Tag Archives: Halloween

Peel Here & SCREAM! Day 5…

It’s the start of the first full week of October and it’s been a great season.  The house is decorated, I’ve eaten my first Halloween Burger King Whopper, and I scoped out a bunch of fun new candy to buy this year for the trick or treaters.  So, surprise, surprise, but I have yet another sheet of vintage Hallmark stickers to share today for the Countdown to Halloween.  Keeping it chronological here is a sheet from 1984!

1984 Hallmark Halloween stickers 1

As the decade moves on the illustrations are becoming less eccentric and more tight.  This sheet is cool because it seems to be aimed at teachers to use on homework and tests that got good grades.  Love that there were seasonal stickers for school work.

Swing back by tomorrow for more Halloweeny stickers, and remember to check out the Countdown to Halloween for a plethora of other sites participating in the month-long blogging insanity.



Peel Here & Scream, Day 4!

It’s the first Sunday of the Countdown to Halloween.  It’s been a pretty good October so far.  The girlfriend and I decorated our place yesterday so there’s plenty of spooky stuff and orange lights all around the house.  Really getting into the spirit.  Today I have another Hallmark sticker sheet to share, this time from 1983.  Again, the illustration work on these is really fun and very much of the early 80s.  Just look at that ten ton chin on the witch in that top left sticker!  Love it.

1983 Hallmark

Tomorrow starts the first full week of the month so check back by for some more Halloweeny sticker fun. Though I’m not helping to run it this year, I urge anyone who digs this kind of season blog fun to check out the official Countdown to Halloween site for a list of hundreds of other sites participating in the month-long madness.


Peel Here & SCREAM! Day 3…

Welcome back to the Branded in the 80s Halloween Sticker Spooktac…er…actually I’ve decided to rename the countdown this year at the totally on point suggestion by my good buddy Paxton (of the Cavalcade of Awesome and my co-host on the Cult Film Club)! He came up with the Peel Here & Scream idea and I’m running with it.  Anyway, It’s day three and I’m moving right along through my favorite decade, this time to 1982 and yet another Hallmark monster-filed sticker sheet…

1982 Hallmark Halloween Stickers 3

This sheet is similar to the one I shared yesterday, but with a slightly cleaner illustration style.  I love the inclusion of the London After Midnight-esque vampire and the grave-digger skeleton.  Also, patches must have been huge in 82 because practically every character on this sheet has some sort of patch on their garments.  Now that I’m thinking about it I love the look of patches on a ghost as it reinforces the who entity under a sheet visual.  The one aspect of this sheet that’s off is the glaringly inappropriate wizard character.  Sigh, c’mon Hallmark, get your act together.  Monsters or bust!

Come back by tomorrow for another piece of vintage Halloween sticker ephemera, and be sure to head on over to the Countdown to Halloween to check out a metric ton of other sites participating in this month-long celebration of spooky goodness.


Peel Here: Halloween Sticker Spooktacular, Day 2…

Continuing the Halloweeny sticker fun this month, today I have another sheet of vintage Hallmark stickers.  This one hails from 1981 and has a really nice mix of monsters in a very fun early 80s illustration style.  I really miss this kind of loose cartooning in merchandising and company mascots…

1981 Hallmark Halloween stickers

I also really dug this sheet for the monsters that are included.  It’s pretty standard to see Vampires, Frankenstein’s Monsters, Witches and Werewolves, but this sheet also features Hags, Pumpkin-men, carnival barker skeletons and even a devil.  Pretty cool.

Swing back by tomorrow for another sheet of vintage Halloween stickers, and remember to check out the Countdown to Halloween website for a huge list of other participating websites in this season event!


