Written by Jonathan Wojcik
Things From Gore Galore!
Gore-Galore is a haunted house supplier like no other, best known for producing the biggest, most extravagant professionally made monster costumes that a few thousand dollars can buy. Would it really be that easy to choose between one of these and a new car? Sure, trips to the store would be several times slower, more exhausting and you might die of heat stroke, but all the spinning rims in the world couldn't possibly impress the ladies like a seven foot fake lobster in a cloak. The following are just a few of my favorites, besides of course "crustacean" here.
I'm a little picky when it comes to Frankenstein's Monster. As much as I respect the unique and iconic look popularized by Boris Karloff, the endless carbon copies of it are largely tiresome and forgettable. This lumbering beast, however, manages to scream "I am some version of Frankenstein's Monster" without actually cribbing anything from Universal. He doesn't even have the flat scalp, and you can still pretty easily guess what inspired him at a glance. The huge deisel truck exhaust pipe is probably my favorite part, that's just adorable. Does he actually run on deisel? His demo video is accompanied by electrical sound effects. I'm glad I'm not the only one who realizes the efficiency of a hybrid engine in a patchwork corpse. The video also shows off his surprisingly long neck, like some sort of big turtle-man made of dead people and car parts, like any proper, traditional turtle-man.
Gas Mask Maniac
An ugly giant in a gas mask is a highly nonspecific but interesting monster, with kind of a post-apocalyptic or military experiment vibe, or one of those big things that relentlessly pursue you through a survival horror. It's a pretty neat gas mask, too, with its round, eerily green and luminous-looking goggles. Something about it also reminds me of Monster Party, I guess because a number of Monster Party bosses were also just giant-sized people in funny outfits.
Is that a Simpsons reference? Now I'm forced to hear "Cletis" with the same voice as "Cletus," not that I'd want it any other way. Cletis is described by Gore-Galore as an "oversized inbred hillbilly butcher." I like how "inbred hillbillies" are still something people can frequently get away with portraying as terrifying, mutant monsters, and I really mean that. It's hilarious, and depending on your experiences here in America it can hit close to home in an effectively terrifying way.
"Mantigma" is a monster with a cow skull for a head and what Gore Galore outright calls "mantis-style claws." That's honestly a pretty weird and original combination. There's no telling what the hell Mantigma actually is or where it might come from. Said "mantis" claws seem to still be derived from vertebrate fingers and nails, albeit fused together and seemingly skinless. Maybe whatever it is, it's just wearing a cow skull, along with the animal pelts and rags. Some alien, unnatural thing from an irradiated desert, cloaking itself in the rotten remains of its prey, reminding me of my few positive experiences in public school.
Caustic the Clown
I'm usually not that big on "evil" looking, fanged monster clowns, but there's enough disturbing weirdness to make this one stand out from the crowd. As implied by his name, he kind of looks like he was burned and malformed by toxic chemicals at some point. The far-too-large and pockmarked nose is quite grotesque, and I really like the effect of having the one "dead" eyeball, as oppossed to the two or more dead eyeballs of regular clowns.
I'm not as big a fan of Cthulhu as people probably expect me to be, but I really like this costume, probably because it looks a lot more like a Mind Flayer or "Illithid" from Dungeons and Dragons, with interesting and inventive facial tentacles. I always enjoy tentacle-faced creatures with one central "trunk," like a weirdo elephant, and this one gets a fork-tipped trunk flanked by pinkish, grasping whips. Definitely a little more than just another guy with an octopus for a head.
This is a brand new 2013 item, and it's nice to see these guys branching out more from their usual humanoids. "Mollusk" is an aptly named, multi-purpose horror, just a limbless, nondescript chitinous lump with a huge, slimy alien maw. The video shows off how mobile it really is with an actor inside, and that there are cute, beady little black eyes on the outside of the jaws. There's something I find especially cool about the purple sucker where its "throat" should be; not like something that could swallow you, but something that could drench you in digestive enzymes while you're gripped in its myriad teeth, like a Venus Fly Trap, or a manatee. Best of all, it's not alone!
Mollusk is joined this year by an even more unearthly counterpart, and it's honestly difficult for me to pick which one I love more. I've always been a big fan of monstrous bivalves, though the "Unnameable" is probably the more outrageous of the two. The gnarled, pinkish purple inner flesh is beautiful, the supporting "vertebrae" are a fascinating touch and it appears to have one huge, shiny black eye on just one side of its maw, with some additional little light-up ocelli! It looks quite attractive in motion, though less mobile than the smaller Mollusk. Either one could work equally well as a carnivorous plant, sea monster, atomic mutation, genetic experiment, cosmic abomination, infernal hellspawn, extraterrestrial visitor or, with a propeller and the correct application of party balloons, your typical ice cream man.