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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Chenille Macabre - presented by The Undead Bazaar

The Undead Bazaar has returned after a brief break to bring you yet more hand-crafted zombie goodness! Today we introduce to you The Gil-Monster from Chenille Macabre and AMPUTHEATRE. Gil creates zombies and monsters from pipe cleaners for "the world's goriest board game," AMPUTHEATRE. A game he created by the way. Put your curiousities at rest and read about our friend, Gil, his bloody game, and his monsters. Then, make sure to check the following post for your chance to win one of his zombie creations!

How did you come about creating Amputheatre?
"Back in 1998 Virgin Interactive made a four-player fighting game called Thrill Kill for the Sony Playstation, and I wanted this puppy very, very badly. It was rooted in horror and contained characters such as a surgeon with a bear trap on his face and a dominatrix with a cattle prod. And every character had tons of death moves, so it had everything I could ask for in a game. Then maybe ten minutes before the game's release date, Electronic Arts bought out Virgin Interactive and acquired all of their properties, including Thrill Kill. And when they witnessed what they were just about to release, they outright killed the game. It offended their delicate sensibilities, I guess.

So I don't know about the rest of the folks out there (and when I say that, I'm looking at gamers and game reviewers alike thinking "Well Gil, what do you care? There's better games out there, you know"), but when anyone decides for me what I can and can't have, I fight back. Hard. In a way no one was expecting. So I decided it was my purpose to make a game as violent and evil as Thrill Kill. But I had zero programming skills. I had however been making figures out of chenille stems my whole life, so I went the tabletop route. My original idea was to splatter blood for every point of damage performed in the game. Boy, did EA piss me off. How could anyone track that? And what if somebody sneezed?"

Tell us about Amputheatre.
"AMPUTHEATRE is The World's Goriest Board Game- a tabletop simulation of arcade one-on-one fighting games such as Mortal Kombat with heavy influences in horror and splatter films. The board is a grid-based arena teeming with traps, and the playing pieces are 3 3/4"-5" action figures with removable limbs and heads. The object of the game is to battle all other comers in the arena until only one player is left standing. AMPUTHEATRE can accommodate between two to eight players at a time, and just like the arcade fighting games it's based on, new players can join the fray at any point in the game!

The action of AMPUTHEATRE takes place in the terrifyingly near future. A medical breakthrough called Amputech is created, which allows severed limbs to rebond within seconds, and blood loss to be abated merely by absorption through pores in the skin. The inventor, his place in history almost guaranteed, inexplicably can't find any human test subjects who wish to gamble with amputation. So he heads to Death Row at Correctional Facility Alpha- the worst prison in the world- to conduct his experiments on its monsters- human and non-human. Trouble is, the wardens of CFA are even more depraved than the inmates. The Evil Wardens abscond with the Amputech and imbue it into all of their charges, forcing them into gladiatorial combat and promising a full government pardon to the sole survivor.

Each figure in AMPUTHEATRE represents a brutal, incarcerated psychopath with supernatural powers- a Slasher. Some of the Slashers include Jinglebunny, who is an axe murderer in a giant purple rabbit costume. There's also Ashezz, a fire-breathing arsonist with a propane tank on his back, and The Thicket, who is a gruesome serial killer painfully wrapped in barbed wire. Not all of the Slashers are human- Gnash is a hooved mythical monster, and the terrifying Crucifiend is a nine-foot-tall hellbeast with stakes through his fingerless hands. Every Slasher has varying degrees of strength, agility, focus, and stamina.

Each player chooses a Slasher and tries to defeat the rest by means of a robust attack arsenal. Slashers can throw each other, blind one another, slice open arteries, hold opponents down for more accurate or damaging attacks, trip each other, rip each others' limbs and heads off... even set each other on fire! They also have Evil Deeds- super moves unique to each Slasher. The electrocuted serial murderer Nine Lives, for example, can throw lightning bolts at his opponents.

