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Hey! Ho! Halloween! Ramones fans decked out in costume at a gig in a college gym, October 1978
10.30.2018
08:45 am
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A flier for a Halloween-themed dance party in a gym belonging to Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) on October 28th, 1978.
 

“The Ramones are on the verge of making it big. Their dreams will come true in their quest for stardom. Now that bands like Black Sabbath and Foreigner are letting the Ramones be their opening act, it will eventually lead to the others’ demise and the Ramones’ rise. Johnny is confident that the kids will see the difference in energy, and finally let bands like Black Sabbath fade and die.”

—the words of a journalist for the Commonwealth Times going by the name “Million Dollar” Gamble in a review of the Ramones’ Halloween gig at the Franklin Street Gym.

In September of 1978, the Ramones released their fourth album, Road to Ruin which included the sing-along anthem, “I Wanna Be Sedated,” a song Joey Ramone often referred to as his favorite recording with the band. It was also the band’s first record with Marky Ramone (Marc Steven Bell) who replaced original drummer Tommy (Thomas Erdelyi). In their review for the record in 1978, Rolling Stone called it a “really good album” noting while Road to Ruin didn’t have the power of their 1976 self-titled debut, this was in no way an indication the Ramones were “losing their grip.” Since 1976 their tour schedule was relentless taking them around the world—in 1978 alone they played approximately 147 shows often playing bigger venues and college campuses sharing bills with Blondie, The Heartbreakers, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, The Cramps, and Patti Smith. One such show went down in the gymnasium of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) the Saturday before Halloween on October 28th, 1978. VCU billed the event as a “Halloween Dance” and if you were a student attending in costume, tickets were only $2.50 with the promise of a certain “golden beverage” being on hand at the show.
 

Illustrations and signatures from Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee, and Marky Ramone published in the Commonwealth Times, 1978.
 
As a veteran participant of all things Halloween (I went out to a party last weekend dressed as Ronnie James Dio because of course, I did), I can assure you the Saturday preceding Halloween is serious business for revelers like myself. So when VCU put out the word the Ramones were playing the annual Halloween Dance and there was going to be beer, you better believe the kids came out in costume to see it all go down. A few weeks later, and as noted by “Million Dollar” Gamble, the Ramones would play a gig with Black Sabbath and Van Halen during VH’s first world tour. This event also relates back to what Gamble said in the quote at the top of this post indicating it was time for bands like Black Sabbath to “fade and die” as the original version of Sabbath was about to implode anyway. In addition to the review of the show, I also came across a very cool recollection from a former VCU student named Doug who was not only at the show, but held the dream-job position of “dressing room security.” Get ready, because Doug’s story is really, really something:

“My favorite Ramones memory was at a 1978 VCU Halloween concert in Richmond. I had just joined the school Concert Committee and was assigned to dressing room security. Basically, the job entailed hanging out with the Moans before and after the show and attending to their simple needs. I remember running back to my dorm room to get my crappy black & white TV so the boys could watch the KISS movie (Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park) before their turn on stage. I also did a horrible poster for the show with a silhouette of the band from their first album cover. Tommy had left by then, so when I got the band to autograph it, Marky Xed out Tommy’s head before he signed.

Other fond recollections include watching Dee Dee use his switchblade to carve the lining out of Joey’s new leather jacket ‘cause it was “too hooooot.” Sitting in and asking a question or two during the prerequisite backstage interview. Joey whining cause he couldn’t find his mineral water. Johnny being quiet and sweet. Marky acting dumb and silent. And Dee Dee drawing vaguely fascist graffiti on the chalkboard.

Ah, youth…”

As they say, not all heroes wear capes, but, as this was a Halloween-themed event, perhaps Doug was wearing one that night. At the very least I hope he wears one when he tells this story. Thankfully, a photographer with the Commonwealth Times was there taking snapshots of fans at the show, as well as a few black and white shots of the band on stage in the gym, which you can see below. I also included the official video for “She’s the One” shot in 1978 which, until recently, had resided inside a nondescript 16mm film canister for 40 years. Rhino unleashed the video in conjunction with the release of a 40th anniversary box set for Road to Ruin late last month. Hey! Ho! Let’s GO!
 

