Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Movin 'dem Monsters!

It's no easy task to move 8 years of treasures & dreams in a week....but when you have good peeps believing in you anything is possible. Al, Raf & Raf, Lisa Jeff Steve and Matt...thanks gang, from the bottom of Horrorbles bloody heart.

Why did Horrorbles Move? It was right.

There are a lot of fond memories with the old locales..tin ceilings...theatres...but Horrorbles at its core is a magical monster shop where those hard-to-finds are found. We survived harsh economic times,&  a few floods but found a new home in the Depot District in Berwyn.

Where you ask? Right next to Reel Art, sandwiched a few doors down from George's Tavern (Thanks for the cookies), Exquisite Revisit (thanks for the announcements of our opening) & Serendipty Antiques (thanks for the boxes). Horrorbles has been so warmly received...a lovely retail district housing the same numbers, 6729, but a a different street, Stanley Ave.

The store is still tight with goulish goodies, and familiar faces.....and we thank everyone of you that has kept us going all these years. We promise to please, and are super-energized to do so. A special thanks to Svengoolie also, whom gave his blessing on the new it can't be all that bad.

"Monster Man" John

Evil Dead Reboot

 I recently watched the remake of "Evil Dead" at my local cinema and I am not ashamed to admit that I was thoroughly entertained by this remake (reboot, re-vison, or whichever).

 For those who aren't familiar with the franchise that made Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi household names, the plot is quite simple (and doesn't deviate too much in the remake) five friends travel to a remote cabin in the woods, where they discover a "Book of the Dead" and unwittingly summon demons living in the nearby woods. The original Evil Dead grew to cult status and spawned two, more comedic-than-scary sequels; Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn and Army of Darkness.

 The remakes in the horror genre have had an arguably poor track record, many are quite hard to watch and some are down right insulting to their target demographic. So it was no surprise to see how hard the filmmakers were trying to "legitimize" the movie, i.e.; the backing and support of Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell. There was much hype prior to the release of the new Evil Dead to entice the horror community to embrace the fact that the beloved cult classic was getting a face-lift, such as; having a majority of the effects made practical, receiving a NC-17 rating for the first cut of the film, and releasing a "red band" trailer showing a glimpse of the carnage to behold in the final product. I ate it all up and was highly anticipating seeing it on the big screen.

 The film was strong in some areas, and weaker in others. Its weakest was the script and some of the acting. The cinematography was beautiful to watch and Jane Levy's performance was delightfully creepy. If you are easily offended by gore and violence, then this movie is not for you. The blood in this movie is spilled, squirted, and regurgitated by the gallons, and is sure to quench the thirst of most gore-hounds. The scenes involving the demon-possessed are awesome and well directed. My favorite scene involved a deadite wielding a nail-gun.

 If you are a fan of the original Evil Dead and love films with relentless gore, then I recommend you give it a chance. Just sit right back and enjoy it for what it is, a beautifully crafted gore-fest!

"Maniac" Matt Wilberg

Monster Decals!

America during the 1920s-'30s was a turbulent time. In the midst of the Great Depression, Americans sought refuge in new forms of entertainment as an escape from reality. Model A's rolled off the The Ford Motor company assembly line like there was no tomorrow. The picture shows were hopping as Universal Studios doled out creepy new horrors like Dracula & Frankenstein, each film more shocking & terrifying than its predecessor. 

Flash forward about 30 years. 

Just like the creation of Frankenstein's monster, a new generation of kids cooped themselves up in the garage, toying in their concrete-floored laboratories for countless hours bringing to life their own visions of "Frankenrods".

They took those old Model A Fords, chopped the tops, threw in a souped-up engine, and decorated the body full of flames & pinstripes. Their idols included Ed "Big Daddy" Roth & Von Dutch; eccentric car customizers who taught America's kids that it's okay to be a weird-oh -- in fact, it's cool! Wolfman charms and Dracula flicker rings flowed freely from gumball machines. Frankenstein could be seen everywhere from your Old Maid playing cards to the green-headed speaker at the drive-in. 
This was a whole new era for classic monsters & the products to market them by; their resurgence was followed by a craze and demand for all things monster.

I'd like to think that cars & monsters make a great marriage (take George Barris' Dragula or Munster Koach, for example), and the kids of the '60s must have thought so too. No exception is hot rod decor & accessories.  I could cover a lot of things like bobbleheads or rearview mirror danglers (shrunken head, anyone?), but for now I will zoom in on... DECALS!

Water slide decals. 
A pain in the butt to get on your window sometimes, but boy do they look cool! Hot rodders did not want to miss out a single detail in making their ride truly unique, even if you couldn't afford to do a lot in order to stand out. So what better way to finish off your car and showcase your finkster taste than with a cool monster decal?

Probably most famous of kustom kulture decal artists is Ed Roth. His designs of monsters like "Drag Nut", "Mother's Worry", and of course, "Rat Fink" graced everything from t-shirts to model kits in the 1960s. Other companies like Impko caught on to the monster craze and decided to make their own line of off-beat auto decal characters. Though more obscure & simplistic, they were drawn in the same vein and often paired with sarcastic phrases to express the owner's loyalty to juvenile delinquency.
Having a sense of humor helps when viewing these decals, especially ones depicting witchy women and the word, "Pin-Up".

Here is just a small selection of cool decals. You can still find these or similar ones often on ebay, though some for a price. Impkos range anywhere from $10-25, while original Ed Roth vintage decals can ring in 60 bucks a pop or more!
But don't fret; you can buy repops for much cheaper (they're probably easier to stick on too... maybe).

So feast your eyes on some vintage monster madness and stay tuned as I highlight more '60s monster toys & accessories in the future, including original memorabilia that we carry in store!

Stay cool, Wheel Cats.

From the Land of All Things Horrorbles,
Lisa Louise

Hot pin up! Vintage Impko decal from the '60s