Charles Craig from Night of the Living Dead guest stars!
Guest Starring Troma’s Lloyd Kauffman!
Night of the Living Dead’s Judith Odey and Kyra Schon guest star!
Evil Dead’s Tom Sullivan guest stars!
Special appearance from Night of the Living Dead’s Charles Craig
It’s that time of year again when the monsters crawl out of the darkness to come and haunt Lakewood.
I’ve been doing these for the better part of a decade, and this time around I had my daughter with me. She’s been getting more and more into the cosplay scene this year and decided she wanted to pull her monster cupcake out of storage for this event. The costume had to be altered to fit her (She’s grown a lot in in two and a half years) but once we added some extra frosting and accessorized with a chainsaw, she was ready to go!
For my own part, I wanted to do something related to Friday the 13th (which had been the previous day). The thing is, I have always been way more of a Freddy guy than a Jason guy (More of a Dracula fan than a Frankenstein one too fora that matter). I ended up doing a hybrid – Freddy vs. Jason. Half on each side.
A lot of the zombie walks out there have gone by the wayside. It’s fallen out of fashion, but the event at the 5 O’Clock Lounge shows no signs of slowing down. I’m glad. It’s a great charity event and was one of the ways I taught my children about giving and service that’s not just confined to Sunday mornings at Church. As long as they keep holding these zombie themed food drives, I’ll keep on showing up. See you in the spring!
Slowly the metal tentacle slid around Rhonda, getting in position to take a candid photo. She looked over at the click, startled, then paused.
“I know that arm!”
She whirled around and hugged the zombie Doctor Octopus behind her…and that’s how this fall’s zombie walk started out for me.
The Five O’Clock is kind of home base for Cleveland Zombie Walks. Familiar faces and a neighborhood that still likes poking thier heads out the windows to see the zombies shamble.
This was a special walk for me because the wife came along to help us raise money and food for the Second Harvest food bank. Ryan was back in his old Sgt. Cunningham fatigues and in the back of the bar, performers from the Legion of Terror (of the local huanted house at Bloodview) ate fire and blew streams of fluid to create huge fireballs.
We got started about twenty minuets late. In an open field the little clowns and ghouls chased a drone filming the whole thing. Undead Doc Ock menaced Lakewood and the bloody day wore on.
These days, I’m seeing fewer zombie walks around the area, but as long as the dead haunt Lakewood, I’ll be joining them.
We’re celebrating the rturn of the Walking dead with a little piece I did on the behalf of James T Quirk over at Cap’n Quirk’s Nerd Emporium. The idea is what if the Walking Dead happened in Mayberry? It’s dound south enough – actually not that far from Georgia…
We think it would go a bit like this…..
Better make that one bullet count Barney….
It was slightly chilly for a spring afternoon as the creatures crawled out of their holes and congregated in the back patio of the 5 o’clock lounge for their annual food drive and monster walk. I was particularly excited this time around because my girls were both with me – but something was different this time… This year, instead of being zombies, they had chosen to arrive as hunters. Madeline carried her bow, and Lydia packed her crossbow under her purple survivor vest.
The monster walks at the 5 o’clock lounge are familiar – it’s where the first zombie walks I can remember started, and the rout is a traditional block of Lakewood that I’ve spent many years on. It’s probably the one that I’ve taken the kids on the most frequently as well – with familiar streets and faces. The umbrella corporation was there, as well as our typical field leader – this time decked out in a slightly more armoured persona of major iseue. The zombie hunter aspect is new for the kids though, it’s something I’ve been suggesting for years since they don’t always dig the make up… This time however, it’s fueled by a desire to play a little more into the world that Maddie is creating with her backyard zombie movie. Indeed, the girls cornered various zombies before the walk and got some footage for their web series…
I was actually a little disappointed with my own make up, but the kids decision to go was a last-minute one… Lydia informed me the night before that she wanted to go and wanted a costume, but she didn’t know what… Something like survival clothing – with tools and weapons on it… I cut up an old purple bag and added a walkie-talkie, spare arrows, and grenades to it (she was inexplicably excited about the grenades – a tool she recognises from some of her video games). On the back she requested a cute and tie zombie picture which I whipped up using gel markers, paint, and glitter.
With Maddie deciding the day of the zombie walk that she wanted to go, there is no time to really create much for her though I did build her some balsawood arrows with blunted foam tips, that way she can carry her bow though she wasn’t allowed to fire it. She was a little bummed, especially since Lydia was allowed to shoot her soft foam arrows from her crossbow.
