I've mentioned on this blog that I'm a fan of the old Fritz Lang silent film METROPOLIS. One October, years ago, my own cheap version of "False Maria" (the classic robot in the movie) was made. My niece Devin calls her "spooky robot lady"...the name's stuck. It's one of the oldest customized Halloween props I still use. She's displayed on the dining table every season as the guardian of the party food. She was once a used and broken mannequin. Her creation became a team effort. Two friends helped give her life (2 years apart). Not that it's so special or unique that it needed the help to make, it's just what happened over the years. Click on pictures to enlarge.
Back in 2001, Paul Pistore and I were working together on another project when Halloween came around. I told him about this old mannequin I wanted to make look like a "False Maria" for Halloween that year. He wanted to help create. The figure was missing a hand and he custom made a "un skinned" robo-skeleton one. I love it. The best part of the figure. Paul made low tech construction, elegant.
He also made glowing purple eyes with Christmas lights and a fun LED blinking antennae. After 5 Halloween seasons, this year was the only one the lights failed to work. Kudos to Paul's electronic genius...twas' an exceptional run for something only expected to work for one Halloween. I've known union electricians who take 14 hours to get a store bought practical light I've put on a set to work. I'll fix before next year. In the meantime, here is a cheap photoshop enhanced image of what it looked like when working...
In 2003, with friend Jason Garner one night, with nothing better to do, we got creative and decided to detail her. Jason added small "tech" screws everywhere. It sold the robotic feel. The open back of her head (opened by Paul to add the lighting) once had the cut out piece to put back in. I've lost it since. Jason helped create the exposed faux electronic brain in it's place.
"False Maria" is an old woman now and falling apart. Spooky Robot Lady deserves a full blown makeover before Halloween 2008.