Thursday, September 30, 2010

I've Been Tagged!

Good mourning, lovelies!

I was tagged by the super-awesome Cooking Chinchillas to participate in this meme. The tag rules are simple...answer the 8 questions from the tagger, then come up with a new set of 8 questions and tag 8 new bloggers!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Book Review: Horror Movie Freak

Horror Movie Freak is a “gore”-geous guide to essential horror movies that will certainly be a treat for any horror fan, especially with Halloween right around the corner! This beastly book and its glossy, full-colored photos will definitely fit right in on any horror fiend’s bookshelf!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Film Review: Bitch Slap (2009)

Bitch Slap is a straight-forward exploitation flick that emulates the grindhouse flicks of the ‘60s and ‘70s. It pretty much has all the exploitative elements you could ask for…oodles of violence, nudity and sex. But let me get more specific…it’s got girl fights, water fights, tons of boob shots, gratuitous slo-mo, strippers, Kevin Sorbo (in a small role), cat fights, girl-on-girl action, nuns, an Asian schoolgirl with a killer yo-yo, a punk thug with Tourette’s, Mohawks, stolen diamonds, explosions, spies and even Lucy Lawless as Mother Superior. Really, what more could you ask for?!

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Spooky Vegan Presents "31 Days of Halloween"!

Starting Friday, October 1st, I'll be unleashing my first ever "31 Days of Halloween"!

I've been working on posts for months now, and I'm very excited to share lots of fun Halloween stuff with you!

I know many bloggers have plans for Halloween articles throughout the month of October (all of which I'm looking forward to reading!), but I sincerely hope you'll check back here on a daily basis because I have lots of Halloween goodies I'm just dying to share with you!!

Stay spooky!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tonight's Viewing: Survival of the Dead (2009)

George A. Romero's Survival of the Dead (2009)

I had low hopes for this movie, so I've waiting until now to check it out. So far, this isn't as bad as Diary of the Dead, but it's still pretty bad in my opinion....

As I'm writing this I'm about half-way through the film and at each scene I'm either guffawing at the ridiculousness of it all or being just plain bored...

I'm hoping it gets better but I'm not exactly expecting great things...and where the F are the zombies??

Friday, September 24, 2010

Halloween Things at Target and Jo-Ann Fabrics

I finally got around to checking out Target's Halloween offerings...and like most other bloggers I was kinda disappointed by their small selection. Maybe they don't have all their stuff out yet, but it seems like this year they are catering more to the kiddies.

However, I did snap a few pics of what I did like:

Target's Halloween section

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Halloween Events in Southern California!

Ahhhh...autumn! It is finally upon us and now Halloween festivities can begin in earnest! Many Halloween events have their official kick-off tomorrow, Friday, September 24th, so I thought I would give you an event listing of some of the Halloween happenings around SoCal this October!

Of course, there are so many that there is no way I can list them all, so below you'll find a select group of pumpkin patches, amusement parks, haunts and film festivals for you to explore.

Got recommendations? Add 'em in the comments below!

Pumpkin Patches

My go-to pumpkin patch is Tanaka Farms (it's a fully functional farm and you can pick pumpkins still on the vine!), but this year I might visit a few others. I hear that for families with kids the Irvine Park Railroad patch is pretty if you live in the OC and have kids, take them there! That way they'll be out of my hair at the Tanaka Farms patch! Another one I hear is pretty cool is the one in Woodland Hills...they even have a small "Fright Fare" at night!

Irvine, CA September 23rd - October 31st, 2010

Orange, CA - September 18 - October 31, 2010

Woodland Hills, CA - September 24th - October 31st, 2010

Amusement Parks

All of the parks in SoCal go all out for Halloween. Closest to me are the Disneyland and Knott's Parks, which are always a blast! Disneyland is more kid-friendly, as is Legoland, but if you are looking for scares definitely check out Knott's and Universal Studios. They do a great job on their mazes and their spooks will scare you silly!

Anaheim, CA - September 17th - October 31, 2010

Buena Park, CA - select dates starting September 24th through October 31st, 2010

Universal City, CA - September 24th - October 31st, 2010

Valencia, CA - weekends October 8th - 31st, 2010

Carlsbad, CA - every weekend in October


There are a TON of yard haunts, neighborhood haunts, etc., so I obviously can't list them all. The ones below I've never been to, but I desperately want to go to ALL of them! The Haunted Hotel is legendary, the creepy Queen Mary is the perfect place for an eerie evening and The Empty Grave looks pretty cool for a smaller haunt.

