Monthly Archives: October 2008

Halloween Hobnobbin’

I’ve got to make this quick since I have some last-minute Halloween preparations to make. Some of you might be a little baffled as to why I chose to post a video of someone in a silly costume singing a cover of a Frank Zappa song, but I hope that the message at the end makes it all clear.

Happy Halloween!

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Sven Update

Quick news – after contacting FuzzyMemories.TV and Svengoolie, the below link to ‘Svengoolie – It Came From Berwyn!!’ is sort-of-okay. Not to cause any trouble, hurt feelings or lawsuits, the link will be up until November 1st. So you have until Halloween to Trick-or-Treat the link. After that, it’ll come down and you’ll just have to egg your computer screen (instead of my house.)

Terror T.R.A.X.

Back in the early 90’s, the company behind “Dungeons & Dragons” created a line of “Choose Your Own Adventure”-type audio CDs called “Terror T.R.A.X.” The idea behind them was that you were an operative for a secret organization (Trace, Research, Analyze and eXterminate) that investigates 911 calls involving the paranormal and that you’d switch audio tracks on the CD instead of turning pages in a book. According to this site, the concept only lasted for four CDs, a PC game remake of “Track of the Vampire,” and a proposed (but never made) TV movie. As from an unofficial fan-made game called “Track of the Undead,” the series was largely forgotten since then. At least, until Noah “Spoony” Antwiler did some laugh-out-loud hilarious video reviews of “Track of the Vampire” and “Track of the Werewolf”:

It Came from….BERWYN?!!!

(Son of) Svengoolie

WCIU- the U!
Fuzzy Memories.TV

It seemed to lessen a bit, but the Halloween spirit has come back to kick me in the eye socket. With a black eye of live, I’m back to rocking Halloween spirit; seems appropriate, being as we’re two days until the big day. I figured to avoid another orbital fracture, I’d give a treat to those of you who keep coming back here.

[edit Nov.1 – all gone. Happy Halloween! See you next year.]

Taking up the mantle of Svengoolie originally, Jerry Bishop passed the title to Richard Koz who took the name ‘Son of Svengoolie’ during his initial run on Chicago television. After a near-thirty year career, Koz’s character is referred to as Svengoolie. Along with musical partner Doug Graves, Tombstone the talking skull and a barrage of rubber chickens, Svengoolie is still on today despite a period of being off the air (allowing for a spin-off, the “Koz Zone.” ‘Koz’ rhymes with ‘nose.’)

Two years ago, thanks to a random passing-by of an odd YouTube video, I found Svengoolie. Not having the pleasure to grow up in Chicago during the seventies/eighties of the first round, I’m glad that technology allows for access of some of the classic Sven clips. Most of them have left YouTube and gone over to FuzzyMemories, the official home for old Chicago TV.

What the above link, the ‘Trick or Link,’ is to a compilation of audio bits taken from Fuzzy Memories. The sound quality is a bit rancid, I’ll admit, but if you are someone who can listen to pops and crackles on a record player, then you won’t mind. ‘It Came from Berwyn’ features a few songs from the original Svengoolie, since I think they were funny. Hopefully, this won’t be the Mary Jane equivalent of your Halloween downloads; perhaps one of those strange candy skeletons in the oddly colored box, with the candy not tasting all that great but the experience not lessened for it.

This is sexy?

Mondo Schlocko has a great, twopart look at some supposedly “sexy” Halloween costumes for women. There’s actually an even goofier “Sexy Freddy Krueger” costume out there, but I don’t know if it’s available to the general public.

Printable Halloween Decor II

For those of you not satisfied by my previous forays into printable decorations, check these out:

The Monster Maze has several printable warning signs that’d look great in any mad scientist-related display.

On a related note, Warningsigngenerator.com and Safety Sign Builder let you make customized warning signs that you can print out for free. However, Safety Sign Builder seems to require you to sign up on their site before they’ll let you print anything.

Hewlett-Packard’s crafts section has some Halloween decorations for doorbells, along with the usual assortment of printable masks and Halloween cards.

Dadcando.com has an interesting way of making a printable magic wand. However, unlike the other projects shown in this post, this one requires use of a glue gun and some painting.

MadHaus Creative used to have great tutorials about making a head in a jar and a tube full of eyeballs using printouts, but they’ve recently been removed. The reason for this is because some jerk had the nerve to steal stuff from the website, burn it onto a DVD-R, and tried selling it on ebay as if he created it all. I’m planning on writing an e-mail to that site’s webmaster to show my support in the near future and I hope that anyone reading this does the same. Hopefully, this will get him to bring those tutorials back.

Halloween How (not) To

Here’s a bizarre, creepy, and definitely NSFW tutorial on making a female troll figure for Halloween. THRILL! at a man smoking and yelling at his dog! CHILL! at repeated use of the phrase “troll titties” and at the thought of what he’ll do with the finished troll!

