It was cold. So very, very bitter cold. So cold it hurts. The weather radio was issuing windchill advisories when I awoke early Friday (the last restful sleep I would have in 38 hours) and double checked my equipment packed the night before. Once all seemed to be in order proceeded to town to pick up my first two passengers, then to the city for the third. This was the point of no return. If anyone wanted to back out this was the last chance for freedom. A sure ticket to survival; of the mind and of the soul. None opted out. (sniff) They were so brave.
After a brief stop at the world famous Mitsuwa Marketplace for snax, early evening found us at Tim's where we would crash (and burn) after the show. We loaded into his car and he drove the innumerable final miles to Northwestern's Norris University Center. On the way in we passed a table with students passing out free condoms and other literature about birth control where I heard Tim utter the now famous question: "Who's that one for, Zues?" to which one of the girls replied, "That's a diaphragm." Neither of us could open the keychains holding our condoms.
People were already in line just after four when we trudged upstairs to the McCormick Auditorium and bought our tickets. It looks like reserving them in advance will be a good idea from now on as they were sold out. They managed to fill a several hundred seat theater the first night with more that would come and go over the next day. Anyway, we found our seats an before setting down my stuff stared at mine for a bit trying to take in that this is where I would be spending the next 24 + hours. It was comfortable. Actually, much more comfortable than those at A-club which become unfit for humans after about two hours. Still, I tried to walk around and stay on my feet for a while before the show started.
The show started with a brief intro by the fellows who organize the event and went straight on into:
The Brain From Planet Arous An evil, semitransparent rubber brain travels to Earth to begin its plans for conquest. It possess a guy who may be of use to it and... uh, stuff. There's also a good, semitransparent rubber brain who has come to stop the evil one. By possessing a well-hung dog and with the help of its human companions they defeat the Evil brain. I don't remember much more than that. Oh, it was black and white.
Robot Jox was next in line while we were still going strong. Sarah (not that one, you're thinking of the other one) mentioned before hand that we wouldn't be able to hear the first two movies because everyone would be into it and all making fun of the movies. Subtitles would have helped considerably but I was still able to figure out that in the future, we will be able to watch sports where athletes fight each other in giant mechs (are all mechs giant? I'm no mechspert but these looked pretty giant to me.) Jeffry Combs was listed in the credits but we concluded that he died in a bit part before any of us noticed. This movie was fun to watch but could have used more big mechs as there were only two big fight scenes.
Beatniks, I believe was an episode of MST3K at one time or another, but it could have been similar to any number of lame 50s dramas I've already seen. Still, it was fun to watch that one guy wig out from time to time, especially after he killed the barkeep. Sarah (the other one) and I tried to do the wave during one of the other character's numerous musical numbers but no one else caught on.
The Beast With Five Fingers was one of my favourites of the night. It starred Peter Loure and a guy who should have been Vincent Price. Untl now, all these years I thought people were greatly exaggerating when impersonating Peter Loure. Boy was I wrong. The film was overdramatic in parts, especially with the piano, but worked well to convey the proper atmosphere and had a nice twist that I approved of.
There was a short break for door prizes. I would have liked to at least won a shirt for all I had suffered so far (despite my self-imposed t-shirt purchasing freeze) but didn't. My party didn't walk away empty handed tho' (we wouldn't walk away at all. Not for a long, long time) as Sarah (the other one) won a video hound's movie guide autographed by the author. I would have liked to page through it for a bit but next was the short
The Wizard of Speed and Time is one I must find a copy of for myself. As if this one wasn't trippy enough, due to chanting from the audience they ran it sdrawkcab. AAAAAAAAGHHH!!! No time for recovery because it was midnite o'clock and
PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE One of the two movies shown that night that I know I've seen before. Whenever I've watched before it I've felt like it was three in the morning no matter what time it was and about 4 hours long. This time it felt more like 30 minutes and was so fun I'd go back again just for that. I finally found out what all the paper plates were for. Whenever a flying saucer appears on screen you throw them! Holy carp! Imagine thousands of paper plates flying through the air every five minutes at the next movie you see. I think I spent more time waiting for the next opportunity for aerial bombardment than watching the movie. Sarah (the other one) never did figure out what little plot there was as she spent most of the time collecting and writing on plates. Not only did people throw the plates but they wrote messages, phone numbers, doodles, etc. I collected quite a few and will share what I found after this post.
