Armagideon Time

Archive for the ‘Consumerism’ category

No good for you

December 4th, 2018

Ah, yes. Those magical afternoons my high school buddy Damian and I would spend browsing the cramped confines of Cross Street Video, where the decision whether to rent Robot Jox or Radioactive Dreams hung upon which cast had more Oscar-winners or nominees. (And despite the ads visuals and breathy copy, Savage Dawn wasn’t a one […]

The softer side

November 29th, 2018

I have a lot of feelings about the protracted demise of Sears. It’s sad to watch an icon implode, especially one that occupied such a prominent place in both cultural sphere and my formative years. There’s been a odd symmetry to witnessing my grandmother’s death and the shuttering of the former retail titan in space […]

Return to base

November 1st, 2018

There’s nothing like embarking on a theme month to inspire a host of potential essay topics that have nothing to do with the matter at hand. For eleven months of the year, I flagellate myself trying to come up with marginally workable material. As soon as the Halloween Countdown starts, however, the ideas start coming […]

Because I am old and jaded and the old bag of tricks doesn’t cut it for me anymore, I have to find my horrific thrills from fresher venues — like running a search for “Halloween” on the Bradford Exchange’s online portal. Let’s face it, no existential terror Lovecraft ever dreamed up could possibly compete with […]

“What could be that scary?” you ask as you hazard a stamp and a buck forty-nine on the tantalizing offering. Four to six weeks later it arrives. The box is small, but surprisingly heavy. You grab a knife from the counter and slice open the packing tape, carefully pulling open the flaps and removing the […]

That’s right, kiddies. We used to get our monster movie fixes on magnetic tape spooled inside a hard plastic shell. And those suckers weren’t cheap, either. Even the discount bins at dead retail chains like the dreaded Suncoast Video or the terrible Tower Records ran as much if not more than the day-one DVD release […]

Casper: “I’m the spirit of a dead child, forced to walk this earth forever!” Bozo: “I’m the grinning, grease-painted inspiration for countless childhood nightmares!” Matty: “slip the flensing knife close to the bone and pull firmly but be sure to trap the juices in a pail for later don’t let the screams and moans bother […]

I’ve learned over the years that childhood ownership of the Remco monster toys — either the Mego-scale dolls or Star Wars scale figures — conveys membership in a secret cult of Spooky Kids whose interests and practices transcend both space and time. Maura still has hers in our attic somewhere. Also, my maternal grandfather bought […]

Hey, kids, do you wanna see something really scary? Then look no further, as I unleash the real-life nightmare of Billboard‘s “Bulk Vending News” from July 2, 1966! I can see your looks of terror from here. Once upon a time, there was a Bulk Merchandise Vendor who decided that Halloween provided a perfect promotional […]

A plague worse than death

September 25th, 2018

“I looked up and saw a horse whose color was pastel green. Its rider was named Jane, and her format was VHS. They were given authority over ranch home suburbia, to conquer with headband and lycra and legwarmers and extreme hold mousse.”

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