Thursday, March 21, 2013

Paint it black! And then add bunch of Day- Glo colors!


By - Steve Mezo

Continuing from my visit to Monster Mini Golf I want to give a shout out to my friend Douglas "The Fortress" Cobb.
Doug in one of his hand made leather mask.

Douglas is a professional mask maker, costumer and haunt set builder. I have known him and his wife Christina (She is such a sweetheart) for years and have never been not impressed with his work.

Now I know you're saying "Well if you like them so much why are you only talking about his work now?!" 

The simple answer is Doug is a very private person and I respect that, but after much begging and pleading he's letting me talk about his work (Just as long as I only show him in costume). 

I'm sure you've seen this picture of me a million times. 
This was the second custom leather mask created for me my Doug. I love using these because they are easy to wear and clean up great with a little anti bacterial soap after a gig. 
The first custom mask I had made by Doug was way back in 2001. I really liked the original Scarecrow that Doug had created, but I wanted a slightly more Jack - O- Lantern look to it. 


Then when Christmas Season Started I had to have a mask for my Krampus Claws character.

Doug had quite a few designs and I wish I still had the photos from his original mask and prop site when the Haunt Industry business was still in it's prime. But one of my favorites that I was able to find a picture of is a leather sleeve that fit over the chain guide of chainsaws and gave the illusion that it was live. 

This one is painted to work with a black light haunt.
Normally Doug paints them black with silver highlights, Doug had painted mine with the realistic finish and customers complained that I was keeping the chain on the chain guide.

But I was able to get some pictures of Doug's set building and dressing for "The Big Top of Terror"



 "And his work for Scary Central"

I still think it's wild how dressing a haunt set is so much different than dressing a horror movie set. When I was working with Hollowgraves Haunted Manor I went about detailing the rooms to make it look more like people really lived there at one time. But I learned a hard and expensive lesson fast.  
The Hollowgraves Haunted Manor Dining Rom when it was still a actor jump scare. 
Now it's been redesigned and redecorated for the new fright.   

When people are watching a horror movie they are sitting in one spot and taking everything in with their eyes. So the more detail that's added to the surroundings the better. 

But with a haunt they're trying to take everything in at once. So in their controlled panic they miss allot of it. Or they would just trash anything within reach. That's when I really got an appreciation for haunt set builders and dressers

When people like Doug create sets they know that they only have seconds to give the audience a show. So everything has to be as simple but stand out as possible. Allot of it may come across as (anybody can do that). But you have to be that good of an artist to make it look that easy, and Doug is.

Then Doug had to really top himself and send me this!

This has to be one of the coolest things I have received in the mail ever!

Thank you Doug!!!


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Playing 18 Holes at Monster Mini Golf!

By - Steve Mezo

I have loved Monsters, Mini Golf and Black Light posters since the better part of forever and when you add all three together




You get this! 

This picture was taken by me at Andrew and Darlene Kiss's Monster Mini Golf Course in Marlboro New Jersey.

Now before I tell you about the great time my wife and I had there, let me tell you about the history of the Monster Mini Golf Franchise.

While doing research for my article I had found out that it was the idea of
 Christina Vitagliano. 

Christina was a Director of Marketing for a multi level entertainment complex and decided to leave that to open a Antiques Auctioning House. After doing that for a while she had found that to be a stressful business as well (I can imagine for quite a few reasons stemming from Television shows and the internet turning everyone into Antique experts).

Then one night (As the legend goes) she had the idea for an indoor mini golf course that would have a haunted attraction flair to it. And with the help of her husband Patrick (Who is a professional light and sound man for Broadway shows and Concerts) they were able to convert the auction house into the first Monster Mini Golf location within five months building everything themselves. And then within a year turned it into a franchise

And if you go to their main website you can find all of their present and future locations. There's even a KISS themed Monster Mini Golf in Las Vegas. There's some tie in standards for each Mini Monster Golf Location, but the props, color schemes and layouts vary. 

When my wife and I walked in we were greeted by the Manager Matt Steel. He was really cool and nice enough to answer all of my questions about Monster Mini Golf and letting me take pictures as my wife and I played the course. 

I couldn't get over how affordable it was, and how Christina was
able to make the design and decor where it's really fun for all ages.  

Another favorite was "The Spinner" 
where you have to make your putt the way it tells you.

Some spots work for you.

(Ace up your sleeve)
You can take a zero on that hole and better your score.

(Bowling Putt)
You do a underhand roll with the ball towards the hole.

And allot work against you... 

(Blind Putt)
You have to make the putt with your eyes closed.

(Topsy Turvy) 
You have to make your first putt with the putters handle.

(Behind The Back)
Your first putt has to be made holding the putter behind you.

And the dreaded 
(Extra Obstacle)  
Your opponent gets to stand anywhere they want on the fairway  
as an extra obstacle. But if you're playing with a group you can pick who it is. 

Then there's the Frankenstein's Lab target
There's a ramp to the right of the lab where you have to get the ball to hit the base of the yellow power box to the right. If you hit the target it activates Frankenstein's monster and he rises from the electrified slab. If you don't reach the target it rolls back into the ramp and shoots out to where you wind up adding to your putt count. There aren't any pars for the holes, but you want to get through with as few putts as possible. When you complete the game at Glo-Zo The Clowns head you add up your score and see which level you reached. The levels range from one through four and we were three... But that was only our first time through and since we love Mini Golf and had allot of fun there we'll be aiming for level one!!!

And Monster Mini Golf has a game room with video games,
 Glow Air Hockey (another favorite of ours)
 and our other addiction Skee Ball  
 We both scored 16000 to show these Skee Ball machines we are just that skilled!

And there are two haunted event/party rooms for any occasion.

Check out The Marlboro Monster Mini Golf's Page with the link below to get information on prices, hours, contest and events.

And when you are there make sure to tell them
you saw it here on my site.