Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I will be busy today getting ready for Trunk or Treat at our church so here's a special poem I wrote a few years ago to celebrate this special day. Have a good, safe time tonight!

Howl and scream, it's Halloween
Craziest night I've ever seen
Ghosts of white and witches green
Let's get ready for Halloween

Pumpkins orange and cats of black
Decorate your goodie sack
Light your way with Lantern Jack
Hope you find your way back

Paint your face and dye your hair
Friends and neighbors hope to scare
Knock on that door if you dare
The house is haunted, have a care

Monster mask and witches hat
Hey, there goes a vampire bat
Looks just like a flying rat
Maybe I'll go get my cat

We'll have fun with friends we meet
As we hollar, "Trick or Treat"
See what goodies we can eat
Getting candy sure is neat

Bob for apples, that's so fun
Candy corn for everyone
Cotton candy by the ton
Belly aches when we get done

Tell ghost stories in the dark
By the fire in Moonbeam Park
Hear that werewolf howl and bark
Think I'll feed him my friend Clark

Mummies rap and gargoyles play
'Round the fields and bales of hay
Come out at night but not by day
The sun returns, they run away

I hope you pick a costume soon
I started mine the 6th of June
I'm going as a grisly goon
Hope I don't look like a loon

Midnight tolls and Halloween's through
No more bats or ghosts that "Boo"
Costumes gone and candy too
Til next year when Halloween's new

Copyright 2005 Marty Gordon

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Countdown: Halloween Jesus

I just finished this collage the other day and since it's appropriate for the holiday I thought I'd share it. As always, you can view more of my art here.
Don't hate me because I'm irreverent.

Halloween Countdown: More Costume Nonsense

This top pic is from another Halloween party where we all went to the mall and walked around in our costumes. I don't know why we did that. In the second pic you can see me in my alien costume with Todd as an equestrian and LaDonna as Cleopatra. Other notable costumes that year were Butch and Cindy as the Blues Brothers, Karen as a molar, and my cousin Jane as a Jack O'Lantern.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween Countdown: Freddie vs Tina

After seeing The Nightmare on Elm Street, I made this glove. I used it to torment my friend Karen on numerous occasions. I even went as far as tacking a Freddie poster to the ceiling over her bed. I'll never forget her screaming down the hall, "Marty, come get this damn thing off my ceiling!" Good times.
This pic is from a Halloween party at my house in Pensacola on Blackwell Lane. I am posing with my friend Susan who is dressed up as Tina Turner. With all the various remakes and such of movies starring Freddie, Jason and Michael Myers, it might be time for Freddie and Tina to duke it out. Why not? It couldn't be any worse than the others.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween Countdown: Gordon Gourd Art

Here's an extra entry for ya, free of charge. Sarah brought home a bunch of baby pumpkins that will be used to decorate Trunk or Treat on Friday. While watching TV, we sketched faces on these little guys. Some are cute, some are scary and some are just what were you smokin' to come up with that? Pick your favorite or guess who drew which ones.

Halloween Countdown: Costumes from the Past

Yep, this one is embarrassing too. Me, Andrea, Todd and Karen attended a party as the Big Bad Wolf and the Three Little Pigs. My wolf is rather 80's looking. I don't know what I was thinking. I did, however, make the wolf head, gloves and feet and they looked pretty good. We got a good laugh at Todd's expense (and that never, ever happened) because instead of buying a pig nose he bought a gorilla nose. He said it looked like a hog's nose. That was freakin' funny.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Halloween Countdown: Shameless Self Promotion

Today I thought I'd post a Halloween related collage I did a while back. I've also posted it on my art site. If you're not familiar with my art, check it out. I put a new image up every Monday. I also participate in the collage website Scrapiteria which has a Halloween theme running this week. I hope to get a collage done for that site in the next day or so.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Halloween Countdown: Schuh Farms

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Sarah and I stopped by Schuh's Farm on our way back from Friday Harbor. It's a very fun place that does Halloween up right. I wish we had time to go back and do the corn maze and see it lit up at night but we just don't have the time. I do, however, want to share some of my pics with you. Today I'm going to concentrate on one area of the farm.
To one side of the barn, there was an area dedicated to the Wizard of Oz. There was a yellow brick road of sorts that you could follow and, on the way, you were met by some of the characters. At the end of the trail there was a playground for the kiddies with a rainbow gated entrance. Sarah and I thought it was pretty cheesy but fun. Most the characters looked okay although the Cowardly Lion looked a bit mangy. We both agreed that the Tin Man was the most fun. I'm sure the kids love it.

