Movie Review – 17 Thoughts About Halloween (2018)


John Carpenter’s original Halloween is one of the most esteemed and sacred horror films of all time.

The resulting franchise, though it has had its ups and downs, is a cornerstone of what we think of as modern horror. Regardless of how individuals may perceive the 1981 sequel, the unrelated Season of the Witch, the so-called “Thorn Trilogy”, the later sequels, or the Rob Zombie versions…

Damn. That was so much different stuff I forgot what my point was.

Anyway, horror fans love different parts of the franchise for different reasons and some of us can even find reasons to love all of the films (except Resurrection).

It took some balls for Danny McBride, David Gordon Green, and Jason Blum to think they could just step into this beloved horror franchise and change 37 years of history that quite frankly didn’t make a whole lot of sense, anyway. But it still took balls.

Balls, and Jamie Lee Curtis. And John Carpenter himself, who, along with his son Cody and Daniel Davies provided a powerful score.

As I’ve said many times, I don’t have any issues with the idea of sequels, reboots, remakes, or re-interpretations. I’m always a big fan of new ways of looking at things I love. Sure – sometimes it ends up badly, but I don’t think revisiting familiar concepts is inherently bad.

I’m not gonna lie – I had reservations about the progenitors of the modern day white buffoon taking the reins of this franchise. While I saw great promise in Green from Pineapple Express, it’s always a sketchy proposition to see comics moving into the genre. Just because Jordan Peele was successful doesn’t mean everyone will be.

Having said that, everything I saw about Halloween leading up to its release looked not only interesting, but tonally spot-on. When I walked into that theater with our pals Ryan Cadaver and Nicole Ghouled, it was with minimum reservations.

Did the film deliver? Read on. Continue reading “Movie Review – 17 Thoughts About Halloween (2018)”

Needless Things Podcast 235 – Hack-O-Lantern Needless Commentary


Part of an ongoing series – the Needless Things Irregulars gather in the Phantom Zone to provide their own unique commentary on classic genre films!

Cashing in on the Satanic Panic of late 80s America, Hack-O-Lantern brings cults, spooky old dudes, and small town weirdness bathed in a satisfying helping of 80s cheese. When Hy Pyke (Dolemite, Blade Runner) is the marquee name, you know the Irregulars are in for a good time!

Listen in as our special guests school the Commentary team not just on the movie, but on the KISStory of the hottest band in the world!

Be sure to join the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group and get in on the conversation for this week’s episode! Let us know what you think!

Procrastibate” by 

Interstitial music provided by The Mystery Men? 

You can follow Dave as Phantom Troublemaker on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for all the latest on pop culture!

Halloween 2018 – The Horror Movies of 1988

There are so many great things about this time of year. One of the best is the ability and excuse to sit around and watch horror movies all month long. I wish tv channels had this kind of programming all year. I do have diverse tastes, but I also can’t think of a genre that I like better. Maybe sci-fi or fantasy comes close, but it’s always been horror that tops the list. Many of my favorites came from my formative years. I’m not going to try and say that they’re all good movies. Some of them are downright bad, but I’ve never been one to let popular opinion sway me. 1988 is an excellent example of the wonderful and the awful coming together to make a crazy year of horror movies. Join me for a look back at what I think are some of the most memorable (and terrible) scary movies to come out of 1988. Continue reading “Halloween 2018 – The Horror Movies of 1988”

Halloween 2018 Toy Review – Savage World Horror from Funko

It looks like Funko has found the next action figure format to go completely bonkers with.

Their initial launch of Mortal Kombat characters didn’t exactly excite me, but once they added Conan, Thundercats, these horror icons, and most recently a crazy assortment of DC Comics characters; I had to consider myself a fan.

I suppose these horror figures are sort of divisive. If you’re a fan of weird stuff and different takes on or mash-ups of things you love, these are great. If you’re a stuck-up sourpuss that hates fun, they probably aren’t for you. Continue reading “Halloween 2018 Toy Review – Savage World Horror from Funko”

Halloween 2018 Horror at Home – October’s Blu-Ray Releases

While Halloween has been underway since early September for some of us, October is the official start of the spooky season for many. One of the easiest and most fun ways to get into the right frame of mind is by sitting down with a big bowl of candy corn and your favorite adult beverage to enjoy some scary movies and TV shows!

Every Tuesday in October I’ll be running down some of the best spooooky releases coming to home media.

To find out what’s coming this week, read on! Continue reading “Halloween 2018 Horror at Home – October’s Blu-Ray Releases”

Halloween 2018: The Horror of John Carpenter

Sometimes it’s hard for me to define the idea of “favorite”.

Any day of the week I could claim that John Carpenter is my favorite director. He directed my favorite movie – Big Trouble in Little China – and is responsible for many other films that I consider “must-haves” and have bought multiple times in various formats. Movies that I can’t say I like because I adore them. I watch them annually (or more) and devour each minute because, in my eyes, they’re cinematic perfection.

I don’t feel this way about all of Carpenter’s films, though, which is what drove me to write this post.

There are a few films in the Carpenter library that, for one reason or another, don’t work for me. I don’t consider most of them bad by any stretch, they just don’t connect with me the way the ones I love do. And I can’t think of another director whose work I’m so divided about. For example – I’ll watch Escape from New York any time. It’s excellent. But I find Ghosts of Mars to be so bad that I can’t even get through the whole thing for my occasional “It can’t be that bad” revisit.

What I’m going to do today is run down John Carpenter’s horror films and how I feel about them and maybe why some seem so perfect and others seem far from it. Obviously I could write entire articles about each movie regardless of how I view them, so I’ll keep these brief. Also, I’m not covering everything Carpenter has directed – just his theatrical horror releases. They Live isn’t included because to me it’s science fiction with horror elements. The Thing, on the other hand, is the inverse of that.

Your opinion may differ. If so, I encourage you to start a website and write a post about John Carpenter. I’ll read it. I promise. Continue reading “Halloween 2018: The Horror of John Carpenter”

Needless Things Podcast 234 – Halloween 40th Anniversary Live from Dragon Con

Recorded LIVE at Dragon Con 2018 for the Horror Track!

John Carpenter’s Halloween changed horror cinema 40 years ago. Our pal Derek Tatum put together a roundtable of luminaries to discuss the original as well as the upcoming sequel. Our own Dave West moderated a fantastic panel consisting of author Mari Mancusi, author/illustrator Catherine M. Scully, author Valerie Hampton, and author Clay Gilbert.

The group discusses the impact of the original film and the significance of its holiday setting. Michael Myers, Laurie Strode, and Samuel Loomis are also discussed in-depth, as their complicated relationship contributes hugely to the lasting appeal of the film.

Listen in as this talented group dissect one of the greatest horror films of all time on the newest episode of the Needless Things Podcast!

Buy your tickets for next year’s magical Dragon Con experience now before prices go up!

Be sure to join the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group and get in on the conversation for this week’s episode! Let us know what you think!

Procrastibate” by

Interstitial music provided by The Mystery Men?

You can follow Dave as Phantom Troublemaker on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram