Horror Block

Horror Block June 2016

Happy Fourth of July to my favourite home country! Nothing like celebrating your independence from a country that you emigrated back to. But still! I am back in London and finally over a serious case of jet-lag. Now that I’m fully recovered, I feel mentally sane enough to get back to business as usual. Now on this day especially, I really wish I was in the States today instead of this damp-ridden, Brexit-having country. Nothing like two weeks in the back country of Wisconsin to make you feel like some sort of bare-footed, mud-covered, compound-word-loving, red-blooded American.

But alas, I do have an actual job and rent to pay and husband or whatever. So back to real life! And what better way to get back into the sing of things than with a package from my North American neighbour, Canada. June’s Horror Block arrived today, and I was very eager after the success of last month’s block. May’s was, in fact, always going to be a difficult box to compete with in quality, but June’s showed that Horror Block has continued in the right direction.

1. Two Funko Pops!

I do love Funko’s products, especially their Pops! This month’s Horror Block included two of them, which should please any Funko fan (and probably displease anyone who isn’t). Each block contained one item from The Strain and a second from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. My box happened to have Dr Ephraim Goodweather and everyone’s favourite ultra-lame hero: Angel. These were kind of a disappointment, though, despite these actually being two really good items to get. All month long, Horror Block was boasting that the Buffy item was going to be an exclusive. Not so much. Thankfully, though, Angel is not a Funko I have despite how much I love the show. Angel drools!

2. Jaws t-shirt from ShirtPunch.com

This is a great summery shirt (especially to wear on Independence Day since – yay shark deaths!) from Sucker Punch. While I’m not the biggest Jaws fan, I think it’s a clever shirt. I do love references over obvious images at times, especially when it comes to horror where more often than not, taste takes the backseat. Also included in every Nerd Block box from this point will include a card for a $10 credit at SuckerPunch.
3. Turbokid Blu-Ray

If I’m being real here, I have yet to watch a single DVD from Horror Block other than the Night of the Living Dead/documentary DVD I got ages ago. This is what you get for making Bill Rebane a priority in your life. But word is, none of these have actually been region free which is definitely a major boo. TurboKid has been on my to-watch list for ages now and I was pretty excited to be able to watch it. Region-Free please!
4. Nightmare on Elm Street pillowcase

I thought this was hilarious. My husband looked like he was going to throw up when I showed him this. So it’s probably not going to be allowed to be on display, but still – maybe we can save it for when we have guests visiting. This pillowcase is 100% Polyester which makes will make it 100% unpleasant for sleeping.

Also, see above note on tacky horror products.
5. Rue Morgue July 2016

I absolutely tore through last month’s issue of Rue Morgue on my flight to Wisconsin. I read it completely from cover-to-cover. The article on Conjuring 2 (which was fucking great, by the way and  I really need to see it again – now, preferably) was fantastic and had an incredibly insightful Q&A with Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson. I plan on reading this month’s as thoroughly as well, despite not being the biggest Brad Anderson fan. But issue #168 is full of articles covering spaghetti splatter to The Boy Who Cried Werewolf. Keep on being great, Rue Morgue.

Horror Block May 2016

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Another Horror Block, you ask? Wasn’t I officially over it when I got my last one? Well, yes. Yes I very much was. But as an early birthday surprise, I received a subscription from a friend. This was pretty much a box made for me. The quality is so much better, it’s unbelievable. I am excited about literally everything in this block. That hasn’t been the case in any subscription box I’ve ever gotten… ever. So way to go, Horror Block. Way to pull yourselves up by the boot straps.

There were seven items in this month’s box. So moving right along then…

1. Rue Morgue – issue #167

I’ve been seeing a lot of people complain about receiving a copy of Rue Morgue in every box. These people are idiots. Since I fly to America on Wednesday, this is a welcome addition to the long-haul flight. Conjuring 2 features on the cover (which needs to hurry up and be released in the UK now), and there’s an article about Joe Hill. So as always, Rue Morgue wins.

2. Penny Dreadful comic by Titan Comics

I only ever made it to episode two of this Showtime drama, but it made an instant impact. Laziness is pretty much the only thing standing in between me and getting into this show. The comic, though, is very welcome. It’s issue #1 from Titan Comics, and Horror Block even received an exclusive cover. The artwork is just beautiful, and the drawing of Eva Green’s eyes is fantastic: doll-like and dripping with Victorian gothic. It works for both fans of the show, and anyone even tempted in it. So more horror comics, please.

