Sunday, February 28, 2010

SCARLET #3: The Art of Linda Miller

Below: The subject of my article from the 3rd issue of SCARLET.

I'm honored to tell you that my article "The Art of Linda Miller," published last summer in the third issue of SCARLET: The Film Magazine, has been nominated for the prestigious Rondo Award! (As has this blog, amazingly!)

With magazine distribution the way it is today, many have not seen the issue, so I am publishing it here at TDSH.
Below are scans of the pages of my article as it appeared in June 2009. My subject was a well-loved member of the fan community for classic horror films, and a personal friend. Her work appeared in a special exhibit at both the 2009 Wonderfest and 2009 Monster Bash conventions. Sadly, Linda passed away in 2008.

Following the article scans are never before published photos of Linda.

If you wish to vote for this article or this blog, go to this
link. Please also consider voting for Linda for "Artist of the Year." Although she passed on in 2008, much of her work first appeared in 2009. Or even better, vote for Linda for "Monster Kid Hall of Fame."

You can also read my earlier 2007 interview with Linda, and see a gallery of her work,
here. More pictures have just been added; a few additional pics of her work appear at this post.

She is still missed!


Linda, Christmas 1964. Note the King Zor dinosaur and Cecil the Sea Serpent toys.

An ecstatic Linda, holding a rose, visiting Germany.

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"Meek" with her painting of the unseen "pookah" from Harvey.

Linda as "Cardinal Biggles" from Monty Python.

Linda in Halloween costume as Groucho Marx, 2002.

A pensive Linda.

Linda and zombie Bill Hinzman, Monster Bash con 2006.

Linda with one of the "Patient Creatures" story-telling group, Monster Bash con, 2006:

Saturday, February 27, 2010

THREE YEARS of The Drunken Severed Head!

Let's party! Today is an anniversary of this blog!

I have brought weird news, sight gags, reviews and interviews to TDSH readers for three years!

All from the perspective of someone who wanted to grow up as a member of the Addams family AND the Munster family!

So let's all celebrate. Time to drink! Time to eat!


Friday, February 26, 2010

When it snows, it pours...

I looked out my front door and the wind is blowing very hard. AND it's snowing--completely horizontally! I've never seen snow going totally sideways before!

When there's snow on the roads, you need salt. You could ask these guys where to find it:

The Salt Men of Iran

Here's the severed head of one of 'em with an educational message about this link:

Winter with Gahan Wilson

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Too much good newsssss

I don't know which has got me more excited: the fact that I have two Rondo nominations or the fact that my snake Plissken has just shed his skin!

Does that mean an early spring?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

An award-winning Frog Queen!

One of the best things about having a blog is that it helps you find and get to know very interesting people. One of those folks is "Frog Queen" (Chris Davis) of the blog Frog On the Pumpkin. Chris not only has a funny blog with an emphasis on the strange and the spooky, but she and her husband Jeff are the folks behind The Davis Graveyard, an elaborate annual home haunt in the Portland, Oregon metro area.

Since 2002 their property has become a free Halloween attraction each October, and is complete with actors, detailed scenery, props, fog, and lighting, as well as projection and mechanical effects. This was the brainchild of Chris, who is the artistic director each year. Chris, Jeff, and a few friends spend the summer building it, as well as giving workshops in making props and effects to the public!

Truly, no one could be said to love Halloween more than this couple.

I thought it would be fun to learn more about Chris, who just won the 2009 "Home Haunt of the Year Award" from the national Home Haunters Association. So an e-mail interview follows.

[A little background: Chris works in marketing for a bank, has a deep affection for frogs and cats, and a serious spider phobia. And red hair to die for!]

Chris, you must have a lot of snow right now. Made any creepy snowmen or snowwomen?

We are fortunate enough not to have snow right now…we had some earlier this season and I did get great photos of the skeleton in the veggie garden covered in snow. :D

At one of your blogs, you've alluded to people being offended either by some Halloween-related clothing or by your yard displays. What reasons do they give to objecting? Ever have any trouble from your neighbors?

I mostly hear from those Christians who think that celebrating Halloween is worshiping the devil, and that my celebrating it and having it open to the public and making it so accessible is corrupting children. They are entitled to their opinion, it is not going to change what I do. In the early years of the display we used to have someone that dropped off those dreadful Jack Chick cartoon things in the gate…the place where they are supposed to put their church contact was blank…..cowards :D

Gotten any really odd compliments or comments from your visitors? What mistaken assumptions do people make about you?

A lot of people ask me if I have seen any real ghosts…..I have to tell them that I am not a ghost person. I LOVE ghost tours, I have been all over the UK and will go on a ghost tour every night I am in town, I cannot get enough of them...they are one of my favorite things. The romantic haunting idea is alluring and interesting...But do I believe in ghosts, I so want, not really.

How has working in marketing helped you get visitors to your yard haunt?

LOL! Too well some times. This year I purposefully took a year off from TV media – I love them, but not only do some show up at 3:00 am to start setting up for their morning shows, but then you have the news or weather people in the evening….on top of all the TOTs [trick-or-treaters] that is a very, very long day. :D I worked with a lot of papers and local magazines this past year and that worked out fine. In fact our local paper had a bit of a battle on who was going to cover us :D We have befriended almost every radio DJ in the city, so we get lots of coverage. I send out press kits with Halloween candy and make sure to send out thank you notes after the season. This is all things that are also part of my day job.

Have you ever worked in a for-profit haunted attraction, and if so, can you tell us more about that?

Never worked for one. Have made props for some local haunts and other yard haunters. Our style of haunt is not very scary, so we don’t really mesh well on style with haunted houses. That said, we do know all the haunt owners in town and we love going to their haunts and working with them. They have all been very supportive of our yard haunt.

What got you into such elaborate yard haunts? Was your family into Halloween when you were a kid? Were you always "crafty"?

It really was some friends over pizza (as we say on our site.) We all thought it would be fun to decorate for Halloween……and here I am today! Always loved scary movies and horror comic books (House of Secrets) stuff as a kid; Halloween was a natural fit for me. My grandmother was an amazing lady, she had a knack for taking things and making cool stuff out of them. She had an amazing sense of style and originality, a huge influence in my creative side.

What are some of your favorite horror movies?

Ju-on, The Haunting, Hellraiser (big Clive Barker fan), old Vincent Price movies.

My wife and I sometimes visit real cemeteries for enjoyment. Do you?

Always; we travel to Europe all the time and that is the main inspiration for the shape of the tombstones. That is why all ours are fairly simple and flat; those reverse carved or fancy tombstones are more American. I am creating some art for my basement wine cellar out of the old windows leaded glass windows from the house. I am going to take pictures of all the cemeteries that we have visited over the years and past them in the glass as if you are looking out the window to the cemetery. The only year we were not here for Halloween is our anniversary when we rented a castle and took our family and friends. We looked at several castles, but when I pulled up to Dairsie (Fife, Scotland) I knew it was the one. In front of the castle as an old abandoned church and graveyard!!! PERFECT!

Have you thought about what your own gravestone ought to look like or say?

Not really, I want to be cremated and be put in (or dispersed) a classic cemetery in Scotland somewhere...likely St. Andrews. But I do know that I want no memorial service, just a party and some of my family are not invited. They do not have a sense of humor and they will ruin it for everyone else :D

You have a serious case of arachnophobia. Can you watch spider-related films lik
e Earth Vs. The Spider, Tarantula, The Giant Spider Invasion, Kingdom of the Spiders, Arachnophobia or Eight Legged Freaks?

Nope, never watched any of them…I saw a bit of Eight Legged Freaks –- they were so large that it did not creep me out too much. Also large spiders like in Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter don’t bother me. My brain knows they are not real, but the day I see one that size, I am off of this planet!!!

You don't like spiders or jewelry, but would you wear spider jewelry if you had it?

I love spider jewelry, have lots of it. And the gate to my garden grotto is a spider gate made by the guy that used to put on Ironstock. Just keep the real ones away from me!!

What do you think of Charlotte's Web?

Scariest book ever written!!! Can’t even have a copy in the house!! (Love that story. To this day, I do not kill spiders...very often.)

What are the earliest costumes you can remember going out on Halloween in?

I remember being a belly dancer when I was like 7 or 8 – I lived in So. Cal at the time so it was warm on Halloween…in hindsight, that was a pretty risqué costume for a 8 year old! :D

What do you give out to kids on Halloween?

I used to give out candy, that is how I tracked how many TOTs –- but now there are so many people, it is almost impossible to give away candy. This was my last year. We learned that many people did not even have their candy bags…they left them in the car to come see the display. They were genuinely surprised that we hand out candy too!

