Cinema Wasteland has been one of the country's best and most popular horror conventions for a dozen years now. And this weekend's spring bash in Strongsville may be the biggest and bestest of them all. Guests include everyone from Richard Kiel (the guy who played Jaws in the James Bond movies) to P.J. Soles (of Halloween and Rock 'n' Roll High School sorta-fame) to big-boobed Russ Meyer fave Kitten Natividad. Or if you'd rather spend the weekend like you do every other one, in a dark room watching movies, there are plenty to choose from, including Night of the Living Dead, Three Stooges shorts, and two Mario Bava classics: Black Sunday and Black Sabbath.
Unlike so many other monster-movie gatherings, Cinema Wasteland keeps the focus on the genre's golden years between the late '50s and early '80s — you won't see too much of the uninspired gore stuff of the past couple decades here. There's more than 60 hours' worth of movies, talks, panels, and other live events happening, including reunions of B-movie casts and crews (two dudes who starred alongside Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon? Yes, please!). There'll be tons of other things going on too, from vendors selling hard-to-find movies to Q&A sessions with filmmakers to tattooed girls with limb-severing weapons — like Pretty Poison (pictured) who'll be signing copies of Afterparty Massacre (which was shot at Peabody's and Rockstar) at the Horrormerch booth.
"We can be a scary bunch of PBR-swilling bad-movie fans at times," says organizer Ken Kish. "But we like to prove that you can never judge a book by its cover." The fest runs Friday through Sunday at the Holiday Inn in Strongsville. Find all the info you need at cinemawasteland.com.
The nerdosphere's very own Thrilla in Manila is all set to take place next week when Marvel launches the much-anticipated Avengers vs. X-Men. The first part of the 12-issue series goes on sale Wednesday, April 4, but you can pick up a copy the night before at Carol & John's Comic Book Shop, which is hosting a party to celebrate the slugfest. Be sure to pick a side before you walk through the door: They'll be handing out pins that state whether you're an Avengers or X-Men fan, and later in the night everyone will beat the crap out of each other with leftover issues of Captain America and Bucky (we could be wrong about that last part). There will also be free lithographs, a costume contest, and artists hanging around drawing stuff. All of the different collectible versions of the issue will be for sale, including the variant covers and special ones featuring just the Avengers or X-Men. It starts at 8 p.m. Head to cnjcomics.com for details.
For Your Shelf
Adventure Time: It Came From the Nightosphere: 16 episodes from Cartoon Network's surreal show about a boy and his talking dog.
Battle Royale: The Complete Collection: Just in time for The Hunger Games, this 2000 classic from Japan (now on Blu-ray) pits kid against kid in bloody fights to the death.
Garbage Pail Kids: This full-color book gathers every single image — more than 200 — from the first five series of Topps' hit trading cards from the mid-'80s. Snot-tastic!