PURPLE STUFF PODCAST: MICHAEL MYERS MISHMASH!

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We’re back with a new Purple Stuff Podcast for your Halloween season. This episode couldn’t be more appropriate. At least from my view, the one thing I’m laser focused on this season is the new Halloween movie. It’s not every year we get to experience an event like this. Witnessing the return to form of one of the most famous horror icons of all time, Michael Myers, deserves a commemorative podcast devoted to  this momentous occasion.

Previously on the Purple Stuff Podcast, in terms of horror, we’ve covered the franchises of Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street. We’ve been waiting for the right time to talk about the Halloween Franchise and considering that the new Halloween film hits theaters in October, now is the perfect time for this.

In this episode, you’ll hear Matt and I discuss the most random Halloween stuff. You can hear deep dives into the films and commentaries on each movie anywhere, so we are bringing you the things that linger around in the “Halloween Franchise” section of our brains. Yes, we do have that section up there and now you will have direct access to hearing about it. We’ll discuss everything from the insanely disturbing mask scene from Halloween III to absolutely whacked out posters and weird decorations inspired by the films. Some of the entries aren’t even from the actual films, but wouldn’t exist without Michael Myers or the Halloween movies. If you’re a fan of the Halloween films, this show is a must listen.

We’re super excited to see the new installment so hopefully our new episode will get you juiced up for the movie also. Let is inspire you to pull out your favorite installments of the franchise and maybe watch it with the commentary this time! Dig a little deeper to absorb all the weird inconsequential details that potentially change the way you think about certain aspects of these films. That’s certainly something I do often since I’ve seen these films hundreds of times throughout my life. Most horror films I grew up watching would be rentals and it always felt like such a big event to take one home, regardless of the fact that I saw them all already. That’s one of the most fun things about this time of year. You can re-experience things you’ve seen or heard a thousand times, but they still feel new, yet nostalgic at the same time.

If you have any memories or favorite aspects of the Halloween franchise that you would like to share here, please leave a comment below! Thanks for reading and listening. You can hear this one on iTunes, Podbean, and Stitcher. Sharing the show on social media is the best way to help support the show. Tell your like minded friends about The Purple Stuff Podcast so they can join in on all the nonsense with us as well!

The Sexy Armpit visits Blood Manor New York City’s Premier Haunted Attraction

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Zombie Girl: Come see me later and I’ll give you a Brazilian on your head.
Jay: No, I’m gonna give you a Brazilian!
Zombie Girl: Too late!

This was an exchange I had with just one of the many wickedly costumed dwellers of Blood Manor whom I encountered as they lurked about at Home the swank club/lounge underneath the haunted attraction. I’ve heard of New York City’s Blood Manor before but I never experienced it. While at the Monster Mania Con I noticed a bunch of postcards ads for it on a vendor table. The Sexy Armpit was lucky enough to enjoy the special press preview of Blood Manor. The building is closer to Penn Station than I realized and it only took about 10-15 minutes to walk there from MSG. (542 W. 27th Street) I have to hand it to the organizers of this attraction since they truly built up my anticipation and curiosity as to what kind of terror I’d find within the walls of Blood Manor. If you’re saying to yourself “But Jay, it’s a haunted house, if you’ve been in one, you’ve been in them all.” Then you simply have not experienced the better ones. Blood Manor is one of the best I’ve been through.

For a Thursday night this was a formidable graveyard smash. Filing in were the super cool hip and trendy group of TV, radio, and print folks with their ultra fashionable messenger bags. (I packed light a cell phone and ice breakers) We all assembled in the sleek Home lounge while enjoying drinks from the bar and watching scenes from horror films on the large drop down screen. It was like a Disney character breakfast except for it being evil, twisted, in the evening, lacking breakfast food, and no shortage of Vodka. That’s smart, give your visitors a bunch of cocktails and then let them loose in a haunted house where they’ll no doubt be so scared and disoriented that they’ll piss themselves. I love it when a plan comes together! The bartender thought he was Ashton Kutcher and he even had one of those plastic hair bands holding his long hair back. You need to remember, this is New York we’re talking about…everyone wishes they lived in L.A but they’re all really from Jersey.