Peel Here: Halloween Sticker Spooktacular

It’s hard to break tradition, and the October tradition at Branded is to do my very best to treat write about or share something Halloweeny every day until Halloween.  It’s the annual Countdown to Halloween, and this year is my 10th time celebrating this at the site.  There are a couple of changes this year for those keeping track.  First of all, I decided that it was time to step down from helping to run the official Countdown to Halloween site that I’ve been working on with John Rozum for the past five years.  It’s been an honor and a pleasure, and I still love working on it, but over the last year I’ve not only made a move across country, but I’ve also essentially started work on a second full time job as a freelance graphic designer.  If only there were 36 hours in a day.  Second, this lack of time has also bitten into my plans for a countdown this year and I’ve decided to not sweat it when it comes to a well developed theme.  Last year’s Month of Monster Squad was a crap ton of work and I’m so glad I was able to get it all done.  So this year I’m easing off on the throttle a little and have decided to concentrate on sharing some fun Halloweeny sticker ephemera.

So with that being said, here’s the first piece of vintage spooky sticker goodness that I just stumbled upon this past year.  This is a Hallmark sticker sheet hailing from 1980 and it features some seriously badass monsters totally rocking out.  This is the first time I’ve seen a one-off sticker sheet and thought that it absolutely needs to be adapted into an ongoing cartoon series!

1980 Hallmark Halloween Rock stickers

Also, I need that Frankenstein’s Monster illustration on a t-shirt pronto!

So check back each day this month for some more sticker fun.  And make sure to head on over to the Countdown to Halloween site where John Rozum is still keeping the spooky candles lit at the site which hosts a list of all the blogs participating in the Halloween festivities.


A Month of the Monster Squad comes to an end…

10710926_10152738966882328_5146327273773526587_nFirst off, Happy Halloween folks!  This past month has been an absolute blast for me.  Not only did I get a chance to talk (a lot) about my favorite movie of all time, but it’s been super rewarding for me on a personal level.  Whether it’s been through doing research for the articles, sharing them or the reactions I had some amazing experiences over the past 45 days.  Getting to chat with some awesome die-hard fans, sharing some stuff from my collection that a lot of people hadn’t seen before, or connecting with a bunch of the people who worked on the film (including director/writer Fred Dekker, stars Andre Gower, Michael Faustino & Ashley Bank, and amazing artists Craig Nelson and Steve Wang.)  It makes my head spin!

tumblr_mt1mpxrnUh1shliigo1_500Seriously, this has been the October to top all others in my book.  I also had an absolute blast making the set of Topps-style trading cards and sharing those all month.  My initial idea when I set out was to make the set of cards and have that be my primary content for the month along with writing about a week’s worth of articles that I would pepper here and there.  As I started writing the articles though I found more and more things that I wanted to discuss until it got to a point where my to-write list was becoming longer than the days available in October to share them!  Then my good friend and co-host on the Cult Film Club podcast, Paxton Holley, sent me a rad piece of MS fan art that completely summed up what I really wanted to do…


Do you remember back in the 80s before DVD special features, back before there were bootlegs at conventions with special rare director’s cuts of film, when the only way to get the inside dirt on your favorite flicks was via Official Souvenir Magazines?!?  I used to love these things and had them for films like Batman, Back to the Future, Gremlins, Karate Kid I & II, and The Explorers.  These magazines were a treasure trove of trivia, behind the scenes photos, and promotional art (like these two articles I wrote about The Goonies magazine.)  Well, The Monster Squad never had one of these, and even though there has been a cult following of fans over the years that have been singing the praises of the film and writing short pieces online, there was no good place to collect all this awesome information.  So when Pax sent me that rad cover above it really hit me that I was really trying to create a digital version of just that.  Whether I was successful or not, eh, who knows, but I had a blast trying and knocked a bunch of stuff off the bucket list in the process of creating this content.

So thanks for reading, coming by to scope out the cards, or comment on any of these articles! If you like what you read here and want to do something that I think would be fun, do me a favor and go Like Fred Dekker’s facebook page (he was super freaking awesome and shared a bunch of my posts this month which kinda blew my mind – see the Beetlejuice gif above for my reaction), follow Andre Gower (a really swell guy who was also super gracious to retweet and respond my my silly posts), Ashley Bank, and Ryan Lambert on twitter and let them know Branded sent ya.

