This year’s Cinema Wasteland adventure started in classic fashion with my journey up to Massacre Video art director extraordinaire Earl Kess‘ abode, wickedly wielding the admittedly limited power of my 97 Oldsmobile Ciera to arrive at my destination at lightning speed. Upon arrival I was greeted with a most righteous high five and a hearty glass of red wine to settle my senses. My tummy was a grumblin’ from all that road rumblin’ , so lucky for me, Earl’s most gracious girl Mackenzie was cooking up a pair of pepperoni stromboli that ended up tasting remarkably like those pepperoni pizza hot pockets, only with a pinch more of that homemade pizzaz. After another glass of wino and a casual viewing of PINNOCHIO’S REVENGE, I perused some of Earl’s newest analog rarities, got real jealous and then crashed out on the couch with the excitement of a kid on Christmas Eve where I dreamed the dreams of a Wasteland bound Videovore who had to be up in 6 hours.
Not the actual stromboli, but it captures the essence quite nicely. It was BOMB.
Up, about and out at by 7AM, we were already making good time even after a faux-breakfast pit stop. As we cruised for the nearly 8 hour ride to Strongsville, OH, Earl’s truck was swirling and whirling with verbal musings of what the weekend might be, set to a soundtrack by Ghost, Die Antwoord and various other groovy tunes only intermittently interrupted by settles of silence for peaceful reflection and / or power naps. You’ve got to prepare body and mind for the epicness that is Cinema Wasteland, analog brothers and sisters, and this year was especially epic for the Massacre crew.
Yes, Cinema Wasteland 2013 marked the glorious Massacre Video re-issue of BLACK DEVIL DOLL FROM HELL and TALES FROM THE QUADEAD ZONE. If you didn’t already know, click here for all the info on it, man! And if don’t know, now you know…
The newest piece of history from MASSACRE VIDEO available for pre-order here. It’s still just so epic, man.
Upon our arrival to the Land of Cinema Waste, we split up to check-in to our respective hotels (Earl and Mackenzie high rollin’ at Holiday Inn and myself low-budget ballin’ at Super 8), and in a flash I was assembling this year’s LM release tapes with none other than Justin Rice of Briarwood and Matt D. of Horror Boobs with Mike Paine of Poisoned Mind and Tony Salamone of Himself already bustin’ in and hangin’ out. After a most impressive assembly line was executed, I hit the table with Louis already dispensing an array of analog and digital glory for both BDDFH and TFTQZ, with Chester N. Turner and Shirley Jones seated directly to his left signing everything in their sights. I have to say, when I first saw them, I was totally star struck. I honestly couldn’t believe that the people from these ultra-cult flicks were sitting like 10 feet from me! It was unreal! I choked back the urge to squeal in sheer joy, and focused on the heady mix of cinephiles and Videovores steadily streaming past the table, beckoning them to take a bite of some LM wares. The evening at the table seemed to fly by and after we shut down for the night, here’s where that inevitable Wasteland haze started to envelop me. You can thank Earl and his cooler full of Sierra Nevada tall boys for my apparently abominable yet utterly hilarious attempts at freestyle rapping on the Super-8 balcony. I don’t remember exactly who was in attendance for my avalanche of awful alliteration and rotten rhymes or what was actually spit, but Justin from Briarwood was thoughtful enough to employ the voice-to-text function on his phone during a portion of my “rap”, and here’s what it captured:
“I’m on please persuade dollars of my shit you dad bye yeah glad and proud Larry’s real sweet Kelly Lynn Sigler bitch is that Alabama don’t ball and get free shit because she buys me shit with Seth”
Not totally sure if that’s what I really said, but it’s probably close enough. The actual freestyle is lost to the moment it occurred and the few who were lit up enough to actually endure it. After reviewing the voice-to-text excerpt, Justin did concede that it wasn’t anywhere near accurate, but he posited that it still had palpable “flow” and stands to be absolutely hilarious. That’s why they call me the mu’fukan GFT, dawg. DAMN H’WHAT UP?!
The LUNCHMEAT digs at Cinema Wasteland 2013. Those googly eyes IS WATCHING YOUUUUU.
