Five Puzzling, Yet Popular, Snack Foods

I’ve reviewed a few snack foods during my time at ColuMn™, so I understand how people can grow to like things like ketchup-flavored potato chips and bubblegum soda. But I’ll never understand how anyone with working taste buds can like these five inexplicably popular “treats”.

1. Raisins

Let’s start off with a fairly controversial food, because raisins aren’t a complete disaster. I guess I’d rather just have a grape. Or nothing. You can smother them with sugar and toss a couple scoops into a box of bran flakes, pour chocolate on them, or just eat them out of that tiny, sticky box. But no matter how you serve ’em up, there’s a guaranteed better snack option out there. Raisin Bran? Try Frankenberry. Raisinettes? The next time you’re laying down $10 for a box of candy at the movies, at least make them work for it and demand Frozen Junior Mints.


Mini box of raisins? You’re better off filling your mouth with the barrel of a gun.


Never forget.

2. Wax Lips


This, thankfully, is not a common candy. Pretty sure you can get these at Halloween still, and I do occasionally see wax coke bottle candy at some of the sketchier convenience stores. Wax lips have some value as a comedy prop that gets the wearer instant laughs stemming from the appearance that he/she has humorously over-sized, bright red lips. Genius. But it’s not candy. It’s a fucking candle that somebody forgot to stick a wick into.


Or worse.

This is candy like shoes are candy. There’s more actual foodstuff in feces. If you eat a wax-based snack product, you deserve to suffer through the 30 years it takes for the human body to digest it.*


Alright. I take it back. These look delicious.

*I’m assuming.

3. Carob

We can all agree that chocolate is awesome. People who don’t like chocolate are responsible for every single act of aggression throughout history. They’re not like you and me, and definitely should never be trusted. I get that some people hate white chocolate. That just means they’re wrong, probably with alarming frequency. But what sick bastard came up with carob? It looks like chocolate and feels like chocolate, but definitely doesn’t taste or poop out like chocolate.


As with chocolate, carob is a bean, but everything that makes chocolate edible is completely missing from carob. It’s like comparing The Dark Knight Returns to Batman and Robin. Don’t. Even talking about carob or Batman and Robin will make your mouth taste like shit. This “snack” exists solely to make fun of stupid children and make clueless parent look like assholes.

4. Popcorn

I assume that here is where I lose most people. And I get it. Popcorn can be good. It’s a movie theater staple. But I say it’s a lousy snack and even worse Christmas decoration. The microwave version smells like a bag full of Taco Bell farts that have been fermenting for a year. The movie theater version is so grossly overpriced, it makes my cable bill look like a good value. And is there a worse snack for the film-watching experience? Combine the decibel level of a jet engine with the tooth-chipping prowess of a mouthful of rocks, and you get popcorn.

The nutritious part of a bag of popcorn.

Is there no better method to basically slurp down a stick of butter (or whatever unpronounceable liquid cancer they inflict on you at movies)? Here’s an idea: skip the popcorn and just bring a stick of butter and a junkie’s used needle.

5. Aplets and Cotlets

Ahhh. After the whole popcorn thing, I won you back with this entry, didn’t I? I’m not entirely sure what an aplet is and have absolutely no idea where they grow cotlets, but I’m pretty sure both words are synonyms for shit. This is the candy that your grandparents always bought in preparation for your visits when you were a kid if a) they hated you, or b) you were adopted).


Believe it or not, it’s worse than it looks.

Looking at their website, I discovered three things. They’ve been disappointed kids (and adults) since 1920. Aplets are “Apple-Walnut” and Cotlets are “Apricot-Walnut” ‘candies’. And they’re manufactured in Cashmere, WA, just however many miles from ColuMn’s™ home base of Seattle (I can’t be expected to know where every city in Washington is, nor can I be expected to bother doing a routine search on Google Maps). But I don’t want to rip into a more-or-less local business, so I’ll let them off with a warning. They can thank my grandma.


Top 100 Horror Flicks #60-51

#60 – FRIGHT NIGHT (1985)

Directed by Tom Holland
Genre:  Vampire
Last Year’s Rank:  55
Rating: 3.5 stars
Sequel:  Fright Night Part 2 (1988, D: T. Lee Wallace, 2.5 stars)

Another great 80s horror movie, this time starring Roddy “The Primate” McDowell.  Charlie is your typical suburban teenager who grows more and more suspicious that his new neighbor Jerry is an actual real life vampire.  He takes his suspicions to Peter Vincent (Roddy), host of a local horror movie show called “Fright Night”.  Together they must battle the powerful vampire to save Charlie’s girlfriend and themselves.  The sequel picks up a few years later with Charlie in college and tracked down by Jerry’s vampire family for a little revenge.  


