Hoff! Hoff! Hoff! Hoff!


I arrived at Chicago O'Hare early Friday afternoon, with a bag containing all my trip essentials, and a slip of paper with Ken "Jabootu" Begg's phone number. I immediately went from the terminal to a pay phone, hence to get the ball rolling. Upon dialing the number, I was immediately greeted by the dreaded automated voice of AT&T, "We're sorry, the number you have reached - # # # - # # # # - is being checked for technical problems. Please try again - later." Being that I knew absolutely nobody in Chicago, and having banked all my travel accommodations/transportation/etc. with Jabootu, my reaction was a slightly more profane version of:

"Aw, nuts!"

So, being the trooper that I am, I meandered about the airport for a while, periodically trying Ken's number. Finally, about twenty minutes later, I thankfully got through. Come to find out, the phone was merely busy - and AT&T was, in fact, full of it.

Twenty minutes later, Ken arrived in his svelte blue chariot, and we were off to La Casa de Begg. Upon entering his abode, I was greeted by Andrew of"Shtop!" BadMovies.org, Al and Rob of Oh, the Humanity!, Apostic from B-Notes, as well as several representatives from the Nation of Jabootu - including Ken (naturally), Sue, Jeff, and the vonRoeschlaubs (who, I was repeatedly informed, are with child). Rock 'n Roll Nightmare played on the television (and oh yes, I will own that film). Ken followed this masterpiece with a little number from the film Sextette, starring (amongst others) Timothy Dalton (when he was a nobody - as opposed to the huge star he is today) and an approximately 90 year old, yet vibrant as ever, Mae West. Their interpretation of Captain and Tennille's "Love Will Keep Us Together" will be a cherished memory for some time to come. Ken and I then piled back into the Begg-Mobile, and returned to O'Hare to pick up yet another of Jabootu's minions - message board regular, Joel Mathis (who presented Ken with a DVD of Dennis Rodman's Simon Sez - which was very thoughtful, I think).

Back at the ranch, the rest of the gang were now engrossed in Ticks (Alfonso Ribeiro!). After this (thankfully) ended, we loaded up three cars full of people and coolers (which, in turn, were chock-full of luscious junk food - compliments of our most gracious host), and headed towards Northwestern University.

Norris University CenterWe pulled in front of the Norris University Center and began unpacking the loot. Did I mention it was cold in Chicago? Well, let me tell you - it was. After unloading the cars, we heaved everything inside, and waited in line for the tickets to go on sale and auditorium to open so we can commence the mad dash inside to get the best seats possible. Ticket lines opened (Twenty bucks! Ouch!), and Ken charged into the theater, securing the front/left corner of the room. As it was later explained to me, this was the first year Ken didn't get the traditional front row seats. Must be some kind of communist plot.

Soon thereafter, the guys from Stomp Tokyo arrived: Scott and Chris, Chris "Diary of a Tuber" Magyar, Jeff "FilmBoy" Stanford, and Dr. Freex from The Bad Movie Report. After all the various pleasantries and salutations were out of the way, weMatt Bradford: Master of Ceremonies finally got to the crux of our mutual endeavor - the dang movies!

After the introductory greeting from Matt Bradford, the proprietor of B-Fest, we kicked it into high gear with:


Somebody's murdered - Daddy-O sings a song.

False accusations are made - Daddy-O sings a song.

A fat, sweaty, bald guy in a toga gets a massage - Daddy-O sings a song.

The real culprits are apprehended - Daddy-O threatens to sing another song.


Invasion of the Saucermen

A flying saucer lands in the proximity of Inspiration Point/Lover's Lane/or whatever the heck they call it in this film. Aliens wreak havoc along the countryside with their hypodermic needle fingers. Teenagers, law enforcers, the army, and the Riddler try to stop them. An old guy who owns the property threatens the teen "smoochers" with his shotgun at various intervals. (Who, by the way, owns a pretty plush pad for being a backwoods redneck.) The aliens are eventually thwarted, and the hillbilly threatens the smoochers once again - hilarity ensues.

