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Chiller 2003: Vendors

Celebrities / Costumes / Vendors / Return to Story

Fans descend on more than 15,000 square feet of vendors of all stripes. Crowds were so large that lines formed to enter each of the two enormous ballrooms.

 

New York City’s Village Comics boasts a wide array of ready-to-paint model kits.

 

Village Comics says: "SHOOT THE AN-TENNIE!!!"

 

Barry "Clay Guy" Crawford‘s sculpted caricatures are always crowd pleasers. Get yours at Clayguy.com.

 

Uncle Sam takes care of bidness.

 

Crispin Glover‘s Willard and his rowdy rodents.

 

NECA is quickly rivaling McFarlane Toys with collectible miniatures of popular movie franchises as diverse as Freddy vs. Jason and A Christmas Story.

 

Behold NECA’s life-size sculpt of Pinhead. Their 18-inch version is a must-have for any Hellraiser fan. Plus, each of their carded Cenobites features a piece to complete your own painful puzzle box.

 

Canada’s Rue Morgue horror magazine brought along its rather persuasive subscription manager.

 

I couldn’t assemble and paint one of these to save my life, but I sure can’t resist snapping photo mementos.

 

Wanna flick Something Weird Video has yet to release on DVD? Pick up one of their DVD-Rs for just 15 bucks!

 

CineSchlocker idol Mike Vraney holds court at the SWV booth.

 

Troma Team Video marked most of its DVDs to just $10 over the weekend.

 

Check out this sweet Corpses poster from the UK!

 

Need a gargoyle? Sandra Lira‘s got you covered. Three sizes from 43" for $950 to 10" for $50.

 

This little fella SO would’ve been mine if I didn’t cringe at the thought of how he’d fair against airport baggage handlers.

 

Oh, dear! The pain! The pain!

 

CineSchlocker idol Michael Berryman immortalized as Pluto.

 

Keep Freddy on your nightstand for just $225.

 

No, you young whippersnappers, this is NOT Dr. Evil!!!

 

Sub Rosa Studios keeps the faith.

 

I actually have a collection of aliens in jars, probably should’ve picked up this Gill Man specimen.

 

Max Schreck on moving day.

 

A pasty mug only a mad scientist could love.

 

Oh, by the way, Village Comics offers THESE as well.

 

Check out this cool 12-inch Christopher Walken figure produced in small numbers by Swish Toys to promote King of New York.

 

Neither the Easter Bunny, nor this caped crusader died for your sins.

 

Speaking of sinnin’ …

 

Mr. Voorhees flunked anger management.

 

These huge 28-inch figures by Adam Chiet of Saturday Afternoon Monsters start at $180.

 

Pretty clever, eh? I’d hate to have to paint that teeny tiny lightsaber, though.

 

Phew! That’s it! Thanks for thumbing through the ol’ photo album. Can’t believe I made it through all those vendors and only walked away with a Squirm poster. Maybe next time I’ll luck out and Jeff Lieberman will be around to sign it! Have any questions or comments about my Chiller coverage? Feel free to drop me a note!

Chiller 2003: Celebrities

Celebrities / Costumes / Vendors / Return to Story

The Chiller Theatre Toy, Model and Film Expo celebrates its 13th year pushing up cinematic daisies.

 

Yours truly with an auteur of many, many different names, including Fred Olen Ray! His Retromedia screamed to life in 2001 with an extras-packed Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers. Earlier this year, Fred rescued Queen Kong from obscurity and David DeCoteau‘s scream-queen classic, Nightmare Sisters, just hit the streets.

 

Seduction Cinema phenom Misty Mundae makes the scene.

 

Chiller saluted 50 years of The Creature from the Black Lagoon with the big guy himself, his alter ego Ben Chapman and main squeeze Julia Adams (looking as radiant as ever.)

 

Sure, not every day is a "happy, happy, happy day," but this one sure HAS thanks to getting to meet B-royal Clint Howard!

 

Chiller’s full of surprises … like the unscheduled appearance of Thom Christopher! "Who’s that!?!," you say. Fine feathered badass "Hawk" from the early ’80s incarnation of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Wilma Deering and Buck were also signing.

 

Not unlike his character in Kill Bill Vol. 1, ubiquitous conventioneer David Carradine spends some quality time off camera.

 

Sid Haig (above) and Bill Moseley were definitely fan favorites all weekend thanks to House of 1000 Corpses. Could its characters be more beloved than the flick itself? You bet!

 

Basket Case star Kevin VanHentenryck brought along a friend.

 

That right! The tent is BACK!!! It’s here that the majority of celebs, from the comfort of their signing tables, greet the swirling masses.

Chiller 2002: Vendors

Costumes / Celebrities / Vendors / Return to Story

The NY City Liquidators booth buzzed all weekend with bootleg, er, cut-rate DVDs being just five dollars!

 

Dr. Jones needn’t search any farther than Chiller.

 

Own your own underappreciated mutant serial killer from Dungeon of Design.

 

Kong encourages Godzilla to eat his greens.

 

Chief Brody offers Bruce a toothpick.

 

This jumbo-sized Predator model is ready to rumble.

 

A lamp fit for that special cannibal in your life.

 

Good help is tough to find.

 

Where else would superheroes shop?

 

FX sculptor Norman Bryn’s lifesize, hand-painted Vincent Price busts are yours for $300 (Scarlet Plague) and $260 (Prince of Evil).

 

The Creature From the Black Lagoon would rather not reveal where the rest of that tree is lodged.

 

Add Hitler-friendly trappings and these gals leap in value from $30 to $200. Goose-step on over to Village Comics.

 

Fans peruse the latest from Full Moon Pictures.

 

Holy augmentation, Batman!

 

Vincent’s Egghead is egg-quisite.

 

This fixture is left over from the Addam’s family yard sale.

 

Ol’ snaggle puss looks so much more fierce without his helmet.

 

Even Reptilicus has its own line of merchandise ($50).

 

All my beloved Chiller goodies — from Planet of the Apes action figures to an original Nurse Sherri one sheet.

 

Chiller 2002: Celebrities

Costumes / Celebrities / Vendors / Return to Story

CineSchlocker fave Michael Berryman swears yours truly is the spitting image of Hills Have Eyes auteur Wes Craven. Whatever you say, big guy.

