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It’s that time again folks! Wanna check out the Halloween Spirit Store with me and see what’s new for 2021!? Let’s do this!

I got a wild hair on a Saturday as I tend to do and decided to drag the bodies of my wife and son to our local Halloween Spirit Store in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and do sort of an undercover investigation!

neil posing with BeetlejuiceHammer weilding Clown

As soon as we enter we are greeted by a life-sized animatronic Beetlejuice! A oldie but a goodie! And right next to him, it’s a life-sized animatronic creepy clown wielding a giant hammer.

marshmello costume head

We made our way past the obligatory Pennywise mask and came across an entire section dedicated to DJ Marshmello, (apparently just going by Marshmello these days)! What a cool surprise. Treat bags, body suits and of course the Marshmello head. They even had a green Dias De Los Muertos version of the Marshmello head.

dias de los muertes masks and appliques

And speaking of Dias De Los Muertos, there was a dedicated section just for that as well including facial appliques and beautiful female and male masks.

fortnite burger and dog masks

Fortnite gets a lot of love this year as well along with their own dedicated section. Bananas, burgers, bulldogs and weapons oh my!

costume brass knuckle knives

And weapons? Yep! We’ve got weapons! A medieval mace with a spiked skull for the business end? You’ve got it! A knife with brass knuckles for the handle that actually looks real and might get you in lots of unintended trouble? Booyah! Baseball bats wrapped in barbed wire? Time for some melon ball! A ketchup-spattered circular saw blade club!? Better keep the Tylenol handy!

inflatable bull rider costume

Inflatable costumes are still in style this year too! Wanna be a wacky wavy inflatable arm waving tube man? Ride a bull? Ride an ostrich? Ride a dragon or go for the gusto and just run around as a giant inflatable Chicken!? Girl I Gotchoo…

banana costume head

I couldn’t resist trying on a full banana head piece. After all I’m a banana! I’m a banana! I’m a banana! Stop! Look at me!

double severed hanging headsbaby head on a stickvampire baby

Meanwhile, my 12-year old son Evan is running around the store completely unsupervised and bringing me the most disturbing items he can find. Like these two severed heads sewn together back-to-back, a baby’s decapitated noggin on the end of a stick, and a bit later I turned down an aisle to find him cradling a very bluish infant with vampire teeth. I think I’ll sleep with one eye open tonight…

devil costume aisle endcap

I did notice that the devil was relegated to just an end-cap this year which was nice to see. Beezelbub’s popularity waning, at least here in the bible belt!

Let's Sacrifice Toby Tee ShirtEasy Bake Coven Tee ShirtLet's Summon Demons Tee ShirtMy First Knife Fight Tee Shirt

Moving along I come to the t-shirt collection with lots of new designs in the vein of classic children’s books such as Let’s Sacrifice Toby, Easy Bake Coven, Let’s Summon Demons, and of course… My First Knife Fight,

Scooby Doo Gang Costumes

Scooby Doo and the whole Mystery Machine gang gets mad respect this year with some well-deserved updated costume designs. Zikeys!

Rick and Morty masks

Rick and Morty fans won’t be disappointed either. Spirit Store’s got you covered!

Steam Punk Hats and Glasses

You thought steam punk was just a passing fad? Think again! Steamy punkers have a lot to be excited about this year with jackets, hats, glasses and doo-dads galore!

feathered voodoo mask

The dark-side of the Bayou gets a special nod this year with an end cap full of dark magic outfits and accessories straight from the swamplands!

tradesmen costumes

And of course there is a costume section paying homage to the various trades that keep our lives humming along such as mechanical, plumbing, farming and folks that work with their hands. RESPECT!

wacky hats

Right next to that we come to the wacky hat section. Avocado and Beer Mug headwear, bamboo hats, cactus, flamingoes and a whole lot more. And what pleasantly struck me was that for the more normal types of headwear, the prices didn’t seem all jacked up for the holidays. There were actually a few hats I might be interested in picking up myself once the clearance sale hits!

Iron Maiden Eddie Soldier Mask

A whole-head latex mask of Iron Maiden’s mascot, Eddie from the Piece of Mind era wearing a military helmet! The Trooper, baby! Did I try it on? Oh, you’d better believe it!

The Purge Masks

Fans of The Purge will be pleased this year as there is a special area set aside just to make you happy too!

Baby eating spiders

As we make our way towards the exit (and our impending lunch), I couldn’t help but admire a hungry baby gleefully getting his fill of black spiders. I tipped my own hat to the nice lady working the door and bid a fond farewell to our local Spirit Store!

Reflecting on our visit, I’m going to have to say that my personal favorite trend of this year would have to be steam punk. So many cool hats, glasses, jackets and crazy accessories not to mention the retro angle of it all!

Neil in haunted mansion themed studiofront of premiere 6 theatre

Alright, well after our family visit to the Spirit Store and a spider-free lunch, the family and I decided to pop into our favorite independent local theater, Premiere 6 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee to check out the new Venom movie, Let There Be Carnage. And while the Dandy Fun House isn’t necessarily a movie review platform, it’s also not NOT a movie review platform, so what the heck, let’s do this thing!

neil and venom

First off, I absolutely loved the first movie. Great story line, great comedy and great premise that an alien life form would come to Earth and inhabit the body of a guy who’s a bit of a loser and it turns out that the alien is also consider a loser on HIS home planet! But somehow they learn to get along and work together much in the slapstick, chaotic way the 3 Stooges worked together, just in a more action movie kind of way, to save all of mankind from complete and utter destruction!

Now to the sequel… LET THERE BE CARNAGE. From the get go, this movie had the promise of having everything going for it. The characters are already established and loved, we’re going to further the story of the symbiotic relationship between reporter Eddie Brock and the brain-eating alien, Venom. There’s the promise of the world’s most amazing special effects AND to top it all off, our villain in this flick is played by none other than the legend himself, Woody Harrelson! How much better can you get than that!? Well, somehow the producers of Venom, LET THERE BE CARNAGE, in my opinion, managed to snatch mediocrity from the jaws of amazeballs. I didn’t hate this movie. I didn’t even dislike this movie. It just sort of fell flat for me. The whole thing just felt like revisiting old ground. The inner conflicts between Eddie Brock and his symbiote, Venom. Eddie’s heartbreak over his ex-girlfriend whom he continues to struggle to stay friends with. Venom battling another bigger and stronger version of his own kind. It was all trodden ground we already experienced in the first movie and unfortunately, the funny parts were nowhere near as funny!

I certainly don’t regret seeing the movie. I did enjoy it. I just didn’t love it and I was expecting to love it and that ultimately was my letdown. On a scale from 1-10 dandies, I’m giving Venom, Let There Be Carnage a solid 6.75.

And if you’d like to do us a solid over here at the Dandy Fun House and support the creation of future episodes, please visit the Dandy Fun House patronage page over at . Supporters gain access to exclusive bonus features and Super-Supporters not only gain access to the bonus features, but I’ll also personally send you stuff in the mail for no other reason than my house is cluttered and Mrs. Dandy wants me to do a purge.

Neil presenting dandyfunhouse website

And with that my funheusers, I wish you an awesome Halloween this year! May it rain candy upon your pumpkin buckets! Stay safe and we’ll see you back here at the Dandy Fun House again real soon where everything is always FUN AND DANDY!

Neil Dandy is the creator of The Dandy Fun House and the alter-ego of Neil Smith, the Big Cheese at Neil Smith Entertainment and Productions, musician, DJ, Emcee and author. Aren’t you impressed?