Back when I first saw this on Halloweenforum.com, there was much debate over whether this was actually serious or if it was just an elaborate parody. Judging from his other videos, this seems to be real. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

From Denmark, with Love: HorrorPops

HorrorPops

Hell Yeah!, Hellcat 2004
Bring It On!, Hellcat 2005
Kiss Kiss Kill Kill, Hellcat 2008

I wrote a review of the Horrorpops release ‘Kiss Kiss Kill Kill’ which came out last February. I said it was an enjoyable record that showed the band’s progression and experimentation with sounds outside their rockabilly origins. The record has aged well in the past months and makes for a nice addition to the everyday play list. Halloween-wise, the HorrorPops have been on the outs with the spooky for a while.

The band is made up of Patricia Day, Kim Nekroman and Niedermeier. Nekroman is the frontman of Nekromantix, one of the bigger psychobilly bands out there. There’s plenty of spooky, on tattooes and in history, so it’s not as if the HorrorPops are SpookyReformed(tm). It’s a case, I think, of not wanting to eat tuna fish every day. Having committed themselves to Spooky enough, the band is willing to branch out, always loyal to their old interests but strong enough to entertain new ones.

What I didn’t mention in the review was that I found out about the Horropops back in 2004 from watching ‘Punk Rock Holocaust,’ bought used during an long afternoon spent at Last Vestige. ‘Punk Rock Holocaust’ is one of those ‘son of Troma’ movies, where young cinematic fanatics, after spending their fledgling periods under the guide of Lloyd Kaufman and co., head out into the unknown, dangerous world of independent cinema. Other films in this category include ‘Killjoy 2,’ ‘Die You Zombie Bastards!’ and the 2002’s ‘Scooby Doo.’

‘Punk Rock Holocaust’ is a nice slasher that introduced me to both the HorrorPops and the Phenomenauts. It also features half of Simple Plan and the Used getting killed off by a masked punk. Lloyd Kaufman has a role in it as Satan. What more could you want?

At first, the HorrorPops didn’t really click with me but over time, and finding both their albums used, I became a reluctant fan. Why should I be hesitant to be a fan of the HorrorPops? I think it’s not just them, but all psychobilly/rockabilly bands. The upright bass is an instrument with presence. It’s hard to form a sound around it. It’s such an all-encompassing instrument, like the steel guitar or the farfisa organ, that it’s quite easy to sound just like any other band while using it. It’s a sound with such a distinct personality that it doesn’t take much for it to override any other aspect of the band.

I remember around 2004/05, the HorrorPops were apologetically ‘not a psychobilly band’ on their website. I think they were prepping their fans who, after becoming enamored by the ‘Hell Yeah’ release, would be in a shock for the deviating themes on ‘Bring It On.’ There was less about zombies, monsters and skulls and more about broken love, getting drunk and the redeeming power of being in a strong friendship. Sure, there was ‘Walk Like a Zombie,’ but I see now that song was more included for it being a do-wop number than a zombie song.

With ‘Kiss Kiss Kill Kill,’ the band progressed far enough away from the rock/psycho campgrounds with songs that were similar to ska, do-wop, 80’s goth-pop (Peter Murphy, Sisters of Mercy, that kind of thing.) There was some rockabilly with the first single, ‘Heading for the Disco,’ but it fit in with the rest of the album as a tribute to the group’s musical influences. In the review, I said it was a display of growth in both music and subject matter, as songs addressed social unrest in the band’s native land of Denmark (“Boot2Boot”) and some of the problems of being a woman in a genre/scene that’s male dominated (“MissFit”).

They’re a popular band – popular meaning that you can probably find their CDs in stores – and I would check them out if they come by.

Munster Mash

According to this site, Alice Cooper is hosting WGN’s 16 episode marathon of The Munsters from 4:00 pm to midnight (Eastern standard time) on Halloween. For those of you on the West coast, the marathon will run from 1:00 pm – 9:00 pm. This will be followed by a half-hour special about the making of Alice Cooper’s “Along Came a Spider” album.

Please check your local listings to see if you get WGN in your area.

Graphic Displays of Halloween

For my debut at Gravediggers Local 16, I wanted to post something Canadian.  After all, I am from the land of the Wendigo and poorly-produced shows about the Wendigo.  Today I’m linking to something far more evil: POLITICAL CORRECTNESS!

Yeah, I know, I hate when people post things like “the impending global recession is far scarier than a werewolf.”  I should punch myself.

This story, taken from a CBC Vancouver news broadcast a year ago, concerns fashion store Mintage’s “controversial” window display, with mannequins either in bondage or dismembered:

There is an instance in the story where the “Ladybug” costume is shown:


That’s some “ladybug.”  The butterfly wings and the half-assed placement of dots on the costume just kill me.

More fun is had when the camera turns to Donna Dobo, the owner of Just Imagine Fun Clothing and the focal point of this news item.  I can’t vouch for how responsible she is running her business, although she did take this down for being too racy.

I do question the zebra-stripe shawl she’s wearing:


I just can’t see that being part of a pimp, errr, “big daddy” costume.  At least she’s not wearing a wide-brimmed hat or holding a diamond-tipped cane.

To round out this first post, here’s an article from the Truro Daily News about popular Halloween costumes.  Thanks to The Tudors, which the Daily News misidentifies, King Henry VIII costumes are big this year.  As if Halloween needs more pimps, errr, “big daddies.”