While your average zombie walk brings out the typical undead featuring torn skin, splattered blood, and oozing sores, The 5 o’clock monster walk always seems to encourage a greater variety of creatures – you never quite know what kind of monsters will show up… Killer panders or demented Easter bunnies – Gas mask fiends, zombified dogs and Teen Titans, not to mention the star cars from the weaponised zombie Dodge, to the glitterati art car that pulled up behind it.
Lydia mention to her mother that she wanted to go to the zombie walk because it was something that daddy liked and she wanted to do something with me… I think that’s the best part of these kind of things… We all had fun, and in the end the walk wrapped up too soon – leaving the girls asking when the next one was. We’ll find out soon.
Eaters : Rise of the dead is a by the number is zombie film.it’s right out of the Romero playbook, zombie outbreak and fall of society. Very standard fare, with a lot of actors who are definitely into horror and genre films. The zombies here are viral, not quite as fast as rage zombies but certainly that same origin done make up is good, the splatter is fun and the filmmakers are trying very hard to make an enjoyable film. They realise this is not art, and there are definately not trying for a high concept piece here. It’s good bloody fun to throw on and play in the background at a party or will you do something else.it’s exactly the sort of thing that I expect to see a compatible like cinema wasteland done it also exactly the sort of film that I could see myself renting back in my College days. It’s a recommend, but a shaky one. Go in with low expectations and you’ll have fun.
As the blue skull face alien stepped up to the urinal, a blood soaked priest burst out of one of the stalls. The crimson stains on his white vestments matched the red pus oozing out of the recesses in the zombie-like aliens face.
“Is that Skelly over there?” The priest yelled out as he was joined by another man slowly been eaten by the zombie on his shoulder.
What’s funny is the part I find most disturbing about the scene, is that there are guys actually talking to each other in the bathroom – it’s kind of a violation of bro code, whereas everything else I’ve described here is perfectly normal for Cinema Wasteland. Strap in. You know it’s going to be a long post when I can’t get it out on Monday….
Sometimes Fridays are a slow night, where you ease yourself in with the short film block and panels, other times it’s just as busy as Saturday. This time around I came in, greeted friends and grabbed my autographs because it looked like it was going to be a busy day. They had already been busy, braving the snow that Cleveland had dumped on us overnight. As I sat at work Friday morning I watched as Wastelanders built a snowman in the hotel yard. My friend Bruce Wayne was in attendance this year and I had his room number, so as soon as I arrived, I started to post Superman pictures on the door to his weekend batcave. Then it was time to pop over to some of the guests – this time round we were doing a Night of the Living Dead Reunion, and Wasteland had brought in a number of the stars. It just so happens that my daughter is making her own zombie video at this very moment and I spent some time securing cameos for her movie. Stuff like this is one of the joys of small conventions; you have time to spend with the guests and get a greater connection.
I discovered I had some time to kill between panels and movies so I made my way over to the Mummy and the Monkeys show. They were screening King of the Zombies, a film I’m very fond of – Mantan Moreland was a genius and because this is in the public domain it’s a horror host staple. As the mummy, Janet Decay did her segment I gasped with delight. She covered one of our local zombie walks, and I found myself appearing in the video – a zombie clad in iron man out armor carrying around a skeletal Spiderman. This is actually the Second time I’ve appeared on the Mummy and the Monkey, and that’s not even counting my appearance on Janet’s previous show.
I slipped out of there in time to catch the first panel – Rick Cazoine is an animator whose work you seen even if you don’t realize it. He did the end credits for Night of the Living Dead, as well as the animation for Creepshow, and even some work on Evil Dead two. With that kind of a filmography under his belt, you can imagine this was a fascinating talk. Rick came prepared, complete with a slideshow covering his career – it was a really fun way of transcending the normal movie panel chitchat, and made it all the more engrossing.
After pasting more Superman on Bruce’s door, I snuck into to Gunga Jim’s screening. I really like Jim and his approach to her hosting, the commentary that he lays over tracks is always hilarious – unexpectedly so sometimes. He passed out graduation caps and introuced his presentation for the evening. Cinema Wasteland is basically a show that celebrates bad movies, but the Bigfoot movie that Gunga was screening this weekend was so terrible I couldn’t even manage to get past the half an hour mark. I struggled from the room in search of my team for that nights trivia challenge.
