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Posts tagged “Monster Bash

Con Schedule – second half of 2023

Man, March beat me UP! I did seven conventions in less than two months – half of them with Maddie in tow. I seriously don’t know what was up with March this year (and a bit of Feb) but the cons were just stacked on top of each other – usually with two or three going on on any given weekend!

I’ve got a ten week convention break coming up after Wasteland this weekend. Then, the rest of the year is going to be a LOT slower – about one (sometimes two) a month, starting in June. Here’s my Schedule for the rest of the year.

June is a little up in the air. Toyhio and Monster Bash overlap. I’m still deciding which to do. The family is out camping that weekend, so I’m free the whole time. I may try and do Bash on Friday and Toyhio on Saturday.

Monster Bash, June 16-18, 2023  Marriott Pittsburgh North 100 Cranberry Woods Drive, Cranberry Township, PA 16066

TOYHIO TOY SHOW  June 17, 2023   Metroplex Expo Center 1620 Motor Inn Dr, Girard, OH 44420

Youngstown Comic Con (formerly AllAmeriCon) July 8th, 2023   Canfield Fairgrounds 7265 Columbiana-Canfield Rd, Canfield, OH 44406

NEO Comicon Sunday July 30th, 2023 NORTH OLMSTED SOCCER SPORTSPLEX 31515 Lorain rd, North Olmsted, OH 44070

Geekfest August 19th, 2023   Akron-Summit County Public Library 60 South High Street Akron, Ohio 44326


We’ve got a double weekend here too! Cinema Wasteland is the same Weekend as Hall of Fame, so I’ll likely be at Wasteland on Friday so I can take Maddie to HOF on Sat.

Cinema Wasteland September 29th-October 1st  Best Western Plus (Formally the Holiday Inn) 15471 Royalton Rd (Rt. 82) Strongsville, OH 44136

Hall of Fame City Comic Con September 30th, 2023   Canton Civic Center  1101 Market Ave N, Canton, OH 44702

Monster Bash, October 13-14, 2023  Marriott Pittsburgh North 100 Cranberry Woods Drive, Cranberry Township, PA 16066 (Heading back for a SATURDAY BASH this time since I couldn’t make it in June)

Oh, and we’ll also be heading down to Versailles for the Immortal Christian Metal festival in July. It was a lot of fun last year and I really want to return in July- I might even hit part 2 in September!

Immortal Christian Rock Festival  and BMI Event Center, 791 E Main St, Versailles, OH 45380

Date Show City State Who
Jun-16 Monster Bash Pittsburg PA Matthew
Jun-17 Toyhio Girard OH Matthew
Jul-8 Youngstown Comic Cn Youngstown OH Maddie and Matt
July-22-23 Immortal Fest Versailles OH Matthew
July-30 NEO Comicon N. Olmsted OH Maddie and Matt
Aug-19 Geekfest Akron OH Maddie and Matt
Sep-2,3 Immortal Fest Versailles OH Matthew
Sep-29 Cinema Wasteland Strongsville OH Matthew
Sep-30 Hall of Fame Canton OH Maddie and Matt
Oct-14 Monster Bash Pittsburg PA Maddie? and Matt






Monster Bash 2015



Well it was that time again and my little mummy wanted to bring her sister out for her very first Monster Bash!

We began our day with movies – the Mummy’s Hand (Maddie has been very into mummise and Egypt this year). It’s a slower paced film than the girls were used to, but once the mummy came on screen they were on board. We stuck around for a talk on the Blob, and then for Tales from Dracula -a throwback film, trying very hard to emulate the universal look, while in some places updating it.

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Remember we mentioned the Blob? One of the big attractions this year was an appearance by the creature itself! Ive been wanting to see this thing for ages and Lydia kept asking when we were going to find it! It’s a fascinating bit of silicone, and very cool to actually have gotten to see it up close.


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It’s a shame we could only make Friday this year, Saturday is when a lot of the real fun happens, but it was still a great day exploring the dealers room and watching movies. One of my absolute favortie things were the wax figures from the Witches Dungeon, this year a Dr. Phibes display!

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On the way home we stumbled upon this bizarre shaved ice place in the back roads of Pennsylvania and had to stop. The fact that they had Tiger’s Blood snow cones made it stranger still.

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All in all, still a great day at one of our favorite cons. I may just bite the bullet and head back this October now that I’ve seen Barbra Steele is on the guest list…..

