Though the prospects of trying to drink Gunnar Hansen under the table sounds like just about the coolest thing in the world, I was forced to practice temperance thanks to losing my designated driver and the diligent, drunk-hunting police officers patrolling the backstreets of Columbus (thanks a lot, police). I grabbed a single, lukewarm Yuengling for $5 and shied away from the negative influence of Doug Bradley and his brightly colored drinking shirt.
Instead, I ducked into a Suite adjacent to the vendor room to check out the marathon of edited-downfeatures condensed to single Super-8 tapes. Among the reels screened were Coffy, The Exorcist, Straight Jacket, The Birds, and a special 3-D version of Creature From The Black Lagoon, which I especially geeked out over given the fact the film was originally released in 3-D, but has never been restored to it. The Creature Super-8, while never quite working to the full effect, at least gave a taste of the 3-D the film was originally going for. Given the fact that each film’s 20-minute edit stripped down each feature to nothing but action, the marathon was a fun, breezy experience – except for the fact that Super-8 projectors generate more heat than the Goddamned sun, causing a mini-heatstroke for anyone brave enough to enter the room, beer in hand. I left around the minute I felt the Yuengling sour inside my stomach, which was approximately half way through.
I ducked into the Coney Island Rock ‘N Roll Show to cool down. Held in the panel room, the show is a hybrid of burlesque, freak, and that spanned from 10 p.m. into the wee hours of the morning. I stayed long enough to catch a taste of the freak show, which had a certain low-budget charm to it, with sword swallowing (seen above), balloon animal-ing, eye piercing, glass shard dancing, and, yes, penis exploding (thanks to a tin can and some firecrackers). Not every aspect of the show worked, but the participants were game, and the audience, while small, dug the punk rock attitude of the proceedings.
Following the freakshow, Tigeriss (above) took the stage, a horror-and-blues infused, stripped-down rock ‘n’ roll band with catchy hooks and sultry vocals. The band’s performance was great, taking a fairly detached crowd and enrapturing it within the span of two or three songs. Of all the treasures uncovered at the convention, Tigeriss’s show was the most exciting discovery and a band I will continue to watch.
After they departed the stage, I surveyed the drunk and rowdy crowd around me and I decided to duck out for the night. When I got back to the room, I fell asleep almost as quickly as my head hit the pillow.
Sunday – March 25, 2012
I returned Sunday to find a much mellower, if not thoroughly hung over group of horror fans picking over the scraps of movies and merchandise left over from the previous day’s craziness.
I spent the majority of the day killing the last of my petty cash with help from Synapse, DVD vendors, and an awesome trading card booth called Don’t Eat The Gum [email@example.com].
I ran into Nathan Baesel (not pictured above) at one point, and thanked him for his contributions to his panel. We walked around for a while discussing the merits of the original movie, and I told him about its impact on thestore I once clerked at. He also agreed to do some promotion through Yell!, so hopefully that will come up in the next few weeks. All I can say, though, is Baesel is a thoroughly cool cat that seems to really enjoy his status as Leslie Vernon.
After the Baesel experience, I considered going for more autographs, but finally decided against it – until I came upon J.D. Feigelson’s booth.
Who is J.D. Feigelson?