Founded in 2006 by BJ Winslow and his wife Eileen, Dapper Cadaver is a death-related prop house; we catch up with them at the 2022 Transworld Show.
Founded in 2006 by BJ Winslow and his wife Eileen, Dapper Cadaver is a death-related prop house. Based in Madison Wisconsin they’ve provided props to thousands of film and TV productions, top haunted houses, and exclusive Halloween parties. Today, we’ll hear how the Transworld show went for them, and how they’re expanding their diversity of characters.
This is part of our vendor showcase series, in partnership with the Haunted Attraction Association; this interview was recorded by Darryl from Scareit Badges / HaunTopic Radio and features BJ Winslow.
BJ: We've been doing this for 15 years, actually 16, and we specialize in high detail pieces. We do light casting, we do sculpting, we do mold making, and so we do a lot of realistic bodies. We have over 75 different styles of heads, bodies, body parts butcher shop animals, we do ice effects, burn effects. We do stuff for not just the haunt industry, but we serve many industries. We love doing haunted houses, theme parks, and attractions. We also do props or film and television, including special effects and stunt dummies, and we also do realistic things for educational use as well.
Darryl: Wow. What kind of new products do you guys have this year?
BJ: So, let's see, we brought with us some new heads, some new light casts. We have been expanding the diversity of characters that we do. So, different ethnicities, different ages, different body types and sizes. We've got some new gore pieces, we've got a really cool meat mummy with a realistic head, as though she's been like dunked in acid, we've got a guy missing the top of his brain, and some classic characters like Frankenstein and Dracula in black and white-- we also offer them in color.
Darryl: What's some of your most popular products?
BJ: Let's see some of our most popular products. I mean, we always are doing gore bodies, zombies, butcher shop stuff. Our burn and ice effects are extremely popular, as our posable bodies and stunt dummies.
Darryl: Now, what is some kind of product that maybe you have that you think the public really needs to know about that they may not know about yet?
BJ: Sure, one of my favorite features is almost everything that we offer. We offer it in a standard polyfoam urethane that's common throughout the industry, and we also operate in a super high durability, urethane rubber-- we call it Dura Rubber. That is a material that is fantastic for escape rooms, it's fantastic for actor props, things where it's going to be extremely, roughly handled.
Darryl: It needs to stand up to the abuse of use.
BJ: Exactly. This is something like we've used in the stunt industry-- somebody needs to get thrown off a building, or run over by a car, and you're going to need to do take two. We also done it for like paintball courses, where these guys are going to be getting like pounded by projectiles out in the elements. It's also waterproof. So, is going to get submerged or floated on top of the water, the Dura Rubber is the way to go with that to.
Darryl: So, with the large amount of vendors that are here, how does coming to a show like this help you and the industry?
BJ: I always love coming out to the Transworld show, just being able to network with the other vendors, and finding out what people are really working on. It's great, because a lot of what we do is made to order. You'll be talking to people on the phone, you'll be emailing back and forth, and it's really great to have like a face to face with my customers, you know, a lot of them are like old friends at this point.
Darryl: Now, as people are ordering stuff, and getting it, to wanting to get it for their haunt that opens in September/October, what kind of a cutoff deadline do you have for them to get that?
BJ: We pride ourselves on keeping a schedule. As soon as you place your order, within a week of that we have it booked into our manufacturing queue with both a start date and a finish date. So, we always know what we're working on, what's going out, you can check in on us at any time and we can give you the date that we are scheduled to ship your item out, but we always get our stuff out on time. Most orders around this time of year take about eight weeks to complete. Definitely prefer that we get a nice lead time, but if you're in a bind and you need something on a rush, give me a call and we'll see what we can work out.
Darryl: Well, because you've got such incredible products here BJ, I've got a question. If you were to die and be reincarnated as a prop, which prop would you want to come back as?
BJ: Oh man. Geez. Let's see. There are so many guys that I definitely wouldn't want to come back as. I mean, let's see... you know what, I'll go with the evil nun. She looks like she's got some evil powers. That'd be a change of pace.
Darryl: Good. A little different than the day-to-day life. Well, this has been BJ and Daryl with Dapper Cadaver.
Owner - Dapper Cadaver
Dapper Cadaver is a death-related prop house and prop fabrication shop. We are open to the adventurous public as well as to prop masters, set decorators, haunt professionals and Halloween party planners.
We've provided props to thousands of film and TV productions, including hit TV shows and blockbusters. We've also provided props for a wide variety of independent productions, student films, music videos and advertisements.
Our props and decorations have also been used by top haunted houses and Halloween parties. Every year we provide props to both home haunts and professional haunted houses across the country, and have done celebrity party décor.
We love to receive pictures and clips of our props in action. If you email us and allow us to share your project with our fans, we'll give you a discount on your next order. Here are some recent client highlights.
Dapper Cadaver is a mom and pop prop shop, founded in 2006 by BJ Winslow and his wife Eileen. We are currently located in Madison, WI. We have been featured in the press, travel books and more. BJ has served as a horror prop expert on TV and radio. Dapper Cadaver has also served as a setting for horror TV shows, horror movies, meetings and more. If you are interested in interviewing BJ or renting the prop shop as a location, please contact us.