Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Night of Nights

To one and all-Happy Halloween! Enjoy and be safe on the best night of the year!

I'll be taking the next week or so off from blogging and come back with pictures of my haunt. I can't wait to see all of your stuff, too!

Vincent

Thanks to Bill D. at the Garage of Evil for posting this one on YouTube Friday!

It's Here!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Confusion

This will be playing loud in the Garage of Doom today!

Nearly there!

Merry Pranksters

I know you've seen a few of these before, but I had to re-post this!

And here are a few more scares, for fun.

Nearly There

So far, no rain, though it was in question for a nervous few days. The tamales are made for my El Dia De Los Muertos-themed party, and we'll be adding pan de muertos and pork carnitas, too. We'll be drinking Mexican beer and lifting margaritas, all while the kids are having the chocolate scared out of them by my zombie groundbreaker!

Thought I'd share this with you-fun and charming animation!


One year, I'd love to go to Oaxaca to see this in person!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cask of Amontillado

Lovely, dark story...

The Witches of Eastwick

I realized that I haven't really posted anything about witches-my bad!

I have always loved this movie. It's truly one of those "be careful what you wish for" cautionary tales. The whole cast did a fantastic job, and I really can't see a single thing wrong with this movie!


I'll share a favorite bit with you-I think this is Jack Nicholson at his very best.

If you have time to rent this before Halloween, I'd recommend it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Vintage Pumpkin

Thanks, Dad, for always carving a pumpkin for us! Sorry if I already posted this. Lately, I've had a bad case of C.R.S. disease. (Can't remember shit!) Must be all the last minute prop things. (Damn lightning machine is busted, too. Grrr.)

He's flying up from L.A. for the party and actually staying overnight, which is a big deal. Since my niece is coming, I've decided to have them carve some pumpkins together. Two of my young minions will be over on Friday to gut the pumpkins and watch Trick 'R' Treat. I'm so excited about it all!

Masters of Horror: Guillermo Del Toro

Who can't love a guy who admits to childhood peeing issues?


Dead Man's Party

I was dancing around the Garage of Doom to this the other day while prop-building. Brought back some great memories. Also used to be an acquaintance of Johnny "Vatos" Hernandez, the drummer. Great guy. He still wears his hair like that, too!

Funny thing on Johnny-he sometimes used to drum in the Twilight Lords, an Irish band I used to manage. Crazy, huh?

Ahh, the days when all of Danny Elfman's stuff didn't sound exactly the same...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Masters of Horror: Dario Argento

Thought I'd give you a little more of this great series!


A Treat from Trick 'R Treat

Like many of you, I rented Trick 'R Treat the day it came out and was blown away by the film. I watched it, watched all the extras, then watched it again with the commentary on.

I debated with myself about the purchase, however. I have a Blu-Ray player at home-this movie is amazing to watch on Blu-Ray, BTW-but I like to take movies along when we travel and play them on my laptop. My laptop isn't equipped with Blu-Ray.

Blu-Ray or regular DVD? The debate raged for days. Finally, at the urging of my husband, I caved and bought the Blu-Ray.

I just opened it yesterday. Inside was an unexpected treat: A little flyer inside announced that I could download a free digital copy of Trick 'R Treat to my computer! Hooray for me! I now have both Blu-Ray and a copy to take on trips!

In addition, there's a $25 gift card inside from Sideshow Collectibles towards the purchase of a toy they have listed-sadly, not the 15" figure of Sam.

Because I am an absolute dork, I got the hardcover book delving into the four stories of the movie, apparently with input from Michael Dougherty, the writer and director of the film. It hasn't arrived, yet, but I should get it any day now. I also ordered the paperback graphic novel, and love, love, love the artwork! I may get the movie poster to hang my studio portion of the Garage of Doom, too. I've been playing the soundtrack for inspiration, too. Fun stuff!

Of course, I'll be referencing the photo below for pumpkin designs this year, just because.

Thanks, Michael, for making such a delightful and inspirational Halloween movie!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Coffin Tour

My dad sent me a link to the HGTV Halloween contest that's on right now. But this was an interesting and unexpected find.

