The inquiring mind of Uncle T has a few questions. Have you been waking up in the morning and not remembering the previous night’s activities? How about waking up naked in your neighbor’s doghouse while in the fetal position? Are you permanently banned from the local butcher shop for trying to steal the bloodsoaked mops from the cleaning crew? Are the local petting zoo’s in the area missing some of their livestock? Does the Widow Johnson complain that her chickens keep going missing? If so, today is your lucky day because TNUC has you covered. Introducing THE NIGHT BEAST mix, a 40+ minute audio-blast engineered to ease your symptoms and avoid those confusing mornings of trying to explain to your loved one why the bedroom window is smashed, the comforter has clumps of fur on it and the pillows smell like the meat counter at the supermarket. We’re not saying this is the cure, but it certainly should help. These tracks were carefully mixed with hopes of distracting those of us with nightly bloodlusts that refuse to subside. If you’re not experiencing problems like these, don’t worry. THE NIGHT BEAST is a monstrous blend of moonlit metal and synthesizer ooze that will have you banging your head over that bowl of Frute Brute in no time.
We’re less than a week away from Halloween. Time to make it count! Turn it up and press play.
2) DIO – NIGHT PEOPLE
3) ? – SHE’S A WITCH
4) STEEL BREEZE – BUMP IN THE NIGHT
5) OZZY OSBOURNE – BARK AT THE MOON
6) PLEASANT COMPANY – SCARY MOVIES
7) METROPOLIS – DARKEST SIDE OF THE NIGHT
8) BILLY IDOL – FATAL CHARM
9) MICHAEL SEMBELLO – ROCK UNTIL YOU DROP
10) YNGWIE MALMSTEEN – MAGIC MIRROR
11) THE WOLF SISTERS – BIG BAD WOLF
12) JAY CHATTAWAY – MAKING THE SILVER BULLET
The denim. The hair. The DEADBEAT.
Choosing a worthy Deadbeat is never a simple task, but with this month being October, it’s 10x more difficult given the infinity amount of bullies, abusers, serial murderers, cannibals, mutant fathers, deformed delinquents, bastard children, low-lifes, losers and lepers to choose from. But only one has the ability to take extreme measures such as killing innocent people based on a personal dream that his hair will get him to Hollywood, or more specifically as he puts it, “this hair is gonna’ get me paid and laid”.
Sam Whitemoon is sick of small town life. So sick that he decides to stick up a neighborhood general store run by two sweet elderly people to steal his own family’s sacred jewelry to pawn for money. Sam’s uncle, Benjamin Whitemoon, is a wise and respected Native American local who gave the old couple the jewelry to pay off his debts. This gives Sam and his two bonehead friends (or slaves who he calls Rich Boy and Fat Stuff) the idea to raid the store with shotguns and steal the goods.
Right before the real havoc goes down, Sam pauses to enter the shop’s photobooth to take a few glamour shots, where he actually calls himself “sweetheart” when staring at his reflection. He boasts about his long, luscious hair for a minute and then exits the booth [see video].
Then he kills the old people and makes off with the jewelry.
This deadbeat-swine is not only a killer, but a disgrace to his Native American family, tribe, reservation, ancestors and all that stuff. I wonder what Squanto and his gang back in 1619 would have thought of Sam and his salon-quality hair. They’d probably do exactly what Old Chief Woodenhead does to him at the end of the film. Without giving anything away to those of you who STILL haven’t seen Creepshow 2, let’s just say that Sam won’t be “heading” to Hollywood in that Firebird anytime soon.
Check out Fat Stuff munching on some pork rinds and beer before meeting his demise!
[NOTE: DEADBEAT-OF-THE-MONTH is an ongoing saga giving thanks and praise to a chosen deadbeat character each month. To see the rest of em', go here]
A long time ago on a dusty space of farmland far, far beyond the beaten path there was a horror house by the name of SPOOKY WORLD. This place was THE premiere haunted destination and was one of the only big haunts in operation at the time, so it was pretty much the horror equivalent to Disneyland.
*Before we continue let’s get one thing straight – this is not that uninspired, indoor zombie walkthrough that operated under the same name through the late 90’s and early 00’s – this is the original SPOOKY WORLD located way out in creepy Berlin, Massachusetts on an old farm. Yes, the one with the bone-chilling hayride and free cider & donuts!
