The Macabre and the Unusual

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The Walking Dead Zombie Costume Inspiration

Eulyn Womble costume designer for The Walking Dead

Eulyn Womble costume designer for The Walking Dead - via the AMC TV blog

Starting on your The Walking Dead zombie Halloween costume already? Get inspired by costume designer Eulyn Womble as she literally slashes and burns the outfits you’ll be seeing in season 2, starting on October 16th. There are a lot of online guides on how to make a zombie costume. This Threadbanger video has a good visual guide to distressing and bloodying zombie clothes starting at 6:36 (with great zombie makeup tips earlier). But most don’t include taking a lighter to the edges for a cool burned-out effect. Watch the Eulyn Womble video at AMC.

Or if you’re strapped for time, Rubie’s Costumes has licensed The Walking Dead costumes that are available at sites like SpiritHalloween.com BuyCostumes.com or at your local Halloween store.


Freaky Beetles Prey On Frogs

The small prey does a little shimmy and attracts the attention of the predator. The big predator lunges at the prey and attempts to take a bite, but the prey latches on to its jaws. No matter how hard the predator shakes, it can’t shake the prey which jumps up onto its back and makes it clear who is the prey and who is the predator here. As the new predator sinks its jaws into its much larger prey, the big prey is paralyzed and will remain paralyzed as the little predator devours it alive down to the bones.

No, this isn’t the Alien prequel. These are the gutsy ground beetles of the genus Epomis that take on and kill much larger amphibians even as little beetle larvae.

Epomis Beetle Larvae Attacking Frog

Epomis Beetle Larvae Attacking Frog - via Wired Science & PLoS ONE

Quite a discovery by Tel Aviv University researchers Gil Wizen and Avital Gasith, who described the strategy of Epopmis beetle larvae as an “extremely rare anti-predator behavior.”

Epomis beetle larvae in action

Epomis adult beetle in action

(note: not for the weak of stomach)

To learn more, check out the full study or the story at Wired Science.


Haunt Openings & Link Round-Up

Knotts Scary Farm and Universal Halloween Horror Nights open this weekend. If you go, let us know which mazes and scare zones were the best in the comments section.

Eli Roth at the Hostel Maze

Eli Roth at the Hostel Maze at Universal Halloween Horror Nights - via his tumblr

If you are staying home and getting your scary kicks on the interwebs, check out the links below:

  • The Human Centipede 2 is out and receiving some scathing, but highly entertaining reviews. Quote from the Bloody Disgusting review: “The Human Centipede 2 serves as nothing more than a reminder that there is no God, and, if He does exists, then he sent Tom Six as punishment for our misdeeds.”
  • MTV Geek is featuring gore-geous art from Roman Dirge’s new book Taxidermied.
  • Scare Zone has a great post on common haunt themes with a helpful list of where you can find them.
  • Suicide Girls has posted the super hot third chapter of The Killswitch Review. If you like to balance out your steady diet of horror with a little gothic/sci-fi steaminess.

Happy freaky Friday!


GO: The Empire of Death Book Signing

The Empire of Death Book Signing

Empire Of Death: Tomb of Enrique Torres Belon

Tomb of Enrique Torres Bélon (Lampa, Peru) from Empire of Death

Empire Of Death: St Valerius

St. Valerius (Weyarn, Germany) from Empire of Death

When: Saturday 9/24 7 – 10 pm
Where: La Luz de Jesus, 4633 Hollywood Blvd.
Price: Free! The book is $50 and worth every penny.
Info: Dr. Paul Koudounaris presents and signs his new book, The Empire of Death: A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses. The book reveals religious places where human remains were laid to rest en masse on four continents. The word “amazing” has been over-used in our society. However, “amazing” is the right word to describe the power of Dr. Paul K’s photographs of the bone churches, jewel-encrusted skeletons and decorated skulls. I can’t wait to read the book and learn more about the stories and cultures behind the gorgeous images. Original photographs will be on display at La Luz de Jesus until October 3rd. Learn more at La Luz de Jesus and see a sample of what will be on display. The official publisher site has full pages to view. If you are out of town, you can pre-order the book on Amazon. Highly recommended.


Yummy: Gunther von Häagen-Dazs

A delicious new video from our pals at Art of Bleeding:

If you are in SF on 9/30, make sure to see Art of Bleeding perform at Chicken John’s book release!


For Immediate Release: 13 Halloween Prop Ideas for Killer Halloween Party Decor

We just sent out a press release with 13 Halloween party themes and killer prop ideas that will help you out-do the extreme haunters down the block. Here are some of my favorites.

1.    Theme: Crime scene. Killer prop: Plastic blood pools. Guide your guests through a bloody crime scene without leaving fake blood tracks through the rest of your house. Bloody shows like Dexter use shiny red plastic blood pools to get the look of wet blood without the mess.

8 inch resin blood pool

8 inch resin blood pool – $20

5.    Theme: Vampire. Killer prop: Safety wooden stakes. Divide your blood-sucking guests into Team Edward, Team Bill, Team Eric and Team Dracula. Select vampire hunters and give them rubber wooden stakes. Let the hunt begin!

Safety Wooden Stakes

Safety wooden stake – $15 on sale!

