Archive for Night of the Living Dead

Horrorlust Radio Episode #016

Posted in Horrorlust Radio with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2015 by bluefall8

horrorlust radio

In episode #016 of Horrorlust Radio, I’m joined once again by fellow haunted attraction enthusiast, Mike Marvel.

In this installment of Horrorlust Radio, Mike and I continued our discussion of haunted houses, specifically how such attractions can succeed or fail on the strength of a finale.

This edition of Horrorlust Radio also featured interviews with the cast and crew of TNT Productions stage performance of Night of the Living Dead. Also included is an interview with Corey from Past Tense After Dark.

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 016

SHOW NOTES

Thank you to the latest sponsor of Horrorlust Radio, Krazy Hilda’s!

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Join me for Night of the Living Dead this Saturday at James R. Desana Center for Arts & Culture located at 81 Chestnut Street in Wyandotte!

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Halloween III: Season of the Witch may not feature the iconic Michael Myers but it did introduce a generation of impressionable youths to the hypnotic tune of the Silver Shamrock commercial. As a child I was quite horrified by the images of those masks that rotted the heads of countless unsuspecting kids.

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

“Monster Mash” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers (Single, 1962)

Halloween III: Season of the Witch Theatrical Trailer, 1982

“Night Wraiths” by Nox Arcana (Grimm Tales, 2008)

Silver Shamrock Commercial from Halloween III: Season of the Witch, 1982

“Darkly Everafter” by Nox Arcana (Grimm, 2008)

 

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Zombies Everywhere, Haunt Schedule

Posted in Hallowblog with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2014 by bluefall8

This installment of Hallowblog Flashback was originally posted Friday, October 9, 2009. In this entry I wrote about some horror and science fiction of the day; there’s also a dash of haunt schedule speculation included for good measure.

In addition to that, this entry detailed our plans for a fateful night of haunting, plans that were altered in a most historic way. You can read all about the results from this trip when it becomes the focal point of Hallowblog Flashback in just two weeks.  

It’s a Friday night in October which means The Haunt Trinity is set to lurk about the state hitting Michigan’s finest haunts. It’s a wet, dreary evening but that will do nothing to deter us haunting fanatics. Tonight we have two very exciting visits; the first stop will find us at Deadly Intentions the winner of the 2008 Monster Award for best live actors. Deadly Intentions delivered a smash mouth, high intensity show last year when we visited on Halloween night and this year’s theme has us frothing at the mouth: City of the Living Dead! Zombies, man! Fuckin’ zombies!!! A whole haunt packed full of my favorite flesh eating dead heads! Listen to this description from the ad in the Fear Finder:

Though the infection has only been spreading for a few weeks almost the entire city has been affected. Will you be able to make it through town without becoming a victim of this terrible outbreak? Can you escape the City of the Living Dead?

HOLY. FUCKING. SHIT. I have been waiting for a haunt like this since the first time I saw Night of the Living Dead. I’ve dreamed us this day since I discovered the brilliance of Dawn of the Dead. I have hoped for this since I first experienced the wonderful horror of Resident Evil 2 back in February 1998! I’m not kidding when I say that this has the potential to be the greatest haunted attraction that I have ever witnessed. My friends at Deadly best not disappoint!

If I some how manage to survive the sheer horrible awesomeness of this event we’ll continue north to the Haunted Farm of Terror in Lenox Township. This place has drew my gaze for several years now and I’m very excited to finally experience the much ballyhooed hayride which Zioptis says is a spectacle to behold. There are also some zombies to shoot with paintball guns which will no doubt afford a gander from us fine fellows in the Haunt Trinity.

The usual slew of horror films has hit theaters just in time for Halloween a few of particular note include Zombieland, Paranormal Activity, and Saw VI. Zombieland opened October 2nd and devoured an estimated $25 million on opening weekend. The previews reveal it to be more in the spirit of Shaun of the Dead than Day of the Dead but that’s just fine with me. I enjoyed the off the cuff, devil-may-care humor on display in the trailers and I like the possibilities inherent to a carnival atmosphere. I’d like to catch this one as soon as possible. I’ve only seen teaser trailers for Paranormal Activity but it looks interesting. I did a bit of reading and discovered that it’s actually a 2007 mockumentary that has played at several film festivals. I won’t rush to the theater to see it but I’ll definitely give it a view when it’s released to DVD. Saw VI premieres in theaters October 23 and like Paranormal Activity I’ll wait for it on DVD. The last two films have swept the story into some fairly convoluted territory but I like the Saw movies; it’s the first series to carve out a legitimate niche in the horror lexicon in some time and for that it deserves recognition. Can you think of a more recognizable new face on the horror landscape than Jigsaw’s puppet over the last decade?