20150619_114510 20150619_114445 20150619_114431 20150619_114424 11536125_992830500761373_4524282972612426444_n 11426325_993012347409855_8814494636730197196_n 11426737_993016240742799_2903184723460614006_n 11535903_993015880742835_1401340771316768939_n 11377354_993015117409578_2688226148433714906_n 11295823_993015514076205_4373431051564687520_n 11268001_993015664076190_1394381412946594996_n 11267670_993012170743206_3645049864486288581_n 11207376_993013737409716_4166181285585460044_n 11216720_993012324076524_2287465711985313500_n 11222471_993012417409848_2446363446290220300_n 11233499_993012594076497_8699235147877753605_n 11247084_992830297428060_7558609163997713910_n 11207293_993012454076511_3111639133913492764_n 11202869_993012484076508_1789939729989986534_n 11181847_992830017428088_7600697110609544290_n 11174818_993015930742830_5531874032409161353_n 11136712_993016190742804_1138867095996474290_n 11138139_993013984076358_619753822152411500_n 11146101_993016277409462_8229981163621272700_n 11148815_993012527409837_6775044098976905879_n 11156410_992830157428074_2555768712771481795_n 11136712_993012644076492_7464430482748616414_n 11111967_993012940743129_6274544310745628156_n 11048703_993012880743135_8378964629234879654_n 11041686_993012734076483_8725438666955698999_n 10563098_993015724076184_7359135857645894471_n 10527518_993015900742833_6313220615631962674_n 10502072_992830254094731_5866044451736713964_n 10906257_993012897409800_6897218770177728064_n 10484930_992830604094696_8878472113184108112_n 10479560_993012210743202_6082882158748343949_n 10469189_992830567428033_7004892118978056589_n 10449916_993014644076292_3056149691718870075_n 10439031_993013877409702_1977213669250855102_n 10407808_993016070742816_1923113447238069718_n 10420131_993013904076366_4322330019342646641_n 10400059_993012297409860_1553207632842028274_n 10357526_993015987409491_6777355288038715030_n 10352382_993016234076133_7882042739395907774_n 1932357_993013014076455_4081616405958352684_n 1549411_993016107409479_874718830089297410_n 1972433_993012380743185_7115516580692923314_n 1902761_993012580743165_5798570531644277601_n 1908005_992830110761412_8332381072027225364_n 10298775_993012700743153_8738880593410264712_n 10351070_993013690743054_1807339306483582794_n 1908102_993015757409514_1361970458319798500_n 1461878_993012674076489_7966679451004461896_n 551543_993012967409793_3539145497151131804_n 14685_993016560742767_7723794223025839292_n 9282_993012257409864_3380019505482918833_n

Monster Bash this weekend!

I’m packing the girls up and heading to Bash this weekend! Maddie loved it last year and Lydia is looking forward to her first horror con! If you see us, tap me on the shoulder and say hello!


Monster Bash 2014

Conman10300521_783678301676595_6738373931679320802_nHeaded back out to Mars for Bash, this year 10151905_783678145009944_1020727276008162128_nwith 7-year-old Maddie in tow. I figured Bash would be a good first horror con for her, but had no idea how she would like it.

Maddie was enthralled from the moment we reached the doors and saw the Dragula. She really wanted to get in it, but being roped off, I was a little wary to let her. We also passed a green Creature of the Black Lagoon car. The creature car was so cute, with details on the sides, a plushie creature in the front seat and back window, and a liscence plate reading “creech”.

We got inside in time for morning cartoons. Maddie has never seen Woody Woodpecker or Chilly Willy, but recognized Bugs Bunny at least. a lot of fun watching and she laughed through it all. She also discovered the Three Stooges here. I don’t know that she’d seek them out, but she had fun watching them, describing them as weird but funny.10487477_783679515009807_7828695295420606985_n

We got in and started to meet some of the guests. Judith O’Dea is someone I wanted to meet for a good while now. She’s the last surviving cast member from Night of the Living Dead  that I haven’t gotten to see and she was a delight. Very friendly and outgoing. Maddie marched right up to her  and I introduced her. She smiled and greeted Maddie and asked “You haven’t SEEN this movie have you?” Maddie smiled and admitted she’d only seen part of it (you may remember that we only made it through about half of it at the OSS zombie walk). They talked about how it’s scarier in Black and white, and I handed over my poster to be signed. I love it when people look over my posters to see who have signed it before them. She seemed to have a lot of fun looking at all the names spread across it, remembering the people – especially 10462708_783679231676502_7286672786506249640_nones like Bill Hinzman who is no longer with us.
I also took Maddie over to see John Russo. This was always part of the plan for the day. Even though I wasn’t planning on buying something over at his table this time around (I have several times in the past) Maddie wanted to meet the person who created zombies and I thought he was a good choice, having written the screenplay for Night of the Living Dead with George Romero. He was extremely friendly with her and seemed genuinely pleased to hear her questions. Maddie asked how he came up with the idea for zombies.

