid I was a huge fan of the Secret Wars figure line. Come to think of it, I always use Secret Wars, Star Wars, and Super Powers as the measuring stick for all other action figures.

I haven’t been collecting toys and figures as much as I used to since it’s all getting too expensive. But on a recent trip to Target for my niece’s birthday I ran into a sweet Punisher figure from the Marvel Alliance series. Also, for my birthday Miss Sexy Armpit got me Black Widow and Ghost Rider from this line.

These 3.75 inch figures are way overpriced at around $9.99, but the whole series is sculpted with much detail and they are meticulously painted, so they didn’t give me much of choice. We’ve come a long way from the Secret Wars line in terms of detail, but there was a sleekness and simplicity in those Mattel figures. Considering the size of these it feels like they were reaching out to me telepathically claiming “We’re the modern day equivalent to Secret Wars…COME PLAY WITH US!”

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Cracker Jack’d “Snacks With Impact”

Has anyone ever told you that you have a serious impulse control problem? Why yes Riddler, I’ve been told that many times. In fact, I told myself that at Hess Express on Saturday when I bought two bags of new Cracker Jack’d snacks. I must say, the branding is what made me curious enough to take the shot at buying them. If I didn’t have fond memories as a kid of eating Cracker Jacks that my Dad bought me I don’t think I would’ve give these new Jacks a second thought.

After tearing into the Chocolate Mocha bites first, I really enjoyed the flavor. These are little chocolate covered nuggets of what almost has the interior texture of chocolate crunchies from an ice cream cake or some wafer-like cookie, but with a flavor of strong coffee, like an espresso. These little bites also contain real coffee beans and are caffeinated. The problem with them is that due to the chocolate they are pretty high in fat. If you don’t care about that then I recommend these because they are tasty. I actually did feel the effects from the caffeine whereas a few other reviewers around the Internet claimed they didn’t get even a minor caffeine buzz. There’s also a vanilla mocha flavor which I didn’t see at the store or else I would’ve picked it up.

As for the other bag, the Spicy Pizzeria flavor (Intense Mix) were pretty mundane. There’s a bunch of pretzel type bits in the bag along with a bunch of other random and nondescript pieces of other snacks or nuts dusted with Pizza flavoring. The flavoring is questionable. It’s definitely not reminiscent of pizza flavoring from Combos or Keebler Pizzarias unfortunately. Pass on this one.

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Doritos Jacked Ranch Dipped Hot Wings

Skip these. Just skip them as furiously as possible. If I had the time traveling means of Bill & Ted I would’ve had my past self to visit me in the present day at the local Target to warn me NOT to buy these silly things. They “Jacked” Doritos are masquerading as real Doritos when in fact they are a completely different and extremely less enjoyable tortilla chip. The flavor varieties are great, but they don’t pull them off well. I didn’t find the ranch dipped hot wings to taste authentic at all. The hot wings OR ranch flavor didn’t really hit me. As I stated in my last post about these, they are too large. I always find myself having to break them into pieces to actually eat them. In addition, they are too hard and too crunchy. If you’re the type of person who loves snacks that have the potential to break your teeth, then get these, but they should not exist as Doritos. You can never go wrong with the regular line of Doritos. The Jacked should cease to exist.

Great Geek Gorge #1

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Geeks need their gratification. Just as the wise men brought baby Jesus gifts, and ancient peeps sacrificed stuff up to the Gods, in the case of geeks the world over, they also need to be indulged or they get a little cranky. Here’s a little rundown of stuff that has satisfied my voracious geek appetite. In this first installment you’ll read about things I’ve added to my collection lately, things I’d like to add to my collection, things I’ve recently received as gifts, food I’ve chowed down on, and events I’m planning to attend.

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1. My 2nd favorite film of the Marvel franchise is Thor. My future mom-in-law got me this awesome Thor Pez dispenser! I have a small collection of Pez dispensers and this one fits in nicely beside Captain Jack Sparrow, Darth Vader, and The Incredible Hulk.

2. For my birthday my Dad got me the entire collection of The Muppet Show on DVD! Watching these shows is going to bring back so many memories!

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3. Who doesn’t like stuffing their face once in a while? The absolute BEST place to do that in New Jersey is at Harrah’s Resort Waterfront buffet in Atlantic City. That is where you will find The Absolute Greatest Brownies of All Time (among other delicious offerings.)

