Frankenstein's Monster

Meet Frankenstein's Monster.

A big, lumbering, growling monstrosity brought forth to life through alchemy and the obsessions of a young scientist, Frankenstein's Monster is the perfect gothic marriage of science and horror. This unholy beast hewn from the underworld and plucked down into the land of the living is the stuff of nightmares but also a romantically tragic essay on life and what it means. The classic incarnation of the monster has been heavily influenced by Boris Karloff as he portrays him in the classic Universal Monsters series and up through the Scooby Doo cartoons and the 1960s sitcom The Munsters, to the cheap mask and plastic neck bolts you can find annually at any Halloween costume shop around the country; the monster has a clearly defined look that is all at once easily parodied, but also unbelievably unforgettable and timeless.

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - Leatherface

Meet Leatherface.

It's hard to forget the first time I saw The Texas Chain Saw Massacre... I was in college at the time so I was a little behind in seeing it, but it was one of those movies that carried a big reputation, much like The Exorcist, and you always knew about it even if you hadn't actually sat down and viewed it. So there I was at home on my Summer break and my mom was gone for the weekend so I thought why the hell not just pop the DVD in and finally give the film its due? Mind you this was the middle of the damn day in my mom's old sun-filled and cozy house, but from the minute that hideous "CRRRRRRREAK" sound effect of the camera flash plays over the grim narration I knew I was in for it! Couldn't sleep all night, kept hearing chainsaws buzzing in my head and picturing that scene where one of the teenage male leads is searching around the house at the foot of the stairs when suddenly that hulking monstrosity throws open the metallic sliding doors to his own private murder palace and drags the poor dummy inside kicking and screaming. That was my introduction to the very violent world of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and it is everything I wanted it to be and more. Cult classic, slasher film pioneer, instantly iconic, this low budget horror motion picture has it all. And here 15 years after I first saw the monstrous thing I decided to honor it with a reproduction of that main man himself, the man with a mask of human skin, the beast with the blade, the psycho butcher of Texas himself: Leatherface.

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House of a 1000 Corpses - Captain Spaulding

A lunatic, killer clown who runs a gas station, museum, and chicken restaurant? Yep that sounds just mighty fine to me! Hailing from the 2003 throwback horror film House of 1000 Corpses directed by the man of many talents, Rob Zombie, this insane but also tremendously chatty clown named Captain Spaulding steals the show. Portrayed by renowned character actor, Sid Haig, Spaulding is the spider that sets the trap for the unsuspecting young people crossing Texas who are just not bright enough to realize they have landed in his sinister web until it is way too late. But how damn cool is the Murder Ride in his Frankenstein's Monster of a store?! I'd ride it, that much I can assure you of. If this were a ride at the annual Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios then it'd be like "Here! Take all my moneys!" Because that is a ride I can get behind. Anyway this clown is funny and intense and despite his murderous behavior he still seems like a guy you could sit down and have a beer with at some crummy dive bar.

Donnie Darko - Donnie Darko & Frank the Bunny

Meet Donnie & Frank.

I think just about everyone I know had a profound, "life changing" experience when they first saw Donnie Darko in their younger years. It is that sort of movie that one comes across in the latter teenage days or early in college and it has that profound effect of expanding your consciousness. Even if it isn't truly all that deep it has the feeling of being a game changer for the way you think about the world. Donnie himself is a conflicted high school student who wonders about the meaning of life and what the point of everything is, much like all of us do at some point in our adolescence. Trouble with teachers, early romantic feelings, not feeling like you fit in at home with your family, Donnie's life is a mirror to all of us who grew up in America in the 80's and 90's. His hero's journey is a dark one, one rooted in the existence of multiple universes and apocalyptic visions facilitated by a spectral rabbit man named Frank who guides Donnie through this tangent universe where he must make the ultimate sacrifice to save the lives of those he loves and keep the primary universe from collapsing in on itself. He is the ultimate hero; one willing to sacrifice himself but also one who reminds us so much of ourselves and the experiences we too have shared in life.

Frank is one of the scariest things ever put to film! If I had random night time encounters with a 6 foot tall rabbit-man who spoke with a really spooky voice and told me about the end of the world I would probably pack it up and bolt for the door, but Donnie Darko is a better man than I. By the time we learn the sad truth about Frank and what happened to him we have gone on one hell of a ride through space and time via suburbia life, but when he comes a-callin' like a ghost out of a Charles Dickens novel he is genuinely fearsome! These qualities assure Frank his entrance into the hallowed halls of all-time famous movie antagonists! 

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Hellboy - Abe Sapien

Meet Abe.

