It’s A Mad Mad Mad Monster Party: Part 1

Have you ever been to an event or party where you say to yourself, “Self, this is where I belong. These are my people”? Well, recently VeggieMacabre (me) attended the Mad Monster Party which is a horror event to end all horror events. I am still on a high from the whole experience but don’t feel bad if you missed it, I recorded every minute of the three solid fright-filled days of gory glory.

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I go to conventions often. It seems like every month there is some sort of gathering with a common interest in mind. But usually the conventions I go to are about medical technology or some sort of terrible thing and the countdown to escape for a bar begins the second the plane lands. Actually, when you say the word “convention” I involuntarily punch the person to my left. Most people have learned to keep right on Monday morning meetings.

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Not this type of convention, my friends! It’s hard to be bored when you are eating wings at a bar between a ghostbuster and Jake the Snake Roberts (the real Jake the Snake too). While this isn’t much of an intro to this two-part article, I should really just jump right in.

The hotel was exactly what I expected it to be; completely designed for trade shows and not for vacation. It wasn’t bad but it certainly had a bit to be desired. The biggest issue was that the restaurant sucked and if you wanted to expand away from the mandatory buffet, you had to leave the party and there was no place in walking distant. Needless to say, I had a lot of beer and little food, making conversations with horror celebrities that much more ridiculous. Speaking of celebrities, first up is one of my favorites, Dave Naughton!

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Great cats, what an awesome guy! He was the first guy I met there and since I paid hundreds of dollars and the tip of my fingers for an all exclusive pass (one hour entrance before general admission and a VIP room) it was just him and just a few other stars that were totally set up and ready for nerds like me. Of course I swooned over American Werewolf In London being my favorite movies and he recalled how many hours it took in makeup for one of the greatest “wolf-out” scenes ever put on film. And it was then I noticed on his table of head-shots and movie scenes ready to be autographed I saw his old Dr Pepper ad.

“Holy Dickless Steven, I completely forgot about this commercial!” I will say, in hindsight, I wish I had said a different exclamation. He didn’t bat an eye, but laughed and asked if I was a pepper. When David Naughton asks if you are a Pepper, YOU SAY YES!

And so it is, I am a Pepper. And David Naughton is a great guy. He does, however, seem a bit out-of-place at the Mad Monster Party. Instead he looks like he should be at an engineering convention or something. I saw him later that evening browsing the buffet with the same “meh” face I made. These sort of things must wear on a guy.

That was a really exciting start to the weekend but what came about ten minutes before meeting him was just as memorable. I will admit, I was trying to take a picture of David wrestle with his backdrop poster and while looking down at my phone to switch to the camera, I turned sharp to my left and ran smack into Danny Glover. He’s old, cranky and smells like anger which was worn on the side of my face and shirt for the rest of the day. He didn’t really say anything but his publicist looked like she was going to cry. Of course I apologized and disappeared before someone could throw me out for injuring Murdock and I am sure he soon forgot the event. In fact, friends of mine who met him later that day said he forgot about being in Predator 2 even though his costar, Gary Busey, was at the next table. Busey probably forgot too.

Up next was a trip down the hall where they had an entire display from the movie Jaws. It was an impressive collection to say the least from the iconic yellow barrels to the actual mask Cooper wore that “didn’t have enough spit”. The guy who is the collector charged $5 for photos which I thought was fair. He didn’t say couldn’t edit the picture later and make Mexican Jaws 3D!

This guy is awesome! Ormon Grimsby is an unbelievable horror host from a cable access channel out of Raleigh, NC. I honestly had no idea people where still hosting shows like this but looking at his website, there are quiet a few throughout these great states. Nothing would make me happier than to cruise the channels on a late friday night, bummed from the same old programming, only to find Ormon Grimsby in his chamber hosting The Giant Gila Monster (redux). But that’s why we have the worldwide web.

Ormon is a hell of a nice guy with a great sense of style. Go check him out and his show, Monster Creature Feature, at MCFTV.com. It’s a blast.

If you noticed I have changed shirts you passed the test. I have no clue which day was which other than the first few hours.