San Diego, CA - September 24th - October 31st, 2010

Anaheim, CA - September 24th - October 31st, 2010

Long Beach, CA - select dates October 1st - 31st, 2010

Film Festivals

Looking for some awesome horror flicks to watch in October? Look no further than these two great festivals, showcasing the best in independent horror!

Los Angeles, CA - September 30th - October 3rd, 2010

Los Angeles, CA - October 8th - 17th, 2010

There are seriously a ton of activities to do in SoCal...obviously I can't list them all, but Halloween Gothique and CreepyLA have excellent listings of haunted houses, haunts, festivals, activities and so on for almost every neighborhood and city, so go check 'em out!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Vegan Autumn Chili and Cornbread

Mmmmm...looks autumn-y!

When the air outside starts getting crisp and cool (at least as cool as SoCal allows), I get a special craving for chili and cornbread! Tonight being the autumn equinox, it is a perfect time for this yummy comfort food.

Like most of my recipes, quick and easy are key, so rest assured that this is a super-easy, super-quick chili and cornbread!

Thanks For Another Award!

The awesome Vegetarian Cannibal presented me with a "One Lovely Blog Award".

Thanks so much!! What a great way to celebrate the first day of autumn!

And many thanks to all my readers...just wait to see what I have planned for my first ever 31 Days of Halloween! You guys are gonna love it!

As a condition for this award, I'm supposed to pick 15 blogs to give the award too...I'm not feeling too well today, though, so just these few will have to suffice:

And Now the Screaming Starts

Magikal Seasons

The Bliss Massacre

Visit them, follow them, love them!! And of course visit Vegetarian Cannibal and all the other blogs on my list to the right!

Orange and Black and Sexy

Happy first day of fall!

To celebrate, I wanted to show you my nifty nails...I love this look! Orange nail polish topped with a black "French tip".

I did these myself, so they probably look a little messy...but hopefully you're too distracted by the drool-worthy Alexander Skarsgard to notice!! Le sigh...he is just so dang sexy! I think Sookie is crazy to choose Bill over Eric in True Blood! Girl needs some sense smacked into her!

Errrr...anywho, before I drift off to daydream about Mr. Skarsgard, I just wanted to share this downright lovely look with you. It's fun, it's freaky and fiendishly festive!

I used O.P.I.'s "Atomic Orange" and "Black Onyx" nail lacquers. Sadly, I don't believe the O.P.I. brand is vegan. If you'd like to try a vegan brand of nail polish, check out No Miss, Spa Ritual or Dazzle Dry!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

End of Summer Pasta with Basil and Lemon Sauce

As one last summer hurrah, I decided to make a bright and vibrant pasta dish I like to call End of Summer Pasta. The sunny notes of lemon and the bright hues of the basil make this a cheery dish perfect as summer's last send off. Plus, it's a super-easy recipe that can be put together in less than 15 minutes!

End of Summer Pasta with Basil and Lemon Sauce
1 lb. pasta (I used penne)
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
1/2 cup olive oil
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped basil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Boil pasta as directed.

In a small bowl, mix together all of the ingredients. Once the pasta has been cooked and drained, toss with the basil and lemon sauce. Can be served hot or cold.

Film Review: Hack-O-Lantern (1988)

In my quest to watch every Halloween-themed horror flick I can get my hands on, I decided to give the obscure Hack-O-Lantern a whirl. This film combines one of my favorite subgenres of horror, satanic cults, with my favorite holiday, Halloween. What could go wrong, right?

The film opens with a young boy named Tommy as he is visited by his friendly grandfather on Halloween. Grandpa gives him his pick of pumpkins as well as an ominous looking pendant. Tommy’s family doesn’t like grandpa visiting his grandson and Tommy’s father goes after good ol’ grandpa to give him a piece of his mind. However, grandpa isn’t as nice as he seems…he’s actually the leader of a satanic cult and they dispatch Tommy’s dear old dad right quick.

The film then jumps ahead several years to the eve of Tommy’s 18th birthday that happens to coincide with Halloween. Grandpa has grand plans for Tommy’s initiation into his satanic cult, but Tommy’s beleaguered mother pleads with him to reconsider. Also concerned for Tommy’s well-being are his younger sister and brother, who is a rookie cop.

