Feb 27 2017

Required Reading: Black History Month Edition

Remember when I took a look at Dark Dreams: A Collection of Horror and Suspense by Black Writers back in 2010? Well, it turns out there have been several sequels! The other installments in the series are: Whispers in the Night, The Ancestors and Voices From The Other Side. All of which are well worth a look (both the previews I linked to and the full versions).

Horror Noire: Blacks in American Horror Films from the 1890s to Present by Robin R. Means Coleman is a fascinating and highly informative read. If you skipped out on looking through the sources cited in last year’s examination of the Blacula films, now’s your chance to make up for that mistake! The only down side is how it appears to be the only book devoted entirely to the subject on Google Books (as of this writing).

But books are not the only thing you can read for information on the above subject. The blog Graveyard Shift Sisters is devoted to looking at the role of women of color in all aspects of the horror genre. They also have a wonderful podcast which comes highly recommended.

Browsing through the Wikipedia article “Racism in horror films” while gathering notes for a future post led me to find interesting articles like “Will It Get Better For Black People In the Horror Genre?” and “Fact Check: Do Black Characters Always Die First in Horror Movies?” (among numerous others). There’s so much to learn, so you should start reading now!

Feb 19 2017

6’+ Episode 200 is Up!

2013 Logo IconTo quote the description given at the new listing:

“We’re back — and just in time to celebrate Six Foot Plus’s bicentennial episode! Enjoy tracks from THE DEMON SEEDS, THE LILLINGTONS, ZOMBINA AND THE SKELETONES and more, while Strange Jason considers…ENDING THE PODCAST? Does the show go out with a bang, or a moan — courtesy of THE MONSTERMATT MINUTE? Does that mean this is the final KILLER KUT from KRAIG KHAOS? Stay tuned!”

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.

You can find all episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. They’re also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Feb 14 2017

Valenslime’s Day Special

See that guy in the above picture? No, he’s not Charlie Chaplin! It’s none other than Edgar Allan Poe. Well, it’s Henry B. Walthall portraying Edgar Allan Poe, but you get the point. The guy knew a thing or two about romance and his poem “Annabel Lee” is a wonderful mix of romance and the macabre.

If you want a truly unique gift, why not purchase Venus de Vilo’s downloadable comic book about a truly horrific love story? You can also head over to her SoundCloud page for free songs about romance gone wrong, like “From Groom to Grave” and “Stalk Me.”

Speaking of freebies, RavensBlight has a free printable upgrade for your standard box of chocolates!

The Facebook page for Scary Monsters magazine has a wonderfully weird take on “My Funny Valentine” which you can sing along to! Speaking of Facebook, Flying Frog Productions has some free Valentine’s cards to promote their games:

Last Night on Earth
Fortune and Glory
A Touch of Evil
Shadows of Brimstone

But if those aren’t your thing, perhaps these free Ugly Americans cards will do the trick.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Feb 07 2017


It’s Women In Horror Recognition Month and I have the perfect video to celebrate! It’s a hilarious Slender Man parody (more specifically, the Slender Man mythos set up in the Marble Hornets web series) which you can watch thanks to Neil Cicierega:

So why is a video about Splendorman that was uploaded by a man perfect for Women In Horror Month? Let’s look at the credits. The film was written and edited by Julie Becker, who also played the titular character and pulled off some sweet moves while wearing stilts. The other two women in the short are Amanda Czerminski and Emmy Cicierega. Yes, that’s the same Emmy Cicierega who worked on Gravity Falls and, yes she did the animated effects in this! You will also see another important aspect of this upload if you look at the comments and related videos: the creepypasta community has adopted Splendorman as a semi-canonical member of the Slender Man family and Splendy has appeared in numerous fan works as a result! Not bad for a character created for a one-off parody.

