Did you know that Pennsylvania is a hotbed for Bigfoot sightings? And UFO’s as well?
I didn’t but it was interesting to sit in and listen to a UFOlogist named Stan Gordon plead his case. Ufo’s maybe but Bigfoot? I’m not buying it but it was interesting. Call me a doubting Thomas if you will but as the old saying goes, ‘seeing is believing.”
Now onto the movies. How about Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein with special guest stars making an appearance. Bud and Lou themselves came out for the show. I have loved this film since my childhood and lost count years ago of how many times I have seen it. For me it’s cinema’s greatest horror spoof. Both Chaney and Lugosi in their iconic roles. How can you go wrong. To sit in a jam packed hotel ballroom full of people laughing and reliving the past with Bud and Lou is a special viewing to be sure. Not to mention they had a McDougal’s House of Horror’s set up in the lobby making it extra special.
The movie was followed by film historian and author Frank Dello Stritto taking us back to the influence the film had on him growing up.
From there we were treated to an hour of Three Stooges shorts. Works for me.
Next up was an interesting bonus feature where we were treated to a live fencing match pitting a young girl of 17 named Paisley Adams vs. horror and make up star Tom Savini. Enjoyable to say the least with Savini playing up his bad guy persona (and his age). Paisley came thru winning 2 of 3 matches with the make up genius who has found a home in films by Robert Rodriguez.
Keeping the family atmosphere front and center a home movie of the monster kind was shown that elicited quite a few laughs along the way. It’s nice to see a strong bond amongst the folks that put this festival together.
Back to the vendor room I go……
where even a Gregory Peck original western poster turns up.
I returned to the main movie room to catch a new film which may seem odd but it fit the theme of the weekend quite nicely. From director Kurt Larson comes a story of a young man who yearns for the days when his favorite horror host was on the local station bringing schlock films into ones living room. It’s an independent feature that is more or less a romantic comedy with the horror theme making it a nice fit into the monster weekend.
Next up was a Q and A with long time director Jack Hill and child actress Beverly Washburn who went on to many television roles as an adult as well. The two appeared here mainly for their working together on the cult hit Spider Baby. It’s a film that has continually grown in status since the latter days of VHS. That’s the first time I saw it. It stars Lon Chaney Jr. and even a young Sid Haig who seems to turn up in a fair number of today’s horrors.
Hill showed a nice self deprecating humor at times as he talked about working with Roger Corman and others including a funny story about Lon on the set of Spider Baby. Also about employing Mantan Moreland for the film and how Quentin Tarantino and the Weinsteins helped him get the film back after years of it basically being locked up. Beverly Washburn was a joy to listen to and I really wish she had more time. She worked on so many shows and movies including Shane where she spoke of Alan Ladd and other stars like Kirk Douglas, Jimmy Stewart etc. She also went on about her television work guesting on shows like Leave It To Beaver.
I closed out my evening enjoying The Ultimate Abbott and Costello Tribute Show starring Bill Riley and Joe Ziegler taking on the roles of the iconic funnymen. Fun show and they did a wonderful job including the famed Who’s On First routine.
There were more events following this but I ended it drifting off to sleep before the midnight bash party began and then climbed in my car Sunday morning and drove the 500K home. There were more events on Sunday but with the drive in front of me and a job to show up at Monday morning it wasn’t meant to be.
Perhaps next time as there is another Bash festival in October focusing I believe on Hammer films. Right up my alley so I might be back sooner than I originally thought.
how can you go wrong indeed! lots of fun and finds I see, I’m impressed with all the events, showings and vendors, after checking out their site, glad you shared it with everyone.
It’s a lot of fun for sure. Nice people running it goes a long way. I am hoping things work out for a trip back in October for the Hammer film salute. 🙂