This quasi-psychic, even-tempered merman is a perfect counterpoint to the brutish, highly emotional demon that is Hellboy. Abe Sapien is a semi-immortal fish person, genius who lives in a tank at the B.P.R.D. headquarters in both the Guillermo Del Toro films and the Mike Mignola comics. His signature look is that of a lithe, aqua green "Creature from the Black Lagoon" type figure, but he is far a scary monster, in fact he is very soft spoken, polite, and a true friend to Hellboy and all those seeking to fight the dark forces of evil!

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Hellboy - Big Red

Meet Hellboy.

In all honesty I was first and foremost introduced to Hellboy and the rest of the B.P.R.D. gang through the Guillermo Del Toro films and not the graphic novels by Mike Mignola. I have since remedied this issue and have an appreciation for both the ink and paper & the flesh, blood, AND latex version of Red. Though the Monster Manor keychain version of Hellboy strikes a closer resemblance to that of the comic book side of things, I would be remiss to say that I didn't love the onscreen version that Del Toro created. Through his two films I fell in love with the whole smorgasbord of monsters, the fantastical realms, the striking production design, and the pitch perfect banter between the characters. This Hellboy keychain is my loving homage to both Del Toro and Mike Mignola for creating two sides of a character I have grown to love. 

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American Psycho - Patrick Bateman

Meet Pat.

What's not to like about the 2000 film American Psycho? That nearly two decade old film showcased a tale of 1980s yuppy culture and decadence where our "hero" is a lunatic who murders his colleagues primarily out of jealousy and sometimes just out of boredom (but sometimes he just tortures and kills prostitutes and vagabonds) or does he? This blood-soaked tumble down the rabbit hole to a time not so long ago is perfect mixtures of horror, comedy, satire, and violent excess that makes for one hell of a film experience. Patrick Bateman, the young up-and-comer in the go go New York financial scene as portrayed masterfully by Christian Bale in his pre-Batman days is both a completely unrelatable sociopath and a charming, charismatic fellow who's presence we enjoy thoroughly. The nights when he gets that lust for ultra violence and then acts on his impulses (or maybe he doesn't...) are some of the most intense and frightening scenes in any movie of the last twenty years. Plus he just has genuinely good taste in clothes and music!

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Mortal Kombat - Sub-Zero &

Meet Sub-Zero & Scorpion

Oh how many hours I spent as a youth playing the various Mortal Kombat games at arcades (yes those were a thing and they should never be forgotten! Like the Alamo!) and on home entertainment systems such as Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo! The original Mortal Kombat game was awesome and back then we hadn't ever seen a video game so brutal and bloody and unforgiving as that, but when the second game arrived our collective young boy brains exploded! It was downright epic and insane and god bless those beautiful 16bit graphics (pixellated blood has never looked so good before or since!). We would even buy game guides from our local video store (yes, those were a thing too dammit!) and scour through them just to learn all the right buttons to frantically smash when that fool would shout "Finish Him" just so we could remove a head, complete with dangling spinal cord, or knock someone off a bridge and down onto a row of spikes! Man, those were the days. We played outside and built forts and rode bikes through the neighborhood too, but when we could get a taste of that sweet Mortal Kombat carnage all was right in the world!

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Bram Stoker's Dracula

Meet Dracula.

A lot of movie images scarred my childhood brain, but perhaps none quite so clearly as Gary Oldman from Bram Stoker's Dracula (directed by Francis Ford Coppola). His ancient, and excellently coiffed, Count Dracula slithers from room to room in his gargantuan castle like a terrible serpent ensnaring any unfortunate soul who has the misfortune of entering the impenetrable stone walls. From his hair-covered palms and his missing shadow, to his lusty tongue greedily licking fresh blood from a shaving razor, Count Dracula is a quintessential monster who will stand the test of time and continue to haunt the darkest recesses of our dreams along the way. 

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Star Wars - Darth Maul

Meet Darth.

Say what you will about The Phantom Menace (I know I have), but after a 16 year wait between films in the Star Wars franchise George Lucas did truly gift us with at least one remarkable thing: Darth Maul. And though in his Episode I role he wasn't given a lot of subtext or character, but he more than made up for that with the sheer brilliance of his appearance. This horned devil of a Sith apprentice made more the most of his limited screen time between his ominous words whispered huskily to the future Emperor and his unmatched acrobatic style of lightsaber dueling! 18 years on from our initial introduction to the character of Darth Maul he is still etched so deeply into our minds as the one thing without a doubt that George Lucas nailed perfectly right in the first prequel.

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Scream - Ghostface

Meet Ghostface.

