Friday, September 20, 2013

Art. Zombies. Rock ‘n’ roll. Catching Up with Lara Hope

Greetings, Crypt Dwellers! This is B-Sol of The Vault of Horror making a very special appearance to tell you all about one very special woman whose band will be headlining Captain Cruella’s 4th annual Village Invasion on October 19 in Saugerties, New York. The woman is Lara Hope, and the band is Tigeriss. Lara was on hand and tore it up last year, and knowing her as well as we do, it’s a lock that she’ll be tearing it up once again.

But as if one band isn’t enough, the overachieving Ms. Hope happens to be a member of several rockin’ ensembles. Her rockabilly band Lara Hope and the Arktones is prepared to launch an ambitious fundraising campaign on Indiegogo to help them record their very first full-length album—a project they’ve been dedicating a lot of hard work to as of late. On top of that, Lara is gearing up yet another group, the Misfits tribute band known as the Miss-Tits (!!), to make a boobalicious debut at her very own Rosendale Zombie Festival.

Yes, you heard that right. In addition to her musical endeavors, Lara is also the brains behind the Hudson Valley’s other undead extravaganza, the Rosendale Zombie Festival, which will also be celebrating its fourth year on Saturday, September 28! This one will be used as a fundraiser for the Rosendale Food Pantry. Check out the official Facebook page right here!

In addition to this, as part of the Gold Hope Duo, Ms. Hope had the opportunity to be a part of the northeast leg of the Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival, in which she opened for Dave Chappelle and Flight of the Conchords. After Halloween, both the Gold Hope Duo and Tigeriss will be embarking on a northeast tour along with fellow New York band S.S. Web.

And as if the whole music and zombies thing wasn’t enough, did I mention that Lara Hope is an artist as well? Recently, she has begun focusing on up-cycled, functional artwork, which includes turning cigar boxes into mini coffins, as well as painting picture frames, mirrors and other items. On Friday, September 13, she had her very first show opening at the Ark Riot in Kingston, New York. Her work will continue to be on display for the rest of the month. For more info, check out the official Facebook event page.

There’s no doubt about it—Lara Hope is a true renaissance woman and a match for even Captain Cruella herself in the events and arts departments. Be sure to check out the Rosendale Zombie Festival later this month, and then we “hope” (heh) to see you on hand to watch Lara and Tigeriss perform at Village Invasion IV!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Village Invasion IV-Carnival of the Dead in Saugerties, NY this October 19th!

The 4th Annual Village Invasion Zombie Crawl Comes to Saugerties, New York
Captain Cruella and Company Return This Year with a Carnival of the Dead
SAUGERTIES, NY – Oct 19, 2013 – For the fourth year running, the Village of Saugerties will be the site of the East Coast’s ultimate zombie-themed event. The brainchild of Captain Cruella—a.k.a. Saugerties’ own Jaimee Moxham--the Village Invasion is bigger and better than ever, and poised to take the Hudson Valley by storm on Saturday night, October 19. Over the past three years, thousands of zombie fans from all over have outfitted themselves in their undead best to take to Partition and Main Streets in the heart of town, share their mutual love of ghoulish goodness, and enjoy local pubs, restaurants, shops and other businesses.
Just like last year, the event is officially sponsored by the Village Apothecary. Neal Smoller of the Apothecary has helped raise the Invasion to higher levels than ever before. Admission to the event is $2—and this year, like last year, a portion of the proceeds will be directed toward rebuilding and revamping A Small World Playground, a local spot frequented by children from the Boys & Girls Club and from the surrounding vicinity.

“This is a real labor of love for me,” says Captain Cruella. “I can’t believe that the idea I had just three years ago, to see if I could create a Saugerties Village wide zombie event that would really be something worth coming to, has turned into all this. With the help of the Village Apothecary, we’ve made it into an annual happening that everyone looks forward to. The Carnival of the Dead theme this year will make it spookier and more fun than ever!”
In addition to the Village Apothecary, sponsors this year include Lucky Chocolates, the Dutch Alehouse, Main Street Restaurant and Brine Barrel Pickle Co., just to name a few. Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor, or one of the many vendors that will be on hand, should contact or visit to download a vendor form.
Nearby hotels are booking up, as Cruella gets the word out across a multitude of social media platforms including Facebook (, Twitter ( and Blogger ( The event kicks off promptly at 6 p.m. along Main and Partition Streets, with many businesses staying open late to take part in the festivities.

