Archive for killer klowns from outer space

Horrorlust Radio Episode #006

Posted in Horrorlust Radio with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2014 by bluefall8

In this episode #006 of Horrorlust Radio, I’m joined by the Cik-Boy, Jason Cikalo. Cikalo and I discuss horror in literature and then detail our thoughts and experiences with The CikNis — our garage haunt.

Also in this episode of Horrorlust Radio is another installment of original segments, Serious Celluloid and Hosts & Hotties. In this edition of Serious Celluloid, I recommend a 2010 released entitled The Shrine and then in Hosts & Hotties we pay respect to a Detroit horror icon, Sir Graves Ghastly.

We also discuss our most recent haunted house visits and speculate which attractions we’ll visit to close out the 2014 haunt season. I also answer a listener question regarding crowd control at haunted attractions.

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 006

This episode of Horrorlust Radio does contain explicit content; young ones cover your ears!

SHOW NOTES

Below is a promotional poster for the 2010 film, The Shrine. This is an under-the-radar horror film with a strong plot, solid acting and one unsettling twist — I believe it to be a worthy entry in our Serious Celluloid collection.

Promotional poster from the 2010 film, The Shrine.

In the words of Monty Python, “Run away, run away!”

Detroit mainstay and horror icon, Sir Graves Ghastly, pictured below. The actor who portrayed Sir Graves Ghastly was named Lawson Deming; he passed on April 24, 2007 — just one day after his 94th birthday.

Lawson Deming thrilled a generation of kids as Sir Graves Ghastly.

Lawson Deming thrilled a generation of kids as Sir Graves Ghastly.

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

1. “Killer Klowns” by The Dickies (Killer Klowns from Outer Space, 1988)

2. Evil Dead Theatrical Trailer, 1981

3. “Living Dead Girl” by Rob Zombie (Hellbilly Deluxe, 1998)

4. Ash is Tormented from Evil Dead, 1981

5. “Dragula” by Rob Zombie (Hellbilly Deluxe, 1998)

Halloween Companion Number 2

Posted in Hallowblog with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2014 by bluefall8

This would be the final entry of the 2006 Halloween season; as with the first Halloween Companion, it too highlighted a film and monster. I also waxed nostalgic with a timeline of Halloween past. This was originally posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006. 

Last week I went on at length about zombies, most of you will find comfort in the fact that I do not plan for the second entry of the Halloween Companion Series to be nearly as long. I will feature another Halloween ghoulie and another recommended flick but I also have something else. When I first conceived the idea of a companion blog to the Halloween themed Word of the Week I mentioned that such a blog would include recollections of Halloween past; tonight I plan to deliver.

Before I get to any of that however I have a small note worth mentioning. Stating the obvious here, I’m a huge fan of haunted attractions and before the season is up I plan to share this year’s experiences with you fine folks. With that in mind I’d love to hear about any haunted attraction stories you might have. Alright then let’s get to it, shall we?

I’ll begin with the recommended film which was added to the Halloween lexicon not so long ago. The film became one of my favorites when I first viewed it at the age of eleven or twelve. I speak of the stop motion animated gem that is Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. I was intrigued by the dark imagery and the notion that a town’s sole purpose was to celebrate Halloween. It was a fun story with catchy, darkly humorous songs. Over the years I have caught myself either singing the tunes of Halloween Town or putting my own nonsensical lyrics to the same beat. The fat kid in the striped shirt never ceases to amuse me; fat little, weird lookin’, bastard. Bottom line: a fun, modern day Halloween classic in my book, should be watched by any and all Halloween or stop motion animation enthusiasts.

