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Children of the Corn 2

franchisebanner The story is of a reporter and his son investigating the Gatlin massacre while the neighboring town attempts to integrate the children who survived into their communities. There’s a great deal of this from the perspective of the reporters son – giving us a dash of youth appeal in what might otherwise be a little too similar, carbon copy of the previous film.

I have to admit, our new preacher kid and henchman – the standins for Malachi are not nearly as charismatic or interesting as our leads from the previous film, but it  shows what is really the thread here.

Like a zombie movie, the threat in children of the corn is the sheer numbers.  It’s a mass of characters hunting the individuals and the strength in thier numbers.  The fact that it’s a horde, rather than one or two individual monsters really ups the creepy kid factor and shows where the strength of the series is.  Curiously enough, we abandon that premise in the next sequel… but for now, children of the corn 2 is a fun watch – definitely a cable or video store kind of movie.  It’s not something to necessarily be sought out but you don’t want to turn off if it’s playing in the background.

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essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and Friday

Cinema Wasteland spring 2018

Conman

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You know what the weirdest thing about Wasteland is? How many photos of me end up on the internet showing my real face, and not some costume!

I always hate it when it takes a week to get a con review out….but then again Wasteland takes about that long to recover from.

I admint, I was particuarly excited to meet a couple of Pulp Fiction alumni (from THAT scene with Ving Rhames, Bruce Willis….and the ball gag). They were amused that I brough a VHS to be signed. I wish I could say there was some nobel, retro reason, but really, it was just the only thing I had laying around and looked better than a printed out photo would.

Also in attendance was Jackey Neyman Jones, the daughter of Harold Warren – the 30440667_1890587307652350_9033571488735055687_nMaster of Manos. I was looking foreward to meeting her and hearing about the making of Manos. What is intriguing about it was how the movie was kind of tucked away in the family history. No one spoke of it. The film itself vanished and Jackey spent years trying to find out what happened to it…that is, until on day, her father was dozing in front of the television set which happened to be playing Mystery Science Theater 3000. he woke with a start as he heard familiar music and sound effects – and there was Manos : The Hands of Fate on television. He called her immediately and announced “Guess what I just saw on television?”. Jackey found a number for Comedy Central and connected with someone in the offices and the Manos revival began there. I grabbed a copy of her book  because I really wanted to get more of the story – I was lucky too. She sold out by mid day Saturday!

She wasn’t the only one selling out of books though. I managed to grab the last copy of the new Charles Band book about Full Moon Entertainment and the VHS era. After watching Stuntman Gary Kent’s documentary about his career,  I was also after his biography…but my Friend Brandy managed to snatch up the last copy of that one! It’s okay, 42nd street Pete is working on getting it re-released. I’m sure I’ll see it pop up at Wasteland again soon.

I was delighted to see Michael Berryman back at Wasteland (he refers to me as “Matt with the Hat”) and charging a lower fee for autographs than last time at that! I ended up bringing him my Crow post card and a 30264280_1890587317652349_778972486879566900_nprinted poster from Voyage of the Space Aliens – fun to be able to talk about that film and explain we’d actually seen it on the big screen (I also wandered over to Cleveland Cinema’s table to thank them for that). He shook his head remembering the lack of expertise on the stunt coordinater’s part, particularly in the chainsaw scene.

“The wanted me to use a real chainsaw and cut this outline around the actor. I looked at him and said ‘I’m not doing that!’. They eventually found someone else to do it and I told the actor ‘Whatever you do, DON’T move.’. he looked worried and asked ‘Really?’ I mean, one slip and they could have killed the guy!”

Berryman reminisced about hanging out with Brandon Lee, heading back to the trailers and strumming guitars. To this day, he still jeeps in touch with Rochelle Davis – the young woman who played Sarah in the Crow.

