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Cedar Lee Theatre

12 Hours of Terrible

I attended the Cedar Lee’s “12 hours of Terrible” marathon this weekend, a great bit of fun from the same people who bring us “12 Hours of Terror” every October. It was a little sparse, about thirty people in the theatre with me, but most of us lasted from 6pm on Saturday night until 6AM Sunday morning.

What I was really excited about was the fact that four of these films I had never seen at all. Of the remaining three, Masters of the Universe was the only on I’d seen on the big screen before, and that was back when it was released in 1987. So a few reactions….

1. Over the Top.

I had no idea Georgio Moroder provided the soundtrack for this, and I really like the music. It’s shot and lit perfectly, obviously done by someone who really understands how to film Stallone. It’s a very 80’s film, with great action and good pacing. It actually passes the watch test.

The big problem is that it’s the worst possible subject matter. Seriously, arm wrestling and trucking….and you’re going to make a Stallone movie out of that (Big credit by the way to creating suspense during the arm wrestling tournament)? The other thing is….guys, this is a Lifetime Television script. It really is. It’s like every other lifetime film where the music is used to create the emoptional tone and moments, while the hero is this soft non-threatning man mourning the loss of his dead wife. The genres don’t work together. Sorry.

This is the kind of film that would work really well on evening television while you’re doing soemthing else. I don’t hate it actually, but it’s really a bad idea.

2.Miami Connection

I’m slow. I know, but I had no idea this was a ninja movie. I’ve only seen kind of blurry shots of the poster and even then, the ninja is the least obvious part of that collage.

The preformers here give “Fateful Findings” a run for it’s money as worst actors ever. It’s really bad stuff. We have a rock band (leaning towards the disco variety) that sings about Tae Kwan Do. They’ve gotten into trouble with a group of Flordia ninjas led by the brother of the band’s newest member (the girlfriend of the guy in the poster). It was never going to be art, but this premise couls still have worked if they’d had actors and a director capable ofpulling it off. I can;t decide it it’s to earnest or not campy enough. I really just don’t know.

I want a Dragon Song T-Shirt.

3. Plan 9 From Outer Space.

All that ever really needs to be written about this I think already has been. It’s really not the worst film ever made (that’s a lable that’s usefull for marketing purposes and little else). Heck, it’s not even the worst film in this marathon.

Perhaps multiple viewings have diluted the offense. I know Bela isn’t going to match his stand in and I expect trees and graves to wobble and strings to show on the saucers. It does make a big difference seeing it in a theater too, the changes in film stock and bad effects are far more obvious, but still I like it, and any chance to see Lugosi on screen is a good one.

4. Drive Angry 3d

I really don’t understand why this is considered a bad film. I genuinely like this, and always have. It was a trip to get to see it in 3d, just like My bloody Valentine 3d, it was really made for it and the opening and closing sequences in Hell especially are perfect for it.

This time around something occurred to me and I wonder if any of it was intentional. This is really the perfect third entry in the Ghost Rider trilogy.

Stay with me on this.

Cage is playing a post-Ghost Rider Johnny Blaze. He really is, it feels like the “Spirits of Vengance” era Blaze from the 90’s comics. No longer cursed, but still damned. We don’t need Ghost Rider or even a motor cycle, because this closes his story arc perfectly. In fact, it’s possibly the best of the Ghost Rider films. Pity it isn’t really one of them.

5. The Baby

I seriously have no idea what I just watched.

Looking at this poster I was kind of expecting a comedy, but man, this film is serious as a heart attack. THe premise is basically a 21-year-old man wit hteh mentality of a baby, dressed like one, kept in a crib, fed bottles by his mother who may or may not be keeping him like that and stunting his development.

It feels like the sort of thing I’d see at Cinema Wasteland. I can’t say I liekd it, but I’m glad I saw it, and never expect to again. It might work better for me as more of a horror story, or as I mentioned, a comedy. To play it straight like this comes off more disturbing than anything else.

