Deadly Ever After

Archive for the tag “Halloween Wars”

Halloween Wars: Julie Gets Her Way

TODAY’S BREW: Enough Chocolate Cappuccino flavored coffee to keep my freezing hands warm.

By Julie

There’s 3 teams left at the beginning of this episode of Halloween Wars; Psychotic Misfits (my personal pick), Black Magic and Skeleton Crew, who I’m just not feeling.

Charlaine Harris, author of The Sookie Stackhouse novels, of course, was the guest judge. I am personally not a fan of the novels, and have fallen out of of love with True Blood, but that’s beside the point. She was a good judge.

The Small Scare challenge was of technology becoming a nightmare. They did this last year, and I hated the team that won. Stupid grim reaper coming out of a computer screen through an email. Too far out of the box. Just dumb. This year, I was eager to see what happened to my team. I enjoy Team Psychotic Misfits for Brian Stevens, who is a serious talent, and a cool guy overall if you ask me. I love that he and the rock star pumpkin carver, David, go at it on every episode. These guys are true artists, and don’t really work well with others. I appreciate that.

Skeleton Crew had a pretty cool piece with a vacuum that comes to life. Psychotic Misfits came up with a pair of headphones that turns on the skull listener, and drives a music note through its brain. (The music note totally sucked it.) Black Magic definitely had the coolest creation with an 80’s television with a broken screen turned to teeth, eating its watcher. A grisly hand was still clawing, trying to get out. Very cool. The poor pumpkin carver had to start from scratch at one point, too, because his pumpkin was too soft. I’m seriously impressed he could do it. When MY team actually won, Psychotic Misfits, I was kinda pissed because theirs just was not as good.

The big challenge was the classic swamp creature. YES. Brian Stevens actually said “I love the swamp,” so I was really excited to see what he came up with. Their lady girl candymaker, Theresa, came up with the idea of a swamp creature digesting who it ate, which was really different, and I loved this team even more for it. They worked together really well, and Theresa is a powerhouse.

Skeleton Crew came up with a suckass idea of a giant snake eating a guy. Not good enough. Black Magic rocked it with a gian moster underneath the water, with a fisherman above, half submerged, following his sunken boat. Very cool idea. Skeleton Crew pissed me the hell off with this pumpkin carving guy who did everything from complain about having to stack pumpkins to his poor, aching back, which he stopped everything to stretch. All of this is done with his own whiny commentary. “Aww, I hope we didn’t get a rotten pumpkin, man!” When they came up with a shitty creation, it made the whole team unbearable for me. So I was happy to see the bitches go home. (Spoiler.)

Black Magic’s fisherman scene was killer. Their baker also made a killer sour cherry candy that looked so good I wanted to murder someone for it. There were amazing details; a wound on the fisherman’s knee, skulls on the floor of the swamp, a beautiful fish…. A great story. Really well done.

Psychotic Misfits has done a couple of comic book-looking pieces, which I loved. The Three Blind Mice piece, the Zombie Prom with the lockers and the disco ball. Excellent. But this challenge was the best I’ve seen from any team this season. The monster was actually scary. The thing looked real. It sat in a reflective “pool” made of sugar that looked like real water. The monster had this wild giant tusk out of the middle of its jaw, and these awful eyes. Amazingly beautiful and gruesome.

What I really loved was that team Psychotic Misfits had an enormous problem, leaving them less than an hour to fill 6 inches of space with anything they could find to bridge a gap between the pumpkin body and the cake head. Bitching at each other the whole time, they came together and filled it with cake, rice crispie treats, anything they could find, and it was magnificent. MAGNIFICENT. Brian Stevens finished the challenge saying, “Now that’s how you make a fricking monster!” He was right. His monster actually got the soft, melodic “You did it” music when Shin Min Lee told him this was the piece she’d been waiting to see him create.

There was no question Team Psychotic Misfits was the winner and Team Skeleton Crew sucked it hard and needed to go home, despite being ingenious enough to use green-dyed noodles for swamp moss and making a neon green tea candy for the tasting element. They had this cool lightning bug jar, but just generic looking overall. Black Magic is really strong, and seeing them go to the finale with Psychotic Misfits is going to make for a really intense battle. I, of course, will tell you all the things I think that you may or may not want to know.


Halloween Wars Has Returned!

TODAY’S BREW: Hazelnut, the Kristen Killer. (sorry, Kristen)

By Julie

IT’S HAPPENING! My whole family loves this show. And I like to offer my blog commentary like I have some expertise in anything that would be relevant to what these artists do.

