Make horrid scars and gashes.

9.24.2021

BLOOD BATH - TALES OF EERIE PUBLICATIONS (ANIMATED HORROR COMIC, 2021)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE! 

BLOGGER RISES FROM GRAVE AND CREATES AN UNLIKELY POST ON A SITE YOU HAD FORGOTTEN ABOUT! 

And what IS said post about? Why, naturally it's about:

A horrifying tale of an LSD trip where reality and dreams melt into a nightmare of gruesome terror!

WARNING: This is a real shocker that will curdle the core of your bloody nerve centers and leave you limp! Is this trip necessary? Hey, don’t push me!

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Were the hallucinations and dismemberments your favorite parts of Euripides’ “The Bacche”?

Did you lament the lack of Dragnet-inspired anti-LSD moralism and mayhem in your Saturday morning cartoon lineup as a child?

Well, then! This animated version of the ab-surd-ly gruesome and clas-sick Eerie Publications tale BLOOD BATH may be just what you’ve been waiting for!

YOU’LL GET:

• Insane ghoul narration by Howie Pyro!

• Original Psychedelic Acid Rock by Matt Rendon!

• Creepy, trippy, hippie giggling by Lisa Petrucci!

• Ghoulish atmospheric score by Alex Cuervo!

Giovanni Dominice channeling the ghost of Ted Knight!

• Original art by Chic Stone!

• Some v-e-r-y bad decisions from Mike Howlett and Jared R. McKinley!

• Authoritative voice work by Ravin Wong!

That’s right! 8 1/2 isn’t just everybody’s favorite Fellini film, it’s also the number of minutes that you’ll never get back when you watch this short!

Stay off the drugs, kids.

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BACKSTORY:

Elevator pitch: “A lowbrow horror comics anthology show, but done in the style of a limited animation Saturday morning cartoon from the late ’60’s/ early ’70’s.”

I mean, who wouldn’t want to watch that, right? And what better story to kick things off with than Chic Stone’s infamous, warped, and entirely-too-gory BLOOD BATH?

That’s right, BLOOD BATH! The Eerie Publications time-capsule classic that fairly freaked me out when I stumbled upon it as a kid, and which STILL feels over the-the-top in both its grisly execution and ham-fisted bluntness. I mean honestly, exactly how was this stuff just being freely sold to kids at the local supermarket for only 35 cents a pop?

Vibe-wise my goal was to make this thing feel like something that could have existed back at the time of the story’s publication, but also the way a cartoon might look if someone had seen it as a little kid and was trying to describe the memory 50 years later. Like, just way more over the top and absurd thanks to the passing of time and the vagaries of faulty remembrance (and if I ever tried to describe “Lidsville” to you back in the mid-1980’s you might be able to relate.)

And as always, one of my top visual reference points for this animation style comes from the 1966 Grantray-Lawrence “Marvel Super Heroes” cartoons, but this time with more than a pinch of sub-sub-Filmation/ Hanna-Barbera jive around the edges. Well, that and copping as many trippy effects as I could from just about every period film that you might imagine. MANTIS IN LACE, ACID EATERS, THE TRIP, I DRINK YOUR BLOOD — you know, the classics!

AND THEN THERE’S THE AUDIO:

Talk about a dream team of weirdos, stars and superstars!

First off you’re gonna hear the always-excellent Giovanni Dominice channeling the essence of Ted Knight’s introduction work for Filmation without dipping into pure imitation. Perfect job, Gio! Chef’s kiss!

Then, longstanding Eerie Publications champion and all-around-ghoul-about-town Howie Pyro steps up with the horror host narration of my dreams. This creep sounds like he lives in a sewer under a graveyard in Upper Manhattan! I mean, I trusted that Howie would kill it but he obviously just knocked this out of the park. Maybe it helps that he also stumbled upon BLOOD BATH back in the 1970’s?  The scars of Eerie Publications run deep!

Likewise, weird plant enthusiast and entrepreneur extraordinaire Jared R. McKinley was 100% the right dude to bring Larry-the-acid-acolyte to life. Just listen to that sleazy enthusiasm! That supercilious salesmanship! Look, if you haven’t copped drugs from this guy, I’ll bet that you know somebody who has. “It’s REALLY an enlightening experience!”

And just who is Larry making his passionate and provocative pitch to? Why, none other than the Eerie Publications scholar/ historian/ crypt-keeper himself, Mike Howlett! When I asked Mike if he’d be willing to take on one of the roles here, he replied “I’d be thrilled to do Joe, the innocent turned into drug addled murderer. I feel I could do him justice.” AND BOY WAS JUSTICE SERVED! For a role that involves about 70% screaming, grunting, crying and whimpering, you still really feel for this guy. The poor hippie sap!

AND THE VOCAL HITS KEEP COMING with Lisa Petrucci’s pitch-perfect, creepy, trippy, hippie giggling guest spot! You already appreciate her work as the maven of Something Weird Video! You’ve already fallen in love with her kitchily brilliant art! Well, now you can add “LSD nightmare girl” to the list of reasons why Lisa deserves an endless array of lifetime achievement awards and probably her own fragrance. And hey! One of the first videos that I ever bought from Something Weird was MANTIS IN LACE — if you’ve ever seen it you’ll KnowWhatI’mTalkinAbout.

