Armagideon Time

Archive for the ‘Culture’ category

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 […]

The Seventies were a time of terror, and I’m not just talking about the fashion styles. The upheavals of the late Sixties ushered in a Strange New Decade of heightened anxiety and an loosening of cultural mores. The face of the looming unknown took a multitude of shapes, with a significant number reflecting those subcurrents […]

A twitter pal recently reminded me of The Devil Bat, a 1940 PRC thriller in which a vengeful scientist (played by Bela Lugosi) uses radioactive aftershave and trained giant bats (played by comically unconvincing puppets) to dispatch folks he believes wronged him. The film is standard “poverty row” fare, a mediocre murder mystery given a […]

Hell hath no limits, nor is circumscrib’d In one self place; but where we are is hell, And where hell is, there must we ever be. – The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe Recommended listening: More “Down South” diabolism. (panels from “What’s So Hot About a Ghost?” […]

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 […]

In the fall of 1984, my family moved out of our cramped North Woburn apartment and into the other side of my grandparents’ duplex just north of Woburn Center. Lil Bro and I got our own room with bunkbeds and a door and everything. That may not sound like a radical development, but it was […]

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 […]

The world is aflame, so I might as well add to miserable pyre with another recap featuring the most unloved of Charlton’s “Action Heroes.” SON OF VULCAN! An intrepid reporter named Johnny Mann who lost a leg covering a brushfire conflict, cursed the gods, and was rewarded the the Deity Formerly Known as Hephaestus by […]

From the moment of Warhammer 40k‘s release in 1987, fans speculated whether the miniature-based wargame would be followed by a spin-off along the lines of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. While the original Rogue Trader rules did incorporate some rudimentary RPG mechanics, it was first and foremost a wargaming system, as were later skirmish-based side franchises such […]

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