Saturday, October 31, 2009

Interview with Robert Englund

So, I had the opportunity of interviewing Robert Englund thanks to a contest by Dread Central. The contest was to propose one interview question to Robert and who ever had the best question would win. Well, thanks to Uncle Creepy and the DC crew I won and I have to say THANK YOU!!

Well, I could not record the phone call and I could not write down every word that Englund said so… DISCLAIMER: The answers are not his own words, but rather notes that I took down based off of his answers. So, enjoy.

Paradise of Horror: What were some of the influences that helped you create some of your most memorable horror characters?

Robert Englund: For Mayor buckman (2,000 Maniacs) he was heavily influenced by Strother Martin based off of his character from The Sundance Kid and Cool Hand Luke. The other major influence that he had was the notion of; what if Coronal Sanders, from KFC, was evil? What would he be like if he was a mean, grisly person? That’s what the character Buckman was based off of.
For Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street) He based the character off of his physical abilities and his physical behavior. Other influences include Nosferatu and the characters of James Cagney. When it came to Cagney, he loved his attitude and how the man was really small, but he had a huge presence on screen and because Englund is only 5’ 9” he wanted Freddy to have a large presence. Also, he wanted to make it look like the Claw was much heavier then it looked so it made one arm lower than the other… like a cowboy.

PS: What made you want to go into film? Did you want to be an actor or did you want to be something else in film?

RE: He originally wanted to be a stage actor in general plays, classics, Broadway plays and regional theater. He really wanted to be in Old English theater for a while and one play, he worked on for 9 months and he ended up getting a small role because it was handed to the director’s ‘friend.’ When he saw Boxcar Bertha, that kind of made him rediscover the American cinema and caused him to move to L.A. and rekindle with his love for cinema.

PH: So, what does Robert Englund do on a normal day without work? Like, what are your relaxation methods?

RE: He normally sleeps late. He says he’s old and he’s “worried about shit,” so sleeping in is really a strong point. He also reads the papers, works out in the gym and takes regular walks down the beach. He loves going to his favorite California sushi bar with his wife for a drink. He then walks back down the beach to watch one of his favorite TV shows, ‘Dexter.’

PH: So, I have a lot of friends who heard about FearNet’s Fear Clinic… can you tell us about that?

RE: Well, it aired on October 26th and it was originally a movie script but was later turned into an Internet series. What they did was pick various phobias from patients and they dedicated each episode to each phobia and the plot would lead into each episode. He said that it raised the bar for Internet programming and it was really polished stuff. He also said that it elevated the way Internet movies were casted, the lighting, the camera and the FX.

So there is the interview and another note that I should add is that Robert is a huge fan of Internet movies, because of how many new ideas there are out there. I hope you enjoyed this and I hope to one day meet him again and interview other celebrities like him.

Our Jack-O-Lanterns

In the sprit of Halloween… my friend and I, decided to make jack-o-lanterns for Halloween. We made them on the 29th and I have to say that it went by really good. My pumpkin is called Jack (in reference to Jack Skellington) and my friend’s pumpkin is called Nicholson (in reference to The Shining). I think they look good.

Jack and Nicholson before they are lit.

Jack and Nicholson.

Jack, while he is lit.

He turned out good.

Jack and Nicholson: The Gruesome Twosome.

So, there you have it… Jack and Nicholson. And we watched ‘The Shining’ to celebrate it.

31 Days of Halloween - Day 31: Top 5 Deadly Movies Posts

And now, it’s Halloween and we have come to the end of our 31 Days of Halloween bloggathon… and today, me and Deadly Movies have decided to do a Top 5 of our Favorite posts from each other’s blogs. Now, once you see mine… you’ll notice that they are all ‘Top 5’ posts because he did a great job of creating some unique and original Top 5 ideas that I never even thought of. So, here it is, my Top 5 Favorite Halloween Posts by Deadly Movies.

