Monday, October 31, 2005

Chiller Theatre

Chiller Theatre is one of the biggest horror conventions of the year. This year it was held October 28-30, 2005.
Located by Giants Stadium, the convention takes place in a hotel FAR too small for such an event.

Before I tell you about the guest list, let me give you a broad explanation of what these events are to anyone who has never been.

Horror conventions, comic book shows, Sci-Fi conventions, toy shows, etc. are all pretty much the same.

They have most of the same guests, the same vendors and the same nerds in attendance.

The only difference is the MAIN FOCUS of the event. Still, just because someone has NOTHING to do with horror films doesn't preclude them from being a guest at Chiller.

The guest list included:


It's hard to decide WHAT celebrities you want to get a photo with, but Elvira was an easy choice. The 56 year old macabre host looks almost exactly the same in person as she does on TV.
The only drawback is the price.
Elvira's prices were pretty much the standard for the event. $20 for autographed photos, $20 to autograph your item. Basically you had to pony up $20 for your encounter with the Mistress of the Dark.

Adam West and Burt Ward:
TV's Batman and Robin were also on hand. Getting their autograph was gonna cost you more than Elvira, however. $40 would get you West, and Ward would be an additional $30.

Tom 'Tiny' Lister:
The muscleman who worked the WWF as Zeus for a short time and has appeared in tons of films (notably Friday) was on hand as well.
Lister charged $20 for an autograph, but if you wanted to take a picture (with YOUR camera) that was an additional $10. Plus he isn't as pretty as Elvira.
Not now, ask me in 10 years, and the answer might change.

George Romero:
The legendary horror director was THE most popular man at the event. Bar none. His PERSONAL line was over an hour long and to get in THAT line you had to have already waited in a line to get into the 'guest tent' which took anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours to wait in.

Abdullah the Butcher:

There was a bunch of wrestlers on hand (Mick Foley, Rob Van Dam, Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff.) Deciding to only visit ONE wrestler, I choose Abdullah. I met him once before a match in Philadelphia. I got a photo then, too. In that picture he was biting my forehead.
If you are not a wrestling fan, you may not know Abdullah. Heck, even most casual fans have not ever seen him. But they heard of him. Abdullah has been wrestling since 1958. Now, approaching 70 years old he still wrestles on occasion.
His matches are known for being the bloodiest and Abdullah is considered to be the most sadistic man in wrestling.
That said, he was the nicest guy at the convention.
On his table was a mess of photos and other merchandise. My favorite item was the autographed fork (Abdullah often uses a fork in the ring to cut open his opponent's head.)
For $25 he let me have the fork, an autographed cane and three autographed photos. Plus he let me snap one with my camera.
After the photo was taken he said "You don't want another picture?"
Of course I did.
So he grabbed my head and we took THIS photo:

Sure, I was scared. Obviously, it was painful. But it is ALMOST the greatest photo I have ever seen.
Unfortunately, if you look over my shoulder you can see Vince Russo, the idea man who helped destroy WCW. Cut him out and the photo is pure gold.

Claudia Wells:
Jennifer Parker from the first Back to the Future film was also on hand. She was really nice and possibly HOTTER than she was 20 years ago. She signed a Back to the Future 'Save the Clock Tower' flyer for me. She wrote "I love you" and her phone number JUST LIKE IN THE MOVIE. I didn't even have to ask!
Sadly, she won't take my call.

This barely scratches the surface of the guest list. Larry Hagman, Barbara Eden, Tom Savini, The A-Team's Dwight Schultz, Tonya Harding and about 30 other people of different levels of notoriety were on hand.

Of course, unless you had a couple grand to spend, you could never afford to get all their autographs.

So, you go to the vendor room.

This is a room packed with toys, bootleg DVDs, comic books and posters. I didn't buy much but I ran into Sylvester Stallone's son Sage a few times.
I didn't talk to Sage out of fear of calling him 'Stage Sallone' but I did watch him eat a Reese’s Big Cup.

THAT was worth the $20 admission fee alone.

In addition they have discussion panels and films.

I caught a couple discussion panels. One featured John Landis. The Blues Brothers director is a jerk.
During the course of his discussion a video clip was shown. The video projector (for some reason) projected the clip in black and white, not color.
Then Landis berates the 17 year-old running the projector.
He mocks the kid for the next 20 minutes.
It was pretty disappointing.
Here is my open letter to John Landis.

Dear John,
Since you work in the film industry, you should know that mistakes sometimes happen. Sometimes it’s minor like when a projector doesn't work.
Sometimes it's major like when a helicopter kills Vic Morrow.
Try to learn the difference and react accordingly.
Guy Hutchinson

Chiller Theatre was awesome, but it was SEVERELY overcrowded and overpriced.