Friday, October 24, 2008


The Somnambulist by Jonathan Barnes
The story revolves around magician Edward Moon and his partner, the giant mute called the Somnambulist. In post-Victorian England, Moon is called upon to help solve the mystery surrounding several strange murders.
This book started with much promise and, by the end, devolved into a great big mess. I read to the last page and I still don't know what happened and I really don't care. Barnes is obviously a very creative fellow but let's at least have a plot that goes somewhere and makes a bit of sense. Just tossing weird creativity around willy-nilly doesn't do it for me. Unfortunately I have read quite a few books that are like this. I guess some people don't need a plot. They just need weirdness. To each his own. I would have at least liked an explanation of who or what the Somnambulist was. It is the the title of the freakin' book!

Halloween Countdown: Eek Harmony

Since my wife and I met on Eharmony I thought this was pretty funny. I got this off of the Shoebox Blog. I visit there almost every day for a laugh or two. Check it out.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Halloween Countdown: Haunted Attractions

I've spent my fair share of time exploring haunted attractions as I've had the opportunity. I've been to the Haunted Mansion at Disneyworld. I've been to many, many local haunted houses in the various places I've lived. I've been on the haunted rides at the many carnivals and fairs I've attended over the years. In fact, one of the most memorable times I had in one was when me and two buddies made friends with one of the guys working in one of them. We were wandering thru, being smart asses, going where we weren't supposed to go, scaring people and this guy asks us if he can bum a cigarette. He was a little person which we thought was way cool. We hung out with him for a bit before he had to go back to work and then we went on our way.
The pictures are from the Haunted Castle at Miracle Strip Amusement Park in Panama City, FL. The youth group from church made a trip there probably around 1978. I remember it being a fun day and the first time I ever rode a roller coaster. I've been hooked ever since. I don't remember much about the Haunted Castle beyond these pics. I do remember a ride called the Abominable Snowman that was really great. Like I said, fun day.
I wish I had pics from other attractions. I remember a haunted house at Six Flags Over Georgia where they had a spider pit. There were voices crying out, "Go back. Go back. The spider's will get you." As you can see that made a pretty big impression on me as a kid. I've thought about taking in one of the local haunted houses but I find that they aren't worth the money. If I could visit one like the one in that video I posted a couple of days back about High Tech Haunted Houses, sign me up. But usually the local houses are pretty lame. Anybody ever been to the one in Seattle that can give me a review?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Halloween Countdown: Munsters Original Pilot

I loved the Munsters as a kid. What's not to love. A family comprised of the movie monsters. Heaven for a kid. Nowadays, I appreciate the Addams Family alot more than I did in my younger days. The humor was over my head back then. And the Munsters, well, little wonder a kid preferred them over the Addams's. Their humor was corny, slapstick and easy to catch. Plus the visuals were more in your face than the much more subtle Addams's.
So, for your viewing pleasure here is a pilot episode for the Munsters. Actually, it's just part 1 but if you want part 2 you can find it on YouTube. They sure did a lot of tweaking after that pilot episode. Good thing, too. Lily looks a bit too much like Morticia.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Halloween Countdown: Random Decapitation

Of all the haunted houses and such I've ever done over the years, this picture is the only one I could find. I set this up in my friend's garage and the party was in the house. Isn't it just so gory and scary. Ooooooh!
I am totally mourning the loss of all the pictures I used to have of the haunted house I did as a senior in high school. To this day I have no idea what happened to those pictures. I had 2 albums of pictures from my high school/early college years that lived in my parent's attic. When my parents moved, I cleaned all that stuff out and never found those albums. It's a mystery and a real loss to me.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Halloween Countdown: Marty as Dracula