6. The Happening

I think I would probably be disappointed in this film if I’d gone to the theatre and paid 10.50 to see it. As part of a marathon like this was probably the perfect way to watch it.

I think people may be a little to hard on this movie, the ones I was in the theatre with certainly were. There’s a level of hate aimed at it simply because its a M. Night film and not on it’s own merits or flaws. It’s not Mark Whalbergs finest moment, but it’s certainly not his worst performance either. In fact the least likable character in this movie is Zooey Daschenel who I just want to bash over the head and be done with here.

The thing that struck me the most here was how this is considered a mainstream film. This isn’t mainstream. This is torture porn. Just as much as Hostel, the Happening is absolutely torture porn. It’s 90 minuets of watching people die horribly and reveling in it while fleeing from it and I don’t enjoy that.

7. Masters of the Universe.

I’ve watched it dozens of times over the years on VHS and DVD, but haven’t seen this on the big screen since I was a kid. The thing about seeing this in the theatre now is how many great (and some not-so-great) details I miss. The skull in Evil Lynn’s jeweled headpiece, the spotted flesh on Gwildor that smooths out in lower resolutions, the dragon seal on the doors inside Grayskull that matches the seal on He-Man’s Harness. No new or special insight here, just a great visit with old friends on a larger screen that I’m used to and all the better.

I’m hoping this happens again. The film selection made for a really great night, to say nothing of the trailers and oddities played in between. I think I’d prefer it at the Capitol, it’s a more comfortable atmosphere but either way, I can’t wait to see what happens next year.


12 hours of terrible and Free Comic Book Day

Remember how the Capitol does that great horror marathon every october? 12 hours of Terror? Well this year, they’re trying something diffrent – a spring marathon of bad films – 12 hours of terrible!

The 1st annual 12 Hours of Terrible includes a full night of terrible movies! $30 day of show, opening at 6:00pm Saturday.

Sometimes a bad movie is so terrible it’s better than a good movie. For one night the Cedar Lee Theatre is going to embrace bad as the new good with our first annual 12 HOURS OF TERRIBLE when we showcase these 7 films that have to be seen to be believed: Plan 9 from Outer Space, The Happening, The Baby, Drive Angry 3D, Miami Connection, Masters of the Universe Movie and Over the Top (film). Attendees who stays for the entire series from beginning to end will receive $5 back as their reward.

I love Drive Angry, I love MOTU, and I’ve never seen several of these but always wanted to! I cant wait until tomorrow!

Cedar Lee map

But tonight, I’ll be up at Crol and John’s for the Free Comic Book Day party, and getting into the Freeze suit once it gets dark!


UHF tonight!


rocI just learned of a new zobie walk down in the Flats of Cleveland! Wasteland is a week later this spring and yay! That means I can hit this and the Cedar Lee this Saturday for UHF!

Please join us for the first zombie walk at the roc bar in the east bank flats of Cleveland, Ohio.
Makeup starts at noon
walk at 430-5pm
vendors and makeup artists will be on hand throughout this event.
$5 and 2 canned food items at the door.
proceeds will be donated to the local food banks.

There will be a after party rock show at 6pm The Roc Bar
Featuring erasing never,below the tide, malice 213 and more. free of charge.

uhfAfterwards, head over to the Cedar Lee for UHF!  UHF is part of the Melt Bar and Grilled Cleveland Cinemas Late Shift Series! Admission is just $5! Arrive early for your chance to win prizes when you spin our “wheel of fish!” Showings at 9:30 and12:00!