5. Day 7 – Horror From Around the World
Here is a nice little post that shows other countries are capable of making good ORIGINAL horror ideas like the U.S. used to make. It was a very fun read for me because most of them I never even heard of.

4. Day 5 –Top 5 Shameless Boob Shots
Now here is a post that I am sure all of us would love to read at some point… but what makes this post stand out from all the regular posts is that he actually made a post about boobs in horror movies and made it very interesting to read. At any other time, I would read a boob post and say this person is a horn dog… not Deadly Movies.

3. Day 25 – Top 5 Halloween Horror Alternatives
Now here is something for all the kids and all the people that don’t want to watch the hard-core horror stuff. Deadly Movies chooses family beloved movies like The Monster Squad and Ghostbusters instead of shitty wannabe horror movies that never had one single scare to them.

2. Day 27 – Top 5 Halloween Motels.
This was a post that I could have never dreamed of making because I couldn’t fine any motels beside the Bates Motel and the one from Motel Hell but I applaud Deadly Movies for making this one because it took time and it turned out to be one of the best ‘Top 5’ posts that I read.

1. Day 9 – Take a Halloween Vacation
This was one is my favorite because of the idea of taking a trip to a haunted setting inspired from a movie. I mean, who didn’t want to visit Camp Crystal Lake… or who didn’t want to stay in a skuzzy roadside motel after Psycho? Well, Deadly Movies offers a once in a lifetime chance to take a nice easy Halloween Vacation to all those places, proving, the he is the travel agent of terror.

Well, there you have it… my Top 5 Deadly Movies Posts. Although, I enjoyed every single one of them and an honorable mention to Day 29, it was a fun experience and although I couldn’t tackle a post on the day it was due (because of midterms) I couldn’t ask for a more perfect Halloween Bloggathon. Thanks Deadly Movies!!!! And….


31 Days of Halloween - Day 30: Halloween Traditions

So I decided, since it is a day before Halloween (Or in my case, Halloween) I should go over the rules of Halloween as defined by Michael Dougherty’s Trick ‘r Treat. As we all know from the movie, these traditions were started to protect us from evil and thus Samhain (Sam) was born, a demonic spirit of Halloween who, every year, shows up as a reminder of the spirit of Halloween. He enforces these traditions and if you break them… you’re in for it.

So, what are the traditions? Below are the traditions and why you should obey them.

Wear a costume.
This is what Halloween is all about and this has been an age-old tradition among the Celtics and Christians. This is the only time of the year when we can be somebody that we are not and dress in a ghoulish manner to honor the dead. In modern times, Halloween is all about dressing up in costumes and parading form house to house to get candy, it’s what defines Halloween.

Hand out treats.
Again, since the whole ritual of All Hallow’s Eve and Samhain started, people have been handing out candy for young kids that come to the ceremonies or give them apples to bob for. This tradition has past onto more modern times and… in some cases, if you don’t give the person a treat they teepee your house as a trick. It’s always nice to give treats out to kids as a reward for their costumes.

Never blow out a jack-o-lantern.
Jack-o-lanterns have always been a part of Halloween ever since the 1800’s and the story of “Stingy Jack,” and since it’s been a tradition to hallow out a pumpkin, or any large vegetable, and make a lantern out of it. To blow out a jack-o-lantern before Halloween is over means disrespecting the entire eve of All Hallows’ Day.

Always check your candy.
This is something that should always be done because there are freaks out there that do put razor blades in the candy, or poison it, or even just plain joke candy… either way, it’s always great to practice this tradition since it does keep you safe and it does prevent you from going to the hospital on one of the most beloved holidays.