4. This might fall into the “why the hell did you buy that” category, but I’ve actually been following the production of The Witches of Oz for a long time. I tried watching it and it really isn’t that good, but as a fan of Wizard of Oz and Return to Oz, I thought I might like this. Until the upcoming 3-D production of Dorothy of Oz comes out in a few years, I’ll take what I can get. Clearly it shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same paragraph as those previous films since it’s on the level of The Asylum productions, but alas, I took a chance on it anyway. If you’re thinking of checking this out, take into consideration that I saw Wicked on Broadway and didn’t enjoy that either.

5. The Batman Files. When this ultimate book of Batman first came out it was priced at upwards of $100 dollars at some book stores. I’ve splurged more cash on sillier things, but for some reason I was hesitant on picking this book up. It was wise to wait because, as always, there was a pretty hefty price drop on the book. I got the book at less than half price. If you’re interested – type it into Google shopping. Well worth it for hardcore Batman fans.

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6. You know how people say “There’s no such thing as bad pizza?” Well, I feel the same way about Doritos. Even the lamest gimmick Doritos, like the mystery flavor a few years back, were fine by me. I can’t really get behind Doritos Jacked though. The whole idea behind them negates what Doritos are all about. They made these chips harder to create more of a crunch, but I’d rather not break my teeth, thank you. And even though they amped up the amount of Dorito dust on these suckers, the actual chip is twice the size of a normal Dorito chip. They are more like the size of a restaurant style Tortilla chip. You need to take a few bites of one chip rather than stuff a whole chip in your mouth. Bah. Whatever. If you’re going to try them, I suggest the Smoky Chipotle BBQ flavor if you’re into that type of thing.

7. Mighty Man and Yukk. One of my favorite cartoons of my childhood. The concept is completely insane. This dudes dog is so ugly that the dog has to wear a doghouse on his head and the the dude shrinks down to a super tiny size and becomes a superhero. Totally ridiculous, but I love it and have been looking for it literally forever. Found a collection of every episode on DVD taped off of Boomerang. I’ll take what I can get considering there hasn’t been an official release.

8. Finally my friends in one of my favorite bands The Dirty Pearls are celebrating the release of their debut full length album at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City on May 5th! The Dirty Pearls will be performing along with Star Killer and other special guests! If you don’t have plans for Cinco De Mayo or you are tired of the typically mobbed parties at the local Jose Tejas. GET YOUR TICKETS HERE: http://thegramercytheatre.com/event/000048677B6062DE

Off My Chest: An Entry from the Journal of The Wicked Witch of the West

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Let’s face it, I really didn’t care about my sister…I just wanted her slippers.

My old whiskered swab brought me to a nauseatingly vibrant village where I was greeted by a bunch of no good, pint sized pygmys who called themselves Munchkins. I grabbed one, took a bite out of its fleshy arm, and discovered that they didn’t taste half as good as their famed doughnut counterparts. “Who killed my sister, who killed the Witch of the East?

A shimmer from my sisters ruby slippers caught my eye. I glided over to the remnants of the house to see her mangled legs were only discernible thanks to her magical moccasins. Where did sis find these hideously ugly shoes? My entire wardrobe consists of black cloaks and dresses, so I doubt I’d ever be able to coordinate a full ensemble with these putrid looking things, but damn are they powerful! In this case I could easily forgo the fashion faux pas. I wouldn’t want them falling onto the wrong feet, so I crouched down to retrieve the crimson clogs, BUT WAIT…THEY DISAPPEARED! Great Caesar’s Ghost! How could this happen?

My head jerked back to see a young girl holding a mongrel, prancing around like a solid gold dancer who just got new shoes at Buster Browns. She was wearing the ruby slippers! My face turned brown with anger, you see, it turned brown because obviously my face is green and mixed with the red from the anger I turned brown. You get the picture right? The warts on my face nearly exploded puss everywhere (from the anger).

The strong scent of Bath & Body Works Fresh Linen soared up my enormously large nostrils. I knew that meant it was my old arch enemy, Glinda The Good Witch, the undying thorn in my side. What an ostentatious entrance. Glinda was nice enough to remind me to be cautious or someone might drop a house on me. Little did I know that if I only trademarked the words that were about to slither out of my mouth I wouldn’t still be paying the steep mortgage payments on my castle in Winkie country. “I’ll get you my pretty, and your little dog too!” Somewhere the Demon himself, Gene Simmons, is cringing at the immeasurable loss of yearly income.

