Monday, March 28, 2011

Dope Island meets Cinema Wasteland (Cinema Wasteland Movie and Memorbilia Convention takes place April 1st through April 3rd)

[The Cinema Wasteland Movie and Memorbilia Convention takes place Friday April 1st through Sunday April 2nd at the Holiday Inn Select in Strongsville, OH.]

By Charles Cassady Jr. 

Some of the wares you might find for sale at Cinema Wasteland
The Cleveland International Film Festival heads into its second weekend with its lineup of whiny documentaries about global warming, interminable nonfiction portraits of dysfunctional artists/musicians, the occasional musical-comedy about Balkan genocide and some fine, formal adaptation of some masterwork of Latverian literature whose title roughly translates as "Watching Paint Dry" (with special guest supporting actor John Malkovich). How to recover any remote affection for celluloid after that? The Cinema Wasteland Movie and Memorabilia Expo, that's all.

No pretensions, no wine-and-cheese receptions, no debating the symbolism in Fellini. Cinema Wasteland is the zombie-eating-brains-child of Berea cult-DVD impresario Ken Kish. It's a twice-yearly convention, film festival and memorabilia sale devoted to the simple truth that a whole lot of moviedom's past, present and future - arguably the most fun part - is exploitation junk. Drive-in movies! Cult-horror gore! Softcore porn! Drecky low-budget comedies about big-boobed cheerleaders! Chainsaws! Slashers! Grotesquely fetishized Japanese schoolgirls and giant radioactive Tokyo-stomping monsters (who will become funny again, I promise, if not at this CW, then the next one in the fall)! Quentin Tarantino approves this message.

Every Cinema Wasteland blends VIP guests meeting and greeting the fans with memorabilia dealers, journeyman filmmakers hawking their stuff, panel discussions and continuous film screenings. Among visitors this year is Italian auteur Ruggero Deodato and some of his CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST cast, a partial cast and crew reunion of Sam Raimi's original EVIL DEAD, including makeup artist Tom Sullivan and his traveling gallery devoted to the f/x of the Michigan-made splatter epic. Character actor Michael Berryman (the original THE HILLS HAVE EYES) and makeup artist and filmmaker John Buechler join other eminences from the cinema of Radley Metzger, Wes Craven, George Romero and Lloyd Kaufman.
Expect to hear a lot about the late action-heroine Tura Santana (FASTER PUSSYCAT, KILL KILL!). And maybe toast the legendary Kentucky horror host and memorabilia dealer Hayden Milligan AKA I. Zombi, deceased in 2008, and Dayton’s Dr. Creep, deceased 2010.

Cleveland Movie Blog editor Bob Ignizio with "The Ladies of the Evil Dead" at a past convention. Two of the three are back again this time.

Plus there are dealer tables and continuous film screenings, from old favorites like IT - THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE and THE WILD ANGELS to cutting-edge camp like the short Sascratch Vs. Afrodesious. It happens at the Holiday Inn Select, 15471 Royalton Road, starting Friday, April 1, at 5 p.m. until 10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. until late, and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Admission is $20 per day, or a
three-day pass for $45, available Friday only. Sunday admission is a reduced $15. For more info and to order tickets in advance, log onto

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