Inanimate objects have been imbued with a sinister energy thanks to the horror genre, and some of the scariest stories and movies of all time involve characters being terrorized by inanimate objects such as creepy dolls, haunted TV sets and mirrors that trap people’s souls.
Tony Stark may not have had much use for cardboard when he was building suit after suit of super shiny Iron Man armor, but Tony would definitely admire the craftsmanship and skill shown by Kai-Xiang Xhong when he built this wearable cardboard Iron Man armor.
The included video finds Kai-Xiang showing off a bunch of his other models, including an Alien xenomorph made out of straws and a giant cardboard T-Rex skull that is really freakin' cool!
Kai-Xiang decided to keep the suit natural cardboard color 'cause that's his style, and it looks like the feet were formed around a pair of Spongebob slippers, so his feet stay warm when he slips this bad boy on to grab the mail.
The Simpsons, and all the cartoony folks that populate the imaginary city of Springfield, may look cute and colorful on the small screen, but in real life they'd look downright freaky!
This depiction of Marge Simpson in real life called "Flower Marge" was created by photographer Alexander Khokhlov, with the help of makeup artist Veronica Ershova and stylist Mikhail Kravchenko.
Marge's hair gets its textural look from the hundreds of chrysanthemums which were glued to the frame that forms her signature hairstyle, and when the model closes her eyes the transformation into cartoon superstar is complete.
The included video shows the making of Flower Marge, but you may want to mute the sound before you tune in.
Ah, The Addams Family! Although this show lasted only two years -- 1964 through 1966 -- it has endured as a pop culture phenomenon, spawning movies, cartoons, revivals, and comics. Let's take a look at some things you might not know about that show.
1. The show was preceded by the one-panel cartoons of Charles Addams, which made their debut in The New Yorker in 1937. These works of dark humor featured the same characters that would later grace the show. Addams was known as a man of ghoulish if playful interests, and his house was filled with instruments of torture and medieval weapons, particularly crossbows. He hoped to someday put his crossbow collection to practical use:
“I have this fantasy,” he said, smiling, “A robber breaks into my apartment and just as he comes through the door, I get him -- right through the neck. Always through the neck.”
2. John Astin, who played Gomez Addams, was initially offeredthe role of Lurch.
3. Astin’s crazed, maniacal look as Gomez Addams had prior service. While living in a rough neighborhood of New York City, he would get between his apartment and the subway station safely by acting a bit deranged. No one bothered him.
4. Fans sometimes stop Astin, speak French to him, and expect him to react as Gomez did when Morticia spoke the language of love. Ringo Starr from The Beatles once grabbed Astin’s arm and started kissing up its length before Astin stopped him from going past his elbow.
Robots can build cars, take a spin on Mars and generally do some pretty cool stuff, but are we already running out of ideas for uses?
You might assume that if you saw this gyrating robot dancer doing her hypnotic hip sway for them and didn’t know the back story, but this scary robo-gal is an art installation created strictly for entertainment purposes by Jordan Wolfson in conjunction with special effects studio Spectral Motion, and not necessarily the next step in robotic evolution.
So maybe she isn't the future of robo-tech, but it looks like Chuck E. Cheese is about to get a sexy new stripper to add to his animatronic band!
Coulrophobes had better steer clear of Staten Island for a while, until the local authorities take care of a certain creepy clown they’ve got lurking around the city streets.
He has become a bit of a local legend in the few short weeks he’s been clowning around the streets of S.I., because people claim he’s an elusive clown, appearing with a wave then disappearing back into the city before most of them can snap a pic.
Is this the same clown faced freak that has been haunting Northampton, England, or is this one of the British clown’s disciples? Whatever IT is, if you see the Staten Island clown prepare to laugh your head off!
People made some bad style choices in the 1970s- leisure suits, Earth shoes, zippered and belted jumpsuits, and lemon yellow polyester slacks all come to mind as fairly common fashions that were fairly hideous.
But whether you escaped the decade fashionably unscathed, or you have a hideous Disco phase among the skeletons in your closet, chances are bad 70s style affected your look in one way- a bad hairstyle. We've all had our share of bad hair, but guys really got the short end of the stick during the 70s when it came to coiffures.
