Thursday, July 25, 2019

Coolest Stranger Things merchandise to hit this summer!

Coolest Stranger Things merchandise to hit this summer!

I think it's safe to say that summer of 2019 is the summer of Stranger Things. The third seasons broke Netflix records when it aired on July 4th just a few weeks ago. I'm sure I'm not speaking for myself, but there was honestly no cooler way to celebrate the 4th than returning to Hawkins, and seeing what that gang of kids were up now now in the summer of 1985. I have told tons of people all ready that season 3 hands down was my favorite. In fact, I even told a few people who admitted that they weren't crazy about the first two seasons that as long as they got a quick summary of the last two seasons, they could really just watch season 3 since it felt more like a standalone 8 hour movie. This season had it all. 80's nostalgia in complete overdrive. The mall setting, the characters we've watched grow over the last few years, now slowly turning into a coming of age story as they become teenagers, facing new challenges. The Starcourt Mall, the soundtrack, the epic return of a monster that was last seen in season 2, as well as a heartbreaking take on a new villain, as well as one of the most powerful showdowns in the last episode. (Also total cool points for having so many Day Of The Dead nods this time around!) This season was a mix of the Terminator, Stand By Me, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, Stephen King, and Red Dawn. It was everything!  This is now a staple to watch every summer, and every July. To celebrate, I decided to highlight some of the coolest Stranger Things merchandise that's I've been able to pick up/see so far this month!

Let's head to Starcourt Mall and see what they have!

Visit Hawkins IN T-shirt

I actually just ordered this shirt last night. I would like to blame the third glass of wine I had when a Facebook ad popped up showing this adorable T-shirt. Now I'm sure I'm not the only one who owns way too many T-shirts, but when Stacy is stressed out, and sorta drunk, my YOLO and #treatyoself comes into play big time. Can't wait to rock this one!

Stranger Things themed candy!
A fellow Facebook and IG friend mentioned that a chain of candy stories that are country wide called It's Sugar were releasing limited edition Stranger Things themed candy. Last week I had myself a bit of a "Stacy day" which basically means I just take some time to not run errands, and just treat myself to a few hours of fun. I first caught Annabelle Comes Home before it was pulled from theaters (Can't rave about how much fun that movie was!) Before heading off to Lynnfield (roughy a 45 minute drive) to check out this candy store with a friend of mine to see what all the fuss was with this Stranger Things candy...

It was one of the hottest days so far this summer (very muggy and swamp like outside) so we left the cool relaxing blast of the A.C in my car to venture to the store, and check things out. There were a ton of kids first that were being VERY annoying running around. Lucky they checked out after a few minutes after we arrived, and we decided to look at all of the cool Stranger Things displays. I asked if the banners were for sale, and sadly the sales woman said not until this fall. Still, I was instantly charmed when I saw the Billy lifeguard candy (which strangely looks like a sex toy. What only me?)

There was tons of different kinds. We had Camp Nowhere kits (the camp Dustin and Suzie attended) which were hard fruit flavored candies. Another set of hard candies based off my spirit animal Erica, Pez candies based off the kids, radioactive candy ooze, candy "fertilizer", chocolate bars, gummies, and lollipops based off the kids. I'm not a huge candy fan, but I picked up a few doubles to send to a friend of mine's daughter, and honestly got a kick out of the attention to detail they put into this stuff. Super cool if you love Stranger Things.

There were also tank tops and buttons with sayings such as "I dump your ass" What a riot. I sent most of the candy away, but I kept one container of Scoops Ahoy ice cream gummy candy (tastes just like ice cream) and one of Billy's life preserver gummy candies (which I'll never eat because A. It looks like a sex toy, and B. I feel eating something like this would eat you a stomach ache for days!) No, that's gonna stay in my summer decorations, which I feel next year will be a cross between Jaws and Stranger things...

