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Ghoul Drink Drunk

Ghoul Drink Drunk is a regular column that features your host, an adult male zombie who prefers bourbon and beer, exploring the sugary, sweet world of “ghoul-y drinks” for your edification and entertainment. He promises not to barf on you or eat your brains. Enjoy.

When I was a kid, my list of Top 5 Favorite Holidays looked like this:

1) Christmas – Obviously. TOYS. As an only child with typically indulgent grandparents, Christmases at my house made the gift suite at an Oscars after-party look like a miserly old maid begrudgingly sharing her Tic-Tacs. I was spoiled rotten (and am somewhat of a broken person now because of it, but THAT’S not what we’re here to talk about) and I loved every minute of it.

2) Thanksgiving – Feeling like a grown-ass adult, watching football with my uncles, furtively stealing sips of their Coors Light when they went to empty their dip cups. AND THE FOOD. Holy shit. For a fatty-in-training, Thanksgiving was like the Food Olympics. “Well, Bob Costas, I’ve trained all year for this and, yes, I think I’ll probably be able to eat so much green bean casserole that my mother has to take me aside and explain to me the concept of sharing AGAIN, and also remind me that this how rumors about thyroid problems get started. USA USA USA!!!”

3) 4th of July The sky is exploding! THE SKY IS EXPLODING!!!! Why yes, I WILL have another hot dog.

4) Valentine’s Day – Everyone I know wants to give me a card that quantifies the love they feel for me, and ALSO there are chocolates for me to jam into my maw? Everything about this day is tinted with magic in various shades of red and pink.

5) Halloween – GIVE ME CANDY, I’M DRESSED LIKE A GO-BOT.

Ah… youth.

Back in August, I turned 34 years old. This makes me adult as fuck. And, as someone who is adult as fuck, I have finally figured out a few things that I believe to be absolutely true. Things such as:

-Eating a fiber-rich diet will greatly improve your day-to-day existence for various poop-related reasons.

-It is satisfying to pay bills in a timely manner, and parenthetically, it is also pretty cool to not have the electric company shut your power off all the time.

-Holidays, as an adult, thoroughly blow.

Now.. granted… my wife and I do not have children. As I understand it, getting to experience the holidays through your own child’s eyes is a magical thing, like seeing a Leprechaun make out with a Sasquatch. Wouldn’t know. Don’t care to find out, actually, as kids are little punks that suck out your life force and replace it with crippling debt, things they’ve shit on, and also sometimes they become serial killers. That’s just a fact.

At any rate, holidays now are terrible. They’re expensive, they require being places at certain times… usually looking nice, which is in and of itself a whole thing (“which one of these Big Johnson t-shirts would you say is the CLEANEST?)… and they tend to highlight everything that’s not going right in your life at that very moment. Also, does anyone still celebrate the 4th of July anymore? I literally cannot remember the last time I did anything for that holiday. I think I’m usually at work, assuming all the ruckus outside is the citizenry of Dallas exercising their right to bear arms.

ANYWAY, all of this is roundabout way of saying that, while MOST holidays suck gravy, there is one exception… one holiday still holding steady on my list… and that exception is, emphatically, HALLOWEEN. Halloween just fucking rules so hard, it’s spooOOooOOooky.

There are horror movies on all the time, people go fucking nuts with giving out candy, if you’re lucky you’ll hear “Thriller” on the radio… the WHOLE song, with the awesome Vincent Price rap and everything… and, just generally, it’s the one time of year where the entire country embraces the creepy, the weird, and the scary. I fucking love it… I do. Which is mostly fine. There is ONE kind of iffy side effect, and that is the fact that I cannot be in a Target or a Wal-Mart unsupervised. If that happens, I end up buying totally unnecessary, though, yes, TOTALLY BAD ASS, garbage like this:

The Ghoul Drink:

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Hahaha, motherfucking Ghoul-Aid???  SCARY BLACKBERRY??? If that isn’t a fucking graveyard smash, I don’t know what is. GOD DAMN, do I love this holiday! And since I’ve got like an entire box of this stuff in my fridge now, I figured it would probably be in everyone’s best interest for me to mix it with alcohol and then write about it on the internet. Everybody on board? Yes? Wolfman? Dracula and his son? Good! Let’s get to it.