The Red Robsters were all huddled around a table in the bar as Nicole tried in vain to set up a Skype session with Angelique and her sainted fiancé – the two of them had to unexpectedly cancel their trip wasteland this year and we were all missing them back in Georgia. We got the video working, but the audio never came through which was just as well – the noise level in the bar was so high that she probably wouldn’t of been able to hear us anyhow. We communicated through Skype by holding up handwritten notes to each other, jokes and sketches and general wasteland like conversation. It was by far my favorite part of the night.
The trivia contest itself was a bust, taking too long, with the organization too confusing not to mention the questions being really stinking hard! I figured the questions would be similar to the ones we used to get during Ghastlee night at the movies, when we played 42nd Street Pete’s 42 questions. No such luck, these questions were truly obscure and crazy difficult stuff. I threw my graduation cap down in disgust
“It’s like this doesn’t work at all! Look this cap comes right off!” I exclamed as Nicole grabbed a knife and tried to take out the competition.
The game ran long and I missed the final movie of the night leaving me tired and about ready to be done for the day. I politely declined everybody’s invitation to head back to the hotel room and eat junk food while watching the Greasy Strangler in favor of running home and heading the hay, to be fresh for the next day.
After getting up, making the girls breakfast, and then presenting them and my wife with the surprises I had brought them from Wasteland I was back in the car and ready for day two.
Saturday is always the big day in Wasteland. There are movies galore, not to mention panels and events. With two Night of the Living Dead panels, split between the actress and the original investors, even the most diehard fan was going to learn something new about the seminal classic.
I managed to sneak out for lunch with friends and then shuffle into my make up between panels. I was trying out a They Live look…it’s a make-up I’ve never quite perfected – and Saturday was no exception. Everything is still a little bit too big, the chin hangs down to low, and the eyes are too bulky. They also didn’t want to stay in place. I had tried these out at home previously, but only for a short while – just to see if they would stay when I put them in and to discover whether or not is was possible to hold them in with my eyebrows and cheeks; much like a monocle. It was okay at first, but after 20 minutes they started popping up and did not want to stay in any longer. I ended up sealing them in with liquid latex (Spirit Gum didn’t hold either), which meant the bug eyes would render everything around me somewhat blurry for the next six hours.
Outside the convention hotel, I grabbed Rhonda and Criss and we sat and played her new board game “go to hell! “. Rhonda is the only person that I know who brings card games and board games to a convention, but really it’s a brilliant idea. It’s a great way to fill some of the dead spots between movies and panels, not to mention giving the smokers something to do while they feed their addiction in exile.
I slapped some more Superman stuff on Bruce’s door, only to discover that I wasn’t the only one doing this now! There were superman towels and stuff there that I hadn’t taped up there. I added a few more contributions and headed back down the hall, because it was time for Ghastlee Night at the Movies.
This is always my favorite part of the convention, with bizarre games and activities going on after the house band opens the ceremonies. I jumped up for the first game, and found myself standing on the stage with Rhonda and another young man who was attending wasteland for the very first time. We played a game where they revealed movie posters and characters on the screen, one small part at a time – the goal was to guess the character with as little of it showing as possible. Ghastlee came up to me to introduce me as one of the players and ask my name. “My name is Matt, “I replied. Ghastlee stepped back for a second, aghast.
“Oh my God, it really is Matt! “He turned to the audience. “Matt’s a friend, and I didn’t recognize him with all that stuff on his face! “. Yes, the game is off to a roaring start.
“And the picture is – Ghastlee’s wedding night video! ”
“Oh God, I hope not – if that’s the case EVERYONE loses! ”
“Hey, YOU wanna come up here and host this thing? I didn’t think so! ”
Of course, keep in mind that my vision is impaired – and we are playing a picture game. How I won this one by correctly identifying Tarman from Return of the Living Dead is absolutely beyond me. It may have had to do with me clapping my hands over Rhonda’s eyes when it was her turn to guess…. The festivities carried on with murder mysteries, appalling displays, and of course the S@#%heel of the year award. I tried with all my might to sway the vote for Ryan, but alas it was to no avail.
As things wound down, I ran to the bathroom to peel off my make up before the late nights screenings. It was clinging much harder to my face then I had expected and had dried into something somewhat different than the look I had intended. Like I said earlier, I really need to refine this particular lock.