Your least favorite Halloween candy?

Anything licorice flavored. Yuk!

Chris, I think I've pulled all the questions outta my old brain that I can pull. But I know TDSH readers will enjoy learning about someone who has such a cool hobby! ("Hobby" is probably not a strong enough word, is it?)

Hobby – obsession…..all the same…makes me happy!

Thank you so much for your time. It's a real pleasure to know you virtually.

You are more than welcome and thank you so much for your interest in my little blog and graveyard!

All photos and video are property of Chris and Jeff Davis.

Friday, February 19, 2010

You pointin' at me?

Ah, the good old days of feminine underwear, when short men risked getting their eyes poked out! But what a glorious way to go blind!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New "Ugly" may be a beaut!

At least, I hope so! Today I received a press release that's got me excited about a coming new show:

Comedy Central Gets Ugly This March With The Premiere Of “Ugly Americans,” A New Animated Comedy

Take New York City, add every horrifying beast, science-fiction freak, and fantasy faerie, shake thoroughly, and you've got “Ugly Americans.”

This animated horror-comedy series follows one Mark Lilly, social worker at the Department of Integration, as he helps new citizens both human and "other" adapt to hectic life in the Big Apple. There are easier tasks than weaning vampires off of blood, socializing land-whales, and housebreaking werewolves, but Mark is up to the challenge. Between his stressful job, a zombie roommate, and a demon ex-girlfriend, Mark's lucky if he can sneak in a few minutes of sleep. But who can sleep when there's a drop-dead gorgeous Mermaid sitting at the bar?

"Ugly Americans" was created by Devin Clark and developed by David Stern. Executive Producers are David Stern and Daniel Powell, with animation by Augenblick Studios and Cuppa Coffee. Premieres on Comedy Central on March 17th at 10:30pm (9:30 Central), right after a new episode of “South Park."

“Ugly Americans” Sneak Peek (Warning: Mature themes and language; NSFW)

Ugly AmericansMar 17, 10:30pm / 9:30c
Sneak Peek
Joke of the DayStand-Up ComedyFree Online Games

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Horrifying and horny veggies and fruit!

The photo below is from a Huffpo slide show titled "Pornographic Fruits and Vegetables":

I knew the orange crop had been exposed to cold weather in Florida, but that's some nipplage!

Or maybe that's a navel orange with an outrageous outie.

Want to see several more provocative pictures of vegetarian vittles? Click here!

Be careful, they'll get past your employer's porn filters, but some are NSFW, if you work at a very strait-laced place. Too genitally imagistic. Not to mention supercalifragilisticespi..,oh, never mind.

Then click here to see a similar slide show Huffpo ran previously, titled "Ugliest Fruits and Vegetables." Some very strange looking raw foods are there, such as this pic of a partly-peeled rambutan:
Eeeeeek!...Vaguely Lovecraftian, no?

A note of caution: This second photo set is also not for foodies with a phobia of phaux phalluses!

Monday, February 15, 2010

The semi-goth Mouseketeer: Almost perfect

Above is part of a beautiful photo taken of smart, funny and attractive performer Tina Fey, and featured in an interview with Fey at the Vogue website.

Tina's outfit is nearly perfect. It only needs bat wings! Oh, and the mouse ears outta be pointed.

I think I'll dream of her in THAT outfit tonight.

Friday, February 12, 2010

My WHITE ZOMBIE review is now up!

Classic-Horror is an outstanding and comprehensive review site for horror films that have stood the test of time. The reviews come from a variety of talented writers, and by some strange twist of Fate, they've accepted and posted my review of the first zombie movie ever made, the quirky and enduring White Zombie, starring Bela Lugosi. I'm very happy and honored by this.

Please check it out here!

Getting a high 5 for opening my yap

We severed heads who drink must be irresistibly cute, like an LOL cat or a pink tarantula. I say that because I keep getting virtual high fives* for my blog, which has no redeeming features whatsoever! Once more, I've been given an award-type badge-o-honor from another blogger that I admire, and this time, I've been praised just for saying my opinions!