If you’re unfamiliar, five teams consisting of a pumpkin carving expert, a cake artist, and candy craftsman compete to make horror displays out of pumpkin, cake, and sugar, to be the ones to win a $50,000 prize. Judges include Shinmin Li, whose name even I, with my complete lack of culinary wizardry, know for her cake decorating, and Brian Kinney, master makeup artist.

There’s a small challenge first that the teams only have 45 minutes to execute, and the winner of it gets extra help for the monstrously large challenge that takes 5 hours. This year’s teams, I have to say, I was not freaking out over. So far, I like Team Psychotic Misfits. Brian Stevens is the cake artist, and he won me over right away in the first challenge with these words:


David Smith is their pumpkin carver, and Brian calls him a rock star, and that is honestly what this guy seems to be. Tatted, intense, and talented as hell from I saw.

The other teams are Black Magic, Twisted Trio (just no), Crypt Creepers, who have Sue, this newbie pumpkin carver who seems to kick some ass, and Skeleton Crew, who disappointed me.


So, the first teeny tiny challenge was to make a devil, and something had to glow or light up. Kick ass, because what’s more classic and excellent than the devil?

Twisted Trio just sucked it. It looked like a dumb devil baby, which could have been cool if they meant it, but they didn’t.

Crypt Creepers had a cool idea, which won over my 6 year old, of having a bowl full of spirits held by a devil. It didn’t do anything for me.

The guys I’m rooting for, Psychotic Misfits, did not rise to the challenge, and made something that the judges said looked like an Easter Bunny.

Black Magic, on the other hand, murdered the challenge with a ghoulish, frightening devil with crazy detail and his whole damn head glowed. WINNING. And they did. They won.


The big challenge was a cool one, as they always are; ZOMBIE PROM. Boom.

Our first challenge winners had a very cool idea and they executed it, I thought, really well. Townspeople burning down the Prom, with the forefront being the zombie prom queen holding the head of her king. Sugar guy made these incredible looking flames, some of which he smashed and I wanted to die for him. The backdrop had the silhouettes of enraged townspeople among flames, and the zombie queen was gorgeous.

Crypt Creepers sucked it with a girl bringing her dead boyfriend back to life with some zombie potion? That’s not real. ZOMBIE BITES ARE REAL, GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT. However, they did have white and dark chocolate eyeballs filled with espresso ganache. So, YES to that.

Skeleton Crew was dull as hell.

Twisted Trio bombed with this idea of zombies in a car in a cornfield, but there was no cornfield, just an ear of fucking corn. Seriously, one ear of corn in the car that they blew all their time on.

MY guys, Psychotic Misfits, had this ace idea. The backdrop was a row of lockers, with biohazard stickers and graffiti on them, and a bowl of green zombie punch with a head in it. Sugar lady made these sick looking, delicately beautiful teacups out of sugar, and each one held an eyeball that was filled with some kind of lime stuff. They even had a mirror ball, smashed on the ground. The whole thing was a stunning trainwreck ,and they should have won,


Suckass Crypt Creepers did with this dumb prom photo thing and the bone frame, which whatever, that was cool but the other guys should have won. So I guess Psychotic Misfits need to get on the ball.

Cannot wait until next Sunday, and I will give you my completely unbiased review of that episode, too.



Vamptober Arrives!

TODAY’S BREW: BLOOD. No, not really, but we’re going for a thing here.

By Julie and Kristen

October is a month near and dear to our hearts here at Deadly Ever after.  There’s cider. Apple picking. Haunted Houses. And speaking of haunted houses, the whole month is just a lead up to HALLOWEEN.

This year, we have even more to celebrate.  Running Home will be available in paperback.  Because The Night will be released just after Halloween.  We want you to celebrate with us! Welcome to Vamptober.

16th Century Vampire Blood

So this is what’s going to be happening:

  • #avampaday:  Check every day for some hot vampire action.
  • Flash Fiction Friday is all horror, all month long.
  • Julie will be handling the TV and entertainment facet of things
  • Kristen will be talking makeup, jewelry, and fashion.
  • Meet the characters of Because The Night!  Character profiles each week.
  • Giveaways!  Win Because The Night and Running Home. Yes, really.  But we’re going to make it fun. No rafflecopter up in this hizzy.

