The Violent Blue blog***Comics, Horror and Pop Culture***Updates Tuesday through Friday (and occasionally at random)

Posts tagged “Horror Conventions

Wasteland this weekend!

cw_show_logo

It’s the first weekend in April, so you know what means…I’m headed to Strongsville after work and spending the weekend at Cinema Wasteland. Of all the cons I go to, this is my favorite. If you’re in the northeastern Ohio region, come on down! Hope to see you there!

17759935_1495763443801407_6482276732004450831_n

 

Cinema Wasteland


Cinema Wasteland spring 2016

Conman12472271_10201457866045932_2858715554961129989_nMy back still hurts. This should have been a miserable weekend. But it’s Wasteland weekend. That makes a big difference. Its the sort of place where you can just sit down with a couple of evil clowns over beers or chat with friends about serial killers and Doctor Who and no one bats an eye.

I got in late, but managed to kick off my weekend with the short film block – headlined by “Hammer” the big screen premier of my buddy Mark Mackaye’s latest short.

The short film block is always one of the highlights of Wasteland, and having one of our own in it always makes it more fun. I personally really dug seeing Zach Shildwachter’s “Eat It UP” as well. I’ve caught this movie before, but it’s just so much fun with such great dialogue – honestly this is one of the shorts that I really would love to see expanded into a longer feature or series of short films.12932701_10201451089276517_3885185790678501125_n

I was all about camping in movie room two on Friday, though I did venture out a bit to chat with friends and prowl the dealer’s room and get my autographs. It’s interesting, this time around I was finding a great many more deals than usual. It was also reall ycool to see that autographs were cheaper here than usual. Several people were signing on your own items for only $10, and no one was over $20.

My first and main target was actually Grayton Clark. He’d cancelled on a previous show and this was his appearance to make up for it. He’s pleasent and charming and seems genuinely surprised that we know  his work. He greeted me (and a lot of other people ) by asking “You know these films?” with a mixture of surprise and pleasure. Truth is, I know some of them, though not all of them. I’m a fan of Dracula vs Frankenstein, not to mention catching Satan’s Cheerleaders’s at a previous show. Skinheads was on the schedule this year and I stuck around for that as well. Clark is so prolific that I’ve run into his work a lot over the years. He was selling his autobiography which was EXACTLY what I wanted to grab. His stories about working on low budget films are fascinating, and listening to him talk, felt a lot like listening to Adam Green on the Movie Crypt Podcast.

12933108_1155117761199312_1721756157223176148_n12919778_1155116614532760_1447904264671062754_n

I hadn’t really intended to meet David Naughton, but George Steele had cancelled and I noticed that Naughton’s fee was actually lower here than it had been other shows so I ran over to take advantage of that. He’s pleasant, if a little brief. His panel at the show however was quite amazing. It’s really fun to hear about his journey and there were a few bits about American Werewolf in London that I didn’t know previously.

I also managed to snag a moment with Roy Fukes – he was really there for the Street Trash reunion, but I wanted him on my Dawn of the Dead poster. He’s the first zombie to get hit in the face with a pie. It’s a dubious claim to fame, but I loved it. He’s another one who seems surprised that people are actually here to see him and I noticed he 12938258_1155115261199562_2825254917360206468_nwould keep wandering away from his table to check out other merchants in the dealer’s room!

Saturday morning started with McDonalds and Hangover featuring Queen of Outer Space starring Zsa Zsa Gabor and it was A-MAZE-ING. I particularly love the mask the villianess wears. I’m sure I recognize the guns and costumes from other films. Gabor was wonderfully over the top and it’s just the perfect movie for a cold saturday morning.

I caught up with friends after the film. They were coming from the wrestling presentation and were still shaking. It had been a particularly bloody match including a knee to the chest and the victim spraying blood from his mouth. I can’t handle real blood. I love the fake stuff, but the real stuff just makes me woozy.

I followed them into Three Stooges- a Saturday morning tradition, and while we were waiting for it to start I passed around the bacon soda that my wife had gotten me for Easter. It was revolting. I think it also mixed poorly with my pain medication…part 12439352_1155116567866098_4955790460835365316_nway through the third short I had to jump up and book it for the restroom.

