If there’s one thing TNUC loves, it’s a house full of wood paneling. Plop me on a beanbag chair in the middle of a basement or den with wall-to-wall wood panelling and I’m in heaven. It’s my ultimate comfort living situation. So when Uncle T was narrowing down his Christmas list for Santy Claus this year, I came to the sudden realization that instead of presents this year, all I really want is my wood paneled TNUC lair back again.
Several years ago, our wood paneled fortress burned to the ground after one of my compadres was drunkenly blowing fireballs on a set of curtains. Fireball is a 180 proof bottle of alcohol that you and your friends can use spit out into a flame and cause a big poof of fire. *Not recommended*
During an unforgettable scene in the 1984 holiday horror classic Silent Night Deadly Night, the babysitter played by scream queen Linnea Quigley wrestles around with a boyfriend in a house which can only be described as what wood paneling dreams are made of.
I’ve always wondered what those hairy muppet things on the wall were all about. Tina Turner wigs?
Sure it’s a gruesome death scene featuring a homicidal maniac dressed as Santa, but as a fan of wood paneled interiors, you can’t help but smile in awe.
Now for your listening pleasure, here’s the Z-grade Christmas song that can be heard in the background of this very scene. OH LINNEA!
Listen up jive turkeys. With the holiday’s just around the corner, how’s about a heavy pouring of saxophone?
Studies have shown that leading up to Thanksgiving, Uncle T and Auntie T listen to way more saxophone than any other time of the year. So what’s that all about?
After extensive psychoanalysis and research, it seems that deep in the TNUC subconscious brain, saxophone is to music to as gravy is to turkey. It’s the feeling of tenderness saxophone brings to a song that TNUC lusts for during the colder months. There’s nothing quite like nestling up with a lover in front of a roaring fire, sweating to death while the sounds of promiscuous sax reverberate through the air.
Our #2 oily sax warrior, Everette Harp (second to only Tim Cappello), really brings the heat in this performance of Phil Collins’ ‘Take a Look at me Now” live at Red Rocks featuring John Tesh looking like Grimace as he mans the piano. This video is mandatory viewing.
Mr. Harp has provided promiscuous sax for a number of artists including Teena Marie, Anita Baker, Billy Joel, Chaka Khan, Kenny Loggins and Luther Vandross. His debut album arrived in 1992 featuring thirteen tracks to make your ponytail swing and earring dangle. Listen to “When I Think Of You”….
Wise men understand that a quick way to a ladies’ heart is showering her with some unadulterated, unprotected sax. But the ladies don’t just get swooned by the sax, they also partake in the movement. Dutch saxophonist Candy Dulfer made a big impact with the major hit song “Lily Was Here” in 1989.
If what you need is a holiday mix of saxophone, piano-infused rock, dance numbers and other treats to set the mood, look no further than TNUC’s ‘Mystery Meat Mix’. It’s the only Thanksgiving themed mixtape you’re likely to hear…ever!
Rod, Vikki, Stu and Chip wanted something more this Halloween. They needed danger. They lusted for excitement. They craved passion.
The weeks leading up to the 31st were always fun, but over the years Halloween night itself had been pretty underwhelming. Lackluster parties, curfews, town ordinances, chaperoned dances, PTA regulations, Tipper Gore, no costumes in school, no summoning demons, no sacrifices, no grave robbing, no good old fashioned seances and the absolute worst of all…lame, non-Halloween music being played at parties and nightclubs.
Is there anything more gut-wrenching and soul-sucking than hearing top 40 music at a Halloween related event? What sort of sick imbecile allows this to happen? Halloween is all about celebrating the frights, spooks, shrieks and things that go bump in the night. It’s the one time of year when everyday, mundane things are flipped upside down to revel in the darkness. Give me some vampire rock bands, devilish songs or even something as overplayed as Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. It doesn’t matter. Just keep it goddamned Halloweeny.
Earlier this year, Rod’s Uncle Biff died in a tragic motorcycle accident. In his very small will, Uncle Biff left one crucial artifact…a mysterious, sealed cassette tape titled “The House Where TNUC Dwells” for his nephew Rod with strict instructions to only open on Halloween night, when the moon is full. Sure enough, a full moon was looming ahead this very Halloween. Rod, Vikki, Stu and Chip all looked at each other with the same thought in mind. This was about to be a Halloween they’d never forget.
They opened the tape and inside was a detailed map of how to access the elusive, sacred “Manimal Mansion”. The letter stated it was of great importance to present this tape to the Manimal himself.
Dozens of people had died just attempting to access the old haunted mansion, but in Uncle Biff’s notes it listed how his entry plan was somewhat safe.