Okay, this is embarrassing as hell but that's what we're here drag those blush inducing skeletons out of the closet.
Somewhere along the way I thought I could pull off being Dracula. I can think of 2 different times I did this for Halloween. The first is pictured here. That's me with my girlfriend. All I can say is she must have really cared about me to put up with this. Aren't we the cutest undead couple you've ever seen. What was I thinking? And I remember having a friend of mine's mom help me with the cape and I borrowed another friend's high school jazz band shirt to complete the ensemble. Man, I look just like Frank Langella don't I? The second time I dressed up was years later. I had a better cape and I actually won the costume contest. Of course, not many people were dressed up so...well...yeah. It was kind of pathetic.
The second picture is a self-portrait I drew in college. Please tell me I didn't turn this in for a grade. Oh man...this really is embarrassing.
So there you have it. The pathetic history of Marty's Dracula phase. I'll never do that again. Unless I still have the cape.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Halloween Countdown: Drac on Film Addendum

I can't believe I forgot to mention Richard Roxburgh in Van Helsing. I know the critics panned it but I liked the movie and even own a copy. However, I didn't like Roxburgh as Drac. As soon as I saw him I thought to myself, "Jason Isaacs should have been cast as Drac." I still think Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films) could do a good Dracula. Someone needs to pick up on this idea and run with it. It's about time for a good adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Halloween Countdown: Dracula on Film

Sarah and I watched Masterpiece Theater's version of Dracula the other night. It was dreadful. Before that we tried to watch the BBC's Count Dracula from the 70's but just couldn't get into it. So, I still have a hankering to see a good version of Dracula this Halloween season. Is there a good one?
I have no time for research so let me answer that question from the cobwebs of my memory.
The earliest version I can think of is Nosferatu. It's a silent film therefore it is dated. I'm sure it was scary in it's time. Max Schreck looks incredible in the lead role.
I suppose Bela Lugosi's version is next. A pretty good film. I found the lack of music to be disconcerting. Dwight Frye is creepy as Renfield.
I know this is hard to believe but I've never seen any of the Christopher Lee Dracula movies. I saw the trailers when I was a kid and they scared the hell out of me. I am trying to get the first one from the library as we speak.
In the late 70's, Frank Langella brought his Broadway version of the Count to films. In my opinion, it is the best of all the Dracula films. Frank Langella is simply amazing in the part. I wish I could have seen him on Broadway.
There are others I have seen that are barely worth mentioning. Dracula: Dead and Loving It made me feel embarrassed for Mel Brooks. Dracula 2000 had the ridiculous premise that Judas Iscariot became Dracula. Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula had Gary Oldman as Drac and Anthony Hopkins as Van Helsing and it still managed to suck out loud. Blade 3 had Wesley Snipes battling a hip, buff Drac. It sucked so bad.
I'm sure there are others but I just can't think of them right now. Chime in and tell me what your favorite Dracula film is. You may have seen one that I've missed.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Island in the Sea of Time by S. M. Stirling
"A colossal dome of fire and a violent storm shift the universe, reduce the North American continent to wilderness, and sweep the island of Nantucket into the year 1250 B.C., placing its inhabitants in a battle for survival."
It took me 3 weeks to finish this book. I really enjoyed it but I'm not a fast reader to begin with and it's a fairly dense book, chock full of descriptions and the like. It just took me that long to take it all in. Stirling is a good writer and he makes it all seem so capable of really happening. I liked the characters and the relationships that were established. I'm not a big fan of war in books though. I just don't like reading descriptions of battles. Just tell me there was a battle and so and so won and I'm good.
There are 2 more books in this series but I'm not sure I've got it in me to tackle them anytime soon. I did the same thing with Dies the Fire. Read the first one, enjoyed it but didn't read any further because it's not a light read. Call me shallow but I like to read at night to turn my brain off. I can't do that with these books.

