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The Undertaker's Convention Wrap-Up

» Friday September 15, 2000
The Big 1st day! The first ever Cinema Wasteland Movie & Memorabilia Expo kicks off with the doors to the dealer room opening up at 4:30 for those of us with 3-day passes (actually it opened at 4:45 , but what's 15 minutes?). The video room already had cool trailers blasting ahead of schedule and I'm sure the "normal" Holiday Inn Select guests wondered what the fuck was happening this weekend.

After sliding next door to the Shell station for snacks and a Foster's oil can, the Buried.com crew spent the first few hours stalking the dealer room and staring at all the amazing goodies. We also had a good laugh at some of the 'boots' floating around the various tables. Yes, the underground video world is alive & very overcrowded. We finally caught up with The Gravedigger at his guest table (you'll have to guess which esteemed guest was The Gravedigger hehehe) and shot the shit with him for a few. This marks the first time all three hard-heads had met; surely an event more important than any Olympics.

So many things were going down in the film & video rooms that you had to pick and choose. Various guests spoke throughout the day such as Ted V. Mikels, Conrad Brooks & Dave Ivey. Ted promoted his new Corpse Grinders 2; look out world! The Dawn of the Dead cast reunion talk was Friday's highlight. A room filled to the brim awaited the guests and fans were not disappointed. Talk was so good it ran over by like an hour.

Later in the evening after din-din, we all sit around the lounge and have a few laughs. I poisoned The Gravedigger with beer which unfortunately puts a mild damper on the rest of the big "G's" show, hehehehee. Getting late, so we all head back to the rooms. I decided to keep on keeping on, and headed for the film room to catch "Shock Waves" & the late night showing of "Dawn..." Luckily, they show the long print, and it's all cool. Stumbling in at 3:30 a.m., my day is done.

» Saturday September 16, 2000
The Cryptkeeper's snoring awakens us early and it's time for breakfast before they start serving lunch. Time to go to the dealer & guest room to harass some guests. The Cryptkeeper gets some great photos (which are on the site now)! Then, we head off to the film room to listen to Evil Dead 1 & 2 make-up fx man (+a whole lot more) Tom Sullivan. To me, this guy was THE GUEST of the show. It was just fun as hell to watch him talk and get a little carried away. Like a kid in a candy store, I believe he was more happy to be here than we were. The funniest question & answer of the show occurred here when some dude asks Tom if he keeps in touch with Sam Raimi and the others. "Only through my lawyers" he replied, hahahahaha. Great guy & his Evil Dead display room was the best room of the show all weekend.

Next, it was time to talk and listen to the guru and king of the castle Ted V. Mikels with Shanti. Ted has so many great experiences and stories to draw from that we could've listened all day. And what a stylish dresser! Where can I get a necklace like that man? Ted's incites into filmmaking and how it's hanged over the years are priceless. Let's all support Corpse Grinders 2 as much as possible when it comes out later this year or early next. He truly deserves it.

The Gravedigger shows off his movie next in the video room, so we wander over and watch it one more time. Wish more people could have showed up to see it. He then talks about the joys and despairs of independent filmmaking in the real world today. Good stuff from a guy who knows how to get it done without the Hollywood bullshit. Also the second best quote from the show, "Distributor = Demon from Hell," says the Gravedigger, hahahaha! Afterwards, The Gravedigger decides to call it a show and make that long drive back up to MI. Nice seeing him for a couple of days though. And then there were 2 left...

Next, lunch. Luckily the Wasteland people had got up a little concession thing going, so everyone didn't have to crowd the restaurant for expensive food. Besides, $2 beer is better than $3.25 beer any day. Time for a break and we decide to sit around upstairs for awhile.

At 7p.m., it was the 2nd. Dawn cast q&a session where the 'Keeper got the rest of his pics. Fun stuff listening to these guys shoot the shit, you can tell they enjoyed it all. Ken Foree and Tom Savini always with the best stories. Too bad we had to jet early for something special in the video room.

Now it was time for the high point of the show (at least to me), Tom Sullivan shows for the first time his copy of "Within the Woods," the short film made and used to promote and get money to make Evil Dead! How was it? It was great. Imagine trimming Evil Dead down to 30 minutes and speeding up everything and you get "Within the Woods," a definite once in a life time thing here folks. Why did I leave my camcorder in the room, why, why? The short film after was a blast as well. A comedy spoof of Raiders of the Lost Ark called "Waders of the Lost Park " with all the usual Raimi players in tow. What a great hour to spend!

Time for a late dinner, then one more movie. With so many good flicks playing it's hard to choose, but we couldn't pass up the drive-in fun of "Squirm!" Loads of fun and it even got applause from the folks who came in to watch. Just shows there are people left out there with good taste and that taste good. We couldn't make "Motel Hell" though, and by now it was time to get back to the room to sleep.

» Sunday September 17, 2000
This is it, the last day. Sadly, it's almost time to go back to the 'real world.' Time to eat, get packed, and get out of the room by 12. We had to be at the airport around 4 so not much time to go. Now was the time to buy the stuff we'd seen all weekend. Unfortunately, you can only carry so much stuff in a carry-on that's already full. However, we masterfully crammed it all in. Tapes, mags, shirts, toys & even a wrastlin' mask from Parts Unknown. Greed is good. One last trip to the video room to catch Tom Sullivan's "Within the Woods" tape again. This time we get a good seat up front and marvel as the chick next door gets the shit scared out of her time & time again, hahahaha. Afterwards, I shot some video in the dealer room & then that's it. Time to hit the bar and get ready for our shuttle back to the airport. Would have liked to stayed another night, but work awaits.

» All & All
Great Show, with loads to do and see! A good mix of everything with the largest Dawn reunion ever & Tom Sullivan's first convention appearance! Enjoyed it all. Especially the From Parts Unknown table & Demonia Del Fuego. Loved seeing her "Bank" and wanted to make many deposits & no withdrawals, hehehehe! All the guests, dealers and staff were awesome. Hats off to the whole damn thing....bring on next year's!

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