Monday, September 24, 2007

FANTASCI: THE NEXT GENERATION


Hey Superfans,

Those of you who have been coming to the library for the past several years are probably familiar with the sci-fi/fantasy convention FantaSci which ran from 2002-2006. Yours truly created/coordinated that event for five years, and had an absolute blast doing so. Last year the program saw a record attendance of close to 4,000 visitors! While it was great to have so many fans come out and support FantaSci, it also brought home the realization that the event had outgrown the library . . . FantaSci became a victim of its own success! When I announced that the library could no longer host the event, a dedicated group of fans asked if they could don the jersey and carry on. I was thrilled to see their enthusiasm, and (with tear in eye) handed over the reigns. Their efforts are about to come to fruition . . .

This Saturday and Sunday, FantaSci 6(!) will take place at the Hampton Roads Convention Center. It will feature a variety of programs, guests, groups, and vendors as it has over the past five years. Of particular note, Battlestar Galactica’s Apollo himself, Richard Hatch, will be on hand to offer an acting workshop and greet fans. And never one to resist a shameless plug, your Team Fantasmo will be there on Saturday evening to host a “very special” edition of Fantasmo. We’ll be screening a couple of episodes of John Kenneth Muir’s The House Between (specially edited for FantaSci by John), and premiering the rollicking trailer for the second season of the show (you don’t want to miss it). For those of you who haven’t experienced THB yet, Rob and I worked on it the past few summers. It’s a sci-fi/horror epic masterpiece without compare! We’re scheduled to go on around 9:00 p.m. Saturday evening, so we hope to see you there!

For more information about the event, be sure to check out the Web site at: http://www.fantasci-hrcc.com/. For pictures and a brief history of FantaSci, they’ve also put up a great page at: http://www.fantasci-hrcc.com/about.html.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Episode 30: The Price Is Right

Well, our Bandit trilogy night is behind us, and it certainly will live on in our memories for a long time to come (especially part 3, no matter how hard we try to erase it : ) For those of you who missed it, it was quite an experience. After viewing Bandit 1, which everyone thoroughly enjoyed, Rob and I were feeling a little guilty about subjecting the crowd to parts 2 & 3. As such, we gave the audience an alternate choice in the form of The Blues Brothers (in keeping with the car chase theme). In a shocking development, the audience voted almost unanimously on watching Bandits 2 & 3. It takes something special to surprise this member of Team Fantasmo (e.g. The Apple), but I was left speechless. While I was utterly impressed by the bravery and reckless abandon of the vote, I was simultaneously horrified that we were actually going to have to soldier on through Bandit 3. We made it, but I can honestly say I never need to see Bandits 2 & 3 ever again (and I plan to make good on that). Fortunately, our next Fantasmo will go a long ways toward eliminating the aftertaste of Episode 29!

For our 30th outing, we’ll be getting back to basics and screening two horror classics, featuring the legendary Vincent Price. The first film, Masque of the Red Death, is a Poe adaptation directed by none other than B-movie maestro Roger Corman. It’s a surprisingly polished affair, and features terrific cinematography by Nicolas Roeg (The Man Who Fell to Earth, Don’t Look Now). Great stuff! Perhaps even more exciting is our second feature, Witchfinder General (aka Conqueror Worm) which arrives in a newly restored version. I’ll be writing about this at length as we near the event, but suffice it to say you don’t want to miss this film on the big screen! Here are the vital statistics:

When: Friday, October 5

Where: Chesapeake Central Library

Films:

8:00 P.M. – Masque of the Red Death (Not Rated)

9:45 P.M. – Witchfinder General (Not Rated)

Also, don’t forget we have Monster Fest coming up on October 13. It’s a daylong horror convention held here at Central Library from 9-5. Following the convention, we’ll be hosting an all-night Fantasmo Horrorthon starting at 8:00 p.m. (ending at dawn). There’s going to be a lot of great films this year, and a few surprises. More details will follow soon, so keep watching the blog!

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Mustaches Have Landed!

