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Bizarre wax Amish children for sale on Craigslist
02:31 pm


wax statues

Someone in the charmingly named town of Bird in Hand, Pennsylvania, is overburdened with wax figures of Amish children and is using an ad on Philadelphia Craiglist to unload them. Here’s the ad:

I have 28 wax figures. I’m asking $300 EACH. There are 4 mechanical. I’m selling 1 figure with a desk for $300. There out of the weavertown one room school house in bird in hand pa. They were made by dwarfmans in 1969. They were appraised at $450 to $800 each. Would love to sell as a set . If your interested in all please contact me. Please NO low balling. I had several offers that I turned down! I have no problem with offers if you buy the 28 as a set (no low balling) and no scams. I take cash on pick up . I can also take credit card but prefer cash.

As Gizmodo’s Katharine Trendacosta figured out, the Weavertown One Room School House is “an authentic one-room school” dating from 1877 in which “life-sized animation brings this interactive classroom to life.” Until May 1969 it was a school for Amish and Mennonite children, but then it became a museum.

One might wonder, what’s up with the museum if all the wax figurines are for sale on Craigslist? A note on the Ultimate Cinema Guide website (??) states that “we are still working on getting the wax figures moving again very soon,” but I wouldn’t be surprised if that note were on the old side. So perhaps they abandoned plans to fix them?

The reasons why and wherefore are secondary. What matters here is that if you can scrape together 8,400 simoleons, you can populate your very own fake Amish classroom—and we won’t even pry all too much as to why you would want to do that…..


Many, many more wax Amish kids, after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘The Witch’ movie playset for kids!
09:48 am


The Witch

Somehow I missed this delightful The Witch playset for kids created by Playnnobil and featured on Millionaire Playboy. It was “released” to the Internet back in March and is based on Robert Eggers’ 2015 historical period horror flick The Witch (or The VVitch if you prefer). Dig his Black Phillip figure!

I had mixed emotions about The Witch. While I thought that it was very beautifully shot, and well-acted, it just didn’t scare the pants off me the way movie critics (and seemingly everyone on Facebook) promised it would. More “arthouse flick” as opposed to something truly terrifying, like say The Descent.

I don’t know, but I thought that it could’ve been a lot scarier. That’s just me. I kept waiting and waiting for something to happen, but by the time it finally did it just felt too late. If you haven’t seen it yet, I won’t give anything away. Again, what do I know, it could make for a good, spooky October film for you and yours. You might love it. Many people did. There were several haunting elements of the film that stayed with me, but I can’t honestly recommend The Witch but tepidly.

Anyway, I can appreciate the artistry, of both the film and this cool PLAYMOBIL-themed playset! If you want to know more about Playnnobil’s thoughts about his creations—and the source of his inpiration—go here. There aren’t too many spoilers.


More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
The Gorbals Vampire: The child-eating monster that terrorized Glasgow in the 1950s

For three nights the children came to the “City of the Dead.” They carried knives, clubs and stakes—even a crucifix. Two hundred or more children came to the Gorbals Necropolis—a large cemetery situated in the south of the city of Glasgow. They were aged between four and fourteen. A few were just toddlers accompanying older brothers on this terrifying hunt. There was a sense of excitement. A sense of danger. Some thought it thrilling. Others were terrified. Most set with a grim determination of what had to be done. They said they were ready—they knew they were ready.  Ready to hunt and kill a vampire.

In September of 1954 the children from the Gorbals district of Glasgow were terrorized by tales of a hideous vampire. A ghoulish beast, he was supposedly seven feet tall with blood red eyes and sharp iron teeth. The children called this creature the Gorbals Vampire. They said it had already killed two young boys—drinking their blood and feasting on their flesh. The police refused to comment but when pressed claimed they had no knowledge of these missing children or the vampire who had eaten them. But the children thought they knew better…

Tales and half-truths spread word-of-mouth: Wee Jimmy had heard it from Rab; and Rab heard it from Billy; and Billy should know ‘cause his cousin’s a policeman.

On September 23rd, police constable Alex Deeprose was called to a disturbance at the Gorbals “City of the Dead”—the Southern Necropolis. PC Deeprose was shocked on arrival to find up to 200 kids roaming the graves looking for signs of a vampire. At first, he thought the children were joking—but when they begged him to help find the vampire and drive a stake through its heart, he realized that this was no joke.

