Monday, July 8, 2013


In prepping for Italian Horror Week I generally stop writing for a couple weeks in an effort to get my shit together. I love creating a week filled with gory and blood and naked people, but I hate that feeling that I don’t post anything for even a short period of time. Makes me feel like I need to try harder to manage my work load even though I’m prepping for a week of grandeur. . So when I started scanning the great big wide horror-verse and saw that the Freddy in Space’s challenge or task or homework assignment to list out the contents of my very own Monster Squad Tree House, I knew I was going to have to try to do it sooner or later. I found a smidge of time to put one together today in between Gialli and zombies and cannibals (oh my). Here goes everything. I’ll keep it to ten items (yeah… right).

(And if you wanna check out my crazy toy related nostalgia-post from a couple years ago, follow this bouncing ball HERE).

1. Jolt Cola, Ecto Cooler and Pixy Stix (you can read that as sugar and caffeine)

Truly what I am describing here is a distinctly 80’s sugar binge crash stash. Something of epic proportions or at least epic until you get a job and realize that pixy stix only cost like 15 for $1. If you don’t get into snorting them you should have a nice stash for time to come. I list my must haves above, but I assure you that I am also a confirmed Sugar Daddy, Nerds and Bottle Cap freak. I suppose that would be included post-Halloween Trick or Treating and then within a month… a near barren wasteland filled only with these three gorgeous essentials. Better stock up on insulin now.

2. Creepshow Comic Book and assorted horror mags of the 80’s including Gorezone and Fangoria of the late 80’s.

I like the Creepshow comic first and perhaps beyond all others, but of course the magazine pile would be substantial and inclusive of whatever I might find on the rack. Gorezone is a must. Fangoria of course. Famous Monsters would be stolen back issues taken from my dad’s collection (like porno). Creepshow however gets the most important number one seeded position in the list of mags and comics because that’s the one I used to read while swinging on the swing set in my back yard. I destroyed it by reading it to much. I have bought countless copies over the years. Lent them out. Misplaced them. Etc. When/if I ever meat George Romero… that’ll be what I bring him to sign. These mags will most assuredly get crinkled and wrinkled, water damaged and the pages will turn up with where and tear and moisture… just how magazines and paperbacks should.

3. Legos, Constructs, Lincoln Logs – assorted (no sets)

The more simplistic that the assortment is the better. Now I really would prefer the sets be more generic. Less model spaceships or police stations and more basic building blocks. Why? Because I used to build cabins in the woods and boats and sharks and various assorted play sets out of some very generic sets. Sure I’d get some specialty sets here and there and those would usually offer up any number of Lego men and women who would be my actors with appropriate weapons. You can always trade with your friends for the machete. Of course, these days you can buy them piece by piece and everyone’s making Lego animated horror shorts. Building a grand Lego cemetery scene for my Halloween display would be fantastic, but would look extra special on the floor of the Tree House. I miss playing Jason (we never called it playing Friday the 13th back then) or Jaws.

4. One ratted out filth smut mag (only one… the one you found in the plastic bag over by that place where the cooler, older kids hung out, but maybe forgot about but you were lucky to find and snag and commandeer for your own purposes whatever they may be).

This is a very personal touch (no pun intended). When I was a kid we found a smut book (Playboy I believe) in the field behind our house in a black trash bag. It was water damaged to all Hell and the pages stuck together (because of the water damager right?). Well we were still able to ogle a few choice pics out of the mag and protected this book like it was the Holy Grail. That was of course until one day… IT WAS GONE. Did our parents take it? The neighborhood kids? Who knows? But either way this was an actual staple of our tree fort and it belongs in everyone’s Tree House. Gotta learn to love the boobies some how. Let’s not even go into the countless cat burglar like missions that we took into each of our father’s secret stashes. Retrieving porno mag… right of passage. Just one. Wrapped in a black plastic garbage bag will do.