Seeing these bad hair pics will either make you appreciate your own hairstyle, or give you an idea for a new direction to take with your hairdo.
Cosplayers are creating the most amazingly realistic costumes these days- with 3D printed accessories, handmade replica weapons that look better than the animated versions, and intricate costumes created with foam and friendly plastics that combine sculpting and sewing in an amazing ode to their favorite characters.
But what if you want to have some cosplay fun but lack the sculpting/sewing skills and don't feel like leaving the house?
You do like Thai cosplayer Anucha “Cha” Saengchart and create some Lowcost Cosplay. You can tell Cha loves three things- dressing up, hanging out at home, and coming up with creative ways to incorporate common household objects into his costumes.
Carsten Riewe built an awesome costume for the Karneval Parade based on the Caterpillar P5000 exoskeleton power loader in the movie Aliens. His 13-month-old daughter was the "driver."
The arms and legs are full moveable and the top-light and LED were powered by an 12 Volt battery pack stored in the backpack. The on/off switch is in the left arm. Also in the backpack a Bluetooth boombox ist installed to play mechanical robot sound fx or music if preferred. It took 100 working hours to finnish the costume and I built it for the "Karneval"-Parade in my hometown in Germany February 2014 .
And this thing can dance, too! A good time was had by all. -via Uproxx
It’s the job of the make-up artist to turn ordinary people into extraordinary creations that both bring the artist's vision to life and please the directors behind the scenes.
But making soft skin look like it’s made out of wood is quite a challenge, and if the facial appliance is too bulky or rubbery, and/or the paintjob isn’t really selling the feel of natural wood, you’ve got a mighty obvious rubber mask thing going on and the director probably won’t be happy.
This wooden doll makeup, which was put together by make-up artist Stephanie Hernandez using prosthetics and makeup from The Scream Team, has definitely achieved a realistically wooden effect which makes her friend Laura Jones look like both a knotty girl and a total stiff!
The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research.
by Scott Sandford, Santa Clara, California Jason Dworkin, Arnold, Maryland Max Bernstein, Mountain View, California
It is well known that vampires have a number of super-human powers (Melton 1994), although not all sources agree on the exact nature of these powers. This disagreement is presumably due, in large part, to a lack of careful scientific study of these creatures. According to early experts, one of the more interesting abilities of vampires is that they can turn into a mist/gas/vapor at will and move about in this gaseous state (Stoker 1897; Dean, Balderston et al. 1931; de Sangre 1952; Wallace et al. 1967). In the paper that follows we discuss a number of questions associated with the nature of vampires in the gaseous state, hereafter referred to as vampire(g),1 and attempt to estimate some of the chemical and physical properties of vampires while in this state. While we make some progress in this regard, it is difficult to constrain many important properties of gas phase vampires on the basis of current information. In these cases we provide some discussion concerning the merits and difficulties associated with analytical techniques that might yield additional pertinent information.
Figure 1 – A video ethnographic documentary of the formation of vampire(g) was first recorded in Le Manoir du Diable (Méliès and d’Alcy, 1896)
Volume Analysis Video ethnographic studies of vampires, for example the pioneering work of Méliès and d’Alcy (1896) (Figure 1) imply that gas phase vampires have similar total dimensions, albeit with fuzzy edges, to solid-state vampires (Hart et al. 1992). However, quantitative analysis is difficult since vampires are reported to not show up in mirrors (Spence 1960), which adds considerable complication to any imaging system used for volumetric analysis. Due to the invisibility of vampires in mirrors, a complex system of lenses and filters, sans mirrors, must be used to record them on video or film. It is unfortunate that the nature of the filters and lenses used by documentarians like Dean and Balderston is not listed in the acknowledgements to their presentations. However, it is apparent that the filters used in early video ethnographic studies produced a monochromatic moving picture. The use of mirror-free recording technology has improved in recent decades, as evidenced by the higher fidelity of the recordings of vampire. Despite all this, accurate measurements of volume have yet to be made, even by the most ambitious interviewers (Rice et al. 1994).
Figure 2 – The face of vampirism. Even the 2.2 Å x-ray crystal structure of the 157 residue protein vampirase (Zhang et al. 1998) appears menacing.