3. Deathgasm blu-ray

What makes New Zealanders so good at horror-comedy? From Brain Dead to What We Do in the Shadows, the Kiwis always knock it out of the fucking park. Deathgasm is a continuation of that tradition. It’s a horror-comedy about two metal-fans who accidentally summon a demon. This is a film I have not watched yet, but it will definitely be watched as soon as I’m back in London.

4. The Omen 7″ record

The Omen had to be one of my favourite horror-movie soundtracks when I was growing up. The film was so sophisticated, dark and brutal and most of the atmosphere was created by the haunting Jerry Goldsmith score throughout. Side A contains the chill-inducing “Avi Satani” while side B is “The Killer Storm.” I saw quite a few people complaining about not having record players, but alas. That’s what you get for missing out on life.

2,000 subscribers got a limited edition red vinyl, which would have been super great. But alas, mine is just regular black.

5. Jason Voorhees mask pin

Since Friday the 13th Part III, Mr Voorhees has been sporting his iconic hockey mask. This pin is a great way to sport your love for horror tastefully. I do love me wearables, and this pin went straight onto my denim jacket where it will live in its forever home. It’s a surprisingly heavy and well-made pin. From photos it might be difficult to see, but it’s rounded like an actual mask instead of a flat-back.

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6. Pocket Pop! 3 pack

These little guys are seriously the cutest killers ever. The tin includes a mini Jason, Freddy and Sam. I’ve never seen a pocket pop before, but they’re seriously adorable. The way Jason has blood splashed across his machete…  I do love Funko’s products. They increasingly out-do themselves with the sculpting. They really manage to get character in these figures, despite how small they are.

But seriously, look at how good these are.

7. Gremlins “Midnight Madness” t-shirt from ShirtPunch.com

THIS is the greatest item I have ever received in a subscription box (other than that time I got that Gizmo “Peltzer’s Pets” shirt. I guess that’s the greatest). I do have a string of Gremlins related shirts growing in my wardrobe and more are always welcome. I especially love the reference of “never feed after midnight” rule and the “Mega Madness” references in the back of the graphic. Plus the character in the faces is so great.

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Horror Block November 2015 unboxed

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This is a post I’ve been putting off for a few days now because quite frankly, I find these so dull to write (which I then imagine means it’s pretty dull for you to read). So as I say every single time, this is the last box I will ever get. But I’m dead serious this time (I think) because I triple-checked that my subscription was totally done with. Things aren’t easy when you’re poor as fuck. Christmas time + moving into a new flat + broken television + father visiting in a week’s time = one extraordinarily poor lady.

As you can tell from the sexy picture above, this was taken in haste. Why? Because I am so uninterested in most of this box that I didn’t bother bringing it home. Also, I thought at some point I would have had time to take a nice photo of some of these items, but then I realised that winter is a perpetual month of endless hell and darkness. So thanks, florescent lights of the office, you allowed for one atrocious photo!

If you can’t tell, there is quite a smattering of items this month. From the really great to the really… meh. So… what’s in the basket box?

1. Bela Lugosi t-shirt from ShirtPunch.com<

I love me some Bela Lugosi, so it was rather nice to get a shirt from Horror Block that I could actually get excited about. Plus ShirtPunch! are now also doing limited-time collectibles twice a week. Like the shirts, they will be constantly changing, though which items will be available and on what day and time available will be a mystery. That's certainly one way to keep people checking back.

2. Addy Miller autograph

The worst part about being a horror fan lately is being out of the Walking Dead loop. I have absolutely no interested in it. If you’re really into this show, every subscription box in the world must be fantastic. A young Addy Miller appeared on the show as a young zombie girl back in the premier. The print is pretty fantastic, and it comes with an authentication card.

3. Sharknado vinyl bobblehead

This is hands-down the, uh, most “interesting” item I’ve ever gotten in a sub box. But yes. Here it is: a bobblehead of David Hasselhoff with chainsaw! While I do love me some B-movie goodness, I never watched Sharknado or any of its incarnations. Turns out no one in my office has either because NO ONE will take this thing off my hands. This is an exclusive item to Horror Block. How exclusive, I don’t know. But if I liked this movie, I would certainly find this hilarious (I think).

4. Rue Morgue December issue

I am SO happy to see a proper issue of Rue Morgue back in Horror Block this month. While their books are quite interesting, I always want a copy of this magazine. This is such an expensive mag to buy in the UK, unfortunately, so I will have to savor it for sometime before being able to afford another issue. There’s a pretty great interview with Michael Dougherty for his new movie, Krampus. It’s a cool Q&A which mostly talks about Trick ‘r Treat, but really just says what we Halloween-obsessed always want to say: “Screw Christmas. When’s Halloween?”

