Going through Vincent Price Toy Commercials last week was a lot of fun, so let’s check out a trio of wild horror-inspired toy spots!
I have no memory of these Gruesome, Rude, Obnoxious, Silly Scarfers from Tiger, but this might be one of the most delightful ads I’ve seen in a long time. From the iconic kids at the mall to a toy that keeps topping itself, this one’s a ton of fun. I mean, you had me at “a gross puppet that makes sounds,” but then you add in the see-through stomach and this is an easy home run. If you had a G.R.O.S.S. puppet, please let me know in the comments!
It still shocks me that Troma’s Toxic Avenger made the jump to cartoons, toys and comics in the early 90s. It’s weird that Rambo had a cartoon given his big screen body count, but it’s mind-boggling to anyone who saw the classic Troma film that Toxie made the same transition! Because of this cartoon, I watched The Toxic Avenger WAY sooner than I should have and actually turned it off because I was so scandalized! I now own it on DVD and have this Toxie figure thanks to one magical flea market trip. I don’t have that rad slime-dripping mop thought, what a cool accessory!
Speaking of slime, it’s crazy how popular this stuff is right now. I’ve got two kids under 10 and they are all about making their own slime and even know of like 30 different types with different recipes and whatnot. I’m personally not a fan, but I do love a toy line like Oozers which really captures the gross-out nature of many an 80s toy line. I also really dig the line-up of characters, most of whom seem to take their cues from Universal Monsters and classic mythology, but check out the Jason Voorhees analog in there who’s rocking that tank top! These are very cool, but I wonder how well they’ve held up over the years what with all the squeezing and oozing and whatnot.
Well, it was bound to happen again. With a project like It’s All Connected where I’m bouncing around between movies I love and those I’ve never seen, I knew I would hit a few that did not sit well with me. I did not like Dressed To Kill, but I pretty much hate the 1970 Gordon Hessler/Vincent Price project Cry Of The Banshee. What happened and how did I get here?
I’ve been having a great time watching connected films and a variety of horror books this season, but it’s very possible that re-visiting the Batman run by Doug Moench and Kelley Jones has been one of my favorite experiences so far. As I mentioned in the first part, these post-KnightFall books were bedrock-forming for my knowledge of not just the Dark Knight, but also the imagery of horror as put through Jones’ incredibly capable lens. As good as the Batman developments are in these issues as he regains his life after the Bane and Azrael incidents, it’s equally exciting to see these two creators work their magic on a variety of villains and co-stars.
If you’ve been along for the journey that has been It’s All Connected so far, you’ve probably come to the correct conclusion that I like some pretty weird movies. How else would one get from a horror comic book book adaptation by Wes Craven to a true oddity of an anthology starring an icon? As such, I got very excited a few years back when I realized that the already niche horror home media distributor Severin Films had an imprint called InterVision that focuses on even more out-there obscurities that they only put out on DVD. I grab these up whenever I see them, but the first I ever purchased was Dark Harvest, which also came with a Vincent Price picture from 1986 called Escapes. How could I not?
While perusing Vincent Price’s filmography on IMDb to find potential flicks to hit during It’s All Connected, I saw something that piqued my interest: Alice Cooper’s: Welcome To My Nightmare! In an interesting twist, I bought that DVD, but for my dad way back when. He’s the on who got me into classic rock and we even went and saw Alice Cooper’s incredible live show together back when we both still lived in Toledo. So, when I found out that Rhino was doing a DVD of Cooper’s Welcome To My Nightmare-era tour film, I snatched it up for him! He had it here in New York, so I borrowed it and gave it a watch. The results were…interesting.
As you can tell, I’m in the full Halloween swing here UnitedMonkee headquarters and have been for awhile. With It’s All Connected, I’ve been on quite the Vincent Price kick, so it seemed like the perfect time to dust off an old favorite Toy Commercial Tuesday in the master’s honor!
First up we have a spot for the Milton Bradley board game Stay Alive. I can’t say I’ve heard of this game, but it was a stroke of marketing genius to take this title and run with it by hiring a master of horror to be the face. I mean, otherwise, it’s just a game where marbles fall down holes. That being said, I’d still love to play!
After watching this commercial I sat back and simply said, “Huh,” out loud to no one in particular. On one hand, this Hangman spot features Price showing off how funny he can be without also being creepy (or surrounded by creepiness). On the other…what was the point of any of this? I get that Hangman implies the wild west and the game makers probably didn’t want to go too dark, but what about Price and a lady playing the game near a gallows. Yeah, that probably wouldn’t have been okay, but it’s playing great in my mind right now.
Finally, at least for this week, we have Price doing a jovial voice over for a double-bagger. This commercial not only extols the virtues of Simon, but of Super Simon, which I’ve never seen before! It makes me chuckle that they seemingly aimed this extra long commercial more at adults than kids.
I can’t believe I’m already on the third row of the It’s All Connected timeline! For the 15th movie I went with another Vincent Price AIP movie, Haunted Palace from 1963. Last time, I teased that this one would feature a different director, screenwriter and source author. I was slightly wrong because Roger Corman was at the helm of this film, but it was written by Charles Beaumont and based on an H.P. Lovecraft story, which does show in the film! How did this change in the formula go over for me? Hmm…
Lately, I’ve been writing a lot about older horror discovers. There’s all of the Paperbacks From Hell books and my never-ending love of Stephen King‘s work, but there are also a lot of great current horror writers whose work I enjoy. After checking out Riley Sager’s Final Girlsa few years back, I’ve been keeping an eye out for his other works in either digital or analog formats. Somewhere along the way, I found a discounted version of his 2018 book The Last Time I Lied and immediately added it to my Kindle library. When Scare Season came around, it jumped to the top of my To Read list!
When I started digging into Vincent Price’s films for It’s All Connected, I wondered if I’d get burned out. I mean, I fully expected to watch more Brian De Palma flicks earlier in this process, but they were all hitting a lot of the same buttons. With Price’s movies, though, I’m having a great time watching one of the best actors of all time plying his craft in a variety of roles ranging from the very serious to the delightfully silly! And with 1962’s Tales Of Terror, you get all of that in one package!