Hello again, Brothers and Sisters of the Psychotronic Video World! Last night I got home from my very first excursion west to visit Cinema Wasteland, the One True Official Convention of the Blood Sprayer. And I tell you what, it will not be my last. This was absolutely the most fun I’ve ever had at any convention I’ve ever been to, and I crammed more action into 12 hours on Saturday then I’ve experienced in 48 at certain other cons. Let me break this weekend down for ya…as much of it as I can remember, at least.
Friday afternoon, I leave work early, load up my car, and drive down from my home town in Buffalo, New York to Cleveland, then past Cleveland to Elyria, where I met up with our very own Zach Schildwachter. It’s been absolutely ages since he and I had gotten the opportunity to hang out in person, and after a quick dinner at the Chinese place across the street from his house (which is itself right next to a mortuary and crematorium…if you’re standing in Zach’s yard and smell delicious barbeque, you’re wrong), we went back to his place for a night of trashy films and alcohol consumption before we’d hit the con on Saturday (I’d had to make this a relatively cheap trip, so no hotel room for me this time).
After a few beers, Zach decided to upgrade, and made a delicious concoction of vodka, cherry limeade and cherry brandy for me. He claims I consumed three of these, though I only remember two of them. What I do remember is that I spent Saturday morning being a vomit-breathing dragon.
So on Saturday, once my stomach has settled and we’ve had breakfast, we load up his Rape Van and hit the road — it’s about a thirty-minute drive, and the moment I set foot in the door (having already run into Sean and George from VHSPS in the parking lot, the rascals) and the scent of Horror Con — sweat, alcohol, latex, and fear — fills my nostrils…it’s like I’ve come home. It’s been far too long since I’ve been to a horror con, and I don’t intend to go that long without one again.
Making the rounds, swag quickly began to leap into my arms as money just as quickly jumped out of my wallet, including an immediate deposit of $100 in the hands of Chris Seaver and the gang from Warlock Home Video (including my old pal, that Werewolf of the Comic Book Shop, Bill Weird, whom I have not seen in entirely too long) in exchange for a membership subscription to Warlock.
I was not one to skimp on the autographs either — first up was adult industry superstar Sharon Mitchell, and let me just say it’s been a long time since I’ve felt that weak in the knees meeting a convention guest. This lascivious lady was an absolute treat to talk to, with a wit like a razorblade and a tremendous amount of heart.
It was almost solemn greeting Bert I. Gordon, and thanking him for the films that filled my childhood — EARTH VS. THE SPIDER, THE BEGINNING OF THE END, THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN — which, in all truthfulness, played a significant part in the formation of the horror fan I am today. He was genuinely touched by all this.
Michelle Bauer and Linnea Quigley were, as befitting their titles, a scream — I’d met Linnea before briefly, but this time I was armed with a poster for my absolute favorite piece of ’80s cheese. That’s right, you criminal perverts, I had a poster for SORORITY BABES IN THE SLIMEBALL BOWL-O-RAMA. Both women were absolutely tickled by the fact that I’d brought this, instead of something from, say, HOLLYWOOD CHAINSAW HOOKERS, and both agreed with me on how much fun SORORITY BABES is.
Zach and I had a late lunch (around 3:45/4:00) at the bar, and holy cow, the burger I ate made me realize why cows are sacred. Just melt in my mouth beefy perfection.
After this, we hit up a panel discussion headed by Sharon Mitchell and that towering figure, bestriding the world of grindhouse sleaze like a colossus, 42nd Street Pete. They got Sharon reminiscing about her time in the industry, speaking fondly of her early days in porn (often accompanied by pantomimed actions!), of John Holmes and Gerard Damiano, and her more recent work as a civil rights and free-speech campaigner. Some highlights included her description of Holmes as “a big warm squishy sponge,” the story of being arrested for straddling one of the cement lions outside the New York Public Library in the nude, and her beating a different obscenity charge on the grounds that the arresting officer was unable to identify her gender. This was Sharon’s first Cinema Wasteland, and hopefully not her last.
We met with Tom Sullivan, who is always on the guest list for his work with the EVIL DEAD franchise — I was stunned to discover he’d also done many of the covers, and a great deal of interior art, for the Call of Cthulhu Roleplaying Game, which I’ve been playing and taking a great deal of enjoyment from for years. Tom is a great guy, and was very appreciative as I gushed my own appreciation for his artwork, walking away with three signed art prints — the covers from the Seed of Azathoth campaign and the Terror from the Stars linked adventures, as well as a painting of the photophobic, hopping Ghasts, which had been published in Sandy Peterson’s Field Guide to the Cthulhu Mythos. I spent my last $25 in this room, and I just have to say I’m glad I found this room last, otherwise I would have gone wild and spent every penny I had on tentacled artwork.
After this, we ran into the Bloodsprayer’s own Matt Pocock, who lured us into a screening of MACON COUNTY LINE. This film…it starts off resembling a wacky redneck hicksploitation comedy, and then it takes a hard left turn into CAPE FEAR country. I’m not going to spoil it for you, SEE THIS MOVIE!
Not long after that, the annual Night at the Movies with A. Ghastlee Ghoul and 42nd Street Pete began, where yours truly distinguished himself in a trivia contest, deftly answering questions on Bert Gordon, recent celebrity deaths, Bo Hopkins and sexual deviancy — I got as many wrong as I got right, but I still managed to come out on top with 12 questions correct (the other two contestants managed 10 correct answers and 9), garnering me free passes to the April show. I was dubbed “Buffalo Bill” by the host and quickly developed a pretty dedicated cheering section among the drunken maniacs in the audience.
This was followed by a variety of games, including Boobs or Buttcrack and a pinata game that involved swinging a cricket bat towards the audience, and which resulted in a shower of condoms from the ruptured paper mache skull.
Also during this event was a comedy sketch from Tom Sullivan, in which a Presidential debate was held between Cthulhu and Moloch, the All-Seeing Eye on the back of the dollar. In all truthfulness, this event fell a little flat — the performers stuck too closely to the script, and the Moloch mask was especially muffling of Tom Sullivan’s voice.
After this, Zach and I swung by the bar, where we encountered Lost Highway’s ace reporter, Die-Anne Takillya, with whom we ended up chatting with, swapping cannibal jokes and drink recommendations. She schooled us on the history of Mountain Dew and the glories of Tennessee whiskey, as well as supplying us with the most glorious nectar ever poured into a shot-glass…the Bacon Shot. I found God at the bottom of that shot glass.
Finally, as the night wore on and the liquor weighed ever heavier on our livers, Zach and I said our good-byes and piled back into his Van, returned to his house and finished off the night with a screening of SEXSQUATCH. After this, we were dead to the world until almost noon on Sunday. With many a manly bro-grab (none of that sissy hugging for us), Zach and I parted ways, and I made the trip home to Buffalo.
This was my first Wasteland. It will not be my last.
Tags: 42nd Street Pete, alcohol, Bert I. Gordon, Cinema Wasteland, cthulhu, Die-Anne Takillya, Events, Grindhouse, linnea quigley, Lost Highway, Matt Pocock, michelle bauer, Radiation Scarred Reviews, Sexsquatch, Sharon Mitchell, Sorority Babes In The Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, Tom Sullivan, Warlock Home Video, Zach Shildwachter