Photos from the VCU gym show.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.30.2018
08:45 am
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Witchy women and leggy ladies: Halloween in Hollywood
10.29.2018
09:45 am
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Audrey Totter

While most folks around Halloween want to revel in horror films and gore, I find myself acknowledging the fact that, well, I kinda like those films all year long and take this period of time to look at how the holiday was done in years gone by. But I will admit, like many of the other people that you will find on the Internetz right now who are playing their “30 Horror Films in 30 Days” or what have you, my interests are also centered in the cinema world. They are just, like me, a little…uh…different.

As a classic film fan, I have an extreme love for the PR materials that US film studios produced year-round from the 1940s-60s.  Specifically, I have a very deep engagement for the very quirky photographic materials that were distributed around the holidays. Photo shoots centered on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Fourth of July and (duh) Halloween are totally my bag, baby.  Because really…turkeys HAD to be hard to wrangle, right??

These PR photos are primarily made-up of working Hollywood actresses and (on occasion) pin-up models. Commissioned by studios like Paramount, MGM, Columbia and so on, these professional pictures were distributed to magazines and newspapers for publication, designed and intended to promote each studio’s “stable of starlets” and to increase public support/fan culture. Some of the more fun pix are of well-known ladies whose media work dealt with supernatural or fantastic subjects. The amount of Halloween-themed photos taken with the actresses of Bewitched or I Dream of Jeannie, the cast from The Munsters, and especially the photos done by The Wizard of Oz cast members over the years are endless and delightful! I could have filled this piece just with those pictures.

So these are all gynocentric photos, and they’re pretty sexy and fun. Mainly predicated on classic pin-up girl designs, many feature women who have been working together in the film industry for years and seem to be having a good time dressing up. If there happen to be any men or male-stand-in-figures, their “characters” in the photo narrative were actually a little bit rapey (if you are familiar with pin-up girl narratives, then, like, no big shocker right?). These photos are specifically not included in this article because…well, why the fuck would I do that?

Fact: Hollywood was (and is) misogynistic. Male creepiness is certainly not a modern invention within film culture. But I can certainly curate what is seen and appreciated. I think we are responsible for doing a better job of that at this point. For those who are curious (and let’s face it, I know y’all are) I chose not to include photos that depicted things such as a sleeping woman being leered at rapily by a “scarecrow” figure who was a famous actor in costume who I happen to like very much! Another photo showed the “male-stand-in-figure” I referred to earlier—a pumpkin with painted on eyes—it was posed as looking up the starlet’s skirt as she looked down, suitably irritated. I don’t think these pictures or what they say about the way that women/women-identifying people should be treated need extra viewing.

So let’s go to what I DO love about the Halloween work in particular. The photos range from the early days of silent film, with women like Clara Bow and Joan Crawford to rock ‘n’ roll era Sandra Dee and beyond. Their biggest flaw in my eyes is that there are no women of color even though women like Fredi Washington, Carmen Miranda, Anna May Wong and more were working actresses at the time. But let’s face it: we’re STILL working on the fact that Hollywood is racist AF.

Somehow, I manage to spend time with these photos every year. It’s therapeutic to just click through them, babbling to my cats about how cool the outfits are, how sassy Paulette Goddard and Gloria DeHaven look instead of cursing modern Halloween fuckery with its tired racist costumes and the sexification of The Handmaid’s Tale uniforms or whatever. I revel in these photos as a viable alternative or reprieve from what the system is currently providing en masse for a holiday I kinda dig. I wanna be one of these badass Halloween heroines, dammit!

As posed as they are, as cardboard as the sets appear, they are valuable as they also allow me to center my focus on and engage in representations of women and women’s sexuality. These pictures enrich my Halloween far more than the toxic masculinity that begins as a hum and ends up as a roar by the end of October via the film nerd internetz. So many dudes I hear arguing about which Halloween or Friday the 13th movie is the best or what their top ten films from x filmmaker are, etc. What’s the point? In my lifetime, women have been part of those discussions, joined those discussions but we have never been the center of those discussions. And that bugs the fuck out of me. I wish those dudes would be better.

I choose to go back in history and look at pictures of starlets dressed as witchy women and leggy ladies grinning at jack-o’-lanterns. None of this is to say that I won’t turn on Black Christmas (Bob Clark, 1974), The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982) or maybe have a Nightmare on Elm Street marathon later…but I probably would’ve done that anyway! Please enjoy these pictures and the wonderful women who are scaring their way into your hearts through your eyes.