 

Seduction Cinema sirens Darian Caine and Ruby LaRocca (left, in a fetching chapeaux).

 

Not only is Joe Fleishaker the "biggest" star in Tromaville, he’s also attended more than 20 Chillers!

 

Fans lined 10-and-more deep to gaze upon porn mega-starlet turned B-actress Traci Lords.

 

Zacherley the Cool Ghoul is the perennial favorite.

 

Klinger and Hot Lips had their own M*A*S*H-themed signing room.

 

Most know Bernie Koppell as the smooth-operatin’ doc on The Love Boat. But to me, and Get Smart fanatics everywhere, he’s Conrad Siegfried the diabolical leader of KAOS! Mr. Koppell kindly assigned yours truly the agent number 73843, under which he inscribed, "VE DON’T SHUSH HERE!"

 

Scream Queen Brinke Stevens signs a fan’s DVDs.

 

C. Davis Smith filmed most of Doris Wishman’s pictures, including her swan song, Each Time I Kill. He’s working closely with the producers to finish the film according to Ms. Wishman’s, ahem, wishes.

 

John Link has had memorable roles in several Seduction Cinema pictures, most notably, in the deus ex machina finale of Play-Mate of the Apes.

 

Kevin Hagen, Little House on the Prairie’s "Doc Baker," was a welcome surprise among the Land of the Giants entourage.

 

Bad Dreams star Jennifer Rubin offered autographed "Happy Nightmares" sleep masks.

 

Chiller 2002: Costumes

Costumes / Celebrities / Vendors / Return to Story

The Saturday night costume contest is the apex of any Chiller extravaganza, especially the Halloween expo. First up, a beer-toting John McClane of Die Hard fame hollers like a banshee.

 

Herbert West Re-Animator lugs around Dr. Hill’s ever-lovin’ noggin.

 

G.I. Joe geeks who once paw’d the wicked curves of their 3.5-inch Baroness action figures stood gap-jawed by this lifesize incarnation.

 

He’s big. He’s fruity. He’s Franken Berry! And he’s also the Most Creative Costume winner.

 

Eek! Thir13en Ghosts is a spook short. Look no further than this Scariest Costume winner!

 

Hunter S. Thompson and his trusted attorney survey the scene with a measure of Fear and Loathing.

 

Scrawny Ms. Petty has zilch on this crowd-favorite Tank Girl.

 

These two managed to Escape from the Planet of the Apes just in time for the expo.

 

The Invisible Man and his Hunchback sidekick entertain a fluffy pink bunny.

 

Coincidentally, yes, there IS something strange in my neighborhood!

 

This priceless example of visual irony occurred when Lucifer casually strolled up next to a lone nazi who’d been nursing a drink in the corner.

 

Herman and Grandpa Munster were among the esteemed panel of judges.

 

Blade’s so freakin’ cool that white guys are painting themselves black!

 

Anyone for a Blood Feast?

 

Game over!

 

No, you’re not dreaming. In 2002, the oppression of Jeannie’s navel is a distant memory.

 

Wonder — Whoa, Man!!!

 

Barely four-feet tall, this pint-sized trooper hovers close to mama.

 

This Best Costume winner was inspired by Terry Gilliam’s The Fisher King.

 

Merely by fishing some cardboard out of the trash and adorning it with Crayola markers, lady-killer El Boxioso wins CineSchlock-O-Rama’s coveted prize for Best Costume Based on a Drug-Induced Hallucination.

 

All together now — Ouuuuucccchh!!!

 

BatCon 2001

Return to Story

Getting your picture made with it was a lot like negotiating with the dancers at Cabaret Royale. It’s free just to stare or have a friend snap your giddy mug along side, $10 to get behind the wheel, and if you behave yourself, they’ll flash the headlights. Now, if you didn’t bring a camera, owner Dennis Stines provided prints for $10 (a little more for 4×6 glossies and dupes.)

 

OK, so it isn’t REALLY the Batmobile. For legal reasons, this spectacular reproduction is known as the BatCAR. It was built on a 1966 Pontiac Catalina frame, stretched to nearly 11-feet long and lavished with 20 coats of black velvet paint.

 

Fans wander through the convention hall filled with more than 100 dealer tables.

 

Yours truly snags a photo with fellow Batgirl fan Tonya. The fella behind her made the crowd-pleasing costume, and burned a hole in the back of my head with his laser specs.

 

Running the celebrity gauntlet for Bat-autographs easily topped $100, but cheapskates like myself just gawked at Adam West while pretending to be interested in purchasing a Pepe LePew figurine. (Mr. West is somewhere behind his, ahem, biggest fan).

 

Sneakered fan hangs with his homey Robocop.

 

Vendor peddles models from classic films including Ishiro Honda’s immortal War of the Gargantuas (1966).

 

Costumed attendees gather for a photo op. Among them is an ever-popular Storm Trooper and The World’s Largest Jawa.

 

This fan earns CineSchlock-O-Rama’s top prize for Best Costume Based on a Drug-Induced Hallucination. His walking tribute to Gotham City turned LOTS of heads.

 

Yours truly with the da-da da-da da-da da-da BATCAR!

 

Another view of the Batmobile, er, Batcar.

 

Superman fans could purchase this at-home version of the Man of Steel.

 

This giant toy Batmobile holds classic G.I. Joe-sized figures.

 

A frenzy of flash bulbs went off when a pair of costumed gals slinked into the Bat Boat. Curiously, my appearance went completely unnoticed.

 

Another view of the Bat Boat.

 

The Crowleys of Tyler, Texas are the proud owners of "The Original Bat Boat." And this would be the Bat Trailer they haul it around in.

 

Darth Vader and Batgirl say farewell from the BatCon Comic & Toy Expo. Send your comments to: noel@cineschlocker.net

Reader Feedback 2002 | Page 2

Viva Jack Hill!!!

