Sunday, January 28, 2007

The horror, the horror

Uncle Scratch's Gospel Revival, the coolest band in Cleveland, is putting on a great show -- especially great considering I just saw them killed two hours ago.

But there's Brother Ed, as alive as ever, pounding away on his industrial cardboard bass drum, milk crates, and beat up snare drum and symbol. And there's Brother Ant, standing on Brother Ed's drums with one foot while balancing his other foot on Brother Ed's head, ripping away on his guitar. Considering that when last seen, Brother Ant's guitar was rammed through his stomach and Brother Ed's eye had been gouged out with his drumstick, this might be their best show ever.

"It's funny every time," says my friend Bob, who I had dragged to the Beachland Ballroom to hear Uncle Scratch favorites such as "Gimmie Back My Bible," "I Banged A Sinner," and "I Lost my Soul in Hell's Casino." The small tavern is packed with Uncle Scratch worshippers, and those along the front of the stage can't help but put Brother Ed's drums and microphones back up whenever Brother Ant or guest Brother Bill knocks them over. Pretty hard for a dead guy to keep everything in working order.

OK, OK, Brother Ed and Brother Ant weren't really killed two hours ago. Well, they WERE killed, but it wasn't real. They died during the movie (if you can call it that), "Horror Convention Massacre," a one-hour flick from the Cleveland independent filmmakers at Old School Sinema. Don't worry if you missed it -- it's available on DVD and two sequels will be filmed in March.

Also don't worry if you missed it, cause you didn't miss much! The slasher film, which takes place at a horror convention at a Holiday Inn in either Beachwood, Brunswick, Strongsville, or some other boring Cleveland suburb, features at least a dozen deaths and four naked chicks in just one hour. Now this is a serial killer who wants to make a Top 10 list!

"Hey, you weren't really playing a character in this movie, were you?" I ask Ted Wodoslawsky, who plays the chain-smoking Paul in the flick and who stands outside the Beachland doing the same thing during a break in the action.

"I hadn't smoked for 19 years before they asked me to smoke in the movie," he tells me. "Now I can't stop."

Anything for the art. It's Ted's second appearance in such a movie, after "The Deep Dark Woods: No Witnesses." He was also director of photography for "The Devil's Filmmaker: Bohica." Proving its value as the most comprehensive guide to movies on the planet, lists all three of Paul's movie, and even has a picture of him.

Anyway, Bob's wish of a 20-minute movie is not granted. But it could have been worse. It could have been 95 minutes long like "Friday the 13th" or 91 minutes long like "Halloween" or 83 minutes long like "Texas Chainsaw Massacre." But "Horror Convention Massacre" just gets everything except the blood and boobs out of the way. Not a bad formula, really. At least if you're not a discriminating movie-goer.

So Bob and I endure the movie and wait through two other bands before Uncle Scratch takes the stage. Then we head back home, but not before stopping at Flannery's Pub downtown to meet Bob's roommate Joe and our friends from Cleveland Heights, Ben and Emily. And when I (already a librarian) discover that Rachel is studying for her master of library science degree, we talk about librarianship. And then I go home and sleep the sleep of the dead while dreaming about running into girls at horror conventions who are studying to be librarians but who instead end up dead and naked.

At least I didn't kill any of them.

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