TVTA pumpkin teaser, my new wife, and an ad-blast from the past!

Greetings vintage mates. Here is a teaser for this Halloween’s TVTA pumpkin creation… possibly my most ambitious pumpkin to date as it comprises more than 20 components across 3 elements, plus a background! Below are 4 mini pumpkins to be used along with some acrylic paint and, erm, chopsticks. Long-time readers will know that I make a pumpkin creation each Halloween for TVTA 🎃🎃

Clues: the creation is based on a classic piece of children’s literature which is known across many generations as a popular and fun story to read!

The protagonist is a type of creature somewhat prone to change!

750 vintage points up for grabs if you can name the title of the story the pumpkin is based on. Bonus points galore for just wildly guessing anything! All being well I should have the creation ready for posting on Monday 31st! 🎃🎃🎃

In other news…

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Asking for a friend…

Asking for a friend…

Letter addressed to the Wisborg branch of Herr Sargmacher & Sons, Fine German Coffin Manufacturers, January, 1838.

Dear Herr Sargmacher,

I am writing on behalf of a friend to ask if you might, by perchance, be able to supply a specialist coffin?

Length-wise you will be looking to accommodate a cadavar of approximately 6 feet 4 inches (1.92 m) tall, and with sufficient elbow room to allow for exceptionally long arms.

The lining must be of your finest red velvet, with the casing constructed of your sturdiest wood, and with a lid which may be opened and closed with minimal effort.

It is desirable that the coffin can stand upright as well as be laid flat.

As I say, asking for a friend,

Yours sincerely,

Count Orlok,

Transylvania.

Asking for a friend… written by Ford Waight for Six Sentence Stories: a weekly writers’ challenge hosted by Denise at Girlie on the Edge blog. This week’s cue word is BRANCH.

Digital art by Ford with images from the 1922 film Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (German: Nosferatu – Eine Symphonie des Grauens) directed by FW Murnau and produced by Prana Film.

TVTA & Atomic Mage Editor, Ford Waight. There’s a wasp? Where?

Horror film posters of the 1980s

As seen in adverts from the French movie magazine L’Ecran Fantastique, featuring a couple of well-known horror movies as well as some a little more obscure. Our first image is from the excellent A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise – A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, with poster design by French artist Laurent Melki, who also designed French posters for A Nightmare on Elm Street 4; Blood Feast; 2000 Maniacs; The Last House on the Left; Night of the Living Dead; Day of the Dead; Videodrome and Creepshow among many others.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. L’Ecran Fantastique No 81 1987. Art by Laurent Melki.

Next up is an advert showing the poster for House designed by artist and writer Bill Morrison, who later worked on The Simpsons and created The Beatles – The Yellow Submarine Graphic Novel. You can see his signature on the side of the doorbell, but thanks to Cameraviscera I was able to get additional info.

House. L’Ecran Fantastique No 69 1986. Art by Bill Morrison.

Next is an advert featuring the poster for The Supernaturals, a zombie film starring actress Nichelle Nichols, famous for her role as Lieutenant Nyota Uhura in the Star Trek franchise. I can’t find any information on the name of the artist for this poster.

The Supernaturals. L’Ecran Fantastique No 70 1986.

Next up is an advert for the French poster for the cult comedy horror shocker Street Trash. Artist unknown.

Street Trash. L’Ecran Fantastique No 81 1987.

Next is an advert for the poster of the film Blood Sisters. Artist unknown.

Blood Sisters. L’Ecran Fantastique No 81 1987.

Finally, we present an advert for I. Media video cassettes, featuring some popular titles available at the time to purchase via mail order.

I. Media videos. L’Ecran Fantastique No 71 1986.

Thanks for looking!

Only 15 days to go for Halloween! 🎃🎃🎃

October horror shorts: Pheep Pheep Pheep

I’m linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge Blog, where she hosts Six Sentence Stories, and everyone is invited to write a story, poem or article constructed of six sentences based on a cue word given.

This week’s cue word is Volume

 


WARNING: The following short contains strong horror.

Pheep Pheep Pheep

The police would come to discover her macabre hobby and gain a grim confession, and the press would label her The Small Heath Scalper, though her real name at trial would be Delores Ann Callaghan, 38, unmarried, no children, of Muntz Street, Birmingham.

A night owl she was in a decade about to roar around her, while she burned oil in her salon in her cellar, with a cast iron bath in which to discard all the heads; her day job – switchboard operator at the city hospital, with Mr Byrd and Mr Hardy being her favourite porters.

