Wednesday, October 31, 2012

31 Days of Halloween: A Photographic Essay of A Halloween Party

Side Note: Before you waste time with this, go and listen to my excellent Halloween podcast – Earth Station Boo – with the ESO crew, Mark Maddox, Stephen Platinum, and Eddie Cadaver of The Casket Creatures. It’s awesome!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

31 Days of Halloween: Disaster Strikes! In the form of WWE '13...

No real post today. I was playing WWE '13 all night. So far it's so much fun and extremely awesome. I made this:

Monday, October 29, 2012

31 Days of Halloween: My Favorite Foreign Zombie Movies

Side Note: Before you waste time with this, go and listen to my excellent Halloween podcast – Earth Station Boo – with the ESO crew, Mark Maddox, Stephen Platinum, and Eddie Cadaver of The Casket Creatures. It’s awesome!

I hadn’t planned on doing this, but after recognizing American excellence in zombie movies I felt I owed it to the rest of the world to take a look at their contributions. After all, several of the movies on this list would have made it into at least the top ten on the other list.

Friday, October 26, 2012

31 Days of Halloween: My Favorite American Zombie Movies

Okay, this time I did plan things.
I had two reasons to do another dreaded Top Whatever list: First, I made a comment on Facebook a few weeks ago in response to a TopThirteen Zombie Movies list on You should go check that out, then come back here.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

31 Days of Halloween: Out Of Time!

Shit. I knew this would happen. I just don't have time to do anything, really. So here's a list of links my favorite posts from past years, followed by my SyFy stuff:

Phantom Troublemaker vs. 31 Days of Halloween

If you’re new here or haven’t been keeping up, this is where I give my thoughts on SyFy’s “31 days of Halloween” programming. Obviously I haven’t seen everything I’ll be talking about, but that’s kind of what the internet is all about – talking out of your ass. 

Each day I will cover the schedule from the time my post goes live (usually 11 AM) through the following 24 hours. On Fridays I will cover the whole weekend, which is a huge pain in the ass but also kind of fun.

Side Note: Nothing but trailers today. I'll be back tomorrow with the weekend stuff, though!

11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Halloween score – 5
Quality score – 2

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Halloween score – 5
Quality score – 3

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM 

Halloween score –5
Quality score – 4

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM 

Halloween score – 5
Quality score – 3

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM 

Halloween score - 5
Quality score – 4
9:00 PM – 11:30 PM


Halloween score - 5
Quality score – 5

11:30 PM – 1:30 AM
I will say that this one looks very worthwhile.

Halloween score - 5
Quality score –4


1:30 AM – 3:30 AM


Halloween score – 4
Quality score – 4
3:30 AM – 5:30 AM


Halloween score – 4
Quality score – 3

5:30 AM – 6:00 AM

Halloween score – 5
Quality score – 2
6:00 AM – 8:00 AM – Paid Programming

Halloween score – 1
Quality score – 5 (for paying the bills)
8:00 AM – 9:30 AM

Halloween score – 3
Quality score – 3

9:30 AM – 11:30 AM - A Nightmare On Elm Street 2 Again
Halloween score – 5
Quality score – 3

Come back tomorrow for ZOMBIES!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

31 Days of Halloween: 13 Questions With Beau Eadon of Southern Gothic Revival

I was pretty sure Southern Gothic Revival was going to be yet another metal band. Don’t get me wrong – I love metal. I always have. But there are only so many local metal bands you can really get behind, you know?
I first met Beau’s wife, Sally, back when we both worked at Wherehouse Music. Sally is literally the nicest person you will ever meet in your life. I am not being hyperbolic. I have never met anybody as sweet as that lady. We worked together for a little while before I transferred stores and I maybe ran into her a couple times after that.
A few years later it turned out Mrs. Troublemaker knew Sally and we ended up hanging out with her and Beau. Beau was in a band and Beau kind of looks like a metal guy, so I resisted checking out this “Southern Gothic Revival” for a while. Then, one night when I was tooling around the internet, I finally decided to watch this:

