Top 5 Creepy Tiki Mugs

I love Halloween and the fall season — what little we have of it in California — and I’ve taken a break from eating all the pumpkin-flavored foods I can find to bring you my list of the Top 5 Creepy Tiki Mugs of 2014, a follow-up to last year’s round-up of spooky tiki mugs.

Severed Bob by Bosko

I love a good tiki mashup and that’s what Bosko has presented with Severed Bob ($80), putting together the iconic Tiki Bob mug from the defunct San Francisco bar and the rare (and disturbing) Severed Head from the long-gone Ren Clark’s Polynesian Village in Fort Worth. Only 40 of these were made but it looks like there are still some left for sale on Bosko’s web site…for now.

Three Dots and a Dash Fiji Mermaid mug

The sea urchin shell mug that Tiki Farm produced for Three Dots and a Dash in Chicago is one of the most beautiful mugs I’ve seen, so I was a bit startled by their latest signature ceramic piece: The Fiji Mermaid ($20, only available at Three Dots and a Dash). (Of course, I still added it to my collection anyway.) The design is inspired by the Feejee Mermaid sideshow attraction made famous by P.T. Barnum in the 1840s. The “mermaid” was actually a gruesome manmade creation composed of the top half of a monkey and the bottom of a fish. (Munktiki has also produced likenesses of the Fiji Mermaid.)

Munktiki Shrunken Fugu

Munktiki’s got a bit of a dark side, embodied in recent releases like Dead Summer, Fu Zomb Chu and this Shrunken Fugu. There were only 100 limited editions ($75) produced in black/white and “Dead Skin Brown,” and they’re all sold out since their release back in May this year. I guess it’s funny that I find it kind of creepy and yet I don’t think twice about seeing pufferfish turned into lamps at tiki bars (and my own tiki room)…

Taboo Island Skull Tiki Mug

Truthfuly I find these Taboo Island Skull Tiki Mugs more cute than creepy — I think they remind me of the “Beetlejuice” cartoon I loved as a kid. Anyway, one hundred skull mugs were produced, plus 25 of these super limited artist proofs ($70). Each one features a unique color glaze and comes packaged in a little wood coffin filled with coconut fibers.

Munktiki Halloween Coconut Monkeys

Coconut monkeys are a Hawaiian souvenir cliché but Munktiki takes them to another level with the ceramic versions they’ve produced over the years. For Halloween this year, they had eBay auctions for 11 unique designs paying tribute to “Friday the 13th,”Scream,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and more.

Related Posts:
Top 5 Spooky Tiki Mugs
Tiki Halloween Craft: Shrunken Head Pumpkin
Tiki Sightings at Halloweentown

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Top 5 Spooky Tiki Mugs

Frankie's Tiki Room Las Vegas Halloween Thurston Howl Mug

Tiki mugs have gone way beyond ersatz portrayals of Polynesian gods. Thanks to creative companies like Tiki Farm and Munktiki there are now ceramics in all sorts of shapes and styles. In the spirit of Halloween, I present this round-up of a few of my favorite spooktacular spirits vessels.

The mugs that Tiki Farm produces for Frankie’s Tiki Room are some of my all-time favorites, especially the ones with Las Vegas details like the dice eyes on the Thurston Howl mug designed by Mark T. Zeilman. The regular version of this mug is green and red but for Halloween 2010 there was a limited run of 100 “Halloween Howl” mugs made in orange and black. (This photo is from an eBay auction since I missed out on this one…)

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Trader Sam’s tiki bar at the Disneyland Hotel contains many references to Adventureland attractions like The Enchanted Tiki Room, Jungle Cruise and Indiana Jones, but this creepy collectible bears a resemblance to the Hatbox Ghost/tall Hitchhiking Ghost from the Haunted Mansion. Manufactured by Tiki Farm, it made its debut in 2012 but is still available as a souvenir when you order the Shrunken Zombie Head cocktail.