Much like years past, this year’s event will offer many reasons for folks to show up and have a good time. Once again, Palenville-based funk-rock band Voodelic will be playing at Dave’s Wine & Coffee House and Tigeriss hailing from New Paltz out at the outdoor staging area on the corners of Main and Partitions Streets. And what would the Village Invasion be without the annual costume contest? Awards will be presented in a variety of categories, and patrons are encouraged to get creative. Given this year’s theme, there are sure to be a plethora of evil zombie clowns and other dark denizens of the carnie world.

Over the course of the past decade, zombies have infiltrated pop culture as never before, with movies such as Resident Evil, 28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead and World War Z gaining cult followings. And AMC’s The Walking Dead TV series has become one of the most popular shows on the air—further proof that the zombie has hit the mainstream. Part of the phenomenon has been the rise of a colorful and devoted subculture of zombie-lovers that has helped popularize public zombie walks worldwide.
Those interested in participating in this year’s Village Invasion are encouraged to visit of for more information.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Grave Matters: Artist Spotlight! Creepy Unkle Pigors of Toxictoons

  • Welcome to the latest installment of Grave Matters: Artist Spotlight. Today we're talking to Toxictoons mastermind of the macabre, Eric "Unkle" Pigors. If you've never seen Eric's work before, well shame on you! If you have, congrats--you belong in the cool kids club. Seriously though, Eric's work has been just about everywhere from conventions to monster masks and apparel (even Disney films--we'll get into that) and this time we're delving a little further into this evil genius' mind to pry out some info about how he works and what makes him tick!

    Cruella's Crypt: I noticed a sort of Rank Fink hot-rod influence in your work. What's your true source of inspiration?

    Eric Pigors: A little bit of everything I grew up on back in the 1970s, like Rat Fink, Mad, Plop comics, Wacky Pacs, The Munsters, Charles Addams, Dr. Suess, Groovy Ghoulies, Disney and other animated cartoons that were made the old way--drawn by hand.

    CC: Where do you see Toxictoons going? And what's on the menu for the future for you?

    EP: I would love to see more of my Toxictoons art out there in the Halloween industry. I have nine masks now through TRICK OR TREAT STUDIOS based on my Toxictoons characters but I would love to see more stuff out in the market. I do my own Halloween merchandise that I sell in September and October on my website, with merch such as my annual Trick or Treat bag specials that sells out every year--shirts, prints, and other goodies. I also would love to see an animated Toxictoons Halloween special. For now I enjoy just doing what I do every month: making new creepy shirts, art books, stickers, prints and other spooky merchandise.

    CC: What's your favorite horror movie of this decade so far?

    EP: Wow--after 2010, hmm.... I enjoyed Trick or Treat but that might have been before this date [Editor's Note: Yep, released in 2009]. Honestly that's the last one I really enjoyed that I  can think of.

    CC: Having worked for Disney how hard was it for you while working for them to keep from drawing cobwebs and adding monsters into the mix? And what was the experience like working there?

    EP: While I was at Disney I wasn't quite drawing what you all recognize me for now. I did have some spooky monster art but I was drawing more Ren & Stimpy and MAD style stuff, which can be seen in my first Toxictoons book. Working for Disney was a lot of fun and we got paid very well. When I got laid off with all my fellow 2-D artists in 2002, after the industry decided film goers only wanted to see CG animated films, I took my savings and started really pushing Toxictoons. 

