R.I.P. Betsy Palmer, one of horrors greatest Moms

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Today the world mourns the loss of Betsy Palmer, a true horror icon. Betsy’s life was full of memorable roles on film and on stage, but she will most lovingly be remembered, I feel, by horror fans across the world as Pamela Voorhees, Jason’s mother in the horror classic, Friday the 13th.

A youthful 88 years old, Betsy has left her many fans with an innumerable collection of favorite moments and memories to keep her spirit alive for generations to come. My first introduction to this vivacious woman was in 2008 at the very first Scarefest horror/paranormal convention in Lexington KY.

My business, Strychnine Sisters, consisting of myself and my partner, Scarlet Strychnine, along with my sister Charlotte,  had made the trek to this first time convention to cut our teeth on what I did not know then would become years of conventions. Strychnine had only just begun a few months prior, and yet we found ourselves surrounded by the very best and most seasoned of horror icons. Friday the 13th, being one of the pinnacle horror movies of my childhood, I found myself dropped into a horror fantasy land with Victor Miller, the writer, Harry Manfredini, the composer, Adrienne King, THE final girl, Tom Savini, Mr. Special effects himself, and the effervescent, Betsy Palmer, the beloved Pamela Voorhees.

This being Strychnine’s first convention I had no idea what to expect, but was blown away by the love and comradery between, vendors, celebrities and fans alike! Strychnine spent the days peddling our jewelry and quickly became a favorite among the ladies of horror. With great delight and awe we were befriended and accepted into the fold as each lovely lady took turns to visit our booth. We felt like rock stars ourselves!!

This weekend not only filled Strychnine with the confidence to continue on with our horror themed business, it also introduced me to the love of my life, my future husband. Joshua Hoffine, had also, serendipitously, ventured to Scarefest to showcase his fabulous photography. The photographs along with the photographer caught my eye and my heart. On the final day of the convention, being the busiest woman, Betsy Palmer, herself, had yet to make it to our booth so Josh and I went to pay her a visit and to pay her our due accolades for her prized role.

Being so adored as she was, there were a few fans left vying to pay their respects to her. We watched as she patiently and graciously listened to a fan recount his favorite scenes, acting out line by line her role. At his finish she lovingly and jokingly said “I hope I sounded better than that!” I knew right away I wanted to be Betsy Pamler when I grew up!! She showed herself to be humble, heartfelt, and full of fight in that one moment, and I fell in love! Once done with this interaction she turned to Josh and I and accepted our fawning compliments, and was eager to go and visit the booth her cohorts had been raving about all weekend once I explained who I was.

Betsy immediately rounded her booth and with such motherly instincts grabbed Josh with her left hand and me with her right, and proceeded to walk with us back to see Strychnine’s accessory selection. Along the way she looked at each of us and knowingly asked, “how long have you two been together?” Shocked by this recognition of attraction I was speechless, Josh replied that my boyfriend probably wouldn’t be to keen on that idea. Betsy coyly smiled, again seeing the truth that was clearly not well hidden and again prophetically said “Well, you just never know how these things will work out!”

We eventually made it to the booth where Betsy picked out one of my handmade metal pendants with a moon and bats on it. She immediately put it on and hugged us all. We walked her back to her table we then floated back, squealing delightfully about out interactions with such an awesome icon, and in general, an amazing woman! Believe me when I say, this is a story my husband and I retell every chance we get! The time Betsy Palmer called out our love before we had even acknowledged it, and predicted out eventual union!

 

Thus ended our very first horror convention and my initial meeting of the great Betsy Palmer. I would have the pleasure of her company a few more times throughout the years and they were never dull. Again in 2008 at Cinema Wasteland, where Betsy had me in stitches chastising a guest for bringing no money and asking for handouts from vendors and celebrities alike, posing the questions “how do you expect these good people to survive on kind words” and “who comes to a show with no money?” As a vendor myself I felt she hit the nail on the head with her commentary and hopefully got the point across to the gentleman who dared to panhandle at Betsy Palmer’s booth!

