So, I drove down to ghostgecko's Thursday afternoon/evening. No major mishaps, though driving in the dark sucks and Pennsylvania is full of twisty pseudo-mountains and speed traps (and at one point I totally thought I was getting pulled over but then the cop just... drove on past). And then I got to his house and we watched… um, let’s see… Jeff’s bits in Frightmare (Question: is every one of Jeff’s characters either vaguely or blatantly gay? Answer: I think so!) and some Danny Elfman fun in Forbidden Zone and then some of Cops (Greatest Police Chases?) on tv and there was a big blue police robot and it was just CRAZY. And I got acquainted/reacquainted with the animals and then… sleep.
Great Blacks in Wax was crazyfreaky, in part because of the cognitive dissonance between the respectful, historical, elegant exhibits and the gory, quasi-exploitative exhibits involving, say, sharks and bright red blood and those big plastic rats you buy at Halloween and creepy looped recordings of overdramatic voices whispering “Remember… remember… remember…” And, of course, the lynching display. Which was in this cramped basement room, so it was tight and with the other people in the room it was actually more freaky (because, you know, autism + tiny space + crowded = stimming and space-out)… and yet it was so cartoonish that any sense of shock or horror was just wiped out by the liberal use of bright red blood and the generically vacant, mannequin-like expressions of the people in the really gory exhibits.
So, yeah. Did it make me feel super-white? Well, of course, but then… I’ve been told by your standard WASPs and Aryans that I’m too damn white. I don’t know. *has confused herself* I like how ghostgecko described our mood upon leaving: "we all came out looking a bit like [we]'d been slapped in the face with a fish."
Moving on to the American Dime Museum… awesome. First, there was this window display outside and so we were peering into it and there was this orange cat inside that looked like it was sleeping and a grey cat that was looking out at us and looked totally stuffed… and then it MOVED and I jumped eeek! Kitty! And then the orange cat was hugely fat and he followed us as we moved through the museum, clawing the bases of some of the exhibits, rubbing up against others, and eating from plates of wet and dry cat food positioned strategically under a couple of tables. It was like going to someone’s house, but this someone just happened to have a ton of weird-ass shit on display. Included were a particularly lovely and delicate Fiji Mermaid, a “flying” squirrel with wings, the man-eating toad of Madagascar, a fairy fossil, a minotaur skull in a clay urn, an itty-bitty stuffed anteater, the Jersey Devil, antique embalming fluid bottles and other mortuary tools… oh, the list goes on and on and on. Great place. Great, great place.
Poe’s grave… uh… the yard was locked. So we peered at it through the bars while the sky drizzled on us.
And then… Urological museum/exhibits with Dr. Engel! WHO IS AWESOME. Because he looks like Doc Brown, has a faint German accent, and looooooooves urology and all things connected. It was just amazing. He talked to us for two and a half hours, and I was never bored. Which is pretty amazing in and of itself, but then of course this was urology. And plenty of penis talk and Civil War medicine and quack medicine and an extensive collection of microscopes and surgical instruments and anti-masturbatory aids. And there were all these urologists there for a conference, all dressed up and fancy… heh, and there we are, being shown around by Dr. Engel. Quite possibly the coolest thing I have ever experienced. Seriously. It could not have been any better.
And the evening ended with the showing of Dead Man. With French subtitles! And extra layer of much-needed pretension, as Daryn put it. I’d never seen the movie all the way through before (just Crispin’s bit in the beginning), so I was in for a real treat… damn, that movie is hilarious. And there were some bits in the print (which apparently was the one used at Cannes…?) that aren’t on the dvd. Like Crispin saying, very pointed and exaggerated, “O-hi-o.” Which just about killed me. I love it. Do you have any tobacco? And for ghostgecko’s account of day one, go here.
Oh, geekgasm, geekgasm, geekgasm. Horrorfind was CROWDED. Holy shit. Tons of people there to see Bruce Campbell… so we didn’t even bother getting in line. Just way too many people, and anyway we had a wonderful time wandering around and stalking Jeffrey Combs, among other things. Sorta kinda. Oh my god.