Jan 28 2017

Jiangshi Comedy

The English translation for “jiangshi” seems to be pretty flexible. I have seen them referred to as vampires, ghouls, ghosts and even zombies in various English language resources. One such example of the “zombie” usage comes to us from this hilarious prank video by TMD Shanghai:

Unlike many prank videos using the modern depiction of zombies, most of the response from the people being pranked seems to be genuine surprise followed by laughing and pretending to be afraid rather than genuine fear. I suspect this has to do with jiangshi usually appearing in comedy movies like Mr. Vampire rather than serious horror fare. Once the shock wears off of seeing a “jiangshi,” most people decide to play along and try to act like the people in films featuring such beings. It’s an interesting and refreshing change of pace from the usual reactions in horror prank videos and it’s pretty cool to have everyone be in on the joke for once.

Sun Nien Fai Lok!
Xin Nian Kuai Le!
Gung Hay Fat Choy!
Kung Hei Fat Choi!
Happy Chinese New Year!

Jan 23 2017

What Gives?

Toho has been paying money out of their own pocket for English language dubs of Godzilla movies for ages and American distributors rarely create their own Godzilla dubs these days. So why hasn’t Toho edited together and dubbed the Godzilla-related episodes of the television series Zone Fighter into movies they can license overseas? It’s been decades since the series was released and it’s clear nobody is going to license and dub the series for them. Toho has the money and stock footage necessary to turn selected episodes into a small catalog of films, so why haven’t they done it? Given how easily news of movies featuring previously unseen (in America) Godzilla footage will be twisted into “lost Godzilla movies,” the potential for big publicity could lead to bigger profits. I simply cannot comprehend why they haven’t done this already.

I’m surprised Svengoolie hasn’t been one of the hosts for Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights. They have already used hosts like Elvira and the Crypt Keeper in the past and Sven primarily shows films from the Universal library. One would think they’d be eager to capitalize on both the connection and popularity of Svengoolie.

Given its potential as an untapped comedy goldmine, it’s amazing how the Monster in My Pocket: Monster Rock cassette hasn’t become an internet sensation. I can barely find anything about it online. What makes this even more unusual is how I distinctly remember one of the tracks having lyrics to the effect of “I have a monster in my pocket and I really like to rock it!” How has the internet not taken that and run with it?

The days of 1-900 numbers are pretty much over, so why haven’t the owners of the various defunct scary stories hotlines tried dumping the contents of the master tapes onto the various streaming and digital download services? I know some fan put 45 minute long compilation of material from the Freddy Krueger 1-900 number, so it’s not like there’s too little material to work with.

How on Earth did Mattel beat out Kenner’s successor Hasbro in getting the new Ghostbusters license? There are so many toys from the old The Real Ghostbusters toy line they could have reused the molds for. Just put them into packages with images referencing the 2016 movie and you’re golden!

Various independent comic book companies have published comics which show new stories from horror franchises. Will anyone take the plunge and do something similar with the Waxwork films? Seeing how the people who visited the titular establishment and were killed off prior to the events of the first movie could be fun. The unseen adventures of Mark Loftmore which were so casually mentioned in Waxwork II: Lost in Time could also be a rich source of material.

Why hasn’t there been a definitive book about operating a haunted hayride? Find resources on setting up and running haunted houses and haunted trails can be easily found, but haunted hayrides have been unfairly left out in the cold. The only thing that comes even remotely close is Haunted Farms of America. There are plenty of haunted hayrides which have long since closed down. I can understand someone who currently owns a haunted hayride wouldn’t take on such a project in the fear of creating more competition, but what about the people who have closed down their hayrides years ago. You would think at least one of the former owners would release a book on the matter to make some easy money.

Both Doctor Who and all things Lovecraft are wildly popular. This is true in terms of audio dramas as well, with Big Finish even having a line called Doctor Who: The Lost Stories devoted to dramatizing unused scripts from the program. One such script was for “Avatar,” which was heavily influenced by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. But despite the potential from getting extra money from Lovecraft fanatics (and potentially getting them hooked on Doctor Who in the process), that particular script remains unadapted!

It boggles my mind how a role-playing game company created an adventure module based around a non-fantasy Midnight Syndicate album and yet nobody has done the same for Nox Arcana’s Blood of the Dragon.