So there you have it, the traditions of Halloween and why you should obey them, according to Trick 'r Treat. They have been passed down from generation to generation and if you don’t honor them, then you are essentially disrespecting the ancestors that founded Halloween. Plus… that last thing any of us want is to be sliced open by a little monster wearing a burlap sack wielding a sharp lollipop.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

31 Days of Halloween - Day 28: The Meaning Behind Halloween

Well, in conjunction with my Who’s Samhain post I made earlier, I decided to follow it up with a post about the history behind the name Halloween. As we all know, the holiday started off as Samhain, a celebration that the Celtics celebrated along with their ancestors. This was apparently the only night that spirits were able to walk the Earth and families of these family members would hid in their homes in fear of these spirits. The Jack-o-lantern even originated from this ceremony and was based off of the Irish folktale, Stingy Jack.

The ceremony of Samhain was followed by All Hallows’ Eve, the night before All Hallows Day. I looked up what the word ‘Hallow’ means and according to an online dictionary… it derives from the Old English phrase ‘Holy person,’ and so All Hallows’ Day is really another way of saying All Saints’ Day. Eventually people would start referring to All Hallows’ Eve as ‘Hallowe’en,’ which just became ‘Halloween’ over time.

During this time the Celtics believed that this was a huge transitional time both seasonal and spiritual. Since the weather was changing and things were becoming colder they believed that it opened some sort of connection with the dead. This time of year was known as a ‘turning point’ and it was during this ‘turning point’ when the souls took a shit from life to death. It’s symbolic considering seasonally, all the crops died off during this year.

So there it is, in a nutshell, what the meaning of Halloween is and what the meaning behind the name of Halloween came from. There is much, much, much more on this subject and if you want more reading on the subject… please check out my sources below.

How Stuff Works
Ezine Holiday Articles

Monday, October 26, 2009

31 Days of Halloween - Day 26: Top 10 Halloween Candy

So, I decided with Halloween just around the corner I would hand pick out my personal favorite Halloween candies… they have brought me many a toothache and so many sugar filled nights of hysteria. So take out your Halloween candy bucket and get ready for my personal Top 10 Favorite Halloween Candies.

10. Creepy Peepers - I remember getting these a while back and thinking they were real eyes, although for me, as much as I liked chocolate… they made me sick but nonetheless it’s a great candy. Every candy bowl needs edible eyes.

9. Licorice – Whether it is red or black licorice, it’s always a treat too much down on some licorice… even as a young adult, I find myself eating about 5 or 6 strands of this stuff only to be hit by a bad stomachache. Too much sugar.

8. Mr. Goodbar – I used to love these candy bars more than anything else in the whole candy bag. Chocolate and peanuts wrapped up in plastic and then stamped with a name that tells you just how amazing this treat is.

7. Starburst – Who doesn’t like Starburst? They are multi colored and they come out in Halloween packaging. Like taffy, they are chewy and yet so mouthwatering and delicious. Their fruity flavor just accents what Halloween is all about.

6. Smarties – I have been addicted to this candy for years; it’s pure colored sugar discs and they are wrapped up in coasters. In fact, every body has Smarties as part of their Halloween candy bowl and their bitter sweet flavor reassures us it’s Halloween.

5. Spooky Nerds – C’mon, we all love Nerds so why not make them spookier? These nerds are orange, white and black colored and they still have their signature taste. And who can resist looking at such cute looking Nerds in costume on the box?

4. Gummy Body Parts – I saw this last night at a Target and I was utterly surprised that they actually have this kind of candy. What a great Halloween treat, edible body parts… kind of gross, but so Halloween. I tried one in the store and it wasn’t bad.

3. Snickers – As I mentioned, Mr. Goodbar was always my favorite candy bar but now, I switched gears and now I love Snickers bars more than anything. Rather then buying them as one giant bar you can get them in ‘fun size,’ which is perfect for me.

2. M&M’s – Here is a candy that loves Halloween; their commerical’s parody such Halloween classics like Frankenstein, The Wolfman, The Munsters and Dracula. They come in Halloween colors and they sometimes have little bats and sculls painted on them. They even come in dark chocolate for those who want to be a bit more gothic.