Aggressive gameplay in AMPUTHEATRE is rewarded: more vicious Evil Deedsar are unlocked as opposing Slashers tire, so Crucifiend can go from merely goring his victims on his stake hands to outright biting off their heads! Plus, every time a Slasher suffers 10 points of Carnage (I call it "Carnage" instead of "damage"), a blood pool flies randomly onto the board. The AMPUTHEATRE playfield can get soaked in crimson and limbs very quickly!

And Slashers are not limited to just their own abilities. Traps inhabit the arena, and Slashers can throw or shove each other into them. There are also Spells to use, either to heal your Slasher or destroy another. And best of all, Weapons can be unearthed in the AMPUTHEATRE- everything from baseball bats to ice picks and chain saws... I just added drain cleaner into the mix! I created everything in AMPUTHEATRE- the rules, the storyline, the fighters- and the game and its combat system is patented. It became my life- I go to both gaming and horror conventions, pimping this dice-bloated horror show and building up its cult following. Now I just need to mass produce this sucker!"

You have several web sites/stores. Tell us about them and the purpose for each.
"The AMPUTHEATRE Web Site explains The World's Goriest Board Game in detail. It contains the backstory behind the game, a brief synopsis of its rules, an explanation of its combat system, its weapons and traps, Slasher biographies and strategies, the different arenas in which they fight, preliminary artwork, and so much more. Most importantly, it raises awareness of the game and invites visitors to find out how they can get their own set to play.

Then I have Chenille Macabre, which features a gallery of my work and provides a link to my Etsy store, where original figures of mine can be bought. Among the creatures I sell are large-scale figures (5" in height or higher), Horror Miniatures, Asian Culture Miniatures, Dungeon Beast Miniatures, AMPUTHEATRE figures, and much more! New figures are uploaded on Mondays, and I ask between $10-200 for each monster before shipping. I make every monster different- and when you buy a Chenille Macabre figure or miniature from my Etsy store, that's the exact figure you're getting, and you'll receive your monster quickly!"

Be honest, do you have a Slasher of yourself that you play with?
"Heh. I have a kinship with mostly all of them, but I think the one who most resembles me is Ixnay. He was a tailor who took a new life as a farmer after witnessing a mob hit, and then as a serial killer after the government failed to protect his identity. So he sewed his own mouth shut and set out to claim the tongues of all those from failed him- both federal and criminal.

So Ixnay has dirty blonde hair and wears overalls underneath a dark purple trenchcoat with torn red threads all through it; sort of a Goth redneck chic, as a statement to my New York friends who enjoy calling my home state "Pennsyltuckey". Ixnay's sewn shut mouth and necklace of torn tongues are a parody of me, because I'm told I talk a lot, and loudly. Finally, Ixnay's weapons are thumb thimbles modified with utility blades, because thirty-plus years of pipe cleaner construction will make your fingers very, very strong!"

If we were to go a step further and create a mass-produced toy of you, would you be a zombie or survivor?
"Both! My survivor figure should be dressed like me- ponytail, black trenchcoat, AMPUTHEATRE T-shirt, black jeans, spiderweb boots and spider belt buckle. And then? Make me a ghoul- a runner- a feral aberration! With elongated clawed fingers, rooted hair, distending jaws, and like, twenty points of articulation so I could run on all fours!"

What accessories would you come with?
"Remember those battery-powered water guns from the mid-'80s? The ones that looked like REAL Glocks and UZIs and M-16's, and they were yanked off the market because kids looked like they were walking around with freakin' Glocks and UZIs and M-16's??? Ah, the Cold War! My friends and I loved those things, and I had the combat shotgun. I took a plastic Halloween axe head and mounted it to the barrel, so it was a 12-gauge riot gun with a battle axe bayonet! Behold: the ultimate zombie destroyer! Chop the zombie in the chest, then pull the trigger! So I'd have that, and a halligan bar/flat head axe married set across the back, so my wife and I would both have weapons.

And my undead counterpart would come with giant maggots that he could drape over his shoulders! And put a hissing sound chip in the figure too, so it'll still sound like hissing when the watch battery finally gives up the ghost!"


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  2. The figures are amazing. I love the dynamic poses and the variety of characters, not to mention the great colours. Excellent work.


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