Steven Millan writes: Really enjoyed both your article and interview with the great Jack Hill, a man who is a truly underrated auteur of low budget cult cinema. Now here is a man who has worked hard, and brought both depth and subtext to the B movie when it needed it the most (in the 70s drive-in period), but never got quite the recognition that he fully deserved, for every one of his films (with the exception of both "The Bees" and "Sorceress", which was badly mangled by that auteur schlockmeister Jim Wynorski) is a certified classic. Not once does any of his films have a scene that is uneven or wrongly conceived, for they all perfectly fit in the films that they were made to entertain the masses (and, boy, did they ever entertain!). It’s too bad that Hill is unfortunately retired today, for he would be most certainly welcomed to come back in, and show a thing or two to the many countless hack filmmakers who think that they wisely have what it takes to make a decent movie (yeah, right!!!), but heavily lack the class, texture, and elegance that Hill put into his films that make them so entertaining that they’re still contemporary with the times of today.

Noel responds: We’re certainly on the same page when it comes to Mr. Hill. What a pro! I’m so pleased you enjoyed the tribute. It’s funny you should mention The Bees, because I recently acquired the movie poster which features a GIANT slobbering bee’s head that dwarfs a woman fleeing in only a bra and panties. Now that’s salesmanship!

 

The Arena

Mark writes: Loved your Jack Hill interview! I picked up "Coffy" on DVD and was blown away by how crisp and clean the picture was. Not bad for a nearly 30 year old movie! Now, if only they put Pam Grier’s "The Arena" out on disc… Here’s a nominee for your Most Wanted column: Infra-Man. This little gem was available on Prism video and then resurfaced as an EP budget video. I would love to see this one make a comeback and as a fan of schlock films I’m sure you’d get a real hoot out of it ( if you haven’t seen it already, that is ). PS: You gonna review the new "Evil Dead" DVD from Anchor Bay anytime soon?

Noel responds: The planets must be perfectly aligned, because Pam Grier’s Arena (a.k.a. Naked Warriors) hit stores February 19th. Corman sorta remade it recently with Playboy Playmates Karen McDougal and Lisa Dergan to coattail a certain other mainstream hit. Hence, I prefer the Russian title Gladiatrix. Let’s hope your luck extends to Infra-Man, as I’d love to check it out. As for, Evil Dead, well, I surely recognize its greatness, but personally, I’m a bigger fan of Bruce Campbell than I am of his wacky gore trilogy. Blasphemy, I know. But Deadites will surely devour my review of The Convent, which is a brilliant and spectacularly gooey ode to ’80s horror comedies.

 

Shoot the an-tennie!

J. Grefstad of Auckland, New Zealand writes: I would love a DVD special edition of my favourite sci fi film THEM! Please see if you can get someone to release this great movie SOON!

Noel responds: As soon as I hear something, I’ll spread the word … even to New Zealand! Always good to be reminded that schlock cinema knows no borders.

 

Hello, Mummy …

Mummy Raider’s Bruce Hallenbeck writes: Just wanted to drop you a line and let you know how much I enjoyed your riotous review of MUMMY RAIDER. Thanks for giving me the credit (or the blame) for it being my "vision," but it was really Michael Beckerman’s vision more than mine–I was just the hired gun who wrote the script. And, of course, the actor in the really bad pith helmet. For a fuller look at my "vision," check out EI movies such as VAMPYRE, FANGS, THE WITCHES OF SAPPHO SALON and THE EROTIC CASE OF JEKYLL AND HYDE, and Brimstone’s BLOOD OF THE WEREWOLF.

Noel responds: Don’t sell yourself short there, buddy! Anyone who’d scribe dialogue like "What’s the matter? Never been kissed by a NAZI before?!" deserves every accolade I’m able to chicken peck into my word processor. Great to know you dug the review and be careful you don’t further ding that pith helmet or heir Beckerman might actually have to replace it.

 

Breasts, breasts and breasts

Craig writes: How about a section for the actress whose performance, look, attitude, or attire inspires the most impure thoughts amongst your loyal readers? After all, I too am a loyal follower of the Joe Bob Briggs’ gospel of blood, breasts, and beasts. Especially breasts. Sigh.

Noel responds: So let me get this right. You want a CineSchlock-O-Rama centerfold!? Sans staples, of course. I think you’re on to something. But the ladies and fellas of alternate persuasion among my readership MIGHT suggest we widen the scope a bit. Are you seriously prepared to risk an Andrew Stevens pictorial WITHOUT the distractive benefit of Shannon Tweed’s melon-heavy bosom? Regardless, your proposal demands further and painstaking research.

 

L.A. go boom-boom

Phil Marlowe writes: Have you heard whether the excellent cult flick "Miracle Mile" will be released on DVD? Though the breast count was zero (Hey, the choices were Mare Winningham and Lindsy Crosby, so we didn’t miss much if you know what I mean,and I think you do) and heads do not roll, it was a pretty twisted little flick that generated real suspense untill the very good ending, not to mention the added attraction of Anthony Edwards when he still had hair, or was in his toupee’ stage, I can never tell which. Love the column, keep it up.

Noel responds: There ain’t much of a market for Cold War/Doomsday/Romance pictures starring a guy who isn’t a doctor, but plays one on TV. Sounds like there should be, though. I believe HBO Home Video was its last distributor. You might quiz them about it. But those yahoos only released the R-rated version of Gia on DVD. Grrrrr!

 

Ghoulish quest

Charlie Coates writes: Hey! First off, I’m a fan of your site, keep up the good work! I’ve got a problem: I ran out of great horror movies to watch! I want something that will really scare the hell out of me, with suspense and gore to boot. I thought you’d be the one to ask. Ive seen the classic Dario Argento Films, Chainsaw Massacares, John Carpenter’s, classic Night of the Living Dead movies, and the classic of classics: Dead Alive. Those dont include other mainstream horror flicks. Ive searched the net for top ten lists, and recommendations, but found nothing! What are your recommendations for over the top gory scare fests? Thanks for your time!