See that wasn’t so bad was it? Not nearly the length of my Night of the Living Dead tribute, was it? But now we need ourselves a creature, which to choose? I could go with one of the classics, a witch, werewolf, or vampire? A mummy perhaps? Or will it be a goblin, demon, ghost, or mad scientist? No, I think I’ll choose something to satisfy my carnivalesque urges. Yeah that’s right, I have carnivalesque urges. Therefore the featured monster is a clown. No, not those happy, juggling, dumb sons of bitches; I’m talking about those evil, demented, bloody knife wielding freak shows. You know the ones, when you see them you involuntarily shit your pants. The bulging, crazed eyes, shockingly bright, wild hair, and a grin so wide it can’t possibly mean anything aside from sinister intentions. Any clown is creepy but evil clowns can peer into a soul and devour it from the inside. Despite all of this inherent depravity I applaud them for the twisted element of fear they’ve brought to Halloween. Anyone interested in getting familiar with these strange creatures can read Stephen King’s It and watch the film based on the book. Such individuals may also be interested in the 1988 cut-rate horror flick, Killer Klowns from Outer Space. The Nickelodeon series Are You Afraid of the Dark featured an episode titled, “The Tale of the Ghastly Grinner” that may also interest said parties. In fact there is a wealth of horror fiction that features murderous clowns; most of it is designed to frighten but some will undoubtedly elicit laughter. As long as you steer clear of the Insane Clown Posse you’ll be alright; if you’re a douche bag you can run right on in.

I was unable to decide on just one Halloween memory so instead of one in-depth recollection I offer in its place several short Halloween snippets.

Halloween 1995: Mike Blackwell and I pounded the streets of Lincoln Park amassing an impressive haul of candy. Our path would lead us to Coney Island on the corner of Dix and London where we would inquire about free Halloween Coney dogs, we received Better Maid original flavor potato chips; what a rip.

Halloween 1997: I was fourteen and it would be the last year I went trick-or-treating. I had moved from Lincoln Park the previous fall but returned for Halloween night with my cousin John. We visited Craig’s house and were promptly informed by Craig that we were too old to be trick-or-treating; he reluctantly gave us some candy. We also stopped by Mike Blackwell’s house; I hadn’t talked to him very often since I moved. Mike gave us some sort of liquid stink bomb which John would later throw at a house on Pagel Street.

Halloween 1998: An eccentric 15-year-old dressed up like a devil and performed disco dance steps while passing out candy from the newly moved into Applewood house. The legendary Disco Devil may have been born but this was otherwise an uneventful and disappointing Halloween. To add insult to injury the Wings were thoroughly beaten by the Stars.

Halloween 1999: One of the all-time memorable Halloween nights. Whatever was lacking a year prior was made up for ten fold on this bizarre, fun-filled evening. On this night a bright 16-year-old with a penchant for mischief led a rag-tag team of vandals into his old stomping grounds. Trick-or-treating was shelved in favor of the more attractive trick-or-thieving. It was a night filled with theft, vandalism, and laughter. Rachel, John, Luke, Stu, and JVD, you’ll all be joining me in Hell.

Halloween 2000: Arguably worse than ’98, utterly boring. I spent the evening with the girlfriend at the time passing out candy and regretting that I wasn’t out doing something fun with my friends. The night was saved when our gang of usual suspects joined forces with another unit of wayward bandits and together TP’ed the Jefferson administration building.

Halloween 2002: The second time around at the Applewood house fared much better. My hair was jaggedly spiked in all directions and shaded a healthy blue. I dressed as a zombie and frightened kids by acting like a dummy inside of a casket. Halloween music blared from within the house as a strobe light haunted the atmosphere and a fog machine sent intermittent spurts of mystery into the night. My brother and his girlfriend were among my guests as well as good ole Barry Dotson and the one and only Devil Douche, Branden Morrison. Jason’s girlfriend had also brought some semi-skanky friend of hers who, despite our endless harassment, refused to lick Branden’s swollen nipple commonly referred to as Swowwen Nippo. Following trick-or-treating we hit the Scream Machine haunted attraction at Heritage Park, a well rounded Halloween.

