Sunday, October 11, 2009

Day 10 Zombie Con Day 1: And Then He Kissed Me

Wow. What a GREAT couple of days. I've seen so much and met so many AWESOME people, I don't know if I can remember them all. But I'm going to try.

I went to Zombie Con on Saturday - and I had planned to start my day with a movie called The Rage. I'm not sure what happened, but I think this film was canceled for whatever reason - and I walked in on the end of a film called It Came From Another World:

I only saw the last ten minutes but right away I knew this was a film I would have enjoyed. It was on par with the film I reviewed the other day - Alien Trespass - in that's it's a tribute to the wonderful B & W sci-fi and horror films of the 50's. Only I would classify this film as a little more tongue and cheek. Later I went into the vendors room to find that the director, Christopher Mimh, has made FOUR films that are all tributes to the same genre! I ended up taking these two home:

I'll be watching and reviewing these later on this week.

Website HERE:

They're also looking for donations for their upcoming film, Destination: Outer Space.
For a mere 50 bucks, you can not only help finance the film, you also can get other cool things such as free copies of the film when it's released, tickets to the premiere, and your name listed as an associate producer in the credits. Check that out HERE.

Then I took a walk around the vendors room. Many of the tables were devoted to films playing at the festival. Unfortunately (and my only real suggestion to improve next year's festival) there weren't many vendors selling memorabilia or movies. There was one artist, a few authors selling their books, and many of the tables were devoted to the independent films that were playing that weekend.

My favorite vendor was this lady: Black Cat Babies. I even bought something:

It's a zombie baby - it's a PURSE!!!!!!!!!!
Too EFF-ing COOL.
She had so many fabulous babies there - unfortunately for my cheap ass (read=grad student) I could not afford them - YET. But I will be watching her website in the future for another adoption. She was wonderful to talk to and explained to me how she makes the dolls and that she will do custom orders. Check out her website above. Right now there's nothing listed as available - she did have about a dozen dolls there for sale - maybe what's left will be posted again now that the show is done.

I didn't have much chance to watch films - I was too busy attending the panels and other presentations. But I did see two shorts: Better Off Undead and Mary's Friend.

Better Off Undead was a zombie short involving a group of three guys and how they deal with the zombie uprising. The best part was the interaction between the three friends, all of which are pretty unprepared to deal with zombies taking over their neighborhood (although one has some drunken aspirations of zombie killing).

Mary's Friend - as I found out at the con - won the Milwaukee Film Festival award for best short. It was very short - four whole minutes - but very creepy. It was narrated in the style of a children's story about a girl named Mary who just wants a friend.

I also saw the end of a film called Deadlands 2 : Trapped. This film looked quite good. The director was at the show also. I can't find a website but the trailer is here. If you like zombie films, I think this one would be worth checking out. What I saw was scary and the quality of the film was very good as well. I'm adding it to my Netflix.

Kenosha Paranormal: Three women from this group (including the founder) talked about their group, some of their experiences, and how to choose equipment for amateur ghost hunting.

Captain Spaulding Show: How I love Sid Haig. The man is so entertaining, I would have gone to listen to him talk about tax shelters. Seems like a lot of people agree with me, since this was the most packed I saw the panel room and I overheard people saying many times throughout the convention that he was who they came to meet and what a great guy he was. I heart the crap out of Sid but I've got a signed photo, a signed copy of Spider Baby, and a signed 24 inch talking Captain Spaulding doll. I did stop and talk to him (to tell him that the commentary with him, Sheri Moon Zombie, and Bill Moseley on Devil's Rejects is my favorite ever and I've listened to it about as many times as I've watched the film) but I didn't get anything else signed - I had a budget and other fish to fry.....but I'll get to that later.

Zombies Everywhere!: A panel with David Emge and Scott Reiniger (Dawn of the Dead), Eugene Clark (Land of the Dead), Joe Pilato and Gary Clark (Day of the Dead), Kyra Schon (Night of the Living Dead), and Tom Atkins (Night of the Creeps).
This was a fun panel - mostly it centered around the Romero films. I've met David and Scott before at Cinema Wasteland a couple of times - they're both terrific and very gracious gentlemen. More on the rest of everyone later.

