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
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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!
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.
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?
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!
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!
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!
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!