Friday, December 27, 2013

The Warmest Blankets

Fully unzipped sleeping bags used like a blanket are warmer than regular blankets.

If your using multiple blankets, the thinner blanket should be placed on top to absorb the cold. The thicker blanket, being warmer, should be shielded from being saturated with cold, which is transferred through the blanket.

Fleeces are great for being used over a sleeping bag/thicker blanket to absorb cold and keep your bigger blankets warmer.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Discovering Crank Flashlights

Typically while camping at night you don't need a flashlight for extended periods of time, this makes crank flashlights ideal. Not only do you save money on batteries but with a few quick turns the light gives it's brightest level again and again. You won't have to worry about a dim light due to weak batteries.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Discovering Tiki Torches

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos A Tiki Torch is essentially a tin can and they range in price. What your really paying for is the Tiki Torch holders, which vary in extravagance.

The raw flame is fun and they light up the area with a warming, yellow, ambience. I use them for my outside lighting needs. Two is adequate.

The regular fuel burns faster than the fuel treated of OFF bug repellent, but it smells better.

In the picture I've taken the canisters out of the holders and am simply using them like candles on the ground or on a table. They light up the area fine even from the ground.

They also take a slight chill out of the air and make great hand warmers. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Review of The Legend of Hell House

The Legend of Hell House has no story - what’s weird is that I liked it! I say that because if you read my reviews, like I know you do, then you know that I hate movies with no story. But The Legend of Hell House has a way of waking you up, making you sit straight up in your chair, and demanding your attention. Yes, it demands your attention! Weird sub-jazz drum-n-bass synthesizer pads announce the spooky silhouette of Hell House all nicely adorned in fog. The interior is serviceably furnished and capped off with the occasional spider web or two. The physicist confidentially plans to dispense with the killer force of Hell House scientifically. Roddy McDowell mopes, complains, and broods inconsequentially until the end when a final showdown with Blasco “clears” the legendary haunt. The physicists wife and the puppet-like medium are mere toys played with dangerously by “the house” - both good looking, both representing opposing ends of the spectrum of beauty almost like Ginger and Mary-Ann of Gilligan’s Island. Yes, I liked The Legend of Hell House - it demands your attention with synthesizers pads and fog!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Review - Devils of Darkness

I watched Devils of Darkness again last night for the second time. I was expecting it to be only slightly spooky and borderline boring. However, I was soon surprised to find myself actually impressed with the costumes and atmosphere - I actually got caught up in the drama! It seems that the rouge edges, the disparate parts, and the general lack of colorfulness was smoothed out by an increased comprehension of the plot. Repeated viewings has saved Devils of Darkness elevating it to classic status! It’s hard to remember the vampire guy is a vampire when top-hat and cape are replaced by cult red robes worn only at rituals. The victimized vampire lady-folk are Hammer horror hot with gypsy flair! All-in-all, not bad!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Review - Taste the Blood of Dracula

Interestingly, Taste the Blood of Dracula picks up where Dracula has Risen from the Grave ends, quite literally with a film clip of the latter. The story isn’t deep but the scenery, regalia, and architecture is a rich, sensory delight. Typical Hammer horror honeys are instantly hypnotized into service by the gaze of Christopher Lee, the master. An unbelievably campy quest for exotic pleasures unleashes Dracula, prince of mayhem, once again upon the world! A stake in the heart alone can’t kill Dracula in Dracula has Risen the Grave but what kills Dracula in Taste…only the initiated know! Gaze if you dare into the eyes of Dracula, the vampire with nine lives.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Review - The Black Room

The Black Room...

I like a horror movie when it has a gothic graveyard full of statues and crosses.

I like a horror movie when it has a lot of stone rooms and a castle.

I like a horror movie when it has a big almost supernatural hound like in the Hound of the Baskervilles.

I liked The Black Room - I’ve watched it twice now and I’m sure I’ll watch it many more times.

Oh, did I forget to mention that I liked The Black Room? I did!