I scoped out the sky for any rogue flying houses, then did the vroom vroom on the broom broom. I planned to pounce on the wretched trollop Dorothy’s plan to see the stupid fraud Wizard of Oz. Wouldn’t it be funny if they arrived in OZ and they were closed like when the Griswold’s went to Wally World? I was sure a field of pre-poisoned poppy flowers would subdue them. In a slick move, those misfits slipped Dorothy a Vivarin to make sure she was alert. Once they made it to my haunted forest, a squadron of my flying monkeys hoisted them back to my lair. Remind me to give them a raise since they did such a bang up job on this project.

Back in my chamber I tried to take the ruby slippers off of Dorothy’s feet, but I was electrocuted! There must be some kickass security system on those things. As a last resort, threatening to murder a little girls dog is always the way to go in a dire situation. I dare you to try and capture that mangy mutt, it’s damn near impossible! Toto ran off and lead the rest of Dorothy’s crew right to her and then shit was about to go down! Scarecrow tried to mess with me so I set his arm on fire.

Dorothy threw water at Scarecrow to put out the fire, but it hit me instead! At first I figured, hey it’s only water, right? Until I started to melt. I mean literally melt like Velveeta on nachos in the microwave, except nowhere near as tasty. Come to think of it, I looked more like guacamole. What’s amazing about how this whole thing turned out is that I was lucky enough to escape any trace of water in my life previous to that moment. Raindrops never fell on my head (cause I wear a hat), I guess I’ve always stepped around puddles as not to get my feet wet, was never pelted with a super soaker, or hit with a water balloon. Swimming was a no go, I don’t have sweat glands, and I’ve obviously never brushed my teeth or took a shower because I was that f-cking wicked.

Kerri Green is September’s Garden State Playmate!

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“ANDI…YOU GOONIE!” is a quote permanently etched into our brains thanks to that cheap guy Troy, but you may not be as familiar with the actress who played our favorite cheerleader, Andi Carmichael, Kerri Green. Green is best known for a handful of classic ’80s films such as Lucas, Summer Rental, and her signature role in The Goonies. As September’s Garden State Playmate, Green has prime eligibility since she was born in Fort Lee, NJ and went to high school in Montvale, NJ.

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Green’s IMDB will tell you that she’s starred in episodes of Mad About You, ER, and Law and Order, but does any of that matter? She could’ve quit acting after The Goonies because she made a lasting impression as the sweet cheerleader next door who made me wish it was me accidentally kissing her in that cave instead of Mikey. At the time The Goonies came out, I was a little kid and Andi was the typical older high school girl who may have hung around with my older sister.
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Green didn’t just portray Andi as the cute teenaged cheerleader. She was innocent, yet tough at the same time. One second she’s screaming and scared shitless, and the next she’s scolding Troy that she’ll smack him in the face and later bragging about how she elbowed his lip. Also, in a subtle nod to Judy Garland’s Dorothy, vulnerable Andi whined that she wasn’t a Goonie and she wanted to go home, but she can still organize the shit out of a victory pyramid. Kerri Green can play my bones any day.

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**On a side note, a big thank you to Troy for planting the idea in my young male brain that you need not be perverse to see some crotch, you just need to be crafty. So, thank you Troy Perkins for teaching us, NAY, the WORLD, the old Rear View Mirror Upskirt Move.

New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments Vol. 21: Jason Takes New Jersey!

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Nothing would have broken my listlessness upon hearing the news that one of my favorite horror franchises would be getting the goldigging Hollywood reboot. At that point, not even Jason Voorhees stabbing me through my brain couldn’t have elicited a response from me. In fact, Jason himself could’ve launched himself out of Crystal Lake, jogged to my condo, crashed through my window, and took off his hockey mask and told me personally that Michael Bay would be bringing him to life once again and I would’ve shook my head somberly with a question mark floating over my head. I have to accept that remakes are and always will be a fact of life, and I have to take the good and take the bad like Tootie did.
That’s right folks, we must gauge the threat level of all these ridiculous remakes, prequels, and reboots. My lack of enthusiasm level was at SEVERE when I first heard the news of the Friday the 13th reboot, but after seeing the film, the level dropped to a breezy blue which is merely referred to as GUARDED. What was one of the reasons for the decrease? Why of course it was the fact that the filmmakers didn’t ignore the original film’s New Jersey roots!
Originally, I read on several websites that the new F13 would not be filmed in New Jersey, but in Texas. My mind conjured up the idea that this new version would reference Texas as the new home of Camp Crystal Lake, which worried me to the point where I didn’t even want to see the film. It wasn’t much of a stretch since the filmmakers may have wanted to pay tribute to Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I was appreciative when I saw the scene where the gang drives to a convenience store for some gas and munchies. Their black Escalade was all duked out in a couple of New Jersey license plates! I felt like 3PO after an oil bath.