The latest publicity stunt from The Walking Dead places a horde of zombies underneath a sidewalk grate in New York City to terrify pedestrians who pass over. I hope those zombies were warmly-dressed. Why New York? Because if this happened in Atlanta, no one would react at all. By now, they’re used to this kind of thing down there. -via Daily Picks and Flicks
Women usually learn how to properly apply makeup when they’re teenagers, and further develop their skills as they get older, but generally speaking they haven’t mastered the skill by the time they graduate high school.
Makeup artist Stephanie Fernandez, however, was clearly born with innate makeup application skills, either that or she’s been practicing since kindergarten, because at just eighteen years old she's already creating looks worthy of appearing in Hollywood horror flicks.
Stephanie draws her inspiration from movies and popular culture, but most of her creations are truly unique and can't be traced back to one particular film since they're a product of her own twisted vision of dark beauty.
Even Frankenstein's monster has to take a break for tea every once in a while. It's kind of strange to see a china cup being held in the oh-so-cultured three-finger manner with those horrid black fingernails! But this is not Boris Karloff on the set. It is the work of Mike Hill, professional portrait sculptor and artist. Go see his other works! -via I Have Seen The Whole Of The Internet
However, Boris Karloff, being a proper British actor, often took a cup of tea during breaks in filming three movies in which he portrayed Frankenstein's monster, Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), and Son of Frankenstein (1939). There had to be more pictures of the monster on break, and I was right. Continue reading to see them.
No one had to kidnap a baby and threaten to turn it into a goblin just to get these two star-crossed lovers to fall in love. OK, yeah, maybe the plot of The Labyrinth isn't exactly romantic, but there's no denying that there is some real chemistry between this Jareth and Sarah.
This lovely picture series was made to help promote Labyrinth Productions push their wonderful wedding services. Ad or not, it's a great cosplay series that truly capures the magic of this fantastic film.
While some might think this design is only suitable for Halloween, those of us who love celebrating All Hallows Eve every day of the year, it really is a great centerpiece for any room. And, as the artist explains, it's a great way to reflect on mortality and remember how important it is to make the most out of our limited time on this planet.
This isn't a photoshop. It's a picture of the giant gippsland, a worm that reaches up to nine feet in length don't worry, they don't usally grow longer than three feet long. Yeah, it's pretty much just alive for the sake of giving you nightmares.
The worm takes up to five years to mature and can actually live for a full decade. If you're screaming just looking at these photos, there is one thing that might make you feel a little better, the giant gippsland rarely comes to the surface during its entire life -though that does mean that if you visit Australia they're going to be hanging out, writhing under your feet. Well, you will probably actually hear the audible gurgles their bodies make as they slither underground.
Think of them next time you have a hard time sleeping, just think of these monster worms and then you'll be motivated to get up out of bed and go do something since you won't be sleeping any time soon anyway.
This 1890's mansion was once a stunning sight to behold, but after it was abandoned in 1930, General Electric took over and encouraged salvagers to take anything they wanted from the home as they were planning to demolish it anyway. When WWII broke out though, the company dropped their plans for the property and just left it to rot.
And that's just one amazing mansion that you won't believe people just allowed to crumble away over the decades. Read about the rest over on Oddee.
They say smoking cigarettes will kill you, but these cigarettes ain’t for smoking- they’re for strutting around town looking all dangerous, showing the world that messing with you can cause shortness of breath. Fashionably deadly, cigarette pumps six inches high make a fierce statement about your independence and the fact that you’re smoking hot.
And if you’re trying to quit then making a pair of shoes out of those leftover cartons of cigarettes you’ve got lying around will not only help you kick the habit, they’ll remind you why you quit in the first place.
Caution- these shoes contain chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer. Spotted at FailBlog.
I apologize for the lack of horror movie posts last week - I was on vacation. I'd like to tell you that I was visiting the Stanley Hotel or Sleepy Hollow or Gettysburg or some other haunted location, but I was actually at Disney World. I enjoyed lots of rides on the Haunted Mansion and the Tower of Terror, if that counts for anything. So, with the countdown to Halloween now in the single digits, let us continue with the horror movie trivia posts from the week before last.
