Friday, October 31, 2014

Another CreatureFeature Guide To Hallowe'en On Roku - Day #31 - Let's Put Some Real Scream On Your Screen... With These Creepy Roku Channels For You To Stream !!


Well, Boils & Ghouls... the BIG DAY has arrived !! Yes, October 31st is here at last and FINALLY we can REALLY get into the spirit of things (ahem!) and celebrate HALLOWE'EN in fine style !! Of course, this also means that the Countdown To Hallowe'en 2014 is now over and that this will be the very last post in my month-long blogathon that is "A CreatureFeature Guide To Hallowe'en On Roku".

Now those of you who have been regular visitors to this blog throughout the past month could well have come here today expecting another "Fiendish Food Friday" post but, given that October 31st is a little too late to start your food preparations for Hallowe'en, I thought I'd do something a little different this Friday... so, I'll apologise now to anyone who feels let down by this unexpected change. Moving on, since much of the content for this month-long blogathon was geared towards hosting some sort of spooky soirée on Hallowe'en that involved catering for any number of ghoulish guests, I thought I'd dedicate this last post to anyone that might be spending the night alone (rather than at a social gathering) and offer-up a "best of the rest" selection of Hallowe'en / Horror-related Roku channels that you can settle-in to for the night and stream to your TV screen from the comfort of your armchair (bed, sofa, etc.) thanks to the "magic" of Roku streaming media players !!

Before I get started on my "best of the rest" list, may I first suggest that you take a look back over the recommendations that were made last year, for the "Countdown To Hallowe'en 2013", and see if any of those channels sound appealing. Then... if you missed any of the "Countdown To Hallowe'en 2014" blog posts, that went under the banner of "Another CreatureFeature Guide To Hallowe'en On Roku", you should see if any of those entries tickle your fancy for a "Friday FrightFest" chez-vous !! My advice would be for you to first peruse the varied selection of "Macabre Movie Monday" horror films and/or my vintage horror recommendations of the silver screen from the "Silver Scream Saturday" posts that I suggested, not forgetting those that featured on "Wicked Watch Wednesday" in mid-week (all month long). Failing that... if you think you'd prefer more of an "audible" experience this evening, instead of something viciously "visual" to arouse the senses, then why not look back through each of the posts to feature "Terrifying Tuesday Tunes" for some Hallowe'en "ear candy" to fill your virtual "trick 'r treat" bags?! Once you've decided on "sight" or "sound", you might well want to prepare a little something (food and/or drink-wise) to tempt your taste buds prior to commencing your streaming session and, to that end, there are my "Fiendish Food Friday" and "Toxic Tipple Thursday" posts which will cater to all your needs in that respect. Come to think of it... that only leaves one more themed day, from this month-long blogathon, without a mention! So, while you're at it, why not take a look at each of the "Shocking Sunday Surprise" entries, too, in case any of those catch your interest!

Anyway... if, after all that, you still haven't found something that you can sit & stream every shock & scream to, then don't panic because I have THIRTEEN TERRIFYING TREATS in reserve for you. These, for the most part, are the bread and butter of streaming horror channels... they fly the flag for "horror" all year round, and not just on Hallowe'en, like many of the so-called "big-hitters" are guilty of. So, in addition to all of the channels that have featured (both this year & last) as part of my annual "Countdown To Hallowe'en" month-long blogathon, please spend some time checking out the following stalwarts of horror streaming on Roku and PREPARE TO GET YOUR FRIGHT ON !!!!!!

DRIVE-IN CLASSICS............................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

GRINDHOUSE CHANNEL...................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

CLASSIC HORROR MOVIES...............................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

SNAG XTREME.....................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

THE CULT MOVIE NETWORK...........................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

BIZARRE TV..........................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

FULL MOON...........COST: $1.99 PER MOVIE to $4.99 FULL ACCESS (MONTHLY) [Roku Guide Review]


CINEMA TERROR RADIO!.................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

HORROR FLICKS...........................................COST: £1.49 (MONTHLY) [Roku Guide Review]

OLD TIME RADIO USA.......................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

SHOCK RADIO!......................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]



Anyway, that's about as much as I can offer you in terms of Hallowe'en entertainment on your Roku player goes (at least, for the time being) so, hopefully you have all managed to find a channel or two with sufficient content to make your Hallowe'en season just that extra bit special this time around?!