And finally: I reeeeeally wanted to pay tribute to the work-for-hire spirit of the Eerie Pubs somehow, so I decided that I ought to call in at least ONE pro-voice ringer here. Luckily for me, Ravin Wong was that guy, because he just completely nailed it. Non-ironically selling dialogue like, “Great Caesar’s Ghost!” isn’t exactly the easiest, but Ravin gave me a slew of different line readings and honestly any one of them would have worked. Totally recommended!

FINALLY, THE SOUNDTRACK:

Ahhh, man — I’m not even sure where to begin here. Initially I thought that I might be able to use a few library cues, or tap a couple of obscure psych instros which had fallen into the public domain — you know, something workmanlike and basic.

Enter Matt Rendon (Resonars, Butterscotch Cathedral, Freezing Hands, Lenguas Largas, Knockout Pills, Midtown Island Studio) who casually offered not only to pony up instrumental versions of a few choice tunes that he had already written, but to COMPOSE SOME ALL NEW MATERIAL specifically for the short! Freakin’ amazing! Given that my limited creative input consisted of me saying something like “I dunno, maybe you solo over some stuff like a psychedelic caveman?” I absolutely couldn’t have been more blown away with what he cooked up. Truly it was killing me to have to layer anything else on top of ‘em, so hopefully you’ll be able to hear these gems on their own at some point. Viva la Rendon!

And the f-i-n-a-l icing on the cake was the perfectly creepy and atmospheric score which Alex Cuervo (Espectrostatic, Eerie Family, Hex Dispensers) slid my way. If you haven’t checked his stuff out before you really should — he’s a powerhouse of genre composing and knows this stuff backwards and forwards. Kid, you’ve got the goods!

Whew! I think that about covers it. Given that this was basically one of those deals where I couldn’t shake the notion loose once it popped into my head, the results are just wayyyy better than I could reasonably have hoped for.

So, yeah! I hope you dig it too, and STAY COOL, MAN!

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CAST AND CREDITS:

EERIE GHOUL: Howie Pyro

LARRY: Jared R. McKinley

JOE: Mike Howlett

HIPPIE GIRL: Lisa Petrucci

POLICE OFFICER: Ravin Wong

CREDIT NARRATION: Giovanni Dominice

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PSYCHEDELIC + ACID ROCK: Matt Rendon

ADDITIONAL MUSIC: Alex Cuervo

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DIRECTION/EDITING/ANIMATION/SOUND DESIGN: Jason Willis

ORIGINAL ART: Chic Stone

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What's that you say? You'd also like A TINY BIT OF BACKGROUND ON THE ORIGINAL COMIC?:

Well, then!

Illustrated (and very likely written) by legendary comic artist Chic Stone, BLOOD BATH was first printed in the December 1969 issue of WEIRD.

However in typical Eerie Pubs fashion, the story was also reprinted a slew of other times over the years, presumably so as to scar as many impressionable young minds as possible (like mine!)

In fact, hey! Just for the record, here’s a list of alllll the appearances that BLOOD BATH made across the Eerie Pubs roster, as well as the various ways that they saw fit to describe it:

Weird v3, n5 (Dec 1969)

BLOOD BATH: An eerie tale that will curdle the core of your bloody nerve centers and leave you limp! Warning, this is a real “shocker”! Be “chicken” and never take a trip!

Tales from the Tomb v2, n4 (Aug 1970)

BLOOD-BATH: A bloody trip in the horror of worlds beyond. Is this trip necessary? Hey, don’t push me!

Horror Tales v4, n4 (June 1972)

BLOOD BATH: An eerie tale for blood thirsty fans that will curdle your spine.

Terror Tales v7, n4 (July 1976)

COVER BLURB: BLOOD BATH A horrifying tale of an LSD trip

BLOOD BATH: A horrifying tale of an LSD trip that will shock your nerve centers and leave you limp.

Weird v8, n4 (5) (Aug 1974)

COVER BLURB: The bizarre evil of BLOOD BATH

BLOOD BATH: A shocking journey of the impossible where reality and dreams melt into a nightmare of gruesome terror.

Terrors of Dracula v1, n4 (Aug 1979)

BLOODBATH: Venture into a chemical trip that freezes the nerve centers as hot blood cascades wildly in a state of bone chilling shock.

CLICK HERE to check it out over at Four Color Shadows!

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Still reading? 

Awesome! Then you'll totally wanna CLICK HERE FOR EVEN MORE INFO!

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Okay -- that's enough outta me, all of this rising-from-the-blogger-graveyard stuff has me exhausted. Thanks for tuning in everybody! Happy Halloween!

Jason


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4 Comments:

Blogger Erick said...

Awesome! It's not Halloween until we see something from Scar Stuff!

9/24/2021 8:04 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hooray!

9/27/2021 10:33 AM

 
Blogger PSMODERN said...

Dude - I’ve been checking your blog for YEARS! Welcome back and please keep posting awesome content. You’ve made my Halloween!!

10/05/2021 9:54 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jason... SStuff blog is checked every three months... hoping, waiting, yearning. And then this. It makes seven years seem like nothing. Thanks!

10/09/2021 10:53 AM

 

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