He replied “Well when George and I were working on the story we wanted to start it in a cemetery – because cemeteries are creepy. We knew someone was chasing Barbra, but didn’t know who. I suggested it could be a dead person – and it went on from there.”

10489911_783996241644801_5965609127265774671_nMaddie asked if Making a zombie movie was hard. His answer was “It beats working in the coal mines.” then he elaborated on it.

Finally Maddie asked how he learned to make a movie. He told her about going to the movies all the time a as kid and reading a lot. These things gave him ideas from making his own films. Maddie mentioned that she liked going to the movies too. He told her she could grow up to make them herself if she worked at it. Maddie said” It might even be easier now, with tape and video and things…” Russo loved that and told her (and later me) that she was very smart. Before we moved on he pulled out a trading card with his picture on it from Night of the Living Dead, and agave her an autograph.

You know, it seems like all day people were giving Maddie stuff. A led bouncy ball from the WOW table, suckers from one booth, a temporary tattoo from another. during our last pass through the dealers room, Maddie stopped to admire some coffins one of the artists had created. He asked which was her favorite and she pointed out the Dracula one. He told her that she could keep it.

We finally made it back to the film room for Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein. The Abbott and Costello impersonators were back this year and introduced the movie, much to our delight. The lobby had been set up with elements from the films which was a great way of setting the mood. It was Maddie’s first 10320580_783678958343196_8034071362143705790_ntime seeing any of these monsters on screen (outside of cartoon fare like Hotel Transylvania). I think that in our modern day, we forget how truly scary the Universal monsters can be. The transformation of the wolfman terrified Maddie and she cuddled close to me when the monsters were menacing people on screen. The comedy helped and afterwards she declared that she loved it! however she allowed that the monsters were a little scary. Not as scary as she finds zombies though.

Back to the dealers room for an autograph and to find something for Lydia. I did get around to meeting Joel Hodgson, but have to admit, he seemed like he was bored with the whole event. He was friendly, but didn’t seem to really want to be there. His manager was a little weasel, and his prices were a little outrageous. All in all, not a great experience. Tom Savini was also he normal reticent self. I have to assume 10407788_783680278343064_3039167183084776753_nit’s just an awkwardness with people he doesn’t know. I can relate to that, but on the other hand, I watched on fan talk to (at) him for ten minuets, and while he nodded and acknowledged her, he never looked up from his iPad. On the other hand, he is fun and charming in every panel I’ve ever seen him in, not to mention amazing during the fencing match he participated in with the show runners daughter.

This was really fun to watch by the way. They had a strip set up to monitor hits while the ref kept score. Apparently this isn’t their first bout either. In a pervious match, Paisley won. Tom attributes this to the fact that she’s 17 and he’s….*ahem* a senior citizen (His words, not mine!). Apparently a few years ago, one of her friends was over at Toms table looking at the photos, trying to decide which to get, and she found a fencing one. Tom was originally up for the role in The Mask of Zorro when Robert Rodregiouz was still attached to direct. When he left the film, the role 10414580_783680148343077_56532490130144715_nwent to Antonio Banderas and Tom was really disappointed about this, but came away with a knowledge of swordplay.

I spent the match cheering for Paisley, while Maddie cheered Tom on. The goal was best two out of three rounds, five touches each. Double touches allowed. It came down to the last round. Each had one win, each had four touches. Paisley lunged, Tom came in under her arm and DOUBLE TOUCH. Tie match.  The ref laughed and shook his head. “There are no ties in fencing!” One more engarde and Tom took  the win.

After lunch we headed back for the storytelling part of the show. This is something new that they did t his year, exploring the roots of oral tradition and urban legends, then telling some stories along the way. It was half panel and half entertainment, but very well done. Maddie loves being told stories (she made me tell her the story of Dracula on the way home) and this was a great addition, and a good example of how kid friendly this convention is.


10482813_783996244978134_6167100564771218183_nWe elected to leave shorly after the Monster kid home movies that they do, as it was getting late, the dealers room was closing and we; have to wait out another film that Maddie didn’t want to see before getting to the Abbott and Costello tribute show and cake. Still, despite leaving a bit early we had a great time and Maddie was estatic.  She ended up buying an old Wonder Woman cup to bring home for Lydia.
Lydia’s Eyes lit up when maddie presented it to her and Lydia almost tackled Maddie hugging her. I like these too, they were Burger King premiums originally. I had a Superman one when I was a kid.

