Archive for Nox Arcana

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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Fō-bē-ə Fractured Friday

Posted in 2014, Review, Wyandotte Jaycees with tags , , , , , , , on November 19, 2014 by bluefall8

The Wyandotte Jaycees has presented a curious array of haunted house experiences over the years — at times the group has nailed haunt fundamentals and shown just what can be achieved with passion and creativity, but on other occasions lackluster acting and technical deficiencies have left a lot to be desired. The annual haunted effort seems to alternate between peaks and valleys every couple of seasons and I was interested to see just where Fō-bē-ə would land.

I toured Fō-bē-ə on the same night that I visited Psycho Path in Flat Rock which was Friday, October 10 — opening night for both attractions. When my friends and I pulled into the parking lot it was to be greeted by one of my favorite Jaycees performers, a young lady who portrayed a sinister off-shoot of Alice from Lewis Carroll’s famous fantastical novels, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.

Fō-bē-ə featured familiar Wyandotte Jaycees fare such as a neon radioactive waste scene, a fog-filled swamp, the jocular Butcher Brothers and a lively execution scene where ominous religious messages had been scrawled upon the walls. New this year was a ghastly crematorium, an Egyptian corridor with glowing hieroglyphs and a series of spider-infested mirrored halls.

There was a doctor and patient scene in which malpractice was on display, much to our delight electroshock therapy was all the rage. The good doctor sent voltage pulsing through the uncooperative patient and then at our insistence zapped the patient with a second wave just for good measure. Phil even took a brief turn at the controls when the subject refused to expire.

My favorite areas included the freak show and dollmaker’s keep although both would’ve benefited considerably from additional actors and enhanced interaction.

Rounding out the experience was a captive girl, chained to a wall who possessed an ear-splitting scream, a comical, stiff-armed zombie who pursued us to the edge of Biddle Avenue and a madman with a modified chainsaw that featured one gigantic, wicked blade.

Fō-bē-ə wasn’t a high water mark for the Wyandotte Jaycees but nor was it a cellar dweller. I am impressed by what the group is able to accomplish in such a short amount of time; yes the buildings in which the Jaycees’ haunted attractions are held each year are provided by the City of Wyandotte, but the local outfit isn’t handed the keys to the kingdom until late August or even early September. It is a testament to the hard work of members and volunteers alike that the Wyandotte Jaycees has managed to produce a haunted attraction annually dating back to the 1970’s.

With that said I do believe that the seasonal spook house would benefit immensely if a few aspects of the overall production were paid a little more attention. The group would to well to focus on storytelling and continuity, for instance, the name Fō-bē-ə was a neat concept and a smart marketing tactic but in execution there was a lot left undone. Too often a Jaycees haunted attraction features a hodgepodge of scenes, an amalgam of disparate settings which have little or nothing to do with each other and without substantial character interaction to provide a counterweight, the effect can be jarring.

I also think it’s absolutely crucial that the Wyandotte Jaycees update their soundtrack. In my experience the group has looped audio of screams and shouts which has always sounded dated and corny or has in other instances not employed a soundtrack at all. An effective alternative would be the music of Nox Arcana, Midnight Syndicate or even theme songs from popular horror movies. This is a simple fix that will vastly improve the atmosphere of the production and cover the sounds of movement and idle chatter amongst the cast.

Rating: 2.75 stars

There will always be a special place in my heart for the Wyandotte Jaycees and I will continue to be a patron of their haunted house each October because I respect the history of the group and believe in the spirit of community leadership. Fō-bē-ə may have fallen in the middle of the pack but if history is any indicator, the brains behind the scenes of the Wyandotte Jaycees will recapture the essence of Halloween once more.

 

Fatal CikNis

Posted in CikNis with tags , , , , on October 26, 2014 by bluefall8

The CikNis proved to be a dizzying adrenaline rush of shrieks and laughs. Many of our guests expressed positive thoughts regarding their experience and as a member of the cast I can say that we had just as much fun as our hapless victims.

While I would’ve liked to have had the time to make several tweaks or added a few well-placed props, the rooms were highly detailed and from what I could gather the various design features of the structure produced the desired effect. We did manage to squeeze in one last minute addition that was a boon for the overall experience — a small hatched door leading from the second room of the haunt into the low-ceilinged dead end at the end of The CikNis. It turned out to be a great suggestion by Richard and, in my opinion, increased the interaction factor of the overall adventure.

There was a certain elegance to the simplicity of the sound system which provided an excellent atmosphere for The CikNis — it’s tough to beat a continuous stream of Nox Arcana’s mournful melodies.

The myriad lighting fixtures — from black lights, strobe lights and glow sticks to string lights, colored bulbs, and a police beacon — effectively cast an eerie, foreboding or even whimsical ambience. Once we had powered everything up for show conditions we didn’t experience a single issue with any electrical components and that in and of itself is a small victory for which I was thankful.

By and large, I thought our cast was brimming with energy and held nothing back in terms of vocalization and improvisation. In particular, from my vantage point in the doll room, I was impressed and highly amused by what I could hear coming from the opposite corner of the haunt where my brother, Jason, forcefully portrayed the wayward scientist responsible for the CikNis. I felt Richard, who was in the second room of the attraction, played the very special part of Gerald with equal zest. His bit with George, the hand puppet monkey, was particularly fun to play off of and reference when several groups entered my area with the monkey in tow.

