Earlier this month I spent an afternoon feeling like I was inside the movie Silver Bullet.
The peaceful community of Ashfield, Massachusetts was holding their annual Harvest Festival and I could have sworn at any moment, I’d look into the trees and see a beast lurking in the shadows, waiting for darkness. There was something about this picturesque area that reminded me so much of Stephen King’s fictional town of Tarker’s Mills in the 1985 classic werewolf film, Silver Bullet.
It could have been the general landscape of the town; the chapel, trees, old fire station, cozy community folk, pop-up tents selling baked goods or just that fresh smell of autumn in the air, but for the life of me I couldn’t shake the feeling. Not that I wanted to at all.
Stephen King movie adaptations have always hit home with Uncle T, from growing up in the Northeast and taking trips to Maine. Walking through a town like this and imagining a bloodthirsty werewolf stalking a quiet community is where my imagination goes from these movies being such a part of my psyche. Still, I didn’t do anything drastic like walk up to a police officer and ask if there were any old-world craftsmen in the town who could cast silver.
But if a kid strapped to a chrome wheelchair started whizzing down the street with a drunk uncle cheering him on, I would have lost it.
Speaking of drunk uncles, TNUC is long overdue to pay respects to the one and only UNCLE RED.
Uncle Red is of course the legendary uncle of 13 year-old Marty Caslow (Corey Haim). The character is played seemingly effortlessly by Gary Busey, who knocks this performance out of the ballpark by being such a natural fun-loving, generous, heart-in-the-right-place, drunken uncle.
Marty’s parents are slightly overly protective since he’s confined to a wheelchair, which allows Uncle Red to swoop in and treat him like gold. Whether it’s staying up past his bedtime to play board games, buying fireworks or oh yeah, building him a custom “Silver Bullet” high-powered turbo wheelchair, he’s the uncle many of us cherished as a kid.
Of course like all classic, sauce-loving uncles of cinema, this good-natured soul has his demons. Red’s sister (Marty’s mom) disapproves of his behavior and thinks he’s a bad influence on Marty. Truth of the matter is, Marty needs someone who doesn’t pity him or make him feel less than others, and that’s exactly what Uncle Red is all about!
Ease up on the Wild Turkey, Uncle Red. We love ya.
In the meantime, TNUC will be here waiting until the moon is full.
Isn’t it a tad early for Uncle T to be cooking his famous sausages?
It probably is, but since there’s reason to celebrate he’s in the kitchen right now making a bloody mess. You see, TNUC is over the moon this week because our good friend ‘Heath So Spooky’ just put together the ULTIMATE Halloween TV compilation, free for our viewing pleasures and nightmares. The monstrous collection contains 46 different television shows and their corresponding Halloween specials, all neatly packaged in a torrent and free to download!
What’s a torrent? For those of us still living in 1991, a torrent is a computer file that contains data with files and folders, and a list of locations and trackers, which helps participants locate each other in the system and share the download. Trust me, with such an enormous collection like this, it’s the way to go. All you’ll need first is BitTorrent, then simply click on the photo of “Carlsbad” below to download the Nostalgic Halloween Episodes Collection!
Movies seem to get all the attention during the Halloween season while television seems to get lost in the shuffle. Especially the ancient shows that aren’t in rotation any longer. Thankfully a spooky soul like Heath went through the trouble of gathering the classics from such shows as Alf, Brady Bunch, Boy Meets World, Charlie Brown, Cheers, Family Matters, Facts of Life, Full House, Garfield, Home Improvement, Jem and the Holograms, Married With Children, Murder She Wrote, Roseanne, Salute Your Shorts, Saved By The Bell, Step By Step, The Facts of Life, The Secret Life of Alex Mack, The Simpsons, Unsolved Mysteries and so many others. Hours and hours of entertainment.
On a related note, for the past seven years Heath has been releasing Halloween mixtapes, or I should say Bojo has been releasing Halloween mixtapes that have soundtracked my Octobers annually. Bojo’s mixtapes combine soundtrack rarities, 60’s/70’s oldies, classic gems, goth rock and the occasional brain melter. The thing I love about these mixtapes is that they always leave me wanting to dig around and discover more from the artists. Bojo has a knack for unearthing songs you may have never heard but will soon cherish.
I know Uncle T is in the small majority when he proclaims his love for Children of the Corn.
It’s a movie that nobody talks about. It’s a movie that people sometimes forget was based on a short story by Stephen King. It’s plot revolves around a cult, yet the movie itself has no cult following. But for all the weaknesses throughout the Children of the Corn franchise, no one can argue that at the very least in 1984, we were introduced to the raddest-red-headed-bastard-stepchild of all time…MALACHAI.