Unfortunately, if these particular Hallowe'en / Horror-themed Roku channels weren't to your liking then YOU WILL HAVE A LONG WAIT as there won't be any more of these dedicated posts until October 2015, when the successor to: "Another CreatureFeature Guide To Hallowe'en On Roku"will be unveiled. Still, that's not to say that there won't be the odd one or two cropping-up from time to time in my regular 'Weekly RoundUp' posts between now and then. Meanwhile... have a safe and happy Hallowe'en 2014 and, when you're done with this blog, please be sure to take some time (as I will) to visit the other contributors to the 2014 Countdown To Hallowe'en and discover all of the Hallowe'en treats that they have in store for you, which they've been serving-up throughout the past month !!

Fangs (as always) for stopping by !!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Another CreatureFeature Guide To Hallowe'en On Roku - Day #30 - TOXIC TIPPLE THURSDAY (Fifth Of A Gallon)

Welcome back, Boils & Ghouls...

... to 'Day Thirty' of "Another CreatureFeature Guide To Hallowe'en On Roku"  and to the fifth & final instalment of "Toxic Tipple Thursday" for 2014 where, each week, I have been recommending a mix of "batty brews", "creepy cocktails" and "spooky spirits"(all very much suited to Hallowe'en) as part of a special month-long blogathon with each post counting down the days to October 31st !!

So, if you're planning to host your own spooky soirée tomorrow, you should make a point of looking back through my blog posts for EVERY THURSDAY, since the start of the month, for inspiration on how to keep those ghastly goblets full to the brim throughout your fiendish festivities on Hallowe'en !!

Anyway... having kicked things off with the "Unofficial Beer of Hallowe'en", aka "Hobgoblin", and followed that up with a dark & mysterious porter (or, "stout", if you prefer) called "Black Wych", both from the same 'Wychwood Brewery', I then mixed things up a bit by bringing you a spooktacular spirit, in the shape of 'The Kraken' black spiced rum, before inviting you to "experience the sinister side..." by taking on your very own "Beast Of Bourbon", better known as "The Devil's Cut" by way of a lavishly licentious libation that would be guaranteed to leave you licking your lips for more on Oct 31st. So, with only one more opportunity to make suggestions as to liquid refreshments this side of Hallowe'en, I thought I'd better bring you a bucket-load of drinks recipes so you can pick 'n' mix as it pleases you !!

Luckily for all of us, help is at hand in the shape of a Roku channel dedicated to the art of mixology, the details for which are outlined below, and that can be identified by the following channel icon:-

DRINKS [by]...................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

If you haven't already added it to your own channel selection, you'll find "Drinks by iFood.TV" listed among the "Food" channels in the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store and it can easily be added to your Roku player(s) by navigating to the built-in 'Channel Store' from the home screen and scrolling through the options until you see the (above) channel icon. It's completely FREE-TO-ADD as well as being FREE-TO-VIEW so, once you've located it in the list of channels, just click the "OK" button on your Roku remote to select it and then click "OK" again where it says 'Add channel' to install it on your Roku player(s). Having done that, it's simply a case of launching the channel via the 'Go to channel' option and navigating the on-screen menu to access the "Home: Popular Halloween Drinks" section. TIP: From the main menu screen, visible once you have launched & accessed the channel, just two or three short presses of the directional arrow marked "DOWN" (on your Roku remote) should be enough to reveal the sub-menu for the "Home: Popular Halloween Drinks" section at the bottom of your television screen. From there, it's a simple case of using the "LEFT" and/or "RIGHT" directional arrows on your Roku remote to scroll through the video recipes until you see one which catches your eye. Again, use your Roku remote to select the video recipe, which has tempted your taste buds, then click "OK"to play the video(s) and watch the recipe(s) to see how they are made.

