“Why do good people like bad movies?” B movie director, Bret McCormick, not only poses this question but gives us a 250-page answer courtesy of Texas Schlock: B-Movie Sci-Fi and Horror from the Lone Star State. In fact, this book presents such an incredible homage to Texas’ low-budget films of the ’60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, he made this lifelong Chicagoan feel like he’d grown up there. Not that you have to be a Texan nor seasoned movie fan to appreciate this as it’s the perfect resource for ingratiating younger fans to these movies while inspiring us older ones to nod with understanding.
When I reached the booth where Svengoolie was scheduled to sign, it felt like deja vu. Just like the day before at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) he had a long line of fans camped out early to meet him. The key difference was that today’s would precede a special Q&A “Svengoolie Spotlight” panel which I was excited about since it was a C2E2 first and on a rather special occasion. Saturday, April 7, 2018, marked seven year’s since the Chicago-based icon has been on national TV – an unbelievable accomplishment in horror host history. His autograph line seemed to bear the fruit of this event as some of the fans waiting were from Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, and Arizona. It was a not so subtle reminder that though he may still physically reside in Chicago, he’s no longer exclusively ours.
10:20 am – We’re back in the main convention hall of the Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) at McCormick Place. My daughter, Leia, and her friend, Rachel, take off on their own while my other daughter, Jade, heads over to Cosplay Central with me. This zone, designated for cosplayers, has space for their elaborate costumes, photo backdrops, and even panels on this topic throughout the weekend. The first thing that caught our attention was a tall monster that looks like a composite of Sil from Species, Giger’s ALIEN, and the Balrog from Lord of the Rings! I have no idea how someone even begins to create something like this let alone moves around in it! If you have any doubts about cosplaying being a legit artform, then I strongly urge you to come to C2E2 for some clarification. Continue reading
The 2017 Rondo winning Scary Monsters Magazine just dropped their latest issue #108 and it’s so thick (178 pages) it could qualify as a book – and a Best Selling one at that! The theme is Outer Limits and I can honestly say it had an impact. The weekly sci-fi series aired several years before I was born though I was familiar with its famous intro. This issue peaked my interest and inspired me to actually get my money’s worth on HULU for a change and start watching. I’m currently on episode ten and plan to finish the whole series by summer.
I was looking over April horror films and made note of a VOD/found footage movie called #Screamers (the hashtag is part of the title). I was surprised when a couple days later the head honcho of terrordaves.com asked if I was interested in reviewing it and enthusiastically dived in!
National horror host, Svengoolie, has been a staple of the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) for the past seven years and I’ve faithfully seen him at each one. This year would be no exception, though his role would expand to an additional session on Friday’s opening day. In addition to greeting fans again on Saturday, he’d also be the subject of a “Svengoolie Spotlight” panel – another Svengoolie/C2E2 first. His crew graciously allowed me to hang with them both days in an example of mutualism at its best – I get the inside scoop & photos and they get an extra set of hands and guy built like a bouncer while he’s on the floor. The biggest challenge is just keeping up with them!
Friday, April 6, 2018, 10:15am – My daughters, Leia and Jade, and I arrive at McCormick Place just after the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) begins. This year they had security checkpoints set up like the ones they have at airports which created some delay. While approaching the metal detectors, I notice a Wonder Woman cosplayer in front of me holding a sword and a guy behind me with a laser gun. I swear this is the only Security Screen in history where folks walk in proudly brandishing weapons!