Premiering on Food Network all the way back in October of 2011, Halloween Wars has routinely been one of the most entertaining parts of the Halloween television landscape. As one of the many competition series that is entirely addictive and amazing to watch, the series features teams of competitive pumpkin carvers, chocolate workers, and sugar craftspeople working together to create the best Halloween themed products they can make, in a very limited time frame.
Though all of the seasons have been enjoyable, it's impossible to deny that the series' first season featured some of the most amazing works of artistry in the series to date. Here, we're taking a look back at the ten most impressive creations from season one.
10 Bling Bats’ Frog Witch
In the first round of episode one, competitors were given the task of presenting their own interpretation of a conventional Halloween presence: a spooky, nasty witch. Most teams went with relatively familiar interpretations, though some were far more successful than others.
But the most inventive presentation came from the early front runners on team Bling Bats. The team made perfect use of their pumpkin carving, chocolate work, and sugar work elements in their final product: a witch who had transformed into a ghoulish frog, complete with a blown sugar croak.
9 Team Tarantula’s Tree House
The second round of episode one tasked the teams with creating their own spooky tableau of a Halloween-themed environment. Team Tarantula, who were sadly eliminated early in the competition, managed to turn in a truly impressive display in their haunted tree house.
Complete with man-eating (blown and pulled) sugar spiders, intricate pumpkin carved roofing, and chocolate trees, the scene was as spooky as it was beautiful. It probably tasted pretty good, too.
8 Team Boo’s Haunted Swamp House
Team Tarantula's haunted tree house was pretty impressive, and there's no denying that. But this round overall definitely went to the amazing craftsmanship exhibited by all members of Team Boo in their production of a haunted swamp house, complete with a monstrous beast lurking beneath the surface and a poor, unsuspecting little trick-or-treater approaching the haunted home.
The simple addition of the trick-or-treater really cemented both the movement and the narrative of the piece, while team captain Ray Villafane's stellar pumpkin carving work on the monster who lived beneath the swamp truly made the whole eerie scene come alive.
7 Skulls of the Abyss’ Man Eating Cat
Episode two of the series' first season focused on challenging the talented teams of artists to reimagine and reinvent items and concepts traditionally associated with children and cuteness. In the first round, the teams mostly struggled with trying to turn the cute stuffed animals they had been assigned into something vicious and bloodthirsty.
But Skulls of the Abyss, a team who otherwise seemed like an underdog during their stay on the series, managed to produce something genuinely chilling in their interpretation of a stuffed animal cat as a man eating monster - complete with an x-ray view of a bone-filled stomach, created by an intricately carved pumpkin.
6 Team Boo’s Little Red Riding Hood
While round one of the episode may have been shocking enough with its focus on twisting adorable fluffy friends into monsters, the second round doubled down on that, challenging the remaining teams to reinterpret beloved fairytale classics as scenes straight out of horror movies. Though they didn't win the round, Team Boo delivered something truly impressive in their gory take on Little Red Riding Hood.
The scene of the crime focused on the Big Bad Wolf laying in bed, carved beautifully from pumpkin and layered over with chocolate dressings. But the real attention-grabber? The sheer amount of blood, gore and guts strewn all about the scene of the crime, in the form of sugar and chocolate work.
5 Bling Bats’ Sleeping Beauty
As impressive as Team Boo's gory murder scene was, the pure horror show found in Bling Bats' harrowing fairytale was second to none. Bling Bats offered a reimagination of Sleeping Beauty in which the prince never came to save her, and she instead rotted away to nothingness.
Her lifeless skeleton lay twisted in agony, carved from chocolate, while likewise agonized and ghoulish pumpkins lay strewn around the perimeter of her bed. There was nothing particularly bloody or gory about this tableau, but that somehow made it even more eerie, and even harder to look at.
4 Bling Bats’ Johnny Cash Memorial
In episode three's first round, the remaining competitors were tasked with making pumpkin-focused memorial pieces to the memory of the dearly departed, in the tradition of the Day of the Dead. While most teams stuck with generic memorial pieces, Bling Bats - always trying to be one step ahead of the curve - chose to make a tribute to a late legend.
Their entry was a tribute to the departed Johnny Cash, the Man in Black himself, and featured key homages including a pulled sugar ring of fire, wildwood flowers in his eyes for his wife June Carter Cash, his signature black slicked hair and cigarette, and a guitar etched on the chocolate carved forehead.
3 Bling Bats’ Marie Antoinette Vampire
Especially in recent years, vampires and zombies have been major highlights of not only the Halloween experience, but the popular culture landscape as well. So in the second round of the third episode, the teams were challenged to interpret the ultimate face off between these monstrous foes.
The Bling Bats decided to offer a more civilized take on the affair. Their scene featured an amazing display of chocolate, sugar, and pumpkin work, carved into a take on a Marie Antoinette inspired vampire, engaged in a fierce struggle with a raggedy zombie from the same era.
2 Team Boo’s Zombie vs Vampire
While Bling Bats may have delivered a more polished and conventionally artistic scene in their Marie Antoinette inspired affair, Team Boo undoubtedly took the lead in the sheer amount of work depicted in their piece - especially when it came to pumpkin carving. Their zombie was painstakingly carved entirely from pumpkin, and the detail was nothing short of breathtaking.
Likewise, they perfectly prepared a chocolate and sugar female vampire, with the tasty treat of the round perfectly incorporated via the vampire's open skull that the zombie seemed all too happy to be feasting upon.
1 Team Boo’s Underworld
The competition between frontrunner teams Bling Bats and Team Boo was fierce for the entire duration of the first season. And though in the end Bling Bats came away as the season's champions, we have to admit to being far more impressed by the work that Team Boo turned in during the finale's final, underworld themed round.
Team Boo produced a vision of an underworld complete with a chocolate demonic figure guarding the gates of hell, which represented movement and story and astonishing depth as a result of Ray's amazing pumpkin carving once again, as well as some truly spooky sugar flames.