Sunday, April 24, 2016

Flea Market 2016 Season Kickoff!

Has it really been a year? Really? Wow.

Last year was no doubt one of my greatest ever when it comes to digging through the unused crap of complete strangers, but I have zero doubt that this year will be even better. Sure, I've got thrifting to keep me busy from October to now, but there's something so much more exciting and spontaneous about the summer flea market season. The heat, the smells, the bees and the terrible cigarette smell surrounding's all worth the fantastic rewards.

And today was the perfect way to kickoff said season. So without further adieu...

Yes, I know, I said I wouldn't use that after last year, but there's a new graphic coming soon. I promise!

Today, with very little sleep due to my excitement for this and the local comic con "Flower City Comic Con"(report coming soon!), my lady and I headed to the Rochester Public Market, which is the official start to flea market season. No doubt about it. It's the best flea market I've been to. The most obscure, rare and unique stuff I've ever seen. Where else will I find a box of Jaws 3-D cards for $5 followed by a vhs copy of Video Dead and a loose Slimer? Nowhere, that's where. So, my hopes were kinda set moderately low, not out of doubt, but because I tend to be more surprised with flea markets with no hopes. Thankfully, that paid off because, to paraphrase the late, great Gorilla Monsoon(and beloved Rochesterian), it was a happening at the Public Market today!

Let's head down to the Market, Jes!

No more chatting, it's game time.

This may be the biggest opening crowd I've seen for an opening day in sometime. I heard well in the hundreds. I'd believe that. I would find it hard to believe I was the only one counting down the days until this glorious market opened.

Sure it was packed, like being stuck in a car with the Grimace, but hey that didn't stop me from finding my first great item at the very first table I stopped by...


As you can see, my bunny Charlie approves the power of Hulkamania legdropping itself into my apartment. This 1984 poster showcases Ol' Chromedome himself at the beginning of his first WWF Championship run, which was the era that made him a household name and a hero to so many worldwide. Now I'm not the biggest Hulkamaniac but I know a good piece of wrestling memorabilia when I see it and this would be one of them. For a wrestling fan, this is a perfect addition to any collection. And hey, check out the WWF logo on the bottom of the poster! Neat!

Now, I know what you're thinking...Surely that's not the only piece of wrestling memorabilia you walked away with. You'd be right.


The power of Hulkamania wasn't done running wild just yet. This time, most appropriately, he came alongside his best friend and bag carrier/lackey, Brutus The Barber Beefcake. I've written about my love of the Hasbro line before, so I won't go too in depth, but these are probably some of the best figure representations of both men. Especially Hulkster doing his posedown, which is one of my favorite Hasbros ever and one that I've had multiple times since it's first release in 1991. Brutus on the other hand, well...he's never been a big fave but I couldn't possibly pass up both for such a low price. Besides, I feel like every Hasbro collection has a spot for Brutus. So...I'm kinda painted into a corner.

So I walked around some and did a little looking but didn't find anything that crazy. But then I saw a good sign that gave me hope for the rest of the season...

HE'S BACK. HE'S HERE. Last year, it seemed everywhere I went, this fella followed me. And usually those were the times I'd find great stuff, so other than being one of my favorite characters ever, he's like a guardian angel of sorts. Checking up on me, making sure I'm ok and leading me the way to gold and treasure. Thank you, Gordon. Because without your help I wouldn't have found my third and final item for the day...


Next time I see an Alf doll, I'm totally buying it a cat. This is just too awesome. I love Robocop, I seriously do. Everytime I see something Robocop related, I must own it, even if it's tied to that cartoon I hated. But this was a must own item. It's a perfect image of Robocop fighting that meanie ED-209. Which, ya know, if you're a kid, nothing better to take to school than a lunchbox with a giant death machine on it.

It's a little beaten up, got a lot of dirt, but a cleaning will do it wonders. We can fix you, Alex...

Wait...wrong robotic human. Sorry.

Bonus, my fiancee walked away with awesome stuff as well...

A Famous Monsters book and puffy stickers. You see why I asked this woman to be my wife?

It was a great start to the season and in no way shape or form a bad haul. In fact, for my first trip, it's downright fantastic! I can't wait for the rest of the season, it should be a fun time had by all. In the words of Ric Flair...we've only just begun, you understand?

Happy hunting! See you at the flea markets!


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Hitting Up The Salt City Horror Fest!

So I made a fun trip to Syracuse yesterday. Now, it usually takes a lot for me to drive to this big beautiful city but today was the most spectacular reason....

