Horror Films and Friends…Old and New

massacre

Yesterday, I headed into the Chicago for the rescheduled Massacre, the 24-hour horror movie marathon at the Patio Theater. It was originally in October, but due to the rain coming into the theater, it was postponed until yesterday. As soon as I walked in the lobby, you could notice how cold it was in there. Apparently they turned on the hear around 10am but it took several hours for it to warm up a bit in the theater. I wish I would have brought my gloves! It really is a shame the issues this place has because the Patio is a beautiful theater.

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Music Box of Horrors 2017

20141012_040816Many, many years ago, while set up at a little movie memorabilia show in Rosemont, Il, a young lady came strolling by our table. For some reason, she looked a bit familiar, but we just couldn’t place her. As it turns out, it was none other than Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni, an actress who had appeared in a few Italian films like Demons 2 (1986) and Opera (1987). How and why would she be just wandering around this show, here in the states?!?! Turns out that she had been living in Chicago for a while and was dragged to the show by a friend. We started talking and became friends over the next couple of decades. We introduced her to Ken Kish, who quickly had her appear at his Cinema Wasteland show in 2001. In fact, he even had her back once again in 2008. At that show, because of Coralina, I had the glorious opportunity to meet the talented director Mariano Baino, director of Dark Waters (1993), a film that I have always loved and admired, for its look, atmosphere, and originality.

Fast forward to 2016, at the annual Music Box of Horrors, while I was chatting with Will Morris, the genius who has been programming the marathon the last couple of years. I asked him if he knew of the film Dark Waters and immediately his eyes lit up and said, “I love that movie!” I then told him that I knew the director, Mariano, and I’m sure he’d love to come out here if they would screen his film. And now, as they say, the rest is now history. Well, there was a lot more to that, but let’s just say that thanks to Will, Ryan at the Music Box, and of course the fine folks at Severin Films, it all came together for this year’s Music Box of Horrors.

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Proud to Call Them Friends…

 

Unholy Three

Your host, Bryan Martinez, and S.A. Bradley

 

One of the great things about the horror genre is that you get to meet so many great people over the years. Most of my closest friends, I’ve met at a horror convention. And while it’s okay to be just a fan, there are a few of us out there that take it a step further. It seems in this big family of the horror community, we have a lot of talent swirling around in there and we need to keep supporting each other to help keep that passion alive and thriving. In today’s world, it might be the one thing that keeps us from snapping! So I wanted to take the time to throw out a couple of links and information about a couple of friends.

The first one is Bryan Martinez, producer of the infamous Giallo Room, as well as being the writer/director of the short film Gelato Giallo. In all that free time that he has after keeping the good Baron (host of The Giallo Room) out of trouble, and watching Ninja 3: The Domination, he works on other little projects like this new short film, entitled My Friend Lisa. It is a short film adapted from a series of disturbing drawings by a little girl who has befriended an imaginary friend. However, the drawings have since been discovered to be a hoax. Or have they?

Just check out the teaser below.

 

If there is one thing that I wished I had more time to spend on, it would be podcasts. I have quite a few friends that do a podcast on a variety of different topics, from Hammer Films, Paul Naschy, classic horror, and much more. But my buddy S.A. Bradley has been creating one hell of a buzz with his podcast Hellbent for Horror, which we have probably mentioned here before. His podcasts are so much more than just a guy rambling on for 30 minutes, but are well written, very well articulated, has some great stories, and really, when it comes down to it, does a stellar job helping to promote the horror genre.

On one of his recent episodes, he discusses when he actually flew out there to my hometown to participate in our annual Turkey Day in May event. Crazy as it seems, yes, but he did just that. And I think he might have had a little bit of fun while here. But he gives a great explanation of what “Turkey Day” is for us, and why we love it so much. So check out the link below and I think you’ll be hooked. I mean, if Guillermo del Toro thinks these are pretty good, he just might be on to something!

Attack of the Killer Turkeys Episode

hellbent for horror

Texas Frightmare Part 3: Meeting the Maestro!

argentomanmythAs I mentioned in my earlier report, I had already met Argento years before and gotten a couple of items signed for free. So kept pondering why did I need to do it again, especially since I’d be paying $60g $60 this time? I had brought along my copy of Alan Jones’ book Dario Argento: The Man, The Myths, & the Magic to get signed if I decided to, but was really struggling with it. Lucky for me, that debate was easily decided when a dealer friend of ours graciously offered some extra dealer badges since we hadn’t purchased our tickets yet, which saved us exactly the same amount needed for the Argento signature. So…it was really hard to pass up then since we had just saved that much, right? Funny how fate works out that way.

Granted, the real reason we were here was for our buddy Bryan Martinez to meet the Maestro, since he is not only a fan of Argento’s work, but because this director was a huge influence on him, which would later come out creatively with Bryan’s show The Giallo Room. To say that he was a little excited is a slight understatement. We decided that getting in line right away Friday would be the best bet, since it was early, the line wasn’t that big with maybe a dozen people already in line. Plus, you want to get to Argento early before he gets worn out by all the people coming to see him. I mean, the guy is in his mid-70s after all. Once Argento came down and started, it went pretty quick. I went first and held out my book to him. He paged through it a bit, signed it, then looked up and said “Very good book!” I then sat down next to him for the photo. The guy handling the camera shots was very nice about the whole thing, taking several shots to make sure he got a good one in there. Very different than some of the cattle drives that I’ve seen/heard of before. Argento seemed to be full of spirits and really happy to be there.

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Texas Frightmare Weekend – Part 1: A Trip to Meet the Maestro

Back in the mid to late ’90s, I did something almost on a yearly basis that was one of those stupid things you do when you’re younger…driving from Chicago to New York for a convention, usually in the wintery month of January. I mean, when you have the opportunity to meet genre icons like Lucio Fulci or Paul Naschy, sensibilities tend not to come to the forefront of your thought process. Why pay $200 to $400 for a single plane ticket when I could get a bunch of like-minded horror fans in the car and make the 800+ mile drive there, stay a couple of days, and then make that same trip back. Granted, I was never dumb enough to do it alone, but the first few times we did this, it was in one straight shot. On the way there, we were so pumped full of excitement that the trip didn’t seem that bad. But for some reason the trip back seems sooo much longer. Sure, those long hours in the van were long, tedious, and sometime downright nerve racking. But it was an adventure, to say the least. Now I look back on those days with such fondness. Sure, maybe because I’m not behind the wheel at that moment, but those are still great memories.

Argento and Me

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The Tale of Two 24-Hour Horror Movie Marathons…Part 1

When I tell some of my non-horror friends that I am going to a 24-hour horror movie marathon, a few might be slightly intrigued, while most give me that strange look of “why in the hell would you want to do that?” If you are a horror fan, then you know exactly why we’d do it. If you’re not, then I’m not sure I could explain it. It is something that each year I tell myself I’m getting too old to do them, but then the next year, I’m right back there for more madness.

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Two Free Tickets to Horror! The Music Box of Horrors!

Music Box of Horrors 2016Just how big of a horror fan are you? One that can withstand 24 hours of terror? Then you need to come to the Music Box of Horrors this Saturday at Chicago’s own Music Box Theatre! The onslaught of fright flicks starts at noon, with 12 features playing through the day and night and into the morning. Check out the full lineup below, so you can start making your plans of which features you want to make sure you’re awake for.They will also have directors Gary Sherman, who gave us Dead and Buried and Raw Meat, and Jim Muro, the man who directed the cult classic Street Trash!

But how would you like to win a free ticket to this event? Just read on.

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