Halloween Countdown: Star Wars

After haunted houses were banned at our church Halloween carnival, we had to get creative. That's when theme rooms started popping up. I got the idea after a group of folks did a half-hearted version for a Wednesday night kids event. So, a bunch of us including my girlfriend at the time (Leia in the pic) put together a Star Wars room.
We covered the entire room with black polyurethane to start. At the entrance we had the kids crawl thru a box to enter. Part of the floor was covered with foam (under the urethane) for a bouncy feel. Once in the room, they moved left where we had a computer panel that slid candy down the chute into their bag. Continuing around the room, they were able to meet Darth Vader (me), Princess Leia, and Yoda. We had the soundtrack playing on a record player, a mirror ball shooting stars all over the room, and spaceships hanging from the ceiling. Last but not least, just as they were about to exit, they got Reece's Pieces from E. T. I know, not a Star Wars character but still part of the outer space theme. E. T. was a last minute addition since one of our friends, clocking in at 4'11" knew a lady who had created this E. T. costume. How could we say no?
Needless to say, it was a big hit. We had long lines all night long. It was fun. All it takes is a little creativity and a little more elbow grease to create a cool experience for kids on Halloween. And it need not be scary.
I can't believe I said that.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Halloween Countdown: Jadis Prop Shop

Just listened to a story on Weekend America about this prop shop in Santa Monica. They carry old scientific equipment, the type you might see in an old Frankenstein movie. Pretty cool stuff. Go to the link above to read or listen to the story and to look at some pics of some of the props.
I wish we'd had some of those when we did our mad scientist thing at Trunk or Treat last year.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Halloween Countdown: Chick Tracts

Lord help me but I do love these little tracts from Jack T. Chick. As a kid, I never knew if the stuff in them was true or not but I admired the artwork. Nowadays they are a guilty pleasure for me. Every now and then I find them at the theatre. Someone usually leaves a few in the women's bathroom in the upstairs lobby. Those women in the balcony need Jesus bigtime!
If you're not familiar with Chick Tracts, go here and here for a couple of Halloween themed goodies. And remember, Chick Tracts make great treats for kiddies on Halloween night.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Friday Harbor: Day 4

Alas, day 4 meant it was time to come home. We packed up, got in the ferry line, ate another fabulous breakfast at the Rocky Bay Cafe, jumped on the ferry and headed to the mainland. Between Anacortes and Mt. Vernon we stopped at Schuh Farms. These folks have the Halloween spirit in a big way. Not only do they have tons of produce including pumpkins of all types and sizes but they also have a corn maze, playground, Wizard of Oz trail, concession stand, gift shop, giant inflatable pumpkin, spooky decorations, pigs, donkeys, bunnies and chickens. Sarah bought some decorative pumpkins and we also got some caramel corn nuggets that are so good. We also took the time for a few photos in the pumpkin patch. It was fun and we hope to go back.
Beyond that, the drive home was uneventful. We picked Mickey up from the spa (Sarah's term for the vet) and headed home to unpack and unwind. Unfortunately we are back in the groove of everyday life. We are looking forward to the next time we can take some time off and get away from it all.

Halloween Countdown: The Evil

When I was a teenager, HBO was a fairly new thing. What it meant for us was access to weird movies we wouldn't normally see. The Evil was one of those movies. I remember really liking it alot as a teen but it seems rather dated from the trailer. I guess you can't expect much from a movie where Victor Buono comes out of the floor at the end and announces himself to be Satan.
Ooh. Scary

Monday, October 13, 2008


Have you ever heard of Whirlyball? I hadn't until this past week. We had a work retreat today. We spent the morning replanting flower beds along the street the theatre is on and the afternoon playing whirlyball. It's like a combo of lacrosse, hockey, and basketball in bumper cars. I was skeptical at first but it's actually a lot of fun. Very competitive. We had a good time.
By the way, that's not a pic of us playing. Just something I found online. If I get some of the pics from today I'll post them.
You learn something new everyday. Even if it's really weird.

