It’s Almost Halloween and There’s a Werewolf on my Wall

Posted in Uncategorized on October 15, 2013 by DJ D

It’s after 1:00 am on a Monday night and I really need to be in bed. Instead, I’ve stayed up tonight catching up on some of my favorite blogs and coming to the realization that we are 16 days away from Halloween. That’s 2 weeks and 2 days. TWO WEEKS AND 2 DAYS.
Two weeks and 2 days away from my favorite day of the year. Yes, I’m holding it up above even my birthday, which is just a scant 2 days after Halloween.

I also came to the realization that my favorite season of the year is here and I haven’t written a word about it. Come to think of it, I haven’t written a word about anything in a long time. So, for the handful of you who bother to even check in with this thing (and I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t), let’s talk a little bit about something creepy. And old. And in my bedroom.

coconut

THIS GUY. He’s a shrunken head. Actually, he’s a coconut carved to look like a shrunken head. Actually, he’s a coconut carved to look like the shrunken head of a monkey, apparently. I snagged him in a storage shed behind my grandfather’s house when he died back in 1990. He’s hung above my bed ever since. I’d like to share some further insight into that, but the truth is, I don’t have any. He’s a creepy coconunt carved to look like a shrunken monkey head. It speaks for itself. I don’t have the faintest clue as to where my grandfather got him or how. All I know is that he hangs above my bed every night and that’s creepy enough.

wolf

NOW THIS GUY. THIS GUY… I created this guy my senior year of high school in art class. He’s made out of paper mache and hangs on the opposite wall, near the foot of my bed, so that he and Shrunken Head Monkey Coconut up there are cursed into an eternity of staring each other in the eye. I don’t remember much about the point of the assignment aside from my teacher telling me to not make it too gory. Everyone thought at first it was going to be a monkey when they saw the skeletal structure that formed the snout. That’s just stupid. Who hangs a fake monkey’s head in their bedroom? That’s just –

coconut side

Um.

The other major memory I have of creating him is that some dillweed (I can’t remember the last time I actually said, “dillweed”) knocked him over and dinged him up a little. You can see in the picture up there the dent on the left side of his snout and a crack going down the ear on the right. That would be the work of a dillweed. Here’s a side view:

wolf side

Also, you can’t make it out, but the blanket that I sat these on in order to take the pictures is one made up of images of wolves. So, I kind of stuck to a theme there.

wolf mouth

I ended up going a little gory. Sorry, Ms. Smith.

And because it’s late and I’m tired, I’m closing this out with one of my favorite werewolf transformations from my favorite werewolf movie ever, The Howling. I’ll try not to make this the last thing I write before Halloween. Shrunken Head Monkey Coconut, here I come…

UPDATE: I was going to end things there, but felt I had to mention that for those of you who aren’t in the know (and you need to get yourselves in the know) when it comes to The Howling, the pretty, blonde victim there is Dee Wallace, one of the greatest actresses of our time, and one of the nicest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. I met her last year at the amazing Mad Monster Party horror convention in Charlotte. Here’s my autograph. She had a lot of pictures to choose from, but of course I had to go with the one from The Howling.

dee wallace autograph

And here I am, happy as can be and looking like a total goober.

dee wallace

Holy Heroes Con, Batman!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 1, 2013 by DJ D

DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING POST CONTAINS NERDY, COMIC BOOK THEMED MATERIAL. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK.

A few weeks ago, I went to the Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find comic book convention in Charlotte. Heroes Con, for short. I used to be a hardcore comic book collector until the prices skyrocketed, and since I enjoy food and gasoline more than I enjoy Batman (but not by much), I don’t buy weekly books anymore. Instead, I get the occasional monthly title (at the moment, it’s The Walking Dead), and the only other time I buy them is at the Heroes Con every June and at a big sale every February at a store called Borderlands in Greenville, SC. Oh, and there’s also the savior of every nerd who absolutely must have some useless collectable thing that someone else is sick of — E-Bay.

I’m one of these guys that goes in with a mission. I’m only there for one day so I don’t go to the presentations or participate in discussion panels or any of that jazz. I have a list of things to buy, and from the second I walk in the door, I’m on the hunt.

