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Nightmare fuel: Creepy animatronic characters from beyond the ‘uncanny valley’ of the dolls
07.29.2016
10:07 am

Topics:
Amusing
Unorthodox

Tags:
animatronics


 
Not that most folks ever go out looking for nightmare fuel, but just in case you happen to be in the market for some, might I recommend the website of Characters Unlimited, Inc.?
 

 
Nevada-based Characters Unlimited, Inc. specializes in creating life-sized animatronic characters. These automatons have voice-activated jaws which will move to pre-recorded messages or respond to audio input from a wireless microphone.

In aesthetics the “uncanny valley” is the notion that replicas appearing almost-but-not-quite human create feelings of uneasiness in the observer.

Now, we’ve all seen these sorts of coin-operated dummies in fortune-telling booths and marksman games and novelty pizzerias, but these particular specimens are extra-special. It’s not really any kind of uncanny-valley-ness that makes them so horrifying. In fact, no one would mistake these grotesqueries for being anything close to human, and it would be difficult to pick any single one as the most frightening. They’re ALL pretty creepy.

The site claims that prices on these things start at $495, which is a small price to pay for something that could potentially make SO MANY children cry.

Check these guys out. My favorite is “Man With Black Face: Man Dressed as African-American.”
 

 
More nightmare fuel after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
There are cupcakes you can squeeze that look like giant pimples
07.19.2016
10:18 am

Topics:
Amusing
Food
Unorthodox

Tags:
Cupcakes
pimples



 
Okay, sure, so this is probably just totally gross and unnecessary, but hey, in my defense, my job here at Dangerous Minds is—often, not always, but often—to expose you, our dear readers, to the bowels of Internet hell. And this, unfortunately, includes posting about cupcakes that look like giant cystic pimples that you can actually squeeze! Blessed By Baking, in California came up with this idea because of the Internets’ obsession with pimple-popping videos on YouTube by Dr. Pimple Popper. Apparently people are strangely satisfied by watching videos of pimples and blackheads being extracted.

So naturally the next step with this obsession is to make squeezable pimple cupcakes, right? Ew.

According to Blessed By Baking, the cupcakes taste awesome. The yellow pus-like substance is actually custard or lemon curd. To be honest, I wouldn’t touch this shit. No way!

 
via Daily Mail

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Brian Eno, Phil Collins, Viv Stanshall & more in prog-rock version of ‘Peter and the Wolf’


 
Prokofiev’s orchestral composition/children’s story Peter and the Wolf is familiar to everyone who had to take music appreciation as a schoolkid: briefly, a young boy named Peter and his animal friends are spending a day by his grandfather’s pond when a wolf attacks. Peter, with his ingenuity and some help from a bird, captures the wolf, beating a group of hunters to the prize, and the story ends with a parade as the wolf is carted off to a zoo. Every character has a distinct musical theme played on a different instrument, and Peter’s theme alone is surely one of the the most recognizable pieces of classical music from the 20th Century.

If you’re feeling like a quick-and-dirty head trip, by all means visit Peter and the Wolf’s Wikipedia page and hit ‘play’ on all the themes at once.

Another highly worthy Prokofiev head trip was released in 1975—an art rock Peter and the Wolf featuring a laundry list of British pysch, blues, and prog luminaries. The narrator was the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band’s Viv Stanshall, in a remarkably subdued performance. The various themes were performed by Manfred Mann, Chris Spedding, and Stephane Grappelli, among others. Already pretty cool right there, but the wolf was memorably performed by Brian Eno, and the hunters were played by a quartet of prog drummers—Jon Hiseman, Cozy Powell, Bill Bruford and Phil Collins.
 
Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
You love the Shaggs and Wesley Willis, but have you met Norma Lee?
05.13.2016
09:10 am

Topics:
Music
Unorthodox

Tags:
Outsider music
Norma Lee


 
Oh, the wonders of the Internet. Somehow this one is only now hitting my radar, but boy-oh-boy is it good. Kentucky’s Norma Lee ticks off every check box on my list of what makes an outsider artist truly great: creative use of the form, provocative content, and a complete and utter lack of self-awareness. Like the Shaggs or Wesley Willis before her, Norma Lee is trying her darndest, seemingly oblivious to her own lack of talent in a traditional sense—but all the while being incredibly entertaining.

