After my appearance on an episode of his Bizzong! podcast, the esteemed Mr. Frank described me as “the Martha Stewart of extreme horror.” Now, there’s a moniker I never would have expected, but, nonetheless, gleefully embraced.
(The invariable immediate follow-up question is usually “so then who’s your Snoop?”, the answer to which is equally invariable and immediate: Jeff Burk, forever one of my favorite people in the world!)
Anyway, this came about because of my propensity to bake creepy cookies and cupcakes, and make creepy crafts, many of which I like to bring to events or present to my fellow creepy creatives. They’re great for book launches, readings, conventions, surprise gifts.
Many of these demented experiments spring from my own imagination, or are inspired by the works of others; I’ve done doll-mods, crafts, and baked goods inspired by book covers, characters, concepts, etc. I made death’s head moths for the fine folks at Death’s Head Press, sent the publisher at Bloodshot Books a giant painted ceramic bloodshot eyeball, and gave Brian Keene a batch of handmade “clickers.”
But, for the purposes of this post, I’m going to focus solely on weird shit I’ve made based on some famous horror films. Doll-mods, mostly, with a few other odds and ends (mainly odds) thrown in.
The earliest of these, chronologically speaking, was this nut-people version of Carrie at the prom, which I made for my daughter:
Also from the nut-people line, a nice little nightmare I like to call the Pecan Centipede:
Which, by the way, had a much larger cousin one year for Halloween:
Now, at some point along the line, I’d ordered a bunch of craft supply ‘book boxes,’ which aren’t boxes to store books but boxes shaped like books. A DIY Necronomicon was, of course, a must!
The doll-mods, though, always provide the biggest challenge, and tend to be the most fun. I’ve included pics from the movies I used as my reference in most cases, to see how close I was able to get with little more than a hot glue gun and paint.
Whenever I’m asked my favorite horror monster, the answer has got to be the classic Gill-Man. He was my daughter’s fave, too; while other kids were checking out cartoon movies from the library, she would beeline right for Creature From The Black Lagoon every time. So, naturally, I had to make a doll of him for her!
Now, sometimes there are moments in movies maybe meant to be horrific, but turn out more hilarious instead. For me, one such moment is in the original Fright Night; hello, Amy!
If some of your friends are so obsessed with a franchise they even have a Friday the 13th themed wedding, well …
Speaking of things providing challenges, by the way, the hardest part of this build was having to make the damn tricycle!
One challenge, however, I did not undertake was my roommate-at-the-time’s suggestion to make this one spew green goop:
Occasionally, I will make something that creeps even me out, so I am very glad the awesome Mary SanGiovanni agreed to give this one a good home:
As terrific and fun as was Cabin in the Woods, I think we all agree the by-far best bits came when we got to see all the other options, and dream of the alternate versions of the movie that could have been. Like, say, either of these two:
Hail to the king, baby. ‘nuff said.
And, to finish with a drastic departure from crafts into cooking, who’s hungry for some SHARKTATO MEATNADO?
Yes, that is a bacon-wrapped meatloaf tornado with potatoes carved into sharks. Life is too short to make plain old boring loaf-shaped meatloaf. I could do a whole other post about those culinary experiments too.
Do I deserve the title Mr. Frank so graciously bestowed upon me? I am far from an expert, far from having my own entire multi-million-dollar brand name and empire. But, for now, I can just say — and after seeing her as a judge on Chopped, I know she’s one of the scariest people alive — your move, Martha!
Boo-graphy: Christine Morgan recently quit her night-shift job and moved from rainy Portland to sunny Southern California to help out her mom and hopefully make a plunge as a full-time writer. Several months later, she’s still reeling from the culture shock of adjusting to daytime life, but finally has a real office/library full of bookshelves and critter skeletons, as well as a dinosaur-themed bedroom. Because she is a) a grown up and b) a professional.
Frank J. Edler is one of my “new favorite people,” and has been for quite some time now. He’s definitely someone worth knowing. Talented, hilarious, and just a really good person. I hope you enjoy his story… that took me places very unexpected.
I dig and dig, fearing all hope is lost. A bust of a Halloween. Nothing but jank candy. Tootsie rolls, Mary Jane’s, Dots, and loose candy corn! Who gives out loose, unpackaged candy corn? Old ladies, vagabonds, and derelicts, that’s who! All jank! I throw caution to the wind and just dump the candy all over the carpet. Screw it, Halloween is ruined now with all this terrible candy. What the hell has happened to the world? We’ve all become too cheap to fill a little boy’s life with the joy of free premium candy? Everything is Dum-Dums and Sixlets! Not even a proper m&m but a knock-off, second-rate Sixlet! Heads will roll!
What’s next, one of those terrible strawberry hard candies that old ladies older than old ladies give out? Those old ladies give those out not because it’s Halloween, but because they don’t know it’s Halloween and they are confused and frightened as to why all these freaking young’uns are ringing their doorbell demanding candy when all they wanted to do was finish watching the last episode of Matlock and go to bed at two in the afternoon so they can wake up at four in the morning and start their day anew. Yup! There it is one of those strawberry hard candies. Never fails. It tastes like it’s on death’s door too. I was foolish enough to try one when I was very little, believing the lie of the fresh fruit looking wrapper.
Lies! All I got for Halloween this year was a bag full of lies and empty promises. This is all that stupid Walmart’s fault. Everyone goes there and just buys a 385 pound bag of discount, bottom shelf, no name candy to pass out to the children. People live with the delusion that this year will be the year that all the kids in town as well as the next three towns over will arrive at their door so they go for quantity not quality. It’s a perception Sam Walton’s offspring and disciples have been selling for years and each year all it does is decrease the amount of trick-or-treaters. So when Halloween comes to an end and it’s time to settle in for All Saints Day, millions of households across America are left ragged and depressed over the insurmountable volume of terrible candy they are left to suckle for the rest of the remaining year. Don’t worry, they’ll buy the same crap next year.