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I can’t speak for the legions of fans of Freddy and Jason, but personally I cringe at the fact that movies from my youth have been primped and given cute little bows like when the Cowardly Lion was turned into a sweet little girl after a makeover in the Wizard of Oz. What little bit of ferocity he exuded was depleted right at that moment. At one time, ’80s horror franchises had more in common with the Scarecrow. After a while he kept losing his hay and stuffing, and if he didn’t get re-stuffed he wouldn’t survive. I suppose if Freddy didn’t start wearing cool sunglasses on the beach, playing video games, and uttering cringeworthy puns that made Robin the Boy Wonder seem like he was doing amateur night at the Stress Factory in New Brunswick, NJ, then maybe the Nightmare on Elm Street series would’ve died after Dream Warriors. Jason Voorhees was the wiser of the two since he packed up his shit and went into space! He knew that only something that outlandish would spell certain doom for his series. While not completely horrible, 2009’s Friday the 13th could have been more memorable, but it was a satisfying film, and it gave NJ the props it deserved.

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is from New Jersey!

This year’s 8-ton Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is from Hamilton, New Jersey! Jeez,the tree is going up already? Seriously? I’m still reeling from Halloween! How The Grinch Stole Christmas and The Wizard of Oz aired on TBS last night. I’m not prepared. I guess it’s time to kick my Christmas spirit into gear.

The Wonderful Parking Garage of Oz

Many people dislike stories that sound too “coincidental” because they seem preposterous. There’s been a few times that I got pegged for making up stories like Chunk in the Goonies but I assure you that I wouldn’t waste my time writing about these instances unless they were entirely 100% true.

“Who would make up a story like that?” – Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) in Ghostbusters.

It was a almost a month ago when I decided to relax, have some dinner, and watch a dvd. That night I was in the mood for Scorcese’s After Hours since I hadn’t watched it since I was young. That’s the kind of movie I like. It’s a film that doesn’t really have too much of a plot, it’s more about the string of events that happen to the main character. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in it. It’s similar to Desperately Seeking Susan (also starring Arquette!) where the bored housewife inadvertently gets tangled up in another woman’s life. Being in these bizarre situations always turns out to be entertaining, but I wish my life occasionally took on excitement like that. In the past I’ve often written about how nothing exciting ever happened where I grew up. I’ve even had dreams of having exciting things happen in my neighborhood because my subconscious must’ve been so starved for excitement! I guess watching After Hours appeals to my desire to have more personal excitement.

The following photo doesn’t really elude to having something “exciting” happen to me, but it can definitely be classified as weird!

Either the person who did this was a huge Wizard of Oz fan or this is a piss poor attempt at graffiti. The building I work in has a massive amount of underground parking. For the most part it’s kept clean, and there’s not much to worry about when you head to your car. There’s not a lot of shady stuff going since the security is super high. About 2 days after I watched After Hours I walked through an area of the parking garage that I rarely ever traverse. I had to escort a visitor to a section of the lot that isn’t as jam packed with cars. Out of nowhere I looked over at one of the concrete columns and I squinted my eyes in disbelief. I was momentarily shocked at what I saw scrawled on this column: “Surrender Dorothy” was written in an extremely random fashion. There must’ve been a hundred columns in this bi-level parking garage and none of the other columns had any graffiti or markings on them.

