His serpentine eyes pierced the mist, stopping Roxie right in her tracks. She couldn’t move, she couldn’t look away, she was completely transfixed by the fiery, penetrating gaze. The music began to churn slower and slower as if the syncopated Italo basslines were mirroring the slow, swirling movements of the fog itself. She stared directly into those jade green irises as they began to hypnotically spin ever so slowly. Eventually, the mist, the music, and the night itself began to swirl together, spiraling down into Amazonian depths.
Meanwhile, Ricky and Linda were rustling around, desperately searching for their missipng partner.
“Hey, take a look at this,” Ricky called Linda over while dusting off an ancient looking lever.
“Wait! Don’t touch it,” Linda cried, but it was too late. The floor came out from under them, and they fell directly into a…bedroom? Ricky looked at masks lined wall to wall, along with heavy metal and movie posters, an eyeball stress ball, gore props, and severed zombie heads. The Manimal had taken the two teens directly into his bedroom circa Summer School.
Linda found herself in the bed, face to face with an axed brain, when an alarm clock started going off beside her. Just as she went for it the ceiling came crashing down from above. Through the ceiling came a monstrous version of the legendary hand alarm clock, scanning for victims as if it were a crane trying to grab onto stuffed animals. Someone must be controlling it, Ricky thought as he took cover in a pile of body props, watching the giant hand jolt back and forth. Finally the hand lowered directly onto Linda’s head! She screamed as it pulled her head clean off, then neatly placed it down next to the other zombie heads.
Ricky covered his eyes in horror, then a familiar voice started calling to him.
“Psssttt. Hey, over here.”
Ricky uncovered his eyes just barely, half afraid to look.
“Right behind you puss-lips.” It was Snake, or rather Snake’s severed head.
“Remember the mammories…Ricky, find those gigantic badonkas. You must…,” and with that his head rolled back into the wall, clicked into place, and opened a new doorway. He could hear a woman’s voice chanting an ethereal hymn from realms beyond his darkest desires.
As he passed under the stone archway, he came to a long hallway where his footsteps echoing off the marble floors were accompanied by the beautiful song of the sirens with their golden harps. The mists in front of him started to take on the shape of a woman – Elvira. She floated along the marble floors, coaxing Ricky forward with promises of eternal cleavage. Then she took Ricky gently by the hand, and lowered him onto a velvet-upholstered chair, before finally taking her place amongst a row of figures and busts cast in white stone.
Could this be the moment he’s been waiting seemingly his whole life for? He recalled the countless hours he and Snake had lost to Elvira reruns, just waiting for those luscious bazookas to burst free from their gothic cage. She looked directly into his eyes, bending down a little further, unbuttoning her top button.
“This is really it. Oh man, if only Snake could see this,” he said as he tightened his grip on the arms of the chair. But something isn’t right. Her hair began moving on it’s own, twisting and coiling together. Her eyes began to glow purple. She unbuttoned another. Now her hair began to slither and squirm. Ricky was covered in sweat now, only one button away from the promised land. He heard the hissing of snakes, and could almost feel their writhing, but he dared not look away from Elvira’s bosom as she undid the last button, ripping open her shirt, and casting Ricky in eternal stone, to be immortalized forever amongst the sculptures in Castle TNUC.
And now our tale of the fates of those who dared enter Castle TNUC comes to a close with Roxie. Poor Roxie, lost amidst the swirling, serpentine stare of the Manimal. The ‘ludes, the murky way-slo, the spiraling eyes, all come to a sudden climax of hissing air vents and smoke. The Manimal’s eyes now glowed red like embers from behind the walls of smoke, and his jaws unhinged, revealing the forked tongue of the serpent. And from the darkness beyond came the throttle of an engine revving to life. The smoke cleared. There he sat. Golden locks, dangling cross in one ear, leather jacket, engine roaring throughout Castle TNUC. He rode down the forked tongue, grabbed Roxie, and tossed her over his shoulder.
