The Noun Game….FROM HELL! Part 1

 

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When I was a kid my family used to play games to pass the time during long car trips. Anything to keep Mom from playing the Les Miserables cassette for the fifteenth time. One of those games was “The Noun Game” and how you play is someone choses a person, place or thing that is relevant to the surroundings. The other players have twenty questions and only three guesses before the person with the secret noun wins that round. It passed the time, at least until All Things Considered came on the radio.

I was up late last night doing hours of video editing for this Hell Show and for some reason I started thinking about that game and what would the Noun Game be like if I had to go into the deepest caverns of my fears. I am not talking about Jason from Friday the 13th or even Linda Blair but far far more disturbing. The kind of uneasy scare that seems to put a gloom over the day and causes one to watch the Boomerang channel for a solid eight hours to wash the “ick” off your mind.

Here in my NOUN GAME FROM HELL!

Person: Shaye St. John

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Traveling down the wormhole of YouTube, you are bound to run into many odd things but nothing compares to Eric Fournier’s creation of a tragic shell of a model/starlet who was hit by a train and then subjected to psychological experiments by the CIA. To call these series of videos weird who be an understatement like dropping a chainsaw on your lap and calling it a boo boo. This taps into some of my more primal fears: mannequins.

I know that the creator died a few years ago but I don’t want to research much more into that. When one searches too much into something it takes the sting out of it. I like to think of it as the movie Tourist Trap but for real. The bizarre nature of these videos and settings are played out as if I am actually watching my nightmares on the computer. Art can be scary and this is fucking scary art.

Places: Monster Plantation at Six Flags, Georgia

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Nothing creeps me out more than when something is meant to be cute and charming but comes off as disturbing and grotesque. Like sweet creatures who lure you in and win you over with kindness then tear you limb from limb. The dark ride, Monster Plantation (now Monster Mansion) was one of those rides that had me wide-eyed as a kid and invaded my nightmares.

Just like many dark ride, you tour the animatronic maze in a boat with herky-jerky monsters who sing songs and talk indirectly to you. It is lighthearted but that was the scariest part for me. There was something unsettling in nature like these things could come off track and tear off someones head. I have irrational fears so if you want to stop reading now, I wouldn’t blame you. But do me a favor and at least watch this awesome video someone made from years ago. Am I crazy?

Thing: “It’s A Good Life” from The Twilight Zone: The Movie

The one thing about being a child in the early to mid-eighties is when it came to sic-fi and horror, that shit was real. I mean, not real in life but someone actually made the things that had us turn our head away in horror from the screen. It was a tangible effect that came from the mind of an artist and used to cause years of sleepless nights. I won’t say that today’s standards are less scary but I will say back then, the heart was in it.

Joe Dante directed this chapter of The Twilight Zone Movie and his adaptation made the skin crawl. The story is of an innocent teacher who by accident, becomes gets entangled with one brat of a kid. To make matters worse, he has telekinetic powers and can wish for anything we wants. When she drives him home she finds that his entire family is held hostage to his will and now she is too.

What tips the scale and qualifies for this noun game is close to the end when the Uncle Walt, played brilliantly by Kevin McCarthy, is asked to do a trick and what follows is a series of horrific monsters that are dreamed up by this sadistic little asshole. And what really shines it on is the Merry Melodies theme playing in the background! I mean, talk about mixing childhood love with doom!

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The monsters kept evolving into some of the most hideous and insane animatronics imaginable. I have to say, whoever was on that set back then probably didn’t want to be the one to shut down at night.

So that is Part 1 of THE NOUN GAME FROM HELL. Part 2 is coming soon to a computer, tablet or phone near you but until then, what are some of your scariest nouns? I want to hear them. They have to be the ones that disturb you the most! Those are the rules.

And so It Begins…

Welcome to the annual Halloween Hell Show or formerly known as The Halloween Countdown. This year will be something that will shift the idea that Halloween is just a holiday and not a season. Oh no, this ghoulish holiday season will be touted from the highest mausoleums and abandoned church bells, letting all good people know that orange is the new black and visa versa. We don’t mess around here at VeggieMacare during the season which specters roam the hollow and devils rap at the backdoor. Oh no, this is the time to embrace the macabre that most shy away from. The sights and sounds which kept us up at night, forcing closet lights to remain lit,  will be faced during the next few weeks. Today, September first, Halloween has begun.