 Billy pop figures
I've never been a huge pop collector. I might have 15 in total (I know that sounds like a lot) but they are mostly from gifts from friends. I think I have a Freddy one, two Big Trouble In Little China ones, and a Negan one, but I knew right away I needed all the Billy pops. Billy played the mullet wearing asshole from season 2 who was so couldn't help but sorta feel attracted to him. He made driving a Camaro look good! With his tight jeans, earring, long hair, and douchebag attitude is basically every asshole villain from 80's teen movies. I was able to pick up three Billy figures. One of him when he wins Keg King at the Halloween party in season 2...

This Comic Con set of him and Karen from season 2 when he appears at the Wheeler's front door looking dreamy as ever, becoming Karen's romance novel fantasy as he munches on a cookie...

And last but least Billy from season 3 when he's flayed as the lifeguard.

Eleven from season 3
I felt this was a must to own. I adore the Eleven character and this season she kicked ass. Loved her fashion choices!

Scoops Ahoy slime
I'm an idiot and thought this was real ice cream at target (I can't with myself) I've always loved slime stuff (clay, play dough, Gak, silly putty, etc.) I felt I was born in the wrong era since the slime craze really went off the charts in the last few years. I work with kids and they LOVE making this gross shit. I've never made slime, nor have own anything like this since I was like 12, so I did get a kick out of owning some slime which is supposed to be a flavor of ice cream from the ice cream shop from the show. The U.S.S Butterscotch! This stuff smelled actually like butterscotch, and had this little foam banana slices. I played with it for a little bit (too scared I was going to get it stuck to something) and I gotta admit, as a 30...almost 31 year old woman this was super relaxing to touch...


I really did love how the marketing for some of the merchandise was all meant to look like Scoops Ahoy ice cream containers. Super cute!

A closer look at the ice cream gummy candy from Its Sugar. 

Another cool promotional item was from Coca-Cola when they released a limited edition of "New Coke" via 1985 when they released a new recipe to try and jazz things up, including a new look on the cans. Sadly this bombed really bad, and they returned to the original recipe and can design. I got a box of two classic bottles of coke, including two cans of the "New Coke" as if they were straight from 1985! I was pumped. I heated up some eggos (in which Winchester wanted) and tasted the soda...

I gotta admit, couldn't tell the difference at all. Still, pretty cool!

I washed out the can and I'm planning on holding onto it for display purposes. I really do love when companies go the extra mile (thought it was a riot that Burger King did the "Upside down Whopper" which was only in select cities. I asked a friend of mine, who tried one and was just a whopper turned upside down. Can you stand it?

I also ordered this Billy shirt from another T-shirt company which is due to arrive any day simply because...Billy is everything.

Baskin Robbins Stranger Things ice cream
Out of all the promos, the Baskin Robbins transforming into Scoops Ahoy stores were the coolest where they would do limited edition Stranger Things ice cream flavors. 

I have looked EVERYWHERE and legit there are none near me. I tried even Doordash and they won't deliver. As God as my witness, I WILL FIND THESE ICE CREAMS DAMNIT!

My favorite duo this season.

I know Hot Topic and H&M released a ton of Stranger Things clothing merchandise. I just gotta admire the H&M clothing line since the dude who plays Billy modeled for it...

So there you have it guys! Anything I'm forgetting? Here's three cheers to the summer of Stranger Things!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

How two Stranger Things stars totally should have been in Hannibal season 4.

How two Stranger Things stars totally should have been in Hannibal season 4.

I'm sure I'm not alone when I say I still haven't properly mourned the cancelation of Bryan Fuller's gothic and visually stunning take on Thomas Harris' characters in Hannibal the TV series. When it was originally announced they are making these iconic novels/films into a TV series on a popular station like NBC I'll be the first to admit, I was on the fence. I really couldn't wrap my mind around this actually working as a TV series. 

Boy was I wrong.

Actually the same happened with The Exorcist the TV series. Something audiences didn't believe could be adapted onto the small screen, actually worked brilliantly, and much like Hannibal sadly suffered an early death, leaving fans from all over beyond frustrated.