The Monkey Hu$tle started and I was still feeling pretty good. Plan 9 was a great boost which would last me a few more hours. But this one was the "blacksploitation" part comedy feature about petty criminals in Chicago and their adventures. I think I counted about 11 white or non-black people in the entire film. This didn't bother me, but the fact that I couldn't understand a lot of the jive or people's accents through most of it made the dialogue scenes hilarious.
Alice in Wonderland the night's only X-rated film and featured soft-core pornographic scenes and full-frontal nudity. I normally prefer not to watch adult films in the company of hundreds of other people but since the doors were locked at two AM there was nothing I could do except try not to look too interested which wasn't at all difficult since it was a musical. Plus, most of the movie was shot outdoors and I couldn't stop thinking, "mosquitos, ticks, leaches!!" Oh, and the Queen of Hearts was pretty scary.
Spawn of Slithis sounds like a Lovecraftian title which is what I was hoping for. Instead, it was about some mutant water reptile which fed on humans. It was pretty bad and my body has rejected most of those memories since 4:10 AM when it started. This was about the time people were beginning to pass out and one of my comrades mentioned the only parts he remembers were when he was woken up by screaming.
Devil Girl From Mars was... um, weird. Trying to recap some of these I'm finding how swiss-cheesed my memory is of the whole event, even tho' I stayed awake through most of it. Something about an English inn, a saucer landing, girl in vinyl, invisible barrier and reversing the atomic pile. This last bit was of significant irritation to Sarah (yes, that one) who is studying astro physics. I'm glad I sat next to her because it was fun to watch her suffer through the on-screen "scientific explanations" during some of the movies. I could actually see her head hurt.
Airport '77 Started at about seven o'clock Saturday morning. This is where I finally gave in to the desire to sleep. The first half-hour was pretty slow setting up the whole disaster thing and introducing the characters and I just said "screw it" and tried to make myself comfortable across a couple seats and my pillow. I missed the airplane crashing into the ocean and sinking to the bottom and dozed through about 40 minutes. I awoke fully in time to see pilot Jack Lemmon begin the heroic rescue and to hear Jimmy Stewart utter the line "I'm your grandfather."
Finally having some sleep in me I wandered out during the breakfast break and made Saturday's journal entry on one of the computer terminals. I didn't really feel like food and didn't want to bother with any human needs for a while. I found my companions munching in the cafeteria area and we all went back in for
The Forbidden Dance starring some girl who I believe was in a movie I saw in theaters last year that I can't remember the title of but was about aliens (the immigrant kind) and started with a hotel clerk fishing a human heart out of a toilet. She was hot and fun to watch but all that dancing the Lambada got old after a while and kindof overshadowed the film's environmental message which took up about eight minutes. No, I am not kidding.
The Beast of Yucca Flats I had been looking forward to but forgot that most of it was bad narration over people being lost in the desert. Holy cats is it bad! I don't remember much of this one any more either.
Fortress I actually liked. We had entered the home stretch and I could actually see the end! There weren't many newer sci-fi movies that night (day??) and this was a good change of pace. Jeffry Combs died in this one too but at least we got to see more of him. In Lennon glasses and long hair to boot. This also starred the female lead from Alice in Wonderland so I didn't have to wonder what she looked like naked.
H-Man was stopped after the first reel because the film broke in the projector. I'm not to disappointed about missing a Japanese cops film since it wasn't interesting to begin with. Instead they showed more shorts including a horrid, horrid one about trained circus chimps and a reprise of The Wizard of Speed and Time Yay!
Magnetic Monster was originally going to be the last movie but was switched for reasons unbeknownst to me. I really liked that the monster wasn't some dink in a suit but a new element that had very dangerous properties. I also got to watch Sarah's head hurt some more while the scientists couldn't even keep their own facts consistent. "For now we've sealed the element in a protective container with special alloys which prevent the radiation from escaping." - "Yeah, LEAD!"
The Big Brawl was a Jackie Chan movie. I really don't care for martial arts films and the only thing that kept me interested in this one was that it was a comedy. Set in the 1930s but very obviously filmed in the 80s, Chan, um, does some fancy acrobatics and beats up a lot of people.