30440670_10215830152337904_6092395645238494157_nMy friends from Horror Chicks were there to meet up with Dee Wallace and make her an honorary member, presenting her with a shirt. Dee’s a sweetie and another regular on the con circuit as well as a returning guest at Wasteland. My buddy Chris and I got to talk to her about her recent film Red Christmas, another indie flick we got to see on the big screen up at the Capitol.

no wasteland is complete without a Ghastlee Night at the movies. I’d bumped into Ghastlee earlier in the day.

“I’ve been trying to holler Hi to you all day!”

“Sorry, bad hearing and busy con – you know how it goes!”

“Horrorhound too, I saw you up there and tried to get your attention, but you didn’t seem to hear…”

“um Bob, I wasn’t AT Horrorhound….”

30411846_1890581647652916_8945824532339699213_n“Well then that guy must be really confused about why I was yelling at him….”

Of the various antics in the show, my personal favorite was the reenactmen of a scene from Cujo, where the dog is attacking Dee Wallace in the car. The scene was recreated with a folding chair, a piece of cardboard with the middle cut out and a puppet. My friend Rhonda lost her voice screaming.

That’s the thing about Wasteland, it’s great guests, and good times with friends. it’s everything I want in a party – watching bad movies with friends (and the people who made those movies), hanging out and doing interesting things. Ah well. Another six months and we’ll be doing it all again!

 

 

Woo-Con

Conman

19429929_1558903860818746_3801758407425125603_nWoo-Con is a nice little Anime Convention put on by the College of Wooster – about halfway between Cleveland and Columbus. When I say that it’s a nice little convention, we really need to put the emphasis on the word “little”. It may actually be the smallest show that I’ve ever been to… And I thought the dealers room at Zipcon on was tiny!
30727614_1897820756929005_4748398516650043608_nDespite being small they try extremely hard… There was one panel room located always passed the dealer area and then upstairs there is another room dedicated to Anime screenings – and open for video games when there is no anime playing.
Lots of panels going on all day, as well as inviting the Confused Greenies this year to do some improv comedy. They were one of the better parts of the show actually, where they mashed up Doctor Who and anime themes like Sailor Moon and Pokémon which they performed live. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen to Pokémon trainers try and capture a Dalek.

The Costume contest was in a charming little area in the centre of the student union – A pit area near a large fireplace. It gave the entire affair and more intimate and homey 30710714_1897821496928931_7362490890339060562_nfeel. Contestants were seated on the steps around the pitand would jump up when their name is called, presenting themselves to the judges. I generally avoid the costume contest at Anime Conventions because they take so long, but this one was more like a comicon and  may have lasted 45 minutes. Participants were judged based categories such as video game, movies and TV or anime. Even in a small environment like this, an Anime con brings out the best in cosplayers and there were some gorgeous outfits that walked through the door, not to mention panels based on it.

All in all, they did a great job at the programming and kept us entertained all day – no small feat for a little con like this but that’s what I love about these college run shows. They tend to be very earnest affairs put on by people who genuinely love the genre. I usually come away learning something new or catching a show that I’ve never seen before. My daughter Maddie accompanied me to this particular con and had a fabulous time as well… A great experience for first time out- and you can see her review here!

The only drawback is the distance… it’s an awfully long drive for such a short small show… Yeah I’m intrigued by how much effort went into this show and would really like to see them grow. I’m not sure, but it’s just possible that I may be back. And if you live anywhere nearby, I highly recommend it.

 

 

Case Closed

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30698560_1896622683715479_5709502579388504929_nI headed out to the Winchester last night for a special screening of the new short film “case closed”. The cast and filmmaker were on hand, and the films creator, Andrew Sgambati gave a short introduction before the movie ran. I stuck around until after the credits rolled (remember, there just might be a special little something after the end credits! It even happens with short films!). After the lights came up, he returned to the stage and spoke a little bit about the movie he just screened. There may also have been a round of “Happy Birthday to you” sung.


