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B-Fest 2005

The Apple Strikes Back

24-Hours! 16 Films! I Can't Feel My Ass!

Tiki Bars, Murder, Mayhem & Vintage Toon Porn!

( And can I get some chili on them there pancakes? )






The Line Up:

Earth vs. the Flying Saucers

The Apple

Mystery Short

The Swarm

Wizard of Speed & Time

Plan 9 from Outer Space

Black Caesar

Mystery Short

Beauty and the Robot

Death Wish 3

Project Moonbase

Three Ninjas: High Noon at Mega-Mountain

Robot Monster

Class of Nuke 'Em High

Lassie: the Adventures of Neeka

The Ice Pirates

Mystery Short

IT! The Terror from Beyond Space

Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo


Sights &
  McCormick Auditorium
  Northwestern University
  Jan. 28-29
  6pm to 6pm

The 2005

Mix Tracks:

Printed with
the Blood
of Dracula

Courtesy of Tim Lehnerer

& The Unified Meek Theory


The Bill Nayer Show  

 "Love Theme from MST3k"

Mike Nelson   

 "Boyd's Journey"

Nyman & Album  

 "Piccadilly Lily"

Anthony Newly   

 "Graveyard Rock"

Nita & Bonnie  

 "The King"

Bryan Tyler  

 "Green Slime"

The Green Slime  


Kid Creole & the Coconuts 

 "[She's} Fallen in Love
  with the Monster Man"

The Rezillos  

 "The Munsters Theme"

The Comateens  

 "The Cockroach

  that Ate Cincinnati"  

Rose & the Arrangments   

 "2000 Maniacs"

Riot Squad  

 "Pet Semetary"

The Ramones  

 "Empire Strikes Back"


 "Mr. Tambourine Man"

The Shatner  

 "Do the Jellyfish"

Neil Sedaka  

 "Have I the Right"

The Honeycombs  

 "The Gonk"

Herbert Chappell  

 "Monkey Hustle"

Jack Conrad  

 "The Man Comes Around"

Johnny Cash  

 "Piccadilly Lily Part II"

Anthony @#$* Newly  

 "Benson, Arizona"

John Yager  


Ronnie Montrose  


B-Fest Ho-ly Cow!

(One More Time, with Feeling...)

So, I got off work early Monday morning on January the 17th, got home, and checked out the BMMB to see if A&O Films had revealed what they were going to try and kill me with at this year's B-Fest: the 24-hour movie marathon where myself and about 250 other, self-proclaimed bad movie extremists cram into a theater, gorge ourselves on junk-food, caffeine, and other legal stimulants, who then, en masse, endure an onslaught of cinematically challenged films and shorts, all while stewing in our own juices for one whole calendar day. We're mad I tell you -- MAD!

The schedule was finally posted, and as I gave it a gander, I only made as far as the second feature before my survival instincts automatically kicked in, and between a few incredulous blinks of the eye, a fast finger quickly turned the monitor off in a fit of self-preservation. Nah, I thought. Couldn't be. They wouldn't dare ... Would they? Perhaps I had read it wrong, and needed to double-check it...

Aaarrgghhhhh! It's still there! 

It was true: they were gonna show The Apple. GAH! And with visions of the audience erupting in a cascading nerdal wave during that glam-rock mind-@#%*, reducing the theater to rubble, all I could think of was, My god, I have got to be there to see this!

Let's Roll!

(The Adventures of Captain Wow

in the Black Hole of Des Moines)

I understand B-Fest sold out in less than two days this year. Luckily, we had an inside man who snagged some tickets for us. (Thanks, Skip!) And soon, it was off to Chicago and the Evanston suburbs for my fourth go 'round at the Amazing Colossal Film Festival -- an endurance test of the mind, body and soul ... And underarm deodorant, and intestinal fortitude, and the tensile strength of your gluteus maximus. 

Along for the ride was Mike Bockoven, trekking to his third B-Fest, and one newbie, Mike's friend and master of the bad pun, Matt Campbell. Together, we piled into the Caddy and headed east. Mike, as usual, took the wheel, and his amazing driving prowess -- mostly involving jumping concrete islands while trying to turn into gas stations, and finding rumble bars on the shoulders -- quickly earn him the nickname, Captain Wow. Sneaking out of Grand Island at toodamnedearly o'clock, we hit I-80, that took us east as we listened to the mix CD I made to hand out this year and checked it for technical glitches. My burner was sounding very strange around the tenth disc, but to my relief, the last one of the batch played OK. And when we got to the "Rumor of Surf" track by Southern Culture on the Skids, when Mary Huff hits that one note, and you'll know it when you hear it, I explained to Mike that that's the reason I wanted to bare her children.

We picked up Matt in Omaha, then across the river into Iowa, where you know what awaits us. And I got to tell you, The Black Hole of Des Moines really screwed with us this year. What's The Black Hole of Des Moines? Well, it's kind of a space/time flux thing where you drive and drive but never seem to get anywhere. (For more info on this anomaly, check out the B-Fest 2002 recap.) And then things got even more bizarre when we stopped for gas and food in Iowa City, where after a gassing up at the Kum & Go [insert your own lewd joke here], we headed to the nearest McDonald's and found something very -- well, strange...

He Who Walks Between the Arches
(Words Fail Me Folks.)

In front of the entrance of this eatery was a dead tree that rose about fifteen feet into the air. And on top of that petrified stump, carved into the wood, sprung Ronald McDonald. Well, not sprung; it looks more like he's trying to scrape and crawl his way out. And as we debated whether this was man made, or some kind of pagan fast food idol manifestation, I took several pictures of it -- until I head a voice ordering me to stop! We looked to the left, where a woman in a McDonald's uniform scolded us and told us that no pictures of the Great Wooden Ronald was allowed. Apologizing, I told her I'd delete them [which, of course, I didn't] before heading inside, suppressing incredulous laughter. But when I happened to look back, the woman had disappeared! From the empty lot I glanced back up at the Wooden Ronald -- who glared right back at me. Yikes!

Over the greasiest double-cheeseburgers ever, even for McD's, we dubbed her the wood nymph protector of He Who Walks Between the Arches. And I don't think it was a conscious decision, but we all ate really, really fast and quickly put as much distance between us, Iowa City, and that accursed wooden idol as was humanly possible. Hell, I kept expecting to glance back and see the hideous wooden totem, with those creepy, dead eyes and humorless grin, crawling up the trunk, ready to rip my spleen out for defiling him with my camera.

Shaking Iowa City off, we passed most of the trip watching clips of skater punks breaking bones that Matt downloaded from Mucho Sucko, and got about halfway through Something Weird Video's sampler DVD when we rolled into Chicago proper (-- and was it me, or have the toll charges doubled from last year?), and make it all the way to the hotel without incident and get checked in a little before five.

Since Matt had forgotten some vital piece of equipment for the video game console he brought along, he and Mike headed out to see if they could buy a replacement. Me, I'd been up since noon the day before -- e'yup, I'd already been up for over 24 hours -- so I stayed put and stretched out on the bed for awhile.


Dinner with the BMMB

("Your Nerd Fu is Weak, Old Man.")

The plan was to meet the collective heads of knuckle of the BMMB in the lobby around 7p.m., then trek over to the Prairie Moon for the traditional pre-fest meal, and then hit the Hala Kahiki for some demon rum and other, Tiki-inspired spirits. At the appropriate hour, as we headed down to the lobby, I was determined to call everyone by their real names this year. We find Tim [Telstarman], Sean [Osco Sean], Josh [Bergerjaques] and Ray [Nameless Ray] waiting. And though Scott (El Santo), master and commander of 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting, and his companion, Elizabeth, hadn't arrived yet, we went ahead and moseyed on over to the restaurant, where we proceeded to eat, loudly, and after several rounds of drinks, this nerd-off really got going.

Scott and Elizabeth caught up at some point, and Skip made a brief cameo appearance to gives us our tickets; thanks again, m'man. And as we waited and waited for the check, and then waited some more, we finally got up and started putting our jackets on; only then do they get the hint. After settling up, we grouped off into two cars to head over the world famous Hala Kahiki to drink some rum through a straw.

Oh, yeah ... I see this ending in fire, too.

Mike and Matt bowed out, so I bummed a ride with Tim and Sean. We made it to the bar indirectly, but, hell, we made it and rejoined the group as the socializing recommenced over a round of Zombies. Taking into account all the beer I drank at the restaurant, I only ordered one more drink after that, something called a Preacher Packing Punch -- and let it be known that they do not skimp on the alcohol at the Hala Kahiki -- because I really didn't want to be that hungover tomorrow. When things eventually wrapped up, we headed back to the hotel. Along the way, Tim explained to me his Unified Meek Theory, where all pop-music benevolently led back to the eccentric record producer, Joe Meek, while I explained how at a Denny's you can get chili on your pancakes, and then almost make Sean throw-up when we continue to add toppings ... Well, it was a combination of that and the really noxious farts I was trying and failing to suppress in the back seat. (Sorry, boys, it's been a really long day.) But "chili on pancakes" did become a successful running gag during the film fest, of which I am very proud.

And then the long day got just a little longer as we proceeded to get lost in a fog bank and missed a critical turn. But we did finally make it back to Evanston -- by way of Winnetka -- when Tim makes the right choice by ignoring my suggestions on which way to turn, and it was just a little after 1 a.m. when I stumbled back into the hotel room.

G'night folks.

Friday, January 28th
(And the Great Ewok Massacre of '05.)

The next morning, I was awakened by the sounds of Ewoks getting slaughtered by Mike and Matt playing Star Wars: Battlefront. And whoever invented drinking rum through a straw needs to be shot. And then shot again. My head was a little fuzzy, my tongue the consistency of dried toast, and the soft hotel bed didn't do my back any good either. Bleary-eyed, we stumbled onto the streets of Evanston to kill some time and find some grub before heading to the Norris Center. We find a comic shop that should be open, according to the sign, but the door was locked; so we hit the Barnes and Nobles instead, where I picked up a new Lansdale novel, and book on horror cinema from around the world that looks very promising -- for the interview with Takeshi Miike alone. 

We decided to hit the deli we ate at last year for lunch, but found it boarded up. Moving on, stomachs rumbling, we ran into the others at a used vinyl store. They'd eaten already, so we moved on and found a Subway and grubbed up. By now, my back was really killing me, so I excused myself back to the hotel lobby, where I took up a chair, cracked open Sunset and Sawdust, and dozed off about ten pages in ... Awakened by a flashbulb [Thanks, Ray], glancing at my watch, I see it's time to head over to the campus. Forming a convoy, we were in the lead, which I guess makes us the Rubber Duck, everybody loaded up and made the long trek from the parking garage to the Norris Center, where I commented to Josh that I felt like we were storming the beaches at Normandy; to which Mike replied "I didn't realize there would be machine guns." Inside, we found Chris and Scott from Stomp Tokyo, and Doc Freex from the BMR already there. As we loitered, Doc autographed several copies of the new Forever Evil DVD; but I win this nerd-off when I whipped out my original VHS release of the film.

When McCormick auditorium opened up, we staked out some seats about halfway up on the right hand side -- away from the speakers. We claim our four and half seats [one and half seats per person, natch] right behind Doc, Ray and Josh; Stomp Tokyo is in the next row up, along with Amy Mo and Joe from Opposable Thumb Films; Skip, George and the rest of C.H.E.W. are a little further up; Scott and Elizabeth are up near them; while Tim and Sean are a row behind us on the opposite aisle. Around 5pm, they rousted everyone out to go through the ticket line to get stamped and branded for the evening. Outside, we ran into more BMMBers, including Jessica [Juniper] Ritchey, and the mysterious pistol packing Megalemur. While waiting in line, I got in on a great conversation with the contingent from Jabootu Nation about Lifetime movies being a great untapped source of fodder that ultimately led to the creation of the greatest Lifetime movie yet to be created: Mother May I Strangle Morgan Fairchild. (Maybe you had to be there.)

Making our way back into the theater, everyone seems to have learned their lesson from last year -- or at least the aisles seemed less clogged. A good rule of thumb: bring all you want -- as long as it fits under your seat. so I don't think we'll be having any problems with Fire Marshall Sally this go 'round. Incredibly, we wound up sitting in front of the exact same people we sat in front of last year, including Edward and Marissa, also of the BMMB, which was great because they were funny without being obnoxious that, believe me, is very important by hour number ten of a 24-hour film festival. Trust me.

Ladies & Gentlemen. This. Is. B-FEST.

(Almost There ... Stay on Target...)

As the clock clicked ever closer to zero hour, the auditorium filled up but for some reason didn't seem to be as full as it was last year. Then, a quick check of the program saw some massive changes from the original published line-up: Island of Terror was gone, replaced by IT! The Terror from Beyond Space, and Black Caesar was subbing in for Black Belt Jones. Dang it. I was kind of looking forward to that one. Ah, well. I see The Apple was still there, though, and the threat of showing Merkin again if we don't behave. 

Breaking out a soda and a couple of granola bars, I settled into my seat and promised Doc to keep it to a dull roar, who waved his cane at me, menacingly, and I already knew this was going to be the best B-Fest ever! It was now 6pm. Parents, Do you know where your Twinkies are? Because I think I just stepped on one. Oh yeah, in the famous words of Martin Landau channeling Bela Lugosi: "Let's shoot the @#%*er!"

B-Fest 2005 is Locked and Loaded for Bear.
If you're ready to fire, then click on over to Part II.
And Take a Gander at Our B-Fest 2005 Photos!

Originally Posted: 01/26/02 :: Rehashed: 12/15/09

Knuckled-out by Chad Plambeck: misspeller of words, butcher of all things grammatical, and king of the run on sentence. Copy and paste at your own legal risk. Questions? Comments? Shoot us an e-mail.
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