The free little museum walk-throughs were unreal. I would kill to have a garage full of these statues with an ever-revolving tour and at the end everyone is invited to a BBQ. Oh, and one out of the statues is a real person and would follow behind the tour and take drink orders to everyone’s shock.

And if there is a severed head around, you just know I will defile it! The people who ran the exhibit where guessing how many more people will do the same thing and probably worse as the night progresses.

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Oh my love. Such an amazing woman and oddly enough I have recently written about her and had no idea that soon we would be in an embrace. The lovely Linnea Quigley or how I like to know as “Trash”. Oh goodness, I ended up confessing my entire boyhood fantasies from all of her B-movie boob-filled sexy slasher flicks and how amazing she is all in a few seconds of spits and sentence fragments. She just got up and hugged me. Even better, she winked at me throughout the whole weekend. She probably did that to everyone but I will tell myself it was just for me.

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A few hours later I saw her at the bar with this guy. Not sure who he is but I will say he nearly ran over me when he got Peter Chris’s autograph on his wrist and was going to get it tattooed. Somewhere. I don’t think there was a studio there so the imagination is still wondering. He also was air-drumming violently while eating mac and cheese later that weekend too. God, I really hope he is famous because he seems too good to be true.

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Ah, the exclusive VIP lounge where the celebrities mix with the pee-ons. I really did expect more. Not sure what more but something more. I honestly didn’t hangout here too long other than to play the Diehard arcade game in the corner.

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But it all wasn’t such a loss. Here we have Tyler Mane from Devils Rejects, Halloween I and II and X-Men. Signing autographs and answering questions like “what it is like to be Rob Zombie’s Michael Meyers” can make a man thirsty. Coffee time! I shared an elevator ride with him that took forever later that night. We had some laughs and I have pictures. You’ll see.

We have the BIG article coming tomorrow. It will have my little piss match with Gary Busey, my buddies and I rocking the night away with Brent from Mastodon, getting seriously choked by Jason (Kane Hodder), taking the wonderful woman from Demons 1 and 2 out for dinner, DJ D singing karaoke, and an awesome time after the show with remaining horror icons as I drive a couple of them to a local freakshow and then lose them downtown only for them to call me at 4am for a ride back. This was a wild weekend. It deserves a couple posts.

 

 

Where Did You Go? Part 17: Return of the Living Dead

Holy cats! It’s been a bit since I have done one of these and to be honest, I kind of miss searching out obscure actors that only matter to me and seeing what they are up to today? I hope no one has died since I have been writing these though. I hate editing, as you can tell from hundreds of poorly written posts. So lets light some fires and kick some poodles, it’s time for another fun ride on the ever lasting blog of…

As you can see I am trying to be more creative with my look. Is it working for you? Oh…be quiet.

I am going to start this little gem off with Miguel A. Nunez Jr. because he has always been one of my favorites and whenever I am flipping through the five million channels and I see him, I stop. Even if it happens to be Juwanna Mann. 

Miguel has been in a lot of movies and television shows since the early eighties. And when I say a lot, I mean he rivals the IMDb list of guest appearances on Murder She Wrote. But of all these television shows and movies, Miguel had mostly minor roles or at best a secondary character that made only a few episodes as “tough guy #2” or “rough punk” so it seemed he had a bit of a type cast issue until, really, his three-year running with the Vietnam War series, Tour of Duty in the mid-eighties as SGT Marcus Taylor and his starring role as Juwanna Mann in the movie Juwanna Mann. But of all these minor roles he will always be Demon in Friday the 13th: Part 5 and Spider in the ever famous and personal favorite, Return of the Living Dead.

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So what is Miguel up to nowadays? To be honest, it looks like he is doing the same thing he has been doing for the past thirty years and that is cranking out roles and minor appearances in television shows with the latest one in 20012. What can you say? The guy’s a pro and clearly one of my all time favorites. Miguel has also produced a few films like Homeboys In Outer Space (not to be confused with his role in leprechaun 4: In Space which he was in too) and even directed a film. Like I said, he’s a pro!

