The humorous moments that come from painting horror movie scenes are not lost on Rayna Terror (her artist name). One recent trip to buy 20 machetes, tape, and a lighter brought quizzical looks from the cashier and slow backpedaling from an employee near the exit.
“They didn’t even ask to check my receipt on the way out,” Rayna said with a laugh.
Rayna, a lifelong artist, said her passion for painting picked up four years ago when she moved to Fort Worth by way of Los Angeles. Something about the slower pace of life and new environment seemed to renew her interest in oils. Her most popular series is simply called Weapons. The self-described horror movie buff had the idea of artistically flipping the narrative of Friday the 13th three years ago. Before she could paint one of the Camp Crystal Lake counselors slashing Jason, Rayna needed a machete to model the artwork on.
“A friend said, ‘You know what would be cool is if you painted horror movie icons on it,’ ” Rayna recalled.
She took the advice and gave the first painted machete to the friend. From there, word and interest in commissions spread. Butcher knives, machetes, swords: If it slices and dices, Rayna can adorn the metal with intricate oil renderings of Jason, Freddy Krueger, Pinhead, and other supernatural serial killers.
The artworks (which can be viewed at Horrorweapons.com) have even become popular Christmas stocking slashers, er, stuffers. After a past “soul-draining” stint working for a life insurance company, Rayna said her horror movie paintings blend creative challenges and her love of terrifying movies.
“Growing up, my best friend and I were obsessed with the Halloween movies,” she said. “We would play hide and seek, and one of us was Michael Myers. It was a terrifying game.”
Rayna loves all types and genres of horror movies, but the 1980s cult classics are clearly her favorite.
“The ’80s had such iconic characters,” she said. “Freddy Krueger had so much personality.”
Horror movie buffs aren’t deviant or gore-loving, she added. It’s the thrill of a good scare that keeps her coming back to the genre. As is probably true with most horror movie fans, Halloween is an exciting time of year.
“Halloween makes me happy,” she said. “I usually decorate for Halloween in September, so I get two months of Halloween. Normally, I would sit around and watch horror movies. I used to love getting dressed up like Elvira, Morticia, or Wednesday.”
With each commission comes the chance to see a new horror movie. Her excitement was palpable when she described her current work — Edward Scissorhands. The stoic visage of Tim Burton’s endearing humanoid will soon be painted on a pair of shears.
A custom-painted work by Rayna is currently being raffled at Lovecraftzine.com. The proceeds will benefit Mike Davis, the founder of Lovecraft eZine Press, which publishes weird fiction and cosmic horror. Davis recently had health-related problems, the fundraising event said.