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Horror Cosplay: Plague Doctor

plague-doctor-2GT: Tell us about yourself!

Robby: I’ve been a fan of Halloween and dressing in costume as long as I can remember. I use to break into my mom’s makeup and make myself up as a kitty when I was a kid . . . she didn’t appreciate that much. But I really become serious about costuming after planning a pirate event at UCF back in 2011. Being a planner for this event made my creativity skyrocket and I figured out that I was a lot craftier than I had thought, and also how much fun you can have as an adult in costume.

GT: We love creative costumes, and your Plague Doctor is amazing. How’d you come up with the idea?plague-doctor-3 And can you tell us a little bit about the history behind it?

Robby: Thank you! I have to say the Plague Doctor is one of my all-time favorite costumes. I have always admired the creepiness that the plague doctors had and the history is fascinatingly morbid. So the idea had been brewing a while, and once I felt my skills were up to the challenge I started putting together the concept. It was at this point that I invited my amazing costumer friend Boris Mzhen to join me in the group. Everything kind of fell into place after that. As far as the actual history of the plague doctor, it began during the times of the Black Death and was actually created in the 17th century. Physicians of the time needed a way to protect themselves from the bubonic plague that was killing most of Europe. It was at this time that they came up with a sort of bio hazard suit of sorts. This consisted of a canvas outer garment coated in wax, as well as waxed leather pants, gloves, boots, hat, and the infamous beaked mask. The purpose of the beaked mask was to filter the plagued air through camphor, floral concoctions, mint, cloves, myrrh and basically anything that smelled nice and strong.

Q: Okay we have to know. That mask. How is it made?

Robby: When I set out to build my mask I had no idea how to go about it. Interestingly enough all 4 masks in our group were made in a different way. Mine (plague mad scientist) began as a piece of vinyl that I used to make a template since it’s flexible. I then used the template and cut craft foam pieces that subsequently were covered in Worbla. Once covered in Worbla I made it smooth with Gesso and sanding. After it was smooth to my liking I gave the mask a shoe polish coating (this is what made it look like leather) and added the last few paint details after that. Even the leather head straps were hand made on this piece. Voila.plague-doctor

GT: What other horror costumes do you have up your sleeves or have you done in the past?

Robby: I have an affinity for witches, so I have done many different variations of witches, witch doctors, as well as vampires. I’m a fan of classic monsters as well. So for the future I would love to turn my whole family into werewolves! As far as immediate plans I am indeed working on a costume that I’m hoping will be epic for this year’s Spooky Empire Ultimate Halloween Weekend! It will be a variation of Kato the Greek Goddess of Sea Monsters. This costume consists of a mask which I am making out of Worbla (I’m sure you can see I’m a fan of this medium) as well as a Charybdis type mouth that will go on my abdomen and other details that I’m currently working on.sea-witch-costume

GT: And because it’s important, what is your favorite horror movie, and why.

Robby: My favorite Horror Movie (Franchise) has to be Nightmare on Elm Street. Why? Because Freddy Krueger is a bad ass haha I love how out of all the “slasher’s” he has a voice and a personality. But mostly because the concept of having a monster invade your dreams is scary. Dreams are supposed to be a personal private space out of all the places in your daily routines, and for someone to come and violate that is an unnerving feeling.

GT: If our readers would like to find out more about you and you work, wheres the best place to find you?

Robby: Instagram: @ladyrobintime


Horror Comedy (For the Faint of Heart)

Gores Truly is femme-driven but certainly not man-hating. Occasionally, we want to give our readers a chance to contribute to the horror-fest that we all adore – including those wielding the Y-Chromosome. The following article has been Murder-Her approved. Watch out! It’s an Invasion of the Y-Chromosome!

Horror Comedy (For the Faint of Heart)

Written by Spencer Blohm

One of the wildest new TV series of the fall season, FOX’s Scream Queens, is said to be the first horror-comedy TV show to hit mainstream audiences. Teens and adults alike flock to the tension and creepiness of stalked sorority girls but can still laugh at the wacky horror tropes turned on their heads. Though Scream Queens may be new for at-home viewing, horror and comedy have worked hand-in-hand for the past few decades in classic films that keep us laughing, grossed out, and totally entertained.

scream-queens-taylor-swiftHorror comedy came onto the scene with a bang in the 1980’s. While studios were putting big bucks into expensive horror films, up and coming filmmakers were gathering up their friends, heading to a remote location, and letting all hell break loose. In the late 70’s, college student Sam Raimi got childhood friends Bruce Campbell and Ellen Sandweiss to star in his short film Within the Woods, which eventually garnered a larger budget remake becoming The Evil Dead (1981). Many horror fans agree that The Evil Dead (now on Hulu) is one of the goriest horror films ever made, with buckets of fake blood, pus, and wounds, but not only is it shocking, it’s hilarious. The actors genuinely seem to have fun hanging out with one another and Raimi doesn’t shy away from ridiculous one-liners and humorous elements in the plot of the film and its sequels.

In the early 90’s, horror-comedy took an even gorier turn with Braindead, titled Dead Alive in the US and Canada. This gonzo film featured faces ripped apart, skin sliding from bone, and an infamous scene involving a lawnmower used as a battering ram against a horde of zombies. Though the horror-comedy became a cult classic for its sheer craziness, it gained attention about ten years later when its then little-known director, Peter Jackson, went on to direct the acclaimed Lord of the Rings trilogy. This shows how much fun a horror-comedy can be to create – it isn’t just for college kids, it’s for serious directors looking to have some fun with their craft.

shaun-of-the-deadIn the 90’s and 2000’s, horror-comedy’s biggest strength was in its self-awareness. Kids were no longer entertained by the same cheap scares and formulaic thrills. They wanted something newer and smarter. Wes Craven’s Scream (streaming info here) was so successful with younger audiences because it featured characters who knew all about horror and tried to outwit the people wanting to kill them by taunting and teasing their tormentors. This is also true for Shaun of the Dead (2004), which took all the goofy tropes from zombie films and allowed its fumbling main characters to poke fun of their situation.

The epitome of a horror comedy feature is currently Joss Whedon’s The Cabin in the Woods, which deftly blends self-awareness and fantastical gore from all the most-loved horror comedies that came before it. These films are made for the true horror fan – the fan who has seen it all and now wants to have some fun with it.

While Scream Queens may be the most popular blend of violence and jokes at the moment, there are still plenty more where that came from, and better things to come. Cooties is another comedic take on a rampaging zombie virus and horror superstar Rob Zombie is teaming with Mila Kunis for Trapped, another horror-comedy TV show about a violent home invasion. As long as filmmakers can keep this genre fresh, horror comedies around the world will continue to satisfy viewers.


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Trailer: The Forest

When Sara (Natalie Dormer) goes looking for her sister in the forest – and area where people travel to end their own lives, she discovers there are things more terrifying in life than the thought of losing the ones you love.

Starring: Natalie Dormer, Taylor Kinney, Tukiyoshi Ozawa, Eoin Macken, Rina Takasaki

Directed by: Jason Zada

Written by: Nick Antosca, Sarah Cornwell

Our thoughts: The premise of the film alone is enough to make us uncomfortable and then the trailer happened. The Forest looks like it’s going to be quite terrifying, if not a little sad. We have high hopes for it however, because it is based upon Aokigahara, a Japanese wooded area truly known as the Suicide Forest. So while the story may not be real, the location is very much a real thing and there’s nothing scarier than the truth.