Vera-Ellen
 

Paulette Goddard
 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Ariel Schudson
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10.29.2018
09:45 am
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Morbid melodies: Tune in and terror out


 
Every October I try to challenge myself to find a few new spooky songs to add to what I lovingly call my “morbid melodies” collection. The great thing is, I usually can but it’s only my cats that end up appreciating my efforts. So this year I thought, “To hell with it, lemme share some my favorites with you folks!”

In classic Ariel-fashion, of course, I also have to share a few of the music videos that I watch repeatedly because OF COURSE.

The first music video that I had wanted to share was DJ Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince’s “Nightmare on My Street.” I usually just listen to the song but thought it’d be cool to put the video on here too. However, try as I might, I could not find the video I remembered from when I was a kid. I kept thinking “did I make this up? Is this one of those Mandela Effect things?” I looked into it and while I was aware that New Line Cinema had not wanted to have the song associated with the Nightmare On Elm Street films, I didn’t know that they had essentially made the video disappear.

Looking for it on the Internet doesn’t yield much. There are tons of fan videos, images put to the song, etc., but the official DJ Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince music video apparently does not exist. On the other hand, it’s easy as pie to locate the music video for the Fat Boys’ “Are You Ready For Freddy?” released around the same time in 1988 since New Line had selected the Fat Boys as the rap group to rep Freddy Krueger in an official music video-context.  Here’s the thing: “Nightmare on My Street” is a waaaay better song, was far more popular and regardless of “official film connection” a music video was actually made.

New Line wasn’t having any of it. A lawsuit followed. New Line pulled “Nightmare” from MTV after just a few weeks of it being in rotation, and the video hasn’t been seen since. There are calls out all over the Internet asking people who might have been recording MTV at home during that period of time in 1988 to scour their VHS collections just in case they might possibly maybe perhaps have any tapes of music videos that might not have been taped over…? Even Jeff Townes (DJ Jazzy Jeff) and Will Smith (Fresh Prince) have admitted that they either don’t have copies or believe it to be lost forever. But many people on these Nightmare on Elm Street and Old School Rap forums are like me: they remember how this amazing music video was and wish they could see it again. For now, here is the audio.
 

 
The two music videos I can give you are cheesy but glorious. One is a metal band (Dokken) participating in the Nightmare on Elm Street universe for what is probably the best out of all of the NOES films Nightmare on Elm St 3: Dream Warriors (Chuck Russell, 1987). Accompanying that is one of my favorite songs to do at karaoke (try it! It’s super fun!).)  The video for the Mary Lambert adaptation of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary (1989) is a total win and let’s be honest, who can turn down the Ramones in a graveyard?
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Ariel Schudson
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10.25.2018
10:29 am
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The Godfather of Halloween: The pioneering creations of monster-mask maker Don Post
10.24.2018
07:59 am
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Don Post Studio’s remarkable Wolf Man mask. The mask was modeled after actor Lon Chaney Jr.‘s portrayal of the beast in 1941’s ‘The Wolf Man.’
 
According to accounts concerning Don Post’s early years, he paid a visit to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Baily Circus with the goal of meeting Ringling Bros. resident star clown, Paul Wenzel so he could get a close look at Wenzel’s famous Popeye the Sailor mask. Wenzel was not only a skilled clown, but he was also a master prop maker, and his act was known for featuring all kinds of dazzling homemade extras for the time, such as enormous dragons (Wenzel himself was 6"4), dinosaurs, and horses as well as Wenzel’s feathered pal, Samson the Goose. Seeing Wenzel’s props up close sent Post off on a mission to launch his own business—Don Post Studios (DPS), which would produce some of the first over-the-head latex masks.

In 1938 at the age of 36, Post established his company which would continue to produce latex masks for a staggering 74 years before being sold rather suddenly in 2012. For decades Don Post (who passed away in 1979), his son Don Post Jr., and sculptors/artists/co-owner Verne Langdon and Pat Newman (and many others such as Bill Malone, Marcel Delgado, Robert Short and Neil Surges) would define what their young customer base was going to look like when they stepped out on October 31st. Post started selling his masks out of Marshall Fields in Chicago before ditching the department store for Hollywood where he would eventually join forces with Universal Studios earning the right to produce over-the-head latex masks based on Universal’s gang of classic monsters, the first being Frankenstein’s Monster. Post’s new alliance with Universal would quickly lead to the creation of other high-profile masks all sculpted by Pat Newman, including Lon Chaney’s portrayal of the Phantom of the Opera, Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula, and Lon Chaney Jr. as the Wolf Man.