So, with that said, what are we doing this year? Oh boy oh boy, let me fill you in!

PLACES!

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I am one of those jerks who has to see it to believe it. From shows like Ghost Adventures to Unsolved Mysteries, I go to quite a lot spooky destinations that I have always wanted to visit and a few really left me not only scratching my head but actually frightened.

MOVIES!

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What is Halloween without scary movies? That’s like Christmas without a tree! In a new video-cast , I will be bringing you many many many spooky films that you have to include in you Halloween celebration. Some are the ones you have always known and probably not. Either way, you will be enlightened and entertained. I hope.

JOINT OPERATION BLOGGER!

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You can’t have 100% fun without friends. Boy, do I have friends. This season I am combining forces with some of the best people on the planet who have as much fun with this season as I do. Some who you might know and others you will be introduced to. Your friends and are my friends and my friends are your friends so keep your eyes peeled because you might just see yourself!

REVIEWS!

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Nothing beats the new products of Halloween. NOTHING! From the much anticipated monster cereals to the always disappointing Jones Soda cans every trip to the grocery store is an adventure. Any aisle can bring spooky delights so when you go to the store for shampoo, don’t be surprised if you come home with a 6′ skeleton pirate. (True story) It’s all apart of the fun of Halloween.

This intro is a little light but trust me, in like a lamb and out like a lion is how I want this year to be. (Unlike everything else on this site) So kick back and WELCOME TO THE HALLOWEEN HELL SHOW.

The Amityville Horror Gingerbread House

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Hello all and welcome to another long-awaited entry to the Holiday Hell Show. This weekend I decided to step outside of both my comfort zone and my man card zone to construct a gingerbread house. I am not very crafty but when inspiration strikes I try not to ignore it because who knows when or if it will strike again. On Saturday, I listened. Here’s what happened.

For the longest time I have been a huge fan of Ray Keim and the website, Haunted Dimensions. All you need is thick weight paper, a color printer, some glue and scissors and with a little kindergarten recollection, you will have a 3-D model of your favorite horror setting. It’s the nerd in me that makes me want to stand on street corners and shout the website url over and over until the government wraps me in blankets and leads me into a padded van.

So, on Friday I was in my office struggling for something different to cover for the website because, that is what I should be doing at work, right?! Then it hit me. Kinda like this. Why don’t I use Haunted Dimensions as the model for a gingerbread house? It had to work. It just had to! And what better design than the famous 1975 horror classic, The Amityville Horror. It was a movie that terrified me as a child and fascinated me as an adult.

HOOOOKAY! Now, I have never successfully constructed a gingerbread house. The last time I attempted was in Tiger Scouts back when Ronald Reagan was in his first term so it has been awhile. I still remember it today. We had to cover an orange juice container with icing and stick gram crackers to the sides to make it look like a house. I can’t remember the details but I do remember having to be hosed off in the driveway of the scout parking lot. So, this project manager doesn’t have a very good legacy of success.

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Here’s the plan. I have the layout of the Amityville House and in my mind, all I had to do was cut out the pieces, build the model, find gingerbread flat sheets, paste them on top and decorate as I desire. Seems easy, right? Yeah, no way. First problem was the fact that no one sells flat sheets of gingerbread. I don’t know if I made this up in my mind but I could have sworn that’s a thing. It is not.

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So, I had to bake the sheets from mother furkin’ scratch. I’m not lying, I had the iPad on the counter with YouTube guiding me through the basics of gingerbread making. There were eggs and warm butter and flour. It was Hell.

WHEN YOU SAY BAKING I SAY FUCK!

BAKING!

FUCK!

BAKING!

FUCK!

But, I made it and it actually came out okay. The size was right and using the model for shapes worked out surprisingly well. I only burned myself four times which is as rare as getting hit by a meteorite especially when pans are involved.

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So, while waiting for the building materials to cool I set out to construct the model. I figured it would be easy to just glue the gingerbread pieces to the model rather than thinking silly thoughts like making this 100% edible. I was going for looks here. Plus, if people knew what went into my baking procedures, they wouldn’t dream of eating this.

The model is very easy to build but unfortunately, I fail at scissor. I always have because it is half patience and it is half skill, both of which I neither have nor desire. So, not all pieces fit perfectly. There were some jamming and cursing that went into the skeleton but eventually it did come together. After all, it would be covered by gingerbread, frosting and Satanism.

