scary stuff

Freddy Krueger Snake Head

Here is a behind-the-scenes look at a perfectly disgusting scene from A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, featuring Heather Langenkamp, Patricia Arquette, and Robert Englund.

Freddy Krueger (Englund) turns into this snake-thing, and tries to swallow Kristen (Patricia Arquette)whole. Can’t find a clip from the real movie to show you, but trust me, its pretty horrific. I can show you a diorama of the gackworthy scene. The snake head also apparently does a lot of slimy mouth-frothing which I don’t remember, but the behind-the-scenes footage brings it to full goop-pumping life.

According to IMDb, the original “Freddy Snake” unintentionally came out looking too phallic. WAY too phallic.The crew only had one hour to film the scene, and they didn’t have enough time to paint it. So, it was covered in a green slime to overcome the “pinkish hue.”

I wonder how Robert Englund felt about having distorted versions of his Freddy Face appear in such…awkward ways?

EDIT: More behind the scenes footage that actually gives you a pretty good idea of how the snake head looked before it was covered in green goo(toward the end of the clip), and how the “swallowing”scene was set up:

EDIT 2: Found it!

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Can’t I please?

hw20_mag_cover_proof

This past weekend I interviewed for a position at Netherworld Haunted House here in the Atlanta area. Although the really gory haunted houses aren’t my usual taste, this one is one of the most famous in the U.S. and it looks like it would be a great place to work. I’ve driven by it many times, wondering, “Should I try it?” and never did.

Now I have friends that work there, and after seeing my puppets, both of them said, and I quote, “Get your butt down here and apply, we need puppeteers”.

So Steve and I went down there this Saturday and waited in line, sitting out on benches out front. Netherworld is in an odd location–the back end of a large flea market that actually used to be a place  I frequented every weekend in my college years. But it brings in a lot of revenue; outer appearance can be deceiving.

After sitting and talking with two more friends, at last I had an interview and I think it went well. I had brought my ghost puppet, Vapor, and he made a few jokes like “You need a puppeteer? I got one. She’s not showroom new or anything but she’s pretty good.” They asked me a lot of questions about haunted attraction stuff I’ve done, and I explained that I’ve most done tame, charity-type stuff but that I’m accustomed to makeup and uncomfortable costumes. But I really wanted to push my puppetry skills, and that seemed to be what they were interested in. After my interview, they had one of my friends, Jane, come up and take me on  a backstage tour!

That was where I met Moby.

Moby

Moby is a very large animatronic plant, who has an even larger cousin not far away. The larger cousin is an enormous, eyeless face like a dragon or monster or even plant pod, that can shoot its head out from behind a scrim and chew on the guests! Jane demonstrated the larger creature for me and asked “Is this something you’d be interested in operating?

OH HELL YES.

I was also shown a large tree creature that they thought I might be suited for working inside. I was excited.

So anyway, I’m hoping I’ll get a callback next week. Wish me luck, folks!

Almost a Zombie.

I’m crushed! I had signed up several months ago to be an extra in a zombie film being made in Valdosta, Georgia. I never got called back, so I forgot about it. I just got a call today for being an actual zombie and I can’t go. I would have to go tomorrow to get fitted for a costume, and then filming would be on Thursday. Tomorrow I have to assist with picking up one of the horses from the vet. I’m so mad I could…eat brains!!!

Skeery Stuff: Tales from the Darkside: Inside the Closet

Tales from the Darkside was an anthology TV series from the 1980s produced by George A. Romero. Each episode was an individual short story that ended with a plot twist, and Tales from the Darkside centered mostly around horror stories. However, the series contained some episodes which would more likely be considered science fiction or fantasy-based, as well as some episodes which were more comical and lighthearted in tone.

Clip from “Inside the Closet”, one of my favorites, and one which utilizes puppetry.

