He Watched It Sober.

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B-Fest 2006

Bob Clark Armageddon

24-Hours! 16 Films! My Butt Hurts in 3-D!

Inter-Species Romance, Nerd Funk & Troma Trauma

( And Superman Really is a Dick. Moo. )






The Line Up:

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

Creature from the Black Lagoon

Godzilla (1998)

Wizard of Speed & Time

Plan 9 from Outer Space


Mystery Short


Tromeo & Juliet

Mystery Short

Graffiti Bridge

Earth Girls are Easy


Cobra Woman

SuperBabies: Baby Geniuses 2

King Kong (1933)


Sights &
  McCormick Auditorium
  Northwestern University
  Jan. 27-28
  6pm to 6pm

The 2006

Mix Tracks:


Courtesy of Tim Lehnerer

& The Unified Meek Theory

 "It Begins"

Girls Against Boys  

 "Zip a Dee Doo Dah"

The Rationals   

 "Drive-In Movie"

The Cheapskates  

 "It Conquered the World"

Riot Squad   

 "The Magnificent Seven"

Los Straightjackets  

 "Rio Yeti"

McAbee & Cook  

 "Highly Illogical"

Leonard Nimoy  

 "The Martian Hop"

The Neanderthals  


Clint Eastwood  

 "The D'Ampton Worm"

Machado & Powys  

 "Eat the Apple"

Alan Love  

 "One Tin Soldier"

Me First & the   

Gimme Gimmes    

 "Monster Mash"

The Misfits  

 "Figment's Park"


 "The Cockroach
 that ate Cincinnati"

Rose & the Arrangement  

 "Dracula's Daughter"

Screaming Lord  

Sutch & the Savages   


Ortolani & Oliviero  

 "Down and Out in
  New York City"

James Brown  

 "Destination Venus"

The Rezillios  

 "At the Movies"

The Statler Brothers  


B-Fest Ho -- Whoa! Wait. Hold on?

(Now What Are They Showing Again?)

Ah, B-Fest ... A&O Films 24-hour long dosing of cinematic cheese. And not just any kinda cheese: Government cheese; cheese from a test tube of unknown origin, with no natural occurring products in it at all; thatís the kinda cheese weíre talking about, here. E'yup, itís late January again, which means itís time for the annual pilgrimage to the Chicago suburbs of Evanston and Northwestern University, to rub elbows with the fellow B-Movie Brethren and endure about fourteen cinematically challenged films and a half-dozen shorts, with no preconceived notions except a hope to see the sunrise come Sunday morning when itís all over.

It did. We all survived -- barely.

However, there was some controversy -- as in a full metric ton of controversy -- when the line-up for this yearís B-Fest was announced because it skewed a little too modern for some, too classical for others, and included not one, not two, but three musicals back to back to back in the morning hours that threatened to kill us all. And though there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth over the schedule, it did little to hamper ticket sales as B-Fest 2006 sold out in an hour and half. To repeat: AN HOUR AND HALF! Hats off to A&O, who did some last minute tinkering with the line-up, rearranging the order, making it all go down smoother, but then they killed the only movie I truly was looking forward to seeing, Queen of Outer Space, with another film, only adding to my pre-Fest misery.

And as I tried to drum up some enthusiasm -- and seeing some classics on the big screen helped, Iíll admit I was pretty disappointed in the line-up. I mean, Nothing was really tripping my trigger at all, sadly; but, armed with a lot of caffeine and other, legal, over the counter stimulants, along with a huge can of deodorant, I loined my girds, apologized to my ass and sucked it up to take another one for the team.

East Bound and Down

(Loaded Up & Truckin')

This was my fifth B-Fest in a row, and I can honestly say it's usually about a fifty-fifty split between enduring the marathon and congregating with the BMMB irregulars as the main reason for going. This year, it was about ninety-ten split. And joining me for his fourth trek was Mike (a/k/a Captain Wow), and Matt (a/k/a Hiro Protagonist), going to his third. Alas, the Caddy died [... hats off gents], but Mike got us a replacement vehicle, and in it we snuck out of Grand Island under the cover of darkness really really early Thursday morning and headed east, trying to find an unoccupied station to tune in the Satellite Radio -- a technical glitch that the ads for the service tend to mysteriously overlook.

We snag Matt on the way through Omaha and cross the border into Iowa, where things always tend to get a little trippy and surreal due to a lack of sleep and the local geography. We didn't help matters any by trying to watch Chesty Morgan in Double Agent '73. My God, when Chesty whips one of her gargantuan hooters around with both hands like club and bludgeons that guy to death ... Words absolutely fail me. Mike also brought along a digital recorder this year, but what he captured, including an absolutely Criswellian like explanation of The Black Hole of Des Moines from yours truly, alas, appears to have been lost, and nothing I can type can capture the essence of what was recorded therein, so I'm not even gonna try. Sorry.

Still, I love Iowa City; it's like Twin Peaks meets Felini by way of David Cronenberg -- back when he had people with mouths in their armpits, where things like this can be found:

( Exactly. )

50ft. BMMB Invades Best Western
(Details at 11 ... And I'm not wearing any pants.)

About an even dozen denizens of the fabled BMMB convened in the lobby of the University Plaza Best Western Hotel Thursday evening. Man, it was good to see all of those guys and gals again. Both Tims, Sean, Loren, Jessica, both Joshes, Adam, Ray, Zack, Scott, and Skip (-- and I have a horrible feeling I'm forgetting someone.) And there was another guy there: a bearded sasquatch by way of Fidel Castro. But after a little closer inspection, and when El Presidente handed me a B-Fest mix CD, I realize this might be Tim -- the de-facto ringleader of this motley collection of headed-knuckle.

Alas, at this point I also found out the tentative plans for doing a little miniature golf at Ahlgrim's Funeral Parlor the next morning were scrapped due to them holding an actual funeral. That was disappointing, but I can totally respect them for not wanting or allowing a bunch of yahoos running loose in their basement fun park if the rest of the building is, well, occupied. But the evening of drinking at the Hala Kahiki, a tropical refuge in the frozen wastelands, was still on, followed by a room party with shots of the dreaded Osco Scotch -- the official drink of the BMMB -- and a double dose of Larry Buchanan flicks. Oh, god. Just shoot me now.

Drinking Rum Through a Straw

(Sounds Like a Plan to Me!)

Since this is Chicago, and I was in a car in Chicago, getting lost was not only probable but inevitable. Going to the bar, we piggy-backed and road the bumper of Tim's car, running several red lights in the process. Along the way, me, Mike, Jessica [Juniper] and Adam [Preacher Quint] pass the time by adding the phrase "In My Pants" to any movie title we could think of. As in Idle Hands in my pants, or Hard Times in my pants, or Pretty in Pink in my pants. And the euphemisms only got worse from there. Eventually, we got there without incident -- and I believe that qualifies as ominous foreshadowing.

I started laughing when we all barged into the bar, the group now nearing twenty as we hooked up with Chris and Chris and Amy. The waitress sized up our group and says "18 of you and you don't have a reservation?" But, she then quickly multiplied 18 x $7 a drink, and then quickly found us all a place to sit. And while I lost the fight against the demon rum again, I talked with Tim, Scott [El Santo] and Mortis about the literary genius of Graham Masterson, and why every Russ Meyer movie, except the ones written by Roger Ebert, were ghostwritten by Martian. Several rounds later, everyone was sufficiently lubed to return to the Best Western.

When in Scenic Waukegan...
(Ask for directions back to Evanston.) 

Now, I told Mike we had to make sure of one thing before heading back to the hotel. And that one thing was to make sure we followed somebody back to Evanston because I had no clue as to where we were. Mike, more responsible than I, was sober and took the wheel. We were told to take the nearest road and turn right on Dempster. All find and dandy, if there was a Dempster to turn right on -- he typed ominously. With that, Mike took off. No one was ahead of us. I think you can all see where this is going ... Mortis and Jessica had the misfortune of getting the true B-Fest experience by getting lost with the Nebraska contingent in the outer suburbs, and we make it as far as Waukegan before I finally decided to check the map. And as my stomach sunk into my testicles, I traced my finger further and further away from Evanston, trying to determine just where in the hell we were ... Then I did. 

Well, after I brain Mike with the map a few times for not following orders, we stopped at a gas station for directions. There, I talked to an attendant who I believe used English as a third language. Despite the language barrier, she graciously helped me locate where we are on the map and the quickest route back to Evanston. I would have kissed her, but I think she had a can of mace under the counter.

When we finally make it back to the hotel I'm relieved to find out that we weren't the only ones who got lost; so maybe it isn't just me. Once there, we borrow Mike's laptop because we forgot one vital piece of equipment for the Buchanan movies, namely a DVD player. The more technically savvy BMMBer's hooked the machine up while I enjoy my first taste of Osco brand scotch ... Imagine, if you will, sucking on a busted Duracell battery for about an hour -- that'll give you an inkling as to what Osco Scotch tastes like.

After another couple shots of paint thinner, and about ten minutes of It's Alive, the long day sneaks up on me in a hurry and I bail out. Sorry, everybody.

G'night, folks.

Ladies and Gentlemen. This. Is. B-Fest.

(Hi. My name's Chad, and I just drove 700 miles

to watch Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2.)

With the golf trip scuttled and no other real plans, I took the opportunity to sleep in Friday morning. Finally getting my butt moving around 10am, I clicked on the TV and was soon intrigued by the differences between American and Spanish daytime game shows, when Matt and I flipped back and forth between The Price is Right and some game show on Telemundo. Apparently, the gist of the game was two husbands were asked questions by the host, and if they answered wrong, the glass tanks their wives were trapped in slowly filled up with water. (And don't worry, they gave them snorkels -- and I believe one of them wound up needing it.) In the end, there was no comparison. Heading out, we hit The Potbelly deli for some much needed grub, and then wandered around the comic shops and used CD stores of Evanston for a couple of hours. We bump into Tim (-- now sans hair; long and strange story there), Sean and Loren while wondering the Barnes and Noble, and then run into Marissa [Hugazombie] out in the street and found out she missed us at the bar last night by only ten minutes or so. Drat, maybe next year?

Eventually migrating back to the hotel, our clan marshaled our forces to invade McCormick Auditorium. We got there early and staked out some seats for mutual riffing and self-protection ... And my ass is hurting already. As H-Hour approaches, our gracious hosts herd us back outside, where we get in line to go right back in -- and I take the last opportunity to breath in some fresh and unencumbered air for the next 24-hours.

Soon enough, we settled into our seats, the lights went down, and the amazing and colossal film festival wheezed to life. Rested and ready, armed with plenty of Diet Mountain Dew, beef jerky and Pringles, I was ready to do battle with the line-up, determined to stay up for the full 24-hours again no matter what.


...Courage, young viewer. Courage.

Do You Have What it Takes to Survive B-Fest?
Click on over to Part II and find out!!
Take a Gander at Our B-Fest 2006 Photos!

Originally Posted: 01/26/02 :: Rehashed: 01/05/10

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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