Film & Television Series

Frightening Flickers: MoMI Halloween Event

museum of the moving image

The Museum of the Moving Image recently celebrated the essence of the Halloween season with a gala costume party held on the premises. Located in Astoria Queens, New York – a neighborhood linked to the filmmaking industry for over 100 years – the museum offers visitors a detailed look at the historical and technological gestation of the art of cinema.

Hosted in partnership with YELP, museum members and invitees enjoyed a Mexican themed buffet and refreshments by QSNY Cocktails before partaking in the seasonally themed tours and competitions. Throughout the night DJ AI spun a solid block of dance floor classics, from “Electric Slide” to Michael Jackson hits, ensuring a good time for the costumed party go-ers.

museum of the moving image

Head Spinning Highlights…

Highlighting the event were flashlight illuminated tours of the scariest parts of the museum’s collection. Escorted by a masked guide, guests saw production sketches and set miniatures from Silence of the Lambs, outsize physical FX props from the A Nightmare On Elm Street series, and sculpts for the make-up appliances from The Elephant Man.

The most unique exhibit was a collection of artifacts documenting the production of The Exorcist (1973,) still considering of of the most chilling cinema excursions of all time.

The life-size model of actress Linda Blair as Regan, the movie’s possessed youngster, sat menacingly in a show case. This is the prop used for the 360 degree head-spinning scene. It is quite a bizarre piece of film history and holds a creep factor that was accentuated by the dimly lit surroundings.

The Exorcist exhibit also includes examples of make-up artist Dick Smith’s ingenuity. Of special interest was the apparatus that was fitted to stand-in Eileen Dietz to achieve the famous pea soup projectile vomiting scene.

museum of the moving image

Projections of the Past…

To conclude the tour we were treated to a live Magic Lantern show. Magic Lanterns were the progenitors of film projectors. A beautifully restored 1890s era lantern was operated by Joel Schlemowitz, a collector and conservator of vintage audio-visual inventions. He featured an appropriately spooky selection of glass slides, that included burial scenes and hordes of skeletal apparitions. Schelmowitz explained the workings of the machine and how its dual lens system allowed for seamless slide changes and effective collaging of images. For a truly old school effect, the presentation was accompanied by a recording played on a vintage Gramophone.

museum of the moving image

During the heart of the evening revelers participated in several competitions. Drag performance personality Avant Garbage MC’d a multi-round costume contest.

Avant Garbage is noted for a found item, trash aesthetic, fashion sense. For example, a rag-mop wig is one of the clever hallmarks of the performer’s look. In addition to hosting duties Avant Garbage took center stage with a scary lyrical rap while transforming into Freddy Krueger.

museum of the moving image

Terrifying Trivia…

Later in the evening Mike Drake, author of Contemporary Krampus: A Modern Look At An Ancient Legend, posed a batch of brain busting questions on horror movie minutiae. Guests had an impressive knowledge of some pretty obscure facts about scary cinema. Winners received an assortment of prizes contributed by sponsors Factory Entertainment, Paragon FX Group, Universal FilmsExorcist: Believer, Eric Pigor’s Toxic Toons, Trick or Treat Studios, Warner Bros.’ IT and the TerrorVision Haunted House.

The Museum of the Moving Image can be visited throughout the year. It offers a rotating schedule of film screenings in addition to the onsite exhibits. On-going exhibits include a career spanning look at the work of Jim Henson (The Muppet Show, Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal) and the aforementioned space dedicated to production of The Exorcist.

Please check MoMI’s website (linked above) for upcoming presentations and information on membership opportunities.

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Books & Graphic Novels Film & Television Series SkeletonPete Says

Devil in the Details: Little Shoppe of Horrors Documents Final Hammer Film

to the devel a daughter, christopher lee, nastassja kinsky, little shoppe of horros magazine
Artist Belle Dee illustrates “To the Devil…A Daughter” for the cover of Little Shoppe of Horrors #39.

Toys & Collectibles

Dressing Down: Mezco Toyz LDD Halloween Costume Contest

halloween, mezco toyz, toothy fairy, living dead dolls, LLD

Books & Graphic Novels Film & Television Series

Shopping Black Sunday: Video WatchDog Mag Goes Digital

Grab the Current Digital Issue for Free!
Grab the Current Digital Issue for Free!

Update: As of December 23, 2013 Tim and Donna moved their crowd-funding efforts for this endeavor to Indiegogo. Please follow this link for information. Fundraising will continue until February 2, 2014, and there is a chance to get some really nice investor perks for as little as $10.00.

If you ventured out on Black Friday for a deal, shopped on “mom and pop” centric Small Business Saturday, or just can’t wait until Cyber-Monday, here’s my spin – with tongue planted firmly in cheek – for a perfect Black Sunday shopping experience.

Release the Hounds…
Tim and Donna Lucas, the dynamic duo of publishing in the horror, science fiction and fantasy genres, have begun offering the content of their exceptional digest sized print magazine Video Watchdog in digital download format as well. While an issue is “current” (usually for 2 months) the price is FREE!. Afterward a digital back issue will be priced @ $3.99 for a download. Yes, a “crazy business model” as Donna has noted, but one that potentially gets VW into the hands of many more interested parties.

Currently available for reading on Apple mobile products, like iPad, Donna assures Android compatibility is coming shortly. You can also access it on your computer as I did, and reap the full rewards of the new format. Grab issue 175 NOW while it’s $0 dinero. It’s yours forever and will work on multiple platforms as they are introduced at no added cost. The digital issues are loaded with media extras like trailers for the films discussed, audio notes from the editor, and even “live” adverts that can be as much fun as the editorial content.

Buried in my basment, neatly boxed and numbered, is every issue of Video Watchdog. It’s an amazing wealth of information published over the last 25 years, but essentially dead, or at least dormant, without an indexing system. Trust me.

The good news is that in addition to forthcoming issues, Tim and Donna have launched a Video Watchdog Kickstarter Project in order to fund the digitizing of their entire back catalog. Yes, every issue of VW created in the last 25 years, even those long out of print, will again be available. Most importantly they will be searchable, yielding an incredible amount of film scholarship at your fingertips. There are a number of different packages available based on your contribution and you should hop over there to get a look.

Tim's Titanic Tome on Mario Bava Goes Mobile
Tim’s Titanic Tome on Mario Bava Goes Mobile

Sysiphus Relieved…
If that wasn’t enough, Tim’s titanic tome All the Colors of the Dark, a biography of Mario Bava, the director of the classic Black Sunday, is now also available in digital form. The original printed book sells for as much as $250.00 and requires a wheel barrow to move from room to room. It’s a labor of love and filled with the kind of obsessive detail genre fanatics like myself crave. Now Tim and Donna are offering an unexpurgated, in fact expanded with media, digital version for a meager $29.99. A digital “stocking stuffer” for the horror fan in your house if I ever saw one.

SkeletonPete Says…
If you truly miss the heft of the original Bava Book, which is beautiful in it’s own right and still eminently collectible, I suggest a few fishing weights attached to your iPad could help simulate the experience. Otherwise the digital version is the preferred medium for subway, bus and plane trips.

All current Video Watchdog digital content, including a sample of the Bava book, can be found here. The download requires a one time Video Watchdog account creation, then you are ready to rock. Enjoy!