A QUICK TIP: When watching the Hallowe'en cocktail recipes on "Drinks by iFood.TV", it's worth keeping the Roku remote handy to pause and rewind, if necessary, as well as a pen and paper to make your own notes about the procedure as you go along. Having said that, there's usually plenty of detail to be found within each video just by navigating the on-screen menu to bring up details such as lists of ingredients and mixing instructions which you can call-up on screen while you watch each video.

Generally speaking, 'Drinks [by]' provides a collection of over 4,000 instructional videos containing recipes for all kinds of drinks from Cocktails to Smoothies, Party Shots, Teas, Ethnic Drinks, Holiday Specials & more. These "How-To" style videos can be used to improve your mixing and shaking skills to such a frighteningly good level, it could leave your Hallowe'en party guests in complete shock and awe, as they marvel at your new-found bartending talents !!

Aside from the aforementioned "Home: Popular Halloween Drinks" sub-category, there are multiple other genres to choose from (shown as "Categories"in the main menu) as part of the 'Drinks [by]' Roku channel. Obviously... not all of the included content is relevant to this post, however, the inclusion of a 'Search' function (found under "Categories" in the main menu) means that it is very easy to whittle down the list, by sticking to our general theme, and enter the word "Halloween" as a search term, to obtain a set of results that are specific to your requirements.

Now, ordinarily, you'd use an original Roku remote to enter text via the on-screen keyboard shown:- 

HINT: Click on the above image to ENLARGE IT for easier viewing !!

Although, if you've tried that method previously, you'll know that it can be a bit fiddly (not to mention overly-cumbersome) to "type" your search term  into the required field. For this reason, I STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you enter the required text USING THE FREE ROKU REMOTE APP for either iOS (if you have an Apple mobile device) or Android, since the keyboard for touch-screen mobile devices are (generally) far easier to use than the directional buttons on a remote control when it comes to typing. If you have yet to install the Roku app on your mobile device, you can download them easily by using the relevant link(s) below:- 

If you have an Apple mobile device (running iOS 4.3 or later)...

Or, for those of you with Android mobile devices (running Android 2.1 and up)...

Even if you don't intend using the app(s) with this particular channel, I would urge you to go ahead and download them anyway because of the increased functionality they offer over the original Roku remote(s). You could also find that the app makes using your Roku streaming media player a far easier (yes, that is possible) and, not to mention, all together more enjoyable experience, too !!

Anyway once you've entered the search term, "Halloween", and then hit the on-screen 'Search' button to perform the task, you should then see an extra line appear at the top of the main menu (above where the "Categories" are listed) which says, "Searched Results For. Halloween". Beneath this will be a list of instructional videos for drinks recipes that will be suitable for serving at any Hallowe'en party (assuming your guests meet the minimum legal requirements for consuming alcohol, of course!). As of the date of this post, a combination of looking through the "Home: Popular Halloween Drinks" section and searching for drinks recipes via the built-in "Search" function of the 'Drinks [by]' channel using the search term, "Halloween", gave a total of nineteen Hallowe'en Cocktail videos to choose from, as follows:-

  • Raspberry Eyeball Fizz
  • Hallowe'en Cocktail - The Vampire Bite
  • Pirates of the Caribbean Hallowe'en Cocktail
  • Hallowe'en Cocktail - Black Widow Martini
  • Devil In Disguise Cocktail
  • Hallowe'en Cocktail - Dram"BOO"ie
  • Hallowe'en Special Black Cherry Cooler
  • Ghoul Drool Hallowe'en Drink
  • Klingon Disrupter Shooter
  • Apple Cider Cocktail - Appletini
  • Classic Bloody Mary Cocktail
  • Cherry Bomb Cocktail
  • Graveyard Cocktail
  • Harvest Hot White Chocolate
  • The Nordic Death Cocktail
  • Pumpkin Punch Cocktail
  • The Zombie Cocktail
  • Pumpkin Spice Skinny Chai Latte
  • Spinach Banana Green Monster Smoothie (NON-ALCOHOLIC)

