Crawl or Die

From the Mind of a Monster


Monster Presents: Memoirs Of A Con, Part 2

Con-Tamination, June 25 2011, Day two.

Blinded by the light, wrapped up like a douche, uh nanananana night.... I think the sun comes up earlier in Missouri than in Oklahoma. Like a switch in both D and my heads, right at 5:30am on the dot we are wide awake with the sun blaring into the hotel room. We sat there pissing and moaning about the early sun, and nothing to do. The free Continental Breakfast wasn't going to start until 7am, and we knew the others wouldn't be awake yet.

After showering we decide to go for a walk around the hotel, maybe meet others that are going to the con. Nope nobody. Finally the doors open to the "Restaurant" for breakfast. Much to our sad tummys all they had was cereal, hard boiled eggs, and something that resembled doughnuts. Yum yum... McDonalds! Luckily there was a Mickey Ds right down the street, so it wasn't a big deal to grab some breakfast burritos. After we eat we head back to the hotel to pack up our stuff to move on to the Sheraton Chalet where the con was and our next room was ready for us. After we check out of the roach motel, we stop and pick up Clyde, Chanel and TZ and head to the con. Yay!

We go in and go to the front desk to let them know we are there, and to have them let us know when our room was ready. Luckily they already had a room ready for us. Since the con hasn't started yet we grabbed our gear and took it to the room. At this point, let me tell you about the elevator. The slowest elevator I have ever seen. The building is only 4 stories, and it literally took 10 minutes for it to stop for us. Needless to say we only took the elevator when we had our gear, or were too tired to take the stairs. By the time we were unloaded and ready, the con had opened for VIPs... us. First stop, on the Lobby Floor, the Boondock Saints signing was to begin in 10 minutes. I grab my roommate's DVD I was going to get signed for her and set my phone to camera. Went and sat waiting for the Saints to show... 10 minutes... 20 minutes. At 20 minutes late David Dela Rocco comes in, stops, says he feels like he's on LSD, and promptly walks out the back door of the room. That gave me a good laugh! He sounded just like his character in the movie. Due to unforseen circumstances the other Saints were unable to make the show this weekend.

I go ahead and buy a couple pictures to have signed in case they do show up later. While I'm waiting to pay for the pictures, TZ comes in and tells me that my presence is requested downstairs on the con floor. First thing going through my mind is, "I must have broken something", even though I hadn't been down there to this point.

The first table I go to is the one ran by Eric Stanze, creator of Ratline. Really cool guy to talk to. I did unfortunately miss seeing Ratline, but I do hope to see it soon. After that I went into the main room in search of Mark Tierney, Terry Alexander, and Gary Klar of Day of the Dead. D takes me over to Mark and says, "Here's the Monster!". He jumped, came over and shook my hand! He then grabs Terry and tells him who I am, and he yells "MONSTA!!" in his Jamaican accent! I thought I was going to die. I looked around for Gary. He had gone up to his room for a break.

After talking with them for awhile, I decided to go back to the room and grab my DVDs to have them signed before we started working on FearCast stuff. First one to get signed... Candyman Special Edition, by the man himself, Tony Todd. Tony was an amazing guy. Nice as could be.

Next to Tony was the one guy I was scared shitless to talk to, but really excited about as well. Kane Hodder. He who is THE Jason Voorhees of Friday the 13th. Yeah, that guy. He was awesome! He got a call on his cell just before signing my DVD and excused himself. I waited a few minutes, and he came right back apologizing for the interruption. I asked him for a picture as well. Unlike Tony, he had no handler, and didn't charge me a cent for the picture. In fact Tony was the only one I met who DID charge.

This is where it gets a bit scary for me. As any of you know who has had a pic taken with Kane Hodder knows that he puts his hands around your throat for the picture. What I didn't know it that he doesn't play around. He's really choking you. I was having KillSaw taking the pics for me. Somehow he got my camera set to video instead of picture. So Kane is squeezing my neck, my face is turning purple, my eyes are starting to close. Kane asks KillSaw why he isn't taking the picture. He's freaking out because it wont take. Finally Kane let's go of me long enough for me to catch a breath and correct the camera setting. As soon as KillSaw had the camera back in his hands, BOOM, Kane's huge hands are wrapped around my throat again. Picture taken, I thanked him for everything and took my camera back. It seemed like forever, but the video was only 18 seconds long. Yeesh! Choked out by Jason.