Scream was released at the most perfect time for me. It was 1996 and I had recently turned 13 years old. It was that perfect age to be watching a movie like this which was part MTV generation take on the slasher films of the 1980s but by that same token it was a masterfully conceived piece of modern nostalgia necromanced to life by director/legend Wes Craven who had already done something similar more than a decade before with a little film called Nightmare on Elm Street! As a 13 year old this movie was the perfect early adolescent exposure to "high school aged" babes, twisted violence, and even a full on education in the classic rules of "slasher" cinema! With a masked killer that seemed to appear out of thin air in the night to stalk busty babysitters, Scream, and it's instantly iconic villain, Ghostface, became the standard for late 1990s horror and produced the only classic movie monster of the decade (sorry the fisherman from I Know What You Did Last Summer absolutely does not count!).

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Halloween - Michael Myers

Meet Mike.

What else needs to be said about the father of modern horror cinema and slashers? Michael Myers in the 1978 classic Halloween by John Carpenter set off a slurry of imitators, some better than others, for decades to come. His antagonist known as The Shape is evil incarnate spat forth from Hell with only one mission: to kill our hero and anyone standing in his way of getting to her! Michael Myers is instantly iconic with his jumpsuit, over-sized kitchen knife, and repurposed William Shatner mask. Not one October the 31st goes by where I don't think about this movie and how it changed the genre of horror (and movies in general) forever.

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Friday the 13th - Jason Voorhees

Meet Jason.

What initially began as a knockoff of the slasher vs teenagers trope that was on the popularity rise after the success of Halloween two years before, Friday the 13th has fully blossomed into its own world-renowned franchise of films that tell the loosely connected story of dead boy come back to life as a murderous monster to seek revenge. Jason Voorhees, said boy who was ignored by counselors at his childhood summer camp is awoken from the dead and dropped back into the forests surrounding Camp Crystal Lake where he will always be slicing and dicing his way through a menagerie of lamebrain, beefcake dudes with popped polo shirt collars and morally loose chicks wearing shorts that are so short they almost don't count (and they always think it is a good idea to go skinny dipping after hearing stories of a murderous psychopath who kills teenagers like themselves.....)! All Friday the 13th and jason needed was an iconic mask to don for his yearly slaying, and though it took him several movies to find this missing piece once he did he was vaulted into the same pantheon of classic slashers as Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, Leatherface, Ghostface, Pinhead, Jigsaw, and Chucky (no that fish hook guy from I Know What You Did Last Summer still does not count dammit!).

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Drive - The Driver

Meet The Driver.

Drive is one of those movies that just oozes coolness, sexuality, and intensity through the screen for it's entire runtime. Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn commits to screen the simple story of a stunt driver who moonlights as a getaway driver in the criminal underbelly of Los Angeles. His skills with a car are unmatched, he fears no one, and is an all around keep-to-himself loner, until one day... When the Driver meets his pretty neighbor and her young son he is instantly drawn to them. When her husband, a small time criminal, is released from jail things start to go from bad to worse. Getting in deep with a mobster the Driver must now not only fight to keep himself above ground, but the lives of his neighbor and her son as well. The Driver with his signature scorpion jacket, slicked hair, and hammer (used to great effect against villains!) is an anti-hero right our of grindhouse cinema of the 1970s. Drive, with its pulse pounding soundtrack, perfect visuals, and amazing chase sequences are enough to put this movie towards the top of my favorite films of all time list.

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Halloween - Michael Myers

Meet Mike.

The original Halloween is the scariest movie ever made, yet also the most endearing film of what would soon become the "slasher" genre. Part teenage babysitter in peril plot and part psychological thriller, Halloween succeeds in being 90 minutes of solid moody build up that is capped off with the greatest climax sequence in horror movie history. Every element works in perfect sync, from the first rapid strokes of the piano keys that make up that ever-so iconic score to the spot on casting of Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasance as the intrepid Dr. Samuel Loomis to the most iconic looking movie monster since Boris Karloff in Frankenstein. Halloween is seminal and it makes me try and guestimate the number of TV screens it must be flickering its blood soaked mayhem across every October the 31st. It reaches you deep down into your inner-ness because you feel like you know the sleepy town of Haddonfield, you remember those halcyon days of dressing in costume to go trick-or-treating, and you've been watched over by a teenage babysitter who'd rather gab with her friends on the phone than deal with your punk ass! We love the movie because we know all these elements and we can't help but wonder what we would ourselves do if suddenly we were being terrorized by a merciless psychopath hellbent on killing you and everyone you care about. Michael Myers is the embodiment of fear itself. He is the unknown evil of the abyss who knows neither remorse nor fear nor pain. And if you don't want to be skewered by a butcher knife and pinned up on the kitchen wall like a calendar then you better run son! If you are close enough to see the empty, black nothingness behind the modified William Shatner mask then it is too late and you're gonna die. Happy Halloween!

