It’s been a very busy year in the world of haunted ambiance albums. Midnight Syndicate is currently performing in their much anticipated live shows at Cedar Point Amusement Park’s “Halloweekends” event. Although Joseph Vargo has taken time off to write the thrid installment of The Dark Tower book series, Nox Arcana is expected to have another winter-themed release later this year.
Grave Tone Productions is preparing to release Found Remains: Songs from the Grave in the near future, which will contain material originally prepared for their first two releases. Shadow’s Symphony also has their fifth album planned for release this year. 2014 also saw the release of two highly anticipated albums: Michael Hedstrom’s long-awaited The Nightmare Chronicles and Jerry Vayne’s Bodies in the Bayou.
Both Prelude to a Nightmare and Verse 13 are currently working on albums scheduled for release next year. Dead Rose Symphony’s new album The Destroying Angel is also planned for a future release. Darkmood has returned and plans to release a new album called The Dead of Fall on the 28th of this month!
Not only has Gore Galore made the “Sounds of Gore” series and Rusty Knife albums available only as digital downloads, but they’ve revamped their music section into Halloween Music Galore. Their goal is to become the net’s one stop shop for spooky Halloween music downloads and they are well on their way to doing just that.
On top of that, some of the above news ties in directly with this year’s “Music to Haunt By” series! Did I also mention this year’s upcoming tie-in episode of the podcast will also have some exclusive sneak peeks? But you’re going to have to wait and see which artists this applies to. Until then, I suggest catching up on last year’s reviews:
Gravedigger’s Local 16 is not to be held responsible for the content on or anything that may occur (be it good or bad) as a result of visiting or downloading from any links given here. Attempt at your own discretion.
Strange Jason isn’t one to self-promote. That’s why he didn’t make a big deal about Creepsville ’13 here when said album was released last year. As noted in the original press release, the album was created as a tribute to the influential band Forbidden Dimension to celebrate their 25th anniversary.
Started in 1988 by Jackson Phibes, Forbidden Dimension has championed both the horror-monster mentality as well as the independent spirit that has propelled the band, still active, through a quarter-of-a-century. Over the course of five CDs, numerous singles, and side projects, Forbidden Dimension have garnered a world-wide cult following for his scary blend of garage rock, punk, and metal with science fictional, ghoulish story telling. Twenty-five years after the initial Into The Forbidden Dimension release, Creepsville ’13 aims to honor and celebrate the band’s life and accomplishments. With themes ranging from 50’s drive-in sci-fi movies to the cannibal hillbillies living up in the mountains, Forbidden Dimension’s music is the perfect soundtrack for all creeps, ghouls and Tor Johnson enthusiasts.
Taking its name from Creepsville ’99, Forbidden Dimension’s sophomore release, Creepsville ’13 brings together bands from around the world, all who were influenced by Forbidden Dimension’s music. On this compilation, you’ll find: fellow Calgary rockers like CRIPPLE CREEK FAIRIES, EXPLODING PIGS and THE BROWNS; gothic rock juggernauts THE NEW JACOBIN CLUB; blood-and-bluegrass maestro BOB KEELAGHAN from the AGNOSTIC MOUNTAIN GOSPEL CHOIR; the king of horror radio, TOMB DRAGOMIR; surf daddys SKURKARNA and THE DEAD BEAT; Nashville monsters THE CREEPING CRUDS WITH DEAD DICK HAMMER; Northeastern garage creatures THE QUASI-MEN and THE EVIL STREAKS; JIMMY PSYCHO of industrial-horror-punk vanguards PSYCHO CHARGER; grindcore noise felons BREATHE KNIVES; lo-fi hero GHOSTS RUN WILD; Saskatoon scum-rockers SAVAGE HENRY AND THE INFAMOUS ONE POUNDERS and THE GREAT SHAKIN’ FEVERS; and the next generation of independent creeps, SOLID SILVER and MUMMULA.