I also went to the best zombie contest - I had met four kids who came from Illinois and were hoping one of them won so they could go to Olive Garden after the show. Not too many zombies showed up - about 10 - but most of the costumes were pretty good.

One thing I have to say about the crowd at this show - every time I've been to a Con - and I went to Wasteland about four or five times, and It Came From Lake Michigan once - horror genre fans are some of the nicest, greatest people you'll meet ANYWHERE. I may be biased - but the first time I went to Wasteland, I had no idea what to expect. From that show to this one - every single time without fail - people are friendly, polite, and so easy to talk to. Us that love the Scary, we're just good folk. I went to the show alone but I wasn't at a loss for people to talk to. From the Zombie Dolls working the show who accosted me on Sunday, to all the staff who kept asking if I was having a good time and asking for feedback; to all of the fellow attendees - everyone was so approachable and friendly. I was kind of bummed about not having anyone to go with - but I never really felt alone. As the weekend went on, people started to recognize me and acknowledge me - as I saw them do to many people. The show was fairly well attended - I think- but it could do MUCH better. Hopefully it'll grow and grow in the next few years and continue as a yearly tradition.

Dee Wallace: I'd never met Dee before. When I decided to go to the show, I put her and Tom Atkins as the people that were most important for me to meet. I took my copy of the Howling for Dee to sign. It took me a few tries to time it just right - she must have been taking a break - but finally she was there, and I took my moment.
Wow. This woman is AMAZINGLY beautiful. I always thought she was pretty - but you really have NO idea until you see her in person. And her personality matches. She just gives off an aura that you really have to experience. If you ever attend a con that she is at, even if you don't get her autograph, I'm telling you, TAKE THE TIME to talk to this lady. You won't regret it. I happened to catch her at a slow moment. We talked about The Howling, took a picture, and she asked me what I did for a living (!) When I told her, she asked me about it - and I think she really was interested. I had a moment when I think I left my body because of the sheer surrealness (I'm explaining wound care nursing to ET's MOM!!). Amazing. If nothing else had happened this weekend (but it did...tee hee), this would have been worth the price of admission.

Tom Atkins:
Oh, Tom. Herein lies the biggest reason I wanted to go to this convention. The Fog. Halloween III. Creepshow. Night of the Creeps. Right away when I walked into the Guest Room, I made a beeline for his table. I walked up to him and said, 'You are the reason I came here today!' and he asked me my name, and then he said, so help me God, 'Hi! I'm Tom.'

Oh. It gets BETTER.

I had brought my copy of The Fog, and he signed it (after i told him I'd had a hard time choosing but that was probably my favorite of his films). Then came the photo op, after which I shook his hand and again expressed what a pleasure it was to FINALLY meet him - after which he said, 'You too, sweetheart', and then HUGGED me....and then it happened.



I'll never forget the heavenly out of body experience of the famous Atkins mustache grazing my cheek. I have met a LOT of people I've loved, but I've never been kissed by one. Immediately I called my best girl, KK, and told her. This is also proof of how far I've come since I started going to shows. The first time I met Ken Foree, when I walked away, my knees literally KNOCKED. I shit you not. I didn't even think that really happened to people. But I held it together and managed to just almost cry instead when I said to him, OMG You just made my day.

This story would be great enough (and I'm sure based on how friendly I saw Tom with others over the weekend, that he kissed many cheeks - I just had never had that happen before. Although - and I'll explain on Sunday's post - I'm going to start expecting it now!) But I saw Tom three or more times over the course of the weekend, and he never failed to greet me. Once I was in the panel room and as he came in, he stopped, sat down beside me, and asked me how my weekend was going(!). He also said hello (and addressed many others in the room by name!) when he arrived for his Q & A on Sunday, and also pointed at me and asked me to 'ask him a question' during his talk. I had heard that he was an awesome guy, and I just can't reiterate that enough. I've met some wonderful people but he has to be among the most gracious and warm I've ever met.

I ended the day with the zombie contest and when I left, I knew I was going back. Next year I'll definitely get the weekend pass - but - and I feel slightly bad about this - I didn't realize what a great time I'd have.

Oh - and btw, one of my young friends ended up winning the contest! I hope him and his friends enjoyed their pasta last night. Congrats, guys!

Mother Firefly

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