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The Big Lebowski - The Dude (aka Jeffrey Lebowski) and Walter Sobchak

Meet The Dude & Walter.

I'm pretty sure The Big Lebowski answers what the meaning of life is... but I can't be sure. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; and it is one of the finest pieces of American cinema from the last two decades (maybe ever). On pure surface level it is a Los Angeles-set comedy, crime caper centering on a slacker by the name of The Dude who gets swept up into a plot thickened by a colorful menagerie of characters who use him as a means to an eccentric end. But it is so, so much more than that surface level riff. It has enough plots, sub-plots, and sub-sub-plots, each filled to the brim with an onslaught of characters connected through various relations like a mad spiderweb, to make your head spin. Add to that the character of The Dude with all his ex-hippie, loose joint traipsing through a life that is filled with quiet moments between trips to the local bowling alley, as he is yanked lower and lower into a strange and seedy underbelly that he neither understands nor wants to be a part of. He simply exists in his present moment and all he ever wanted is a new rug because it quote/unquote "really tied the room together." The Dude's exploits through the City of Angels with his bowling buddy Walter (very much the yang to the Dude's yin) make for the rarest of the rare movies that can be fully enjoyed by either: A) laboriously studying the details and machinations of the plot from scene to scene in an effort to decode the complex labyrinthine heart at the center of the matter OR B) letting your mind off the hook and enjoying an adult beverage or two (or four) and seeing where you are when you wake up on the other side of the brightly-colored, psychedelic rainbow that is The Big Lebowski.

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RECAP - "Figure it Out" at Carter-Sexton

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Saturday night's grand opening of the "Figure It Out" art show was a fine time indeed. Thank you to Carter-Sexton Artist's Materials for hosting this group show that featured a wide array of diverse pieces by many extraordinary local artists. The wine and the smorgasbord was also a nice touch! The three exclusive pieces by Monster Manor Workshop (Edward Scissorhands, Crimson Peak - ghost and daughter, & Harry Potter vs Voldemort) are currently available for purchase until Saturday May 6th ONLY at Carter-Sexton Artist's Materials (5308 Laurel Canyon Blvd in Valley Village). 

Keep checking back weekly for new figure releases and exclusives! And be sure to follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @monstermanorla.

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Crimson Peak - Edith & Ghost Mother

Meet Edith & Ghost Mother.

"It's not a ghost story... It's a story with ghosts in it." This utterance by our heroine Edith Cushing in Guillermo Del Toro's sumptuously decadent gothic romance proves to be mostly true, though when the ghosts are in it, they are truly in it. Victorian Era set Crimson Peak delivers thrills, chills, and vibrant red spills of blood as it tells the tale of a young woman named Edith who is swept up into a romantic liaison with a industrious fellow named Thomas Sharpe who is eager to marry Edith and move her into his palatial but dilapidated manor named Allerdale Hall (referred to in ghastly premonitions as Crimson Peak). Edith is instantly strong willed, intelligent, and likable, but the longer she remains in the decaying ruins of Allerdale Hale the deeper she sinks into dread and madness. Her wispy, white nightgown and pale complexion, perfectly illuminated by the candelabrum she carries, is the perfect contrast to the darkened confines of the manor she traverses and the exquisitely appointed spirits who torment her as she comes ever closer to discovering the mystery behind Crimson Peak. 

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Evil Dead - Ash

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Meet Ash. 

Why you choose them - Ash is the ultimate cinematic antihero as he lacks all the attributes that shape the classic hero mold. He is crass, often cowardly, and some may even call him downright pigheaded. But what Ash lacks in venerable heroism he more than makes up for with his sheer will to live and bloodlust when it comes to killin' Deadites! After arriving at the quintessential cabin in the woods, Ash and his friends find a mysterious book in the cellar. After reading passages from this Book of the Dead (read: Necronomicon Ex Mortis) Ash and company are soon plagued by an onslaught of demons from another dimension whose only goal is death and destruction. And though one by one his friends may become possessed by evil spirits, Ash is resolved to his self-preservation. When has to chopped off his infected hand he doesn't throw in the towel. Hell no! He builds himself a chainsaw hand and uses it to cut his way through any and all foes that stand in his way. Sam Raimi's bloody tale of men and devils has always been a formidable movie watching experience for me much the same as it was when I first saw it at age 10. 

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