She also bought a set of trading cards for herself. She found some old “Fright Flicks” cards – another item I remember having as a kid. They feature pictures of monsters on them with funny sayings on the bottom and spooky stories on the back. The vendor handed them over to her with the warning “Don’t eat the gum. It’s older than I am!”

I do believe we will be back next year. Maddie really loved it and talked non-stop about it to both her mother and sister about it.  In fact, next year…it may be Lydia’s turn to come too.

10505563_783678885009870_5310500654765114444_n 10505563_783679991676426_8323886524783566191_n10500507_783680485009710_266743760219017763_n10464366_783678188343273_83428208230382309_nThe Creature car was adorable, but Maddie really liked the Dragula best!


Frankenstein is  EVERYWHERE!


10443496_783678495009909_1294002831501484502_n 10463991_783678668343225_6518928035610437805_n 10407366_783678538343238_7111732293167017570_n 10474661_783679148343177_9219406363546269898_n 10351813_783678845009874_7476820005888868055_n 10380909_783678441676581_9220641375998953118_n10371899_783678348343257_4572661101843657470_n 10380909_783678441676581_9220641375998953118_n 10492347_783678808343211_6457746159925293273_n 10488125_783678365009922_6048377979430368414_n 10337750_783678398343252_3065038187317352046_n We really loved the fencing match. Zorro came out at the end!

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More monsters!


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Monster Bash really does have one of the best dealer’s rooms around.


10387345_783680101676415_6360907197223080065_n 46226_783679585009800_5697213929681690651_n  10329035_783679805009778_6313437018525164371_n 10364192_783679685009790_369387334845609798_n 10390318_783679598343132_3187475289546838466_n 10414538_783678581676567_7960357623707956439_n   10482813_783996244978134_6167100564771218183_n 10485883_783995991644826_2096692206121499787_nI was so excited to find this. It’s a vintage eraser. There was a whole line of these back when Masters of the Universe first came out. I only ever had a Merman one, which I always substituted for the figure when I was a kid. I found this for a dollar in one of the booths.

10306739_783995771644848_7105885961792484140_nI remember this figure being very expensive a while back. I got a great deal on it


One last note, we’ll be featuring Monster Bash all week this week on Violent Blue! Head on over and check it out!







Monster Bash

ConmanIMG_20130720_080654Turns out I did end up heading out to Bash this weekend after all.

I managed to scrape together enough money for admission and gas well most of the gas anyhow, I did end up borrowing a little from my gas allowance from work to get back home.  Bash offers a great deal of fun stuff to do and see that’s included with the admission, starting the day off with cartoons where they serve you cereal – then moving on to old serials on the same screen. I love that stuff.

I really wish Bash would add a second movie screen, and kind of hoped that the move to the new hotel would do that. It’s a big enough con to have a couple things going all the time, but sadly, no luck. Still it has things going for it that no other show does.

IMG_20130720_080215The stand-ups and wax figures are such a great touch. You don’t see much of this around other cons and it fits in perfectly with the old B-Movie theme. This year there was a small wax display in one room, a very cool attraction I could have spent all sorts of time staring in.


One thing that Bash is also a little deficient on is cosplay. We all know I love my costumes and really, that’s never a big part of horror cons. But Bash is so low on cosplayers that they actually have to manufacture their own!


IMG_2945I did manage to say hello to John Saxon during the day, and we discussed the passing of Jim Kelly who had been doing shows with him recently. John told me he had seen Jim no less than three weeks before his death, and you’d never have been able to tell he was sick.

I also got around to the Munster table to meet Butch Patrick and Pat Priest. These two are regulars on the con circuit, but it was still my first time seeing them. I’m very much more of an Addams Family guy, but their panel was still interesting – particularly how they addressed the so-called IMG_20130720_113626“rivalry” between the shows. I can’t say I really came away with a better understanding of the series, but it was fun to watch them talk.

Who I DID come away with a greater appreciation for, was Shemp Howard.

I’m not a stooges fan in the first place, but I know them and  watched them here and there and I subscribed to the general consensus that the Shemp ones weren’t nearly as good as the Curly ones. Everyone knows that right?

Shemp’s daughter in Law and his granddaughter were there along with some Bash mods who are also a bit of historians on the subject. I had no Idea that Shemp was so accomplished in Hollywood before doing the Stooges films.

I also had no idea that he was with the Stooges before Curly.

