Haunted Attraction Magazine
Haunted Attraction Magazine was a digital magazine that featured national attractions and special effects makeup.
For it’s special Halloween Edition, Tom Savini was featured on it’s cover. <p>
Little background of this interview, when I first met Tom it was at Horrorhound.
Was always a fan of Tom’s – not only was he great for scaring the crap out of everyone – he did it on such a low budget that the effects were amazing.
I seen Dawn of the Dead when it was first released at the drive in with my parents – and my sister. Was the first horror movie I seen at that time where I was actually afraid. Had to act a bit tough for her
At Horrorhound, I was a little too shy to talk to Tom more then a hot moment. I paid and we posed for pictures, but I walked away a little disappointed as Tom was not very talkative.
Although I was not writing for HA at the time, I knew I was going to talk with him again, and this time pick his brain. I love hearing about my favorite creatives work and projects. Now as a journalist, that is my favorite part of my job – is an unedited straight view of someone’s story. I’m someone who enjoys knowing how stuff ticks and try to relay the same in my writing. It’s always great when someone can learn from a master of talent. Not just Tom, along the years, I’ve had the pleasant opportunity to talk with many creatives, who have taught so much.
So, at this point I knew that I was going to talk with Tom, and I got that chance at the second Horrorhound that my friend and I attended. Not too long prior, on a whim I applied to write for Haunted Attraction magazine. The only writing I was doing at the time was reviews – for everything. Haunted Houses mostly – you would walk through and provide honest feedback to both visitors and haunt owners so that it was a balance of what to expect during the experience and how owners could improve their experience for the visitor. Going in to a haunt, I would just fall behind and study the fx, makeup – even the ceilings.
Was nervous applying to a magazine – and ultra happy when I was taken on as an intern. Worked with some very talented individuals – the magazine was inventive – fun and informative.
I pitched the idea, got the thumbs up – and made plans to attend.
Funny how synchronicity kicks in at a moment when you’re on a mission. In order to film a possible impromptu interview, we went looking for a cheap little handheld recorder at our favorite record shop. That guy never disappoints, we found the recorder and by surprise a beautiful copy of the Creepshow comic book in a case. This was prior to the re-release, so at this time I had never seen one. Simply thought they existed only in the movie.
Bringing it up to the register, was super excited but tried to calm it down so he wouldn’t know that he’s selling something fairly rare for $20.
A year later, I recounted this story to the owner who sold me the book – he didn’t know what he had, which Tom called later while he was flipping through the book at the con. Fairly happy, he commented that it was a first edition and that the coupon was still in tack. I told him how much I paid for it. After he signed it for me, I asked him for the interview – he said yes.
That book, along with Tom’s card are some of my prized possessions. I look at that book when I start doubting myself.
That time period to me was all about being brave. About doing something something so way way out of your comfort zone, that it changes you completely. Ironically, outside of HA, I’ve worked with some pretty big names in the racing industry.
I approached my writing as a hungry journalist, had forgotten that it’s all about making relationships. I was anxious – and felt like a kid fresh out of school. It was great to feel that again. And I haven’t looked back since, although I have slowed down – and learned quite a bit.
This particular issue of Attraction, I did not work on. Part of the nerd out for me was working with Steve – who was the editor at this time. Not only was he the editor of this really beautiful magazine, he also was one of the producers of Rob Zombie’s Haunted House. (he also did Cooper’s)
No matter what people say about that haunt at that time – from a review status if I were still writing for Haunted Illinois, it was a wonderful attraction. We had not had a haunt that throws bags over your heads, slide you around through a black maze and shock the sides so you can’t touch them, in our area. Ever!
The facades were before their time, even on Reapers and 13th floor. Eh..13th Floor was maybe right about there – not to say anything bad about Dream Reapers, what I remember most about them were the smells. great sets as well – one of two haunts that at that time really pulled you into a story.
But back to Zombie’s – the seats were great for the price you got to see Rob at a small venue.
The experimental acting was another first.
The haunt itself was controversial, in Rob Zombie form.
Some Chicagoans were upset that there was a John Wayne Gacy clown at the haunt, while this Chicagoan would have thought it rude to exclude him from the remainder of serial killers.
The Odeum has been one of my favorite spots since Hades, which was back in the 90s – another inventive, full immersion experience that no-one has ever recreated..or have come close to recreating.
Security is a little slow at Odeum, which could mean a number of things – but the attractions they’ve held there, have been outstanding.
Sometimes miss those days – but, was the start of a wondrous journey