By the time it was over I only had enough energy to cheer with the rest of the survivors and pack up my stuff. We survived. Not sane, but alive. I still don't know what day it is. It was only 24 hours but I feel like I lost a week during that period. I left very dehydrated, confused, sore and very sleepy. We stopped for some real food on the way back and crashed at Tim's. Most of us slept for 11 or so hours and after jumping my car (the battery was dead somehow) we were on our way home. We made a slight detour at Mitsuwa but still made it back to town before dark with nearly a year to recover before next time.
What follows is a list of messages written on the paper plates I took home from the Plan 9 experience. Most are obscure references or non-sequitors, but I thought they were all funny in one way or another.
You can do it. yo
Kneel before Zod
You know Bagu?
All those who wander are not lost. . .
...and you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.'
The only reason we die is that we accept it as an inevitability. Oooooh.
Incoming! (backed with) Now count to 10 one your head
Voltron is the father of my children
A (baked with) The Avengers
If you can read this turn off your fucking flashlight
Hold my Beer while I punch you (backed with) pyh3312 /\/\y 1234|_1ty!
OMFG Tre is dragging that dummy around! Poor Ken!
More like ROBOT JERKS
Tonight you sleep in hell
Megaman Ownz U!!! NOOB
Gavin is a twink donut hoodie bitch - Mary is a slunt
I'm the Brain from the Planet Dick-cheese
Call me of you find this -- [phone number] - Jenny
Your mom was right: You're just a late bloomer. Yeah, that's what is. There's plenty of time. Have some Cheetoes.
Go home Liz!
"That's my Swamp Buggy."
For a good time, call Jason: [phone number] (there were several)
Wicker (found on many plates)
The Princess and the Donkey
Tor says Wicker
I said consummate V's. CONSUMATE!
PH33r My L4Ck OF B33R!!
Guy w/ the pizza. STFU
Written, produced, directed by Edward D. Wood, Jr.
She's a black widow
Art Spiegelman's "Robot Maus" they'll kill for cheese
Shut up! Talking makes you die.
I killed that fat barkeep!! (found on at least two plates)
It's not Ator flying, it's the human spirit.
And the Oscar for best picture goes to . . . . Freddy vs. Jason
From Justin to Kelly to the bathroom in 2 simple steps
I feel pretty!
Fly away lesbian magnetic monster
?Glen or Glenda?
In the future ... there can be only 1
Hieronymus Merkin is my god
I am Kirk!
Boardwalk: Rent $400 etc.(yes, the entire boardwalk card on a plate)
Eben is Homoerotic
This plate has sentimental value to owner. Please call [phone number] if found. - Reward included
Do you like gladiators?
What's a Leonard Nimoy?
I come from above
I have sex sans condoms.
The freebie I got with my ticket was a glow-the-dark plastic cup promoting the event how cool is that. Also, while exiting the theater one of the organizers was handing out used videotapes to passerby. I got Hollywood Mortuary. Weird.
What follows is a list of the things I bought at Mitsuwa Marketplace.
Almighty Tong (salad tongs)
Lottie BlackBlack (sugarless) Xylitol "Hi-technical excel taste and flavor" (gum. there was a mini notepad inside the bottle. I don't know why.
I don't know what they're called but it's some kinda snack that is very much like gigantic ginger-flavoured Frosted Flakes. Very good.
Apple and Kiwi Gummy
Mild bitter chocolate koka (not sure what it is but it has the word "chocolate" on the label which should prove good)
Threepack of chopsticks
Chopsticks with wooden stand
Socks for feet and toes
It's not a harmonica
Teapot, teacups and green tea for my mom
Melon and possibly chocolate daifuku (I thought I saw "chocolate on one of the labels)
6 packs of origami paper of varying size and patterns
A little box just for origami paper
Volume 11 of Excel Saga manga, untranslated
2 decorative gift envelopes complete with mizuhiki
Some kinda milk cookies/crackers
Ah! My Goddess wall scroll of scantly-clad Belldandy
and, of course, POCKY: Chocolate, strawberry, coconut, mousse, G: hard and rich (new!) and giant strawberry.
Ugh. I'm ready for another 11 or so hours of sleep but I'm online now and that usually lasts a while. If I'm up for it later I may watch a couple episodes of Sorcerer Hunters from the complete collection I bought on the way home this evening. Are you free anytime soon, Sheree?
And last but not least, those interested can check in with matt_william for his first impression of the end of B-fest here.
- E V I L O U T -
Current Mood: Narcoleptic