And last but by no means least, today I have the final two Monster Squad trading cards.  Here’s the second to last card #33, Van Helsing Stakes Dracula!

33 Van Helsing Stakes Dracula F-B

And finally, to complete your set of unofficial Topps-style Monster Squad trading card set here’s card #20, Sean Gets Some Help!

20 Sean Gets Some Help F-B

I also wanted to take a second and pull all the custom Topps-style trading cards I made for the film together in one post, in order, cause I’m pretty proud of these…

Monster Squad Wrapper

Alright, THAT’S A RAP!



Monster Squad: The Behind the Scenes Extravaganza!

10710926_10152738966882328_5146327273773526587_nToday is mostly going to be a huge picture dump because I think most of these behind the scenes images speak for themselves.  But I also wanted to take a moment and point to the blog and videos of one of the Monster Squad crew members (who was working with Stan Winston at the time), Mr. Shannon Shea, who has been doing as much if not more than others when it comes to keeping the flame of the movie alive.  Shea worked as an assistant special effects artist to a lot of the other folks on the crew (though he mainly assisted John Rosengrant on the Wolfman, specifically the hands and feet), and he ended up with some amazing behind the scenes footage from the Winston creature shop that I’m surprised hasn’t gotten more attention on youtube.  There are two videos he’s posted so far, one that is a edit of a bunch of the different Monster projects that were going on in the studio and a second that’s a test of the radio remote controlled Wolfman limbs that’s pretty fun.  Both videos have a ton of great stuff hidden in them for fans of the movie.  So go check out Shannon’s site and his youtube channel as well where he also has behind the scenes videos of him working on other films like Evil Dead 2!!!

This first video is about 12 minutes long and is chock full of rad stuff including the artists at work, concept sketches and some fun trivia…

Here’s the Wolfman limb tests.  I love that they went in this direction for that scene, mainly because I kind of want a radio remote controlled Wolfman arm to play with in my cul-de-sac…

And here are all of the behind the scenes images I’ve collected over the years, as well as a couple screen-graps of neat stuff from the videos above.  In the second row, second to the last there is a picture of two of the sculpted Wolfman forearms and hands.  These look awesome, but were unfortunately ditched because they were made in the wrong scale.

And today’s trading card is…

Monster Squad Wrapper

Today’s card is #23, Van Helsing Lends a Hand!

23 Van Helsing F-B


Promotional Squad: The Monster Squad Press Kit and Promo Photos

10710926_10152738966882328_5146327273773526587_nToday I present the Monster Squad promotional ephemera that I have in my collection which is mainly culled from magazines and the official press kit released in 1987.  Enjoy!

Monster Squad Logo with Kids

FYI, the black and white photos at the bottom were all included in the press kit for the film, along with a pamphlet that details the plot highlights, actors and crew from the film.  The blue folder is the “kit” all of it was packed in.  There are a couple of variations of the images on the top row as well, specifically the image of Dracula, the Mummy and the Wolfman on the right which appeared in two different sets of lobby cards as well as used in magazine articles at the time.  Similarly, the image with the complete roster of monsters and Sean (Andre Gower) in the foreground has a variation that ended up as a tie-in Adidas shoe poster that I shared earlier…

Now on to today’s trading card…

Monster Squad Wrapper

Since there was never any MS merchandise produced, specifically a Topps trading card set, I thought it would be fun to make a mini set of 80s-style digital trading cards for my favorite movie of all time. So come back each evening for Trick or Treats and collect them all!

Today’s card is #12, The Gang’s All Here!