So, I set about going to work. The next few hours were spent meeting two of my favorite artists, Mark Bagley and Brian Steelfreeze, and doing a lot of shopping. I was looking for some trades so I could catch up on the last 10 years worth of Green Lantern books, but you couldn’t find a DC trade in this joint if your life depended on it, so I had to settle for tracking down individual issues. I ended up pouring through dollar boxes and 50-cent boxes, filling a lot of holes in my collection, but not everything. Also, got a lot of Booster Gold stuff. I still have holes to fill, but, you know, E-Bay.

PICTURE TIME!

cowl and thor

This vendor was speaking my language. If you know anything about me at all, it’s that I. LOVE. BATMAN. So, when I saw this booth, I had to take some pics. Feeding into my dream of one day assembling my own fully functional Batman costume and Batmobile, these guys were my favorite thing there. You see, I don’t view the comics, films, and novels as entertainment. These are training materials for a future career. So, I fell in love with this booth right away. It was set up by MySuperHeroGuy and while the materials were pricy, it’s reasonable considering how hard it is to find a lot of this stuff. One day, my friends…one day.

cowl

cowl group

Batman Cowl Cornucopia! Check out Keaton peeking over the corner.

belts
batarangs

cards

Most of their stuff was out of my price range, but I did pick up some packs of Batman trading cards. It’s the series based on the my favorite movie of all time. Not surprisingly, I already own this entire series of cards, but I wanted some sealed packs since it’s been 20+ years since I’ve seen any.

batmobile

And yes, there was a Batmobile. You could pay like $30 or something to take a pic of you inside of it. As thrilling as that would be, I was on a buying mission and unfortunately, my parents haven’t been murdered in an alley, leaving me the heir to a billion dollar empire and a thirst for vengeance, so I had to settle for just the picture. Besides, as much as I love most of the Batmobiles, this one isn’t my favorite. I don’t think it’s exactly a surprise which one is.

PRETTY GIRLS IN COSTUMES!

I’m not going to try to make this out to be anything other than what it is. Hot girls were wearing costumes and I took pictures of them. That wasn’t my plan going in, but that’s how it shook down. I’ve made my peace with it.

poison ivy and harley quinn

These two were standing near the entrance so this was the first one I got. There were a lot of Harley Quinns there (it’s a convention staple), but this was the first I saw. It certainly wasn’t the best and I wish I’d taken pics of more (I adore Harley Quinn), but this is a good example as any of the standard original Harley look.

girls

I have no idea who these two are supposed to be. I haven’t kept up with Marvel too much in the last 10 years or so, but the “X” on the belt on the girl on the right tells me she must be something X-Men related.

blonde

This one was the perfect example of your typical “booth babe” — not someone who just paid the fee to get in and showed up to shop and happened to go in costume, but rather a hot girl who’s set up at a table with a company and who’s job it is to stand out in front of the table and pass out their comics in order to get the attention of guys walking buy. I never fall for that. It’s going to take a lot more than a smoking hot girl in a skimpy outfit to get me to take some comic I’ve never heard of. Nope. Not me.

danger high voltage

I now own a copy of something called Danger: High Voltage by Pross Comics.

oracle

And this was the last one I took on the way out. I’m a huge Oracle fan and the fact that this girl actually turned the fact that she was confined to a wheel chair into one of the coolest costumes I’ve ever seen cemented this as my favorite one there. And I didn’t even feel weird about taking the picture.

One final note: My buddies Bo and Brockton were set up there, representing their group, Lost Story Studios. These guys do kickass work both in the field of comics and in the even more important field of zombifying anything you ever wanted zombified. Check ‘em out.

Charleston Ghost Tour Brochures

Posted in Uncategorized on May 31, 2013 by DJ D

Years ago, I worked at a haunted house ran by the Jaycees in Columbia, SC. Those nights spent scaring locals with parlour tricks and rubber knives resulted in some of the best memories of my young life. We ran an old, decrepit house that very barely passed inspection by the fire marshals every year. We had secret doors and passageways that we could easily use to move through the house and sneak up on and around the patrons. The place was PERFECT. However, because we literally built the rooms from scratch every year, it meant that we had to get started on the construction in July in order to have it completed by Halloween. I have not-so-fond memories of being out in the Columbia summer heat, cutting up 2×4′s with a table saw while the guy who ran the house blasted KISS from a boombox on the porch (not-so-fond because of the stifling heat, not the KISS). It’s for this reason that even though that was years ago, my personal Halloween season will always start in July.