    While working at Disney, I usually worked on the villains or their sidekicks on films like Lion King, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid and lots more. The best part was the great health insurance, and we got a silver pass so we could go to Disneyland free anytime! As a kid I loved Disney and Disneyland and I remember when I was young, a friend's Dad worked for them and we got to check out the original Herbie the Love Bug at the Disney Studios. We had pizza, then headed to George Barris's shop and saw the Batmobile, the Munsters coach and other cool hot rods from films. While at the Disney Studios it felt amazing to be walking around knowing that's where they made all those great films that I had grown up watching! Fast forward 13 years and there I was, working for them, which was pretty surreal.

    CC: Is there a character that you've created that you identify with the most and why?

    EP: Well--I love drawing Frankenstein's monster and sexy vamps a lot. I'm thinking that maybe they remind me of myself and my "bootiful"wife, Denise. 

    CC:  Tell us the most memorable horror movie you watched growing up and why we should all see it.

    EP: I remember being freaked out by Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things as a teenager. It had cool old-school zombies and it's directed by Bob Clarke who directed my all-time favorite film, A Christmas Story. I met Bob Clarke at a Fangoria show I attended around  2006 /2007. I brought both DVDs for him to sign and told him I thought A Christmas Story was such a perfect movie. I told him I was an artist and showed him my work and talked about the possible remake of CSPWDT and that if he needed a new poster of the characters around the coffin that I would be more than willing to do it. He told me his son was also an artist also and introduced me to him. A few months later some drunk driver asshole killed them both. I keep these DVDs in a special place and get them out now and then to look at his signature.

    CC: Not many know that you had your very own encounter with death back in 2011 and laughed in the face of the Grim Reaper himself after surviving a heart attack. I'm personally glad to see you're back in operation. How have things been for you since then?

     EP: Yeah--I had my own brush with death Memorial Day weekend 2011. I wasn't feeling well and it turned out I was having a heart attack! The doctor who was putting my stents said that I  died for a short time while on the table after he was done with surgery, but I don't recall dying.  I did tell him I felt weird and sickly all of the sudden, then vaguely remember them running around in a panic to pump me with some fluids.  (Apparently you have to be awake during the whole procedure.) But the weirdest part was when the ENTs who came to drive me in an ambulance to another hospital 15 miles away looked at my paperwork and said, "Hey, I see your name is Eric Pigors--you wouldn't be Unkle Pigors, would you?" I acknowledged it was indeed me and he says, "We have a celebrity on board!" He starts telling me he has bought my shirts and prints and described my art to the driver. It was really comforting since I was scared shitless about what might happen once I got there. So the procedure was done and I now have two stents implanted. I live with a bit of anxiety each day but realize it's normal and am getting better at not being so scared about it.

    CC: Please help settle an ongoing conflict in the horror community: Count Chocula or Frankenberry? And, go---

    EP: Man I love those characters! I'm surprised no one ever did an animated special or series with them. They bring back such fond memories of being a kid, which a lot of my fans say my art does for them. I prefer Frankenberry the character but Count Chocula's cereal. But since the doctor said I have to change my diet, now I just buy the box and stare at the art every Halloween. Maybe I should pour some in the trick or treaters bags at my Spookhouse next Halloween? HAHAHAHA! 

    CC: How can fans help with the cause to keep Toxictoons' gory goodness going?

    EP: If your readers want to see more of my art or even BUY some of my merchandise, they can just head over to Toxictoons. And don't be frightened. I won't bite--much.  Bwohahahahaha!

    Clearly Unkle Pigors just cannot be stopped! And we hope he never is. Many thanks go out to Unkle Pigors for the zomBeriffic swag we'll be dishing out to those lucky enough to catch the eye of the Captain and her crew for their most ghoulriffic get-up. You can also check out his creeptastic Monsterpieces App over HERE.  Just be sure to tell him the Captain sent ya.

    So keep your peepers glued to this blog for more spotlights on our special guests, performers, vendors, artists and venues, as we march onward to the next Village Invasion on October 19 in sauGHOULties, New York ! Viva la Zombie, Kittens!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Grave Matters - Village Invasion IV Updates & Other Rantings from the Captain

Greetings to all you zomBeriffic kittens!