How has all this time passed without any studio snapping up the rights to the Super Scary Stories for Sleep-Overs line of books? I think they would be the basis for a great series of horror anthology movies. I remember one tale about two children communicating with a restless spirit whose corpse is buried under a house which was particularly chilling. At least they would be paying for the name recognition and the rights to use original stories, unlike the proposed Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark movie where the company is paying to use the name for a film adapting folk tales and urban legends they could have basically done on their own without paying extra. Seeing as how Brilliance Audio made audio versions of the old Goosebumps wannabe Strange Matter back in 2008, I’m sure there would be an audience for an adaptation of this lesser known 90’s series as well.

Halloween music sharing blogs are very popular despite their tendency to get shut down due to copyright issues. But even then the owner of the blog usually tries to switch hosting services in order to keep things going. So why not switch over to Halloween music that’s available under a Creative Commons license? They could host stuff for free over at the Internet Archive (assuming the albums aren’t there already) without any worry. Fear of getting the blog shut down due to accidental use of Creative Commons material which utilizes copyrighted works can’t be an issue, as people who run such blogs already don’t seem to care about copyrights. That said, I personally do think it would be better if they stuck with Creative Commons material that is completely original in order to avoid the issue altogether.

Most discussions of Robot Monster claim it was shot in 4 days and note how the titular character is realized through the use a gorilla costume with a domed helmet because it was less expensive than renting or building a robot costume. It has been documented George Barrows supplied his own gorilla costume and acted in the film for $40 per day. This works out to a grand total of $160. I seriously doubt it would have cost more than $160 to scrounge up some cardboard boxes and silver paint to create a more traditional robot costume. Were they really that blind to the matter?

Is it just me or has the Halloween and haunted attraction community all but ignored the possibilities offered by the “Airwalker” balloons? They seem fairly easy to dress up given how they have to be assembled and some of them are positioned in the classic crouch already! Their seeming to move based on air currents will leave people guessing whether or not they are looking at a lifeless dummy or not. One can only imagine the possibilities if they were already available looking like frightening monsters.

Jan 18 2017

The Autopsies, ‘A Memoir From The Morgue’

The Autopsies A Memoir From The Morgue

The Autopsies
A Memoir From The Morgue
Killyjoy Records 2016 — CLICK HERE TO BUY

A Side – “Autopsy” / “Rumble”
B Side – “Roswell”

Psychobilly has always been best when it is served with a beer and a healthy dose of fun. There’s plenty of fun on A Memoir From The Morgue, the 7” release from THE AUTOPSIES. Another gem from Killjoy Records, this is a three song happy hour that’s two parts formaldehyde, one part radioactive material from Area 51, topped with a lemon and served with a smile.

Hailing from Los Angeles, this three-piece is a highly efficient machine, one that doesn’t waste any bit of their sound. Edgar’s drumming and Jonny’s bass create the deep heartbeat that’s perfect for guitarists Brandon’s six-strings, which sound like they’re sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel. The instrumental “Rumble” gives every member a moment to shine and the song itself is a tasty chaser after the mortuary love-song, “Autopsy.” Here’s hoping they include more instros in their next releases.

The B-Side the soundtrack to an unplanned detour through some restricted New Mexico desert, perhaps on the way to a gig in Las Vegas or back home to LA. “Roswell” is a fast-paced trip, like the best monster movies from a 1950’s drive-in. Brandon’s vocals vary from guttural howl to velvet crooner, and while every psychobilly frontman needs the former in his back pocket, the songs really come to life when he switches to the latter.

Ultimately, A Memoir From The Morgue is a fun success. It introduces the band, hints at the exciting potential of what’s to come and leaves you wanting more. Any psycho, horror punk or demented weirdo will want to get a copy for their own home dissection. Definitely recommended. Get your copy soon, as they’re only around for a limited time only.



Jan 14 2017

TGIF13: 6’+ Episode 199 is Up!