This severely pissed, severely underrated teenage neanderthal brought more to the film than all characters and plot combined. Aside from being a sadistic, murderous teenager, I think Malachai gets an unwarranted reputation and isn’t appreciated enough. When I was a kid I thought Malachai was one of the coolest guys around. Today we count down the reasons why…
We can all agree that the kids in Children of the Corn are twisted little creeps – yes – but outside of being brainwashed in a religious cult these are not kids you’d choose to hang with, meet at the food court, invite to your keg party, etc. They appear to be nothing more than sheltered holy rollers with not much going on upstairs. Just look at gerbil boy in the above picture (right) for example. He probably spends most of his time sniffing farm equipment fumes and watching cartoons in his underpants with Spaghettio stains all over his face. This is also the case for their cult leader, Issac. He’s the creepiest twerp of the whole bunch, has a very punchable face and isn’t a guy I’d like to have an Old Milwaukee with.
Malachai on the other hand is one cool bastard. Just look at him sitting Indian style with a facial expression that would send shivers down the backs of any high school football coach. Malachai always seemed a step ahead of the pack too, which includes over his supervisor Issac. Even though he was essentially Issac’s henchman or “muscle”, sent to do the dirty work and take command of the troops, Malachai was a more logical psychopath. When Issac talks down to Malachai with his noodly pipsqueak voice and insults him, I find myself getting very upset.
#3 TEEN ANGST.
True confession. When I was a pint sized TNUC, a good friend of mine lived on a farm with a massive cornfield on Martha’s Vineyard. Both of us watched this movie repeatedly so naturally we’d play “Children of the Corn” in the cornfield during the summer. All this usually meant was grabbing knives from his parent’s kitchen and chasing each other through the rows. One of us would be Issac, the other Malachai. It might sound sick, but I think pretending to be this rad redhead provided the “release” I needed during those preteen days.
Thanks for the inspiration and therapy, Malachai.
#2 HE REMINDS ME OF DAVE MUSTAINE.
Hear me out. I’m not talking about just the red hair and freckles, I’m more focused on the shit-eating grin and nasty attitude. During that one scene when he’s storming through the town screaming “OUTLANDER!!!” I just close my eyes and dream of a Megadeth song breaking out and Malachai shredding away on a Jackson King V guitar while cornhusks blow in the wind and Issac cries into his preacher hat.
I don’t care what anyone says. Malachai ♥‘s speed metal.
#1 THAT FACE.
Ready for a brain destroyer? Courtney Gains’ acting debut was playing Malachai! Let that one sink in for a minute.
Aside from his incredible performance in the film, that face of his is a huge part of Malachai’s power. I can’t imagine how much corn he destroyed during the making of this film. With a mouth like that he could probably eat a corncob through a barbed wire fence. Craft services were probably trembling when they saw him approaching the hot trays during breaks.
Courtney “Warchild” Gains has a bevy of film work which includes such classics as Hardbodies, The Burbs, Back to the Future, Secret Admirer and Can’t Buy Me Love. I command you to seek out his work and study his art.
You’re okay in TNUC’s book, Malachai.
Side note: If any of you live near an accessible cornfield or corn maze, one of these evenings I urge you to take a spooky stroll through one. Cornfields are fiercely eerie places at nighttime. Just watch out for “he who walks behind the rows”…
Everyone knows how much we worship ‘The Raft’ segment from Stephen King and George Romero’s Creepshow 2. The simple, yet effective concept has always hit a nerve, ever since watching it wide-eyed as a kid. Hell, just a couple seasons ago TNUC unearthed the exceedingly rare, unreleased songs that were blaring out of Deke’s Camaro in the movie.
While winding through a country road recently, Uncle T’s eye caught a stationary raft floating on a beautiful lake and he literally lost control of the wheel, sending his ice-cold Surge spilling all over his lap and the Scorpions tape in his stereo skipping a beat.
He slammed on the brakes and realized what needed to be done. A few beers later, he and Auntie TNUC swam out to the raft to engage in an oily, slimy, dastardly afternoon…
Can you feel it?
The gates are creaking. Wind is howling through the trees. Rattling chains roll over wet leaves. Those grunting noises are drawing nearer. A guitar squeal echoes in the distance.
SUMMON THE WAGONS. IT’S THAT TIME, DISCIPLES OF TNUC.