My friend Steve and I were about to sit down on a leather bench until the moment we realized we wouldn’t be doing much relaxing. All of a sudden a freaky fellow welcomed the crew to Blood Manor and began rapping “The Blood Manor Theme Song” which was actually an awesome song with a hip hop vibe to it. It definitely begs to be a part of the Halloween playlist on my iPod. Just as the song started blaring, Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, Leatherface, Samara, and a host of other characters made their presence known by greeting each and every person in the lounge by scaring the bejesus out of them. Freddy Krueger kept clinking the blades of his gloves together by my ears and telling me in that slithery voice of his that I was an easy target, which was a correct assumption since he successfully startled me numerous times throughout the night. Later, a little gothic girl who reminded me of one of those living dead dolls came over and stared at us with her huge innocent eyes as if she was confused as to why we just murdered her entire family. We actually didn’t murder her fam but she sure as hell made it seem like we did! The actors did not break character once and their costumes and makeup were exceptional. The oddities continued haunting us until the first group was let into the elevator and finally brought into Blood Manor.

Going into too much detail about the specific rooms inside of Blood Manor would spoil your experience. But I’m feeling generous so I’ll give you a few teasers: The Electrocution is sickeningly realistic, you also may want to reconsider your appointment for that makeover at the beauty parlor, you’ll feel like you’re in another world in the 3-D room with surreal blacklight murals all over the walls, then there’s the Saw room, and of course the boiler room. There are some genuinely unsettling parts of the walk through. The actors do a helluva job of freaking you out without touching you or doing anything crazy. If you’re like me, you’ll probably be more taken aback by some of the unexpected scares rather than the blatant ones. Some of the most fun moments come when you’re unsure of where you’re going in complete darkness. I must say that the finale is the best part. If you make it that far…

Once you’re out of Blood Manor alive, it feels like it didn’t take very long to get through. This might be the “I had so much fun effect” where you’re having such a good time that you had no concept of time or it’s just over too quickly (insert sex joke here). Infusing some good old fashioned carnival simplicity might do the trick. One way the attraction could improve is by possibly adding in a few different transitional areas without actors in between the main rooms. Doing that would make the ride longer as well as calm your senses a bit before you get the shit scared out of you by some of the actors again. These rooms could be just for viewing only and they don’t need to be elaborate. Another aspect that Blood Manor and other haunted houses lack is the presence of ghosts. With all the concentration on such iconic and recognizable horror movie characters, a simple eerie light show projecting some apparitions might work perfectly. Not everything has to be so “in your face.” Ghosts are spooky, just think back to the first time you saw one sitting in your cart the first time you went on the Haunted Mansion ride in Disney.

Blood Manor capped off an amusing night filled with scares, adult beverages, and me almost breaking my nose. In addition to it’s proximity to Penn Station, Blood Manor will not take a big chunk out of your night. Go ahead, plan a night out in New York but if I were you, I’d make Blood Manor you’re first destination rather than you’re last mwahahahaha!!!

Haunted Hayride of Terror

With Halloween approaching I realized that I’ve never been on a haunted hayride before and that needed to change. On Friday night we headed down to Marlboro N.J to check out the “Haunted Hayride of Terror” and the Haunted barn. It was a cool autumn night and there were a lot of people showing up to get scared which reminded me of how Halloween should be!

If you think to yourself “How is a barn going to be scary?” There were no slaughtered hens or pigs scattered all over the place, but they did the place up nice. It was no Castle Dracula or the Haunted Houses you remember from your youth, but it had a spooky atmosphere. We wandered through the dark “barn” and finally came to a spinning tunnel through which we walked across a swaying catwalk. The spinning tunnel was a great effect and I enjoyed the feeling although if I stayed in there I felt the small glass of Jim Beam I had earlier in the night might’ve came up. We saw the usual setups, like the exorcist, and the crypt keeper. We also passed by skeleton pirates and at the end there was a real masked midget that jumped out at us who was doing a grand job of keeping still so we didn’t know he was real. There was no feeling of impending danger but the different animatronic setups were a throwback. It’s a little much when your walking through a local haunted attraction and all you encounter around corners are teenage kids donning various horror movie masks. To me that’s never scary. We did witness those exact kids when we went on the hayride.