I walk down the row of celebs, several I've never heard of, and several I wasn't interested in for my own reasons. I finally get to Bill Johnson, the man who played Leatherface in my favorite Texas Chainsaw movie, Part 2. He had his back to me when I stepped up to his table and when he turned around he jumped! I scared Leatherface! I ALMOST felt ashamed. He was really cool and signed my copy of Texas 2 with a great quote: "EAT THE GIRL!" So awesome.

After leaving his table I see that Gary Klar is back at his Day of the Dead table. I go over there and another fan is talking to him. Up to this point this was the highlight of my day. The guy he was talking to said, "I heard you guys doing an interview on some show Monday night." Gary said, "Oh yeah that was a great interview! We all had a blast!" At that point I cleared my throat and showed Gary my FearCast press badge. I swear I think I gave the man a heart attack! "MONSTER!!!!!" Grabs my hand with both of his and almost ripped my arm off shaking it so much. The guy he was talking to asked me if it was me on the show doing the interview. He listens to our shows! He asked me to take a picture of him and Gary, then he asked Gary to take a picture of us! That was awesome!

I talked to Gary for a bit then went off to find the crew. They were all huddled around G. Tom Mac's table. I'm then introduced to one of the coolest guys I've ever met. If you've never heard of him, Google "Gerard McMann" (It's spelled incorrectly, He did that on purpose, it's actually McMahon). Heard of him yet? Yeah, he wrote and performed "Cry Little Sister" for The Lost Boys soundtrack. Don't think of him as a one-hit wonder though. He has written some of the best music ever over the last 30 years.  Look it up! He was gracious enough to give us all signed pictures and again invited us to his concert later that night. To which I reply with a resounding "HELL YEAH!".

After leaving G Tom Mac, I decide to take my swag up to the room and get ready for interviews. Before I hit the elevator, I see the D4 table. Darrin Dickerson is standing there watching the crowd. He's the Creator, Director, Producer, and star of the film. We had been talking on Facebook about his film, so I was totally stoked to get a copy. It was great to finally meet him in person! I bought a copy of D4 and he was cool enough to sign it and a poster for me. Review will be up soon for that!

I finally make it up to my room (yeah, the elevator took forever again). I grab the camera and go back down to get some footage of the crowd. I extend my tri-pod to it's full height, and do an aerial view of the crowd. We get a few bumpers for the show, then decide food sounds like a good idea. I don't recall the name of the place we went, but it was some of the best food I've ever had. It was kind of a pizzeria meets a bar. I got 2 slices of New York Style pizza with my faaavorite toppings. 2 slices equaled half a large pizza. I was in heaven.

After we ate, there was about an hour and a half until the G Tom Mac show. We use this time to mingle with the other guests and just kind of take it easy. During this time I had the pleasure of meeting Thomas Churchill. I picked up a sweet deal from him, his newest feature, Emerging Past. He gave me a copy of the poster, and soundtrack on top of it! The soundtrack is mostly done by the other guest, G Tom Mac! At this point we notice the dark clouds starting to roll in. At about 8:30pm we find out that the show is at another hotel and starts in 30 minutes. We take off out to the SUV and bolt over to the venue. Come to find out it's the hotel D and I stayed at the night before.

We get there about halfway through the first opening band's set. We stayed for about a song and a half before we all decided to go outside until they were done. When the next band came up I decided to go to the bar and grab a beer. This will be my first journey into the wonderful world of 6 point beer. Oklahoma beer is a watery 3 point. What a whole new world! It was quite tasty!

The next band blew my mind. A local group called Hollow Point Heroes. They were absolutely amazing. After their set we went and talked to a couple of the band members. They gave us a copy of their Demo Disk. It has only left my CD player once.

Now for G Tom Mac. I'm embarrassed to say that I was one of those who only know of "Cry Little Sister", but as the show progressed I found that I knew the words to almost every song he played. Come to find out he actually wrote all of these songs that I've known for years! There was one new song that grabbed my attention. It's called "Secret Of Oz". Really an amazing song. It's also on the Emerging Past soundtrack I got earlier!