I think what really sold me on the TV series was the casting of Mads Mikkelsen. I could only imagine trying to fill the shoes that Anthony Hopkins left behind. Still, at this point I felt as though the sleekness and edge the character of Dr. Lecter had lost someone of it's "edge" He was always turning into this campy one-liner villain, and didn't seem as frightening as he once did before. Mikkelsen stole the show in Casino Royale (to date one of my favorite Bond films) and clearly established that he was bringing something completely new to the table by playing such an iconic character. Mikkelsen is frightening, but also likable in a strange lingering way. Watching him make Dr. Lecter is own throughout these three seasons was truly a huge pleasure. I believe Mikkelsen is one of our generation's greatest actors, and I really do love whenever he appears in a new project. 

I often tell people, watch Manhunter (1986), Silence Of The Lambs, and then the Hannibal TV series. I believe Fuller got most of his inspiration with looks, cinematography, and overall mood for the series by Michael Mann's original film. I have nothing against the remake Red Dragon, but the cast honestly seemed to be sleep walking in this stale empty shell of a story. Manhunter was edgy, ahead of it's time, shot beautifully, had a wonderful soundtrack, as well as featuring William Petersen as FBI profiler Will Graham. Huge Dancy filled this role wonderfully, and brought the same haunted disturbed sympathetic side to Graham, and how his mind work "This is my design..." as well as the tragic love story between him and Hannibal. I can even forgive not bringing Scott Glenn back for the show (He was by far my favorite Crawford), as Fishburne took over this character brilliantly seeing that it had been recast over and over and over again! This show made great casting choices (even changing the sex of some and working to the show's advantage) I think Fuller knowing the show was getting canceled did the ending that made the most sense and was beauitfuily tragic as the mic was dropped showing the only ending that seemed fitting now that the idiots over at NBC refused to continue the story. I loved how it ended, but it showed most certainly that this was truly the end of the characters of Hannibal and Graham. I enjoyed them tackling the Red Dragon part of the storyline, but couldn't believe they were ending it right before the most famous and iconic chapter was just waiting to be told.

The Buffalo Bill storyline.

I'm still in awe Netflix didn't jump at the chance to run this show another 1-2 more seasons. The fan base is huge, and the show has developed quite the cult following. Still, Netflix seems to have its head up its own ass (Yes, I'm talking about canceling the Santa Clarita Diet. I see you Netflix!) I'm sure fans, and even Fuller haven't given up hope. Who knows, even though all the major companies passed, maybe someday Hulu or Amazon might come to their senses. 

Speaking of Netflix, I'm sure yet again I'm not alone by binge watching all of season 3 of Stranger Things. It's funny, this is a show I have a love/hate relationship with. When I first discovered it during the summer of 2016. It was nostalgia overload. I remember thinking this was like had Stephen King directed The Goonies. I loved the music, the characters, that stunning opening title sequence, and all of the little references. The show became an overnight hit, and in October of 2017 season 2 hit. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it. Trust me, I'm not one to totally hate on a show because it's a huge hit and becomes very popular. I actually really dig that, but much like the IT movie it left me going "Okay." Didn't love it, but didn't hate it. When season 3 started getting teasers I was certain this would become a summer staple to watch whenever the weather got warm. In 8 short hours I plowed through the third (and by far my favorite) season. I loved the soundtrack, storyline, action, and overall development this time around. I loved it so much, I'm truly hoping they do one more season and finally finish it up. I'm starting to see some storylines repeating itself and it would be a shame if they milked the cow for all it was worth, losing whatever charm it still holds. I on the other hand, found this season the strongest. Watching, I instantly saw two actors who would have KILLED it (no pun intended) had Hannibal gotten a 4th season covering the famous Buffalo Bill storyline.

