Archive for friday the 13th

Horrorlust Radio Episode #004

Posted in Horrorlust Radio with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2014 by bluefall8

Creator of the Chop Shop and horror hound, Steve, served as co-host for episode #004 of Horrorlust Radio.

In the fourth episode of Horrorlust Radio, Steve and I discuss horror films, the role of sequels and the often blasphemous practice of remakes. We also talk at length about Steve’s childhood and teenage recollections of Halloween which include his involvement in a basement home haunt and a harrowing encounter with a woodland lunatic.

This episode of Horrorlust Radio also features two fresh segments — Cauldron Questions and Pop Horror. In Cauldron Questions my co-host and I answer three burning questions and then in Pop Horror we discuss all things horror in the land of film and television such as The Walking Dead and an independent film titled The Houses October Built. 

Steve and I also explore the the history of his spooky but likable alter-ego, Uncle Dead Guy. And unsurprisingly, we have some fun with speculation regarding potential haunted house visits.

I’m actively seeking sponsors for Horrorlust Radio, if you own or operate a haunted attraction or are otherwise involved or connected to the haunt industry and are interested in such an opportunity you can contact me at the following email address: horrorlust@bluestarproductions.net

Email any questions or comments to the address above or feel welcome to post any reactions to this podcast in the comments section below.

HORRORLUST RADIO: EPISODE 004

SHOW NOTES

The book I referenced on several occasions during the podcast is called Shock Value and was written by Jason Zinoman (Penguin Press, 2011).

Required reading...seriously , go and read it.

Required reading…seriously, go and read it.

Steve and I also discussed a number of old horror comic books which included EC Comics’ most popular title, Tales From the Crypt. In addition to Tales From the Crypt, EC Comics also published The Vault of Horror, The Haunt of Fear and a slew of other non-horror related comics. The company published this style of comic from the 1940’s until the mid-1950’s when it began to focus on the well-known humor magazine, MAD.

In addition to EC Comics’ line of titles we also discussed a pair of titles that Steve was more familiar with from his youth, Creepy and Eerie by Warren PublishingThe former originally had an 18 year run from late 1964 until publication ceased in February 1983; Creepy was resurrected in 2009 and is currently published by New Comic Company LLC in partnership with Dark Horse Comics. Eerie was launched in 1966 and it too ceased publication in February 1983.

For your pleasure, I’ve included a few examples of cover art below.

Tales From the Crypt would later become a hit HBO series from 1989-1996.

Tales From the Crypt would later become a hit HBO series from 1989-1996.

 

Creepy, undoubtedly inspired by its EC Comics forerunners.

Creepy, undoubtedly inspired by its EC Comics forerunners.

 

Eerie, the sister publication to Creepy.

Eerie, the sister publication to Creepy.

The songs and audio clips featured in this episode are listed below in chronological order:

1. “I Put a Spell on You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (Cow Finger & Mosquito Pie, 1956)

2. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Theatrical Trailer, 1974

3. “Boogie Man” by Mad Sin (Burn & Rise, 2010)

4. Kirk meets Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 1974

5. “Out of the Dark” by Mad Sin (A Ticket Into Underworld, 1993)

Yuletide Fear

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 11, 2013 by bluefall8

A handful of  haunted attractions were open last weekend, thrilling patrons with a smattering of twisted Christmas scenes. Several others will join the fray this weekend to capitalize on Friday the 13th.

Scream Acres located in Covington, Kentucky — the boyhood home of my father-in-law as it were, will headline the pack with Black Christmas. Other events in the Bluegrass State will occur in Louisa where Fallsburg Haunted House will present Yuletide Terror and in Louisville the Haunted Hotel is set to delight crowds with Bloody Xmas on the 14th and 21st.

The Scare-A-torium in Columbus, Ohio will host Happy Horrordays December 13th and 14th  while the Factory of Terror in Canton, Ohio will hold a one night engagement this Friday.

A couple of haunts in Indiana are also getting into the holiday spirit with Christmas horrors of their own. Fright Manor in Indianapolis and Nightmare on Ash Street in Terra Haute will also spin yuletide yarns most macabre.

