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Monday, July 22, 2019

Road Trip to Grossfest 2019

I had a blast at last year’s Grossfest (check out my report here) and was looking forward to 2019. As was the case previously I was working a table for Midnight Magazine. Though this year I was making the trip solo so the day before, Friday, I headed over to Mr. Fright’s place to pick up the magazines, shirts, and other Midnight related merchandise to stock up the table with. The car was packed and ready to go when I got up very early on Saturday morning for the two-and-a-half-hour drive to scenic Pennsylvania for a day of independent movies.

For those not in “the know” about Grossfest the convention focuses on independent movies and the filmmakers responsible for them. This is a great thing because these are the folks that mostly get lost in the shuffle of the bigger shows. Once a fan gets their overpriced photo op and autograph, they don’t normally have anything left to spend with the little guy there to promote his movie. That is a damn shame since in my humble opinion these are the folks doing the most interesting work. The idea of a show catered to them and people like us who enjoy low budget flicks was brilliant and long overdue.

The drive out to the show wasn’t too bad. In case you are a frequent reader of my road trip reports and were wondering what I had for breakfast I can inform you that I had my traditional McDonalds breakfast sandwich and hash browns. Got to have my greasy grub on the way to the show! I had left some extra time so I would arrive early and I’m glad that I did. Between construction and an annoyingly slow truck on a country road I was later than I wanted to be. But I did have just enough time to get things sorted before the doors to the dealer’s room opened. I think the table turned out pretty nice.

Mothra Photo Ops!!!
The crowd this year seemed bigger than last, which means the show is probably growing. Even if that isn’t the case, we were much busier than last year. I spent most of the day working at the table and selling the magazine to anyone that would listen. The Grossfest crowd is certainly the correct one for Midnight Magazine as they appreciate the independent nature of what we are doing. Not a surprise since it is in the same vein as the movies being promoted. I got to meet and chat with a ton of great people. I probably should have written their names down, but I was so busy all day that never occurred to me. Maybe next year. If you stopped by the table, I just wanted to thank you here for taking the time to listen to me go on and on about the magazine.

Grossfest being what it is I of course picked up some movies to watch. I got a couple from filmmakers that I was familiar with and really enjoy. Jim Roberts' new movie Closing Time looks like a blast and has ghosts and cowboy gangsters in it! Additionally I picked up the latest movie from director Henrique Couto, Haunting Inside, which also looks to be a ghost flick. Both of these guys have been making movies for a while and I’ve yet to see something from either that disappointed me. I can’t wait to check them out.

I also met some new folks. William Long had a booth right next to me and was selling his movie Cannibal Tick. Well with a title like that I had to pick it up. It looks like a mad scientist experiment gone wrong movie. Todd Wolfson of Just Buried Productions stopped by the table as well with a copy of his short movie 8-Bit Blood Bath. A Nintendo playing guy gets killed by cultists and comes back as a demon who loves his video game references! Looks like a heck of a fun way to kill twenty minutes. RAK films also came by and hooked me up with a copy of Kill Them Right! which appears to be a comedy in the Russ Meyer style. Not all independent movies at Grossfest are horror, which only makes things that much more interesting. I’m probably forgetting someone (the pile of DVDs was quite large) and if so I’m sorry. But I will promise to review your stuff at Crappy Movie Reviews sometime soon.

In addition to the independent movies I also stopped by and picked up some stuff from Out of Print Dan. I finally got to see Race for the Yankee Zephyr, which I’ve been looking for. Another oddity that I now have a copy of is Around the World Under the Sea which looks to be a Fantastic Voyage type science fiction flick. Dan has helped me scratch quite a few items off my list over the years.

Show closed at seven and I loaded up the car to head back home. It was a decent drive and I was already excited to dig into the pile to watch some movies. That is one of the best things about going to conventions. Being around creative and passionate people always helps me get my batteries recharged. Coming off my recent slasher marathon I was burnt out and not at all motivated. But now I’m ready to get back to the business of talking horror! I really do love this stuff and events like Grossfest remind me of that. I’d like to thank Tim, Tom, and the dozens of other people who help make this event happen. I know it has to be a lot of work and we the horror nerds appreciate it.

Well that wraps up another Grossfest and I’m already looking forward to next year. If this sounds like something you might dig check them out at https://grossfest.com/ to see what they are planning for the 2020 show. If you do attend make sure to stop by the Midnight Magazine table and say hi.

© Copyright 2019 John Shatzer

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