Noel responds: Now there’s a tall order. Getting "scary" and "gory" working in unison is tough, so I’m just going to rattle off some personal faves and maybe one or two will be useful to you. His work is all giggles and no screams, but Herschell Gordon Lewis REMAINS the Godfather of Gore and Two Thousand Maniacs is his crowning achievement (Blood Feast being the epicenter of gore cinema). Basket Case follows those bloody footprints with laughs AND genuine suspense. Other modern gore-comedies include Return of the Living Dead 3, Bride of Chucky and, most recently, Bones. If you’re a fan of Chainsaw, check out The Funhouse, an under-appreciated Tobe Hooper flick. Both Cronenberg’s The Fly and its slimy sequel work good shocks into the grue. Even the R-rated cut of Cherry Falls splatters everywhere it should. Another classic you didn’t mention is Clive Barker’s immortal Hellraiser (and I even like the interplanetary sequel). Everyone is effected differently by fright flicks, though. I actually BELIEVE in demons so The Exorcist scares the bejesus outta me. Same goes for Communion. When Chris Walken says "Is that someone there" and that alien peers from behind the wardrobe. Ahhhhh! Gives me the willies just thinking about it! No matter how PHONY that skinny grey looks. And finally, it skirts the horror genre, but no other film has effected me PHYSICALLY to the extent of I Spit On Your Grave. Yep, the bathtub castration! Great, now THAT’S going to haunt me for the rest of the day. Good luck on your demented little quest.

 

Kind words

Paul Guyot writes: Hey, there. I’m BoatDrinks when it comes to DVD Talk, and I just wanted to fire off a quick e-mail telling you that I’ve been reading your interviews/etc on the site and think you’re doing a great job. Really nice work. Keep it up!

Noel responds: Quick emails rule! Glad I’ve been able to lure you out of the forums and down the path of iniquity. Stay tuned because the plan is to lower the bar even further in 2002!

 

Terror Firmer is garbage!!!

Richard Deming writes: Did you make Terror Firmer #1 just to get attention? Well it worked. I was so embarrassed that I had bought Terror Firmer that I threw it out. First time for everything. I mean I didn’t want the garbage man to know I had this crap so I hid it under some stuff. I’d rather get caught watching three ugly women, a blind midget and some infested farm animals getting it on than getting caught watching this garbage. … It’s kind of like — let’s try to come up with something sick/dumb fail at that but still put out a movie anyway. … This is not some some wink and a nod kind of movie laughing at itself … this movie has nothing to wink and nod about — other than selling this junk to us. I just think that with the numbers of titles out there and the 300+ titles I purchased in 2001 – this made last place. Now, I don’t know how you define Schlock — seems just to be another word for "camp." I also liked the reader’s choice. Did you post the complete results? — because I would be interested in seeing them. Each to his own. It is just disappointing that you choose to give this crap attention when other films are much more worthy. I feel sorry for the folks that are going out to purchase this garbage on your recommendation. What about the Bad Taste DVD? Or are you anti-Anchor Bay? Matter of fact, I don’t see too many Anchor Bay titles that you have reviewed. It that because you don’t get freebies from them? Happy New Year!

Noel responds: Your reaction to this flick isn’t surprising. In fact, it’s pretty dang NORMAL! Somehow I just got wired to enjoy a good gutter waller now and again. Terror Firmer scratches my itch. That’s all. But regardless of the MOVIE’s merits, the 2-disc set far exceeds — in both content and quality — any other B-title I encountered last year (and all but a few mainstream DVDs). As for being, gulp, "anti-Anchor Bay" I’ll kindly point to Maximum Overdrive right there on that same list.

 

Ginger Thanks!

James Stone writes: I just wanted to extend a hearty, heartfelt thanks for making me want to see the marvelousGINGER SNAPS. I was only vaguely aware of this titleand most certainly wouldn’t have rented or purchasedit before reading the review. But, wow, am I glad thatI started subscribing to the CineSchlock-O-Ramanewsletter! Because of the extras cited in yourreview, I sought out the Canadian DVD and savedwatching it until my brother came home for Christmas.After screening five mediocre movies that week, weended our fest with GINGER SNAPS and were both totallyentranced. I’ve seen A LOT of movies in my life, butthis one grabbed me like few others.I’m sure it’s corny to write a ‘Thank You’ note for amovie review, but I couldn’t care less. Thank You forrecommending GINGER SNAPS!

Noel responds: Corny? Not at all! I really appreciate your taking time to tell me y’all enjoyed the flick. And I know exactly what you mean by "entranced." Mike Shields’ score STILL wafts fondly through my brain. That and various impure thoughts about Ms. Isabelle. But, seriously, I’d love it if TVA had added an isolated score to their already stellar presentation. Stay dialed in to the column and I’ll do my best to keep you abreast to other worthwhile cinematic diversions.

 

We all scream for Ice Cream

Scott J. writes: Hi, Noel. I have a question for you. Image posted on their site today something about a DVD release for a film called "Mr. Ice Cream Man." I can’t find a film at the IMDB with that title, so I was wondering if you could please tell me if that is the same film as the 1995 film "Ice Cream Man." The only description of MICM given at Image is "A young brother and sister find out their father is the sick and twisted Ice Cream Man." I’ve never seen ICM (but would love to), so I don’t know if that summary fits in with ICM or not. Any info you can give me would be great.

Noel responds: Now my heart just skipped a beat because Clint Howard’s Ice Cream Man is HIGH on my Most Wanted list. Trouble is the description is all wrong and seeing Spectrum as the distributor also makes me suspect we’re getting our hopes up too quickly. Guess we’ll know soon since it streets next month! Thanks for the heads up.

Reader Feedback 2003 | Page 2

Va Va Va … HUH!?

Kent writes: Hey, this is probably the lamest email you will get today…But a buddy of mine got a reply from you, so I thought I would shamelessly petition for one.Not to be accused of sending email with absolutely no informational content, I do believe One Million Years BC is now on DVD – no wait, that was Caveman (1981), I get those two confused all the time.

Noel responds: Readily confusing a buckskin’d Raquel Welch with SHELLEY LONG isn’t something I’d recommend confessing to random internet yokels like myself. You’ll probably find yourself getting a lot of "alternative" spam for testosterone supplements — or worse. So let’s pretend this conversation never happened.

 

How is the weather?

Big AG writes: Would you happen to know the name of the song that Ernest sings in Ernest Goes to Camp. I am not sure the name of it but I really like the song.

Noel responds: It’s either the ’60s hit "Happy Together" by The Turtles, or one of the half dozen songs written for the flick by Alice and Shane Keister. Probably "Gee I’m Glad It’s Rainin." Incidentally, Slam Dunk Ernest is scheduled for an August release!

