The Echo-cist’s Halloween spook-tacular
Jim Stacy, creator of the legendary Star Wars-theme rock band Grand Moff Tarkin, switches off his power drill and stands back to admire a massive new prop created for his most ambitious project yet. He grins proudly as he gestures at the 11-foot high wooden skull.
“On Halloween night,” he chuckles, “you’ll walk through this to get into the Echo Lounge!”
With a production budget rumored to be five figures, Stacy and his colorful cohorts from the Black Cat Tattoo parlor will transform the East Atlanta nightspot into a spookhouse called “The Echo-cist,” a reference to the 1974 horror classic The Exorcist. “It’s gonna be the biggest thing in Atlanta this Halloween, short of the corporate haunted houses,” says Stacy. “Not that there’s anything wrong with those, but we’re going for something more old-school, like a county fair spook show.”
Although the details are being kept secret, Stacy reveals that among the Echo-cist’s retro features will be a “girl-to-gorilla” transformation booth. Patrons will enter the club not through the front door, but through its side lounge. First, however, they must pass through an immense maze constructed in its parking lot. “Only after that,” Stacy explains, “will they be allowed in, to deal with the mayhem inside.”
That “mayhem” will include live music by acclaimed Atlanta punkers the X-Impossibles and by Gargantua, whom Stacy describes as “the Teen Beat equivalent to Iron Maiden.” Also featured will be performances from Hillbilly Werewolf as well as the Pits, a Pennsylvania-based “horror movie punk band” that Stacy characterizes as a combination of the Misfits and Hasil Adkins.
Emceeing the festivities will be Stacy himself, in his alter ego as the wide-eyed horror host Dr. Crepula. “I’ve played Crepula before, but he took the year 1999 off because I was getting married on Halloween,” recalls Stacy. “I couldn’t subject my wife’s parents to that!”
“The Echo-Cist” is held Tues., Oct. 31 at the Echo Lounge.