Classic Kubrick, classic Nicholson. Released in 1980, the Shining was one of the first films (and definitely the most famous of these early movies) to use the newly-invented Steadicam. It was a camera that was weighted, which allowed for smooth movement even in smaller spaces. Anyway... the trivia!
• Jack Nicholson's visitors on the London set of the Shining included Anjelica Huston, Mick Jagger, George Harrison, John Lennon and Bob Dylan.
• Other actors considered for the Jack Torrance part were Robert DeNiro, Robin Williams (can you imagine?) and Harrison Ford. Nicholson was always the first choice, though. DeNiro later said the movie gave him nightmares for a month. Stephen King didn't like any of those choices and tried to talk Stanley Kubrick into using Jon Voight or Jack Palance.
• Diana Vreeland is more or less the reason the movie was able to continue shooting. Jack's back was bugging him from a previous movie injury and he was popping all kinds of pills to try to alleviate the pain. Nothing worked and he was starting to get worried that his pain was going to have to halt production. The fashionista heard about this while at dinner and promptly left her meal and had Jack's driver take her to a pharmacy, where she purchased two back plasters. Then she went back to the eatery, commanded that Jack drop trou and applied the plaster right then and there. It worked, and the film was finished.
• Jack Nicholson claims he wrote the scene where Jack Torrance writes, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy," over and over and over. "That's what I was like when I got my divorce," he said.
• It got baaaaad reviews: Variety said it was the "biggest box office disappointment since Exorcist II", the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner said it was "completely fake and banal" and the Wall Street Journal said it failed not only as a horror movie, but as any other genre as well.
• The famous "Heeeeeeeere's Johnny!" line was improvised.
• Although most exterior shots were done at the Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood, Oregon, all of the interiors were a movie set. Kubrick refused to film in the States if he had to, since he was an ex-pat. At the time, the movie set was the largest ever built.
• Stephen King didn't care for much of the Kubrick version, which is why he made his own T.V. miniseries version in 1997. Among other things, he didn't agree with the casting of Shelley Duvall as Wendy Torrance. He pictured Wendy as a blonde, cheerleader type who had clearly never known any type of hardship - pretty much the opposite of Duvall. He cast Rebecca DeMornay in the 1997 version, which, you have to admit, fits King's original vision much better.
This was really Mia Farrow’s breakout role. Prior to this she acted on Peyton Place but was mostly just known as Frank Sinatra’s wife. The film rights to the book were purchased before the book was even released because producer William Castle convinced Paramount that the book was going to be a huge hit – and it was.
• The book the movie was based on was written by Ira Levin, who also wrote The Stepford Wives. Strangely, he also wrote a play about a hillbilly who joins the Air Force - the play that launched Andy Griffith's career.
• The book, which was published in 1967, had the birth of Rosemary’s baby occur in June, 1966 (6/66).
• That creepy lullaby (title: “Lullaby”) that accompanies the credits is actually sung by Mia Farrow. It hit 111 on the Billboard charts.
• The movie caused a bit of marital strife for Mia Farrow and Frank Sinatra, who was her husband at the time. Filming and post-production ran longer than expected, which made Sinatra angry because he wanted his wife to appear in one of his upcoming movies (The Detective). He actually called the production offices and demanded that the movie wrap by November 14, 1967, because Mia was scheduled to be on his set by Thanksgiving. It didn't happen, and he told her that her choice was to be done with the movie or be done with him. She stayed with the movie after Roman Polanski convinced her she was all but guaranteed to win an Oscar (she didn't). Sinatra then had her served with divorce papers on the set of the film.
• Jack Nicholson and Robert Redford were both considered for the role of Guy Woodhouse - Redford was actually the first choice.
• When Rosemary calls the actor who went blind, allowing her husband to land the role, the actor on the other end of the line is Tony Curtis. Mia Farrow recognized his voice but couldn't quite put her finger on how she knew it, so the confusion you hear in her voice in that scene is Mia trying to place his voice.
• Lots of rumors plague the movie - that Anton LaVey consulted on the movie, that he wore the devil costume in the scene where Rosemary is raped, that Alfred Hitchcock was scheduled to direct, and that Sharon Tate was one of the party-goers in the scene where Rosemary throws a party to see her friends. None of them are true.