June is coming up tomorrow and even though we’re technically kicking off Summer, I feel Samhain creeping in. It hasn’t found you yet, but it has hit the road, Ministry blasting from its speakers, and it’ll be in town before you know it.

So it’s for this reason that I got in the mood to kick off summer (Halloween’s opening act) with something a little spooky. Back in February, I had a family reunion in Charleston. It’s the first proper one I’ve been to since I was a kid and it was the first ever for this particular branch of the family — descendents of my great-uncle Thomas and great-aunt Hannelore from Germany. Thomas, btw, is the spitting image of Frank Gorshin. It’s freaky. Most of the cousins, aunts, and uncles there flew in from Germany, California, Florida, and other places and I was meeting them for the first time ever. It was a great old time and we’re talking about doing it again in a couple of years, only this time in California, which would be rewarding because for all of my traveling up and down the East Coast and in Europe, the farthest West I’ve ever been is…Tennessee? Does that count?

We all stayed at the same hotel and on the morning of the reunion, a few of us found ourselves down in the lobby, taking advantage of the complimentary breakfast. That was where I actually met my great-aunt Hannelore for the first time. We spent a few hours getting acquainted and telling our life stories, hers obviously being much more interesting than mine. Then, we retired to our rooms to get ready for the reunion. It was then, in a giant rack directly across from the hotel elevators that I spotted THE GREATEST COLLECTION OF BROCHURES I’VE EVER SEEN. OK, so I actually haven’t seen that many collections of brochures, so I don’t have much to compare it to, but I’m still confident in my claim. So, I bring you CHARLESTON GHOST TOUR BROCHURES!

I haven’t really thoroughly researched the word “brochure” enough to know if some of these technically count, because most of them are actually single cards on fancy card stock with stuff on both sides. I guess you could make the argument that they’re glorified flyers, but I’m not. I’m going with brochure.

Ghotss of Charleston

Starting things off is a simple, yet effective little number. I like the design here. It’s got a cool font and on the back promises a tour of The Unitarian Church Graveyard. It’s not the flashiest one, but it gets the job done. Charleston has a very intense and rich ghost history and all of these boast that they take you to the BEST spots. They’re THE REAL DEAL, but this one’s a little classier about it. I’d like to shrink it down and turn it into the best bookmark ever.

Holy City Tours

Stepping things up a little is The Best Ghost Tour in Charleston presented by Holy City Tours. I put this one in the placement next just because I like the statue and it reminds me of the The Goth Box by Cleopatra Records, a Goth compilation consisting of 4 CD’s that I got back in high school. Don’t have much more to say about it other than that.

Charleston's Creepiest Ghost Tour

Moving on, we go from the Best ghost tour to Charleston’s Creepiest Ghost Tour. The fonts are fancied up a little more, although a little on the cliche side for anyone who’s ever made a flyer in the last 15 years. I don’t know what the name of the font is that’s used for “Ghost Tour” here, but you’ve all seen it 100 times before. I like the red-on-black, though. See what I did there?

Ghostwalk

Now we’re getting interesting. Presenting The First – The Best – Since 1979 GHOSTWALK! Look at everything going on with the word “Ghostwalk”! You’ve got a tree off to the right with a branch reaching out, placed in front of a bloodcurdling yellow moon. The same yellow moon which is pulling double duty as the “O” in “Ghostwalk”! And what’s that below “Ghostwalk”? That’s right. A damn cemetery!

The blurb below the cemetery promises, “1 1/2 hour walking tour by a native Charlestonian with over 21 years of tour guide experience.” Who is this practitioner of the macabre?

Tricia

The back of the flyer tells us it’s Tricia! Ghost/History Expert who apparently was voted one of the 20 most fascinating people in The Lowcountry (along with Steven Colbert). In the Ghost Tour game, you can get off with making a lot of claims. Best. Creepiest. The First. Badass moon in the font. But in this case, she was voted one of the most fascinating. Could this be the real deal? And who are the other 18 so-called fascinating people? I haven’t spent too much time in The Lowcountry in years, but I can testify there are some real characters down there. You haven’t seen eccentricity until you’ve seen it injected with very old, very Southern money.

