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October 4th-6th, 2008

As we come to October, and to another year coming to an end, it also means another year of shows doing the same.  And what better way to end it then with the one that truly is the best show out there.  What can we say about this show that we havenít said over and over again.  It truly is the best show out there, hands down.  And not only is it the best, thereís no show that comes close to it.  For a show filled with awesome dealers, great guests, and a bunch of die hard movie fans, it really is that great.  Just ask anybody whoís been there before.

Itís been a while for me personally to be this excited about the guest line up at Wasteland.  Sure, they always have a great line up, but sometimes itís guests that Iíve already seen before or ones that I may not be that big of a fan of.  But this time, they were packed filled with guests from all over the genre.  Not to mention having a more than a few genre icons there as well.

The biggest draw for me was the appearance of Lamberto Bava, director of films like Demons and Demons 2, Delirium, A Blade in the Dark, and many more.  Not to mention being the son of the late great Mario Bava.  Itís not too often that an icon of Italian cinema comes over to the states (and Ohio no less).  Bava really seemed to be enjoying seeing all these fans coming out to meet him.  Usually during the Q&Aís that go on at these shows, I only sneak away from my table for a few minutes to take a few photos and then head back to work.  But this time out, I stayed for the entire session.  Joining Bava for the Q&A was not only an interrupter, but also as one of his leading ladies, Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni.  Coralina starred in Bavaís Demons 2 and the more recent Ghost Son.

Weíve met Coralina at several shows and have found very few people that are as passionate about the arts as she is.  Whether it be painting, acting, or singing, she is an incredibly talented artist, in whatever format she chooses.  They were screening her new short film called The Dirt at the show which is a very powerful piece of cinema.  Check out our review section for our take on it.

They both had some great stories about their careers, working in the Italian film industry, and in the horror genre.  Bava had some great stories about his father as well.  One in particular that brought a hush over the crowd was when he was asked if his father has seen his first film, Macabre, before he died.  Bava said that after watching the film, his father told him that he can die peacefully now.  A short time later, he did just that.  Bava spoke very fondly of the genre and enjoyed being part of it's rich history, just like his father.

And speaking of Italian filmmakers, making a surprise but quiet visit to the show was Mariano Baino, director of the highly underrated film Dark Waters.  We were able to sit down with him for an interview to talk about his career and what heís been doing since Dark Waters.  What a great guy to talk to, and one who not only knows his cinema, but is a true filmmaker that is missed greatly these days.  The photo to the right is of your humble host and Mariano.  Of course, getting this photo together was even cooler since Lamberto Bava was the one taking the picture.  As he was looking through my camera, he was motioning us to move back and to one side.  It hit me that I was being "directed" by Lamberto Bava.  Don't think you could get much better than that.

Making a very surprising visit to the show, was the Video Watchdog himself, Tim Lucas!  Tim was there, along with his wife Donna, to meet up with Lamberto Bava, bringing along a few of his massive tomb of a book on Mario Bava.  As much as I might complain at the cost of some of these books these days, the size and content of Lucas' book makes the $250 price tag worth every penny.

We also had a chance to talk again with John Amplas, who was making his first Wasteland appearance.  Amplas is no stranger to fans of the work of George Romero, since he played the title role in Romeroís Martin.  He also worked with Romero on several other films, both in front of and behind the scenes as well.  We also had a chance to sit down and interview him as well.  He was a super nice guy to talk to and had some wonderful stories.

Two lovely ladies that we had seen earlier this year at another show were movie rivals from the original Friday the 13th, Adrienne King and the one and only Betsy Palmer.  King is a real sweetheart and really leaves an lasting impression with her fans.  Of course, when she stopped by our table to inquire about some reading material to enlighten her about the genre and the fans, how could we not help her out?  But in my 20 years of going to these shows, Iíve never met a woman like Betsy Palmer.  It never ceases to amaze me at the stories that she has and even better, the way she tells them.  She is one of a kind.

One Q&A that we wished we had stayed for more of was the one covering the glory days of grindhouse theaters and drive-ins.  With such luminaries there such as 42nd Street Pete, Jeff Lieberman, David Hewitt, and the one and only Sultan of Sleaze, Dave Friedman.  There were tons of great stories coming out from these guys that would make a hell of a documentary if anyone ever wanted to record it.  They had some amazing and unbelievable stories.

Other guests there were the iconic John Saxon, who was worked with just about all the great directors out there, including both Dario Argento and Mario Bava.  Just looking at his resume, itís astonishing at the amount of work that man has done.  Heís always a great guest and has some amazing stories from the movie business.

Another first time guest was Brett Halsey.  Some fans might know him for being in Return of the Fly, playing the son of the scientist who tempted fate with his teleportation device in the original.  But he also worked in Italy, making a few films with Lucio Fulci.  Nothing better than getting a surprised look at a star when you whip out a poster for a film they had done, that they had never seen before.  That was the case when I pulled out my poster for Fulciís The Devilís Honey.  Twisted poster for an even more twisted movie.  So I got to hear some interesting stories about the making of that film from Halsey.  Great guy.

There were many other great guests there, such as Kane Hodder, the iconic Marilyn Chambers, Jeff Lieberman, Michael Berryman, Allan Kolman (pictured right) from David Cronenberg's Shivers, and many more.  Of course, this show also offers the best dealer's room out there.  No matter what you are looking for, you most likely will find it at the Wasteland.  Posters, DVDs, Books, T-shirts...it's all there waiting for you to drop your cash.  We always are fighting to leave completely broke.

Making it out to his first Wasteland show was a new friend of ours from St. Louis, Alan Tromp.  The reason we are mentioning Alan is that we first met up with him at the Flashback Weekend in Chicago.  He was pleasantly surprised to find someone else who not only had heard of the work of Larry Buchanan, but actually enjoyed them as well.  So we became fast friends.  I told him that he really needed to make it out to the Wasteland show, where I knew he would have a blast.  See, the Wasteland is a perfect show for all levels of fans.  The dedicated die-hard fans will have plenty of other fans to talk some serious shop with.  And the newer fans have a great opportunity to tap into these die-hard fans to help open up more worlds of wonder to them.  Everyone wins at the Wasteland!

That truly is what I think sets the Wasteland apart from other shows out there.  Itís the people.  The people that run it, with Pam and Ken Kish leading the way, knows everyone is there to have a good time.  And they make damn sure that they do everything they can to see that happens.  And after 9 years and 14 shows, I donít think anything has changed in their way of running their shows.  We have just as much of a good time now as we did at the very first show.  Keep it up, Ken.  Donít know what weíd do without your two shows to bookend our year.


JOHN AMPLAS

 

ALLAN KOLMAN
     

 

BRETT HALSEY
           

 

JOHN SAXON
     

 

CORALINA CATALDI-TASSONI
     

 

LAMBERTO BAVA
              

CORALINA & LAMBERTO
           
        

 

GRINDHOUSE PANEL

42nd Street Pete

DAVE FRIEDMAN
     

DAVID HEWITT
  

JEFF LIEBERMAN