TNUC’s Howlin’ Harvest is a horny hayride featuring some of our most beloved, bewitched and bastardly characters all seated on the back of Manimal’s tractor, ready to party down in your fair town. Every evening in October, after a long day of chasing innocent victims and scaring the bejesus out of snotty teenagers, these babes ‘n boogeymen climb aboard Manimal’s hayride and gallop deep into the night. Where are they going? Our best guess is to that old Victorian mansion on the hill. By Halloween night, that place will be the biggest monster mash from Timbuktu to Portland, Maine. Or Portland, Oregon, for that matter.
But what the word “harvest” truly represents this season is a personal feeling of AUTHENTICITY. You see, Uncle T recently relocated from an area of the country where a true Autumn was pretty much nonexistent. Sure, we had Halloween and loved it to death, but the PURENESS of the season was absent. Let’s just say, going about your day in 90+ temperatures and surrounded by palm trees in October will slowly rip your soul apart.
For someone who celebrates Halloween all month long, I hungered for, no, CRAVED things like fall leaves, cider donuts, apple orchards, hayrides, ancient graveyards, foggy forests and chilly Octobers. I needed it to feel pure again. I needed to be in a place where I can go for a spooky walk around town whenever I damn please.
This has now been made possible because the TNUC lair has relocated to the heart of New England aka AUTUMN DREAMLAND. For a crusty old Uncle like myself, it doesn’t get much better than this.
With that said, my approach with TNUC this season is to completely feast on all of Autumn’s offerings. These articles will be a reflection of that and I urge you disciples to do the same, wherever you are. Go for long drives, get lost, explore an eerie abandoned location, eat Halloween junk food, read a scary book, go for spooky walks at night, visit with the loonies at the mental hospital, fill your house with dry ice, watch horror movies on a grainy TV, build a backyard haunt, stay overnight in a haunted inn, binge on pumpkin beer, find a corn maze…or do nothing but stay tuned to uncletnuc.com!
Here’s a classic to get you in the right spirit. It’s Hallmark’s “Spooky Sounds” cassette tape from 1989.
Open the windows to feel the evening wind. Grab a beer or some warm cider and try to contain your nightly blood lust.
Big thanks to Cody Kaufman for once again crushing this year’s artwork!
Keep close and stay tuned, you nasty TNUC disciples. † † †
P.S. Watch out for that drunken ditch-digger in the cemetery tonight wandering around with his pants down. He’ll get ‘cha…
If you happen to be wearing a bandanna and a loin cloth in a room full of mandalas, rain sticks, feathers, bamboo, and pet snakes I suggest you listen up.
At this moment, if you happen to be sitting in the lotus position, enveloped in a thick haze of incense, with visions of soaring hawks, crackling fires, ancient warriors, and ruined jungle temples I suggest you listen up.
If you happen to be grinding down your shins by kicking a cement pole, a banana tree, or a hanging long bag, I suggest you drop into a split and listen up.
A SLEEPING DRAGON AWAKES.
Those of you who have made the pilgrimage to the sacred temples of Kurt Sloan’s Deep Mountain Meditation Mix may recall that much of the magic of that particular mix journey was due to the musical visions and compositions of one living legend, Paul Hertzog, composer of the OST’s for Bloodsport and Kickboxer. But, what else? Surely there must be more? Here’s the bitter truth:
“And then after Kickboxer, to use a phrase popular with out-of-work musicians, I couldn’t get arrested. I did manage one more film, Breathing Fire, but otherwise, Hollywood and I seemed to have suffered irreconcilable differences. So my short career as film composer came to an end.” – Paul Hertzog
He laid low for over 2 decades, and then the visions must have come back, calling like the bell chimes from mountaintop Buddhist Temples echoing in the valleys below. Paul Hertzog has released new music, in the form of a new album, WAKING THE DRAGON (http://www.paulhertzog.com/waking-the-dragon.html). He hasn’t missed a beat. Queue the First Kata –
Relax, take a deep breath, take that bandanna and make it a blindfold, empty your mind, prepare it for liftoff, then begin to move slowly, gracefully, as light as the rabbit, as strong as the mighty buffalo.
Good. Now the stage is set. Mind and body are united, chi is flowing in your veins. Next, make sure you have put the wife and kids to bed, firmly close all doors between you and them, turn on the washing machine, move the brass vases and wicker furniture to the other room.
TO DO A PROPER ROUNDHOUSE KICK it is essential that you stay on the balls of your feet, then in an explosive thrust you must fire from the hips, pivot on your lead foot, throw your arms back, let heavy leg fly and follow through with your whole being. TO THROW PROPER ELBOWS, you must envision the points of your elbows like the point of a sharpened dagger. Then you must extend your arm, palm first, rotate your foot, then launch from the shoulder, slicing down with your elbow.
Thank you Mr. Hertzog for this new spirit vessel.
– Kurt Sloan