Thursday, December 16, 2010
Unhealthy Obsession with the Obscure and Bizarre
So I'm sitting here on a cold December night listening to the musical masterpiece that is Sting's If On A Winter's Night... and musing about my obsession with all that is weird and bizarre.
Outside, lake effect snow falls like fluffy dust motes from an industrial gray sky, and the bitter 15 degree bite of the air sneaks through the cracks and holes of my drafty century home like a thief -- and I realize that I've been musing quite a bit about the bizarre, the grotesque, the obscure and the odd.
Part of this has been driven by what I am certain will soon become one of my favorite reality shows. It's on the Science Channel and it's called Oddities. It's about a couple who own and run a shop in New York's East Village named - appropriately - Obscura. They specialize in the bizarre and unique and it's the sort of shop that I would totally love to own. They collect everything from human skulls, to bizarre and torturous 18th and 19th century medical devices, eclectic and disturbing antiques, and everything a purveyor of the dark and bizarre (like myself!) would love to own. I'd be helpless to walk out without buying something.
Check it out. Seriously. I've watched a couple episodes and I want more! I'd almost give in and go to New York with Mrs. Zombie if I could visit Obscura. She's been bugging me to go to NYC for a few years now, if only because she wants to visit the Today Show and visit - insert a wistful sigh from Mrs. Zombie here - Matt Lauer. It'd of course be difficult to stomach that brushy haired goof, but Obscura would totally make it worth it.
Another contributor, tangentially, is a book I recently started reading. It's called Creepy Crawls: A Horror Fiend's Travel Guide by Leo Marcelo. I picked it up mainly as a result of my visit to the wondrous Monroeville Mall this last summer. Visiting the filming location of George A Romero's classic Dawn of the Dead spurred in me a bug to visit other great sites from horror history. This book looked like the ticket and - although it's filled with all kinds of awesome locations and photos from which I can plan my own sojourns into the darker side of life (who wouldn't want to visit the graves of Edgar Allen Poe or HP Lovecraft, or the location where John Carpenter filmed his classic Halloween?!? Seriously.)
That said, the book's kind of hard to read. The author has an annoying habit of speaking of himself in the third person and constructing every sentence like Forest Ackerman. It's alliteration overload, man. It's a cute convention for titles, or intros... but it's fucking annoying every other sentence. Believe me, this gruesome garroulous ghoulish gourmand of the grotesque is good and goddamned done with it.
But probably the main reason I've been so focused on the bizarre and ghoulish is because the CFO of Dr. Zombie's Midnight Theater of Terror (namely, Mrs. Zombie) has given me permission to build a mancave in the basement! I've been obsessed with planning and designing the space... and my obsession with the oddities of life have played a major role in that planning. I know that it must be have a home theater or else it won't be what I've hoped and wished for for so long - namely a true home for Dr. Z's Midnight Theater of Terror.
The problem is when I start thinking about a theme for it.
Part of the allure is that I will finally be able to display some of the memorabilia and trinkets of horror history I've collected over the years. My Limited Edition Todd McFarlane Movie Monster Action Figures, my vintage horror movie posters, my collection of vintage Halloween art, my extensive collection of books on Jack the Ripper, my Universal monsters collectibles, my John Carpenter's Halloween collectibles... even my geekish Star Wars and Star Trek memorabilia will finally have a home -- and I need to design a mancave around that.
The thing is - I see myself planning for down the road. I would love to collect really off the wall shit like the sort you would find at Obscura. Hell, I'd love to own a store like Obscura! I mean - really - how fucking cool would a real mummified human hand, a monkey paw, or a deformed hydrocephalic human skull be?!?
So - the planning and the google searching go on for ideas and themes. I've gone back and forth between a steampunk/neo-Victorian sort of decor, to a classic 1930's or 1940's movie theater, to a more traditional home theater and mancave set up for entertaining mine and Mrs. Zombie's 'straight' friends. The sort of friend's that really don't get me or my weirdness, but I still have to a - according to Mrs. Z - "be nice to and try not to scare them" as she forces me to have cocktail parties and Super Bowl parties with them.
All that said - one of the main components I MUST do is the door below. Some background is in order before you check out the video though. You see, our basement - in the area that will soon become the greatest mancave ever, has a door that I've opened twice since I moved into mine and Mrs. Z's historic century home some 14 years ago. At the rear of the house, behind a door that is scarred and covered in peeling, chipped lead paint from the early part of the 20th century -- we have an old coal room.
It is a scary room.
It has big fucking spiders living in it.
It is an evil place and looks like it should have manacles chained to the wall and a drain where a serial killer can hose the blood of his victims down in preparation for his next guest.
My plan is to open the room, clean it out of it's big spiders, maybe put in a concrete floor, and turn it into useable space. I'd like to put my gun cabinet down there, as well as my hunting and camping equipment. With that in mind, I need to replace the door. My thought is that, eventually, I may be able to use it as a safe room during the initial panic at the beginning of the zombie apocalypse.
So to do that, it needs a really cool fucking door. A door I can lock and that will impress my cooler, more understanding friends who Mrs. Zombie barely tolerates but who I get along with swimmingly, who drink lots of Guinness, and relish a good horror movie in a dank basement as much as I do.
So I give you, the anti-Zombie door!
And here - a cool geared portal for shooting the ravenous hordes of the undead!
Feast upon the steampunky goodness and watch for updates - construction begins in the next month or so!