Whoa. That’s awesome. And decidedly not metal. Or punk, for that matter.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

31 Days of Halloween: Le Sexoflex’s Slumber Party Massacre

This one originally started out as a little history of how I came to love the funky ball of tits (and dongs) from outer space known as Le Sexoflex.
Side note: If you don’t get that reference, you really need to Google “funky ball of tits from outer space”.
But, much like the mighty cock when confronted by cosplay pictures from Dragon*Con, that post grew out of control and became its own entity. I’ll be holding onto that one, Tantric style, waiting for just the right moment to release and douse you all with wordy goodness.
Today I’m just going to talk about the awesome experience of finally getting to see Le Sexoflex perform live, as well as meeting a few of them.

Monday, October 22, 2012

31 Days of Halloween: Creepy Toy Review – Prometheus Engineer - Chair Suit By NECA

I liked Ridley Scott’s Prometheus a whole lot the first time I saw it.
It is by no means a perfect movie. I’m honestly not even sure I can call it a great movie. But it is a massive spectacle with a bunch of interesting characters, some beautiful cinematography, and some interesting themes. I am still thinking about Prometheus and what was actually going on in that movie.

Friday, October 19, 2012

31 Days of Halloween: My Favorite Vampire Movies

I realized the other day that I haven’t done any Top Tens (or whatever) yet. I developed this aversion to Top Ten lists a couple of years ago and have been consciously avoiding them for a while now. It just seems like a cheap post and I don’t ever want to rely on them too much.
But from time to time I think they’re perfectly okay, particularly when presented as part of a larger whole. So today I’m going to return to the world of Top (whatevers) and tell you about what I think are the very best vampire movies.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

31 Days of Halloween: Creepy Toy Review – S.L.U.G. Zombies Series 3 By JAKKS Pacific

So now we’re up the third series of Scary Little Ugly Guys. From what I’ve seen they seem to be doing well at retail. There are a lot of toy lines that sort of stagnate a bit. The same pegs at stores have the same figures arranged in the same way every time you go in. But the SLUG Zombies always seem to have moved. Whether it’s the 3-packs on the pegs or the 12-pack coffins on the shelves, these little toys appear to be doing all right.
That’s a good thing because they’re pretty awesome.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

31 Days of Halloween: 13 Questions With Alucard

I met these guys at the Calabrese show at Dragon*Con this year.
They’ve got tattoos all over their necks and hands and everything and I thought they looked like stabbing enthusiasts, so I kept my distance. Bot not too much, because this was Dragon*Con and everybody’s cool there and also because there was no way I was going to be anywhere but right up front.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

31 Days of Halloween: Creepy Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Dragon Blaster Skeletor By Mattel

I’m going to cheat a little bit and call this guy a Halloween review so he doesn’t slip too far back like Sir Laser-Lot already has. And I’m not cheating too badly, because I just couldn’t find a way to justify throwing a Mekanek review in here. Even with my snazzy Halloween background.
Besides, I think having a skull for a head and a vicious dragon that looks more than a little bit like a THINGS chained to your back qualifies you.
I definitely didn’t have a Dragon Blaster Skeletor when I was a kid. I didn’t have a very large Masters of the Universe collection and I certainly didn’t have any of the variants of He-Man or his nemesis. It’s part of what makes me kind of happy to see these come out now – they’re relatively new variants to me. I mean, of course I knew of them; but I’ve never had a version in hand before.
This was one I was looking forward to getting. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I was stoked, but the dragon factor definitely got me more excited than I was for, say, Thun-Derp-Unch He-Man. And once again there were just enough new and different pieces to make this guy feel fresh.
Okay, I didn’t go into it the other day in my Black Mask review, but my September order from Mattycollector got me really fired up.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Special BONUS Non-Halloween Post: Matty's Castle Grayskull

Side Note: Consider this an extra since I didn’t have a proper post earlier today. I just wanted to tell Mrs. Troublemaker I love her. This might be kind of brief; I’m not sure yet. If you’re looking for the SyFy programming stuff, scroll down to the next post.
I felt like I should respond to the Castle Grayskull announcement before it officially goes up for preorder tomorrow. Because I’m sure you’re all waiting for my opinion before you decide whether or not to commit.