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Oh, so first though… I drank one of these by itself, so I could fully understand it as an ingredient and, thus, better incorporate it into my mixology. Also, it’s fun to drink things out of Mylar pouches. Feels like right after tee-ball practice. Anyway, the Scary Blackberry Ghoul-Aid (fuck, that’s just so wonderful) was pretty damn good! Tart, like an actual blackberry, yet still retaining that fake-juice flavor that Kool-Aid long ago locked down tight. Gotta say, kids drinks have definitely improved since my day. They taste richer now. More fruity, and less “frooty.” Just superior in every way.

Obligatory Nostalgic Counterpoint: YEAH, BUT THEY’RE SURE NO ECTO-COOLER. Those sumbitches had Slimer on them.

Moving on…

The Official Ghoul-Aid Scary Blackberry Cocktail Guide

As you probably gathered from the picture above, I mixed the Ghoul-Aids with three different liquors: Some Deep Eddy Vodka, which I let get all frosty cold in the freezer, some Sauza Tequila, because the evening might as well end with me calling a bouncer a pantywaist (…aren’t you drinking these at home…), and Loopy Vodka, which you may remember from a previous post. Believe it or not, we’ve still got some of that left over.

OH, and I feel like it’s important I mention that all the cocktails were mixed with the aid of this incredibly spooktacular shot glass:

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BECAUSE HALLOWEEN, BITCHES. Hard in the paint.

To the drinks!

Ghoul-Aid Scary Blackberry with Vodka

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Yes, it’s a pretty unappealing color… kind of like a deep bruise with hints of toxic waste… but that’s just what beverages are going to look like when you’re dealing with BOO JUICE. Also, please note that this cocktail is being hand-modeled by my wife, who is sporting a seasonally appropriate blood-splatter manicure. You are correct: my wife is awesome.

The cocktail tasted… you know… fine. Mostly it just tasted really cold. The vodka kind of thinned out the tartness of the blackberry, which left behind a bland sweetness that wasn’t by any means undrinkable… it just wasn’t terribly exciting. There is the possibility that I muffed up the vodka-to-Ghoul-Aid ratio; I went closer to half-and-half, where I think the whole thing would have benefited from a one part vodka, four parts Ghoul Aid recipe. Still though, what seemed like a really bold, vibrant flavor when sucked from a pouch via an adorable, yellow straw, really weakened and buckled when paired with a spirit. I USED THE WORD SPIRIT THERE BECAUSE SPIRIT MEANS GHOSTS.

Ahem…

Ghoul-Aid Scary Blackberry and Tequila

So… all the cocktails looked the same. Remember the picture from a few paragraphs ago? This one was exactly that, visually-speaking. Scroll up if you need a refresher.

Whereas the vodka in the previous cocktail neutralized the Scary Blackberry flavor, the tequila in THIS cocktail simply overwhelmed it. Using the same (admittedly kind of stout) ratio as before, all I could taste was the Sauza, with maybe a faint note of sugar on the back end. Essentially it was like drinking purple tequila, which I’m surprised is a thing that doesn’t already exist. The kids these days… they like the bright colors. For their… raves…? Is that still a thing…? Probably. Probably still is. HAHA, I ain’t old!

Ghoul-Aid Scary Blackberry and Loopy Vodka

I assume you’ve heard the phrase “unholy matrimony” before? The dude that thought that up was thinking about this cocktail when he had his “a-ha!” moment. While the Ghoul-Aid is tasty on its own, and the Loopy Vodka by itself is… well, not tasty exactly, but a fair representation of the weird-flavored vodka trend… when they’re mixed together, they are like the sugar sludge pouring forth from whatever freshly-killed monster up until very recently stalked Candyland’s Candy Cane Forest.

So SWEET. So sticky on the lips. And god, the Ghoul-Aid really brings out the Lemon Pledge notes that were previously examined in the Loopy Vodka. The whole thing was a car crash in a glass, and if you ever end up drinking Ghoul-Aid Scary Blackberry and Loopy Vodka mixed together, it’s because you are being tricked, not treated.

Drink the other two cocktails. They’re fine. Don’t drink this one. DON’T. That way madness lies.

Conclusion:

While most holidays are busy dry-humping your wallet and messing with your schedule, Halloween exists only to facilitate your having of fun times. PROOF: products like Ghoul-Aid Scary Blackberry exist, and are awesome. And you can mix them with booze! It’s not the most successful venture in the world, but it WILL get you drunk.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN, YOU DEMONS!!!