Halloween Safety

In case you were wondering about Halloween Safety, Johnny Thunder has us covered here.

Also, check out Snopes for their take on the infamous "poisoned candy" b.s. Urban Legend. I know I've posted it before, but it bears repeating. Here is the lowdown on the "sharp objects hidden in candy" thing, too.

I like Johnny's safety tips best, though. Do you think the basement will be safer with flannel bunny jammies and fuzzy slippers instead of the negligee?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Humiliation Averted

Many of you may know I live in Folsom, California. Many of you know of Folsom because of the Man in Black, Johnny Cash.

Folsom has been busy this year, updating old bridges and opening new ones. In a move of absolute idiocy and sheer boneheadedness, the Folsom City Council decided to name the new bridge "Folsom Lake Crossing" instead of "Johnny Cash Bridge." And of course, it wasn't the entire Council. It was one dissenting vote. (I seem to remember it was one vote that got Hitler the head of the Nazi Party, but that's neither here nor there, I suppose) Johnny Cash's family, when asked permission to use his name, had granted permission (a very rare thing for them) and were excited about the prospect of him having our bridge named after him. The landslide vote of the residents was for Johnny Cash Bridge, but no, one idiot changed all that. (I'm thinking of all the tourist dollars that got flushed down the toilet with that decision.)
So when making tombstones for my graveyard this year, I decided that since the poor man got gypped out of his bridge, the least he could get was a place in my graveyard. The foam was traced and carved with his name and dates, and I was painting everything in when I noticed something strange-day of birth and day of death were the same.
That can't be right, I thought, and looked his dates up on the computer. My instincts were right; the date was wrong, and it was my fault. I'm sure I had "12" on the brain and just didn't notice.
Johnny's tombstone is one of two real people who have tombstones in my graveyard. Since this is Folsom, someone, or many someones, may know his actual birth and death dates. And, of course, they'd tell me it was wrong. Over and over and over again.
Not an option to leave it the same and hope no one would notice. But how to fix it?
I decided the easiest way was to throw some wall patch into the offending date and let it set overnight.
I then re-traced the correct date onto the tombstone and carved it out.
I covered all the wall patch and inside the numbers with two separate coats of Dryloc, then painted it in as normal. I then finished up the tombstone as per usual (nice tea-staining on this one, too!) and I was done. Take that, well-meaning but annoying people!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Halloween Humor from Dave Barry

Maybe you're like me and have no effing clue who Dave Barry is because you're too busy in your garage, finishing props. Appparently, he's a funny guy who also likes Halloween.

My friend of many years, Dorothy Segovia, sent me a little Halloween care package with some kind words about my passion for props and art. She also sent me several fun Hallows-related comments from Dave Barry. (The pic above was her greeting card. I wish I could give credit for it, but I was unable to locate the image on the web. If you know who did it, please let me know and send me a link to it...)
Anyway, here's some of Dave's Halloween wisdom...
On The National Safety Council's Website, you parents will find thirty tips for parents to ensure that your children have a safe Halloween. For your convenience, Uncle Dave has boiled these tips down to five:
1) Never allow your children outside on Halloween night.
2) Or in the daytime, either.
3) Your children should spend Halloween locked inside a windowless room, sedated, and wrapped from head to toe in reflective tape.
4) If, God forbid, some neighbor, somehow, manages to actually give one of your children a treat, you must immediately snatch it away and destroy it with a flamethrower.
5) Never use a flamethrower while sleeping.
Carving the pumpkin is a Halloween tradition that began in the British Isles, where one magical night several centuries ago, a group of people decided to put a lit candle inside a hollowed-out pumpkin, to symbolize the fact that they had been hitting the sauce pretty hard. Today, pumpkin-carving is an activity the whole family can enjoy, except for Dad, who gets stuck with the job of actually carving the pumpkin, which means he has to stick his hand inside and grasp the pumpkin slime, knowing that at any moment he might encounter the North American Gourd-Dwelling Scorpion, whose toxic sting claims more American lives each year than cellular phones and asteroids combined.
"You kids have fun, and be home by Thanksgiving!" our parents would call to us on Halloween night, as we staggered out the front door, weighed down by hundreds of pounds of concealed vandalism supplies, including enough raw eggs to feed Somalia for decades. By morning, thanks to our efforts, the entire neighborhood would be covered with a layer of congealed shaving cream and toilet paper that, around certain unpopular neighbors' homes, was hundreds of feet thick. This is how the Appalachian Mountains were formed.
Gather 'round, boys and girls, because today Uncle Dave is going to tell you haw to have some real "old-fashioned" Halloween fun! Start by gathering these materials: A commercial air compressor, an acetylene torch, a marine flare gun, and 200 pounds of boiled pig brains. Next, select a neighbor who... Whoops! Scratch that, boys and girls! Uncle Dave did not realize that your parents were also reading this. Ha ha! Hi there, Mom and Dad! Uncle Dave was just having a flashback to the Halloweens of his boyhood, an innocent time when parents were far more relaxed and clueless about what their kids were up to.
Remember that everything in italics is actually meant as sarcasm or, possibly, a joke, and in no way should be taken seriously. Especially the flamethrower part.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Haunter Love

