May 10, 2011

SHOCK STOCK: GUEST SPOTLIGHT

Life intervened, so I'm a few weeks behind on my Shock Stock coverage, but please enjoy these guest profiles for the people I mingled with on the Shock Stock floor at Centennial Hall in London, ON.


ILSA: SHE WOLF OF THE SS

I (left) and my friend Rufus (right) pose with Dyane Thorne (Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS)
Headlining the debut year for Shock Stock was exploitation legend Dyanne Thorne, star of Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS; Ilsa, Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheik; and Ilsa the Tigress of Siberia. Accompanied by her husband Howard Maurer, Dyanne was vending Ilsa merchandise and engaging her fans in the spirit of fun and openness that pervaded all the booths at Shock Stock. Thorne and Maurer are one of the sweetest and honest couples I've ever met on the convention circuit. Their close relationship was as clear for all to see in a very loving Q and A hosted by Lianne Spiderbaby in which Thorne and Maurer shared stories about how  they fell in love.

After the Q and A, Shock Stock hosted an Ilsa-themed auction for posters and other memorabilia to raise money for a cancer charity. I bid on and won (after some confusion) a very sexy French version of the Ilsa the Tigress poster. Other items that sold included an original first draft script for Ilsa the Tigress (sold for $400), a French Isla, She Wolf of the SS poster ($800), and one of the whips bought for use on Tigress but never used on screen ($120).

Howard Maurer, Dyanne Thorne, Rufus, Aaron Allen (me), Jay Winger

JON MIKL THOR

While movie audiences are rushing out to see Marvel's Thor in theaters, I was more excited to get to Shock Stock and meet the legendary Jon Mikl Thor (THORCENTRAL.com). I interviewed Thor for episode #35 of the Screamwave Horror Podcast, and quickly learned that Thor is not only an amazing Canadian rock warrior but also an honestly enthusiastic and gregarious guy. For the uninitiated, Jon Mikl Thor has been both Mr. Canada and Mr. USA, he fronted for the glam metal/rock band Thor, and his act used to consist of blowing up hot water bottles on stage using only his lungs and then bending steel with this teeth. He also starred in Zombie Nightmare (review) and Rock 'N' Roll Nightmare (review), which he also wrote and produced.

THOR! ROCK WARRIOR.

THOR - KEEP THE DOGS AWAY (1977)






Unfortunately, Thor doesn't blow up hot water bottles with his thunderous lungs anymore, but he still makes music, tours, and involves himself in film projects. Thor was on hand to promote his new project, Thor: The Rock Opera, a low budget montage of concert footage, old music videos, and new footage from half-completed film projects. Thor: The Rock Opera reunites Thor with the director Rock 'N' Roll Nightmare: John Fasano. Unfortunately, Thor: The Rock Opera is not a very cohesive or polished product, and it's plainly silly at times, but it is powered by Thor's mighty brand of infectious rock music that I enjoy. Like his music, Thor himself is a man of seemingly boundless enthusiasm. Meeting and greeting, shaking hands, promoting the film, handling the Q and A -- all the time Thor had a smile on his face. Like a true Asgardian, he even offered to help me out of a bind. When I couldn't find a copy of Rock 'N' Roll Nightmare to buy and get signed at Shock Stock, Thor offered to send me a copy. By the end of Shock Stock, I felt that I had been initiated into the Thor Corp. Now I'm ready to help Thor wage his rocking battle against the powers of evil. Check out THORCENTRAL.com for more information about tour dates.

By Odin's beard: I help hoist Thor's hammer!
LIANNE SPIDERBABY

Lianne Spiderbaby bugs out at the Fangoria Booth
Over the years, I've encountered two very troubling misconceptions about horror fans. 1.) Many think our ranks consist of overwhelmingly unsophisticated and inarticulate men. 2.) We are, on a whole, considered antisocial and misogynistic. In stark defiance to these stereotypes, I present Lianne Spiderbaby -- the sprightly writer for Fangoria and co-host of the new webshow Fright Bytes. Not only is Lianne sharp and insightful but she's engaging and enthusiastic about the legitimacy of horror and exploitation film. Currently working on a book-length project entitled Grindhouse Girls, Lianne stirred up some debate in recent months in the world of over her take-no-prisoners denouncement of Steven R. Monroe's I Spit on Your Grave remake. It was a negative review so controversial, she told me, that she even received death threats over it. You can hear all about Lianne's thoughts on women in horror and exploitation in our interview with her as part of episode #35 of the Screamwave Horror Podcast






As well as writing, Lianne produces the new webshow Fright Bytes with co-host Jay 3KB.  Fright Bytes is a review,  horror discussion, and interview show; their first episode takes on Scream 4. Subscribe on Youtube to make sure you catch their upcoming Shock Stock episode! You can also follow her on Twitter @liannemac or at her blog: liannespiderbaby.com

BILL ZEBUB

Bill Zebub: The King of B-Movies
Walking past Bill Zebub's table, you will see DVDs with lurid images of hot women under incendiary titles like Forgive Me for Raping You and Zombiechrist. After stopping to watch a loony sizzle reel of outrageous scenes from his films, I was surprised to find Bill Zebub a very relaxed and plain-spoken man who made no qualms about producing rape pictures in order to finance his experimental projects such as the "anti-horror-movie" movie Night of the Pumpkin. I've never seen a Bill Zebub film, but he was kind enough to give me a screener of Night of the Pumpkin for consideration. A reveiw is forthcoming at my general horror blog: Monster Chiller Horror theatre.






Since I couldn't really speak to the content of his films at the time, I spent some time discussing censorship with him and listening to his stories about groups trying to get this films taken down off Amazon. You can experience these films for yourself at BILLZEBUB.com.

Bill Zebub and Lloyd Kaufman at Fan Expo 2009