Halloween Countdown: Costumes from the Past

This was taken at a church Halloween party for the college department sometime in the early 80's. It was in an old barn behind someone's house. I painted the backdrop we're standing in front of. If I'm not mistaken there was a mock funeral during this party. Surprisingly enough, I don't think I had anything to do with that.
The clown girl is Jeanette. Not an old girlfriend, just a friend. I don't know why we decided to be matching clowns...just the thing to do I guess. Her mom made her costume and my Aunt Betty Lou made mine. I actually made the wig I'm wearing.
I used that clown costume numerous times over the years. My friend Darren wore it in New York during a mission trip. The last time I wore it I was told I looked like John Wayne Gacy. Nice. I think it finally gave up the ghost a few years ago and we chucked it.
It's weird to me that I would dress up as a clown. I don't really like clowns.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Halloween Countdown: Spooky Flyer

This is a flyer I drew to advertise a Halloween party we had a church. This must have been around '83 or '84. This is a scan of the original. At the time I remember thinking it was a pretty good drawing for me. I felt like the lettering was really cool and the knife and skull turned out really well. Of course, I made one mistake and had to correct it with White-Out.
I sort of remember the party being a bit of a dud. Not many people showed up and we just didn't have that many cool things to do anyway. I also remember that my costume that year was a failed attempt at Snake Plissken from Escape from New York. I don't have a picture (thank goodness) to remind me that I probably looked like Snake's fat, younger brother, Slug. You know, it's tough to find cool, fat icons to be on Halloween. Sure I could do Meatloaf or Barry White but c'mon, how cool are they really?
Oh wait, Ozzy's a bit chubby. Maybe, just maybe.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Our Peaceful Neighborhood

We were down the street eating pizza while this was going on. We watched from the window. Apparently the guy tried to rob the Washington Mutual. I guess he didn't get the memo about the bank crisis.
Just for info sake, Taproot Theatre's admin offices are above the bank. The theatre itself is less than a block away. We live about 6 blocks from here. It's usually a pretty peaceful neighborhood although there are some interesting characters lurking here and there.

Halloween Countdown: My Favorite Spooky Movies

The Thing - I love the original but John Carpenter's version is absolutely awesome. The special effects by Rob Bottin are incredible.
It - A group of friends who grew up together reunite to battle an evil clown. What's not to like.
Alien - I love them all, especially Aliens, but the original took horror/scifi to a new level.
An American Werewolf in London - A great horror/comedy. The werewolf transformation designed by Rick Baker is astounding.
Salem's Lot - I remember watching it with friends when it first came on tv. It scared us all.
The Lost Boys - A bit dated but still a pretty cool movie. I loved the punk rock vamps and the rock soundtrack.
Shaun of the Dead - A masterpiece of British comedic genius.
Fido - Another funny film about a boy and his zombie.
Dawn of the Dead - Zombies in a mall. Again, what's not to like. I love the original and the remake.
Altered States - This is one freaky, weird movie but it's freaky, weird good.
The Frighteners - A transitional film for Peter Jackson. Based on this film alone I knew he could tackle Lord of the Rings and do it justice.
Fright Night - This one may be my favorite vampire film of all time. Roddy McDowell is spectacular.
Identity - A fantastic use of the "10 Little Indians" murder plot.
Ghost Ship - Not much to say about this flick. I just like it.
Blade - An incredible blending of the horror/action genres. Some of the effects are similar to the Matrix but Blade came out a year before Matrix.
Silence of the Lambs - How can you not love Anthony Hopkins performance as Hannibal Lecter? No one can touch it.
Dracula - The Frank Langella version from the 70's is still the best one so far.
From Dusk 'Til Dawn - What starts out as a typically wonderful Tarantino/Rodriguez crime film morphs into an over-the-top vampire blood bath featuring Harvey Keitel as a Baptist minister who's lost his faith but must regain it to fight off the bloodsuckers. And Clooney's never been better in my opinion. And it has Salma Hayek in it. Say it with me...what's not to like?
The Mist - This is a new favorite. I love Darabont's work and I think he did a great job with this one but I hate his ending. It was a bold choice but he should have just stuck with King's ending.

I'm sure there are more but this is all I can think of right now. What are some of your faves?