Friday, October 31, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - Tales from the Crypt

I’ve mentioned it several times on the podcast and a few times here, but I’ve been watching Tales from the Crypt all month. Late in September I got the heads-up from Son of Celluloid that Walmart had all seven seasons of HBO’s classic horror anthology show for ten bucks apiece. That’s an incredible deal for a legendary show, so I immediately went on the hunt for them.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - The Halloween Blu-ray Box Set

So I caved and bought the new Limited Edition 15 Disc Halloween Blu-ray Box Set. You know, this one:

31 Days of Halloween – Earth Station Boo 3 - Season of the BOO!

Calling all dorky demons and geeky ghouls! It is once again the time of year where spooky spirits roam the dusty corridors of Earth Station One and Phantom Troublemaker possesses the transmission to bring you the creepiest and scariest show of the year!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

31 Days of Halloween – Comic Book Wednesday – Charmed #1 from Zenescope Entertainment

Reviewed by Jason Frazier

Available now

Charmed was a television show that aired from 1998 to 2006. The premise behind the show was that there were three sisters who were destined to battle evil using their witchcraft. They are the Charmed Ones. The show started out with Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, and Shannen Doherty as Piper, Phoebe, and Prue Halliwell. After three seasons, and some back stage drama, Prue was killed off. Miraculously there turned out to be another sister, Rose McGowan as Paige Matthews, who Piper and Phoebe’s Mom had after her divorce from their father, with her Whitelighter. A Whitelighter is a guardian angel for good witches and future Whitelighters.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

31 Days of Halloween – The Headless Horseman of Silly Hollow at The Center for Puppetry Arts
Monday was Lil' Troublemaker's birthday, so on Tuesday we took him out of school to see the current family performance at Atlanta's Center for Puppetry Arts. 

31 Days of Halloween - Movie Review - Detention

I had planned on reviewing the movie Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead today, but I was so deeply underwhelmed with it that I just don't have enough to say about it either good or bad. It wasn't good enough for me to talk about how much I liked it, and it wasn't bad enough for me to tear it a new one. Instead I'll be using my time to talk about what is easily the best movie I've seen this month: Detention. See my husband and I always take advantage of the Halloween season by watching as many previously unseen horror movies as we can. We usually start at the top rated Netflix movies and work our way down, and there were several that had 3 or more stars that I added to our viewing list. Detention was the very best of those. It came out in 2011, but I hadn't heard of it before, and imagine it only got what moderate play it did from the fact that it stars and was co-produced by Peeta from the Hunger Games. I know he has a real name, and I don't care. He's Peeta from the Hunger Games forever. If he has to live with it so do you.

Monday, October 27, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - The Horror Of Rob Zombie By R.T. Ewell

I was a pretty big fan of White Zombie in the 90's which of course was led by lead singer Rob Zombie. Their hit More Human Than Human was played more times than I could count. It's also one that I still consider a kick ass song. If I want to get fired up, than thats the one that I want to penetrate my ears. In the late 90's I remember hearing rumblings of Zombie wanting to pursue a career in film with a horror movie that he had written. I can't remember the exact timeline of when he started to film, when he finished the film, and when the film was released but I know it was years between each other with a hint of controversy.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - The Zombie 5,000 (Final Installment) By R.T. Ewell

The Zombie 5,000 is a short story that is exactly 5,000 words with the undead as the subject matter. The story is ten chapters so each one has five hundred words (minus the chapter titles) in it. This story is only available to read on Needless Things! Every Saturday in the month of October, a new installment will be released with the conclusion happening right here on the last Saturday (which just so happens to be today!) of the month!

