Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Info Zombie Podcast 29: HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Happy Halloween from all of us at The Info Zombie!  We've got a podcast for you recorded at Spooky Empire 2012 Horror Convention.  Carl, Jerry, and Villain discuss horror movies, conventions, and breaking into the biz.  May your pillowcases overflow with treats, may you have many great tricks to play, and may you get a Halloween kiss from your significant other while wearing a great costume!

What I'll Be Watching This Halloween Night

Happy Halloween to all our readers. As usual I'll be spending the day watching a marathon of movies until the kids come knocking at the door. This year I've decided to celebrate the old-school monsters.

The vampire: Nosferatu (1922)

Vampires are some of cinema's most prolithic monsters, appearing in more films than I dare try to count. It's for good reason too. Vampires are genuinely creepy. They are walking corpses that sneak into bedrooms and drink the blood of their sleeping victims, leaving infected puncture wounds as the only evidence of their visit. How these monsters reached the sorry state they're in today I'll never know. If you want movies that take vampires seriously, stick with the classics.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Horror Map

click to enlarge
The guys over at have done a great job at tracking all the horror events across the globe.  Maybe this Halloween you can run towards these hot spots instead of away from them?

Mucklebones Custom Halloween Props and Décor

 One of the best things about the Spooky Empire HorrorConvention 2012, besides meeting PJ Soles from Halloween, had to have been the Mucklebones Horror Display.

Set in a huge room with darkened lighting, the attraction of static monsters ranging from the Wolfman to Norman Bates provided a walk-through of screams and chills.

With life-like detail on the display pieces, each and every monster had me wondering if it was a real person waiting to jump out and make me trick or treat my shorts.

Bear with the pictures because I tried not to use the flash so as to capture the eerie mood so well establishes with the low lighting.  Enjoy the pictures.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Spooky Empire 2012: A Recap

As Horror Movie Conventions go, Spooky Empire provides a great environment.  Attendees can buy all sorts of merchandise, participate in costume contests, meet celebrities and scream queens, enjoy spooky cars, and marvel at museum quality props and decor.

Spooky Empire moved from the Wyndham Orlando to the Hilton just down the road on International Drive.  This is a bigger hotel with better amenities, and it promises to be a great home for the conference for a few years to come.

All this week The Info Zombie will be recapping the various parts of the convention.  I was present at the first Spooky Empire (back then it was called Scream Fest), so I have a pretty good familiarity with this con.  If you couldn’t make it, I’ll fill you in on what happened and what to expect when you go next year.

Friday, October 26, 2012

An Underappreciated Hero of October: Harry Houdini

I know I have been championing everything October from beers to books to horror movies since late September.  At this time I must take an aside to recognize an individual who has given October an extra special flair: Harry Houdini.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Icons of Horror: Ghosts

With Halloween only a week away, I've decided to do a series on classic monsters and where they stand in today's movies. Today I'll be starting with one of horror's oldest icons, the ghost.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Five Reasons Why Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow Needs A Sequel

The three best Tim Burton films are Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Big Fish, and Sleepy Hollow (keep in mind that Nightmare Before Christmas was directed by Henry Selick and Ed Wood would be a close fourth).  While Big Fish, to me, is his finest, Sleepy Hollow has been terribly underrated.

Okay, let me get the facts out of the way.  Sleepy Hollow, directed by Tim Burton, starred Johnny Depp (natch) opened on November 19, 1999.  There’s the first problem—a Halloween centered story opened after the holiday.  Did the distributors take the Fox’s Simpsons approach to releasing Halloween related episodes after the 31st of October?

Anyways, the R-rated film had a $100 million dollar budget fronted, in part, by Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope production company; Coppola got an executive producer credit.  The gross numbered around $206 million, with $101 mm coming domestically and $105 mm international.  Thank you,

Every year at this time I hold my viewing of Halloween-centric films. I included Sleepy Hollow a few years ago and continue to watch it yearly.  With this year’s viewing, however, I saw the film in a different light.  I realized that it is one production that has more stories needing to be told in its universe.

Sure, the film is far from perfect.  Lady Van Tassel’s plot gets thick and difficult to follow, for one thing.  But among the many flaws lies a potential for a batch of stories that would mix the spooky with the entertaining. 

I will explain why in this list that shows the strengths of the film and the reason why Hollywood should continue telling tales of Tim Burton’s version of Ichabod Crane.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Other Great Halloween Movie: Trick ‘R Treat (2007)

John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) will always be the first movie to truly capture the spirit of October 31st.  But there’s another great film that most people haven’t seen which also takes the magic and fright from Halloween and transfers it for perpetuity on the silver screen.

An anthology, Trick ‘R Treat focuses on five interconnected stories taking place over one Halloween night.  Monsters and madmen abound, and the separate tales of terror feel different in tone and structure from one another.  Yet the intersections of the story elements are brilliant.  I won’t go deep into the plots because some of the twists are part of the scares.  I will say that you will never look at carving a pumpkin, riding a bus, or trick or treating the same way.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Green Ruby Pumpkin

I am always happy to share a film that shows a true labor of love and demonstrates expertise on the part of the filmmaker.  This short film also happens to be Halloween themed, so that's an added bonus.

