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Nolan's Pop Culture Review, 2006!
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The Tampa Film Review for November  by Chris Woods and Nolan B. Canova
Tampa Comic Con/Indie Fest VI  by Nolan B. Canova
MOVIE REVIEW
"Casino Royale"  by Mike Smith
ODDSERVATIONS
The Melbourne Independent Filmmakers Festival (M.I.F.F.) Returns to the East Coast....Holy Family Catholic School Celebrates 50 Years – A Reunion....The Florida Collectibles Show featuring Will Moriaty, Dennis LeBrun, and Charlie Carlson  by Andy Lalino
MIKE'S RANT
Passing On .... Thanks, Rush!... Do They Know It's Christmas? ... $60,000??? ... Juiced? ... Happy Birthday .... My Favorite Films, Part 46: "Goodfellas"  by Mike Smith
LETTERS
Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our seventh calendar year!
Number 347  (Vol. 7, No. 46). This edition is for the week of November 13--19, 2006.


The Tampa Giant Comic Con for November;
Creature Productions' Indie Film Fest VI

By Nolan B. Canova


I always look forward to Tim Gordon's 3-times-a-year comic conventions. These are the last hold-outs of good, homegrown, easy-to-find gatherings of fans in a relatively intimate setting with good guests and a generous supply of dealers. And at a ticket price of only $5, you can't go wrong. To me, it is this huge bang-for-the-buck that sets the Tampa Giant Comic Con apart, while still recalling the glory days of the $2-at-the-door SunCons from the '80s and '90s that were part of every Tampa fan's yearly diet.

Fellow fan Terence Nuzum and I pulled in to the Doubletree Inn on Cypress (the location of the Con for years now) around 12:30pm. Parking was tricky since, inexplicably, some of the lot was cordoned off, but we found a decent spot anyway and made our way in. Tim greeted us enthusiastically and bade us in (he looks really good -- as far as I can see, he's totally recovered from last year's heart surgery).

Immediately I noticed they had switched the familiar halls from the last two shows, but the new location was not a problem, in fact, it lent a different perspective of the lobby and showroom (literally).

Tim pointed out a special-event table in the lobby where some kids were painting pictures outlined by adult supervisors, "Hands-On Painting Demo With Lady Picasso"...very cool.

Also in the lobby were two award-winning authors, Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc and Glenda Finkelstein. I got a very warm welcome from Andrea, a vivacious and personable goth lady who fondly recalled our meeting at The Halloween Horror Picture Show and subsequent write-up in PCR. Naturally, I was quite honored to be remembered thusly! She was here promoting her new book "Michael" as well as discussing plans for the movie version of A Man of Two Worlds.

I had never met Glenda, and because of our rush to the dealer's area and film fest, we only got a few seconds to get aquainted -- but she, too, seems very personable. Hopefully, next time we can spend a wee bit more time together. Glenda was promoting two of her books, "Nemesis Rising" and her latest, "The Edge of the Universe".

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Hands-On Painting Demo With Lady Picasso. Very cool.
One lovely and talented goth lady, Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc, at her table. Michael is her latest novel.
This was my first meeting with sci-fi author Glenda Finklestein. Hopefully it will not be our last!
"Red Sonja" artist Pablo Marcos busy at his table. This may be his first Doubletree Con, at least as far as I remember.
A familiar face at the Doubletree shows, our friend Ethan Van Sciver autographs a book for a fan.
Local actors Machelle and Mack Beasley on left with their friend from A Christmas Story, Scott Schwartz on right.

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Creator Mitch Hyman, left, holds up a copy of Bubba The Redneck Werewolf.
Peering over the shoulders of John and Ashley Lewis (foreground), we see the Creature Productions table in full swing. Joel and Cathy Wynkoop (left at table end) converse with Chris Woods (right of center).
Close-up portrait of the first couple of Tampa Indie film, Cathy and Joel Wynkoop.
Joel D. Wynkoop in the film room introduces Gus Perez's Angora, and adds a brief eulogy of local actress Noel Marie, one of the film's main actors who passed away earlier in the week.
Outside the film room afterwards, Gus Perez (left) beams proudly as Joel (right) gets even with yours truly after I hint at a negative review!
L-to-R, Creature Producer Ashley Lewis, Nolan Canova, and cinematographer Paul Bigotti.
The Dealer's Area
Terence and I were disappointed to see an apparent reduction in the number of video dealers in the main room. Comics dealers were plentiful, of course. I ran into Don from Greenshift Comics, haven't seen him in ages, evidently he took the summer off, but we had a nice, if brief, reunion. We did find a dandy pulp dealer (shows only, no storefront) who dealt with old Warren magazines. Naturally, this is the day I come with virtually no money to spend. Terence picked up a few old Creepy and Eerie mags from the '60s (Ah....those were the days), one of which would later have added significance. (More on that in a bit...) I jotted down the dealer's name and misplaced it, but he pledged to be at future shows.

Soon we were joined by Pinellas film guru Chris Woods who also found a lot to like in the dealer's area. Afterwards, us three PCR Musketeers pretty much stuck together.

I was stunned to see A Christmas Story's Scott Schwartz (the kid who got his tongue frozen to a pole) sitting at a table with old friends and local actors Mack and Machelle Beasley; I had absolutely no idea they were even aquainted, let alone booth buddies! We also had an exciting and verbose reunion! (I'm going to pass commenting on the persistent rumor/factoid of Schwartz's supposed involvement in porno movies -- I didn't personally check this out.)

