Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Donald Trump would go over well here too: Cinema Wasteland, October 2, 3 and 4.


[Event preview by Charles Cassady, Jr.]


The Strongsville-centered Cinema Wasteland grindhouse-movie, sci-fi/exploitation and drive-in culture convention happens twice every year – which means at least as often as the Browns win. So which one should you patronize this weekend?
 
Thought so. In the spirit of such movie-memorabilia and nostalgia expos as the Monster Bash in Pittsburgh and DragonCon in Atlanta, Cinema Wasteland is a fan gathering, film marathon, variety show and memorabilia expo at the Holiday Inn Select of Strongsville, devoted to what founder Ken Kish, of Berea, underscores as the B-movie golden era, roughly from the late 1950s to the late 1980s.
Those, affirms Kish, were the glory years of horror, fantasy, science-fiction, Roger Corman, spaghetti westerns, martial-arts, juvenile delinquency melodramas, nudie-cuties, Filipino actioners, Italian "giallo" thrillers, blaxploitation, rock'n'roll and psychedelia, post-nuke car chases, summer-camp sex and slapstick, underground comix-inspired animation and, well, whatever else artists du cinema could make or release quick, cheap and dirty.


At Cinema Wasteland longtime connoisseurs of such entertainment turn out to meet and greet the stars, attend panel discussions, enjoy revivals of the old classics, and  buy, sell, trade and enjoy all that's edgy and oddball in the movies. As an added subtraction, local and regional filmmakers visit peddling their wares, TV horror hosts come from far and wide, hosting live schtick, and Holiday Inn room parties proliferate after hours.

VIPs at this Fall 2015 CW include key participants in LEATHERFACE: TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 3, such as director Jeff Burr and actors Ken Foree, Duane Whitaker, William Butler, Kate Hodge and R.A. Milhailoff. Among the first-time guests arriving are Hammer Studio certified scream queen Suzanna Leigh and golden-age (meaning 1970s) adult-film actress Kay Parker.

A number of cast/crew alumni from George Romero “living dead” movies are staggering in, including cinematographer Michael Gornick and gore-makeup fx specialist Mike Trcic (whose resume also extends to TERMINATOR 2, BATMAN RETURNS and JURASSIC PARK). Not to mention returning genre royalty Kyra Schon, the little-girl zombie Karen Cooper for the original 1968 NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD.

Other guests include Sam Raimi f/x artist Tom Sullivan, horror hosts Son of Ghoul and A. Ghastlee Ghoul and horror comics specialist Dirk Manning. 

Plus expect vendors of unspeakable schlock-film souvenirs and relics on sale, like books, soundtracks, posters (vintage and modern), cassettes, DVDs, laserdiscs and action figures, and marathon film screenings.


Projected ephemera showcased include a Lee Majors double-feature, the TV actor’s little-appreciated construction-worker melodrama STEEL back-to-back with a gimmicky Halloween-themed episode of TV’s The Fall Guy guest-starring Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. THE CLEVELAND HORROR HOSTS CONQUER THE CONS is a local production featuring horror hosts Janet Decay and Grimm Gorrie traveling the movie-convention circuit around Ohio. 1970's THE REVENGE OF DR. X
, also known as VENUS FLYTRAP, is a legendary Japanese-American obscurity about a mad scientist creating a humanoid plant and is said to have been ghostwritten/scripted by none other than the late-career Ed Wood himself.

Also expect a rare revival of the once-sensational X-rated cartoon FRITZ THE CAT (based on the art of R. Crumb) and a marathon of vintage classroom “scare films” addressing the terrors of drug abuse. Plus four back-to-back episodes of the bizarre children’s TV psychedelic spy spoof acted by chimpanzees, Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp. All three constitute vital viewing for those of you voting on Issue 3 this November. 

Cinema Wasteland takes place at the Holiday Inn Select of
Strongsville, at 15471 Royalton Road. Dealer-room hours are Friday from 5 to 10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission at the door is $20 per day, or you can buy at three-day $50 VIP pass. For more info check out the website www.cinemawasteland.com.

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