Sunday, September 27, 2009

ooh look a monster wow tits awesum hay dat bich is NAYkid

ith a quick look to your right, you'll notice that my 2009 C'Thulhu Figure is now in the Chenille Macabre Etsy Store! He may be pricey, but well he did take six hours to build and three hours to paint (which is kind of why I've decided to make but one figure of him a year). But damn if he wasn't fun to make. Serious inquiries only.

...sigh. I've had mixed feelings about returning to this: critiquing other forms of entertainment beneath my withering basilisk's eye. Or to be more concise: ripping apart movies. It's trickier now that I'm part of this whole horror trade, and that I know folks out there who are trying to strike it big in this wonderful, homespun-crafted field. But I really tried to give The Haunted World of El Superbeasto a chance.

Yes, it's a Rob Zombie movie- meaning that he casts his friends in an overlong music video for a song that has only overstayed its welcome on the classic rock airwaves by thirty years. Yes, it's animated by Spumco- meaning that no fungus-ridden toenail, no wax-encrusted ear canal, and CERTAINLY no booger-filled nostril would be denied a graphic close-up still.

But know that I hushed my wife every time she said "NOT FUNNY." Know that memories of Spumco's groundbreaking Ren & Stimpy remained fully entrenched in my mind through my movie. Know that the odyssey of the washed-up wrestler El Superbeasto and his sister Susie-X (Sheri Moon Zombie in a Mary Sue role) through the Haunted World holds so much promise and in its three years of development we all had every right to be excited. But golly gee whillikers; when I crossed The Film Director of No Restraint with The Animation Company of No Restraint. you know what I got...? Bored.


Look, shock gags are like betta fish- they do not mix well with others of their kind. When filming or drawing something provocative, it needs time to captivate. Enthrall. Repulse. Take root in the viewer's brain (watch Meet The Feebles- ah HAH; see the people near you cringing upon mention of that movie...? THAT'S how you shock someone!)

In El Superbeasto however, there is so much tits and blood and gore and tits and blood and gore and tits and blood and gore and tits and blood and gore and tits and blood and gore and tits and blood and gore and tits and blood and gore in the first FIVE MINUTES that it's like the aforementioned bettas in the same bowl- they've immediately rended each other to shreds, and all we're left to watch is a bowl of lifeless mud. And no amount of Nazi zombies can resuscitate that.

And- for a world inhabited by every movie and fiction monster out there- the movie can be stunningly predictable. If you can't figure out for yourself why the Bride of Frankenstein is coming to climax while sitting in a pond, look out- you're clearly a one-celled organism and there's an amoeba waiting to engulf you.

That's not so say that El Superbeasto is unwatchable. Some of the songs are geniunely enjoyable. Most of the jokes come from Dr. Satan and his gorilla Otto (ripped from George Of The Jungle, but hell that's always funny) and their interaction with Velvet Von Black. Granted, that could be because El Superbeasto himself is the most detestable protagonist I've seen in a long time- over-the-topness be damned. I'm trying to imagine Zombie writing him up, and saying to himself "Now THIS is a guy I can spend four hours alone on a car trip with!" I'm failing.

I also take offense to Zombie's ubiquitous nods to the classic horror and exploitation films of the past because I truly believe that they're lacking in respect. Tura Satana reprises her role as Faster, Pussycat! Kill!! Kill!!!'s lethal lady Varla long enough for Susie-X to slam a door in her face. Zombie's beloved Phantom Creep robot has a major role as Susie's sidekick, but he's a horndog who transforms into a crab-walk-like car that Susie drives by lying belly-down upon, and shifting a single lever between his legs. (...Get it? Bela Lugosi does. And he's underground right now crying.)

Other references include Michael Myers is struck by a car as he crosses the street- which of course stands as a great metaphor for what Zombie did to the Halloween remake. Worst of all, the ending to Carrie is ripped off and accompanied by a song decrying Zombie for ripping off Carrie. No wait- that may be squaresies with how many times Otis Firefly and Captain Spaulding appear in this film. And then when El Superbeasto grabs a mic and bursts into Loverboy's "Piece of My Heart"... ooh, we have a triple tie.

...I think that if The Haunted World of El Superbeasto was more in form with Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, it'd be much more enjoyable. Now I didn't really care for Dr. Horrible, but the "villains" received much more screen time than the "heroes", so I can understand its appeal. Come to think of it, that was what I liked about Zombie's own House of 1,000 Corpses, so why couldn't lightning have struck twice...?

Instead, Rob Zombie's first animated opus is kind of like an Austin Powers movie. Only Austin has been replaced with Andrew "Dice" Clay. And Dr. Evil and Mini-Me are holding out for more money.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The abridged recap

ehold! Your garishly ghoulish Gil-Monster ascends cackling from the illustrious halls of Horror Realm! It was a great show- and I can say that independently of the fact that college gaming conventions typically don't let you walk around with open containers of beer. Thanks as always to Miss Dee and Rich Dalzotto for managing everything so smoothly.

