X-E’s Shoebox Die-O-Rama Contest: THE RESULTS!!!

I normally try to space out my posts a little bit more, so the number of comments on each entry goes up and makes X-E appear more popular than it actually is.

But, I think you’ve waited long enough for this. Finally…it’s time:

If you’ll recall, X-E readers were invited to take part in our first ever (and last ever) Spooky Die-O-Rama Contest. Your challenge was to transform a shoebox into a three-dimensional tribute to Halloween. You did very, very well.

I was beyond impressed with the level of talent, creativity and insanity conveyed by your dioramas, and choosing the winners was EXTREMELY difficult. I cannot stress this enough: Please don’t feel bad if you aren’t in the winners’ circle, because it really came down to coin flips in a lot of cases. All entries will be spotlighted on the site over the next few weeks. Since there are only so many dioramas I can pack into one post without making the Internet explode, today, we’ll just focus on the people who won.

There was no set criteria for judging. Some entries were hilarious, some were unbelievably well-constructed, and others were just so odd that they struck a chord with me and my secret panel of judges.

Because of the wealth of amazement, I’ve decided to increase the size of the winners-circle. Eight runners-up will receive a random horror DVD. And as for that grand prize? That crazy Living Dead Doll? Well, wallet be damned: I’m calling a tie for the grand prize winner, so two of you are getting that baby shipped your way.

Without further ado, here are the WINNERS of X-E’s Spooky Die-O-Rama Contest!

“The Exorcist III: THE SCARE”

Created By: Robert & Dana Hedengren
(Click here to see more images of their entry!)

As soon as I saw this, I knew it’d be the winner. How could it not be? Aside from the craftsmanship…aside from the fact that it has moving figures inside,…how could I not reward a diorama based on the famous “scare scene” from The Exorcist IIII?

Despite being a fairly unpopular movie that was mauled by many critics, The Exorcist III is still favorably remembered among genre fans, all for a quick little scene nicknamed “The Scare.” I don’t want to spoil what happens, even though the diorama kind of already did that. If you want to see just how faithful this recreation is, click here.

If you can’t tell from the photos, the figures are attached to sticks that protrude under the diorama and run along a slit track system, allowing you to recreate the murder-by-scissors in live action. Amazing!

Robert and Dana’s entry might not mean too much to people who have never seen The Exorcist III, but I’m absolutely positive that anyone who has seen the movie will agree with my choice. This is a grand prize winning diorama if I’ve ever seen one. Congratulations, guys.

And for our second grand prize winner…

“X-E’s Halloween Hacienda”

Created By: Rhino

Additional Photos:

Rhino knows where his bread is buttered! But even so, this is one awesome diorama, filled with all of the spookiest stuff ever seen on X-Entertainment! Ghost Dots, The Worst Witch, the Shrunken Head Apple — they’re all here! Man, he even got Arcano and the Ghost With The Most in there! And George the Moon Crab!

I’ve included several photos detailing the specific features of Rhino’s entry, but the video is what really sold it. After spending God knows how long building this thing, he actually went through the trouble of making a video tour of the diorama, complete with music! The video gives the diorama the distinct feeling of a haunted amusement park ride — a “dark ride” — which nearly triples the cool factor of an already amazing entry.

Rhino, this is an incredible diorama and it made me feel really warm and fuzzy. I hope your ridiculous Living Dead Doll brings you as much joy as X-E’s Haunted Hacienda brought me. Congrats!

Now, the best of the rest! After the jump are our eight runners-up, who will each receive a random spooky DVD and the most wild and crazy bragging rights ever.

(Click here to see a larger photo!)

“Party in Purgatory”

Created By: Jazzy
(Click here to see another photo of Jazzy’s entry!)

Jazzy’s description: “Beetlejuice is about to be crowded out, because Juno the caseworker has a whoooole bunch of new clients.” Love this one! Look close and you’ll spot everyone from Billy Mays to Patrick Swayze, and the super impressive thing is that Jazzy beat South Park to the punch! This was a very strong candidate for the grand prize, and even now, I’m second guessing myself. Jazzy, I can’t afford to buy everyone Living Dead Dolls, but you so deserve one.

(Click here to see a larger photo!)

“Winchester’s Cathedral”

Created By: Larry P.

Absolutely wild. Larry’s diorama was disqualified from grand prize contention because he used two shoeboxes, but boy, I’m glad he did. There’s so much going on with this thing that it’s impossible to soak it all in via one photo, so click here for a huge gallery of pictures detailing the madness of Winchester’s Cathedral.