“Rocking the Night Away” by Witch Cross started blasting and the Manimal, now with prey, rode back up the tongue and into the darkness beyond. Its jaws closed, swallowing all into the night.
Will Castle TNUC’s funhouse visit your town next? Will you be seduced by his powers of the night?
Why is everyone so fascinated by this abandoned amusement park and it’s creepozoid like inhabitants? Will people ever learn their lesson when they see the giant sign that reads: NO EXIT. NO ONE LEAVES CASTLE TNUC ALIVE?!?
Embedded inside the foam-core brick walls of Castle TNUC is a soundtrack. Buried in these unknown whereabouts is a 40 minute loop of music that no one’s been able to shut off since they opened the place. Each evening when the clock strikes the midnight hour, the constant rotation of music gets louder, drawing in hoards of mischievous teens and amateur ghouls to line up out front. Hypnotized by the pulsating rhythms, they dance the night away while ‘Count Manimal’ shakes his long locks of blonde hair in the foggy breeze and beckons them inside, one by one.
Local old folks cover their earlobes and shake their fists in the air with disgust. The local PTA show up on Friday nights (our HOTTEST night of the week) with pitchforks and torches, throwing tomatoes and heads of cabbage at our big ceramic Manimal head.
† Will they ever find the sacred location of this haunting music?
† Why do the youngsters gravitate to the ghoulish phantom with the ratty blonde hair and single dangly earring?
† Will it ever stop?
It’s sort of like that neverending “It’s a Small World” tune that plays at Disney World, only covered in cobwebs of cotton candy and reeking of carny sleaze. It’s Castle TNUC’s SPOOK-A-RAMA Mixtape, the official soundtrack to our dastardly funhouse!
Huge thanks to Vanessa Vanya for crushing this season’s mixtape artwork. If you love horror and ice cream colors, hire her!
[Serious appreciation to all you disciples who’ve supported and stuck with TNUC over the years. I hope you’ve enjoyed your stay at Castle TNUC this season. But this isn’t a going away present. We’re not done yet…stay tuned.]
† † †
1) THE DICKIES – KILLER KLOWNS
2) W.A.S.P. – SCREAM UNTIL YOU LIKE IT
3) GHOST DANCE – LAST TRAIN
4) HOLOCAUST – HEAVY METAL MANIA
5) GEORGE S. CLINTON – BRAINSCAN MAIN THEME
6) ROB ZOMBIE – I’M YOUR BOOGIEMAN
7) ALICE COOPER – HE’S BACK (DEMO VERSION)
8) KIX – MIDNITE DYNAMITE
9) PRISM – NIGHTMARE
10) JUDAS PRIEST – THE SENTINEL
11) PHILIP GLASS – MUSIC BOX (CANDYMAN)
Welcome to Castle TNUC’s Saturday Night Special! Tonight we’re putting the boob in boob tube by watching the pilot episode of our Halloween queen’s failed TV show for CBS, The Elvira Show.
Elvira shines on a level right on par with her 1988 motion picture debut Mistress of the Dark with that quick wit and saucy delivery. Apparently plans for the show to air in 1993 were squashed after executives watched the pilot and thought it was too raunchy for CBS. It’s a bummer because the show presents itself as a worthy continuation of her big hit movie and who in their right mind would complain about that?
Just a few years later “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” AKA a family-friendly version of The Elvira Show would air on a different network. Even though “Sabrina” derived from a comic book, the similarities were obvious. Talking black cat, aunts who are witches, the teenage niece….
Enough rambling. Watch and enjoy.
As they approached the glowing draw bridge entryway into the giant ceramic head of the TNUC Manimal, nervous excitement set in. It was hard to accept this reality but regardless they decided to ride out the surreal dream/nightmare. The visually appetizing airbrushed exterior alone of this funhouse castle was too good to not want to be completely immersed in.
Loud music continued to blast from the lo-fi speakers. This time it was Holocaust’s carnival-headbanger “Heavy Metal Mania”.