Tam Smith was a seven-year-old schoolboy at the time. He recalled the scene in a newspaper interview:

“The walls were lined with people. We ventured through the gatehouse and there were loads of kids in there, some wandering around, some sitting on the walls. There were a lot of dogs too, and mums and dads with kids.

“We found a place to stand out of the way because there were so many people there. I think the whole of the Gorbals was in that graveyard. It’s hard to put an estimate on the number of people.”

But what had caused so many people to believe there was a vampire in their midst? Ronnie Sanderson was an eight-year-old from the Gorbals when the vampire story first spread through the city:

“It all started in the playground - the word was there was a vampire and everyone was going to head out there after school. At three o’clock the school emptied and everyone made a beeline for it. We sat there for ages on the wall waiting and waiting. I wouldn’t go in because it was a bit scary for me.”

“I think somebody saw someone wandering about and the cry went up: ‘There’s the vampire!’ That was it - that was the word to get off that wall quick and get away from it.”

“I just remember scampering home to my mother: ‘What’s the matter with you?’ ‘I’ve seen a vampire!’ and I got a clout round the ear for my trouble. I didn’t really know what a vampire was.”

The vampire hunt and the story of the two missing children spread panic across the city. Still, the police had no report of any missing children. At the local school the headmaster denounced the story as nonsense and warned children against believing such a ridiculous tale, but the following night and the night after that the Gorbals children came out in force looking to kill a vampire.

The press picked up on the story. “AMAZING SCENE AS HUNDREDS OF CHILDREN RUSH CEMETERY” ran one headline. The Gorbals Vampire was dismissed as an urban myth—an example of mass hysteria. The press began to investigate how this fiction of the murderous bloodsucking monster came about. They claimed American comic books like Tales From The Crypt and The Vault of Horror were responsible. These comics with their graphic tales and gruesome imagery were the cause of the mass panic. Yet some academics disagreed stating they had found no reference to any iron toothed vampire in either comic. Instead they claimed there was “a monster with iron teeth in the Bible (Daniel 7.7) and one in a poem taught in local schools.”

Then another story spread about a woman—most probably a witch—who was said to be in league with the Gorbals Vampire:

“There was an old lady who used to carry two cats in a basket. She would go to the graveyard to get peace away from the kids and let her cats have a wander. But she was in there the night we went looking for it and people were involving the ‘cat woman’ with the iron man. It was a shame when you think about it, she was an eccentric with wiry hair, but we called her Tin Lizzie. She was the iron man’s ‘burd’.”

In fact, the press were half right. The story of an iron-tooth vampire had been inspired by an American comic—but not Tales from the Crypt or Vault of Horror—rather Dark Mysteries.

In issue the December 1953 issue of Dark Mysteries #15 there was a story entitled: “The Vampire with the Iron Teeth.” This was the apparent source of the panic over the Gorbals Vampire.
The suggestion that “nasty” American comic books were corrupting young children led to an unholy alliance between teachers, Communists and religious leaders to demand a ban on sales of comics like Tales from the Crypt and the Vault of Horror to children.

Yet our two eyewitnesses to the events of September 1954 have said they had never seen a horror movie or read a horror comic.
On September 26th, 1954, the Sunday Mail newspaper ran the following story:


Read on after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Artist gives thrift store paintings a pop culture makeover
11:01 am


David Irvine
thrift store art

David Irvine’s whimsical pop culture makeovers of old thrift store paintings seem to have been around forever. His instantly recognizable pictures of Star Wars characters fighting on snowy landscapes, or horror movie villains chainsawing the rose garden, or dinosaurs wreaking havoc in beautiful Alpine villages are probably now more famous than the original artwork they’re painted upon.

Irvine’s iconic pictures are part of his ongoing series Re-Directed Art which gives “potential landfill paintings” a new (and hopefully more fully appreciated) lease of life. It’s a worthy and rather profitable cause as prints of Irvine’s work sell for a couple of hundred bucks apiece and are (understandably) eminently collectible.

