Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I Said Brrrrr! It's Cold In Here. There Must Be Some Chiller Theatre In the Atmosphere

No, I shouldn't even try a fake cheer. Just know that this past weekend was the biannual Chiller Theatre Convention in New Jersey so naturally, I put on my best pair of sneakers to troll crowded vendor floors and tiptoe around celebrities I wanted to ogle without paying.

This installment was by far one of my favorite experiences, and only part of that involved the toasted coconut pancakes eaten twenty minutes before entering the elegant halls of the Parsippany Hilton. Highlights, plain and simple:

1. Telling Ruggero Deodato that I loved The Barbarians, and hearing his enthusiastic response that the film is finally going to be available on DVD in the near future. Also, I think I referred to Cannibal Holocaust as "beautiful." Thankfully, he did not respond by offering me turtle meat.

2. Telling his table buddy Sergio Martino that I loved Hands of Steel  (I'm sure he gets that ALL the time) and finding out that his next film is supposed to shoot somewhere in Pennsylvania. For some reason, that disturbed me.

3. Buying these:

One of which stars a wrestler from G.L.O.W. (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, for those uninformed), one of which is post-apocalyptic and involves rollerskating, and finally, a film I can't believe I didn't know existed, The Refrigerator, something I'm sure will put Death Bed: The Bed That Eats to the napping hall of shame.

4. Having a strange interaction with Lou Ferrigno (at the urging of Dear Friends Erica and Lisa) where we got a Polaroid photo (taken by a stranger just wandering the room) with the Hulk then spent about 20 minutes trying to decipher what he actually signed. Theories include "Lou the Hulk," "Love the Hulk," "Lou something Hulk," and "Lou Diamond Philips." Either way, I got to tell him that I loved his work in ...And God Spoke, and he smiled.

5. The highlight, by far:

Now obviously, Killer Klowns From Outer Space is in the treasure chest here at the Doll's House so the idea of meeting Grant Cramer (aka Mike Tobacco) evoked all sorts of inner swoons. What really creamed my pie, however, was how gosh darn nice a dude he was. This was apparently Mr. Cramer's first convention outing, and he seemed to be having an enjoyable time, or at least he tolerated my gushing, theorizing, and explanation of why Killer Klowns and The Happening should never share the same sentence. Best of all, my head nearly exploded when I learned that the Chiodo Brothers and Mr. Cramer have been developing a--hold your breath--SEQUEL to what is, quite simply, the definitive cult film of my generation. It seems a ways off but something that actually may indeed hopefully maybe yes indeed I hope I said I hope will get made someday. Sadly, it's not based on my idea for Klowns In Space , but hey, after 22 and counting years, I'll take anything.

So that was my lovely Sunday, capped by the debut recording of a lil cupcake called the gleeKast . Looking forward, I now order you to mark your calendars for the August 20-22, when Monster Mania mashes into Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and I attempt to befriend special guest Tim Curry via my own reenactment of the entire plot of Clue.


  1. This sounds like it was a blast! Creamed your pie? My gracious, TMI.

  2. Wow, Martino alone would be worth it. A handful of my friends went, but I am too far away now and there is much sadness in that.

  3. Thats awesome. Did Deodato say why his new cannibal movie went kaput?

  4. PoT: Teehee, I just can't resist a clownish sex pun.

    Matt: I was sad to miss the Italian Invasion panel, but both Martino and Deodato were very gracious in talking to fans stopping by their table. Are you, by any chance, stretching those long legs to Horror Hound this November? I'm starting to seriously consider making it a mini vacation based on the guest list (not by guest list, I mean fellow Internet phokes)

    Jaded: I did ask him if he was making a sequel, and he said they'd tried a few times but the budgets were just too low. He's working on something else now in Italy and has apparently been steady with tv work.

  5. Oh shit, it's in Cincinnati?! That is more than far enough in advance for me to be able to plan on going, so count me in! In my new location, I have no friends that share my love for movies, so I am clamoring to hang out with some like minded people.

  6. Sweet! I need to get a'plannin. Seems like a lot of east coasters are invading the midwest in the name of horror bondage (wait...is that right?).