To boost your choice still further, there are a bunch more "creepy cocktail" recipes to be found within the "Home: Halloween" sub-category of the "iFood.TV" channel which I chose not to publish as part of my last "Fiendish Food Friday" post on 'Day Twenty-Four' when I featured all of the "food" recipes for Hallowe'en that were included on that channel. So, if you refer back to the channel details provided in "Another CreatureFeature Guide To Hallowe'en On Roku - Day #24 - Fiendish Food Friday" and use those to add and/or access the "iFood.TV" Roku channel, you will find the following "drinks" recipes:- HALLOWE'EN DRINK RECIPES

001. Raspberry Eyeball Fizz
002. Hallowe'en Cocktail Black Widow Martini
003. Devil In Disguise Cocktail
004. How To Make Scary Hallowe'en Punch
005. Hallowe'en Ghost Hand Punch
006. Ghoul Drool Hallowe'en Drink
007. Hallowe'en Cocktail Zombie Bite with Lucid Absinthe
008. Hallowe'en Cocktail - Glow In The Dark Cocktail
009. Betty's Husband Rick Makes A Zombie Drink
010. Hallowe'en Cocktail - The Thing Cocktail
011. Hallowe'en Cocktail - The Kinky Vampire, with Kinky Liqueur
012. Apple Cider Cocktail Appletini
013. Classic Bloody Mary Cocktail
014. Cherry Bomb Cocktail
015. Hot Vampire's Blood - Hallowe'en "Cocktail" [aka Red Hot Chocolate]
016. How To Make The Blood and Sand Cocktail
017. Harvest Hot White Chocolate
018. Feeling Spooky Hallowe'en Special - Pumpkin Milkshakes
019. How To Make A Great Cocktail - The Vodka Spell Caster
020. Pirates of the Caribbean - Hallowe'en Cocktail
021. Pumpkin Punch Cocktail
022. Hallowe'en Cocktail - The Vampire Bite
023. Hallowe'en Cocktail - DramBOOie
024. Hallowe'en Cocktail - The Heart's Blood
025. The Nordic Death Cocktail
026. The Zombie Cocktail
027. Hallowe'en Green Sludge Spider
028. Hallowe'en Spooktacular Punch
029. Hallowe'en Green Eyes Cocktail
030. Obituary Gin Cocktail
031. Flaming Jack-O-Lantern Cocktail
032. Dracula's Libation Cocktail
033. Hallowe'en Special Black Cherry Cooler
034. Klingon Disrupter Shooter - Hallowe'en Cocktail in a Shot Glass
035. Graveyard Cocktail

Now, admittedly, there is a certain amount of crossover between the "drinks" recipes featured across the two channels BUT, if you pick through both lists carefully, you'll find you have over thirty unique recipes to offer your ghoulish guests. They could even try any, or all, of these creepy cocktails between them over the course of the evening tomorrow. With that many to choose from, they're sure to find the perfect poison to make the most of your fiendish festivities... and, at the same time, it'll help improve your mixing and shaking skills as you host your humdinger of a Hallowe'en (H)extravaganza (sic) !! Who knows? You might even want to sample a few to liven up your own evening?! Having said that... AS ALWAYS, when consuming alcohol, PLEASE REMEMBER TO DRINK RESPONSIBLY... and to pass on the same sound advice to your guests, too !!

Meanwhile, according to the channel description for the 'Drinks [by]' channel, taken from the Official Roku Website, the channel was developed for Roku by Future Today Inc. (which happens to be the company behind Should you need to contact Future Today Inc., you can easily do so via the Twitter Feed: @ifoodtv or else, get social through: (Facebook). Of course, you can always find out more by visiting the Official Website VIA THIS LINK, where you will find the full contact info for 'Future Today Inc.' PLUS details of their other associated websites. 

Those of you who wish to add this channel to the Hallowe'en-themed entertainment on your Roku player(s) are going to have to do so by navigating to the "Food" genre (i.e. category) from within the Roku Channel Store on your streaming player(s). The reason for this is that the ACCESS CODE for this channel REMAINS UNKNOWN, having yet to be made public via any of the usual sources. Sadly this means that, if you are unable to access the Channel Store on your device at this precise moment, you will not be able to add the channel by simply LOGGING-IN to your Online Roku Account, scrolling down to the 'Manage Account' section, and using the "Add a Private Channel" option to take care of things using an ACCESS / VANITY / INVITATION CODE. Sorry about that !!

