[I recently bought several packs of film- and tv-related trading cards: everything from Growing Pains to Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. I plan to open one pack a week and document every card, sticker, and stick of gum I find. If I'm lucky, maybe I'll discover a hologram or two.]
Title: Fright Flicks
Details: 9 Cards || 1 Sticker || 1 Stick Bubble Gum
Many horror fans who were kids in the mid-80s fondly remember Fright Flicks, a short-lived trading card collection that combined stills from (mostly) beloved horror and sci-fi films, lame puns and silly quips, and Ripley’s-style can-you-believe-it? creepy factoids.
The pack I bought contained cards with images from Aliens, Day of the Dead, A Nightmare on Elm Street I, II, & III, Poltergeist, The Fly (1986), Ghostbusters, and Predator:
Of the nine images, my favorite – based on the badass-image/non-sequitur-tagline combo - is the “Okay, Who Took A Bite Out Of My Bran Muffin?”/The Fly card (Card #9). I’ve always been partial to the toungue-in-phone gag from A Nightmare on Elm Street, so Card #8 is a great find for me as well.
The pack also had a striking Fright Night sticker that I’m currently in the process of finding a home for. (One problem with my day job is that I have relatively few occasions to carry a sticker-covered Trapper Keeper):
Finally, this pack contained a piece of the ubiquitous Topps chewing gum:
Although I haven’t had a piece of Topps gum for close to two decades, seeing the stick immediately made my mouth water. Even when fresh, Topps gum wasn’t objectively good. But I remember loving it as a kid because… hey… free gum! Also, it was such an integral part of the card-collecting process (open pack, chew gum, see if you got anything good) that I never even questioned whether it was a good as a stick of Big Red or a chunk of Bazooka Joe (note: it wasn’t).
In the interest of journalistic integrity, I decided to chew the 25-plus-year-old stick while writing this post, and include my thoughts on how it tasted. Like a connoisseur of fine beer, I sniffed the gum before chewing it. I was surprised to discover that it was completely devoid of any discernible odor. I suppose it was made of iocane powder.
Undeterred, I put the gum in my mouth. I expected it to be tough and difficult to chew, but the opposite was true. Within seconds, the gum had completely liquefied, leaving behind a glaze of slightly-thicker-and-sweeter-than-normal saliva in my mouth. I don’t know what the substance was that made Topps gum chewy, but it apparently self destructs in less than two-and-a-half decades.
If I die in my sleep, please bury me under this tombstone:
If you remember buying Fright Flicks, let me know your favorite cards or memories of collecting them in the comments.