  7. Sadly, I haven't been to Chiller in ages. Me and Matt-suka made that trip with our fellow horror-loving friends many times but life has changed much since then. Sounds like Chiller is still the same great time it always was, though. Maybe next time I'll make it down there!

  8. You were definitely missed on Saturday, Emily! As you know, I also had an interaction with Ferrigno, although it ended abruptly due to my philosophical refusal to pay for autographs/pictures.

    Is that a blush I see in your pic with Grant Cramer, by the way? lol

  9. Jeff: Be sure to let me know if you ever decide to make the tri-state journey again! There's always Monster Mania and, for patriotic New ENglanders, Rock 'n Shock.

    B-Sol, I blush at the drop of my name (not shy, just very pink) so standing next to that handsome hunk o'klown hunter should have turned me positively clown nose red!

  10. Sounds like you had a great time at the con Emily. My sister used to have a huge crush on Grant Cramer when Hardbodies came out a LONG time ago. Can't wait to show her how he is holding up now. And a sequel? I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

    I already have a room booked for Monster Mania in August and I can't wait. If you are going and want to meet up for a drink or something, definitely let me know. We can talk Mets-Phils too. ;)

  11. Grant Cramer had lots of topless photos he was willing to sign, so if you're a good brother, you'll keep on the lookout for the future. Also, she can rest assured he's aging quite well. Looks exactly like Mike, only now with golden locks.

    Whoo-hoo Monster Mania! Depending on transportation and schedule, I'll either be there Saturday or Sunday. I've never been to this particular show but I've heard really great things about it.

    And hell yes we'll talk Phillies-Mets, i.e., how the Phils will sail back to the series and we Mets will fight our scrappy fight to beat the Nationals...for fourth place.

  12. Was Deodato referring to THE BARBARIANS getting a US release, or the one that just came out in Italy? It's got some great extras, but the print for the film looks to be a video master, but bears the original title of THE BARBARIANS & CO. It also has the English version, too.

  13. Grrr, he did mention the word 'Italy' when describing the release, so there's a chance it was that one. I was a little star struck plus too shy to ask him to repeat anything (it was a loud room and his accent is a tad thick) so it could've been that. DARNIT. I may have to finally head to some gray market dealing to get me a copy.

  14. I bought it from this Italian site. They do paypal. I've ordered from them a few times now and they are pretty fast...


    The extras are all from back when the movie was made except for a new interview with Deodato which has no English subs. The segments with the Barbarian Brothers are from American television and are hilarious. I never knew they were rappers (or tried to be, anyways). There's also a video(!) they did with Michael Sembello.

  15. Joys and thanks! Big question as I can't currently get to shopping sites: is it a regionalized disc? (fingers crossed and sticky with grease). Cool to know Deodato still has affection for this film.

    The idea of the Barbarian Bros. rapping makes me feel all sorts of warm inside.

    And finally, if you want to hear even more Barbarian talk (and who doesn't) I highly recommend tracing down the Gentlemen's Guide to Midnite Cinema (ggtmc.com) podcast's episode last year on this film. It was actually my recommendation because I figured shirtless Italian stallions would be up their alley, and I was right. It makes for fantastic listening.

  16. It's region 0, but in PAL format. If your DVD player or tv doesn't play the disc right, you could always burn yourself a copy on your computer.

    I would have loved to have went to this Chiller Con especially for Deodato and Martino. I met Lou Ferrigno at a Chiller Con a few years ago.

    And thanks for the additional link. I have seen the Barbarian Bros. other movies, but this is the best and funniest one, I think.

  17. I've never seen any other Barbarian Bros. films! Any particular gems I should check out?

  18. I don't know if I'd call them gems, lol, but there's THINK BIG which is funny in a boneheaded sort of way. DOUBLE TROUBLE and TWIN SITTERS are the only others that come to mind. They were in the Mr. T comedy, D.C. CAB, too, in the early 80's. I am not sure if all of these are on DVD.

  19. Wait wait wait...Tim Curry??? For reals?? When are we going??

  20. Venom, I just watched D.C. Cab a few weeks ago and I tell ya, it felt good to fall in love! Pure cheese at its finest. It's currently on Netflix Instant Watch and worth every minute.

    Lisa-we're so there.