Oh yeah baby! Salt City Horror Fest!

This is now the fourth show I've attended and every year, I get more and more excited as if I was going to my first. I discovered this in 2012 through multiple friends who had been attending for a while, so being new to the Rochester area, I knew this would be a good place to make new friends as well as hang with familiar faces with great horror movies(only being shown in 35mm!) as a great background noise. It's definitely the best horror film festival I've ever been to. And it's held in an older theater that most likely hasn't been cleaned since the 90s. And that's part of the charm. Well...until you use the bathroom.

What? I'm being dramatic? Well...

Ok. Not so bad yet, right?


Not only is the bathroom awesome, but so are the vendors and actors that show up. Heck, even the Ghostbusters showed up!

Usually the lineup is a good mixture of horror/scifi/comedy and maybe an obscure movie sandwiched in between somewhere for good measure. This year's lineup consisted of all that and celebrity appearances. Check it out:

Noon – trailer reel then The Warriors – 35mm 
1:35pm – My Uncle John is a zombie – trailer video
1:40pm – Jon Hogan intros John Russo / John Amplas
1:55pm – MIDNIGHT – 35mm
3:15pm – Jon Hogan intro John Amplas
3:25pm – MARTIN – 35mm
5pm – Jon Hogan intros – Michael Pizzanno – My Little Bubbles – video
5:20pm – the BURBS – 35mm
7pm – 7:45 – Acoustic set Solon Tsangaras, set up for Alex Bidwell, Rap Off
7:45pm – Alex Bidwell
8pm – the Shining
10:30 – Jay Kay intros Jed Levin
10:45 – Rosemary’s Baby – 35mm
1am – Event Horizon,

Yeah, it goes until about 4 am and can be grueling, but people stay there the whole time and have a great time. Me? I stay just through the first two movies or so. Usually I come down for one movie and spend the rest of the time just palling around with my buddies in attendance. The big thrill of them...

THE WARRIORS!!!!!!!!!!!!! IN 35MM!!!!!!! AWWWWWWW YEAAAAAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love the Warriors. It's such a fantastic and perfect movie. It's a movie that I've seen so many times and fall in love with it every following viewing. I've only seen the dvd version that was released 10 years ago so to see it in it's original uncut form was awesome. The action, the drama, the way NY looked in the 70s. It all became bigger and better.

Oh and Mercy...Holy crap. She looked even hotter.

 One of the few celebrities in attendance was Pittsburgh legend and George Romero favorite John Amplas. I got to meet him outside and because of being his friend on Facebook, he recognized me and we immediately began chatting. John had never been to Syracuse so this was something new for him. We got to discuss conventions and our love of Pittsburgh artist and my friend Terry Callen!

After munching some popcorn and donuts from the local Salt City Donuts with Sean of VHSPS, I decided to check out John Russo's hidden gem called "Midnight" starring John Amplas and Lawrence Tierney. I had never heard of it so discovering a new, obscure horror movie is also a huge highlight. And boy what a gem it was! It was a very low budget movie about a hillbilly/satanic cult that sacrifices girls to Satan. Holy cow, was it awesome!

I was getting a little tired so I decided I wanted to head back down and take a small VHSPS break and scour their selection with Jordan Garren of B-Movie Film Vault, someone who helped me launch this very blog after I gave it the HMBBQ name. I've always loved Jordan's work and respected his opinion so it was a no brainer that we'd spend 2 HOURS looking at obscure and out of print movies and laughing at each other's terrible taste. 

Jordan, shown actual size here.

Of course, I can't head out the door without walking away with some VHSPS goodies. And I picked up some real good ones. I've always wanted to see Blood Harvest and Pin, so who better to buy them from?

After chatting with Jordan and Sean, I had to leave. I had gotten super tired from a busy week of work and it was catching up with me. So I bid farewell to my friends and hauled butt back up to Rochester. But not before we got a sweet picture together! Witness the awesome!

Definitely a great time had by all. Great movies, great people, fun chats and food. If you're in the area, make the trip to the Palace. SaltCityHorrorFest is once a year but in September the Palace will host a Star Wars film festival, in which you can see the original trilogy on the big screen! Get more info here!


PS-I don't know who left these ancient promo stickers on a table with flyers, but I now own Evolution, Meet The Deedles and JNCO stickers and for that, I thank you.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Come To Flower City Comic Con!

I'm very, very proud to be living in Rochester, NY. I can't say that enough. I love this town. Whether it's Gates, Greece, Brighton, or just downtown, I love this town! All of it. But what do I love more than this town? A convention. Well, thanks to a few local comic fans and smart business men, Rochester will have a comic/pop culture convention!