With the help of Famous Monsters of Filmland’s editor Forrest J Ackerman, DPS would become a household name with its army of masks with plenty of mythology attached to them. Here are just a few of the more interesting ones.

There is an established connection between actor William Shatner’s life-mask cast (taken in 1975 while he was shooting The Devil’s Rain, a perfect film to watch this time of year) and the white-faced, lifeless mask made famous by actor Tony Moran in order to transform him into the unstoppable slasher, Michael Myers in John Carpenter’s 1978 blood-blitz Halloween. There is also a female version of the Myers mask—which is very rare. However, the mask eventually made and distributed by DPS wasn’t an actual replica of Shatner’s life-cast, as their license for the mask was no longer good, so Nick Surges was called in to craft a new mask called the “Everyman.” This mask would be one of Post’s all-time biggest sellers along with his mask of Tor Johnson (done by artist/sculptor and VP of DPS, John Chambers) as Inspector Daniel Clay in Plan 9 From Outer Space.
 

The original design and color scheme for DPS’s “B Garret Theta” mask.
 
Another cool bit of history with DPS concerns a mask called “B Garret Theta” (pictured above). When B Garret was first conceptualized and brought to market in 1977, it was ahead of its time in the gore department. Looking back at the initial production run now it looked much like an unfortunate skinless victim of the Cenobites from future horror movie series Hellraiser and was touted as the first “blood and guts” zombie mask. Even DPS’ regular customers and buyers thought the mask was far too graphic and refused to market them. The masks were later redesigned to appear more undead with grey, necrotized skin and other color treatments to help it read more like a zombie than an actual corpse.

A few years later in 1979, Post put out the “Nuclear Death” mask during a time when paranoia about nukes and the potential of a full-on apocalypse were high, only to change the name to the tamer “Over-Reactor” the following year. DPS masks were still hugely popular but with the arrival of AIDS, the demand for latex products in the medical community, as well as the sale of condoms, put a massive dent in the company’s ability to satisfy requests for their masks and would nearly go bankrupt. The other thing working against DPS in the 80s were the horrific deaths of seven people (including a twelve-year-old child) after ingesting Tylenol laced with cyanide about a month from Halloween in 1982. Following this, drug-tampering crimes became a disturbing trend, and as Halloween approached, there were reports of Halloween candy being laced with sharp pins. This, of course, created legitimate hysteria concerning Halloween no longer being a safe pursuit and sales of candy and other Halloween-related items such as Post’s masks plummeted. But still, as we all do, DPS persisted.

The contributions made by Don Post and DPS are unrivaled and helped pave the way for the application of practical effects in films and television, thanks to a fateful meeting with an adventurous horror-loving innovator, and one of the greatest circus clowns to ever live. When DPS closed up shop in 2012, it sent shock waves through the horror community. Lee Lambert, a mask collector who as a child was a rabid fan of 70s horror, took on the task of authoring a book on Don Post’s legacy ensuring his artifacts from the past would always be available for fans for years to come. The incredible book, The Illustrated History of Don Post Studios painstakingly catalogued images of DPS’ work through the years including incredible color photos from magazine adverts and from the company’s collectible catalog. Vintage DPS masks can be found out there online for various sums, as well as authentic, hand-painted castings from the Universal Monster collection, which will run you many thousands of dollars. I’ve got a pretty stellar grouping of Post’s work in this post, some are slightly NSFW.
 

Famous, long-time Ringling Bros. clown and inspiration to Don Post, Paul Wenzel riding a giant dinosaur he made with wire and other materials.
 

Don Post doing what he clearly did best.
 

Inside the DPS workshop in 1974.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.24.2018
07:59 am
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Vintage photos of Bettie Page, Batgirl, Joan Crawford, Elvis and Vampira dressed up for Halloween


Bettie Page dressed up like a devil in a black catsuit. Yes.
 