I absolutely love Fringe. I got into the series when it premiered last fall and I’ve grown to like it more and more as time has passed. The premise has an obvious correlation to The X-files which naturally appeals to me but more than the absorbing story arch I find the main characters fascinating. Has there ever been a more deeply conflicted eccentric genius in television history? He’s wonderful when playing the mad scientist but equally compelling as the flawed and broken father. There’s a redemptive quality about Walter which is appropriately underscored by much of his tragically poetic wisdom.

Below is a rough schedule for the remainder of the haunt season:

Friday, October 9: Deadly Intentions (Warren) and Haunted Farm of Terror (Lenox Township)

Friday, October 16: Terrortown (Maumee, OH) and Haunted Hydro (Fremont, OH)

Friday, October 23: The Haunting (Adrian) and Darksyde Acres (Jonesville)

Friday, October 30: Undecided, although we’re contemplating a visit to either Armada or Genesee County area haunts. We’re also debating a return to some Pontiac area haunts; a selection from all three locations is also a possibility.

We’ve also kicked around the idea of hitting additional Downriver haunts on a Saturday.

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)

Phantom Forest Hayrides & Other News

Posted in Hallowblog with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2014 by bluefall8

This is an obscure but neat read originally posted October 9, 2007. The majority of it is dedicated to my experience as member of the team at Phantom Forest Hayrides in Grosse Ile during one weekend that season. Unfortunately the pictures that I reference several times are not available anywhere on Horrorlust.

Also included in this entry is a link to a short, but vital article about Night of the Living Dead — it is highly recommended. 

Last Friday and Saturday I worked at Phantom Forest Hayrides but before I get to my review of that experience I have a number of other Halloween related topics to cover. Well quite obviously I have yet to find a more suitable title for this column although Hallowblog is actually growing on me so it may not change at all. I had thought about titling it Bad Moon Rising after the song but it didn’t seem sufficient and I haven’t thought of anything else. So be it.

A lot of networks feature Halloween themed programming in celebration of the season, a few notable examples are 13 Days of Halloween which runs on the Sci-fi channel beginning Friday, October 19 and 13 Nights of Halloween on the ABC Family channel premiering the same night.

I found a recent article on Night of the Living Dead, it’s short and sweet:

Undead: Year Zero

This Friday we’ll be hitting some combination of the downriver haunts. The Lab in Grosse Ile and Hell’s Hospital in Wyandotte make a good natural coupling when considering routes. If time allows for a third haunt The Scream Machine or Anxiety Alley would do nicely. I would also like to do some haunting on Saturday. Missy and I have talked about heading to an orchard, The Festival of the Dead in Belleville has my vote but if we don’t do that we may just knock out a local haunt. If it’s a local haunt The Realm of Haunted Minds in Romulus or Papp Park Panic Attack located in Taylor would make worthy candidates.

My experience at Phantom Forest Hayrides was a lot of fun. When I first arrived I took a tour of the trail and snapped a number of pictures which have been posted in a separate album labeled “Phantom Forest Hayrides.” Initially I thought the sets were slightly lackluster and unlikely to scare very many people but as the sky darkened the woods grew increasingly menacing. The trail offers up a naturally frightening ambience as it is set in a heavily wooded area with active wildlife stirring up mysterious sounds in the brush. I witnessed several deer on the trial and had a number of instances when something large moved in the dense woods out of sight. I told myself it was deer but try to maintain that thought when you’re alone in the woods surrounded by darkness.

As it turned out I was the first and last scare that customers would experience, in all there was only seven people working the event, each responsible for two spots save for the old guy named Leonard. Most members of the staff had walkie-talkies so everybody usually knew precisely where the tractor was. When the tractor was set to enter the driver would radio that they were indeed heading in and I’d hide in the brush and set off a fog machine. Typically I’d let about half of the wagon pass before leaping forth and that seemed to be a good strategy. After each wagon passed me it was pulled through a black tunnel and then around a corner. Obscured from view I’d begin to walk the path to my next spot. I followed the same path as the tractor until the gang of grim reapers at which point a clearing was cut through the woods and it was here that I was able to gain access to the opposite side of the trail which probably seemed like quite a distance to anyone unaware of the short cut.