Funny story, while I was finishing the model I heard a ruckus right outside the house. Immediately I went in search of my cat because she isn’t fixed and has been desperately trying to escape to find a male suitor. Well, somehow she succeeded. I don’t know how she did it but she did and was having loud cat sex in the driveway. Let me lend you advice, my friends. Never break up cat sex. There will be blood. And there was.

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A bit later after bandaging both hands and placing my cat in solitary confinement, I was back to proceed with construction. I figured the best way to glue the walls of the house was to keep constant pressure and no better way to do so than place four brake rotors around the structure because they can at least do something until I put them on my car. That’s another project.

It worked so freaking well I can’t even say more. Things like this never work well for me. Usually I get this far only to place kick the project in the backyard and go back to the couch to sulk in the warm glow of cable cooking shows. Maybe my crafty ways are coming back. I mean, my Christmas Sweater article from 2008 still gets like 600 hits a day thanks to Pintrest.

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Oh the roof was the part I was having the most anxiety about. It’s an odd New England style home and that type of roof doesn’t translate in Candy Land. I baked four gingerbread strips and glued them to the model roof. Thank God I didn’t already add the model roof because there was no way for the strips to stick at that angle. So I placed them on the roof model and pressed them for an hour. This project came together like lamb and tuna fish. I don’t get it. This never happens.

Now that the glue was dry and the structure sound, it was fun time. The decorating. I’ll be honest with you, after the long process I had just building this, I gave decorating a half-hearted effort. I used Twizzlers for the roof, vanilla icing for sticky spackle, pretzels for storm gutters, caramel squares to build the chimney, Tootsie Rolls for the logs to keep George warm and cut marshmallows in half to give a snowy appearance. All-in-all, kinda shitty. Completely forgot the bleeding walls that Edie suggested. That would have been awesome.

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So here you are. The house George Lutz claimed to be haunted by the same demonic forces which drove Ronny DeFeo to murder his family. Not exactly the Christmas spirit but I am not sure anyone has attempted to turn this iconic house into a jolly gingerbread house. But I have!

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Oh yeah, and cat? Eat ass.

And thanks to Dinosaur Dracula who does this stuff one million times better and funnier. This was inspired by my long love of that site and X-E. Thanks for reminding us it is okay to be a kid and enjoy the little things. Cheers!

Beers with Movie Sauce: Jaws 2

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I promise I’m not going to say “just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water”.

Well, shit.

Okay, so it really was not safe to go back in the water back in 1978 because Universal Studios cashed in on the cash cow that was Jaws; the original summer blockbuster. As sequels usually go, they can’t hold a candle to the original but with Jaws 2, I would say they made a damn good attempt. Sure, it a silly premiss that a monster shark came to seek vengeance on a small beach community  only a few years after the first monster shark had its head blown off but hey, life is weird like that. Just ask New Jersey.

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So yeah, I am yapping about Jaws 2 but more importantly I want to climb the rafters with a bullhorn and call to prayer that the fine people of Narragansett beer have released a retro-throwback LIMITED EDITION lager that was featured in the first Jaws film. The can is in its original colors from 1975 and was actually crushed by Robert Shaw who played Captain Quint. I have drunk many cans of bud lights in the Army and college just for the purpose of reenacting that famous scene between him and Richard Dreyfus.

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Also, I wanted to take this quick minute to brag about the time I met Jeffery Kramer who played Deputy Hendrix, Martin Brody’s second in command. Such a nice guy and had a blast asking him all the lame-o questions a geek like me could ask. He signed a shirt (claiming that to be his first) but he also signed a couple of autographs to include a very special one. The autopsy scene in Halloween 2 but accidentally signed is “Deputy Hendrix”, his Jaws character.

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Doh! I doubt it increases the value in real life but for the dumb collection in my office, it’s priceless.

So, please watch and sorry in advance about the crazy noises I make after eating this insanely hot, shark themed, hot sauce. It is a doozy. Honest, it will light your face.

 

October For A Sunday

Every so often I get a Sunday like this one and brother, these are so rare I just can’t waste them. It’s dark and rainy out with no sign of it stopping, so in my mind I am creating an “October Sunday”. What is an October Sunday, you ask? Well, it’s a day when you barricade yourself in a safe spot and pretend it’s October just so you can watch spooky flicks, drink cider and act on all the Fall fun, if just for a few hours. But be careful, long time lovers of the macabre season can get burned out if we do this too often so it’s best to take Bastian’s advice from The Never Ending Story when he was conserving his lunch, “No…not too much. We still have a long way to go.”

