Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Childhood Halloween

Heads: if they're not good for anything, chop 'em off.

When I was a kid, Halloween was very different. There were no body parts or severed heads. Nobody had even heard of latex or spirit gum, unless they were in the film or TV industry. I'd have to get my Halloween jollies at Big V, with $14.00 cardboard skeletons, like "Dem Bones", who can now be purchased at the local Dollar store for a buck.

For years nobody produced Halloween products, so my pathetic cardboard cutouts became like gold. But I lost that $14.00 skeleton during one of our many moves. That's when I started making my own decorations.

My dad bought me an outstanding rubber skull mask when I was 10. Using my Robotix kit, I assembled a sort of scaffolding that would support the newspaper-stuffed mask. I draped a black cloak over to hide the scaffolding, and stuck some sort of LED lights into the skull's eyeholes. It looked like a small, slow-moving, annorexic child with a massive head. Which is scary enough in its own right.

Using the Robotix remote, I could turn the head about 180 degrees, and have the scaffolding bend forward and back a little. The downside was that I had to sit so close to operate it that it would have been more effective if I wore the mask myself, and jumped out to scare people.

Each year my dad carved the pumpkin, with some input from me and my sister. When I begged him to make a scary face, the triangle eyes were replaced with upside down triangle eyes.

Trick-or-Treating was always exciting, but I used to have just as much fun standing on a street corner just watching everyone else running up and down the streets in the funny silence created by the absence of vehicular traffic.

The first time I thought "Wow!" was during a night of trick-or-treating. As we approached a house, my and my friend's costumes changed colours. Standing at the front door of a house, we marvelled at the blacklight casting its eerie purple glow down upon us. Now you can pick one up for as little as $19.

That goes for fog machines too. Just after college I dreamed about the $1,000 fog machine at Party City. It was more than I needed, so I decided I'd save up $549 for the cheapest, smallest one. But common sense told me not to waste my money. I waited. The next year it dropped to $399. The year after that, $299. It finally went on sale for $249.

But a trip to Wal-mart saved me a boatload of green. I picked up my Skull Fogger for a quarter of that. (Now they can be purchased for as little as $24.)

And now is the dawn of the severed heads. I bought my first one 10 or 12 years ago, on November 1st, for 50%. This year severed heads have made a huge leap forward. Local drugstores are stocking mass-produced severed heads for reasonable prices, which is awesome.

The fact that they don't look very real blows spinal cords, but for 10-year-old kids, they couldn't be better. I don't want Halloween-loving kids to go through a disheartening productless childhood like I did - so thank Heaven for mass-produced severed heads.


Blogger Louisiana said...

that picture is freaky. i being the resident chicken, can tell you that it did bring ought in me the hoped effect: terror lol..

(Joe keeps on telling me, it's rubber, it's ketchup, it's fake..but my simple mind is easily fooled i guess ;p )

glad your memories are such of fun...with all the props you can buy out there for so little, i am sure you are in heaven..or is it hell during halloween? ;p

2:11:00 PM

Blogger Martini said...

Yes, now that I'm older, and companies have finally "caught on" that people DO want to buy Halloween stuff, things are great!

3:18:00 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

I am not into halloween really but I am amazed by the products on sale!

10:21:00 AM

Blogger Monogram Queen said...

Ahh I heart Halloween! Better than Christmas!

9:40:00 AM

Blogger TheatreChick73 said...

It was only this year that I started to appreciate the dark and gruesome side of Halloween. I have so many friends who are and its "charm" has finally wore off on me. Well that and being a zombie helped too...

You asked for pics, ENJOY!


12:51:00 PM

Blogger Ellie Creek Ellis said...

i like the ideas of the spooky spiritual things (pretend or not, whatever) rather than the graphic violent things.

what is spookier than a ghost in the night?

did you ever see GHOST STORY? scary and very good movie!

12:01:00 AM

Blogger Rainypete said...

I'm hpoping the trend continues. My daughter has already shown great promise and is loving rubber skeleton., She's even gone so far as to dress it up!

10:56:00 AM

Blogger honkeie said...

I have always been a fangoria fan and love good latex and fake blood that looks real. But on the severed head dept. I like mine a little fresher haha

12:27:00 PM

Blogger Martini said...

I also love latex wounds and tons of blood. Hopefully I'll find a reason to wear my bloody Zombie suit jacket again.

Theatrechick, thanks for the link! I am surprised the page even works properly on my Mac.

12:17:00 PM

Blogger Rowan said...

a) I wish we'd met irl years ago (I think I've found my halloween soul mate!)
b) I think you missed your calling, yoiu should have bene doing hollywood special fx for a living, monster movies prolly in particular...

wicked awesome!

12:14:00 PM


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