The 2017 Halloween Hell Show!

So it begins…

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Hi friends! It’s back and this year it is going to be gigantic! The 2017 Halloween Hell Show has commenced so put on the spooky soundtrack, crack open a pumpkin beer and let the party begin! I have so many sights to show you like reviews of crazy Halloween products, insane locations and hilarious movie recaps to help make the most out of the season. I won’t spoil it too much but I will say, this year I have really put the pedal down so expect a lot of content and please interact! Especially on Twitter and the Facebook Page. (Happy Birthday, Chad!)

Did you notice the blog is back? Well, I have come to realize that hosting a full flash enabled site has it’s advantages and disadvantages. The non-Wordpress style blog drove me insane and I ended up just not writing because I didn’t want to mess with it so for the season, I am bringing it back. Maybe forever? Perhaps. Be sure to click the latest post which will be a moving circle-thing on the Halloween Hell Show page.

This year I am dedicating the Hell Show to the memory of Dustin “Duddy” Pace who left us way too early. He was a sweet and kind person who would routinely make people’s day simply through kind words and gestures. He leaves a legacy that we should all strive to achieve. Where ever you are, Duddy, this one is for you, pal.

Now let the show begin!

A Visit To Camp Crystal Lake

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A few weeks ago I took a trip up to North New Jersey for a meeting with a client and was able to tie it into an awesome weekend visiting Jay from The Sexy Armpit and Matt from Dinosaur Dracula. I have been buds with these guys for years and now that I think about it, a whole decade! Jay was such an incredible host and the fun we all had together really can’t be matched. There is some kind of magic that takes place when three Halloween nuts get together with booze and tacos. A lot of tacos.

While getting to see the magic behind Jay and Matt’s genius was something that can keep a long time fan on a high for quiet some time, I want to talk about a trip we took that Saturday. The season had not officially begun but the Purple Stuff podcast was well under way entering its third show that evening. The air was still summer but in our hearts it was cool, gray and a touch spooky. We were on our way to the filming location of a much-loved movie, Friday the 13th which was located about an hour northwest in  a town called Blairstown.

On the way there we listened to Jay’s amazing Halloween soundtrack and I was able to geek-out listening to Matt and Jay discuss ideas, Halloween news and nostalgic stories. Without getting into details, it was a treat for a longtime reader. We took the rental car and Jay was able to fight the notorious New Jersey drivers without incident and got us to the little town unscathed. And looking back, it was a pretty easy drive in comparison to other places I have lived, especially on a Saturday afternoon.

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Right away we started to recognize certain buildings and landmarks from a visual study Jay and I did earlier in the morning while watching Friday the 13th. One of the first spots was the diner which was a biggie on the list. Before we left, we all agreed that pie and coffee had to be eaten there, preferably in the spot where the camp head counselor sat before he was gutted. But that goal proved to be a little lofty. When we pulled in to the parking lot we could see a silhouette of a waitress waving us off. Jay was only trying to turn around but still there was something weird about that diner and although there were definitely people inside, it didn’t seem open.

Pulling out of the parking lot everyone decided we would hit the Diner on the way out and head to the town center to take photos and talk to the locals. But that’s when it started to get even weirder. There weren’t really any locals around to talk to! It was as if there was a huge festival in a neighboring town and everyone went there. It was a few days after I finished reading Stephen King’s Salem Lot and brother, it was almost identical to the description. Walking past the empty little shops and business, I couldn’t help but imagine sleeping vampires covered in musty tarps slumbering in the back rooms. I am sure everyone else was thinking the town was just boring.

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Nothing has changed since the filming back in 1980. NOTHING! The bank is still in stone, the little road that the doomed hitchhiking girl strolled down is there and even the store front Crazed Ralph gummed, “You’re all dooomed!” is still there in an untouched perfection. It was everything a fan of the Friday the 13th fan could ask for.

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While taking an uncomfortably quiet stroll through the fifty yards of the town center we did come upon a thrift shop. Bingo! Well, kind of. It was a weird little shop and only certain things were for sale. Judging from the quality of the stuff, I don’t know what they were holding out for. But it was still neat to see Matt and Jay do their thing which make great future posts we all love.

We got some pictures, I took video but really, within thirty minutes we saw it all. It was time to try the Diner again. As strange as our first encounter was before, it got even stranger when we tried to go in. There were clearly people inside but the doors were locked. It actually didn’t even seem like a fully operating diner but rather a crappy rundown place full of crockpots and hotplates to appease the ragged local. Again, the jerk of a waitress shooed us away from the window. So we just walked across the street to a tavern.

This was a welcome break but when we walked in it felt like the record scratched and everyone turned around to see the “outlanders”. We sat down and ordered a few drinks and fried artichokes while conversing with a sweet waitress. Again, our eyes scanned the surroundings for signs that this place was in the movie and Matt brought to mind that this place could be the tavern from F13 Part 2. A quick search on the phone led to nothing because there was absolutely no service in the bar. So I ventured outside to find out that no, F13 Part 2 was filmed in Connecticut. Bummer.