• Polanski was incredibly true to the novel. Ira Levin wrote in the book that Rosemary had her hair cut at Vidal Sassoon, so Polanski actually made sure that Mia Farrow's iconic pixie cut was shorn by Sassoon himself.
• Also - apparently a remake is scheduled for 2010. I'm horrified.
• Ira Levin published Son of Rosemary in 1997. Rosemary wakes up in 1999 after the witch coven put a spell on her to keep her in a coma. However, the last witch has finally died, freeing her from the spell. Her son with the devil is named Andy and was raised by Minnie and Roman Castevet, and he is now the CEO of a huge charitable foundation. There’s a big twist at the end, but I won’t reveal it in case you want to read it. I find it to be a cop-out ending, but I’ll let you decide for yourself. If you want to know now, here you go. • And a non-movie-related fact: after the divorce, Mia Farrow traveled to India to study with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who the Beatles were also studying with at the time. She brought her sister Prudence, who inspired John Lennon to write "Dear Prudence" for the White Album.
A Nightmare on Elm Street
We’re breaking into a new horror genre here, but I think that’s OK - Nightmare is a classic in its own way. According to the book Nightmares in Red, White and Blue, the movie was inspired by some articles in the L.A. Times. Apparently there had been a rash of cases where people had nightmares so horrific that they didn’t want to do back to sleep in case they fell into the nightmare again. So they tried to stay awake for as long as possible, but when the urge to sleep finally came over them, they died in their sleep. You can see why Wes Craven was inspired – that’s some pretty creepy stuff.
• When you’re watching movies like these, check out the posters on the walls in bedrooms and similar scenes. Wes Craven and Sam Raimi have a running joke with the posters. Here’s the whole story – and hang on, the Nightmare reference is in here, but it’s going to take a minute to get to. First, in Wes Craven’s 1977 movie The Hills Have Eyes, a Jaws poster can be seen in the background. There was speculation that Wes Craven specifically put that poster there to say that his movie was much scarier than Jaws, which had come out two years before. So, in Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead, he placed a poster of The Hills Have Eyes to suggest that his film was even scarier than Hills. Not to be outdone, Wes Craven referenced The Evil Dead twice in Nightmare - there’s a poster on the wall, of course, but it’s also the movie that Nancy watches to keep from falling asleep. Evil Dead II features Freddy Krueger’s glove hanging above the door to the tool shed – which, according to the DVD, is the real glove from the movie. I’d be willing to bet that the subsequent Nightmares and Army of Darkness contain more Craven/Raimi references, but I think I’ll stop there – it will give you something to look for next time you catch them on T.V.
• Robert Englund, the actor who plays Freddy, could have been in Star Wars. He was best friends with Mark Hamill in the ‘70s. Englund went to the studio to read for the surfer part in Apocalypse Now and ended up going across the hall to read for Han Solo. Rumor has it that he was the one who told Hamill to read for Luke Skywalker, but Englund didn’t actually address that part of the story. The interview is here if you want to read the whole thing – it’s pretty interesting.
• Johnny Depp’s part came down to Johnny and two other actors. Johnny got the part because Wes Craven’s daughter thought he was the cutest. I must say, that girl has phenomenal taste!
• Disney was one of the first companies to express interest in the film, but asked Wes Craven to tone down some of the violence and gore. He didn’t think that was in the best interest of the movie, so he held out. New Line Cinema picked it up and it really launched their company – prior to Nightmare, it was just a film distribution company.
• Two reasons have been given for Freddy’s red and green sweater – Wes Craven once said that he read those that color combination was the hardest for the mind to process, so he used that combo to achieve an unsettling effect. He has also said that Freddy was partially inspired by an elderly guy who scared him as a child that was wearing a similar sweater.
• More than 500 gallons of fake blood were used to make the movie. Sometimes it was just water tinted red (it flowed better during the geyser scenes) and sometimes it was a mixture of corn syrup and powder and dye.
• The name is said to have come directly from Wes Craven’s childhood bully – Fred Krueger. I think I'll try to squeeze one more in before the big day. The last post will focus on three of these six movies: Evil Dead, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Child's Play, The Blair Witch Project, Friday the 13th and Psycho. Or maybe the Birds. Hmmmm. Tune in to find out!