2013 Logo IconTo quote the description given at the new listing:

“It may no longer be Friday the 13th, but there’s plenty of horror bleeding over into Saturday. So, become the gory weekend warrior with tracks from THE JASONS, THIRTEEN SHOTS, BLACK BASS, KILLER BARBIES and more. Monstermatt Matterson wonders who EXACTLY is behind the mask and the results are almost as shocking as the MONSTERMATT MINUTE. Plus, Kraig Khaos shows what he can do with a machete with another edition of KILLER KUTS.”

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.

You can find all episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. They’re also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Jan 13 2017

TGIF13 VII: Jason Burgers

Remember the “2 for 1 Burger Sale” scene from Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday with those hockey mask hamburger patties? I tried making one on two separate occasions and my patties always broke apart when I tried flipping them over! Maybe this was why the movie only showed them prior to their being cooked? To find out, I searched to see how others fared in making their own Jason Voorhees burgers.

ThisMayOrMayNotBeSatire made a veggie burger with the cheese and toppings forming the iconic mask:

Similarly, Nightmare Nerd tried another method of making a cheese mask on a bison burger:

But only MovieNerdSports tried to make a mask-shaped hamburger patty like they did in the movie:

He doesn’t show the finished product, but claims it doesn’t look as good once you cook it. This claim is backed by the cooking footage, so I’m not going to automatically assume his patty broke like mine did. Hopefully he’ll try again in the future so this can be determined once and for all.

Jan 04 2017

6’+ Episode 198 is Up!

2013 Logo IconTo quote the description given at the new listing:

“2016 refuses to die, so in the first episode of 2017, we drive a stake through its heart and party like there’s no tomorrow. Celebrate the brand new year with music from THE PINE BOX BOYS, THE BRICKBATS, THE RAZORBLADES, MADD BLAKE & LOS STALINS and more. Will Monstermatt Patterson dress up as Baby New Year? Will Kraig Khaos lead the ball drop? Tune in and find out.”

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.

You can find all episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. They’re also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Dec 26 2016

Hanukkah Horror

I was originally going to discuss the slasher movie Hanukkah today, but there’s a problem. Its official Facebook page has been inactive for awhile and the teaser trailer is sadly no longer available online. It’s a shame, since there was a lot of interest in the project and its “Get Torahfied” tagline was hilarious. But all is not lost. Zachary Bellin put together his own (faux) trailer for a Hanukkah slasher film:

Yes, this was inspired by the Saturday Night Live character “Hanukkah Harry.”

Happy Chanukkah!

Dec 25 2016

The Pumpkin Dance: Christmas Edition

First I shared the original “Pumpkin Dance” video. Then I jumped ahead and shared the Valentine’s Day-themed sequel. Which is funny, since that particular video was actually the last of the trilogy. So let’s look at the Christmas-themed first sequel as uploaded by KXVO 10:00 News:

Here’s hoping we’ll be seeing more installments in this series in the future.

Merry Christmas!

Dec 24 2016

6’+ Episode 197 is Up!

2013 Logo IconTo quote the description given at the new listing:

“It’s never too late to get into the holiday spirit — either to celebrate it or to shout “Bah Humbug.” Before the big day comes, Six Foot Plus gets some Christmas music (with a shout out to Hanukkah) with BLOODSUCKING ZOMBIES FROM OUTER SPACE, ANGRY SNOWMANS and more. Plus, one of Santa’s least wanted helpers, Monstermatt Patterson, gives you a gift in another MONSTERMATT MINUTE.”

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.

You can find all episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. They’re also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Dec 24 2016

Christma(dnes)s VII


It may have taken me longer than usual to assemble this year’s selection of frightfully festive fun, but I think the sheer volume of material I dug up was worth it. After all, why should I just focus on the Phantasm ornament or the “Krampus in the Corner” when there’s so much more out there? I’m really excited about this this first one. Remember the restored Santa Claus Conquers The Martians pressbook article from a few years back? Well, the full Santa Claus Conquers The Martians pressbook is now online and has oddities like a coloring sheet and guidelines for the “Martian Santa Soda!”