The full digital album only costs $9.00 and paying a mere $1 more gets you both a physical CD and instant digital download of the album. In fact, we’re so confident you’ll like it that we’ve made a free streaming version available!
Are you one of the people who funded the potato salad guy’s Kickstarter because he wasn’t just another company looking to save a few bucks? Strange Jason payed for this entirely out of pocket without any crowdfunding. Not only that, but the profits are going to a good cause: The Calgary Humane Society. I think that’s more than enough reason to pick up a copy for your next Halloween bash.
There wasn’t a post yesterday because I’ve been busy with this Holiday season with two additional endeavors.
PHANTOM CREEP RADIO is counting down the days until Halloween with the 13 DAYS OF PHANTOM CREEP RADIO. Every day until the 31st, there will be a new half-hour of the madness and mayhem that takes place at the Midnite Monster Hop in NYC. Go over and enjoy some creepy music and zany creeps.
HAUNTED SHACK THEATER has relaunched over at www.hauntedshacktheater.com. Episode #29 is a potent half-hour of horror and soon, all the back catalog of episodes will be available for the public. It’s a great show and perfect for this time of year.
Along with 6ftplus, it’s been a busy time. So it’s a yearly tradition of me missing an update during the October Halloween Season. Weird Jon remains UNDEFEATED. The man is a machine.
This time around, let’s talk the Joker, since it seems fitting as I discussed the Batman theme last time. The Ventures gave the Clown Prince of Crime one of his earliest anthems. This would be decades before the twisted interpretations of the character–in the ‘Death of the Family’ comics and the portrayals by Jack Nicholson, Mark Hamil and Heath Ledger–turned that smile into something far more deranged than dandy.
Man or Astro-Man – space creatures from beyond comprehension, known for replicating and sending the clones on tour throughout the world. They did a fantastic version off of their classic DESTROY ALL ASTROMEN album. Definitely pick it up.
I can’t tell you how many Saturday nights I spent watching Joe Bob Briggs host various horror and cult films in the 90’s. He would give trivia on the movies being played, tell jokes and give his classic “Drive-In Totals.” Severed limbs would be tallyed, sex scenes were referred to as “aardvarking” and attacks with a weapon of any kind were called thing like “Axe Fu” and “Highway emergency-kit flare Fu.” Good times. I learned a lot of things I had previously not known about MonsterVision while preparing for this trip down memory lane and you had better believe I’m going to share them with you.
The MonsterVision programming block got its start on TNT as a 1992 Halloween event. I remember seeing the ads at a friend’s house and as someone who didn’t have cable I was so envious of missing out on a monster movie marathon. What I didn’t know was that it wasn’t just a one-off programming stunt. MonsterVision would return for mini-marathons based around a certain theme. It had its own special introduction and was sometimes hosted by Penn and Teller. At other times it was just a movie with a variation of the classic TNT laboratory bumpers shown between breaks. I remember watching Prehistoric Women under this incarnation and being stunned MonsterVision was still around. By 1995, Joe Bob Briggs was occasionally guest hosting and officially became the host of the show in 1996. I suspect the delay was due to his show on The Movie Channel, Joe Bob’s Drive-In Theater, not ending until then. His experiences on that program must have given him déjà vu when he signed up with TNT. His TMC gig initially started as him acting as a “guest host” through a series of bumpers in 1986. This was expanded to a full series the following year thanks to all the positive response.
The new host wasn’t the only change to the program. While it had jumped around the schedule in previous years, it was only on Saturday evenings under Joe Bob. Now it was only two movies, with the second being called “Joe Bob’s Last Call.” Sometimes I was able to catch part of the last call, but I never made it to the third movie. The third movie was shown under the 100% Weird banner (which had one been a separate program shown on Fridays), but Joe Bob Briggs did not appear during that portion of the broadcast. I’m sure I’m not the only person who was confused when John Bloom (the actor who plays Joe Bob) appeared under his real name during the “God Stuff” segments on The Daily Show. I even wrote to the official MonsterVision contact email to ask who the hell this “John Bloom” guy was! But I’m getting off topic.
