Since 1999

Originally “The Crypt of the Crystal Lich” on AOL Hometown (didn’t know there’d be an Age Test, didja?) our little site has been around in one form or another since back in the old days of “handles” when the Internet was a shiny new mess and Windows ME (Millennium Edition) clearly sucked.

Created around the same time as Ain’t It Cool, Dark Horizons, CHUD, NeedCoffee, and RottenTomatoes (of which we are a contributor), moved to a new host server with a true domain name on June 5th, 1999.

(Note: if you’ve been to this page before, confession time: we had our inception date wrong by 366 days. According to our WhoIs info,’s Creation Date was actually 1999-06-05T01:07:14Z, meaning our 20th anniversary isn’t until 2019. Hey, bookkeeping was bad in the pioneer days of the internet and Grim D. didn’t come on until almost a decade later, m’kay?)

The Wayback Machine shows the first recorded site capture April 18, 2000 with the slogan “Movie reviews for the undead” and the signature “This site is © 1999 Kevin A Ranson. They’re making me do this.”

In 2001, briefly joined the FanGEN network in an attempt to monetize. Movie Showtimes were provided by Zap2it, people had “Minion Mail,” and The Minion Boards were fans of the page went to sound off. The host was still “The Crystal Lich.” Some of the original graphics still survive.

At the end of 2002, the “Fatal Blue” design gave way to the “Headstone Gray” theme as we joined the Online Film Critics Society. The slogan was “News. Reviews. Undead.” We used the living hell out of the Copperplate font and Outer Glow FX back in the day.

After an attempt to convert to a Webzine (remember those?), WordPress became our CMS in 2008 as we shifted to the “Blood Theme.” The Crystal Lich retired in 2006 to pave the way for our new and current host Grim D. Reaper, an infamous psychopomp and cinephile, happily hitting theaters to distract from a dreary day job taking souls. It also helps being more photogenic and animated than an empty crystal skull.

By 2013, hosting had been moved to WordPress dot com and Grim D. Reaper appeared fully across social media. shifted to the “Dames Point Cemetery” theme featured in the header and Syfy dot com really liked us! We also began using the “Inverted Hollywood Star” MC logo.

By 2015, Grim D’s look had evolved to facilitate the “Movie Crypt” theme of the new interior sets. The brand had been diluted by the appearance of other Movie Crypt sites and/or podcasts that did not have our domain name (or us, for that matter)… but we’re still here. The “Texas Blackstar Logo” become featured upon our header.

Now in 2017, a new set of video Reaper Rants is gearing up in addition to our usual reviews, making bigger and badder than ever.

Grim D’s evolving look also received a much-needed upgrade along with a new logo, a symbol based upon the YinYang Crossed-Scythes design on his chain mail mantle. Refined from store-bought costuming to an ensemble of custom-crafted art pieces, Grim D. Reaper looks and feels cooler than ever. From the designer:

“Damn straight it does — and I’ve invested well to ensure that. My original off-the-shelf outfit as pieced together breathed so little I couldn’t keep it on for more than two hours… even with frequent breaks. Not only did it look like I’d been pushed into a swimming pool afterward, my skin was shriveled up like a prune, too. As I’ve refined it with moisture-wicking materials, breathable porous fabrics and other refinements, I can wear it for an entire day — mask and all — and the individual custom pieces look damn good. Yay, modern technology!”

Watch this space for more REAPER MADNESS to come! Rock n’ roll and metal!


Our latest update, July 2018: everything new on-top and under-the-hood! Streamlined for desktop, mobile, and tablet.