There was time before the panels would start and I headed off to hit a couple more films. Happy Hour Massacre had registered on my radar, but you know, anthologies are not always my thing. I was iffy on it, but the poster was up and you know what? It swayed me. I’m glad it did because it was a great set of movies. It’s southern, but that’s just kind of a matter of fact – not played for laughs. The stories were genuinely engaging, particularly the crazy Ex-Girlfriend one, though the bit about the old man and the red pill was pretty exciting as well. I ended up enjoying this so much that I ran out to the dealers room and snatched up a copy of it for myself. While I was at it, I also grabbed a copy of “Winner Tape All”. I knew I was only going to be able to catch the first fifteen minuets of that before seeing David Naughton, and figured I would finish it up Sunday afternoon as I recuperated (and I did). Winner Tape All is a spoof on all the VHS documentaries we’ve been seeing lately, but it feels more like satire than straight up parody to me. It respects the genere and I totally feel like we’re in on the joke. If I had to guess, I’d actually say there was a huge influence from the story of Chester Turner (a former Wasteland 12920527_1155115374532884_6013081939244545403_nguest) and his films “Black Devil Doll from Hell” and “Tales from the Quaddead Zone”. It really fits in perfectly with documentaries like Rewind this or even the recent Cannon films story.

I was in between panels and thought I’d stop in at Tom Sullivan’s Evil Dead museum. He was in the middle of telling a story about Motor City Comic Con. He’s actually wanted to meet Adam West, but his table had been so busy all day that he was unable to get away and had mentioned it in passing to a gew people who had come by. Late in the day, West himself showed up at Tom’s table and he had a total fanboy melt down. It was a great moment, and Tom tells these kind of stories so well.

12376638_1155238061187282_4985123392247917526_nLinda Miller is an interesting guest. Again, one of those people who is surprised to find their work celebrated, but then again, this is really the kind of thing Wasteland does well. Miller has roles in both the Green Slime and King Kong Escapes. Both B films, but also both really beloved. Miller described how she kind of fell into acting during a brief period that she was living in Japan.

Of course after King Kong escaped, it was time for the best part of any Wasteland – A Ghastlee Night at the Movies hosted by newly inducted hall of famer, A Ghastlee Ghoul!

It always starts out with the band and then into 42 questions with 4nd street Pete. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at this game, but I’m always afraid I’ll embarrass 12512783_993796907323893_1929294692080209750_nmyself. Still I usually can come up with at leas a half a dozen answers. Not this time. I;m not sure what was up with this group of questions but I managed to get a total of two right from my seat in the audience. Even the contestants seemed to be struggling with some of these stumpers.

I jumped up for one game myself. The game was to put bras on a bunch of guys while the women threw ping pong balls at them – the men would then try to catch the balls in thier bras. I swear, Angelique is the only woman who could get me into ladies shakeundergarments. I was actually a little relieved to have Mark up there with me.

I caught NO balls. Just saying.

There was also the S@#Theel of the year award this time around -sort of the male equivalent of Miss Wasteland. For the most part unremarkable but it did include one of my favorite games – “Shake the Baby”. This involves a baby doll and a pedometer.

Finally, the night ended with a classic Shatner game where contestants had to give 12933005_1155115704532851_5683020614932986145_ntheir best impressions on classic William Shatner moments. I suspect this was Ghastlee’s attempt to destroy the stage in the absence of Sally the Zombie Cheerleader (Sadly absent this time around, but we’ll see her again in the fall!). My favorite moment here was when they reenacted the climatic battle between Spock and Kirk in the classic Star Trek episode “Amok Time”. Even Wasteland isn’t crazy enough to trust a bunch of drunks with a pair of Ahn-Wons though, so the bladed staffs were replaced with broom sticks. An admirable choice.

12512422_1155139454530476_2139400449562914209_nThe band played and Suspiria tossed prizes out into the audience. The most hilarious one was an old audio cassette of TV themes…I was chatting with a friend and I suddenly felt something being slipped into my pocket….yes, I pulled out this….

My back prevented me from catching the late night films this time around – a real pity since they were showing the Green Slim on 16mm. I love the Green Slime – I may need to make a costume of that sometime soon.

Another Wasteland in the can….and we’re already looking forward to the next one six months down the line! Hope to see you there!