Another change to the program was the kind of films shown. While the films shown from 1992-1994 didn’t usually go past the 1960’s, Briggs hosted a range of films from the 60’s to more modern fare. Lots of films without monsters were shown, be they horror or some other genre of cult film. Naturally this brought a lot of complaints. It even got to the point where Joe Bob Briggs started referencing them on the show! One particular incident which sticks out in my mind was when he said the show wouldn’t be airing next week due to TNT’s upcoming Elvis marathon, noting how people always complained when MonsterVision films didn’t have any monsters so why bother? It was never made clear if Joe Bob Briggs was picking the films or if the Turner bean counters were forcing it because they had to license packages of in order to get one or two films the host actually wanted and wanted their full money’s worth. Given how the show was renamed Joe Bob’s Hollywood Saturday Night in 1999 and Joe Bob was hosting films like Top Gun, I’m inclined to go with the latter. I stopped watching around that point and as a result I missed hearing about Briggs being let go during the summer of 2000. I understand the second film shown under the Joe Bob’s Hollywood Saturday Night days still kept the “MonsterVision” name and strong>MonsterVision went back to to its “movie with lab bumpers” days before being cancelled in September 2000. That’s right, they didn’t even let it last for one more Halloween!
Creep Creepersin. Musician, writer, filmmaker, podcaster and all around fun loving spooky guy. If you haven’t heard of him, then you’re definitely missing out.
Aside from his numerous books and short stories, many of which are in ebook/digital for and can be found on Amazon fairly cheap or even free, Creep has made quite a number of films. Many of which are currently in limbo due to legal reasons beyond his control. His films sometimes spandex out beyond his usual madness and grindhouse type horror. But they definitely have to be seen to be believed. What do you expect from films with titles like Vaginal Holocaust?
With a very busy year that has seen his Twin Peaks-esque book series, Black Star Canyon, reach overwhelming responses and his illustrated children’s like series for adults, Slasherton, a knife wielding murderous paper bag, gain new heights, there is still many projects along the way. Including new music releases from his punk/ blues horror band, Creepersin. A new giallo spoof novel and continuations of on going book series.
Between his Podcast 451 video broadcast, his Giallo Ciao Ciao podcast and his many other projects, Mr. Creepersin took a few minutes to sit down and answer some questions.
KRAIG KHAOS: What was the 1st thing you remember seeing that made you fall in love with the horror genre?
CREEP CREEPERSIN: When I was really little, there used to be some stores in my area that held things like Midnight Madness sales and things. Usually mattress places or furniture or electronics the commercials were different, but they were all kinda the same. They would take a bunch of public domain clips of monsters or creatures. The two biggest ones that made impressions on me were the shot from phantom of the opera where his mask gets pulled off, or the white zombie shot where Bela walks towards the camera or the Nosferatu shoot where he is walking through the doorway or his death scene. That was my first exposure to horror and it freaked me out. They would come on a few times day, especially around Halloween. But that is how i fell in love with classic horror.
Many years ago my younger brother and I tried making a custom soundtrack for our homemade haunted house. Emphasis on “tried.” It started out great at first, the door to the basement already creaked when it opened and my brother’s impression of an old witch welcoming visitors in was perfect. The trouble started when we got to the segment where a swarm of screeching bats was heard. I had a book which claimed waving plastic shopping bags folded in half could be used to make the sound of flapping wings, but the resulting effect sounded awful. Quickly opening and closing an umbrella near the recorder sounded more like wings. The problem was the resulting effect sounded like the wings of something much larger than a bat. We weren’t too wild about our screeching noises either. While experimenting with how a cheap “Echo Microphone” could enhance vocal effects, my brother discovered it made interesting noises if you tapped the microphone against hard surfaces. He enthusiastically created several effects he claimed were lasers and suggested we use them for the portion of the tape devoted to the mad scientist’s lab. But we never got any farther than that thanks to our mother insisting we scale back the layout for our haunted house. Since a lot of the planned scenes had to be dropped in order to make this happen, what little work we had on tape no longer fit the theme. We ultimately did the haunt without any soundtrack whatsoever.
