This past weekend, Jen and I got a visit from my two best friends that i've met through this whole writing about horror movies thing, Kristy Jett and Zach Shildwachter - Kristy is of course known for her work with Fright Rags, The Blood Sprayer and the upcoming Popcorn DVD & Blu-ray release while Zach is the braaaaaaaiiiins behind the blog Z For Zombies. Needless to say, it was a pretty damn epic weekend that i'm still mourning the loss of. Here's a little recap of the things we did when we weren't busy chugging down the as of last week banned in New York alcohol/energy mega drink known as Four Loko, something we spent an unhealthy portion of our weekend doing!
Right after we picked them up from the train station, Jen and I introduced Zach and Kristy to one of our favorite places to eat on the island, the monster themed Frank-N-Burger. The place has gotten even cooler since our first visit there earlier this year, and the food is just as messy and good as ever. This is pretty much the only thing we did during the weekend that I had actually planned out, being that I knew Zach and Kristy would dig the place. Ya just can't beat the combination of monsters and burgers and I highly recommend you hit this place up if you should ever find your way onto Long Island.
Our bellies more than full, I pitched the idea to Zach and Kristy of checking out the infamous Amityville house, being that it's only about 30 minutes away from Frank-N-Burger, an idea which both of them ate up as quickly as they devoured their monster burgers. Jen and I visited the house a while back, but only drove past a few times. As the above photo suggests, this time we decided to actually get out of the car and snap a few photos in front of the house, a decision mostly based on the fact that it now appears to be owned by a construction company of sorts, rather than by a family who would probably prefer it if we didn't take pictures in front of their house. Though the house has changed a bit, it's still instantly recognizable and it was pretty damn cool to be so up close and personal with such an infamous location. As Kristy kept pointing out while we were taking cheerful pictures of ourselves in front of it, "people have died in there!". Morbid, yes, but I bet you'd do the same!
Once again on a proximity based whim, we then paid a visit to the abandonded Pilgrim State Psychiatric Center, a notoriously haunted former nut house. Our plan was to just kinda drive by the place and maybe get out and walk around the perimeter, but we ended up entering the uber creepy building and spending a good hour and a half in there after we found a main access door ajar. It started out being really creepy but ended up becoming totally fascinating after a while, as we walked from room to room and even floor to floor on the hunt for anything odd and unusual, two things we found plenty of - perhaps oddest of all was a Beer Pong room ; table, cups and all! Zach had his camera on him and he took some really awesome pictures inside the place, a few of which I posted below to give you an idea of what the place looks like today.
Definitely a spooky adventure, but one that became the highlight of our weekend. I'd always wanted to step inside those hallowed walls but didn't think we'd have any way of getting in and it was pretty amazing that the four of us just walked right up to the place and went inside, totally unplanned.
In addition to a rusted silver food tray that Jen for whatever reason needed to bring back home with us, we also walked out with two unlabeled VHS tapes that we couldn't wait to get back to the house and view. Thinking we were in store for some Ring type shit or crazy asylum sex videos, we were pretty humored to find Anaconda and a New Jersey gospel concert on the respective tapes. Not what we expected or hoped for, but the thought of a bunch of nuts sitting around watching J-Lo fight a big snake is pretty funny, is it not?
Fresh out of bizarre and notorious places to hit up in the area, we finally headed home to get settled in and show Zach and Kristy around our new place. At this point Kristy bestowed upon us our Christmas gifts, Freddy Krueger and Sam dolls that her friend Laurie made. Laurie's company is called Knit Terrors and though the site isn't up yet, you can check out and purchase the dolls over on the Knit Terrors Facebook page.
She also gave me this Hatchet 2 poster that she had Adam Green sign for me at the Rock and Shock convention a couple months back, which she told me about but I hadn't seen until this moment. How fuckin' cool is that?! Without a doubt one of my most prized possessions.
That night we just hung around the house, played some drinking games, drank a whole lot and then passed out ... but not before Zach drunkenly tattooed John Waters on my arm and Jeffrey Combs on Kristy's. It's just how we roll.
On Saturday I whipped up a tasty little breakfast for everyone and then we mostly layed low for the day, watching a couple short films Zach and Kristy brought over and shooting the shit until it was time to drink again. Zach brought over a short called Night of the Punks and Kristy brought over her friend Ryan Lieske's 30 minute flick Clean Break, a tale of redemption and artistic integrity about a writer who just so happens to be a skeleton. Both were entertaining in their own ways and though I didn't care much for Clean Break when we drunkenly watched it the night prior, my sober self found it to be a sweet little tale. Will definitely keep you guys posted if that one ever becomes available to watch online.
We also watched Popcorn, the film Kristy is currently at work on creating a super special feature packed DVD re-release of. I had never seen it before and I now totally see why Kristy and so many others are so in love with it, as it's a hell of a fun and whacky film that is tailor made for hardcore fans of horror movies. Check it out if ya haven't yet and be on the lookout for the new DVD/Blu-ray late next year, the progress of which you can follow on Kristy's production blog.
After Zach showed off his no budget makeup FX skills (who knew chips and toilet paper could turn one into a zombie!), he showed off his cooking prowess by making us heaping plates of his award winning chicken wings, topped in two varieties of homemade sauces. My god were they good.
We quickly gobbled up both plates and then joined up with Freddy In Space's own Jesse Bartel to do some ghost hunting at nearby Potters Field, the haunted former graveyard that led to Jen and I getting featured in the new book Long Island's Most Haunted Cemeteries.
Being that it was so bitter cold out, we didn't stay long, nor did we capture any ghostly visages aside from the usual orbs, but ghost hunting is always fun nonetheless, even if a little graveyard seemed lame in comparison to the day priors visit to an abandonded psych ward.
Another night of drinking and drinking games ended in Zach whipping up some drunken tattooes, this time on the chests of both Kristy and Jesse, shameless promotions for Freddy In Space and Z For Zombies. Even wasted on Four Loko, Zach's artistic talents shined through!
Sunday was the final day of our adventure and the plan was to head into the city, meet up with Fright Rags artist Jeff Zornow, eat at Jekyll and Hyde and then drop Kristy off with Zornow and Zach off at his house, all tasks we ended up accomplishing. We met Zornow at Forbidden Planet, which is pretty much the coolest store ever, one that I had somehow never stepped foot into before. It's truly a geek's heaven, chock full of comic books, action figures and even a few Fright Rags t-shirts!
For dinner we went to Jekyll and Hyde, which neither Kristy, Zach nor myself had ever been to. It's as if they plopped a restaurant right into the middle of the world's biggest haunted house and it's a hell of a fun experience, with people in costumes coming up and talking to you while you eat, classic horror movies playing on the TV's and all kinds of spectacles going on in all corners of the building. You're really paying for the experience (and an almost $3 fee is even added to each customers bill for the experience portion) but I gotta say, the food is pretty damn good too, even if the burgers go for around 20 bucks a piece. The whole restaurant is a real sight to behold, with cool shit crammed into every square inch of the building, and eating there is definitely something i'd suggest every horror fan add to their bucket list. Jen ended up not making it into the city with us on Sunday, which kinda bummed me out to not be able to experience it with her, but like I told Zach, it just means i'll get to go back to the city real soon to show her what she missed out on.
And that about wraps up the weekend. I was nervous for several weeks prior to the weekend, afraid that we'd bore our guests and have nothing to do, but i'd say we pulled off a pretty damn epic few days, managing to hit up pretty much all the major horror themed touristy areas in the area and have ourselves one hell of a fun weekend. Zach and Kristy, I love you both and I can't wait to do it again real soon!