Below is the fourth & final installment of The Zombie 5,000. If you missed the previous installment don't fret just Click Here to read the third installment!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Needless Things Podcast Episode 37: New York Comic Con 2014 & Toy Guru Leaves

In this week's episode we divert from Halloween festivities (sorry, boils and ghouls) to address what is potentially the biggest news the toy industry has seen in over a decade - Scott Nietlich - AKA Toy Guru - has resigned from Mattel due to an offer from an as-yet unnamed competitor.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - Beth V's Saturday Walker Stalker Con Recap

After a fairly inauspicious start to the con on Friday I was hoping for a little more on Saturday. More attendees, more celebrities, and just generally more to do. I got most of what I wanted and in some cases a little more than I wanted.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - Comic Book Wednesday - Horror Visits Riverdale (A Look At Afterlife With Archie) By R.T. Ewell

When I was growing up, most of my friends liked the superheroes like Spiderman, Superman, and Batman. I like those characters as well but more when I was a teenager. When I was young, let's say, under ten it wasn't a superhero that I looked up to or enjoyed to read. It was this normal, everyday guy named Archie Andrews.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Beth V's Walker Stalker Con Friday Recap

Wandering all alone is not how I had plan on spending any con, but since Phantom had Ebola someone had to step up and cover this thing. And I certainly tried my best to get the scoop for you guys. I have to admit right now though that I am a bad reporter, and clearly didn't understand what this con was all about. I really did think it was just a general zombie convention. I didn't realize that it was pretty much exclusively about The Walking Dead. My bad. I think not knowing that gave me different expectations than I otherwise would have had. It certainly explained why the celebrity panels were more like a love-in and less like a panel. There were more hugs than insights, but I did find a few really good panels. The best two that I went to had no real stars at all, but they gave me a lot more to think about then how dreamy Norman Reedus may or may not be.

31 Days of Halloween – Odds N’ RENDS: Walker Stalker, Carrie, and Cabin Fever

Today’s post was supposed to be a recap of my visit to Walker Stalker Con. For multiple reasons that particular subject is not enough to fill up a post or keep your attention, so instead I’m going to throw a few different topics together and hope that I come up with enough to satisfy my (and your) demands for a full daily post.
Chances are we’ll both end up wishing I’d just posted that review of Goat-Man.

Monday, October 20, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - My Horror Origin Story

I wish the title of this article was “My Superhero Origin Story” because that would be awesome, especially if it was about my ability to teleport. Instead, this article will be about my origin story with horror. Mine is probably a bit different than most. A lot of people I know my age started when they were young therefore having an everlasting affection toward 80's horror movies. Most remember when they were young either their parents introducing them to horror or watching them with childhood friends.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - The Zombie 5,000 (Third Installment) By R.T. Ewell

The Zombie 5,000 is a short story that is exactly 5,000 words with the undead as the subject matter. The story is ten chapters so each one has five hundred words (minus the chapter titles) in it. This story is only available to read on Needless Things! Every Saturday in the month of October, a new installment will be released with the conclusion happening right here on the last Saturday of the month!

Below is the third installment of The Zombie 5,000. If you missed the previous installment don't fret just CLICK HERE to read the second installment!

Meet The Warden

As they stepped off the bus, people from all around ran up to greet them. Ray was used to this because of his life as a professional baseball player. What he wasn't use to was the fact that the attention wasn't to him or his teammates. It embarrassed Ray a little because he didn't think of the obvious reason the bus got attention. It was friends and family looking for their loved ones. With the day going the way it was, people didn't give two shits about baseball.

Ray exited the bus while scouring the crowd for Betty and Jason. Up ahead he saw them looking around nervously. They ran to each other with no words, just the warm embrace of family.

“What do we do now,” Betty said.

“Well I think we are in a good place for now. They have weapons here and are at least able to help protect us. It looks like they sort of have a system going so I say we all just try to blend in. Help out where needed and just watch out for each other,” Ray said.

Betty started crying while Jason was looking more and more upset. “Look, everything will be okay as long as we stay here. This is our best bet without knowing exactly what is happening, I am sure of it.” 

Ray didn't think this helped but both of them looked to be calming down. Hell, it was understandable. He was freaking the hell out but he just couldn't let it show. Always the leader, he had to step up to the plate.

About this time, Mustard had exited the bus looking like he had something important to say. There was a sudden burst of gunfire which cause him to shout. Seems like thats all Mustard had done previously as well. Shouting must be a common thing with him.