Ghost Hunt

And now things get spicy. You might want to send the kids to bed for this one. Charleston’s Original Ghost Hunt — ADULTS ONLY. Sure, no one’s featured on the back with lofty claims of keeping the same company as basic cable late night hosts, but even if this was clearly the lamest one in the bunch, it would still earn a place of honor here for that cover image alone. I mean, look at that thing! The back doesn’t disappoint either.

Ghost Hunt back

Murder! Suicide! Hanged Pirates! Voodoo Curses! Alleyway Duels! Dungeons and Jails! Graveyards! Suck it, Tricia! You’ve got nothing on this shit! And if you look closer, a couple paragraphs down, you see on the back that it promises, “This adult only tour is based on real ghosts that inhabit this city”. That’s right, we don’t give you those lame, second rate spirits they’re doing over at Holy City. We’ve got the real deal, cousin. We straight up went out, killed a bunch of tourists, and had them just walk the hell around afterward. You want to see that? Shit yeah, you do.

ghost and voodoo walk

We’re not done. The grand finale isn’t here yet, but we’re close. Building intensity, I give you Dr. Harry Spectre’s Ghost & Voodoo Walk. Boasting to give you Charleston’s WORLD FAMOUS Ghost and Voodoo Walking Tour, Dr. Harry Spectre ain’t messing around. This thing’s got it all. A voodoo doll, skulls, a creepy statue in a cemetery, and the exciting announcement that you can hunt ghosts yourself with a goddamn GHOST FINDER. And that’s just the front!

IMG_20130530_035508

The back elaborates a little on that, but first, we get a look at Dr. Harry Specter’s Ghost & Voodoo Walk (patent pending) Seal. Complete with approval from Edgar Allen Freaking Poe. This thing is jam packed with phantomely fun.

ghost finder

And check out the blurb. You are using professional grade equipment here, folks. You think Tricia’s got a PKE meter? Shit no. The best you’re getting out of her is some Dana Barrett Gatekeeper action if you’re lucky.

At the risk of ruining the mystique a little, a little research reveals that you’re not actually led around Charleston’s most haunted locations by Dr. Spectre himself, but rather by some guy named Jeff (probably the least haunted name ever) who’s basically just a professional tour guide. He leads tours of various themes that… you know what, screw it. I’m going with Dr. Harry Spectre. Screw you, Jeff.

Ghost tours

And that brings us to the first and last proper brochure of the bunch. By that, I mean it actually folds out. Admittedly, it’s not quite as flashy as what we’ve seen so far, but it makes up for quality in quantity. And hell, it was seen on The Travel Channel’s “America’s Most Haunted Places” for God’s sake, so what the hell else do you want? Plus, look at the words “Ghost Tours”. That shit GLOWS. This is no lighting trick, folks. This is a straight up brochure from the beyond.

Open brochure

Opening up, we get a look at the Charleston Ghost & Graveyard Walking Tour. The main attraction of this one is that it teases the “EXCLUSIVE opportunity to walk inside the gates of Charleston’s oldest graveyard after dark.” I find it odd that “Charleston” is the one word in this whole description that’s in bold. They go on to say that it’s the only tour that lets you go inside the cemetery, while all the other tours give you some kind of gaze-from-the-wrought-iron-fence cocktease. I would have thought any one of those words would have deserved the bold treatment, even if I hadn’t made up some of them just now. I mean, do you really need to emphasize the fact that you’re doing this in Charleston? I picked up the damn brochure. I know where I am.

Next door is the Charleston (for those of you in the back row) Ghost & Dungeon Walking Tour. The standout here for me is that it features voodoo and Lowcountry superstitions. For those of you not in the know, there actually is a good deal of that happening down there, a carryover from Gullah culture. I even had an English teacher in high school who was from there and who spoke the Gullah dialect and admitted to practicing it. South Carolina is weird, people. Eagle eyed readers will once again spot Charleston in bold. You know, in case there is any confusion as to where the Charleston Ghost & Dungeon Walking Tour takes place.

really open brochure

Opening up further, we get The Haunted Jail Tour. I think it may be the only one I’ve covered so far that doesn’t have the word “Charleston” in the title, but the bold action is happening down below, so that should be cleared up. I don’t have anything to say on this one other than there’s a blurb at the top that claims this takes place in Charleston’s Most Haunted Building. That counts for something, I guess. Although, given the way the promoters of these things like to throw claims like this around, I’m just going to chalk it up to confident marketing. That’s a badass looking jail though.