Hey Superfans,
It was getting close, and your Team Fantasmo was becoming a tad concerned, but our Bandit mustaches arrived in this morning's mail! So tomorrow night you will feel the pure adrenaline rush of what it's like to BE THE BANDIT (and to a lesser extent Jerry Reed), as we all don our incredibly realistic imitation facial hair! Prepare yourself for the experience of a lifetime!! (Note: Remember only the first 50 through the door will be able to experience this rare sensation, so don't be late)! See you there : )

Monday, September 10, 2007

Your Heroes Ladies & Gentlemen: Press & Fan Art

On occasion, Rob and I get some press coverage and Superfans like to have a bit of fun sending in pics and drawings. It's a shame for us to hoard all that, so I thought I'd share a few fun examples here on the blog . . . enjoy!
Rob and I got the cover of The Clipper for our first year anniversary Schlock-O-Thon in April '06! Misty water-colored memories . . . .



Here's a piece of fan photo fun taken at our April '07 All-Night Schlock-O-Thon. The reference to Sho Nuff, for those who weren't there, is to the 80's kung-fu/Motown flick The Last Dragon. Question: If Rob is Sho Nuff, does that mean I'm The Last Dragon . . . I like to think so! Second Question: What's with the UFO? A message perhaps?


Here's a recent fan art submission that "Simpsonized" Rob and I. Question: How did the anonymous artist know which one of us liked Itchy, and which liked Scratchy?

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Coming Soon: Greatest Hits Remix Volume 2

Hey Superfans,
For our November edition of Fantasmo, we’re once again going to have a “greatest hits remix” where you pick the films! In anticipation of that wondrous event, Rob and I are (uncharacteristically) getting an early start and taking votes now (and at the next few Fantasmos). Below is a list of everything we’ve shown thus far . . . minus Can’t Stop the Music (a previous greatest hit selection which will now traditionally be a part of our Christmas episode). Feast your eyes!

Logan’s Run
Buckaroo Banzai
Count Yorga
Blacula
The Mighty Peking Man
20 Million Miles to Earth
The Funhouse
Invaders From Mars
Danger: Diabolik
Planet of the Vampires
Return of Count Yorga
Scream Blacula Scream
The Warriors
Escape From New York
Phantasm
Return of the Living Dead
My Bloody Valentine
Prince of Darkness
Horror of Dracula
Curse of Frankenstein
Omega Man
Death Race 2000
The Fog
They Live
Superman
Night of the Lepus
Bloodsucking Pharaohs from Pittsburgh
Barbarella
Dracula
Frankenstein
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man
Dog Soldiers
The Howling
Motel Hell
Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
Flash Gordon
Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan
Lifeforce
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
Night of the Living Dead
Mr. Sardonicus
13 Ghosts
Curse of the Werewolf
Phantasm II
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Freddy Vs. Jason
Superman II: The Donner Cut
The Abominable Dr. Phibes
Dr. Phibes Rises Again
The Amityville Horror
Burnt Offerings
Matinee
Ed Wood
Gymkata
The Last Dragon
The Apple
Food of the Gods
Solarbabies
Godzilla Vs. Mothra
Ghidorah: The Three-Headed Monster
Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla
An American Werewolf in London
Bad Moon
Silver Bullet
The Monster Squad
Fright Night


I don’t know about you, but every time I look over this list I get a little bit misty. Can you believe we’ve already watched 66 films together?!? And not a loser in the bunch! Okay, that is a blatant exaggeration . . . Bloodsucking Pharaohs is proof that mistakes are occasionally made (although in our defense that was an audience pick – even if Rob did make the mistake of carrying it in the building : )

As is customary, I will also take this opportunity to put in a plug for my two favorites: The Mighty Peking Man and Gymkata (of course)! The Mighty Peking Man goes back a ways, but if you were there on that magical night you know it is an experience demanding to be had more than once. As for Gymkata, Kurt Thomas “becomes John Cabot!” Seriously, is there anything that screams pure entertainment more than the fusion of the precision of gymnastics with the deadly art of karate? I think not.

So, mull these titles over and choose carefully Superfans. You can vote by sending me your choices via email at jblanton@chesapeake.lib.va.us or by showing up to the next few Fantasmos (which you should do regardless : ) We await your historic decision (just please, please, please vote for The Mighty Peking Man and Gymkata)!