Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Top Ten Vampire Films #1

Black Sabbath/The Wurdelak
Yes I am a sucker for Bava, but I simply don't think there is another vampire film as great as The Wurdelak. 30 years after Lugosi embodied the screen vampire, an older, grayer Boris Karloff perfected it. In the only vampire role of his career, Boris effectively scares the pants off the entire audience as the Russian father returning home after a long absence as vampire (Wurdelak). Boris occasionally took the role of the hardcore evil antagonist and with this film he perfected it.
The story holds throughout. The 'look' of the film is probably the very best Bava ever achieved and the scares are aplenty. There are several extremely unique and chilling moments in this trilogy segment - and to think, this is only the second scariest segment of Black Sabbath, but we'll discuss A Drop of Water some other time!

Dr. Gangrene's #1?

Tell them Boris sent you..

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from Spooky Franklin. Here's to hoping everyone is able to enjoy it safely - especially our friends in the northeast.
I'll be busy with Spooky's Haunted Yard today - but I'll be back tomorrow with photos aplenty!

Carpenter's mysterious Halloween pumpkin

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Top Ten Vampire Films #2

Blacula, oh Blacula.. How do I love thee let me "count" the ways.. Since my list is simply personal favorites rather than 'most important to the genre' etc. I feel perfectly fine putting Dracula's Soul Brother at #2. With Blacula you have all the great fun of an early 70's Yorga-type blue vamps against a very "Sanford and Son" (my favorite all time show) setting. In fact there is probably no less than five Sanford regulars that appear in the film.. Finally, this one really delivers in the scary scene dept. A female vamp, awaking on the autopsy table to chase a white dude down the corridor is one of the freakiest, most frightening sequences in all of horror! Scream Blacula Scream is an admirable sequel as well. Do yourself a favor and watch this after midnight!
Honorable Mention: Dracula vs. Frankenstein

Check out Dr. Gangrene's #2

"Not until you use some depilatory powder, Count.."

Monday, October 29, 2012

Top Ten Vampire Films #3

Black Sunday
If you qualify Black Sabbath as a Vampire film rather than a witch film you have to consider it a top contender. Bava's vampire, escaping the grave against a full glorious black and white gothic backdrop is a sight to see. I have to admit, as a kid it was difficult not to cover my eyes when the headstone falls over or when Barbara Steele meets her fate, iron maiden style.. Executioners, morbid bats in old Russian cemeteries and truly frightening vampires. Excellent stuff!

Check out Dr. Gangrene's #3

Where's my Stridex?

Top Ten Vampire Films #4

The Horror of Dracula
Hammer's first and greatest Dracula entry. Chris Lee's Count was the meanest and most unrelenting. He was not romantic or even slightly Eastern European. An angry undead Brit with real bad teeth - doing his business with film's greatest Van Helsing, Peter Cushing. Hammer made a bunch of these, with Dracula, Prince of Darkness a strong second to Horror..

Honorable mention: Captain Kronos; Vampire Hunter

Check out Dr. Gangrene's #4

Bring it, Edward!

Top Ten Vampire Films #5

Let The Right One In
To come up with a fresh, smart twist on the vampire tale in the modern movie era and have a story that works so effectively from start to finish is a rare thing. The Swedish "Let The Right One In" not only is all that but so much more. Remade for English-speaking audiences as "Let Me In" by the glorious Hammer studios almost note for note. Check them both out and enjoy every minute...

Check out Dr. Gangrene's #5

I cut you!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Top Vampire Films #6

Bram Stoker's Dracula
Probably not even near other's lists - and the atrocities against acting purported by Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder are acknowledged but there's no denying the slam-dunk job done by Gary Oldman as the old Count... A mixture of absurdity and excellence from start to finish. The intertwining of the Vlad The Impaler lore with the Dracula story really was never part of the popular culture until this movie came along. Stunning visuals and a stellar beat-actor-worthy performance by Oldman make this one a top fang flick in my book..

Check out Dr. Gangrene's #6

Oldman, having a chuckle over Keanue Reeves' ' 'BillnTedeqsue' Harker dialogue

Friday, October 26, 2012

Frankenstorming Halloween

That's right monster kids, Frankenstorm is predicted to hit at the worst possible time and Halloweeners and haunters alike from the Inner Harbor of Baltimore, to Philly to parts of Canada..
Here in Tennessee, while it may be colder than normal we should be fine - so I encourage all you Halloween faithful to send good vibes up north to likes of PumpkinRot and other fine folks who wait all year to do their thing - and acknowledge that even if they have to Haunt on another night, they have our full support!

Frankenstorm gives me a sad..

Top Ten Vampire Films - #7

Let's Scare Jessica To Death
Oh my.. This one about scared me to death as a kid. Trippy 70's flashback flick where a couple of hippies move into a creepy old house in a creepy old northeastern town, where all the inhabitants are of course.. vampires.. Not a traditional vampire film by any means, but a damn effective one..

