Business

Dapper Cadaver in Burbank has all your macabre needs


Dapper Cadaver, a death-related prop house and fabrication shop in Burbank, casts plastic skeleton heads from human skulls.
JESSICA RUBIO , STAFF

A 10-foot-tall dinosaur fossil topples over foam headstones. A 100-year-old coffin lies next to aged candelabras, and bloody plastic body parts hang near rubber butcher knives.

At Dapper Cadaver, it’s Halloween every day at the company’s showroom and workshop near Bob Hope Airport in Burbank.

Although it’s only June, owner BJ Winslow and his crew are preparing large orders for Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights and Six Flags’ Fright Fest. The theme parks’ reservations were made in March.

Dapper Cadaver previously has provided props for Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm’s Halloween Haunt.

Winslow said in addition to the large-scale horror-holiday work, the company – founded in 2006 – also provides props for parties.

“We will walk around and pick out some stuff and help them put together a package that meets their price range and then, boom: You can have Hollywood-quality stuff decorating your own party.”

Clients are able to rent or buy props for their specific needs. Among the spookier selections are plastic skeleton heads cast from human skulls, straitjackets, body bags and even fake dead bodies.

“When you step into their warehouse, you never know what you are going to see,” said customer Robert Coshland of Glendale.

“They have been instrumental in providing props for an extravagant Halloween party that we throw each year. We used the props to outfit a commercial space for a 350-person Halloween party and at our house for a 120-person Halloween party.”

For those wanting to host a scary soiree, a lifelike cadaver head can cost about $40 to rent or roughly $80 to buy. A cut-off bloodied leg or arm can cost between $20 and $40 to rent and from $40 to $100 to buy.

According to the National Retail Federation, Americans spent $6.9 billion on Halloween-related merchandise last year and 52 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds hosted or attended a Halloween party.

Winslow said despite the horror-holiday work, Dapper Cadaver really isn’t much of a Halloween store.

“We are in Burbank because that is where the film industry is, so we work with television and movie productions every single day.”

The company’s products have appeared in TV shows, including “Law & Order” and “Game of Thrones,” and films including “300” and “The Hurt Locker.”

Dapper Cadaver is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at 7572 San Fernando Road.

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