8.    Theme: Extreme gore. Killer prop: Realistic corpse. If you have some over-the-top bloody Halloween corpses, add one extremely realistic corpse to the bunch and wait until a concerned guest approaches you to let you know someone may have died of fright.

anatomical male joe with hair

Anatomical male Joe with hair – $900

13.    Theme: Dinosaur park. Killer prop: Dinosaur skulls. To really wow the neighborhood, rent replica dinosaur skulls and bones. For some unforgettable fun, bury some dinosaur bones in sand for the kids to find dinosaurs in their own backyard.

Dinosaur Skulls

50 piece dinosaur skull rental for 1 week – $2,200

Read the rest of the release with all 13 Halloween party decor ideas! If you have any friends that work in the media, please pass this on.


Barnum Brown & The First T. Rex

First T. Rex Skeleton at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History around 1950

First T. Rex Skeleton at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History around 1950 - from NPR

NPR ran a great story last week called Bone to Pick: First T. Rex Skeleton Complete at Last. Carl Mehling, curator at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, found a stray bone labeled 973, identified as belonging to the first T. Rex and gave it to the Carnegie Museum to finally complete the first T. Rex skeleton.But the best parts of the story for me were about the man who discovered the first T. Rex skeleton and sold it to the Carnegie Museum in the first place: Barnum Brown, “the Indiana Jones of dinosaur hunters”.

Barnum Brown

Barnum Brown in 1914 doing field work in Montana - from Wikipedia

Named after P.T. Barnum, Brown was a pioneering dinosaur hunter who traveled extensively, dressed nattily, lived through personal tragedy and had many a romance, including his second wife Lillian who wrote a memoir called I Married A Dinosaur. He also served as a dinosaur expert on such films as Fantasia. Remember the amazing dinosaurs in The Rite of Spring? There is a good Barnum Brown biography at Strange Science if you want to learn more. I’m going to have to pick up the book on him that came out last year, Barnum Brown: The Man Who Discovered Tyrannosaurus rex. From the review at the Smithsonian blog, it sounds like a great read.


GO: Suspiria at Hollywood Forever & CarnEvil Musical

For your horror-lovin’ enjoyment in LA this weekend:

Suspiria at Hollywood Forever Cemetery
suspiria

When: Friday 9/16, gates: 6:30 pm / movie: 8:00 pm

Where: Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Boulevard at Gower

Price: No reservation necessary, $10 donation tickets available at gate, $10 parking

Info: Bring blankets, drinks and picnic dinner for this screening of Dario Argento’s classic Suspiria below the stars. Amazing, visually stunning ’70s horror film by a true master. Even if you’ve seen it before, there’s nothing like seeing it in a cemetery with friends. No one under 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian. Learn more…

CarnEvil

When: Friday 9/16 & Saturday 9/17 at 8:00 pm

Where: Sacred Fools Theater Company, 660 N. Heliotrope Drive

Price: $25 – buy online

Info: Official synopsis: “A young man with a dark and troubled past returns to his family’s carnival after a long absence, and finds himself thrust into the darkness he tried to leave behind. An unspeakable horror is released and our hero must face unholy truths and long-kept secrets about himself and his family in order to save everything he cares about from complete and utter destruction.” The “influences” for this production read like a list of my favorite people: H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, Dario Argento, Tobe Hooper, Wes Craven, Ray Bradbury, Vincent Price, Depeche Mode, David Bowie & Bjork! Learn more…
Know of any other goth goings-on this weekend? Post the event in the comments!

Caticorn Magic

A mystical animal that is half cat, half unicorn. It has the head of a cat with an unicorn horn and the body of a cat with an unicorn tail. It makes the sound “neow.” – Urban Dictionary entry on caticorn.

Years ago in a haunted house in Azusa, BJ found an amateur taxidermy bobcat. But only half of it. And with a nail sticking out of its nose for some strange reason. Always the resourceful propmaker, BJ stuck a horn over the nail. Voila! The Dapper Cadaver Caticorn was born.

Dapper Cadaver Caticorn

When legendary sideshow artist Mark Frierson bought the Caticorn earlier this year, we knew he would create something magical with it. Step right up and see:

The Amazing Three-Eyed Rocky Mountain Caticorn!

The Amazing Three-Eyed Rocky Mountain Caticorn

The Amazing Three-Eyed Rocky Mountain Caticorn - Looking Right

The Amazing Three-Eyed Rocky Mountain Caticorn - Close Up

The Amazing Three-Eyed Rocky Mountain Caticorn - From Above

Mark fully restored it, moved the horn back to the center of its head, added a third eye, a snake-like tongue and pheasant wings. Simply gorgeous. And this is coming from a girl who likes cats, unicorns and most of all, supremely mystical three-eyed flying caticorns.

Check out more amazing sideshow gaffs and wonders on the Frierson Studios Facebook page. Don’t forget to hit the Like button!


Summer Blockbusters: Props in Action Roundup

I can’t believe that summer is almost over. We’d like to give a quick shout-out to the summer blockbusters that used our props.

transformers: dark of the moon

Transformers: Dark of the Moon used our bones, including some of our elephant bones.

cowboys & aliens

Cowboys & Aliens used our animal props.

final destination 5

Final Destination 5 used our safety weapons.

Hope you get a chance to check these out in theaters. If not, that’s what DVDs, On Demand and Netflix are for!


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