 

Wanted celebration

Web surfers routinely express their enthusiasm for CineSchlock-O-Rama’s fugitive flick picks:

Blaine writes: i can NOT believe my astonishment at stubmling across your fantastic web site/column/heaven-sent "most wanted" list"! i think we may just be twins seperated at birth, given the incredible similarites of movies on our respective "most wanted" lists… wow! i mean "meatballs part II"? easily one of the most underrated movies to come out the 80s – i dream of that sucker finally making its way to dvd! and "ice cream man" with uber-god clint howard? please – that is primo quality stuff there! a full column on "ernest" movies – wow… a man after my own heart. finally – "bill" – i even forgot (burned?) that movie from my memory – now i’m scrambling to find a VHS copy to watch again… unbelievable – thank-you so much for such a wonderful treasuretrove of memories!

Jason writes: I have been doing some hard research in my spare time for (in my opinion) some important and beautiful B-rate movies on DVD. I am beginning to find more people who are sick of the current movie industry and are looking to the vintage shelves for movies with a different atmosphere. Ones that are not limited to VHS format. Your website gave me alot of hope, especially with the words "Victory over VHS Oblivion." Yours is the only one to really hit the nail right on the head! … Thanks for seeking the lesser known B-rate gems for the format of DVD salvation!!

 

Seeking Suspiria

Kevin writes: What, no Suspiria review? I caught this on Sci-Fi the other night (or should I say very early morning) and was surprised to see no CineSchlock-O-Rama mention….Surely this is worthy of a belated review…

Noel responds: Oh, there’s HUNDREDS of such discs that certainly fit my milieu. Far too many to keep up with, actually. In fact, at the first of the year, I restructured my column in an effort to touch on more titles each month. As for Suspiria specifically, well, Dario’s much too much of an ar-teest for my everyday tastes, but I do enjoy his work and that of his Italian colleagues. Good to see the Sci-Fi Channel featuring Argento even in the wee hours!

 

Murder in Coweta County

Susan writes: I’m so glad you liked this movie. It was filmed in my hometown of Griffin GA my senior year in high school. The scenes in the old country church were filmed in my church. I must say that Johnny Cash was much nicer and infinitely more gracious than Andy Griffith (where is Aunt Bea when you need her?)

Noel responds: I saw one of what may be Johnny’s last concerts at the historic Majestic Theatre in downtown Dallas. Hung out at the stage door to get his autograph and, like you say, Johnny was everything you’d want him to be. What a class act! Being a huge Mayberry nut, I’ll just plug my ears about Andy being a crab. You’re right, though, Bea would’ve snapped him into line. I’ll have to get out to Griffin sometime. Would love to get my photo taken in front of the courthouse and other "Coweta" landmarks.

 

Most Wanted sighting?

Dave writes: I was checking out your new "Most Wanted" and I am happy to say that COMBAT ACADEMY is (was) on DVD! It was pressed by Top Ten Media in Asia. It’s Dolby Digital, AC-3 5.1, and ALL REGION COMPATIBLE (catalog number: TDVD-0038)! If you are not familair with Top Ten Media, they are an absolute favorite of mine. They have pressed such memorable titles as Girls Just Want To Have Fun (before the US version), Fraternity Vacation (before the US version), Angel, Avenging Angel, Combat Academy, and others. They are often found in FYE music stores for around $5.99-$7.99. Surprisingly, the picture and sound are FANTASTIC! I have looked for their website for years, but never found one!

Noel responds: I’ve seen those on eBay and a couple Canadian sites. I guess I should add a caveat to the Most Wanted, because I really mean for releases to be readily available to mainstream, stateside shoppers. Get lots of "Hey! It’s available in Region 492" emails. But you’ve got some good news if they’re at someplace like FYE. Haven’t been able to turn it up at any of the typical online retailers, though. Keep an eye peeled.

 

Ay-iy-iy-iy-iy-iy-iy-iy-iy!

Ricardo writes: I read your column religiously. Like you, I’m also a fan of any shlockfest that crosses my way and I consider myself a big enjoyer of what other people call "fine garbage". I recently found out that one of my guiltiest pleasures, "Xena Warrior Princess", is finally getting a decent DVD treatment. It’s up for April 29th, as you know, and I just wanted to say that you are THE MAN to review it. I hope you get to.

Noel responds: Appreciate the vote of confidence. Twenty-four, one-hour episodes documenting the exploits of a towering Frisbee slinger and her perky blonde sidekick? Hard to go wrong there. Not sure I’ll tackle it, though. I’m currently in keister conditioning for Jack Bauer’s next case of the Mondays. But let me know what you think of the Xena box set when you get it.

 

Phibes phooey

Gerald writes: I resent you having placed Dr. Phibes Rises Again! intothe "Rent It" category (whereas you gave the unbearable Time Machineremake a "Recommended" rating). It should be at least "Recommended"for the following reasons: The scorpion scene. The sand dashboard. The snake phone. The clockwork orchestra always moving to a different beat than thetune which is being played. The last words spoken in the movie, which have been sampled severaltimes in modern pop music. Darius Biederbeck’s girlfriend Diana (Fiona Lewis) in her mostlytranslucent nightgown, generally looking stunning. Biederbeck MORPHING into an old man (IN 1972!!!) But most of all: The fact that MGM finally did the Right Thing, went back to thevaults and restored the original soundtrack to this movie (previoushome video versions had a different soundtrack due to rightsissues — among other things, it omitted Vincent Price’s immortalrendition of "Over The Rainbow" from Wizard of OZ. Sorry for the rant. But this if this film isn’t Schlock, what is(besides the Landis film of the same title…).

Noel responds: An unfortunate pitfall of assigning "Ratings" and "Recommendations" is that sometimes you look like a real bonehead. Neither the first or last time in my case. I’m a huge Vincent Price fan, but unlike many, wasn’t as enchanted by the hyper-camp turn of the Phibes sequel. But I certainly understand where folks like yourself would disagree. In penance, here’s a half dozen Price flicks I’d rather watch: The Tingler, The Fly, The House on Haunted Hill, The Fall of the House of Usher, House of Wax and The Last Man on Earth.

 

Join the cult!