New batch of completely inappropriate shenanigans from yours truly and the FEAR-some Scream Team!

Listen. Or else.



Out of Candy?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Last Hours

One to two hours are left, so don't just watch-bid! These are the last for 2009, and there won't be an after-Halloween sale. Click on the pic in the upper-right hand corner of the blog to be taken to the page you need!
Good luck!

Texas Chainsaw Massacre-How it Should Have Ended

Twist on the Witch

Yes, I know I've had a lot of vid content lately. I'm just busy with school and under pressure to finish props in time. So sue me.

I thought you'd like this, anyway, 'cause I know your sense of humor is as tweaked as mine.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sumo for Sale


Just a day (or two, depending on the item) left to bid on the last of my ceramic jackos for Halloween 2009. I won't be selling any more until next Halloween Season, so if you want one, now's the time! See the pic that has "My Jack-o-lanterns on eBay?" Click on it. You'll make a starving artist happy.

Stewie Repair/Naked Scarecrow Reports

Storage was not kind to Stewie this year. That and the fact I had to keep kicking back at his fingers and hands to keep him from choking me as I walked by his area in the Garage of Doom. So contrary to common sense and personal safety, I had to do a quick repair job on his hands.


This involved shoring up weak and torn parts with duct tape, then applying shop towels and carpet glue over the repair.
A quick paint touch-up, and he was out of the Garage like a kid on the last day of school.
I didn't even have a chance to get him dressed before he dashed out into the yard to scare the crap out of people. He does so love his job!My neighbor calls this "Creepy Beauty." I like it.

Oh, and you can see why this year, I named the haunt "The Witch of Rose Hill." I have a bunch of roses, live on a hill, and my stirring witch will be out in the yard on Halloween night. Ta-da! (I know. I'm such a freakin' genius!)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

All Together Dead-The Giveaway!

It's simple: Go to All Together Dead, get super cool apothecary labels. But you won't win them, because I am.

So there.

The Birds

Horror and suspense fans will all admit that Alfred Hitchcock certainly knew how to make a movie. His sense of style and lighting, character development and pacing, were so innovative at the time, and have been imitated ever since. But did you know this man had a sense of humor and a touch of irony?

Perhaps he was a closet environmentalist, too.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Maybe Michael's Should Re-think the Name of This One

Hyde and Go Tweet

I remember seeing this as a kid. Still love it!

Still don't understand how the nephew thinks these are "boring."

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Jackos for Hallows

Just a reminder that there are jack-o-lanterns in need of a home! If you want to be sure to get one by Halloween, don't just watch-bid! I will be posting the last ones in the next few days (includes the last of my hanging pots) so that you can have some pumpkin joy in time for the big day!
Click on the hanging pumpkin pic in the upper-right corner of this page to see what's available now! Update: New hanging jacko is now listed!

