Sunday, May 30, 2004

Revolt on Antares

I went to Dayton yesterday for the launch of Scary Camp, a new Horror/Sci Fi Con. A modestly attended show, but lots of interesting folks. I don't care if it's a comic book con, a gaming con, a fan con, what have you, it is the only place on the free earth where you will see radiation-hot girls talking to nerds. And acting interested in what they're saying.

My swag from the show included VAMPS 2, from my pal Mark Burchett from Cincy, the sequel to his definitive vampire stripper movie VAMPS (featuring Amber Newman and Jennifer Huss, two complete knockouts--Jennifer I paid tribute to by naming "Jennifer Dempsey" in AMONG US after her and Tanya Dempsey); ZOMBIE CULT MASSACRE, which I bought out of a briefcase (!) from a well-spoken guy named Jeff Dunn; SLUMBER PARTY MURDER MANIA, made by some high school kids who seemed to be having fun at their booth; and ABSENCE OF LIGHT, a sci-fi/horror film from some sincere-seeming Columbus Ohio filmmakers. Reviews on MicroCinemaScene forthcoming.

I had an interesting talk with genial, laid-back Dayton filmmaker Andy Copp about teaching college and cable access, but then I saw he had made a movie called THE MUTILATION MAN and I was too afraid to buy it. Maybe if I
wrote stuff like that instead of funny Bigfoot movies I could be more laid back and not get migraines. It's a thought.

In an odd jump from the cyber-world, I also met's kingpin Allen Richards, whose message boards I can thank and curse for getting me hooked into microcinema again, after a long layoff. When I left the scene, it was all Japanese rubber monsters and Russian Sci-Fi and Hong Kong action movies and Italian sandal epics, and now it's all backyard horror and shoestring sci-fi from across this great 'flyover country' between NY and LA; a real sea change, for better or for worse, depending on your perspective.

I talked to the high school kids for a while and realized how much has changed in the last two decades or so. When I was their age, there was really no way to be empowered to produce your own projects and get them out there. The 'net has changed all that, and the proliferation of grassroots DV. It's potent, and the potential hasn't yet been realized.

I say there wasn't any way to get your game on back in the day, but I think of the J.R. Bookwalters and Polonia Brothers of the world, who went out there with VHS and SVHS anyway and did their own things and put it all out there; either nobody told them they couldn't, or they didn't care because they had their own stories to tell, good, bad, or indifferent.

And to see a whole roomful of those people in Dayton, I think we are at the beginning of the next phase of the scene. Have you heard the Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times?" Indeed.

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The Furnace said...

What, no fist fights in the parking lot? No disgruntled moviemakers that didn't get a 5 star review on MCS calling you out?
- Gary

John Oak Dalton said...

The painful truth is that probably nobody cared. Either that or I'm a bad mutha--shut your mouth!