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7 Little-Seen Horror Movies You Should Watch, Because Halloween

Halloween is fast approaching, which means that you really should be watching some horror movies in the next couple of weeks. ‘TIS THE SEASON, DAMMIT. If you’re not watching horror movies in October, you’re basically the acting mayor of No-Funnsylvania  (the elected mayor of No-Funnsylvania was impeached after the local newspaper discovered that he is actually, in fact, way, way fun).

“But C-dog, you’re so handsome, and also, what horror movies should we watch? THERE ARE TOO MANY CHOICES.”

First off, thank you for noticing my handsomeness. I have upped my candy corn intake as of late, and I think the resulting, constant sugar high has really given my skin a nice dewy glow. Regarding your second point: I know… BELIEVE ME… I know. There are SO many horror movies out there, and a lot of them, frankly, suck out loud. It can be intimidating, wading through that sticky swamp of eye-grabby titles and lurid cover art, which can lead to frustration, hopelessness, and, eventually, you just end up watching I Know What You Did Last Summer for the twentieth time because whatever, who cares, take me away, Jennifer Love Hewitt.

Fortunately, I am here to help. See, I like horror movies. A LOT. It’s my “thing,” which I will admit is kind of sad and even a little creepy 11 months out of the year. BUT NOT IN OCTOBER, BABY. The Halloween-adjacent weeks are my time to shine.

So, to that end, please allow me to jam some horror movie recommendations into your eye holes. Some LESSER KNOWN horror movies, mind you. No Nightmare on Elm Streets or Halloweens here. The following movies are ones you may not have seen, but really SHOULD see. While they might have flown a little under the radar, they are all varying degrees of greatness.

And if you HAVE seen all of these, well then… do you want to be best friends?

To the movies!

NOTE: All of these titles are available on Netflix. If you DON’T have Netflix, then… what… do you like read a lot or something? Do you hike? YOU’RE NOT BETTER THAN ME.

The Town That Dreaded Sundown

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PLOT IN TEN WORDS OR LESS: 1940’s, small-town serial killer baffles cops; terrorizes locals

If you were to take a vicious, hooded serial killer and drop him into an episode of The Andy Griffith Show, the resulting Mayberry bloodbath would look a whole lot like The Town That Dreaded Sundown. The movie is almost a horror sub-genere all its own; call it, “Slice of Life Horror.” Just small-town folks, goin’ ’bout their lives… having some laughs, some love, some joy, and some sorrow…  and every now and again, a couple of them get murdered by a psychopath. Tonally, this movie is all over the place; there are icy chills, and there are moments that can only be categorized as slapstick. To me, though, that makes TTTDS even MORE realistic, because life isn’t really just one tone all the time. Maybe it has something to do with this being based on true story? Or maybe the filmmakers were just kind of not great at their job. Either way, it works.

Also, the killer… dubbed “The Phantom” by the locals… is straight-up terrifying. His hood thing, seen in the posters, is simple, yet very effective as a part of his whole slasher ensemble. Plus, he murders somebody with a trombone. It’s weird. The whole movie is kind of weird, actually. It’s all just a little off-center. Which is nice.

Here Comes The Devil

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PLOT IN TEN WORDS OR LESS: Siblings disappear. Parents worry. Siblings reappear, but changed. MAGIC CAVE!!!

If you like your horror films slightly inscrutable and also full-to-bursting with weird, sexual energy and vaginal imagery, then, boy, you have really specific taste in horror films. Also, Here Comes the Devil is THE movie you’ve been looking for!

Now… I will admit up front that I did not totally understand what was happening in Here Comes the Devil. The ending, especially, is a bit of a head-scratcher. But that’s okay! Sometimes ambiguity is a horror movie’s best friend! Besides, I’m not very smart; it is ENTIRELY possible that this movie makes PERFECT sense, and it simply sailed over my head like a low-flying, very obvious condor.

Regardless, it’s worth a look, because there is a LOT of atmospheric, creepy ghost-style shit going on in HCTD. Oh, and it’s in Spanish, by the way. If you’re scared of subtitles, you are a weenie.

Antiviral

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PLOT IN TEN WORDS OR LESS: Celebrities infect fans with their viruses. Also, Lab-grown flesh!