Sundays are always a bit melancholy and I frequently skip them. It’s a day to say goodbye to everybody, and catch up on any films that you may have missed throughout the weekend. It’s also cheaper day so people like my friend Sean will pop in just to shop on those days. Still, everyone is moving just a bit slower than usual – my friend Jason refers to Sundays at Wasteland as “the unofficial Strongsville zombie walk”. The film selection this Sunday gave me a very VHS vibe. They really felt like the sort of movies that I’d pull off the shelf at Heights Video on the Friday evening to take home with a pizza and friends. Let Sleeping Corpses Lie is a slower film but has moments of magnificent gore, and the style that is very distinct. The same can’t be said for Nightmare City, which seems to break all rules of zombies by having them cognizant, fast, and using tools and weapons. Really not sure what I was watching here!
In between my two features, I managed to sneak back in for the tail end of the 16 mm screening of Night of the Living Dead – it was about half over, but still worth watching. Midafternoon on Sunday feels like a good time for this movie and I let myself be drawn in with the familiar faces – faces that I had just spoken to over the weekend.
I tried not to glance at the dealers room as I left. It always feel sad to see them packing everything up and to watch people checking out of the hotel, but it’s okay – because it will all be back in just six months. My friend Nicole says “You know why Wasteland is only three days? Any longer and God would notice and rain fire on us.”
See you in October.
With a name like Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies that’s kind of the impression you get (the trailer even plays it up that way)! However, while being a lighthearted and fun zombie flick, they play it straight, with a lot less camp than you’d expect. In the Austrian mountains, the owner of a ski hill is exhibiting his new snow making machine to an investor – something that will insure the hill stay open, no matter what happens with global warming. In the first five minutes, we discover that the coolant can be toxic to human beings and other living things (I’m not in entirely certain I’m on board with this trend of Zombifying animals in these movies… It bothered me a little bit in Scouts Guide, and while it drives the story here – it still bugs me), causing a strange sickness, blisters and eventually… well, you know. When a group of professional snowboarders stumbles upon a very “American werewolf in London” type of pub, the shenanigans begin.
Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies is very much a throwback to eighties splatter films – there is a fun yet straight tone going on here, interjected with just enough humor to keep the movie enjoyable without going full on comedy the way films like Return of the Living Dead or Evil Dead did back in the day. The lighting choices and color palette, mixed with that generally fun vibe make the movie feel a great deal like one of Charles Bands Full Moon features… but with less nudity and more gore (I’m totally good with that by the way). Did I mention the gore? Because there is a lot of it. It’s not quite up to The level of Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive, but there are definitely some scenes hear that give Romero’s Day of the Dead a run for its money – if you’re looking for entrails, torn skin, and punished bodies, you will not come away disappointed.
It’s a short film, clocking in at well under 90 minutes… But that’s okay – it doesn’t need to be longer, and in the time that they have they managed to tell a fun little horror story in an interesting and exotic locale. It works far better than it has any right to.
I caught this at the Capitol Theatre, with about six other people in the audience. That was kind of fun, you get a genuine reaction from the other folks watching the movie and it makes me feel like it’s 1981 on 42nd Street in New York all over again. I’m looking forward to grabbing a digital copy of this – it’s the sort of movie that seems like it would be best served on a television rather than a movie screen, but if you have a chance to catch in the theatre… By all means head up to see it. It’s worth the time, and these are exactly the sort of filmmakers that I want to see supported. I’m off to Imdb to see if they’ve made anything else!
Remember a couple of weeks ago when I posted about a shoot for the local Zombie hunter team? It’s finally out! Look for me near the beginning of the clip!
Man, I was actually bummed that I missed the Lakewood Zombie walk, so the girls and I were determined to get to Akron and hang with the undead. I broke out my Zombie Batman and Maddie has been itching to creep around as a monster Cupcake. Lydia decided on a Zombie Gymnast…which sadly ended up being a poor choice on the cold and wet day (We shoudn’t be getting hail in MAY!).
Maddie asked where the money we pay goes and I explained to her a little more about the food bank, and she decided she wanted to donate on her own, pulling a couple of quarters from her piggy bank!
We were running behind, but we got in just as the walk started and managed to join in the tail of the line and made our way up and down the horde as we walked around the block. It went too quickly, with random zombie attacks and the zombie hunters ganging up on undead Batman! It was the first time the girls really noticed what Maddie called “Role playing”, with the monsters antagonizing and being beaten back by the survivors.
When we arrived back, the venue, Annabelle’s, had a buffet ready to feed us all dinner! It was a nice creepy atmosphere in the basement, and a great time to catch up with friends I haven’t seen since Wasteland. Can’t wait until the next one!