Steve writes: I appreciate reading your "most wanted" list, and I’mamazed that I remember seeing many of these movies(I’m not usually big on monster or slasher movies, butI did appreciate Addrienne’s Barbeaus.I noticed that some of the movies on your list are notstrictly schlocky (Time After Time being the primeexample). So perhaps I could get you on the bandwagonto lobby for one of my favorite movies that’s missingin action:Split Image. This was an 80’s movie that starred Michael O’Keefe,Karen Allen, James Woods, and Peter Fonda. O’Keefewas lured into a cult by sexy-sweet Karen Allen. Fonda was the cult leader, and Woods was thedeprogrammer hired by the parents to bring O’Keefeback. I remember Woods being particularly gnarly, andFonda was spacey as the Rajneeshie-like cult leader. It was an interesting movie in that both the cultistsand the deprogrammers were portrayed as both good andbad. I remember it fondly and wish it were availableon DVD.

Noel responds: Gory, gory hallelujah! Sounds like someone’s on the verge of CineSchlocker salvation. Come on down the aisle, Steve. We’re all brothers in the gutter, and remember, the Kool-Aid’s always free. Thanks for the excellent suggestion. I’ll pass it along to the congregation.

 

Reach for more stars

Martin writes: I am very pleased to see Shape of Things to Come finally graduate to DVD immortality. However, Ifeel that you have failed to appreciate its schlocky goodness.To this day I clearly recall seeing this film in thetheatre (it opened at the dollar theatre and didn’t stay long). I have a special fondness for the scenein the early stages of the film where the moon colony is about to get waxed by a swarm of asteroid weapons. The frightened colonists/moon-men rush toLOMAX the super computer and explain the situation.LOMAX’s response – "take all appropriate action". Talk about mind blowing! Those are words to liveby.As our heros race to the evil planet to stop the menace, they see more asteroids on their way towreak more havoc on the already-shattered moon. Thecrew discuss all the super weapons that they coulduse to stop these hurtling juggernauts, but mumble something about why they don’t work and casually letthem pass their cargo of death to the remaining survivors. Translation – no budget for specialeffects.Once on the evil planet, the heros are spotted by evil robots who stand a mile away on a ridge (of undetermined malevolence). However, our protagonists outwit the robots by simply crouching down in the grass and let the robots walk right by them. That’s suspense!In short, H.G. Wells was a frickin’ genius to write this script and you do him great disservice bygiving it a paltry 2 stars. I trust you will correct your mistake and restore Wells’ honor when you review the Criterion edition.

Noel responds: You make a strong case, Martin, but I gotta stand by my review. What I will do is post your letter on the site, because I’m certain there are other CineSchlockers who are right there with you on this one. As for H.G., well, that poor fella gets his name attached to all sorts of big-screen shenanigans. My personal fave, beyond the obvious choices, is AIP’s Food of the Gods. It came out three years prior and features a giant, murderous chicken. Somehow I’m certain Mr. Wells’ long-crunchy corpse wouldn’t have approved of that either.

 

Chiller Theatre Expo

Jenn writes: Just navigating around your website and I must say those are the finest photgraphs and stories from a Chiller show (well, two!) that I’ve ever come across! Very good job, I really enjoyed it and felt like I was right back there. Two more months until the next show!

Noel responds: Chiller is something every genre fan should experience at LEAST once. I’m glad you enjoyed poking through my coverage. So kind of you to say so. I understand the great Angus Scrimm is headlining the spring show. Both he and Linnea Quigley were at the first horror convention I ever attended and remain two of the nicest, most personable folks I’ve encountered at any venue since. Chiller goers are in for a real treat! Not to mention it’s Rowdy Roddy Piper’s first expo! Wish I lived closer. I’m already feeling drawn to the next Halloween extravaganza.

 

Tag me! Tag me!

Jim writes: First off, I love your site. Especially the reader emails section.I had a nominee for your Most Wanted listing. The 1982 Nick Castle directed film TAG: THE ASSASSINATION GAME. This was the one with Robert Carradine, Linda Hamilton, Bruce Abbott, Kristine DeBell and Michael Winslow (of Police Academy) as college students playing the game of tag with dart guns, until Abbott becomes too serious and starts using a real gun.New World released it in 1982. It was very popular on cable in the mid 80’s and got a small video release by Embassy in 1985 (very hard to find today). I don’t know who has the rights for it today. I haven’t seen it on cable or even broadcast TV since the mid 80s. I guess in today’s post Columbine times, it might be hard to show a film of kids at a school running around with guns, but it was a fun film when it came out.Thought I would pass that along for a nominee. Keep up the good work.

Noel responds: You’ve been foraging through my laptop, haven’t you!? Tag’s definitely due for Most Wanted induction. Stay tuned. Some confuse the flick with Gotcha! starring big-screen nerd turned ER grouch Anthony Edwards. And, hey, if you tag an extra copy of the flick, drop me a line.

 

Buyer’s bewilderment

Gerald writes: Reading your Lightning Round, I found myselftrying to purchase two of the titles afterwards. However, Series 7 doesn’t appear to be sold in Region 1 at all… what happened to that movie? Initially, I had a similar problem with Death Bed — which I was alsounable to find, where the IMDB doesn’t even list a DVD release at all and Amazon basically buries it by offering the same DVD twice, once as "out of stock" and oncewith no useful information but alousy price.Incidentally, the film is listed as Deathbed in the IMDB and atAmazon. Before you consider me utterly anal retentive, there is areason for this rant: According to some web sites, the DVD contains adouble-feature — the second feature being Castle Freak starringJeffrey Combs. Have you had a chance to look at "Castle Freak"? Anygood? Are there two Deathbed DVDs on the market or whatever happened?Inquiring minds would like to know. And since you seem to be in theknow… please let me know.

Noel responds: I’m fairly certain that "Lightning Round" column is cursed. Series 7 has yet to be re-issued since Universal acquired USA Home Entertainment, so the flick is "technically" out of print as I understand it. The discs ARE out there, though. Try Half.com.As for Deathbed, unfortunately, I reviewed that from a movie-only screener (which I’d be glad to send you). The distributor didn’t provide any of the bonus materials, or even the cover artwork. I’ve also heard, as you have, that the actual release includes a commentary and Castle Freak as a second feature. This would definitely be in keeping with Full Moon’s new marketing approach. As for Castle Freak, I used to say anything with Jeffery Combs was hard to beat — that was before Feardotcom.One final bit of proof the Lightning Round curse exists. Days after reviewing Vols. 1 & 2, the fellas at The DAMN! Show had to pull both discs because of music rights issues. But, never fear, Yucko the Clown and pals will return!

