Archive for Cinema Wasteland

My Bloody Valentine Reunion

Posted in CONS, Old School with tags , , on October 8, 2018 by MONSTERMINIONS

Good time at Cinema Wasteland’s “My Bloody Valentine” cast reunion.

Clown Drinking a PBR

Posted in CONS, Miscellania with tags , , on October 1, 2017 by MONSTERMINIONS

IPhone 6s+

Linda Miller at Cinema Wasteland

Posted in Kaiju with tags , , on April 4, 2016 by MONSTERMINIONS

Nice meeting Linda Miller in person at the Cinema Wasteland show. My earliest film memory was watching King Kong Escapes on a double bill with Yog at a drive-in in northwest Indiana. The Q&A session was fascinating and you could tell Linda was touched by all the attention. 

I had her sign Gorosaurus!


Richmond Times-Dispatch Article on Linda Miller

Off to Cinema Wasteland!

Posted in CONS, Old School with tags on April 3, 2014 by MONSTERMINIONS

I am ready to throw down and party this weekend. I’m off to Wasteland! Here’s a pic of my buds from 2010. Always fun to party with the devil. I’ll be at the bar wearing the “Minnesota Iceman T”.

Wasteland 2010


Fall Wasteland 2012 Recap!

Posted in CONS with tags , , , , on October 8, 2012 by MONSTERMINIONS

Traditionally the Cinema Wasteland show in Strongsville, Ohio is my final horror con of the year. It’s hard to beat with a gritty feel, terrific guests, two movie rooms, great vendors, lot’s of drunk patrons (this is good?), and a hotel staff that does a great job keeping guests fed and watered. I pulled into Strongsville on Friday, checked in and grabbed a 3-day pass. Long-timers Si, Mike and Dan met me at the bar. $7 for a pumpkin ale is a bit steep, so I got my hands wet in a cooler stocked with Hex, Blood Beer (a nasty concoction made of horse radish and tomatoes), Freaktoberfest (a tasty red lager), and several other seasonals. It’s important to mix things up.

I dropped by Ron’s Creepy Classics booth and picked up a few discs: Things To Come (crappy colorized version -watch the b/w), Godzilla vs. Megalon, The Boogens, and Island of Doomed Men (Peter Lorre at his nastiest). I also made the rounds and picked up The Films of Tod Browning (edit. Bernd Herzogenrath) and Bert I. Gordon’s autobiography The Amazing Colossal Worlds of Mr. B.I.G. Bert I autographed it for me. I exchanged pleasantries that a half-sheet of Beginning on the End lies over my bed. I still like that film. How can you go wrong with giant grasshoppers crawling on the Wrigley building?

Late that night I laughed hard with Si watching Sexsquatch -you guessed it a film about an overly-hormonal bigfoot (with a British accent). Don’t watch this with grandma or the kids.

I also met with Jay and discussed script and talent for a low budget alien flick. What could it be?

I had forgotten how fun Bert I. Gordon’s Food of the Gods (1976) is. Even big Joe got in on the act and sat down and heckled at and jumped from the giant wasps, worms, chickens and rats. Afterwards we sat in on an interesting QA with Gordon and actor Belinda Balaski. I picked up a few more films –Die Monster Die (Nick Adams and Karloff), The Boogeyman, and Jess Franco’s The Sadistic Baron Von Klaus (1962). I’m set for Halloween.

Oh, and along the way we drank a lot of beer and danced with the devil.


Zombie (1979)

Posted in Horror with tags , , , on November 14, 2011 by MONSTERMINIONS

A couple of years ago, Cinema Wasteland, in Strongsville, Ohio, celebrated the 30th Anniversary of perhaps the most visceral of all Zombie films —Lucio Fulci’s Zombie (aka Zombi 2).  I spoke briefly to actor Ian McCulloch and stunt man Ottaviano Dell’Acqua (who played the worm-eyed Zombie).  Both men seemed sincerely flattered by fan feedback and appeared to be having fun at the convention.