New pictures appear weekly and can be seen on his website and Facebook.
More made-over thrift store treasures, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
France Gall Sings About ‘Computer Dating’ In 1968
09:12 am


France Gall

Der Computer Nr.3 45 on Decca Records
In 1968, Serge Gainsbourg protégé France Gall participated in the televised song contest Deutscher Schlager-Wettbewerb (“The German Schlager Competition”) where hundreds of composers and lyricists from all over Europe were called upon to write a brand new hit song. A total of 495 titles were submitted, and only twelve songs were selected for the finals which were broadcast live on channel ZDF. Although she was French-born and famously known as a yé-yé singer, Gall did enjoy a successful career in Germany in the late ‘60s. With a little help from Werner Müller and Giorgio Moroder, she published 42 songs in German language between 1966 and 1972.

On July 4th, 1968, 21-year-old France Gall took the stage at the Berliner Philharmonie concert hall and performed a song titled “Der Computer Nr.3” live with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra leaving 300 people and a panel of judges dramatically baffled over what in the world she was singing about: “Computer #3 searches the right boy for me. The computer knows the perfect woman for every man and happiness is drawn instantly from its files.” The song then suddenly takes an unexpected turn when it switches over to a vocoder German computer voice which pre-dates the formation of Kraftwerk “22 Jahre, schwarze Haare, von Beruf Vertreter, Kennzeichen: Geld wie Heu” (Age: 22 years, black hair, professional representative, features: money galore)

The song (credited to the biggest hit-making duo in Germany at the time: music producer Christian Bruhn and lyricist Georg Buschor) then takes yet another completely unexpected turn as it dips into a Beatles cover for a brief moment before diving right back into the subject matter at hand. “Lange war ich einsam, heut’ bin ich verliebt, und nur darum ist das so, weil es die Technik und die Wissenschaft und Elektronengehirne gibbet.” Translated into English, France Gall is singing perfectly to the “Eight Days A Week” melody “Ohh I need your love babe, yes you know it’s true, that’s only because the technology and science and electrons are there.”

Cut to the audience to see hundreds of upper-class post-war Germans staring blankly, emotionless, and reactionless at the very first song ever written about computer dating. While personal computers and the internet were still years away, computer dating was an actual trend in the late ‘60s being targeted to lonely hearts all over the world by way of magazine advertorials. Participants would submit their vital stats, a punchcard-plotted questionnaire, and a personal check in the amount of $3-5 in an old-fashioned stamp-licked envelope. Then they waited patiently (usually several weeks or months) while an IBM mainframe the size of an entire room crunched the numbers on their personalities, intelligence, and preferences (no photos were involved).

Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Doug Jones | Leave a comment
Forget ‘HyperNormalisation,’ Here’s Adam Curtis Bingo!
11:52 am

Current Events

Adam Curtis

Famed BBC documentarian Adam Curtis has a new documentary out. It’s called HyperNormalisation.

Maybe you’ve seen it?

If not—even if you’re just vaguely familiar with his films—you can probably guess what it’s all going to be about. Or at the very least what it will look like. You know, bits of seemingly non-related archival footage from the Beeb’s vast library of potent historical imagery cut together with ponderous shots of people looking worried standing by big-assed mainframe computers intercut with nuclear testing in the Pacific. And terrorism. Lots and lots of that.

In other words, what Adam Curtis does better than anyone else...

Which brings me to this wonderful idea created by Chris Applegate called Adam Curtis Bingo.

The idea is simple: Just check off each of the usual Adam Curtis trademark tropes while watching HyperNormalisation.

Things like:

“This is the story of…”

Presenting a dichotomy between order and chaos

5 minute video clip of some sort of atrocity

Trent Reznor track plays

BBC archive footage of “That’s Life!”



People in the 50s or 60s dancing

Mention of any of the bin Laden family

80s Russian punk musicians

Consequences of something turn out to be opposite of what was intended

You get the idea….

In fact, you could almost use this handy little bingo card to make your very own Adam Curtis documentary. Then who knows? maybe an “Adam Curtis documentary generator” which could utilize randomized retro YouTube clips and a limited arsenal of deep thinking quotes for the voiceover and graphics.