If you crave recipes for creepy Christmas fare, fear not! Home For Halloween has recipes for “Halloween Hot Cocoa,” “Night Owl’s Favorite Gingerbread” and “Bloody Winter Fudge.” I also found recipes for “Grinch Kabobs,” Krampus-approved “Coal Cookies” and the amazing “Jack Skellington Cheese Ball.” Speaking of food, remember Haunted Hotsauce? Now they’re called “Halloween Hotsauce” and have some “Krampus Hot Sauce” that’s perfect for kicking up savory holiday meals.

But that’s not the only thing I can vaguely connect to that particular pressbook! How about some free music? There’s “Robotic Christmas Tree” by the Amoeba People, “Christmas in Space” by Loop Line and “Is it Christmas on Venus?” by the Blue Giant Zeta Puppies.

Sam Haynes added some new tracks to The Gift of Christmas Fear and he’s not the only musician offering full albums of spooky and disturbing holiday hits! The Havana Snowbirds have A Very Creepy Christmas, Pumpkin Buzzard is offering Happy Holidays and Insect Posse takes us Home For The Holidays. Although you can download Venus de Vilo’s “Santa’s Slay,” “Mistletoetag” and “The Nightmare Before Christmassacre” for free on SoundCloud, buying them as an album on Bandcamp will let you snag some other ghastly gifts.

While we’re on the subject of downloading individual tracks: YYAAMM has “Grüße an Krampus!!” (it means “Greetings to Krampus!!”), Kieran Strange wishes us a “Merry Undead Christmas,” Vagabondage is having a “Zombie Xmas,” which is not to be confused with David Watson’s “Zombie Christmas,” Mike Pritchard is annoyed how “Christmas Threw Up on Halloween,” Kevin Schatz pleads “Santa Save Halloween,” and Spiral pays tribute to a specific kind of greeting card called “KrampusKarten.” Similarly, Angellis Taliuu offers “We Wish You A Zombie Christmas,” Cthulhu Martini tells the tale of “Silent Night Deadly Night,” Tom Smith lightens the mood with “A Pirate Christmas,” World of Fright notes how “It’s Bloody Christmas,” Silver Louzy pits “Xmas Vs. Halloween,” the Dollyrots belt out “I Saw Mommy Biting Santa Claus” while Josef Nadek is sharing both “H.P. Lovecraft’s Yule Horror” and “A Yule-rite, older than man and fated to survive him.” UPDATE: It turns out the free download of David Watson’s “Zombie Christmas” was a limited time offer and is sadly now unavailable.

But what about those who desire some spoken word material? Will Hessler’s hilariously profane “Christmas Begins At Target 8​:​30 Halloween Night” might be more satisfying than music. The Wicked Library has several Christmas specials featuring tales of terror available for download. If you prefer streaming stories, Mike Arnzen’s short “Little Stocking Stuffers” is contrasted nicely by Astro Al’s lengthy “Merry Black Mass” and “A Victorian Christmas Ghost Story.”

Since reading ghost stories is a Christmas tradition in England, you can curl up with William Meikle’s “The Yule Log,” followed by E. F. Benson’s “Between the Lights” “The Other Bed” also has a mild Christmas connection.

While we’re on Google Books, let’s look at the lyrics to “Pumpkin Bells,” learn how to make crêpe paper moss that’s perfect for a fake swamp or Christmas party (seriously) and behold the insanity of “Nutcracker Kills The Squirrel.”

Now comes the time for my annual trip to Amazon. While there I came across a horror-centric audio version of A Christmas Carol and a Christmas sound effects album which blatantly reuses altered tracks from a scary sounds album. You can listen for yourself if you don’t believe me! There’s also books like Santa’s Claws, Happy Halloween, Li’L Santa, The Fright Before Christmas, The Old Magic of Christmas: Yuletide Traditions for the Darkest Days of the Year, Haunted Christmas: Yuletide Ghosts and Other Spooky Holiday Happenings and The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas: Roots and Rebirth of the Folkloric Devil. The amount of Krampus merchandise has exploded over the last few years. There’s masks, leggings, figurines, candy canes, drinking glasses and even a Krampus tree topper!