So, yeah, all the dorkness I managed to rein in when I met Crispin? Came out upon meeting Jeff. I was like… okay. Totally made me think, after the fact, of Chandler’s reaction in an episode of Friends where he says “That’s one of the great things about being engaged. I’m not nervous talking to pretty girls anymore” and then the girl in question says something to him and he immediately blushes, giggles, and starts glancing shyly down at his feet. And that? Was totally me while we talked to Jeff. Blushing and giggly and then he signed the Herbert picture for me and gave me this come hither sort of look and I started ducking my head and then I realized that I hadn’t given him the money for the signature (he distracted me and I’m a spazz) and so I gave it to him and it kind of felt like tipping a stripper. Haha, oh god, I don’t know why exactly. But I pretty much lost it at that. Then Daryn (after his conversation with Jeff about Berkley) was nice enough to take a picture of us with his newly christened camera, “Bazooka” (because that’s what Jeff called it, if I’m remembering correctly), and Jeff took off his glasses and I immediately (like the dork that I am) went “No! Aw, I love your glasses, they’re so cute!” So he put them back on for me. *is so dumb*
But Jeff was very cool, very nice… he was just as nice as Crispin was, but in a different way. If that makes any sense. Crispin was just more straightforward and serious and sweet, I guess, while Jeff was sort of laid back and joking and everything. His reaction to us was just classic… Daryn said, “We came here all this was just to see you!” and his response was: “Oh? … why?” Which is just the most perfect response ever.
And then we were walking around on the dealer floor and we saw him, and sort of started following him, but not… but really we were. There’s lots of convoluted creepystalker plans involved here, involving following him into the bathroom, ketamine, and pants parties. Favorite quote on this vague subject comes from Daryn who, upon the mention of Jeff's wife, said: "Fuck his wife! *pause* Well... he probably does."
And we wandered around the dealer room and saw Tom Sullivan, designer of the Necronomicon from Evil Dead (and he was awesome and talkative and his art rocks… bought prints of a few eyeball/Lovecraft-related things and Lew told him about the Venture Brothers episode where Dr. Orpheus is sworn in on Sullivan’s version of the Necronomicon). Wow, this is out of order. So, we also found bootleg dvds of David Lynch’s Hotel Room (with Crispin!), the original Willard, and two copies of Necronomicon with Jeff. I’m rather dumb and naïve, of course, so it didn’t dawn on me that these were bootlegs. Haha. *headdesk* And before we left we went back and saw Jeff again and I was getting him to sign it and he, er… alerted me to this fact. In that slightly teasingly disapproving way. (And he signed it “Enjoy the movie. The book is better.” Trust me, if I could find the book, I’d totally buy it. And unleash all the horrors upon the world.) And then he called me “sweetie” when he asked for my name. Yes, and we all immediately knew that I would never, ever be able to let that go. Ever. What was funny, though, was that the way he said it was so very father-like… and my own father almost never uses little endearments like that. Ah, the weird, weird irony. God, Jeff, you little hottie. Feeding my older man complex with your graying hair and sexy glasses…
He also said something about making Re-Animators 4, 5, and 6… all at once, so it could be the LotR of horror movies! Before he and Bruce get too old, I think he mentioned. *fingers crossed* Couldn’t tell whether he was pulling our legs or not, but even if he was… awwwww. Bruce Abbott! Pull him back in,please!
So, yes. Our Jeff adventure. And Lew bought a most awesomely cool Willard sculpture by this guy. He’d sold out of his Herbert sculptures by that time, but oh man, I’m totally buying them off his website because they’re just great. The pictures don’t do them justice, seriously. Oh, and Erin got this little evil teddy bear with snaggleteeth in its wide-open mouth and blood all over its little, adorable, soft, and furry face. Hahahahah, so cooooooool. And syringe pens!
So after Horrorfind, we dropped Daryn off and then Lew, Erin, and I ended up going to the Chinese buffet and Erin ate a ‘frog leg’ that had a wing on it. And then Lew and I stayed up and watched the third bit of Hotel Room (yes, Crispin can most definitely act!), the original Willard (OMG, superskinny Bruce Davison with mommy issues!), and then the Crispin version of Willard (which gets more and more complex and impressive every time I watch it… and watching it with Lew was like, man, such an eye-opener). Then the next morning we went out to Wonderbooks and bought old ‘clinical’ studies of homosexuality and pedophilia, among many other wonderful books. And had lunch. And then I had to leave (*sniff!*) but I got to take home two new rattie babies, Dan and Herbert! Just guess where those names came from. And Dan has already morphed into “Dan-bug” thanks to Hotel Room. Craziness.
But as soon as I walked in the door after my seven hour drive home with the rat cage in hand, my father says, “What? More?” And then the phone rings and it’s my mother. Immediately. Wow. And then tomorrow we fly down to North Carolina so… *waves* Be back on Thursday.
[ETA: eshugh's account of the trip is here and dr_ninjapants's account is here. Woo!