I immediately told my friend Steve about this weird coincidence. “OK, what’s the big deal Jay?…It’s from Wizard of Oz!” I knew full well that the wicked witch wrote that in the sky to freak Dorothy out. “No man! I just watched After Hours!” Steve didn’t quite grasp my correlation, so I almost spelled it out for him in the sky. “You see Steve….” Marcy, Rosanna Arquette’s character, told a story about her husband. He was obsessed with Wizard of Oz and when they had sex on their wedding night he would scream Surrender Dorothy every time he came. “Instead of saying something normal like, “Oh, God,” or something normal like that.” – Marcy

What does this all mean? Well if I knew the answer to that then I wouldn’t have posted this entry. Out of all the thought provoking stuff you could tag on a concrete column! Off the top of my head “Dan was here ’87” was always popular. Oh, and I can’t leave out the Slayer logo. It’s very possible this person was simply a hardcore Wizard of Oz fanatic or they worked for the Wicked Witch and they were just letting us all know that her spirit is still hunting Dorothy. Another scenario is that the person could’ve been a huge After Hours fan and it’s been there since the movie came out in 1985. Perhaps it was a guy and he had just seen the film. He was getting some oral action while leaning against the column and decided to carve Surrender Dorothy into the pole as he completed his mission. Maybe back in ’85 there were some people who actually started yelling that as they reached their moment of bliss?

Here’s a couple of other entries relating to my weird but true “coincidental” stories.

“Yesterday”: An Unexplained Occurence

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That Fence Has a HUGE Bush!

15 Things That Scared The Shit Out Of Me as a Kid

What’s your worst nightmare? That’s always been a topic of conversation that everyone has an answer to. For me, being buried alive is my absolute worst nightmare, but I don’t even have recurring dreams about it or anything, I just get crazy with the thought of it. I wouldn’t consider myself a true claustrophobic but I once bugged out in an Irish pub because it was too crowded and I was feeling faint and having loss of breath. But that’s neither here nor there. A bridge breaking and falling into the ocean while I’m driving on it seems to scare me a lot too. (Think Mothman Prophecies)

As a kid, I was scared by very specific things. This is a list of various scary things and as I outline them for you, keep in mind I was just a little kid. As a fun Halloween activity for you and your family, make some pumpkin cookies, play a round of Parcheesi and then see you if you can come up with 10 things that scared you as a child. I was kidding about that last part, unless Michael Jackson molested you, then you should definitely tell someone.

15. The Wheelers from Return to Oz – This highly disregarded sequel to Wizard of Oz was actually more inspired by the L. Frank Baum Oz stories than the original Oz movie itself. So if you want to see a more faithful version, then see Return to Oz. And if you do watch it, do it just because it’s Disney’s bastard child. They shunned it and pretended it wasn’t even theirs for like 10 years. Now that they realize it’s a good movie they decided to make some cash on it, and NOW you can find it on DVD. If you like headless women, crumbling stone cities, pumpkin heads, and shock therapy then this movie is for you! There’s even a flying contraption made from a couch, even Martha Stewart couldn’t have created that. Well, maybe now that she’s got a lot of time on her hands, who knows what she could accomplish.

14. Flying MonkeysOk, I know that I already mentioned the sequel, but my first experience with anxiety came from these wacky monkeys. It only made things worse that they worked for a green faced wicked witch. All of it together really made me uneasy.

13. Large Marge from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure – You may think it sounds stupid, and it really wasn’t scary but this scene used to freak me out. When Marge is telling the story you know her face is gonna go ballistic soon, so I think it’s the anticipation that got to me. Go ahead into your local watering hole and tell ‘em Large Marge sent ya. I-mockery has a great animated .gif toward the bottom of the linked article.

12. Ghosts from Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion Ride – To the average person and even children these ghouls aren’t the least bit scary. Heck, some of them serenade us! But they are ghosts for a reason, and they are there to haunt. The ride has a definite creepy atmosphere. Because of the light blue tinge that the scarier ghosts had to them, I named them the “Blue Guys”. One of the most frightening moments of my childhood came when a ghost appeared to be sitting next to my mother and I on the ride. I wrote Disneyland because that was where I had my first experience on the ride. Linked is the best site for the Haunted Mansion, DoomBuggies.com.

11. Clue Video Board Game – Playing the game Clue wasn’t scary, but if you were fortunate enough to have the first edition of the video board game, you got to enjoy a “made strictly for the game” CLUE movie. It wasn’t as silly as the original CLUE movie, it was pretty eerie, and narrated by the butler. You played along after watching sections of the film. It was the game I played with my sister on stormy days.

10. The Intro to Tales From The Darkside the TV show – It still sends chills up and down my spine ’til this day. The narrator was so spooky, and the visuals were so eerie. “Man lives in the sunlit world of what he believes to be reality. But… there is, unseen by most, an underworld, a place that is just as real, but not as brightly lit… a Darkside.” See if you can YouTube it, it’s worth watching. Don’t watch it when you’re tired and half falling asleep though because then you might have to throw your pants in the washer.