Don’t forget to support small businesses! Monolith Graphics has some beautiful new Christmas cards and Dead Rose Symphony has a new release called Christmas Mourning. Moving on to the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society’s online store, we have a Cthulhu tree topper, Cthulhu ornament, a holiday gift bag, Christmas audio drama and various combo deals featuring other cool Christmas stuff.

Speaking of Lovecraft, why trim a tree when you can decorate a giant tentacle? You can even use some papercraft shrunken heads as ornaments. Don’t fret about making Christmas too scary for Santa, as that right jolly old elf has a section of his blog devoted to Halloween!

Our last leg of this year’s journey takes us to the Island of Misfit Links. Platypus Comix tells the tale of a Halloween special which was accidentally shown as a Christmas special, Flying Frog Productions has a free downloadable Krampus card for use with the board game A Touch of Evil and MechaGodzilla Jr. spends Christmas on Monster Island. Finally comes both the naughty and nice episodes of our podcast’s 2015 holiday celebration. Enjoy!

Dec 08 2016

An Octopus That Never Lived

"In the Movies They Do It."  What?  Why Build Deep Sea Monsters to Order.  This Monster Octopus Never Lived, Yet Thousands of Photoplay Fans Have Seen the Battle Between the Terror of the Deep and a Man, and Could Have Sworn That it Was a Real Honest-to-Goodness Octopus.  Comprest Air, Admitted to or Released from the Canvas Tentacles, Caused Them To Curl Up In That Creepy Fashion That Makes You Shiver.  Electric Lights Helped to Illuminate the Scene Under Water, While Telephone Orders Could be Given to the Man Inside the Octopus.  The Photographer was Located in a Water-Tight Tube in the Manner Shown.  A Self-Contained Diving Suit Was Worn by the Man in the Octopus.

“In the Movies They Do It.” What? Why Build Deep Sea Monsters to Order. This Monster Octopus Never Lived, Yet Thousands of Photoplay Fans Have Seen the Battle Between the Terror of the Deep and a Man, and Could Have Sworn That it Was a Real Honest-to-Goodness Octopus. Comprest Air, Admitted to or Released from the Canvas Tentacles, Caused Them To Curl Up In That Creepy Fashion That Makes You Shiver. Electric Lights Helped to Illuminate the Scene Under Water, While Telephone Orders Could be Given to the Man Inside the Octopus. The Photographer was Located in a Water-Tight Tube in the Manner Shown. A Self-Contained Diving Suit Was Worn by the Man in the Octopus.

Possibly you were fortunate enough to have witnest the famous motion picture taken under the sea, in which a man fights a battle with a terrifying octopus, or devil-fish. If you did see this picture, you were undoubtedly puzzled as to how this undersea battle was actually staged in photographing the scene. The interesting details of how the uncanny and lifelike movements of the long slashing tentacles of the octopus were produced, are given in a patent recently issued to John Ernest Williamson. The arrangement of the machinery used in producing this remarkable undersea picture, is shown clearly in the accompanying illustration.

To start with, the motion pictures were taken with an ordinary movie camera placed in a watertight compartment at the bottom of the tube shown in the picture. The compartment containing the movie camera, the photographer, and the director, was left open to the air, and as the tube was watertight at the bottom and along its entire length, the men at the bottom of the tube received plenty of fresh air at all times. Electric light and telephone wires were led down into the photography room, orders being given by telephone when necessary to Mr. Octopus—who was personified by none other than a full-grown man, who had carefully studied the movements of this particular undersea cephalopod—so that, by varying the amount of comprest air forced into the hollow, flexible tentacles, very realistic movements of the latter were effected.

The man who sat inside the body of this made-to-order octopus was equipt with one of the new style self-contained diving suits, which are fitted with the necessary oxygen and other tanks, and carried on the back, so that no rubber tubes for supplying air, etc., were necessary so far as he was concerned. Two small sized rubber tubes were led from the body of this pseudo-octopus to the surface of the water, where one of the tubes connected with a motor-driven air compressor; while the other was simply secured to a length of pipe open to the atmosphere, so as to serve as an exhaust.