I will say there is no actor out there with a better list of character names. Here are a few:

JoJo, Biscuit, Blackie, Demon, Spider, Sticks, Royal Jackson, Juwanna Man, Chico, C, Delicious, Tiger, Mo Bitches, Maxey Sparks, Goldie, and Jammin’.

While we are on a theme involving Return of the Living Dead, why not include an actor who has helped me annoy anyone around when I watch a ridiculous movie that is “based on a true story” because I tend to yell “YOU MEAN THE MOVIE LIED?!?!”. Thanks to this guy, Thom Mathews, I have had a plenty of guacamole tossed my way.

Thom is an American born actor who I believe was intended to be named Tom but is appears his parents had a lisp. Thom grew up in LA and it seemed natural that a good-looking kid would end up in the Hollywood trade and he had some pretty amazing roles. And by amazing that means I think they are amazing. I also thing hanging tomato gardens are amazing so take that with a grain of salt.

Thom will always be Freddy, the kid who is poisoned with noxious military gas that turns most anything into a brain-craving zombie in the film,  Return of the Living Dead and also as an adult Tommy Garvis who is tormented by Jason in Friday the 13th: Part 6. Both roles make him a legend to me. But after that he seemed to just have minor roles like Miguel Nunez Jr through the rest of the eighties, nineties and his latest role was in 2009.

Don’t you dare laugh

Thom is a lot like many horror actors of twenty to thirty years ago and that he appears in horror cons and sci-fi cons, keeping one foot in Hollywood and the other in his private life. In the real world he is the owner of a construction company in California. His looks are still there though a bit more debonair because we guys can age well. (That last sentence was a filler) I am curious to see if he is still best buddies with George Clooney that is boasted on most data sites about him. It seems George is the kind of guy that would forget the people who were there on the way up. Either that or it’s just me hating him.

You know what? Fuck it. Let’s run with this theme since there are soooo many awesome people in Return of the Living Dead. Linnea Quigley is absolutely wonderful for many reasons. The most notable one is her character Trash who fantasizes about being felt-up to death by old men and finally strips into a full nude scene in ROTLD. (Sorry, that became repetitive to type). Little did Trash know that is exactly what would happen to her. It’s an awesome character who annoys her boyfriend, Suicide, into stating another great line, “you think this is a fucking costume? This is a way of life!”. But Linnea had other great characters besides Trash and went on to become quite the “scream queen” of that 80’s horror genre.

Growing up in Davenport, Iowa, she moved to LA in the late 1970’s and quickly started into her sexploitation role by becoming a Playboy Flasher Girl and blending into a horror scream queen character starting with Silent Night, Deadly Night and then ROTLD. After that it seemed her path was clear and some of her films after that were Sorority Babes in the Slimerball Bowl-O-Rama, Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, Night of the Demons, Blood Church, and Spring Break Massacre. One of my personal favorites is a horror workout video from 1990 and wouldn’t you know it, it’s available on YouTube but I have to warn you it is NOT SAFE FOR WORK!!!! BE WARNED. But it is awesome.

Well what is the Scream Queen of my dreams up to today?

Well, Quigley is still being awesome and acting as a scream queen. I love that ! In fact she has three films in post-production right now that should be released in DVD format this year (2013). It’s so refreshing to see someone love what they do and still do it well, even though it has been thirty years of screaming and being slashed by chainsaw wielding zombies. It’s truly what I consider a master of their craft. I think I’m in love.

So the green hand is pointing to the great actor, John Philbin, whose character is the nerdy hipster, Chuck, who couldn’t get laid in a female prison with a fist full of pardons. Growing up his role was easily over-looked with so many other prominent characters but as I learn about him as a grownup (take that lightly) I see he was also a pro surfer and I believe on the set he was anything but a nerd.

His list of movie roles are much like the others which are not really a main character but as a co-starring character. ROTLD was not his first horror movie but his second with Children of the Corn coming in just a year before. Fast forward a couple of years later and John got to imitate real life as a surfer in films like North Shore and Point Break. He also was a cowboy in a personal favorite of mine, Tombstone. I think he is killed in the OK Corral shootout but I could be wrong. Wait, or was he hit over the head with a pistol handle by Sam Elliott? Either way, that’s a pretty cool resume boost.