Also, in the midst of my personal Sierra Nevada sponsorship / party, it seems I also transformed into none other than seminal 90s nu-metal front man Jonathan Davis. Yes, I even signed an autograph or two as the man. You see, fellow Videovore and professional ball-buster Tony Salamone INSISTS that I am Jonathan Davis from KoRN (sorry – can’t do the backwards jam on this here space, which is a bummer, I agree), so he made me sign a HoHH release like I was Jonathan Davis as a bewildered crowd of three or so looked on. Then, he wants a picture. For free. This guy. So, being me (not Jonathan Davis), I oblige. Lo and Behold, he posts it on the internet saying it’s himself and Jonathan Davis, and BAM! Someone actually thinks I’m Jonathan Davis. Perhaps there really is some kind of resemblance, but I doubt it. I think it was my attempt at the patented Jonathan Davis pain-ridden squinty face that took it to the next level. Thanks, Sierra Nevada, for helping me momentarily mutate into the dude that made Adidas cool (for the second time). And now for your viewing pleasure, it’s Tony “The Don” Salamone and Mr. Donathan Javis AKA Me.
Quite possibly one of the best pictures I’ve ever taken. It’s casual.
Fast-forward to the next morning and after a robustly refreshing shower and a couple of sugar-soaked snack cakes, I’m back at the table slingin’ the LM wares, sluggin’ water and fending off a most heinous headache. But what better way to dissipate those pounding brain bumps than a couple of visits from some truly awesome folks bearing gifts! LIQUID CHEESE main brain Dave Kosanke brought me an excellent copy of the CLUE VCR GAME, complete with the alternate cover! Damn, I needed it! What a cool guy, man. Such a stand-up dude and just so thoughtful. And his indie publication(s) are totally killer, too. Be sure to check ‘em out! And as if one unexpected gift wasn’t enough, here comes another when my fellow Videovore and super-nice dude Matt Ridgeway stopped by to hand me a vintage VCR Repair and Maintenance guide along with an absolutely fantastic homemade mix-tape featuring some super insane sounding shit. Man, I just can’t wait to pop this puppy in the VCR and have my brain bounce around the undoubtedly baffling buffet of analog ecstasy Mike cooked up for me. I can’t thank you enough, man! SO RAD.
Thanks again Dave and Matt! VHS BRETHREN 5EVA.
As expected, Jonathan Davis jokes abounded as the day raged on, and I happily played along because let’s face it: it’s mad funny and I don’t mind signing autographs whether it’s my name or not. But by mid-day on Saturday, after only ingesting some processed sugar and a limited amount of water, my analog cronies and I were STARVING. Holy shit, we were SO hungry. I believe the word is RAVENOUS. So, what to do? Well, order from the local pizza place, of course. A little history on this pizza shop called A Slice Above: we ordered from them last year, and we got this pie called the “Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza”. Sounds pret-ty dang tasty, right? You’re damn skippy. It’s got a FULL burger patty AND two strips of bacon on every single slice, making a large pizza of this variety weigh about 25 lbs. It’s absolutely insane. So, of course, we had to get it again because to a bunch of starving Wastelanders, a twenty-five pound bacon cheeseburger pizza sounds nothing less than perfect. We ordered up this bacon boy again, but we were so unbelievably famished we also decided to go for the “Nacho Pizza” and something called “The Lonestar” which came with steak, onions, mushrooms and some other unidentifiable shit on it. Lonestar was pretty good and all, but seriously, this year it was all about the NACHO PIZZA. It’s the new champion. Seriously, when it comes to pizza, man, this thing is unfuckwithable: Crushed tortilla chips slathered in processed cheese sauce mixed with chunks of beef, salsa and an army of jalapeño slices packed onto a big pile of pizza dough. It was absolutely EPIC. Almost impossible to eat without it toppling all over, yes; but this particular pizza was magnificent to masticate. After this impromptu pizza party in the hotel lobby, we were all feeling a bit over-satiated and nappish, but Justin from Briarwood got hit the hardest after a whopping SEVEN slices of pure pizza ecstasy. Please see below for the aftermath.
Mr. Rice is down for the count, but there is a tinge of glory there, isn’t there? PHOTO BY SLASHER DAVE.