31 Days of Halloween: Happy Anniversary, Mrs. Troublemaker!

Seven years ago today I made my wife the luckiest woman in the world.
Well, I guess she’d tell you that moment came two years and twelve days later when our son was born, but I’m sure October 15, 2005 is a close second.

Friday, October 12, 2012

31 Days of Halloween: Darkman

Though I did not know it at the time, Darkman was the movie that made me fall in love with Sam Raimi.
The movie was released in 1990 in the wake of Batman, though Raimi had been working on it for a few years. He had wanted very badly to write and direct a movie about Batman or The Shadow, but couldn’t get the rights to either of those. So he decided to write his own superhero.

I feel positive I saw this in the theater, but it was rated “R” and I was fourteen at the time. I almost wonder if my mom went to see it with me. She had cool moments from time to time, even once I turned into a dickhead teenager. Or maybe I just went and bought a ticket and nobody questioned it. I’m not sure. I previously wrote that Hellraiser III was the first R-rated movie I saw in the theater, but now I’m thinking it wasn’t. And I still wasn’t seventeen when it came out, so it wasn’t even the first one I legitimately saw.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

31 Days of Halloween: Toy Review – Predator 2 Lost Predator By NECA

Predator 2 is an interesting and brave movie. It takes a lot of the things that were so interesting about the original film – the jungle, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jesse “The Body” Ventura – and excises them completely. Instead we have downtown LA, Danny Glover, and Gary Busey. Concrete instead of trees, wise experience instead of young power, and… well, a different kind of bugfuck crazy.
It was still an awesome movie and still a great use of the concept of the Predator creature. I think it’s worth mentioning that while the titular creatures from the Alien franchise have been dubbed “xenomorphs” (from a line in Aliens) the Predators have no such fancy-pants name. And it kind of bothers me. Of course, you can also consider that fact that the Alien and Predator franchises were never even intended to mesh and that comparisons between the two are utterly artificial and speculative. It just worked out that Dark Horse Comics came up with a great idea that led to some movies that… well, they happened.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

13 Questions With Fifty-Two Ways

The first time I saw these guys they were opening for the Tone Deaf Pig-Dogs (because that’s the only time I ever see new local bands). They were very talented, but their set was a mess. They were very good at playing the many different styles of the punk rock music that the kids like, but seeing all of those styles coming from the same band was disorienting.
I said as much here.
For some reason they really liked that and sent me Friend Requests on Facebook. We’ve chatted a few times and hung out at a couple of cons since then. Weird.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

31 Days of Halloween: Atlanta Zombie Apocalypse 2012

It is once again time to discuss the massive event that is the Atlanta Zombie Apocalypse!
For three years now AZA has been the big event for the month of October. If you don’t know, this is no haunted house. It’s an interactive – more so this year than any other – experience where you are fully immersed in a world where zombies roam the planet and only a small group of armed men and women can help you and your friends survive. No pneumatic skeletons will be popping out of doorways. There aren’t any mazes that are spray-painted black with Walmart cobwebs spread all over. During the month of October, AZA takes over all thirty acres and 90,000 interior square feet of the Safety Wolf paintball facility and turns it into the demesnes of the undead.

***SPOILER ALERT!: There are portions of this attraction that are meant to surprise, so if you want to go into this thing fresh do not read my recap. Skip to the next orange bit that says “END OF SPOILERS”.***

Monday, October 8, 2012

31 Days of Halloween: DC Siganture Collection Black Mask By Mattel

I will save my unbelievably vitriolic rant about how fucking long these fucking figures took to get to me for another day. But just so you know, I got my September Matty order a full week after Monkey, Evil, and Carl. Re-fucking-diculous.