After the show we go outside. The gods decided we were way too dry and proceded to pour down extremely heavy rains. D, TZ and I ran out to the SUV (we had taken Clyde nad Chanel back to their hotel earlier), and got completely soaked to the bone. For some stupid reason TZ wanted go back to the hotel. I'm sure he's still kicking himself in the balls for that one. We drop by a convenience store and grab a couple 6 packs of beer and head back to the Con hotel. OH my my my... the debauchery has begun without us! At this point I won't go into any details. Let's just say it involved a rave, half naked goth girls, beer, tornadoes, and Don King.... yes... THAT Don King. Bed time at 4:30am, must be up at 8. GAH!! G'night! Zzzzzzzz......



Monster Presents: Memoirs Of A Con, Part 1 

Con-Tamination, Friday, June 24 2011, Day one.

Talk about a frantic day! I got up at 8:30am with full intentions to have everything done by 3:00pm. So much to do, so little time! Started the day wanting to wash my clothes for the trip. My water was turned off! Arrrgh!! I grab all of my laundry and head over to my Mother's house. While that's running I head to the nearest drugstore to pick up a few essentials. That went fine. When I leave the drugstore, I see my back tire is flat. I've been needing to get that replaced so I go to a nearby tire place. That went pretty well also. After I go pick up the wet clothes to dry at home, I call the water company to complain about my lack of water. I get the typical runaround BS. So I wait for the water guy.

In the meantime, I get everything packed and ready to go. I just need to take a shower, stop by my day job to pick up my Day Of The Dead DVD from Buffalo, gas up, and get the fluids in my SUV checked. They finally show up and get my water back on an hour before I need to go pick the crew up at 3. I take a quick shower. Speed up to my day job, grab the DVD, speed more over to the gas station, then to the Oil Change place. This is where the world comes screeching to a halt. I order the premium check up, which is Oil change, and fluid check. This started at 2:45. It shouldn't have taken much longer than the 15 minutes I had left. Much to my horror...I didn't get out of there until about 4pm. An hour late.

With an annoyed D calling me asking where I was, and a pissed off me pacing around the oil place, the trip was starting out a rather unpleasant one. I finally make it over to D's place. Tech Zombie and D are pacing outside waiting for me. We throw all of the gear into the SUV, and we're off! go pick up Clyde and Chanel. We got them loaded up and we hit the road.

As we enter Missouri we notice something... PORN! Everywhere there's porn! Fireworks too! Cracker Barrels as far as the eye can see!! Seriously there had to be at least one porn shop and fireworks store every other mile, with a Cracker Barrel about every third mile 'til we got just outside of St. Louis. Once in St. Louis we started to see other signs... WHITE CASTLE!! I for one had never had White Castle, so I was quite excited to have it before the weekend was up.

We stopped about 4 hours into the trip in a small town about 100 miles from the Hotel that the Con was held. We were all hungry, and running a bit low on gas. We stop at a little quicky-mart type place and all go inside. Much to our surprise, the rumors were true! THEY SELL LIQUOR IN CONVENIENT STORES IN MISSOURI!!!! After filling up we go next door to a Dairy Queen. Yet another treat none of us have had in a long time. Unfortunately this particular place did not make a good impression to the fine state of Missouri. The workers were slow, and the other patrons were quite rude.We decide to take our food and go, instead of sitting in the Mean ol' Queen. The food was really good though!

We are now on the final leg of our trip. As we get off the highway, the GPS starts telling us where to go. This is the only point where we got lost. It told us to turn right onto a particular street. Well there was a sign that had that street name, but where we needed to turn was really about a block away. Easy to find the right way. All of a sudden we see the beacon in the sky...the sign for the Hotel. The con was held at the Sheraton Chalet in St. Louis. We got there at about 10pm. Only about a 5 and a half hour drive. Not too shabby.

We all go into the Hotel to see what's going on at this time. KillSaw met us inside and gave us our Press Passes for the show, and we headed to the Con floor. As we are walking towards the stairs that go down to the con, we see Kane Hodder (Jason in Friday the 13th 7-8 as well as a crap-ton others) hanging out in the hallway with a few people. I gave him a nod and wave as to not go completely fan-boy on him. We reach the stairs and much to our disappointment, it was closed. The only thing going on was an all night Vincent Price marathon. As fun as that could have been, we were all exhausted. The first night was sold out at the Chalet, so we had to pick other hotels. D and I picked a cheaper one about half a mile down the road. Clyde, Chanel, and TZ stayed at a slightly more fancy Double Tree about 2 blocks from ours.