Betsy continued to show up at conventions I was fortunate enough to be attending and each time greeted me with a kind smile, a warm hug, and always a witty remark. One of our last meetings was at Monster Mania in 2009, where Betsy again flattered me with recognition (I mean come on, she meets thousands of people each year at these shows, so I felt so special to be remembered!). Knowing she would be a guest at this show I had to bring one of my prized horror possessions, the Pamela Voorhees action figure, which she graciously signed for me!

Although the years past quickly between our meetings I never forgot all the fun she brought with her when we did meet. It is with a very heavy heart I say goodbye to this wonderful woman, and send my condolences to all her friends and family. She leaves behind a legacy of kindness, awesomeness and sauciness that will never be forgotten, and for that she will live on!

If you have any favorite Betsy moments, please share them, and give her the fond send off she truly deserves!

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The Headless Horseman Rides AGAIN!!!! Living Dead Dolls visit the magical world of Sleepy Hollow

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Washington Irving’s tale of terror, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, was first published in 1820. The story tells of a school teacher, Ichabod Crane, who comes to the quaint little village of Sleepy Hollow for a job. Finding the wealthiest man in town’s daughter to be quite a catch, Ichabod attempts to win the heart of Katrina Van Tassel. Being the lovely daughter of the wealthiest man, Katrina is not short on suitors, one of which is the town’s beefcakes, Brom Van Brunt. The race for her hand in marriage reaches its climax at a fabulous Halloween gathering held at the Van Tassel estate. Ichabod, enjoying all the decadence the event has to offer, also listens to the ghostly tales the locals, including Brom, have to tell of his quiet new hometown. Being a superstitious man, he is quickly spooked of the tales of haunted forests and of the dreaded Headless Horseman. Ichabod sadly fails to win the hand of Katrina and sets off into the night. Ichabod meets up with an eerie headless rider, and is never heard from again.

No one really knows what happened to Ichabod that night. Perhaps he merely ran off scared or left out of embarrassment, or perhaps the Headless Horseman succeeded in procuring himself a new head that night. We may never know, but 195 years later, this story still brings endless delight, chills and thrills to all who hear it.

When I was a kid my favorite version of this classic tale was Disney’s version. The characters were so unique looking and who doesn’t love a good sing a long song about ghosts and ghouls and a haunted Halloween night!? My family knows the entire song by heart and has been known to bust out into chorus unprovoked as the Halloween season creeps closer.

In 1999 Tim Burton, another one of my favorites, also tried his hand at this classic. He, along with Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, and the endlessly talented, Christopher Walken, gave this story a bit of a spin in Sleepy Hollow. Deviating from the original story, Ichabod, played by Johnny Depp, is sent to the quiet little town of Sleepy Hollow to investigate some rather odd murders.  It was a great success in my eyes, and I still watch it every October as well!

As with all great stories comes wonderful merchandise and collectibles!! All those trinkets that keep our favorite things surrounding us and providing endless joy and fabulous conversation pieces for our guests to admire. Sleepy Hollow is no different! Many companies have put out their own versions to pay homage to this macabre masterpiece, but my newest favorite is Mezco’s version!

The Living Dead Doll version of The Headless Horseman is a wonderful nod to Irving’s fabulous story. The costume is well made too, from his super cool black boots, to his red satin lined black cape, delicate belt and buttons, no detail was overlooked. The very best detail though is his evil grinned pumpkin head!!! It is of course removable, but also has a lovely red interior to his neck stump!! Let’s be real, if you loose your head, it’s gonna be bloody, and Mezco took that into consideration as well!!

I am so delighted to add this version of the Headless Horseman to my collection of creeptacular decor! I highly recommend getting one of your very own to play with!

Check out the video review for the full scoop on The Headless Horsemans’ fabulosity!!! Let me know what you think of him and any other dolls you may have in your own collection!

THEY’RE HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Living Dead Dolls Series 29: The Nameless Ones!!!!

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They are FINALLY here!!!! I have been looking forward to these lovelies arrivals for so very long now!!!

  Mezco has really brought some very fun creations to life this time, I am so in love with these dolls, and I’m even in love with some of the outfits they come in!!! Honestly if Mezco put out a line of clothes based on the dolls I’d be first in line to buy them all!!! Until they do though, I am first in line to buy these FABULOUS little creations!!!

