(Moving this onto the board to preserve the information, because the Fest section is being removed.)B-FEST 2002THE CHARACTERS
Apostic - Still adjusting to his new lifestyle after heart surgery, the enigmatic soothsayer of bad movie land spent his energy giving out ideas for catcalls. Sitting close to Apostic, I was able to hear him quietly mention certain elements that made for great vocal fodder. Smart fellow too; by B-Fest's end I was hoarse, while he could probably sing an opera (not that you've put on weight my friend).
The Brotherhood of Bad Movies - Three, count 'em three, of the guys responsible for that website were in attendance. Interesting to speak with and harried by their first B-Fest experience, I had far too little conversation with them. If you are interested it should be noted that they love Microwave Massacre and also The Alien Prey. I'm willing to forgive them for the latter, but their exuberant support of "Hieronymous" is enough to give a fellow pause. Some movies make necrophilia look modest in comparison.
Chris Magyar - Didn't speak with him too much this year. Uh...
Dr. Freex - Still great fun to shoot the breeze with, his understated manner and advanced age notwithstanding. We did spend an inordinate amount of time looking for some designer beer he wanted to try. Sometimes you've just got to humor grandpa. I wub myd nod bat Freemend!
Jeff - Usually this is the nicest guy at B-Fest. Something happened this year, because Jeff found some young lady sitting in our section of seats and ran her off to another part of the theater. I think she was even crying.
Joe Bannerman - I had the pleasure of seeing Joe when he visited Atlanta. In general we sat around talking about b-movies, enjoying my wife's cooking, and watching b-movies. Really a neat fellow and affable to the extreme. He was kind enough to loan me his copy of "El Topo" so that I could finally get a full gander at that magical film.
Ken Begg - Jovial spiritual leader of the Nation of Jabootu and all around great host. Except for not getting my hoagie. Asked the man for one thing, a sub, and he happily forgot within a few seconds of the request leaving my mouth.
Lianna Skywalker - Spunky worshipper of Jabootu and personal apostle of "Battlefield Earth." Meeting anyone with lots of positive energy is welcome, though her insistence on attacking me was disconcerting. The big Marine taking down the woman who is half his height and reach is sort of a moot bet, but play fighting with people worries me. You see, I spar with other Marines and we know how to fall, tumble, or take hits. Unless they deserve it, I am never out to hurt someone and stuff like this is going to give me an ulcer; at least it will be a fun ulcer.
Paul and Holly - Opening their home to a rowdy group of survivors, these two should be praised for their faith in other human beings. Not entirely deserved by us reprobates either; we did not do a sterling job of cleaning up after ourselves. Many apologies to such gracious hosts.WHAT HAPPENEDPre B-Fest
Leaving Atlanta was little fun. The flight finally departed after a few hours delay and we flew straight into stormy weather. I've been bounced around often enough so that it didn't really bother me, but sleeping was difficult. Upon arrival I had a pleasant surprise; Budget was out of midsize cars so upgrading to an F-150 four door was free. The truck proved to be an invaluable asset in lugging coolers, other gear, and people. Next year one of those is a must. The usual warm greetings at Ken's home were exchanged with those previously arrived. Honestly, I love being around the other B-Masters, but do you give a skinless rat's butt? I doubt it. I'll shower them with brother love at every chance and you can be blissfully ignorant.The Crawling Eye
I was happy to see this at B-Fest. Between the copious amounts of drinking going on and the crazed script it was a good choice to set the mood. Plus, since ominous music accompanies any shot of the matte painting (I mean mountain, of course) the audience started screaming at any mountains. This continued for the next twenty-four hours. Here is my <A HREF="/movies/crawleye/">old review.</A>Gymkata
