As you’d expect, this is a busy month for us. With events going on every weekend, not to mention coming into Chicago every Monday for something as well, the days are just flying by. Not a bad thing, mind you, but really tough to squeeze in some good horror flicks with all this going on. But this is the path we choose, right?
Last weekend, we were in Strongsville, OH for the 18th year at Cinema Wasteland. Hard to believe it has been going on that long and still continues to be a great time. The draw this year was for a reunion for a favorite of mine, the original My Bloody Valentine (1981) and the Q&A was very informative and entertaining. Although I must admit being a little depressed when they asked a packed room right before the screening of the film, just how many people there have never seen the film before, and about two thirds of the room raised their hands. I would have thought this would have been key film to watch during your slasher education. Or at least, if you were going to a convention that the main guest lineup was a cast reunion from a film you hadn’t seen…that you’d watch it before the show! Sorry…Old Man Kitley is coming out again. Times for my meds.
Next weekend we will be heading out the Midway Drive-In for their annual Dust-to-Dawn Horrorfest, and this year they have one hell of a lineup. Then again, they always do! This year’s lineup consists of the following titles:
- The Thing (1982) – John Carpenter’s incredible remake that has never lost its impact!
- The Blob (1988) – Chuck Russell & Frank Darabont’s excellent remake of this great classic, and one that still holds up.
- The Funhouse (1981) – One of Tobe Hooper’s lesser known films but that is a great chapter to his long career.
- Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (1988) – With a title like that, can you tell it was directed by Fred Olen Ray? Starring Linnea Quigley, Michelle Bauer, and Leatherface himself, Gunnar Hansen. As the ads say, “They Charge an Arm and a Leg!”
While I tend to hate reality shows, as well as never being too good at self-promotion, I do want to point this little adventure I was involved in that was a lot of fun. Horror Hunters is a pilot show where to horror fiends go to visit different like-minded fans to see their collections, and maybe do a trade with them. It debuts this Wednesday on Shout Factory TV at 9pm ET/6pm PT, with an encore screening at 12am ET/9pm PT. See below for the press release from Shout Factory.
Every October, the Music Box Theatre in Chicago unleashes it’s 24-hour horror movie marathon, something they have been doing for over 10 years. And this October 24th, they are getting ready to do it once again. But this time out, I think it might be a little different. This year, they have their new addition of the lounge in the theater, which is going to be perfect for vendors to be set up, so it won’t be as crowded between movies while people are coming and going. Plus, it will give more options for people to sit and relax while not in the theater.
They are still announcing the films, but have so far announced the following: Child’s Play 2, Deep Red (the Hatchet Murders cut), Serpent and the Rainbow, the unrated version of Frank Henenlotter’s Frankenhooker, Jack Hill’s Spider Baby, which are all presented in 35mm prints, as well as Lon Chaney’s The Unknown, with a live organ accompaniment. Not only is this one of my favorites of Chaney’s work, but anytime you have the chance to see one of his pictures on the big screen, it really is a must. Seeing his talent on screen is just incredible.
Yes, they did drop Let Sleeping Corpses Lie from the lineup, which I have to say I was very bummed to hear. But they have added another title that is going to be a real treat. In 1982, director Harry Bromley Davenport gave us Xtro, a movie that showed us that all aliens weren’t as friendly as E.T. If you haven’t experienced this strange, gory, and trippy tale of an alien visitor, then you are in for a treat. You will see things in this movie that you probably have never seen before, like a woman giving birth to a full grown man. Let’s just say it gets a bit messy. This is also being presented from the only 35mm print known to exists. So this title alone makes it worth you coming out for this event.
This last weekend, we were at this year’s Flashback Weekend show, the only convention in our home state that we set up at. As usual we had a great time, though it did seem there were more Halloween fans seeking autographs than interested in buying books. But no worries. Maybe someday they will see the value in continuing and expanding their horror education. I can only hope.
None the less, we still had fun there. One of those reasons is because of friends. Sure, as we’ve said before, we always get to see and hang out with our convention family that we see at these events. And sure, we could always just have a get together and hang out without having to go to a con, which we do several times throughout the year. I have to say though, these conventions aren’t just about seeing old friends, but it’s about meeting and making new friends. The funny thing is that most of my convention family are friends BECAUSE I met them at a con. And it seems that at each new show, we meet another person that becomes a new member to our demented and dysfunctional family. I don’t think we’d have it any other way either. (Above Photo Credit: Rachel Thieme)
I know we just posted our review of Mr. Rockoff latest book recently, but he will be doing a few book signings in the next month or so in the Chicagoland and Wisconsin area. If you are nearby one of these bookstores, I would highly recommend stopping by and picking up a copy of it. It is a fun book and Adam is a great guy with plenty of great stories about the genre. Tell him we sent him.
Here’s where he will be appearing:
May 19th at Anderson’s at Two Doors East in Naperville, IL
May 20th at Boswell Books in Milwaukee, WI
May 21st at The Book Cellar in Chicago, IL
July 20th at the Madison Public Library in Madison, WI
I first met Adam Rockoff in 2008 at a Fangoria Weekend of Horrors in Chicago. He was going to be there to help run one of the Q&A panels that was going to be in the evening at the Music Box Theatre. I knew of Adam because of his book Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film, which was later adapted for the documentary of the same name, both of which are worth your time. So I was actually excited to meet him and have him sign my copy of his book that I had brought, which he graciously did once we did finally meet. Which in fact, was rather funny since I had no idea what this guy looked like. So when he came up to my table and started looking through the books I was selling, talking about different reference books, and then casually mentioning that he had written a book. Once he told me his name, I told him that myself and friend Aaron Christensen were the ones he was suppose to meet up with for the Q&A panel later. Small world. From that moment on, we became good friends. He’s been over the Krypt several times for some movie screenings and other get-togethers.