Although our homemade soundtrack is long gone, it was still a lot of fun to make. It would have also made our haunted house more unique to visitors had it been completed as originally intended. Using a spooky sound effects album would have been easier, but there’s always the possibility guests have already heard it and the overall scare factor would be diminished. But an all-original soundtrack wouldn’t have such a problem. Sadly most people either opt for preexisting albums or downloaded sound effects for haunted houses, so this is becoming something of a lost art for haunters. That’s why I decided to gather up some resources to help those interested in doing something different. Whether you want to make a haunted attraction, audio drama or low budget movie, I hope the following links will come in handy:
I highly recommend making a “Pop filter” to eliminate the sound of breathing when recording vocals. Anyone who has tried to use a computer’s built-in microphone should know what I’m talking about. Thankfully that link shows just how inexpensive and easy it is to make one. Moving on to actually making effects, both wikiHow and Home Brew Audio discuss how to do so. YouTube can also be a good source for tutorials and ideas.
Speaking of gore, the radio drama series Lights Out was infamous forthat sort of thing. Its Wikipedia entry reveals how to make the sounds of skin being ripped off, broken bones, limbs being torn off and many other gruesome effects. John Dunning’s On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio reveals even more sound effect secrets from Lights Out.
Since everyone has their own take on how something “should” sound, there are often multiple techniques used to create the same basic effect (especially when recording the sound of the real thing is not possible). The Google Books preview for Scary Science: 24 Creepy Experiments by Shar Levine and Leslie Johnstone shows how one simple device can be used to create unearthly sounds or the sound of a creaking door depending on what type of string you use. Or you can create your own “squeak box.” You can create chirping crickets with either a comb or your own mouth. Tolling bells can be simulated by using a lid or metal mixing bowl (which I personally recommend). Storm effects can be achieved with metal sheets,bags of rice,BB pellets,boxes of oatmeal and other interesting methods.
The Audio Theater Guide by Robert L. Mott offers a wealth of sound effects advice. Multiple ways to create the sound of a guillotine in action, scratching,digging,weapons,explosions and much more! I can’t stress enough how important it is to check each link to get the full list of effects techniques they provide. It would be too hard to read if I listed out all the kinds of effects each link shows you how to create.
To build upon this idea, let’s look at an easy way to create the sound of wind. All you need to do is blow and imitate the sound of wind in front of a microphone. Then fool around with the volume, pitch, etc. until it sounds the way you want it to. This can be done to create spooky voices, whispers, laughter, etc. As the original King Kong showed us, you can create awesome effects by combining two or more effects and messing around with them. Lower the pitch, play them backwards, the possibilities are endless! If you don’t have an audio editing program on your computer, then I suggest giving the free program Audacity a try. I also recommend checking out the following tutorial from Andrew Mercer:
Please post in the comments if you use anything shown here to create your own sound effects. Posts with advice on making any scary sound effects I may have missed are also welcome.
Gravedigger’s Local 16 is not to be held responsible for the content on or anything that may occur (be it good or bad) as a result of visiting or downloading from any links on the above links (or constructing a project that’s detailed on them). This also applies to the suggestions made here. Attempt at your own discretion.
So this guy, Neal Hefti, is known by everyone except no one really knows his name. But he composed one of the most infectous, viral songs in the modern era. NananananananananBATMAN! It’s even spread to dogs. CROSS SPECIES.