In the end I can tell people that Mick Foley and Claudia Wells asked me where the lobby was, Tonya Harding waved to me and Burt Ward was in the bathroom with me.

I guess I lived the American Dream in just a couple days.

Snap into me

After being Twinkie the Kid for Halloween last year I was concerned about this years costume.

I couldn't top Twinkie the Kid, but I needed to have something at least half as good.

So I decided to be Randy "Macho Man" Savage. After spending hours sewing a sequined robe, I decided to change my costume to the OTHER mascot of spicy beef snacks.

I'm not sure if he has a name, but he HAS to be the most obnoxious mascot in TV history.

You have probably seen the commercial; he shouts "Eat me." It's not Shakespeare, but I guess it's on the same level as Randy's "Snap into 'em!"

The best part about this costume is that it came as is from the internet. I can't take any credit for making it, but I'm sure I will get some positive reviews when I walk around a Halloween party handing out dried pieces of 'mechanically separated meat parts.'

If anyone doesn't like it I will tell 'em to "eat me."

My Twinkie Costume

I love Twinkie the Kid. I like him EVEN more than I like Twinkies. In fact, if he turned his back on the cream filled sponge cake and became a spokesman for a brand of sardines, I'd still love him.

Twinkie the Kid combines our love of cowboys with our love of dessert. We should all be thankful for that.

So as a tribute I decided to put together a Twinkie the Kid costume for Halloween 2004.

A quick internet search revealed that a Twinkie costume DID exist.

Unfortunately, THIS is what it looked like. Even on Halloween I wouldn't want to look like this guy. If it wasn't for the word "Twinkies" scrawled across the costume I would have assumed he was supposed to be a thumb. A queer thumb.

Despite not being very good at crafts I bought that and turned it into this:

I bought the oversized cowboy hat at a Halloween store; the bandana was made by gluing small fabric hearts to a larger piece of fabric.

The gloves were a neat touch, I found them at Disneyland. I know, Twinkie the Kid didn't wear gloves like that, but they looked good with the costume.

To top off the costume I painted my face yellow and carried a lasso.

Then I realized I was too old to go 'trick or treating' so I stayed home and watched The Weather Channel.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Movieland Wax: Robert Stack

Here's Robert Stack. His statue is posed holding a gun in character as Eliot Ness from 'The Untouchables.'

Above him are some photos of what I am assuming are FBI buildings. Next to him are books. Possibly books of law. He also has a coffee pot because lawmen love their java.

Mmmmm java.

They should have stacked up the books and put a sign on them reading "Robert's stack." That would have made me laugh.

Movieland Wax: Hulk Hogan

His name is synonymous with Pro Wrestling. He is Hulk Hogan.

Actually, that isn't true. His name isn't SYNONOMOUS with Pro Wrestling. Handsome Harley Race doesn't fill out job applications listing "Hulk Hogan" as his previous career. You wouldn't say "Roller Derby is similar to Hulk Hogan." You wouldn't call Hulk Hogan fake.

No wait, I would say that.

Well, the Hulkster was EVEN MORE fake at Movieland Wax.

The statue was posed in a small ring in front of a giant WWF logo. He was located near Superman, Sylvester Stallone and Mr. T.

Hogan was one of the celebrities that visited 'himself' at the museum. In addition, he placed his hands in cement outside in Movieland's forecourt.

Movieland Wax Museum

The Movieland Wax Museum was a fixture in fabulous Buena Park California (just outside of Disneyland) for 43 years. On Halloween Day, 2005 they closed their doors forever.

Click on any photo below to read a short article about it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Two Geoffreys

This summer I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to get TWO photos with Geoffrey the Toys R Us giraffe.

Here are the photos side by side.

On the left is Geoffrey at Toys R Us in Time Square, New York. You will notice that I am not in the photo. I said that I had the OPPORTUNITY to get a photo with him twice. I didn't ACTUALLY get both photos taken, however.

In New York you have to pay to get your photo with Geoffrey. Seems like a tough rule, but Geoffrey has always been all about the money. I can't blame him for charging. I didn't pay for it because I have a rule about paying for photos with giraffes.

Although exciting, giraffe photos may be excluded if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the cost. If there is confusion of the price, or misleading signs regarding the price, or by considerations of undue delay, waste of time, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence of giraffes. It can also be avoided if I am saving my money to buy a Jar Jar Binks figure.

