Kool Kat of the Week: Dayna Noffke, Local Independent Filmmaker and Retro-tastic Gal Joins the Killer Cast and Crew of the Inaugural WOMEN IN HORROR FILM FESTIVAL

Posted on: Sep 18th, 2017 By:

by Melanie Crew
Managing Editor

Photo by Andrew Shearer of Gonzoriffic

Dayna Noffke, lover of all things retro, Jill of all trades and local filmmaker (ThrillRide Pictures), joins the gore-tastic ranks of the inaugural WOMEN IN HORROR FILM FESTIVAL (WIHFF) brought to you by Festival Directors Kool Kat Vanessa Ionta Wright (“Rainy Season”) and Samantha Kolesnik (“I Baked Him A Cake”). The festival invades Peachtree City promising a weekend filled to the bloody brim with kickass independent women filmmakers, creators and horror film enthusiasts. You won’t want to miss the horrorific lineup of shorts and feature-length films, panels, vendors and special guests including Heather Langenkamp (A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET), Amanda Wyss (A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET/BETTER OFF DEAD), Marianne Maddalena (SCREAM), Lynn Lowry (CAT PEOPLE/THE CRAZIES), Trina Parks (DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER) and more! Noffke has been given the excruciating task, yet a highly rewarding opportunity to get a sneak peek at the talent before it’s unleashed on the unsuspecting masses, as a WIHFF film judge. Competitor’s films for the film competition will screen throughout the festival weekend (Friday, September 22, 12:00 p.m. – 10:45 p.m.; Saturday, September 23, 12:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.; Sunday, September 24, 12:00 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.;  Crowne Plaza Atlanta SW – Peachtree City; Tickets $45 day pass ($55 at door) / $125 full fest pass ($140 at door); and $200 VIP Fest Pass (includes all speakers, workshops, films and special events including the Thursday night VIP party); Schedule for each screening block here; Tickets here)! Kick off this season of horror and make your way to the WIHFF, take a walk down the “Dead Carpet,” and experience a weekend full of killer cinema!

Noffke’s film career began in 2008 when she was cast as an extra in Rob Zombie’s HALLOWEEN II (2009). She’s been churning out what she calls “backyard no/low budget” short films ever since, while working part-time as a set dec-buyer/dresser (V/H/S VIRAL, THE VAULT) and working towards directing full-time, with no end in sight. Since 2009, Noffke’s made ten short films including “Safety First” (2009); “Mouse” (2012); “Picnic” (2012); “Recompense” (2014); “Under the Bed” (2015); with her latest being “Teaser,” which wrapped this past week. She’s also written three feature film scripts, which have done well in the screenplay contest circuit, prompting her to take the next step to produce a feature-length film in the near future. As a filmmaker who has had some pretty amazing life experiences (researched Mantled Howler monkeys in Nicaragua; took Gross Anatomy and dissected a human body, just to name a few), Noffke seems to be a perfect choice to judge some of the best independent horror films coming our way this year.

ATLRetro caught up with Dayna to chat about the Women in Horror Film Festival, what inspired her to dive head first into the film industry, her favorite horror movies as a kid, and rooting for kickass final girls. While you’re taking a stroll through our little Q&A, why not take a peek at a couple trailers for some of her short films here.

ATLRetro: How exciting to be a part of the inaugural WOMEN IN HORROR FILM FESTIVAL! Can you tell our readers how you got involved and a little about your role as film judge?

Dayna Noffke: It is exciting! We’re fortunate to have so many amazing film events in Atlanta and this is a wonderful addition. When I heard about the festival, I knew I wanted to be involved but I wasn’t certain that I would have a new film finished in time to submit for this year. I submitted to the organizers’ call for judges and before I knew it, I had a queue full of fantastic film work to review.

What’s it like to judge films of women who have dedicated their creativity and professional lives to the horror genre?

​It’s an honor to be entrusted with these films. I have been in the role of judge for a few different festivals now and I always take it very seriously. I know what it’s like to be on the other side — to have your work put out there for review, and I try to remember that and give each film my full attention and consideration. All of these filmmakers have my respect, because getting any film finished requires Herculean amounts of persistence and hard work. I greatly enjoyed judging, discovering new talents and seeing the evolution of those creators with whose work I am familiar.

We see that you’ve been involved in filmmaking since about 2008, when you were an extra in Rob Zombie’s HALLOWEEN II. What was it about that particular film production that made you want to make movies?

Photo by Andrew Shearer

​The experience of being an extra on that film gave me two things. First I was given the ability to see the filmmaking process and the roles on set, including watching a director who really enjoys his work. ​And secondly, I had a great freaking time on set. I felt very at home. It was a light bulb moment for me. All my life, I’d been struggling and bouncing through trying out different artistic disciplines with none of it ever “clicking.” Here it was. I got it. Prior to that experience, it wasn’t in my frame of reference to think of making films as something that I (and my friends) could do. Sure, I realized in an abstract sense that people were making them, but I hadn’t seen it up close and it was a separate world that I’d never experienced. Watching RZ direct that film changed my perspective, so yes – in a strange, roundabout way, Rob Zombie is responsible for my leap into the film world.

It was once thought that horror films were made by and generally made for a male audience. Of course we adamantly disagree, as horror is definitely right down our alley, especially pre-21st century horror. Can you tell our readers what drew you to the genre and why it keeps drawing you in deeper and deeper, as your own filmmaking career continues to grow?

The million dollar question. Why? Why are we so drawn to this darkness? I am actually a pretty light-hearted person. I consider myself lucky to have a great life that’s full of adventure and joy – which makes it perhaps even more of a puzzle. For me, I guess it is twofold. First of all, there’s the thrill. There is nothing like that feeling of being at the top of the clicking roller coaster hill or just before the corner in the haunted house – the anticipation, wanting to scream and laugh and run all at the same time. Monsters are fun, they’re fantasy, but most importantly, they’re an escape. Second, I am fascinated with human beings and that translates into a desire to understand them. While I certainly don’t empathize with people who are able to do horrible things to other people, I want to ‘get it.’ I want to know what makes them tick. Why do these things happen? I want to find sense and make something out of the chaos. I love writing about the survivors. I’m in awe of kickass final girls.

You’ve been employed in several roles in the film industry, including set decorator-buyer, writer, director, producer, etc. Is there any particular role you prefer over the others and why?

One of my favorite things about film is the collaborative nature of the art form. Working in different departments has given me an appreciation for the importance of the different aspects of filmmaking and a better view of the process holistically. I’ve been working professionally, for the past four-something years, as a set decoration buyer. I enjoy the work and it’s helped to develop my design eye, which has translated into better visuals in my own filmmaking. But ultimately, I want to write and direct. I want to be out there telling stories. I’m currently working on making that jump from set dec to being full time on my own projects. As for producing, I have done a lot of that on my projects out of necessity and while it’s a good learning experience, it’s not where my talents lie. I had a great producer, Chris Ethridge, on my most recent short, “Teaser,” and he was a lifesaver. I’m glad to hand that part over to people who are better-suited to the task.

Who are your favorite female horror directors and why are they your favorite? Were there any female role models in the horror genre that particularly inspired you growing up?

“Teaser” Cast & Crew, Photo by Ed Selby

I wasn’t really a monster kid. I was a kid who loved just about everything having to do with stories and pretending – from dolls to Grease to Star Wars – and also happened to be into all kinds of movies. I did always love the final girls who made it to the end of the horror movies — Nancy and Alice and Laurie, particularly. My list of favorite female directors is a long one! Not only are there the big ones, like Mary Harron – whose AMERICAN PSYCHO is a vision of absolute, all-out abandon – but there’s a huge list of indie filmmakers who are making waves in both short and feature length formats. Jen and Sylvia Soska, Karen Kusama, Izzie Lee, Jill Sixx, Lynne Hansen, Tonjia Atomic — the list goes on and on. What they all have in common is guts. They’re all out there taking chances and getting their stories told however they can. Their art is gorgeous and brave. I’m also a huge fan of the actors who make directing such a great job. I have been honored to work with Madeline Brumby (FRANKENSTEIN CREATED BIKERS, SPRING BREAK ZOMBIE MASSACRE), Katherine English and burlesque star Lola LeSoleil among others.

What would you say was your gateway drug/film that enticed you into the land of horror films?

The first real horror film I remember seeing is SILENT SCREAM. I recall that shortly after, my brother and I went on a FRIDAY THE 13TH and JAWS watching spree. I’d set the alarm to get up and watch films on Cinemax in the middle of the night. MY BLOODY VALENTINE also figures prominently into my childhood. ​

Can you give us five things you’re into at the moment that we should be watching, reading or listening to right now— past or present, well-known or obscure?

Just five? I love reading, music and films, so I’m always on a tear. There are two books that I cannot recommend highly enough. DEVIL ALL THE TIME by Donald Ray Pollack is a jaw-droopingly dark and poetic trip into the Southern Gothic. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read. I’m also reading THE WITCHES: SUSPICION, BETRAYAL AND HYSTERIA IN 1692 SALEM by Stacy Schiff. It’s full of great information but not particularly academic, a more human approach to the Salem Witch trials story. As for films, Karen Kusama‘s feature film, THE INVITATION, is incredible. I’ve re-watched it a few times. It’s got a very tight, effective story and a killer cast. I will also add to the list of people singing the endless praises of Jordan Peele‘s GET OUT. It’s just that good! Since it’s September, I’m in heavy rotation on monster bop/classic Halloween music. I’m enjoying my new birthday present – Waxwork‘s limited edition MY BLOODY VALENTINE LP with score and music from the film.

What was your favorite horror film growing up?

As a child, JAWS all the way. My brother and I had a best friend who had a pool. We’d get the VHS and make a ‘movie theater’ with tickets, watch the film and then scare ourselves into a frenzy thinking that Jaws lived in the pool. I’ll also have to admit that we chased my brother around an awful lot as Jaws so… apologies on that front.  As a teenager, I really loved cheesy horror – things like MICROWAVE MASSACRE, TOOLBOX MURDERS and the like. ​I got hooked on RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, EVIL DEAD and TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE then, too, and that has definitely stuck. TCM is my favorite to this day.

As an independent female filmmaker working in the horror genre, what challenges have you personally faced that seem to be a common theme amongst women in the industry?

While I hesitate to speak for every woman in the industry, I’ve certainly heard enough stories and had enough experiences to see that there are definitely barriers to being heard as female filmmakers. I have been put in incredibly uncomfortable positions at cons and film festivals, where I wanted to be involved in the film conversation but was compelled to speak up and/or leave because of the incredibly casual misogynistic and ugly talk about other women. All I could think was, “If they are saying this while I am standing right here, what are they saying about us when I’m NOT here?” I’ve been followed to my hotel room at night by creepy guys and on and on. These types of harassment are barriers to all women – not just filmmakers – feeling comfortable attending and enjoying film events and that sucks. I’m heartened to see a lot of men starting to speak out about this and standing up beside us to put an end to this kind of behavior. There are other problems, of course. Sadly, it’s a long list.

Any advice for women filmmakers out there trying to get their foot in the door?

Show up. Help other filmmakers with their projects and support them in their successes and challenges. Make movies whenever you can – it’s the only way to learn. Community makes the indie filmmaking world go round. Be relentless. The first time funding fell through for my feature, I was crushed. But I quickly realized that it’s probably going to happen a few dozen more times before that film gets made. Keep moving forward. We want to hear what you have to say.

As a filmmaker, and a film judge for the WIHFF, how does the competition look? Anything spectacularly horrorific and exciting you can tell us without giving too much away before the festival? Any particular film we should definitely check out?

​Hmmm. I’m not sure what I’m allowed to give away so I’m going to plead the fifth on this one. But trust me, the competition is FIERCE. You’re really going to enjoy this festival – it’s got everything from fun over-the-top gore to horror comedy and creature films to beautifully realized horror poetry.

What are you looking forward to most about the festival?

I’m really looking forward to meeting the filmmakers! I love catching up with the ones who I know and seeing what’s up next for them but I’m also excited to meet the creators of the films that I judged. There is so much talent out there. ​

And last but not least, what are you up to next? You’ve indicated that in 2018 you’ll be working on a feature-length project based on a screenplay you wrote. Can you tell us a little about that, and any other projects you’re currently working on or will be in the near future?

“Teaser” still with Jim Stacy and Lola LeSoleil

I have several projects in the works right now. I’m forever writing screenplays – who knows where they will take you? I finally finished up my short film, “Under the Bed” last month. It’s a fun little creature film that stars my daughter and one of my best friends – so we had a great time making it. I’m busy entering it into festivals right now. We wrapped on my latest short, “Teaser” last weekend. It’s a very lush and poetic burlesque-themed short and my biggest production so far. We have a hard deadline for getting it through post, so you can expect to see it at festivals soon!​ I am slated to shoot another short film, “Shark: A Love Story” for a local production company sometime at the beginning of the year. That one has a lot of special FX — blood everywhere! It’s going to be crazy!

I also have three feature film scripts that have been bouncing around for a while but nothing solid on production yet. It’s my goal to shoot my psychological thriller, EIDOLON, in 2018. It’s a very sparse psychological/paranormal thriller — a re-imagining of the classic Victorian short horror story, “The Yellow Wallpaper.” My feature script, GET CHINO! is a comedy/grind-house hybrid about five fan girls who kidnap their favorite action star in a bid to get him to star in their film. The screenplay has been chosen as an official selection at Oaxaca Film Festival this year and I’m looking forward to hearing some feedback on that one as well and maybe roll on it in the next few years.

All photos courtesy of Dayna Noffke and used with permission.

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Ten Terrifying Reasons Not to Miss Days of the Dead Atlanta 2020

Posted on: Feb 3rd, 2020 By:

By Rebecca Perry
Contributing Writer

Get traumatized and HORRORfied this weekend as the Days of the Dead Convention kills it at the Sheraton Atlanta hotel for three days of ghastly gore-filled events, running February 7-9, 2020! Here are our Top 10 Terrifying Retro Reasons not to miss this years’ spooky shindig:

1) THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON! Don’t miss one helluva opportunity to meet the last surviving Universal Monsters icon – Ricou Browning! Ricou portrayed the title character in 1954’s THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, THE RETURN OF THE CREATURE and THE CREATURE WALKS AMONG US. In addition to photo-ops and autograph signings, you can hear Ricou talk about his Creature days on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.

2) TELEVISION’S ADAMS FAMILY ALUM! Get spooky with Lisa Loring, television’s Wednesday Adams! You won’t want to miss The Adams Family Panel featuring Lisa with Felix Silla, a.k.a. Cousin Itt, Friday night at 7pm!

3) GHOULISH GUESTS! This year’s DotD is playing host to a monsterific guest list! Richard Dreyfuss (JAWS, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND), Kathleen Turner (SERIAL MOM, WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT?), John Cusack (THE RAVEN, BETTER OFF DEAD), Tony Todd (CANDYMAN, WISHMASTER), Michael Biehn (THE TERMINATOR, ALIENS), Doug Jones (HELLBOY, PAN’S LABYRINTH, THE SHAPE OF WATER) and Linda Blair (THE EXORCIST) are just a few of the stars you can expect to see this weekend.

4) RETRO REUNIONS! Not only are we getting a SLEEPAWAY CAMP franchise reunion featuring cast members Jarret Beal, Heather Binton, Kendall Bran, Carol Chambers, Amy Fields, Kyle Holman, Mark Oliver and Jill Terashita, but we’re ALSO getting a NIGHT OF THE DEMONS reunion featuring director Kevin Tenney, Amelia Kinkade, Linnea Quigley, Hal Havins, Jill Terashita and Lance Fenton. PLUS Rob Zombie‘s HALLOWEEN reunion featuring Tyler Mane, Danielle Harris, Kristina Klebe and Scout Taylor Compton!

5) EVIL EVENTS! Besides all the great guests this weekend, there are a lot of evil events to enjoy, including a Friday Fright Night pre-party featuring SKARYOKEE!, a Makeup Challenge, That Damn Tattoo Contest, Hell Night Prom After Party dance party and the Chaostume Contest. Check the DotD schedule here for a full listing of events.

6) HOUSE OF INDIE HORROR! There’s a full schedule of panels focusing on the ins and outs of movie making; everything from screenwriting to monster makeup! Catch Kool Kat and exploitation extraordinaire, James Bickert (DEAR GOD NO!, FRANKENSTEIN CREATED BIKERS) and more on the Independent Filmmaker Panel, Saturday at 2:30pm! And you won’t want to miss killer women in horror, Kool Kats Dayna Noffke (“Under the Bed,” “Teaser”) with co-founder of the Women in Horror Film Festival, Vanessa Ionta Wright (“Rainy Season”) amongst others, on the How to Make Your First Horror Movie panel on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.!

7) Reels of the Dead Film Festival! Not only can you learn how to make your own horror flick, you can spend the weekend watching some great spooky cinema. Support Independent Horror, including the Etheria Film Night with Stacy Pippi, celebrating the best women directed genre films!

8) DotD Pre-party! Kick off things early with a rockin’ pre-party at the Clermont Lounge featuring Captain & Maybelle and Beitthemeans, on Thursday, Feb. 6!

9) Spooktacular Shopping! The dealers room is a great place to support independent artists and pick up something creepy cool. Art, jewelry, clothing, DVDs and anything else your monstrous little heart could desire!

10) In-Costume Photo-Ops! Where else could you get a photo with CANDYMAN Tony Todd or HALLOWEEN‘s Danielle Harris wearing their iconic costumes? Book ahead of time as these do tend to sell out fast.

For tickets, hotel information, and more please check out the Days of the Dead Atlanta website. Be there or be scared!

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The 2018 Buried Alive Film Festival Raises Hell with its Lucky 13th and Gores it up with Five Days of the Best Global, US and Local Indie Horror Treasures!

Posted on: Nov 12th, 2018 By:

by Melanie Crew
Managing Editor

This haunted holiday season is alive and kicking as the Buried Alive Film Festival (BAFF) kills it with another year! BAFF is brought to you by Festival Director, Kool Kat Blake Myers and Event Director, Kool Kat Luke Godfrey and a helluva team of mad scientists working behind the scenes. Gore it up with five blood-filled days (November 14-18) of film terror, including 7 features, 59 short independent horror films from around the globe, and four extra special events, bringing its sinister shenanigans for a third year to 7 Stages Theatre in Little Five Points.

BAFF kicks off Wed. Nov. 14, at 8pm, with the ever-popular BAFF Sinema Challenge, giving local filmmakers the opportunity to bring to life a horror film in 13 days. Production starts on November 1 and films are screened on the festival’s opening night. The contest is judged by co-creator and exclusive programmer for Turner Classic Movies (TCM) weekly late-night cult movie showcase TCM Underground, Kool Kat Millie De Chirico and “Archer” animation director and Atlanta-based filmmaker, Marcus Rosentrater.

Thursday night kicks off with Shorts Program 1: For the Love of the Undertaker, which includes Kool Kat Dayna Noffke’s TEASER (USA) where death is a dance; Tyler Macri’s creaturific short WHAT COMES FROM A SWAMP (USA); Ilja Rautsi’s horror comedy where a woman must survive a horde of men’s frail egos in HELSINKI MAINSPLAINING MASSACRE (Finland); Daniel Stankler’s SHOULD YOU MEET A LADY IN A DARKENED WOOD (UK) and so many more! The Opening Night Feature is Joe Baden’s psychological weirdness, THE GOD INSIDE MY EAR (2017) featuring our Kool Kat of the Week William Tokarsky (interview coming soon) screening at 9pm, preceded by the short film BAGHEAD (UK), directed by Alberto Corredor Marina.

Tricks ‘n’ treats abound as Friday brings you Shorts Program 2: Bury Me with My Favorite Films, which includes Lorene Yavo’s animated supernatural short COUNT YOUR CURSES (Belgium); Kate Dolen’s cheap thrill(er) CATCALLS (Ireland); Joshua Long’s award-winning POST MORTEM MARY (Australia) and more!  Stick around for the 8pm Feature, Jason Trost’s THE FP2: BEATS OF RAGE (USA) for a bloody good time! And of course no respectable horror film festival would be complete without screening a few horror classics, and ATLRetro loves all the special events chosen this year, including a special screening of Carl Boese and Paul Wegener’s THE GOLEM (1920) with a live soundtrack by Atlanta-based jazz group Samadha, followed by a special midnight grind-house screening of Kool Kat James Bickert’s AMAZON HOT BOX (USA), preceded by Jill Gevargizian’s sinister short, 42 COUNTS (USA).

The heads just keep rolling as Saturday brings you Shorts Program 3: It’s Never Too Early to Start Digging Graves including Marinah Janello’s ENTROPIA (USA), a search for beauty at all costs; WIHFF co-director Sam Kolesnik’s award-winning MAMA’S BOY (USA); Fredrik S. Hanna’s crime-laden ROSALINA (Norway) and more followed by a 4pm Feature, Marc Martinez Jordan’s twisted film FRAMED (Spain), preceded by Guillem Dols’ short PSYCHO KINO (Spain). At 6pm, BAFF gets wickedly weird as they team up with The Eyeslicer, featuring shorts by Kool Kat Brian Lonano (CROW HAND (2014)/GWILLIAM’S TIPS FOR TURNING TRICKS INTO TREATS) and more! At 8pm get ready for another hellacious Feature with Ujicha’s torturous VIOLENCE VOYAGER (Japan), preceded by Laura Sparks’ short MADDER ISLE! And to top off the evening, BAFF offers a special treat with a screening of Joel Schumacher’s cult classic, THE LOST BOYS (1987), hosted by Atlanta’s award-winning Blast Off Burlesque, who will stage one of their signature TabooLaLa events including a performance inspired by the film before the screening! Last but not least is a midnight screening of local Tony Reams’ (et al) DEAD BY MIDNIGHT (USA).

For those early birds, Sunday kicks off with an encore presentation of Carl Boese and Paul Wegener’s THE GOLEM (1920) with a live soundtrack by Atlanta-based jazz group Samadha, followed by a 2pm Feature documentary, SURVIVAL OF THE FILM FREAKS (USA), where Directors Bill Fulkerson and Kyle Kuchta explore the phenomenon of cult film and film fanatics, preceded by Anthony Cousins’ short THE BLOODY BALLAD OF SQUIRT REYNOLDS (USA). Shorts Program 4: Why Bury Good Meat?! Vampires, Zombies and Cannibals. Humans Taste So Good! promises a monstrous good time with screenings of Dayna Noffke’s GENTLEWOMAN’S GUIDE TO DOMESTICITY (USA); Felipe M. Guerra’s MRS. OLDINA GOES SHOPPING (Brazil); Pete TompkiesONCE BITTEN (UK); Sam Kolesnik’s FRIENDSGIVING (USA) and more! And last but not least, BAFF presents the World Premiere of Todd SheetsCLOWNADO (USA) at 6pm as the Closing Feature, preceded by Brian Lonano’s BFF GIRLS (USA)!

The 7 Stages Theatre is located at 1105 Euclid Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307. Individual program block tickets are $12, and five-day festival passes are just $120.

For more information and the complete Buried Alive Film Festival schedule, visit the website here. And view the official BAFF bumper here.

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This Week in ATLRetro, November 12-18, 2018

Posted on: Nov 12th, 2018 By:

by Melanie Crew
Managing Editor

Kick off the holiday season with ATLRetro! Come see all the shakin’ shenanigans we’ve found for you!

Monday, November 12

The Plaza Theater giallos it up with screenings of Dario Argento’s DEEP RED (1976) through Nov. 13, or catch a screening of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968) at 9:15p! Peter Bogdanovich’s documentary THE GREAT BUSTER: A CELEBRATION (2018) screens at Landmark Midtown Art Cinema, through Nov. 15! Get the blues with Shemekia Copeland at City Winery! Rock out with The Mercury Program and Dove Legs at The Earl! Get revved and tune into Kool Kat Rev. Andy Hawley’s Psychobilly Freakout Radio broadcasting on Garage 71 at 8pm! Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski’s BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM (1993) at theatres across Atlanta at 2pm/7pm [AMC Barrett Commons 24 (Kennesaw); Hollywood Stadium 24 (Chamblee); Avalon Stadium 12 (Alpharetta); Perimeter Pointe 10; Regal McDonough Stadium 16 (McDonough); Georgian Stadium 14 (Newnan); Cinemark Tinseltown 17 (Fayetteville); AMC Southlake Pavilion 24 (Morrow); AMC Sugarloaf Mills 18 (Lawrenceville); Regal Mall of Georgia Stadium (Buford)]; Regal Atlantic Station Stadium 18; and AMC Avenue Forsyth (Cumming)]! Get down with Ottmar Liebert & Luna Negra at the Variety Playhouse! Get your vinyl fix during Little 5 Points Corner Tavern’s Records of Mass Destruction event every Monday Get funky and groove on down to Café 290 every second and fourth Monday of the month for a taste of Bumpin the Mango, ‘The groove that makes you want to move!” Boogie on down to the Northside Tavern and spend an evening with Lola at her famous Monday Night Northside Jam! And blues on down to Fat Matt’s Rib Shack for a side of Dry White Toast and a plate full ‘o finger lickin’ BBQ!

Tuesday, November 13

Get monstrous as ATLRetro’s very own “Chilleress in Charge”, Anya Martin kills it with her SLEEPING WITH THE MONSTER Book Launch Party at Eagle Eye Book Shop at 7pm! Videodrome and The Plaza Theater head into the shadows with a NOIRVEMBER screening of Otto Preminger’s LAURA (1944) at 7pm! Get your Americana fix at City Winery with Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Milton! Make your way to Eddie’s Attic for American Troubadours in the Round featuring Wyatt Espalin, Barb Carbon, and Hannah Thomas! Get your old-school electronica fix with The Orb at Terminal West! The Center for Puppetry Arts brings back a holiday favorite classic, RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER, through Dec. 30! AJFF Connects brings you a screening of Barbara Streisand’s YENTL (1983) at The Phillip Rush Center at 6pm! Spend the night with Bogart and Hepburn at the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema as they continue their new Classics Series with a screening of John Huston’s THE AFRICAN QUEEN (1951) at 7pm! Feast your eyes on Kool Kat Katherine Lashe and her burly-Q gals of Syrens of the South during Tease Tuesday Burlesque: Stripsgiving at the Red Light Café! Jam it up with Joe Gransden and his jazz jam session at Venkman’s every Tuesday! The Star Bar delivers a night of retro shenanigans with DJ Quasi Mandisco’s Little 5 Points Dance Party featuring retro-soul, funk, ‘80s, ‘90s and more! Blues it up with the Crosstown Allstars at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack! And as always, groove on down with Swami Gone Bananas at the Northside Tavern!

Wednesday, November 14

Kick off the wickedly weird and bone-chilling adventure that is the 13th Annual Buried Alive Film Festival (BAFF), Atlanta’s premiere independent horror film festival presented by Kool Kats Blake Myers and Luke Godfrey and more, with screenings at 8pm of the 2018 Sinema Challenge, a thirteen day filmmaking competition, judged by Kool Kat Millie De Chirico and Marcus Rosentrater, at 7 Stages! Emory Cinematheque kills it with their “Hitchcock/Hitchcockian” series with a screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s PSYCHO (1960) at 7:30pm! Catch a screening of Penny Marshall’s A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN (1992) presented by WUSSY MAG at The Plaza Theater at 7pm! LeVar Burton Reads Live at the Variety Playhouse! Make your way to the Northlake Festival Movie Tavern’s Flashback Cinema series screening of Franklin J. Schaffner’s PATTON (1970) at 2:30pm/7:30pm, or catch a screening at The Springs Cinema & Taphouse at 2pm/8:10pm! TCM Big Screen Classics presents a 30th Anniversary screening of John McTiernan’s DIE HARD (1988) at theaters across Atlanta at 2pm/7pm [AMC Barrett Commons 24 (Kennesaw); Hollywood Stadium 24 (Chamblee); Avalon Stadium 12 (Alpharetta); Perimeter Pointe 10; Regal McDonough Stadium 16 (McDonough); Georgian Stadium 14 (Newnan); Cinemark Tinseltown 17 (Fayetteville); AMC Southlake Pavilion 24 (Morrow); AMC Sugarloaf Mills 18 (Lawrenceville); Studio Movie Grill (Alpharetta/ Duluth/Marietta); Regal Atlantic Station Stadium 18; and AMC Avenue Forsyth (Cumming)]! Funk it up with the Magic City Hippies at Aisle 5! Make your way to Eddie’s Attic for a night with Gabe Dixon! Funk it up with the Mike Veal Band at Tin Roof Cantina! It’s a night of Honky-Tonk Karaoke with Andrea Colburn & Mud Moseley at The Star Bar! Get jazzy at the Red Light Café with The Gordon Vernick Quartet! Fat Matt’s Rib Shack gets down with Frankie’s Blues Mission! Or make your way to the Northside Tavern for a rockin’ night of blues with the Tyler Neal Band! St. James Live! delivers their Hump Days Blues night, getting classic blues-style every Wednesday! And as always, it’s Ladies Night at Johnny’s Hideaway which plays hits from Sinatra to Madonna for a generally mature crowd.

Thursday, November 15

The 13th Annual Buried Alive Film Festival officially begins tonight, horrifying through Nov. 18, and begins at 7pm, and you won’t want to miss Kool Kat Dayna Noffke’s short TEASER during the For the Love of the Undertaker program block, and our Kool Kat of the Week William Tokarsky (interview coming soon) in the Opening Night Feature, Joe Baden’s THE GOD INSIDE MY EAR (2017) at 9pm! Make your way to the Fox Theatre for IN DREAMS: ROY ORBISON HOLOGRAM TOUR, backed by The Georgia Symphony Orchestra! PlazaDrome presents a screening of James William Guercio’s ELECTRA GLIDE IN BLUE (1973) at The Plaza Theater at 9:30pm! Spend the night with Kevin Griffin (Better than Ezra) at City Winery! Get folksy with Alex Guthrie at Madlife State & Studios! Get down with the BadAsh Allstar Team at the Red Light Café! Parker Gispert (The Whigs) and Billy Stonecipher rock out at Smith’s Olde Bar! Bluegrass it up with Billy Strings at Terminal West! Get your ‘80s pop-esque fix with The Stolen at the Masquerade! The Aurora Theatre kicks off their Christmas Canteen, through Dec. 23! Disco it up at Venkman’s with the O4W Disco Boogie Band during Thursday Night Fever! It’s Mai Tai Thursday at Trader Vic’s so hula on down for a night of rockin’ island tunes and some killer island cocktails! The Northside Tavern gets rockin’ with a little Chicago/Delta blues of The Breeze Kings! Get your boogie on at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack, as Chickenshack featuring Eddie Tigner, delivers some honky-tonk blues! And as always, boogie down at Mary’s, as the East Atlanta venue gets funky with their weekly Disco in the Village.

Friday, November 16

Get your terrified tail down to the 13th Annual Buried Alive Film Festival for a helluva lot of monstrous goodness beginning at 6pm, including a special screening of Carl Boese and Paul Wegener’s THE GOLEM (1920) at 10pm, with a live soundtrack by Samadha, and get exploited with a midnight grind-house screening of Kool Kat James Bickert’s AMAZON HOT BOX (2018)! Jangle on down to The Star Bar for a night with Tiger! Tiger!, Anna Kramer & The Lost Cause and The Wheel Knockers! Get the rockin’ blues with the Freddy Jones Band at Venkman’s! Get bewitched during CONJuration through Nov. 18, at the Hilton Atlanta Airport! Horizon Theatre stages world premiere of WAFFLE PALACE CHRISTMAS, through Dec. 30! Folk it up with Iron & Wine at the Buckhead Theatre! Spend the night with Rik Emmett and Dave Dunlop at City Winery! Garage rock it up with Ron Gallo, Ian Ferguson and Twen at The Earl! Head to Heaven at the Masquerade for a night with Blue October and Knox Hamilton! Funk it up with the Mike Veal Band at The Vista Room! Eighties it up with Kool Kat Becky Cormier Finch with Denim Arcade at The Wing in Marietta! Groove on down to Jimmy’s Tequila & Carnes in Doraville for a night with Yacht Rock Schooner! Spend the night with Mo Lowda & The Humble at Vinyl! Get countrified with Boxcar Radio and Jackson County Line at Avondale Towne Cinema! Fat Matt’s Rib Shack gets the blues with Art Holliday! Stoney Brooks and Andrew Black get the blues at the Northside Tavern! Time-Warp it up at The Plaza Theater as they continue their tradition of screening THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) every Friday night, featuring the live cast of Lips Down on Dixie at midnight!

Saturday, November 17

The 13th Annual Buried Alive Film Festival kicks off at 2pm! Today’s goodies include a special presentation from The Eyeslicer, featuring shorts by Kool Kat Brian Lonano (CROW HAND (2014)/GWILLIAM’S TIPS FOR TURNING TRICKS INTO TREATS) and more! And experience a blood-sucking good time with Blast-Off Burlesque’s film series TABOOLALA, featuring a live pre-screening performance, paying homage to Joel Schumacher’s cult classic, THE LOST BOYS (1987), followed by a screening of the film at 10pm! It’s Prohibition pandemonium at Venkman’s with Kool Kat Blair Crimmins & The Hookers! War funks it up at Center Stage! Eddie’s Attic delivers the “Acoustic Ninja” Trace Bundy! Jazz it up with Kamasi Washington at the Buckhead Theatre! Get to Venkman’s early for a screening of Disney’s THE LION KING (1994) at 10am, followed by an early show with The Coonhounds paying tribute to Tom Petty! Get your holiday shopping off to a good start at My Parents’ Basement during I Remember That! Vintage Toys, Comics and Video Game Market! Or make your way to the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot for the 14th Annual Indie Craft Experience Holiday Shopping Spectacular! Psyche rock it up with Desert Noises and Morning Teleportation at the Masquerade! Rock out at Avondale Towne Cinema during The Who Jam! O.D.D. rocks The Star Bar with Bigfoot and Blowdown! Get rocked Viking-style at The Highlander with VALKYRIE with Kool Kat Shane Morton, and Degradations! Catch a screening of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968) at The Plaza Theater at 9:45pm, through Nov. 18! Charlie Hunter gets down at the Red Light Café! Get the blues during Mr. Chapman’s Quarterly Revue at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack! Get down with Sammy Blue and Bill Sheffield at the Northside Tavern! St. James Live! delivers their Tribute to the Legends night every Saturday night! And as always, DJ Romeo Cologne and DJ Kwasi Mandisco transforms the sensationally seedy Clermont Lounge into a ’70s disco/funk inferno late into the wee hours of the night.

Sunday, November 18

It’s your last chance to gore it up at the 13th Annual Buried Alive Film Festival, so come on out for some fangtastic films beginning at 12pm, including an encore special screening of Carl Boese and Paul Wegener’s THE GOLEM (1920), with a live soundtrack by Samadha! The Plaza Theater hosts a crazy little thing called love with their Freddie Mercury Tribute Pub Crawl through Virginia Highland ending up at the theatre with a special screening of QUEEN: A NIGHT IN BOHEMIA, from 3pm – 9pm! Make your way to The Earl Smith Strand Theatre for Kool Kat Ron Carter and Organ Friends Pops Music Show! Hot Jazz it up at Venkman’s with the 9th Street Stompers and Kool Kat Caleb & the Gents! Get the fever at the Masquerade with Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band’s CD Release Show! Make your way to the Northlake Festival Movie Tavern’s Flashback Cinema series screening of Chris Columbus’ holiday classic, HOME ALONE (1990) at 2:30pm/7:30pm! GKIDS Presents a Studio Ghibli Fest screening of Hayao Miyazaki’s CASTLE IN THE SKY (1989) at theatres across Atlanta at 12:55pm [AMC Barrett Commons 24 (Kennesaw); Hollywood Stadium 24 (Chamblee); Avalon Stadium 12 (Alpharetta); Perimeter Pointe 10; Regal McDonough Stadium 16 (McDonough); Georgian Stadium 14 (Newnan); Cinemark Tinseltown 17 (Fayetteville); AMC Southlake Pavilion 24 (Morrow); and AMC Sugarloaf Mills 18 (Lawrenceville)]! Spend the night with Glenn Jones at City Winery! Get the blues with Garrett Collins at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack! Or funk it up with Risky Biscuit at Tin Roof Cantina! Get sweet and low down blues-style at the Northside Tavern with Uncle Sugar with Eddie Tigner!

Ongoing

The Michael C. Carlos Museum exhibits Chimera: Andy Warhol through the 1980s, through Nov. 25!

The Aurora Theatre delivers their Christmas Canteen, through Dec. 23!

The Center for Puppetry Arts presents a holiday favorite classic, RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER, through Dec. 30!

Horizon Theatre stages world premiere of WAFFLE PALACE CHRISTMAS, through Dec. 30!

Get revved and tune into Kool Kat Rev. Andy Hawley’s Psychobilly Freakout Radio broadcasting on Garage 71 at 8pm, every Monday through Dec. 31!

ATL CRAFT presents a magical occult Movie Night every second Friday of every month!

My Parents’ Basement goes old-school with their monthly Pinball Tournament, every first Wednesday of the month!

Geek it up and get to bowlin’ at The Comet Pub & LanesComet Cosplay, getting nerdy the first Monday of every month!

Dad’s Garage’s Big Boozy Nerdy Game Night brings out the kid in you, every first Monday of the month at 7pm! 

Union EAV rocks out with their Punk Rock Karaoke ATL, and every last Tuesday of the month!

The Highlander rocks out with their Punk/Metal/New Wave Karaoke Night, every Wednesday!

Get your vinyl fix during Little 5 Points Corner Tavern’s Records of Mass Destruction! event, every Monday!

Geek it up at My Parents’ Basement with their weekly Tuesday night Nerd Trivia at 8pm!

Nerd Film Mafia screenings at the Diesel Filling Station following NerdCore Trivia, every last Tuesday of the month!

The Plaza Theater Time-Warps it up as they screen, THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) every Friday night, featuring the live cast of Lips Down on Dixie at midnight!

Get your reggae fix with Rub-A-Dub gettin’ down at WildPitch Music Hall, every second Sunday of the month!

Every first and third Mondays are Big Band Nights at Café 290, featuring Joe Gransden and his amazing 16-piece orchestra playing jazz and swing standards in the tradition of The Glen Miller Orchestra and other legendary groups.  Second and fourth Mondays are Bumpin the Mango, ‘The groove that makes you want to move!’

Every first Wednesday is the Graveyard Tavern’s Graveyard Swing Night, featuring the swingin’ jazz and boogie-woogie sounds of the Savoy Kings!

If you have a suggestion for a future event that should be included in This Week in Retro Atlanta or see something we missed, please email us at atlretro@gmail.com.

Category: This Week in ATLRetro | TAGS: None

Murder, Mayhem and Madness! Our Top Horrorific Reasons to Haunt on Down to WOMEN IN HORROR FILM FESTIVAL 2018

Posted on: Oct 3rd, 2018 By:

by Melanie Crew
Managing Editor

The Women in Horror Film Festival kills it at Crowne Plaza Atlanta & Conference Center – Peachtree City this Thursday-Sunday Oct. 4-7. Festival creators Kool Kat Vanessa Ionta Wright and Samantha Kolesnik showcase one helluva line-up of creative kickass female minds in every aspect of the horrorific cinematic and filmmaking experience, contemporary and retro alike, with over 70 short films to whet your most nightmarish appetities!. The festival has much to offer all the genre cinephiles in your life, from slasher gore-fests to comedic catastrophes, check out our top reasons to get your spine tingled at the WIHFF!

1) BOOGIE DOWN AND BRING OUT THE DEAD. The gals of WIHFF throw some hellacious parties! So guys and ghouls, why not VIP it up and make your way to the fest on Thursday night, get your photos taken on the Dead Carpet and get hell-bent at the VIP Party (Oct. 4/7:30pm (photos); 8pm (party)). Or get horrorfied on Friday at the After Party, hosted by HorrorPack (Oct. 5/11:00pm). And the rest of the fest wouldn’t be the same without after parties on Saturday (Oct. 6/10:30pm) and Sunday (Oct. 7/9:00pm), so why not monster mash it up with the best of ‘em!

2) MARIANNE MADDALENA. One killer genre Producer, Marianne Maddalena has produced 26 plus films and television series including THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS (1991), WES CRAVEN’S NEW NIGHTMARE (1994), SCREAM (1996), DRACULA 2000 (2000), THE HILLS HAVE EYES (2006) and more!

3) TRINA PARKS. Best known for her role as Thumper in DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER (1971), Parks’ career spanned the ‘70s with appearances in an episode of Rod Serling’s NIGHT GALLERY (“The Phantom Farmhouse” – 1971); DARKTOWN STRUTTERS (1975); THE MUTHERS (1976) and more. She came back deadlier than ever in David DeCoteau’s IMMORTAL KISS: QUEEN OF THE NIGHT (2012).

4) ELM STREET GORE-GAL, HEATHER LANGENKAMP. Langenkamp won our horror hearts with her portrayal of nightmare-filled teen Nancy Thompson in Wes Craven’s ‘80s classic spawning its own hellacious franchise, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984).

5) FRIGHTENING FILMS! The WIHFF has heads rolling with three days of non-stop action filled to the bloody brim with films galore! Friday’s (Oct. 5) schedule includes an Experimental Horror Block, a Horror Comedy Shorts Block, a Features Screening (SHE WAS SO PRETTY: BE GOOD FOR GOODNESS SAKE, dir. Brooklyn Ewing), a Sci-Fi Shorts Block, an International Shorts Block, a second Feature Screening & World Premiere (BUGS: A TRILOGY, dir. Simone Kisiel), and a Macabre Thrills Block! Saturday (Oct. 6) terrifies with a Psychological Shorts Block, a Thriller Shorts Block, and a Feature Screening (ECHOES OF FEAR, dir. Brian and Laurence Avenet-Bradley)! And Sunday (Oct. 7) gets gory and kicks off the day with a Feature Screening (ALL THE CREATURES WERE STIRRING, dir. Rebekah and David Ian McKendry), a Regional Horror Shorts Block (including Kool Kat Dayna Noffke’s 2018 “Teaser”), an Animation Horror Shorts Block, a Feature Screening (RELICT: A MESOPOTAMIC TALE, dir. Laura Sanchez Acosta), a Student Horror Shorts Block and a Body Horror Shorts Block! So, come on out and discover some new terrifying talent!

6) KILLER PANELS. WIHFF offers several killer panels including From Indie to Studio – Making the Leapfeaturing one helluva line-up with Gillian Albinski (THE WALKING DEAD; THE STRANGERS), Mark Simon (ONE MISSED CALL; NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET III), and Marianne Maddelena (Oct. 6/12:30pm). Or catch the Diversity & Visibility panel featuring Trina Parks and horror author Mylo Carbia (Oct. 6/4pm).

7) WARPED WRITERS. There wouldn’t be films without writers, and of so WIHFF offers up highly acclaimed horror/thriller/suspense writer Mylo Carbia, a.k.a. Hollywood’s No. 1 horror film ghostwriter turned author (THE RAPING OF AVA DESANTIS / VIOLETS ARE RED). Carbia will be selling and signing during the festival.

8) SCARE-TASTIC SHOPPING.  You won’t want to miss out on the horrorific wares the festival vendors have to offer, from handmade horrors, to gothic gifts. During your stay, why not stock up on macabre movie memorabilia, cult classics and creepy clothing, costumes, accessories and more. Keep your eyes peeled for our fiend and horror filmmaker, Lynne Hanson and her spooky horror art! Vendors will be selling/meeting guests from daily during the festival.

Women in Horror Film Festival main festival hours are Fri. Oct.5  from 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.; Sat. Oct. 6 from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.; and Sun. Oct. 7 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more info, visit the Women in Horror Film Festival official website here.

Category: Features, Retro Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Eight Eerie Retro Reasons Not to Miss Days of the Dead Atlanta 2018

Posted on: Feb 1st, 2018 By:

Days of the Dead returns to Sheraton Hotel AtlantaFriday-Sunday Feb. 3-5! Here are our Eight Eerie Retro Reasons to catch your chills indoors! Also ATLRetro will be onsite all weekend so check out our ATLRetro Facebook page for photos of the spooktacular shenanigans.

1) BACK AND READY!  TWIN PEAKS returned this summer and you can get the inside scoop from Ray Wise, aka Laura’s father Leland Palmer, on the main stage Friday at 7 p.m.. We hope he’ll sing and dance. Just don’t call him Bob. If you miss it, like all the guest celebrities, he’ll be signing and doing photo ops all weekend.

2) NAUGHTY, NAUGHTY, NAUGHTY! Welly, welly, Malcolm McDowell shares maniacal memories from the sets of A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, Rob Zombie‘s HALLOWEEN and more at 2 p.m. on Saturday!

3) REUNIONS! This year FRIDAY THE 13TH, PART VIII: JASON TAKES MANHATTAN cast members Barbara Bingham, Vincent Craig Dupree and Tiffany Paulsen slash up the main stage Friday at 8 pm and THE KARATE KID stars Martin KoveRalph Macchio and William Zabka wax-on and wax-off  Saturday at 1 pm.

4) IT’S A RETRO MONSTER CLUB!!!! Ernie Hudson(GHOSTBUSTERS); Meg Foster (THEY LIVE),  Thomas Howell (THE OUTSIDERS); masked menace Kane Hodder of FRIDAY THE 13TH fameAlex Vincent and Chucky (CHILD’S PLAY) Bill Moseley (THE DEVIL’S REJECTS)! And more!!! The guest list just seems to go on and on with Retro-horror goodness!

5) BLACK AND BLUE GORE-IFIC PANELS! Look for celebrities on the Black Track. But bruises can also be Blue, and the Blue Track has plenty more tricks or treats for the diehard horror fan including a who’s who of Atlanta’s local horror talent. February is Women in Horror Month, so be sure not to miss the Women of Indie Horror panel (Sat. 2 pm) featuring Kool Kat Dayna NoffkeKool Kat Vanessa WrightLynne Hansen and Brooklyn Ewing  On Sunday at 2 pm, hear Jeff Strand, Nancy Collins and Darrell Grizzle read their scary stories during Atlanta Author Horror Showcase. Check out the full Blue Track schedule here.

6) FRIGHTENING FILMS! The Independent Horror Film Fest features new indie horror you won’t see in theaters plus resurrects Retro cult classics. We’re especially looking forward to the Etheria Film Festival (Sat. 3-5 p.m.) spotlighting works by emerging women directors.  Saturday night, catch Wes Craven’s SCREAM (1996) at 7 pm, followed by “Terror from the ‘80s” secret films featuring this year’s Days of the Dead guests at 10 pm and midnight. Get out of bed early for Samurai Sunday with James Bryan’s LADY STREET FIGHTER (1985) at 9 am.

7) SPOOKTACULAR SHOPPING. Horror cons are the perfect place to stock up on both macabre movie memorabilia, cult classics on DVD and creepy clothing, costumes and accessories!

8) MACABRE MAKE-UP, CREEPY COSTUMES AND PHANTAMAGORIC PARTIES!! Check the schedule for make-up demonstrations and competitions, VIP party (open to VIP ticketed attendees only), Chaostume Costume Contest, tattoo contest and more!  Friday Night Frights include Scareoke, Sin & Salvation shenanigans featuring hellacious tunes from Graveyard Gospel and Bump in the Night Ghoulesque, The Dirty Dirty Con Con Gameshow and so much more! On Saturday, Get your blood curdling fill of monsters galore with Send in the Clowns with Captain & Maybelle; and one hell-bent horrorific after party with Kool Kats The Casket Creatures and ELZIG!

Days of the Dead main con hours are Fri. Feb. 2 from 5 to 11 p.m.; Sat. Feb. 3 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sun. Feb. 4 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with parties going late into the night on Friday and Saturday. For more info, visit http://www.daysofthedead.net/atlanta/.

 

Category: Features | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This Week in ATLRetro, Jan. 29-Feb. 4, 2018

Posted on: Jan 28th, 2018 By:

by Melanie Crew
Managing Editor

This Week in ATLRetro is the bee’s knees! Come see all the swell shenanigans we’ve dug up just for you!

Monday, January 29

Celebrate 30 years of The Posies at City Winery! Get the blues with Bob Page at Blind Willie’s! Funk it up with Holey Miss Moley at Moonshadow Tavern in Tucker! Swing on by Big Band Night featuring Joe Gransden and his amazing 17-member orchestra at Café 290 every first and third Monday of the month! Spend the night with Lloyd Cole at Eddie’s Attic! Boogie on down to the Northside Tavern and spend an evening with Lola at her famous Monday Night Northside Jam! And blues on down to Fat Matt’s Rib Shack for a night with Larry Griffith!

Tuesday, January 30

Get psyched for a night with The Rotten Mangos, Satisfiers of Alpha Blue and The Titos at the Red Light Café! Frankie’s Blues Mission spreads the word at Blind Willie’s! Cow punk it up with Alejandro Escovedo (The Nuns) at City Winery! Darwin’s Burgers & Blues gets down with the Poverty Level Band! JT Speed gets down at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack! Thrash on down to 529 for a night with Leeway! Jam it up with Joe Gransden and his jazz jam session at Venkman’s every Tuesday! The Star Bar delivers a night of retro shenanigans with DJ Quasi Mandisco’s Little 5 Points Dance Party featuring retro-soul, funk, ‘80s, ‘90s and more! And as always, groove on down with Swami Gone Bananas at the Northside Tavern!

Wednesday, January 31

Get some soul and make your way to The Star Bar for The Bango & Smash Soul Night DJ Party featuring Kool Kat Rod Hamdallah and the Malone Ranger! Catch a screening of Victor Fleming’s classic, GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) during Northlake Festival Movie Tavern’s Flashback Cinema series at 2:30pm/7:30pm! Get folksy with Tom Rush at Eddie’s Attic! Catch the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival’s 25th Anniversary screening of Steven Spielberg’s SCHINDLER’S LIST (1993) at Regal Atlantic Station Stadium 18! Emory Cinematheque continues their “Black Lives on the Small Screen” series with a screening of ABC’s ROOTS, Season 1, episode 2 at 7:30pm! Get campy and make your way to The Plaza Theater for screening of Jamie Babbit’s BUT I’M A CHEERLEADER (1999) at 7pm! Get the blues with Ike Stubblefield at Avondale Towne Cinema! Get down with Cody Matlock at Blind Willie’s! Or blues it up with Michael Preston at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack! Get the rockin’ blues with The Cazanovas at Darwin’s Burgers & Blues! Get jazzy at the Red Light Café with The Gordon Vernick Quartet! Or make your way to the Northside Tavern as Danny ‘Mudcat’ Dudeck fires it up a night of acoustic blues! St. James Live! delivers their Hump Days Blues night, getting classic blues-style every Wednesday! And as always, it’s Ladies Night at Johnny’s Hideaway which plays hits from Sinatra to Madonna for a generally mature crowd.

Thursday, February 1

Captain & Maybelle hosts a hellacious killer kickoff Days of the Dead pre-party at the Clermont Lounge featuring a horrific lineup with Kool Kats The Casket Creatures, ELZIG, Dusty Booze & The Baby Haters and more! Sinister mind control invades The Plaza Theater as Cineprov dishes out a night of hilarity with a screening of Dave R. WatkinsSTRAGGLERS (2004) at 7:15pm! Get folksy with Aimee Mann and Marshall Ruffin at the Variety Playhouse! Rock out with The Pussywillows, Mister Tie Dye and Kilroy Kobra at The Earl! Get your American fix with Willie Watson at Eddie’s Attic! Funk it up and get some soul with Kipper Jones at City Winery! Make your way to 7 Stages as they present THE FOLLOWERS: A RETELLING OF THE BACCHAE, running through Feb. 25! Yacht Rock Revue gets in the ring with their Led Zeppelin vs. The Who event at Venkman’s! Get your Barbara Streisand fix with Atlanta Jewish Film Festival’s 50th Anniversary screening of William Wyler’s FUNNY GIRL (1968) at Regal Perimeter Pointe 10! Catch a screening of Tommy Wiseau’s THE ROOM (2003) at The Plaza Theater! Stomp on down to The Star Bar for a night with the Lost Dog Street Band and Andrea Colburn & Mud Moseley! Cody Matlock & the Mothership get down at Darwin’s Burgers & Blues! It’s Mai Tai Thursday at Trader Vic’s so hula on down for a night of rockin’ island tunes and some killer island cocktails! The Northside Tavern gets rockin’ with a little Chicago/Delta blues of The Breeze Kings! Get your boogie on at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack, as Chickenshack featuring Eddie Tigner, delivers some honky-tonk blues! And as always, boogie down at Mary’s, as the East Atlanta venue gets funky with their weekly Disco in the Village.

Friday, February 2

Get traumatized and HORROR-fied this weekend as the Days of the Dead Convention kills it at the Sheraton Atlanta hotel for three days of ghastly gore-filled events, running through Feb. 4! You won’t want to miss monstrous retro celebrity guests Malcom McDowell (A CLOCKWORK ORANGE); Ernie Hudson (GHOSTBUSTERS); the cast of the KARATE KID franchise (Martin Kove, Ralph Macchio and William Zabka); Ray Wise (TWIN PEAKS); Meg Foster (THEY LIVE), C. Thomas Howell (THE OUTSIDERS); masked menace Kane Hodder of FRIDAY THE 13TH fame; the Independent Horror Film Fest, Sin & Salvation shenanigans featuring hellacious tunes from Graveyard Gospel and Bump in the Night Ghoulesque, The Dirty Dirty Con Con Gameshow and so much more! So, get your fill of the blood-bath that is, Days of the Dead!

Get sinfully seductive at 7 Stages for Kool Kat Katherine Lashe and the burly-Q gals of Syrens of the South’s 11th Annual Vixen’s Valentease Vaudeville & Variety Show! The BACKYARDBIRDS invade the Red Light Café! Stomp on down to The Earl for a night with Blood on the Harp, Little Country Giants and the Casey Hood & Jared Pepper Duo! Or make your way to Eddie’s Attic for a night with BJ Barham (American Aquarium)! Rock out with Sash the Bash, Pretty Vacant and King of Queens at Smith’s Olde Bar! Get down with the Atlanta Funk Society during the High Museum’s February First Friday event! Venkman’s dishes out a night with Saved by the Band! It’s déjà vu hilarity at Battle & Brew as they run a marathon screening of Harold RamisGROUNDHOG DAY (1993), beginning at 2pm! Or catch a screening of Robert Mulligan’s classic TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962) at The Earl Smith Strand Theatre at 8pm! Bluegrass it up with The SteelDrivers at the Buckhead Theatre! Little Joey’s Jumpin’ Jive gets down and returns to the Northside Tavern! Catch a screening of Tommy Wiseau’s THE ROOM (2003) at The Plaza Theater! Eighties it up with Kool Kat Becky Cormier Finch with Denim Arcade at The Wing in Marietta! Get rootsy with Delta Moon at Blind Willie’s! Time-Warp it up at The Plaza Theater as they continue their tradition of screening THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) every Friday night, featuring the live cast of Lips Down on Dixie at midnight!

Saturday, February 3

It’s Day 2 to get spooked at the Days of the Dead Convention at the Sheraton Atlanta! Get your blood curdling fill of monsters galore with Send in the Clowns with Captain & Maybelle; gore-ific panels including Women of Indie Horror featuring Kool Kat Dayna Noffke, Kool Kat Vanessa Wright, Lynne Hansen and Brooklyn Ewing; a 7pm screening of Wes Craven’s SCREAM (1996); “Terror from the ‘80s” secret films at 10pm and midnight; and one hell-bent horrorific after party with Kool Kats The Casket Creatures and ELZIG!

The Star Bar gets to sizzlin’ with one hot Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper celebration, HOLLYFEST 10! Get your retro rock fix with Rodeo Twister, The Midnight Dukes, The Sideburners, Bad Friend, Kool Kat Sen. Artie Mondello, Kool Kat Rod Hamdallah, The Cherry Bomb, Kitty Rose & The Rattlers, Andrea Colburn & Mud Moseley, Slim Chance & The Convicts, Joe St. Louis 5, Dusty Booze & The Baby Haters and more!  Cody Matlock rocks out at the Northside Tavern! The livin’ is easy in the Big Easy, so make your way to the Midtown Mardi Gras Block Party and funk it up through Feb. 4! Celebrate Black History Month at The Plaza Theater with their Histories & Legends: Exploring Black History Through Art & Motion event at 7:30pm! Get the rockin’ blues with Big Head Todd & The Monsters with Southern Avenue at the Variety Playhouse! Rock out with The Bohannons, The Stacktone Slims and The Crush at The Earl! Get to twangin’ with Devil Makes Three at the Buckhead Theatre! Rock out with John 5 & The Creatures at The Drunken Unicorn! Spend the night with Radio Moscow at Vinyl! Venkman’s gets down with New Sensation, and INXS tribute! Pop on over to Avondale Towne Cinema for Kenny Howe & The Wow! Big Bill Morganfield dishes out a night of the rockin’ blues at Blind Willie’s! St. James Live! delivers their Tribute to the Legends night every Saturday night!

Sunday, February 4

It’s Day 3 and your last chance to experience the rockin’ blood and horror fest, the Days of the Dead Convention!  Today’s events include horrorific panels including an Atlanta Author Horror Showcase; a 9am screening of James Bryan’s LADY STREET FIGHTER (1985) and more, so, come check out all the swell and retro horror goodness while you can! Catch a screening of Vincente Minnelli’s classic, GIGI (1958) during Northlake Festival Movie Tavern’s Flashback Cinema series at 2:30pm/7:30pm! Catch the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival’s 80th Anniversary screening of Konrad Tom and Joseph Green’s MAMELE (1938) at Springs Cinema & Tap House! Get sweet and low down blues-style at the Northside Tavern with Uncle Sugar with Eddie Tigner!

Ongoing

7 Stages presents THE FOLLOWERS: A RETELLING OF THE BACCHAE, running through Feb. 25!

The Historic Oakland Cemetery offers free guided tours of African American Grounds, throughout Black History Month!

Get the blues with Ike Stubblefield at Avondale Towne Cinema, every Wednesday until March 28!

Geek it up and get to bowlin’ at The Comet Pub & LanesComet Cosplay, getting nerdy the first Monday of every month!

Dad’s Garage’s Big Boozy Nerdy Game Night brings out the kid in you, every first Monday of the month at 7pm! 

Union EAV rocks out with their Punk Rock Karaoke ATL, and every last Tuesday of the month!

Geek it up at My Parents’ Basement with their weekly Tuesday night Nerd Trivia at 8pm!

Nerd Film Mafia screenings at the Diesel Filling Station following NerdCore Trivia, every last Tuesday of the month!

The Plaza Theater Time-Warps it up as they screen, THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) every Friday night, featuring the live cast of Lips Down on Dixie at midnight!

Get your reggae fix with Rub-A-Dub gettin’ down at WildPitch Music Hall, every second Sunday of the month!

Every first and third Mondays are Big Band Nights at Café 290, featuring Joe Gransden and his amazing 16-piece orchestra playing jazz and swing standards in the tradition of The Glen Miller Orchestra and other legendary groups.  Second and fourth Mondays are Bumpin the Mango, ‘The groove that makes you want to move!’

Every first Wednesday is the Graveyard Tavern’s Graveyard Swing Night, featuring the swingin’ jazz and boogie-woogie sounds of the Savoy Kings!

If you have a suggestion for a future event that should be included in This Week in Retro Atlanta or see something we missed, please email us at atlretro@gmail.com.

Category: This Week in ATLRetro | TAGS: None

The 2017 Buried Alive Film Festival Gores it up with Five Days of the Best Global, US and Local Indie Horror Treasures!

Posted on: Nov 14th, 2017 By:

by Melanie Crew
Managing Editor

The Buried Alive Film Festival is back for its 12th chilling year, brought to you by the Buried Alive team of Kool Kat Blake Myers, Luke Godfrey, Mark Malek and Alyssa Myers, with five killer days (November 15-19) of film terror, including six features, 54 short new independent horror films from around the globe, and three extra special events.  Its sinister shenanigans return for a second year to 7 Stages Theatre in Little Five Points.

This year’s festival features five brand new movies, including our Kool Kat of the Week, Ashley Thorpe’s BORLEY RECTORY is a documentary feature (rotoscope/animation), described by Thorpe as “an ultrasound of a haunting” (see ATLRetro’s exclusive interview with Ashley here). The opening (Thursday) night feature is the latest from director Mickey Keating (POD; DARLING; CARNAGE PARK), a bloody tale of seven serial killers and their deadly agendas as they cross paths over one night, PSYCHOPATHS, which premiered at the Tribecca Film Festival earlier this year. Other feature films include AMERICAN GUINEA PIG: THE SONG OF SOLOMON, a story of satanic possession and the clergymen who confront it directed by Stephen Biro (AMERICAN GUINEA PIG: BLOODSHOCK); WHO’S WATCHING OLIVER, the tale of a mentally unstable loner and his killing spree directed by Richie Moore (CRAZY MEDICINE); and the World Premiere of BB, a provocative psycho-sexual thriller outlining the dangers of technology and who just may be peeking on the other side directed by CJ Wallis (DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK[editor]).

This year BAFF features will go beyond the usual horror narratives and include documentaries. FOOLISH MORTALS: A HAUNTED MANSION DOCUMENTARY explores the fan culture surrounding Walt Disney’s Haunted Mansion ride from director James H. Carter II featuring interviews with Disney legend Rolly Crump, artist Topher Adams, AMERICAN MARY’s Tristan Risk, Robert Kurtzman, SpookyDan Walker and more.

Buried Alive also continues to show its love for the local Georgia horror scene. This year’s festival includes six local shorts, with two  directed by our very own Kool Kats Dayna Noffke (UNDER THE BED about a girl and her favorite monster fiend) and Vanessa Ionta Wright (I BAKED HIM A CAKE). Other local shorts include AHEAD IN THE ROAD about three college girls learning the dangers of “the middle of nowhere” directed by Walt Guthrie and Matt McGahren, WEED WHACKER MASSACRE about a grumpy old man-turned-deadly machine vs. the HOA directed by Benjamin R. Dover, MONGO’S GOT A SPIDER GUN changing the world one arachnid at a time directed by Tim McGahren, and SKY TRIPPER featuring ancient artifacts and perilous actions directed by Philip Freeman.

Back by popular demand is the BAFF Sinema Challenge, which challenges local filmmakers with the opportunity to make a horror film in 13 days. Production starts on November 1 and the films will screen on the festival’s opening night, Wed. Nov. 15, at 8 p.m., judged by co-creator and exclusive programmer for Turner Classic Movies (TCM) weekly late-night cult movie showcase TCM Underground, Kool Kat Millie De Chirico and “Archer” animation director and Atlanta-based filmmaker, Marcus Rosentrater.

One of the real strengths, and our favorite part, of Buried Alive Film Fest is the shorts programs. This year brings five shorts sets (The Groundkeeper’s Faves; Cult of the Grave Worm; Weirdness from 6 Feet Under; If These Tombstones Could Make Movies!; and If this is all there is my friend? Then let’s keep digging.) presenting 54 new films that will enlighten, scare and disgust you to the fullest extent. A few highlights from the selections include Huseyin Hassan’s 2AM about a middle-aged man, a white rabbit and supernatural events, the American premiere of Finnish animator and Buried Alive awardwinner Tomi Malakias’ THE ZOO and Mathew E. Robinson’s RIGOR MORTIS about gory and guilt-ridden sibling rivalry. 

Finally, no respectable horror film festival would be complete without screening a few horror classics, and ATLRetro loves the two special events chosen this year. On Friday night at 10 p.m., BAFF will present a special screening of Robert Wiene’s silent horror classic THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (1921) with a live soundtrack by Atlanta-based jazz group Samadha! And on Saturday night at 10 p.m., BAFF offers a special treat with a digitally remastered Tim Burton’s ED WOOD, the 1994 biopic starring Johnny Depp, Martin Landeau (as Bela Lugosi) and more. The screening will be hosted by Atlanta’s award-winning Blast Off Burlesque, who will stage one of their signature TabooLaLa events including a performance inspired by the film before the screening. With Plan 9 Graveyard photo-ops, auditions for ED, drag races for prizes and costume contests…let’s just say, things will get wonderfully bizarre.

The 7 Stages Theatre is located at 1105 Euclid Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307. Individual program block tickets are $12, and five-day festival passes are just $100.

For more information and the complete Buried Alive Film Festival schedule, visit the website here. And view the official BAFF bumper here.

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The Horror! The Horror! Our Top 10 Reasons to Spook on Down to the 4th Annual MONSTERAMA CONVENTION

Posted on: Sep 27th, 2017 By:

by Melanie Crew
Managing Editor

Illustration by Monsterama guest Kat Hudson

What are you up to this weekend? We’re monster mashing it up with a helluva killer Kool Kat extravaganza and more at the 4rd Annual MONSTERAMA CONVENTION, creeping and crawling into town this Friday-Sunday, Sept. 29-Oct. 1 at the Atlanta Marriott Alpharetta! From legendary actors to ghastly séances, here are our top reasons to get your classic monster fix at MONSTERAMA!

1)  THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI SCORED LIVE. Valentine Wolfe is back for another year, providing an eerie auditory experience as they accompany Robert Wiene’s 1920 classic silent horror film, THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI, Saturday at 1pm!

2) HOUDINI SEÁNCE. You won’t want to miss MONSTERAMA’s first ever séance! And who better to raise your spiritual expectations with a conjuring of medium debunker and escape artist extraordinaire Harry Houdini, than ghoulish guests Kool Kat Shane Morton, Daniel Roebuck and Marcus Koch! Raise your spirits Friday at 11pm!

3) SILVER SCREAM SPOOK SHOW.  Kool Kat Shane Morton, a.k.a. ghost host with the most, Professor Morte and the Silver Scream Spook Show featuring the Go-Go Ghouls and guest, Dick Miller will terrify with a live spook show followed by a spook-tacular screening of Roger Corman’s THE TERROR (1963) on 16mm, Saturday beginning at 4pm!

4) FANGTASTIC FILM AND TWISTED TELEVISION.  It’s monster movie madness with screenings of horrorific classics (mostly screening in 16mm) including Charles B. Griffiths’s DR. HECKYL AND MR. HYPE (1980), featuring guest Dick Miller; Roman Polanski’s THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS (1967); Lainie Miller’s 2014 documentary, THAT GUY DICK MILLER; Roy Ward Baker’s THE VAMPIRE LOVERS (1970); an unannounced Ballyhoo Motion Pictures documentary; and a special adults only (21+) screening of guest Brian K. Williams’ newly released SPACE BABES FROM OUTER SPACE with special guests Allison Maier and Ellie Church, and a slew of more slaying cinema! Or get terrified T.V.-style  throughout the weekend and catch screenings of THE OUTER LIMITS – “The Sixth Finger” and “The Architects of Fear”; STAR TREK – “Devil in the Dark” and “Mirror Mirror”; made for TV movie, THE QUESTOR TAPES (1974); and you won’t want to miss a super rare screening of Kolchak THE NIGHT STALKER and more!

5) CINEPROV RIFFS THE LOST WORLD. Madness, monsters and prehistoric creatures, OH MY! Hilarity ensues as New MST3K writer Larry Johnson and CINEPROV riffs Irwin Allen’s THE LOST WORLD (1960) Friday at 9pm!

6) SPOOKTACULAR GUESTS. Catch some killer guests, including Sybil Danning (BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS); BarBara Luna (STAR TREK); Dick Miller (GREMLINS; ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HIGH SCHOOL); visual effects expert Gene Warren Jr. (PET SEMATERY; ELIMINATORS); horror history expert and documentarian, Kool Kat Daniel Griffith of Ballyhoo Motion Pictures; creaturific artist Kool Kat Mark Maddox; Kool Kat Ricky Hess (HORROR HOTEL); filmmaker and set-dec dresser/buyer Kool Kat Dayna Noffke (“Under the Bed”); film score composer Tom Ashton (The March Violets); Kool Kat Shane Morton, ghost host with the most, a.k.a. Professor Morte; glamour ghoul Kool Kat Madeline Brumby, actress Allison Maier (FRANKENSTEIN CREATED BIKERS) and more!

7) MONSTER MAKEOVERS.  Get gore-gous with monster make-up galore as part of this year’s Makers Track! You won’t want to miss SSFXLAB’s “It’s Alive” event, creating Frankenstein’s monster in 3 different ways; SFX for the smallest creatures in your life, with the “Littlest Monster Maker,” event featuring mom/daughter duo, filmmaker Kool Kat Dayna Noffke and ultra spooky Vivi Vivian; and win some monstrous prizes with the annual FACE-ON make-up contest! And don’t forget to stick around for a creeping cornucopia of frightful faces and monster masks!

8) WARPED WRITERS & LITERARY PANELS. Writers make the monstrous world go ‘round, so check out guest authors, Dacre Stoker, Bram Stoker’s great grand-nephew (DRACULA THE UN-DEAD); John Farris (THE FURY); Sean Linkenback (THE ART OF JAPANESE MONSTERS); Charles Rutledge and vampire aficionado J. E. Browning (GRAPHIC HORROR: MOVIE MONSTER MEMORIES). And you won’t want to miss out on some wicked panels of the literary variety including “Our Favorite Trashy Horror Novels,” with Jeff Strand, Clay Gilbert and Eddie Coulter; “Dracula 120th Anniversary Spectacular,” with Dacre Stoker, J.E. Browning and Kool Kat Anthony Taylor; “Nevermore – A Poe Tribute,” with Kool Kat Mark Maddox and Mike Gordon, and so many more!

9) SCARE-TASTIC SHOPPING. Horror cons are the perfect place to stock up on both classic horror memorabilia, cult classics on DVD and creepy clothing, costumes and accessories. So come on down to the dealer’s room and check out all the toys, collectibles and monstrous goodies you can get your ghoulish little hands on!

10) MONSTER PROM. Hey all you boils and ghouls, get frightfully funky at this year’s Monster Prom, Saturday at 8:30pm! Dust off the old rat-infested tux, clear out the cobwebs, shine up your shoes and get ready to do the Monster Mash, and maybe even Time-Warp into the wee hours of the morning, hosted by Professor Morte and DJ Deathskiss!

MONSTERAMA main con hours are Fri. Sept. 29 from 4 to 12 a.m. (with screenings at noon and registration at 3pm); Sat. Sept. 30 from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.; and Sun. Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more info, visit the MONSTERAMA official website here.

 

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Kool Kat of the Week: It’s Monster Madness as Anthony Taylor, Monster Kid and Con Co-Chair, Dishes on the 4th Annual MONSTERAMA CONVENTION

Posted on: Sep 26th, 2017 By:

by Melanie Crew
Managing Editor

Anthony Taylor, official Licensing & Brand Manager for the Bram Stoker Estate, author and one helluva monster-kid, co-chairs Atlanta’s favorite classic monster convention, MONSTERAMA, creeping into its fourth hellacious year at the Atlanta Marriott Alpharetta this weekend, Friday – Sunday, Sept. 29-Oct. 1!

Prepare for a ghastly three days of ghoulish proportions filled to the blood-curdling brim with old-school horror connoisseurs like Sybil Danning (BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS); BarBara Luna (THE DEVIL AT 4 O’CLOCK; STAR TREK); Dick Miller (THE TERMINATOR; GREMLINS; ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HIGH SCHOOL); visual effects expert Gene Warren Jr. (THE TERMINATOR; PET SEMATERY; ELIMINATORS); author John Farris (THE FURY); horror history expert and documentarian, Kool Kat Daniel Griffith of Ballyhoo Motion Pictures; creaturific artist Kool Kat Mark Maddox; Kool Kat Ricky Hess (HORROR HOTEL); filmmaker and set-dec dresser/buyer Kool Kat Dayna Noffke (“Under the Bed”); Victorian chamber metal musicians Valentine Wolfe; film score musician/composer Tom Ashton (The March Violets); Kool Kat Shane Morton, ghost host with the most, a.k.a. Professor Morte; glamour ghoul Kool Kat Madeline Brumby and so many more! Get wicked and haunt on down to MONSTERAMA for a weekend of monster madness!

In addition to his duties as MONSTERAMA’s “Monster Kid in Chief,” Taylor has authored THE FUTURE WAS F.A.B.: THE ART OF MIKE TRIM, released in 2014; ARCTIC ADVENTURE, an official THUNDERBIRDS novel released in 2012; VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA: THE COMPLETE SERIES – VOL. 2, released in 2010, and more. He’s also penned hundreds of articles published in horror, sci-fi and film fandom publications such as SFX MAGAZINE, VIDEO WATCHDOG, FANGORIA, SCREEM MAGAZINE, HORRORHOUND MAGAZINE, FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND and more!

ATLRetro caught up with Anthony Taylor for a quick interview about his monster kid memories; the importance of preserving film and classic popular culture; and this year’s maniacal MONSTERAMA madness!

Illustration by Monsterama guest Kat Hudson

ATLRetro: MONSTERAMA invades Atlanta once again and we couldn’t be more excited! As a life-long monster kid, can you fill us in on the creation of this labor of love and tell us what prompted you to bring a weekend full of classic monsters to the heart of Atlanta?

Anthony Taylor: I’ve attended conventions like Wonderfest in Louisville, KY, and Monster Bash in Mars, PA, for many years and enjoyed them immensely. I’d always wished there was a similar show here in Atlanta. I waited around for that to happen for so long that I finally decided to put it on myself, and Monsterama was born in 2014. Though predominantly focused on classic horror films, we embrace monsters of all genres and media, and try to provide a great weekend for people who like them.

Pop culture/sub-culture conventions, such as MONSTERAMA, are great ways to preserve film and television classics. Why do you think these types of events draw larger crowds year after year? In your role(s) as convention director/Co-Chair, are you seeing larger and larger turnouts at these types of events each year?

I’m not certain they are drawing significantly larger crowds every year; at least not the more focused ones. Dragon Con, absolutely; they appeal to multiple genres and generations. We have grown consistently since 2014, but I know some shows that report a shrinking fan base simply due to the age of the films and media they cover – the fans and those still into them are dying off.  That’s why I feel it’s important for conventions like Monsterama to keep the banner flying. If we don’t, sooner or later no one will care about these stories that we cherish. In my opinion, “millennials” just don’t seem to see film as an art form, by and large. It’s a way to waste two hours and then on to the next distraction to many of them. The films we celebrate are definitely art and deserve to be preserved.

The guests that have appeared at MONSTERAMA have been monsterific, from Ricou Browning to Lynn Lowry to Victoria Price to Caroline Munro to Zach Galligan and so many more. What can you tell our readers about this year’s guests? Anything exciting planned? And who are you hoping to snag for future conventions?

We’ve got FABULOUS guests this year! Dick Miller, the guy from every Roger Corman and Joe Dante movie ever made, will be with us, as will Sybil Danning from BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS and THE HOWLING 2, to name a few. Daniel Roebuck from LOST and Rob Zombie’s HALLOWEEN movies will be signing for free all weekend! We also have BarBara Luna from STAR TREK and the OUTER LIMITS, Academy Award™-winning special effects master Gene Warren, Jr., Lynn Lowry (as you mentioned), and so many more. The complete list is on our website here. Next year I’d love to get John Saxon, as I’ve enjoyed all of his performances.

Not only are you seasoned in the areas of classic film and television fandom from the behind-the-scenes running of conventions, but you’re also a published author (ARCTIC ADVENTURE, an official THUNDERBIRDS novel, VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA: THE COMPLETE SERIES – VOL. 2, along with articles published in several fandom magazines). What compels you to write? And what is it about classic pop culture that makes you want to share it with your readers?

I like sharing my joy in all things popular culture with other people. I don’t want to just share my own nostalgic vision on a lot of these subjects — I want to provide readers with context so they can enjoy art on a deeper level. A good example is the graphic novel WATCHMEN by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. To anyone who picked it up after 1989, when the Berlin wall came down and glasnost pervaded Eastern Europe, it has a completely different meaning than to those of us who read it while still under the threat of nuclear war. Of course, now might be a good time for a re-read of Watchmen… I’ve written hundreds of articles and interviews for film magazines exposing what goes on behind the camera because that informs what goes on in front of it. Context makes you view art in a completely different light.

Which classic monster and/or movie would you say is the most neglected and what do you think makes them worthy of attention?

I’ve got a few lesser-known favorites, chief among them I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE and CURSE OF THE DEMON. They both work to frighten or creep out the viewer on a very base level, and both are visually striking. They both create tension via a sort of poetic nomenclature and subvert the viewer’s expectations. I could recommend many films, but if you haven’t seen these two, add them to your list!

Can you tell us a little about some of your favorite monster kid memories?

The first monster I was ever fascinated by (like many) was King Kong. When I was six years old, I traded a few comic books for a gorgeous poster of angry Kong towering over New York City, Fay Wray in his hand– and it scared me so much that I couldn’t sleep with it on my wall! My mom had to re-hang it in my closet so it wouldn’t keep me up at night in terror.

We see that you’re a huge fan of classic toys and model kit building. Do you remember the first model kit? And more importantly, do you still have it?

Around the same age, I began to see ads on the back of comics for Aurora monster model kits and could barely contain my desire for the whole set. The first one I coveted was the Hunchback of Notre Dame, but the first one I actually bought and built was the Phantom of the Opera. I eventually got Frankenstein, Dracula, The Creature and a few more. Unfortunately, my originals do not survive, but I have re-issues of all of them now. Knowing they’re safe in my storage unit gives me a warm, completed feeling from time to time.

I’m sure all monster kids are dying to know — how does one become the licensing & brand manager for the Bram Stoker Estate? That’s got to be one big dream come true. Can you tell us some exciting things you’ve got planned regarding Stoker’s Estate?

I met Dacre Stoker, who runs the estate and is Bram Stoker’s great-grand nephew a few years ago and we get along well. After seeing his presentations on Bram and Dracula several times, I began to realize how much branding potential was being wasted by not having someone overseeing these matters. I spoke with Dacre and we eventually put together an agreement that made me Licensing & Brand manager for the estate. I’m working with companies in the retail mystery box realm, jewelry, tabletop gaming, and others to try and create products that will extend awareness of Stoker and his works. It’s going pretty well so far.

What was your first taste of monstrous terror, and which classic monsters are your favorites?

Aurora Classic Monster model kits

Kong! I also love the many creations of Ray Harryhausen, Dracula, Frankenstein, and Creature From The Black Lagoon. I used to be an indiscriminate collector of monster merchandise, but now I’ve narrowed things down to just a few favorites. I no longer feel the need to own everything ever made!

What about your favorite classic television series?

Gerry Anderson’s UFO – the only monsters in it are humans and humanoid aliens, but the protagonist is a bureaucrat, out on the watchtower keeping the Earth safe from invaders. He’s a hero with a briefcase, and the writing of the show made a big impression on me when I first viewed it. There are lots of great miniature effects and explosions, cute girls in silver cat suits, and groovy music, but it remains one of the most engaging and serious television programs I’ve ever seen.

Can you give us five things you’re into at the moment that we should be watching, reading or listening to right now— past or present, well-known or obscure?

I’m afraid my days of being cutting edge are long past! I mostly listen to’70s and ’80s punk and new wave, with a general leaning towards jangly guitar riffs by bands like The Church, or Crowded House. I haunt Netflix and Amazon Prime for new films and shows like THE OA or THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE (also starring Monsterama guest Daniel Roebuck). I read a lot of bad speculative fiction but I’m genuinely amazed when something as good as Jeff VanderMeer’s BORNE comes along. I like Sirius radio now that I have it, but wish it were priced more reasonably. I’m a huge fan of Kazuo Ishiguro’s writing, especially THE REMAINS OF THE DAY and NEVER LET ME GO.

And back to one of our favorite classic monster conventions, MONSTERAMA – anything extra special in store for con attendees this year? Any special events planned we should put on our calendar? So many great things!

Friday we have a concert by our heavy Victorian metal house band, Valentine Wolfe, a tongue-in-cheek séance to raise the spirit of Harry Houdini, Cineprov will be riffing on Irwin Allen’s production of THE LOST WORLD, and we’re screening guest Brian K. Williams’ film SPACE BABES FROM OUTER SPACE, with stars Ellie Church and Alison Maier in attendance. Saturday is the Silver Scream Spook Show screening THE TERROR, which co-stars our guest Dick Miller, plus our annual Monster Prom where we have truly fabulous door prizes. Valentine Wolfe will also be providing a live, original musical score for the classic German film, THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI. Dacre Stoker is bringing some of Bram Stoker’s personal effects to display as well. Sunday the Atlanta Radio Theater Company will be performing BRIDES OF DRACULA live onstage. All this plus many other panels, screenings, exhibits, contests, and demos all weekend long!

A. Taylor and Monsterama 2016 guest, Caroline Munro

And last but not least, what are you up to next? Can you give us some details on any other projects you’re currently working on or will be in the near future?

My partner and I are launching a new convention in Atlanta next Easter weekend called SPY CON. If you’re a James Bond, Kingsman, Man From UNCLE or other Spy-fi fan, you won’t want to miss it! We’re still early in the process, but details are available here. And of course, work has already begun on next year’s Monsterama, which will be classic Sci-Fi and space-horror themed, and is slated to take place at the Atlanta Marriott Alpharetta Oct. 5-7, 2018.

 

 

 

 

All photos courtesy of Anthony Taylor and used with permission.

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