Saturday continued to be absolutely amazing in every way with lots of fellow tapeheads and crazed cinephiles coming through the Massacre table to celebrate the re-birth of Chester’s films and getting all of the goodies signed by Chester and Shirley in the flesh… and before you knew it, it was time for the BLACK DEVIL DOLL FROM HELL screening and the Q&A with Chester and Shirley to follow. Now, at this point, I was exhausted… so I shambled back over to my room with full intention to take a quick power nap and scurry back just in time for the undoubtedly sure-to-be-amazing Q&A. Well, that didn’t happen. I slept. Hard. Right through the Q&A and then some. Man, I was heartbroken. But, from what I gathered, it was a truly amazing and at times emotional experience with standing ovations, incredible anecdotes and Chester belting out the QUADEAD theme! Too groovy, man! Chester also used this particular pulpit to announce his return to filmmaking, which is just HUGE news in itself! So, yes, I missed it, but luckily I had some non-sleepy friends attend and fill me in later. I still wish I could have heard Chester sing in person. Damn you, need for sleep! Here’s a pic from the panel with Louis, Art Ettinger (ULTRA VIOLENT), Chester and Shirley! DIG IT.
As I slept, this happened. THIS IS VHiSTORY.
After all that went down, it was just about time to wrap up the vendor area for the night, so on with table covers and out into the movie-crazed masses we went. This is where I actually got to hang out and talk with Chester and Shirley for a little bit back at the Massacre hotel room, and it was just incredible. To be sitting there with some of my closest friends in the company of the creator and the star of BLACK DEVIL DOLL FROM HELL and TALES FROM THE QUADEAD ZONE, it was absolutely surreal. This, paired with the fact that both Chester and Shirley are two of the warmest, kindest and altogether lovely people made the evening (and the whole experience) an absolute pleasure and a privilege. It’s truly something I’ll never forget, and I’m so grateful to Louis for making it all happen. L.J., we love you, man. We all do.
Look how happy I am!! Man, I was SO happy. One of my favorite pics of all-time.
After the life-changing hang sesh with Chester and Shirley, I ventured back out into the Wasteland wild and got a chance to catch up with some of my favorite peeps that I only get to see twice a year: Rod from VHS IS DEAD was there with a some really groovy tapes, David Movrin slapped me five a bunch of times (and it was awesome), the always awesome RickoftheDead caught me in my, “I wanna buy you a beer!” mode, Fred Vogel gave me one of the nicest compliments ever (which means so much to me), Slasher Dave crashed the pizza party with ultimate style, Nick Rohrbaugh’s smiling face brightened my day, Dave Shields kept feeding me cans of Coors Lite like a champ (I’m in Korn, duh!), it was really rad to meet Vincent Trocki and Adolfo Maldonado in person finally, and The Video Pharmacy crew was prescribing fun all night long. Oh, and speaking of TVP, I got a sneak peak at Dr. Abendroth’s next project, and I’ll quote Earl on this one: “Shit is getting DEEP.” In other words, prepare to absolutely blown away by this next big release. The Video Pharmacy is apt to knock you analog unconscious, man. And, yes, in case you were wondering, Earl and I did indeed erupt into an a cappella version of “Blind” by KoRn with yours truly blasting out the inevitable “AREEEEE YOUUUUU READDDYYYYY”, booming it across the west end of the Holiday Inn parking lot. It was awesome.
The next morning, it was time for some so long, see you later action, which is always bittersweet. I ran the LM table for about an hour or so, and then tucked all the LM stuff into a couple bins, high fived everyone in sight and once Earl, Mackenzie and I loaded up the truck, we were ready to roll out. The ride home was a fairly exhausted one, but undeniably glorious. It’s the time that you get to ride easy and reflect on everything that happened over the weekend. You think about how amazing it was, and that it actually happened, and you just feel incredible. I mean, Louis fucking found Chester Turner AND Shirley Jones and we got to hang out with them. It’s just insane, man. It’s legendary. It’s like a dream come true, only you wouldn’t have dared dream it before. It’s just that fantastic. Only question is, how the hell can we top all this magical magnetic madness next year? That’s an answer I don’t have; and honestly, I don’t know if it even really matters. All I know is that this year was utterly unforgettable, magnificent and monumental in so many ways, and I’m just so thankful that I was able to be a part of it.
I can’t wait to get back to the Wasteland in six months and hang out with some of the coolest people on the planet. Hopefully, I’ll see you there. Until then, feed that VCR every day. And Groove Always.