Ed & Damien - the Living Dead Doll Creators!!!
We're honored to have Living Dead Doll creators, Ed Long & Damien Glonek speaking with us. Ed Long and Damien Glonek are life-long horror fans who turned their love the genre and a doll kit into one of the hottest collective toys out there, the famous Living Dead Dolls. Interviewed by none other than our very own Living Dead Doll enthusiast, Vin the Technoweenie! Ed & Damien give us a quick look behind the history and inspiration for the Living Dead Dolls and talk about some of their horror genre favorites. - by Vin. 6/04

Where does the inspiration for the dolls come from (style, names, poems)?

We get our inspiration from everywhere, no one particular source.  From music, movies the world around us.  Sometimes the smallest things inspire the creation of a doll.  And lots of times they way your first envision a doll to be is not the way it comes out in the end.  Most of the time they takes on a life of their own.
How did you get Mezco interested in the dolls?

Back in 1998 when we first started making the dolls we were selling them at horror conventions.  At one particular convention, Chiller Theatre, Mezco was at the show and they bought one of our dolls.  A few months later they contacted us and basically said they were interested in taking over manufacturing and distribution of them.  So we took a meeting with them and found out one of the coolest things about Mezco was, they wanted us at the helm still doing all the designing.  So we decided to sign on with them, with us still at the creative helm and doing all the design work.  Three years later we still do most of the designing and still have the final say in everything.  We couldn't be happier working with Mezco, they are just the best company to work with.  They never turned us down for an idea being to outrageous or controversial.  We have a great relationship with them.
Did you ever think that it would become this popular?

Never in our wildest dream did we expect things to turn out as they did. It was never our intention to make a cult toy.  We basically just made these for ourselves.  It wasn't until later they we tried to see if other people would be interested in them as well.  As it turns out we filled in a niche that needed to be filled.
How does it feel seeing doll ideas that were in your head not that long ago, now sell for hundreds of dollars on eBay and in the aftermarket?

It is an amazing feeling.  It is hard to believe that people would be that into something you have created and be willing to shell out so much money for it.  Unfortunately we never see any of the secondary market money.  But it certainly gives you the feeling that your stuff is making a mark on the horror genre.
You guys started out with the Living Dead Dolls at the Chiller Convention. Any favorite Chiller memories?

Chiller Theatre was always the biggest event for the year for us.  We have been going to Chiller for about 12 years now.  Being the horror fans we are, there is no better place to be then Chiller.  Some the best times we ever had were at Chiller.  As far as the dolls go, some of the most memorable moments are on the night of their debut they sold out instantly.  Another was the last time we sold hand made dolls before the Line came out under Mezco.  Everything new we ever did with dolls usually were unveiled at Chiller.  It is their home, it is our home.

How far do you plan on taking Living Dead Doll's? How many series' do you plan on doing?

We plan on taking it to the deepest darkest depths of hell.  Which is probably Hollywood.  We have no master plan.  Obviously being fans of film we would love to see it take on that challenge.  We always felt that the dolls were always part of their own universe.  We never saw them as just another Chucky type thing, but more part of an alternate world they live in where new stories can be created.  We link them more to My Little Pony then Childs Play.  But actually we are thankful that we have been able to do as much as we have done so far.  Most trends don't last this long, which makes us think we really have touched upon on something that will last.  We have so many ideas we want to do we only hope that we will get the chance to share them all.
Has anyone ever been grossly offended by the dolls?

Other then being banned in Greece, almost being banned in Singapore and a few angry mothers here and there, we have never gotten much flack for what we have done.  Which really surprised us because we are still waiting.
About how long does it take for a doll idea to go from concept to actual product?

We usually work about six months in advance.  But sometimes concepts are created a year or so in advance,  there are some things that have been in the works for years that's still haven't seen the light of day.  And yet sometimes we come up with ideas that we need to produce right away because they are screaming to get out of us.
Any doll a particular favorite of yours?

Damien: I am usually excited about each new doll we create.  They all have their own special meaning to me, it is hard to pick any particular favorites.  But right now I am very excited about series 8.
 