After a rest we returned to the car in search of the crown jewel, Camp Crystal Lake! The real spot is a boy scout camp called “Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco” and believe it or not, parents send their kids there. All we wanted to see was the lake and possibly recreate the Jason/canoe scene. But there was a problem.

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The winding road through the dense woods soon became littered with “No Trespassing” signs as we got closer to the camp. By the time we reached the camp entrance it was as welcoming as Check Point Charlie dividing East and West Europe. It was evident that if you even thought of getting out of your car, there was a good chance of getting shot, arrested, eaten by a bear or having your arm ripped off and beaten to death by Jason. All things that we were not willing to spoil the weekend with. But we did find a creek that certainly came from the lake! That is something, right?

Did I forget to mention we were quite possibly chased out-of-town by a crazed person in a pickup? That happened too. Jay is a pretty big dude so at least if things turned sour he was on our side. Still, it added a bit of psychopath to a setting that needed one.

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So, we left the sleepy little town of Blairstown and headed back to civilization richer for having seen the location of one of our favorite movies. On the way home we stopped at a dollar store and I saws in person Matt and Jay and their search for Halloween gold. The day was one to remember and started this Halloween season off with a bang.

Later that night, after a few hundred drinks, I tried to film an intro for the video from earlier that day and boy did I muck that up! I could not for the life of me remember the name Blairstown. I kept wanting to say Birketsville or Blairsville or Chicago. Anything but the right name, Blairstown, so Jay came in and saved the day. What a natural.

Big thanks to Dinosaur Dracula and The Sexy Armpit! Fantastic people and great friends. Now watch me fuck this video up six ways to Sunday.

 

 

Dare! Slim Jims of PAIN

This evening I am going to take a break from work to discuss beef jerky. But my loves, this is no ordinary beef jerky. This is beef jerky that will fill your mouth with blistering heat and pump you with so much sodium that it will turn your shoes to sandals with a minor explosion of water retention. That’s right, tonight the good people of Slim Jim have introduced to me a new line of beef jerky that has three distinct levels of heat starting with chili and ending with habanero in what promises to be a dry meat chewing inferno of bliss. It is my pleasure to bring you “Dare”, by Slim Jim.

I have always been on the fence with beef jerky because, while it is delicious at first, it gets old quick. There’s so much salt and chewing involved that before you know it, you need to drink anything insight otherwise you’ll turn into this:.

But that’s when they get you. There isn’t a beef jerky eater alive that can quit with just a few pieces. The salt brings you back for more and before you know it, an entire one pound pack of dried cow has been ingested and your sodium intake for the year has been maxed. It’s a vicious cycle and to avoid such a fate, stick to dried bananas. Lucky for us, Slim Jim has added a bit of pain to mix things up.

There are three varieties of the Dare Slim Jims starting with “Kinda Hot Chili Pepper” then to “Freakin’ Hot Jalapeño” and finally the king daddy, “Really Freakin’ Hot Habenero”. Unfortunately the cruddy gas station from which I bought the said beef jerky only had the “Kinda” and “Really Freakin’ Hot”. To be fair, I don’t like reviewing the middle child. What could I say about it other that “hotter than but not as hot as…”. So, I will review the opposite spectrums and we will just assume jalapeño is…medium? Okay, let’s begin.

Kinda Hot Chili Pepper looks pretty benign from the green packaging and the fact that it’s only rated one chili out of three on the illustrated heat scale. But what do I know? My entire sense of what is hot and what is not is a bit skewed since I put ghost pepper sauce on crackers. Makes you wonder why I would review spicy food and who would even listen to me?

Well, I opened this green bag of chewing meat and tried a piece or…erhrm…five pieces and though it was dried to the point of wood, after ten minutes of chewing, it was really good! I was a bit surprised that the heat-sense only really presented itself after you swallowed. It’s more of a back-of-the-throat sensation than mouth or sinus sensation which I like. I wasn’t expecting anything in the way of heat but was quite surprised that this tasted so good! Now don’t get me wrong, the sodium levels and mandibular workout is intense like any dried food item with the same little packet that states “do not eat” but as far as a different and mild taste, this is a happy place.

Now we jump to the other side of the Scoville Scale and take on “Really Freakin’ Hot Habanero” and it’s bag or red. I know this will be hotter than the Chili but I hope it doesn’t go for the hot but no taste. Sometimes food can lose it’s way and forget that spices are there to complement and not kill.I forget this too. Actually the other day while at a business lunch we were at a Tai restaurant and the waiter accidentally confused my Panang Tai-heat 5 with my coworker’s Panang Tai-Heat 1. The result was fist hiccups, followed by sweating, followed by exasperation and then profuse swearing. He had to go home by 1:00. Everyone in the office thinks I now have a problem.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the bag was a smell that reminded me of doggie daycare. I know that sounds terrible but facts are facts and the oder of habanero spices on dried meat just hits the olfactory and brings up memories “Arf House: School of the Gifted”. So when you get this pack and open it, turn your head.