I think this October Sunday (not a U2 song) I will impart my tricks of the trade with you, incase you find yourself months away from Target selling skeletons and severed hands and want to dip your toe in some creepy activities. I am not saying I am doing everything that you would consider fun but this may be a loose guideline and perhaps an idea or two will help you muster your inner Satan. Or you can read this and say I am crazy. Either way.

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Summer is for grilling and Autumn is for crock potting. If you want to have an early October there is no better way than to slow cook pot roast. It quite honestly is my olfactory link to The Simpson Treehouse of Terror, Season 2. I can’t explain it and don’t even want to dissect why for fear it would somehow change my link of meat to a cartoon but if I really am all in for an October Sunday, there’s got to be a fiddle in the band. And by fiddle I mean pot roast. The band is a crock pot.

I bet there is a vegetarian way to do this too. I love you all and if meat isn’t on the menu, share with us what you would do! I am curious.

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Coffee is my fuel that drives creativity, mental prowess, jitters and my ability to say “Big Bertha bought Bill’s bakery before Bob’s birthday” two hundred times in a minute. Lucky for me on this dark and stormy Sunday, I reserved pumpkin spice from Archer’s Farm to add that need boost to trick my taste buds into believing I will be sipping this while watching AMC’s Fearfest. A little goes a long way and after today, I will not visit anything pumpkin for another three months. I just need a quick fix.

Oh, and if you are going to buy a Keurig coffee maker, don’t buy the VUE. No one sells the damn cups unless you are at Bed Bath and Beyond or ordering online. And if you know me, then you know I often don’t have coffee here. I just happened to be at Bed Bath and Beyond for a table-cloth. That’s my life now, ladies and gentlemen. I shop around for a table-cloth.

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While you wait EIGHT HOURS for the pot roast to cook you need a spooky snack. I decided the good people at Hormel had just the canvass for a little Jack-o-Pepperoni. Behind that is extra sharp cheddar. Anything duller is completely unacceptable unless you can find habanero cheddar. That is very much acceptable.

The vehicle for the meat and cheese can be anything. I recently ripped through a box of Triscuits, grossing out my dog, so I am forced to use pretzels. God, how I wish I had some Triscuits.

Also, you vegetarians, I am sorry there is another meat. Replace pepperoni with apple.

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Alright, so we have the crock pot rocking, sending crazy good smells throughout the house, the pumpkin coffee is brewed and horror snacks are made without severing a finger trying to carve faces in meat. Now we find that little hideaway that is safe from the rest of normal society. For me, it’s my office. The only place where a 36-year-old can safely bask in pictures of Skeletor and Michael Myers. Even though it’s still rainy and windy outside, there is too much light. I don’t have blackout shutters so I have to make do with the guest bed comforter. The October Sunday is much more effective if it’s dark. Very dark.

I recently washed this comforter myself and you can still see areas where the stuffing separated. I swear those are not stains. I swear. Also, if you hang this up using a swivel chair with wheels, godspeed.

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Of course, how can we have a creepy Sunday without a terribly good horror flick? It’s honestly impossible to achieve full spooky without a horror movie. Lucky for me, I have a few of these horror collections, Netfix, Hulu and Vudu. Out of all these, I am sure there is something that will suffice. I am thinking The Unholy. Bare boobs can add a few bonus points, if you are looking for extra credit.

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It’s coming together but we aren’t quite there. As you can see, my little space is ready for a great Sunday of escapism full of blogging, horror movie watching and internet surfing. The aroma candle is lit and my buddy, Cosmo the Great, is sawing logs on the bed behind me. We just have one little detail left to complete.

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Perfection! It’s 2:30 on a Sunday afternoon and I am safely removed from any hint that it is the beginning of June. For all I know, shut in my capsule of delusion, it’s October 17th, 2023. It’s a fine Sunday indeed. I think another “Beers with Movie Sauce” review is on the books for later this afternoon, but for now, I will bask in this great little lie I call October Sunday. Try it! You’ll like it. But remember, not too much. We still have a long way to go.

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Of course I can’t leave out Matt’s Dinosaur Dracula archives. You didn’t think I forgot that, did you? Come on, I’m a pro at this.