Cedar Lee map

A Christmas Story

Movie banner

1425796_675027932541633_1816864993_nYou know, the Christmas Story is really more my wife’s thing, but that’s okay. She helps put it in perspective for me. Sometimes you need someone else to help you realize why something is cool.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the film and here in Cleveland we love it because parts of it were shot here. I’ve been to the house before, in particular to meet Ian Patrella (Randy, the little brother) but this year the people who run the house and museum decided o throw a small convention. It was scattered around town unfortunately and that made it a little hard to find at times. I hit the cast meet and greet over at the renaissance hotel in Public square and got my poster all marked up. I’d sent it to Peter Billinglsly (Ralphie, the main character) several years ago and he’d signed it through the mail. Ian had already autographed it as well. But there were still some fun cast members there including the evil elf from the Santa visit, the bullies and Ralphie’s friend Flick (who got his tongue stuck to the flagpole). I was especially excited to meet Zack Ward, the bully 1425796_675027939208299_1096394837_nFarkus because he also has a small part in “Freddy vs. Jason”. He was charming, funny and extremely friendly.

Last weekend, they were screening the film in Cleveland. There were showings at both the Capitol and at the Cedar Lee. The Capitol is always my preferred venue because it’s closer and parking is free. It’s also a nice theatre. It’s not the palace, but it tries. The Cedar Lee is a bit of a dive (that’s not a bad thing by the way. You expect theatre that show Rocky Horror, or art and foreign films to be a little grimey!)

Usually I hit these theatres alone. Amy isn’t into a lot of the kinds of movies that they show at these places…but this time I packed her up and we headed out for a morning screening of A Christmas Story! $5.00 tickets and about a half full house.  The snow was keeping some people away I think. It’s also possibly that it just wasn’t promoted enough. I’m not sure.

1463000_682566698454423_600504286_nThere’s a reason I like going to the theatre to see films…even ones I’ve already seen. It’s a wonderful collective experience and you always see things on the big screen that you miss at home. Like this for instance. Randy falls asleep amid a mass of presents….one of which IS A FRANKENSTEIN MASK! Who gets a Frankenstein mask for Christmas??? You know… besides me….

We hope it’ll show somewhere next year so we can take the kids, and perhaps make this a part of our Christmas traditions just like tomorrow when we watch it play for 24 hours on TV!

1425796_675027935874966_1648988421_n1425796_675027929208300_2026513514_n 1463767_675027979208295_920707793_n 1463767_675027982541628_649809877_n 1486827_675028359208257_1826883298_n

And a quick reminder, we’ll be taking this week off for Christmas, not only here at Argo City, but also over at Violent Blue. There’ll be some “lost” strips up for the vacation week, and regular comics and blogging will resume after the new year!

FCBD Tomorrow!

Don’t forget, Free Comic Book Day tomorrow! Head out and support you local Comic Book Shop! I’ve already got the girls costumes ready for them!

Made by Samsung DVC

Then that afternoon I’ll be hading down to Amherst Cinemas for Iron Man 3! Remember, Amherst is a $3.00 theatre, leaving me enough to go see Godzilla at the Cedar Lee! (If I don’t head over to Comics are Go for Heroclix that is)


Art Pad Grand opening tonight



So tonight while Amy and Lydia are out hunting for a Christmas Dress, Maddie and I will be heading out to a new gallery! I suppose I could take her to see the Big Lebowski at the Cedar Lee, but her mother might frown on that.

If you see us, tap me on the shoulder and say hello!

The movies we missed

Last month I had the opportunity to see Robocop in the theatre. Now, I’ve seen this movie a hundred times, on TV, on video, criterion cut, with or without commentary, I know it.

But this was different.

Back when there was still a theatre in Avon Lake ( It only had four screens. Imagine that?) my parents would take me out to the movies frequently. once a month or more. It wasn’t quite as expensive back then and you could afford to take a chance on a bomb. I saw Raiders of the Lost Ark there. Flight of the Navigator, Space Hunter, The Empire Strikes Back.  I probably caught at least one of the Star Trek films there.

I remember one year, the math says I was 11 or 12. They had the Robocop poster up. Actually it was a huge cardboard stand up, same image as the poster. I walked past that stand up at least half a dozen times, and it made me a little sad, because I knew there was NO way my parents were taking me to see this movie. And I wondered why would they rate a movie like this, which had such obvious appeal to kids, “R” ?

