Hidden in an industrial warehouse in Greeley, Colorado, Distortions Unlimited’s owners, Ed and Marsha Edmunds, make monsters. Their quality props, masks and creations have been a mainstay of the dark amusement industry since 1978. Long creative hours are spent in gray-walled offices with brain-eating hunchbacks, wall-scaling zombies and docile 3-foot tall aliens. The working environment looks more like a nightmare manufactory than a place of business.
As a child and fan of television shows such as The Outer Limits, The Time Machine and the original Star Trek, Ed enjoyed creating masks and putting on performances as monster characters. Continued experimentations with makeup turned his artistic hobby into a true talent at a young age, and among other stage makeup and prop work, he started his mask-making operation, Distortions Unlimited, while still in high school.
Through college, Ed developed his company’s products, sculpting a severed finger, molding bloody hands and becoming one of the first in the industry to sculpt cut-off arms. After college, Ed met Marsha Taub, a biology student from the University of Northern Colorado. Sharing a workplace, dedication to a faith in Christ, artistic passion and creative yearning, they became a team – one so strong, they exchanged marriage vows in 1992!
In its infancy Distortions was a diamond in the rough, making its first home in one bedroom of a two-bedroom apartment. Pumping out strictly masks, Ed worked to bridge the gap between the cheap masks he had previously painted and their high-priced American counterparts. Now in a Greeley, CO industrial-zoned 24,000 square-foot facility, Distortions has a year-round tight-knit staff of designers, artists, carpenters, sculptors, painters, pourers, patchers, seamers, welders, woodworkers, mold makers, sprayers, shippers, seamstresses, cutters, electricians, assemblers, managers and office personnel.
From haunted houses and electric chairs to Alien’s homicidal alien queen and Alice Cooper’s Brutal Planet Tour, child-like enthusiasm and imagination has always reigned supreme at the office. With a new focus on cutting edge animations, developing technology and materials for props and molds, there are no worries of creative stagnation, and plans at Distortions are in fact ‘Unlimited.’
For the future, “higher impact” and “more intense” animations are the key phrases. Ed and Marsha now spend their days in a warehouse akin to a cannibal’s buffet. Hands and feet top a line of metal spikes, a row of glassy-eyed zombies peer from behind a rail of severed heads. They are still making monsters, but now they make them by the thousands.