Wednesday, October 29, 2014

MONSTROUS GOOD TIME AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD


This past summer the first lady of Neato Coolville and myself were treated to a fun day at Universal Studios in California. I've always wanted to visit Universal Studios since I was a kid and I'm thankful we had the opportunity. For the Halloween countdown, here are some of the monster related things we spotted on our tour. We entered the park just at the right time to see the mascot parade. I love that Dracula is driving the hearse. Zoinks! If you click on the photo, you'll notice Frankenstein's monster pointing at me. At the time I wasn't sure why. At the bottom of this post I'll tell you why.


The first attraction we visited was Universal's House of Horrors. It's a walkthrough into the world of Universal Monsters. At the time, we didn't realize that 2014 was the last year for this attraction. 


The lobby has lots of monster stuff to see before you enter the walkthrough. Monster movie posters, monster mannequins, monster props and lots of monster etc. It was monsterrific!    



One of the first things you see or glimpse at is Dracula. He only shows up in a flash when lightning strikes. I was lucky to snap a pic at the right moment.


Some of the figures are real people in costume and it was hard to tell between the fake and the real. This statue vamp was a real person and it almost made me drop my phone just after snapping this pic.


Probably the coolest part was seeing the Phantom of the Opera. I wasn't able to tell if this was a person in costume or an animatronic. Sorry for the blurry grainy photos.


Though I like how this pic sort of looks like an old pulp magazine cover!


Wooooooolf Man is in the building! Or is that a Bigfoot? Yeti? Sasquatch? Hmm... I'm not sure.


The Bride of Frankenstein is sleeping on the job in this photo. Wake up Bride and say hello!


Old Frank kept reaching out and trying to grab people. My terrible photo makes him look more like Michael Myers than Frankenstein.

This was a fun walkthrough and it's sad that the attraction went dark forever. Hopefully they'll come up with something else to honor their monsters. Click here to watch a video of the final walkthrough.


Now for the main attraction, the Universal Studio Tour. The hour+ wait was worth it!


The closest I will ever get to the famous Stage 28. This is where some of the greatest Universal Monster movies were filmed including The Phantom of the Opera, Dracula and The Bride of Frankenstein. Sadly, this historic stage was demolished back in September.


The Court of Miracles is hallowed...or maybe I should say, horrored ground. On this site, famous monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, Wolf Man and the Hunchback of Notre Dame walked the streets. Even though the original sets burned back in the late 1960s, it was cool for this monster kid and his bride to see the replicas. 


 The Black Lagoon! We didn't see the Creature, but I bet he was just below the surface lurking.


We're going to need a bigger tram!


It might not look like it, but this is where the Munsters lived on 1313 Mockingbird Lane. I snapped the photo below of a production model of the Munster House located in the lobby of the House of Horrors attraction.


Production model from the 1988 TV show, The Munsters Today.


Neat, it's a Halloween Universal Studios yard sale! Nope. Just a bunch of props left on the street. Probably from the Home & Family show. They tape in one of the house sets close to the Bates Motel. I'm not sure, but some of those Halloween props look like the work of fellow Halloweeen Countdowner and prop master Dave Lowe.


There! The Bates Motel just looks better in black and white! The house sits just behind the motel.



Mother Bates sits and watches all the trams go by. Day after day after day. When you go on the tour, be sure to wave to Mother when you pass the Bates house.


This almost does it for my monster tour of Universal Studios. Here's the reason Frankenstein's monster was pointing at me in the first photo. He needed an abby normal brain! I said Beetlejuice three times for some help, but that just made matters worse. Luckily, my old Weird Al shirt saved me! Thanks Al!

I will leave you with two Frankenstein images below.


Outside the park and on the Universal's CityWalk is a cool theater with a neat Frankenstein front!


The best parking garage name ever, Frankenstein Parking! 

