January 14, 2007

VRANEY & PETRUCCI'S FUNHOUSE

If you've ever seen art like this...


...on stationary, or a sticker, or at a "low brow" art exhibit then you've seen the work of Lisa Petrucci. And if you've seen something like this...


...on the shelf at Best Buy, or in your own DVD collection then you've seen the handiwork of Mike Vraney, Lisa's husband. He didn't create the film, but as the founder of Something Weird Video he's preserved and distributed hundreds of freakish celluloid rarities.

A few months ago Boing Boing posted a link to a site that showcases Lisa and Mike's spectacular home. The post reminded me of the summer of 2005 when I had the pleasure of spending an evening at the Vraney/Petrucci estate during which and I dined, explored, asked loads of questions, and took a bunch of photos. I recently dug out the snapshots and scanned them for your enjoyment. Since they're from film they're not as sharp as they could be, but I've posted pretty large images in case you want a better look. Just click on any image for a much bigger view.

Let's start with the TV room...

By the way, that video collection is also two rows deep.

That black bar above the TV set is a retractable movie screen. If you look at the wall opposite...

behind that Cannibals poster is a crowded projector room with film canisters stacked from floor to ceiling. (The poster conceals the hole through which the movie is projected into the living room.) This was almost as cool as the 'drive-in' screen they had hanging between two trees in the back yard, no joke!

The walls are covered with the most fantastic display of authentic Spook Show posters that I've ever seen.


The kitchen adjoins the TV room...




The "dining room" has morphed into a library...

Mike was particularly proud of a mysterious painting of Harvey the rabbit (on the right), which I believe he found at a swap meet.


I love the drive-in speakers. I also love everything else.

Let's move on to the "formal" living room...


Of course they have a Weeble Haunted House! (third shelf down)

Enough big-eyed animals to shatter the hardest heart.



In the bedroom...


This stuff was just out in a hallway...


Of all the shelves, why did I choose to get a close-up of this one?

Inside Lisa's studio...



And finally, Mike's secret hideaway...

I only took this picture because they both begged me to. (Vraney is on the right and Funko founder Mike Becker (about 30 pounds heavier than he is now) is on the left.)




They collect toys.




11 comments:

Rozum said...

Amazing.

I am completely filled with envy.

Flashfink! said...

Forget the Playboy mansion. I wanna visit this place!

chuckbaris said...

It's a collector's wet dream isn't it? I find myself experiencing feelings of covetness if that is even a real word.

Travis said...

I can't tell if it's collector Heaven or Hell! Definitely Hell for dusting!

The CDP. said...

That is the single most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

Kirk D. said...

rozum and chuck- I've caused you to envy and covet so I'll see what I can do in the way of the other deadly sins and ten commandments.

flashfink- plus you wouldn't have to put up with Hefner's stale party jokes.

travis- could be collector purgatory I suppose.

cdp- that's saying a lot considering you've got a photo of Siegfried Roy on your blog.. so I know for a fact that you've seen them!

1992 said...

This is really a beautiful thing! My home should look like this someday except less gaudy (much less) and with emphesis on dance music and carnival rides. The idea of theme houses like this where the collections are part of the decor is a wonderful thing!

I'd love to know what their dusting techniqe is. As someone already stated, this is dusting hell indeed!

Jason said...

I too spent a day at Casa SWV (etc), and was similarly staggered. And what amazingly cool people too! just the kindest & most enjoyable couple.

Okay, back to work for me, but it was worth emerging for this one (& the rest of your more recent posts too!)

Best,

Jason

shawn said...

Oh my God!!! Forget dusting, think of the time spent laying everything out so perfectly. Where did they find the time? I was lucky enough to buy from SWV back in the days when Mike hand wrote letters to the customers! Had no idea he was so into toys... looks like he is the boardgame king!!! Kirk, your blog rules!!!!!

Kirk D. said...

Hey Shawn,
Sounds like you are part of the reason Mike's collection is so huge.
Glad you're enjoying the blog!

Darren said...

WOW! I want to move in. I don't know which I admire more.....the actual collection OR its neat & orderly presention! Amazing!!