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2013 RONDO AWARD
April 4th-6th, 2008
This show was another first for us. In the 13th shows that the Wasteland has done, weíve been at every one for the whole weekend. But due to my newly recent employment, I wasnít able to get off of work on Friday. So we missed the Friday activities, or at least the dealer room being open. By the time we go there, around 11pm, the real partying was already in full swing.
The Wasteland show is somewhat of an icon. This has a reputation of being a great show. But there seems to be people that never make it out to it. Iíve talked to people at other shows, and when mentioning the Wasteland, they say ďYea, I heard thatís a killer show. Just never make it out there.Ē Since weíve been at the Wasteland shows since the beginning, we see the same fans coming back every year. They know they are in for a great time. At this last show, there seemed to be a lot of new faces. I heard from several of these faces something that made me smile, only because Iíve heard it from other fans before. They would mention that theyíve heard about the show for years, but just never made the trip. But now, they canít believe how much fun theyíre having and what a great show it is. And more importantly, that they will back next year. This is Cinema Wasteland. There is no other show like out there. And once you taste their pleasures, trust me; you will be coming back for more and more.
But letís back up a bit. Making the journey with me this time was our trusted & faithful assistant Dr. AC (Aaron Christensen to you normal folks out there), Dave Kosanke (creator of the uber-fanzine Liquid Cheese), his buddy Ryan Olson, and last but not least, our good friend Kristin was thrilled to grab the last available seat in the van. The trip out to Wasteland is a good 6 to 8 hours, all depending how long it takes to get out of Chicago. So that time is spent usually talking about all things horror. That does make the drive seem to go a little faster. And a lot more entertaining.
This time at the show, there were two reunions featured. The first one had Dyanne Thorne, star of the infamous Ilsa films. Along with her were her husband Howard Maurer, who also was in some of the Ilsa films. And lastly, director of two of the four Ilsa films, Don Edmonds. Now we personally arenít that big of fans of those movies, but it seems that we are a minority, since there seemed to be a lot of people there to see them. And from all accounts, Dyanne Thorne was just wonderful to her fans.
The other reunion that I was excited for was the 40th anniversary of Jack Hillís Spider Baby. Director Hill was there, along with actors Sid Haig and Beverly Washburn. Now we had seen Hill once before and Mr. Haig several times over the years. But this was the first to meet Washburn. She seemed genuinely excited and happy to be there, and really having a great time. I snuck in the packed Q&A session for a few minutes to get some quick photos. And in the time I was in there, what I was hearing was exceptional. When asked where the idea came from for Spider Baby, Jack Hill paused for a second and then said, ďGrass. And Iím talking 60ís grass. Not that crap from today.Ē Great stuff. What other genre out there would be celebrating a low budget film made 40 years ago, with a room packed full of fans wanting to hear stories of the making of it? But yet the horror genre still doesnít get its props as a real genre. When will this injustice every stop? I just donít get it.
But the main person I came to see was someone who worked with one of my favorite directors, in three of his films no less. That director was Lucio Fulci, the films were House by the Cemetery, The Beyond, and City of the Living Dead. And that person is Catriona MacColl. I believe this was her first appearance at a US convention, and she seemed like she was having a ball. She was there with Giovanni Lombardo Radice (aka John Morghen) and Mike Baronas. She seemed so excited to be there, meeting her fans, and seeing her screaming face on posters, t-shirts, and more. But unfortunately, since we didnít get there until later Friday, we had missed the Q&A sessions with them. Major bummer.
And to give some more credit to Mike Baronas, he was there selling and promoting his new DVD entitled Paura: Lucio Fulci Remembered Ė Vol. 1. It is a great documentary filled with the people that worked and knew Fulci, talking about his as a person, as a director, and filmmaker. Itís really an informative piece of work, and is a must for all Fulci fans. Check out his website HERE for more details about the disc. Or you can check out our review of it in our Review section.
Another great guest that was there this time was Elizabeth Shepherd. She worked with Vincent Price in Roger Cormanís Tomb of Ligeia, as well as being brutally attacked by killer crows in Damien: Omen II. Unfortunately, we didnít have the time to catch that much of her Q&A. But from what we heard, she had some great Price stories. Thatís one of the downfalls of being a dealer at shows. We donít have the time to geek out during the Q&Aís. Such is life.
There were quite a few other guests that we either missed their Q&Aís or just didnít have time to run over and get some photos. I know that Austin Stoker got a nice reception when he introduced John Carpenterís Assault on Precinct 13 at the Friday night screening. We also had planned on going over to talk to Robert Dix about his work with Al Adamson, but just never made it. Not sure if itís because we missed Friday, or that we were just too busy. But it seemed like the weekend just flew by.
Mink Stole, known for her roles and connections with John Waters, seemed to be another big hit. This is another reason why Wasteland differs from other shows. The Wasteland crowd are more into the cult and exploitation films. You put Mink Stole at a Fangoria show, and she would be very lonely at her table. But at Wasteland, people were knew who she was and were happy to have the chance to talk to her.
Thereís not too many shows that we go to where the dealer room tempts me of my money like Wasteland. For me personally, this show has the best dealers. Thereís pretty much anything you can ask for: DVDs, T-shirts, books, art work from great artists, and all sorts of other great memorabilia. This time we decided that we going to leave with very little money, but with a lot of cool stuff.
So another show in the past, and we leave always looking forward to the next show. The Wasteland is like a powerful drug. Once youíve partaken, you always want to come back for another fix. And you can only get that fix at the Wasteland. So if youíre still one of those people who still havenít made it out to one, how long will it be before youíll make it, and hear yourself say, ďwhat took me so longĒÖ
40th ANNIVERSARY OF SPIDER BABY