Review - Dracula has Risen from the Grave

Dracula has Risen from the Grave is the most atmospheric Hammer Dracula movie I’ve seen so far. The movie seems to pick up where Dracula - Prince of Darkness left off with Dracula being resurrected from his icy tomb. The movie is laced with Dracula’s presence which is nice in comparison to the sparse appearances in Horror of Dracula and Dracula - Prince of Darkness. Dracula’s face has a nice Halloween-like deathly pallor and I loved the scenes with him driving the hearse wagon. The movie is 90 minutes long and spends some time developing a love story between two victims, but it manages to keep your interest and give you the creeps. Unhappily, we never see inside Dracula’s castle, but the mountains are very atmospheric. The movie is set about the same time as Horror of Dracula and Dracula - P.O.D with wagons and Victorian-like clothes. The settings include mountain and forest roads, a town, two pubs, and of course, bedrooms. Two attractive blonds are bitten by Dracula and a priest is hypnotized into service.

Review - The Devil Commands

 The Devil Commands is my kind of old horror movie. Boris Karloff plays his nutty professor role like in The Ape, Night Key, Black Friday, and many others. It features Tesla coils, communication with the dead, fake mediums, grave robbing, and a few accidental deaths. Ultimately, Boris Karloff’s machines can contact the dead, now the work must continue until everyone’s life is destroyed, even Karloff’s!

Review - Bedlam

Bedlam - in my humble opinion, is not a horror movie. Oh, Boris Karloff plays it sinister enough alright, but outside of his performance, nothing is that scary. The asylum is comprised of a normal office, a hallway, and a barn where the loonies, as they’re called, hang out - it’s not very spooky! There is no dark dungeons or gratuitous torture scenes which might make it more atmospheric. Much time is spent in the quarters of Lord Mortimer, but again, there’s nothing spooky about the setting. Boris Karloff plays the villain well but he also shares the stage with a young pretty heroin who brightens the mood and inspires hope - not real creepy! The time is the 1700’s which is not my favorite time for clothes either. All in all, it was a good movie - just not much of a horror movie - but I liked it though.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Review - Boris Karloff's Thriller Season 1

Review Introduction: I purchased Season 1 of Boris Karloff’s Thriller from iTunes. I’ve listed the titles below and for most the episodes I’ve included full length YouTube links.

I’d like say that I enjoyed ever episode and don’t regret watching any of them or purchasing any of them. There are three types of shows here: supernatural tales, faux-supernatural tales, and simple crime drama’s. Most of Season 1 is the later. Overall I enjoyed the old school coolness of the black and white sixties horror show, Boris Karloff’s intros, and the dark twists.

Below, 1 through 24 are my favorites and the ones that I would most recommend for the entertainment value. I will offer brief comments for those but not the rest.

1) The Purple Room:

Features a Psycho-like house, a cool myth, and fair drama!

2) Pigeons from Hell:

Very atmospheric horror with gore!

3) The Grim Reaper:

One of my most favorite and scariest Thrillers!

4) The Cheaters:

Now real ending, but sufficiently creepy!

5) The Hungry Glass:

One of my most favorite and scariest Thrillers!

6) Trio for Terror:

Short but good drama’s, the first, one of my favorites, deals with witchcraft.

7) Choose a Victim:

Average drama - but I liked the clothes, cars, and the 50’s beat-nick slang of the starring character. Worth watching again!

8) The Terror in Teakwood:

Real old school horror theme. I also enjoyed the concert pianist motif.

9) Parasite Mansion:

A not too attractive tale about a horribly supernatural villian!

10) The Mark of the Hand:

A simple crime drama told very interestingly!

11) The Prisoner in the Mirror:

A cool horror/sci-fi idea. Worth watching, but no real ending..

12) Mr. George:

About a child and a ghost. The bad guys get knocked off, very good!

13) The Prediction:

Starring Boris Karloff. Adequate Twilight-Zone-like story!