Vintage Candy


I was searching Epicurious to see if they have any update worth mentioning regarding party ideas. They don't (though their old articles are still very good!), but I did discover this article on old-school Halloween candy. They even have sources for candy that's still made, but is hard to find.
I remember feeling really cool with my candy necklace. I don't remeber where I got it, but I do remember biting one piece of candy at a time off the elastic string around my neck, until it was all gone. And who doesn't remember the legend of the guy whose stomach blew up because he ate Pop Rocks and soda?


Here's to hoping you don't decide to eat a bunch of baking soda with your Pop Rocks!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Goofy Halloween

Halloween's history, as explained to Goofy.

Remember: Don't blow out your jack-o-lantern too soon!

Oh, and if you want some funny Halloween jokes, go here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Addams Family

It began when I was around six or seven years old. We had one of those big, old Zenith t.v.sets, and there was no such thing as cable. We got channels 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 28, and 52. The other channels were either too fuzzy (rabbit ears necessary, if you can remember that far back), or were broadcast in Spanish. Maybe it came on after Speed Racer, or Kimba the White Lion; I don't quite recall anymore. I do have vague memories of my mom turning it off or doing the dramatic disapproving sigh when she caught me watching it. (Even then, the poor woman didn't get that I was meant to be sort of dark and odd. She kept trying to get me to play with Barbie. Ick!)

I wasn't discouraged. I loved the show and was an avid devotee until she seriously put me into ice skating, which conveniently happened at the same time the show aired each day. Accident? I think not.

Incidentally, I find it funny that many years later, my boss's wife (who became the mother of my heart) knew me well enough to gift me with Charles Addams book, My Crowd, which contained gobs of darkly humorous cartoons by Addams. What a delightful, and very apropos gift!

I find it interesting that this show has such staying-power, even today. After all, the original series had long been cancelled and gone into syndication (perhaps even the syndication had run out-I don't know) when the movies with Angelica Huston and Raul Julia were made. I think it proves there's a larger population of twisted thinkers than we previously thought. I also love how well written the characters are, how classy they are. Who wouldn't envy Morticia's pale beauty and graceful carriage? Or Gomez's snappy fashion sense. not to mention his money?

It's also such a kick to me that the Addams Family has become so evocative of Halloween, that M&M's made not one, but two Addams-themed commercials.






In researching for this post, I came across a behind-the-scenes series of videos on YouTube, which took the time to interview the folks who were part of the original t.v. series. I thought it was pretty cool.
















Who doesn't envy and admire Gomez's passion for his lovely wife? And who wouldn't want to dance this well?

Let us not forget the cartoon it spawned, even though I never saw it while it was running.


I was gratified to find they did a Halloween special in 1977 with much of the original cast.
















I love that they celebrate Halloween like Christmas!

All in all, I think most of us have to admit what a huge influence the Addams Family had on our subsequent needs to haunt. The sets, the acting-just everything-made us love the dark.

Now, where's my file? I need to sharpen my cemetery fence.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Listings!

New listings on eBay! Getcher jack-o-lanterns! Click on the jacko pic in the upper right hand corner of this page to see what's available.

Johnny on the Spot

For those of you who don't know about Haunt Cast- where the Hell have you been? Fellow Scream Team member, Johnny Thunder, has a new blog you should check out: Johnny Thunder's Midnight Spook Frolic.

As you know, Johnny is our horror movie expert on the show, and is a fan of the old Universal horror films. I love how informed he is, and can never read a blog entry without learning something new about horror films. He's very up on horror events going on, so you have a good chance of finding something cool to go to.

You can also support Charity for Children at an upcoming event. Click here for the post.

Rock on, Johnny!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Topper

As a kid, I'd watch Tom Hatten on Channel 5. He'd have all the old classic movies, introduced me to Cary Grant and Clark Gable. I loved the old Topper movies and would watch them over and over again. I loved the ghost part, and the screwball comedy aspect of these two charming ghosts ripping Topper's safe world to shreds. (I thought it was particularly funny when they were out on a drinking binge and had to sleep in their posh car in front of the building where they were to have a very important meeting in the morning, so they wouldn't be late.)

Please rent one of these for a great laugh and a touch of class and elegance.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Legend of Hell House

I am spending way too much time reading stuff that is not in my schoolbooks. Thankfully, my grades are fine, so I don't yet warrant a parental lecture from my sweet husband, but because of the Season, I am distracted. I'll give you a little background that will make sense in a moment.

