Sunday, May 30, 2010

Double Feature

Tonight's the big night. After 26 years I will be returning to a drive-in theatre - the Valle in Newton, IA. I'm taking my kids (ages 6 and 3) for their first drive-in experience as well. The last two movies I can remember seeing at a drive-in were: 'Top Secret!' starring Val Kilmer, and 'Rambo: First Blood Part 2' starring Sylvester Stallone (which was actually watched without sound atop the high school football bleachers). This is a seminal moment for me - something I've longed to do - even as I've watched drive-ins slowly vanish one by one from the midwestern landscape. The movies tonight are 'Shrek Forever After' and 'Iron Man 2.' Not high on my list of must-see movies, but good enough to provide me an opportunity to re-live a magical part of my youth, and hopefully get some great pictures and information in the process.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Put The Glasses On!

We picked up a pair of tough-guy shades for our son while in Florida over Christmas - figuring he can wear them this summer to keep the sun out of his eyes and look cool in the process. The only problem is: he refuses to wear them. I had a 'They Live' moment the other day trying to get him to wear them.

"C'mon, Chunk - put the glasses on..." He refused. "Put the glasses on, just try them..." It only made him more stubborn. "Just one time, please - put them on..."

It didn't end in an epic back-alley brawl, but he still refuses to wear the darn shades. I got him to put them on long enough for one picture.

For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, here's a clip from the John Carpenter directed cult classic starring the great Roddy Piper.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Chain Your Dog

To a certain degree, we here at the Drive-In deal in fear. But as our dear readers know, our fear is very tongue-in-cheek - that is to say, we try to maintain a sense of humor about what we do. But every once in awhile you get reminded of what true fear is, and suddenly the glorified horror of Hollywood pales in comparison.

At 6:00 a.m. this morning I went for my daily run. We're on vacation at my in-laws in a sleepy little town in Iowa, so the streets are unfamiliar, the neighborhood uncharted. While enjoying the crisp morning air, the birds singing, the sun rising - I received a sudden jolt of pure fear right into my very veins.

I saw the dog. The dog saw me.

He was in his yard, I was in the street. I had to pass by, and I could see the dog was prepared to defend his turf. But my legs kept moving, despite the protestations of my brain. When his cackles got up and his ears went back, I stopped in my tracks. But when he bared his teeth and barked, lunging forward feigning a charge at me, is when I was really terrified. My reaction was interesting. I skidded to a halt, a hand moved to protect the part of me that is most precious, and I shouted "NO!" at the dog, all without thinking - just some kind of an innate survival instinct I suppose.

I walked over to the other side of the street, all the while keeping an eye on the Cujo look-a-like. When I got to the far side of the dog's domain, I saw the canine's owner smoking a cigarette on the other side of his house. He casually called to the dog, calling off the imminent attack, and I had a word of advice for him:

"Chain your damn dog!"

I suppose it's good to be reminded every once in awhile of what real fear is. It keeps you honest, keeps you on your toes, reminds you that deep down inside we all have a will to live. Maybe I owe that dog a thank you, but I have a feeling I'll be running a different route tomorrow...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Because It's The Right Thing To Do...

It's not too late to donate to a good cause. The goal has almost been met - will you be the one to put them over the top? Please, open your heart and pocketbooks to this worthy cause.

About this project:

In 2010, TVTV will grow beyond our "webisode" format and produce a 60 minute Halloween Special! But making an hour of broadcast-quality television takes quite a bit more than a simple "webisode". You can see our previous work by visiting our website at or by downloading our Web Season 2 episodes via iTunes under "podcasts".

We're currently filming Web Season 3. After that we're going to move ahead with shooting our perennial Halloween Special for grown ups! Think "Avenue Q meets The Great Pumpkin"! If all goes as planned, we'll be able to broadcast the special via local television this year and then push for a national release in 2011!

Your donation will help us tell the tale of Dwayne Frankenstein, Furry the party Yeti, and Irving Batfink as they dig deep into Castle LeShoc to discover the true meaning of Halloween and meet the somewhat morally ambiguous Pumpkin Prince!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Quote of the Day

“The dead can’t run. Their ankles would break. It doesn’t make sense to me. The dead move slowly. But they keep coming.”

-- George Romero

(Survival of the Dead limited theatrical release starts May 28th!)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Open For Business

You may notice something is in the air around the blog these days, or perhaps it's just the toxic fumes you're breathing... So here's the big news: Hallowzing has recently partnered with to bring fans of Halloween and horror a double creature feature. For those looking for a nostalgic foray into Halloweens of yesteryear - you'll find a new layout at waiting for you. For those thirsting for something a little more potent, I encourage you to head over to to quench your blood lust.

Since the Drive-In has only recently opened for business, there's a lot of renovation to be done. The property was in a terrible state of disrepair when we bought the lot, and we also uncovered some strange barrels of toxic ooze while excavating the snack bar. We appreciate your patience while we get things up and running - we promise it won't be long before the screen lights up, the nachos and popcorn are served, and B-movie horror from the heartland is brought to your computer.

