My Day at the Severed Cinema VHS Convention!
Of course when I heard there was going to be a VHS gathering in Pennsylvania, I knew I had to be there. Not only would I meet a lot of online friends that I’ve known for years for the first time, but I had to represent my site. I’ve worked so hard to get it to where it is now, that I would be an idiot not to show up to something like this.
I and 4 friends that wanted to come along for the ride left 10 PM Friday night to take the trip over to Stroudsburg PA. By the time we got there, it was probably around 12:30 at night, and the next hour we drove around looking for a decent hotel. We settled on the Budget Inn, the cheapest local motel we found for our one night stay. It certainly wasn’t any luxury hotel, but for 80 bucks a night, we deserved a lot better. The only redeeming quality about this place was that it was right next to a breakfast joint, where we all ate in the morning. I had a killer bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich for only 2.75.
(Photo taken by Ed McHale)
Around 12:30 or so in the afternoon on Saturday, we pull up in front of the Sherman Theater where I met a few collectors for the first time. Johnny Dickie approached us wearing his Slaughter Tales mask with a small film crew following him. Ed McHale drives by in his truck, asking where he could park for free. At some point Earl pops out from inside the theater telling us what that situation was. My friends and I unload and set up our table inside. From the outside, the theater may look small, but inside it was quite spacious with tables lining the walls. Most people there began filling up their tables with loads of VHS tapes for sale or trade. At our table we had shirts, VHS, DVDs, and a few other trinkets. My fiance found a nearby fabric store where she got a sweet red tablecloth for our table that really stood out and matched the website's red and black theme. We put up our banner behind us with thumbtacks and the event began.
(Setting up the table)
Johnny Dickie’s full-length film, Slaughter Tales was the first film to kick start the event so I made sure I was able to catch it but because I also had a table, I was unable to catch the whole thing. The flick had the homemade feeling of Splatter Farm, but here, Johnny played most of the characters, did the effects, and pretty much everything else. It had that certain charm that has been lost ever since the horror SOV trend of the late 80's. Both this film and the Turnpike Killer had very few people actually sitting down watching. I would say there were less than 15 people in the theater, which I thought was unfortunate because of what I did catch of both, they seemed quite entertaining.
(Myself with a few close friends)
Throughout the evening I had some chit chat with the fellow collectors. I spoke with Earl Kess (the organizer of the event), Ed McHale, Johnny Dickie, Matt from Horror Boobs, Josh from the Lunchmeat mag (thanks for the magazine!) and some other Facebook friends. I also got to speak with fans of the website and YouTube channel. It’s really awesome hearing how many people really appreciate those YouTube reviews. I knew I had a nice handful of subscribers on YouTube, but talking to some of my subscribers in person was really rewarding. I actually began to feel bad because I haven’t done any reviews in months since I’ve been focusing on the site (With the exception of the review on the Death Nurse DVD). Unfortunately, a few of you didn’t have any Facebooks or YouTube channels, so if we chatted, get in touch! I wish I could've socialized with more of you but something in that Pennsylvania air that day that gave me some sort of allergy attack, putting me into a coughing fit!
(The main hall with most of the tables)
One of the highlights of the evening was when Bill, a writer with the Weekender arts and entertainment paper in PA, came by to give me a printed copy of the article on VHS he interviewed me for. It was totally cool to see a picture of me printed with the article! Even though it was for a small local entertainment paper in a state other than my own, seeing my name and picture in that article will always be one of the greatest moments of my life.
We began packing up at 9. I would’ve liked to stay longer but we had to get a bite to eat and head back to Long Island. I said some goodbyes and off we went to CiCi’s Pizza then home! Thanks to everyone who came by the table to say hello and buy a few tapes! Earl put together a killer event and I look forward to next year’s! Oh, and for those of you who promised you’ll have some scans for VHSCollector.com, I’m going to hold you against that! *cough* Ed and Earl *cough*