First off, I’d like to mention just how crucial the commute was to the whole essence of Spooky World. Because it was located in isolated western Mass, many people had a lengthy ride to deal with. Being the time of year it was and how backwoodsy that region of the state is – the ride itself was dark, soggy and quite menacing. This beautifully set the tone for the blood, guts and latex one would soon be facing that night.
During it’s first few years of production that began in 1991, Spooky World drew enormous crowds because of their much talked about haunted hayride and impressive lineup of celebrity appearances. The 30+ minute hayride crept through the woods and would stop at a series of mini “horror shows”. These ranged from watching a gruesome surgery being performed which concluded with a guy’s face popping out of the patients stomach, to Leatherface chasing innocent victims in a mass of fog and lighting effects. Even our pal Toxie was the leading man in a scene which saw him slithering around an elaborate toxic-waste dump straight out of the real Tromaville.
The set designs were well done for the budget they must have been restricted to. One minute you’d witness some impressive, real-time gore effects. Then right around the corner would be a bunch of 99-cent store foam graves. Nothing was perfect by any means, but the performers were enthusiastic and the atmosphere was pure magic. If you haven’t experienced New England in October, it’s pretty much the fucking ultimate. It’s cold, it’s damp and there’s an eeriness in the air that certifies it as the best place if you want to be fully immersed in Halloween-mode. The actors took full advantage of this and it paid off during these mini-performances.
At the end of the hayride, workers passed around trays with free apple cider, donuts and cookies for all surviving victims. Then your group would walk over to the ‘haunted barns’ to do some wandering. Outside was more like a carnival than a spook-house. Visitors donned in warm clothing sat at picnic tables and ate pizza, hot dogs, pretzels and other country fair-type food. The air was crisp and smelled like a mixture of dead leaves, bonfires, hay and fried dough (something I want bottled up and sold in TNUC’s Food Court). One barn was full of animatronic beasts and ghouls, while the other held a massive assortment of classic horror movie nostalgia, props and merchandise for purchasing.
Then of course there were the FREE autograph meet-and-greets. This was back when someone like Alice Cooper, Elvira, Kane Hodder (Jason Voorhees) or Linda Blair would sign your stuff without charging a fee for it. The only “celebrity” I met at Spooky World was world-renowned ukulele player Tiny Tim. I didn’t have a clue why I was waiting in line to meet a man named Tiny Tim or what he was even doing there, but I said hello and shook his hand. I’m still confused as to why he was there.
The following video is a rip of the entire official Spooky World VHS released in 1994 which gives a guided tour of the venue’s haunted grounds. It’s narrated by Jason Voorhees himself (Kane Hodder) and produced by splatter effects legend, Tom Savini. Prominent icons of the horror community such as these were behind the magic of Spooky World – which gives you a good idea of how special this place was!
And who could forget the Spooky World mascot? A grinning grim reaper figure that no New Englander could escape in the early 1990’s. He started appearing on highway billboards and in convenience stores flyers every September to promote the hayride. For many youngsters not only was he the 1st sign that the annual event was coming but also that October, Halloween and everything-HORROR was right around the corner. I started collecting Spooky World stuff recently in hopes of eventually having a monstrous contribution to display in TNUC’s backyard tree house hangout..
In 1998 a building inspector issued several citations to the establishment which would eventually shut the place down. After a short silence, the name Spooky World started appearing again with promotions announcing a new location. Corporate slugs had taken the name but it’s original creators had nothing to do with the sudden reincarnation. The original hayride had been replaced. This “new” Spooky World had its moments, but certainly didn’t have the charm that the old farmhouse way out in Deliverance-country did.
If you’re a native east coaster reading this, hopefully your memories of this iconic horror theme park are of the original Berlin location. Spooky World was truly one of a kind and sadly we’ll never see it regain the strength it had in 1991. Unless of course Uncle TNUC resurrects it’s unholy spirit and reopens the place on a newly found Native American burial ground. Kids, start sending those applications in!
Jay Chattaway’s music from 1985’s Silver Bullet strikes in all the right places. It’s spooky enough that I can count on it to awaken that part of me which feels the most alive this time of year, yet emotional enough that somehow it brings back memories of my earliest exposure to horror movies. Those first tastes of the macabre were intimidating but fascinating at the same time. Like the first time on a haunted hayride, you dread what’s next but can’t force yourself to look away. Jay’s score, especially the selection we’re sharing today, is a creepy-crawly brew of both dark and light sounds which creates an eerie but delightful atmosphere. The most memorable movie scores are the ones that play tricks with your senses. The type that are perfect for the scene but could do just fine by themselves. I recommend waiting until nighttime to play this one. Or at least dusk. Then, find a secluded area beside a window with a brisk breeze. Now you’re ready.