Beneath the Planet of the Apes

A short, scrawny Charlton Heston wanna-be attempts find the real Heston, fondle Nova, and elude apes and evil telepaths at the same time. This particular pic wins the "Worst Print of the Night" award. Grainy, scratched, and presumably soaked in a red dye. Be on the lookout for the humming ladder - a classic! I wonder if that idiot ever figured out that he was on Earth?

House on Haunted Hill

I am convinced that this was a diabolical plot conceived by Dr. Freex to torture me. We had argued on the quality of this film previously (I claimed it sucked, he House on Haunted Hill(futilely) attempted to prove otherwise). Somehow, he tricked those poor people at B-Fest into screening it. He's evil, I tellya - EVIL!

Short: The Wizard of Speed and Time

A B-Fest staple, complete with audience participation. A guy in a green robe (with stars) runs around the country, makes silly faces, and provides an unreliable means of public transportation. Just when you think it can't get any better, he breaks into song and a possible precursor to Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer." Good stuff - very popular among Fest veterans.

Plan 9 From Outer Space

The Ed Wood classic - shown every year around midnight. The audience ate it up. I could have done without it, personally, but who am I to stand in the way of tradition?

Dracula 1972 A.D.

Dracula is resurrected in the "modern day" 1970's by Sting, and terrorizes a group of hip teeny-boppers. Kind of slow, but picks up towards the end when Peter Cushing gets hot on Drac's trail - and the Shaft-like "wa-kit-cha, wa-kit-cha" music kicks in.

Jungle Hell

Goodness gravy! Nothing could have prepared me for this! Hands down, this is the worst film I've seen in a very long time - perhaps ever. Mild irritaThe keyword here is: Helltion turned into rabid, screaming loathing by the end, "End! Damn you! END!" Sabu, the hero, and his gang of incompetent white scientists, attempt to figure out the mystery of the Burning Rock. Meanwhile, elephants (via a seemingly endless supply of stock footage) walk around, get washed, get tied up, and walk around some more. If ever you should see this film gracing your local video store shelf - destroy it immediately! Take it off the shelf, hurl it (preferably with tremendous force) to the ground, and mercilessly stomp the remaining pieces. I'm not kidding. Frigging destroy it.

Short: Gavotte

Some midgets fight over a pillow and a chair. When inquiring about the point of this little darling of cinema, I was informed, simply, that, "It's French."

Fair enough.

Short: Tomb It May Concern

A midget (just can't enough of 'em!) and a color-blind explorer discover two mummies within the catacombs of an ancient Egyptian tomb. The explorer wanders off to continue the excavation, leaving the midget in charge of keeping an Will the hilarity never cease?!eye on the two mummies - with specific directions not to douse the mummies with the sacred water (which, conveniently, is located right between them). Can you guess what happens next? If you said: the midget splashes water on the mummies - you get the kewpie doll. As it turns out, the mummies are actually belly dancers, and the homelier of the two honors us with a full performance - while the midget gawks and makes funny faces. Yup, it's a tried and true fact, short people are funny. *yawn* The explorer returns to find laughter and mirth induced by the wacky antics of his small colleague. The midget then hooks up with the homely dancer, and the explorer is set up with the other (who is dark-skinned - but that's OK, because, as they've previously explained, the explorer is color-blind). Funny? Sorta, but not in the way intended. Offensive? You bet. Highlights include bad vaudevillian jokes and plumber's crack.

The Quest

Jean-Claude Van Damme's attempt to out-Street Fight Street Fighter, this time with the help of Roger Moore. The story revolves around a big martial arts tournament; the combatants spanning from around the globe. Each nationality is stereotyped: the Scottish fighter has flaming red hair and a kilt, the Brazilian hops around like a monkey - you get the picture. Though it was entertaining, I've seen it before, and decided this was an opportune moment to catch some sleep. Even if I hadn't already seen it, common sense dictates that Van Damme will win - is there any doubt? Highlights include Jean-Claude dressed up as a sad clown. Kinda poetic.

Creature From the Haunted Sea

Slept some more. At various points I woke up to the yelling of, "Mango!" Of which I assumed was either a character, or Carmen Miranda making a surprise appearance. Came to find out later, I didn't miss much.

Short: What is Communism?