I adore her Kentucky hills accent. She sounds a bit like a brain-damaged Loretta Lynn when she sings in “He’s Swapping His Boat” about her husband being “retard from a factory.” “He’s Swapping His Boat” is Norma’s big hit. It’s essentially about giving up on every bit of joy in one’s life—specifically her poor husband who had to sell his boat to buy a tractor to clear six acres of land. If you only hear one Norma Lee song in your life, IT MUST BE THIS ONE.

He’s a middle-aged man who needs a hand to help him work his land… he’s just a swappin’ all that fun on that boat, ‘cause he done sowed his oats… now it’s time to get down to earth and put his hands to work.

Forget emo or goth. You want monotone music extolling the bleak reality of absolute depression? Here it is.

Your dreams are dead, get to work:
 

 
After the jump, hear how Norma Lee feels about Paris Hilton, and more!

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Brutal death metal version of John Cage’s avant garde classical work 4′33’’
05.09.2016
09:05 am

Topics:
Music
Unorthodox

Tags:
John Cage
death metal
4′33″


 
Here at Dangerous Minds, we’ve hipped you to the death metal version of “You’re the One That I Want” from Grease, as well as the death metal version of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” from Mary Poppins, but this right here may be the ultimate “death metal version” of all time.

Depending on who’s doing the talking, John Cage’s 4’33” is either a brilliant minimalist classical masterpiece which challenges the very definition of music, or the greatest musical in-joke of all time, or a pretentious load of horse-shit devised to make you feel dumb because you “just don’t get it.” It’s probably, to varying degrees, some vivid combination of the three.

The band Dead Territory have created their own wickedly unique take on Cage’s vision, and quite frankly it’s one of my favorite performances of this groundbreaking piece of music.

To those of our readers unfamiliar with the piece, I’d rather not spoil it by explaining it before you take in this BRUTAL death metal rendition of the work. The wikipedia page devoted to the controversial 4’33” has plenty of information on the piece, its background, and critical reception.

Without further ado, the absolutely sickest rendition of 4’33” to date. Top this, Internet…
 

 

 

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
The theme music from Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’... PLAYED WITH KNIVES


 
I recently had a conversation with film composer Harry Manfredini, the guy behind Friday the 13th‘s infamous “tch tch tch…” about the primary influences on modern horror soundtracking and we agreed on the works of Kryzstof Penderecki and Bernard Herrmann being basically ground-zero for fright music for the last 40 years or so of cinematic terror. One specific Herrmann work has informed horror scoring more than any other single piece of music anyone could possibly name: his iconic theme music for Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece, Psycho.

A novel rendition of Herrmann’s Psycho theme was recently brought to my attention, and, as covers go, is quite masterful in its own right. Joachim Horsley is a composer and orchestrator for television and film and has a few albums under his belt. His 2014 album Joachim Horsley Was Dead the Whole Time contains this particular version of the Psycho theme as played on a piano… with knives.

Horsley is able to coax some odd tonalities out of the piano strings both with the knife blades and by striking the strings with the knife handle, while muting with his palm. These sounds mimic the orchestration of Herrmann’s original score.

Obviously, there’s both symbolism and novelty going on here with the use of kitchen knives, Norman Bates’ personal weapon of choice, but the end result is quite beautiful. Horsley takes some liberties towards the end of the piece and it gets a bit jazzy (maybe even slightly Latin jazzy?) in its climax. It’s cool though. He owns it.

This KILLER cover version, after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Doll parts: A terrifying glimpse inside doll-making factories from around the world
03.30.2016
09:49 am

Topics:
Pop Culture
Unorthodox

Tags:
dolls
Doll factory

Talking dolls waiting around in a doll factory in France, 1930
Dolls waiting around in a doll factory in France, 1930.
 
When I came across these photos I immediately drew the conclusion that they could have been shot by Alfred Hitchcock during his downtime, as most of them are (and I’m pretty sure it’s intentional), as terrifying as fuck.

Taken over the course of two decades from 1931 - 1955, the images were culled from photos of doll factories in the United States, England, Germany, France and Italy. And I’m not kidding when I say these photos will give you the creeps -  because the photos, such as the one of a group of disembodied, freshly cast doll heads impaled on iron stakes, or say dangling doll legs that are hanging up to dry (pictured below), look like they belong at a gourmet cannibal meat market run by Hannibal Lecter. You can thank me later for not sleeping tonight after checking out the rest of the photos. If you need me, I’ll be under the bed.
 
