Not one, but TWO Godzillas Stomp “Days of the Dead” Indianapolis!

How do I love thee, Godzilla? Let me count the ways…

For a monster-loving kid like me growing up in the ‘70s, giant Japanese monsters represented the pinnacle of entertainment. Those glorious films were just about the only thing worth staying inside for back at a time when kids actually wanted to be outdoors. Of all the notable behemoths to have ever graced the silver screen, there were none I revered more than the “King of Monsters” himself, Godzilla. The moment his iconic roar filled my living room I’d be transfixed, especially if he was up against my second favorite kaiju, King Ghidorah (sorry, Gamera, but you were a distant third). Back then it never occurred to me that I was cheering on a guy in a costume as I’d fully embraced the idea of giant monsters roaming the earth and Japan just happening to be the only ones “lucky” enough to see them. Adolescence ushered in the grim reality about “men in rubber suits” and it wouldn’t be until years later that I’d gain a true appreciation for them. The reality is, these folks gave rubber-suited monsters an edge in the personality department that many of the stop-motion ones lacked. This was especially true for those played by the quintessential suit actor himself, Harou Nakajima. Nakajima has the distinction of playing the original Rodan, one of the Gargantuas (which I did a retro piece on last year), and Godzilla from 1954-1972 among others. Needless to say, when I learned that the eighty-eight-year-old legend would be attending Days of the Dead’s 2017 Indianapolis show, I knew I had to be there!

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The Night of the Virgin at Days of the Dead!

Terror from Beyond the Daves welcomes our friend and Cinemaphile, Jason Schoolcraft…

The Night of the Virgin (La noche del virgen) is a 2016 Spanish film I’d read about but didn’t get to finally see until this past weekend’s Days of the Dead convention in Indianapolis. The movie was scheduled to screen on that opening Friday night and, after checking out some of their amazing vendor’s (see Dave’s last post), I eagerly made my way to their make-shift theater to see this. Although there was so much going on at Days of the Dead, I was happily surprised to see a small crowd would be joining me for this show. Originally the director was supposed to introduce the film but didn’t make it. I should also mention that shortly after it began we noticed there were no subtitles and, despite repeated attempts from the organizers, we’d all be seeing the film entirely in Spanish. It wasn’t their fault as the director had gotten stuck in transit and this was the only video file he’d sent them. Although a couple of people understandably walked out, most of us stayed and I was glad to be one of them.

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“Days of the Dead” Celebrates its 20th Weekend!

I know it’s not exactly great form here, but I’ve decided to take a break from my Bridgewater Triangle series and dive straight into a new one. I really wanted to wrap that one up before the Indianapolis Days of the Dead convention this past weekend but a broken laptop would dictate otherwise. I’ll definitely continue on with the New England stuff at some point but, to be honest, am eager to put that all behind me and move on to something new. There will, however, be one common thread from that series, my friend Jason Schoolcraft!

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Profile Rock and the Freaky Freetown State Forest!

It was a sunny Thursday morning when we entered the main entrance of the Freetown State Forest in Massachusetts. Aaron Cadieux, the director of The Bridgewater Triangle, was en route and shot me a text asking if I wanted coffee. It was a gracious gesture, especially considering he was already doing me a huge favor just by coming out to meet us. Fortunately, my pal Jason Schoolcraft had already supplied me with my daily caffeine requirement, thereby granting me the necessary endurance to combat the Massachusetts morning traffic and an alleged evil forest. As soon as I turned off the ignition, Jef Taylor was out of the car and checking out the map.

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Pondering the Riddle of the Bridgewater Triangle!

I wasn’t sure when I’d ever make it back to New England until the lure of the other Dave’s recent surprise birthday party (featured in my last post) unexpectedly made it this year. Sure, the timing could’ve been better but I was grateful for a chance to return; not just to see friends but also more of Massachusetts which has intrigued me since my first visit back in 2010. And how could it not? “The Old Colony State” is rich in American history with some of our country’s oldest and most sinister roots stretching just below the surface of its otherwise beautiful landscapes. It’s a State with the type of scenic countenance and coastal charms a Midwesterner like myself often pines for. Yet, despite its allure, Massachusetts unnerves me with a subtle creepiness I can feel if not adequately explain. I’m not sure why that is considering I grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago and am certainly not naïve to my own city’s spooky tales and violent past (nor present I might add). I guess for me visiting New England is like stepping into an old attic loaded with strange relics, musty memories, and a glimpse of an ominous history we grazed over in school. In keeping with that metaphor, Massachusetts is like the old, locked trunk sitting in its darkest corner. This year I decided to pull back some of the cobwebs and use the party as an opportunity to covertly visit and explore a series of sites in Massachusetts that are all part of its infamous Bridgewater Triangle. If you live outside of New England, you’ve probably never heard of it but, for many of the locals, it’s arguably more notorious than Salem itself.

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Happy 50th Birthday David Albaugh (and the story behind that amazing surprise party)!

Would you believe I spent the better part of last week hiding in New England? It all started back in December when my fellow Terror Dave’s amazing girlfriend, Melissa, unexpectedly reached out to me. For those who read our recent posts from Erie, Pennsylvania, you may recall the purpose of that get-together was to celebrate David Albaugh’s 50th birthday (albeit two months early) since I was unable to make it out to Rhode Island in May.

Or at least that’s what I thought back at the time.

Just two weeks after formalizing that trip, Melissa’s message arrived asking for my assistance in throwing him a surprise party. Tracking me down took a bit of work on her part as I was in the midst of a “90 days without Facebook Challenge” and it’s not like she could ask David for my email address, either. I was truly touched by her efforts as well as the kind words that came with them. “You’re the first person I want to talk to about this as you’re so incredibly special to him,” she wrote. “The way he talks about you is so heartwarming to me, and I seriously doubt he’d consider it a birthday party without you there.”

I was very grateful for her sharing that with me. Best friendships are a rare gift that can be a challenge to maintain even when you don’t live a thousand miles away from each other like we do.  Melissa helped me see that despite the distance, we Terror Daves really have evolved into a family of sorts. Whoever this new woman was in David’s life, she gave me some much-needed clarity and I, in turn, would give her my full support. With the two co-conspirators officially aligned, it was time to see to it that David got the birthday celebration he deserved.

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