From the Archives (DIG) – 365 Days of Halloween: Composite Effects Makes Monsters Year-Round

CFX MasksHalloween may have come and gone, but the imagination animators at Composite Effects are still hard at work making custom film props, trophies, and blood in their Baton Rouge workspace.

Composite Effects, or CFX, has been a part of the Baton Rouge community for over half a decade, and received numerous recognitions and awards from horror-focused organizations and commercial groups, including a 2011 award from the US Commerce Association, a Vendor Excellence “Oscare” from the Haunted Attraction Association, and an Industry Excellence Award from Top Haunts magazine. As the accolades roll in, business continues to bloom.

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From the Archives (DIG) – A Family Affair: Baton Rouge’s Three Gay Bars Provide Entertainment and Excitement.

It’s been nearly nine years since Cory Wise and Jeff Trudel purchased the building which currently houses Splash, and in that time, the club has continued to modernize and update.

“This place has been a bar since the seventies,” Trudel says, noting that he and Wise took over the location from defunct gay club Icon in October of 2003. And in that time, they’ve “never stopped renovating.”

Continue reading “From the Archives (DIG) – A Family Affair: Baton Rouge’s Three Gay Bars Provide Entertainment and Excitement.”

From the Archives (DIG) – Tigerland to Undergo Increased Police Patrols: Neighborhood Sees Four Homicides in Six Months

The drastic increase in highly visible crime in Tigerland this year has residents anxious, but the Baton Rouge Police Department plans to increase its presence in the area.

“We can see spikes in crime in certain areas and respond to them,” said BRPD Cpl. L’Jean McKneely Friday, saying that this allows the police to concentrate their forces in those areas.

Within the past year, the rate of violent crime in Tigerland has grown at an alarming and unprecedented pace. In March, Gunner Williamson, a Tigerland resident, was discovered in a Bob Pettit Boulevard ditch, unconscious; the Baton Rouge Coroner’s Office later ruled his death a homicide due to cranial blunt force trauma.

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From the Archives (DIG) – Swine Palace Celebrates Louisiana’s Bicentennial: Louisiana-themed plays make up the core of this season’s performances

The Reilly Theatre, Home of the Swine Palace.
The Reilly Theatre, Home of the Swine Palace.

To celebrate the state’s bicentennial, LSU’s Swine Palace is producing three plays that revolve around historic moments, people, and places in Louisiana. Proving that true art is controversial, all three have had mixed reactions from theatrical critics, although the Swine Palace performances are sure to be delightful. Paul Russell is set to direct a September run of a comedy that has been called “sluggish” as often as it has “ambitious”; Benjamin Koucherik and Swine Palace Artistic Director George Judy share directing credit for a New Orleans native’s play that has been praised for its mood and tone while being denigrated for being less a play than a series of vignettes; and, finally, Judy will direct a Louisiana perennial that forces the audience to confront its beliefs about the state’s most famed political folk hero.

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Swampflix Movie of the Month: Magic in the Mirror (1996)

EPSON MFP imageThe post from which this was excerpted was originally published on Swampflix.com as part of that site’s “Movie of the Month” feature, in which one contributor makes the rest of the crew watch a movie they’ve never seen before, and the staff discusses it afterwards. For April 2018, Britnee made me, Alliand Brandon watch Magic in the Mirror (1996).

(Brandon:) Boomer, we seem to be painting two portraits of Magic in the Mirror here. One is a thoughtful expression of childhood frustration with being ignored by the adults who lord over you. The other is a subliminal nightmare that lingers only as a fear of cheaply costumed duck-people who boil children alive for the pleasure of the taste. Did either of these qualities overpower the other in your viewing of the film or did they work perfectly in tandem, like two realms on opposite sides of the same magic mirror?

Boomer: Unlike you, Brandon, I didn’t find the ducks–excuse me, Drakes–all that scary. Maybe if I were a child the first time I saw it, I would have had a different experience, but as it is, the flappy mouths and glug-glug-glug drinking sounds were too similar to the intentionally comical appearance of the eagle-headed colonel from Danger 5 to elicit anything other than laughter from me (which it did, every time). If anything, their sped-up waddling and the terrible flying effects render them adorably pathetic in spite of their menacing tea habits. Had I been a child during my first viewing, I would have found the Mirror Minders the far creepier creatures, as the thought of an oversized manchild in drab motley watching me from the other side of my mirror is a much more disturbing thought in its abstract than being boiled alive for a mere sixty seconds. I know that they’re supposed to be charming in a Mr. Tumnus way, but their high pitched voices and the “I used to be a birthday clown but now I live in the woods” color palette aren’t exactly virtues to me. I, too, am a longtime fan of Full Moon Entertainment, and frequently find myself extolling its virtues, like the fact that it was one of the first studios to have an interconnected film universe, with the eponymous main characters from their respective films coming to blows in the crossover Dollman vs. The Demonic Toys (which also featured a shrunken nurse from one of my personal favorites, Bad Channels, as Dollman’s love interest). That doesn’t mean I’m going to give a pass to just anything that Band put his hands on (I submit my review of Dungeonmaster as evidence), but I found this film more charming than alarming, despite the Mirror Minders. There is a bit of a creep factor, but it does, as you say, work in tandem with its more traditional fantasy fare.

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From the Archives (DIG) – Tiger Athletic Foundation Commits to Set Donations: Will Share the Wealth, $36 Million over Next Five Years

720x400xLSU7693-Memorial-Tower-720x400.jpg.pagespeed.ic.VchM33Lu01In a move that would have made “Share the Wealth” proponent Huey P. Long proud, the LSU Board of Regents voted this past Friday to formalize the flow of money between the Tiger Athletic Fund and other branches of the university.

Within the past several years, the university has experienced a downward slide, as budget cuts have forced several departments to close, prevented maintenance from being performed, and the loss of 140 members of the faculty during the 2009-2010 academic year, with others slowly trickling out in disgust or disgrace.

With a little luck, the decision made by the board on September 7 will stop—and potentially reverse—LSU’s slow fiscal erosion.

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