Sunday, April 3, 2011

Return to Cinema Wasteland A Guest Post by the Blog Tech

The days are growing warmer, the birds are singing louder, the sky tends to be bluer and the earth grows greener: Springtime is quickly approaching. The vast majority of people you pass on the streets are a little happier nowadays; their seasonal depression is abating, they are seeing more pastel colors all around them, and they are finally able to move all their oppressively-bulky winter clothes into their spare closet for another six months.

There are, of course, people with different conceptions of their ideal kind of weather. I am a member of this group of people, and I am sure several of you readers are as well. Sure, I like Spring. However, I like autumn better, and I have to wade through a whole muggy summer to get to it.

This past weekend, however, I got to have my own kind of Christmas in July; I call it Halloween in April. Cinema Wasteland had its annual spring weekend convention, and despite the changing of the weather, for two chilly evenings I could have sworn for all the world that winter was right around the corner.

Some of you may remember that I wrote about the Cinema Wasteland that occurs in October several months ago. This one is pretty much the same deal; three days of horror films, horror merchandise dealers, drunken horror geeks partying like it's an apocalyptic prom after party, and legends of the horror genre showing up and discussing what got them there. And of course, I took pictures.

Ominously, my girlfriend Lara and I approached the hotel. Yes, it's a Holiday Inn, which is a whole different kind of ominous.
As you can see, all of these people were so terrified by the movies that they had to cool their frazzled nerves with gallons of cheap beer.
I feel bad for anyone staying at this hotel who had no idea that this was going on. When you go to, say, visit your son or daughter at Case Western University, you really never expect to be a party to this sort of thing.
An apron that says 'Psycho Kitchen'. Unfortunately I could not find one for my mother.
As we entered the lobby, I took one last glance at the outside world (I was mentally determining escape routes).
At least a quarter of the dealer room is composed of independent film studios looking for recognition and funding. Because this is the horror genre, an independent studio's calling card is frequently its makeup effects. Here we see a guy do...this.
A ghoulie of some sort, I think. In any event, my makeup artist girlfriend was very impressed. Notice how he now matches the Starbucks coffee straw!
What you get when you try to convert a Holiday Inn conference room into a movie theater.
This man had a punk rock muppet. I do not understand the significance, but that may be beside the point,
An assortment of items for purchase.
There were a few booths where people sold some really cool handmade items, such as the doll with the gas mask shown above.
A bunch of actors set up with photos and T-shirts bearing their face and name, midway through a day of constant Q&A. Maybe you recognize Tom Atkins?
One of many booths selling every horror film you could imagine. As much as I am a fan of this genre, however, I will acknowledge that eighty percent of them are probably garbage. That other twenty percent, however, is the stuff that dreams are made of.

The next morning, several punk/metalhead/goth folks make their way to the hotel slowly and painfully after a night of revelry.
I love this photo because I can only assume that the woman to the right is this guy's mom. Look at his posture; stilts aside, this kid is clearly in trouble.
On our way back, we saw this demolished car at a rest stop and I thought I would include it here as an aside.

So now I'm back and Summer still approaches, but there is an alternate horror dimension out there, and every now and then it tears through the fabric of reality and sets up shop at a Holiday Inn near you for a few days!

The Blog Tech.