Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hidden Horrors: Terrifying T-shirts

By Brian M. Sammons

I have always been a jeans and T-shirt kind of guy and I think I always will be. Even in winter you’re more likely to see me wearing one of my old, black T’s than anything else. They’re just what I feel most comfortable in. Blame it on me growing up not only a metal head but a horror fan. The closest thing to a uniform for both groups was black T-shirts with some kind of image or logo on them. I can easily see myself at eighty-something, provided I live that long, rolling around in a wheelchair, my shaggy hair and pearly whites both fond memories, but still styling in some worn out blue jeans and a black, vintage Dawn of the Dead shirt. So knowing that I’ll be in the market for such shirts for a long time to come I did some searching on the web for some of the best places to procure fright threads.

However before we get going let me remark about the fit, feel, and quality of the shirts. All of the T-shirts from all of the sellers below were made out of 100% preshrunk cotton. They all felt good and fit well and all seemed very durable. That means the only difference between them will be the style, selection, and art. Now with that said, here are the best T-shirt sellers on the net today.

Fast Custom Shirts

While this place doesn’t have a spooky name, Fast Custom Shirts is an amazing stop for horrorheads looking for some new threads. They are located in Texas and just like the saying, “everything is bigger in Texas” the folks at FCS have embraced that motto and ran with it. In addition to shirts about horror movies you can find tee’s about sci-fi movies, exploitation flicks, military shirts, funny shirts, erotic shirts, various spots, video games, famous people (go go H.P. Lovecraft), and countless other topics. No really, I don’t want to count all of them, there are just too many. For just the sheer amount of shirts to choose from it’s hard to beat Fast Custom Shirts. They also offer a bit more colors to the shirts then the basic black, if that matters to you.

While there are many sites that do spooky shirts, Fast Custom Shirts corners of the market on the obscure, off the wall, and cult favorite flicks. Yes they have T-shirts of the Exorcist and Day of the Dead like everyone else, but they’ve also got shirts for Basket Case, Anthropophagus, Don’t go in the Woods, and Crazy Fat Ethel. Yes let me repeat that; Crazy Fat Ethel has her own T-shirt! So if you are ready to be blown away by their expansive catalog of seemingly endless shirts you can check them out here:

Offworld Designs

This place is less horror-centric but is an absolute geektopia. It is also offers far more hilarious shirts than any of the other sites on this list. Both geeks and humor are not bad things in my book as I’ve been known to play video games, toss around funny shaped dice, and watch Star Trek from time to time, and who doesn’t like to laugh? Ok, except for the emo kids, but then they’re going to buy all their shirts at Hot Topic anyway so who cares about them. Offworld Designs offers great T-shirts for the discriminating geek. There are gaming shirts that poke fun at role playing games (as in both D&D and World of Warcraft), sci-fi (with lots of jokes aimed at Star Trek, Star Wars, and Battlestar Galactica) just plain old funny shirts (with both dirty and clean humor), and yes, even the emo kids I was making fun of before can find something here in the “Goth Designs” section. One of the best things about Offworld Designs is that almost nothing is out of bounds and nothing is taken too seriously.

“But Brian,” I can hear some of you saying now, “this is a horror site and we’re all horror fans so why tell us about some funny T-shirt maker?” Well first, you need to lighten up if you said that, and second, there are horror related tee’s to be found here, just expect them to be a tad bit silly. If you are a Cthulhuhead like me then this place is heaven as you’ll find lots and lots of Lovecraft inspired laughs here. There are also shirts that riff on zombies, vampires, necromancy, and a whole assortment of other spooky things. If you are looking to spice up your horror wardrobe with a little hilarity then Offworld Designs is the place to go. You can reach their starbase of silliness here:

Fright Rags

Ok, for you horror purists out there, here’s a sight that’s all about the fright. Fright Rags is nothing but horror. Because of this they don’t have the selection of the previous two T-shirt sellers, but they are more focused on a theme. They offer a good sized selection of shirts with images taken from vintage horror movie posters and these are by far their best looking shirts. They also have something the other guys don’t; a small selection of horror hoodies for sale which I thought was a nice addition.

Lastly they have a bunch of original designs based off of famous horror flicks, but of these I must confess that they are a bit too cartoonish for my tastes. Naturally, your mileage may vary. While Fright Rags offers a smaller selection the do have some originals that can’t be found anywhere else and cover some of the obscure cult flicks that others overlook. If you are looking for something different you can give Fright Rags a try here:

Rotten Cotton

The folks over at RC are also all about the horror, and the evil. Whether its cutsie evil like their line of vulgar, and slightly disturbing teddy bear shirts they call “the swear bears” (my favorite is the teddy done up to look like Iron Maiden’s Eddie), or real life evil as in an extensive collection of tee’s featuring serial killers and murderers, there’s something to offend everybody, especially the T-shirts you’ll find in the “Blasphemy” and “Crazy-ass” collections. Trust me, what these guys consider “crazy-ass” takes that phrase to a whole new level.

Luckily Rotten Cotton is more than just shock. They have a huge selection of Horror T-shirts that cover many rare movies. They even get bonus points in my book for being the only site on the list to offer shirts based on the amazing Deadworld comic. In addition to T-shirts, Rotten Cotton offers more spooktacular clothing items than any other site. They’ve got horror hoodies, terrifying tank tops for the ladies, wicked button up work shirts, and something else for the ladies that are almost too awesome for words: panties with pentagrams on them for the seriously sexy Satanist. If you are looking to get your horror on in style and with as many clothing options available to you as possible, then click on over to Rotten Cotton here:

--Brian M. Sammons