And by the small hours in her subterranean salon she would whistle while she worked – pheep pheep pheep to the clip clip clip and the snip snip snip of her scissors, and the heat of her Marcel wavers and curlers, the swish of her combs and Bobby pin snap, pheep pheep pheep, the hum of peroxide and pomade heavy to the walls of that windowless room.

Byrd and Hardy knew her favourites: the harlot-y dancers of the city bars and revues, the painted strumpets as her mother once was when she parted her legs to let a man in, who paid her with horse-won guineas after leaving her with child… she… she pheep pheep pheeps as she admires her newest coiffured creation: such beautiful waves and curls, such shine, such volume…

Her work done for the night, she places the mannequin head next to the others beside her mirrors, takes a step back, pheep pheep pheeps, and admires her collection of scalps; while upstairs comes a-crashing as the police break in, and they creep like a line of black cockroaches to the cellar door, and the horrors upon horrors waiting to greet them from below.


Muntz Street and Small Heath map 1904. Image: Wikipedia Commons


Editor’s note: Muntz Street is a real street in the ward of Small Heath, Birmingham, England. I worked in Small Heath and its neighbouring Bordesley Green during the late 1980s and early 90s, and bought my first drum kit there from a shop known as Green Lane Music Centre. The small hilltop site of Small Heath has been used as a settlement since Roman times, and was developed into housing for both wealthy industrialists and working class labourers in Victorian times. Small Heath is the original site of Birmingham City Football Club (now in Bordesley Green), as well as home to the once mighty Birmingham Small Arms factory which produced guns, motorcycles, bicycles, cars and taxi cabs – and which was heavily bombed in World War II. Small Heath was also home to the notorious Peaky Blinders gang; the gang and their Small Heath territory featuring in the ongoing BBC TV series Peaky Blinders since 2013.

The Malt Shovel. Muntz Street corner, Small Heath, Birmingham. Date and photo credit unknown.

In my story Pheep Pheep Pheep, the porter characters Byrd and Hardy are fictional, but loosely based on the real Burke and Hare murderers a hundred years earlier. The character Delores Ann Callaghan is also fictional, but loosely based on the fictional character Sweeney Todd – the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. The establishment in my story of Delores Ann’s location and the early twentieth century date stamp might easily put her at the same time and place as the Peaky Blinders gang, perhaps even making Delores a once quiet and unassuming neighbour of the gang, until the police discovered her grisly hobby. And after… was she hung? Was she sent to the asylum? Did she flee incarceration to escape into the night of another story and another time?


Six Sentence Stories: Comtesse Marie-Paule and the Ancient Menace

Dracula. 1983. Sweden/Finland.

I’m linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge Blog, where she hosts Six Sentence Stories, and everyone is invited to write a story or poem constructed of six sentences, and six sentences only, based on a cue word given. This week’s cue word is Noise.


Comtesse Marie-Paule and the Ancient Menace  

The noise began as a SCREAM, then pitiful groans, soft whimpers, lastly a hollow silence before the tools of Comtesse Marie-Paule set to work making noises of their own: hack, chop, grind, slice, rend; noises which leeched into the downstairs quarters of the lodge, where Emilio stared grimly at the rafters and said to Lucianne, “What’s she doing up there?”

“She’s making sure,” Lucianne said evenly, her old, grey eyes not daring to shift from the lodge door and the yet banished possibility of minions charging in to avenge a slain two-thousand year old master.

Upstairs, the noises persisted: thump, slop, splat, burst, spatter – and a reek pervaded the lodge like a creeping mist clad in the robes of all fevers, plague, leprosy, and rotting bodies strewn about fields of military campaigns.

Comtesse Marie-Paule closed the door upstairs, and clopped down the steps to meet her two servants, and she gave to Emilio her wrap of tools, bloodied, wet and stinking, as was her cloak, her chains and crosses and pale skin, and she said to him, “Clean them.”

“You took your time, Comtesse,” Lucianne said to her mistress.

Marie-Paule gave a knowing smile and said, “These ancient vampyrs… you know… such tough meat to cut while abroad… unlike the tender, young ones we always find at home.”

Dracula N°6. 1983. Sweden/Finland.

I Vampire N°308. 1982. US.


Thank you for assisting us with an ancient menace!  🧛‍♂️🦇