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John still acts from time to time and if you pay attention you might see him in a random Law and Order show or an episode of SVU…what ever that means. But the coolest thing is John lives in Pacific Palisades California today and runs a surfing school. He’s doing exactly what he loves and does it well. Oh, and when he was at UC Santa Barbra he was on their surf team. THEY HAVE SURF TEAMS IN COLLEGE??? WHY DID I GO TO MARYLAND?!?!

I think I will end this on a high but low note. Suicide is an iconic punk character in ROTLD and everyone loves him. With classic lines like “You think this is a fuckin’ costume? This is a way of life.” and “Hey, fuck you, ballbuster!”, how can one not? Played by actor Mark Venturini, he was like the missing member of the Misfits. He also, like Thom Mathews, was in Friday the 13th: Part 6 as some psycho who was chopping wood but ends up chopping up a retarded fat kid over a chocolate bar. I really liked that scene. Maybe a bit too much?

Kind of a bummer but there are no current pictures or information about Mark because at the age of 35 he passed away from Leukemia. Way too soon for such a great talent. I hate finding out the death of such a great actor that I have been quoting since I was in high school but that is part of writing “where did they go?”. Sometimes you find out sad news.

Thanks for reading part 17 that ended up having a Return of the Living Dead theme. It wasn’t planned but that’s the way the cookie crumbled. Now go watch it! I am.

The 2010 Annual Fall Beer Review 2

Mike and I are back, talking about beer. (Shocker!) This time we are discussing another Pumpkin Ale and it had a bit of a surprise for us both. Judging from the amount of hits, comments and emails, our last review went better than I had anticipated. So this time we included a little skit. See if you know the movie.

Thanks for watching these. It’s nice to take a Saturday, drink beer and feel like you are being productive and creative. Or acting like a 13-year-old with mom’s video camera. Which ever. The next one will come later on this week with more beers and the much-anticipated Sierra Nevada “Tumbler”. Be excited. And if you’re not….lie to me.

(I still say “um” like 900 times. My college Public Speaking 101 professor is shitting twice and dying right now.)

 

Where Did You Go? Part 8…Halloween

It has been a while since I have done one of these. But since we are less than a week away from Halloween I figured this would be a good time to add a new one. This time it will be all about October 31st. You see, Halloween is all about the scary movies for me. I can take or leave the candy, costumes and parties but when it comes to normal cable TV dedicating 24 hours to ghosts, ghouls and vampires, I come very close to taking off my pants and doing the Twist. Don’t worry, I watch them alone most of the time. So let us start off with one of my favorites.

“Oh! You’re so cool, Brewster!” Yeah, Charley was quite the hero in Fright Night 1 and 2. Even though he was a little high strung and his choice in a girlfriend was a little questionable. But still, his vigilance as a nosy neighbor payed off and call girls are free of death by vampire. Fear of STD’s, rape, murder, kidnapping and incarceration maybe, but vampires…no. Thanks to the heroics of Charley!

Charley Brewster was played by the great William Ragsdale and unfortunately, after Fright Night his career as the main character in film never took off. Sure he was in The Reaping and Big Momma’s House but William’s main bread and butter is TV. He has been in a number of episodes from different television dramas like “Judging Amy”, “Without A Trace” and “Medium”. I’m still holding out for a Charley comeback in a Fright Night 3 but I maybe alone. Here he is today. Actually, he hasn’t aged too badly. Oh Brewster!

The next star spotlight is a great one. There are plenty of films that have obscure actors who get the opportunity to be involved in the most memorable scenes of the movie. In Steven Spielberg’s film, Poltergeist, about a young family that is tormented by ghosts after they inadvertently moved into a house above a cemetery, one of the paranormal investigators is targeted, bitten by something and he had a delusion about ripping off his own face. You know the scene. And that is why we all love Marty.

“You got bit?!?!? Wow!” I have always had a soft spot in my heart for poor Marty. But think about it. In the famous “face tearing” scene, Marty leaves the safety of the den to go, alone, into the kitchen. And what is he about to do? He is going to cook a steak. Really? In the middle of the night he was going to fry up a steak? Make a sandwich, man, I like to imagine the ghosts that were messing with him because they didn’t feel like smelling fried steak all night. Well, poor Marty got the message.