“I'm gonna head back down but I wanted you to meet the leader up here. He seems to be the one that took charge first which is better than anyone else did. It seems as if he's a good guy, not sure on his background so far, but hes been a big help.”

They walked over to a crowd as it dispersed with only a gray headed man remaining. He looked like he had lived a life time with wrinkles on his forehead that told stories. Mustard began introducing the two men to each other.

“Ray Conner, this is Frank Warden, he is the man that's been instructing the group for the past few hours.”

Each man stuck they hand out, both gripping a little tighter than the other.

“Well, look what we got here, our very own celebrity.” The gray haired man said. He had a grizzled voice that would of scared Ray if he hadn't been scared shitless already.

“I don't want to be treated any different.”

“In that case, Hollywood, do you even know how to shoot a freaking gun,” Frank laughed.

Over The Hill

It was obvious that Frank knew who Ray was by calling him Hollywood. Not exactly accurate but Ray did appear on a few commercials back in the day. A stupid nickname was the least of his worries right now.

“Well, yeah I've shot a gun before, don't know how good a aim I am though.” Ray said. He didn't like Frank, the man seemed like an old, crotchety, asshole. He also looked like the type that would love to be called that as well.

“Son, around here you don't need aim, you just need bullets.” Frank said in a grizzled voice. “And we got plenty of those around here.”

They walked over to a trailer that had no truck connected as people gathered around. There were two guys in the trailer handing out ammunition and guns as well. Almost as if it was candy to small children. Frank walked up and didn't even have to say anything. One of the men handed him a hand gun along with bullets.

“Well, we are about to see how good your aim is now, just pretend its a baseball will ya. I am about to show you something which will give you a better understanding of why we are supplying everyone with weapons. Oh, and I can see by your boyscout look that you are about to ask how we got all the guns. Just trust me son. You don't want to know right now. We got bigger fish to fry.”

Ray hated that the man was right because he was about to ask that exact question. It was a serious amount of fire power but hell Ray was glad he was on their side.

“What about my wife and son,” Ray asked. He watched them in the distance as they looked like they were about to go to work. 

“Don't you worry your pretty little head, Hollywood, your son will be on our building crew while your wife will be on the cooking crew.”

Oh she will love that, Ray sarcastically thought.

“Like I said we got some real problems around here. We’ve got this area covered,” Frank said. He pointed toward the entrance that Mustard used which the man was now headed back down. “But our big problem is going to be over in this area.”

Frank pointed as they began walking over to the far end of the dump, where roughly thirty armed men were already standing. The closer they got to the edge of the hill, the more the answer to all of Rays questions came. As they stepped close to the edge Ray saw that the dump overlooked the entire city. It was a crazy sight because the town had already, in a matter of hours gone apocalyptic. Fires and even riots could be seen from atop the dump when something else caught his eye.

At the bottom of the hill there were hundreds of zombies stumbling their way up the steep hill using the trees as leverage.

To Be Concluded
Come Back Next Saturday For The Final Installment!

If you enjoy this story, please comment below! Do you have a question? Ask below and it could get answered in a special Q&A!

Friday, October 17, 2014

31 Days of Halloween – Needless Things Podcast Episode 36: Shane Morton

Shane Morton has been a fixture of the Atlanta scene for pretty much all of his adult life. From rock n’ roll to tattooing to haunted attractions, he’s always stayed busy and contributed to many different art forms.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - The Scariest Video Games Ever

Or more appropriately: The Scariest Video Games I've Played. I'm pretty into gaming, but not so into it that I've played everything. I do still kind of have something of a life. Sometimes.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

31 Days of Halloween – Comic Book Wednesday – Grimm Tales of Terror!

From Stephen Schaffer's DeviantArt
As our loyal readers know we have recently become an official reviewer for Zenescope Comics. This means that we receive PDF copies of everything that they release. Obviously I can’t personally review everything that they release, but as long as I hit a certain number each quarter they’re cool with it. I’m bringing another regular writer on board to help with that, so we’ll be putting them up a bit more frequently than that.