#59 – CABIN FEVER (2002)

Directed by Eli Roth
Genre:  Biological
Last Year’s Rank:  52
Rating:  3.5 stars

This starts out as your typical cabin-in-the-woods horror film, but takes an unexpected and gory turn when the teens get exposed to a deadly flesh eating disease.  This is just a fun 80s-style horror movie punctuated by some of the most disturbing imagery you’re likely to see in American cinema.  


#58 – DRACULA (1931)

Directed by Tod Browning
Genre:  Vampire
Last Year’s Rank:  51
Rating:  5 stars

Bela Legosi’s interpretation of Dracula is the one that we all grew up with and it’s still my favorite one to date.  The black and white film only adds to the gothic creepiness of Dracula’s castle.  It might not be as scary today as other films on this list, but 75 years later it’s still creepy and there are few characters in any medium as famous.



Directed by James Whale
Genre:  Monster
Last Year’s Rank:  50
Rating:  5 stars

I know that I’m woefully neglecting the Universal Monsters.  I should be, and am, ashamed.  I’ll try to do better next time.  It’s tempting to fill a lot of the list with the old Universal horror features from the 30s and 40s, but I chose to pick the standout installments and this is near the top of the heap.  Poor Frankenstein’s monster can’t catch a break.  People fear him, he’s reborn as a grotesque monstrosity, and when the good doctor finally gets around to creating a playmate for him, she wants nothing to do with him. This truly is not just a great horror movie, but a great movie.


#56 – NIGHTBREED (1990)

Directed by Clive Barker
Genre:  Monster
Last Year’s Rank:  41
Rating:  4 stars

There are a few Clive Barker related movies on this list, which is no surprise to me.  He’s one of my favorite authors, although “horror” isn’t really a word I’d use to describe his books.  And, really, this isn’t a horror movie along the lines of Candyman or the Hellraiser series.  But it does have a scary monster at the center of things, played by David Cronenberg.  


#55 – WRONG TURN (2003)

Directed by Rob Schmidt
Genre:  Mutant Human
Last Year’s Rank:  48
Rating:  3.5 stars

I’m tempted to rate this one a lot higher, because I really do like this movie.  The problem is that it’s very similar to other Mutant Human movies we’ve seen (such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre).  This one rises above the material by some great action and horror set pieces and some pretty brutal killings.  


#54 – WOLF CREEK (2005)

Wolf Creek

Directed by Greg McLean
Genre:  Slasher
Last Year’s Rank:  11
Rating:  3.5 stars

This is one very scary movie.  It’s true that the first 45 minutes or so are fairly slow moving as we follow two girls and a guy on a road trip through the Australian Outback.  It’s unique in most horror movies to get so much character development, but it doesn’t really pay off when the shit hits the fan.  Not to say that Wolf Creek isn’t one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen, because it is.  Once it revs up, it’s relentless, disgusting, and suspenseful.  In fact, I tried to watch this one a couple weeks ago and had to turn it off at the “head on a stick” scene.  I couldn’t make it through!  Granted, I’m an easy target for horror movies, but it’s almost without precedent that I have to turn a movie off because I just can’t take it any more.  Definitely not for the faint of heart, but well worth it if you’re up for an edge-of-your-seat frightfest.


#53 – POPCORN (1991)

Directed by Mark Herrier
Genre:  Slasher
Last Year’s Rank:  NEW
Rating:  3.5 stars

A slightly better-than-average slasher movie where the killer uses the gimmick of offing people using the gimmicks of old 1950s B-movies (such as a giant mosquito from a 3-D movie, electricution from a film where the audience’s seats are rigged to give them minor jolts, and gas from the film The Stench in glorious Aroma-Rama).  This movie predates Scream by five years, but includes many of the self-referential in-jokes that would become Scream‘s hallmark.  Worth checking out, even though the only copy I could get was a full screen transfer that left a little to be desired.


#52 – THE OTHERS (2001)

Directed by Alejandro Amenabar
Genre:  Ghost
Last Year’s Rank:  47
Rating:  4 stars

The story keeps you guessing about what’s really going on, but at the heart, this is just a really effective ghost story with some genuine creepy stuff going on.  It’s almost impossible to discuss the plot without giving away key information, so I’m not going to.


#51 – SHAUN OF THE DEAD (2004)

Directed by Edgar Wright
Genre:  Zombie
Last Year’s Rank:  NEW
Rating:  4 stars

Horror and comedy have been combined numerous times.  Sometimes it works out, most of the time it does not.  Usually, when it does work, the horror takes a back seat to the comedy.  In Shaun Of The Dead, the horror is front and center, and actually packs some good scares and gore.  And the comedy is, well, actually funny.