It’s time for another installment of Woeful Tales wherein I relay personal stories of anguish and defeat at the hands of well-known genre movie icons. While my encounter with Bruce Cambell was a far cry from the heart breaking meeting with Tom Savini, it still marks another moment of disappointment and the sudden realization that maybe Fango was wrong and that these high profile personalities aren’t as fan friendly as they make them seem. I suppose you have to keep in mind that when a periodical or website interviews people like Tom and Bruce, they’re often doing it to promote a project or themselves, so there is something to be gained from being a nice guy, posing for photos and palling around with writers. Apparently, the rules of the game change when you’re facing your public.
In Bruce’s case, we could all get fucked.
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Back in 1998 I was a student living in Orlando, FL. I caught wind of a collectables show happening at the convention center on I Drive and promptly drove over to Waxtree Records to sell some of my black metal cds in order to acquire some money for bootleg tapes and admission. Upon entry, I found myself in a magical world of people selling goods ranging from yard sale junk to banofide collectable items. There were comic books, action figures, vintage lunchboxes at ridiculous prices, collector priced Transformers and so on. The main draw for me were the sprawling tables of bootleg videos. Entry to the show was cheap, but I didn’t have much money, so I blew it all right away on copies of Chinese Ghost Story and The Storm Riders.
I was also supposed to meet some friends at the show, but I got there before they did, so after I’d spent my money, I spent some time wandering around the floor, looking for them. I’d never been to a convention before at this point, aside from some comic shows, but those don’t really count. This was also more of a high-end flea market than a con, but as I wandered, I was surprised to see a “celebrity” area at the back of the show where people lined up to get autographs. The lines were huge! Lou Ferigno was there, Ron Palillo who played Horshack on Welcome Back Kotter, the guy who played Will Robinson on Lost In Space, Boomer from Battlestar Galactica. All of these people has crowds. All of them, that is, except for Tom Savini, who I discovered sitting mere feet from me.
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