After not-so-patiently waiting for the first 30 days of October to pass, Halloween has finally arrived. I’m sure many of our Dangerous Minds readers are still recovering from whatever pre-Halloween party you hit up over the weekend—I know I am, that’s for sure. Ah, the bliss that is dressing up like someone or something other than our old, boring selves and swilling booze all night because you never really grew up and that’s o-fucking-kay. Because I plan on continuing along with various Halloween-related activities, it seemed more than appropriate to share a few choice vintage (and sometimes slightly bizarre) photographs of famous pinups, movie stars, and even Elvis Presley vamping it up for Halloween.

Like other posts I’ve done like this, once I got started looking for photos of famous people celebrating Halloween, I just couldn’t stop. So you might want to get comfy before you start plowing through the images below because there are a lot of them including an epic shot of Maila Nurmi (Vampira) hanging out with a pal who dressed himself up as a “deceased” version of James Dean that you simply have to see. Some of what follows is slightly NSFW. Happy Halloween!
 

Betty Grable.
 

Actress Yvonne Craig in a Halloween-themed photo as Batgirl.
 

A fantastic promo shot for Eartha Kitt’s 1954 single “I Want To Be Evil” from the album ‘That Bad Eartha.’
 
More famous faces in their Halloween costumes after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.31.2017
08:51 am
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‘Halloween’ history: A female ‘Michael Myers’ slasher mask exists & it’s as terrifying as it sounds


Behold the “She Mask” a female version of the “Michael Myers” slasher mask created by Don Post Studios.
 
My enthusiasm for all things horror knows no bounds. I honestly can’t get enough of the genre and still look forward to Halloween with the zeal of a kid armed with a grinning, giant plastic pumpkin overloaded with enough candy to bring on diabetes overnight. One of my annual Halloween traditions is to watch the first three Halloween films during October—and it never gets old. For me at least. So, here’s the thing—even though I’d say I know my horror, I had no idea that the famous mask donned by “Michael Myers” in the film was made from a life cast of actor William Shatner’s face during the filming of 1975’s The Devil’s Rain.

But before we get to that, let me give you a quick history lesson on Don Post Studios who made the original William Shatner mask that would later become the face of evil incarnate thanks to Carpenter’s vision of a killer with a “pale face” and “human features.” 

Known as the “Godfather of Halloween” Don Post founded Don Post Studios in 1938, the first company to create the rubber masks we all know and love today, including a line of masks based on the classic movie monsters of Universal Pictures such as Frankenstein’s monster and the Wolfman. In the 1970s DPS put out masks based on the characters from the television series Star Trek including one in the image of Captain Kirk and another of “Mr. Spock” as played by Leonard Nimoy. Though kids were digging dressing up like both actors, the sale of these rubber masks was dismal. This didn’t surprise the folks at Don Post Studios as they had originally wanted to put out a collection of masks based on the aliens and far-out monsters featured on Star Trek but were told by Paramount to stick with Kirk and Spock.

Both masks were sculpted by William Malone, a long time artist, sculptor, and mask maker who worked extensively with Don Post Studios. According to Malone (noted in the book Voices in the Dark: Interviews with Horror Writers, Directors and Actors), director John Carpenter once visited him while he was at work and made the suggestion that the Shatner/Kirk mask would be cooler if it was painted white—though Malone couldn’t understand why anyone, much less Carpenter, would be even remotely interested in such a mask. Of course, the release of Carpenter’s first Halloween film showcasing actor Tony Moran wearing the Shatner mask painted white in 1978 changed all that once the film gained popularity. Sadly for DPS, their licensing with Paramount for the Captain Kirk mask had expired and their backlog of masks were gone—making it impossible for them to cash in on the Michael Myers mask craze. They would later engage the services of sculptor Neil Surges to create a generic “Everyman” mask in 1986 which would become a huge seller for the company until they closed up shop in 2012.

So what about the “She Mask” version of Michael Myers? Well, that’s where this story takes a bit of a weird, left turn.