934127_1155115884532833_6994268461536123617_n944871_1155115881199500_756824448026531959_n 944981_1155115387866216_8313298112891654104_n 1482783_1155116514532770_754596336372869671_n 1936354_993804310656486_1640822653789312796_n 10399968_1155116787866076_7516839445903543767_n 12439196_1155116087866146_202952676190052381_n 12112508_1155115701199518_1918608399339055494_n 12321392_10209343260001996_5146537400800523248_n 12472459_1155116051199483_1252622628967683171_n 12472741_1155115524532869_2997234793772692184_n 12376351_1155115667866188_3252317248398048987_n 12439107_1155116321199456_7165071170358919368_n 12494714_1155116394532782_1489398329149342226_n 12494854_1155116601199428_1311230073457068935_n 12524225_1155115901199498_614633561789852882_n 12670526_1155116674532754_6280406502488111255_n 12670648_1155116524532769_5547421887185488224_n 12670697_1155115964532825_3322419158147368837_n 12801540_1155139444530477_1814673928791239036_n 12919672_1155116607866094_5276768152284973347_n 12670526_1155115247866230_1056136064230632187_n 12523847_1155116734532748_8242093209571151000_n 12512751_1155115647866190_6385414083999001929_n 12670510_1155116147866140_5459227703519423459_n 12592617_1155115557866199_7763352803428460487_n 12592596_1155116307866124_6621372401600477309_n 12923323_10201456449730525_431384345825082366_n 12924560_1155116271199461_6453806197436446712_n 12923106_1155115651199523_5067962354949112833_n 12919917_1155115781199510_6841708120025177012_n 12923242_1155116504532771_1117116152730401901_n 12924624_1155116331199455_7895543456272148543_n 12928309_1078469765529228_8847535193293741958_n 12923286_10209343259241977_5628264831005056438_n 12920272_993804893989761_3431531364280836086_n 12920349_1155116641199424_8199982956545757951_n 12923291_1155115267866228_60528712493253495_n 12928325_1155115981199490_3041127692190144332_n 12928374_1177619362249901_2437619341503093400_n 12932831_1155116234532798_3124648172630188585_n 12936619_1155115287866226_7737239837284775240_n 12936619_1155116101199478_1021721811033911855_n 12932966_1155115994532822_4581629909365957559_n 12928415_1055692777821332_841940528923737128_n 12931066_1155115484532873_667079707471666976_n 12938150_1155115591199529_5032126023817131584_n 12933051_1155115364532885_8614383896934108727_n 12931103_1155116387866116_5180840358641216063_n 12961598_1155116827866072_6658182199568443911_n 12931240_993804587323125_6000885824494261809_n 12961608_1155115567866198_7193101607290508403_n 12961632_1155139451197143_2782560557356469870_n 12963597_993805250656392_4395537691033694677_n 12963384_1155115471199541_7902754286700454354_n 12963933_1155116247866130_5935168973003993322_n12495048_1155115777866177_2379164200326133021_n


Cinema Wasteland 2015

ConmanSo there was the guy in the top hat carrying around the skeleton talking to the skinless guy, red muscle with yellow patchs of bone justting out from the tissue, a stark contrast to the white shirt and rumpled black suit he wore. A space pirate in his biker jacket and pirates hat came up, his smile revealing the sharp fangs beneath.

And people walked by like nothing was out of the ordinary.

Welcome to Cinema Wasteland.

11152682_951703514874072_3984622074525626980_n

One of the things that makes Wasteland so great is the people there. You go to visit with friends you only see every six months. I’m not kidding about Space pirate (a Kreepy Kastle Regular) showing up and finding Mr. Maniacal and me chatting, to say nothing of the ZEROS (Zombie eradication squad) and out of town friends I run into up there.

11156319_951495634894860_7032757957612269977_n11148721_1570819526525660_7699952478049381571_n

It was a packed house this year for the Day of the Dead reunion; the biggest cast reunion anywhere. We watched in a packed house, standing room only as the cast reminisced and Joe Piloto and Gary Klar yealled “I am Sparticus!” back and forth. These people are real family, friends not just in the movie but outside it too, keeping in touch even when conventions are out of session, and it really came through in the panel.

