Archive for the walking dead

Horrorlust Radio Episode #008

Posted in Horrorlust Radio with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2014 by bluefall8

In episode #008 of Horrorlust Radio, I’m joined by long-time friend and fellow haunted house enthusiast, Phil Patroniti.

In this installment of Horrorlust Radio, Phil and I reflect on the highs and lows of the 2014 season. We also discuss our earliest memories of haunted attractions and explore the reasons why haunting remains near and dear to our hearts.

This episode also features the second installment of Pop Horror, a segment concerned with horror in television and film; this time around we’re discussing season five of The Walking Dead. We also debut a new segment entitled Hallowed Grounds, in which we highlight one of the many awards recognized here at Horrorlust; today the spotlight will fall on the Horrorlust Haunt of the Year Award.

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 008

SHOW NOTES

The short horror fiction series I mentioned near the beginning of the podcast is called The Midnight Library. The series seems to consist of only twelve books; the first was titled Voices and was released in 2005. The cover shown below is from the second entry in the series entitled, Blood and Sand.

Any bird animal that can mimic human speech is surely evil.

Any animal that can mimic human speech is surely evil.

I also made reference to a Saturday Night Live sketch called “The Merryville Brothers.” In each bit a couple is seen entering what resembles a traditional carnival dark, the theme of the which varies from sketch to sketch. In each version the characters witness a performance by the animatronic Merryville Brothers who are portrayed by live actors.

Inevitably, one of the characters become creeped out by the robots; a fear that is only heightened when the ride experiences a subsequent malfunction which in turn gives rise to a series of increasingly strange antics on the part of the Merryville Brothers.

SNL regulars Taran Killam, Bill Hader and Bobby Moynihan appear in each entry of the series of sketches; guest stars include Jim Carrey, Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars and a cameo by Tom Hanks. Click the link to watch the Merryville Brothers Halloween.

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

1. “Sweet Dreams” by Marilyn Manson (Smells Like Children, 1995)

2. Troll 2 Theatrical Trailer, 1990

3. “Nekrofelia” by The Nekromantix (Brought Back to Life, 1994)

4. General Store Run from Troll 2, 1990

5. “Trick or Treat” by The Nekromantix (Return of the Loving Dead, 2002)

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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 #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)

Outlast, Bad Moon Rising

Posted in Pop Culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2014 by bluefall8

While seeking out videos promoting the return of The Walking Dead last weekend, I stumbled across one trailer that featured a haunting rendition of Bad Moon Rising. Written by John Fogerty and performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bad Moon Rising was originally released in April 1969 as a single off of the Green River album.

Bad Moon Rising has been recorded by no less than twenty artists in the forty-five years since it was first released, but it’s the original that has stood the test of time. Widely considered the best, and certainly most popular version of the song, Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Bad Moon Rising is among my all-time favorite songs. In fact, long before I christened this blog Horrorlust, I wrote on the topic of horror and haunted houses under a different name, Hallowblog. It’s worth noting that before I settled on Hallowblog I very strongly considered titling the blog, Bad Moon Rising, as an homage to the song.

So it was with more than a small thrill, that when I happened across a particular trailer for the aforementioned The Walking Dead, I was treated to a foreboding arrangement of the old favorite. Performed by a group called Mourning Ritual, this latest cover is punctuated by the raspy voice of the lead singer and a slower tempo than the original. The overall effect creates a much darker, ominous tune reminiscent at times of Lauren O’Connell’s cover of The Animals’ House of the Rising Sun. Appropriately, that cover was also used in the promos for another popular television horror series this season — American Horror Story: Coven.

If you haven’t heard either cover I would strongly recommend giving each a listen. I wouldn’t suggest that either topped the original — that would be blasphemous — but each has put a fresh spin on a powerful classic and are capable of standing on their own. As for those of you who’ve never had the pleasure of experiencing the originals, smack yourself.

outlast-terror

RUN OR HIDE

My love of all things horror extends also to the video game medium and, oh boy, has a new entry come to the world of survival horror! My brother called me last week to tell me about a game he had downloaded on PS4 called Outlast. Released to PC last September, the independent title developed by Red Barrels was made available on the PS4 earlier this month.

The plot of the game is centered on Miles Upshur, a freelance journalist. An anonymous tip has brought him to the formidable Mount Massive Asylum, a psychiatric hospital where Miles will soon discover that things have gone horrifyingly wrong.

Exhibited on a 64-inch screen, complete with surround sound system the startling effect of the game was rendered in full force. The player progresses through the darkened halls from a first person perspective armed with nothing more than a video camera equipped with night vision. Use of the video camera is not optional — this mode ratcheted up the tension and created a claustrophobic sensation close to panic.