In 2001 Don Post Studios decided that a female version of their best-selling Michael Myers/“Everyman” mask should be a real thing. So they came up with the “She Mask” (which was also sometimes called the “Michelle Myers mask”) that came with long hair, pink lipstick, blue eyeshadow and a fierce eyebrow game. According to folklore about the mask, DPS only produced a small number of the deeply creepy monster mashup making it quite the covetable collector’s item. The mask did end up in a film in 2009 called The Poughkeepsie Tapes, but that’s all I’m going to say about that. I’ve posted a few pictures of the “Michelle Myers” mask below. If you need me, I most definitely won’t be hiding under the bed or in a closet.
 

The ultra-rare “She Mask” (also known as the “Michelle Myers mask” by Don Post Studios.
 

A still of the “She Mask” in action from the 2007 film ‘The Poughkeepsie Tapes.’
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.17.2017
07:48 am
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Kids dressed up for Halloween like Prince, Adam Ant, KISS, & even a baby Björk
10.16.2017
11:32 am
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A kid version of Adam Ant in his “Prince Charming” getup. Awww.
 
Halloween is nearly upon us, and that means that it is also the only time of year that you get a pass for letting your toddler hold a bottle of Jack Daniels because it happens to be part of their “costume.” If your kid is still a baby, they, of course, have no real say in the Halloween costume decision-making process, mostly because they can’t yet express themselves verbally, which leaves you to dress your said baby like Björk when she made her famous red-carpet appearance at the 2001 Academy Awards in a dress made to look like a swan (created by designer Marjan Pejoski). You wouldn’t be the first parent to do so—and I’ve got photographic proof of that.

This post was inspired by my discovery of one of Glasgow’s coolest inhabitants, photographer, and lecturer Simon Murphy who delights in helping dress up his two daughters as various musical icons such as Janis Joplin, or the alcohol-swilling vocalist for The Pogues, Shane MacGowan. To achieve an authentic look based on MacGowan’s notorious dental problems, Murphy used cake icing that had been colored black to mimic his infamous mouth-full-of-decaying-teeth “smile.”  As a child of the 80s, I spent a lot of time dressing up like Ace Frehley from KISS along with every other kid that liked to rock and roll all night—so I had to include some choice, vintage images of the youngest members of the KISS Army all dressed up to trick or treat. Now, in honor of our Lord and savior The Great Pumpkin, check out the photos of kids looking cooler than we ever did dressed up as rock stars ranging from Angus Young, to our dearly departed Ziggy Stardust, David Bowie, that I’ve posted below.
 

Baby Björk FTW!
 

A mini-version of Prince.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.16.2017
11:32 am
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Wonderfully clever ‘Sexy Halloween Costume Packaging’ Halloween costume
10.09.2017
10:25 am
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This costume idea is not the newest, but I don’t give a hoot, it still cracks me up.

Last year someone going by “thekruger” on Instagram put together this highly clever costume, which is ... the packaging of a “sexy” Halloween costume, which obviously involves thigh-high stockings because you know it’s not possible for a woman to don a Halloween costume without catering to the male gaze somehow.

The packaging is a perfect reproduction of whatever you’d find at your local Halloween shop (in Manhattan people rely on Ricky’s). Bonus points for using the ridiculous parody “Sexy Potato” costume packaging in the art of the costume.

I even like the title of their Tumblr, which is “What Is This I Don’t Even.”

Bravo!
 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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10.09.2017
10:25 am
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Horror movie-themed piñatas based on ‘The Evil Dead,’ ‘The Exorcist,’ ‘Halloween’ & more
03.15.2017
10:05 am
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A piñata of Regan Teresa MacNeil (played by actress Linda Blair) from the 1973 film ‘The Exorcist.’
 
According to the ghouls behind the appropriately titled Etsy page Hang Me, in addition to their various horror-themed piñatas, you can also have one custom made to your specifications. So if you’d really like to bash a piñata version of your boss’s head in until he/she bleeds delicious candy all over you, today is your lucky day pal. 

Of the many piñatas in Hang Me’s shop, which is run by Sam and Tiny Kaleal, I’m particularly impressed with the one made in the image of Regan from The Exorcist in all her possessed-by-a-demon glory clutching a giant cross. The only thing that could possibly make it any cooler than it already is if it could somehow release a bunch of gross day-glow green ooze after being busted open. Hey, a girl can dream. In addition to the piñatas, the shop has a bunch of other cool stuff including fully functional, custom-designed Jiffy Pop popcorn containers that have been reimagined with horror film movie posters. I’ve posted images of my favorites below. 
 