 

Favorite Nightmare

Todd writes: I really enjoy your website, newsletter, and columns. Like you I have a list of films I would like to see get a DVD release. The top title on my list is "The Nightmare Sisters". I just thought I would breifly bring this movie to your attention. It stars 3 great scream queens: Linnea Quigley, Brinke Stevens, and Michelle Bauer. The scene were they frolic in a bathtub together is classic. The plot is simple. These three ladies are succubuses who fellate frat boys to death for fun.

Noel responds: Right you are, Todd. Nightmare Sisters is really a B-picture of GREAT significance! CineSchlocker idol David DeCoteau was barely 25 when fate smiled and aligned him with those three lovely ladies who’d define the genre as Queens of Scream. But DeCoteau hasn’t slow’d long enough to properly revisit his previous films. I’ve bugged him and the folks at Full Moon Entertainment more than once about a special edition of Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (which obviously inspired the title of my chicken scratchings). His Rapid Heart Pictures is truly among the bankable success stories in fringe cinema today. THREE of his brawny Brotherhood flicks are regular fixtures at Blockbuster. His Voodoo Academy sequel was recently snatched up at MEFED and starts shooting soon. He just finished a stab at the box office smash The Fast and the Furious called Speed Demon with his own unique style that puts beefcake before cheesecake. Personally, I’m looking forward to his giant bloodsucker flick, which as only DeCoteau could, pits a hunky swim team against huge, rubber oven mitts, er, deadly LEECHES! Trust me, David adores his early pictures and is just as anxious as we are to see them polished up on DVD. We’ve just gotta be patient.

 

Blood Feast 2: SE

Mark writes: Thanks for the great article! The master is back! Any idea when they’ll be releasing that to DVD ( I assume it won’t really hit the theaters…)

Noel responds: Funny you should write when you did. It’s been nearly two years, and just recently, I’ve learned Media Blasters plans to release a special edition DVD of Blood Feast 2 in the months ahead! I don’t have the specifics and am playing email tag with Herschell to ascertain his level of involvement. He’s off in Kiev being a globetrotting sophisticate. As you may well know, I’ve also been covering a fan-made flick, Hunting For Herschell, that had its world premiere last month at Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors in New York City. Mr. Lewis, who appears in the film, was among the guests of honor. The initial cut is being called the "Tame Version," as goretuer Joe Castro has signed on to inject even more Herschell-esque grue into the flick. As you know from my on-set report, Joe worked very closely with Mr. Lewis on what have proved to be BF2’s strongest, most memorable scenes. Beyond that, it appears the Godfather of Gore has truly reemerged, as he’s currently developing Grim Fairy Tale (a.k.a. Uh Oh!) with our Floridian friends at Bride of Hamlet. Anyway, glad you enjoyed the story and photos. But don’t count out a theatrical release. Media Blasters routinely books its acquisitions throughout the country.

 

Cyber Snooping

Ed writes: Hey Noel, read your most recent newsletter and your research/exclusive news (at least I haven’t heard it anywhere else) that the rights to A-Pix’s catalog has been picked up by "Ardustry Entertainment" made me very happy, because I’ve never seen/owned "Ice Cream Man" and Simitar’s DVD of "Jack Frost" is long out of print and generally barebones and sucky (although I’m probably in the minority that I like "Jack Frost 2" a lot better). Anyway, I did a Google search to see if I could find out more, but could only find one other mention of the company, from the website: "The independent film was in contract with Las Vega based "Revolution Film Distribution" in 2002 and has reached a new distribution agreement with Ardustry Entertainment (formally known as UnaPix) and is set for a July 2003 release." Interesting quote. Seems as if A-Pix somehow got the money to resurface, and just changed their name. Kinda like how Full Moon has changed their name several times over the past decade (most recently to Shadow Entertainment). Anyhow, keep up the great work as always. Actually, before I go, how were you researching the copyrights? Just browsing through the U.S. Copyright office’s online database?

Noel responds: I’m fairly frequently good for an exclusive bit of news of intense importance to at least a half dozen other people in the world. How Santa Kleinman and I came across the A-Pix development is personally somewhat distressing as it’d been our dizzy dream to craft a "CineSchlock-O-Rama Edition" of Clint Howard’s immortal Ice Cream Man. When they’re not handing out Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, is an excellent resource for tracking down movie information, including rights holders. Detective Kleinman traced the lineage of Ice Cream Man and its A-Pix brothers to a bank legal eagle who, instead of talking business, preferred to have him keep phoning back every two weeks for months. Presumably, we were the fall back option if a buyer for the whole catalog wasn’t found. That turned out to be Ardustry. Still good news. Just not what we’d hoped. As for UnaPix merely changing its name? Nope. They’re history. And, Ed, there’s certainly no shame in holding a special place in your heart for the Jack Frost sequel. I’m certainly tempted to agree.

 

The Once Bitten Story

Justin writes: I just wanted to tell you that I totally agree with your choice of Once Bitten as a Most Wanted title. I do believe MGM has the rights to it so maybe it’ll come out next time they tap their catalog…Here’s a really interesting article from the writer’s website.

Noel responds: I knew I couldn’t be the ONLY fan. Thanks for passing along the link to Jeff Hause’s hilarious Hollywood memoir. Now there’s a fantastic commentary track just waiting to happen!

 

Where’s THIS title?

Patrick writes: One movie that I think should be preppedand primed and released on DVD ASAP isthe 1981 TV-movie classic Dark Night Of The Scarecrow!I remember seeing this when it first aired backin the chilly November of 1981, and to thisday it still creeps me out! B-movie favoriteLarry Drake’s Bubba character is one of the mostcreepy characters ever to grace a TV-movie.(Although I also enjoyed his performance asthe psychotic Santa Claus in Robert Zemeckis’sTales From The Crypt episode "And All Through The House".)And how about the great Charles Durning as a bigotpostman who NEVER removes his postal uniform throughoutthe entire film! Well, he gets his just desserts inthe end with that tractor-trailer. (Hey, Chuck, didyou ever think about running AWAY from it?).I also have never been able to look at garden gnomesthe same way again without thinking of this great film.I was so excited when I saw that Turner South was airingthis on Halloween night, and I got my VCR all readyto go when my cable went out! Darn, should’ve gone digital!Oh well. So, Oh Great Cine-Schlocker, have you heard anythingabout a possible DVD release of this masterpiece? There arebootlegs aplenty floating all over eBay, but this appearsto be a title that Anchor Bay could get its hands on andhave fun with. How about a Larry Drake/Charles Durningcommentary? Or an isolated score maybe? Eh well, maybethat’s going to far. Thanks in advance, love the site,and remember, "Bubbaaaa didn’t doooo it!"