And me, here I sit with nothing more than a pile of dirt on the carpet. All trash. I wish there were some invisible mythical creature that could fix Halloween. Every other good holiday has one. Santa unfucks Christmas. The Easter bunny is like Milton Hershey with long ears. Hell, even the simple event of losing a tooth brings with it cold hard cash from the Tooth Fairy. Why can’t Halloween have something? Like Bllrrgin’ The Gimp or some crazy shit.
You know what?! What if there is a Bllrrgin’ The Halloween Gimp who devours all the kids awful Halloween candy and craps out rich, uber-sweet, chocolaty goodness in its place? What if Bllrrgin’ chomps on Bit-O-Honey’s and defecates the world’s greatest candy bar? What if he’s there right now, somewhere, and all that he needs is for just one kid to believe in him. To make him real.
I close my eyes, squint real hard, shutting them tighter than I ever have before this moment. I wish and wish for Bllrrgin’ to be real. I wish with all my soul and every ounce of my heart for him to come and eat my garbage. I believe in Bllrrgin’ more than I believe in me.
I hear a noise in my deep trance. Its faint and I half believe I heard it because I wanted to hear it. But, I open my eyes and find all the terrible, awful candy on the floor is gone!
It was Bllrrgin’ the Gimp! Come to save Halloween! No more JuJuBees! No more Necco wafers! Never again a Now & Later or an unbranded butterscotch! Bllrrgin’ has saved the day! I cry tears of joy and realize there is still another part of the deal with the Halloween Gimp.
Good candy! Where did he poop out the good stuff? Oh, I do so hope he dropped my absolute favorite from his magical anus. Bllrrgin’s reward is not on the floor. That makes sense, it would be uncouth for a Halloween Gimp to just crap on the floor like some common house mutt. No, like any good holiday figment of my imagination, he woudl need to make a game of the reward. A little sport of the whole thing, that’s what Halloween Gimps did after all!
I checked the most obvious spot, my empty trick-or-treat bag. Still empty. Too easy for a clever Halloween Gimp. I looked around everywhere. Under the couch, out by the front door, maybe tucked away somewhere around the cheesy Halloween decorations my mom put out on display. It wasn’t anywhere!
Where would Bllrrgin’ the Halloween Gimp crap out my prize candy!?
Duh! It was like the answer was right there in front of me the whole time.
I raced to the bathroom and lifted the lid. There it was, floating like a Baby Ruth in the Caddyshack movie my dad was always watching, half-drunk on Saturday nights after he thought I was asleep in bed. Only, it wasn’t a Baby Ruth, those are for Bllrrgin’ the Gimp. What he left me was the greatest candy on the planet.
My eyes grew like the oversized eyes on a too-cute-for-words stuffed pink giraffe and welled with tears of joy. Bllrrgin’ was real and he left me his gift. I plucked it out of the toilet and took an itty-bitty little bite. I saved the flavor of the best candy ever.
A Left Twix. Yum.
Happy Halloween and don’t forget to leave all your jank candy out for Bllrrgin’ to eat this year. And whatever you do, check the bowl before you flush away your Halloween treasure!
Otto Van Der Noodle has just been crowned the Bratwurst King of Wisconsin when he is gunned down in cold blood. Otto finds himself in line at the pearly gates when he is accidentally cast through the gates of Hell.
Otto lands in the middle of a power struggle for the throne of Hell. Satan rules the underworld with an iron fist and a delicious bratwurst. Satan’s brother, Dagobert has just found his secret weapon, Otto Van Der Noodle and his prize-winning bratwurst.
Dagobert will try to tip the balance of control in Hell using Otto’s delectable bratwursts. But Satan may have found the ultimate weapon in his new favorite pet demon.
Souls will be tortured, demons will fight demons and bratwursts will be cooked. Who will come out as the top chef and leader of Hell when the cook-off to end all cook-offs is fought?
Read BRATS IN HELL to find out. Its the WURST book ever written!
Vincent and his nagging wife, Wanda wind up getting themselves killed in Tijuana. Vincent wakes to find that he is now the Grim Reaper. With minimal training he is cast into the world of Deaths to collect the souls of the dead. The only wrinkle is his dead wife has come back as a screaming Banshee. She is hellbent on getting her husband to realize that its not ’til death do they part and he is set on getting through his first day on the job.
He will not go it alone. Along the way he is helped by his co-workers: a cowboy, a midget, an action figure and a bumbling grim reaper from Salem.
Will Death get the soul to Charon’s skiff by the end of the work day or will a squadron of maniac Banshee’s stop Death and upend the balance of power in the underworld? And, will Vincent ever be rid of his nagging wife?
It’s hard being a Killer Brain. Just ask Scatter, a Killer Brain who just wants to be a Killer Brain. But he can’t, his parents want him to get a job. Scatter would rather do what he does best, terrorize the city with his pack of Killer Brain friends. But Scatter is about to find out life isn’t fair.
Crazed neurosurgeon, Dr. Justin Case is out to avenge the death of his parents at the hands of the Killer Brains. And now he has Scatter in his sights. Along with his cohort, Coda, Dr. Case will stop at nothing to exact his revenge and seek the closure he has sought since he watched his parents get devoured by Killer Brains as a child.
The odds are stacked against Scatter. He must navigate life while trying not to fall into the clutches of his would-be nemesis. Can Scatter get by without a little help from family and friends. He just wants to live life doing what he loves but sometimes responsibility has a way of rearranging your priorities. Join Scatter as he navigates through life, the job market and a city full of crazies all keeping him from doing what he loves, being a Killer Brain.