It’s a shame that my home state of Michigan has not joined this deliciously dark movement, I’d relish the opportunity to visit a haunted attraction with a yuletide touch. Do any of you have any haunts to add to this list? Will any of you be attending? If so, be sure to leave a comment chronicling your experience.

Dying Days Aglow with Haunts

Posted in Haunt Schedule with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2013 by bluefall8

The final week of the haunt season is always an exciting and exhausting period of time as the opportunity to visit haunted attractions is never more abundant. A multitude of haunts will be open every night through Halloween and because October 31st will fall on a Thursday this year many of those will actually welcome customers until Saturday, November 2nd.

What a great calendar 2013 delivered for haunters, with a Friday the 13th in September and Halloween falling late in the week the haunt season will be stretched to the absolute limit! Generally our final outing of the season will come the weekend prior to All Hallow’s Eve or if we’re lucky we’ll cobble together one last haunted adventure on Devil’s Night or Halloween itself. An extra weekend to explore haunted houses is a luxury; indeed a real treat.

So how will we spend our final outings? Well, there really is no other way to spend the final week of October except to embark upon a veritable haunt marathon! On Devil’s Night we’ll experience a trifecta of terror when we visit the Wyandotte Jaycees’ Bloodbath on Biddle, the relocated Scream Machine, and Westland’s newest haunted house, Hush.

On Halloween I’ll be participating in a home haunt with my in-laws and their neighbors in Lincoln Park, an event I’ll detail further in a separate post. As of now I don’t have any plans to visit haunted attractions that night but one can never be sure what might transpire once trick ‘r treating is complete.

Friday will likely serve as our final outing of the season and it has the potential to be a doozy. We’ll travel over two hours to tour St. Charles Village of the Living Dead, then back track to Exit 13 in Mt. Morris, and if time permits we’ll come to rest at House of Fear in Hazel Park.

We don’t currently have any plans to venture out on Saturday, but there’s definitely a chance that a trip may manifest. We haven’t yet made a trip to Ohio this season and it would be a shame if our current streak were to end — five consecutive years we’ve traveled to the Buckeye State for haunted attractions. Already I feel the lure of Terror Town in Maumee and Haunted Hydro in Fremont.

Friday the 13th at Darksyde Acres

Posted in 2013, Darksyde Acres, Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2013 by bluefall8

It’s no secret to the readers of Horrorlust what kind of show you can expect from the cast of Darksyde Acres; over the past two years I’ve written reviews that detailed zany characters and preposterous scenes tantamount to haunt legend. It’s truly a unique frequency on the haunted spectrum, one any thrill seeker would be foolish to ignore. Tucked away in scarcely populated Hillsdale County, on a dirt road in Jonesville, Michigan there is a former pig farm poised to empty your bowels.

CATACOMBS & RUSTHOLE FORM FORMIDABLE DUO

The queue area is interesting and expansive and as always featured a hodge podge of macabre scenery. The burly Dr. Ickk spoke to us about his love for the dead…well mostly his love for dead girls and boy did this guy have a lot of uses for a dead girl. Meanwhile a pair of haunt hotties made threats of sinister showers as they bobbed throughout the line, there was even a mention of an oven. The chatter was as tasteless as it was tantalizing. Elsewhere a proud mother stood with her newborn baby, Char — and I do mean newborn. Mother’s dress was stained with blood, in fact the umbilical cord still connected mother to child!

As it was opening night we were not made to wait long to enter the haunted attraction which is a good thing of course but I do wonder what the queue area must look like when Darksyde Acres is abuzz with a crush of guests. We have failed to visit this location during the peak of the haunt season — in 2011 we stopped by in early October and then the last night of operation in 2012; of course this season it was opening night. If time and the haunt fates should permit, I would very much like to return when Darksyde Acres is positively rip roaring.

The costuming and make-up are two aspects of Darksyde Acres that are excellent — the ghouls and goblins sported everything from vibrant contacts and rotten teeth to wild hair and dingy clothing. The Catacombs housed numerous creepy crawlers, some mocked while others snarled. One unkempt lass informed us that she hadn’t had her shots but expressed an interest in dry humping all the same, deeper into the earthen tomb a skeletal figure dubbed me Giggleshorts after we shared a laugh.