Halloween 2005: The holiday itself was lackluster as I was stuck working the calendar kiosk at the Southland Mall. I was however permitted to dress up and pass out candy as the mall participated in some such thing; I made the best of it. The season overall was pretty good. My brother, Disco, and I hit two solid haunted attractions: The Chop Shop in Grosse Ile and the Nautical Nightmare located in River Rouge. Both featured a number of memorable moments but perhaps the best came from the Chop Shop. We made our way down a dark hallway when a voice began to call out, “I hope you’re hungry!” We turned a corner and entered a small room; the walls were splattered with blood. Against the far wall a guy was hunched over a toilet with his face buried inside when he raised his head he was eating ferociously. He offered us some and when we declined he pulled a bloody tampon out of the toilet, began licking it and proclaimed, “This, your old ladies.” Damn, how we laughed.

I’ll be back again with a special entry on Halloween night. Until then.

Terror Town, Barn of Blood Conjure Haunted Time Warp

Posted in 2011, Barn of Blood, Review, Terror Town with tags , , , , , on October 28, 2011 by bluefall8

During the final weekend of the 2008 haunt season I found myself at both Terror Town and Apple Charlie’s Barn of Blood on separate days and as the unseen Haunt Fates would have it, that is exactly where I found myself once again last weekend…on two separate days. First Terror Town, then Barn of Blood. Okay, so it wasn’t exactly a detour into The Twilight Zone but it was close damn it!

Our first stop actually found us at Heck of a Haunted Barn in Monroe but when we arrived the place was simply dead, a few workers roamed the grounds in very basic make up and costuming. Outwardly there was nothing to suggest that this was anything but a heck of a waste of $12 so we decided to depart for Terror Town.

BIG TOP FLOP

The House of the Dead looms as large as ever at Terror Town and is joined this year by a 3D attraction called Big Top Terror; a combo ticket will set you back $25 and for that price haunters expect a unique, memorable experience. Big Top Terror however is just the latest in a long line of 3D attractions to fall flat. The attraction is thin on workers and those that did inhabit the paint splattered halls were lethargic at best. The haunt was also extraordinarily short clocking in under five minutes. There were some cool props but nothing in the way of haunting fundamentals was employed, it was simply a stroll through neon painted rooms. Near the end of the attraction a large box sat against a wall, a wicked clown’s face adorned the front. Of course the box had to be opened right? That was the whole point of the gag! As I approached the mystery box a clown appeared from it’s side and bellowed, “Open it!” We were finally going to experience some interaction in this haunted house but just as quickly as my heart jumped it fell back to its usual steady beat. Nothing was in the box. I could see that it was open on the other end and wondered aloud if we were supposed to go through it but the worker just looked at me and breathed heavily as if his loud proclamation had yielded some satisfyingly dreadful result. I reiterated my query only to be met with more heavy breathing. I noticed a path in front of us and decided to take it. We exited the attraction. As it was the most enjoyable part of Big Top Terror was the jazzed up jingle playing outside the attraction, Killer Klowns by The Dickies which of course is the title track from 1988’s Killer Klowns from Outer Space.

Rating: 1.5 stars

DEAD HOUSE AWAKENS ANEW

House of the Dead once again spans two separate buildings connected by an impressive array of black holes and one well decorated, cemetery. As we first discovered in 2008 this haunted attraction will attack from every angle and assail every sense. House of the Dead is a lengthy trek through ghostly corridors furnished with possessed furniture, blood thirsty creatures, and all manners of strangeness.

The mood for this house most macabre is set from the get go as haunters make their way down a long, narrow hallway illuminated by a cold, blue glow. This first section of Dead House is merely a prelude for the grand horrors to come but was punctuated by a passageway full of deafening poppers; a room full of questionably lively freight, and the ultra-realistic and creepy full sized dummies that we witnessed first at Terror Town in 2008. My personal favorite was a child ghoul who stood around a corner near the exit of this first area. I’ve referenced these particular props on numerous occasions and they are without a doubt the most convincing dummies the haunt industry has to offer. I do not know what company produces them but when I find out I’ll relay the news and post some pictures.

