Outer Limits is 50 today!

The Outer Limits

50 years ago today, at 7:30 pm est, the world was invaded by The Outer Limits!

It was Friday evening and ABC launched this fantastic series with the episode “The Galaxy Being.”  I can only imagine what it would have been like to be a kid watching the infamous opening for the first time ever.  When I was young I’d watch The Outer Limits on reruns, and even though I’d seen it a million times before, every time the narrator comes on with “There is nothing wrong with your television set” it would send shivers down my spine.

I always felt like The Outer Limits was way scarier than other shows like the Twilight Zone or One Step Beyond.  The episode that freaked me out the most as a kid was “The Architects of Fear.”  The thought of being randomly selected to undergo radical and permanent surgery to be transformed into a horrible monster was like unleaded nightmare fuel to my kid brain.  To this day that episode still freaks me out.

Right now, every episode of The Outer Limits is available for free on Hulu.  I know what I’ll be watching tonight. Happy Birthday Outer Limits and thanks for many sleepless nights!

Happy Friday the 13th!!!

Happy Friday the 13th boils and ghouls!  Yes Friday the 13th is here again and it’s been over a year since this Mini-Halloween last came around.  We last had a Friday the 13th in July 2012.  We’ll have another this year in December, and the only one that will occur in 2014 is in June.  2015 has 3 Friday the 13ths; the maximum number possible in a year.  Yep, each year will always have 1, 2, or 3; no more, no less.

I know that 13 is considered an unlucky number, and Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day for a whole slew of horrific reasons, but growing up in the 80’s and 90’s us kids only really cared about one thing: Jason Voorhees!

Even before I was old enough to watch Friday the 13th movies I was aware that the series existed, and that in them a hockey-masked killer commits gruesome atrocities on mostly naked teenagers.  Just like Freddy, Jason transcended his movies and became a part of pop culture.  Congrats Jason!

TNT’s Monstervision and Joe Bob Briggs was probably my introduction to the Friday series.  Even though all the gore and nudity were cut out for TV I couldn’t get enough.  I remember in elementary school having a couple of friends sleep over and we stayed up all night watching FT13 movies on TV and they were awesome.  When I was a bit older I’d rent these flicks from KV video and revel in the tits and blood that I had missed before!

One great thing about the FT13 series is that each movie has something awesome to offer.  Whether an awesome kill, or a weird character scene, there is something memorable in each flick.  With 12 movies in the series, that is saying something.

My personal favorite film out of the series is part 5.  High body count, creative murders, lots of nudity, plus it’s just weird and crazy.  I love that.  I love the kids-in-a-halfway house set-up.  I love that *spoiler?* Jason isn’t even the killer.  How stupid/awesome is that.  It’s ridiculous.  I don’t even care, I always think of this as a Jason movie.

Anyway, Happy Friday the 13th everyone!  Stay lucky today, and avoid any camps with a death curse on it!

Which movie will YOU be watching tonight?

Which movie will YOU be watching tonight?

Happy 20th X-Files!

x-files

September 10th, 1993 was the premier date of the X-Files.  9pm on Friday and I begged my parents to let me watch.  Gave me nightmares until … well until next Friday at 9!  I was 10 years old and in 5th grade.  Man time really flies!  I can’t even begin to describe what a huge impact this show had on everyone at the time.  I remember kids writing reports on aliens and government conspiracies, kids playing X-files at recess, and pretty much everyone was talking about it.  I’m glad that 20 years later I’m not the only one who remembers this show fondly.

Tonight I’ll be watching the episode “Darkness Falls” which scared the hell out of me when I was younger.  That it happens to be Season 1, episode 20 is just an awesome coincidence.  The entire 9 season run is on Netflix streaming currently, so if you have Netflix, dig in and enjoy.

Again, Happy 20th X-Files and thanks for many years of magnificent nightmares!

Gah!

Gah!

 

Lovecraft and Halloween 2013

I’m not sure what it is; something in the air maybe.  It’s not yet cool here in PA, nor have the leaves begun to change.  It’s something though; something that lets me know that fall is coming, and coming fast.  Actually I’ve had this feeling for a few weeks now.  Usually I begin celebrating Fall and the Halloween season about the first week of September, but this year that feeling came early, around the first week of August.

My wife and I decorated the house for Fall around then.  Not Halloween mind you, Fall.  Keeping the spooky décor away until mid-September allows us to celebrate the season and still keep something special waiting for us as we get closer to Halloween.  In recent years I’ve adopted a kind of thinking that September through October is a celebration of all things wonderful about the season and Halloween night is the big festival at the end; a big send-off to the season, if you will.

I try to do something, even if it is small, everyday to get myself in that Halloween spirit (not that I need to, I pretty much live my life that way).  I’ve been reading the short stories of H.P. Lovecraft, that Old Gent that is Providence.  I had read a good number of them already in years past, but now I’m reading everything, and in the order they were written.  A lot of the early stuff is new to me, and I’m greatly enjoying it.  I have the complete fiction volume that Barnes and Noble put out a few years ago, and I would really recommend it to anyone even remotely interested in old H.P.  It’s inexpensive and looks really handsome on a shelf.  Check it out:

Looks good on a shelf.

Looks good on a shelf.

The front of the book is shiny and a bit metallic.

The front of the book is shiny and a bit metallic.

Awesome illustration on the endpapers at both ends of the book.

Awesome illustration on the endpapers at both ends of the book.

The early stories are really great.  Most of them are only a few pages, so you can get one or two read in a sitting with no problems.  The writing is great (if a little too flowery at times for my liking) and really conveys a wonderful sense of mood and atmosphere.  A couple my personal favorites from the early period are The Picture in the House, The Cats of Uluthar, Dagon, and The Tomb.  Hey, bonus:  All of Lovecraft’s stories are in the public domain and you can find and read them online.  Read one today, and feel the unearthly chill.

I thought it would be fun to do a little pencil drawing for each story after I read it, something simple to convey the mood or theme.  Here are a few, enjoy!

Thought it might be fun to do these quick, and just see what came out

Some Lovecraft Illustrations