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Archive for October, 2011

If you were looking for Family Oriented paranormal fun….
Most families take day-trips to quaint little places like “The World’s Biggest Ball of string” or art museums, or Six Flags…The Rupps? Well, we recently took our little family to Point Pleasant West Virginia. Home of the world’s ONLY Mothman museum, and site to more UFO activity than Roswell, not to mention some serious battles from the American Revolution, it seemed only natural it would be a magnet to mysterious goings-on and much speculation about both.

Our google-maps route brought us to state route 2, in West Virginia. This was an adventure in itself, ten miles out, we came upon a “Hillbilly’s Hot Dog stand”, done up with as much gaudy trailer park bling as you can imagine. We followed this route, along the Ohio River to Point Pleasant…Going into the quaint town was like entering a place time forgot. Original colonial buildings held offices and stores on either side….We cruised downtown, following the well-placed signs to the Mothman museum and parked. (Parking’s free, by the way) The museum wasn’t impressive looking at first glance, but on closer look, you began to get the feel of mystery everyone seems to have felt listening to the Mothman stories…Paired with reading for yourself handwritten eye-witness accounts from the original four teenagers from 1966. The very friendly and helpful gentleman at the counter was easy with our questions and very accommodating when I asked about Harris’ Steakhouse, owned by Carolyn Harris, co-founder of the Mothman Festival.

Well, not only did we find and eat at Harris’ Steakhouse, we had the privilege of being served by Carolyn herself!! She greeted us like she’d known us all our lives, and sat down with us and chatted like she was our nearest relative. She answered our questions about the mothman, sightings and the festival. She talked about the movie being filmed, and the hauntings on the third floor of nearby Lowe’s hotel. Our food arrived and soon after, Ms Harris bade us goodbye for some errands she had to run. Before she left, we got a quick hug and I had my picture with her, and promises to return during the actual festival ( Don’t think we’ll be seated at the Diner as quickly then, do you?) and we left to explore more of downtown Point Pleasant. We did some antiquing and explored the State park which holds the burial of Chief Cornstalk and “Mad” Anne Bailey, a woman who broke rules and made history. We saw the Silver memorial Bridge nearby and agreed that the strange energy in the whole town was hard to deny. After falling into the usual tourist trappings of t-shirts, Amish jam and homemade candy, we trekked back to Kentucky, fulfilled, happy and a bit sheepish that it was only our first time to this wonderful paranormal hotspot that was always right in our own backyard.

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Scarefest 2011

Most movie franchises are usually toast after the third sequel. But the fourth Scarefest was a roaring success. The theme was a Tribute to movies of the 1980’s, with guests such as Lea Thompson, Zach Galligan, Linnea Quigley, Beverly Randolph and of course, the one and only Elvira. Also appearing were Paranormal guests Chip Coffey, Booth brothers and Zak Bagans.
Walking in past the vendors tables and to the back where guests were signing autographs, it was like walking into my adolescent past. With many familiar faces from well-known movies like “Ghostbusters”, and “Sleepaway Camp”. Everyone enjoyed the atmosphere, even the guests were goofing on each other and just generally having a good time. If you didn’t make it, don’t worry! The crew do this every year, and each year seems to be bigger and better than the last! So if you’re upset over missing Kane Hodder, take heart! He may come back next year…With someone just as awesome!!
Many many thanks to Jeff Waldridge, Patty Starr and the many volunteers and vendors that made Scarefest IV as unforgettable as the rest!