I'll also get into why I'm saving that rant for later... uh... later.

I know this guy isn't specifically a horror-related character, but I think he qualifies for Halloween coverage. He has a skull for a head, he murdered a teenage girl, and if I don't go ahead and cover him now I might forget for a while like I did with poor Icarius last year.

Friday, October 5, 2012

31 Days of Halloween: Hammer Horror

I was a guest on Earth Station One last night because the subject is near and dear to my heart – Hammer Horror.
My grandmother introduced me to horror. Not just movies, but books but the likes of Stephen King, Dean R. Koontz, and Robert R. McCammon. Phantom Granny had this basket of paperbacks she kept by her recliner, and every time we went to visit she had new ones in there. Big, thick novels with lurid covers featuring demonic faces and desolate landscapes. The short stories of Night Shift were the first things I read, but long before I was old enough to dare to crack open one of those portable tomes I was watching the movies.

Platinum Championship Wrestling Sacred Ground Chapter III 9/29/2012

I can’t do my whole recap right now because I had to go home and go straight to bed rather than uploading my pictures. Getting home at 1 AM and having to get up at 3:30 AM doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for such things.
But I do want to get some initial thoughts down about last night because it was an incredible night and also because this is the first time I have ever written about a wrestling event the day after it happened. I am extremely tired right now, as it is 7:19 in the morning and I have had about two hours of sleep in the last twenty-eight hours. We’ll see how this goes. The really awesome part is that I have five days worth of Halloween posts to finish and polish up after I do this. I think the first week of 31 Days of Halloween is going to be pretty terrible. Of course, we’ll know by the time this posts.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

31 Days of Halloween: Toy Review – S.L.U.G. Zombies Series 2 By JAKKS Pacific

I talked a little bit about the first series of SLUG Zombies a while ago, then realized I should’ve saved them for 31 Days of Halloween. Actually, I think I might have eaten into my intro for today because I even mentioned finding Series 2 at Toys R Us. But I’m sure I can fake this thing out to 1,000 words.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

31 Days of Halloween: 13 Questions With Eddie Cadaver of The Casket Creatures

I liked Atlanta horror punk band The Casket Creatures the first time I saw them. It was at a Tone Deaf Pig-Dogs show a few years ago and they really impressed me, despite the fact that they all looked about twelve years old.

Since then I've gotten to know their vocalist Eddie Cadaver a little bit through the magic of Facebook. He's a total creep, and I mean that in the very best way. Read on find that out for yourself! 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

31 Days of Halloween: Toy Review – Predator SDCC 2012 Exclusive Stealth Jungle Hunter By NECA

Side Note: I apologize for this guy not having my new and improved Halloween background but I opened him up a while ago and just couldn’t find the right spot to put his review in.

Well, shit. I blew my intro for this one yesterday.

Monday, October 1, 2012

31 Days of Halloween: Horror (Toy) Business

Welcome, guys and ghouls, to my annual coverage of the very best month of the year – Halloweentober! Or something. You can probably get the idea from the title – I will be spending the entire month of October covering spooky stuff, talking to spooky people, and celebrating spooky things.

I don’t know how I have never done this before, but while I was sitting down to write my review of NECA’s new Lost Tribe Predator I got all sidetracked during the intro. This happens sometimes. I sit down to write a few paragraphs about the toy or the character or the company or whatever and I realize I have enough to say to fill up a whole post. For this one, I realized that not only would it be a whole post, but it would be a great way to kick off “31 Days of Halloween”.
This isn’t any kind of all-inclusive history of horror toys. This pretty much starts with the McFarlane revolution of the mid-90’s and continues up to today. I could produce another whole post just about the 80’s if I wanted to (and might someday). This is just the stuff that was in my head today; sparked by thinking about NECA and how they have changed over the years.