Few people actually recall that Maxwell Atoms’ iconic characters, Billy and Mandy, were first introduced as part of Cartoon Network’s “Grim & Evil” where they shared a series with the cast of Evil Con Carne. Though “Grim & Evil” only lasted 30 episodes, the pint-sized hell-raisers would soon live on in one of the most successful spin-offs of all time from Cartoon Network’s golden age: “Billy & Mandy” (as I’ll refer to it from here on out) is one of the last really great series from the CN’s “Cartoon Cartoon” era.
From Mill Creek Entertainment comes the perfect Halloween treat, The Complete series of “Forever Knight.” If ever there was a nineties series, it’s a show that takes a procedural cop drama and pairs it with vampires. One of the precursors to cult shows like “Angel” and “Blood Ties,” the syndicated series lasted for a total of three seasons and became obscure for many years after its run. This is shocking considering the series has its faults, but is genuinely a fun and Gothic vampire series. This was the decade where a lot of radical concepts were posed for television (Ahem—“Cop Rock”), but “Forever Knight” plays the whole premise with a straight face.
When I was a kid, “Hello Mary Lou” was one of my all time favorite horror movies. It was a sequel to a film I didn’t see until many years later, and it was always presented in edited, cut for time versions on Channel 11 WPIX in New York, but I sure as hell loved it. It was just a wacky, occasionally creepy movie that was so much crazier than I originally thought it was. The only theme that “Prom Night II” has in common with the original slasher movie is the overtone of revenge from days past. That is about as far as it goes, as “Prom Night II” takes a massive departure from the original premise involving an axe murderer out for revenge stalking high schoolers leading in to a disco centric prom with Jamie Lee Curtis front and center.
After the release of the 2008 “The Omen” Collection, Shout Factory brings fans a brand new exhaustive release of “The Omen” movie saga in a pristine new box set. There’s even wonderful new art for fans. If you’re a hardcore fanatic for “The Omen,” this is about as great as it gets, and it doesn’t satisfy your appetite for Damien Thorne and his grand master plan to take over the world well then, you’re very hard to please. In either case, this is a set that every horror buff must own, as it’s pretty fantastic and brings together every single “The Omen” on Blu-Ray. I would have loved to see the pilot for “The Omen” as an extra, but hey, I admit that that’s merely nitpicking.
We’re at the middle of an all out Stephen King renaissance where, once again, he is a hot item in Hollywood. Many of his short stories and novels are being adapted in to big, acclaimed projects, and we’re even getting second stabs at “The Stand” and a third stab at “Salem’s Lot.” With “Doctor Sleep” on the way, and Hollywood opening the scope of King’s writing for films or television, there is an inevitable remake of “The Shining” coming. But until then, fans of Kubrick’s loose cinematic adaptation can now invest in the 4K edition of the horror masterpiece.
One of my favorite things to do every day is to cruise through my youtube channel subs and watch the latest countdowns from some of my favorite channels. I love the paranormal channels with alleged videos of ghost sightings and shadow people. While I’m mostly a skeptic, it’s still a lot of fun to watch video accounts of ghosts, monsters, and potential UFO’s. If the internet was around when I was a kid, I’d have been up for hours devouring every single paranormal video I came across. These days it’s mostly a novelty, but a fun one. Kind of like walking through a amusement park haunted house. In either case, if you’re interested in some good spooks this October, here are five of my favorite Scary youtube channels.
In 1988, Tim Burton introduced us to a foul-mouthed freelance “bio-exorcist” ghost, simply named Beetlejuice (or, to those sticklers out there, Betelgeuse). Like most entities of his ilk, chanting his name three times would give him power, allowing him to interact with the real world and perform hauntings and create monsters. Michael Keaton took on the guise of the demonic anti-hero with a penchant for perversion and trickery and director Tim Burton created a bonafide horror icon for the 90s. In 1989, the love for Beetlejuice had hit its high and Burton cemented himself as a master of Goth tales with Batman and Edward Scissorhands soon after.
Even as a fan of “The Conjuring” movie universe, I’ll admit that the movies within the line up of the Warrens’ saga have been a mixed bag. But the foot work and improvements they’ve made on the “Annabelle” saga has been pretty fantastic as the studio finally seems to have a firm grasp on why the character is so popular and why she poses such a threat to the Warrens within this movie universe. “Annabelle Comes Home” is an ultimate battle of good vs. evil, exploring how the fight against the paranormal begins and ends at the Warrens’ home base.