This is also seen in the supplemental disc of Blue Underground’s 2-disc Zombie Ultimate Edition on Blue-ray.  The 30th Anniversary reunion at wasteland is documented in a superb short-film “Zombie Wasteland” (I’ve watched it several times now trying to spot some friends —you’re off the hook and may show it to your spouses).  The disc rocks, especially the supplements on Zombie Makeup Zombi Italiano and a terrific interview of keeper of the faith Guillermo del Toro Zombie Lover.  GDT also introduces the film in a disc option.  The disc also offers an audio commentary with star Ian McCulloch and Diabolik Magazine editor Jason Slater. I listened to it and it’s quite interesting.  McCulloch claims this was the first time he sat through the entire film.

I can’t remember the first time I saw Zombie (perhaps on a beat-up VHS tape), but I can attest that it has never looked better than this Blue-ray edition.  I’m presenting a few screen captures from the 25th Anniversary disc (the HD Blue-ray is a vast improvement).

I consider Zombie one of the 5 best zombie films ever made.  Several distinctions raise it far above the mundane.  Fulci’s direction is balls-out in your face. We go to zombie flicks to see zombies and Fulci delivers the goods.  The opening sequence gives us not some scrawny emaciated corpse, but a gluttonous and obese entity. GDT notes that you just know this thing ate everything on the boat.  The film also offers four of the greatest sequences ever made in a horror film:

  • The underwater zombie attack on the tiger shark (coordinated by Mexican cinematographer and stunt-man Ramón Bravo),
  • The splinter-in-the-eye sequence (filmed from 3 camera angles),
  • The resurrection of the worm-eye zombie (a clay make-up masterpiece), and
  • The invasion of zombies crossing the Brooklyn Bridge.

Zombie works for several reasons. The soundtrack by Fabbio Frizzi is both memorable and creepy.  The film is suspenseful and keeps us off guard. It’s well cast and acted.  The zombies look better than any other on film (clay, morticians wax, worms, maggots and tissue paper go a long way). It jumps around and wraps up in a nice tight circle.  It begins and ends in NYC, with the twin towers over-looking the living dead marching to an invasion of the urban landscape.  But there’s something extra-eerie now about watching this pre-9-11 sequence.   The ending takes on a whole new meaning with NYC silently waiting for an unseen horror.  Subliminally my mind sees the towers fading from the composition.


Posted in CONS with tags on October 2, 2011 by MONSTERMINIONS

Every year I try to make at least three horror film conventions —Monster Bash, in Butler, PA in July, and Cinema Wasteland, in Strongsville, Ohio, in April and October.  Periodically I’ll also check out the Motor City Comicon, Horror Hound Weekend and Texas Frightmare.  However, I’ve been going to Wasteland for 10 years or so.  It’s far and away my favorite show.   Wasteland has a distinct gritty urban feel —aroma perhaps?   It’s hard to explain unless you go there.  The show has a loyal base of supporters comprised of a mixed bag of neo-punksters, rockers, drive-in aficionados, gore-hounds, partiers, slutty girls, goth girls, lot’s of folks with really interesting tattoos, independent film-makers, bloggers and fans of the scene.  Where else can you go and see a movie titled Antfarm Dickhole?  It’s about —well, I’ll sugar coat it and say a man with ants in his pants (just to be polite).

The movies generally suck.  Oh man, I’ve seen some veritable crappy films at the Wasteland. This year I caught up with my buddies from Chicago, Toledo and Buffalo, like I do twice a year (except last Spring due to BB’s wedding… Who the F get’s married Cinema Wasteland weekend?).  Friday night we partied hard and watched a perfectly good copy of The Legend of Boggy Creek get shredded Mystery Science Theater 3000-style by some cat named Gunga Jim (but with bad jokes).  Best voiceover: “Now why would a hairy stinky ape living in the swamps of Arkansas eating possum innards want to wash his feet?”

The dealer room is sweet too.  I picked up John Landis’ 100 Years of Monsters (2011) and a weird-ass collection of suppressed horror comics from the 1950’s.  The Landis book is a glossy tribute to monsters of filmdom.  There are several images in the book I had never seen before.  I also grabbed about 10 DVDs.  I’m looking forward to watching the Sid Haig Creature film and an Italian Jaws knockoff The Last Shark.   Maybe I’ll get around to reviewing them.

Well, only 6 more months away till the April show…