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  How could we look at ourselves in the mirror if we didn't interview the first lady of latex, the madam of monsters, the gal of ghouls?  It's no secret the mask world is dominated by those of us belonging to the less fairer sex, so it's great to know there are women who would rather discuss which version of Frankie is her favorite rather than how inspired she was by last nights episode of 'Trading Spaces' (had to throw that in for my wife).  Laura is of course married to that crazy nut David and together they make a perfect monster crazed team.  Laura specializes in hairing masks and is the go to guy (er ah gal) when it comes to the big hairing projects.  Read about Laura and her thoughts on the crazy world of monsters.


LMC: Were you a monster fan growing up?  How did you get drawn into monsters as a kid?

LL:  Oh yes, always a monster fan!  My parents took my sister Carol and me to the drive-in, wearing our PJs, when we were little.  The movie was usually either Disney, sword-&-sandal, or horror!  We loved it.  When we got a bit older, we’d spend our allowance on Aurora monster models, monster comic books, and Famous Monsters Magazine.  And we were always acting out our favorite horror movies with the neighborhood kids.  (You have to remember, this was back in the stone age, before video games.)

LMC: Is Halloween your favorite holiday?  Any fond memories of your younger years during that season?

LL:  Well, it’s hard to say, now, because Halloween is all the time at Horror Hotel.  October 31st is just the last day the tour is usually open.  But oh-my-god, of course Halloween was just the biggest deal when I was a kid!  WE got to go trick-or-treating for hours!  And stay out after dark!!  Mom always dressed up and went out with us, and she was always the scariest one.  I still miss trick-or-treating, don’t you?

LMC: What was your favorite costume?

LL: Our costumes weren’t really elaborate, mostly improvised.  Mom learned after going ‘all out’ a couple of times that we couldn’t keep anything nice…we’d play in our costume all night, jumping out of trees, sneaking through the hedge rows, rolling and howling, till it was in shreds.  And the fact that none of those thin taffeta “one-size-fits-small” Ben Coopers were ever big enough for my fat little carcass didn’t help.  But Mom could sure do a great Wolfman makeup job using homemade Play-Dough and macaroni!


LMC: Did you catch any flack growing up liking monsters, from family and friends?

LL: Yeah, now that I think about it, I guess I did.  At the time, I thought all the kids who said monsters were stupid were just wussies who were too scared to watch the movies.  It never made me feel bad when other kids would say stuff like “Ooh, your boyfriend is Frankenstein!” because I always thought, “Wow!, I wish!”  But my family was cool.  We watched Chiller Theater together every Friday night at 11:30, in the basement rec room.  Mom and Dad would watch the first feature, then go on up to bed and let us stay up to watch the second one if we wanted to.  Alone.  In the basement.  At 1:30 a.m.  Well, sometimes we did and sometimes we didn’t.

LMC: Why are there so few female collectors?                        

LL: I think there are probably fewer women collecting anything than there are men.  I think women are just not as into “owning” everything they like as men are.  (Well, my “cubie” at work, Kim Ammons, says she collects men’s hearts, but you know, I’ve never seen any of those hearts in her cube.)

LMC: Are you into any other “normal” hobbies (if there is such a thing)?

LL:  I like to burn things!  


LMC: Tell us your 3 all-time favorite horror movies and why.

LL: Geez, just three?!  That’s hard!  Well, ‘Bride Of Frankenstein’ of course, that movie has it all!  Horror, romance, comedy, Colin Clive’s histrionics, Ernest Thesiger’s mincing, and Karloff just breaks your heart with the sweet, innocent hope in his face, his joy at having a friend, his confusion and pain at being rejected, and finally, his solution (or so he thought) to the whole unacceptable condition of his unnatural existence.

Another movie I never get tired of watching is ‘Interview With The Vampire’.  Yeah, go ahead and call me a GIRL.  I don’t care.  I realize it wasn’t as scary as some movies, but it was about time someone filmed the book that started this whole Goth thing in the first place.  Homosexual undertones are very exciting!

Also, Universal’s Kharis the Mummy movies all scared the crap out of me when I was little.  He was so relentless-- if he was coming to kill you, you might as well just shoot yourself and spare yourself the terror of waiting, because the Mummy WILL get you…and it won’t be an easy death.

LMC: Were you fated to bump into a guy like David and eventually marry him

LL:  No!  I was fated to escape marriage altogether.  I don’t know how that happened.

LMC: Is he really as loony as they say?  (Just teasing ya Dave!)

LL: Nah.  Guy Thorpe is ‘loony’.  David is completely insane.


LMC: How has it been, living at the Horror Hotel?

LL: Woo-Hoo!

LMC: What is your favorite part of the Horror Hotel tour?

LL: The Lab, if I have to pick one.  All those lights and sounds, and the ceiling mirrors that make the room seem to go up forever.  I think it’s pretty cool.


LMC: Any favorite props or scenes from over the years?

LL: I did an ‘invisible woman’ one year.  She was a full-length silk gown and robe, sitting with her legs crossed, brushing her hair in front of  a mirror.  I had used fiberglass resin on the clothes on a mannequin, and then cut them off when it was dry.  The rest of the effect was done with strings.  I thought that turned out OK.


LMC: Any fun stories to tell about guests that have come through?

LL: I always get a kick out of kids who are scared to death until they see a familiar face, like Freddy the child-murdering slasher, and then they squeal in delight and say happily, “Freddy!” the same way they would greet their Daddy!  And I love it when older people come through and enjoy it and you know they haven’t been to any scary event since they went to the premiere of the original Universal ‘Frankenstein’!




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