Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Years

“May the New Year bring you courage to break your resolutions early! My own plan is to swear off every kind of virtue, so that I triumph even when I fall!” - Aleister Crowley


Monday, December 28, 2015

Bah, Humbug

A simple bit of decoration I threw together to decorate the tiny plot of land I call a "front yard". Originally, it was to be accompanied by a monster mud Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come prop, but unfortunately I ran out of time. It was a simple tombstone thrown together out of odds and ends: two square sheets of green foam from Lowes I got for $5 each; a length of PVC pipe cut into lengths to act as spines; some gray latex "oops" paint (also from Lowes); and some black and white acrylic paint, along with a box-cuter. I used the box cutter to cut and engrave the tombstones (no template for the shape, I did it free hand), and to engrave both the lettering as well as hollow out the channels for the PVC pipe. I glued it all together with some Gorilla Glue, then sanded down the edges of the tombstone. I filled in the lettering with black acrylic paint, then painted the tombstone with two coats of the gray latex paint. I then drybrushed it vertically with white acrylic paint to create a faux stone texture, then finally tea-stained with watered down black acrylic paint.

One of my Halloween pumpkins visible in the background.
I think it adds a rather festive touch, if I do say so myself.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

'Rotten' News

So... it appears my haunt, Elmer's Cellar, just got featured on Pumpkinrot's blog. I'm doing the best I can to stay calm and not have a major geek-out moment - but, OHMYFUCKINGGODI'MONPUMPKINROT'SBLOG!!!!

*ahem* 
Sorry about that, won't happen again. Just seriously geeking out.

Here's the link.
http://pumpkinrot.blogspot.com/2015/12/elmers-cellar-2015-haunt-video.html

Monday, December 21, 2015

Elmer's Cellar 2015 Haunt Video

It's official - the Elmer's Cellar 2015 haunt video is now online! See it for yourself in all it's spooky glory, if you dare!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

He Sold His Soul For Rock n Roll: An Interview with Rev Lower of Only Flesh


Sex, Drugs, and Rock n Roll - for most, a mere catchphrase. But for Rev Lower, frontman of the infamous band Only Flesh, it is a lifestyle. Only Flesh truly caught the public's eye when it became the first band to have it's singer publicly suspend from flesh hooks while singing, only to repeat the feat a few years later, and eventually outdoing itself by having its singer crucified onstage.

Yes, you read that correctly - crucified.

I personally got the chance to see Only Flesh live in concert at a Halloween party on Devil's Night, and was blown away by the high energy, insanely over the top show - a jaw-dropping blend of ear-splitting music, sideshow feats, body suspension, dark humor, and a whole lot more. The band describes itself as "taking the catchy elements from punk, the sleaze from glam, the intensity of metal, the rawness of industrial, and drowning it in a sea of drugs, booze, and unprotected sex" - and with a description like that, you know you want to learn more. So, without further a do, lets delve into the twisted mind of musical madman and frontman of Only Flesh, Rev Lower!


For those who are not aware of you or the band, could you tell us who you are and what Only Flesh is and what it’s all about?
Well, Only Flesh is in essence is a twisted variety hour TV special... at its core we are a band, but to say we are only that would be a mistake. We are also a flesh suspension troupe, sideshow act, grinder team, a whole circus of bad ideas. We mix punk, metal, and industrial to make our sleazy rock and roll come to life and have included live crucifixions, go-go dancers, flesh suspensions, human oddities, fire breathing, beds of nails and staircases of machetes, and a lot more to soil your imagination.

What was it that led you down the path to becoming a musician?
Growing up I used music to soothe myself and console myself in times of stress and heartache. I looked up to these rock idols and admired their confidence and charisma. I knew from a very young age I wanted to become that.


What are some major influences on your style of music?
We are influenced by many types of music and that is reflected in our jumps in genre from song to song. If we feel angry we will write a heavier song, or maybe if shits getting us down a slower more depressing song will surface. we have so many different styles of music we love so we never wanted to be limited to just one.

Only Flesh is known for incorporating sideshow feats into its shows; in a typical performance, what feats can people expect to see performed?
As far as the sideshow stuff goes, we have a bed of nails and a bed of machetes that I lay on as people stand on me; we also have a staircase of machetes, we do fire breathing and I get a cinder block smashed on my nuts. Other tricks will be the human blockhead and pincushion. We are always trying to learn more tricks to throw into the mix.