This little number also reminds me of riding bikes under the moonlight through Old Man Covington’s woods on chilly October evenings. We’d race through the damp paths, our tires slipping on the wet leaves as each of us raced to be the first one to reach our monster club’s tree house hangout. If you stayed left at the fork in the path you’d eventually pass the town slaughterhouse where butchers could be heard inside working the graveyard shift. One night I dropped my Baby Ruth bar by accident and out of the corner of my eye saw the figure of what appeared to be a 7 foot tall wolf with a huge smile on his face entering the front entrance to the slaughterhouse. Then I caught a strong downwind smell of freshly poured beer. Then came the human screams of agony, followed by a brief silence and finally the distinct (and unexpected) noise of beer cans opening. As I stood paralyzed with fear, I saw two blood-red eyes from a distance looking directly at me. Then that huge, grizzly smile appeared again which was followed by constant burping noises. I found this to be extremely strange and quickly got back on my bike to pedal away. I shared my story that night at our monster club’s midnight society tree house meeting. “The Tale of the Thirsty Wolf”…
*Special thanks to our core sponsor of this post, Coors Light.
This year we convinced stubborn old Count TNUC to come down from his dusty attic and make a “Halloween Mood Table” to help spice the place up. Here’s what resulted..
Credit for coining the title of “Halloween Mood Table” goes to Matt of Dinosaur Dracula. In a nutshell these tables are meant to evoke that October/Halloweeny spirit and should be displayed somewhere in your home. That’s pretty much it as far as rules go. Everything else is up to you. Head on over to Dinosaur Dracula to see how his tables have evolved throughout the years. Dino Drac has been a huge inspiration for TNUC this year and we can’t thank him enough for what he does!
I realize that we’ve been talking about Francis ‘Chainsaw’ Gremp from the movie Summer School for about the last 27 years or so. During our October spread just last year we paid tribute on two separate occasions to this legendary teenage gorehound. Well, just when I thought there was probably nothing else to say about the man, I came upon an item that physically and emotionally knocked the living daylights out of me when I saw it.
I FOUND CHAINSAW’S RUBBER HAND ALARM CLOCK.
Yes, right now Uncle T could take you on a ride with one of his “tall-tales” about him borrowing the hand for research from an aging, burnt out Chainsaw who now lives under the Venice Beach pier with his old buddy Dave. In reality, I was innocently spending another afternoon browsing around Ebay for vintage-rubber-horror-stuff and BAM, there it was. I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a radiant glow coming off the screen and an echoing gregorian-chant humming in the room. I was pretty confident it was the exact rubber hand, but could only really confirm by seeing it in person. A nervous 2% hoped it wasn’t an Addam’s Family “Thing” toy, or a replica of Garth Algar’s rubbery-robot hand from the “we fear change” scene in Wayne’s World. Not that I wouldn’t be happy owning those two items, but with this being Chainsaw’s rubber hand it truly felt like the planets were aligning and I somehow I was meant to find this wonderful nonsense.
So when the hand arrived at Castle TNUC, I had the “nightmare” scene in Summer School cued up and ready to validate. I unboxed the hand, immediately inserted the batteries and sure enough – those fingers wiggled just like they did when waking up Chainsaw in his bodacious horror bedroom. See for yourself in the video below.
The hand is insanely and creepily realistic. It’s rubber material feels like the same rubbery gold that those pesky Boglins are made of. It came in it’s original box which has the title “The Wigglin’ Hand” and the manufacturer’s name on the back of the box reading “Vic’s Novelty”. After doing a little research I found out the company was based in Oxnard, California with a guy named Victor Provenzano Jr being the brains behind the operation.
This entire journey – from growing up idolizing Chainsaw in the movie, to ending up finding the same hand as well as information about it’s origins felt like some strange, rubbery, latex, pre-CGI-era mindtrip. Never did I seek out to find this precious artifact in stores or on the internet. This gold at the end of the rainbow was completely unintentional. The more I stare at it, the more I’m convinced it is the hand in Wayne’s World that we were talking about earlier. This hand seems to really get around and i’m wondering where else it’s shown up? If by looking at it more it starts to ring some bells, let me know where you may have spotted it and i’ll get members of TNUC’s top research team on it.