5. Bloody cleaning cloth

As I’ve said a few hundred times now, I’ve moved into a new place. Getting cleaning supplies in this block actually made me excited. So that either means I am a.) lame b.) old or c.) both.

6. Twilight Zone Mystic Seer

This exclusive from Springz ranks among some of the best stuff I’ve ever gotten from a subscription box. I’ve seen every episode of the classic Twilight Zone at least half a dozen times. In the episode “Nick of Time” William Shatner and Patricia Breslin come across a fortune-telling machine in a cafe. This little Mystic Seer appears on the top of the machine. This is meant for a car, but I’ve currently got this proudly displayed on our bookcase. Well done, Horror Block. All the classic horror stuffs, please!

Horror Block October 2015 unboxed

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This is the Halloween block for Horror Block, but it sort of ended up “meh”. Though I suppose I really shouldn’t be holding high standards for a subscription box, should I? Spoiler alert: the first thing I noticed about this box is that there is no Rue Morgue issue included this month. This is something I’m trying not to feel too sad about. But there is an item included that is probably the next-best thing.

1. Summoner’s mouse pad

I think the only mouse pads my husband and I have in our flat is whatever we get for free from somewhere or (more likely) a hardback volume of the Serenity comic. As far as mouse pads go, this ouija board one is pretty cool. Nothing like zooming your mouse over the “board”, raising spirits while searching for YouTube videos.

2. Child’s Play Chucky plush doll – exclusive

There were few movies when I was a child that I could not abide by. One of the stop three has to be Child’s Play. Even today I feel an immense feeling of discomfort just thinking about that movie. So I genuinely don’t know what to do with this doll. It might just be the Halloween season, but I don’t feel comfortable leaving it in my room and I definitely  don’t want it in my house. I would try throwing it away, but do I really want to face the horror of it just being back in my room when I return? Also, I guess if you’re going to be a total bitch and a stickler this is a Bride of Chucky doll. But I really don’t care about details here because fuck these movies and this doll.

3. Friday the 13th Camp Crystal Lake t-shirt – exclusive 

Nerd Block really knocked it out with the shirts included in their boxes this month. First it was the Peltzer’s Pets Gremlins shirt, now it’s this fantastic Friday the 13th Jason shirt. This is a bit different than the usual fare, mostly because it’s brown instead of black. What are we to do with ourselves? But seriously, this is another great graphic from ShirtPunch. I’m a particular fan of the bold graphic.

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4. Dario Argento’s Dracula (Dracula 3D) DVD

Ah yes. No one’s favourite Argento movie! Oh and no one’s favourite Dracula movie or even anyone’s favourite vampire movie with Rutger Hauer. Don’t get me wrong, I love all three of those things very much, but there just was something that really, really didn’t work in this 2012 film. Perhaps I’ll re-watch and review this a different day, but only if you make me. Either way, this is definitely not going to make my Halloween to-watch list.

5. “They’re Coming to Get You” Print

This is pretty cute, though I never know what to do with the prints I receive in these subscription boxes. Who hangs up art work in their houses that are this tiny? Anyway, for a print that I just described as “cute,” this picture is filled with some of horror’s most iconic undead characters like Madeleine from White Zombie and Karen from Night of the Living Dead, oh and I guess Michael Jackson from his “Thriller” music video because why the hell not? The art was done by Paul Hanley as a part of Guzu Gallery’s “Something Spooky” show.

6. Rue Morgue Magazine’s “Cryptic Collectibles: A Concise Compendium of Creepy Keepsakes”

As I mentioned before, there is no copy of Rue Morgue in this month’s block, which is kind of disappointing. But this book of movie memorabilia is pretty fun. This isn’t the first time subscribers have received a book from the Canadian magazine. This is by far the best and most interesting one included this far. Cryptic Collectibles delves into the world of collectible toys, monster cereals and even Halloween costumes.

Horror Block September 2015 unboxed

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This month’s of Horror Block is full of exclusive items, and it’s a pretty good block. To be completely honest, I’m hoping that this month’s was a bit quiet because they’re gearing up for October’s. And I’m really hoping October’s block is great or, well, they’re really doing something wrong here. As far as I know, though, there haven’t been too many hints yet. As far as I know, there will be something Child’s Play related which makes me want to die. I hate Chucky, but at least I will be given plenty of nightmares for the Halloween season, right?