In a nutshell: Communism - BAD! Democracy - GOOD! Add a little propaganda, some misplaced patriotism, a heapin' helpin' of BS - stir briskly, bake and serve.

It Came From Outer Space (in 3-D!)

I didn't realize that the 3-D effect was achieved by almost completely blacking out the right glass lens. Because of this, intertwined with the movie's rather slow start, I dozed off.

Son of Blob

Larry Hagman, Burgess Meredith and Dick Van Patten team up to take on the titular oozing ball of destruction. Actually, the fearsome threesome only provide cameos. Lots of fun. The coup de grace being a THE END?! finish. Directed by Hagman, the IMDB lists this as: "The film JR shot."

The Raven

A short film featuring Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff. Lugosi plays a doctor, who disfigures Karloff's face in order to blackmail him into killing off some of Bela's adversaries (or else he'll be scarred for life). Even though I yelled out, "Nevermore!" at various instances throughout the film, it didn't help in adhering it to the Poe classic. Forgettable.

Red Nightmare

Joe Friday, from "Dragnet", plays a Rod Serling-esque character who gives us a "What if?" scenario where a typical man, with a typical life, in a typical house, with a typical family suddenly wakes up to discover that his town had been overrun with - *cue ominous trumpet fanfare* - COMMUNISTS! Entertaining, but at the same time, very scary.

Teenage Caveman

Robert Vaughan plays a...*ahem*..."teenage" caveman in this Roger Corman classic. Scott, from Stomp Tokyo, summed it up best by saying, "Leave it to Corman to make the first prehistoric legal thriller." That Scott, what a card!

Five Million Years to Earth (aka Quatermass and the Pit)

Quatermass examines a replica of Mae West from Sextette

Ain't nothing like a stuffy British movie to put me right to sleep.

Slime People

"Slime people got..small fingers.." Oops, sorry. An airplane pilot lands in L.A. to refuel, only to discover that it has been invaded by - say it with me, folks - SLIME PEOPLE! Easy pickins for comic quips and random tom-foolery.

Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

Russ Meyer tells the provocative story of a threesome of buxom women who drive fast cars, talk tough, break into random dancing, and are not afraid to whoop some tail. Interestingly, the projectionist misframed the first quarter of theFaster, Pussycat! Schnell! Schnell! film, causing the actress's heads to be cut off. So, essentially, what we had were these enormous breasts conversing amongst each other. Though this might've been annoying in any other director's picture, for a Russ Meyer film, it seemed rather fitting. It just cut right to the point.

After Faster, Pussycat! finished, the house lights came on revealing a worn and haggard crowd of B-movie enthusiasts. The Jabootu Party, all 20 some odd of us, helped clean up the various wrappers, cups, paper plates (lots of paper plates), etc. We then decided to head back to Ken's mother's house, where the majority of us would be staying, and order some pizza, drink alcohol, and converse. (Note to self: Next year, do not joke that Ken's Mom doesn't allow alcohol in the house. I was nearly strangled for that half-baked attempt at humor.)

So, we packed up the cars with both the junk food receptacles and ourselves, and headed home. Upon arriving at Mrs. Begg's, everyone got comfortable - some in the kitchen, some in the living room. The festivities revolved around drinking, talking, and basically having a good ole time. Ken took orders for food (His treat! The man is a saint!), and the party turned into a game of Ten Little Indians as we talked well into the night - every once in a while, someone would succumb to their sleep deprivation, and disappear into a dark recess of the house to pass out. It was almost 2 before us die-hards decided to call it a night.

The next morning was a tornado of good-byes, coffee and David Hasselhoff's Starcrash. (Dave, you never fail to amaze me.) We also snuck in one last peek at Mae West in Sextette. "What-evah!"

All in all, this was the most fun I had in a long time. The event itself was a blast, and you couldn't ask for a nicer group of folks. It will be take some extraordinary circumstances for me to miss next year, and I sincerely hope that everyone else I met will make a triumphant return in 2001.

Thanks again, Ken!


Don't want to take my word for it? Check out these musings from other B-Fest attendees:

Stomp Tokyo

The Bad Movie Report

Jabootu's Bad Movie Dimension


Oh, the Humanity!



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