Saturday, March 5, 2011

March Odds and Ends

It's time to clear the inbox of all those various bits of flotsam that are spilling over onto my already-cluttered desk.

First up, magazine news:

* The upcoming issue of SCREEM magazine will feature my review of Joe Spinell's final film, The Undertaker, along with my interview with American Grindhouse director Elijah Drenner.

* The latest FilmFax (#126) includes a lengthy piece (part 2 of 2!) on the making of Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster.

* Horror Hound's November issue (released during the Cincinnati convention) included a retrospective on Joe Spinell's Maniac, as well as an article on Oklahoma-based video pioneers VCI.

Speaking of Horror Hound, that mag's upcoming Horror Hound Weekend convention in Indianapolis (March 25-27) will feature a star-studded horror host tribute to New York movie host Zacherley (who appeared in such regional oddities as Brain Damage and Geek Maggot Bingo), featuring appearances by Joe Bob Briggs, Rhonda Shear, Count Gore De Vol, Akron's Son of Ghoul, Sammy Terry, my Kansas friend Gunther Dedmond, and Columbus, Ohio's own Fritz the Nite Owl (more on him below).

Attendees can meet the cast of The Boondock Saints, along with Corey Feldman, Tom Atkins, Barbara Steele, Ken Foree, Greydon Clark and Don Post.

* Fangoria, meanwhile, celebrated its 300th issue with a look at the 300 best horror films of all time (as selected by staffers), which included a ton of notable regional horror flicks, highlighting the importance of backwoods filmmaking to the genre during the late 20th Century: Alice, Sweet Alice, Basket Case, The Blob, Blood Feast, Brain Damage, The Brain that Wouldn't Die, Carnival of Souls, Death Dream, The Evil Dead, Friday the 13th, I Drink Your Blood, I Spit on Your Grave, Last House on the Left, Let's Scare Jessica to Death, Maniac, Night of the Living Dead, Street Trash, and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Not to mention the almost-but-not-quite regional flicks like Martin, Sisters and Squirm that made the list, along with newer indies like The Blair Witch Project.


* First up, one of Al Adamson's only bona fide regional flicks, the bizarro Carnival Magic (1982), made in conjunction with Teenage Strangler producer Elvin Feltner down in North Cackalacky. Once thought lost, it is now available on DVD (and Blu-Ray!) from the fine folks at Cultra/Virgial Films and packed with extras.

Code Red canceled their release of God's Bloody Acre because of technical issues (but not before a number of copies made it onto the market and eventually to eBay), then announced it would be released later on a double feature with another Wayne Crawford flick, Tomcats, and then announced again that it would be released on its own sometime this month. Which is pretty much the most action that film has seen in decades.

Code Red IS releasing Harry Thomason's not-quite-as-interesting-as-you-remember-it Encounters with the Unknown on a double feature with When Time Began later in March, and has announced they'll be releasing Mardi Gras Massacre (Louisiana), Michael de Gaetano's Haunted (Arizona), and the berserk bigfoot classic Night of the Demon.

Virgil Films, meanwhile, is supposed to finally deliver on the nutty made-in-Georgia hick flick Poor Pretty Eddie on April 26. The Nesting is due out from Blue Underground on 6/28.

Shout! Factory also released the allegedly made-in-Hawaii Demon of the Paradise which, it turns out, was actually made in the Philippines, which makes slightly more sense.


Don't forget to cast your ballot for this year's Rondo Awards. We weren't nominated for anything this year, but some mighty fine folks we know were, including Daniel Griffin, The Drunken Severed Head, and The Good, The Bad and Godzilla.


Horror fans who grew up in Central Ohio were weened on to the scary stuff by the one and only Fritz the Nite Owl, the smooth voiced movie host who ruled the roost here from the early 70s until he was unceremoniously dumped in 1991. Fritz has been off and on TV and local radio for more than 50 years (!) now, and of late he's been hosting live film events at the Grandview Theater once a month. The March film is the Kansas-lensed public domain classic Carnival of Souls. See it on March 19 at Midnight.

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