There’s not too much to say about this month’s items. But there’s plenty of pretty great stuff here (and two items for the fire pits):

1. Silence of the Lambs “death’s-head moth” ShirtPunch t-shirt – exclusive

I do love ShirtPunch‘s t-shirts. Almost every month they knock out something good for Horror Block. This month’s death’s-head hawkmoth is straight out of a Silence of the Lambs cover. Of course it’s not technically licensed, but I do enjoy the subtly of it.

2. Night of the Living Dead DVD + exclusive Chronicles of the Living Dead documentary

One of the things I was looking forward to most was receiving this item in this month’s box. It wasn’t until I was opening the box that I had a horrible realisation. I had already seen Birth of the Living Dead and thoroughly enjoyed it and thought it was a fascinating bit of documentary. Thankfully, the documentary included is Chronicles of the Living Dead. It’s likely that most subscribers will already own this classic on some format, but it’s really cool to have Chronicles attached to it. It’s also Region 0, as far as I can tell. So I can watch this no matter what country I am in. This was definitely one of the best calls Horror Block has made in a long time.

3. Rue Morgue magazine October 2015

This month’s issue is chock-full of great articles. One includes a selection of horror-related albums which, of course, intrigues me to no end. And there are some picks there that I hadn’t ever heard of before. The cover article is a look at 125 Years of the Ouija Board, which is a pretty unusual (but great) subject for a horror mag. I know I say this every single month. But I love Rue Morgue dearly.

4. Horror face coaster set – exclusive

Not entirely sure why anyone would put a coaster on their face, but why the hell not? These are pretty funny, and I suppose would be a hit at any party if you are lucky enough to have friends that aren’t faint of heart. Each coaster has a different gruesome mouth on each side. Typically in these subscription boxes, the coasters are pretty flimsy cardboard, but these are a bit more durable. Check out Paladone‘s website for more pop culture inspired bits.

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5. Night of the Living Dead magnet set – exclusive

Magnetic poetry can be kind of lame. For years no one touched the Top Gear magnetic poetry on our fridge. It wasn’t until I actually moved in and started fucking shit up in the flat that I finally broke the words out of their little box. But this Night of the Living Dead set is much, much cooler than any car show. I mean, who doesn’t know “They’re coming to get you Barbra”? Nothing like leaving a little threatening message to whoever left out the milk last night.

6. Aliens 2-pack Titan vinyl figure set

I HATE THESE THINGS. I HATE THEM. There is just something that really grosses me out about Titan figures, and I think I finally put my finger on it. Every figure (including the xenomorph) looks like they’re wearing flared trousers. They remind me of this rollerskating rink in town back in Wisconsin. This was when Nelly and Avril Lavigne were massive and that “All these bitches crawl” song. You could buy Sour Punch Straws and buy these weird glitter stickers with these tacky cartoon characters on them.  That’s what these things remind me of and I just want to BURN them.

Though, I suppose I should say this is a pack of two figures. One of the xenomorph and one of Parker (Yaphet Kotto). I do believe that each box had the same pair. There’s a full crew of these figures if you’re so inclined to actually own all of these demon figures for some ungodly reason. I subrscribed to the Classic Block for October as well (mostly because they’ve promised Jem and I can’t live without some Jem), and I received an email promising “two vinyl figures” for Ripley fans.

If I get two more of these. I will bury them. Curse the ground they are in. Then wash myself of their filth.

Horror Block July 2015 unboxed

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Within the last two months or so, Horror Block have decided to throw more ‘spoilers’ out there for their blocks. July’s box promised to include two items from some of my favourite horror-related things: An American Werewolf in London and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Needless to say, I was looking forward to recieving this box SO much. When the box arrived at the office, I couldn’t open it quickly enough. But faster than it took to cut that brown packing tape, my excitement dropped to disappointment.

This, ladies and gents, was not a good month for Horror Block. But let’s take a look:

1. “American Werewolf” shirt

They got me there. This print is pretty cool, but Christ, if they hadn’t added that small image of the Elizabeth Tower (“Big Ben”), I would have thought this was just a werewolf shirt. So I’m disappointed that this wasn’t a throwback style shirt or something like that. Definitely doesn’t scream An American Werewolf in London, but I’m assuming that’s because they didn’t have the right to make an official shirt. That aside, it still is a pretty cool shirt for being a werewolf shirt. This is actually the first shirt that I’ve received that both fits AND I’d want to wear.