With Halloween celebrations in full swing, a robed, Devil-masked killer starts murdering townsfolk. Can Tommy’s family stop him from joining his Grandpa in the Dark Arts or are they already too late?
At least the title got it right…HACK-O-Lantern is an apt title for this painfully silly “horror” movie. Good god, this movie felt like it dragged on and on though it clocked in at under an hour and a half. It had its entertaining parts (more on these later), but overall this is a serious piece of cinematic doody. The first glaring evidence of this was the ridiculous acting from Hy Pyke, who played Grandpa. Are all Satanist leaders this effeminate and non-threatening? And then we have the actor who played Tommy, Gregory Scott Thomas (whom you might recognize as Mac’s father on the hilarious TV show, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia). Tommy is supposed to be nearing 18 in the film, but Scott Thomas is seriously mis-cast as he looks like a ‘roided out, 30-year-old jock rather than a young teenage follower of Satan.

Then, there are all the wacky and weird scenes throughout the movie. These are the “entertaining” bits I mentioned above. First is a seriously strange dream sequence/metal video that features an exotic voodoo-like dancer (check her out on the flick’s cover above) who, 1.) has multiple arms like a Hindu goddess, and, 2.) shoots horrible-looking lasers out of her eyes that zap the band members. This is a seriously WTF scene, but wait! It gets better…There’s the whole branding scene where nubile young Satan worshippers get their butts branded with a pentagram, another horrendous dime store metal band that screeches during a Halloween party that features random strippers and a five minute sequence of a “comedian” doing stupid impressions…of turkeys. Not to mention the amount of devil’s horns the characters throw around…except instead of the traditional holding up of just pointer and pinky fingers to hail the devil, the characters hold up pinky, pointer AND thumb…which actually means “I love you” in sign language and NOT “hail Satan”. Those silly satanists! Seriously, though, Grandpa, Tommy and other cult members throw the horns around non-stop…so much that you could in fact make a drinking game out of their appearances, taking a shot every time someone flashes the devil’s horns. However, you would probably be sloshed in 20 minutes…but perhaps that would be a better state of mind in which to watch the movie. Maybe if you’re drunk it would at least be kinda enjoyable.

Plus, there is the whole sleazy aspect of the film. We are talking random nudity (and not good nudity, it’s all low-budget ‘80s nudity here!) like the previous stripperella at the party mentioned above, plus a few non-sexy sex scenes. There is also the whole subtext of incest that pops up throughout the film. It is hinted that Tommy is actually the son of his mom and his grandpa. Yup, how ‘bout a big old EWWWWW from the audience, eh? I was half expecting that Tommy put the moves on his mom, but thankfully the film didn’t go down that road!

As for the kills? They were almost an afterthought and the only decent one worth mentioning is when a dude gets a shovel through his noggin. Yes, it is a low-budget film but the kills took a long time coming…too little too late in my opinion. It’s like the film couldn’t decide if it wanted to focus on the masked killer or the satanic cult and it ended up not giving enough attention to either. I also think too much time was spent on Tommy’s family, including his sister, brother and mother, instead of focusing on the supposed main character of the film, Tommy. The only time we saw him was when he was brooding in his room, listening to his crappy metal music and having weird dreams, or slamming the door in his poor mom’s face.

The ending had a nice little twist as to who the killer was, but by then I was really too bored to care. I watched Hack-O-Lantern for some fun Halloween thrills, but found it more of a chore to sit through. A film with a cool name like Hack-O-Lantern deserves to be somewhat entertaining, but this was more like Crap-O-Lantern.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Lores and Legends of Halloween from Trick 'r Treat

Thanks to the always wonderful PumpkinRot for alerting me to this wonderful making-of featurette from Trick 'r Treat! Not only does it show some nifty behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with cast and crew, but it also delves into the traditions of Halloween.

This featurette could only be found on the Blu-ray special features, but now some kind soul has uploaded it to YouTube for everyone's enjoyment! 