Check out Dr. Gangrene's # 7

I wandered into this puddle.... and found evil. Pure evil.

Beware of 70's movies that take place in  homes like this..

Top Ten Vampire Films - #8

Fearless Vampire Killers (or Pardon Me But Your Teeth Are in My Neck)

Originally shot by Polanski as a "straight" film for lack of a better term, the studio stepped in and added a bit of Three Stooges Shemp-stick post filming. Having seen this movie for years with the funny edits I can't imagine it without it. A vivid Hammer style landscape and gothic castle sequences make this movie a feast for the eye. You know the deal, outsiders (vamp killers) find a remote pub, are shunned by locals and end up in a horrific vampire castle scenario. Same story, done with a lot of unique flair...

Check out Dr. Gangrene's #8 here

I just wanted to borrow some Crest!

They did WHAT to my film?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Green Ron

My second groundbreaker of 2012 is Ron. The head was a papier mache experiment from a few years ago. Working with paper plates, plaster cast and stone clay I was able to squeeze one more in after Corpsey.  Can't wait to seem them in action together next week!


With the big night just a week away it's appropriate to spin some webs into the entryway.
Seeing half-ass attempts at web-hanging throughout the town, which look my like parents appeasing wailing child-folk by half-heartedly flopping a pile of webs on a bush or on a railing. Make no mistake, hanging webs isn't easy, or at least hanging them correctly isn't. 
Having an extremely spooky doorway makes it a lot easier I'll admit.

Top Ten Vampire Films - #9

Dracula (1931) / Nosferatu (1922)
Both ranked probably lower than others would have - especially combined, but while I concede the greatness of both Lugosi and Schreck and the unrivaled frightening imagery of Nosferatu both films are just a little to early and both lack the score necessarily to move the story along without dragging, dry stretches. Supplemental scores never worked. The forefather stature of both keeps them on my list at 9.
Honorable Mention: Shadow of The Vampire (2000)

Check out Dr. Gangrene's #9

Count Dracula: My fingers can do THIS!

Count Orlock: Who cares what your fingers can do when you
can stand up without bending your knees.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

He Is Coming To Haddonfield

I met him, fifteen years ago. I was told there was nothing left. No reason, no conscience, no understanding; even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, good or evil, right or wrong. I met this six-year-old child, with this blank, pale, emotionless face and, the blackest eyes... the *devil's* eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realized what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply... evil. 

Michael Myers, on the lawn every year in Franklin.. I drive miles to see this.

He is coming to Haddonfield
..but he's stopping off in Franklin for a day or two

Top Ten Vampire Films #10

To honor Dr. Gangrene's Top Ten Fang-Flicks I've compiled my own.
At #10 is FRIGHT NIGHT (Original 1985).

Peter Vincent, Vampire Hunter..

The leaves are blowing, Peter Vincent, a classic horror-host is on late night TV. People are going missing and your mom is digging the vampire that just moved in next door.. Great fun!

Top Teeth...

My pal Dr. Gangrene is counting down his top ten all time vampire flicks.
Be sure to check in every day to see his pic over at Dr. Gangrene's Tales From The Labs to see where your favorite lands..

(I think I'm gonna have to roll out my own Top 10 fang-flicks in honor of the occasion)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fly By Night

Hand-made is the most satisfying of haunt props, but occasionally store bought gags are fun. This large Mickey-bat adorns the gutter next to the doorway..

Is it mouse, bat or monkey?

Deadites Round II

The second round of pre-modern Deadites featured smaller scale sculps - using Super Sculpey Firm and some very rough early painting techniques. 

Shock Monster, Vampire Girl, Deadite Ash

Original Deadites

Before moving on to Super Sculpey and hundreds of Deadite pendants I eased into acrylic clay with these three guys. Each took about a week. Not as detailed of the current sculps, these still are favorites...

The House of Frankenstein

Last House on The Left

A creepy old house is always worth the time it takes to turn around and photograph it, and possibly get shot in the process...
This classic lies on the outskirts of Sunman, Indiana - a just a minute from where I lived as a young child.

Sunman, IN

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Ghoulian Calendar

Lovely Don Post Calendar collection found over at MONSTERMASKS

The Count
The Wolf Man


Several gate encounters in the last day. The only one they would let me through was the cemetery gate. Go figure.

City Cemetery

Monster Factory

The Monster Factory is in full swing leading up to the last days prior to Halloween. With Franklin Pumpkinfest happening this weekend I've been balancing Deadite creation with a few fun new additions for this year's haunt..

Demon of The Fall

The stuff other people throw away, but no haunt can do without. 

World's greatest spooky stick pile. Yes, that is indeed a headstone in the mix. City Cemetery.

Waiting on The Great Pumpkin

The pumpkins are all lined up, awaiting their big night.


This afternoon's hunt for haunt materials was a spectacle of blazing, burning fall color.