2. The ‘bonus’ t-shirt

The pamphlet that comes with this box says, “Since you’ve been getting Horror Block, we figured we’d throw in a bonus shirt from our Classic or Arcade block so you can see what you’ve been missing!” WELL THANK YOU! Nothing says getting your moneys worth like getting a leftover shirt from a block you have zero interest in. I guess I was semi-lucky because the one I happened to receive a shirt with Jay and Silent Bob on it. They also happen to be dressed as Batman and Robin because…yay nerdy things?  But I did luck out here based on several of the unboxings I watched on YouTube. I saw several people received shirts from Far Cry 4. I thank my lucky stars that I was not burdened with that.

3. Walking Dead car decal 

Hi. I live in London where I never need to have a car ever again. Yay. Walking Dead fans have to be some of the luckiest fandoms out there. There are always items from that show lurking about in boxes. Unfortunately, my…sticker is going in the bin. Sorry, dudes.

image4. Spike Titan figure – Horror Block Exclusive

Why did it have to be this? Am I the only one that is severely creeped out by these Titan figures? There is just something so unsettling about their weird bodies. It is the antithesis of everything I love about Funko Pop figures. I do have to say, at least this one is vampire Spike because at least the nice face sculpting takes away from that creepy body. But still, there was an exclusive in this month’s Nerd Block of Spike – esentially the same thing but with a black shirt and no blood. Horror Block fans have lucked out on this one.4

5. Rue Morgue August 2015

What would I do without you, oh Rue Morgue? If I ever cancel my block, you will be what I miss the most.

6. Choose Their Kill DVD

For some reason, Horror Block have been promoting the shit out of Choose Their Kill. This series by Crypt TV is a sort of like those “choose your path” books, but with picking out people die. This just feels more stupid to me than fun. It was actually really boring when I did attempt to go through some of the chapters.

I must be getting old.


 

Not every box can please an entire crowd, but I felt like this box was made for me. Well, it should have been but we ended up with a pile of crud again. This might be the last box for me. I could care less about stickers and cheap DVDs I’ll never watch. Horror is such a vast genre with loads of dedicated fans. It would be nice to see them branch out into different territory. I might end up holding on for one more month, but I really couldn’t tell you why.

Horror Block June 2015 unboxed

Another month. Another Horror Block. And I could swear that June as a month didn’t even happen. This month is a little baby box, but there are plenty of really great goodies (and goodies is such a good word).

1. Cthulhu plush

I do not know where this sudden revival and obsession with H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu came from. Or maybe it was there all along. As someone who was never massively into Lovecraftian horror, it always feels like being left out of the cool group. But I don’t think it takes much to appreciate how adorable this little guy is. 

 

2. “Survive the Night” The Purge t-shirt

Why would anyone want this? Did anyone like The Purge or am I just a cynic? I’m starting to wonder if receiving a t-shirt in every box is a good thing. 

5. Rue Morgue July 2015

This month’s issue of the horror mag commemorates the 15th anniversary of American Psycho with a rather fitting patriotic cover. As always, this is always a highlight for me, and always makes this sub box worth getting. Plus there is a great piece about Joe Dante’s upcoming film Burying the Ex that is definitely worth a read.

3. Aliens ice cube tray

It is “bloody warm” in London this week. Every bit of effort conjures more sweat than I ever care to admit. I’m a woman built for the terrible winters of Wisconsin, not any weather above “a bit sunny.” So needless to say, nothing was more welcoming than the sight of this new Aliens-inspired ice cube tray. 

There was one of two versions included in the box. I was lucky enough to get the one with the mould of the Xenomorph head instead of the egg-shape. Plus the trays are made out of silicone which is always really nice. Just imagine all the heat melting away with alien heads bobbing away in your gin and tonic…

 
4. Ghost Face reaction figure

Funko is great at producing things for the pop culture-obsessed. Their Pop figures are definitely their biggest selling point, but the ReAction figures are some of the most unique. These retro toy inspired action figures are really neat. This little Ghost Face even comes with his own knife.

If you are out there, oh Nerd Block Gods, please have more of these. Just send me a box full of the entire Gremlins line. 

 
From what I’ve seen of people’s reactions online, many think this box doesn’t reach its supposed value. It was, admittedly, a rather light box, but I would rather there be fewer things that are interesting and exciting rather than a box full of junk just to be “worth it.” This was definitely an improvement over last month’s box.

It’s nice to see some classic horror movie inspired bits. Those items will always be crowd pleasers. Next month will have a Buffy-themed item. I am already counting down the days.