Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Exhumed: The Ketchup Vampires

There are things in this world that become lost. Things that you think you will never see again. But sometimes they come back. This is the first in my series called The Exhumed. I will be finding things from my childhood memories of Halloween that have returned in some form or another.

First up is The Ketchup Vampires!

When I was a kid, I had tapes called The Ketchup Vampires. There were two and, if I recall correctly, the second one actually came first in the series in continuity. They were narrated by Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. Which I appreciate now more than I did then. These were so interesting to me and I loved watching them. But I forgot about them for many years.

Sometimes you just think about something you saw as a kid randomly. A couple of years ago, I started to re-collect VHS tapes. I sought out The Ketchup Vampires tapes, but they are pretty expensive and seem slightly rare. I knew these weren't on DVD in the US, but there are many things that come out in other countries that don't come out in the US. So, I looked around. I discovered that The Ketchup Vampires were actually a TV series called Die Ketchup Vampire.

Now, I don't speak German. As a result I didn't get this release. But it was fascinating to discover that it was actually a TV show. Now, I was a child when this came out, so it very well could have been on in the US as a TV show. But there was no release. I couldn't really find much information past that about the show.

The other day, I decided to look again after importing The New Addams Family from the UK. But what I found was far more fantastic.

The Ketchup Vampires was release on Amazon Instant Video! For the low, low cost of $10, you get 26 episodes of the TV show. That's 13 more than the German DVD release. Needless to say, I instantly purchased the show. I watched the first episode and I couldn't believe it, it was almost exactly the same. The voices were the same, the animation actually looked nice, but Elvira wasn't the narrator. Watching as an adult, you see just how campy this show is. It's out there and weird. But I LOVE IT SO MUCH! Even the theme song is intact!

I haven't watched past the first episode, but I can't wait. As there were only two tapes running probably threeish episodes versus 26 24 minute episodes, there must be so much more story that I haven't seen. A great start to the Halloween season.

The Pumpkins! All The Pumpkins!

You see that? That's a GIF. I'm getting fancy!

But in all seriousness, pumpkin is in EVERYTHING! It's officially that time of year again where you can go out and find all your favorite pumpkin products. But there are some good things and some bad things. But don't worry...I'll help sort it out for you.

1. Pumpkin Candles

To instantly get your Fall fix, light a pumpkin candle. But I must urge you to err on the side of caution, as not all pumpkin candles are created equal. Chances are if it is mixed with another product, it will probably smell awful. Be sure to smell the candle before you buy...otherwise, your home will smell bad...FOREVER! Trust me, I had a candle in my apartment bathroom once. That smell never went away.

I personally like the Spiced Pumpkin from Yankee Candle. It's perfect. You can find it cheaper at Ross/Marshalls stores.

2. Pumpkin-Flavored Coffee/Coffee Creamer

Starbucks has corned the market on this one, but I must say, I love Dunkin Donuts. Their iced pumpkin coffee and their ground pumpkin coffee (Only what you get at an actual Dunkin Donuts store, not at Walmart or Target) is just nothing short of delicious.

You can also buy Starbucks pumpkin syrup at their online store here. It tastes delicious. You can also seek out Torani or Monini as they both have various pumpkin flavors.

For a special bonus, add some pumpkin-flavored coffee creamer.

3. Pumpkin Soda

I enjoy many kinds of soda. But there are some that I have tired that I just poured down the drain. I almost feel unkind using an actual picture of the soda that I just couldn't drink. But...I feel I must. I had high expectations of such and why shouldn't I? Pumpkin is so tasty in everything else...why not soda? It tastes like pure pumpkin. Like someone threw pumpkin guts into carbonated water and then drained the pumpkin. It's disgusting. No spices detected. If you have found a pumpkin soda that is worthy of trying, please let me know. As I want to believe in something again.

4. Pumpkin Beer

Oh, pumpkin beer. In all your guises, you are so tasty. I work in the liquor industry and am extremely into beer. I have an Instagram for such (Not to promote myself). @which.craft is my handle. This is another category where you have to find what you like yourself and go with it. Lagers, stouts, porters, ales, shandys, etc. There are so many different kinds. Later this season, I'll be doing a piece later on pumpkin beer.

5. Pumpkin Baked Goods

Yes, this is kind of a catch all category. Bagels, cakes, pies, cookies, etc. There are so many things to enjoy and every single year, there is something new. I love going out and finding something new that tantalizes the taste buds. I'm still not sold on the whole pumpkin and chocolate mixing, as I've not found that perfect thing yet. But I will eventually.

What is your favorite thing that contains pumpkin? I always enjoy hearing about new things!