Cinema Wasteland Report…Part 1

Last year at a different show, a group of the usual suspects that I hang around with during the afterhours, we’re having our usual meeting on solving the whole cold fusion problem, as well as a couple of other world issues, when we were joined by another gentleman who asked if he could join our little assemblage. We welcomed this stranger into our discussions and quickly realized this guy knew his shit and we became good friends after that evening. Over the next 18 hours, Scott Bradley, our newest soldier, was told by several people that he should really plan on making it out to Cinema Wasteland, since that was THE show for diehard fans. And so he did, making his first (of I’m sure to be many) appearance this last April. And he was not disappointed.

Now for me, who has been to every Wasteland show since they started back in September of 2000, all 29 shows, it might be easy to become accustom to how this show is run and why it is so different than other shows and cons out there. But because I do go to other shows throughout the year, I am constantly reminded of the differences. It also helps when you see someone enjoying Wasteland for the first time, getting to experience it all over again through their eyes, that makes the weekend even more enjoyable. It didn’t take long to start to see the joy in Scott’s eyes once he got to the show. He actually lost his voice by the end of the weekend, from talking to so many different people, until the wee hours of the morning on both Friday and Saturday. It was so great to see him being able to make contact with so many other fiends and film fanatics over the 4 days that he was there. Check out his recent podcast about his first show experience HERE.

hellbent for horror

Sure, this goes on at other shows, but I don’t think it does to the extent and devotion it does at Wasteland. Maybe it’s just me, but it really is the one part of the cons that I live for…being able to sit down with other serious film fans and discuss the genre that we love, bouncing different titles back and forth. It’s hard to have these in-depth discussions with people in our daily life because they just don’t share the same passion as we do. But here at Wasteland, they are all around us. And while we all don’t have to agree or have the same opinion on every film, we can at least discuss the differences or why we like or don’t like a certain title. Yeah, there are those juvenile responses to someone with an opposing taste, but we can’t blame them for not knowing what they are talking about, can we?

The unholy threeYour Host, Bryan Martinez, and Scott Bradley

I’ve often said that there is no such thing as a wrong opinion, which I do believe is true. But there can be an un-educated one. What I mean by that is that it would be like someone saying they are not really a fan of Italian giallos, when they’ve only watched a couple of titles. Sure, they might not have enjoyed them, for whatever the reasons might be. Does it mean that their opinion is wrong? Not at all. If they didn’t like the movie, they didn’t like it. But I would argue that you can’t right off an entire sub-genre solely based on a couple of titles. That is what I mean by un-educated. If they watched more films in the genre, they might understand it better, or see through or past the issues they had with it in the first place. Maybe not. But at least they’d be a little more versed or educated in that sub-genre.

What fans have to remember is that if you are a film fan and have the same strong passion for creature features, monster movies, and all the rest of this great genre, we’re all in the same trenches. Sure, some of us might have been in there longer and have more experience, but we are still in the same place and have that same passion for these films. So it doesn’t matter if you’ve see as much as the next guy, you can still join in the fun. Granted, it might be a good idea to bring a pen and paper so you can right down some of the movies that you’re going to be told you should seek out. Funny thing is that happens to everyone, no matter how long you’ve been at it!

Next time up…a filmmaking legend from Florida….

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