Following the first building is one of the most impressive vortex tunnels you’re likely to find anywhere on planet Earth, no less than six end-to-end tunnels spin in unison. Upon exiting and taking a moment to restore our collective equilibrium we proceeded out doors to a cemetery full of life. This graveyard scene functioned as a wonderful transition between the first half of the attraction and the second. Highlights here included a stone gargoyle which surprisingly leaped from its pedestal and bounded toward us like one of the evil, flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz. Also of note was the foggy funeral procession which featured a casket, four ghoulish pall bearers, and the distinct smell of mold.

Shortly thereafter we entered the second building, what I like to refer to as House of the Dead proper. We were immediately assailed by a crawling girl with stringy hair who spoke of a ‘master’ that had horrific plans for our body parts. As she wailed and swayed inappropriately close to our crotches an eye opening effect erupted in front of us. The floorboards seemed to crack before us, a strange light poured out from beneath them; it seemed as if something was racing at us from under the floor. It was undoubtedly a neat effect that employed several elements, something we’ve never quite witnessed anywhere else. Just around the corner we ascended some stairs to a bridge and as we crossed, the walls adorned with skeletons, on either side of us collapsed inward. On the other side of the bridge we descended yet another set of stairs, putting us squarely within the limits of Mayer Wormface’s realm.

As always a litany of strange, gruesome, and truly spectacular animatronics dotted the haunted halls of Dead House although it was with some disappointment that we found several of the rampaging robots non-operational. We were also less than impressed with the scant cast of live workers inside House of the Dead. The darkly jovial patriarch however remains as entertaining as ever, stationed this season by Hellivator, the rest of the cast would do well to take their cues from him.

New horrors inside of House of the Dead this year include highly convincing animatronic snakes that descend upon haunters from above, hissing menacingly. My favorite addition was a room in which the walls were smeared with children’s handprints and foreboding nursery rhymes. As we attempted to leave the room a huge, green hand shot out from a slot in the wall and attempted to snatch visitors. Shortly after escaping this scene we arrived outside once more surrounded now by fog and hanging corpses. As we traversed this last area of Dead House we were surprised by a tall, chainsaw equipped butcher.

Terror Town is a haunted attraction that I would recommend to anyone who has not yet paid it a visit. The sheer volume of animated props and creatures is overwhelming and the average haunter will witness things here that they aren’t likely to see anywhere else. You won’t breeze through this haunt in 5-10 minutes either, this year we spent a solid 25 minutes navigating our way through the dark confines of House of the Dead. Also of great interest at Terror Town is the effort to engage all five senses, a touch most attractions pay no attention. House of the Dead is not without flaws of course, the workers as previously mentioned left a lot to be desired this year. The animatronics, as impressive as they might be on their own, oftentimes feel out of place or poorly implemented. I prefer to see a haunt stick to the theme that it has set forth — a gigantic Rancor-like creature may not play into the continuity in this setting. I was also highly disappointed in the conclusion this year, a simple chainsaw surprise may be fitting for many haunts but not one as over the top as Terror Town’s House of the Dead. I can’t help but wonder if the operators at Terror Town aren’t resting on their laurels to some degree. Still, House of the Dead has an excellent atmosphere, top notch props, and loads of potential. I’d like to see more focus on the scare factor here and less on the wow factor.

Rating: 3.75 stars

“Show us your udders!”

-Cikalo, commanding a hefty street walker in Toledo with an old favorite

APPLE ORCHARD HORROR

On Sunday I paid a visit to Apple Charlie’s and experienced a completely different haunted attraction – Barn of Blood. Barn of Blood is a brief haunted jaunt, appropriately priced at just $5, and evokes the spirit of a bygone era of haunting. This was bare bones haunting and when executed properly it can be just as effective as any mega-haunt. It was a very dark and deathly quiet journey through the barn, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of workers hidden inside as well. There is room for improvement – some creative alterations to the interior structure and a little more intensity from the cast would make for an excellent if not small haunted attraction.

Rating: 3 stars