So far I have enjoyed what I’ve been reading from Zenescope. Grimm Fairy Tales is a pretty cool concept and has been fun so far, as have Grimm Fairy Tales vs. Wonderland and Masumi: Blades of Sin
But my favorite by far of all of the titles I’ve received has been Grimm Tales of Terror. It’s a horror anthology series in the vein of the classic EC comics. While this is a fun and well-loved format, it’s one that has been around for decades. The best and most talented writers, artists, directors, and actors have left their mark and I would imagine it’s tough to come with new and entertaining ideas.

Fortunately, Zenescope has been able to freshen things up enough to publish four successful comics (so far). There are familiar tropes – because what aren’t at this point? – but with enough originality to keep things interesting.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - How Not to Write a Zombie Novel

I have read a lot of zombie novels. Really a lot. There are probably 10 on my bookcase, and over 40 on my kindle. And those were just the ones that were good enough to keep. There were a lot more books and stories that didn't make the cut, and got deleted. I read a ton of real novels too so I'm not some semi-literate horror fiend. It's just that I've read and re-read my other books so often that I like to throw in something new by way of zombies once in awhile. Plus, most of them are just so damn cheap, and many were free. Somebody was planning on writing a series so they gave the first book away or if they've self published on Amazon they'll often sell them for under $3. I'll give pretty much any book a shot when it's free or even a dollar. The ability to download free samples also keeps me from wasting money on anything that costs more than $1. I was anti-kindle for a lot of years, but I can't imagine living without one now. I'll never give up my real books, but now I'll also never have to go on a business trip with 5 pounds of books in my luggage.

Monday, October 13, 2014

31 Days of Halloween – Walker Stalker Con Preview

On November 1-3, 2013, Walker Stalker Con made its debut in Atlanta where it assembled 17 main cast members from “The Walking Dead”, more than any other convention ever before, along with 35 other actors from zombie and horror films. In attendance were Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus and “The Walking Dead” Executive Producer, Greg Nicotero, among many others.

This year the event will be held at the Atlanta Convention Center at AmericasMart this weekend, October 17-19, 2014.

Needless Things will be covering the event and (hopefully) doing interviews, so I thought it would be prudent to write up a preview detailing where we’d be and when. That way you can buy us beers.

Check out the Press Release we posted in September for a full list of guests. Today’s post is about the schedule and the vendors. Check the Walker Stalker site for the full lists of those.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - The Zombie 5,000 (Second Installment) By R.T. Ewell

The Zombie 5,000 is a short story that is exactly 5,000 words with the undead as the subject matter. The story is ten chapters so each one has five hundred words (minus the chapter titles) in it. This story is only available to read on Needless Things! Every Saturday in the month of October, a new installment will be released with the conclusion happening right here on the last Saturday of the month!

Below is the second installment of The Zombie 5,000. If you missed the previous installment don't fret Just Click HERE to read the first installment!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Needless Things Podcast Episode 35: 31 Days of Halloween – Mike Gordon

In this week’s episode Phantom Troublemaker sits down with “Howdy” Mike Gordon, host of the Earth Station One Podcast and creator of Tiki Zombie.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

31 Days of Halloween – Haunted Attraction Review: Chambers of Horror

Chambers of Horror just made sense as the first haunt of the year for me.

Because of work and family, me and the missus don’t get to hang out with groups of friends very often. When we do, we want to make an event of it. So for our first (and possibly only depending upon sitters, pet care, and however many other considerations) October outing we wanted to keep things as simple as possible while still having a full evening. Dinner, a haunt, and possible booze afterward was the plan, so that ruled out the far-flung locale of Atlanta Zombie Apocalypse and the potential long lines of Netherworld. I know there are other haunts around town, but I can’t even consider those until I hit the big three. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - Comic Book Wednesday – Previews October 2014: The Scary Books Were Solicited 3 Months Ago

This post isn’t very Halloweeny, but it’s become a favorite of mine (and some of yours, too) and I can’t see skipping it just to maintain the spooky theme. So instead I’m going to do my normal rundown of the catalog, but find a way to make each entry creepy or spooky.
This is a bold move on my part, as I haven’t even opened the book yet. I have no idea how well this month’s offerings will lend themselves to my little project.