Dangling doll legs in a factory in England, 1951
Dangling doll legs in a factory in England, 1951.
 
Drying doll heads, 1947
Drying doll heads, 1947.
 
Trimming doll eyelashes, 1949
Trimming doll eyelashes, 1949.
 
Various, not terrifying at all dolls being painted in a doll factory in Italy, 1950
Various rather terrifying looking dolls being painted inside a doll factory in Italy, 1950.
 
More scary dolls after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Warning: You cannot ‘unsee’ these Winnie the Pooh masks that come straight from the bowels of Hell
03.21.2016
09:46 am

Topics:
Amusing
Unorthodox

Tags:
Winnie the Pooh


 
Yeah, the packing looks harmless enough, but as they say never judge a book by its cover. Or a facial mask.

Apparently these officially-licensed Winnie the Pooh “relaxation” facial masks are scaring the bejeezus out of users once they get applied to the face. In fact, folks in Japan are taking photos of themselves on Twitter wearing Pooh’s “relaxation” mask and are trying to outdo each other in the creepiness factor. There is absolutely nothing cute about these masks. Nothing.

A warning: You cannot unsee these disturbing images. Proceed with extreme caution.


 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Just your average cemetery next to a clown motel!?
03.11.2016
08:52 am

Topics:
Unorthodox

Tags:
Clown Motel


 
Nevada’s historic Old Tonopah Cemetery was founded in May 7, 1901 and was active until April 1911 when it outgrew its tiny confines and a larger plot of land was secured elsewhere. The graves consist of a little over 300 folks who succumbed to the “Tonopah Plague.” (Other websites say it’s full of deceased gold miners.)

But that’s not really why I’m posting this, you see right next to the cemetery is a clown motel. Yep you heard me, a clown motel. It’s even called the Clown Motel and it’s located halfway between Reno and Las Vegas, where Route 6 and Route 95 merge.

When you’re lookin’ for a motel in the middle of the desert—especially if you happen to be a clown yourself—why not rest your weary unicycle a clown-themed dwelling adjacent to a cemetery? Totally makes sense, right? Maybe it’s a lil’ on the Stephen King side, but you be the judge…

Anyway, the wood-paneled lobby/office of the motel is packed with inviting toy clowns. With porcelain clowns, portraits of clowns and there’s even a grinning life-size clown that’s sits in a chair and watches every move you make. Not cool.

I wonder if you arrive in full clown make-up if they’ll roll out the red carpet for you. Someone should do that and make a video of what happens.
 

 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Diabolic vintage illustrations of ‘spanking machines’
02.19.2016
11:02 am

Topics:
Amusing
Sex
Unorthodox

Tags:
1900s
spanking machines
1800s

An illustration of a
“Strafraum” (“penalty”). A German illustration of a “spanking machine,” 1930s
 
Now before you read any further into this post, you should know that I’m not at all a fan of corporal punishment. However, I am very much a fan of the great lengths inventors and perhaps sometimes kinky “free-thinkers” are willing to go to when it comes to building an automated contraption that does things that a human would normally do.
 
Illustration for a spanking machine, 1800s, UK
Illustration from the UK of a “spanking machine,” early 1800s. The clown is a nice touch, yes?
 

“The cane and the whip in the 19th century,” 1899
 
That said, the “spanking machines” you are about to see in this post, probably never became reality. Is it possible some of them were real? Sure, it’s possible. Whatever the case may be, it appears that as early as the 1800s, a great many people from Australia to Russia and of course the UK and U.S. were dreaming up new ways to spank the crap out of people’s asses. Sometimes for pleasure and sometimes as punishment. While the words pleasure and punishment can be interchangeable in some circles (I don’t judge and neither should you), I can assure you that the vast majority of people in the following images don’t look especially thrilled about what’s happening. That said, I’d consider some of what follows NSFW. Which is usually what you’re going to get if the title of a post includes the words “spanking machines.” Duh.
 
The
The “Rub A Dub Dub” spanking machine. An illustration by fetish artist, John Willie (aka John Alexander Scott Coutts), the founder of ‘Bizarre’ magazine . 1940s
 
More retro spanking contraptions after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
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