At the end of a long day of building, I like to boil my sore bones in the hottest bathtub I can manage. I don't seem to be able to light candles and sit for an hour. So I read. I don't like to read hardbacks in the tub, since they're a little heavy to support for a long time. Schoolbooks are out, since it's likely I'll drop them in the tub. So I read paperbacks.

Recently, I dug out Richard Matheson's story, Hell House. Old school horror fans will remember he also wrote I Am Legend, which was to be made into the movie "The Omega Man," before the more recent update starring Will Smith.

I hadn't read Hell House in ages. In fact, it's been so long, it's almost a new book. While I don't exactly know the chronology, it almost seems this story is the one that set the standard for the more modern haunted mansion stories. Stephen King's Rose Red, The Haunting of Hill House and its spawn, The Haunting, are all similar in premise, and they do capture the essence of the story: the group of psychics gathered by a scientist determined to prove there's no such thing as ghosts, or they are determined to cleanse the house by the means of science alone. Terror begins in a slow trickle, in instances small enough to be ignored, or swatted away like a fly. It builds, takes over each member of the team one by one, slowly driving the most logical insane.

I would have read it all in one sitting, but my bathwater got cold.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Haunt Lighting

I find myself thinking about it. Constantly. I've never had this much to work with, so lighting was never an issue. Now it is.

I'm dealing with a budget issue, so I'll be begging lights from the neighbors again this year. I don't care. Good lighting comes under "needful things." Yes, I plan to use candles, as well as electric. The lightning machine will be out again, this time with bluer bulbs-the ones from last year were too yellow and warm-looking.

Since I have nothing constructive to say about lighting, (except to keep it simple and spooky) I suggest you go to the Skull and Bone tutorial. He has picked this topic apart and analyzed each piece carefully before putting it back together. Make sure you read through everything! You've taken the time to make all those props, so now is the time to be patient and reap the rewards of creepy lighting!
Speaking of lighting, a big thank you to Carrie Mae at Creepy Cupcakes for posting a link to Canon's page on taking Halloween pictures in low light! This is going to be very useful to all of us this season, since not everyone is as good at taking pictures as Pumpkin Rot's beloved Bean.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Last Day to Bid!

Click here to bid on my little jackos. Last day for these listings!
Thanks, and Good Luck!

Tease



Saturday, October 10, 2009

What Halloween Means To Me

I found this on Pumpkinrot's site a long time ago... At least I think it was his site. It could have been someone else's.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Decorating at the Nest

"Hon? Could you help me bring in a bin?"

"Sure."

Halloween bin is maneuvered into the house. This bin is the interior Halloween stuff. We decided where things should go. Being somewhat new to the house, we're still figuring out where things look best. It could change at any time, but for now, we're satisfied.

Mr. ShellHawk put up the cheesy eyeball/ghost lights. I try to keep the cutesy stuff in the house or the back yard.

Found this on ThinkGeek.com. Love it. I think multiple bloody handprints are so unnecessary. Keep it simple. Just two makes a statement, don't you think? Especially for the guest bath. I can't wait for the friends and relatives who are staying at Halloween to get a gander at this. Hope it doesn't freak out my niece too much!
Then hubby says, "What about your pumpkins? Can you bring them in?"

"How many?"

"All of them. They can be out until you sell them."

"Kewl."

"And get rid of those cheap made in China pieces of shit. Yours are much nicer." I can only smile at that.

I took a few pictures to share.
A couple of Dia De Los Muertos pieces I've acquired.
The piece below was a gift for a friend who seems to need some space at home. It's o.k., I'll take good care of this one!A couple of Target finds, one from this year, one from last.I love this one. Bats, skulls and spiders in lace. So elegant!Since my niece and sister-in-law are coming for Halloween, I got my niece a treat bag. No pillow cases, plastic grocery bags or other lazy treat bag alternatives. If that got out, I'd be the laughing stock of the blogosphere!Skelanimal dog. Too cute to pass up. I'll put up more pics as days go by and things get unpacked!
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