Miles’ task is to covertly search the building for evidence of what has taken place here and throughout the early stages of his journey we were treated to some brilliantly timed jump scares that yielded shouts of terror and colorful expletives. Ah yes, I should mention that Miles is almost entirely incapable of defending himself if assailed. As the player you have but two options: run or hide. It brought us back to 1998 when we first experienced Resident Evil 2 — the first title that made us question playing a video game alone in the dark.

I won’t be surprised if Outlast is soon on the short list of most frightening video game titles ever released, nor should the expert sound design be lost on players or industry insiders. The game is scary and presents an interesting twist on the survival horror genre. I’m definitely looking forward to delving deeper inside Mount Massive Asylum.

Several trailers of the game can be found at the developers website: Red Barrel Games 

TWD Webisodes & Vincent Price Film Festival Offer Taste of Horror to Come

Posted in Pop Culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2013 by bluefall8

The team behind AMC’s The Walking Dead has released another series of webisodes to promote the upcoming fourth season. The creators first launched this idea in 2011 as the show was headed into its second season. That year fans were treated to six webisodes that chronicled the outbreak of the zombie plague from the viewpoint of a mother — the infamous bicycle girl as we would later discover. Last year a four part series entitled Cold Storage was released; in that incarnation a lone survivor seeks refuge inside a storage facility only to discover that it’s no safer than the world at large.

This time around fans can enjoy a three part series called The Oath, which details the unlikely road to survival for one couple. It is, in my opinion, the bleakest of the webisodes to date. I’ve stated before that these brief forays into other areas of The Walking Dead timeline should be considered essential viewing. The webisodes are produced with all the blood, guts, and professionalism as the show itself; the webisodes are directed by Walking Dead special effects guru, Greg Nicotero. The apocalyptic thrill ride will return to AMC Sunday, October 13th at 9pm.

The Redford Theater, located at 17360 Lahser Road in Detroit, will hold a Vincent Price Film Festival this weekend. On Friday, October 4th at 8pm there will be a screening of Diary of a Mad Man and The Raven. On Saturday, October 5th at 2pm there will be a viewing of House of Wax and then at 8pm a screening of The Masque of the Red Death and The Tingler. Tickets are $5 per show or $13 for the entire weekend.

I just recently found out about this and likely won’t be able to attend. If any readers of Horrorlust happen to make it to the Redford Theater be sure to leave a comment and let the rest of us know how it was.

Haunt Fiend, Indeed

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2012 by bluefall8

My usual cohorts were out of town last night but I didn’t let that stop me from enjoying a little night of local haunting. I called up my incomparable friend Ted, known to some as Victor Severus. We swung by Haunt for Hunger in Allen Park and then the Scream Machine in Taylor. Earlier today my sister and I took my nephew to the Friendly Monster Event held by the Wyandotte Jaycees — he was particularly tickled by a toilet comically overflowing with mounds of defecation. As always, I’ll post full reviews. However, the remainder of this afternoon will be spent editing the Mud Puppets Halloween Special before settling in with the wife this evening to watch the latest episode of The Walking Dead.

For more information on the Mud Puppets Halloween Special visit: mudpuppets.com

Legion of Terror Breathes Life into Bloodview

Posted in 2012, Bloodview, Review with tags , , , , , , on October 25, 2012 by bluefall8

It was apparent from the get go that the actors at Bloodview were cut from a different cloth than those at the Haunted School House and Laboratory. The ghouls and goblins here bill themselves as the Legion of Terror and claim to be the oldest improvisational troupe in the United States.

Every weekend the brains behind Bloodview change the theme of the attraction and it was by no mistake that our trip coincided with an outbreak of the undead. As we passed through the wrought iron gates to the grounds I watched a pair of zombies shamble lively after guests. As we waited in line to buy tickets a rotund zombie, once an officer of the law, stumbled about near guests, his mouth agape — death it seemed did nothing to curb his appetite.

The queue line area was certainly among the best I’ve ever seen, everywhere you looked reanimated meat bags pursued, harassed, and terrified haunters. The zombies here were of all sorts — air suckers and grabbers, chompers, droolers, and aimless bumblers. There seemed to be no less than a dozen of these characters who assailed waiting patrons in revolving waves. The performance of these actors was impressive and their dedication to the craft, inspiring. They were as entertaining as anything at Bloodview and that is not a knock against any other aspects of the show.