The Management - Enjoy the show!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Happy Birthday

Is this going to be a geeky post? Yes. Yes it is. Bear with me...

Today is the 30th anniversary of one of my favorite movies of all time - THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. It's hard to believe it's been 30 years since its premiere. I have vague memories of going to the theatre in Webster City with my mom to see this - but what I really remember most is the excruciatingly long wait between the original Star Wars (before it was labeled 'Episode IV') and its superior sequel.

1977's Star Wars laid the foundation of my Star Wars mania that would last to this very day, but it was 1980's Empire that cemented it in place forevermore. Most will agree - whether Star Wars enthusiasts or not - that Empire is the best of the series, and I heartily agree. Short of the original, no other Star Wars film has the soul, the turmoil, and the wisdom of Empire. Perhaps this is due to George Lucas' handing over the directorial reigns to Irvin Kershner - perhaps not. Either way, the iconic images of wampas, taun-tauns, AT-ATs, Yoda, Boba Fett, carbon-freezing chambers, and Darth Vader's stunning revelation (at the time) will live with us forever.

Here's a a well-written article that sums it up nicely:

Happy 30th birthday Empire. The Force will be with you. Always...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


It's time.

In fact, it's way beyond time - it's long, long overdue.

The Hallowzing site is finally getting a much needed facelift. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and that was definitely my intention going into this project. Needless to say, while the similarities between my own site and that of the legendary Pumpkinrot served its purpose, it is time to define this site as my own. In my eyes, I will never live up to the greatness that is Pumpkinrot - but I hope that he saw my site as a tribute of sorts, and not as a blatant rip-off. I really do respect all that he has done for Halloween, and thank him for the inspiration he has given me - while designing this site as well as designing my props in The Workshop.

But the clock-tower has now rung its midnight toll. I promise to continuing revering the memories of Halloweens past - but I also have to move on with a clear vision of Halloween's future. For those who've watched this site over the years, I thank you for your patience and look forward to bringing you a new vision of Halloween in ways you might not have expected. For those who have not yet been enlightened by the majesty that is Pumpkinrot (I can't imagine there are many by now...) Please head over to the one and only, original master of the macabre:

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tag... You're It!

Walked my daughter to the bus stop this morning. The usual group of first grade boys were there running around and being their normal rambunctious selves. At one point one of the boys says: "Hey, let's play Mummy Tag like we did last Friday!"

Of course I had to ask: "What's Mummy Tag?"

So now, for your reading pleasure, here's the official rules of Mummy Tag as explained by seven-year-old Dalton from the bus stop.

You pick one kid to be 'It.' But instead of just chasing the other kids so you can 'tag' them, the person that is The Mummy has to hold their arms out in front of them and growl a lot.

I love it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010



Tuesday, May 11, 2010

On The Turntable

FINALLY! The long awaited Rob Zombie / Alice Cooper concert is TONIGHT! This Halloween fan-boy has been waiting a long, long time to see Alice - and to get him on the same bill as Rob Zombie is just the bloody icing on the cake! I'm going to the show with a buddy of mine from high school (who is coincidentally the webmaster of the Hallowzing site - thanks PC!) We have been to many concerts over the years and seen a lot of bands, but neither of us has ever seen Alice Cooper.

PC is roadtripping up from Iowa, and we're going to hang out in The Workshop, have a few beers, and get in a Halloween state of mind. It helps that it somehow feels like October outside. As if sensing the evil that has rolled into town, the skies have went dark and the weather has turned rainy and gloomy. As we head off to see the man who has been 'Saving Halloween Since 1965,' I feel like we're in for a really killer night...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Troubled Art

The truly beautiful work of Minnesota artist Katie Rose Aguado. I'm the proud owner of several of her pieces, the most recent a charming graphite portrait of Edgar Allan Poe, which I received for my birthday yesterday. The jack 'o lantern is an oil painting she did for us last October, based upon a photograph I took several years prior. The oil portrait of Poe, which has a permanent place of honor on our fireplace mantle-shelf, was a trade I did with Ms. Aguado - two custom-made gravestones for one ridiculously enchanting painting. I still feel like I owe her for that one! For more information, or to buy your own fabulous piece of art, follow this link...

As a thing of art nothing could be more admirable than the painting itself. But it could have been neither the execution of the work, nor the immortal beauty of the countenance, which had so suddenly and so vehemently moved me...Thinking earnestly upon these points, I remained, for an hour perhaps, half sitting, half reclining, with my vision riveted upon the portrait. At length, satisfied with the true secret of its effect, I fell back within the bed. I had found the spell of the picture in an absolute life-likeliness of expression, which, at first startling, finally confounded, subdued, and appalled me... [from 'The Oval Portrait' by EAP]

Monday, May 3, 2010

Like Father Like Daughter

My daughter is 'shaping' up to be a great home haunter some day. I'm so proud.

P.S. Behind her is The Workshop where all my pusillanimous props are created. I'll try to get a better shot of that sometime soon.