If you don't already own Trick 'r Treat, the Blu-ray is on sale now at Amazon!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Film Review: Boo (2005)

For years I thought I had already seen this flick, but I guess I just got it mixed up with other haunted asylum movies. I expected the film to suck, but surprisingly it was pretty entertaining. Despite the fact that it treads familiar ground, Boo’s writer/director Anthony C. Ferrante mixes things up with various characters, a chilling setting and plenty of spilled blood.

The film opens on Halloween night, where four friends decide to break into a supposedly haunted abandoned mental hospital. Meanwhile, a brother of a girl who disappeared a week ago seeks the help of a cop and they also enter the mental hospital. Once inside, the evil spirit of the asylum, a patient named Jacob (M. Steven Felty), won’t allow the new inhabitants to leave…alive. He proceeds to kill and then possess the intruders one by one…can anyone escape alive?

First off, I love movies set during Halloween! During the first few scenes, Boo has a couple of festive shots including pumpkins, scarecrows and a girl carving a pumpkin. The film keeps up the spooky spirit when characters enter the haunted asylum. I really thought that the decay and shadowy corners gave the asylum a life all its own and it was nice to see a setting used to its full potential.

Surprisingly, this film also had a lot of bloody set pieces! I was quite impressed with the makeup and special FX, especially since this was an independent production. Can you say exploding possessed corpses? That got your attention, didn’t it?!

However, despite the film’s strong first hour, the conclusion kinda tries to pack too much in and ends up backfiring on itself. There was just too much exposition on the background of Jacob (and a nurse, played by Dee Wallace Stone) and too many dumb character decisions. Until the ending, the film had great pacing, but the last 30 or so minutes just get bogged down with too much information. Another negative is that the acting is, at times, kinda iffy.

Despite the negatives, Boo was still a nice surprise and had a pretty engaging story. Give it a rental this Halloween season!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Film Review: Tormented (2009)

Tormented has entertaining characters, grisly deaths, ocular horror, a nice revenge story and a surprising ending! It also looks slick and polished and there is a fair assortment of characters (the popular kids, the nerds, the goths, etc.) is a pretty fun “teen scream” type of flick from the U.K.!

Friday, September 17, 2010

See Night of the Living Dead in a Cemetery!

How would you like to watch George A. Romero's classic zombie flick, Night of the Living Dead, in an actual cemetery?!?! Well, if you live in Southern California you'll get your chance tomorrow night, September 18th, 2010, at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in L.A.!

Yup, that's right...the seminal zombie film will be projected on the big screen while revelers cozy up against headstones to watch the show...more aware than ever of the undead beneath their feet.

The fabulous Cinespia organization, which screens films all summer long at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, have decided to end the season with a bang (or is that moan?) with Night of the Living Dead being the last show of the season.

Cinespia's summer cemetery screenings are a real treat - people bring coolers packed with food and booze, lawn chairs, towels, blankets and camp out under the stars while a movie is projected on a huge mausoleum wall. It is definitely an experience ALL Southern California's should experience at least once!

If you decide to go and it's your first time, I've got a little advice for you. Traffic might be a little harry around the cemetery, so I recommend parking on one of the many side streets as opposed to waiting in your car for over an hour to park within the cemetery. Make sure you get there early...gates open at 6:30 PM but people will be lined up wayyyyy before that time. It definitely pays off to stand in line EARLY because most screenings sell out and you want to get a good seat (just make sure you bring sunblock!)! It's also helpful to bring a small flashlight so it's easier to find your way out of the cemetery once the film is over.

The fee is only $10 (and I believe part of it goes to preserving historic cemeteries like Hollywood Forever) and I guarantee this is an experience you don't want to miss!

For more info, check out!

Happy Birthday, Elvira!

The hostess with the mostest, Elvira (aka Cassandra Peterson) celebrates her birthday today, September 17th! In celebration, here are a few of my favorite commercials she has done!

The first is a "Meat Stinks" Halloween video that I absolutely LOVE, for obvious reasons! It combines three of my fave things...Elvira, the undead and spreading veggie cheer! Yay!

Elvira is's never too late to go veg!

And here is a Coors Light ad she did:

And I just discovered this cheesiness:

I adore her!

And of course I can't wait for THIS:

Visit for more goodies!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Easy Chick Pea Curry

Please excuse the slightly messy plating...
I couldn't wait to dig in before taking the pic!

This is a super quick and easy recipe that can be thrown together in about 30 minutes (including all the chopping!). I love Indian dishes, and this is one of the quickest and tastiest I know how to make.

