Tonight, we revel around bonfires and fly to the Brocken mountaintop by broomstick. Engage in unholy pagan ritual as we celebrate the spring equinox...
Closer to home, we revel in this day as the midpoint to the high holiday of All Hallow's Eve. In honor of this special day, I have created another collage design for the Highbury Cemetery Graphic Series. A quick, free form piece to celebrate the countdown to the big night. Halloween. It inches ever so closer...
This past weekend I had the chance to go check out the biannual Cinema Wasteland horror convention in Cleveland, Ohio. The highlight of this show was the 50th anniversary of the George Romero zombie classic, Night of the Living Dead.I scored a few odds and ends from the multitude of vendors, but I made sure to add these two particular pieces to my collection. I'm sure they both thought I was some total weirdo, but a huge thanks to Judith O'Dea and Kyra Schon for the personalization!
They're coming to get you, Barbara...
Fifty years later, and they were both going strong! Here's to fifty more, ladies! The next Cinema Wasteland convention is scheduled for September 29 - October 1. I can't wait to see what they have on tap for the fall show. See everyone there!
The creativity continues to flow and I was able to whip up another collage image for my continuing Highbury Cemetery Graphic Series. This time around, I threw on my new copy of The Thing soundtrack from Waxwork Records and let the sounds influence the spontaneous image assemblage below.
This series continues to be a simple exercise in free form creativity. It has no specific intent other than to serve as a fun outlet to keep my haunt-related ideas sharp as I head into this year's Halloween planning phase.
Feel free to check out the first three images in the series here, here and here.
I've been collecting vinyl records for 25-plus years now, but the record that showed up at my door today may be the new greatest piece in my ever-expanding collection. I have been an avid collector of Waxwork Records' horror and sci-fi soundtrack releases since their start, back in 2013. Beautifully illustrated covers created by well-known artists, stunningly gorgeous colored vinyl combinations and well-researched and thorough liner notes by directors and composers have become a hallmark of the Waxwork name, and their latest release is undoubtedly their best yet. John Carpenter's 1982 sci-fi horror masterpiece, The Thing, is widely regarded as some of his best work. Carpenter, who is well-known for scoring his own films, actually stepped away from writing the soundtrack for this film, and instead turned it over to legendary Italian soundtrack composer, Ennio Morricone. Morricone's cold, minimalist composition sets the perfect tone to accentuate the theme of stark isolation in the film.
Continuing with that cold, stark theme, Waxwork's "Trapped In The Ice" Deluxe Edition is somewhat of a masterpiece in its own right. The entire package comes housed in a glossy, die-cut outer case with only a stark logo of the film's title.
The outer case then "cracks" apart to reveal the contents inside: a gatefold sleeve, beautifully illustrated by Justin Erickson of Phantom City Creative, a fold-out poster and a matching booklet, complete with a full interview with director John Carpenter.
And if the outer die-cut shell, gatefold sleeve, booklet and fold-out poster weren't enough, the blue and white haze "ice" vinyl may be the best part of this incredible package. A beautiful swirl pattern that almost reflects the outline of Antarctica itself on the cover.
Top to bottom, this is easily one of the best releases to come out of Waxwork (and that really is saying something!). The amount of work that went into this release is staggering and the end product takes its rightful place at the top of my collection.
And unfortunately, with the hype that surrounded this release, the Deluxe version sold out immediately. But you can still find this (as well as the standard white vinyl "snow" edition) on eBay or Discogs, albeit at a premium price. But save your pennies, because this really is a piece that needs to be in your collection!
Holy hell, does this song kick some ass! I just came across the retro 80s metal sounds of Chicago's Satan's Hallow. I can't believe this song was just recorded! It sounds like it's straight out of a cult classic 80s metal horror movie. So good! PLAY IT LOUD!!
Another Sunday afternoon working on some more "Halloween stuff," and listening to some classic dark ambient tracks from Lull. Lost Sanctum appeared on the 1994 release, "Cold Summer." Perfect for a haunt soundtrack...
Well, I made it back alive and "crud free" from my first trip to St. Louis and the Transworld Halloween & Attractions Show. The Halloween tradeshow was everything I had heard it was, plus way more. I'm completely and utterly drained, but I couldn't be any happier. I arrived Thursday night, ready to hit the show bright and early the following morning. A huge thanks to Dave Shonk of Closed Casket Studios for allowing me the chance to tag along and work his booth for the show. Hopefully my adept skill at passing out flyers didn't go unnoticed!
Upon arriving at the show Friday morning, I was blown away at the size of the tradeshow floor and the number of popular, big-name vendors and the amount of incredible props on display in their booths. My only comparison would be the Midwest Haunters Convention times 20. The aisles of vendors stretched on and on. I had a quick chance to tour the entire show floor before returning for flyer duty.
After the show, we opted to hit up the City Museum. An artful, amazing building full of insane passageways, tunnels, steps, ladders and slides. It wasn't so much a museum as a giant playland for kids and adults. After a few hours of climbing, burrowing and sliding, we called it a night. Do yourself a favor and check out the images to see how wonderfully crazy this place really is!
The following morning, I made time to get a full tour of the tradeshow floor with my camera, as it was my last day at the show. I took pictures at every step and in every direction. There was so much to see and admire! I didn't buy anything, but I did get a lot of ideas for this year's haunt display. After taking the last photo, I headed back to the booth to finish my flyer duty. It was cool to see some old friends as well as making some new ones, as they passed through the booth. And it was nice to meet some of the big names in the haunter community, all of whom couldn't have been nicer. Even in the setting of the biggest tradeshow of the year, it still felt like a big group of people hanging out, and that is part of what makes the haunter community so much fun.
After the show's end on Saturday, we opted to drag our tired bodies over to check out Phobius Haunted House. They had opened for Saturday night only, specifically for the Transworld tradeshow. It was a bit of a drive, but it was well worth it. Lush scenery and detail in each room, a great array of actors and an incredible use of lighting and fog throughout that ended in a truly disorienting room bathed in dull light and dense fog. This haunt is HIGHLY recommended and is another that I get to check off the Haunt Bucket List.
On Sunday, I got up early and hit the long, dusty trail back to the Cemetery, my head buzzing with the events of the previous few days, completely energized to start planning the yard display for this Halloween.
Transworld was an amazing experience and I can't wait to suck up to Dave again next year for another chance to take it all in again!
Now sit back and enjoy a huge collection of photos from Transworld, 2017...
A cold, weathered hand pierces the rust-laden earth of a late autumn night. Reanimated decay becomes the evening's guide. Masked faces bask in the fiery glow of a jack-o-lantern's illumination. A lifeless finger points the direction toward the next porch-lit house. For this is the night of ghouls and goblins and tricks and treats. This is the night of Hallowe'en...