Last weekend I embarked on a journey back to Kenosha, Wisconsin to attend Dr. Destruction’s Sidekick Reunion Party. Joining me was Illinois Public Access host, Count Gregula, along with his wife – The Countess. Kenosha is about 2 hours from my Chicago suburban home and I certainly didn’t mind the company. We chatted about a range of topics, most of which revolved around the upcoming Horrorhound convention which is a major event in the horror hosting world. Countess, for her part, was snoozing in the back seat reserving her strength for the big event.
The upcoming Horrorhound Weekend in Indianapolis is really a quadruple threat. You have celebrity guests, an immense dealer room, the horror hosts, and Maskfest! This is not to suggest, however, that any of these need be exclusive. While Maskfest could easily be a convention in its own right, horror hosts can be quite crafty themselves.
I hate to say it but I feel bad for the youth of today. The only entertainment they know are video games, movies loaded with CGI effects and weak storylines, and music by artists that need to digitize their voices just to sound good. These childhood memories are not the kind that as adults, they will look back on and cherish.
Hollywood has currently run out of original ideas and feels it is easier and more cost-effective to remake so many of the movies, that when I was a kid, were just amazing to behold. The only original movies to be seen these days are actually imported from other countries (and you can bet that if these movies have any success, Hollywood will remake them too).
One of my fondest memories as a child of the 70’s was every Saturday afternoon watching the CREATURE DOUBLE FEATURE. This was pre-cable when watching shows such as this meant roof antennas or rabbit ears. It also meant that viewing my favorite monster movies was dependent on the weather…the clearer the weather, the clearer the signal.
This weekend, the city of Chicago is buzzing with the opening of their annual Auto Show taking place Feb 11-20th at The McCormick Place. This is the nations largest show of its kind and always attracts a loyal group of gear heads & followers interested in checking out the newest models and novelty cars. One year I recall sitting inside a replica of the tour jeep used in 1993’s JURASSIC PARK. Regardless of past participation, I must confess that I am neither a gear head nor a loyalist. Without the necessary cash to purchase one of those gleaming gems, my self-esteem demands that I remain home with my road-worn, “beater.”
I’ve been a horror host fan for as long as I can remember. Thanks to syndication in the early 80’s, I was able to get my first glimpse of a host via the Son Of Svengoolie from Chicago (playing out of a station in Boston). I soon also became aware of Elvira: Mistress of the Dark but, during this period, this could only be accomplished late at night, weather permitting. On the rare event those rabbit ear antennas did draw the original Movie Macabre the picture was extremely snowy and virtually unwatchable (though I STILL did). With the introduction of cable television, I was finally able to enjoy such hosts as Grampa on TBS’s Super Scary Saturday, Commander USA on the USA Network, and Morgus The Magnificent on WPIX.
The company that produced VIRGINIA CREEPERS: THE HORROR HOST TRADITION OF THE OLD DOMINION is now working on a sequel of sorts on The Bowman Body. VIRGINIA CREEPERS was released in 2009 and after a month of release it was nominated for “Best Independent Production of 2009″ at the Rondo Awards. It was selected by special invitation to the James River Film Festival in 2010 and one of only two independent film s selected at UVA’s academy qualifying Virginia Film Festival (see www.virginiacreepersmovie.com).