Before we went to our hotels, we decided to check out a Missouri Quik Trip. We go in and it's exactly the same as the ones we have here, except for one thing... LIQUOR! SOLD AFTER 9pm!! I quickly grabbed a small bottle of Jagermeister and a 2 liter of Rootbeer. This was at 11:30pm. WOW! My readers from other states may be asking "What's the big deal Monster?" Trust me. Alcohol after 9pm not at a bar is a huge deal for an Okie.

We drop Clyde, Chanel, and TZ off at their Hotel and go to ours. Check in and throw all of our stuff on one of those fancy luggage carts and head up to our room. 3rd floor. The elevator creaked and shook, and was all around scary as hell. As we step out we look both ways to see nothing but reeeeeaaaally long hallways with no decor. Just white walls with doors every few feet. Real Shining type stuff here.

We finally get to our room (which was at the end of one of those really long hallways). D of course can't get the door open. I think he has some sort of electrical pulse that kills key cards. I get us in and we scope out the room. It was ok. Firm mattress, but the pillows really sucked ass. I hate soft pillows. D and I polish off the bottle of Jager pretty quick and by about 2:30am we finally go to extremely restless sleep. Or at least I did. I think his bed was better than mine. Ugh. G'night!!




Monster Presents: Trilogy of Blood

This is a film written and directed by our good friend Charlie Ruckus! Trilogy of Blood. This is a short film, which seems to be a promotional film for the band Deadneks. This one starts with three lovely ladies driving down a country road. They come across a hitchhiker. The girl in the back begs the driver to pick him up..."It's really hot out here." Finally as they pass the guy she concedes to pick him up "as long as he doesn't touch me, he probably smells like gasoline and cow shit!". As they are taking the guy home, he invites the girls to a Barn Party for being so nice and picking him up. At this point we discover that the hitchhiker is the singer of the band! They have a brief music video cut. Deadneks is a rockin Psychobilly group with a stage presence to the likes of Revrend Horton Heat meets The Misfits. Check them out, they rock! This film stars Brenna Lee Roth, Elysegirl, and Natisha Gardiner as the three victims. Great death scenes all about. Fingers chopped off, throats slit, hammers to the head...great stuff! Followed by some punktacular canibalism and sex! The cinematography was pretty good. A large throwback to classic grindhouse films. Sadly amongst all the greatness is one nagging thing. The audio levels were quite wonky. Certain sounds and voices overwhelmed the rest of the scene. This may have been done on purpose, I'm not sure, but it was a bit crazy in surround sound. Otherwise this was a really great flick! I'd like to see more from this style, with a lot more hot chicks, and a lot more blood... and a lot more Deadneks!!!

Until Next Time, Stay Scared!



Monster Presents: Good in the Garden of Evil

Yes, the classic battle of Good vs. Evil, Light vs. Dark, The Hero vs. The Villain. We have seen it since the dawn of man. Hell, we saw it before then! I'm sure there was some Good cells and Bad cells in the primordial soup. I can't remember back that far, so I really don't know. We have seen this through the great age of the written word. Music is written with this very thought in mind. In our day to day lives we witness good and evil on the news and in the papers. Of course being a Horror Film critic, this contest is pretty much the basis of everything I see. Let's look at a few of the more common mash-ups (Insert spoiler alert here, watch the damn movies!).
Freddy Krueger vs. the kids of Springwood, Jason Voorhees vs. kids that like sex and/or drugs, Michael Myers vs. Baby Sitters. Hmm. Looks like kids make pretty good Heroes right?
What happens when the good guys are bad or vice versa? Good guy thinks what he's doing right, but only makes the situation worse. Let's take another look at A Nightmare On Elm Street. Yeah, Freddy was a child molester and murderer. The parents decided it was a grand idea to take the law into their own hands and fry the poor bastard, letting him loose to kill the kids in their nightmares throughout seven films, a mash-up movie, and a piss poor remake. Good job guys! Now did they know that this was going to happen? Probably not, but did they do the right thing? I'd say not. That goes into the whole morals thing which is scary enough. On the flip side is poor little Jason Voorhees. He was simply an innocent child who died from an accident. The bad guys were the Camp Councilors...oh and Mommy. Mother Voorhees decides to take revenge on the Camp Councilors. Now is this Good vs. Evil? Evil on Evil action? Either way, it spawned an even greater Evil. Jason! His reign of terror on young people has lasted through ten movies, a mash-up.... and, yes... a piss poor remake. 
Now I want to look into a scenario when the lines between good and evil a blurry. Clive Barker's Nightbreed, based on his book, Cabal. I'm a bit of a fan of this film. Ok that's an understatement. This is by far my most favorite film of all time. This is a classic view where the roles are reversed. The monsters are the good guys and the "Naturals" are the bad guys. On the flip side of the coin, the 'Breed have a hunger for human flesh. They have laws against this, but since when does that stop the fringe of any society? Don't we all have certain hungers? I want a steak and baked potato right now! The humans in the film seemed to feel like they were just protecting the world against the evil horde. I can think of other bad guys in history that thought they were doing the same thing. 
As we see there are several instances where the good isn't good at all, and that bad may simply be misunderstood. As a special PSA, everyone take a look at yourself in the mirror and think.... "am I really as good as I think I am?"