A piñata in the likeness of James “Ash” Williams (played by Bruce Campbell) from the ‘The Evil Dead’ film franchise .
 

A very slashy-looking Michael Myers (from the ‘Halloween’ films) piñata.
 
More horrific piñatas after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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03.15.2017
10:05 am
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Portraits of Halloween partygoers in the West Village flying their freak flags high, 1993
10.28.2016
04:00 pm
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In the early 1990s a French student named Gregoire Alessandrini who was living in New York was fascinated by the street life of the bustling city—which at the time was a good deal less sanitized than it is today. He found Halloween particularly intoxicating, seeing in the West Village’s annual racially and sexually inclusive Halloween parade a proud marker of “happiness, tolerance and eccentricity.” It truly was and is an occasion to let your freak flag fly.

In 1993 Alessandrini took his Contax camera and flash to the event and lovingly documented the revelry that dominated what he calls the “after parade street party.” As Anika Burgess of Atlas Obscura points out, the images are striking for the lack of personal technology—not a one of the subjects is staring down at a cellphone! 

If you like these pictures, be sure to visit Alessandrini’s website has hundreds more like it documenting New York City in the 1990s (which is also his site’s title).
 

 

 
More great pics after the jump…...
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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10.28.2016
04:00 pm
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Horrifying knitted masks for Halloween
10.19.2016
09:58 am
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We’re getting really close to Halloween and there’s just enough time left to recreate some of these knitted and crochet masks. Many of them are vintage and one-of-a-kind, so you’re probably going to have to make your own mask or hire someone who can do it for you and not ask any questions. Consider this a lookbook. A lookbook for psychopaths, perhaps, but still a lookbook, nevertheless…

What I dig most about the knitted mask thing is that you can just plop one of these puppies on for Halloween and not worry about the rest of your costume. DONE. The mask is sinister enough on its own!

When someone asks “What are you supposed to be?” just tell ‘em: “A walking trigger warning.”


 

via Etsy
 
More mask madness after the jump…

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Posted by Tara McGinley
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10.19.2016
09:58 am
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Meet Tatayet, the horrific Belgian puppet


 
Play this record if you’re having trouble sleeping at night. In the mid-1980’s Belgian puppeteer Michel Dejeneffe and his terrifying creation named Tatayet were an enormous sensation in Europe. The Tatayet Show was broadcast on RTBF (the public channel for the French-speaking part of Belgium) every Sunday evening and as result of their success, an entire discography of Tatayet LP’s and 45’s were released to widespread acclaim. The 1986 dance single “At the Graveyard” which received much radio airplay featured a memorable chorus that anybody could sing along to: “At the graveyard, stiff and ten feet underground. In a pine box, like potatoes, with a ton of earth on top of the pine box.”
 

 
More fun with Tatayet after the jump…

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Posted by Doug Jones
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10.11.2016
08:04 am
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Slasher movie sweaters and cardigans just in time for the holidays!


 
The department stores are already trotting out their Christmas wares, reminding us that the holidays will soon be upon us and of course that means it’s novelty holiday sweater time!

In the past we’ve hipped our readers to quite a few of these tacky things including Krampus, Einstruzende Neubauten, Fargo, and Satan inspired pieces.

The Mondo/Middle of Beyond folks are the kings of this shit, and they’ve delivered the goods yet again with these killer slasher movie sweaters.

On offer are sweaters depicting Michael Meyers from Halloween, Jason Voohees from Friday the 13th, and three different variants on Freddy Krueger’s iconic green and red striped sweater from A Nightmare of Elm Street. One of the Freddy sweaters is actually a spiffy cardigan. The same company also offers a Gremlins sweater (which we’ve profiled here before) that also comes in a cardigan version.

At $49 each, they aren’t exactly cheap, but I’ve purchased from these dudes before and will personally vouch for their quality.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Christopher Bickel
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10.07.2016
09:39 am
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‘Juice Demon’: Hilarious cheapo knockoff Halloween costumes
10.05.2016
09:16 am
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This reminds me of those fake fragrances they sell at the 99 Cents Only store. “Like Calvin? You’ll LOVE Kevin!” Yeah right, especially if you like smelling like candy that’s been freshly pissed on.