Alright, the grand finale. This thing’s starting to lose some steam, so I’m going to end it on smut. That’s always a winner. The Dark Side of Charleston Walking Tour delivers a Mature Audiences Only experience. I have a confession. Until RIGHT NOW, I honestly thought that this one was another ghost tour, only with a slightly pornographic theme. Reading back over the description though, I realize that it’s only about Charleston’s true history — a history full of corruption, prostitution, crime, torture, scandal and sordid affairs.” So it’s really not about ghosts at all.

girl

Not unless your ghosts look like Jack Daniels swilling hookers.

Well, I guess that’s how we’re ending this then.

Lack of sleep pays off…I scored Freddy’s Greatest Hits!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 6, 2013 by DJ D

After staying up the other night in a sleep-deprived haze to write an incredibly long story in order to move into Dinosaur Dracula’s Luxury Apartments, it hit me how much I miss writing. More importantly, how much I miss writing this blog, so I decided to fire off a quick one tonight to try to get back into the habit again. Every six months or so I’ll get a spurt of inspiration and get energized about writing. I’ll fire off one or two posts, then you won’t hear from me again for a while. I’m going to try to not let that happen again, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s not to make any promises. But for now, here I am, at 2:20am, doing this.

My dad sets up at the flea market almost every Saturday. I try to go with him when I can and help out and it’s a pretty good time, despite the fact that you have to be out there on a Saturday morning at eight damn o’clock morning. If there is one thing I am not, it’s a morning person. But, we have a good time and he makes a little money, which means, if I’m lucky, I make a little money too.

Occasionally, I’ll leave the table and go look at the other vendors and check out what’s what. I’m tempted to make this post about the flea market experience and the rare breed of folks that show up every Saturday morning, but trust me, that’s a whole other post altogether. Nope, this post is about how I scored FREDDY’S GREATEST HITS.

Matt’s written about this on more than one occasion, but I first found out about it while scouring the vinyl selection in the library at the studio where I do my radio show. For years, I’ve been a huge fan of the album and have been playing selections from it on the show, but never thought I’d ever actually own a copy.

So, when I left my dad’s table the other day to check out the stores and tables around the flea market, I was so pleased to find a new store that had just set up with what must contain thousands of records. Because they were so new, they had not organized any of it. I was talking to the owner when I turned around and saw THIS propped on a small shelf on the wall:

Freddy

I promptly said to the guy, “I will take that right now”, without even asking how much it was. I was thinking I could live with myself by paying $20, so when he suggested $10, I said, “Yeah, that was pretty much what I was thinking too”. Sucker.

For those of you who aren’t aware, the record is by a group of session musicians called The Elm Street Group and mostly contains covers of old songs as well as a few originals. All incorporate Freddy, sometimes singing and sometimes laughing his way through the song. For me, the standout tracks include “Do The Freddy” and “Obsession”. “Do The Freddy” is a fun, stupid little thing and I used to play it on my show for the sole purpose of torturing my listeners.

However, “Obsession” is one that I actually like. I mean, in a completely unironic, genuine way. Check it out for yourself.

Oh, and here’s the back of the record if you’re interested. Looks like Freddy himself scratched the hell out of it. Oh, and forgive the washed out, low quality of the pics. I probably should have used my other camera instead of the one on the phone.

Freddy back

For once, walking around in a sleep-deprived haze and hanging out with Freddy worked out. I should do it more often. Now if I can just figure out what’s up with this red tricycle that keeps rolling around here. I’m sure it’s nothing I should worry about, right?

It’s the first post of 2013. Merry Christmas.