The photo on the right was taken at a grand opening of a Babies R Us. I guess this seemed like a good time to break out the 'old style' costume. The 'newer' costume on the left is a more realistic costume, in line with the REAL giraffe used in the TV commercials. The 'old style' costume looks more like the old cartoon Geoffrey who appeared in the commercials (mainly in the 1980s.)

The cartoon Geoffrey is naked. His counterpart (despite going for the REALISTIC look) wears a polo shirt and khaki pants.

I guess this is to show the employees that even Geoffrey isn't above the uniform code. Or maybe some kid vomited on the costume and throwing an old uniform over it saved them from having to buy a new one.

The Movie Ratings Poster

Do you remember this poster?

It was the official movie ratings poster for many years. In fact, it is older than the NC-17 rating, so it used to have the X rating at the bottom.

I love this poster. I spent countless minutes looking at it as I waited for mom and dad to get the tickets.

Most of that time was spent looking at the dirty film at the bottom. What was it that they saw? I was so curious and jealous of those perverts.

Today this poster can still be found occasionally. For the most part, however, it has been replaced by this poster:

I don't like this one nearly as much. Plus, I hate when people take kids to R rated films. They kids are usually bored and start to talk or cry or run around.
I decided to make my own version of this poster to try and keep the kids out of the next showing of Doom:

Actually the poster could say:

Don't worry about the NC-17. It is sooo unlikely that this theater will EVER show an NC-17 that you shouldn't waste your "brain space" on its definition. Keep that space for your memories of 'Head of the Class' and 'Silver Spoons.'

Nonetheless, the old poster was better. Let’s take a look at it rating by rating:

Apparently 'G' is for 'giraffe!' Also, G is the only place you will ever find a nerd in a top hat. Make a note of that.
Plus, look at the boobs on the 'mom' in the middle. Whoo hooo! 'G' might be for GAZOOOMBAS!

Parents begin to use discretion at PG films. It is seems to be the right rating for broads from New Jersey and their giant teased hair. On the right we see a pale kid and his ghetto blaster. I bet it has never blasted through a single ghetto.

PG-13 really seems to shake up the movie-going family. Mom covers the daughter's eyes, Dad covers one of his son's eyes (poor kid is blind in the other) and the daughter covers up the rabbit's eyes.
It is worth noting that the rabbit has attended every film so far. He has no life.
Also, the family is joined by a midget matre’de. His name is Juan. He likes to laugh at the funny Adam Sandler movie.

It seems the parents agree with my philosophy about not taking kids to the R rated flicks since they are alone now.
Well, not COMPLETLY alone, they are joined by a pair of horny teens on the left and some overbearing mom and her dorky kid on the right.
Conspicuous by his absence is the rabbit. Perhaps he thought the 'G' for 'giraffe' was so stupid he didn't want to encourage an 'R' for rabbit.

Or, maybe the rabbit just hates R rated films because he likes the hard core stuff. He's hiding on the left wearing a pair of sunglasses so that no one recognizes him.
The couple is now joined by a greaser from a 1950's motorcycle film.

So, that is the ratings poster. Because of this poster I spent a lifetime in theaters showing G films just to get a glimpse of a giraffe. Never did I see one. Not even an antelope.

This poster lied to me.

Bobby Teenager

In the world of multiplexes, AMC is pretty big. And, like they said in Spider-man:
"With great size comes great responsibility."

Wait, I don't think that was in Spider-man. Maybe it was in the adult film rip off.

Either way, AMC recognizes their responsibility to the community. Even though the community constantly confuses them with a TV network that used to show classic movies commercial free and now shows movies rejected by TBS and crams then full of commercials for hair care products.

Stupid AMC television.

But, let's not blame AMC theaters for that.

AMC does plenty of good for the community (although I don't think they played the smut version of Spider-man and I will never forgive them for that.)

This poster demonstrates their desire to keep kids out of the R-rated films.

"Show us your picture. We'll show you ours." They promise.

It's not true.

I.D. alone will not get you into the movie. You need money.

Stupid liars and their stupid television network.

The rest of the poster shows Bobby Teenager's "Valid Photo ID." Someone had scribbled all over Bobby's face before I took this photo. Bunch of savages in this town.

Speaking of which, Bobby lives in Anytown, USA.

Anytown USED to be a good place to live, but they started letting teens into R-rated films in the mid 1960s. Those teens grew to become adults and due to their exposure to the film Theatre of Death they all worship Satan today.

It's no wonder Bobby goes to the theater so often, it's an escape from watching his parents wade through the blood of non-believers.

Bobby has been a fixture at AMC theaters for over 10 years now. I have seen his mug at AMC theaters in AT LEAST a half dozen states. Bobby seems just a prevalent today as when he warned me and my juvenile buddies that a world of trouble awaited us if we tried to get tickets for Sliver.