14) Well of Doom:

Very Halloweeny, atmospheric, adequate drama…

15) The Devil’s Ticket:

A guy sells his soul to the Devil: a story straight out of The Twilight Zone, predictable twists, worth a gander…

16) Late Date:

Interesting crime drama about hiding a body…

17) Rose’s Last Summer:

Interesting crime twist…

18) A Good Imagination:

A take-off on Poe - dark humor almost. The wife’s shrill, trite, persona contributes to the slightly less-than-serious spin.

19) Knock Three-One-Two:

Average drama with horribly dark ending twists making it worth while…

20) Hay-Fork and Bill-Hook:

My favorite episode because I love the subject of witchcraft and Boris Karloff’s intro is my favorite - average story…

21) The Big Blackout:

Interestingly told crime drama…

22) Dark Legacy:

Great spooky house in the beginning. My favorite subject of witchcraft. Average story…


23) The Merriweather File:

One of the most interesting and interestingly told crime drama’s - unpredictable ending..

24) The Fingers of Fear:

One of the most interesting crime drama’s…



25) The Twisted Image:

26) The Ordeal of Dr. Cordell:

27) Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper:

28) Worse Than Murder:

29) The Fatal Impulse:

30) Girl with a Secret:

31) The Watcher:

32) Man in the Cage:

33) The Guilty Men:

34) Child’s Play:

35) Man in the Middle:

36) Papa Benjamin:

37) The Poisoner:

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Review - The Old Dark House

If you like thunder storms, it's got it. If you like spooky houses. it's got it. If you like Boris Karloff, he's in there. If you like eerie, creepy characters, it has them out the wazzoo! Although it has no real plot and no real ending, I highly recommend this movie to any horror fan. Essential!


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Review - Dracula Prince of Darkness

Dracula - Prince of Darkness is the sequel to Hammer's Horror of Dracula. It literally begins by showing a clip from the end of Horror of Dracula were Count Dracula is destroyed by sunlight. Clever vehicles are used to resurrect the dead Count. It's a house movie, Victorian clothes, and, in my opinion, about three times better than HOD!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Review - The Pit and the Pendulum

I watched The Pit and the Pendulum w/ Vincent Price again and it held up well as a rewatchable winner! I like the creepy Halloween-spook-house worthy castle and the 15th century Anglo/Spanish garb. Like Basil Rathbone in Sherlock Holmes, the brother kept my attention with his practiced, pronounced, prose. It's worth the wait for one big twist at the end which also features one of my favorite horror actresses, Barbara Steele!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Watching Dracula's Daughter Again

I never collected movies when they came out on VHS format. This is really the first time I've been able to buy movies and collect them. I started out by trying to buy all the old movies I liked growing up and perhaps discover others I've never seen. There is probabally a lot of good stuff out there from the 30's-60's that I don't have but for now I'm taking a break from buying - that means rewatching movies over and over again. I've noticed a few things in this process. I am shocked at how many scences and words you can miss watching movies. I am continually seeing things I never noticed before like scences and phrases. For example, recently while watching Dracula (1931) Mia said "he opened a vein in his arm and made me drink" which is a shocking statement that I never heard before! Also, while watching Dracula's Daughter again, I finally got it that the movie starts with the exact last scene of Dracula (1931) - with Van Helsing killing Dracula at Carfax abbey and the body of Reinfield at the bottom of the staircase (different set but the same props.)
I've noticed that movies get more interesting when you soak up more of the details with repeated watchings.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Review - She-Wolf of London

She Wolf of London is kind of a dissappointment because, like some other movies, there is no real werewolf in the movie, just a killer who exploits the local werewolf lore in order to make killings look as if they are done by the supernatural monster of the local area. That said, it's a good movie in terms of being an interesting mystery. I wasn't looking forward to rewatching it because I all ready know what happens, so what's the point? Anyway, I haven't bought any new movies lately and a few nights ago it was the She Wolf's turn in rotation. However, upon watching it again I was suprized at how interesting it was. It really caught me up again. I like the fact that it's done around the time of Sherlock Holmes and I like the clothes and homes. And the women are great in terms of beauty and elegance. So, it was suprizingly interesting upon a second watch and I look forward to watching it again...