The original line up was Moe and Shemp, along with another actor who got top billing. As time went on, they added Larry Fine, and when Hollywood came calling, they came for Shemp first. He broke into films before the Stooges, and he and Moe decided to add Curly to the mix. After Curly’s stroke, Moe convinced Shemp to come back.

IMG_20130720_123643They showed some of his other work that I had either never seen or never know was him. I actually had to pull out my copy of Africa Screams when I got home to watch for his performance.

One thing about the new hotel, that dealer’s room is huge. It feels bigger than it has in past years and that’s a great thing

Well, that’s a great thing if you’re not broke.

When you’re at a convention, you kill time in the dealer’s room between screenings or panels and this was no exception. I was really bummed because I found some fascinating IMG_20130720_123838things I really wanted – someone had a DVD of the young Frankenstein musical that’s touring right now! A beautiful volume on the history of the Shadow and another on the history of the Green Hornet. The early student films of Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell! The Zacherly scrapbook! ARRRGGGH!

To be fair, I didn’t walk away entirely empty handed, I had four dollars tucked away to bring home goodies for my girls and I stretched that like you wouldn’t believe, loading up candy, tiny monsters, bat rings (which I put in little coffin containers I already had at home) and Simpsons Halloween action figures

Some short Monster kid films by the resident filmmaker Brian Nichols. One of his movies was a retrospective of short spots his daughters had done with him, with the full knowledge that this would likely be the last movie they make with their daddy. Yeah, I know how this goes. There’s a reason I take my girls to cons and zombie walks. There’s a reason we do skits for church at least once a month. Don’t worry Brian, I’m not letting that time slip by either.

IMG_20130720_080158I ended the night by hitting the Abbott and Costello tribute show. It was fine. Not a big fan of the first routine, but the next couple were fun and they capture the spirit of the pair. I’m glad they ended it with a Who’s on First routine…then again they kind of have too.

There’s more going on after that, but it was after nine and I had a three hour drive ahead of me so I headed back to Cleveland. I saw in the program however that Judith O’Dae and Barbra Steel are coming next year so you know I’ll be back – and maybe I can arrange to have my daughters with me next year. 8 and 6 should be old enough…..

IMG_20130720_123739 IMG_20130720_124102 IMG_20130720_123958 IMG_20130720_125037 IMG_20130720_125146 IMG_20130720_114206 IMG_20130720_083732 IMG_20130720_083722 IMG_20130720_080603 IMG_20130720_080553

Evil Dead 2013

Movie banner

I was determined to catch this while it was still in the theatres…despite the outpouring of negative reviews.

Now, most of the negative reviews I’ve seen generally fall into two categories :

The first is people who don’t like horror. Why these people would go see a movie titled “Evil Dead” I have no idea, but there are countless IMDB reviews complaining about violence, the excessive gore, even coining the phrase “Gore Porn” I guess the term “Torture Porn” has gotten played out.

The second category is people who are devotees of the original. This is the far greater category, those who revere the original film and prize it as a Horror classic.

It’s these folks especially that I have an issue with.

IMG_2683I like the Evil Dead movies. They possibly get more attention from me than they might otherwise because of their status as cult classics.  More than once I’ve been known to marathon them, and for me an Evil Dead marathon includes not only the three films, but also “Within the Woods” (the short film made to finance Evil Dead- a sort of proof of concept), both of the musicals (not only “boomstick”, which everyone knows, but also the small production that was done without authorization in Chicago and shut down quickly) and a copy of Evil Dead along with the live commentary done at Cinema Wasteland a few years ago.

I’ve tried to get into the Army of Darkness comics from Dynamite, but really the only ones that really worked for me was the crossover with the Marvel Zombies. When I see them at Half price books though, I usually get them. On my wall is a print of Tom Sullivan’s original poster, sporting the original name “Book of the Dead”. It’s signed by a bunch of the cast. I’ve gone out of my way to meet as many as I possibly could, even Bruce Campbell was nice enough to sign the thing through the mail for me.

So now that I’ve established that I have some cred here, I’d like to point one thing out about the original Evil Dead.

It’s not a great movie.Evil Dead Autos

It’s not meant to be. This isn’t cinema, it’s not art. It’s a B-Movie classic, a VHS memory. These things are good, they should be remembered, even celebrated. That’s why there are conventions like Monster Bash, and Cinema Wasteland. But let’s not overrate their quality. The original has a paper thin plot, minimal characterization and emphasizes gore over storytelling (all criticisms I heard leveled by fans at the new movie). It overcame it’s shortcomings by putting the passion of the filmmakers on the screen, and by not taking itself too seriously, venturing into a hyper-reality with comic book level violence and the occasional slapstick. It’s even possible that it could benefit from a modern remake (or preferably a sequel) that’s faithful to the original.