The hearse scene which is also included in the pictures served as my second spot and what a great spot it was. By night the scene is flooded with an eerie greenish-blue light and I was positioned behind a tree on the opposite side of the road. It was very rare that anyone turned their gaze from the hearse scene probably convinced one of the figures would move and therefore the attack from the other side was almost always pulled off with much success. My favorite scare may have been a woman who literally threw herself off the bail of hay which she sat upon and squirmed on the other side of the tractor floor.

The whole back and forth ordeal became a bit of a workout when business picked up and the operators began running two tractors. It was unseasonably warm last weekend but I opted to wear a hoodie anyway so that I could protect myself from mosquitoes and poison ivy. I worked up quite a sweat hustling back to the first position as the call typically came over the radio that another tractor was pulling out before I’d even passed the grim reapers.

The staff was nice and has been running the attraction for eight years. Its family owned and operated and I feel quite well run for the decided lack of quality help. I asked Leonard (the old guy) how much the ad in the Fear Finder cost and he told me it ran about $600. That’s just to have the basic information printed in the back section by the maps; booming publication Mr. Terebus and company are running, isn’t it?

Phantom Forest Hayrides isn’t going to give you terrifying scares or striking eye candy, it lacks in sleek props and deathly scares but the creepy natural ambience balances things nicely. Much of the experience will rely heavily on the workers whose enthusiasm can wax and wane throughout the night. At just $8 (that includes cider and a donut) I think it’s a great place for younger audiences and ideal for families. Adult and teen haunt-goers will want to seek something more elaborate if tension and fear is what you seek. Although if you’re in the area, for example at The Lab, Phantom Forest Hayrides would serve as a good buffer haunt before hitting that next terror filled endeavor.

Halloween Companion Number 1

Posted in Hallowblog with tags , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2014 by bluefall8

Here is the seminal post that would spur Hallowblog (and then Horrorlust) into existence — Halloween Companion Number 1. As you’ll soon read, the purpose of this entry was to highlight a creature of the night as well as one horror movie. It only seemed fitting to select the zombie as the featured monster and naturally Night of the Living Dead as the film. This post was originally written on Thursday, October 19, 2006.

Oh the excitement runs rampant! Rampant I tell you!! Freakin’ rampant!!! I mentioned last week that such an entry would manifest and so it is. Let’s dig into this bag of goodies.

For the first installment of the Halloween Companion I’ve decided to give you good people something of double feature. I call it a double feature because the creature and film highlighted in this entry are pretty cozy with each other; bedfellows you might say. C’mon people, consider the source, this one should be obvious.

Our creature…the zombie. (Seriously, did you expect something else?)

A rudimentary definition of a zombie would read, “a person who is believed to have died and been brought back to life without speech or free will.” That definition is not inaccurate but it is limited. It is essential to clinically, that is to say physically die in order to become a zombie. Logic follows that in order to be a zombie you must be reanimated and to be reanimated you must first die. The definition is also correct in saying that a zombie is without speech and free will. Typically the only sounds a zombie can make are moans and other guttural noises. The bit about free will definitely applies to zombies that have been reanimated by means of voodoo or other forms of black magic. This type of zombie is essentially a slave to the one who has given it a second life and when not being ordered to perform a task it will appear catatonic. This type of zombie does not present an inherent threat to human beings; it does only the bidding of its master. Unlike its cousin, that would be zombies in the Romero vein, the voodoo zombie does not feast upon warm human flesh.

And therein lies the great division between the voodoo zombie and the more prominent flesh eating ghoul. Rules regarding a zombie’s behavior vary slightly depending on the film maker’s intentions but as a template I will focus upon the those characteristics that define the Romero zombie, because truly, 1968’s Night of the Living Dead has served as the basis of zombie behavior for a plethora of films about the undead since.