12 Gangs All Here F-B


The stars came out for the Monster Squad Premiere…

10710926_10152738966882328_5146327273773526587_nThere are conflicting dates recorded for when The Monster Squad had it’s official movie premiere party, at least if you go by the dates associated with celebrity sitings at the event (I’ve seen June 3rd and August 11th, 1987 as potential dates.)  But I do know that it was held at the Hard Rock in Hollywood and there was an interesting mix of A-B list celebrities that came out for the flick.  Though normally I wouldn’t find this terribly interesting, it’s kind of neat that the production brought out actors to portray the monsters in costume for the event and I believe they ended up using the Stan Winston suits and appliances for at least the Gillman, Wolfman, and Mummy, and I think Frankenstein’s Monster as well.

So, who showed up for the event?  Michael Douglas for one…

Michael Douglas 8-11-87

Also, Arnold-freaking-Schwarzenegger!

Arnold Schwarzenegger 8-11-87 2

Arnold Schwarzenegger 8-11-87 1

I’m not sure but based on these two photos it looks like there were either a couple of different stand-ins for Duncan Regehr playing the part of Dracula (both of which look like Joe Flaherty’s Count Floyd from SCTV)…

Count-Floyd…it’s either that or maybe there were two premiere parties for the movie.  One of my favorite celebrity sitings at the party is none other than Kiefer Sutherland who was hot off the release of The Lost Boys.  I love the idea of him hitting up other horror flicks at the time, specifically this film…

Premiere of "Monster Squad"

“Look out David, there’s a Wolfman behind you!”

Premiere of "Monster Squad"

Now I kinda want to see a battle between the Lost Boys vampires and the monsters from the Monster Squad, but I am way too old to be writing fanfic.  I’ll just leave that one in my head…

This next set of pictures I have features Michelle Phillips from the band The Mamas & The Papas who had a run in with the Gillman, which make for some really neat photos.  The keen observer will notice Jason Hervey (EJ in the film) in the background too!

Actress and Singer Michelle Phillips Attends Movie Premiere

Next, here’s a picture of Andre Gower attending the premiere in his rad Stephen King shirt and Crew jacket…

Andre Gower In MS Wardrobe and Crew Jacket 1987

I also have this super rad clipping from the August 1987 issue of Teen Set magazine featuring Gower, Drew Barrymore, Kirk Cameron, Jason Lively (from Night of the Creeps), and director Fred Dekker!

Teen Set Clipping August 1987

Lastly, here’s another picture of Fred Dekker (with his family), which is one of the few shots of him I was able to find from the time in and around the making of The Monster Squad

Fred Dekker 8-11-87

So, based on Dekker’s outfits being different in the two photos I think this points to the fact that there were at least two premiere screenings events for the flick.

Other guests that attended that night included Billy Crystal, Meatloaf, and Regis Philbn and family.  Unfortunately there are no photos of them being accosted by monsters (damn!) Star Studded indeed…

So without further to do, here’s today’s trading card!

Monster Squad Wrapper

Today’s card is #8, Dracula!

8 Dracula F-B


Interview with Monster Squad poster artist Craig Nelson!

10710926_10152738966882328_5146327273773526587_nSo I had the opportunity and pleasure to sit down and have a chat with the really cool and gracious artist who painted the original Monster Squad US poster, Mr. Craig Nelson.  Craig has work has been inspiring me for the past three decades and it was a real treat to get a chance to pick his brain about working in the commercial art field as well as listening to him reminisce about his Monster Squad memories.  He has a really wonderful eye for light and shadow and has a very unique perspective on fine art.  Check out his website to see a ton of examples of his work, and hit him up on facebook and tell him Branded sent ya!  You can also see his work at the Ella Richardson Gallery, the Garden Gallery, and my personal favorite exhibition at the Waterhouse Gallery where you can see his works detailing vineyard workers that we discuss in the interview.

Craig Nelson Interview art

You can either click on the picture above, or click here to stream (or right click and select download to listen at your leisure.)

Now for today’s trading card!

Monster Squad Wrapper

Today’s card is #13, The Monster Squad!

13 Monster Squad F-B

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