For me, what matters the most is that AMPUTHEATRE was a hit. It was my first couple of games in a long time, and I think the Slashers missed me terribly. All the players caught on fairly quick, and they fell in love. Of note is that this being a horror convention, Trigger Treat was the darling of the Slashers, not Jinglebunny. I also won three games in a row with Ixnay (trust me. This is an anomaly. Not that Ixnay sucks in combat- on the contrary; he's quite good- but one of the standards in any and all games of AMPUTHEATRE is that I'm bled out and mopped up before anyone else playing.) Oh, and who know who played AMPUTHEATRE on Sunday...? Tom Savini! ...'s son James! He loved it. He's like eight.

I added both Happy Cloud Pictures and the Strychnine Sisters to the links list (but there's links there too in case you get afflicted with palsy before the next sentence and lack the strength to scroll down). I appreciate the free DVD's from Mike and Amy, and the Sisters were such awesome table neighbors... thank you Jen and Ramona for keeping an eye on things.

vincent price aka the king by *bloodedemon on deviantART

Got this for the wife. This is an oil painting from Chris Kuchta. Sweet, no? I wonder how his AMPUTHEATRE renditions would turn out...

Okay, fading. Bedtime.

...Wait, one more thing. Tiffany...? Tiffany Shepis? It was so cool to meet you at the show. And if you're reading this, I still have that little shark guy you liked.

-The Gil-Monster

Thursday, September 17, 2009


eaving shortly for the Horror Realm in Pittsburgh, PA! Quite the guest list, eh...? Tony (Candyman) Todd? Ken (Dawn of The Dead) Foree? Leslie (The Devil's Rejects) Easterbrook? Chop-Top hisself, Bill (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2)? And -r-r-r-ROWR; Tiffany (My eyes are up HERE, Gil) Shepis?

As such, the Etsy store is on vacay until Monday. Last year (don't tell nobody) I wound up selling a couple monsters to online folks after convention folks had already taken those same creatures home. Oopsie.

Anyway, with this show I'm beginning a new tradition- or rather, realizing an existing one. Because they take so flipping long to do, your humble Gil-Monster is now making but one C'Thulhu figure a year. This is the 2009 edition of everyone's favorite Great Old One:

He stands nine inches high and his body is built completely from Chenille Stems! The good folks at the Horror Realm have first crack a buying this bad boy, so if your life is devoid of joy save for poseable handmade C'Thulhu figures, git yoah ASS to PEETSbahrg!!

Oh, yes- some of you have been asking when the next game of AMPUTHEATRE will be. I would love to resume public games in October. I miss the hell my Slashers cause and I truly belive that my gameboard gets parched for blood the more it's neglected. In the meantime, I have a demo board for horror shows which will see some of AMPUTHEATRE's carnage drench the Horror Realm HINT-HINT bajeebus HINT.

See you there. And if you New Yorkers AREN'T crossing state lines, then I suppose you had best stay and watch my honies in the Roc City Roller Derby crush their opposition in their first-ever double header bout, this Saturday, at the Dome Center!

...It's your choice. Sex and violence? Or sex and violence?

You think too long. I go.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sound of that man's head dropping to the floor

ope you readers don't find this format too irritating. It's just something I thought of to make my little publicized recap of mundane personal events seem a bit more... I dunno; mine, maybe.

I was going to be more conscientious about posting here- I really was. I had done a lot of awesome stuff in the last few weeks- bought a house, became the emcee for the Roc City Roller Derby, appeared on the Metallic Onslaught radio show in Geneva to promote the bout and talk metal... fun stuff.

Then I got a concussion. At Sears. In one of those inverted exercise machines- the ones you strap your legs in, and then flip upside down wildly so the weight spring distends, the ankle restraints snap, and you land smack on your head? Yeah. I hear they do wonders for your back.

So I got to spend the night of August 27th in the ER wearing a size-too-small neck brace while paramedics reached down the front of my pants to make sure I didn't have a C1 fracture. (Priapism is a symptom of nerve damage.) I thankfully didn't. Have a boner as guys "crossed my state line" as Great White would say, that is.

No, I'm fine. I'm no longer the knot of nucking futs anxiety that I was while on the guerney, as a result of my finding out exactly from how high I fell atop my noggin. I thank drinking milk and strengthening my neck muscles through head banging. And my wife. I am so lucky to have her.

My neck is throbbing just from writing about this, so let's look at this week's monsters:

The drop on the head affected me more than I thought. The Kitsune Mini with Meteor Hammer, the Night Rakshasa Mini with Chicken Claw Sickles, and the White Rakshasa Mini with Katana are all what I consider "good guys" in my twisted little universe. No ghastly criminal records. No mouths filled with entrails. No physical, improbable deformities. Just noble animal warriors out to kick demon butt. I must not be fully recovered.

Or it might be because I'm saving all my horror minis for this weekend, when the Horror Realm happens in Pittsburgh, PA! Hope to see some of you there. I will have all-new monsters as well as a smattering of different products at my table, such as the Bags That Bite and other goodies from my new neighbors, Bent Castle Workshops. Buy twenty or thirty of my minis- then buy a Bag That Bites to carry them home in! You will be very, very pleased to do such a thing.

Okay, so "The Headsmen" from Deathlike Silence is in my head right now because I downloaded an XBOX Live game where that video plays, and you try to score as many points as you can by lopping the heads of political prisoners into moving baskets before the song ends. It's a great game in that Texas-Chainsaw-Massacre-for-the-Atari-2600 kind of way.