  • Seems just like yesterday that I was preparing the Z horde for the third installment of zombie hijinks in the Village of Saugerties in glorious old Upstate New York, and now here we are. So much has happened in just four years! The deathly crew is planning on some gorrificly good times, and we hope that you--yes you, kitten--will do your part in helping spreading the infecti... I mean word, about this year's Village Invasion IV! Along with all the planning and zomBification process the Village of SauGHOULties will be undertaking, I'd also like to discuss some extra brainy goodness and some not-so-goodness too. So pull your zombie selves together and enjoy the ride.
  • So I'm sure, unless you're still freshly buried and have literally been living under a rock, you have seen the trailers for World War Z. Now if you know who I am and know my stance in the "Fast zombie vs. Slow zombie" never-ending debate, you'd know I'm a devout "fast zombie" champion. HOWEVER, in no way ever was I a fan of zombies can outrun a vehicle and literally form an undead bridge of zombies to climb walls and chase down helicopters and airplanes. While I really enjoyed the book, forgive me for saying this, but I'm not going to see this in a theater. However, I do expect a full report, kittens. I'm counting on it to be just as bad as I think it is.
  • One movie I did drag my carcass to was the remake of Evil Dead, which in my humble zombie Captain opinion was probably one of the goriest movies I've ever seen--and I've seen a lot of 'em. Now I know some thought it was lacking as the storyline didn't have an Ash character, and some thought the plot wasn't solid enough. I say hogwash--go see it if you adore scene after scene of gratuitous gore paired with great scares and an interesting twist to a seriously epic classic.
  • Bedlam at the Bijou at the historic Bijou Theatre in the up-and-coming artist mecca of downtown Bridgeport has been bringing screams, thrills and even some interesting talks about all things horror, thanks to Brian Solomon of the blog The Vault of Horror and his creeptastic double features. It's typically held on the third Thursday of every month starting at 7pm for a mere $10. And did I mention that there's a full bar AND you can order pizza directly from famed Two Boots Pizza right next door and have it delivered right to your table? I'm still working on the fried brains topping--give it time. So if you haven't come out, you must. That's an order! The next event happens on June 20!
  • So some of you might have read my status over the past few months and seen that I was contacted by a television network to be a possible host for a new television series based on ghost hunting and criminal investigating. Well--it's true! I was and while I wait for the news on whether or not I've got the job, it's still pretty zomBtastic to have even been thought of for the gig.  I'll keep my rotten fingers crossed and keep all you kittens in the know. Zombie Captain of the undead today, Zombie Captain of the undead and television host tomorrow. 
  • Village Invasion IV-'s happening. Save the date-OCTOBER 19TH! Last year was such a gigantic success that we've rolled up our sleeves and are planning an even better event than last year! Be prepared for more music, more vendors, more activities, prizes, collectible event T-shirts, as well as amazing offers concocted by the restaurants and merchants in the Village of sauGHOULties, New York! I'll be rolling out new information as time goes on, so keep your peepers peeled for more gorrific details and head on over to the Village Invasion site, my very own Facebook page, The Village Invasion FB page and also on Twitter! You don't want to miss the most ghoulriffic event on the East Coast this October! 

  • Myself and the venerable horror blogger Brian Solomon from the Vault of Horror have recently caught BBC America's zombie mini series In the Flesh. Some have compared it to the zom-rom-com Warm Bodies, but I personally think it has a much more serious tone. I find that it's  interesting to use the lead character's undead status as a metaphor for mental illness. The character ends his own life then finds himself resurrected back into a town that rejected him and his former gay lifestyle, more of an outcast than he ever was before, then is forced to come back to a family that's in denial about his "Partially Deceased Syndrome". I'm excited to see the rest of this series in the next few days ( thank you DVR!), and am interested to hear what the rest of the ghouligang has to say about this as well.
I'll be blogging more often as the time marches forward to the Village Invasion this October 19 with the details of the possible indie film festival, the overall theme for the day, the specials, the vendors and more! If you're interested in being a part of the zombie madness contact me, Captain Cruella at See you there, kittens and until then--stay scary!