Amongst the aisles of gruesome sculpts and twisted creations, I faced something so terrifying, so unnatural, that it shook me to the core. I’m talking of course about my biological clock. And it kicked into gear when I was confronted with the adorable WerePups.
My heart (she has a heart now? what is going on?) leapt when I cradled Asia Eriksen’s life-size werewolf baby doll. I wanted to touch its tiny curled paws, feed it a bottle of blood and take it out for some fresh air at the park to make all the other mothers recoil in horror.
I marveled at the realism. From the expression to the whiskers to the weight of the baby doll, Asia got everything right. The head, which flops backwards like a newborn’s if unsupported, and limbs are solid silicon. The body is weighted with silicon inserts in the belly and chest and padded with huggable polyfill. The silicon is painted and then hair is punched in with a barbed felting needle. Asia uses synthetic hair, mohair, and even shed dog hair for the fur. The baby’s eyes, which catch the light, are regular teddy bear eyes. “I tried different things,” Asia explained about the eyes, “[including] more human eyes and it just didn’t work for me. I wanted that dog-like look without the white around it, and I think these work out really well.”
Each handmade baby is $500 and comes with an adoption certificate and an “Emergency Silver Bullet.”
These monstrous baby dolls have had a long gestation period. Some of Asia’s favorite films include Silver Bullet, An American Werewolf in London and classic Universal creature features such as Werewolf of London. “I’ve always been obsessed with werewolves from the time I was a kid,” Asia told me, “and my dream toy was to have a werewolf baby.”
Asia is also a fervent dog lover and the werewolf baby’s features were inspired in part by studying her pit bull Baxter.
I was impressed to learn that Asia has no formal training and has only been sculpting for about a year. “I never was taught anything,” she said. “I didn’t read anything. I didn’t go to school. I just saw something in my head and just started playing with clay.”
Asia experimented with some of the materials her husband, who works in special effects, had in his workshop, and developed a series of smaller latex werewolf babies. These figurines caught on and Asia kept working until she developed the more realistic, larger dolls.
What excites me most about these frighteningly vital baby dolls is the promise of spooking random people. Asia has had a few fun outings with the babies including one on South Street in Philadelphia where “People were pretty freaked out.” Over the weekend after Monsterpalooza, “our friend actually took us to downtown Hollywood and we scared the crap out of some people. We were just walking around up by Mann Chinese Theater and there was this group of girls. I was pushing the baby towards them and they freaked out and just ran out into the street.” Sounds like so much fun…
The babies will soon creep out even more people when they make their big screen debut in a film written by Asia called Cave Canem. The film will be directed by Glenn Ciano film whose horror film Infected is due out on Halloween of this year. Asia is not a fan of CGI and hopes to accomplish the film’s effects in-camera with animatronics and appliances.
A big thanks to Asia for answering my questions and letting me cuddle the pups! Until the day when we figure out how to genetically engineer werebabies, Asia’s WerePups will allow us to play mother to monsters. For more information or to adopt, visit the WerePups website.