Let’s find out!

If you don’t know, Previews is the catalogue that Diamond Comic Distributors use to offer the products they distribute to comic book stores around the country. This is where you can view and order (through your favorite Local Comic Book Shop) comic books, trade paperback collections, t-shirts, books, media, and toys and other collectibles from hundreds of different vendors that deal in geek-oriented merchandise. The genius part is that you actually have to pay for your copy of Previews for the privilege of ordering other things to pay for. It’s like the Ren Fest except without the horse poo smell.

So every month a new edition of Previews is sent out to comic book stores. Contained in the pages within are products that might be currently available or could be released anytime in the next year; but typically about two months away. Or sometimes never. I’ve ordered lots of things that have just never come in. Without getting into the specific politics of Diamond, let me just say that they aren’t quite a monopoly and also aren’t quite the worst distributor anybody has ever dealt with in the history of the universe.

But I’m not here to discuss that. I’m here to discuss a few of the weird and/or wonderful items offered in this month’s edition.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Horror Movies Are Giving the Devil a Bad Name

The Devil seems to get blamed for a lot of stuff these days. Heavy metal, Juggalos, all evil in the world. He sure is one busy Beelzebub. Surprisingly though, horror movies blame him more than anything else. You would think that a genre so into evil would take it easy on the guy, but exactly the opposite is true. Each and every tiny little demon possession or supposed bit of witchcraft is automatically attributed to Satan.

Monday, October 6, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - Haunted Houses By R.T. Ewell

It's finally October and that means a few things. To some, it's just two months away from Christmas. To others, it means harvest and fall is upon us. To me, it means a full month of HALLOWEEN! That's right, I am a full supporter of Halloween not being just one day but a whole freaking month! There are many ways to celebrate the spookiest holiday of the year. For instance, you can decorate the inside and outside of your house or living space. The outside can be much more fun because there is room to make graveyards and even plant some ghosts in the trees. The more creative you are the more your place will get some attention from passerbys.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - The Zombie 5,000 (First Installment) By R.T. Ewell

The Zombie 5,000 is a short story that is exactly 5,000 words with the undead as the subject matter. The story is ten chapters so each one has five hundred words (minus the chapter titles) in it. This story is only available to read on Needless Things! Every Saturday in the month of October, a new installment will be released with the conclusion happening right here on the last Saturday of the month!

Zombie Day At The Ball Park

Raymond Conner was having the game of his life. He was a 37 year old pitcher for the Tennessee Tanks, a minor league baseball team. It was the sixth inning and he was on his way to a perfect game. His wife, Betty and teenage son Jason, were in the stands watching. He felt tired but knew he could continue as he wiped the sweat from his brow. Ray found the right signal from the catcher as he nodded his head. 

The aging pitcher's arm went forward releasing the ball as some odd reactions came to his attention. The batter was holding his bat more like a cane than a baseball bat. The catcher was looking in the stands when the ball hit him right between the eyes. Even though the mask protected him, the force knocked him to the ground. Ray looked into the stands not believing what his eyes were seeing.
At first, there was a hush over the crowd, then panic started to set in. The entrances at the top of the stadium were filled with people pouring out of them. Not moving quickly though. They were walking slowly.

The closer Ray looked, the more he noticed they were dead. People were trying to escape, but all the exits were blocked by the newly crowned zombies. He saw a group of five attack a woman and son, chewing the flesh straight off their bone. Another zombie gripped an elderly man’s throat ripping the insides out. People were trying to run but the small crowd was outnumbered by the zombies.
People jumped the outfield wall and ran across the field.

Raymond turned to run towards the dugout but they had already infested it. Ray’s coach was being pulled apart by about fifteen zombies. The undead creatures began falling from the bleachers over the wall. Unharmed, they would get up immediately, marching across the field. Ray was frozen as people ran past him, his wife and son found him, hugging briefly.

