Halloween Countdown: The Devil and Daniel Mouse

Posted in animation, halloween, humor, retro, TV, video with tags , , , , , on October 7, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

My earliest conscious memories involve a (harmless) deep intrigue and love of darkness. As a very young child I used to enjoy traipsing around my local library, looking for spooky goodies. Still do.

Given my innate radar, I was drawn to this box immediately, as it was the only one in the kids section that had a black spine and cover with ominous writing instead of the usual kid-friendly color schemes and bubble letters.

I was further entranced by the Devil’s voluminous neck folds. Admit it…you can’t look away.
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The Devil and Daniel Mouse (loosely based on the Faustian short story The Devil and Daniel Webster), was released as a Halloween special in 1978. Once I found this in the video section, I got my parents to rent it for me multiple times.

The plot (via IMDB):
Finding their audience drying up in favour of rock music, two young mouse folk singers find themselves with a bleak future. Desperate for a better career and life, the female vows that she would do anything to become a rock star. Instantly, the Devil arises to take advantage of that and offers to make her a star in exchange for her soul. She agrees and she quickly becomes the star she’s dreamed of while her boyfriend, Daniel Mouse, is left behind. On the night of her greatest triumph, the devil comes to collect on her soul. In desperation, she turns to Daniel who must attempt the impossible task of trying to find an escape loophole for his girl’s release.

I’ll be straight with you here…The ending is pretty lame. Spoiler alert:

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Despite a deep belief in the transformative power of song, I couldn’t get behind this. Perhaps a testament to the cynicism of my old age, I found myself thinking “A song does not negate a legally binding contract. Oh, come on Dana…it’s a cartoon! Suspension of disbelief! Think of it metaphorically, or something.” And even as a 4 year old I fast forwarded through the (intensely 1970’s) musical interludes. But this whole cartoon is worth it for the perpetually shape-shifting Devil, who is an absolute delight.

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There are many fists of fury poses…
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If you dig retro animation, watch this for good ol’ B.L. Zebub. Let me know what you think!

[Edit] Thank you, Bettie, for reminding me that this was sampled in Bauhaus’s “Party of the 1st Part.”

Halloween Countdown: 1976 Super Gruesome Iron On Transfers

Posted in halloween, monsters, retro, vintage with tags , , , on October 6, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

Neato Coolville featured these excellent iron on transfers, featuring some classic fiends.

1976 Super-Gruesome Iron-On Transfers Ad

I think I’d wear every one of these on a T-shirt for Halloween.
1976 Super-Gruesome Iron-On Gory Eye Vampire

In fact, this is going to be be new “migraine T-shirt” for those headachy days.
1976 Super-Gruesome Iron-On Spiked Mummy

Which one is your favorite?
1976 Super-Gruesome Iron-On Medusa

1976 Super-Gruesome Iron-On Mummy

There are some leads for original image sourcing here.

Halloween Countdown: The Doll Asylum

Posted in dolls, exhibits, halloween, macabre, toys with tags , , , , on October 5, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

Here we have a great reader submission: The Doll Asylum.

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From the staff:
Welcome to the Doll Asylum. We are a place for the old, the decrepit, the forgotten…the insane. We try to ‘fix’ those we can, and provide a place of refuge for those we can’t.
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´╗┐Founded in 1867 by German Dr. Hermann Reinhardt, the Doll Asylum’s purpose was to receive dolls who were abandoned, neglected, or most importantly, showing signs of psychotic or murderous behavior.

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´╗┐Doll Maker by hobby, Dr. Reinhardt thought he could bridge the gap between the inanimate and animate and stomp out the dark thoughts that lay beneath.

While no true success was to be had in his day, Dr. Reinhardt did establish a home for those unwanted creatures and in doing so, has protected society at large.

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We continue that tradition and throw open our doors to the public 4 days a year to show what his good work has wrought. We cannot guarantee your safety or mind or spirit, but we will have cookies.

Has anyone in Portland gone here?

The Doll Asylum

Halloween Countdown: Time for Cake

Posted in food, halloween, undead with tags , , on October 4, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

The cake below was the inspiration for a whole post on the subject. Can you believe this is a cake?
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On the flipside, we have simple and classy:
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Genius:
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Holy hell…
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Holy hell, and then some…
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For those who want to keep it pretty:
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And for those who prefer to keep it undead:
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The pumpkin trifecta:
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Oh my god…
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Great design on this little Sleep Hollow treat.
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Images via Google search and Cake Wrecks.

Halloween Countdown: Parasite Specimen

Posted in craft, creatures, halloween, monsters with tags , , , on October 3, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

This homemade parasite specimen is one of the finest examples of DIY prop crafting I’ve ever seen.

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The creator gives a small comment:
This was sculpted out of polymer clay and painted with acrylics. The detail work was done with dental tools and some custom texture stamps. I added the gore just to dress up the photos a bit. It’s essentially lumpy gravy- cornstarch and water mixed with some food coloring and heated up until it gels.

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I don’t know about you, but I think the goopy red stuff is a very nice touch. A shiny, slimy luster makes any parasite look its best.
parasite specimen 1

parasite specimen 2

Source

Halloween Countdown: A Fanciful Twist

Posted in decoration, halloween, photography with tags , , on October 2, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

Let’s start this countdown with some delicious eye candy. A Fanciful Twist has Halloween decorations and still life photography that make me MELT into the feeling of the season.

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Oh these lush displays…the magical realism…
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I’m tremendously inspired with home decor ideas.
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Every surface, every nook is filled with interesting things to look at.
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Step into this enchanted world here.

The Countdown Begins!

Posted in announcement, halloween with tags , on October 2, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

It’s that time of year again…Halloween approaches! I’m once again taking place in the annual Countdown to Halloween.

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In addition, I’ll be posting extra goodies on the SWS Facebook page every day, so please follow/friend request!

I appreciate (and credit) all reader submissions so don’t hesitate to use the comments or contact form to share this season’s treats.

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