Maya Hawke as Clarice Starling
The entire time I was watching season 3 the first time around I kept thinking to myself "Man, she looks familiar..." It wasn't until afterwards I saw who were parents were and laughed at how she really truly is the spitting image of them. Maya was a wonderful addition to the Stranger Things gang as Robin who had some really amazing character development. She proved she isn't just beautiful, but  showed off some pretty killer acting chops several times throughout season 3. There's just something very likable about her. I could see her playing Clarice perfectly. Think of the chemistry she would have with Mads. There's something lingering behind those big beautiful eyes of hers. I could see her telling the story of her uncle's farm to Hannibal, her eyes filling with tears, not blinking, and making the audience unable to look away. This would be killer to see such a strong female character brought to the table. I truly thought Anna Chlumsky would be the knew Clarice from season 1/2, but after watching Maya in season 3 of ST I know if anyone could play Clarice right (sorry Julian Moore) it would be her. Plus, since most of the storyline of Hannibal was all ready covered in season 2/3 we could mainly focus on her being hired by Jack, and investing the Buffalo Bill crimes. I know, how did Hannibal survive the fall from the cliff? Listen, in this world anything is possible. Maybe it was all a dream? Maybe Graham and Hannibal parted ways, or maybe by some strange chance it killed Will but Hannibal survived and was taken into custody. Here he mourns his friend/soulmate, and finds a glimmering chance with Clarice who is so eager to prove herself to the FBI and stand against a crazed famous killer.

Dacre Montgomery as  Jame Gumb aka Buffalo Bill. 
Without spoilers, I'm sure it's safe to say that Drace aka Billy in season 3 was one of the best parts. Highly underrated. Went from total asshole in season 2, basically a mullet wearing heartthrob that was so over the top, to villain in a very Invasion Of The Body Snatchers vibe this time around. He got to somewhat redeem himself (the character of Billy actually had quite a few layers behind him, involving some pretty heartbreaking backstory as well as showing he was a product of a broken home and abuse) his sacrifice at the end killed me, and I found it a very fitting ending to what I originally thought was going to be a very two dimensional character. Plus, had no idea he was Australian! Talk about hiding an accent very well! Maybe it was the hair and dangling earring throughout the show, but I felt major Buffalo Bill vibes from him. We know he's got some major acting chops, and can lash out being absolutely terrifying one second, and breaking down in tears the next. We know Fuller and the team behind Hannibal are some truly sick twisted freaks (I say this in the best way possible) they are truly artist, making haunting visuals for audiences. I could only dream of what they would think of with Bill's victims and the bodies he leaves behind. Maybe we even get some Easter eggs (Goodbye Horses, his dog, maybe even American Girl blasting somewhere) I would love to see a twist on this killer that Mr. Levine made so famous. I'm sure he would bring something fresh and new to the table, as well as something absolutely terrifying.

So thoughts?

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Return Of The Living Dead drinking game!

Return Of The Living Dead drinking game!

Happy Return Of The Living Dead Day!!!

Yes, that's right. It's on this day that a certain toxic chemical ended up leaking from a medical supply house, resulting in hundreds of zombies to trap a group of teenagers partying in a local cemetery, a couple of workers from both the supply house and funeral home. This is hands down one of the best zombies ever made. It screams the 1980's, has a killer soundtrack, features running zombies, and one of the most clever and jaw dropping endings I've seen in a horror film. This film put a new twist on zombies, where honestly there wasn't really any hope since shooting them in the head won't work! Here we watch a group of very likable characters face off and try to figure out how to survive the night as they learn the bone chilling truth behind why zombies actually crave brains. So, in honor of this iconic holiday I decided to whip up a fun little drinking name for all you punk rock zombies. Remember, don't drink and shoot rabid weasels!!!

Drink when...
A new song is heard.
Frank cries or yells.
Somebody says brains
Somebody screams.
Somebody swears.

Take a shot when...
Somebody dies
A zombie talks.
When the word "hotdog" is said. Trust me, fans of the movie will get this.

Waterfall when...
Trash does her graveyard dance. 
A camera tracks wherever the chemical gas goes.
Ernie cuts his pant leg off.

Everyone have a happy 4th!!!