The bottom line is: Bobby HAS to be old enough to see R-rated films now!

Here is a computer enhanced image of what he might look like today.

The Worst Photo Ever

Take a look at that. Aside from my face being digitally covered, it is a pretty good photo.

However, under that white box lies something so horrific that mere mortals tremble at the very sight of it.

It is the worst photo ever.

This was taken at a charity walk. That is me in the center, flanked by two Philadelphia Eagles cheerleaders. Don't they look fantastic?

I look pretty good, too. Sure, I am wearing sweatpants, but I was walking for charity.

What could possibly be so bad about my face in this photo?

Please remove small children and anyone with a heart condition from the room.

Take a look.

I have no idea why I made THAT face!

Did the cheerleaders just break wind?
That would explain it, but I don't think so.
Did an old lady just knee me in the groin and then take my photo?
Possibly, but I think I would remember that.
Did someone make a sassy comment leading me to say "oh snap" and the photographer merely captured me as I uttered "oh?"
Perhaps, but I doubt it.


I know that there are some pretty vile photos in existence. Wars have been captured on film, blood and destruction have been photographed and I bet somewhere, someone is taking a picture of the horrible sight of an innocent child buying into a worthless mutual fund.

Still, this is EVEN WORSE.

Monday, October 24, 2005

My Wacky Cup Collection

I love souvenir cups. If the large is a quarter less than the SUPER LARGE. My decision is usually made solely on the cup.

Most of the time the GIGANTIC soda is served in a plastic cup that you can save for future generations.

In addition, every gift shop of every building I have ever been in has at least one coffee mug for sale. I have a weakness for glassware and I am not ashamed to admit it.

Let’s take a look at a few gems from my collection:

The Nixon and Elvis mug
Purchased at the gift shop of the Richard Nixon Library, this mug could easily have been purchased at Graceland. But, I ask you "Where else on God's green earth could one obtain such a thing?"
I have spent many a morning sipping a cup of Joe from this mug and I must say that I don't know what makes me MORE ready to face the day: the coffee or the mugs of The King and The President that I see on this mug. I should drink Mug root beer from this mug as I look at their mugs as I get mugged.
I would make a Harry Potter "muggle" reference here, but I'm just too lazy to think of one.

Minority Women of Enron cup
I know, "Minority Women of Enron cup" sounds like the coolest soccer match ever staged, but it's not. It’s just a red cup.
I bought this on eBay as a way to remember the Enron collapse. It seems triple depressing to me at this point. Imagine the defaulters that minority women face in the business world. Then multiply it by 10 and you can imagine what it might be like to be a minority woman who lost their job due to the Enron collapse.
Still, it's a pretty red color and that makes me happy.

Dwayne Hickman's Fancy mug
Dwayne Hickman was TV's Dobie Gillis. Today he is an artist and this cup proves it. This is a fine mug. Extra tall and good for coffee OR soda OR spitting chewing tobacco into.
Dwayne was giving these away at an art event I attended last year. It showcases several of the beautiful paintings that I couldn't afford.

Spaceship Earth
It's pretty obvious that I got this at Epcot in Walt Disney World. I don't have a unique story about it, but I do love it.
It has a handle in the back that makes it a surprisingly small container for your favorite drink. Still, the Spaceship Earth cup isn't here to help with thirst quenching it is here to make people jealous that THEY don't have one.
I DARE you to tell me that you AREN'T jealous of this one!
If you can do that then I DARE you to send me $50.

My Fake Dunkin' Donuts cup
I know it LOOKS like an ordinary Styrofoam coffee cup, but it is not! It is only pretending to be one. In fact is molded from fine plastic and will be around for many years to come.
They still sell these at Dunkin' Donuts so go see for yourself so you don't spend your time wondering if I am just lying and showing you a picture of an old Styrofoam cup.

The Congaloosh Moose
A small but memorable mug, this is a rendering of the talking moose head on the wall at Pleasure Island's Adventure's Club. Located in Walt Disney World Florida, the club is actually a bar that features wacky shows every half hour or so.
The moose cup has been discontinued I am told, and that is truly a shame.
It holds very little beverage and it is difficult to hold. It has no handle and so you are left trying to grip it by his antlers. Unfortunately they are made of rubber and they bend.

Pirate Book Cup
I found this in a Suncoast that was going out of business. I think it cost a quarter. It's a character from the Macaulay Culkin animated/live action film The Pagemaster.
I don't drink from it; I really just needed someone to keep the moose company.