The movie about a gymnastics/martial arts fighting style that people keep asking me to review. Sure, I will get around to it sooner or later, but seeing the action on a big screen was great. Except for one part: the main character spends lots of time in practice, some of which involves walking up the stairs on his hands. He only wears little shorts and the audience received an unasked for eyeful when Harry Lou Retton reached the landing. Heck, we were even begging for him to fall down the stairs. During the movie the fighting style is augmented by him finding certain suspicious pieces of architecture at fortunate times. The cement horse in town square and bar between two buildings stretched the believability a little. *Ahem*What is Communism (short)
It is bad. I'm going to the lobby to shoot the breeze with Ken and some others. Do we really have to watch this every year?Hardware Wars (short)
Farce about the Force. My Jedi factor has never been high enough to fully enjoy this short. Must be an underdeveloped geek gland. Message From Space
Sponsored by the B-Masters! Dr. Freex and myself were the champions of making this our pet baby. And it is a rambunctious youngster! The film is a Japanese version of "Star Wars" with all the energy of a two year-old. Unfortunately, it has no idea how to spend all that energy. What you end up with is a fantastically loud, confusing, and funny space opera. The situation is not helped by the method of choosing the universe's saviors: magical green glowing walnuts are dispatched across the galaxy. Find a nut in your drink (as was the case of Vic Morrow's character) and know that destiny has chosen you. One reluctant hero throws his away, then spends half the film wishing for another nut. I plan on reviewing this in the near future, so I'll hold off on any more. The rest of the audience had less appreciation of the film than Freex or myself; they started chanting "End, end, end."Wizard of Speed and Time (short)
As I said in of the feature film, the short is probably the most fun you can have without succumbing to the White Witch and her Turkish Delights. It also gives me some much needed exercise after sitting on my tuckus for several hours.Plan 9
The bad movie crowd has just about beat this movie to death, including yours truly. This year had a special surprise in store. During the paper plate throwing spree (whenever a flying saucer appears in the movie) one dastardly plate caught me across the face. Minutes later I felt something running down my nose and found that it was blood - cut right on the bridge. Probably the most ignoble wound suffered at B-Fest and it was to my person.Coffy
Recently watched my newly purchased DVD, so snoozing on and off was in line. Couldn't go entirely to sleep though. The next film involves maximum pain.Can Hieronymous Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?
Upon seeing this bastard thing on the roster I knew, I knew, that it would be the film to break people. I hate it dearly. What you have is a wildly satirical movie about Hieronymous' life in show business. Milton Berle shows up as Satan, while Elizabeth Taylor gets married, then divorced from the main character (at least that part is well rooted in the real world). Also, to compound my pain further, the script calls for people to break into song at random intervals. I made it almost ten minutes into the film before finally losing it and screaming, "You know what movie? F**K YOU!" The latter part of that curse, along with guttural screaming, was repeated at least thirty times before the end. To any of the B-Fest organizers reading: if you play that movie again next year I might well take it out of your hide.The Adventures of Super Screw
Ziggy (poetic license) has a big wang. It gets him into all sorts of trouble. Egads.The Slime People
The B-Fest crew schedules films like "The Slime People" at this time in the morning so that the audience can sleep. I am a dumb Marine, they are college students, Grog bows to their wisdom and closes eyes. The only lament is not seeing the audience reaction to a grown man carrying a goat. Lonely Lady
Zzzzzzzzz. (And I'm not sorry for sleeping through this POS.)Test Tube Babies
Curses! Turns out that the first half of this feature is the best part and I only caught the last twenty minutes or so. At least that involved a couple going to the doctor so the little lady could be artificially inseminated. Her and the specialist go in the back, the husband waits around in the lobby for a while, then she reappears with the doctor smiling and saying "She's pregnant now." Um, for some reason calling it artificial insemination seems wrong; unless they were using toys... Corpse Grinders