Posted in Uncategorized on January 13, 2013 by DJ D

In keeping with the tradition of this blog, this post comes a couple weeks late and a dollar short. This wouldn’t be DJ D’s Great and Secret Show unless we were doing a Christmas post in damn January. I hope everyone had a good holiday. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. I just kind of…do things…on my own time. I’ve found that as soon as I start making giant proclamations that I’m going to write more, it’s exciting for about half a day and four months later I finally get round to firing something off. But, I’ve got this vid in my phone I wanted to share and I’ve got some free time today, so no excuses. I’ve actually gotten quite a bit done this weekend. I don’t chalk this up to the new year, but rather that I came down with the worse case of the flu and bronchitis ever documented in the history of medicine (or at least it felt that way) last weekend, and I guess I’m just happy to not be sick anymore. I’ve actually had quite a bit of energy this weekend. Too bad I’m sure it will all be sucked out of me the second I have to walk back into my day job tomorrow morning. I hate my job so much.

But for now, we’re here. In mid-January…writing about Christmas.

This Christmas was a little different than most years. Usually, the schedule is that on Christmas Eve, I go to my aunt’s house on my dad’s side and have a big dinner with the extended family there – one of those deals with all the extended aunts, uncles and cousins that I only see once a year. After it’s over, my dad, me, his sister and her kids and his brother all go over to his house and we do our own gift exchange there. This year was a little different though because we had to do the small gift exchange on Sunday the 23rd because of some my cousins’ work schedules. In fact, they weren’t able to make it into town until 10pm that night, so that was when we started opening presents. We ended up staying up all night afterward talking and messing around with my uncle’s handgun (don’t ask).

Oh, quick side note: My aunt did something really cool for all of us. My grandfather was a P.O.W. in WW 2. He was captured in Italy and marched to Germany and forced to stay in a P.O.W. camp there until the end of the war. During that time he kept a journal. I’ve never read it, but have heard a lot about it. My aunt owns the original one, so she photocopied it and transcribed it by typing it up word for word to make it a little easier to read. She then made copies of all of that, put them into little binders and gave them to all of us as presents. I’m so happy to have finally gotten a copy of this and can’t wait to read it.

At one point, hours later, my dad started talking about which Christmas carol he hates the most. I don’t know what brought that on, but stay with me. This is going somewhere. You kind of have to get a little back story on my dad to know why this is so funny. He’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever known, but it’s in a very deadpan kind of way. I very rarely ever see him get worked up about much of anything. He has a very dry sense of humor and is, for the most part, incredibly serious and reserved. I don’t know if it was because of the late hour or the Christmas snack sugar rush, but I managed to catch the following on video and I’m so glad that I did because it’s so out of character for him, which kind of explains why we’re all laughing so hard. I’m not sure how well this is going to translate and may be one of those you-had-to-be-there kind of deals, but hey, content is content. At least I’m writing something.

The 2012 Halloween Punkin!

Posted in Uncategorized on November 8, 2012 by DJ D

Go ahead and say it. “I thought you were going to start writing again. That was what, June?” Yeah well, whatever. I could spend my opening paragraph with some rambling apology/explanation, but I can’t be bothered. I’m hardly the first person who’s reading this who’s had a lapse in blog writing. So, we’ll just chalk this up to “I’ve been busy and here’s a bunch of words that happened in order: Halloween. Birthday. Vinyl Haul. Election.

There.

So, here we are on November 8th and I’m going to talk about my Halloween punkin, precisely on time to get geared up for…uh, Thanksgiving. I present to you…

The 2012 HALLOWEEN PUNKIN!

There’s not too much to say here that’s different from other punkin posts in the past, and that’s mostly because when my cousin and I get together to do this every year, we have the same ritual. We usually go to Wal-Mart, pick them out and then go back to his garage, where we slice them up, light them and take pictures. Meanwhile, he puts on some Halloween sound effects CD to play in the background. Same damn ritual every damn year. But if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

But this year, we did do something else that night. We went to 2 different haunted houses in town. I kind of wish I had taken some pictures to share with you now, but both places were pretty strict about that kind of thing. The first one was called Nightmare on Pendleton and was pretty solid! It was a former funeral home and they took advantage of every bit of real estate they had. For $13 you could just tour the house, but for an extra $3, you could go through the maze outside. We opted for the full tour and it was great. The maze didn’t last long, but it was packed with all kinds of nice shocks and it’s always fun getting chased out of something by a guy waving a chainsaw. I used to work in a haunted house myself for 6 years, and chainsaws are a must. I think my old house had at least 4 rooms in which a chainsaw was involved somehow.