That’s why it was so special to walk into the Cedar Lee last month and see it finally on the big screen. And that got me thinking, what other movies was I dying to see as a child that I missed because I wasn’t old enough? I’m not talking about Evil Dead or the Return of the living Dead or Hellraiser movies that I would see posters from and think “That’s cool”. I’m not talking about stuff that I appreciate as an adult that I barely noticed as a kid. I’m talking about movies I wanted to see so bad it hurt, and that I would immediately watch as soon as it hit TV.

Ghoulies comes to mind. I know that’s a little weird, but the commercials made it look so mysterious, with a real fantasy edge to it. Perhaps this is more memorable to me because I actually asked my parents to take me to it even knowing it was a hard “R”. I figured I’d give it a try. After all, other kids parents would sometimes take them to “R” movies like Freddy and Jason movies.

Much to my shock they said yes. We went to the theatre less than a month later. I was more than a little devastated when I learned we had a communication problem here. They hadn’t taken me to Ghoulies, but rather to GOONIES. I’ve never liked the Goonies. I don’t think it’s entirely due to this miscommunication, but I can’t help but think it may have had something to do with it.

The other movie that comes to mind, is The Untouchables. Even as a kid, I was developing a fondness for the 30’s and 40’s. The look and the whole gangster story. The commercials for The Untouchables not only had that wonderful mob movie feel to it, but a slickness and the packaging of an action movie to it. he sight of Ness cocking a shotgun and walking into that bright foggy street gave me chills. It led me to read Elliot Ness’s Biography and Brian Michael Bendis’ Torso (Ness’s time in Cleveland). I watched the old TV show and recorded the movie the first time it was broadcast on TV. I still love it, even though nowadays I realize the only thing the movie got right was the names (and the appearance) of the two lead characters. If that ever hits a revival theatre around us you know I’ll be  there.

So what about you? Do you have any movies that you REALLY wanted to see as a kid and never could?

Happy Belated Easter

Doing some Easter stuff over at Violent Blue today. I’m bummed couldn’t get this up before Easter, but my scheduling has been a little off here.

It’s just never occurred to me to be offended by the whole “Happy Zombie Jesus Day” thing before -I’m still not but I can see how some people might try to use this as something insulting. I prefer to look at it as a fun way of describing Christ…then again I’ve always been into using pop culture as metaphor.
I hit the Cedar Lee Saturday night/ Sunday morning for a midnight showing of the Terminator – the original. It was incredible to see that on the big screen although I’ll grant, some of the effects do not hold up. The head with the exposed robot eye never did, but even some of those future war sequences don’t look all that great. It’s just one or two, but it’s stuff I never noticed watching it on TV.
You know, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the full version of this before. It’s always been edited for TV.

Anyhow, it was fun to start my Easter off with Ahhhnold, though I was dragging a bit that morning heading to Church. Still managed to shred  my way through the morning music and had a nice Easter morning with my wife and girls. Also a  big thanks to Angelique Bone for posting a link to “Night of the Lepus”. A perfect way to end my Easter. We had a good one.  Hope you did too!



Whew. Acomplished a lot yesterday – two weeks worth of Violent Blue created, and pretty much the whole first chapter of CONundrum scripted. I took a bunch of referance photos this year at the HolidayInn so when it comes time to draw this thing I can feel a little better about the backgrounds. I’m still fresh of the convention experiance so that might explain the creative jag right now…and it’s sure not going to last.

The gag-a-day stips for Violent Blue are easier to create than the story arc ones and I think we’ll be going back to those for a little while starting next week. Come on over and see what’s happening with Taylor, Steve, Chloe and Acid at! and don’t forget, I’ll be at the Cedar Lee tomorrow night for the Terminator. Come on out and join me for the movie!