01 October 2011

October 1st

Cinema Wasteland
It's Cinema Wasteland day!  Wasteland is a small convention held twice a year near Cleveland.  It's put on by a movie geek by the name of Ken Kish and focuses mostly on horror, but with a smattering of good ol' exploitation and grindhouse.  They generally gets guests like John Saxon, Michael Berryman or Gunnar Hansen; folks 99% of the normal people out in the real world wouldn't recognize.  And, this is a wild one...   let's just say that there are many trashcans full of empties after each night and the local police like to visit on occasion.
The the vendor & guest room
Horror cons are pure fun.  There's nothing like hanging out with hundreds of fellow horror geeks.  What's normally a little club where only you and a few friends can share in the geekery turns into a hall full of people, each of whom knows that Friday the 13th V had fake-Jason and giallo is not an icy desert.  I find the environment strangely relaxing.  Horror fans also tend to be a great bunch: generally nice, very tolerant of all types of people and decorated with all kinds of fascinating tattoos.

Just like I wanted, I shook Frank Henenlotter's hand and told him that Brain Damage was one of my favorite movies.  Of course, I had him sign a picture of Aylmer on which he wrote: "You fuckin' named him Elmer?!"  Awesome.  Later, we attended the non-Basket Case Henenlotter panel (the Basket Case one being yesterday), where he was joined by James Lorinz, Charlotte Helmkamp, Beverly Bonner, Gabe Bartalos and Anthony Sneed.  Henenlotter was hilarious and had lots of stories to tell about filmmaking (his ire directed towards the MPAA was the best).
Frank and Me
Other fun stuff: drinking a beer at the bar, a guy walks up next to me and asks me to grab him a cup.  I turn around and there's James Lorinz.  "Now fill it up with beer," he joked when I handed it to him.  My friend Jack and I complimented him on Frankenhooker and Street Trash and shook his hand.  Nice guy.  Beverly Bonner opened up the traditional A. Ghastlee Ghoul's Saturday night show with some of her stand-up.  She was pretty funny, but it helped that she was horror kin.  Later in the show, a couple of very drunk young ladies flashed their boobies... also a tradition at this thing, it seems.  At the vendor tables, I picked up a Frankenstein soap (for my daughter), an early release of Frankenhooker on BD, a shorts DVD with the hilarious The Giant Rubber Monster Movie on it, and a really good three-piece drawing of Julie from Return of the Living Dead III.  Damn, it's hard not to spend money at these things.

Willard (1971) directed by Daniel Mann
At midnight, we sat down to watch the original Willard in 16mm.  As someone who's never been afraid of rats, rat movies really don't do too much for me.  I know there's a certain segment of the population that can't stand the little buggers, but I'm more like Willard: I'd keep one in my pocket at work if I could.

Willard trains his rats to follow his commands and they breed and multiple.  It's a slow build, though, and he only uses the things to kill one person -- his boss -- near the end.  Having done this, this being a forty-year-old movie, he is then killed by his own rats for this crime.  Me, I would've like to have seen him unpunished at the end.  Maybe, the final shot is a clearly insane Willard completely coated in rats and cackling madly.  I don't know.  A wee bit too reserved with an animal I'm not scared of for my tastes.  (6/10)

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