Ms. Ainsley, a young graduate student, shows up to rent the last room available in the town. This room is in the house of the reserved, stoic Dr. Fentry, Dean of Veterinary Science. The room used to belong to Dr. Fentry’s daughter, Margret, but now retains a door to a very short closet as the only reminder of her. Despite the doctor’s assures that the door doesn’t open, it is quite active.
Directed by Tom Savini,award-winning special effects and makeup artist.

The effects are, of course, cheesy by today’s standards, but that’s probably why these type shows are so dear to my heart. I’m sure back then they caused quite the distress in the under-10 category, however.

TFTDS Episode Synopses here.

All the full versions of this episode have been removed from YouTube, so there’s no way to show the terrific payoff at the end, which I’ll put under a cut:

(more…)

CREEPY STUFF–Real skeletons in the movie “Poltergeist”

poltpoolsw8Since I feel that these prop items qualify as puppets, this creepy bit of info can go here.

In 2002, on an episode of VH1’s I Love the 80s, JoBeth Williams revealed that the production used real skeletons when filming the swimming pool scene. Many of the people on the set were alarmed by this and led others to believe the “curse” on the film series was because of this use. Craig Reardon, a special effects artist who worked on the film, commented at the time that it was cheaper to purchase real skeletons than plastic ones as the plastic ones involved labor in making them. Williams wasn’t afraid of the prop skeletons, but she was nervous working in water around so many electrically-powered lights. Producer Spielberg comforted her by being in the water during her scenes, claiming that if a light fell into the pool, they’d both be killed.

During the scene when one of the researchers hallucinates tearing his face off in the mirror, Steven Spielberg’s hands were used to claw the flesh off the dummy. The actor who played the part, Martin Casella, was Spielberg’s assistant on Raiders of the Lost Ark and also served as a PA on Robert Zemeckis’ film Used Cars, on which Spielberg served as executive producer.

The Me-as-a-Ghostly-Bride show idea…..finally something clicked.

I think I might have come up with the regular theme for (working title of) “Something Borrowed”–the ghosts-and-shadow-puppets show. For now, I should probably start out,as Steve said, simply.With just me. The set is the only problem I forsee.The others can join/help later if they want to. Here goes:

The show centers around Evelyn, the bride character, telling a story to another character who is a puppet. This puppet would be some sort of night-dwelling creature, preferably a bird, like an owl or a whippoorwill. The owl would fit the very ghostly theme a bit better, but a whippoorwill would be more unique.

The episode opens, animated, to a night sky, following this bird in flight to an old, decrepit, but once grand house or mansion, as the credits and opening titles go. The bird flies to the uppermost window of this house, the attic, and perches there as the credits end.
Then as the show opens, and switches to live action the bird(now a puppet) calls for Evelyn to see if she is there and will tell him a story. Evelyn appears, and asks what kind of story her little friend would like to hear tonight. When the bird tells her “a love story”, or “a funny story”, etc…she begins to look around in the attic full of junk and finds some object or prop, making sure she mentions somehow that “so many of her old friends have left things here”, sort of indicating that there are many other objects lying around with stories behind them. She finds what she is looking for, and sits down on a stool or chair while the little puppet character draws near. The camera focuses on the prop/object and blurs and fades out…
As she begins to narrate a ghost story, the medium switches to shadow puppets; simple, but performed with the narration to compose a short story of perhaps a minute or slightly more. When the story ends, it too fades out and we are met with the real-live prop again.
The puppet character and Evelyn talk very briefly and comment on the story, and then Evelyn notices that “it’s Midnight”, and she has to be going.The puppet character bids her goodbye, and she tells him she hopes he’ll come back again soon for another story. The bird flies away, out the window from which he came, and as Evelyn watches him fly away, from the window, she slowly disappears.

It should feel almost like a macabre version of Mister Rogers going into the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. Evelyn should be attractive, but not sexy, and the stories should be scary, maybe even a little bit gruesome, but not bloody or violent. All in all, it should have a lighthearted feel, but occasionally have a spooky surprise or two.