Chris Davis, the Frog Queen (or "The Ribbeting Royal" as I like to call her), has given me a "Best Blog Comments Award." I'm very grateful for the honor, but I think I got this more for my supportive comments at various blogs than for my being particularly pithy. (Ith not nith to be pithy to folkth!) Chris' blog is Frog on the Pumpkin, a very nice Halloween blog that's good for cool tricks and treats all year 'round. Anyway, at this page she sweetly dripped some honeyed words on TDSH. (Glad it's winter, or I'd have ants on my blog. Maybe Frog Queens eat ants?)

Chris and her husband are expert haunted yard attraction creators who have won awards for their talented and elaborate Halloween displays. You can see their work at the site Davis Graveyard.

Thanks, Chris! Soon I'll post my list of awardees.

Here's a pic of the frog on her banner. I'm not sure if this is a girl frog on a pumpkin or a very proud boy frog resting on a brightly colored part of his anatomy, but she or he sure is cute!


* As opposed to real high fives, which I get a lot of too--my wife and friends just smack me on the forehead, since I have no palms to hit. They like me so much, I'm beginning to get a sloping forehead!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Belated "Happy Birthday", Lon Chaney, Jr.!

Late "Happy Birthday" wishes to the late Creighton Chaney, also known professionally as Lon Chaney, Jr. He was born on Feb. 10, 1906.

Do yourself a favor and buy the new Special Edition dvd of THE WOLF MAN, starring Lon his most famous genre role. (Now out to capitalize on the release of the new Benecio Del Toro film.) Not only do you get view a beautifully remastered edition of the classic horror film, but you also get a moving, polished new documentary on the rocky life and career of Chaney, titled Pure in Heart: The Life and Legacy of Lon Chaney Jr.

Available at Best Buy stores or at this Amazon link.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Coocoo for a cocoa clipping!

My wife, Jane the Voodoo Queen, gave me a clipping from a recent catalog she received of a, um--well, I'll say interesting candy product for sale. I scanned it for you:

You see the "interesting" part? No? Here, I'll circle it:

That's right. Fifteen dollars for approximately the same amount as four-and-a-half regular chocolate bars. But that's because of it's special ingredient: positive energy (or "intention" as it says on the front label) from Tibetan monks! Well, that's a bargain! It won't repel Chinese soldiers, but it'll make your chocolate better, somehow!

TDSH has been contacted by food inspectors, who report that the latest batch of Intentional Chocolate is subject to a voluntary recall. Several customers have complained of having their mellow harshed after eating the metaphysically-infused candy. It is believed that uncontained bad vibes from some disgruntled employees at the packing plant contaminated several lots. Bummer!

If you have bought any of this chocolate since Jan. 2, 2010, you may get a refund by calling 1-800-555-HAHAHA.

Personally, I've always preferred Cadsburied, the haunted dark chocolate bar.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Night of the Living Dead--Reanimated

Got an interesting press release I thought I'd share here. It's for a limited-animated version of Night of the Living Dead that many different artists contributed to:

NOTLD:R on FN-FN Free This Week

Join Count Victor Von Scary, Baron Randall Graves, Doctor Mac the Ripper, Captain Creepshow, Commander Akuma Minion, and Major Zacharaya Insain on February 5th - 12th as they host Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated ( ) on Friday Night- Fright Night ( ).

So head over to :

Remember, this is for one week only... so it you wait too long, you'll miss it.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I almost know what it feels like... be buried alive!

Got buried under snow last night and today by a snownami!

Boy, did the Snow Fairy visit us here in Pittsburgh! (But at least he left me a car--I found it under a huge pile of snow in my driveway!) We broke a 63 year old record for snowfall in one day, and not since since 1994 has there been this much snow on the ground. Two feet or more, (depending on where you live in the county) with drifts even higher.

Had to be attached to my early model android body (which is always breaking down) to go help clear a path to my car and the street. On the way back to the house had to be dusted off when my head got dropped in the snow and rolled down my front yard! (Thank god there was no yellow snow.)

But tonight I ate homemade snow ice cream, something I haven't had in 15 or 20 years. Yum! Snow, half and half, sweetener, cocoa, vanilla and a dash o' salt. The horrors of the day melted away while I ate the stuff.

Our county is in a declared "state of emergency." Probably will be lifted in the next day or so, when the plows and salt trucks catch up. Most businesses did not open today. So I didn't have to call off, thank goodness. Even if my managed to get dug out in time, I'm not sure I could safely drive down from the hill I live on. And even if I could, I'm pretty damn sure I could not drive back up!

Of course my wife is in Florida right now!

To see the photos I took today, click here.


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