So this guy, this guy nobody knows, he also wrote the theme music for The Odd Couple. He received three Grammy nominations and WON for the Batman theme that everyone knows. But in addition to his name, no one really knows that Neal Hefti was a big band trumpeter, a songwriter and an arranger. An arranger is pretty much a musical alchemest, taking prior songs and rendering them into a different way. Like, turning predominantly vocal ballads into swinging big band numbers. Or if you had an old fashioned song but wanted to repurpose it for a new, hip audience. This Neal guy did that for people like Count Blasie, helping helm the music of the big band legend into something new and modern.
But his most widest know contribution is a song with the same word said eleven times. And being that it was written as a twelve bars blue progression with a surf-rock guitar hook, it’s been covered by ALLLLLL the surf bands out there. But, one of the better ones is Link Wray.
Link Wray’s “Rumble” is an instrumental track that was BANNED from the radio because it was that badass. That and because “rumble” means street fight and people were really uptight back then. Link Wray. I dig his version of the Batman theme song. What do you think?
This tasty-looking beverage is the “Autumn Harvest” as made by 62 Restaurant in Salem. So they obviously know a thing or two about Halloween beverages and other tasty treats. If a trip to Salem isn’t possible, you can learn how to make one at home (along with several other seasonal cocktails) thanks to Nightclub & Bar Magazine Online.
It’s the third Saturday of October and that means it’s Video Store Day! It’s when we all make an effort to go out and support our (surviving) local video stores. Given the resurgence in the popularity of VHS and all the special offers available at various stores (freebies, discounts, etc.), it’s hard to see why anyone would pass on this.
It’s funny how the major studios were smart enough not to try opening up physical video rental stores devoted to only their releases, but have let all that good sense fly out the window as soon as streaming video became an option. Which means streaming providers like Netflix are scrambling to produce original material to replace the content that’s gradually being drained away. Suddenly the “convenience” of not having to go out becomes very expensive if you’re a movie lover and you have to subscribe to multiple services. And that’s assuming you’re lucky enough to live in an area where high speed service is readily available.
But most video stores know you can’t rely on one studio or only new releases. A successful store needs a variety of releases and that usually means direct to video and less “mainstream” films in order to keep the money coming in. Since every VOD provider is trying to make exclusive licensing deals on various studio libraries, this makes it harder and harder for one streaming service to have a good selection. Sadly their “solution” seems to be to cater to the idea that mainstream is king and one should never be exposed to anything remotely different. Combine that with a library that can change at any time and you have one heck of a crappy situation for film lovers. This is why it’s so important to support local businesses. But don’t just take my word for it, as the official Video Store Day website has tons of testimonials on the matter.
This is from the youtube video: This early MTV style video directed by Bruce Dunn was created by “The Monsters,” aka “The Children of the Night,” and featured Jeffrey Black as Dracula, Richie Stevens as The Wolfman, and George Quintinella as the Hunchback. It played on numerous cable stations, on air locals and eventually USA, HBO, and Comedy Central.”
I didn’t get cable until Gilbert Gottfried was hosting USA Up All Night, so that video ran before my time. Through my interest in horror hosts, I came to know about Zacherley, the Cool Ghoul. He and Elvira were the first real ghost-hosts on the television screen. Vampira would release a couple singles with Satan’s Cheerleaders, but those were serious extensions of Maila Nurmi’s beat poetry life prior to Vampira. Zacherley embraced the camp and silliness of his character, though I think he was more clever than one would give credit.
The cover seems far too coked up as everyone is writhing around and throwing themselves here and there. It’s fun but there’s something more sinister about Zacherley’s original. What do you think?
If the “Halloween Cake” picture above seems like a tasty treat, you can learn how to make your own thanks to the Google Books preview of American Cookery Volume 24. It also has a recipe for “Witches’ Delight,” which has a great name but doesn’t look very spooky. Those who want party snacks which do both should try whipping up a batch of “Stuffed Pizza Skulls.”
Not to be outdone, ghoulish gourmet Vincent Price has a recipe for a “Melon Monster” under his belt. Although no horror stars are associated with them, I did get a kick out of these “Vegetable Robots.”