The Westin Bonaventure
This cup is shaped like a famous Los Angeles hotel, the Westin Bonaventure. The hotel has been seen in a number of films including the climatic ending of In The Line of Fire.
At the very top floor there is a bar/restaurant called the Bonanvista Lounge. It is circular with huge glass windows providing an amazing view of the city. The lounge even rotates.
The restaurant was the setting for the 1980s sitcom 'It's a Living' starring Ann Jillian.
They sell this glass along with about a dozen other wacky glasses in the shape of cowboy boots and movie cameras. The drinks can be quite strong, and since the room is already spinning it can be tough to know when you had enough to drink.
If you go there, buy me one of the glasses shaped like the state of California. I'd go myself, but I am not allowed back.
Curse you wacky glasses!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Slipper Flower

Oh look it's the "Yellow Lady Slipper!"
You can find it only in the moist woods. Make sure and bring a towel.
In my life I have only known two people that wear slippers. My grandma and the guy who painted the den.
Grandma wore a pair that were old and worn out. The painter was simply old and worn out. I think he wore the slippers to keep paint off his sneakers.
I don't know much about this page. Is it real? Is it some kind of fairy tale? Is it an ad for slippers? I'll never know. Sure I could do a Google search and find out, but then I wouldn't have any mystery in my life.

The Coloring Book Main Page

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Planet Hollywood: Atlantic City

I don't like Atlantic City.

It is really cool that you can see street signs for exciting places you know from Monopoly, but if you actually GO to "Saint James Place" all you'll likely find is a vagrant peeing on a wall.

I'd rather just stay home and play the game.

Plus, that way I get to be a wheelbarrow.

Still, there are some good things about Atlantic City and at the top of that list is Planet Hollywood.


I have been to a whole bunch of them: NYC, Niagara Falls, Orlando... uh... maybe I have only been to three.

This one is located right on the boardwalk among the casinos, fast food joints and shops where you can buy 3 T-Shirts for $10 and still feel like you were ripped off.

On my last visit I was overjoyed to see Mr. Hollywood!

Looking like the bastard child of Mr. Met and Willie Wonka, Mr. Hollywood stood at the door waving people inside.

I was so excited I jumped next to him for a photo.

The illusion was ruined however since I could hear "Mr. Hollywood" cursing in Spanish to someone over a headset.

Perhaps this wasn't Mr. Hollywood at all! Maybe it was his evil twin Senor El Segundo.

The food is a notch better than diner fare, but where else can you eat pizza underneath Spock's ears?

I would bet this is the only chain that offers that experience.

Here is a haiku I wrote on the subject.

The Spock Ears Haiku:

Atlantic City, gamble gamble
Where else do you get to sit by lobes?
Lobes of Spock
El Segundo?
Cranberry sauce

I just remembered that I never learned how to write a haiku. I am sorry to have wasted everyone’s time.

Speaking of time wasters, as your order is being filled; this restaurant has a fun puzzle on the menu. There are a few dozen celebrity "high school yearbook" photos and you have to guess who they are.

I personally loved the photos of Jennifer Garner and Wesley Snipes.

I was pleased to know that I would have had a shot with Jennifer Garner back then. I was equally pleased to know that Wesley wouldn't have a shot.

One of the trademark features of Planet Hollywood is large movie vehicles hanging from the ceiling. Atlantic City is no exception.

My favorite is the gold coffin vehicle from 'The Munsters.'

They call it 'The Dragula.'

All in all, the place is pretty ordinary when it comes to Planet Hollywood, but it is still worth a visit if you are in town. Don't look for the vagrant on Saint James Place, however, he heard that he might have a shot with Jennifer Garner and is currently hitchhiking to L.A.

The Hulk Hogan Dog

When I watched 'Toy Story' for the first time I was struck by what a cool idea it was. Toys that can talk and display emotions! How awesome.

Then I saw the Hulk Hogan dog.


Could you imagine the embarrassment that this stuffed animal would feel for looking like that? Poor stuffed Hogan. With his absurd mustache and sunglasses that are sewn to his head.

It's just as well since underneath he has no eyeballs. I checked.

I also checked under his trunks. Maybe I’m the one that should be embarrassed.

Monday, October 03, 2005's October Surprise

Surprise! O.K., I bet you aren't surprised.

You are probably more confused. But, "October Confusion" isn't catchy.

Anyway, welcome to the October Festival of Surprises! (Eeek! I thought "October Confusion" WASN'T catchy!) Here we have a handful of articles about surprises, being surprised and anything even remotely connected to surprises.

Instead of presenting these one at a time, I figured I would present a few weeks worth at once. This way you can either read them all at once, or read a few and come back a few times to read the rest. It's up to you.

Pace yourself. Don't overdose on surprises.