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Copyright © Kitley's Krypt
2013 RONDO AWARD
APRIL 5th-7th, 2013
A couple of weeks after our first show of the year, we were heading back to Strongsville Ohio for the Cinema Wasteland convention, for the 23rd time in 13 years. Not a bad track record, huh? Wasteland is the show that I would go to if I wasnít setting up as a dealer. No matter who the guest list consists of, we know that it is going to be a great time. It really has the best dealers, always some interesting guests, great movies playing throughout pretty much the whole weekend, just a non-stop adventure for a cult movie fan. And not to sound like an old man (though each day I seem to be heading towards that goal), but the people that come through the doors to this show are more of an adult crowd. They've been around the horror block a few times and tend to know more about the older or more obscure films out there. Perfect example is when I see a guy wearing a Paul Naschy t-shirt. In fact, it was one that I had never seen before. Not to diminish the fans that go to the other conventions, but it just seems that at Wasteland, the crowd is older, and more interested and into, and even know more about the genre than most shows. Maybe it is because it is an older crowd that comes here are that is more about the movies themselves than the seeing the guests. Don't get me wrong, that is always a plus to, but even Wasteland does that different than most shows, getting guests that are a little different than the ones making the rounds.
Joining the Kitley clan on this trip was my sonís friend Dustin, making his very ever trip to Cinema Wasteland. Being a pretty big fan of cult, horror, and exploitation, we knew he was going to have a great time. And from the lack of sleep that he got over the weekend, I think probably won't be his last show either.
There were a couple of guests scheduled for this show that really had me excited, which doesnít happen too often any more. The first one was Italian director Sergio Martino. This man has made more than a few of giallo films, such as THE STRANGE VICE OF MRS. WARDH, ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK, THE CASE OF THE SCORPIONíS TAIL, YOUR VICE IS A LOCKED ROOM AND ONLY I HAVE THE KEY, not to mention the infamous TORSO! But he also directed one of my favorites Italian films in general, ISLAND OF THE FISHMAN. Itís rare these days that I will throw down money for an autograph, but this was one of two exceptions at this show. It was a damn shame there wasn't a Q&A with him, but can understand when English isn't your strongest language, those are can be a little difficult. But it was great to be able to meet this legend of the Italian horror genre. Much thanks out to Mike Baronas as well, for making these guests available in the first place!
Also at the show was another Italian film guest, Irene Miracle, who co-starred in Dario Argentoís INFERNO. She was the lucky one to have to swim down in the flooded part of the building, in one of the best sequences in that movie.
They also were having two different reunions at this show. The first one was for Jeff Liebermanís JUST BEFORE DAWN. Joining Lieberman were actors Chris Lemmon & Jamie Rose. They had some great stories about making the film during their Q&A session. These low budget films of that time really showed that it didnít matter what kind of budget they had, when you have talented and even more so, dedicated people in front of and behind the camera, you could do amazing things.
The other reunion was for the cult classic slasher film SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE. Included in the reunion was actor Debra De Liso, Joe Johnson, Brinke Stevens, and even the Driller Killer himself, Michael Villella. Once again, hearing the stories during the Q&A sessions is so much fun. You get to hear firsthand what it was like to work on these types of low budget films back then. With a movie with a name like this, you would think that it would be a joke to those making it. But these people took it very serious, even with Villella going through the method acting process, which really creeped out his co-stars!
Also, something that was quite noticeable, the entire cast from the SLUMBER PARTY reunion was only charging $10 a signature to get your stuff signed, as well as a few other guests too. It was so great to see that, since at most conventions these days the guests are charging $25 or more, even if youíve only been in a couple of movies! Yet another reason why we love Wasteland.
But I have to say, my favorite guest from this show was the return of Gary Kent. I know that this name might not pop in your head right away, or at all. And that is a damn shame. Gary was at the Wasteland show back in April of 2005, along with fellow stuntmen/directors Bud Cardos and Greydon Clark. They had one of the most entertaining Q&Aís that Iíve ever set through. These guys came up in the industry learning the hard way, moving up through the ranks even eventually getting into the director chair a few times. These old stuntmen have some of the best and entertaining stories in the business. Well, sometime after that show, Kent published his autobiography called Shadows & Light: Journeys with Outlaws in Revolutionary Hollywood. It was one of the most entertaining autobiographies that I had ever read (see our review HERE). I can't recommend this book enough. It is filled with such great stories, as well as a window to a much different type of filmmaking. Do yourself a favor and head over to Amazon an order it now. So when Ken Kish announced that Kent would be making his return to Wasteland, I was excited to meet him again and tell him how much I enjoyed his book. Once I went over to his table to have him sign my book (which was only a $10 charge), I talked to him for quite some time about the book and the funny stories that he had in there. There is a great story in there about Kent is such a great guy and so much fun to talk to. And once again, his Q&A was damn entertaining, with plenty of great and funny stories being told. Any time you go to a convention and there is a guest who is a stuntman, you need to make sure you go over and talk to you him. Guarantee that they are going to have some interesting stories about their career.
Director Jack Shoulder was one of the guests at this show, but we missed his intro to the screening of his film THE HIDDEN. While he was also the guy responsible for NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2, he also directed ALONE IN THE DARK, with some of the most memorable actors in cult film history: Martin Landau, Donald Pleasence, and Jack Palance.
Once again, the evening hours at this show is one of the best. Even just hanging out in the bar with our convention friends and family and talking about movies. Sometimes we can get into some pretty heated discussions, but at the end of the night, weíre still the best of friends and it just shows how passionate we are all about these movies. Another one of our friends that was making his first appearance at Wasteland was Cory Udler, the fine man responsible for the indy films INCEST DEATH SQUAD and it's sequels. While I might not enjoy the films that he makes, there is no denying that Cory is a great guy, and so much fun to talk to. Whether we're talking about our favorite low budget director Bill Rebane, or coming up with some crazy ideas for some new movies, Cory is so much fun to hang out with. He is another perfect example why we have so much fun at this show. Granted, it was probably a good thing that our mutual friend Putrid didn't make it out to this show. Getting those two together at a convention...and more important, at THIS conventions....let's just say that things probably would have happened that could have ripped the edges of reality apart.
So another show was over and done with and it was time to get ready for the trip home. This show is one of the longest drives we have from most of the shows that we do throughout the year. And after coming down from a convention high, it is a tough and long drive. But I would never miss it and always look forward to the next Wasteland show. See you in October!
JUST BEFORE DAWN REUNION
SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE REUNION