After the barn a mess of people hopped on a big tractor that sat everyone on bails of hay which were actually comfortable. There were torches to light the way of the tractor driver as he slowly drove us through the woods. Scattered about the woods were various scary setups, some with live actors and some with fake bodies or skeletons. The live costumed actors would actually jump up onto the tractor and come try and scare each of us. One of the guys had a chainsaw, while another dressed like Michael Myers. At the end of the ride we stopped to take some “wacky” pictures of ourselves in the cardboard stand ups of Frankenstein and the Phantom of the Opera etc.

Film Review: Rob Zombie’s Halloween

I thought Rob Zombie might have overplayed his hand. Halloween hit theaters today and I was excited and intrigued by getting the chance to learn about Michael Myers back-story. Was the decision to delve into this killers past too risky? Would giving away too much of his early life make him less scary? At first, I thought it might have taken away from the big question mark that was Michael Myers. After all, Myer’s largely undefined past helps make him the ominous character he is. In this film it’s the realism of the character that makes him terrifying.

As I watched the plot develop it made so much sense when I understood where director Rob Zombie decided to go with the character. You may be a little bewildered by the mannerisms and unmanly behavior on the young Myers because he’s a character we know to be such a monster. All I can say is…have some patience. Early in the film we get to see so much striking footage of a young and messed up Michael Myers. I don’t want to give too much away, but he does some deranged things as a child and winds up in the mental institution where he’s cared for by Dr. Loomis (Malcolm McDowell). Loomis starts out long haired and youthful and as the film progresses we see Loomis in a more modern sense. (On a side note I left the theater and hopped in my car, only to have a white van with the company name of LOOMIS slapped right on the side of it!) The film advances periodically by one year and 10 year increments and then to the present. I enjoyed the jumps as it added not only to the sense of the plot but also the pacing.

Zombie used his “starting lineup.” You’ll see everyone from Sid Haig to Police Academy’s Sgt. Debbie Callahan! Bill Moseley turns up again and there’s even a cameo from The Monkee’s Micky Dolenz! Zombie’s wife Sherri Moon, who’s not playing Baby Firefly this time, turns in a potent performance as Michael Myers mother. For the past few months I’ve also been anticipating seeing Danielle Harris since she played Jamie in Halloween 4 & 5. Harris plays Laurie’s friend Annie. Annie’s a hot little number who has the honor of uttering one of the best lines an actress can ever say…“Ya wanna fuck me?” Harris’ delivery of that line will be ingrained in my head forever now. What is it with Zombie’s stuff that sticks in my head? I always have Baby’s line from House of 1,000 Corpses in my head: “You know we like to get fucked up?” And in White Zombie’s Thunderkiss ‘65 “I never try anything, I just do it. Want to try me?” Don’t be surprised if Harris’ “Ya wanna fuck me” sound byte turns up in one of Zombie’s songs. Hell I’d purposely write a song just as an excuse to use that sound byte. Ahh, Harris was such an innocent little girl. Now she’s topless and skanking it up for the majority of her performance. I love it. My one gripe is that all of the rumors lead me to believe that Sheri Moon was going to get naked but it didn’t happen. She does a stripping scene so I’m assuming there’s going to be an unrated DVD coming out with that scene extended for horn dogs like me. I had to settle for all the rest of the girls getting naked. It wasn’t so bad.

One of my favorite scenes that I think you should look out for is when Laurie and her friends are discussing the babysitting plan in order for Annie to be able to see her boyfriend. At that point Laurie sees Michael Myers standing by a tree staring at them for a moment. This scene is very reminiscent of a scene in the original film. Very creepy. Not to sound cliché but the finale is pretty damn pulse pounding. I was genuinely on the edge of my seat. Zombie did a fantastic job at reinventing Myers as a scary dude again.
If you didn’t enjoy House of 1,000 Corpses or The Devil’s Rejects and you’re worried about Zombie slashing the Halloween franchise to pieces don’t be scared! Zombie superbly captures the essence of the Halloween series while making it relevant again. The only thing I dread more than hiding from Michael Myers in an abandoned house is the thought of what producers are going to do with the franchise next. Zombie claims that he will not be part of any sequel or continuation, so this is a one time thing for him. Other horror films like Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Omen have been “re-imagined” but there’s no comparison. This version of Halloween is freakin’ phenomenal.