I think with this new movie, I take the greatest issue with the idea of “reimagining” rather than remaking it. “Reimagining” essentially gives the director the power to remake without any connection to the source material. It’s indulgent towards the film maker, not the audience, and that’s a problem. It’s especially a problem with a movie that is already fighting an uphill battle because it’s a remake and divergent from the original. In this case, they’ve used it as an excuse to skew dark and serious. Evil Dead was never dark and serious. If you get the tone of the film wrong, it casts a shadow over the entire end product and that’s a shame.

The “Reimagineing” excuse also allows them to change the rules. The most noticeable to me was how the Book of the Dead would not burn. It was a fundamental change in the relic, separating the continuity. It also gives them leave to stick in little homages wherever they feel like it…reminding you “this isn’t a sequel! It’s a reimagining!” Yeah. Ask Bryan Singer how well that worked in Superman Returns.

That said, this isn’t a bad movie. I really want it to be a sequel instead of an alternate universe, and I will probably continue to look at it that way. There could have been more than one book of the dead. Who knows if that’s even the same woods? but I’ll tell you what, if it is the same woods, I can totally understand there being more than one cabin out there.  Maybe paranormal and archeological researchers are drawn out to that region for some reason. Perhaps it has a history. That’s enough rationalization for me anyhow. Moreover, I don’t NEED Ash for a sequal, anymore than I NEEDED Ripley for it to be an Alien movie. I’ve long disowned the third film in that series, and despite what they call her in the fourth, that’s NOT Ripley that Sigorney Weaver is playing there…and I’m cool with that. The same is true for Evil Dead. I’m good with it just being about the demons and the killings.

While they may get the tone wrong, introducing serious elements like detox and abandonment, they get the gore and the creature effects VERY right. These kind of practical effects in this sort of movie always hold up better than CG, and when CG is used, it’s used right – that is, it’s used to enhance the practical. The book of the dead looks shockingly good. The redesign was really well thought out, though I have one tiny little beef with it. There are a great many interior illustrations that are pretty straightforward. it’s dark art, but still very comic book figure looking. It’s close enough in style that they really should have given this job to Tom Sullivan (the man who created the original book of the dead. Here he is pictured with me – he’s the guy holding the book!). Tom could have created these nightmarish images just as well as whatever artist took the job, and the producers could have really played up the connection to the original movie. A real missed opportunity here.   The Tree assault is done with more taste (marginally) and logic – there’s a point to it. The dialogue is chilling when we hear the demon declare “your girlfriend is being raped in Hell!” or “your mother hates you. She waits for you in Hell”. Even in the original, confidant lines like  “you are all going to die tonight” was scary. It still works here.

I’m not going to lie here. I liked this movie. It’s not better than the original, but it’s not any worse either, and that’s something a lot of sequels can’t say. It’s got it’s flaws but if we can get past both that and our (somewhat unwarranted) reverence for the original, there’s a fun and scary movie here. I’ll definitely be buying this when it comes out and am looking forward to some commentaries. I’ll pop this at the end of my next marathon (something I wouldn’t do with the Nightmare on Elm Street remake) and I look forward to seeing where this goes next.


By the way, Simply Film is also doing a review today, check out the podcast here :

HorrorHound Indy 2012


Spent a good deal of Saturday at HorrorHound in Indianapolis. You know, I’m not into big cons, even though I’m going to two this year. The thing is, they can bring in the guests.  HorrorHound was doing a Terminator/Aliens reunion. I’ve been wanting to meet Michael Biehn for ages and the chance to fill up a poster with autographs from the colonial marines was just too good to pass up. 

Man this joint was crowded. It felt like cattle being headed from one point to another. I really didn’t get to see much of the programing, but then again, it’s not Cinema Wasteland. Programing is secondary. They get points for having videos and movies, but lose a couple of points for not having much I was interested in.  I’m finally getting my Elm Street poster going now, and this was a perfect chance to get Heather Langenkamp and Amanda Wyss. I’ve gotten Heather through the mail before but since she was there I wanted to take the opportunity to get a photo and start consolidating my Nightmare autographs in one place. She’s got such striking features….you see the wrinkles, but there’s not mistaking her. Amanda was EXTREMELY friendly. She wanted to talk and was absolutely effervescent. She looked over my NOES poster and was noting who had signed before then stopped short.