Inside the house, you go into a “haunted elevator” which is basically a box hooked up to some kind hydraulics and flashing lights that simulated that it was rocking back and forth while moving up and down. It was actually a pretty believable effect. But the best feature of the entire thing was the body chute. You made your way upstairs and then straight-up SLID DOWN A SLIDE THAT WAS ONCE USED TO TRANSPORT BODIES FROM UPSTAIRS TO DOWNSTAIRS. Yes, you read that right, and it was a blast. And I don’t think I’ve ever slid down a slide that fast before. I mean, I was flying, and was greeted at the bottom with, you guessed it…guy with a chainsaw. It shocked me so strongly and was so abrupt that I actually turned around and started climbing back up the slide for a second! So yeah, Nightmare on Pendleton gets 2 bloody thumbs-up from me. And that’s saying something, because speaking as someone who made rooms and scared people every halloween for 6 years straight in a house that was once voted as being the scariest one in the midlands, I know my stuff and I am very critical.

The second house, not so much. It wasn’t terrible, but it was worth the ticket price, especially since after taking advantage of the Groupon that I found, I basically got in for half price. The line for it was long and cold and packed with annoying teenagers, but they gave it their best effort with what they had. It’s hard to follow up the act of sliding down a corpse chute, but it was good fun anyway, and they gave out free candy, which I suppose is always a plus.

But, that’s not what you came here for. Here’s a picture tour of what went down with Punkin 2012.

First off, the obligatory pre-carving pic. Wal-Mart had 2 bins to choose from–the $3.98 ones and the $7.98 ones. I got this out of the $3.98 bin and it was every bit as big as the ones in the $7.98 bin.

Here’s a shot of what I like to refer to as the pumpkin gore. She never stood a chance.

Here’s the old guy, just carved. Almost there…

Now we’re talkin’!

This is my cousin Larry’s. He went with a Two-Face kind of theme. You’ll see that on the right, it’s a traditional triangle-eyed, square-toothed kind of deal, but on the left, everything’s all jagged and scary.

Larry really likes the smell of pumpkin…I mean, really likes it.

I’m pretty sure we’re going to have to check him in somewhere and get him some help.

Freddy and Jason help me bring the blog back to life.

Posted in Uncategorized on June 15, 2012 by DJ D

I decided to sacrifice sleep tonight and dust off this blog for the 3 people left who might be reading it. Summer has given me a great deal of free time lately and the recent hatching of Dinosaur Dracula and Bill’s reworking of Veggie Macabre has inspired me to get off my ass and actually do something around here. I’ve been filled with a new sort of steam lately. It has a lot to do with extra free time, hatred of my day job, a desire to finally get in gear and back in school in the Spring (I mean it, this time dammit!), and maybe my impending 35th birthday. I’ve been spinning my wheels for a while now and feel like I haven’t been living up to my potential creatively or professionally. I’m so jealous when reading about Matt‘s professional endeavors since we both work (or at least I used to) in the same industries and he’s out juggling more freelance gigs than he knows what to do with while I’m working a dead-end job at a company I hate, doing work that only tangentially relates to what I want to do for a living.

So here I am on at Thursday night/Friday morning, trying to knock this out when I should be in bed, especially since I’m supposed to be up in 5 hours for work. But hey, at least it’s Friday.

Which sort of brings me to what I want to discuss. For background noise, I’ve got on the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street. I actually wrote about this once before. I was pretty excited about it at the time, since it seemed to be a way to return the franchise to its roots. I had my reservations, being that it was another damn useless remake, but was looking forward to it nonetheless. I had no intention when I sat down to write tonight to turn this into a Nightmare review, but I’m in the mood to discuss what’s playing on the TV a few feet away from me. I assume that since it’s been out a few years, you’ve all seen it, so I don’t have to tell you that spoilers will follow. Let’s go.

First off, they get brownie points for trying. The trend of remaking/rebooting/reimagining/re-whatevering of beloved 70′s and 80′s horror is a rant I’m going to try not to get into tonight. Anyone who’s known me for any length of time knows that it’s something that will get my blood boiling. There have been more misses than hits, and I’ve had endless debates with friends about which ones have hit and which ones have missed, but I’m willing to point out the good and bad points in everything. So as much as I hated the idea of this thing being remade, I will say they did a great job of getting away from the campiness of the later films and returned Freddy to a menacing, brutal killing machine. While no one will ever replace Robert Englund, Jackie Earl Haley did the best he could with what he was given. It was also nice to see Judith Hoag (the original April O’Neil) show up in a small part as the nurse.