Series 29 The Nameless Ones

 She Who Can Not Be Named

   She Who Can Not Be Named Living Dead Dolls Series 29  300

  Let’s start off with how adorable her dress is!! I love it! It goes so well with the precious little bow in her hair, and let’s face it, every girl needs a pair of black Mary Jane shoes, just like hers! She has the most hauntingly delightful empty white eyes too!!

The Girl In Black

Living Dead Dolls Series 29 Presents The Girl in Black 80

  Here we have ANOTHER great dress, such a beautiful Victorian Era inspired frock that I, again need one for myself! I must not forget her gorgeous boots also, which match so wonderfully with the entire ensemble! She is probably my favorite from this series simply due to the fact that she has ACCESSORIES!!!!!!!!!! The Girl In Black comes with the sweetest bouquet of black roses AND a splediferously divine black hat which is adorned with MORE black roses, feathers and a tulle veil! You can see why she wins my heart!!

She Who Walks the Night

She Who Walks The Night  Living Dead Dolls Series 29

  I am adoring the strawberry blonde hair she has first off, and the darling little bow she had in it too! She looks like some lovely little ghost girl from a vintage horror movie, which you know I have a weakness for. Her nightgown and bare feet drive home the fact that she truly is the girl who walks the night! Such a sweet doll for any little girl to love!

The After

  The one and only boy in the bunch, The After, is just a slightly sweeter version of Death! He has a very cool paint job, and quite the dapper robe, with great brown stitch detailing. He holds his own amongst all the lovely ladies of this series!

  Last but certainly not least…

The Silent One

Mezco Toyz Halloween Living Dead Dolls Series 29 Presents The Silent One

  She is so very precious!!! By far the best hair, with the cutest ringlets of hair that frame her angelic face. Her eyes dripping with tears of blood, as does her gentle smile. The Silent One has on a dreamy little ballerina like outfit, with matching slippers, and of course a fetching fascinator embellished with feathers. She is a cutey for sure!!

  Make sure you check out the website and buy your favorites today! I can’t imagine they’ll last very long with how fabulous they all are!

  Let me know what your favorites are and be sure to check out my video review of them!

Top Notch CREATURE FEATURE!!!! Paying homage to one of the greats!

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Who among us doesn’t know this iconic face?!!

The well known and loved Gill-Man from Creature from the Black Lagoon

     A wonderfully time-honored tale of star crossed lovers, well… maybe not quite.  But hey, when love calls what is a Gill-Man to do but follow in the footsteps of such great Romeos as King Kong and the Beast himself, and snatch up his love to show her just how great and misunderstood he truly is! The story itself is a classic one, but the design of the Creature is what really draws me in! The creature costume was actually designed by the mega talented Milicent Patrick Milicent is also credited with designing the Xenomorph from It Came From Outer Space and Metaluna from This Island Earth along with many other design contributions. Milicent was a true master at her craft! There is a bit of controversy surrounding Gill-Man though, Universal Studio’s Special Effects guy Bud Westmore had a hand in creating the creature as well, and was upset that Milicent was being billed as “The Beauty who Created the Beast” by Universal. Bud ended up shunning Milicent in later projects despite her obvious talents! (Not cool Bud! Not Cool!) The story of Creature from the Black Lagoon, was actually inspired by another of my favorites: H.P. Lovecraft, to be more specific The Shadow Over Innsmouth! You may recall my earlier post (For the Love of Lovecraft) about a project my husband is working on relating to that very same story. Here you can see Kosart Effects Studios version of the Innsmouth townspeople for the upcoming project. It goes without saying, the Creature from the Black Lagoon has stood the test of time and Gill-Man still has a throng of adoring fans who just love to buy up merchandise with his likeness, yours truly included!

     To pay homage to this lovable misfit, Cleveland Street Novelties is offering up the opportunity to pre-order Mezco’s newest version of him! Being a lady of action I have already gone ahead and pre-ordered my very own Gill-Man, seeing as how I LOVE the pre-order (see previous post for reasons why to pre-order)!

     Gill-Man will certainly add a touch of class to my already fine collection of Living Dead Dolls!! Be sure to get yours now so you don’t miss out! For other cools facts about the movie go check out The Gillman’s Movie Trivia, get the story from someone who was there!!!

