The Triumphant 11th Year

  Hoff! Hoff! Hoff! Hoff! 


(Editor's Note: Despite having taken my camera to New Orleans with me, for some reason I ended up not taking any pictures. This is probably due to the fact that I am a fool. Anyway, what I decided to do was simply add pictures of things I did not see while in New Orleans. Enjoy.)

Day 1

I flew into New Orleans with little incident.

Stepping off the plane, I strained to hear the sounds of French chatter, the pungent aroma of simmering shrimp etoufee, or the crunch of hungry tourists snapping into crawfish. I got none of that. Instead there were ample gray skies and an onslaught of rain; a preamble of things to come.

An hour later I met with my good pal Jennie and we set off for the hotel. Our accommodations, contrary to what others read on the Internet, turned out to be fairly acceptable. Nothing to get overly excited about, but nothing that set us screaming off into the night, either. The worst part, for me, was the showers. They featured two water temperatures: damn hot and f*cking cold. There was no in-between. Other than that minor quibble, everything was just dandy.

Nobody from the rest of our group was scheduled to arrive until later that evening, so Jennie and I made our way to Bourbon Street to grab some lunch and check out the sights. Needless to say, there is a lot to see in New Orleans. Restaurants, bars, clubs, novelty shops, voodoo, transvestites – the Big Easy has everything! To say I was overwhelmed would be an understatement. Fortunately for me, Jennie was there to provide historical exposition to various points of interest scattered throughout the area. When appropriate, I was quick to comment on how certain buildings looked “cool” and how some of the local denizens looked “funny.”

Anyway, we spent the day doing tourist stuff. Finally, when early evening rolled around, I was able to convince my tour guide to return to base and await the arrival of our esteemed cohorts. The day’s walking had forced me to exert some effort; I was whiny and my feet hurt. We made our way back to the hotel and relaxed a bit. I even got to catch up on the current WB television line-up. (In hindsight, perhaps I could have handled walking just a little more.)

Dr. FreeX (of The Bad Movie Report fame) and his wife, the radiant Lady FreeX, finally arrived to Chez Cabal around 9. I asked the good Doctor if they would like to accompany us to dinner. After clearing it with the boss (the aforementioned Lady FreeX), he happily proclaimed that they would. So we met our friends at their suite (it pays to be a star of stage and cinema!) and exchanged door prizes. I was distributing copies of The Deadly Life of a Ninja, along with the Dolemite soundtrack (on that archaic medium called “tape”). Dr. FreeX had burned a tremendous compilation of songs from b-movie staples, including “Shook Out of Shape” from The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies. I love that song!

After dinner, the FreeX duo headed back to their celebrity suite. Jennie and I returned to Bourbon Street to paint the town red. Considering the fact that I don’t know how to party, we ended up painting the town only a light rouge (Woo! Somebody stop me!). We wandered about, peeked into several crowded clubs, listened to a little music, and stared at the odd lot of people walking by. We even got to pay five dollars for watered-down soda! To me, nothing is more refreshing than a five dollar watered-down soda.

After midnight, instead of letting it all hang out, we called it an evening. With NOWFF being just around the corner, we needed all the sleep we could possibly muster.

Day 2

The next morning, after a little confusion getting in contact with the rest of our party, we all met down in the lobby for our complimentary continental breakfast – consisting of poor coffee and two donuts. (And don’t you dare try to take more than the allotted two! There is few more feared than Louisiana’s Donut Police.)

Our party included (besides those previously mentioned):

Ken Begg, of Jabootu’s Bad Movie Dimension. The only Cabal attendee who wasn’t affiliated with Stomp Tokyo. He was also the only one who won a door prize. Coincidence?!

Scott Hamilton, Chris and Christina Holland of Stomp Tokyo. Chris handled the logistics; Christina handled Chris; and Scott handled any arguments pertaining to the aesthetic quality of Maria Ford.

Jeff “Filmboy” Stanford and Loren. In a world riddled with cynical folks burned by the flames of love, it’s good to know that at least two people break the mold with their unbridled mushiness. (I mean that as a good thing.)

Most of us decided to skip the complimentary (not to mention rudimentary) breakfast, instead opting to dine at the world renowned Café Du Monde. Unfortunately, it being a Saturday morning, the world renowned Café Du Monde was packed; a line of prospective patrons stretched as far as the eye could see (in other words, a block or two). So, instead, we decided to try the restaurant located across the street from the Café. I wish I could remember the establishment’s name, for then I could warn you, Fair Reader, about going there. For the most part, the food wasn’t too bad. The service, on the other hand, was atrocious. Our waiter, Ashton, was truly a nitwit. It took him forever to even acknowledge our existence, let alone take our damn orders. I’m not even going to get into how long it took us to actually receive our meals; nor am I going to mention the fact that Filmboy’s humble request was never even turned into the kitchen. I refuse to let this recap become an Ashton smear article. Instead, let me say that if you happen to be in New Orleans, and Café Du Monde is full, by all means, do not go to the restaurant located right across the street. Unless aggravation fuels your appetite.