The full ‘Adam Curtis Bingo’ game, and more, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
These gruesome horror movie posters from Thailand really know how to sell their shit
09:26 am


horror movies
movie posters

Zombie Holocaust’ (1982)
You could say the best kind of movie posters make their pitch—entice an audience—without giving too much of their story away.

On the other hand, these kickass movie posters from Thailand don’t bother with such niceties—they go straight for the choice cuts, chop ‘em up and serve ‘em fresh on a lurid day-glo platter. The end result often means the posters are better than the films they’re selling.

In among this lurid gallery of grisly delights are some fine movies—To the Devil a Daughter, The Changeling, Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead II, George A. Romero’s Martin and (a personal fave) John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness. Of course, there are quite a few bombs too—including George Clooney’s film debut Return to Horror High, Subspecies II and Manhattan Baby.

In the end—it doesn’t really matter as long as these posters succeeded in making each of these films look like two thumbs up.
The Beyond’ (1981)
The Changeling’ (1980)
More lurid Thai horror movie posters, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Rocky Horror Denture Show: Artist recreates Dr. Frank-N-Furter/Tim Curry’s teeth

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, “Well someone had to do it, right?”

And this someone is painter and sculptor Jessine Hein. We’ve blogged about Hein’s work here before when she created dentures of David Bowie’s old teeth before he had them “fixed” with porcelain veneers.

This time around it’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show‘s own Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s pearly whites. They’re made of denture acrylics, plaster and acrylic paint.

When I think of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, I think of Tim Curry’s big crooked smile. Dr. Frank-N-Furter was a character on the forefront of expressing oneself honestly and unapologetically. And his wonky teeth were not standing in the way of his outrageous glamor. Instead they were highlighting his shimmering personality and were part of his charm. It’s a beautiful example of a complimentary imperfection.

Some time ago Curry got his teeth “fixed.” That inspired me to revive the original oral pearls of the one and only “sweet transvestite” in celebration of things that don’t need a remake.

Not only is Jessine Hein skilled at making exact replicas of pop icons’ teeth, she’s one hell of an oil painter, too. Do yourself a favor and check out her work here.


More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Giant John Waters head bong
02:34 pm


John Waters

Image via NikkiSwarm on Instagram

I completely adore this huge ceramic John Waters head bong by artist John de Fazio. The piece is currently on exhibit in Los Angeles at Venus Over Manhattan. (Looks more like a “pipe” to me, but the Internet is calling it a “bong.”)

Fun fact: During his brief tenure at NYU in 1966, a young John Waters was involved in the first major pot bust on a college campus. University authorities asked the students involved to keep quiet about the incident, but Waters called the New York Daily News the next day giving the tabloid paper an interview about what had happened.

Photo by Nicole McClure AKA Nikki Swarm on Instagram and Twitter

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Hollow Children: Creepy portraits of happy—or perhaps evil—little kids
10:55 am


Björn Griesbach

We can’t see their eyes. That’s what I find disturbing about artist Björn Griesbach’s series of portraits of smiling children. We can see their teeth—which are almost identical—but we can’t tell if these smiling kids are happy and genuine in their expressions or not.

It’s a case of smile over content.

Björn Griesbach is a German artist based in Hanover. He is best known for his startlingly original illustrations for those classic fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm, his cover designs to books by Herman Hesse, and his drawings for an edition of Jean Paul-Sartre’s novel Nausea.

Griesbach’s series of superbly creepy portraits Hollow Children question our response to that near universal expression of happiness, pleasure, and friendliness—the smile.

Should we respond to the children’s smile reflexively? Or are we a tad disturbed that these eerie offspring have had their eyes smudged out and we can no longer connect with their expressions?

Scientists can’t fully explain why we smile—but they do know smiling generally makes us feel better.

A genuine smile involves the use of those muscles around our eyes. This is called a Duchenne smile after the French neurologist who first identified the two distinct forms of smiling. This smile that involves raising the eyes is a genuine smile.

The second type of smile which does not involve any eye movement is the fake smile—or “Pan Am smile,” so-called because of its use by air stewardesses to greet passengers on and off flights. These days it may be a bit more difficult to ascertain a genuine smile with all the botox injections paralysing any facial expression.

See more of Björn Griesbach’s work here.
More smile over content, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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