Greeting them at the entrance was Sir Nigel Penneyweight…(you know, the little guy from Ghoulies 2 who looks like a tiny Lionel Richie or John Oates). This was obviously very appropriate, as the setting for Ghoulies 2 was a seedy carnival! They all scratched their heads, confused but amazed. Then Mr. Penneyweight stood up on a stool and proclaimed loudly in a Shakespearean accent “Something is alive in Castle TNUC! Something that has the form of a long-blonde-haired Manimal, but is something else…something that feeds off the flesh and blood of young mischievous teens!”
The gang should’ve listened to the little man’s fair warning, but instead were downright rude and so distracted they blew him off and stormed inside, laughing and flicking a half-lit cigarette in his direction.
They were shoved aggressively into a mechanical cart that smelled of stale beer and rubber latex. A massive black handlebar came flying down from above and almost decapitated poor Linda (the innocent, presumed-to-be virgin of the group).
The cart began to take off, bucking and jolting uncontrollably, leaving a rain of sparks in its path. The black handlebar immediately came loose and fell into the bottomless pit below. They all looked at each other in pure terror, thinking this might be the last carnival “dark ride” they ever see if they can make it out alive. But each time one of the girls started whimpering or Ricky began giving some moral safety warning, Snake (intimidating dickhead of the group) started threatening them and screaming about how important it was for him to see Elvira’s big gothic mammaries in person. Based on the exterior artwork of Castle TNUC, he had this inkling she was signing autographs inside. But even as Snake took swigs of his Peach Schnapps and bumps of some powdery substance from his pinky ring, they could see the fear in his eyes.
The cart made a violent and drastic downward drop, followed by a smelly mist that entered the air. They passed through thick cobwebs, then were dowsed with an unidentifiable pink slimy goo. Ricky wiped the giant glop of slime from his face using the arm of his high school letter jacket. Linda was trembling. Roxie was still passed out from the handful of quaaludes she swallowed earlier in the parking lot (lucky her). Snake was so unnerved that he jumped into his own cart behind the group.
They heard a gurgling sound and looked back to see that Snake had been axed in the chest with a huge blade! As gross as it was to see him get butchered, they secretly sighed with relief because Snake was definitely that asshole of the group who nobody ever really wanted to be around. Roxie finally began to rise from her sedative-induced slumber to a nervous Ricky and terrified Linda. She lit up a cigarette as they tried to explain what happened.
The hazardous cart continued rumbling down the track into the bleak darkness. As they clenched onto each other with dear life, Ricky pointed out that the music getting louder in the distance was Paul Stanley’s “Shocker”. With both girls on opposite sides of him, seeking his embrace, Ricky was still fighting feelings of arousal even inside this dangerous arena of terror.
They passed by ceramic skeletons, dried up buckets of blood, multicolored ghouls and airbrushed reapers, then into a circular shaped room. The cart began rotating 360 degrees in view of display rooms containing abandoned horror props, gags and some shockingly impressive scenes. The first was The Cryptkeeper and Elvira competing in a Bud Light VS Coors Light promotional throw down. The once-working animatronics would’ve featured Cryptkeeper dressed in a tuxedo, passing out draft beers and decrepit looking “haunted hot dogs”. Elvira was dressed like Elvira, but her breasts had morphed 3x their original size and she was pushing around a foam cooler stocked with Night Brew™!
Suddenly sparks came down from the ceiling and a strange blue electrical current struck the stage. The cart motioned onto the next display. An animatronic, life-size dummy that Roxie identified as scream queen Linnea Quigley (Return of the Living Dead, Night of the Demons) miraculously came to life before their eyes! Linnea and her aerobics class of rubber zombies began reenacting a scene from 1990’s Linnea Quigley’s Horror Workout.
(Ricky bootlegged the audio from the performance on a cassette. Have a listen below!)
