Written by Ed Davis
I was very fortunate this past weekend to jump into my time machine and head back to the late ’70s in Attleboro, MA for the Creature Double Feature Roundup. Creature Double Feature was a show that aired in the ’70s through the early ’80s on WLVI channel 56. They showed two great monster flicks from the likes of Hammer, Toho, and even the Universal classics made an appearance. For me, there was no greater assemblage of creatures and monsters, and it molded me into the Monster Kid I still am to this day.
Aaron Chauncey, Ken Catino, and Matt Sanborn did one hell of a job bringing us back to those days. It truly was a love letter to a simpler time. The event was held at the Ezekiel Bates Lodge which added to the whole ambiance of the day. The stonework and setup felt like you were headed into Dracula’s castle.
As you entered, uou were greeted by horror host Uncle Death, your MC for the day’s events. I’ve known this ghoulish character for years and it was great to finally meet him face to face. The guest of honor was Bob Eggleton. His artwork has graced many of the newer incarnation of Famous Monsters. I was able to get a beautiful print of Godzilla and some of the other Kaiju bridging the past and the present. He also signed the Famous Monsters issue he did with Godzilla facing off with Gamera. It was already a good day!
I managed my way into the vender space and one whole wall was plastered with old movie posters. I smiled and took them all in. So many memories trickling to the surface.
I enjoyed talking to the many artists and other venders there. I tried to focus my buying on the people who had brought stuff they created. I did grab a couple older comics but I really wanted to support the projects that these fine folk had created.
I ended up with a graphic novel called “The Stocking Dead” from Within Dreams and Dean Calusdian was very cool to talk to about old spook shows and whatnot. I snagged the first two issues of Mitchell Comics’ “Zombie Sub-920”. Husband and wife creators Michael and Michelle were very pleasant and I wish I had grabbed the rest of the issues they had. The comic has a very ’50s EC Comics feel!
I chatted with art director Ken Catino about growing up Monster Kids. His design for the roundup was the header used for this article and I now have the shirt to smile back upon. I also chatted with local Salem artist Nick Demakes. He brought his gentlemen bats work made from coffee and acrylic. His work was quite stunning and I ended up with a jack-o’-lantern print for my daughter. He had bats and cats dressed up for Halloween and in their best suits, it was a lot of fun seeing his work.
There were also panels to enjoy throughout the day. “Cosplaying the Villain” started the day. We were treated to some great lessons for cosplayers and fans on how to interact with each other while not offending the other person. The panel included Mr. Clever, The Vexing One in her new Harley Quinn costume, Jillian Cipher, and Tim Wylie aka T’s Misfit toys. It was a great way to start the day as our daughter is starting to enjoy cosplaying. Even though she was not there, we got some great tips for her in the future.
Bob Eggleton gave a discussion of Creature Double Feature and Famous Monsters. Doctor Rowan gave a history of Doctor Who and while I am not that familiar with the character, I was intrigued enough to look into the show some more. John Michael Greer gave a discussion on the differences between Occultism in movies and real life. I even got to try an exercise to center one’s self. In between, they played old clips of Creature Double Feature films. I remember walking up the stairs to the panel room, hearing Godzilla’s roar echoing down through the building, and smiling. The big guy was in the house!
They also had an area downstairs in the lounge showing old cartoons from the ’70s. I couldn’t help but stop and watch some Shazam! I haven’t seen them in years.
There was also some great music to rock out to during the con. Earlier in the day, Astro Al did a set of horror/sci-fi themed music and it was different. Post-punk band 138 closed out the convention with a blistering set that saw co-producer Matt Sanborn jamming with them and ending with a cover of the Misfit’s “Halloween”.
There was an after party in the basement of the lodge, and I couldn’t think of a better place to watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show with a live shadow cast portrayed by The RKO Army. I have seen this many times, and they were one of the best! A small theater that put you right in the middle of the action, reminded me of what it might have been like to see the original stage production upstairs at the Royal Court Theatre in London.
It was a perfect day that was as much about the monsters as it was getting together with a brotherhood, second family.
Aaron Chauncey was a busy man Saturday. But, he always took some time to chat with a smile on his face. His whole family helped out throughout the day. The time and attention they put in showed. It was a well-run convention that I was glad to finally take part of. Running a show like this can be pretty stressful, but no one wore that stress on the outside.
Good times were had by all, with Monster Kids coming together to smile as Godzilla stops another foe from tearing up Tokyo.
Time will tell if there will be a Creature Double Feature Roundup 5. Fingers are crossed. To return to that childhood love for even a day, was a great way to start the Fall/Halloween season. So, thanks to all involved for creating some new monster memories!