Deathgasm & the Battle Jacket

One of the regrets I have about going on the North American Tour was that it meant suspending my haunt work. After all, there’s not enough room in the van for my tools and supplies, and no work space to continue building corpses or other props. But after watching the movie “Deathgasm“, I was inspired to finally get around to making my own battle jacket.

Deathgasm

First of all, let’s talk about this movie. If you’re a fan of horror B-movies from the 80s (like Evil Dead 2, Dead Alive, or Re-Animator), I highly recommend checking out Deathgasm. It’s a 2015 film out of New Zealand directed by Jason Howden, starring Milo Cawthorne, James Blake, and Kimberley Crossman.

Deathgasm

Deathgasm combines everything campy, silly, and scary about these other horror movies, and throws a lovable cast of misfit metalheads into the mix. The movie reads like a love letter to meatalheads, horror fans, and haunters alike. Oh, and did I mention the epic zombie battle with giant fucking dildos?

I hate to say it, but Deathgasm is my new favorite horror movie, and Milo Cawthorne’s Brodie is my new hero (sorry, Bruce Campbell). I hate to say it because I’m still such a huge fan of those other movies – Evil Dead and Dead Alive, especially. There’s room in my heart for all three, and each movie has different strengths and weaknesses. But with a gun to my head – if you force me to choose a favorite – I gotta give it to Deathgasm.

Battle Jacket

Battle JacketOrdinarily, I prefer not to post anything about my creative projects until after they’re done. I’m making an exception in this case because it’s a personal fashion project rather than an official haunt or costume project. Also it could take months or even years for me to complete this project.

I’ve been aware of battle jackets for quite some time – several of my fellow haunters have them. I confess to not being aware of just how big of a tradition they are, or even knowing that they had a proper name up until recently. I’ve toyed with the idea of making one of my own, but didn’t take it seriously until I was inspired by Deathgasm to do so.

What I like about this project is that it will be relatively easy to do and take up little space in my van. All I need is the jacket, some patches, needles, and thread. This is a simple project that I can easily work on while I’m on the road. I’ve already done the hard part. I bought a denim jacket, cut off the sleeves, and dyed it black.

Finding Patches

There are several reasons I think this project could take months or even years.

Battle JacketFirst of all, I leave for my trip in about two weeks. At this point, I don’t want to order anything online that has to be shipped to me. I’m justifiably concerned that it won’t be delivered before I leave.

Second, I would prefer not to order patches online. I think it would be more fun to collect them from brick-and-mortar stores and venues. Sure, I’ll probably go online eventually for hard-to-find patches. But I’d rather do this like a scavenger hunt. Trouble is – I don’t know many places to find patches. Hot Topic and Spencer’s come to mind. But I’ve looked at their online inventories and they didn’t impress me. Music stores – particularly ones that sell vinyl – apparently carry patches, but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that most of the patches they carry are for bands.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But a battle jacket should be a personal statement. I like music, and I’ve got favorite bands. But my main allegiances are to horror, horror films, and so forth. I don’t have nearly as much allegiance to bands or individual music artists. I imagine finding an Evil Dead patch is going to be tougher than finding a Metallica patch.

If I recall correctly, there were a few patch vendors at TransWorld. I can’t for the life of me remember which vendors they are, so I can’t look them up online. So I may need to wait until TransWorld 2018 (next March) before I can get my hands on some good patches.

Hopefully, I’ll find a few on the road. And hopefully I find a few sooner, rather than later. The sooner I find patches, the sooner I can begin work on the jacket. Otherwise, this project won’t have the diverting effect I want it to have.

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