Another noticeable difference is the texture. The Chili Jerky is extremely brittle and dry like bacon that has been frying while the cook gets caught up in another episode of Big Brother only to be reminded when the smoke alarm brings him back to reality. This Habanero Jerky is much softer and not nearly as tough. But that’s not what makes this beef jerky sexy. It’s actually a bit spicy! My first piece I swallowed the juices a bit prematurely and had quite the episode. After a swig of beer I was right back on top and can say, while not as tasty as the milder sister, this one has a kick that will make up for the 460mg of sodium and 35mg of cholesterol.

So, overall, this was a shitty review. I had to do it because when I saw “Really Frickin’ Hot” beef jerky, I just couldn’t wait to find the middle flavor. Had I known that Chili would be such a winner, I probably would have held out. Overall between the two I have to go against my entire being and say the milder wins. Although I am fascinated by peppers that can put a grown man in the hospital when all he wanted to do was zest his burger, this time taste won out. That doesn’t mean that I won’t still fill my mouth with Habanero beef jerky and three spoonful’s of ghost pepper sauce just to say I did! I ain’t no Nancy!

I can’t believe I called beef jerky sexy.

Halloween Party

Every year I look forward to Halloween and I really don’t know why. I get geared up way too early, burn out around mid October and on the actual day all I really want to do is start the Christmas season. But this year I planned to combat the poorly timed holiday spirit by actually having something to do on Halloween day. This year we threw a party.

So the night before Halloween I finally carved this years pumpkin. Every year I do the same face. It’s more like a retro design but I like it. It reminds me of the back of Charlie Browns head when that bitch Lucy and her even bitchier friend fool him into modeling for their jack-o-lantern. Next year will be same and there is comfort in that. Martha Stewart can F’ing hang.

Here I am. I didn’t intend to be Jason this year. Actually I really wanted to be Angus Young but because I am me, I waited until Halloween afternoon to find all 20 accessories necessary to pull off the rocking outfit. So, I used a flight suit from my prior military career and dropped $6.99 on a hockey mask at exactly 4:30 that afternoon. That’s a plus for the costume but it’s tough to drink 10 beers through a hockey mask. I almost cut a hole in the mouth region but there is a thin line between beer drinking genius and a weird S&M mistaken identity.

Well the decorations were up, the costumes were on and the food was out. Now all we needed were the people to show up and complete the circuit. I will admit that last night I had a few awkward moments very reminiscent of junior high and high school. The party began at 7pm and soon it was 7:30 and we sat on the couch staring out the window while X-Entertainment’s Halloween Jukebox blared Alice Cooper. Just Jason Voorhees and a cowgirl staring pathetically staring out the window. That’s a site from the street.

Then there was a knock! It was the guests and everyone hit a home run on the costumes. Now I was four beers ahead so my friendliness was amplified because everyone received a hug from the slasher of Friday the13th. That was a high point of the night but like all hosts experience, parties have peaks and valleys. Enter the babies.

Don’t get me wrong, I like kids. I think they are cute in small doses and on TV but after a while I’m done. I’m sure that will change if I ever have one of my own but I don’t and I relish in the freedom to leave the scene and change the channel. But they were there and I felt it was necessary to put away the hockey mask and explain all night that I am not a top Gun pilot, damn it.

Ninety five percent of the guests were Tara’s work friends. She is a news anchor so everyone in the news world was at the apartment. So right when the babies and new parents arrived so did my friend Johnathan. He was a priest with a Raggedy Andy doll pinned to his crotch. I thought it was spot on. Spot on, man.

There was definitely a lull taking place about half way through the party. None of the people at the news station were really making an effort to talk with my friends and I was busy making sure no one was cutting through the bedrooms because the babies were sleeping and making sure that people tried the dip. Then one of the quests showed up with Guitar Hero for the Playstation and it was a home run. I don’t go ape shit over video games but that one was pretty cool and it was sort of a bridge that made people mingle. I even rocked Dio’s “Holy Diver” and damn near kicked the TV over with excitement.

This is the point when the festivities are now driven by the alcohol consumption. My friends felt a little neglected and jumped ship before midnight. That sucked for me because the news people talk about one thing and that is work. They also throw people who aren’t present under the bus and that is a real sore spot with me. I’m sure i do it too but i definitely don’t do it in public. That’s really the death rattle of the party when everyone is in the kitchen talking shop and me and the one girl who works in Atlanta watch Nightmare On Elm Street 3. I’m sure she didn’t like it but it was that or do that awkward, stand in the corner and fake laugh thing. It was even weird for me to go to the fridge to get my 16th beer. I felt like the car that disturbed the street hockey game. I could have sworn I heard “game on” when I walked back to the couch.

All parties, good or bad, come to an end and this one did too. I said my good byes and I was pretty proud I didn’t make an ass out of myself. I didn’t fall off the roof or throw up in my hockey mask so I was a head of the game. Right up to the point when the new parents were walking out the door with their sleeping baby. Then I tried to make a funny and it went over like a fart in church. “Thanks for coming and thanks for bringing the little guy. I must admit that I was a little disappointed we couldn’t eat him……ahem….right?” At least they faked a laugh.

You didn’t think I could let Halloween go without me making a little slip did you?

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