Anyway, that's pretty much all there is to it, except to point out that  the 'Drinks [by]' channel has been given an average score of "3.5 out of 5" from 319 ratings (so far) in the channel store description from the Official Roku Website. That statistic alone should be reason enough to give this a try, never mind the fact that ALL VIDEOS ARE FREE-TO-WATCH too !!

Still, that's all for today... but remember to come back in 24-hours for 'Day Thirty-One' and the last instalment of "Another CreatureFeature Guide To Hallowe'en On Roku" for this year, when I will provide your final dose of Hallowe'en / Horror-themed content for streaming via Roku player, as we finally reach the conclusion of our "Countdown To Hallowe'en" 2014... but, when you're done with this blog, don't forget to visit the other contributors to the 2014 Countdown To Hallowe'en and see what Hallowe'en treats they have in store for you as you "trick 'r treat" their (virtual) homes !!

Fangs again, for stopping by !!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Another CreatureFeature Guide To Hallowe'en On Roku - Day #29 - WICKED WATCH WEDNESDAY (Episode 5)

Welcome back, Boils & Ghouls...

... to the fifth & final instalment of "Wicked Watch Wednesday" where, each week, I have been recommending something wonderfully wicked for you to watch EVERY WEDNESDAY !!

Having begun this series of posts with a look at George A. Romero's original "Trilogy of the Dead", comprised of "Night of the Living Dead" (1968), followed by "Dawn of the Dead" (1978) and then "Day of the Dead" (1985), for the first few episodes of "Wicked Watch Wednesday", I then threw in something of a curveball with "Dellamorte Dellamore" [aka "Cemetery Man"] (1994) by Michele Soavi... but, today, I plan to knock things right out of the park by sharing a film which, along with "Profondo Rosso" (or, "Deep Red", as some of you may know it), I consider to be the crowning glory for the film's director. First released to Italian audiences on 1st February 1977, here is one of the many varied movie posters (see below) which would have greeted cinema-goers:-

ORIGINAL ITALIAN POSTER.....................IMAGE SOURCE: Wrong Side Of The Art

Directed by Dario Argento, and starring Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Flavio Bucci, Miguel Bosé, Barbara Magnolfi, Susanna Javicoli, Eva Axén, Rudolf Schündler, Udo Kier and Alida Valli (amongst others) plus Joan Bennett, in what was to be her last ever movie, playing the role of 'Madame Blanc'. The film follows the exploits of a young American dancer, Suzy Bannion (Jessica Harper), who (as newcomer to an exclusive ballet school in Freiburg) soon realises the academy she has joined is a front for something far more sinister and supernatural which leads to a series of violent & grisly murders !! This was the first film in what was to become known as "The Three Mothers" trilogy (a reference used by Dario Argento, himself) and was followed firstly by "Inferno" (1980) and then "The Mother Of Tears" (2007). Anyway, for those of you who have yet to see this absolute gem of a 'giallo', a true horror mystery "cult classic", that is full of visual & stylistic flair (largely thanks to it's use of such vibrant colours) and which 'Rotten Tomatoes' describes as, "a giallo horror as grandiose and glossy as it is gory" here's a brief taster of what you can expect, courtesy of the original film trailer for the movie:-

If you'd like to know more there's a full list of the cast & credits on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) listing for "Suspiria"(1977), FOUND HERE, which also includes a full storyline / plot summary as well as box office stats, technical specs & much more. For die-hard fans, there is even more information to be had from the Wikipedia Page for "Suspiria", VIA THIS LINK, which may help to fuel your appetite for another screening. Although, if you're as much of a fan as I am, you probably won't take too much persuading to watch it again !!

As with many of the films I've highlighted thus far, the best recommendation I can make as to which of the available Roku channels you could use to watch this movie is to suggest "YouTube" as your first port-of-call on account of the vast number of horror movies which, thanks to this channel and it's associated apps, are now readily available to stream via your Roku player(s) whenever you choose.

