If this Halloween season has taught us anything, it's that the improbable may very well come to fruition. Who would have ever thought that Frute Brute and Yummy Mummy would be back on store shelves? It's things like that, along with the eventual finding of Ghoul-Aid Jammers and Jones Halloween Soda, that make the Halloween season so unpredictable. You truly never know what companies are going to have in store for us fiending fans. But, sometimes, due to licensing agreements, copyrights, and the fact that certain products would never fly with children under 13, you can pretty much guarantee that you'll never see mainstream horror on anything other than toy shelves. That's when you take matters into your own hands.
In recent years, I've created custom Halloween soda wrappers. They're not to scale and I never printed them out, but they were fun to design and I would have loved to see Coke or Pepsi release something similar. As mentioned, Jones is the only company that thinks outside the box with their soda, but they've been missing in action until this year's rumored comeback (we'll see!)
Now, because stores aren't complying with my addiction to Halloween and the need for more products, I had to do something to get my mind working and creativity flowing until they do. So this year, spinning off of my love for Hi-C Ecto Cooler, I designed "Hi-C Horror" juice boxes based on a few of my favorite characters and iterations. While we may never see these boxes in our stores, we can still get an idea of what they might have looked like if we did.
Let's kick it all off with Beetlejuice and his Hi-C flavor "Beetle Juice." Not that original, but most appropriate for the character. I'm starting with this one because it didn't require much creativity, but enough to set the mood for the rest of the collection. This is probably the only mainstream design in my collection and, if they ever make Beetlejuice 2, I could actually see Hi-C releasing their version of Beetle Juice.
"Freddy's Sweet Dreams" was actually the first one I made. Remember, these were all put together very quickly and are far from perfect, but I wanted to get a feel for what I was actually making and this one is awesome. I only wanted to change characters, flavor, name, and graphics. I wanted to stay true to the juice box so that meant not changing the Hi-C logo or yellow background. Of course, I could have really "Nightmare'd" this out by adding an elm street sign or boiler room, but just like Ecto-Cooler, I want to maintain the personality of Hi-C. Overall, I'm a big fan of the Freddy box and I think fruit punch, for it's red juice, is the perfect flavor. Having Freddy slice fruit with his glove doesn't hurt, either!
"Mango Myers," get it? Of course, you do. Michael Myers has always been my favorite character and if I ever saw a drink, any drink, associated with him or "Halloween," I'd buy it in a heartbeat. I don't know if mango is the best flavor choice, but when it comes to the play on words, it makes for the best flavor title so I ran with it. The drawings were done quickly in illustrator, but you get the idea. If any artist wants to contribute to the collection and provide their own juice boxes, let me know. I'd love to see them.
"Trick R Treat" is such an underrated movie and I wish more people gave it a chance. Unless you're a big fan of horror, you may not even be aware that this movie exists, but it's one of the greatest movies I've ever seen in terms of setting the mood. For me, it's not really about the stories or the killing, but the ambiance. I love the falling leaves, the swaying trees, the Halloween lights and party, and of course, Sam! He's become one of my favorite horror characters and I had to include him in the collection. "Sam's Stand" was chosen as the theme because, one, it rolls off the tongue, but two, Sam is a cute character that lures you in. What better way than an orangeade stand?
Well, a pink lemonade stand is just as luring and that's why I had to design two variations. Sometimes, when I get an idea in my head, I run with it. If another pops into my mind, I have to make that, too. Personally, I like the pink lemonade stand better than the orangeade because of the color and flavor. But either way, we'd be getting an awesome product.
Some people don't consider "Jaws" to be a horror movie. Can you believe that? Of course it is! But instead of a masked maniac killing kids and adults alike, it's a 19-foot Great White Shark with his mind set on eating anything that gets in his way. I've probably seen this movie more than any other horror film besides Scream so it had to be included. For obvious reasons, I chose "Grape White" as the flavor and based the juice box off of the legendary poster. The water has been changed to represent the purple color of the drink, but I forgot to add an unknowing victim swimming at the surface. Ah well, I doubt Hi-C would have liked that, anyway. As if a blood Michael Myers knife is any better.
"Jason's Machete Cherry" is one of two Jason Flavors in my collection and we'll get to the second in a minute, but I think the name is acceptable. I thought "Jason's Juice," or "Crystal Lake Water," but those weren't working for me. So I went with something that rolled off the tongue and sounded fun. Plus, like Freddy, Jason deserves a red-colored drink to represent the amount of blood he has on his hands. After all, he has more kills than Freddy, Jason, and Leatherface. Mr. Vorhees NEEDS a bloody drink!
One of the coolest action figures released in recent memory is the NES "8-Bit Jason" by NECA. The toy was a SDCC exclusive and, unfortunately, I missed out on its limited release. But it's garnered so much attention that, now, everybody is obsessed with the 8-Bit Jason. The reason is because of his unorthodox color scheme. I couldn't tell you why, but in the original "Friday the 13th" video game for Nintendo, the developers created Jason in purple and blue. It doesn't make sense, but it's become nostalgic and now everybody loves it. I'm a huge fan of this Jason and had to include him. But unlike the others, I did play around with the background by adding the cabin walls from the NES game. I also changed the flavor from "Jason's Machete Cherry" to "Jason's Machete Berry" for a Blue Raspberry taste. Man, I want this one!
This one might be my overall favorite because we're combing a whole lot of nostalgia here! We have the 8-Bit Jason Vorhees in complete, head to toe, purple and blue. We have the old-school 1990s Hi-C logo. We have an 8-bit font featuring another new name, "Jason's 8-Bit Berry," along with the classic styled box. This was designed to remind you of Ecto-Cooler. Remember the orange box with green graphics? People seem to forget about that and only remember the yellow, but they're both legendary and I had to throw in a "Limited Edition" version of these boxes. Jason's not the only one...
We've all heard the phrase "Scream Bloody Murder," well this one is called "Scream Bloody Orange." It was originally known as "Tangerine Scream" until this name came to me and stuck. I like this one a lot. First of all, I love ghostface and couldn't tell you how many times I've seen Scream 1-4. In 1996 alone, I probably watched the original 20 times. I love it. But I also love the fact that he stabbed the orange to make this taste like Blood Orange. I'd actually love to see Hi-C release such a flavor because I think it would taste delicious. Maybe, one day. For now, we have an awesome graphic. Okay, decent graphic.
I love the thought of having limited edition versions of anything. Even if it's a fake juice box, limited editions give you the ability to change the style, be more nostalgic, and break the rules. In this case, we have the "1997 Stab" version of Hi-C. Only real Scream fans are going to get this, but Stab is the movie based on the Woodsboro murders in Scream 2. It's like Inception's dream within a dream. You'd have to had seen the movies to understand, but I always liked the "Stab" movie posted because it featured ghostface in green. I loved that! So I used that as my inspiration for "Green Scream." It's classically designed to portray the 1990s box and, the best part, I chose the original Ecto-Cooler "citrus drink" flavor for "Green Scream." If I could own this box and see green Ecto-Cooler pour from it, I'd be pretty damn excited. But this is never.. ever.. going to get produced!
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Here are the classic versions of "Friday the 13th" and "Scream" as well.
If you have any ideas for designs or flavors, let me know. I already have "LemonFace" for Leatherface and "Saw-Berry" for Saw. They'll most likely be a part of the next collection. Also, to clarify, while I did draw (sometimes trace) and color everything in illustrator, I can't take credit for anything but the ideas. Google was a big inspiration for artistic motivation so credit goes to their rightful owners.
To submit ideas, comment below or email me at CMKnueppel@gmail.com!