PCR past banners Now in our fifth calendar year
PCR #240  (Vol. 5, No. 44)  This edition is for the week of October 25--31, 2004.

"I Married The Dead!" A True Florida Horror Story....A Visit With A Comic Book Hero
 by Will Moriaty
 by Mike Smith
Recommended Viewing For Halloween
  by Terence Nuzum
The Halloween Horror Picture Show 2004...."Filthy" plays "Flicks on Fairbanks", Orlando...."Do They Know It's Christmas?" '04, Oddservations Calendar....and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
 by Andy Lalino
Rakuween Turns 5!!!
 by Brandon Jones
Happy Birthday....Babe Who?....Shaking With Antici -- pation....Aaargh!....Love Those Brits....Vote!....Meet The Beatles, Part 40
 by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Archives 2004
Archives 2003
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Archives 2001
Archives 2000
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Splash Page


This All Hallow’s Eve marks the fifth Rakuween Halloween party. It was mid-July when I casually told my neighbor and close friend Bill Turner about our plans to host the “family” Halloween party. As we discussed things, we decided on a collaborative effort at both of homes and the surrounding fields. What ensued is nothing short of amazing.

My wife speaks of regret, but I recall each day of excitement. Bill’s partner at Raku Studios, Doug Taylor helped make all of ideas a reality. Whether it was a propane-fueled flaming chair for Satan (Bill), a life-size coffin for Beetlejuice (Me) or rigging the chainsaw for Jason (Doug) – it all became reality.

Sculpting, writing, singing, dancing or painting – choose your poison for a creative outlet -- Rakuween became ours.

Everyday was the exploration into the creative process. Mutilating the couch to get the lady cut in half inside, obtaining and experimenting with the ceramic skull molds or rigging the propane to add actual flames – everyday was an adventure that has continued in the subsequent years.

Add a gyrating, pounding, smoking electric chair or flames dancing on top of the pool in year two, the half acre enclosed hallways of year three and the eerie guillotine last year and you have a party that is more like Independent film than a poor man’s version of Guavaween.

We’ve never tried to compete with the theme parks or Mama Guava. In fact, we chuckle at the growing trends to cash in on a “pagan’s holiday.” On a shoe-string budget we don’t generate scares, we create memories.

My friendship with Debbie Harrelson has grown since the first party (she helps out a ton) which she will describe the chainsaw roaring, a girl’s screaming while complimenting the cheesecake. It’s classic.

I still don’t think Debbie will let us strap her in the electric chair.

Another close friend, Chrissy (formerly Costello) Maraghy, did the make-up on our first corpse who usually holds a couple bowls of snacks. Tame by Rick Danford standards, but envision the General Manager of very large corporation scooping bean dip out of the dead guy’s eye socket and you might appreciate the photo op. In fact, Chris Minich has posed as the demon in the flaming chair for hundreds of pics. He sat so still at one point, many guests were fooled to believe he was fake.

Yes, people still fall for that.

The growing girth of the Ambiguously Gay Duo, the best Howard Stern or Frankenfurter look-alikes, a pretty damn good Beetlejuice (I still get requests, go figure) – we had our share.

While you may have plans for Halloween, check out the Rakuween website, drop us a line, maybe you can make a visit. No animatronics or a fleet of paid scarers, just a good time.

“I think we’re going to have a Halloween party” sure has morphed into something pretty special. Thank you Bill. Thank you Doug. Thank you Chrissy, Debbie, Chris and all of the others. Thank you Nolan for helping us archive these precious moments and share them with so many others.

"Splash Page" is ©2004 by Brandon Jones.   Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.