Kristen will be giving you the sauciest, scariest and longest lasting makeup tips for the big day, and folks, she’s a goddamn professional. She knows this. There will be jewelry to spare, too, because we loves us some creepy jewelry.

Julie will give you her unsolicited and unwelcome at times, opinions on American Horror Story starting October 5th, Dracula at the end of the month, and Halloween Wars on the Food Network. Because pumpkin carving is a thing, and Rob Zombie was there last year and if that happens again, you need to know.

Flash Fiction Fridays will rock it with handpicked horror authors, cooking up some craziness that I cannot wait for you all to see.


Also, we have a surprise to tell you about coming up soon! A surprise that may or may not have something to do with some of our favorite writers and bloggers, and let me just tell you. You won’t be disappointed.

Follow #VVamptober and #AVampADay on Twitter for updates, probably far too often.

Halloween approaches and we plan on giving you treats, so be ready for the Undead to show you all the tricks up our sleeves.

Do Fear the Reaper!: Messing With the Classics on Halloween Wars

TODAY’S BREW: HAZELNUT. So much it will hurt.

So, every year The Food Network does this show called “Halloween Wars,” which is flippin’ fantastic. Teams of pumpkin carvers (like Ray Villafane of MacFarlane toy fame), bakers, candy sculptors and such are pitted against each other to create frightening sculptures based on subject matter given to them. There’s all kinds of mechanics and craziness that only people adept at kitchenry would understand, i.e. not me. Rob Zombie guest judged on it once. I almost peed my pants.

While generally a huge fan of this show to the point that me and the entire family sit down with a bowl of popcorn to it, and allow our 5 year old to stay up past bedtime to watch it, this week I was sorely disappointed in all but one team. (Ray Villafane was not there, because he never disappoints.) The short challenge this week was to create a terrifying Grim Reaper. Nice. I am all excited.

Then it started. These clowns trashed a classic.

Now, I am all for creating a new mythology or persona for a classic horror or supernatural figure. Case in point, my vampire novel, Running Home. I am even for all the incarnations of evil that pop culture has made to symbolize Satan. I mean, Al Pacino is the Devil? Cool. But The Grim Reaper is a beacon of fear with a universal image that should be left untouched. He is the epitome of fear–the fear of death itself.

One team, Team Dead Man Walking, the only team that should win this entire contest in my eyes, kept old Grim the way he should be. At his finest, ferrying the River Styx into the gates of Hell with a soul underfoot. He had all his stuff…the hourglass, the sickle, a bunch of skulls. Perfect. The judges, however did not think they had enough detail?!?! Booooooo.

Team Screamish, AKA the ballerina pansies of the bunch, decide to make it cute. They make the Grim Reaper into a little black kitty with big claws dicing up a rat. Not even in the right stratosphere. The judges love this. Kill me.

Team Morbid Mayhem didn’t do too badly, making a classic Grim Reaper crushing an hourglass (by mistake, but they made it awesome), with red sand spilling out to signify time being up, sucker. Very nice. The judges were not overjoyed.

But the most horrifying disappointment in Halloween Wars history to me was Team Paranormal. These fools come up with this 21st century idea of “nobody talks anymore, so why should the Grim Reaper show up in person? He’s gonna e-mail himself to you.” Really? Really? They make the face of the Grim Reaper coming out of a computer screen. Take heed, all of you who spend too much time on Twitter…The Grim Reaper has been sissified, and this bitch is inside your laptop. You’re kidding me.

For the scariest thing you will hear this Halloween…THESE LUNATICS WON BY A LANDSLIDE! Kick me in the face, this cannot be real. If Rob Zombie was there, this would not have happened. If I was not such a fan of the show, and totally invested in Team Dead Man Walking winning at this point, I would have turned it off, but no, I watched. Thank Christ my team won the main challenge of Vampire vs. Vampire Killer. They rocked it hard with a vampire busting out of a casket in a catacomb with a ring of skulls made out of potatoes around it, a huge stained glass window behind, and a nun staking this living dead man. Kick ass. Then they bring out the big guns…the candy they have for the judges to try are roasted Columbian ants! Man, I love these guys. Not only do they find roasted ants in the pantry, but they make the judges that screwed them in round one eat them. Eff yeah, Dead Man Walking. Eff yeah.

The sissy team, Screamish, made a vampire bat hanging from a tree with the sun coming up. These clowns went home to do arts and crafts and watch Lifetime movies.

In conclusion, don’t ruin a classic. Do it right. Like me! Read Running Home! (Ha! You like that?)

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