Larry’s diorama reminds me of the weird playsets I used to make for my action figures using whatever boxes and packing materials could be found around the house. In fact, Larry’s entry is an even bigger production than it first seems, with working lights, a slime torture chamber and more! I’ll let Larry describe it in his own words, with a really tiny font:

“Here’s my entry in the Die-O-Rama contest. It’s called Winchester’s Cathedral. I stacked two shoe-boxes on top of each other, and made what’s not only a Die-O-Rama, but also a borderline playset, and it includes real working lights!. The premise is Winchester from M*A*S*H runs his own underground disco out deep in the woods (Why Winchester? He was the only GI Joe-sized figure with a lab coat. Mad Doctor Winchester!). Various Universal monsters shake it on the dance all night long, while the Wolf Man performs duties as a bouncer. Unknown to the patrons of the disco, however, Winchester has a more diabolical scheme than outdated music. Thanks to a trap door, unknowing dancers are dropped straight into Winchester’s Torture Chamber, where his right hand man, Carrot Top (no one’s scarier than Carrot Top!) oversees the torture.
Level 1: The top of the shoe-box is the forest scene, where the Wolf Man acts as bouncer, keeping the undesirables (in this case, common household zombies) out of the club.
Level 2: The disco. Rickety stairs lead down to the dance floor, where the Gill Man, Dracula, and a special someone shake it all night (notice the cool lighted disco pad). Meanwhile, Frankenstein’s Monster chats it up with Mad Doctor Winchester himself (and yes, that’s the official 1982 Winchester figure).
Level 3: The torture chamber. Carrot Top fries an unlucky patron in a delectable combination of egg and slime, while a henchman tests his strength with the sledge hammer game. At the top of the game? A severed head. Over at the side, a small prison holds a future victim, while a former victim lies mutilated on an operating table. And beyond that, a table saw is in the process of finishing off yet another victim. Winchester’s kind of a twisted guy! I like to think of it as a bet with Hawkeye gone horribly wrong.”

Unbelievable work, Larry.

PS, I like typing your name. Larry Larry Larry. I don’t think I’ve ever known a “Larry” in real life. Can we be phone buddies just so I can say “Larry” all the time?

(Click here to see a larger photo!)

“Mr. Cthulhu Rising”

Created By: Vicki

Vicki’s diorama will probably be one of the fan favorites, based on H. P. Lovecraft’s The Call Of Cthulhu. I’m sad to admit that I haven’t followed the lore and fandom surrounding that tale anywhere near as closely as many others, but I know the generalities, and this diorama definitely does ’em justice. Vicki even got Cthulhu’s cult of fanatics in the mix!

Vicki’s description: “What is basically going on is the cult of Cthulhu is at the end of summoning their god in a cave as 3 investigators stumble upon them. Sadly one has gone insane and tried to tear his eyes out in horror as he ran away.  The cultist will probably be eaten along with the investigators.”

I couldn’t have said it any better.

“Psycho Shower”

Created By: Fox

Fox’s entry will make you laugh more than I’ve written ever has. I don’t want to spoil it — just watch the video.

Fox, you rock, and I think there are going to be plenty of people wondering why you aren’t a grand prize winner. I judged this thing, and even I’m wondering why you aren’t. Did you send me a nasty e-mail or something? You know I’m thin-skinned.

(Click here to see a larger photo!)

“It’s A Zombie Attack, Charlie Brown”

Created By: Matt Bowen

Just as Linus sought to choose a pumpkin patch free of pretension as a worthy stop for the famed Great Pumpkin, I felt that one of our winning dioramas needed to be similarly unpretentious. Despite the storyline edit of Linus and Charlie Brown fending off flesh-eating zombies, there’s something charmingly simple about this one. It’s the kind of diorama that some demented artsy kid would’ve made in school and been forced to spend years in therapy as a result of.

Love it. This one really captures the spirit of this contest, and it’s one of the few entries I got that utilized pipecleaners! Good work, Mr. Bowen!

(Click here to see a larger photo!)

“The Notorious Pet-Eating Shoebox Monster From The Basement Of Your Mom”

Created By: Bjørn J.

I should’ve known better than to choose an entry from someone named Bjørn! The shipping costs for sending Bjørn his prize will surely bankrupt me, but how could I neglect The Notorious Pet-Eating Shoebox Monster From The Basement Of Your Mom?

There’s a bit of a Sarlacc Pit vibe to this one, and it’s like no other diorama entry I received. Really dig the layers and layers or jaws and throats. Also dig the fact that someone in Denmark reads X-E. I always assume that the site’s scope of readership doesn’t extend far outside the Tri-State Area. Thank you, Bjørn! I love you, and I love the crazy squiggle in your o!

(Click here to see a larger photo!)