1 onion, diced
a few tablespoons Earth Balance or olive oil for sauteing
1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce
8 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp. tumeric
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. all spice
1 tsp. cayenne pepper (more if you want it spicier)
2 cans of garbanzo beans
2 green bell peppers, chopped
Salt to taste

Saute onions in Earth Balance or olive oil until translucent, then add tomato sauce, garlic and spices. Saute for a few minutes and then add the garbanzo beans and peppers. Saute for about 5 more minutes, add salt and serve! I like it over quinoa (as seen in the photo above) or rice, and if you have some naan (Indian flat bread) to serve with it it's extra yummy!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tonight's Viewing: Bitch Slap (2009)

Bitch Slap (2009)

Halloween Finds at Target

Target has been driving me NUTS lately! They are always sooooo slow in putting out their Halloween stuff and instead of immediate Halloweeny gratification, they insist on teasing me with just a few more Halloween items each time I visit the store. I reported on their spirited shirts a few weeks ago, but since then it has been pretty quiet there...

I was there the other day and they've put a out a few more things, but not much yet. I'm not sure if they're waiting for the first day of autumn before putting out all their stuff, but every year it seems like our local Target drags its feet in putting out its Halloween fare.

Oh least they had a few more fun things!

First of all I was excited to see their Halloween socks out!! I live in orange and black year-round, so you bet I picked up some more spooky socks! Plus, I finally got to replace my holey Halloween slippers with new ones...yay!

Next, they had their pet costumes (or, as they call 'em, "pet pajamas") out:

I'm not a big fan of "pet clothes", but these are pretty darn cute!

Finally, they had this yummy looking beer in stock:

I'm not a big fan of beer, but the cute little pumpkin scarecrow on the label really made me want to buy this brew! Thankfully, I least for now!

Another good sign is that my Target has started putting out their Halloween candy...guess I'll just have to wait one or two more weeks for all the good stuff to come out!

Besides Halloween stuff, they had some Monster High toys out! I am loving the whole concept of Monster High, which basically revolves around teenage monsters going to high school...yes, Mattel designed a whole line of monster dolls!! Pretty amazing, huh? I want to collect all their Monster High Barbie dolls (check 'em out on Amazon)!

Anywho, here's what they had at Target:

Frankie Stein


Deuce Gorgon and Cleo de Nile

I'll definitely be checking back in the upcoming weeks for new Halloween stuff at Target...

In the meantime, let me know how much Halloween stuff your local Target is now carrying!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Halloween Spirits at BevMo!

Mister Spooky and I were browsing BevMo this weekend for some luscious libations when I came upon a display for several different of fall-inspired suds! There was the tried and true (Sam Adams Octoberfest), but also a few pumpkin-inspired brews I was itching to try, like the Shipyard Signature Smashed Pumpkin!

We didn't pick anything up on this trip (truthfully, I'm not a big drinker, beer or otherwise), but I did snap a few photos of the super-cute bottles for your enjoyment! And I was just so stoked to see so many seasonal brews available! I hope to at least pick up a few different kinds for our Halloween party...even if they taste bad the bottles will make nice decorations!

I love the vintage-inspired artwork of the packaging!

Besides alcoholic beverages, I snapped a few pics of other drinks they had, including these two cool-lookin' sodas:

I'm curious to try this Curiosity Cola


If you'd like to check if your local BevMo has any of these products in stock, just check out!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Etsy Finds: Spooky Gothic Jewelry

As I was perusing Etsy today, I found some super-duper cute pieces of jewelry I wanted to share with you all.

I absolute LOVE this beautiful black gothic skeleton skull cameo necklace from SerendipityLicious!

Inspired by one of the best characters of all time, Lydia Deetz from Beetlejuice, this sparrow claw cocktail ring is a stunning statement piece from Blood Milk. Someone PLEASE buy it for moi!

 This vintage inspired black cat rosary is certainly eye-catching, isn't it? Made by Alyssabeths, I just love the uniqueness and fun Halloween-feel of this necklace!

This is my absolute favorite of the bunch...I adore bats and I love the fact that this is called Morticia's Bat Necklace! This nefarious necklace is made by the lovely Gretchen von Eberstein.

So there you have it, some Halloween-y and gothiky jewelry for your enjoyment!
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