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Monster Stash

A modern-day Dr. Jekyll brings fears to life in his Greeley laboratory.

Edmunds's latest large-scale creation, The Beast, does have certain biblical undertones. But travelers and truckers can be forgiven for overlooking any spiritual element when they pass the bloated behemoth sitting alongside U.S. 85 a few miles south of Greeley. The first baby birthed by Brainchild Design, a subsidiary of Distortions Unlimited, the Beast is forty feet wide, 150 feet long and fashioned to resemble a gigantic dinosaur/slug hybrid that's been captured, imprisoned and chained. Visitors enter the animal through the mouth, pass by its beating heart and take a tour through its intestines and stomach before "being farted out" its rear.

Edmunds and his wife designed the Beast, which was then brought to life by a San Diego firm that uses computers to translate ideas into inflatable creations. So far, Brainchild has created four copies of the Beast -- which is being marketed as a roadside or amusement-park attraction -- and the original is currently making the rounds in Hong Kong while two more beasts are being shipped to Chicago.

The Beast is Edmunds's first foray into the realm of inflatable art, an industry that primarily produces gigantic apes, Santas, cans of soup and pumpkins for businesses looking for an unusual marketing tool. But Edmunds sees it as an unexplored medium, and he's currently working on designs for three more inflatable environments, including one that will have a heavy spiritual component.

"When we first found out about this computer technology that could turn almost any design into an inflatable, it was like, 'Wow. You can do anything. Why are you making fat gorillas?'" he says. "It's completely virgin territory for us, which is why I think we're a little more open to exploring what can be done with it creatively."

For now, though, his time is mostly taken up with the mundane business of monster mongering. He's got plans for other projects, however, including a series of videos and a Christian rock band. He's also writing a children's book.

"It's going to be about kids talking to God," Edmunds says. "It's very nice. There's nothing even remotely evil about it."

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