They waited until darkness and followed the map to a back entrance of the old Victorian. Coming from inside they could hear thunderous drums, squealing guitars and sensual moans. A tall, lurking man approached the door and reached out his hand. Rod gave him the cassette tape and the man told them to wait. The music inside stopped. The lurking man returned to the door, grinned and grunted “WELLLLLCOMMMMME”.
The music inside restarted immediately. The group stepped inside and feasted their eyes on what could only be described as the best Halloween party known to mankind. The guest list at this gathering was a dream come true. At first glance, a conga line went by with Elvira in the front, followed by Coors Light’s Beer Wolf, Vincent Price, Patrick Swayze, Cousin It, four female mud wrestlers, Dolph Lundgren and the trolls from Troll 2.
Other eyewitness accounts:
• Refreshments table which included a real coffin stacked with beer, one of those glass bowls filled with generic red punch, a snack spread of Universal Monster cereals, slices of Freddy’s “soul pizza” and Frank ‘n Stuff hot dogs.
• Over by the staircase, the Ghoulies creatures were stair-diving into a kiddie pool filled with beer.
• Barbara Crampton was giving cash to a zombie pizza delivery guy at the door.
• Then, Barbara took the pizza to a private room and enjoyed a saxophone lap-dance from oily-sax beast Tim Cappello.
• Bats were flying freely throughout the mansion and no one seemed to care. They belonged there.
• Linnea Quigley was leading a dance group of topless living dead babes wearing hot-orange Hooters shorts.
• Alice Cooper was playing with a bucket of slime he picked up at Kaybee Toys that afternoon.
…and of course, there was The Manimal who was seated up in the tower. He was controlling the fog machines and playing his organ along to The House Where TNUC Dwells mixtape with a big grin on his face. “NOW THIS IS HALLOWEEN”, he screamed…
Now it’s your turn. Enter at your own risk but whatever you do, don’t go in the attic!
1) JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH – TOCCATA AND FUGUE IN D MINOR
2) LOUDNESS – CRAZY NIGHTS
3) PARASITE – NIGHTWINDS
4) LORI CHACKO – ONCE BITTEN TWICE SHY
5) JOHN HARRISON – THE DEAD WALK
6) BLACK SABBATH – NEON KNIGHTS
7) BUDDY MILES – CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT
8) DEMON – NIGHT OF THE DEMON
9) MALICE – LICENSE TO KILL
10) WHODINI – HAUNTED HOUSE OF ROCK
11) IRON MAIDEN – 22 ACACIA AVENUE
12) 3 SPEED – ONCE BITTEN
13) KROKUS – SCREAMING IN THE NIGHT
14) DANCE WITH THE DEAD – MIDNIGHT NEVER ENDS
15) D/A/D – MEMORIAM
††† HAPPY HALLOWEEN †††
It’s time Uncle T tells the sad story of how he was 99.9% close to being the proud owner of a 15-foot, ceramic grim reaper head from “America’s Horror Theme Park”, the original Spooky World.
If you’re a regular around here, than you’ve had to put up with Uncle T’s constant babbling about the old haunted house attraction in Berlin, Massachusetts known as Spooky World. I’ve written about this place more times than is necessary, this I fully admit. But just when I think there’s absolutely nothing else to say, I’m pulled right back into its vortex. I promise this time it’s a doozy of an update.
Quick recap. For those of you not familiar with Spooky World, check out article #1, continue to article #2, then report back here. In a nutshell, a little place way out in rural Massachusetts called Spooky World was doing the haunted house/haunted hayride/horror show thing before it became a big deal (and big business) in just about every state in America. These days it’s hard to imagine these places not existing during the Halloween season, but this was the late eighties/early nineties. Adults and kids loved a good scare, horror icons were huge, and they all flocked to one place for that “big” feel: Spooky World.
In the height of it’s popularity, the original location was shut down for different reasons depending on who you talk to. Spooky World moved to new locations, then years later it was bought out by other haunters, but the charm and thrill of the old barn in the town of Berlin was long gone.
These days, now that TNUC is firmly nestled in New England, he “checks in” every few months on the old property grounds, just to be sure it hasn’t burned to the ground or something. It eases his mind seeing the old demons and gargoyles still airbrushed on the barns. That giant reaper mascot still hovering over a doorway for 30+ years…
Ah, that grim reaper. The gargantuan-sized, symbol of Spooky World is such a sight to behold. I’ve always admired how it has withstood over 30 years of harsh New England winters and still looks just as deadly! What a crime it would be if it was demolished for some dumb reason. I knew it would eventually probably happen. I had to try and get it.
I finally got in contact with the current property owner after staking out the place and seeing a few work trucks parked on the lot. Come to find out, a nice contractor guy uses one of the garages for landscaping equipment storage. This was my chance.
