Last weekend we spent in Mars, PA, for the Monster Bash Conference. This was our fourth year there and it is becoming one of our favorite shows to do. So much fun, each and every time. Ron Adams puts on one hell of a show, with plenty of stuff to keep any monster fan busy from the early morning to the wee hours of the next morning!
It’s not often that I get excited about a guest these days, but I was able to add one more Hammer alumni to my Hammer Films: An Exhaustive Filmography book at the show. That was Janina Faye, who played the young Tania in Horror of Dracula (1958). She is now the fifteenth person to add her signature from people that wrote, directed, or appeared in a Hammer film. Sadly, seven of the names in there have already left us. And since the original studio’s last movie came out almost forty years ago, well… none of us are getting any younger.
Okay folks, I know I mentioned this a little while ago here but now that it is available, it needs its own special post. Human Beasts: The Films of Paul Naschy, the latest book by Troy Howarth is now available for purchase through Amazon. Now why is this that important? Well, the obvious reason is because it is a book about Paul Naschy!!! Okay, okay… you might have noticed that I’m kind of a fan of Naschy and his work if you’re a regular to the Krypt, so you’ll have to excuse the excitement I have for this release. In all honesty, this is the first book to really dig into the films of this amazing writer/director/actor and all around filmmaker, and not to mention horror fan. Besides his own autobiography, and the amazing photo book Muchas Gracias Senor Lobo by Thorsten Benzel, there hasn’t been a book here in the US that covers all his movies, or at least none that I know of. Until now.
For newer fans that might not be that familiar with Naschy’s work, this is going to be a great place to start, where you can use it as a checklist as you read about and then seek out the films that peeks your interests. Others can go through and learn more about the films, as well as reading about some you’ve might not seen yet. No matter how big of a fan you are, you are bound to learn more about Naschy and his films within these pages. This is a great way to help continuing the celebration of this incredibly talented filmmaker, and keep the memory of him his work alive and well. Continue reading
After having another excellent time at the Cinevent Classic Film Convention’s 50th Anniversary show, we are now getting ready for the next stop in the Kryptic Anniversary Tour, which will be the Monster Bash Conference. This show is taking place in Mars, PA, from June 22nd to the 24th and continues to be one of our favorite stops on our annual tours. Now only does it have one of the best dealer rooms around that is tempting every single dollar I make at my own table, but there is so much stuff to do throughout the whole weekend. There’s plenty of panels and Q&A’s with the guests and other scholarly types, such as Victoria Price, Brandy Gorcey, Joyce Meadows, Janina Faye, Sharyn Moffett, Kris Yeaworth, Gregory Mank, Tom Weaver, and many more.
The latest issue of this best magazine devoted to Hammer Films, Little Shoppe of Horrors, will be releasing issue # 40 this month. The main theme for the issue is Quatermass and the Pit (1967) which will have a 26 page making of by Bruce G. Hallenbeck, one of the best Hammer authorities and writers around! There will also be an unpublished interview from the early ’70s with Rudolph Cartier, who was the man behind the original BBC Quatermass series, by Chris Knight. You will even get to hear from John Carpenter talk about the importance of Hammer, as well as Prof. Quatermass.
This year’s Monster Bash, held once again in Mars, PA, was their 20th Anniversary show. I can’t express how sad I am that I had only started coming to this show a few years ago. For years, I put some serious thought into setting up as a vendor there, but I always talked myself out of it because of the distance being too far and if it would really be worth it. Now, with this show becoming one of my favorite stops on our Kryptic World Tour, I realize just how I wrong I was.
This time out, I would be making the 500 mile journey to the show on my own, since my wife Dawn is taking care of her father. It sucks having to do the show alone, but there are certain things in life that are way more important, and family is one of them. It’s only a couple of hours past where we go for Wasteland, so it should be that bad. Though, looking at the weather in the area for that Friday, it was calling for rain…all…day…long! I’ve never had to unload for a show in the rain and was not looking forward to it. I decided to leave after work on Thursday, drive to Cleveland area and then stop for a few hours of sleep, then drive the last couple of hours the next morning to be there by 8am for set up.
For our second day at the Bash, when I wasn’t running around hanging out with authors and getting my books signed, I was working behind our table. Well…most of the time. Lucky for me, my partner-in-crime/wife Dawn was there to take charge. In fact, the way her tote bags and pillows were flying off the table, I was starting to think that the Krypt might soon to be a subsidiary of her business Horror Slave! Everyone seems to love our poster prints that we’ve come up with, and seeing a bunch of people walking around the show with one of her tote bags is pretty cool.
Setting up at a con for three days can sometimes throw you a variety of…challenges. Sometimes your table might not be in the best spot in the dealer room. But even in choice spots, one thing that can really drag down the show is your dealer neighbors. Since you’ll be spending the next three days next to them, it can make those drag like weeks if your neighbors might be…shall we say…”difficult”. But lucky for us, we had none of that here. In fact, we had great neighbors! To the right of us was Steve “the t-shirt guy”, which we’ve known for years from doing shows. I can’t think of another guy that has the selection that he does. You can always find something cool in his t-shirt cave!
While Little Shoppe of Horrors usually covers only films from Hammer, they occasionally venture into other films. Such as in issue # 20 where they did an incredible issue on the history of Amicus films, or # 29 when they covered the Vincent Price classic The Abominable Dr. Phibes and its sequel. In their upcoming issue # 36, they put the spotlight on the 1979 version of Dracula, starring Frank Langella, Laurence Olivier, Kate Nelligan, and Donald Pleasence.