Flower City Comic Con will take place on April

April 23 and 24th is the date, the Riverside Convention Center will be the place to be. Look at that banner, there's some familiar faces there.  Some artists, some Power Rangers alumni, a wrestler, and a legendary voice actor. Not a bad lineup for a first show. I'm super excited to see whats to happen at this convention. My wallet on the other hand...may not...

Let's take a look at the guest list more in depth, shall we:

Certainly looks to be a fun time, if you ask me! 

While other conventions rely heavily on huge, A-List actors for bringing fans, local conventions rely on the fans to spread the word and attend. For geeks like me, these are huge names and I'd love nothing more than to see this convention grow and who knows, maybe one day you'll see a Stan Lee or a Norman Reedus stop by. Without fan support though, our local shows will mean nothing and will fizzle out quickly. So, if you're in the area, please don't hesitate to stop on by and have a fun time. Let's make this show grow into something we can point to our town and say "my local convention" while we make other geeks outside the area jealous.

Come buy some comics, meet some guests and make some friends. Who knows, maybe you'll be like me and meet your significant other at this show! Convention goers are great people and passionate about this stuff. You're bound to walk away happy.

I have a fun bit of history that I'm looking forward to revisiting. In 1997, my friend and I came up from MD to Rochester for Botcon, the much beloved(and sadly now defunct) Transformers convention. It was my first time out of state and my first weekend convention. So, in a weird way, I'm really looking forward, 19 years later, to returning to the RCC for a fun and geek-filled time all over again!

Any info on this convention can be found here. See ya at Flower City Comic Con!


Friday, April 1, 2016

WWE Hall of Fame Preview

I am absolutely thrilled that WWE finally decided to induct the greatest legend of our era into the WWE Hall of Fame! IT'S ABOUT DAMN TIME!

Virgil joined the WWF in 1987 as the manservant of "Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase. Realizing that Ted Dibiase would soon be in the shadow of this charismatic performer, Virgil was made the silent bodyguard with the fast fists. Virgil would take the brutal punishment and bumps that Dibiase was clearly unable to take and Virgil made the otherwise boring cards headlined by stale acts Ricky Steamboat and Randy Savage, the most memorable shows in wrestling history, as he took on the uber-talented Outback Jack and Ted Arcidi. Main eventing Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, Survivor Series, and Summerslam as well as constant request for personal appearances for 7-11 openings, as well as spending his weekends selling his wares at that food court his local mall, in an attempt to stay grounded and reconnect with his community, catapulted this superstar into the stratosphere. The fans were ready for their favorite star to be the next face of the company. Sadly, it would be 4 years until the fans were given what they truly wanted: Virgil's first WWF title run. Virgil became the second yet most popular Million Dollar Champion in history.

Sadly, his planned and much anticipated world heavyweight title run was cancelled by a red and yellow crybaby who realized he'd lose merchandise sales, endorsement deals, Make-A-Wish appearance requests, and paychecks would vanish. This political game would hamper down the wrestling technician standout. His planned WWF Magazine tribute issue was also cancelled due to Hulk Hogan's insistence on printing a special look at 1993 blockbuster Mr. Nanny.

His entrance into WCW as the head of nWo security was a moment fans across the world had been begging for. Walking out on the WCW Nitro set made the live crowd erupt and it was only a matter of time til Big V would win his first major title, as he was penciled in to beat the less talented Ric Flair to become the holder of the prestigious WCW Heavyweight Title, a title that, up until that point, only the finest athletes and respected indivuals have held.

Sadly, The Nature Boy, afraid for his livelihood and knowing his days as the face behind WCW were through, put the veto on this. The V-Man would then flounder and do nothing of note.

Until 2010 that is. Knowing he couldn't rely on John Cena anymore, Vince McMahon made the call to Virgil and rehired him to be Ted Dibiase Jr's bodyguard. The younger Dibiase was good but needed the advice and guidance of the biggest star of the 1980s, Virgil. Virgil participated in a few matches before he became the target of HHH's mighty burial. Realizing his name meant nothing but "F**k Money", Virgil took his act on the road and once again, became his own man. Virgil may not have many titles to his name, but his name is his own title. There will never be another Virgil in this world and his achievements, though imitated, will never be duplicated. He is the charismatic 1980s icon, he is the master of the sucker punch, he is the king of "F**k Money" he is...the newest inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame, he is...