My plan was to speak with him about potentially taking that giant symbol of death looming over his garage off his hands. Or at least make him a proposition. After a briefly awkward phone conversation, he agreed to meet and give me an offer.
Standing proud as of June 28, 2019.
As a certified freakazoid and self-proclaimed historian of Spooky World, I was beyond ecstatic. THIS THING IN MY BACKYARD is all I could imagine. Plans were already made in my mind about getting a flatbed trailer for hauling it down the highway to my house. The owner and I agreed to meet on a Sunday.
I pulled up into the driveway at the property and we exchanged hello’s. He asked me to wait a couple minutes because he was speaking with a couple of his workers. I meandered around the barn to where the reaper was and saw that suddenly it wasn’t in its regular spot, attached to the garage. This took me off guard but I figured maybe they got a head start and detached it already. I turned around and saw the owner walking up towards me with a puzzled look on his face. He acted shocked that the reaper was gone and began asking his employee what happened. The guy explained in broken English that during renovation work around the building they demolished it because it was rotting and falling down. The owner appeared to be as surprised as I was, telling his employee that he wasn’t supposed to do that because a guy (me) was there to pick it up.
My blood was boiling. I saw red. I probably looked like Junior from Problem Child during one of his rage-out temper explosions. Shocked and at a loss of words, I revved up a nearby chainsaw and went running after them.
Kidding aside, I couldn’t believe it. The ridiculous truth of how close I was to getting this thing, and after 30 years of it being in this same location, now OUT OF THE BLUE it was destroyed and in pieces.
Dead and demolished on July 11, 2019.
I’m highly suspicious of this incident. Everyone I tell this story to is highly suspicious. How on earth does this thing survive all those seasons, for all those years, then suddenly when someone shows interest in obtaining it, it’s gone! Something ain’t right. But then again, why would this seemingly nice contractor have me commute over an hour to make an offer on it?
I’ve vented all I could vent. Now I’m angry again from just telling the story. Even though part of me thinks this is a conspiracy of some kind, the guy did give me a few original metal signs. They don’t take the place of this once in a lifetime artifact from my childhood and pinnacle of nostalgia, but they’re pretty cool.
Because I won’t let this rain on my October, and since Halloween is coming up, maybe I’ll round up a few hooligans to perform a seance at the old property. A punker, a handicapped jock, a cheerleader, a nerd, one loud slob and Uncle T. Maybe together we can conjure some stormy weather, get a lightning bolt to strike down on the crumbles of grim reaper and resurrect that bad ass son of a bitch to rain some hell.
If you’d like to know more about Spooky World and why TNUC never stops singing its praises, I encourage you to read our prior articles. Also check out the home video from 1994 which was produced by special effects legend Tom Savini and features Kane Hodder (Jason Voorhees), Linda Blair, Elvira and more!
It’s hard to look back and pinpoint when the actual peak of “Freddy Mania” took the world by storm. TNUC’s sources say it falls somewhere between when Freddy Kruger had his own MTV show and when his greatest hits novelty album was released.
Somehow over time, the burnt up child murderer became a little too much of a a pop culture icon. Uncle Fred’s popularity grew so huge that he was basically a household name with toys, commercials, child costumes, candy and other miscellaneous hijinks everywhere. Don’t get me wrong, I love all that crap too, but his demeanor went from pure terror in Wes Craven’s original to wise-cracking-punchline-killer-guy. The death scenes and effects were still effective but it felt like more of a theme park ride. The more popular the franchise became, the less identifiable Freddy was to that sadistic child killer we all cherished in 1984.
As mentioned above, one of the drippiest cheese-fests came in 1987 with “Freddy’s Greatest Hits” under the title of The Elm Street Group. The 9-track collection of goofball lyrics and lazy melodies is almost unbearable to listen to with the exception of one track that snuck itself on here and retains some of that icy-sinister vibe we loved in the original Nightmare on Elm Street.
This track oozes with dreamy evilness, meaning it manages to balance effortlessly between darkness and light. It conjures up a very similar feeling as Tuesday Knight’s smash hit “(Running From This) Nightmare” which came a year later on the Nightmare on Elm Street Part 4: The Dream Master soundtrack, not only with the lyrics but the music which sounds distant and echoey. Almost like it was recorded in a boiler room!
I’ll go ahead and put this track at #3 on my Klassic Krueger Kuts rankings. Here they are:
#1 Dokken – Dream Warriors
#2 Tuesday Knight – (Running From This) Nightmare
#3 The Elm Street Group – Don’t Sleep
#4 The Fat Boys – Are You Ready for Freddy
#5 DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – A Nightmare On My Street
#6 Bruce Dickinson – Bring Your Daughter…to the Slaughter
#7 Joe Lamont – Quiet Cool
Freddy Rules! October Rules!
– The TNUC Lair