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Did I get to see everything there was to see at Fright Night Film Fest/Fandom Fest?
Oh HEEELLLL no! How could I?? I was only there Friday and Saturday! IT was almost like Disney World, where you had to carefully plan each day, or something you’d want to see would be missed amongst all the awesome.
Fright Night did it again…. Henry Winkler, Larry Drake, JD Fiegleson, and John Carpenter, someone of great importance to the Indy film industry here in Kentucky. Mr Carpenter was a Kentucky boy himself, and now heads major film projects, and I think a great role model for around here. Fright Night Film Fest has a special place in mine and my husband’s hearts as the first convention we ever attended. Dave had bought us a weekend pass as a mother’s day gift, and we brought our son, who was all of nine months old. Our first celebrity encounter was Ms Tiffany Shepis, who became enamoured of our child, toting him about for hours that Saturday. This year, Ms Shepis returned, along with my husband, me and our child. We now sport a beautiful photograph of our nine month old child cradled in Ms Shepis’ arms, autographed. Imagine the story he’ll tell his kids!
And I haven’t even touched on Fandomfest…Voice actors!! Comics!! Books!! Authors!! Shazam!! (No, really) Margot Kidder!! Role-playing games! Video Games!! I’m not kidding, any kind of Nerd acoutrement was there to make even the most straight laced sober business man chuckle with childish glee. I’d also like to take a moment to recognize the hard workers and volunteers at Fright Night and Fandom fest who helped everything run smoothly, who took care of the guests and celebrities and made sure everyone knew where everything was.
Despite the great heat, numbers were good, people were happy, everyone seemed to have a good time. There was the masquerade ball, the screenings, and not to mention the independant parties (one of which I believe my sobriety was a serious casualty) Guests were in good spirits, Celebrities were kindly, and you can bet you won’t catch a celebrity at Fright Night Film Fest/Fandom Fest being discourteous, or unkind to the guests, no matter how I er….they gush about them. They just won’t book those kind of people, on account of this is for the fans. I keep hearing that mantra and after being an attendee since 2007, I have to believe it. I don’t think ANYONE went to bed earlier than five am, or slept much that night,(Well….ME, but that is because of a stray shot of absinthe and is another story entirely) just because everything was just GOING ON. It was an exciting weekend and the Convention come-down was pretty massive for everyone I’m sure. Guests, take heart! We will be back together for FRIGHT NIGHT FILM FEST/FANDOM FEST 2012/APOCALYPSE EDITION! Thanks again, to everyone who made this weekend epic. Promoters, volunteers, guests and FANS.

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CONtamination 2011

I really hate to pass judgement on conventions based on who they get. That’s such a small part of why you should go. There’s the comraderie, the booths chockablock full of vintage movies, mementos, collectibles and unique clothing and accessories.
There’s the independant filmmakers, who seem to have a bit more imagination than most hollywood writers making ten times my salary to entertain us. THEN there’s the special guests, actors, actresses, directors and people who have fueled our imaginations, dreams and nightmares.
This year, in St Louis Missouri, CONtamination had everything you need to make a successful weekend at a convention. The convention guests showed up in full force, many in costume, to enjoy themselves, get to know one another and live out fantasies of shaking Jason Vorhees’ hand, or hunting down zombies. Yes, they had a version of laser tag that had the players hunting zombies! Highlights this year included actors from “Boondock Saints”, “Friday the 13th” “Nightmare on Elm St 5” and Roger Corman’s rarely seen “Fantastic Four” reunion, including Jay Underwood, whom old timers like me would remember from Disney’s “The Boy Who Could Fly”.
One particular guest I think bears mentioning is Airik Brumitt, graphic artist for Alice Cooper. You know that half-skull design Alice Cooper has been using for so many years? I myself got to gaze upon the original sketch for which it was based. It was Mr. Brumitt’s first convention, and I sincerely hope not his last. There were signed portraits to sell and he was extremely friendly and personable.
Also on hand were local talents, Stacy and Ben Dixon, and Kayla Perkins, Kentucky actress and model. Convention guests were delighted to find the guests personable and accessible, going to lunch at one of the hotel’s many surrounding resteraunts you could be next to Kane Hodder or Tony Todd. And they’d be happy to chat with you. I thought the hotel was well-chosen, comfortable and pretty user friendly for a first-time visitor to St Louis. All in all, many thanks to the promoters and co-ordinators of CONtamination. Another successful year and we look forward to next!

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