Fear of the dark is a common and an almost universal fear for at least a part of our lives (usually some part of our childhood). Though it's not so much the dark itself that we fear, but the unknown -those scary things that might be hiding in the dark. At some age we figure out that what we can't see can hurt us! As we mature, we internalize the real odds of something dangerous hiding in the dark, and that calms us in appropriate situations, but that fear can come back when we are in unfamiliar places. The reason we are all afraid of the dark at times is because that fear gave us an advantage during our evolutionary history.
Remember, for a large portion of humanity's early days, we were far from the top of the food chain. Our ancestors quickly learned that many predators prefer the cover of darkness to hunt and over time that association strengthened into a subconscious absolute: stay out of the dark because that's where the danger is.
While fear of the dark can manifest itself as an acute reaction—like panicked screaming when someone suddenly turns out the lights, or as insomnia, as a recent study conducted at the University of Toronto suggests—it more commonly manifests as foreboding anxiety. The emotion of anxiety plays a specific role in our behavioral responses to stimuli just as the emotions of love, anger, and sadness do, acting to increase our ability to cope with stress and more fully exploit beneficial opportunities.
An article at Gizmodo dips into the specifics of what happens when we confront the scary dark places into which we cannot see, and how we learn to judge its dangers. -via the Presurfer
Most cosplayers are dedicated to making their outfits, and all related accessories, look as realistic as possible, but costume fabricator Brian Cargile wanted to create something that looked fully functional yet totally fantastic, so he created this amazing looking Plague Doctor mask/helmet.
With light up goggle eyes and mouth grate, shiny metal bits where appropriate and the look of worn steel plates everywhere else, Brian has brought the Plague Doctor look into the 21st century in style. This one-of-a-kind piece has already been sold, but you can check out more of his unique gear available at his Etsy shop.
After Shannon Moore Shepherd spent time in Paris researching the origins of Bram Stoker's Dracula, she visited her husband's family in Scotland, where she once again found herself tracing Stoker's travels. The author had stayed at the same hotel they were in!
In 1894, while taking holiday here in Cruden Bay, Bram Stoker may have experienced a similar palette and sense of delicious anticipation as he came upon the ruined castle grounds. According to multiple sources on New Slains Castle, Bram Stoker was invited by the 18th Earl of Erroll to visit his humble home. A dark and foreboding sky combined with a sense of awe at the majestic structure before him and curiosity about the nobleman who ordered its construction and walked its candlelit hallways at night, is all reportedly real inspiration for the fantastical fictional Romanian castle in Dracula and its eccentric master. The Kilmarnock Arms website even affirms that the castle was a tangible inspiration.
If Stoker was invited to cross the darkness to New Slains by its Earl, then his own story isn’t much different from his protagonist, Jonathan Harker. As Stoker might have done politely with the Earl, Harker returns the invitation to Count Dracula. Now, collective consciousness would tell us, though we may not be sure how exactly we know, that a vampire cannot enter a home without being invited. This is something Jacques Sirgent touched on in his recent lecture at the Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris.
Sirgent also had information about the ties between a Countess of Erroll and the original Dracula family in Romania. Read the rest of the story, and see New Slains Castle in many pictures, at Atlas Obscura.
The art of seduction is generally lost on the classic monsters of filmdom, but when they’re asked to get in touch with their tender side and let it all hang out these sexy beasts don’t disappoint.
Luckily artist Erika Deoude was there to capture these baddies striking a seductive pose, pin-up style, and she put all of her illustrations together in The Calendar of Sexy Monsters- a set if 12 giclee prints featuring Godzilla, Zuul, the Predator, King Kong and more like you’ve never seen them before. They’re perfect for brightening up a dank cave, haunted house or swampside cemetery.
More people have seen Lenin's mummy than any other mummy in history. It's a tourist attraction, a cultural artifact, and as you'll see, a political gimmick. How did this weird monument - denounced by Lenin's official historian as an "absurd idea" - come into being? Here's the full story.
