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THE FLASHBACK WEEKEND
HORRO' RAMA DRIVE-IN & CONVENTION

   

One of the things we enjoy the most about doing these shows are the people we meet.  Yea, we always get a few strange ones showing up. Like the guy who came up to our table and said he heard Mancow (a local radio DJ) talking on the radio about snuff films, and wanted to know if we had any or knew where he could find some.  I guess that shows the intelligence of Mancow’s listening audience….

But that’s not always the case.  This year, our table was right next to two of the nicest zombies you could meet.  Clayton Hill and Sharon Ceccatti played zombies in George Romero’s DAWN OF THE DEAD.  Clayton was the escalator zombie and Sharon was the nurse zombie.  They are very easy to spot and remember in the film.  Clayton also was in HELLRAISER 3 as the priest.  We got to chat with them many times over the weekend and they are super people.  While they’ve just recently started doing the convention circuit, they are amazed that fans of the movie want to meet them and talk to them about the movie.  And for that, they are just tickled to be there.  It's always nice to see people like Clayton and Sharon that actually enjoy meeting and talking to their fans.  Trust me, there are few out there that consider meeting their fans a job, and they sure make it seem like too.  But not with these two.  If you get a chance to see them at an upcoming show, stop by and say hi.  They'll love to hear from you.

Some other new friends we met up with at the show were the guys from Ban One Productions.  They have just recently released a DVD of classic trailers, called HORROR ON 42nd STREET.  If you are like me, and are a huge fan of trailers, you have to check this DVD out.   With great looking trailers of horror films like MUTATIONS, VIRGIN WITCH, FOOD OF THE GODS, as well as the more sleazier titles like CHATTERBOX, WONDER WOMEN, and THE AROUSED.  See our more detailed review HERE.  These guys were not only very friendly, but more importantly are big fans of the genre.  So they are doing this for all the right reasons…because they love it as much as we do.  And for that, you have to give them credit.  They have more great stuff coming out in the future, so we’ll keep you posted.  In the mean time, check out their website HERE.

Stopping by the show on Saturday was my old friend Dave Kosanke, publisher of a great little fanzine called Liquid Cheese.  I’ve known Dave for a few years and it seems that once we get together, we could talk music and movies for hours.  Dave’s an experienced fan and collector, like me, so we always have a lot of ground to cover when we do hook up.  Check out his fanzine for some great reviews and insight of the horror genre, as well as music and more.  Dave knows of what he speaks…unless when he’s disagreeing with me of course…. 

One of the highlights of the show was the Drive-In Movie experience at night.  When Flashback creator Mike first told me about this idea, I thought it was a great idea….having a little drive-in theater in parking lot, with a big screen, and people bringing their own lawn chairs and blankets.  But then the more I thought about it, I thought he was just crazy.  How can you put up a big screen outside, in the middle of summer, not too far from O’Hare Airport, and expect it to work.  And then when they were forecasting rain for the weekend, I thought this was going to get ugly real quick.  But I guess someone upstairs was smiling on Mike and the rest of us, because it turned out to be pretty damn awesome.

They had a huge inflatable screen, much like those Moonwalk things you see at fairs and stuff.  Right there, you would think it would be pretty bad.  But if you didn’t know it was inflated, you never would have known.  It was huge!  And the quality of it was just as good as some of the theaters that I’ve been too.  Plus the sound quality was good too.  Yea, a plane flew over maybe once during the movie, but that lasted about 15 seconds, so that wasn’t a problem.  They even had a little concession stand, selling popcorn and snacks.  Very cool.

On Friday night, they screened the classic film THE HILLS HAVE EYES, introduced by Dee Wallace Stone.  We were too busy feeding our faces, so we missed that screening.  But we were there for the Chicago premiere of Dario Argento’s latest film THE CARD PLAYER.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t as good as I’d hoped.  Granted, it was much better than Argento’s STENDAHL and PHANTOM, but I didn’t think it had the “Argento touch” that we love and really miss (though we did see some of that in SLEEPLESS…at least I did).

On Saturday night, they screened Romero’s DAY OF THE DEAD, which was introduced by four of the cast from movie.  I still think this is a much better film than DAWN…Sorry people, but that’s my opinion.  After that, they had another premiere, Tobe Hooper’s TOOLBOX MURDERS.  As even the star Angela Bettis said in her introduction of the film, this is not a remake.  Yes, there is a toolbox, and people are killed with tools from it, but that is as close as it gets.  We enjoyed the film quite a bit.  It was nice to see Hooper back doing something good for a change.  (Sorry, but we’re still bitter about seeing SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION in the theater!).  Hopefully this will put some back some interests into Hooper, who just seems to have so many problems getting films made without being interfered with.  Maybe this will be a new start for him.  We can hope.

On Sunday night, they screened INVASION OF THE BLOOD FARMERS.  While I really wanted to see it, we just couldn’t stay for the screening…Monday morning would be coming pretty quick by the time we would have gotten out of there if we would have stayed.  But overall, the Drive-In experience was great.  I’m sure there were a lot of people that probably had never experienced a real drive-in theater, so I’m sure that was new to them.  Though I did freeze my butt on that first night, it was still a great time.  Nice job, Mike.