“Jason and Freddy Enjoy a Mr. Belvedere Marathon”

Created By: Thomas & Hoverbored

Yes! Thomas and Hoverbored (assuming Thomas isn’t Hoverbored, hmmm) really nailed it with this lovely depiction of everyone’s favorite Hollywood slashers enjoying their downtime. If you spent your work hours cutting up and murdering teenagers, it stands to reason that you’d go for something a little more benign during your leisure time. Streaks on the china!

Big bonus points are awarded for the cute little box of Ritz crackers. Of all of Die-O-Ramas I received, none were more deserving to become the basis for a major motion picture than this one. Sorry to steal your idea guys, but I’m already working on the treatment.

“Day of the Dead”

Created By: squee

Good Christ, squee put a LOT of work into this diorama, dedicated to her grandparents. It’s another entry where there’s way, way too much good stuff to properly convey in any single photo, so click here to see a whole album dedicated to this finesse-filled fable of fright. Aside from probably being the most stylish Die-O-Rama entry that landed in my inbox, it’s also another one with an intuitive light-up feature!

Awesome work, squee! I’m sure you made this one more for you than for the contest, but it’s too cool to keep hidden!

Congratulations to the winners, and thank you to EVERYONE who entered. Again, please don’t be disappointed if you didn’t win a prize — there seriously was not a bad entry in the bunch, and all of them will be spotlighted on the site this month.

There are still MANY more Spooky Die-O-Ramas to show you, but formatting these entries is a bitch. Stay tuned, I’ll put up another batch this weekend — and give you the details on our second Halloween art contest!

This entry was posted in 2009 Halloween Countdown, General. Bookmark the permalink.

71 Responses to X-E’s Shoebox Die-O-Rama Contest: THE RESULTS!!!

  1. mandy_Reeves says:

    king jla…Patrick Swayze was there on South Park…he was on the end seat to the left, next to Bea Arthur

  2. Kapprika says:

    Wow, all of them are really great. Can’t decide which one I like best, really. I love how some had videos.

  3. Doctor_Who says:

    The Exorcist III one made me choke on my breakfast cereal laughing. I love that scene.

    The other winning entry was so cool that I feel I should go out into my garage and build it into an actual haunted house for all the Trick-or-Treaters this year. They too will know the horror of Shrunken Apple Head!

    You have chosen well, Matt. Look forward to seeing more entries soon.

  4. nick says:

    rhino’s camera work is incredible. it really did feel like riding an old carnival ride. i would have made that grand champion and the disco party double shoebox would have been side-champion. all of the entries posted were great, though.

  5. Anders O says:

    Oh, you have lots of followers in Denmark, Matt. You should come over and give a guest lecture or something.

  6. Bjørn J. says:

    Oh yeah, i´d be there!

  7. Sajmon says:

    I’m from Denmark and a big fan too. Great to have up updating the site again.

  8. Tutsuro says:

    Nice work everyone.

  9. I did toy with the idea of entering something of my own, but I just didn’t have the time. And I’m glad I didn’t – whatever I could have come up with would have looked emabarrasing next to the greatness of these.

    Also, X-E stretches very far out of the Tri-State area, Matt. For starters, you’ve got an ever-growing following here in the good old U.K. =)

  10. Teddy Ray says:

    Wow. These are freaking awesome! I’m glad I didn’t bother…it would’ve just been my Movie Maniacs killing a Beanie Baby or something…and it would’ve lost.

    Oh, and jazzy, hope your mom gets better…she’ll be in my prayers.

  11. Matt says:

    SNT coming up in a bit, along with some more Die-O-Ramas. :)

  12. Darth Poop says:

    Sweet, I can’t wait to see more!

  13. ULTRAMAN says:

    Woohoo Halloween SNT is ALMOST here!!! 😀 Can’t wait to see the other entries.

  14. Lonestar76 says:

    Matt, I know it’s a little late for the survey, I got something that really scares me. Sleep paralysis. It
    feels like some force is keeping you down. It takes
    some time for me to get over it whenever this happens.
    I’m pretty sure, there are others here who have suffered from it.

  15. Lucky says:

    Those are absolutely wonderful!

  16. Teddy Ray says:

    Lonestar76, I’ve experienced sleep paralysis once and it was the weirdest f’ing thing ever!

  17. Thomas of Thomas and Hoverbored says:


    Yours was clearly the best one, but it’s awesome of you to call ours out.

  18. Holy crap, it’s the Pool-O-Lantern! Well played, Rhino. Well played indeed.

  19. Lonnius says:

    That scene from Exorcist III was one of the scariest scenes of all time, in my opinion. Too bad we had to watch such a HORRID movie to see it. But that part still haunts me.

  20. Frito says:

    Great work everyone! For informational purposes, I’m from Oklahoma and have been reading your site for a few years now. Keep up the great work, Matt!!

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