Lenin's tomb in Moscow's Red Square is the best-known landmark in the Soviet Union, as well as the spiritual center of Soviet political ideology. Some 150 million people have visited the mausoleum since it was first built ... There are always long lines, but you should expect to be descending the gloomy stairs into the tomb within 20-30 minutes. Without stopping, you walk around three sides of the glass case in which Lenin lies, stubbly and ashen-faced, wearing a jacket and a polka-dot tie. - Travel Guide to the Soviet Union
DEATH OF A LEADER
At 6:50 p.m. on January 21, 1924, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin [wiki], first leader of the Soviet Union and father of his country, suffered a stroke and died. No one was sure how to handle it. Lenin had asked for a simple funeral. He wished to be buried next to his mother and sister in the family burial plot. But when Soviet leaders met to discuss the matter, they came up with another idea - turn the funeral into a "propaganda event" that could help legitimize the Communist regime. They decided to embalm him so he could lie in state for a while. Then, only three days after his death, the Politburo began discussing the idea of saving the body "a little longer." Lenin's relatives balked at the idea ... but Joseph Stalin insisted. As Dmitri Volkogonov wrote in Lenin: A New Biography, Stalin "came to see [preserving Lenin's body] as the creation of a secular Bolshevik relic with huge propaganda potential." A short time later, the Politburo issued the following orders:
1. The coffin containing V.I. Lenin's corpse is to be kept in a vault which should be made accessible to visitors; 2. The vault is to be formed in the Kremlin wall on the Red Square among the communal graves of fighters of the October Revolution. A commission is being created today for the construction of a mausoleum.
A burial vault was dug along the Kremlin wall, a wooden hut was built over it to keep out the elements, and Lenin's body was placed inside the funeral.
The second Lenin Mausoleum (wooden structure, lasted 5 years) (Photo: Lenin Mausoleum)
CORPSE OF ENGINEERS
Meanwhile, the secret police were rounding up the country's top scientists to put them to work figuring out how to embalm Lenin for eternity. A streetcar was towed into Red Square and fitted with beds, hot plates, and washbasins; it served as the terrified scientists' home for the rest of the winter.
But restoring Lenin to his former glory was not so easy. Illness had ravaged him in the final years of his life, leaving him frail-looking and emaciated. And since permanent, lifelike embalming had never been attempted before, research on how to accomplish such a task had to begin from scratch. In the meantime, the body continued to deteriorate. Lenin's cadaver was packed in ice to slow the decay, and by June the scientists finally succeeded in "stabilizing" the body. By then, however, it was a mess.
"In those four and a half months," historian Robert Payne writes in The Life and Death of Lenin, "remarkable changes had taken place: he was waxen gray, wrinkled, horribly shrunken." Nonetheless, by August 1924, Lenin's body had been cleaned up enough to put on public display.
Either way, she certainly looks lovely and with the exception of the heels, her outfit looks like it would be perfect for lounging on the beach, below the waves or fighting crime. I do wonder if swimming in high heels is easier than walking in them though, because they do seem a little less than functional when it comes to performing superheroic feats.
To promote The Walking Dead in France, the television network NT1 zombified a number of local road signs. With only a few small stickers, the company changed every day street signs into Walking Dead signs.
Of course, to make things really go viral, they encouranged people to tweet about the signs with the hash tag #streetargh, which was put on the bottom of most of the signs to provide people with the correct tags. You can check out more of the signs on the official Tumbr, Street Argh.
While the giant sandworms of Dune can stretch over 400 meters, you don't have to go quite that crazy to make a great sandworm costume. In fact, Instructables user canida has detailed all the steps you need to know to make your own great Dune cosplay. Unfortunately, you'll still have to create your own spice even if you harness a few of these worms.
If you aren't a big fan of Dune, you can even add some stripes and a few modifications to the mouth to make a Beetlejuicce sandworm instead.
Halloween may be over, but it's never too late to appreciate an epic piece of Halloween decor like this and it's never too early to start planning your display for next year. Halloween Forum user Raven's Hollow Cemetery made this impressive prop back in 2011. The skeleton climbing from a hell hole is even rigged to move and the whole thing is rigged with a fog machine so the glowing lava actually looks like it's smoking.
If you're wondering how he created that iconic lava glow, the secret is three shades of orange string lights that have a flicker effect on them so they look like they are varying in tempurature.