1. Candy Corn – No Halloween candy has been synonymous with Halloween then Candy Corn. That ultra sweet, orange, yellow and white sugar tooth shaped candy has always been a crowd favorite and it’s probably one of the best symbols of Halloween itself. In fact, nowadays, you can literally find bags of this candy and people chow down on them like it was that last thing on Earth… that’s how amazing this candy really is.

Honorable Mentions:
Reese’s Cups
Gummy Spiders

Well, there you have it… my personal favorite Halloween candy. Each piece of sugar filled greatness has a memory attached to it and they have been the highlight of each Halloween night. Although, they have given me sugar headaches and I had to pay for it in the morning, I’ll always loved them.

Flashback Weekend - Day 3

So, because my friend and I woke up late and the train was delayed because of some railwork we didn’t get to see the Full Moon Road show, which sucks because I really wanted to win some free prizes. However, we did end up getting in line to meet Robert Englund and finally get him to sign his book. While in line, we met this attractive looking girl who we talked to about random stuff. Her mom told us that because we have the Gold Package and we assigned numbers, we could get into the front of the line. They had #164 and #165… we had #56 and #57, so we could have gotten in and out like that.

Needless to say, Robert was crazy as always. He was in character, minus the costume and the makeup… but he talked like Freddy and he acted like him. Hell, he gave all of us a few pointers about photography and when the person trying to take a picture was getting nervous he yelled out in a Freddy and jokingly way, “Hurry up and take the picture you bitch!” They laughed.

The people before me had a friend in the hospital getting his appendix removed and Robert wrote on his photo ‘Next time I’ll take you appendix out.’ When it was my turn, he was calm and he was nice… until he doodled in my book and wrote ‘Welcome to primetime bitch!’ And since Lance wrote his little message in my friend’s copy… Robert said “Oh, Jesus!” So, overall it was nice and I got a little picture of him being Freddy. I was frightening.

Hollywood Monster singed by Lance H.

Hollywood Monster signed by Robert E.

Me and Robert Englund (Freddy).

Overall, this weekend was really cool and I met a lot of great horror fans and I got interviewed. Met five outstanding actors and one amazing artist, got a few souvenirs and had an overall great time. Next year, will be a blast since we’ll have things planned out.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

31 Days of Halloween - Day 24: Who is Samhain?

So, as many of you Halloween enthusiests know, Halloween is based off of an ancient Celtic tradition known as the ‘The Feast of Samhain,’ however, an 18 century writer incorrectly stated that Samhain was named after the Celtic God of Death, and since then people have taken that as truth. But, according to newspapers, television programs, ancient scriptures and documents… no such God ever existed. So, a HUGE mistake was obviously made, but if Samhain wasn’t a God, then who was he?

According to many Celtic languages and dictionaries, there was not mention of any kind of Samhain god… but there is evidence of a little known character named Sawin (Samhain) who was a very minor hero in Celtic mythology. His existence is little known, even to most Celtic historians, but he was in fact a hero rather than a God and was probably named after the end of the summer celebration. It’s even stated in Gaelic languages that ‘Samhuinn’ translates to ‘summer’s end.’

There are many Celtic, Druidic, Irish and Wiccan groups that support the idea that Samhain refers to the festival rather than the God of the Dead. Later, an online essay would say that the error that Samhain was the God of the Dead may have originated in confusion over the name Samana, an ancient Vedic/Hindu God. In the essay it states, “Samhain is the name of the holiday. There is no evidence of any god or demon named ‘Samhain,’ ‘Samain,’ ‘Sam Hane,’ or however you want to vary the spelling.”

The Irish English Dictionary defines Samhain as the All Hallowtide, a feast of the dead in Pagan and Christian times. This celebration would signal the end of the harvesting season and the beginning of the winter season, which would last until May. In the Scottish Gaelis Dictionary, it defines Samhain in a similar sense: The Feast of All Soula. Here, Samfuin translates to ‘end of summer.’ However, the closest definition to the actual Samhain festival would be J.C. Cooper’s Dictionary of Festivals, which defines Samhain as: “31 October, Eve of 1 November, was the beginning of the Celtic year, the beginning of the season of cold, dearth and darkness.” During this holiday, neither Celts nor Druids acknowledge the existence of any God of the Dead.