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Review - The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection

I bought The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection from It claims to be every movie that Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce made - all fourteen. So far I don't see any reason to doubt that claim.


I love watching them and I usually watch one a night. I've seen them all many times by now, but every time I watch them I see new things that I didn't notice before; which makes it more interesting. I realize that it's just entertainment really , where the criminals are smart, almost as smart as Sherlock Holmes, and everyone else is clueless (the police and Dr. Watson.) Things are sometimes staged just to showcase how much "smarter" than everyone else Sherlock Holmes is!

I love the world of Sherlock Holmes - which is the Forties (although The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes takes place in the Horse/Buggy/TopHat days - which is interesting)

I love the women of Sherlock Holmes and their dresses! (The Woman in Green, Dressed to Kill, The Spider Woman)

Most of them are made by Universal Pictures but a couple are 20th Century Fox.

I guess I'd have to say that Sherlock Holmes and the House of Fear is currently my favorite!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Review - Dark Shadows - Johnny Depp

I was able to download Dark Shadows w/ Johnny Depp as a rental from iTunes. I expected the story to be about as complicated as his pirate movies and that held true. The movie was visually stunning as are all these modern computer animated movies these days.

The story is basically all about a witch who is out to get Barnabus Collins because he won’t love her back.

I was really impressed with the accurate portrayal of the 1970’s. I expected it to be cliché, mocking, but instead it was very true to life and very matter-of-fact for the most part. The highlight of the movie was when the teenage girl was lying on her bed listening to Black Sabbath “Paranoid”

It did keep my interest for the entire time and it’s two hours long, so I guess that’s good. I have to say 5/5 but of course taking into consideration that it’s a movie made for children like his pirate movies..

Friday, February 15, 2013

Review - Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein

I downloaded "Abbot and Costello meet Frankenstein" in HD from iTunes. A regular movie is about 800mb but the HD is 2.6 gig. The HD really makes it look clear and seem like a movie that was made yesterday! Part of the fun of these old movies is that I get to feel like I'm going back in time - I never realized that part of the reason was because the movies look old! However, half way through you forget it's HD and it looks the same. This movie has Lon Chaney as the wolf man, Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula, and Glen Strange as the monster - it has it all. My Score: 5/5

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Review - Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1932)

I downloaded the movie "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (1932) from iTunes. Overall it's a good movie, although more human drama than horror. The cinematography is great and I loved the top hats, capes, buildings, and furnishings - not to mention the ladies! Here's a Youtube film clip to demonstrate what I mean:

Mad Scientists movies were all the rage at this time, but I must confess to being less than impressed with the puny laboratories in most of these movies that contain only a few lousy test tubes. I'm happy to say that this movie features a laboratory worthy of a mad scientist - as featured in the photo below:

Again, the movie is very human and not very fantastic like horror movies are. You actually feel sorry for poor Dr. Jekyll and I could go so far as to say that it's actually a tear-jerker (although I didn't cry.) My Score: 5 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Review - The Invisible Man

 I bought this 4 pack from Amazon (The Mummy, The Wolf Man, The Invisible Man, and The Phantom of the Opera.) Last night I watched The Invisible Man. I really wasn't looking forward to it because I was expecting it to be next to boring. It was on TV when I was a kid but wasn't one of my favorites. The Invisible Man just couldn't compete with Frankenstein and Dracula for coolness! However, last night, after not seeing the movie for many years, I was shocked at how much old school horror movie atmosphere there was. The music was menacing, the towns, cars, and characters were rustic, and the Invisible Man was evil, a real monster! The Director was James Whale who also directed Frankenstein - that probably explains why this movie really stands out! I guess when I was a kid I wasn't that fascinated with the sets or the madness of invisible-man world domination! But I enjoyed it last night - a great mad scientist movie!