“Who is that?” she asked.

“Johnny Depp,” I replied.

She freaked out. Her eyes got wide and she exclaimed how excited she was, because she’d never signed something that he gotten first. She asked how I got it and I mentioned getting it through his agent (I didn’t have the heart to tell her it was likely an autopen – but better than nothing). The poster goes in the mail to Robert Englund next (I already met him a few years ago at Flashback in Chicago. I’ve got my photo with him, so I’ve got no regrets getting him again by mail) and hopefully we’ll be getting John Saxon in July at Monster Bash.

All in all, not a bad Con. I spent most of the day getting my autographs, which was really all I was there for. The staff weren’t rude per se, but detached and remote. (Come on, make me believe you having a good time! Again, I just think I’ve been spoiled by Cinema Wasteland). Was great to connect with the Aliens crew, and the Elm Street Girls, not to mention the Horror Hosts like Halloween Jack, Sammy Terry and the girls from Midnight Mausoleum Robyn and Marlena!

Pictures below. Browse through these, then head over to see whats going on over at Violent Blue this week!

Autograph requests

When people come into my library or look through my autograph scrapbooks I frequently get asked “How did you meet THEM?”. To be fair, more than half of my autographs are acquired in person at Sci-Fi or Horror conventions like Cinema Wasteland and Monster Bash. However, there’s also a great many that I have gotten through the mail. I tend to target people that I don’t think I’m going to get a chance to ever meet in real life, especially older folks who don’t like to travel any more like Angus Scrimm and John Zacherly.

A couple of years ago I helped a friend send out his first autograph request and it occurs to me that it might be nice to show you a little about how I do it.

1. I write formal letters. No first names to the recipient, ever. It’s always Mr. or Ms. It may be old fashioned, but it shows respect.

2. A little flattery. You don’t have to mean it. They can’t see your eyes to tell if your lying.

3.Talk about specifics. Don’t just repeat the list of movies they’ve been in off of IMDB.  Don’t even list all the movies they’ve done. Just talk about the ones you liked. What moved you about them and why you like them in the film. If you can’t think of anything, then perhaps you shouldn’t be asking for their autograph.

4.Include an item to be autographed. Don’t assume they have headshots laying around. Print out a picture. It’ll cost you about $4 at Target to use the automated machine. Some folks are nice and will return your autograph and  include a picture or a headshot of their own along with it. Jerry Lewis actually swapped the picture I sent with a better, glossy copy of the same image. That was especially cool since that’s not the one he normally sends out. 

While we’re on the subject, don’t be greedy. Send one picture. Maybe two. I never send more than that. I don’t resell the stuff, and the main reason I might send more than one pic is because I’m planning on getting a second autograph on that same picture and I want an extra in case it gets lost in the mail or never returned (That’s the reason I still have one Dick Van Dyke auto, even though Julie Andrews never returned the Mary Poppins pic signed by Dick that I sent her).

5. Send return postage or a SASE. Bottom line is to make this as easy as possible for the recipient. We just want them to open the envelope, sign the picture, slip it in another envelope and put it in the mailbox. Five minuets or less. If they have to put postage on it, or find an envelope, or dig out a headshot or get a headshot from thier agent, these things take time and money. Let’s not make this any more difficult than it has to be.

6.If you get a reply, send a thank-you note. I buy postcards (usually with a Cleveland theme – it helps them remember who they signed what for) and hand write thank-yous to a lot of the people  I get autographs from. I don’t bother when it’s an agent’s address or a set because it may never arrive, but when it’s a home or PO box it’s good form to say thanks and it takes less time than you spent sending the original request.  

7. Finally, don’t presume too much. Even though you’ve seen these people again and again on TV or at the movies, remember, you’re writing a letter to a stranger.  Don’t act like you know them, or assume that them sending you an autograph makes you buddies. They are doing you a favor, not starting a relationship. You won’ t be exchanging Christmas cards in December or attending their summer barbecue. Sending repeated letters is bad form and makes the rest of us look like creepy stalkers.

And again, yes, they are doing you a favor. They don’t owe you an autograph, though it shows that they do appreciate their fans. They are people  too and everyone is different. I wasn’t upset that Tom Savini was distant when I met him a few years ago. I’m not an especially friendly person myself and we were both strangers to each other. He was still polite and signed a poster and took a photo with me. I’m totally cool with that. Sometimes you will meet someone who is especially friendly, like when I wrote my friends favorite author and asked her to send him an autograph (I enclosed a picture and a stamped envelope addressed to him).  She not only sent him the autograph but also a long letter (written mostly on the back of the picture) and then also sent ME a letter. Those are great experiences and really they are the reason we do this kind of thing. But not every one will be like that. To quote Clint Eastwood “Deserve’s got nothing to do with it”.