How was it that you became involved in the world of body mod and sideshow?
I've always been very interested in how far you could push the body and never content to look like the norm so I have always dabbled in different body mod. As i got older it became more extreme... teeth filing, tongue splitting, sub-dermal and trans-dermal implants, brandings, scarification, piercings, tattoos (including my eyes being tattooed)... Early on I always tried to add it into shows like piercings and blood letting.. as I learned more and became a professional piercer. I started doing suspensions and flesh pulls at our show (as a side note- we were the first band ever to have a lead singer suspended while he (me) sang and performed on stage, though another band takes credit for it; I wont name names only pointing out we did a year before them).


The side show aspect to us has really been a more recent thing in my attempt to show we are more than just a band who "does the hook thing. I want our shows to be something that you'll want to see despite the fact that you love the music or not. If your just wanting the music buy the CD... but if you are paying to see us live then I want to entertain you.


What are the most extreme feats/body mods you’ve ever done, on stage or off?
I have been crucified live on stage a couple times. That was pretty intense and something we very rarely do. I even had a custom cross made for just those occasions. We also set up a zipline that i suspended and slid down to the stage which was a lil scary.

(for footage of the infamous crucifixion - click here, if you dare)

What would you say have the best and the worst venues you’ve played in?
Hmmm... well, our last big tour we had 4 places cancel on us because they were scared of us.. which hurt our finances pretty bad because we were counting on the money for gas and lodging.. they booked us without doing any research then the day before (or the day of, in some cases) looked us up and instead of talking to us so I could calm them they cancelled and wouldn't listen to reason..... I'd say any place that does that type of shit falls in the category of "worst" venue, though I won't mention any by name. My favorite venues are the ones that help promote, treat the bands like humans and maybe throw some food down our throats... its rough being on the road and a little niceness really goes a long way.

Apart from Only Flesh, what other projects are you currently involved in?
I put everything I have into Only Flesh. I have dabbled in a couple things but they usually fizzle out to me always doing OF work.

Where do you see Only Flesh 10 years down the road?
We will all be dead but churches will be erected to celebrate the cult that is Only Flesh. My face will be on every dollar you spend while my sultry voice will be heard in every elevator and strip mall! Monuments to my heroics and backstage antics will be built and children will be named after me.... but not the ugly ones. I doubt I'll be alive in a couple years, with my lifestyle let alone 10!


If someone came to you wanting to start a band, or get involved in the world of body mod, what advice would you give them?
DON'T! There are too many already and most likely you will sound better than us and I don't need the competition!

As for body mods do your research, don't just look up YouTube vids... you can mess yourself up and other people! Learn as much as you can before doing something you might regret! But if its something you want to do, then do it! Just know some choices have consequences!


Thanks very much for your time, Rev! Where can fans go to find more info on you and Only Flesh? 
You can look us up on YouTube, Facebook, our label Rotten Records and at your local rehab center!

HEAR NO EVIL... www.facebook.com/onlyflesh
SEE NO EVIL.... www.youtube.com/user/MrRevlower  www.rottenrecords.com
SPEAK NO EVIL... www.facebook.com/rev.lower

I'd like to thank Rev for his being generous enough to take time out of his schedule to do this interview. Be sure to check out Only Flesh at the links listed above, give their music a listen, buy the CDs, and support Only Flesh in their quest for world domination!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Krampus - Movie Review

Last Saturday night, Krampusnacht, I went to see the new horror comedy "Krampus" by Michael Dougherty of Trick r Treat fame, based on the infamous Alpine legend of a demonic beast that punishes naughty children every Christmas. What follows is my informal review:

First off, that was a blast! It may not have been the scariest horror film I've seen recently, but it was certainly one of the most fun. Everything from the cinematography to the art direction (including the sick snowmen/scarecrows designed by Pumpkinrot) to the acting and, of course, the fearsome assortment of killer toys and Christmas decor that accompany Krampus on his mission were spot-on. (Also, that Jack-in-the-Box in the attic... HOLY FUCK that was creepy!) Dougherty's directorial skills have definitely improved since "Trick r Treat", and Krampus shines as an excellent companion piece to it. I was a bit worried when I saw the rating was PG-13 that it was going to have been watered down by the studio, but I was happy to learn I was wrong. This was a no holds barred smack down of the holiday, one of the best since "Gremlins". Speaking of which, just as "Trick r Treat" payed homage to previous Halloween-themed films, so does Krampus pay homage to classic Xmas movies, including "Christmas Vacation", "Gremlins", the Charlie Brown special, and even (spoiler alert) "A Christmas Carol". And of corpse, there was the Krampus beast himself. I was surprised at the direction in which they took the design of the Christmas Devil, but surprised in a good way. It changed it up from the more traditional design into the realm of a true "Anti-Claus" (they do refer to him as 'The Shadow of St. Nicholas' after all...) Over all, this movie was terrific fun, and completely worth seeing in the theaters.

Damian's verdict: Five out of Five Horned Skulls

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Krampusnacht

Let the Krampus madness begin!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

ThanksKilling

Going to a screening of this sleazy shlockfest tonight.

Waaaayyy better than spending the day with family, LOL.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Shingle Creek Manor 2015

I always look forward to seeing the latest from this haunt, and this year was no disappoint. Absolutely stunning work here. LOVE the blue lighting scheme, and especially the violin playing skeleton.











Monday, November 16, 2015

Pumpkinrot's 2015 Haunt Video

Another brilliant haunt by the master himself. Enjoy.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Je Suis Paris

To those who lost their lives in Paris on Friday - Rest In Peace.

La Solidarité. Liberté, égalité, fraternité. 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Halloween 2015: Post Mortem

Well, Specters, with Halloween 2015 now taking a dirt nap, and with Dia de los Muertos and Guy Fawkes Day out of the way, I’ve had some time to sit back and reflect on Halloween 2015 and the Elmer’s Cellar haunt; what went right, what went wrong, and where I’ll be going from here.

I’ll get straight to the point: I feel this year was a definite let down, at least for me. Murphy’s Law was in full effect – everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. My brand new, just out of the box fog machine started leaking immediately, and I wasn’t able to return it or buy a new one; volunteers who said they would help ended up flaking out on me over and over; half the props I hoped to build never seemed to come close to being finished; one of my sound systems died 40 minutes into the show, leaving me without the creepy radio effect that told the backstory, which I had spent over a week perfecting; the nasty old geezer who lives on the floor above me tried to get me shut down 30 minutes to showtime by calling the landlord (I already had prior permission, but it was still a huge waste of precious time); only 30-odd ToTs ended up stopping to get candy, with many more just walking by completely uninterested; the haunt got vandalized in the AM of November 1st; and adding insult to injury, the year I do a haunt based on the infamous “razor-in-the-candy” urban legend had to be the year that every attention-seeking narcissist on the East Coast decided to do their own tampered candy hoax (one lunatic in my own county actually sliced up her own mouth with a razor to make the hoax seem more “convincing”).

I mentioned above how only 30-some ToTs stopped to get candy; there were more than that out and about, but a great number walked right past with either no interest or contemptuous sneers. At one point a corpulent bottle blonder soccer mom waddled past with a pack of kids, regarding the haunt with a look of disgust and saying (in a voice loud enough to make sure I could hear), “This is sooooo unhealthy for children!” By 7:45 my street was a ghost town, everyone gone elsewhere. I finally closed the haunt about an hour early when it became clear no one else was coming. I went inside, turned off the lights, collapsed onto my bed, and passed out, simply not caring anymore. I woke the next day, spending most the morning in bed, too depressed to get up, and when I finally did, I went out and found that the haunt had been vandalized – wall dressings ripped down, wooden crosses tossed about, witch jars stolen. Granted, it wasn’t major vandalism, but the sheer dickishness of it didn’t help my already dark mood.

I had worked myself to the point of exhaustion, working every night right into morning, 5:00 AM, sometimes even 6:00 AM, sleeping for only a few hours (4 at the very most), then getting up and starting over. By 10:00 PM the night of Halloween, I was so exhausted I was swaying on my feet and couldn’t even see straight. I wasn’t eating very well, having gone down to only one meal a day to make sure I had money for haunt supplies, and I still ended up not having a big enough budget to pull off everything I wanted. My physical health was shitty, a result of little sleep and next to no nutrition. Needless to say, after pouring my heart, soul, and every penny I had into this haunt to see just how little anyone cared was beyond disheartening. It was soul crushing. In the 2 ½ years I’ve lived in this shitty little town, I’ve learned that anything genuinely creative and unique is completely ignored and unappreciated. As a friend of mine once said, “Indiana, PA is where dreams go to die”. Fuck this town. It doesn’t deserve artists and creative people. This is why I’m looking forward to moving out of state in a few months – at least I know I’m going somewhere my efforts will be appreciated, instead of wasted on ingrates.