5. NES – (narrowing it down – Castlevania II, Zelda, Rygar, Megaman 2, Goonies, Metroid, Kung Fu. I might have a few others rented from the video store lying around at any given time)

I’m a little bit of an old school game nut. I can’t play modern games. Too long. I don’t have the attention span and they’re just too damn hard (all of these things sounds like “that’s what she said” jokes). Give me Atari. Give me my goddamn Nintendo Entertainment System. Well I’d definitely have a spring loaded, front loader NES game my house. I’d run an extension cable to the backyard outlet and be careful not to let my dad see. I’d pull it in each night so he wouldn’t run it over with the lawn mower. When I was a kid I had an NES but typically didn’t have too many games. They were pricy thus I’d only have a few games. The ones listed above are definite, must have’s (horror or not they all have awesome evil bad guys and creepy robot monsters with foreboding music).

6. Tor Johnson mask (must be from the late 70’s/early 80’s and smell like tire rubber)

Though I never owned this, we used to play with one at my buddy’s house around the corner. We had no idea it was a Tor Johnson mask, but after seeing Ed Wood and realizing that a monster mask was made in the likeness of Tor (as stated in the credits) I knew I had to track it down. This thing stank like rubber and was way too big for our young heads. I firmly believe that these masks were also too big for most adult heads too. It’s still my favorite. I’m sure I’d collect numerous masks in the Tree House (I have a few replicas of the ones I owned as a kid), but this would be essential. And of course a pair of Dracula fangs.

I state that it must be an older vintage because newer masks have a completely different look and I believe they may even glow in the dark. No need for all that. Just need the basic mask.

7. He-Man Slime (play set need not be included)

There’s nothing like getting your hands sicky stupid slimy with green yuck (that dried like evil semen on your fingers). My favorite was the slime from the He-man play sets. I believe it was the Horde play set that I remember best, but thee were plenty of toys during the 80’s that would come with various colors of the green stuff. You could even get the slime in various colors our of the quarter machines. He-man’s smelled the best. Boy is that awkward to type.

8. A Halloween decoration that makes this sound:

This sound has stuck with me since I was a kid. I had at least two separate Halloween decorations that made this sound and have since found a key chain that makes it (and I stocked up in case one breaks). Recently my mom gave me one of the original pumpkin decorations that makes this sound. I’m overjoyed and in love with these few, creepy notes. The decoration that accompanies said sound is my favorite regardless of quality.

9. Mr. Bones Coffin Candy (separate from other candy/sugar due to importance)
See What I mean?
I know what you’re saying… should I include Mr. Bones in the candy section of this post? No. The candy is NOT the reason you buy a Mr. Bones coffin (my preference was always neon green). The reason you buy the Mr. Bones candy is to put together the skeleton inside like a puzzle. You choose Mr. Bones because it’s the perfect size to use as a coffin for your Lego men. You use Mr. Bones because it has great advertising and … okay they also taste the best. I remember going to the Hallmark store in the Hackettstown mall with my dad and he’d buy them for me (when the hinges broke on my previous Mr. Bones coffin). Then one day they were gone. There are many imitations, but none compare to Mr. Bones. (Yet I love all the candy skeletons I assure you).

10. Box of Super Naturals, Battle Beasts, MUSCLES, Mad balls and Doll from V (they all war together)

I used to have the best toy boxes full of Centurions and GI Joes and He-Man toys and Transformers and Go-Bots and Star Wars figures. I’d have them all battle. Epic battles. Huge gargantuan battles that spanned several rooms in the house. The list above is the short list of the most important toys that would be in my Monster Squad Tree House. It is by no means complete because as every kids knows, you mix all the toys up. Any character can use a weapon from any other character. The story line is irrelevant. The monster... the battle… the distressed victims… the are the things that matter the most. Play on!

Bonus (because I had one more I thought of after completing my list): The Disney Chilling Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House. You can listed to it in the YouTube clip below. It was the one my mother brought home alongside Thriller one October. I would listen to it over and over, play the party games in the slip sleeve and stare longingly and lovingly into the haunted house on the cover (I had the orange bordered edition). I was able to pick it up for next to nothing and will pick them up ad nauseum whenever I see and can afford them. The voice in each of the stories is haunting and Disney familiar. The sound effects on the back… used in more movies than I care to count. It’s history.\

I could have included everything from Mad Scientist toys to my homemade fantasy wrestling, but I opted for simplicity (yeah, fucking right). Thanks for helping me remember how much fun it is to be a kid, FiS.


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