Category Archive: Articles

Feb 28 2014

Why We Need Another Take on “The Island of Doctor Moreau”

Normally I’m very against the idea of remakes. To me, a remake or a “reimagining” is basically the admission the studio doesn’t have any original ideas and have so faith in the quality of their work that they feel they have to piggyback on an established name in order to generate any interest. But sometimes …

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Feb 26 2014

Lola Falana: The Vampira That Never Was

In 1981, Los Angeles TV station KHJ-TV was in the market for a horror host program. Although they had success with Fright Night in the past, its host Seymour (played by Larry Vincent) had passed away in 1975. Then someone got the idea to revive the program that started off the horror host boom: The …

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Feb 13 2014

Movie Review: Scarecrows (1988)

Zombos Says: Good Scarecrows is one of those horror movies that with better acting and better direction, and a more coherent script, would be quite compelling as a good example of a horror movie. As it is, it’s still creepy with effective makeup and gore effects, and does manage to maintain its mood of unknown …

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Feb 04 2014

In Tribute: Lux Interior

Lux Interior (aka Erick Lee Purkhiser) died five years ago today. A lot more will be written by those who knew him, who saw him perform, those who had a personal connection with the man and his band’s music. Since I’m a gravedigger, I usually find out about things after they’re dead, so I have no “The …

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Jan 14 2014

Unknown Specimen

shan paper mache gaff 1

This is a followup to the Mongolian Death Worm gaff back in May. The basic idea behind this series of projects is to create a sideshow-style gaff using techniques and materials that would have been available in the early 20th century. For this one I used the same materials as before- paper, flour, glue, and …

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Dec 13 2013

Guest Blog: 13 Horror Disappointments – 2013 Edition

chucky1

 13 Horror Disappointments:  2013 Edition by KEVIN T. FISCHER  It’s easy to look back on the year and reminisce on all the wonderful, proud moments in horror.  But there sure were a lot of questionable and downright mucky things going on in the genre as well. Despite our best efforts to forget them, these thirteen …

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Nov 20 2013

Movie Review: The Funhouse (1981)

Zombos Says: Very Good Director Tobe Hooper, who did the unsettling Dance of the Dead episode for Masters of Horror on Showtime, as well as the family classic, Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)—insane family, that is—presents a not so pretty picture of carnival life, and a somewhat pathetic, definitely homicidal, disfigured monster with a penchant for …

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Nov 04 2013

Mongolian Death Worm Gaff

mongolian death worm larvae 2

This “Mongolian Death Worm” was the result of an experiment using vintage gaff making techniques. I wanted to recreate the process of crafting a sideshow display using materials available in the early 20th century. Except for cheating on the teeth, which were made from epoxy putty, I used traditional paper mache for the entire specimen. …

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Oct 22 2013

Pepper’s Ghost

peppersghost

Check out the image illustrating this article. It looks amazing, doesn’t it? If you show it to your average person, it’s practically guaranteed they’ll identify it as a hologram. It’s not, but it’s an understandable mistake. In addition to Bill Nye mistakenly asserting the Pepper’s Ghost-based effects at Disney’s Haunted Mansion were accomplished with holograms, …

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Oct 21 2013

Bottomless Pits

bottomlesspit

It’s difficult to pin down the exact date the bottomless pit illusion came into being, but it’s so easy to accomplish that it’s probably as old as mirrors themselves. I remember learning in history class how the famous Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles was arranged so that the room seemed to stretch …

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Oct 21 2013

Costume Crazyness 2013

It’s time for another collection of goofy costumes and things just wouldn’t be the same without the usual crop of Scream stuff. I don’t get why somebody decided to make skeleton and pirate versions of Ghostface. Was this due to an overstock of Scream masks and various costumes? I’m tempted to say “Yes,” but that …

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Oct 20 2013

Trash Can Trauma

trashcantrauma

The year was 1996. That’s when Larry Lund contacted Mid-Island Appliance to obtain some used washing machine solenoids to use for the creation of Halloween props. As it turns out, owner Carl Chetta was also interested in mechanical Halloween decorations and was especially interested in Lind’s plans to pump air through the solenoids instead of …

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Oct 19 2013

Axworthy Flying Ghost

axworthy

Although Scott Axworthy created what he called the “ghost flight system” in 1988, it was dubbed as the “Axworthy Flying Ghost” (sometimes known as the “Axeworthy Flying Ghost”) when he posted it on the Halloween-L mailing list in 1995. The name’s popularity was only rivaled by that of the prop itself. After all, what haunter …

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Oct 18 2013

Fanimatronics

fanimatronics

For a long time, the only ways one was told to use an oscillating fan in a haunted house was to either use a hidden one as a source of wind (either blowing on fabric props-such as curtains or ghosts-or directly on the customers) or as a way of making an empty rocking chair seemingly …

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Oct 16 2013

Frankenstein’s Castle

frankensteinscastle

Location: 288 Derby Street Salem, MA 01970 (

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Oct 15 2013

It Came From Amazon V

Because when I’m looking for a spooky sound effects CD, I look for one that tries to cash in on the popularity of Lady Gaga. Oh yeah, that won’t be incredibly dated years from now… While we’re on the subject of sound effects CDs, here’s one that seems hellbent on provoking the legal team of …

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