It wasn’t long after I’d earned my new nickname that we met Humpy the Clown and his pet beaver which he implored us to stroke…and we did. Hey, don’t judge us! When the pale-faced ones at Darksyde ask you to do something it has been my experience that it’s best to simply comply. You wouldn’t want to upset them! After we had petted Humpy’s furry friend we entered a door to our right into a room that contained Humpy’s kin. A harlequin hottie skipped silently through the room while the ever rambunctious Pickles let fly a perverted stream of consciousness diatribe. He and his sister seemed to have some unfinished business as the pair squared off as if ready to do battle. Just as we thought a brawl would erupt Pickles lunged at dear ole sis and began using her ample breasts as bongos. He was of course greatly amused with his antics until Humpy entered, approached Pickles from behind and bent him over — that’s when Pickles nearly hit the roof, shouting as he was with glee. He’s a tough one to figure that Pickles.

The Rusthole is as dark and difficult to navigate as ever it was, but it’s here that I feel the haunt could really amp up the scare factor with live actors or perhaps even some tactile effects. This area did however feature several caged vixens who swayed to the delight of many to be sure, it’s also the home of Darksyde Acres professional pole dancer. Yep, they have one of those.

There were a few design changes made to the path this year, perhaps most notable was my personal favorite that utilized a casket for a doorway. There’s still a ton of room to expand here which means that Darksyde Acres is positively brimming with further haunted potential. The actors I’ve noted throughout this review were very good, some of them were even great but there were a few who left something to be desired. As it was opening night that is to be expected, it takes time to shake off those cobwebs and hone that special energy that fuels the haunt season.

Rating: 3 stars

BUSTY, LUSTY WENCHES NEVER BETTER

The Dark Abyss was very well themed, detailed, and well stocked with a cursed crew. We enjoyed some banter with a pair of foliage draped sailors who were found swatting a tethered head to and fro. The duo took a liking to us; indeed they seemed to have a distinct preference for boys in general. They expressed great interest in a game of pink sock. There was also a gangly, imposing fellow who accosted us near the end of the ship who made for a memorable sight.

However, without a doubt the stars of this vicious vessel were the buxom wenches. This gaggle of sultry sirens displayed a touch of bi-polar disorder, flirtatious one moment and then woman scorned the next. The unquestioned leader of the pack is one Lady Chop Chop and this gal meant business. Armed with a meat cleaver she made her wants and desires well known. She often insisted on a game of find-the-bone and when she wasn’t doing that she dared wayward travelers to reach into her honey pot or crow’s nest. Lady Chop Chop was never at loss for a euphemism and loved to engage in word play, her high pitched cackle could be heard throughout the Dark Abyss. She went from sexy to enraged and back again in the same sentence and was truly one of the best characters we’ve come across in all our haunted travels.

Rating: 3 stars

When we had exited the Dark Abyss we wandered over to the midway area where the Darksyde Carnivale had taken up residence for the season. We witnessed a display of sword juggling and fire breathing, and who doesn’t enjoy that sort of thing? As I understand it the midway will also feature a block head, fortune teller, sideshow freaks, and hoopers throughout the haunt season. We also had a chance to meet the owner of Darksyde Acres, Rob Johnson. He was a friendly and hospitable host who even turned us on to a nearby attraction, Ladd’s Evil Acres.

Reviews to Commence Soon, Mud Puppets

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2013 by bluefall8

John and I successfully toured both Jackson’s Underworld and Darksyde Acres on Friday the 13th — just another notch in our belt; it’s the earliest we’ve ever visited a haunted attraction. I’ll have full reviews posted for both by the end of the week but generally speaking, we enjoyed both locations. Jackson’s Underworld has grown a lot since opening its doors in 2009 but still has a long way to go if it wants to become one of Michigan’s premiere haunted destinations. Darkysde Acres served up its usual cast of unusual characters, some of which provide the best interaction we’ve witnessed anywhere. We also had an opportunity to meet the owner of this madhouse and he was a cool guy indeed and as it turns out, a big fan of the Mud Puppets too!

The Mud Puppets, if I may indulge in a gratuitous plug for a moment, is a sketch comedy troupe that I formed with my cousin Ryan a little more than a year ago. We have a YouTube channel where we release new content each Saturday. Last year we produced a Halloween special entitled Our Muddy Nightmare and we’re currently working on this years entry, Our Muddier Nightmare. We also began a cable access show at our local station earlier this year and are in the midst of writing a Halloween themed presentation for that as well. We welcome anybody with a taste for horror and Halloween to check us out and subscribe. We’re also on Facebook, Twitter, and right here on WordPress. You can follow Ryan @MudPuppetRyan or myself @MudPuppetJoel.