10428650_951495724894851_6993157797388958900_n

Jim  Wynorski was up next. A frequent director for Roger Corman at the helm of such films as Chopping Mll, Sorority House Massacre  and Hard to Die, he’s always been working, yet is always humbled by how much these films are still loved.

10922725_951000194944404_3399844430597360119_n

Joining him was Peter Spellos, a familiar face to TV and film, but alwys s a supporting player. The thing I was suprised to discover,  was just how funny he was.

I’ve spent most of my  career playing heavies and thugs and psychos,” he told me. “But my background is in improv, so when I get the chance  to be funny,  I take it!”

Finally, Ghastlee’s show…oh boy.

10660359_1052314484782673_4788267084905290074_n

So I volunteered for Sallys part of the show, this  time around it was a game where they fed you diffrent things while blindfolded…Sardines, escargot, fermented herring from Sweden…all to the delight and revulsion of the audience. All of us made it through, though not without effort. I nearly tossed my cookies on the pickled pigs feet, but really, that’s just wasteland for you.

Great films playing all weekend, frequently with the director or actors present (at the screening of Chubbies the director greeted you at the door and poured you a shot of Jägermeister ) all spent with other people who love movies.

Now I can’t wait to do it again in six months…

100E6560 22105_10200337309512719_8491305193048657148_n 1959962_974518029228121_157952918064367120_n 10387291_10200339612050281_4861281171268233050_n 10660359_1052314484782673_4788267084905290074_n 11014706_979635268714979_6675780799498011005_n 11039090_443769852453819_2750950377883631136_n 11062121_444138145750323_3272245139722708280_n 11068388_974519759227948_1547011486001018951_n 11107165_992768270742121_1132545206965958663_n 11130256_10153042080384130_1526712988506532112_n 11136645_10200340361749023_778639006600219228_n 11138690_978619415483231_6823873305587527489_n 11149353_10200340806160133_3890129255360860117_n

13384_951016108276146_5885787278414886252_n 19600_951000948277662_2353879952213138023_n 1484695_951000874944336_3135585693159530312_n 1609589_951000871611003_274165008256307589_n 1908287_951000864944337_8173530823688700099_n 10004015_951000861611004_2547387069172133665_n 10296813_951702704874153_2668235612894537101_n 10347483_1052315671449221_8759764243398720289_n 10356310_951495718228185_6583812906729799508_n 10359207_951022878275469_2623393668262489504_n 10422958_951703074874116_7853934442615566880_n 10441147_951000198277737_5068853362978302237_n 10485890_951495721561518_8698160922669890757_n 10491227_951000944944329_7128229016202175904_n 10492548_950775318300225_1368543550753188174_n 10527808_951495714894852_69633495487441952_n  10730837_951703008207456_4902543497301859662_n 10830525_951016104942813_8724555377139694197_o 10933736_951022881608802_5211671226453079868_n 10944836_951495711561519_7921466620819270753_n 10983123_951702984874125_7347008838307330028_n 10983287_951703174874106_6492064421244632419_n 11010528_951022874942136_8420726361311574058_n 11018083_951702871540803_5516258357481799814_n 11024699_951702668207490_5203759940356517579_n 11088348_951000201611070_1761831687250831364_n 11102708_951000304944393_8489642321014732843_n 11107735_422237557957041_7243768224698106983_n 11111039_951114114933012_5640476063651316808_n 11129212_951000868277670_5926471441882255340_n 11133738_951000951610995_3758371201901485852_n 11133759_951702921540798_5302640895849623765_n 11136739_951495644894859_6359397073533680208_n 11138527_951000191611071_333466444550960026_n 11146209_951000301611060_1421927694107204724_n 11146233_951495648228192_4121695011342045939_n 11147839_951001081610982_5112001700116778230_n 11149410_951016111609479_4361115367145723013_n 11150229_951000311611059_6364018868391857810_n 11150250_422238857956911_1816764631570824485_n 11150286_951495641561526_9057409008898799679_n 11150459_951000298277727_106483326176380677_n 11152347_951703101540780_9079067368267068866_n 11156199_971018379577412_2700972368583489039_n 11156349_951495638228193_1550642260080406317_n 11156358_951703044874119_6168880820309710026_n