Miguel Ortega and Tran Ma deliver a story that is as interesting to witness as it is to look at.  To further appreciate their hard work, I am including the making of short below so you can understand the effort put into something shared at no cost to the world.

The Info Zombie Podcast 26: NFL Picks Week 7

Justin, Eric, and Vincent supply the picks you need for NFL week 7.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Remember the Trendmasters Godzilla toys?

Since there was a large gap between the end of the Heisei Godzilla films and the premiere of Tristar's film, I've decided not to do that review right away. Instead, I'm going to be taking a look at the Trendmasters toys from the 90s, and the role they played in the franchise's history.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ft. Lauderdale Zombie Walk 2012

 On a moonless night under the soft breeze rustling through the palms, zombies descended on unsuspecting Ft. Lauderdale.  The 2012 Zombie Walk started at The Green Room where zombie art festooned the walls.  Upstairs make-up artists supplied the zombie transformation for those willing.  The cost was a mere $5 and tip.  Games entertained the young zombies while the older ones danced and reveled.  At the stroke of 11 PM the zombies took to the streets to remind Ft. Lauderdale that death is so close and to party like the reaper was at the door.  If you missed it, shame on you.  You better attend next year.  For now, enjoy the pictures of the 10/12/12 Ft. Lauderdale Zombie Walk.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Graveyard Visit: Evergreen Cemetery

What would Halloween be without some reflection of the deceased.  After all, this is the time of the year to be kind to the dead so they don't haunt us.

I'm not going to wax poetic today.  Instead, I offer some pictures of the Evergreen Cemetery in Ft. Lauderdale.  I came across this graveyard when I visited Leslie Nielsen.  There are so many odd quirks about this place.  Buy don't take my word for it--check out these pictures and see for yourself.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Review: The New York Grimpendium

*This review is of the Kindle edition.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, authors would go on extensive journeys and notate all of their experiences.  Those unfortunate enough not to have the means to travel would be inspired by and learn from these travel journals.  One such person who found his muse in them was an Irishman by the name of Bram Stoker.  He would go on to pen THE vampire novel, Dracula.

Moving through the extensive New York Grimpenmdium by blogger/author J.W. Ocker, one wishes that Stoker were alive today.  The stories he could glean from the Ocker’s travel journal would make Dracula seem like Twilight.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My 64 Gigabyte iPumpkin 
 For as technologically advanced as the festival of Halloween has become, one constant has remained brilliantly simple and wonderful: the pumpkin.  The orange gourd has been the mainstay for the 31st of October since it replaced the turnip as the official carving choice of all those wanting to stave off evil spirits.

Although there is no song saluting the pumpkin, no carol or chant to praise it, and no technology company named for it, I wanted to take a moment to extoll the praises of the pumpkin. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Tate’s Comics Does the Monster Mash (and it’s a Graveyard Smash)

Where do the monsters live?  Just take the narrow wooden steps up to the shadow gallery at the back of the greatest comic book store anywhere.  Up in that loft at Tate’s Comics you will find a yarn Cthulhu, scary clowns, sewn mummies, and some of the most jaw dropping illustrations in a wide variety of media.

Ranging from whimsical to scary, social commentary to absurdist, and pop to classical, the underlying theme of the Monster Mash exhibit (besides monsters, of course) is pure devotion.  The South Florida artists who contributed to the gallery show their affinity for the source material.  Undeniable talent reveals passion for the monstrous.  And there’s no better month to showcase this work than October when the veil over the land of the dead pulls back to allow nightmare creatures to emerge from the shadows. 

Take a look at the pictures, but be certain to visit Tate’s in person to really appreciate the work that went into making these pieces of art:

Friday, October 5, 2012

Light Up the Halloween Night

Two things used to irk me about Halloween store displays: 1) Christmas lights were always tucked in the back corner where I thought there ought to be more plastic pumpkins, stuffed witches, and gooey candy and 2) I never liked the inclusion of orange and purple lights as part of the customary decorations.

When I learned more about the history of the holiday, I learned to appreciate the importance of the lights. 

The Christmas decorations, however, will ever be unforgivable.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Prophetic Side of Halloween

We always thing of the most macabre images when we hear the name Halloween whispered on the crisp autumnal winds.  However, some time ago the 31st was associated with some lighter notions.  Many women used the mystical forces that collect on Halloween to see their futures.

And some of those divination practices still exist in some way or another in our Halloween rituals today.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

TIZ Episode 22: The Pick Show Week 5

Eric, Vinnie, and Carl look at the week five picks that will out a smile on your face and money in your pocket.


Halloween Viewings

There are many lists of movies that can be viewed during the month of October to foster feelings of dread and the fun kind of fear that comes along with the season.  All of those catalogs, however, fail to choose the movies that make the feast of Samhain a prominent part of the movie.

So I’m giving you a list of films, broken down by viewing age, of movies that truly celebrate the feast of Halloween.  So sit back, grab the remote, and get ready to watch the best movies that make Halloween a prominent plot point.

Monday, October 1, 2012

My Love of Halloween Began With a Book: The Pumpkin Smasher

The cover has the beloved symbol of the holiday, a jack o’ lantern, shattered against a stark black background.  So why would I say that this illustration of destruction was my gateway into the love of all things spooky and macabre?