When the music was over, the cart drifted through purple fog and into a new realm that smelled of grizzly hair and expired Brut cologne. They all looked up in unison. A pair of bright reptilian eyes were set against a handsome face, surrounded by wild locks of blond hair that penetrated the darkness beyond the group. He was staring into Roxie, and she could no longer be distracted by the feeble morality of Linda or Ricky. The ride had taken her, and whoever – whatever lay ahead that they couldn’t yet see, was her ultimate destiny…
STAY TUNED FOR CHAPTER 3: THE FINAL CHAPTER!
We get a bunch of Friday the 13th’s throughout the calendar year, but an OCTOBER Friday the 13th? This calls for something big. Something worthy of celebrating America’s favorite blade-wielding maniac, JASON! So break out the machetes, severed heads and piñatas. It’s time to party.
If you’re a regular around these parts or just a fan of horror, chances are you’ve listened to Alice Cooper’s “He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask)” over 45,000 times. The infamous track from the soundtrack to Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives is a crown jewel of the heavy-metal-horror world, for crying out loud.
Ah, but have you heard the DEMO VERSION OF “HE’S BACK”?
It may not top the final movie version, but something about guitarist Kane Robert’s thrusting riffs are really owning it for me right now. I’m having a hard time not doing power slides on my knees through the apartment, while the family fog machine pumps in the background and a Reese’s peanut butter bat dangles from my mouth.
Not a peanut butter bat, but you get the idea…
Eventually Alice or a producer had a change of heart and went with the synthesizer-heavy final mix, which ended up being very successful on radio and MTV. If there’s anything to critique about the hit song, it’s that Alice always sounded a little like Weird Al on some of those vocals. Not as raw and punchy as the demo version!
Did the demo ripper get tossed on a shelf to rot? Not exactly. The main components of the song – sans the lyrics – were used for the song “Trick Bag” from Alice’s 1986 album Constrictor.
In closing, on this blessed OCTOBER Friday the 13th, let’s dedicate this song to Cort from Part VI. It’s probably no surprise that TNUC is a huge supporter of this classic bonehead counselor. The shredded denim, walkman earmuffs, crop top and general “let’s party” attitude earns him maximum respect around Castle TNUC. I’m confident if Cort had lived to see 21, he would’ve been a big fan of TNUC. *Fun Fact* Cort was Jason Voorhees’ 48th victim!
TGIF13TH, disciples. What are your plans tonight? Jason marathon? Boozing it up at the local cemetery? Luring a loved one into an RV in the middle of the woods for some 1 on 1 action? Tell us in the comments section.
Nothing oozes more Halloween spirit than a few grainy commercials from the prime-time era of horror. Low budget and campy? You betcha. Heartfelt and sincere? Absofuckinglutely.
Uncle T is real sucker for local costume shop commercials. Watching these ads brings me back to this long-gone shop in Pawtucket, Rhode Island that my parents took me as a pint-sized demon which if memory serves me correctly was called “Morris Novelty”. I still remember the feeling of seeing all these disgusting, intimidating and amazing latex masks hanging on a wooden pitched ceiling in the shop’s upstairs area. Everything expensive and ultra creepy seemed to be displayed in that upper section of the mom and pop store. Plus it was an old mill building with creaky floors and everything covered in dust.
As you reached the summit of the stairs to the third floor, one look up and it was wall-to-wall horror masks. Seeing these grotesque faces in person for the first time was something to behold. I didn’t stop thinking about it for weeks.
Here are some of my other favorite Halloween costume shop commercials lingering around the internet thanks to uploaders like Dinosaur Dracula and other gnarly historians…
Now for something even more obscure. On October 30th, 1980 a local nighty news program decided to have a little fun with a local costume shop for their Halloween evening news “sign off”.
Yes, that’s Jean-Michel Jarre’s classic track ‘Oxygéne’ heard humming in the background. It’s hard to explain the genuinely spooky-nostalgic feeling that’s pumping through my loins as I watch this over and over again! The Halloween season is a bizarre and wonderful thing.