HALLOWEEN WALLPAPER: HOUSE OF USHER


Feeling a little boxed in? Well... this 1920x1080 wallpaper from the House of Usher will not help, but it will look cool on your desktop this Halloween season. Click image to save to your computer.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

HAKE'S HALLOWEEN: 13 ITEMS FROM AUCTION #213

Originally this post was going to be for the League of Extraordinary Bloggers. I didn't realize during my blogging absence that the club had disbanded. For the past few Hake's auctions, club members were posting virtual auction shopping sprees and it was one of my favorite assignments from the club. So in honor of LOEB, here we go for one last time.


Halloween might be around the corner but whenever I get the latest Hake's Auction catalog, it feels like Christmas! Their newest auction #213 is ready for bidders and it closes out on November 11-13. This appropriately numbered auction has lots of treats for the Halloween/monster collector and since we're approaching the end of the Halloween countdown let's take a look at thirteen items.


Glass candy containers are always fun but this neat little Jack-O wins the cakewalk of cool! For something from the 1920s, it's amazing that it still has most of its original paint. 


I love looking at original comic art and it's always great to see pieces from the golden age. This Famous Funnies cover features a fun Halloween theme by artist Stephen Douglas. With Famous Funnies, Douglas was one the first editors in comics and was a mentor to many great comic artists. This cover was a gift from Douglas to the great Al Williamson.


Karloff's likeness as Frankenstein's monster is portrayed in this fantastic painting. Even though the painting was created by amateur artist James Vesey, it's still a special piece. Besides the excellent rendering, it was created in 1936, just five years after the original release. Talk about an early example of Fan Art!

Go ahead and just stare at this wonderful box art! Aurora had some amazing artists designing their boxes. So what happened to the Addams Family? Did they simply move away or did something nefarious happen to them? Anyway, Aurora evicted them and the house became haunted. 



Here's another way to look at some fantastic Aurora artwork and that's by flipping through the retailer's catalogs. One lucky winning bidder will have access to the awesome textless box art. This lot features catalogs from 1970, 1971, 1973 and 1975.

    
6. Aurora Assembled Monster Model Kit Lot

There's just something neat about seeing a collection of built-up monster models. I'm sure if I was born a decade earlier these monsters would have been proudly displayed on my bookshelf as a kid. 


Back when I worked at an antique shop, these little Rosbro Halloween toys never stayed in the store for very long. They always sold and for good money. My favorite has always been the witch on a rocket!


This original art is crazy man, crazy! 1960s kids were lucky to have so many wild model designs to choose from. I think a rock band should buy this and repurpose it into their next album cover.


This Monster Beach Hat almost leaves me speechless! Sure, there are items in Hake's latest auction that eclipses this for quality and value, but this piece is simply awe inspiring. (Be sure to click on the link to see the other monsters that wrap around the hat.)   


 I hope the kid that wore this Outer Limits monster costume got a bunch of candy and also a few screams from grossed out 1960s moms!

11. Remco Universal City Studio's Carded Monster Action Figure Set

 Such a classy line of action figures and a set that's gaining in value each year. Also, the Wolfman worked perfect, back in the day, as an extra figure for the Star Wars Creature Cantina playset!

12. Frankenstein Oil Painting By Numbers Boxed Hasbro Set

Wow! There were Universal Monsters paint-by-numbers sets?! I love paint-by-numbers and I didn't realize that Hasbro offered them back in the 1960s. Hake's has three boxed sets in individual auctions. Besides Frankenstein, there's Wolf Man and Dracula. These sure beat the boring old farm and pony set you always see in flea markets! 


 Now this is nice to see! About twenty years ago, I saw one of these at a comic book show and ever since I've always admired this amazing piece. Truly, this is the 8th Wonder of the Collecting World!

It was difficult only showing thirteen when Hake's has a ton of other neato cool items up for auction, but you'll just have to investigate auction #213 for yourself.

Happy Hake's Halloween!

(By the way, this post is not sponsored by Hake's in anyway. I just enjoy looking at all the amazing items up for auction. Just saying.)