These are by no means a definitive set of rules, but they’ve worked well for me over the years. It’s a rush when you send that envelope out and an even bigger thrill to get one back. For some reason, having an actor or director’s autograph just makes their films more fun to watch. For a moment, instead of the movie being simply a one way communication, it opens up into interactivity.  You get to talk back to the people involved in it and for that moment they know you exist too.

Good luck. I’m going to go out and check my mail before I get back to Violent Blue.

Monster Bash!

Been a couple of first time cons this year. Lake Effect Conic Con and Monster Bash! Of course I’ve been wanting to go to Monster bash fro a few years now, but it always seemed to be the one that fell through the crack. It was especially sad the first year, because I missed the Creature from the Black Lagoon…but never fear…this year he was back!

I pulled up to the hotel and immediately knew I was in the right place. Great displays in the lobby as well as the cool banners outside.

One of the thi8ngs I noticed about this con is how many people in costume are around. I love cosplayers and the classic monster types are really cool.

They seem to have as many Horror hosts as Cinema Wasteland, but those guys also seemed to be taking more pictures.

Finally got my Creature from the Black Lagoon autograph and met the ingenue!

Got to meet Arch Hall Jr. as well and get a second autograph on my EEGah! poster!

The movie selection unfortunately wasn’t my thing – I’ve never been real in to Cavemen, but it’s absolutely worth the trip for the guests. (my only complaint with that was the panels were only thrity minuets long! You really NEED an hour!) It’s got a similar family atmosphere that I usually feel at Cinema Wasteland. People are easy to approach and talk too. I had one guy come up and straight out ask “How old is that Shadow backpack?”

It was that atmosphere that helped me find a couple of familiar faces that I didn’t know. I tracked down all the members of the B-Movie-Cast (a podcast I listen too frequently) and it was really fun to put the faces to the voices. The other person I wanted to find was Richard Scravani. He’s listed on the site as a guest, but what they don’t tell you is that he doesn’t have a table. HE hosted a couple of segments and spent the rest of the con attending events like the rest of us. I’m a big fan of his book on my favorite Horror Host, Zacherley and I wanted him to sing my copy….but couldn’t seem to find him most of the day! Late in the afternoon I caught him in the lobby and was able to sit and talk with him about Zach for a while. We both had similar experiences sending him letters and discussed how strange it was that certain areas he’s really well known and in others like Cleveland, he’s virtually unknown. IT was really nice to meet him and speak with him about everything. He left a lovely inscription in my book and seemed embarrassed I even asked him to sign it. Before we headed off to the Black Lagoon panel he told me I made his afternoon.

Of course one of the reasons I go to these things is so I can buy stuff you just can’t find in the real world. My real score was a bootleg copy of Spider-Man : Turn of the Dark. Yeah, that’s right. I have the Broadway musical. It’s AWFUL.

The girls loved the rubber dinosaurs I brought home for them and Lydia wore one of the bat rings I brought her to Church. I also got Maddie a Grim Reaper comic book (Same artist as Tiny Titans) and she had it open as soon as she got it and was trying to sound out words in story.

All in all a good con. I expect I’ll be back, but I’ll be mindful of the programming next time and pick a year with better movies.

Hey Fred! Call your agent!

So I’m getting ready for the bash and pulling posters I want signed and sorting through autographs.

It occured to me that even though I didn’t have my Dusk till Dawn poster a few years back when Fred Williamson was at Cinema Wasteland, I might still be able to catch him through the mail and get an autograph on it along with the ones already on it.

I found his website and there were instructions on sending items to get autographed. there weas a fee – I’m fine with that. It means I have a MUCH greater liklihood of getting my auto back. I shot out an email to his agent (her contact info was on the site, not his. Again, I’m fine with that. It’s smart.) to confirm that the info was up to date and that this was the right place to send the picture.

Her reply was : don’t use that address.  I will get one for you.

That was four days ago.
Not digging it. At this point I’m not sure i’d trust an address even if she gets one back to me. Drag.
Oh well. Got to get some Violent Blue done before I head out to Monster Bash tomorrow morning. 5:00 AM  is ging to come WAY to early.

Monster Bash this weekend!

I’m heading to PA for my first Monster Bash this weekend. Really excited about meeting the Creature for the Black Lagoon!