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One of the first mugs I ever ordered from Tiki Farm was The Gravekeeper (center), which was sculpted by Baron Shivers of the spooky surf band The Ghastly Ones. (Their song “Ghastly Stomp” is an infectious ode to “Grim Grinning Ghosts” from the Haunted Mansion.) This ghoulish guy was so popular that it was later released in another color: “Perilous Purple.”

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Another eerie locale-exclusive mug I like is the shrunken head mug from Psycho Suzi’s in Minneapolis. They commissioned it from Tiki Farm in 2011 for The Shrunken Head bar, one of the sections of the Shangri-La Cocktail Lounge upstairs. (Read more about this mug in my Psycho Suzi’s gift shop post.)

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The Southern California event Tiki Oasis has a signature mug every year, and Munktiki drew inspiration from 2008’s theme “Voodoo Vacation on Zombie Island” for this clever creation. (Here again, photo is from an eBay auction.) It’s a zombie-fied take on the Don the Beachcomber head mug — fitting since Don the Beachcomber invented the Zombie cocktail. Speaking of Zombies, if you’re in the mood to mix one up on Halloween (or any other night of the year), you should check out Professor Cocktail’s Zombie Horde: Recipes for the World’s Most Lethal Drink by David J. Montgomery. (Stay tuned for a full review of that e-book.)

Do you have a favorite tiki mug you’ll be imbibing from this All Hallows’ Eve?

Related Posts:
Tiki Halloween Decorations: Shrunken Head Pumpkin
Halloween Art Show at the Tonga Hut
Aunt Tiki’s Halloween-Themed Bar in New Orleans

Tiki Bar in “The Haunted Mansion” Movie

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In the run-up to Halloween I love to buy pumpkin-flavored everything at Trader Joe’s and watch spooky movies at home. I’m a total wuss and refuse to watch anything legitimately scary, so I stick to family-friendly fare like “Mad Monster Party,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Hocus Pocus.”

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This year I hesitantly added Disney’s notorious “Haunted Mansion” movie from 2003 to our viewing list. (It was not nearly as well-received as their other theme-park-attraction-turned-film from that year: “Pirates of the Caribbean.”) At any rate, I’m 10 years late to the party of discovering that there’s a tiki bar scene!

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Early in the movie, Eddie Murphy’s real estate agent character meets up with a couple at a tiki bar to sign the paperwork to sell their house. (If only we could have signed all the forms for our house at a tiki bar!)

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The quirky couple drink out of Munktiki mugs and order a seemingly made-up tropical drink called Three Volcanoes. (If you’re trying to remember where you’ve seen that guy before, he was Kenny the hack comedian on “Seinfeld.”)

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We listened to the DVD commentaries for this scene and learned that it was a reshoot designed to emphasize the workaholic nature of Eddy Murphy’s character. It sounded like the crew on a whim said, “Hey, let’s make it a tiki bar!” (Apparently the tiki bar set can now be found at the director’s house.)

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If you look carefully you may be able to spot the three hitchhiking ghosts from later in the movie. They’re among the Hawaiian-shirted extras in this scene, according to the commentary.

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It’s been pointed out that it was especially appropriate for there to be a tiki bar at the beginning of the film because at Disneyland you walk by The Enchanted Tiki Room in Adventureland before you get to the Haunted Mansion in New Orleans Square.

Haunted Mansion
© 2003 Disney Enterprises, Inc.

“The Haunted Mansion” had its share of groanworthy gags and jokes, but it wasn’t the abomination it was made out to be. It’s probably worth watching once for the random tiki sighting, gorgeous mansion set and costume designs, and cameos by Wallace Shawn.

Related Posts:
Shag’s Art for the 50th Anniversary of The Haunted Mansion
Enchanted Tiki Room Pumpkins at Disneyland’s HalloweenTime
Tiki Things at Halloweentown in Burbank