9. The Lost Boys – I can almost hear you through the computer saying that any movie with the 2 Corey’s can’t be that scary. I don’t care what people say, they were the shit in the 80’s. If you really get into this movie, it is frightening. A cult of vampires terrorizing the new guy. The movie was made with style, and a good budget so it is light years beyond other films that have similar plots. It also has great makeup, effects, and comic relief. The finale is awesome, and so is the scene where the vampires are surrounding the house and trying to grab Michael. To think it was directed by Joel “I fucked Batman in the butt” Shumacher, this movie is far from gay. Well, except for Tim Capello (the jacked guy in the band who was all oiled up singing and playing the sax.)

8. A Nightmare on Elm Street – The 1st installment was chilling. The Music, the house, the little girls with the jump rope singing “1,2 Freddy’s coming for you” terrified me as a child. But I loved it. I couldn’t get enough. Nowadays it doesn’t hold up well from a SFX standpoint, but the part where Freddy elongates his arms out really got to me. Now it’s almost laughable. But Freddy still rocks. He should have totally been the clear cut winner in Freddy vs. Jason.

7. Lady In White – (movie from 1988) Ok, Ok, Mona from Who’s The Boss wasn’t scary, more like the annoying mother in law. But then again, I’d rather Mona then Angela, now she was obnoxious. Plus Mona had that sly sense of humor which is sexy when not used against you. In this spooky story, Mona played a ghost and when she struck she looked scary. After I saw it, she haunted me every time I closed my eyes.

6. Psycho – The first time we actually see Anthony Perkins in drag with the knife in his hand as he’s about to spaz out. It was my first experience seeing a transvestite, way before I saw Rocky Horror. I was perplexed as to why such a scary, nerve racking movie like Psycho would end that way. As I grew up, I came to appreciate the horror in transvestites.

5. Darth Vader – Never before has a character been created who emanated such a presence, one I haven’t felt since…since the last time I watched the movie! You feel like you are in his presence when his scenes come around. It’s freaky. You can feel Luke’s fearfulness along with him as Vader approaches. Two scenes come to mind: In Empire, when Luke is on Degobah and has the imaginary encounter with him, as well as in Jedi when Vader activates Luke’s new saber. I almost shat.

4. Snow on a TV screen – In the 50’s I bet no one ever thought that a fuzzy screen on a TV might spell certain dreadful doom. Poltergeist is to blame for giving me the willies. As a child I would watch videotapes late at night and fall asleep only to wake up to snow on the screen because the tape finished and rewound itself. It was easy to start believing that there was ghosts in the screen especially if you stared at it for a while.

3. Halloween – The shot where Jamie Lee Curtis is looking out the window and Michael Myers is standing in between the sheets hanging on the clothesline and then POOF, he’s gone just like Houdini and shit. That’s one of the best scenes in the film. Rob Zombie alluded to it in his remake.

2. Gene Simmons of KISS – I know what you’re thinking. Jay ties everything in his life back to KISS. Well, yeah I guess I do. But that face, and that blood! When you are 5 years old, you don’t give a rats ass about the music, you just see the album covers and this demonic face staring back at you. I didn’t understand that they were wearing costumes, I though they really looked like that. What a silly boy. What started out as a little misunderstanding turned into a fixation.

1. End of Michael Jackson’s Thriller video – When MJ flashes those scary yellow eyes. I hope he doesn’t do that to the children when he’s done with them, that would be plain wrong. This really disturbed me for years. I know the Thriller video used to be #1 on every MTV top 100 countdown but it really freaked me out along with Vincent Price’s maniacal laughter. I used to think that a werewolf lived on the top shelf of my closet and when I opened the closet all I saw was those yellow eyes staring down at me. I think it was all because of being terrified of werewolves. Not Universal’s “Wolf-Man” but scarier ones. Like the TV show called “Werewolf” from 1986. It horrified me when I was a kid. I saw a copy of a few episodes recently and now it just doesn’t hold up. It was a completely awful show and not scary by today’s standards, but pretty frightening for a 6 year old. Nowadays werewolves don’t scare me unless they’re real.

I know what you’re probably saying, “I don’t think any of these things are scary” or “there’s so many more scarier things.” Well, we all have our own things that horrify us so let me know yours!!