2013 Fear Finder Cover Art Released

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on September 11, 2013 by bluefall8

I’ll admit that I find myself a bit stunned that the haunt season is nearly upon us once again, but boy am I excited. The cover art for the 2013 Fear Finder was released today with word that the celebrated annual newspaper will hit the streets, appropriately, on Friday the 13th! There’s a lot going on with this cover and I like it; that witch may be ugly but once upon a time she was rockin’ some serious knockers. There is a special sort of magic that comes with laying eyes on a new edition for the first time and I cannot wait to clutch it in my greedy fists this Friday!

I think I’ll try to pick up my copy at an area Taco Bell this year as it is the place I first discovered the treasured rag so many moons ago. On a related note, I’ve made a habit of collecting the Fear Finder in recent years; currently I possess copies from 2006 to present. I lost my copies of the 2004 and 2005 editions some years ago in a move and it’s irked me ever since. I’d love to replace those and in addition complete the collection with past issues dating back to its inception. If any readers have past issues or can put me in contact with somebody that does please leave a comment or email me here: joel@bluestarproductions.net

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August Heartstrings

Posted in Preludes and Nocturnes with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2013 by bluefall8

The recent temperature drop has me in a fall state of mind, hell the neighbors are enjoying a bonfire as I type and the nostalgic smell is drifting through my open window.  As most of the country is set to enjoy the dog days of summer us haunt fiends eye the calendar with a quiet glee, firm in the knowledge that the haunt season creeps ever closer. With that in mind I come to you today with bits of news brought to me on the wind.

This summer I’ve delved into Ohio Valley Haunts, a website dedicated to haunted attraction reviews complete with podcasts. It always gives me a little thrill to find other people with that kind of passion for the haunt industry. Over the years I’ve stumbled across a handful of review sites but more often than not they’re poorly written and seem to disappear after a couple of seasons; it’s rare to find one with staying power that’s penned by capable writers. Ohio Valley Haunts is certainly an example of the latter, based in Cincinnati the group primarily reviews haunted attractions located in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. In 2012 Ohio Valley Haunts reviewed a staggering 116 haunted attractions. I would encourage anyone interested in the haunted attraction industry pay these folks a visit: Ohio Valley Haunts.

I’m psyched that September with feature a Friday the 13th — I’ve always viewed these days as a kind of mini-Halloween and it’s great that so many haunted attractions have indicated through social media that their doors will indeed open on this date. Last year when John, Richard, and I ventured to the Scarefest Scream Park in New Haven on September 15th it was the earliest in the season I’d ever visited a haunted attraction. The 2013 calendar represents a chance to set a new record and it’s an opportunity I just can’t pass up — I’ll be spending Friday the 13th haunting!

There’s a documentary due out later this month titled Monsters Wanted, which highlights a couples’ foray into the haunted attraction industry. I’ve watched the trailer and the documentary looks very interesting, if not inspirational. The trailer is available at this website: Monsters Wanted.

Crazy Bob Turner of the Haunted Hydro has been dropping hints on Facebook regarding the 2013 theme of Fremont’s fabled haunt and his words hold promise. He and his crew are overhauling the Hydro and are primed to put a macabre twist on famous fairy tales and other cherished childhood favorites. If at the end of the day the execution matches the ambition then it should be an exciting year at the Haunted Hydro. I’m a big fan of the Haunted Hydro — it may not be the largest or most frightening haunted attraction but there’s a presence about the place; it’s as if  the very spirit of Halloween walks the grounds. If you want more information on Crazy Bob and his twisted bunch of miscreants just click the link: Haunted Hydro.

Lastly, I’m proud to announce that the Mud Puppets, the sketch comedy troupe my cousin and I comprise, will feature another Halloween special this fall. In 2012 we released Our Muddy Nightmare which was received well by many in the haunted house industry. The script is yet to be written for our 2013 offering but the plot has already been established. We anticipate that shooting will commence early to mid September.