Antiviral is a Cronenberg movie, but not THAT Cronenberg. This is a work by Brandon Cronenberg, who is the SON of David Cronenberg. Although, to be fair, the film-making apple did not fall very far from the auteur tree. Much like his father, Young Cronenberg traffics in body horror and ideas about “the new flesh,” all wrapped up in some rather pointed social commentary. Junior’s take is a little more arch and winking than his dad’s, but that fits well with his celebrity-culture focused plot line.

Now, I will grant you that Antiviral is technically a little more science fiction-y than it is straight horror. Here’s the thing though: Don’t worry about it. At the end of the movie, you’re going to feel pretty gross, and you’re going to really not feel excellent about life, in general, either. If that isn’t horrific, I don’t know what is.

Pontypool

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PLOT IN TEN WORDS OR LESS: Zombie virus that spreads via non-traditional methods.

We’ve all seen a million zombie movies by now, but this one… well… Pontypool is different. Giving away the twist would be, and SHOULD be, punishable by death. Your viewing experience is well-served by going in as blind as possible. So let me just say this, as a way of teasing your interest: The majority of this movie takes place in a radio station, and that setting is not an accident nor a casually tossed-off detail.

There isn’t just a ton of action in Pontypool, but it is absolutely riveting all the same. To that end, it is worth noting that this is the only movie on the list that you could stage as a theatrical production while making almost no changes to the script. That should give you a pretty good idea of what you’re in for. If that’s your kind of horror jam, you will dig the absolute pants off of Pontypool.

The House of the Devil

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PLOT IN TEN WORDS OR LESS: 80’s babysitter versus Satanic cult.

A very pleasing throwback to the Satan-crazed 1980’s, The House of the Devil feels like the kind of movie you’d find occupying some real estate on the Horror shelf of your local video store, back when those were still a thing.

It should be noted that THOTD is paced a little slower than most horror flicks. It is not, as the kids say, balls to the wall (until the final 15 minutes or so). It’s the sort of movie that you kind of just have to sink into, like a hot tub. A HOT TUB FULL OF SATAN!!! Ahem, but yes, its pacing is a little on the leisurely side. Do not get discouraged! The payoff is exceptionally disturbing.

Also, there’s a thing that happens about halfway through the movie that made me jump clean out of my skin, forcing me to stop the movie until I could find some replacement skin to wear while my own skin was at the tailors, getting the hems re-sewn. It also caused me to spill my beer. So many tragedies caused by The House of the Devil

Let The Right One In

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PLOT IN TEN WORDS OR LESS: Swedish vampire befriends child. Shit gets ugly.

Ugh, you guys, I love this movie so much. There is some shocking, violent shit in Let The Right One In, unquestionably, but also it will just absolutely break your heart. A few times, actually.

Let the Right One In is cold, sad, gory, and amazing. Watch it. DO NOT WATCH THE AMERICAN REMAKE. It is okay, but it’s NOT the original. If you watch the remake first, an orphaned child gets his favorite toys taken away from him, which sets him on the path to becoming a serial killer. DON’T MAKE US HAVE TO DEAL WITH ANOTHER SERIAL KILLER. Watch the original, deal with having to read while you watch (it’s in Swedish), and just… you know… be a better person. This movie is worth it, you turkeys!

Grave Encounters

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PLOT IN TEN WORDS OR LESS: Douchey TV ghost hunters get exactly what they ask for.

This movie is a what-if regarding those countless “ghost hunter” TV shows, and what would happen if they stumbled upon an actually, really for real, haunted location. The filmmakers… the pretentiously-named The Vicious Brothers…are almost TOO good at recreating the smarmy, self-important aura that the casts of this breed of bottom-feeding shows put off. There are almost zero likeable characters in Grave Encounters.

But that’s fine! More chum for the waters, as it were. Terrible analogy, this movie does not take place on a boat, nor is it about sharks.

ANYWAY, Grave Encounters is mostly shot in the “found footage” style. This is important to note, because a lot of people find that style of movie-making to be the cinematic personification of laziness. I don’t necessarily disagree, but in this instance, it really works within the overall conceit.

Out of all the movies on this list, Grave Encounters would benefit the most from a few stiff cocktails and having all the lights in the house turned out. Doing those things will really ramp up your enjoyment of its somewhat cheesy, yet still pretty scary, offerings.