As for the guest list, probably the main attraction was Mr. Romero.  He wasn’t in the main dealer room that much, so we only caught glances of him there.  But we were able to get a few pics of him during his signing sessions.  As always, they don’t get much friendlier than him.  Adding to Romero presents, were 4 of the main cast members from DAY OF THE DEAD: Gary (Steele) Klar, Joe (Rhodes) Pilato, Anthony (Miguel) Dileo, and Lori (Sarah) Cardille.  We only got a chance to hear some of their Q&A session, but it seemed to be pretty interesting.  Cardille stopped by our table on Saturday and chatted for a few.  Such a nice person, and very friendly.

Also returning from last year was Bill Johnson, aka Leatherface from TEXAS CHIANSAW MASSACRE 2.  We’ve seen Bill at last year’s Flashback show, as well as the Cinema Wasteland show this last April, and he’s always a pleasure to talk to.  Mr. Johnson is another one of those guests that really is there to meet his fans.  Very friendly and very personable.  Its guests like him that really gives the fans a great memory when they come away from a show.  You can check out his website HERE.

Also returning from last year is his partner in crime from TCM 2, Bill Moseley, who was there, along with Mr. Sid Haig, was there promoting THE DEVIL’S REJECTS, the much anticipated sequel to HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES.  Haig has been in tons of great and classic films, and is always a fun guest.  Moseley is a big fan of the genre as well, not to mention having a few choice character roles himself, so he’s always a great guest.  Get these two together, and the insanity starts.

Another cast member from HOUSE was Irwin Keyes was also there.  He was great guy and was thrilled to add his signature to our mini HOUSE poster.  He even gave some fans a demo of his laugh from the movie, which I must say is one creepy-ass laugh.

Being in quite a few classic films such as THE HOWLING and HILLS HAVE EYES, Dee Wallace Stone is also nice to see.  She’s a real sweetheart.  It was nice seeing her amazement when I pulled out my Pakistani poster CRITTERS, or as the poster says Critters in SPECIAL COPS.  We met her at last year’s Horrorfind show, she’s always a pleasure to talk to.

And of course, we can’t forget to mention our buddy Mr. Tom Sullivan and the Traveling EVIL DEAD Museum.  We see him at all the shows, and you probably won’t meet a nicer and friendly guy than Mr. Sullivan.  For fans of EVIL DEAD, it’s cool seeing all those old props from the movie, and to hear his horror stories of working on the film.  Hey, low budget filmmaking is extremely hard work…just ask Tom.  But he is also a great source of information and guidance to those younger fans who are interested in getting started.  Tom gives some great advice to these beginning artists, and is always helpful to future monster makers.  Kudos to you, Mr. Sullivan!

Angela Bettis, star of the TV remake of CARRIE, the very twisted MAY, and TOOLBOX MURDERS, was there promoting the film.  She seemed to be a very down-to-Earth person and was very friendly to her fans.  Eileen Dietz was there as well.  People might know that her name, but if even if you are just a beginning fan of the horror genre, you’ve seen her face.  Dietz was the double for Linda Blair in THE EXORCIST.  She was the face of Captain Howdy.  Julie Adams and Ben Chapman, from the original CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON were also there greeting their fans.

And lastly, Mr. Joe Bob Briggs himself was there, doing Q&A’s and interviews with the other guests, and promoting his latest book, PROFOUNDLY DISTURBING.  He stopped by our table and talked books for a bit, and graciously signed our personal copy for us.

Since we recently bought a new computer, we had hoped not to that much money over the weekend and for the most part we did pretty well.  Of course, being right next to Synapse Films didn’t make it easier.  Luckly, I had gotten quite a few of their titles from them at the last Cinema Wasteland show.  But they had a few early copies of their upcoming release of LEMORA: A CHILD'S TALE OF THE SUPERNATURAL.  So we had to pick that up.  What a classic film, and what an unbelievable job they did on this.  We will be having a review up shortly for this great title.

Add all of that fun in with seeing all our old friends like Pam and Ken from Cinema Wasteland, Jill & her crew from Lix, Damien from Living Dead Dolls, it’s always a great time.

So with his 3rd Flashback show done and gone, Mike and company have once again topped their last show.  Being local, I can’t tell you how happy is makes me to have someone having a show in my backyard.  But even a local show can be a waste of time if it’s not done the right way…trust me, I know from experience.  And if you doubt me, then ask yourself why there hasn’t been a Fangoria convention in Chicago in what…5 years?  10 years?  But Mike has proven that he can still put on a great show on his third year out, and top what he’s done the year before.  I told him that he’s going to have a hell of time trying to top it next year.  His reply, with a big smile on his face, was “I’ve already got a plan.”


ANGELA BETTIS

           

 

JOE BOB BRIGGS

 

DAY OF THE DEAD CAST
Anthony Dileo, Lori Cardille, Gary Steele, Joe Pilato

  

              

 

BILL JOHNSON

 

IRWIN KEYES

  

 

BILL MOSELEY

  

 

GEORGE ROMERO

     

  

 

DEE WALLACE STONE

  

 

TOM SULLIVAN