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2013 RONDO AWARD
MUSIC BOX MASSACRE III
For the third year in a row, we attended the Music Box Massacre at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago. For the second time in a row, we set up as a dealer there. And each of these times, we debate on whether to do it or not. Do we work our table, promoting the website and sell a few items, or do we just go to sit and enjoy the movies? What a tough call. But even though we did finally decide to set up in the lobby, we still had a blast.
Once again, promoter Rusty Nails had outdone himself with this year’s lineup. Starting with the silent classic CAT AND THE CANARY to slowing going through the genre’s timeline, it gave the audience a great lesson in horror’s rich history. There was even some great cult classics in there like EQUINOX and DEATHDREAM that are films that should be seen by all horror fans. And of course, there were Tod Browning’s FREAKS and Michael Powel’s PEEPING TOM, both films which pretty much killed their creator’s careers.
For special guest stars this year, we had the director of a couple of cult classic films, one that finally got its official DVD release. That movie is MONSTER SQUAD, and the director is Fred Dekker. While we do enjoy SQUAD, our favorite of Dekker’s work is NIGHT OF THE CREEPS, which Rusty actually screened last year at the Massacre. But none the less, I know there was a lot of cheering during the screening of SQUAD that night at the Music Box. Dekker got up and did a Q&A after the film, talking about his work on SQUAD, CREEPS, and even ROBOCOP 3. He also talked about how his first idea for a movie eventually became HOUSE, directed by Steve Minor.
We also had the lovely Coralina Cataldi Tassoni there. We’ve known Coralina for years, and it’s always just a great pleasure to see her each time. Seeing her react with her fans and really enjoying meeting them, it gives old fans like me hope that there are still celebs out there that are more interested in hearing from their fans, then collecting $20 for an autograph. Coralina was there to introduce the screening of DEMONS 2, which the crowd seemed to just love. She did a great Q&A with Rusty after the film, with plenty of great stories.
Both Dekker and Coralina hung around the lobby for most of the evening, always taking the time to answer the countless questions from their fans, and signing many, many autographs. I do want to give a round of applause to Rusty Nails to having a rule for his celebs that at his Massacres, there is no charging for autographs. Thanks for keeping it real, Rusty. The fans do appreciate that.
Each time the theater would empty out, we had plenty of people that wanted to talk about the film that they just watched (some for the first time), or maybe some other film that they had recently seen. It was like we were there to give these die-hard fans somewhere to go to chat in between the rounds. We met so many cool and interesting people during the 24 hours. Seen a bunch of old friends, and made plenty of new ones as well. We were also amazed to see that these fans were just from the Chicago area, but even from far across the pond....well, actually lake, and made the trip out from Michigan. Gotta love those die-hard fans.
Of course, our buddy Dr. AC was also there with copies of Horror 101 for sale. Always brings a small tear to my eye when I see someone buying a book. Plus it was great to see some of the enthusiasm over this book. It shows that there are people out there that are still interested in reading about their favorite movies. And that they are still willing to learn about them, and also the willingness to hear other fan's opinions of these movies. Still gives me hope. The good Doc was also there to introduce the film FREAKS. This is one of the many titles featured in Horror 101.
Jill from Lix Online was there selling her awesome t-shirts, including her newest design of NIGHTBREED, a personal favorite of mine. Glen from Sci-Fi/Chicago was there as well, giving away some great free stuff to the many fans. How can you go wrong with free stuff? Also returning this year were those incredibly large slices of pizza. One slice alone would hold over most people for the rest of the evening.
Once again, we’d like to thank our host Rusty Nails for continuing this great tradition for the Halloween season. We’ve had a blast at the last 3 years now, and can’t wait for the next one. What a better way and place for horror fans to conjure together for a 24-hour period and be able to “get your nerd on” as Dr AC likes to say. Hope to see you all again there next year.
CORALINA CATALDI TASSONI