Ed:  Ditto on series 8.  I have always had a special place in my heart for Posey, Hazel and Hattie and Hush.


Anything super secret about Living Dead Dolls that you would care to share with the faithful Icons Of Fright readers?

We don't create the dolls, they create themselves.

What are your earliest horror memories?

Damien:  I grew up on horror films.  They were always on when I was a kid.  I grew up watching Creature Double Feature to Saturday Night Dead.  I was named after Father Karris from The Exorcist.  I remember as a little kid, playing in the room when The Exorcist was on TV, and just from the sounds alone in that movie, I could not bring myself to look up to see the screen.  Just from sounds of that movie it scared the shit out of me.  It is without a doubt the greatest horror film to this day and still scares me.

 
Ed:  I remember one Saturday afternoon while watching Creature Double Feature with my cousin Mark, my mother decided it would be funny to paint her face up real pale, put dark eye make--up on, a long flowing night gown and walk out of her bedroom with a lit candelabra.  She was moaning and hissing and me and my cousin Mark nearly shit ourselves.  I never ran out of my house that fast since.  Much later when asked when I was going to grow up I told my mother, growing up was for kids.  I was way beyond that now thanks to her.

What's your favorite horror movie/actor?

Ed:  If I absolutely had to, I would say The Exorcist.  But it is like asking which is your favorite doll, it just seems unreasonable.  Now as far as actors go, I am going to go outside the genre and say Gary Oldman. He has played everyone from Beethoven to Sid Vicious, to a Jamaican to Dracula.  Beat that.

Damien
:  Picking a favorite horror movie is near impossible.  There are so many good ones for so many different reasons.  But I do have a soft spot in my heart for zombies and I will usually sit through any zombie movie no matter how slow.  Even something like Oasis of the Zombies makes me feel all warm inside.  So for that I am going to have to say, Night of the Living Dead, is probably one of my all time favorites.  It really changed the face of horror and certainly the legend of zombies.  As far as actors go.  Like movies, I am not partial to one particular actor.  I have always really dug the character of Dr. Frankenstein though.  I am fascinated by his desire and compulsion that drives him to the point of madness.  I think because I see a little of myself in that character that I can identify with him so well.  But I like a lot of the actors who played him over the years that really expressed that compulsive driving madness.  Especially Colin Clive, Peter Cushing and even Herbert West from Re-Animator.

How do you guys feel about the current horror movie scene?

Ed:  I think for the first time in many years it is hopeful.  With Asian releases like Ringu, The Eye and Audition, we have actually been given fresh ideas.  The American remake of Ringu completely blew me away.  I still can't believe that Hollywood could actually get something right.  Lets just hope that with Ju-On having cast Sarah Michelle Gellar as the lead that they don't screw it up enough to erase the impact of the success of The Ring.

Damien
:  The current horror movie scene seems to be getting better.  We are finally over that wave of Scream crap teen fests and finally getting back to some real scary intelligent horror.  Now with stuff like Cabin Fever coming to the theater it gives me a little hope.  The Asian horror scene seems to be where it is at right now with a breath of fresh ideas.  Ringu, Uzumaki, Ju-On, The Eye have all been great films.  Though I do hope we don't get to involved in this new trend of remaking classics like Texas Chainsaw and Dawn of the Dead. I would much rather sit through the originals.


Is there anything that scares you guys?

Ed: Yeah the current state of affairs.  What use would there be for horror if people didn't still get scared.
 
Damien: Hell yeah.  Bugs and children creep me the fuck out.
Fast zombies or slow zombies?

Ed:  I like them both, but I got to go with slow.  I think now a days fast moving zombies make more sense.  But screw nowadays, I am going to stick with Romero.
 
Damien: Slow absolutely.  Though I did like the fast ones in Return of the Living Dead.



 
So...how about a Techno-Weenie doll?

Uh...yeah.  We'll get right on that.

Visit Ed and Damien at www.Living Dead Dolls.com!!!
and also at www.unearthly possessions.com!!!

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