My Score: 5 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Review - Hollywood's Legends of Horror Collection

 I bought a package from called "Hollywood's Legends of Horror Collection." It comes in a cardboard box cover with slimline cases - which are my favorite. There are three discs with two movies on each - six movies total. The artwork on the discs is superb.

Mark of the Vampire - stars Bela Lugosi and features great vampire costumes, decor, and horror movie atmosphere. It's a good movie and I feel strangely drawn to re-watching it.

My Score: 5 out of 5 stars

The Mask of Fu Manchu - stars Boris Karloff. It's a very elaborate  movie. I've had a hard time following it, probably good if you watch it many times.

My Score:  3 out of 5 stars.

Doctor X -  a pretty good, strange, weird who-dun-it. Almost sci-fi.

My Score: 4 out of 5 stars.

The Return of Doctor X - Totally unrelated to the aforementioned "Doctor X." This is a classic movie featuring Humphrey Bogart. It's the concept of a scientific vampire.

My Score: 5 out o 5 stars.

Mad Love - stars Peter Lorre. Good movie about a doctor gone wrong. Feature Colin Clive who played Henry Frankenstein.

My Score: 5 out of 5 stars.

The Devil Doll - Featuring early FX and the miniaturization of things, not a bad movie.

My Score - 3 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Review - The Bela Lugosi Horror Collection

 I bought The Bela Lugosi Horror Collection from - definitely worth it. It has a great picture of Lugosi on the box and this same great photo is printed in nice color on two discs with four movies on each.

1. White Zombie
Cast: Bela Lugosi, Madge Bellamy
A wealthy plantation owner strikes a bargain with a voodoo master (Lugosi) to create a zombie bride (Bellamy). (1 hr 10 min, B&W)

My Score - 3 out of 5 stars.

2. Bowery At Midnight
Cast: Bela Lugosi, Lew Kelly, Wanda McKay
A criminology professor (Lugosi) leads a gang of thieves by night. Anyone who gets in his way ends up buried in his cellar--until a mad doctor (Kelly) reanimates the corpses! (1 hr 1 min, B&W)

My Score - 5 out of 5 stars.

3. Invisible Ghost
Cast: Bela Lugosi, Betty Compson
A doctor (Lugosi) unwittingly commits murders while hypnotized by his wife's ghost. After an innocent man is executed, his twin and the doc's daughter uncover the true killer! (1 hr 4 min, B&W)

My Score - 3 out of 5 stars.

4. Spooks Run Wild
Cast: Bela Lugosi, The East Side Kids
A goofy gang (The East Side Kids) spends the night at a creepy mansion and encounters its owner (Lugosi)--who remarkably resembles Count Dracula! (1 hr 5 min, B&W)

My Score - 4 out of 5 stars.

5. The Corpse Vanishes
Cast: Bela Lugosi, Elizabeth Russell
A doctor (Lugosi) keeps his wife (Russell) young with the glandular fluids of virgins! Will a reporter (Walters) be the next victim? (1 hr 3 min, B&W)

My Score - 3 out of 5 stars.

6. The Devil Bat
Cast: Bela Lugosi, Dave "Tex" O'Brien
A chemist changes a bat into a monstrosity trained to kill. An ace reporter (O'Brien) soon becomes the next target! (1 hr 8 min, B&W)

My Score - 5 out of 5 stars.

7. The Ape Man
Cast: Bela Lugosi, Wallace Ford
After making himself an ape-man during a horrific lab experiment, a mad doctor (Lugosi) hunts for the cure--human spinal fluid! (1 hr 5 min, B&W)

My Score - 4 out of 5 stars.