If you can’t afford an officially licensed Beetlejuice™ getup, you might consider going as “Juice Demon”(?) for Halloween, no? Who will be the wiser? (They’ll just think that Juice Demon is something they haven’t heard of—the joke’s on them) And if you want to get your Droog out this year, what about “A Tick Tock Orange Juice”? This must totally have Stanley Kubrick’s stamp of approval. Or maybe not.

And poor Amy Winehouse. Her cheapo knockoff look is just called “Rehab Wig.” Doesn’t even come with a beauty mark.


 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Tara McGinley
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10.05.2016
09:16 am
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‘Black Christmas’: The groundbreaking 1974 slasher film that paved the way for ‘Halloween’
12.25.2015
09:03 am
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Black Christmas
 
In 1974, Bob Clark’s Canadian horror film, Black Christmas, was released. At the time, it was the highest grossing made-in-Canada film ever. It didn’t do as well in the U.S., but made enough of an impact to get the attention of writer/director John Carpenter. Black Christmas is now regarded as a pioneering slasher film, having a major influence on Carpenter’s Halloween (1978).
 
Black Christmas title card
 
Black Christmas begins at a sorority house Christmas party. Outside, an unseen figure approaches, entering the house through an attic window. Soon the phone rings and the girls are greeted with a disturbing obscene call from “Billy,” who babbles about a childhood tragedy involving his sister that he was responsible for. Later, one of the girls returns to her room and is suffocated by the intruder, who then brings the body to the attic.
 
Dead girl in the attic
 
Meanwhile, one of the sorority sisters, Jess, tells her boyfriend, Peter, that she is pregnant. When she tells him she plans to have an abortion, he becomes upset, telling her in somewhat of a threatening manner that she will be “sorry” if she goes through with terminating the pregnancy.

Eventually, the police are on the hunt for both the missing girl (no one realizes she’s been murdered) and to identify this “Billy,” who continues to call the house. The cops suspect Peter may be responsible for the calls, as does Jess, though she covers for her boyfriend. As the holiday season progresses, more undetected killings take place inside the house, until Jess discovers two of the bodies. She’s then chased through the house by the killer, though she doesn’t lay eyes on him. As she hides in the basement, a concerned Peter approaches—is he the murderer?
 
Black Christmas lobby card
 
Director Clark was surely influenced by Italian giallo films. A giallo usually features a shadowy, unseen killer, who murders his victims with a knife. Giallos also include camera angles meant to be from the killer’s point-of-view, which Clark incorporated into Black Christmas, The technique was also used by Carpenter in Halloween and became a standard component of slasher films. But unlike the giallo and many future slashers, the murder scenes in Black Christmas are neither gory nor are they explicit. It also lacks the sexualized violence that would become so associated with the slasher film. Instead, Clark used good ol’ fashioned mystery and suspense, as well as the alarming dialogue from “Billy,” to create the appropriate atmosphere.

Both Psycho (1960) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) are commonly cited as forerunners of the slasher film, though neither feature all the essential elements of the horror sub-genre—a single, mysterious killer terrorizes and murders, one-by-one, a group of mostly young people, ending with a “Final Girl”—but Black Christmas has all of those components. As does Halloween.
 
Jess on the phone
Jess, the “Final Girl.”

Both are also set around a holiday or day of cultural significance, an element that would become common in slasher films after the success of Halloween (see My Bloody Valentine, April Fool’s Day, the Friday the 13th series, etc.)

Around 1977, Bob Clark and John Carpenter talked about doing a film together. Carpenter asked if Clark would be willing to do a sequel to Black Christmas. Clark told Carpenter:

No, I don’t intend to, I’m not here to make horror films, I’m using horror films to get myself established. If I was going to do one, though, I would do a movie a year later where the killer escapes from an asylum on Halloween, and I would call it “Halloween.”


 
Halloween
 
Bob Clark died tragically in 2007, when he and his son were involved in a head-on collision with a drunk driver. His son was also killed in the accident. Clark is best known today for having directed two wildly different films, the holiday classic, A Christmas Story (1983), and the maligned and misunderstood (it’s better than you think), Porky’s (1981), the success of which inadvertently helped spawn another kind of motion picture: the raunchy teen sex comedy.

After the jump, hear some of the disturbing ‘Black Christmas’ soundtrack…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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12.25.2015
09:03 am
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