These zombies do not possess great physical strength in fact they are commonly depicted as being physically weak, easily overpowered by would be human prey. Zombies are also typically slow moving, exceptions do exist, for examples of such view the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead and 28 Days Later. Even Romero strayed from traditional zombie behavior for his fourth zombie film, Land of the Dead although that was more a decision that was necessary to the story arch (the zombies were evolving) rather than a simple twist on an old staple. As if slow, awkward movements and physical prowess comparable to Minnie Mouse weren’t enough of a hindrance the zombie is also a dim-witted creature, again exceptions to the rule exist. With these attributes in mind it brings one to wonder why the hell a zombie is such a formidable foe. Slow, weak, and dumb; indeed it sounds more of an apt description of the kid picked last in gym than that of a vicious, undead murderer. But my friends, to recognize the zombie’s weaknesses and ignore it’s strengths would be foolish beyond a ballot cast in favor of the GOP, okay maybe not that foolish, but it would lead one down a terribly reckless path. Yes, we are faster, stronger, and most importantly, smarter than our hunters and we can wield those advantages against them but not without understanding their strengths and motivations.

The zombie possesses an edge in two crucial areas: strength in numbers and the ability to absorb massive amounts of physical damage. Zombies tend to gather in dense packs, presumably in areas where food (humans) is or was prevalent. They rarely acknowledge each other; doing so only when quarreling over a piece of a victim (a tasty intestine will always trigger a zombie throw down). Zombies also seem to possess some awareness of human presence even when said humans are out of sight, they will also become more active when warm flesh graces their sight. It is advisable that any number of humans avoid large groups of the undead lest you risk infection, which is a topic I’ll come to later. As prior mentioned zombies can sustain large amounts of physical damage without being killed…again. A zombie could have a limb torn off, an eye gouged out, or a spinal column severed, none of these methods will stop the zombie on it’s pursuit for human flesh. To effectively combat the undead one must, to quote many a zombie flick protagonist, “You gotta shoot’em in the head”. Decapitation has also proven to be an effective method in most cases; essentially the rule stands that the brain must be destroyed in order to put down a ghoul.

Thus far we’ve established what a zombie is, its physical traits, its insatiable appetite for the living, and how they are too be guarded against. But why do zombies rise in the first place and why the hell do they want to eat people? Would they devour a friend or former lover from their living life? You bet your ass they would. Zombies are creatures of pure instinct and possess little to no memory of their prior life, they act only on the impulse to feed and possibly a primal desire to multiply, for that is exactly what occurs when a zombie has its prey. A zombie bite is a death sentence, well an undead death sentence if you will. The rule follows; if you are bitten by a zombie you will subsequently join the ranks of the undead. The time table of such a transformation depends on the extent of the injuries. Some have turned from human to zombie in mere minutes while others succumb to the infection in a matter of days. Amputation of the infected area has proven some what effective in suppressing zombie symptoms. These amputees may have been spared for the time being but the trauma of the event combined with whatever bit of infection may have survived the amputations can cause fevers and hallucinations which leads to other destructive behaviors.

So why oh why do zombies rise from the dead and kill the living? Well nobody knows for sure. Many reasons have been presented in movies dealing with these creatures, the most prominent of which are: radiation from outer space, a type of virus usually attributed to some government experiment gone wrong, a plague (presumably from Hell), a judgment from God, or as Peter from DOTD so famously said, “When there is no more room in Hell the dead will walk the Earth.” It is standardly accepted that whatever the cause zombies can infect the living by biting them, suggesting that the virus is transmitted through saliva, this theory has been broadened to other bodily fluids as well, most namely blood.

Now that I’ve made you few loyal bastards suffer through this long-winded lesson about my precious undead friends I’ll conclude by saying that any inquiries regarding the undead can promptly be sent to yours truly. And if zombies do ever rise and you wish to save your mortal ass from becoming a mindless, flesh eating ghoul you’d better seek me out because damn it my vast expanse of zombie knowledge will save your life.

At the top of this I stated that this was a double feature so without further verbal defecation I present the featured film…

Night of the Living Dead. Yes, I know you probably expected it to be Dawn as it is my favorite movie but I certainly have my reasons for choosing the gem that is Romero’s first endeavor into the zombie mythology. Night of the Living Dead has become the rule that all exceptions of the genre are born. There were of course films prior to Night that dealt with zombies but none so memorable, potent, or with such lasting impact. That it is why it became the staple. That is why it is the icon. But NOTLD is not just a classic horror film meant to elicit screams and gasps from viewers; it is also a satire, a stirring commentary about turbulent 1960’s America; a microscope analyzing race relations and social classes of its day. NOTLD is both a horror fans wet dream and a landmark artistic achievement. It is because of the latter that NOTLD remains ingrained in our collective conscious nearly 40 years after Johnny creepily quipped, “They’re coming to get you Barbara.”