I also like the idea that doubt was cast through the movie as to Freddy’s guilt. The seed was planted halfway in that the reason he was stalking the kids was to get revenge because he was actually wrongly accused for being a murdering kiddie-diddler. I thought that was an interesting turn. Of course, he was a murdering kiddie-diddler as we all know, but it was an interesting way to handle it.

While the over-abundance of CGI is another major rant of mine (I’m a practical makeup/prosthetics purist when it comes to horror), I will say that it did add to the atmosphere and gave the film a few tricky scenes that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise, or at least would have been more expensive and time consuming to put together. One that comes to mind is when the character of Chris falls asleep in class and “wakes up” in the dream world, a scene repeated from the original.

I don’t mind CGI for things like that, but when it’s used to replace practical effects when practical effects could have done the job just as well, if not better, that frosts my balls.

The best example of this particular ball frosting would be the infamous “Freddy coming through the wall” scene. Here’s a comparison, the original done with simple latex and the remake done with CGI.

I know the 2 pics don’t show much, but the first one looked so much better than the pathetic cartoon that we got in the remake.

One bright spot in all of this was a pre-Girl WIth The Dragon Tattoo Rooney Mara. Like most people, I’d never heard of her before this and was chomping at the bit to see who would actually tackle the task of replacing Heather Langenkamp, one of the loves of my life (swoon), as the new Nancy, and I was not disappointed. I thought she was gorgeous and did a stellar job with what she was given. I was surprised to see her disappear for so long after that and was afraid I’d never see her in anything ever again. Clearly, I was wrong. I’ve still not read or seen any of the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo books or movies. I really need to get on that.

For my last complaint, I’ll say that I wasn’t too hot about having to put up with looking at this little shit for an hour and a half.

Until I sat down to write this, I had no idea what the actor’s name was, but it turns out it’s Kyle Gallner. You’ve seen him in a lot of things in the last few years, and I’m sick of him. He plays the same mopey eyed, pitiful, whiney little shit in every movie and he just gets on my last everloving nerve. His character is named Quentin (I even hate his character’s name) and he’s supposed to be Nancy’s would-be boyfriend.

But my biggest complaint about “Quentin” is what his “character” is supposed to be. He was originally written as a “mopey goth DJ”. Look at him. He’s wearing a fucking Joy Division t-shirt. Joy Division! I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that Kyle Gallner doesn’t have the first fucking clue who Joy Division is. Sad-eyed, overacting bastard. Speaking as someone who spent high school and his 20′s actually being a mopey goth DJ, I’m personally insulted.

In closing, I’ll say that another part of the inspiration for writing this is the book I’m reading. It’s called Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th. I got it for Christmas and am absolutely loving it. It’s HUGE and looks like a coffee table book, only it’s a lot more than just pretty pictures. It’s incredibly in depth and Peter M. Bracke does a great job of laying out all the back-stabbing, politics, wheeling and dealing of the Hollywood machine in the 1980′s. He tracks down all the directors, producers, actors and crew who worked on the entire series, including Kevin Bacon. So far, I’m about 2/3rds of the way through (they just started working on Jason Goes to Hell and are getting geared up for the inevitable Freddy vs Jason), and I kind of don’t want to get to the end of it. I’m learning quite a bit about how the cast of all these things was put together, who clicked with who, who was a total terror to work with, who got fired and why, and the fact that in most of the early movies, there apparently was a lot of “80′s substances” on set at any given time. I’m talking about the grass and cocaine, folks. Yep, in between shots of getting chased by a strange man in a hockey mask, most of the victims you’ve come to love watching over the years were sneaking off to get down with the China White. Hey, it was the 80′s. And did you know that one of the actress/victims in Part 5 was actually named Debi Sue Voorhees? Yep, that’s her real name. I’m telling you, I can’t recommend this thing enough if you’re a fan of the series or just horror in general.

Alright, that’s all I’ve got. I’ve officially blown the dust off this joint and gotten off to a good start. Hopefully this summer will see more content around here. I promise it won’t be as long-winded as this thing. Just making up for lost time.

ki, ki, ki…ma, ma, ma…

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