Ted V. Mikels has a talent. That would be making me feel gritty. Nominally the movie is about two crooks who are using corpses to defray the cost of making cat food; the downside is that housecats fed the sepulchral mix turn into man-eaters. Actually, they kill more women than men, but you get the idea. What parades before the screen is a horde of persons bereft of morals, good hygiene, or complete mental facilities. It's the kind of film that makes the viewer want to take a shower.Breakin'
Just when you think you are safe - POW! Eighties out of nowhere! Some of the breakdancing was acceptable, but the best part is watching two opponents battle through dancing. Nothing terrible, just watching things wiggle for ninety minutes. Don't forget the requisite "Flashdance" inspired ending either.Midget of Speed and Time
The B&W short's real name is lost in hazy memory (along with its exact placement in the running order, but I think it was here). It involved a number of little people, including a 1/2 scale version of Charlie Chaplin, making a movie. At one point Charlie Chaplin midget started running really fast; combined with the film speed it was a dead ringer for Mike Jittlov's fabled short. I leaped over people to reach the stage and happily ran along with him. It made my day.Battlefield Earth
This film quickly became a favorite of bad movie reviewers and it is easy to understand why. Problem is: with so many reviews out there, writing my own was shifted to the back burner. Sections of the plot are implausible to the extreme. (One little bit of radioactivity can destroy your world, but the transport pads do not have sensors?) It's just, to me, the film is fairly entertaining. One of the few examples of a 1950's quality b-movie being made in recent years. Lianna took to walking around with a sign that read "SSgt Borntreger says this is impossible." She was right every single time.Tarantula
A huge wandering arachnid is terrorizing the desert, but nobody ever sees the blasted thing. It's four damn stories tall! One of these days I'm going to add, "I know what you're thinking. Did he drop all six canisters of napalm or only four?" to that article.The Mummy
I like this film and find Cushing's performance as the slightly lame (his leg don't work so good) protagonist excellent, but taking in a Hammer film after so little sleep is not working. Awoke just in time to watch the finale. The effect of a shotgun blast hitting the mummy is satisfying. Watching this again after getting more sleep is on the "to do" list.Godzilla 2000
The first Godzilla movie to have widespread U.S. theatrical release in a while. Darn right I saw it in the theater too. Some of the matte shots bring tears to my eyes, they are just that good, and the suit looked awesomely fearsome. The stupid alien is what kills the movie for me. First it is a giant blue nose or cough drop, then, when a real foe finally materializes, it can barely move because the suit is too heavy. Pity, with a better adversary for Toho's reigning king this movie would have rocked. Saving grace: the final deep thought is funny as all get out.Post B-Fest
A pleasant mixer, then massive carnage as the outbound travelers start departing (most of them the day after). We did have a chance to visit Superdawg once more, where Chris Holland's camera snapped:
(From left to right. Back row: Joe Bannerman, Andrew Borntreger, Chris Holland. Middle row: Chris Magyar, Dr. Freex, Scott Hamiliton. Front row: Ken Begg, Apostic.)
When the diminished group gathered at Ken's to watch more strange films it was Freex, Chris and Scott Pods of Stomp Tokyo, Apostic, Ken (of course), and myself. The high point, for me, must have been "Dr. Who and the Daleks," though "Master of the Flying Guillotine" was a close second. The prior movie motivated me to locate an online dealer and purchase a red Dalek that speaks! "Exterminate!" Undoubtedly, this will become a favorite monitor toy, along with Godzilla, Gamera, a hydralisk, and Yukon Cornelius.
The trip is certainly about watching my favorite kind of celluloid entertainment (except for a few glaring exceptions) for twenty-four hours, but the real reason is being around so many other people who also love b-movies.LESSONS LEARNED
Not many people are able to recognize Sonny Chiba on sight.
Paper plates are more dangerous than you think.
Ziggy should refrain from trying to rape any gorillas he might happen across.
Midgets are inherently funny (I've known this for a long time).
Dance fighting is a bloodless, yet brutal, way of settling scores.
The human body can survive on junk food for days, but it makes you feel twice as funky.
Purists refuse to put ketchup on their Superdawg.