I admit I was especially flattered by the reactions of guests as they entered my room which was filled with an eclectic mix of dolls and plush toys. Some people were tickled by the hanging babies with glowing heads while others seemed to appreciate the totality of the decor and then there were those stopped dead upon entering the room and professed a desire to turn back; the latter were my personal favorites.

It was intoxicating to unleash Gerkins with all of his exaggerated mannerisms, wild stories and creepy demeanor. He engaged guests with stream-of-consciousness dialogue, offered to add men and women alike to his collection of dolls and introduced some folks to Little Gerkins; among other memorable routines.

Another personal highlight for me was the ability of Cikalo and I to surprise guests with an ambush by floating back and forth to our respective areas when the need arose. In one instance a pair of male guests attempted to backtrack into the harvest room when they failed to find the hidden door inside the dead end hallway, but this was something Scarecrow and Gerkins would simply not permit.

There were some hiccups of course — we had to scramble to find a doorman, pace and communication was a work in progress and a few minor details were lost in the shuffle but the driving vibe was one of fun and fright and folks left with smiles on their faces.

Thanks are due to Stefani who whipped up some seriously spooky heads, my sister-in-law Madison (not to be confused with my other sister-in-law of the same name who’s previously been mentioned in Horrorlust) who dutifully controlled traffic flow. Thanks also to The Disco Devil, John, for all of his help during the construction of The CikNis. Many thanks to our cast Jason and Richard and Brian too, who not only acted in the haunt but also contributed several key props. And of course, thanks to Cikalo and Ashley who hosted the party and finally a token of gratitude to everyone who entered and survived The CikNis.

Horrorlust Radio Episode #005

Posted in Horrorlust Radio with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2014 by bluefall8

I’m flying solo without a net in episode #005 of Horrorlust Radio.

In the fifth episode of Horrorlust Radio, I talk about the haunted attractions I’ve visited thus far and those I aim to tour before the 2014 Halloween season is to end; I also answer a few listener questions.

This episode of Horrorlust Radio also features the second installment of Nightmare Fuel and the debut of Dead Files. In Nightmare Fuel, I recount several ghostly nights spent in Lovett Hall, a former high school now part of The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. Dead Files is a segment in which haunted house reviews are read in dramatic fashion and up first is an account from a 2012 trip to Bloodview in Broadview Heights, Ohio.

I also provide my thoughts on the season premieres of The Walking Dead and American Horror Story. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Gerkins’ appearance on the Chop Shop!

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 005

SHOW NOTES

Here’s a poster from Ed Wood’s Night of the Ghouls, the subject of the latest episode of the Chop Shop which featured my alter-ego Gerkins alongside Uncle Dead Guy.

A bizarre horror film with an even stranger history.

A bizarre horror film with an even stranger history.

Gerkins with Uncle Dead Guy, a match made in Hell.

Gerkins with Uncle Dead Guy, a match made in Hell.

Lovett Hall is a beautiful structure but it’s walls undoubtedly hold many secrets lost to time; by night certain areas, such as the ballroom and dormitories, are creepy indeed.

Lovett Hall originally opened in the late 1930's.

Lovett Hall originally opened in the late 1930’s.

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

1. “Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival (Green River, 1969)

2. Day of the Dead Theatrical Trailer, 1985

3. Unknown Song, Unknown Artist

4. Captain Rhodes argues with Dr. Logan from Day of the Dead, 1985

5. “Labyrinth of Dreams” by Nox Aracana (Grimm Tales, 2008)

Horrorlust Radio Episode #002

Posted in Horrorlust Radio with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2014 by bluefall8

My brother, Jason, returned to co-host once more in episode #002 of Horrorlust Radio.

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

In the second episode of Horrorlust Radio, Jason and I discuss the evolution of horror in video games and also delve into the sometimes blurred line between extreme haunted houses and abduction simulations.

This episode also features the debut of two new segments — Nightmare Fuel and Serious Celluloid. In Nightmare Fuel, Jason recounts a personal account of an unidentified flying object he once witnessed in August 1997 and in Serious Celluloid I recommend a horror film to listeners.

We also discuss some of our earliest visits to haunted attractions — most notably a legendary trip through Lincoln Park’s Anxiety Alley and and eye-popping jaunt through a Monroe Jaycees haunted house during the mid-90’s.

More show notes and additional description information to follow.

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 002

SHOW NOTES

One Day at Horrorland was book #16 in the original Goosebumps series and was released in February 1994. It’s among one of my favorite in the entire series and remains one of the most popular Goosebumps books.

Horrorland, no whores allowed.

Horrorland, no whores allowed.

The HauntWorld Issue #37 article I referenced in our conversation about extreme haunted houses and abduction simulations was titled Abduction Simulations: The Coming Plague and was written by Ben Armstrong of Netherworld Haunted House.

A link to the GQ article also mentioned during our conversation, written by Drew Magary which details his experience with Extreme Kidnapping: Kidnapped (Just Kidding!)

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

1. “The Greatest Show Unearthed” by Creature Feature (The Greatest Show Unearthed, 2007)

2. “Shadows Fall” by Nox Arcana (Carnival of Lost Souls, 2006)

3. Kinski, Boone and Peloquin from Clive Barker’s Night Breed (1990)

4. “Music Box” by Nox Arcana (Darklore Manor, 2003)