Sunday, October 26, 2014

Horror Festival Is A Weird Universe

I could barely contain my excitement at getting a photo with the outstanding Zach Galigan, movie star known for “Gremlins” (1984) and “Waxwork.”  Zach is still stunning. What a life!  One day you’re making movies for Spielberg and 30 years later you’re getting a $5 bill from Dave Zarkin to have your photo taken by a stranger.

Felix Silla of “Return of the Jedi” was a featured celebrity at the Bloomington Crypticon.  The “exhibitors” and discussions were outstanding at my first spooky convention devoted to horror movies and related media.

Adams Family and Star Trek Next Generation actor Corel Struycken was kind enough to pose for a guy in a Spooky World t-shirt that Evon Minelli gave me in 2006.  I need to wash it.

Craig Muckler, producer of ”Microwave Massacre,”  is just one of the many crazy stories at Crypticon in Bloomington last night.  The movie is several years old and features the tag line:  “they came for dinner to find they were it!”  Comedian Jackie Vernon starred in this epic.

“Friday the 13th” star Betsy Palmer dismissed the script for this movie as a piece of bleep and did the movie because she needed $10,000 to buy a car, according to Adrienne King who played Alice in the movie.  King, who spoke at Bloomington’s Crypticon horror event Friday Oct. 24, 2014, said expectations for the movie were low, the script was written as the movie was being made and the production ran out of money twice during filming.  
King’s favorite scene in the movie involved a snake and a machete.  Palmer knocked King down in a scene where the Alice character is slapped.  Despite the rough stuff, King said that Palmer made her a better actress during the 10 days Palmer was on location in New York State with the 1979 movie.
King is a painter and operates Crystal Lake Wines (a homage to the movie) in Oregon.


Chris Costello of Forest Lake is dedicated to Halloween, classic Universal Pictures Gothic horror films and building a front yard fright scene.  He spoke with boyish enthusiasm Friday night at Bloomington’s Crypticon fright festival.  Costello is featured on YouTube in a Halloween documentary filmed by a teenage fan.  You can find him on Facebook’s Thursday Night Fright Night movies for kids.

Thursday, October 02, 2014


When I first saw the 1939 “Gone with the Wind” it was in 1967 at the historic Ada/Egyptian Theater in Boise so I hadn’t much of a clue about the story before I saw it again (in HD) for the second time yesterday in a nearby mall cineplex.  In GWTW’s four hours we see Scarlett O’Hara (played brilliantly by Vivien Leigh) go from flirty school girl to a money-grubbing capitalist.
Scarlett is the strong take charge mistress of Tara, the family estate and cotton plantation, as the men are slaughtered on the battle field and her father goes insane.  In the first two hours, we learn of the horrors of war and anti-hero and river boat gambler Rhett Butler points out the futility and stupidity of the Confederacy going against the industrialized north.  The Butler character is a free spirit beholding to no one but himself who states the obvious throughout the film:  Scarlett is a self-centered opportunist and engages in marriage as a profit-making venture.  
1930s heartthrob Clark Gable had to be Butler with his winning good looks and sex appeal, but Ms. Scarlett is not swayed but his charms and yearns for the gentile manners of aristocratic Ashley Wilkes (played by British actor Leslie Howard.)  Her obsession with Wilkes and then her realization that Butler loves her leads to her sorrow but comes too late in her story.  Butler walks out the door, proclaiming:  “Frankly, I don’t give a damn.”
A post-war melodrama is the focus of the second two hours and is somewhat of a let down given the heightened drama of the previous two hours with the burning of Atlanta.  

African American actress Hattie McDaniel received an Oscar for her performance as the slave maid “Mamie” but was not allowed to attend the premier in 1939 in an Atlanta, Ga., theater in less enlightened times.  GWTW portrays African Americans in racial stereotypes associated with the 1930s and 40s in this country.  The movie is being shown during its 75th anniversary in theaters nationwide.  A PBS documentary on the war describes in greater detail the horrors of the Civil War with corpses of dead soldiers rotting in the fields.  I found it amazing that after 75 years an audience exists for any movie, but this one is special.