“We’re getting in the holiday mood with music from Famous Monsters, Plan 9, Horror Section, Eaten Back To Life and more. Strange Jason talks of creeps, shacks and Satan. And Monstermatt Patterson goes trick-or-treating, only to get a rock (thrown at his head.)”
Remember to email 6′+ (contact at 6ftplus.com) or leave a comment below about the show, whether you liked it or not. Tell your friends, leave a review on iTunes, but above all – enjoy.
I think people compare Screamin’ Lord Sutch to Alice Cooper, since they both came up around the same time in the 60’s/70’s. Still, I think Alice has a little more grit and grossness, whereas Sutch would later go on to politics. Still, his music is seen as an inspiration for the modern mad garage scene, where creeps halfbent on fuzz and reverb look to get wild.
Such creeps are the Fuzztones, who took the ball from the forefathers and ran with it. The Fuzztones are known for being awesome. In doing so, they helped Screamin’ Jay Hawkins out so you know they’re legit.
If you’re searching for fresh and original horror stories, look no further than Sudden Chillers. Although I think they have a creepypasta vibe, these readings should also appeal to fans of traditional horror stories as well. You can also find free samples of his work on the Sudden Chillers YouTube account.
Speaking of creepypasta, Midnight Marinara deserves praise both for their audio drama adaptations of popular creepypastas and for actually getting permission from the original authors. Sadly this seems to be a rare practice in the world of creepypasta readings and it’s great to see somebody actually do the right thing.
As always, Gravedigger’s Local 16 is not to be held responsible for anything that may occur (be it good or bad) as a result of downloading or streaming from any links given here. Attempt at your own discretion. Some downloads may not work in certain regions. Blah blah blah…
It’s cliche to say “every day is Halloween for The Mummies” since the band performs in costume. But, hey. It’s the Mummies. The Mummies were champions of lo-fi, DIY rock that was meant to kick the listener in the teeth. Fun times.
The Goddamn Gallows demonstrate how fluid the psychobilly genre can be. The Goddamn Gallows probably wouldn’t be CONSIDERED a psychobilly band from looking at them. They might not even be one and I’ve been lying to you this entire time. Let us forgo labels – it’s Halloween, after all. The Gallows do justice to the Mummies classic, “(You Must Fight To Live On) The Planet of the Apes”
Getting your hands on a good quality Freddy Krueger glove can be expensive, especially if you can’t find one in your area and have to order it online instead. The poor quality of the lower priced unlicensed versions is also less than attractive. Thankfully you can easily make one of your very own for next to nothing! Both epicfantasy and Halloween All Year Round!!! have tutorial videos and you can combine what you learn from each video to make something truly special:
I personally recommend ignoring the second video’s advice on using metal blades. Painted cardboard is safer, cheaper and easier to work with. This advice especially holds true if you are planning on using the glove in a haunted attraction. You can find the template mentioned in the first video right here. But even when you use cardboard, you have to keep the blades from being too sharp. Getting a piece of pointed cardboard to the eyes is not fun.
Buying a Freddy mask (or Freddy makeup kits) can also be a pain. Thankfully, I saw some helpful makeup tutorials in the “Related Videos” sidebar and just had to share. The first one, which is by Pinkstylist, shows how to make inexpensive-but-effective latex prosthetics while the tutorial by MadeYewLook is a latex-free method using items found in any makeup aisle.
While the first method looks more realistic, the second’s stylized and vaguely airbrushed look is very striking in its own way. If any women out there are planning on wearing one of those goofy “Sexy Freddy” costumes, please use one of these tutorials. Why dress like Freddy if you don’t plan on going for the full effect?
Gravedigger’s Local 16 is not to be held responsible for the content on or anything that may occur (be it good or bad) as a result of visiting any links on the above sites (or constructing a project that’s detailed on them). This also applies to the suggestions made here. Attempt at your own discretion.