The central body shell of this awesome looking devil-fish was built in two parts hinged together, so that the operator could easily enter or leave it. Owing to the arrangement described, and by utilizing the self-contained diving suit, no air bubbles escaped from the octopus during the taking of the scenes, which might have aroused strong suspicion among many people who viewed the picture, that the whole affair was artificially produced and not the real thing. Since the central shell or body is formed with an open bottom, there is no material pocketing of air within the shell, thus practically eliminating any buoyancy of the shell and permitting it to retain its position on the sea bottom without employing any heavy weight to hold it there. This central body shell is fitted as can be seen, with a number of flexible members made to resemble the actual tentacles of an octopus, hollow suction cups and all, while the most realistic illusion imaginable was evolved by the sinuous and squirming movements of these tentacles, particularly by the curling of the outer end portions thereof. Of course, if these various tentacle movements followed each other in any particular cycle or direction, the audience would quickly notice it, and the natural effect so desired by the producers would have been jeopardized, but owing to the highly ingenious method devised for building the tentacles with springs, chains and multiple tubes, coupled with the irregular impulses of comprest air applied, the illusion was perfect.

When the air valves were opened to different degrees the successive tentacles about the body would expand, and coil around in a realistic manner. When the operator wisht to cause a tentacle to straighten out, the comprest air was applied to this particular tentacle or group of tentacles; he allowed the air in them to escape upward thru the rubber exhaust tube to the surface; in this way no undesirable air bubbles were liberated, which would tend to spoil the illusion as we have already explained. As may be surmised, the inventor mentions in his patent describing this unusual sea monster, that his ideas can be applied to the building of sea serpents and other strange animals.

The detailed construction of the mechanical tentacles is shown in one of the illustrations herewith. The spring maintains the canvas covers expanded cross-sectionally, preserving the proper contour and yet permitting substantial freedom of movement of the tentacle under the action of varying air pressures produced in the casing. The inner tube forms a collapsible air chamber which, by virtue of its shape, will cause movement of the tentacle against the resistance of the tapered steel spring shown, when air is introduced into the tube; the degree of the movement is dependent to a greater or less extent upon the amount of air which is fed into it. The inner bag or sack, being within the casing, moves with the latter under the action of the steel spring. The spiral spring having a shape corresponding with that of the canvas casings, provides a light form or shape for retaining these casings expanded cross-sectionally, but owing to its coil-like form, this spring permits comparatively free movement of the outer end.

Thus it is seen that by varying the pressure and amount of air in the bag or sack, the difference in value of the air pressure as compared to the spring pressure, can be varied and the movements of the tentacle are thus controlled to a greater or less extent. The purpose of the metal chain, which has links of constantly decreasing size toward the outer end, is to counteract by its weight, the effect of buoyancy when the tentacle tube is inflated.

[This post is based around an article included in the October 1921 issue of Science and Invention (Volume 9, Issue 6). Although as much effort as possible was put into preserving the article as it originally appeared, some aspects of the layout were impossible to replicate. To see the original, head on over to Google Books. While you’re there, you can also read up on how the studio tried passing it off as an actual octopus and how this eventually led to a lawsuit. Be sure to check out what the octopus actually looked like!]

Nov 29 2016

6’+ Episode 196 is Up!

2013 Logo IconTo quote the description given at the new listing:

“It’s time to grin and bear it — as Six Foot Plus comes back from the dead with an episode that will leave you smiling from ear to ear. Or not. Strange Jason delivers a soliloquy on the severity of a smile, while Monstter Matt Patterson leaves his victims chuckling with a MONSTERMATT MINUTE. Kraig Khaos gives everyone a real reason to beam brightly with another KILLER KUT. All this and horror rock music from X RAY CAT TRIO, BEAT DEVILS, THE TSUNAMIBOTS and more.”

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.

You can find all episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. They’re also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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