8. Bela Lugosi Meets A Brooklyn Gorilla
Cast: Bela Lugosi, Duke Mitchell
A scientist (Lugosi) on a remote island finds the perfect lab rats when two jokers (Mitchell, Petrillo) parachute into his lair! (1 hr 15 min, B&W)

Not scored.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Return of the Vampire - Review

The Return of the Vampire: another vampire movie starring Bela Lugosi with the same props, costumes, and atmosphere as Dracula (1931) - I love it! Includes graveyards, coffins, and a werewolf, for that early forties "Famous Monsters of Filmland" feel. It would seem to be a B-Movie at first but with repeated viewings the story is actually quite interesting. Not much romance in the movie but lots of darkness and night, not to mention the token bumbling British gravediggers for comedic relief! I purchased this movie at

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Body Snatcher - Review

Many movies Boris Karloff made were not horror movies, such is the case with The Body Snatcher. But, because Karloff was a mega horror icon, the promotion for TBS will make it seem as if it is by playing up the body snatching aspect of the movie. Yes, there is body snatching, but the focus of the movie is the history, relationship, and dark interaction between Karloff (the body snatcher) and the doctor he snatches for. It's a drama really - and a good one - with a stellar performances by the cast. I enjoyed watching it and at some point I'll watch it again! (Downloaded from iTunes)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Spooky Victorian Lanterns

I recently started taking my Coleman propane lantern camping with me. Unfortunately it doesn't have a protective box, and being glass, it broke. Too bad! I bought another one, the next size bigger because that's all they had. Finally after a week or two I had to admit that this thing is just too big so I returned it. The whole incident got me thinking about how much light do I really need? Actually a Bic lighter makes about as much light as I need. Aside from my wind-up flashlight and make-shift flashlight my iPod. Well, being the inventive type, this caused me to start thinking about making my own lantern that would suit my needs for lighting and space better than the store bought stuff. Of course, I would want it to look as cool as I can. Oddly, yesterday I was at the hardware store picking up some supplies for some boxes I'm making and I spied these very cool-looking lanterns They are electric and bigger than I need but I couldn't help admiring how cool they look.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Favorite Haunted House Design

There are many different "haunted" house designs. I guess any old house has some "haunted" charisma. While on pinterest I ran into what has become my favorite "haunted house" outline. I love the tower and the gables!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Motley Crüe - RockStar Make-Up

It was around 1979 and I was in the U.S.M.C stationed in Maine. I used to buy records and tapes at the PX. It was there that I discovered the Bands Motörhead, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister and Mötley Crüe. It was the end of the KISS era and an attempt was being made to keep KISS "alive" as it were. I thought it looked paganistic and perverted, totally metal!

Moon Phases and Moonlight Video

Being outside at night is exciting, not to mention scary and even dangerous! Moonlight, or the lack thereof, can play a big role in the party action! Here's a great video for understanding the process of moonlight! Good luck and be safe!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Horror of Dracula - Review

My Mom asked me recently how I got started liking horror movies. She said I was the only person that she knew of who did. She should remember, it all started in the sixties when I was a little boy. We had a B&W TV and three channels that played a gazillion reruns - some movies - some TV shows. Horror of Dracula was one of the two Dracula movies that I grew up watching as reruns. The other, of course, was Dracula (1931) with Bela Lugosi. Recently I downloaded both from iTunes. As soon as Horror of Dracula started and I saw the eagle statue at the beginning, I thought, "oh yeah, I remember this!"

I always thought I liked Dracula (1931) better but now I can see that I like both for different reasons.  I liked Dracula (1931) because of the early campy Hollywood props and the castle. Which is way creepier than the house in Horror of Dracula. Also, it's not that Lugosi is so much better than Lee, but Lugosi actually has a speaking/acting role in the movie where Lee barely speaks and acts, he just makes appearences. On the other hand, I like Horror of Dracula because the color is a nice break from B&W and let's face it, color is reality and B&W isn't! I  also like the women of HOD because they are sexy and I like the interplay between them and Dracula in that they hypnotically love getting bitten. The grave-looking women of Dracula (1931) are cool too but for different reasons. Also, Peter Cushing is really the star of HOD (where Lugosi is the star of Dracula (1931)) and I loved watching his acting, something I couldn't really appreciate when I was nine years old.

Horror of Dracula, color, sexy, erotic, Peter Cushing is good - what's not to like!