Marty Casella was played by, coincidentally enough, by Martin Casella. That is him to the right and it is kind of funny that I always assume actors with small parts are beginning artists. Not true about Martin. When Poltergeist was being cast, Spielberg himself recruited Martin Casella. At that particular time Martin was teaching drama at a Santa Monic high school so I would say he knew a thing or two about acting.

Since Poltergeist, Martin has only been in a few films like Robocop 2 and Turner And Hooch. He had small roles in each but that isn’t where he excelled. Martin is a celebrated screen and play write and has been in a number of Broadway shows. The one thing that I loved about Martin is that of all the films he has been in, his character has always been his own name. It’s good to have a quirk.

Little Known Fact: In the famous “face tearing” scene, Martin isn’t doing the tearing. Those are Spielberg’s hands. Funny, eh?

I would like to take a moment to thank Ronnie Scribner who played little vampire Glick boy in the made for TV series of 1979, Salem’s Lot. Because of the three minute scene where he floats to the window and bites his brother, I have missed many nights of sleep. Even today at age 30, when I hear a weird noise outside I immediatley think of his evil little smile. God.

Ronnie had quite a career as a child star from 1978 to ’82 but nothing after. It’s funny to read about his ABC morning specials. Do you remember those? They were the hour long shows that aired about 11pm after all the cartoons were over. I think the last time I saw one was when “The Land Of The Lost” was still on the air. Anyway, Ronnie stopped acting and I can only venture to guess that it was because he either grew out of his cuteness or his parents didn’t want him to have a Hollywood life. Regardless, he now lives in Pasadena with a wife and kids. He is a mortgage broker. A mortgage broker that is still in my nightmares.

“Braaaaiiiiinssss” And this is Tarman. When I first saw Return Of The Living Dead I was about 12 years old. Too young to appreciate the campy humor of the film but old enough to appreciate the choreographed walk of the Tarman. I was both disturbed but mesmerized by his skeletal stride. Was it really a human behind all that gore? I will let you be the judge. Watch and see…

It’s hard to imagine that a person was behind all that in our age of CGI but I will remind you that this was back in 1985. Back when movies were fun.

Well, the guy behind Tarman is the great puppeteer, Allan Trautman. He has been in many films but more notably he has been behind the scenes in such great Henson productions like “Muppets Tonight” and the famous early 90’s sitcom, “Dinosaurs”. He received his BA in both Drama and physics and I say that makes for the right character to portray the Tarman.

“Hey creep, speed kills.” You didn’t think I was going to write a “where did you go” Halloween article without including Halloween, did you? of course not! I think I am going to give a little nod and hat tip to Nancy Kyes (aka. Nancy Loomis) who played the cute and sarcastic character, Annie Brackett. And she did an amazing job proving the smart girls were susceptible to death in  horror movies and that girls in the 70’s never wore a bra.

I think Nancy had a close friendship to John Carpenter because she was in Assault on Precinct 13, Halloween 1-3, The Fog, and The Twilight Zone. All Carpenter’s work. I guess her real life sarcasm got her far with him but after 1992 she stopped working on the silver screen. I always wonder why people make the decision to leave from such a full career but I guess everyone has their reasons. She has a family and resides in LA as a sculpture. I think she is still smoking.

“Dude, you getting a Dell!” Remember this guy? It’s Steve, the boy next door that is always trying to talk his parents into buying him a Dell computer. Actually it is Ben Curtis and his small spot as the main face of Dell lasted right up until he was arrested for possession of marijuana. And that sucks too because if you are going to trash your career, go out with crack.

Ben ended up on top anyway ( so to speak). He came out of the closet and is in a very successful Broadway play. It’s gay play call Joy and it had rave reviews. He graduated from NY University and is now the front man to the band WHALE. I’d say getting canned for smoking weed was the best thing to happen to the dude from Dell.

*I don’t know why I included Ben in the Halloween post.*

Well, that is all I want to write. I think this Halloween edition was a little light but I still learned a little. And I hope you did too. Happy Halloween, deary.

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