Noel responds: Sounds like a winner! Hate to say I haven’t heard a peep, though. But titles like that have a funny habit of popping up when folks least expect it, so let’s not give up hope. Until then, I’ll alert my trusty TiVo to keep its electronic eye peeled.

 

Zombie Dad

Anthony writes: I have to agree with you about "Return of the Living Dead." I bought that DVD tonight, also. My two oldest boys saw the VHS of the movie when they were younger (I think they were in middle school). For weeks afterward, they would wander around the house saying, "Brains, Brains" in their best zombie voice. Yeah, I know. A lot of people would frown upon my letting the boys watch those kind of movies. However, from the time they could sit and watch a TV show, I explained to them the difference between real life violence (very bad and real, people cry out in pain for their Mommies) and screen violence (people who get paid to play the games that you and your brother play outside for free).

Noel responds: My hat’s off to you for properly schooling those youngsters of yours in the joys of fringe cinema. How ELSE are they supposed to learn proper zombie disposal and the mystical art of nekkid tombstone dancing? That’s one family movie night I’ll bet few of us would miss! I get choked up just thinking about it.

Citizen Toxie Does Dallas

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Dallas Citizen Toxie Premiere

Director Lloyd Kaufman and co-star Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD join Tromaville’s beloved super-human hero in celebration of Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger Part IV‘s illustrious Dallas premiere.

 

Dallas Citizen Toxie Premiere

The historic Inwood Theatre, witness to more than 50 years of memorable achievements in film (and most Troma flicks), proudly hosted the event sponsored by The Dallas Observer.

 

Dallas Citizen Toxie Premiere

Eager fans were already lined up at the box office 30 minutes before showtime. Inwood management hailed the turnout as among their best yet for a Midnight Movie.

 

Dallas Citizen Toxie Premiere

Poster for the night’s main attraction.

 

Dallas Citizen Toxie Premiere

Mr. Kaufman signs a fan’s DVD of the original Toxic Avenger (among CineSchlock-O-Rama’s highly recommended titles).

 

Dallas Citizen Toxie Premiere

My request turns into a frantic, impromptu photo op with Kaufman snagging anyone and everyone nearby to join the hijinks, including super Tromette Jessie, fan Gary Dowell (left) and Inwood manager Cole.

 

Dallas Citizen Toxie Premiere

Upon arrival inside the theatre, Kaufman and his creations are applauded by an anxious audience.

 

Dallas Citizen Toxie Premiere

Lloyd explains that Citizen Toxie is "a shot-by-shot replication of the original classic by Orsen Wells, of course, Citizen Kane. The only difference is that Troma put back into the classic all the lesbian scenes, the head-crushing scenes and the car crashes."

 

Dallas Citizen Toxie Premiere

Yours truly joins the festivities (left). Lest anyone be confused, I’m NOT the one in the skull ‘n’ crossbones skirt, as I simply don’t have the gams for it. Show YOUR support for independent cinema, and have a heck of a time, by attending the next Troma event near you. Send comments to: noel@cineschlocker.net

Roswell: Day One

Day One / Day Two / Day Three / Bonus / Return to Story

Just 500 miles of highway separate yours truly from the adventure that awaits at the eighth annual Roswell UFO Festival.

 

Not only are extraterrestrials WELCOME in Roswell, they’re encouraged to stop in for a reasonably-priced roast beef sandwich with Horsey Sauce.

 

After a restful night at the El Rancho motel, it’s down Main Street to join the celebration of 55 years since the alleged crash of a flying saucer in the New Mexico desert.

 

The Roswell Red Coats and the reigning Miss New Mexico Hispanic Teen kick off the festival with an official ribbon cutting.

 

Thousands will filter through the Alien Market by the fest’s end.

 

Even the European masters aren’t safe from tinkering by E.T.-friendly marketers.

 

The folks from Alien AttraXtion had the widest AND wildest selection of alien goodies. From pricey items like the eerily Real Alien bust ($50) to vials of DIRT from the crash site ($3).

 

Native American musician Douglas Bluefeather regaled the crowds with soaring flute melodies and bizarre tales of "star people."

 

An alien bounty hunter stands guard at the Civic Center entrance.

 

For those not content with just SEEING aliens, this artist was happy to help them BECOME one themselves.

 

The Roswell Daily Record published one of the most famous headlines in the history of print journalism and they’re happy to sell you a full-size reproduction for a couple bucks. Get the headline on a coffee mug along with a green alien "newspaper carrier" for just $10.

 

Representatives of Allies of Humanity were on hand to spread "an urgent message about the extraterrestrial presence in the world today."

 

G-R Books offered a wide variety of fringe publications such as "Space Aliens From the Pentagon," "Vatican Assassins" and "Underground Alien Bases."

 

Perhaps the best treats in the hall were free.

 

More vendors lined the sidewalks and parking lot outside the Civic Center. Fortunately, I was able to borrow some shades.

 

Could this be one of the unfortunates recovered near Roswell?

 

Here’s my favorite booth of them all. From a simple mixture, kiddos could whip up their own space glop.

 

Hippies in space? Tie-dye creations of all shapes and sizes — most, of course, adorned with otherworldly beings.

 

Youngsters steer speedy remote-control ships around an interstellar circuit in a bid for universal acclaim.

 

With inflate-an-aliens dangling front and rear, The Monster Bus offered all the legal thrills five bucks can get you in this small town.

 

Thankfully, I didn’t need to bunk in the famed Coachmen, but ever the kindly gent, Mr. Mathison was gracious enough to let me snap a photo with him.

 

Another Six Days site! This synagogue was featured in the "Belief" segment.