Until Next Time...Stay Scared!


As Originally Published in Darkfaery Subculture Magazine - June Issue


Monster Presents: Hollywood Vs. Independent

Let me start this off by stating this article is strictly opinion of the writer. 
This is my rant on the quality of Horror films coming from Hollywood in comparison to the 
Independent Film Makers. If you haven't noticed Hollywood is having a really hard time 
coming up with anything new and original in Horror. We are seeing a mass pile of remade 
bullshit that is either scene for scene exactly like the original, or they change it so 
much to try to make it original, and it loses the flavor that made it popular enough to 
remake in the first place. Now I will admit that there have been a few remakes that I 
enjoy, but none more than the original. Take Texas Chainsaw Massacre for instance. The 
original showed little to no blood, and the majority of the kill scenes were well placed 
and hidden. The remake had to kick it up to placate to the numbness we have to violence 
in this day and age. The original was filmed on a budget of about $83,000, had a cast of 
at the time nobodies, and considered an independent film. Hollywood kicked the budget up 
to about $9,200,000 and had an all star cast. That's not a necessarily bad thing, but I 
felt it kind of took away from the feel of it. Which leads me to the next point. Casting. 
For Independent Film, most all of the cast is either unknown actors, or family and 
friends. It feels more personal to me. These people do it for the love of the art and 
craft, not a big paycheck or fame. This isn't an article about remakes though. I'll stop 
there. Big Hollywood. What can be really said about it? Throughout the history of film 
there has been the amazing to utter shit. The same can be said about Independent. Citizen 
Kane and Gone With The Wind to pretty much any Teen Angst film in the 90's... oh wait. 
Horror. F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu and Night of the Living Dead, to pretty much any Teen 
Angst Horror film in the 90's. Yeah... the 90's pretty much sucked from Hollywood, with 
only a few roses in the field of weeds. A few notable roses include Candyman, Scream
Silence Of The Lambs, Nightbreed, and Jacob's Ladder. Those were great films, and that's 
just few. 
Independent film has been scattered throughout all of the Hollywood gold in all 
the years of film. Full Moon Pictures has been the cornerstone of Independent film since 
1989 with classics such as the Puppet Master Series, Trancers, Subspecies, and a plethora 
of others. Many of what we would all consider classics are Independent films as well. 
Night of the Living Dead. Yeah, that was Independent. Which is why you get a copy of it 
every time you get a sample of Cheerios or laundry detergent in the mail. That and it's 
public domain. If you look at most any Horror DVD 50 Pack, almost all of those movies are 
Independent films stuck in public domain hell. Unfortunately it's only been within the 
last few years that I've grown to appreciate the world without a budget. Meeting with 
many people that say "Oh hey I made a movie, wanna see it?". My first thought was, "Oh 
great, another asshole who thinks they can make a movie." I was right. It just so happens 
that these people CAN make movies. Recent finds and loves are Cory J. Udler's Incest 
Death Squad 1 and 2, Chris LaMartina's President's Day, and Patrick Steele's True Nature
All amazing films in their own right, and deserve so much praise. It has been asked many 
times, does a big budget mean a better film? All that have been asked this say a quick 
"no". I agree. I say this to Hollywood. Save some of that big money you pay to make 
lackluster CGI effects and to pay for overrated, over paid actors and actresses, and 
throw some of that into the hands of the people who write and create film for what it's 
meant to be. Beautiful art and entertainment.
Until Next Time...Stay Scared!
As Originally Published in Darkfaery Subculture Magazine - March Issue
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