Twas the night before All Hallows’ Eve, carrying the season’s chill as grizzly goons walked under the moon, flocking to Vex for Night of the Creeps 2. The good news, they’re here, the bad news, you couldn’t tell the dead from the living. Whether you were dressed up or you’re daily, weekend attire didn’t need anything extra to be scary. The dearly beloved showed their support for local artists, touring the multi-faceted display in the “back room”. With music blasting and cage bars rattling (from spirits or dancers) the dark dwellers, many adorned in black, leather, lace and more makeup (than usual) strolled the Dayton haunt as their freakish selves. All in all over 250 representatives from the local nocturnal brood arose and arrived for the occasion.
The evening’s dark, alternative soundtrack was provided by Matt Freeman, Mike Wishnewski and Mike Guidone and got cranking around the witching hour. The evening was hosted by Rocky Doll with deliciously breaded fresh remains by Zombie Dogz. Event organizers Freeman, Peter Scubic and MK Burnside put together a great evening dripping with artistic talent with plenty of critics hanging around, mostly voluntarily and unbound. Event sponsors included Monkey Bones, Zombie Dogz, Clash Dayton & Skull13.
It would not have been a Halloween party without a costume contest and some sexy hellfire courtesy of Ali Matta. There were also clowns and penguins, spirited faces sugar skulled for the night, a dark Sith lord and some Jedi masters. A long horned devil of a guy set for ramming speed and Beetlejuce among several other night creatures. Gotham’s favorite underworld momma’s boy Oswald Copperpot won first place, scaring out the devil to second on his weekend, followed by Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice taking third.
The gallery contest attracted many aptly attired artists and admirers. The walls and counter adorned with portraits of classics monsters, abstract paintings, and graphic handmade art with lots of blood, sweat and tears on display as well. To some it might have resembled the gallery of a rabid horror fan, serial killer or possibly both. Each piece gave insight to the creator’s interests and imagination, each a conversation piece in itself. Several were popular but only one could be the winner.
The artists displaying a piece of their heart and soul that evening included Erica Blackstock, Mike Betts, Brian Braiden, Matt Warvel, Greg Hunter, Greg Dearth, Amy Haines, Gretta Smak, Mike Guidone, Matt Coffee, Kevin Pittman, Spyder, Cole Medlen, Mike Gurdone, Kyle Holtz, Talia Shade, Roland, KAG, Travis Combs, Simeon Oyeyemi, Kevin Fourman, Rachel Lare, Caleb Hoskins, Michelle Carr, Skull 13, Matt Freeman, Charlie Gast, Misty Dawn Brothers, Jason Goad, Rollin Tipton, Ellen Mark and Mark Flach.
Many artists covered the horrors of movie/TV history or death in their chosen medium but the piece that won the most blackened hearts could only reside on Elm Street. Erica Blackstock went above and beyond bringing her killer dreams to life with her recreation of the Nightmare on Elm Street house from Dream Warriors. The house showcased with great detail and creativity not only mimicked the exterior but allowed Blackstock her own creative vision for the roof and the other side revealing open decorated rooms displaying classic scenes from the first four movies. The bed of blood, bloody body bag, open vein walk, Freddy worm creature, the big break in TV and the waterbed scenes were all masterfully given tribute.
“It took me over 300 hours to complete the dollhouse, a lot of days, working morning til the next morning.” Blackstock says.
A variety of materials were used to create its authentic look and vast interior. Popsicle sticks for the exterior. The inside rooms included dollhouse furniture, altered furniture, and handmade furniture from left over wood scraps and popsicle sticks. Oven baked clay was used for the dolls plus random altered items from around her house.
“The inspiration for my piece is I love Freddy Krueger and due to the recent passing of Wes Craven, I had to do this and go big. This is one of my top favorite art shows to create for and I am so happy I got the opportunity to create this dollhouse and show it to the world.”
She’s also trying to get the attention of Robert Englund and other Elm Street Cast and crew via social media so her work can be seen by its creators.
Club/Costume photography by Mike Guidon
Art photography by Mike Ritchie