As always…

All Hail Cthulhu!!!! 

Anthropomorphic Oddities, and Freaktastic Fun!!! A walk through my fantasy life!

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     Like most kids I LOVED cartoons!!! I adored the idea of animals living out lives just like mine, well, way more exciting than mine ever were clearly:

     I was never threatened by a bunny with a stick of dynamite.

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Nor was I ever done in by one of my own dastardly, yet poorly assembled Acme creations!

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I still felt a kinship and loved the idea of every living creature having these fantastical lives, and so desperately wanted to be apart of them!!

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That is probably why I used to cry at the site of road kill. Let’s be honest I still tear up when I see something dead on the side of the road. Just as I did as a child, my mind can’t help but create a world surrounding this lifeless body. One in which a family sits at home waiting for their loved one to come back, but never does!

You can’t tell me you didn’t cry when Tiny Tim died in Mickey’s A Christmas Carol!!!!!

Image result for mickey tiny tim funeral     My life long obsession with cartoons had led me to a new obsession, one in which animals are given human characteristics, the wonderfully awesome world of ANTHROPOMORPHISM!!

More specifically Anthropomorphic Taxidermy!

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     I know it sounds strange how someone who cries at the site of death is so fascinated by taxidermy. Well, I see it as giving new life to a body that no longer has any. I see it as a chance to bring my favorite characters from my childhood to life!

     I have been tinkering with a few creations for about a year now, mostly taking already taxidermied specimen and turning them into some of my favorite horror and movie icons such as:

Divine from the John Waters Cult Classic Pink Flamingo’s

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DUCKVINE

Daryl Dixon from the uber popular The Walking Dead

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Darryl Duckson of The Waddling Dead

Beetlejuice the beloved Tim Burton Classic

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BeetleGoose

And last in line, but 1st in my heart….

Special Agent Dale Cooper from the master himself David Lynch’s

Twin Peaks

(which is another obsession of mine, but we’ll discuss that at a later date in much greater details)

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Special Agent Duck Cooper of Twin Beaks

     While I have only just begun to scratch the surface of my true dreams of becoming an anthropomorphic taxidermist I race forward with joy in my heart! My next step will be to actually taxidermy a specimen myself, which I plan to do in a few weeks. I will keep you posted as I inch towards my fantasy life.

     And even though Bob Clark, the famed director of A Christmas Story, advised against, it I will still play with dead things!!!

     If you have any fun suggestions for future creations, I’d love to hear them!!!

A Little Plan ahead PRE SHOPPING Fun!!

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BEFORE PRE-ORDERING

It used to be you would go wait in line for hours, even days, to buy the NEWEST and COOLEST items stores had to offer but NOT ANYMORE!!!! Now you can PRE-SHOP with the wonderful, wondrous, of wonders… PRE-ORDERS!!!!!!!!

AFTER PRE-ORDERING

 That’s right my little shopping savvy shoppers, you can now order the latest and greatest of collectibles before they even come out in stores!!!! It is the absolute best way to:

  1. Get it before everyone else!
  2. Satisfy that shopping urge to splurge!!
  3. Guarantee a wonderful surprise for yourself in the future, after you have long forgotten that you even ordered it and it arrives at your doorstep!!

No need to worry about items running out of stock, no stress about missing the arrival date, no chance of forgetting to buy it!! Pre-Order is the way to go!!!

So why not see for yourself just how satisfying pre-ordering can truly be with some of these super fun, and super cool pre-orderable favorites!!

Everyone’s favorite cousin, COUSIN EDDIE, has got a wonderful Christmas surprise for ole’ Clark this year… none other than Clark’s Boss, Frank Shirley and with a big red bow too!!!! This way cool Dept 56 piece is a must have for any collector, and is NEW this year!!

While you’re at it, don’t forget to pre-order Frank Shirley’s Lovely Home, from which Cousin Eddie snatched him from on Christmas Eve!! Another NEW Dept 56 Piece that coordinates so well with the entire Christmas Vacation Snow Village.

Take a little time and see just how satisfying Pre-Ordering can be.

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Happy Mother’s Day HOW TO’S: Gift ideas for any Horror Lovin’ Freak, Super Hero Chic Geek, or Cinephile of the Week!