Case Closed is a fan film set in the Batman universe, though if you’re expecting the Dark Knight you’re going to be disappointed.  What we have is a narrative heavily influenced from the Dark Knight trilogy – particularly the interrogation sequence in the second film… The set up is familiar, the Joker has done something horrific, and the plan is already set in motion even though he is in handcuffs.

cc2 copyWhat is interesting here is that the story is told from the perspective of a detective on the case. This has the unsettling effect of making it feel more personal. Usually we see the Joker’s crimes from the perspective of Batman, or the Joker himself. They are statistics, not tragedies. In this case the peril feels very real because the detective’s son is missing. The tragedy is much closer to home.

Our detective by the way, played by Scott Laing, is the real star here. Laing’s impressive performance grounds the piece, which is beautifully shot and composed. With the exception of a brief appearance from Harley Quinn, Laing’s character is the most engaging one on the screen.cc1

You can actually see Andrew Sgambati’s writing has captured the voice of the Joker quite well here. The dialogue is crisp, it rings true…  unfortunately his performance doesn’t live up to his script. I appreciate that Sgambati doesn’t fall into the trap that a lot of actors do with the Joker – that is to play him big. It’s easy to go over the top with the Joker and got completely off the rails without even realizing it… We go the opposite direction here – with a delivery that feels flat. It’s a shame, because he does capture the physicality of the character and the look is well chosen, but I need a little more expression and subtext in his line delivery. I’m IMG_8587hoping to see him grow into the role as these films progress…and I am expecting to see these films continue. the movie itself ends with the announcement that “The Joker and Harley Quinn will return.” I find it interesting that batman may still be absent. It’s a curious choice, but not an outrageous one. The grounded portrayal of these characters makes introducing the hero dressed up in a Bat costume a little more difficult of a prospect and I can see why they would shy away from it.

I’m about 20 years removed from my own film making days, but I remember the Premier night of Ron’s Big Adventure and I could feel that same electricity in the air at the Winchester last night. The film is on YouTube, and their goal is 10,000 views. Head up there and check it out,  and support our hometown filmmakers!

 

690

essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and Friday

Man-at-Arms (part three)

Costume

The search for Eternian allies continues. First to the north…

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Then into the truly bizarre…..

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www.freepix4all.com

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689

essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and Friday

6 Degrees of Helter skelter

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From IMDB : “”The Six Degrees of Helter Skelter” walks in the footsteps of the Manson Family, visiting over 40 locations related to the infamous Tate/LaBianca murders, and tying together the dozens of odd connections between Charles Manson and the Hollywood elite. Entertainingly led by famous Hollywood historian Scott Michaels (E!’s 20 Most Horrifying Hollywood Murders, Dearly Departed: Vol. 1, FindADeath.com), this epic documentary employs never-before-seen autopsy reports (analyzed with the help of the Los Angeles Department of the Coroner), dozens of rare photographs, original Manson Family music recordings, and modern-day visits to the locations where the action went down, in the most complete retelling of the Manson Murders ever put on film. ”

This documentary is a fascinating exploration of the Manson family murders. It’s hosted by someone who obviously loves the material and is completely enthralled by the exploration. This guy knows more about the Manson family then anyone I have ever encountered – and I happen to know some people totally obsessed with serial killers… Seriously this guy put them to shame!

He doesn’t just retell the story, he investigates it – taking us to the places where the murders happened, tracing the ground that the family took and showing us how Charles Manson build up this following, how he sank into his delusions and gives a really clear picture of how we finally got to this horrific act.  I learned more about these murderers and this case than I’ve ever known, and I discovered from this brilliant documentary more  than any books that I’ve read. I didn’t expect to like this so much, I didn’t expect to learn so much – I threw this one on as a whim, almost wondering what it was doing in a box set like this, but looking back, it fits perfectly – this is real life horror and possibly my favourite film out of this entire set (It seems like I keep saying that!) This documentary alone is worth the price of admission and I am going to be revisiting this one again and again.

Voltron

CostumeThis really says it all.

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