Suddenly, Ray’s team surrounded him, all with baseball bats along with his son who had a bucket of baseballs. Ray knew what he had to do. With a ball gripped tightly in his hand, he aimed quickly at an undead head and released. The ball found the eye socket, bursting through the back of the dead softened head. The rest of the team ran swinging the bats splattering heads like they were watermelons. They all began climbing the wall while helping as many people as they could.
A zombie attempted to eat the leg of a girl but thanks to Jason all he got was a bat to the head.

Everybody ran down the hallway as fast as they could towards an emergency exit. Ray took the lead kicking the metal door as hard as he could. The sunlight once again hit their skin so they took a breather now that everyone was safe. Except they weren't. In front of them were thousands of zombies mumbling about brains.


An exhausted Ray Conner felt defeated. Sure, he was an athlete that had seen many comeback victories but this wasn't a game. A swarm of zombies had now surrounded them. Several of his players had just been ripped apart in front of his eyes. The only thing that mattered right now was his wife and son.

“We have to run, fighting does us no good right now,” Ray said. Betty nodded her head and grabbed a hold of Jason's hand.

Luckily, for them the zombies were slow and didn't seem all that powerful, just relentless. The undead just never gave up. With a bat clenched in both hands, he held it horizontally in front of his face and began to push forward. One by one the undead things were dropping by the force they were being hit with. It was an effective move creating a path for them to get to a better clearing.
Finally, they got themselves out of the most congested part of the city, running a few blocks up through downtown.

Betty and Jason were safely with him as were some of his teammates, who had helped protect them as well. One of his teammates, Donnie Wilks, came up to him as they all stood next to a building trying to hide for a moment.

“What the hell are we gonna do man, is all this for real?”

Donnie was a big man and he wasn't the type to scare easily but he looked as though he had just crapped his pants. Ray didn't know how to respond to him. One minute he was on his way to the game of his life and the next he's not only fighting for his, but his family too. It seemed as though he was the leader of this rag tag bunch so he thought he better take charge of the situation.

“Listen everyone, we need to just stick together and we will make it through whatever is happening now. I'm sure the government has a plan for something like this.” He didn't believe this last line he had said but it sounded like something that would calm everyone.

“Ray, do you really believe that?”

This line wouldn't have made much impact except it came from Betty. He had never lied to her before and he didn't want to start now but he was left with no choice.

“Yes,” he lied. Even though it killed him inside.

It seemed as though they were the only living people that were in the area. Then came a noise. In the distance, a horn was honking and was getting louder as it came over the hill of downtown. A school bus came blowing past the group. Without warning, the large vehicle slammed on the brakes to a stop. The group ran towards it as the doors burst open.
The driver spoke.

“Holy shit, you're Ray Conner, Y'all get on in here so we can skedaddle. Oh, the names Mustard, hang the fuck on!”

To Be Continued
Come Back Next Saturday For Another Exciting Installment!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

31 Days of Halloween Creepy Toy Review – Universal Monsters Creature From the Black Lagoon from Diamond Select Toys

The Gill-man is one of my favorite monsters of all time.

I love the bizarro concept of a missing link man-fish. I like the surrounding narrative of what essentially amounts to a Bigfoot hunt in the Amazon. I also like that this is a very different setting from the rest of the Universal Monsters movies. Rather than being period pieces, it is a modern (for the time) tale. Given that, I am mystified as to why it has never been remade while countless attempts at revitalizing Dracula, the Wolf Man, and Frankenstein have happened.

Mostly, though, I just really like the suit.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

31 Days of Halloween – Big-Ass Hallo-Welcome!

Welcome to Needless Things’ annual celebration of the greatest time of year – Halloween!

In today’s post I’ll be talking a bit about the site’s plans for the month, reviewing Zenescope’s Grimm Fairy Tales Halloween Special, and presenting the first installment of our annual coverage of SyFy’s October programming schedule. We will cover every single day of SyFy’s schedule, with Saturdays and Sundays included in Friday posts. 
All month long Needless Things will be providing coverage of Halloween-centric content; from spooky toy reviews to recaps of haunts and other Halloween events to four creepy episodes of the Needless Things Podcast (not to mention the annual recording of Earth Station Boo for the ESO Network!). Five days a week you will be able to visit the site for new, original, creepy content.