HALLOWEEN WALLPAPER: WITCH'S BREW OF TRICK OR TREAT


Here's a spooky image originally found on a trick or treat bag. Now you can set the Halloween mood as a desktop wallpaper. Just like all of my wallpapers, this one is 1920x1080. Simply click the image and save it.

Monday, October 27, 2014

CASTLE VLAD: PICK UP LINES FOR THE UNDEAD



Are you undead and feeling lonely because you can't get a date? Try to light someone's fire with one of Vlad's pick up lines!


CASTLE VLAD VINES GROW LIKE CARNIVOROUS WEEDS












Sunday, October 26, 2014

FOUND PHOTOS: 1966 ADULT HALLOWEEN PARTY

It has been a dry run for me in the way of finding found Halloween photos, but I did manage to buy a collection of slides this past spring. Within the collection are these five slides from an adult Halloween party from 1966. Not sure of the location, but since the photographer was from St. Louis, it's a good chance these 1960s Halloween hipsters got their freak on in ol' Saint Lou. 

Now let's have some made-up fun and jump in the Neato Coolville time machine and meet these Halloween party people!


Such a motley crew of Halloween hooligans ready to party the night away! Whoop! Whoop!


Here's Mr. & Mrs. Topstone, straight from the back pages of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine. I hear they can cut a mean rug on the dance floor. Mr. & Mrs. Topstone are the ghost hosts of this swingin' party in Mr. Topstone's rec room. 


Ms. Macy Headless. a good gal, but she's a bit absent minded. That one is always losing her head, especially after a few Bloody Marys. 


Poor Miss Little Crybaby. Not sure who invited her to the party, because she's such a party pooper. The littlest of things will start the water works with this girl. I think someone spilled her Shirley Temple!  



The tall guy with the hat is Paul Beachcomber. He's not happy at the moment as he glares at Roger Ricardo, the guy with the slicked back hair and glasses. Paul has been at odds with Roger ever since '59 when Roger stole his girlfriend, Pearl the Flamenco dancer.  


Pearl the Flamenco dancer was the catch of a lifetime and Paul let her slip through his fingers like sand through an hourglass.


Let's meet some of the others at this Halloween party. 


That's Mr. Not-so-speedy Gonzales and his girlfriend Fernanda Plasticface. They will leave the party early because Mr. Gonzales will attempt to open beer bottles with his mouth and in turn break out all of his front teeth. At least he will leave his hat for Pearl the Flamenco dancer to do her famous forbidden hat dance of love. 


Here's Mr. and Mrs. To Wong Foo. At first, I thought Mr. Foo was that antique dealer guy who wanted to buy Mayberry's civil war cannon on The Andy Griffith Show. So uncanny, they could've been brothers! Mrs. Foo will entertain all the guests with her invention of the "Me Chinese, me play joke" joke.


We see in this next slide, that Mr. Topstone is tired of picture taking and just wants to dance. Grrr! 


Looks like Mr. Topstone is a collector of fine art with his neatly displayed wall of pin-ups. That Mr. Topstone is one classy guy.

 Grrrrrrrrrrr! Let us dance!


This group just showed up unannounced. I think they're real hobos looking for booze and party snacks. Someone throw a bottle cap in that one guy's hat.


Hey, wait minute! Who's that guy in the middle wearing Mr. Not-so-speedy Gonzales' hat and hanging out with his girlfriend Fernanda Plasticface?


Oh oh. Looks like we got some party drama going on as Fernanda Plasticface didn't leave with the toothless Mr. Gonzales after all. Instead she's hooked up with Sam Redshirt. He's the local butcher and supposedly real smooth with the ladies. Good thing this is the last slide because things might have been too scandalous for Neato Coolville.  


Oops. I almost forgot Miss Bigeyes Surprise! She sees everything, don't you know? All the party shenanigans will be all over town before the last of the spirits are poured. Egads!

I hope you enjoyed my silly slide captions. It's always fun to make something up about total strangers from a different era.