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Sometimes it can be hard to find a great gift to properly express just how awesome moms truly are. You’re constantly looking for that one gift that can eloquently say:

“Thanks MOM, for the millions of loads of laundry you do, preventing me from living out the horrifying nightmare of being naked in public. Thanks for my 3 square meals a day, which are always more like 12 meals the way I love to graze all day long, and for simply making sure I don’t die from starvation. Thanks for making me go to school, clean my room, clean my teeth, clean myself in general, use proper manners, read books, watch culturally significant movies, and the countless other things that I will only appreciate years from now because I am far too young and self absorbed to realize just how important all this stuff is quite yet, and simply thanks for loving me so completely and unconditionally that no one else will ever live up to the beautifully high standards you have set!”

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I can assure you this daunting task can be easily achieved with these great gift ideas!

For the Macabre Mother in your life, try these creeptacular gift ideas:

  1. Living Dead Dolls: My personal favorite being Milu, the Goddess who rules over the Hawaiian land of the dead. A wonderful reminder of all the island vacations MOM never got to take because she was too busy taking care of you! A Beautiful way to say “Aloha Au la ‘Oe”, I love you!!
  2. Meadowbrooke Gourds: The very best of the best is the Headless Horseman Ichabod. A sweet nod to all those great stories MOM would read to you during the most spectacular season of Fall while working tirelessly on the perfect Halloween costume for you!
  3. The finest of drink ware: The Favorite of all Zombie thrashing Mamma’s is this 22oz Zombie Tankard. Handmade with love, just like all those pinch pots you used to bombard MOM with from years of art class.

Any Super Hero Mom would simply soar for any of these MEGA scores:

  1. Super Hero Fashionista Wear: We all know that deep down our MOM is a super lady, why not give her a cape to show everyone else in the world just how SUPER AWESOME she is?! Get her a Wonder Woman T that includes a cape and headband! She doesn’t even need the lasso to know when you’re lying!!
  2. Tervis Tumblers: Mom is always on the go, taking, dropping off, picking up, running around, keeping everyone on task and on time and looking FABULOUS while doing it. What we don’t realize is that Mom has always had a secret side kick, her cup of coffee! Let’s give her a sidekick truly worthy of her AWESOMENESS, a Tervis Tumbler with the super cool BATMAN Logo on it!
  3. A Good Yes Man: Everyone knows that Mom is always right but we never seem to be able to admit that to her face. This is your chance to give Mom that agreeing smile and nod she always deserves, and to do it with style! Give Mom her very own Funko 1966 Joker Wobbler, it’s a true classic, just like dear old Mom herself!

Movie Mom’s are always reel easy to please:

  1. Starlet style: Movie going Mom’s are going to LOVE having a Pashmina Pink Scarf, especially one that has the Adorable Ralphie Parker in his Pink Bunny Suit. You never wore yours, so why not sacrifice dear Ralphie to make Mom smile.
  2. Mom’s Little Minion: One of the cutest movies, has one of Mom’s most adored characters, the MINION!! To be quite honest we all secretly want a hoard of minions to do our bidding and Moms always dream that their children would one day be just that, but we all know too well that is not the case. Kids have their own ideas, thoughts and plans, so give Mom what she really wants, the most adorable companion she could ever ask for, a Funko Mystery Mini Minion.
  3. Quality Time Together: What EVERY Mom really wants is a little “Quality Time”. There is no better way to say “I Love You Mom!” than by spending a little time with her. A great what to do so is with a puzzle featuring one of her favorite flicks, The Wizard of Oz. As luck would have it this puzzle is from the beloved Thomas Kinkade Galleries, and Moms eat that guy up! Let’s face it, Mom spent hundreds of hours doing crummy puzzles with you as a child, and now it’s time to return the favor!!

To be honest though, we all know we can NEVER truly repay or properly express just how AMAZINGLY AWESOME & SUPER SPECTACULAR our Mothers are to us, especially in one day, but these little tokens will be everyday reminders to our dear Moms that we do think of them, we do notice and take an interest in them, and that we do realize, and will FOREVER be indebted to them for all they’ve done for us!

So go forth and find something fabulous to tell Mom you love her, and for Pete’s sake CALL HER EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE!!!!