Soon we entered the first area of the haunted attraction, a large garage that helped set the tone for what was to come. The decor was simple and grotesque, the walls consisted merely of wooden slats. It had a bit of a chop shop vibe that fit well with the unique vortex tunnel near the exit that was flesh colored. The spinning fabric appeared to be adorned in chunks of long rotten meat. The overall effect was actually kind of sickening, but I liked it. Once outside we traveled into a lightly wooded area and across a small bridge to a location known as Baby Doll Island. As you may have guessed dolls of all shapes and sizes (and degrees of dismemberment) litter the landscape. Haunters wind their way through wooden outbuildings while a few gibbering nuts ask strange questions, one of them hung upside down from a support beam, grinning at guests with a joyful malice. This area of the attraction was of fair length and kept guests engaged with a smattering of small buildings through which we were forced to travel. This setup provided plenty of hiding places for hungry ghouls intent on scoring their next warm meal. Near the end of the trail, a man restrained a female zombie with a leash. Her particular death hue and characterization but me strongly in mind of the zombies from Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. She fought against her restraints, valiantly struggling for a piece of tender flesh. It was humorous for obvious reasons but due to her convincing portrayal, it was also quite creepy — by night’s end she certainly stood out as one of my favorite zombies.

We reentered the queue line where the mass of undead seemed to have swelled. Standing beneath this pavilion I soaked it all in, the spirit of Halloween was alive and well. A radio report brought us periodic updates on the zombie crises and filled the lulls with fitting music like the theme from The Walking Dead. I noticed a zombie dressed in old fashioned garb, she walked haphazardly in a confused state and generally put me in mind of some of the lady villagers in Resident Evil 4 — she gave me the willies much worse than any of her energetic counterparts.

As the undead menace terrorized haunters in all corners of the pavilion it was our time to enter the main attraction and we would not be disappointed. Bloodview featured a good deal of old school fundamentals — tight passages and a disorienting, claustrophobic design. Much of the attraction was comprised of bayou style shanties, each detailed with odd artifacts, like stained glass windows with eerie depictions, and dizzying floor plans. There were choke points near elevated platforms which a clever brain muncher could utilize to launch an attack. Near one of these a girl could be heard rambling near incoherence about mortal coil and immortality. She was excellent in her role, taking care to scold us for not heeding her earlier warnings when we found ourselves passing the prior mentioned elevated area that happened to wind back near her original location. Later, we found a large zombie standing on a platform and strapped to the wall. He groped wildly at passing haunters and looked, at times, as if he’d break free of his bonds. It was an intimidating sight as he towered above the group from his platform, swinging precariously — another highlight of the attraction.

As we neared the conclusion of the haunted house, we wandered into a darkened corridor which turned into another and then another. It was one of those moments where we seriously thought we may have accidentally stumbled into an area not meant for haunters, but the path continued to wind and strangely not a zombie sought us out. The combination of near perfect dark and multiple, twisting pathways caused us to become separated and this just so happened to coincide with unhinged excitement. Other haunters had followed us into this area and several attempts to back track had created quite a log jam of bodies. At one point I wandered the darkness in solitude, occasionally Richard would call out to me but I couldn’t discern in what direction his voice had come from.

Eventually I found Jason and we discovered an apparent end to the confusing maze. It ran into a longer hallway, this one with a little bit of light, and near the end a white robed figure stood eerily still, watching. Jason was the first to spot the apparition and still unsure if we’d taken a wrong turn we decided to back track once more. I, of course, couldn’t help but take a look at the mysterious phantom and when I did she began a slow stalk in my direction. A truly well timed performance — that moment of hesitation really helped sell the whole scene. Jason had already rounded a corner when I too struck back into the safety of the blackened maze, after all we had to find the rest of our party. Our paths soon crossed and indeed, in tow, there was a gaggle of other haunters. If the zombies would have struck at that precise moment the rotting bastards could have feasted for a week.

It was a flight to freedom from here, a mad dash through a series of ghoul infested scenes. We survived the horror and broke out of the haunted house onto the grounds of Bloodview where the teeming mass of undead still scurried in their fashion after anything that moved. Ultimately, Bloodview won’t fall on the list of all time best haunted attractions but it was highly enjoyable with a few moments that just bristled with infectious energy. The line entertainment as I mentioned previously was among the best we’ve witnessed; these folks aced Zombie 101 and smashed the advanced course as well. I suppose my only complaint would concern the pace which often seemed too breakneck; a few more key actors inside of the main attraction wouldn’t have been unappreciated either. With all of that said, I came away a fan of the Legion of Terror — I hope to make it back some day.

Rating: 3.75 stars