However, I cannot allow myself to wallow in self-pity; self-pity leads to stagnation, and stagnation is the death of both the Haunter and the Artist. Thus, I’m choosing to learn from my mistakes of this past year – after all, there is no better teacher than trial and error. Some of the more important lessons I’ve learned (or in some cases, re-learned): plan/strategize better; start building earlier in the season; always have a back-up plan – then have a back-up plan for the back-up plan. At least I’m learning these lessons now, early in my career, as opposed to later.

I didn’t get as many night shots of the final haunt as I would like, but I am currently working on a haunt video/short film that will hopefully at least give you feeling/aesthetic of the haunt, if not an actual blow-by-blow walk-through (more on that later). As for the future of Elmer’s Cellar, I would not be at all surprised if Elmer Wyatt Heddy reared his ugly masked head again in the future; after all, if one Halloween Massacre was not enough for him, who’s to say he won’t try again – who knows, maybe he’ll be taking his act on the road…

Finally, I must give credit where credit is absolutely deserved: scream-outs to:
August and Pandora Rose, for their support and encouragement in keeping the haunt going, and for inspiring the look of Elmer’s trademark mask.
Beckie-Ann Galentine, for her stunning photos that she took of both the haunt and me in character as Elmer; as well as for being a supportive friend through some tough times, along with JB Bowser and Brandon Dunlap.
Jeff Mays, for sending some skellies my way (along with a wicked example of his own handiwork) to add to the haunt, along with some sweet Ragged Grin swag.
Steve Holliday, for loaning me some equipment at the zero hour.
Sharon Day, for her inspiration and for plugging the haunt through her blog Ghost Hunting Theories
Sean Hughes for allowing me to display some flyers at Sacred Ink.
Christy Pierce, for donating some items to the haunt.
And finally to Pumpkinrot, already an inspiration to countless many, who’s defining of the concept of the “Old School Haunt” was an important inspiration to my own work this year. (By a strange coincidence, he actually wound up doing a pretty similar theme with this haunt – seriously, go check it out!)

I hope you all had a great Halloween, and that your haunts were a success. I don’t know exactly what I’ll be doing next year, but I’ve already got a few evil plans circulating in my brain... and on that note, Happy Halloween, Happy Samhain, and most of all, Stay Scary! \m/

Elmer Wyatt Heddy closes the door on Halloween 2015

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Day of the Dead

Hope you all had a great Halloween, Specters! And now, time to finally rest.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween

Happy Hallowe'en, Specters! Make the most of it - it only comes once a year!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Devil's Night

Here we are, Specters - the night before Hallowe'en. Mischief Night. Devil's Night. I hope all your I's are dotted and your T's are crossed, because tomorrow is the Big 31. I wish you all the best of luck with your haunts and I hope the Great Pumpkin has smiled on you and kept the storm clouds away from your haunt. I myself will be attending Sacred Ink Tattoo's infamous annual Halloween party tonight, this year featuring a performance by extreme metal band and sideshow/suspension troupe, Only Flesh! (click here for footage of one their more infamous performances). I'm sure it'll be a blast!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Official Haunt Poster 2015

Here is the finished poster for the haunt (address blocked out for privacy purposes). Hope you like it!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Elmer's Cellar - Teaser

Well, Specters, it's one week until Halloween. As a little treat for you all, here are some shots from a promo shoot I did for the haunt last night with a friend of mine, the very talented photographer Beckie-Ann Galentine. Keep in mind, this is not the *entire* haunt; just a little scaled down version to whet the appetite. We're down to seven days, Specters. Make 'em count.

All photographs courtesy of Beckie Galentine Photography:










Thursday, October 22, 2015

Haunt Life

A meme I created a while back for my fellow haunters; feel free to share!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Old School

It's good to see the neighbors getting in the spirit of things with some spooky old school decorations: