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Now in our eighth calendar year!
PCR #358  (Vol. 8, No. 5) This edition is for the week of January 29--February 4, 2007.

"Because I Said So"  by Mike Smith
FX Show 2007 - Quick Report  by Andy Lalino
Congratulations--Never Mind....Speaking of Death....What The Hell Was He Taking?...Who Reads The PCR....Go Colts....Passing On....Whatever Happened To...? Chapter 5: William Smith  by Mike Smith
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Oddservations by Andy Lalino

FX Show 2007 - Quick Report

Fellow filmmaker/fanboy Andrew Allan and I headed out to the oft-praised FX Collectibles Show in O-Town this past Saturday. Being a veteran of many cons since the late '70s, most recently MegaCon, Chiller, Screamfest and the Comic Book show at the Double Tree Westshore, I anticipated how this con would be different from the pack. FX struck me as a paired-down Megacon; not as many vendors, however it did boast a solid guest list. There were the usual extracurricular activities (gaming room, etc.) but no film festival.

When we first entered the viper's nest, otherwise known as the Orlando Convention Center, I had to get my first laugh - at the $2.75 Cokes and/or water bottles in the vending machines. Kinda makes one want to become a one-shot vandal.

I thought the entrance fee was too pricey ($20!), and it doesn't leave a good impression when your "welcome gifts" (a hand full of advertisements) are contained in a grocery store-style Kaybee Toys bag! And get this - they steal $10 from you for the privilege of parking - in a pothole-filled dirt lot! Though the dealer's room couldn't beat MegaCon's scope, what it lacked in quantity it exceeded in quality. It was a real pleasure experiencing a minimal amount of fluff vendors (you know, the DVD bootleggers), and I have to say the vintage toy selection was exceptional. Lots of original Star Wars action sets still in the box!

We had a window of opportunity to meet up with Ed Tucker, but we arrived later than estimated and Ed and his wife had left the con by the time we arrived (Ed attended Friday night, as well, and had the dealer's room all to himself!). Oh, well, I told Ed there's always his 4th of July festivities in Jacksonville, which I will make a valiant attempt to attend. We were able to say hello to our good friend Terry Cronin! and his three sons, manned at the striking Students of the Unusual booth. For the unordained, SOTU is a phenomenal horror anthology comic produced by Cronin!'s Three Boys Productions team, and features some of the greatest artists and writers in the biz. Terry and his business partner Pat Martin (who did not attend) are also recognizable as one of the featured vendors on IFC's "The ComicCon Chronicles" which frequently airs on the network. It was nice catching up as to what Terry was doing (he resides in Melbourne, Florida) on the film festival and comics scene. During our chat, up came the star of the new "Hills Have Eyes" movies Michel Bailey Smith! The tall, bald actor is also known for playing the vampire hit-man in the horror short sensation "Blood Shot" and recently received a Fangoria Chainsaw Award. Smith and Cronin! have been friends for years (like yours truly, Smith is a fan and attendee of the Melbourne Independent Filmmakers Festival) and took the opportunity to catch up.

We wandered over to the celeb area where we were reunited with famous horror starlet Brinke Stevens, who notified us that she appeared in an amazing 11(!) features in 2006! I mentioned that I just watched "Slumber Party Massacre", a feature which I think killed her off too early. It was a great catching up with the brunette bombshell, who noted that she attended FX in lieu of MegaCon.

We spent the day doing business, meeting people, buying goodies and causing general havoc. My only purchases: "Origins of Marvel Comics" softback (from 1974) and a live Devo DVD (I spent under $20). Though Peter Graves, Lance Henriksen, Michael Biehn, William Katt, Felix Silla, and a few other celebs were present, I didn't get any $20 autographs. FX was not a memorable or a unique experience, too much resembling MegaCon and impersonal when compared with cons of the late '70s/early '80s - well, that's the kind of bland, homogenized world we dwell in now. For the price of admission, exorbitant parking fee, and general hassle, this is one to miss. For any bit of fun we had, to be blatantly conned by these astronomical prices cancels out any pleasure to be derived from an FX experience, and that goes for MegaCon and Screamfest, too. We wrapped the day at about 4pm and headed back home, where I looked forward to the more scaled-down and colorful Tampa Comic Con, which boasts a reasonable $5 admission and free parking.

"Oddservations" is ©2007 by Andy Lalino.  The Oddservations banner is a creation of Andy Lalino. All other graphics are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.