Val, Ryan talk most popular Halloween costumes, 'bad' candy and Kenzie K and Roman's new game show

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team via WLS logo
Friday, October 28, 2022
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Happy Halloween! Val and Ryan are going "Under the Sea" with friends Kenzie K and Roman for Windy City Weekend.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Happy Halloween! Val and Ryan are going "Under the Sea" with friends Kenzie K and Roman for Windy City Weekend.

They took a look at the most popular Halloween costumes by state, and Illinois' might surprise you.

Plus, there's a lot of candy some people consider to be "bad." But this company makes an annual poll to find out which candy is the worst of them all.

Kenzie and Roman talked about their newest game show, "The MVP Game," on Marquee Sports Network. "MVP" stands for "Most Valuable Partner" as three Chicago Cubs super-fans and their partners compete to win exclusive Cubs prizes, including tickets to Wrigley Field's 1914 Club.

"Monster Dog"

When one visits the horror-inspired Monster Dogs food truck, they're greeted by a red and green-eyed, freakishly huge, foam Chicago-style hotdog. It doesn't represent one of the four, terrifyingly tasty hotdog varieties offered by the windy city's newest restaurant on wheels, but its goal is to draw a crowd.

"The idea was we would have kind of a really unique photo op for people when they come see the truck," said Monster Dogs owner, Louie Mendicino. "It's in your face and you can't miss it."

Mendicino and Chef Jason Gilmore developed Monster Dogs out of a love of horror movies and crazy food combinations. Their frightening menu includes hotdogs topped with pork rinds, potato chips, and even breakfast cereal.

"The dogs themselves are monsters so we decided why not go monster with it," said Gilmore. "They're hotdogs; they should be fun."

Every menu item is a uniquely garnished Vienna beef hotdog named after a horror movie monster. The 'Children Of The Corn Dog' is topped with chipotle crema corn salad, fried pork skin, hot sauce, and hot Cheeto dust.

"It's my interpretation of a 'corn-dog,'" said Gilmore. "Throw some elotes on a hotdog and I think it's going to be pretty good."

Gilmore says another popular menu item, 'The Gremlin,' was inspired by baseball, Crackerjacks, and hotdogs. It's topped with miso maple sauce, sriracha mustard, sesame seeds, scallions, and caramel popcorn.

"Jason's the guy. He's a mad scientist," said Mendicino."I don't know anyone else who can put caramel corn and make it taste good."

Their offerings even include a breakfast hotdog topped with blueberry jam, bacon, cereal milk mustard, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch on a French toast Hawaiian roll. It's called "The Daywalker."

"That one came to me in a dream I guess," said Gilmore. "Cinnamon Toast Crunch is the best cereal ever so why not put it on a hotdog?"

Mendicino and Gilmore turned to Chicago filmmaker Ryan Oliver and a team of collaborators called "The Rot Shop" to build and design the horror elements that adorn the food truck.

"All of us combined developed everything from the logo down to the hands coming out of the side of the truck holding exact replicas of the hotdogs," said Mendicino.

The truck debuted at Riot Fest, a three-day punk rock festival on Chicago's southwest side. Monster Dogs became a popular destination with concertgoers almost immediately.

"I think at one point the line was eighty-deep," said Mendicino. "We could never have dreamed that it was going to be that successful in our first run," says Mendicino.

Mendicino is grateful for the initial reception and is hoping for even bigger plans in the future for Monster Dogs.

"It could easily turn into a brick-and-mortar some day," said Mendicino. "We're all really excited about the prospect."

Casket racing

"Forest Park is the perfect place to celebrate Halloween," said Laurie Korkenes, Executive Director of the Forest Park Chamber of Commerce.

And the village celebrates it each year with casket racing!

Donned the "Village of Cemeteries" for having 50 times more folks interred in its cemeteries than residents living above ground, Forest Park hosts this annual competition to bring builders, racers and the community together.

Teams are tasked with creating unique "casket" box cars and race to win trophies created specifically by artists from the Forest Park Arts Alliance. And even if you don't place first in the race, you can still get a trophy for coming in 'dead last', and for the funniest caskets and creepiest caskets.

The event draws residents and spectators from all ages and seeks to truly make Halloween come to life in the community.

Roeper's Halloween spend or save

For Halloween, Film Critic Richard Roeper is sharing his top five scariest movie characters ever!

#5: Damien - "The Omen"

"The Omen" (1976) is about a young boy named Damien who gets adopted by a couple. After multiple deaths seem to be caused by Damien, the couple look into his background, and believe they may have adopted the Antichrist.

#4: The Armitage Family - "Get Out"

From Jordan Peele's first blockbuster hit, "Get Out" (2017), The Armitage family take in their daughter and her boyfriend, Chris, for a visit. But Chris soon finds out the Armitage family is hiding a sinister secret, and he has to find a way to "get out" alive.

#3: Leatherface - "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre"

"The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (1974) is a classic American slasher about a group of friends who find themselves in the clutches of a cannibalistic murderer, known as Leatherface.

#2: Pennywise - "It"

"It" (1990 and 2017) stars the child-eating clown, Pennywise. Whether you turn to the 1990s version or the recent 2017 one, don't reach for the red balloon.

#1: Jaws - "Jaws"

"Jaws" (1975) is about the killer shark who terrorized a beach community off Cape Cod, causing a team to band together to hunt it down.

Bear-ly accurate predictions

The Bears finally broke their three-game losing streak with a major win against the Patriots. Sadly, Ryan's prediction wasn't as "magical" as he hoped.

This week, Ryan settles the Bears vs. Cowboys game with a race... a baby race.

Tune in each Friday for a new prediction, and make your own list to see if you can beat Ryan's record this season!