YOUTUBE.......................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

If you haven't already added it to your channel selection, you'll find "YouTube" listed among the "Internet TV" channels in the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store and you can easily add it to your Roku player(s) by navigating to the built-in 'Channel Store' from the home screen and scrolling through the options until you see the (above) channel icon. It's completely FREE-TO-ADD as well as being FREE-TO-VIEW so, once you've located it in the list of channels, just click the "OK" button on your Roku remote to select it and then click "OK" again where it says 'Add channel' to install it on your Roku player(s). Having done that, it's simply a case of launching the channel via the 'Go to channel' option & navigating the on-screen menu to play "Suspiria" on your Roku which, for the record, runs to 1h 32mins and can be found at:-

LINK TO MOVIE: "Suspiria (1977)" on 'YouTube'

Meanwhile, for more of that cinematic experience, here's a few of the other posters movie-goers & home cinema viewers may have encountered depending on their particular location in the world:-










ORIGINAL USA POSTER.............IMAGE SOURCE: Wrong Side Of The Art

I really like how much the above posters differ while (for the most part) staying true to one unifying theme (aside from the title) but, more than that, I especially like how both the Argentinian DVD poster and (to a lesser extent) the Spanish poster have incorporated the ornamental peacock into the overall image, because I believe (as is widely regarded) that it was a subtle homage to "The Bird With The Crystal Plumage" which, if you weren't already aware, was the 1970 feature film debut for director, Dario Argento. Look out for one particular scene in "Suspiria", during which a glass feather (or plume) is plucked from the aforementioned ornament, for further "evidence" of the supposed homage and, in any event, the reason for the bird being featured in those two poster images. As with "Dellamorte Dellamore", there is a very "arty" side to this film, plus a fair amount of "blood & gore" but, once again, it's all done in that oh-so-stylish Italian fashion !!

Anyway, to round-off this fifth instalment of "Wicked Watch Wednesday" on 'Day Twenty-Nine' of the annual 'Countdown To Halloween', comes a few more FRIGHTENINGLY FUN FILM FACTS for you... for example, did you know that Dario Argento was inspired to make this film by stories from (his then girlfriend) Daria Nicolodi's grandmother, who (herself) claimed to have once fled from a music academy in Germany due to the fact that "witchcraft" was secretly being practised there?! Or, that Daria Nicolodi who, as well as being Dario Argento's girlfriend at the time, also wrote the screenplay for "Suspiria" and was originally to have starred in the lead role until it was decided that a younger, American actress would "make the film more marketable" and, after seeing her debut acting role in Brian De Palma's "Phantom Of The Paradise" (1974), Dario Argento cast Jessica Harper as lead. Having said that, Daria Nicolodi did play a minor role in the movie and can be glimpsed during the film's opening sequence, where Suzy (Jessica Harper) is seen walking through the airport. Nicolodi also provided the "gravelly" voice for the character of 'Helena Markos' for whom the actual actress went uncredited but, according to Jessica Harper, was (in actual fact) a 90-year old "hooker" that Dario Argento apparently "found" on the streets of Rome !! Meanwhile, you may well have known that the creepy music for "Suspiria" was composed by Dario Argento, together with the band 'Goblin', but... were you aware that the director is said to have played the music at full bast "on set" to unnerve the actors and elicit a "truly scared" performance from them?! Another interesting tidbit of information to come from the filming of "Suspiria" is that it was one of the lines spoken by Dr. Frank Mandel (Udo Kier) which gave the Dario Argento biography, "Broken Mirrors, Broken Minds", it's title !! For more "frighteningly fun film facts" I recommend that you visit the dedicated webpage for 'TRIVIA' on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) listing for "Suspiria" (1977), VIA THIS LINK, or the 'Wikipedia' page (see link above).

Still, that's all for today... but remember to come back in 24-hours on 'Day Thirty' for the penultimate instalment of "Another CreatureFeature Guide To Hallowe'en On Roku", when I will reveal the next devilish drink for "Toxic Tipple Thursday", as we continue our "Countdown To Hallowe'en" 2014...

Fangs (as always) for reading !!