Back in the days.

Radio Free Charleston’s 171st episode, “Skull Shirt,” is online now and it’s a doozy. This on- hour-five-minute compilation show brings you highlights from the first five years worth of Radio Free Charleston Halloween specials. Most of these shows were multi-part or bonus length epics and each year’s special was different in its own twisted little way.

An important message

Our first Halloween specials were spread out over episodes 7 and 8 and had a novel hook. The shows were filmed at LiveMix Studio, our much missed home base. At the end of episode 7, I suffered a five foot plunge at the hands of “The Ghost of the Fire Escape.” At the beginning of episode 8, I had an out of body experience and haunted the remainder of the episode until I was miraculously brought back to life. You’ll see excerpts from this in RFC 171. One note for eagle eyed viewers is that in episode 7, I was wearing a black DEVO shirt with a white shirt over top of it and a black hat. The “ghost Rudy” was wearing a white Bob Dobbs shirt with a black shirt over it and a white hat. At the time, this passed for clever.

Brian and Bobby, lso known as Guy Parker and Dirt Reynolds

Representing our first Halloween special, music-wise, we have half of The Pistol Whippers, Brian Holstine and Bobby Peyton, performing an acoustic version of a classic Whippers punk tune that I keep forgetting the title of. This was one of the highlights of episode eight.

Over the end credits of this compilation, you will hear Whistlepunk with “Vampire Love Song.” Whistlepunk was the very first band we had on Radio Free Charleston and this song from episode seven was actually recorded during the same sessions as their song on our first show.

Lil Guy

Speaking of Whistlepunk, in 2007, just in time for RFC 29, the now-five-member Whistlepunk hosted a Halloween party at Capitol Roasters and we brazenly hijacked it. You’ll see a few clips from the party, with some costumed party-goers, and you will also see the music video for “Horror Movie Gangster” by Lil Guy from South Park Enterprises. This was the first rap video on Radio Free Charleston and also the first video that was edited, mixed, and finished after the host segments of the show were done. It’s also a great song and a fun video shot in grainy black and white at Spring Hill Cemetary.

Celeste, Count Rudolph, Rod Birkson and Liz

In 2008, we were so filled with the Halloween spirit that our two part Halloween special (RFC 54 and 55) grew a third appendage (RFC 64) which didn’t show up until April Fools Day the following year. These three episodes together comprise “Radio Free Charleston Horror Theatre” and include appearances (mostly in zombie form) by Kitty Killton, Liz McCormick, Brian Young, Melanie Larch, Alan Young, Stephen Beckner, and Mark Beckner. I became “Count Rudolph.” These episodes were loads of fun and feature the most extensive use of green screen technology in the history of Radio Free Charleston.

The Stephen Beckner epic

We have two musical offerings from these jam-packed shows. First we have “Planet Of The Psychotic Women,” a great lost Go Van Gogh tune which combines footage shot by Stephen Beckner in 1991 with a vintage live performance of the band shot by me, assembled and edited by yours truly in 2008. After that, we have Hellblinki (also known as The Hellblinki Sextet) with “Don’t Go Down To The Woods,” a live performance recorded at The Blue Parrot.

Mandy and Jeffy go trick-or-treating with Rudy

RFC 85, in 2009, was our longest episode to date, running over thirty minutes and incorporating one of the most fun sketches we’ve had on the show. I signed up with the “Big Buddy” organization to take two underprivileged kids trick or treating and things didn’t turn out exactly as they’d hoped. The kids were Mandy Petry and Jeff Bukovinsky of The No Pants Players and we also had appearances by Duncan Stokes of the NPP, along with Amy Williams and Mark Wolfe. Of special note is RFC’s Resident Diva, Melanie Larch, as “Malice Orr.”

The Kang, baby!

Representing RFC 85, we have two memorable performances. First, Unknown Hinson, with “Silver Platter,” recorded live at The Sound Factory.  The Kang of Country Western Troubadours was in vinatge form, and getting him for the show was a major coup.

Flare Baroshi

We also have a very cool video by Flare Baroshi, “Vampire Mafia,” co-directed by Flare Baroshi and yours truly, and filmed on the two abandoned floors of desolation above LiveMix Studio.

“Jazz From Hell”

The original plan for 2010 was to produce an entire movie and post it as our Halloween show. It is now 2012 and “Jazz From Hell” remains our unfinished epic. One of these days, I swear I’m going to finish this film. I should probably finish the script first. We’ve included the trailer for “Jazz From Hell” so you can see that it’s pretty much your everyday, run of the mill mad scientist-creates-pot-that-turns-people-into-zombie-jazz-musicians. Oddly enough, this film was nominated for Best Picture at the 2011 “Unfinished Oscars.” We don’t know if we won because sadly, the ceremony has yet to take place.

Undisclosed location

Our host segments for this “best of” show were shot at a cemetary which shall remain nameless. Our title shirt was on sale at Penney’s, I think. I can’t really remember. Oh, since the orignal shows were in the standard aspect ration, we dumped the widescreen for this episode.

Next week brings our all-new 2012 Halloween-Shocka Con extravaganza. We recorded a ton of stuff a couple of weeks ago at the inaugural edition of West Virginia’s horror/sci-fi convention and will bring you tons of sights and sounds, including musical performances by The Nanker Phelge, The Tom McGees, and The Renfields. We’re also working on a surprise for the host segments and don’t be surprised if a really twisted short film finds its way into the mix.

That’s it for this week. Be sure to watch every second of this more than one hour long RFC compilation, preferably at work.