A quick pass by the artists area revealed Pablo Marcos (Red Sonja), Jim Ivey (famous cartoonist), and Ethan Van Sciver (Superman/Batman) busily signing artwork for fans. The boys from Cadre Corner (amazing local comic artists-impressarios) say "Hi!" to readers of Crazed Fanboy.

I was very happy to see Bubba The Redneck Werewolf creator Mitch Hyman in attendance! Whence last we met (almost two yers ago?), Bubba was on its way to becoming a major motion picture starring Sig Haig. Unfortunately, due to some creative differences, Haig is no longer attached to the project, but Mitch assures me Bubba is still in production.

Creature Productions Film Fest VI
In a role reversal from Film Fest V, this time it was Doug and Wanda Vaters who were the friendliest meet-and-greeters, while John and Ashley Lewis, lifes-of-the-party back in August, seemed deeply distracted by something and not terribly social (almost depressed). In any event, they were there from the beginning and got things rolling in case anyone's still tracking that. Ashley manned the C.P table outside the movie room. On the table was a laptop playing what's cut together of their movie Grub, while John stayed inside to present the movies.

First up was Chris Woods' Chameleon, a sci-fi film I'd seen back in the old Coffeehouse Review days. One of Chris's best, it deals with a shape-shifting alien presence on earth. Following Chameleon was Rick Danford's The Reaper, also a memory from the Coffeehouse. Starring Filthy's Krista Grotte as a woman who's hanging around with the wrong kind of guy! (Please Google those reviews until I can get time to locate them and link 'em up myself.)



Angora
The movie we really wanted to see, Gus Perez's Angora, was up next and, at nearly 2 hours, would be the last movie I could see this day. In production for about a year, and starring quite a few familiar faces from the Tampa Bay film scene, AND featuring behind-the-scenes contributions from Creature Productions, it would have to have something for everyone, right?

Star Joel D. Wynkoop introduced the movie by way of a short eulogy for one of the main players, Noel Marie (Contact From Beyond) a specialist in aged roles, who'd died just a few days before. She was great and will be sorely missed.

I'd seen some of Wynkoop's footage of Angora months ago via John Lewis and was knocked out by it. What I didn't realize is how many takes, terribly entertaining in a party atmosphere, would seem rough, overly long, and repetitive in this semi-final cut.

Joel's character is devastated that his mom (Noel Marie) has died clinging to her last social security check, which arrived late. He freaks out and vows revenge on the government and the president for this offense. Beginning a nearly two-hour-long tirade at top-pitch screaming, Joel gathers a rag-tag band of misfits to help carry out his plan. He insists they refer to him as "The King". He continues to insist that during various robberies and heists over several days' duration all at the top of his lungs. Joel's patented nut-case hollering is extremely entertaining, but after a solid hour with virtually no plot development, I start to wonder who edited this.

Meanwhile, Angora, an exotic knock-out alien (or angel) space babe arrives to save the day. Her orders from the alien fearless leader (or God) is to stop Joel and his plan. (I like the actress, but I don't have the disc, so can't tell you her name 'cuz I don't remember it.)

Despite a fairly strong supporting cast including Cathy Holseybrook, 1DayFilms' legend Robert Elfstrom, a midget-from-the-'hood I'd love to've seen more of, and an amazingly convincing turn by our own William Moriaty as a special agent, and despite director Gus Perez's arbitrarily inserting himself into later shot footage in a rambling sub-plot that goes nowhere but is pretty funny, this is Joel D. Wynkoop's show. His repertoire of crazy-person is completely represented here. He owns every scene he's in. Which is good for Joel, bad for his supports, especially the women who cannot compete for audio level on the same soundtrack. Angora is virtually inaudible in every scene she's in with him as is Cathy Holseybrook (most of this is shot using the on-camera mic, natch).

Gus Perez has insisted to go on record saying that this is an incomplete and partially edited version of Angora, rushed onto DVD for this show. There are more girl gang scenes, some involving songs(!), sound effects, and background music to be inserted later on. Noted.

The Durango Steak House Revelation
It has become a custom since the aborted NolanCon to have special post-event eats at the Durango Steak House, part of the Best Western Hotel on Westshore Ave. Chris, Terence and I went there and were soon joined by Joel and Cathy Wynkoop. About an hour or so later, it seemed the entire convention followed suit! (Never saw that before, but Terence reminded me we've never stayed this late before, either.)

As Terence was pouring over the old Eeries and Creepys he bought, he stumbled onto a familiar-sounding title, GRUB, and remarked at the "coincidence" at the Creature Productions movie of the same name. "No coincidence," I remarked, "was it written by Nick Cuti?" Terence went ashen as he and I both realized he had completely by chance stumbled onto the issue with the original comics story the Creature Productions feature is based on! Naturally, he made a note to save that to get it autographed by Mr. Cuti at some future date.


By all means, check out the Tampa Giant Comic Con website for a more complete rundown of the guests and events. Good idea to bookmark it for updates as well.


"The Tampa Giant Comic Con and Creature Productions Indie Film Fest VI" is ©2006 by Nolan B. Canova

All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2006 by Nolan B. Canova.


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