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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Vault of Horror's Post-Holiday Gift Guide!

What, you may ask, is B-Sol doing putting out a gift guide now, a week after New Year's--and two weeks after Christmas? It's simple, really. There will be many of you, no doubt--myself included--for whom this time of year brings with it the promise of great generosity from our loved ones. Yes, it is indeed better to give than receive, and God bless those in our lives who also feel that way. Because if you're anything like me (which I hope, for you're sake, that you're not), then the days following Christmas find you burdened with the weight of gift cards and/or cold-hard cash bestowed upon you by those who hold you dear.

If you ask me, this is the time when a gift guide really comes in handy. You can hem and haw all you want about what to buy that special someone in your life, but what about when you actually find yourself flush with capital and eager to spend it on your life's one great passion: horror? Well, that's when you turn to your old buddy B-Sol, right here in The Vault of Horror. Because I'm about to regale you with a veritable cornucopia of self-gifting ideas designed to help make your post-Holidays retail therapy as beneficial as possible...

BOOKS

Cannibal Kitchen: A Horror Lover's Cookbook
If you're a longtime reader of horror website Brutal as Hell, then you're very familiar with the work of Shannon Rullo, whose "Slash and Dine" column on terror-themed culinary delights never failed to amuse. Slash and Dine later spun off into "Cannibal Kitchen", which led to what we have here--easily one of 2012's coolest horror-related books. Shannon's love of horror and cooking are both voracious, plus she's just a swell gal, period.

The Walking Dead: Compendium 2
The immense popularity of The Walking Dead TV series (it's the highest rated dramatic series in the history of cable television) has brought a new and fervent fan following to Image Comics' Walking Dead comic series upon which it's based. I checked out after issue #34, but I've always meant to go back and catch up. For those of you like me, Image has just put out the second in a series of mondo-sized reprint collections. This one covers graphic novel collections #9-16--or if you were one of those old souls who actually, you know, read the actual comics, that's issues #49-96.

11/22/63: A Novel
Leave it to Stephen King to make time travel this scary. Published earlier last year, this latest doorstop-sized tome from New England's favorite son is the tale of a man traveling back in time in an attempt to prevent the Kennedy assassination. My sister picked this one up for my dad for Father's Day last year, and the old man had nothing but rave reviews for it.

VIDEO

Baron Blood: Kino Classics Remastered Edition
Did I ever tell you how much I love Kino Video? Well, I love them. And this is just one more reason why. Added to the list of lost classics they've restored to home video is now the Mario Bava chestnet Baron Blood, starring the legendary Joseph Cotten and the delicious Elke Sommer. It's Bava returning to his gothic roots in a delightfully garish smorgasbord of technicolor that's a must-have for any fan of Italo-horror. It even has an audio commentary from Video Watchdog's Tim Lucas!

Godzilla vs. Biollante
Arguably the most popular of the Heisei Godzilla films at last gets its long-awaited release on DVD and Blu-Ray. Now you can glory in Big G battling a giant radioactive flower with the amazing picture and sound such a conflict deserves. And even though that sounds bitingly sarcastic, I actually mean it in all earnestness. 

Paranorman
Easily one of the most fun genre releases of 2012, perhaps rivaled only by The Cabin in the Woods and Frankenweenie. I took the Captain and the kids AND my mom to this, and we all had a blast. Great to see such smart, dark humor make its way into a "family" film, not to mention the stunning stop-motion animation work we've come to expect from LAIKA, the studio that gave us Coraline in 2009.

The Gingerdead Man Trilogy
You read that right. For all of you who just can't get enough of everyone's favorite homicidal baked food product, now you have a chance to own all three films (there were three films??) in one magnificent box set. Get it for Gary Busey alone!

American Horror Story Season 1
The finest pure horror series to come down the pike in a very, very long time--and possibly the finest episodic horror series of all time, AHS is a gift-wrapped present to the entirety of horror fandom. I encourage anyone who hasn't discovered it yet to please do so. This is the first outstanding season, which aired in late 2011 and early 2012 on the FX cable network. If you want to find out what all the fuss is about, here's your chance.

VIDEO GAMES

Resident Evil 6
Capcom's juggernaut--which arguably launched the entire zombie renaissance of the 2000s, soldiers on with this latest installment. I'm not much of a gamer, but I will admit to a certain fondness for zombie fare like RE and House of the Dead. Available for PS3 and XBox.

Dead Island
Speaking of zombies, here's one that's been generating quite a bit of buzz since first hitting the scene a little over a year ago. Anytime there are zombies on a tropical island, only good things can ensue, as far as I'm concerned.

OTHER STUFF

Doctor Dreadful Zombie Lab
If your kids are anything like mine, they'll probably eat this up--literally. In a throwback to those classic morbid kid's food-making toys of the 1970s, this set allows little ones to make their own bubbling brains, eyeballs, barf, and a whole lot more--all edible, of course.

2013 Zombie Girl Calendar
Can you tell I like zombies? We might be a few days into the new year, but it's still not too late for a new calendar if you don't have one yet. And what better than 13 months of hot zombie chicks? Trust me, I'm a bit of an authority.

Arkham Horror
A stunning update to the classic 1987 original, this new edition of the acclaimed Lovecraftian board game/role playing game is well worth the wait. A bit pricey, but there are few games of this kind that are this downright cool in both concept and design.

There you have it, Vault dwellers. For those of you still holding on to cash presents and gift cards, I say happy hunting, and may you gift for yourself all the things you didn't get from anyone else. Even if you don't have any gift money to speak of, I think you might just find a few of these items a little too awesome to pass up. Enjoy the new year, horror fans!

3 comments:

Jonny Metro said...

Nice list! I got American Horror Story Season One from my wife for Christmas, and looking forward to when I get a few consecutive days off to watch them marathon-style.

By the way, if the purchaser is a fan of digital books, King's 11/22/63 is available on the Kindle for only $3.99 at the moment, which is a hell of a bargain considering the page count. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

--J/Metro

B-Sol said...

Enjoy the AHS marathon, Jonny! And let me know what you think...

MoreThanHorror said...

DR. Dreadful Zombie Lab. Didn't know this existed, THE BEST! -buy it guys.

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