Since then, Samhain was only further to have been believed as the God the Dead in many books on Halloween, Halloween awareness groups and Satanic cults… but this was the result of a huge mistake by an 18th century writer. Though there are no clear answers to who or what Samhain is… I think, for me, it’s safe to assume that there was a festival of Samhain that marked the end of the summer and the beginning of the winter and here the people celebrating it would eat the crops they had grown that year. I think it’s also fair to assume the Samhain was in fact a Celtic hero and not a God… though he was small and not many people know about him, he was still nonetheless a hero.

For more information and the source of this post, please visit this website.

Flashback Weekend - Day 2

So today was the second day of Flashback Weekend and for my friend and I, it was very interesting… especially getting to the hotel. We took the Blue Line into O’Hare and we hopped on the shuttle but the man told us we can’t do that anymore because we are not ‘insuring the bus,’ so he let us slide but tomorrow we have to find some other means of getting there.

Well, we got inside and all was well. We searched around and everything but for the first half we met Tim Thomerson and Svengoolie who were all really cool people and Tim, a lot of people thought he was a nobody but he’s a pretty cool guy.

Svengoolie himself.

There was a giant beast thing by Dream Reaper that was going around scaring people and a bunch of people dressed like Jason and Freddy. Tony Todd was back and finally got a picture of him….

Tony Todd and the Beast.

The Beast vs. Jason.

Yeah, that beast thing kinda reminded me of the beasts in the movie Dark Floors.

We came back for the costume contest hosted by Svengoolie and my friend entered in as ‘Hot Mist.’ Below are some of the highlights.

Here is my friend as Hot Mist in the bathroom.

My friend with Svengoolie.


Some female witch doctor.

The beast thing who won 1st place.

The lineup of everybody.

Next was the Zombie Beauty Pageant, which was amazing for all us zombie fans and there were a lot of pretty hot Zombie chicks. Some of them had very unique designs and some of them went all out with this. Before hand I met up with Kitty Zombie and some of the hot girls from The Zombie Army and they almost ate me…

Me, Kitty and the Zombie Army.

Here are some of the highlights of the pageant. It was hard trying to get these pictures because the man in front of me kept getting in the damn way!!

The judges of the Pageant. Dr. Gore!!!!

Zombie waitress.

Kristy Kreme.

Zombie cop.

Nickname: Skittles.

Zombie schoolgirl.

Hawaiian Zombie.

Zombie widow.

Catholic schoolgirl zombie.

Regular zombie.

2nd, 3rd and 1st place winners.

The Zombie Beauties.

The Zombie Beauties with the judges.

Kitty being Kitty.

We then had a nice little strip tease and dance by the Flaming Dames. It was really nice and at one point one of them went up to somebody and wiggled her breasts right in his face. They did take their bras off and did show a little bit of risqué things. Needless to say, the kids were closing their eyes.

A nice little song and dance by them.

The money pose.

We then saw a pretty good musical called The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Musical… that wasn’t really that bad. It stayed with the original, it wasn’t long and for an independent show, it was really good. It kept the famous scenes and some of the tunes were catchy. And yes, Leatherface did have a solo.

Leatherface’s solo.

The entire cast.

We then proceeded to the O’Hare room where Tony Todd and Robert Englund would host the Halloween Costume Monster Bash… which was boring because Robert’s plane was delayed and Tony was just goofing around and stalling. When things finally picked up… Robert was still not there and they started without him.

This was the boring Monster Bash.

Here it Tony Todd hosting the party for Robert.

Everybody was just talking and only the drunks, Kitty and the Zombie Army were dancing. Kinda boring and my friend and I left. Hopefully, Robert will be there tomorrow and tomorrow is the Full Moon Road Show!!