Now running behind schedule, the crew all piled into several taxis and scurried back to the hotel. After gathering our necessities, we then separated into various rental vehicles and darted towards the festival. Despite some navigational miscalculations, we were fortunate enough to make it to NOWFF just a little late. Hurrying inside, we handed over the Stomp Tokyo merchandise and door prizes to the festival organizers, got our tickets, and scrambled into the auditorium (sitting near the front, of course). The infamous seats, as noted in several NOWFF recaps of the past, looked just as crippling as described. Lucky for me, Jennie had brought seat cushions and was kind enough to let me borrow one. May God bless Jennie Burroughs.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

Galaxy Invader

A do-it-yourself cheapie about an alien who lands in Hicksville, loses his gun and ball, and finds trouble with the local rednecks trying to get them back. If you have ever seen Pod People, the title credits feature scenes from Galaxy Invader. And no, I have absolutely no idea why.

A bit on the dull side, I must confess, but for the most part, Galaxy Invader was fairly entertaining. The poor camerawork and lighting were surpassed only by the atrocious acting.

Precious Moments:

The slow motion finale involving a helpless dummy plummeting from a cliff’s edge.      

Random product placements featuring a variety of beers.


Herb, from WKRP, and a group of college chums battle demons, the Necronomicon, and a drooling Ranger Smith. I had seen Equinox before, and vaguely recall actually liking the film. Despite my admiration, I found my second viewing to be a bit on the tedious side. Unlike, say, Rock ‘n Roll Nightmare, Equinox was not a film that can be enjoyed repeatedly.

Night of the Lepus

DeForest Kelley and Janet Leigh battle hormonally mutated bunny rabbits. I found the concept of crazy bunnies to be quite funny, at first, but the novelty wore thin rather quickly. Just how many times do I have to watch rabbits hop in slow motion down a road and off a hill? And why in slow motion? Are slow motion bunny rabbits scarier?


It’s the 50’s, and some guy has a TV which does such wacky things as light cigarettes, destroy coffee cups, and walk around on flimsy little legs. Though others in our group may disagree, I found Twonky to be rather redundant.


Twonky lit that guy’s pipe. Ha ha.


Twonky shaved that guy’s face. Ha ha.


Twonky lit that guy’s pipe again. Yawn.

(I dozed off for the majority of this trite.) 

Village of the Giants

Before the feature even started, our gang decided to step out and grab a little dinner. So obviously, I missed out on Village of the Giants. I did catch a little of the opening credits, though. Bikini-clad teeny boppers dancing in slow motion to surf rock. So let me make sure I got this straight: We stick around to watch Twonky, but decide to leave during the bikini-clad teeny boppers. What’s wrong with this picture?

Journey to the 7Th Planet

Directed by the legendary Sid Pink, Journey to the 7th Planet was yet another test of my cinematic patience. A group of astronauts, led by John Agar (your hero and mine), fly out to titular 7th planet (via infinite stock footage) and discover a strange alien being that can physically manifest beautiful women from thin air, as well as scary monsters (whichever the situation dictates).

In short, very tedious.

What helped ease the pain of this film, however, was the fact that the aforementioned 7th planet happens to be Uranus. For a good thirty minutes, a large majority of our group let the “Uranus” jokes fly. Though nothing would please me more than to regurgitate all these quips for your reading pleasure, I will, instead, practice moderation and give you my personal pick of the litter.

Upon landing on Uranus (no, that’s not the joke), the planet’s surface is suddenly overrun with vegetation. One of the astronauts then picks an apple from a nearby tree and takes a big bite.

“Uranus’ apples are delicious!”

That Scott Hamilton, what a card!


Based on the psychedelic kiddie show from the 60’s, Pufnstuf lived up to the hype of being a conglomeration of surreal characters in a surreal setting singing surreal songs. Bizarre. Look for a full review in the next week or two.

Though the film was very entertaining (I don’t care what you say!), the best part of Pufnstuf was the introduction by Stomp Tokyo’s very own, Dr. FreeX. Being the scholarly type, FreeX had purchased the DVD of some classic Pufnstuf episodes for research. (He took notes and everything!) After conducting a few Stomp Tokyo giveaways (Chris and Scott: They just give and give!), the Doctor gave us some brief, yet insightful, background on the feature we were about to witness. The presentation was educational; its delivery, impeccable. Dr. FreeX can do it all.

I would be remiss in not mentioning the winner of this year’s Golden Sludgie Award – Professor Griffin. A popular horror host and NOWFF regular, The Professor accepted his trophy graciously, then proceeded to prove his worthiness of the prestigious award with an inspired introduction to Village of the Slow Motion Bikini-Clad Teeny Boppers…er, I meant Village of the Giants. So, kudos to Professor Griffin on a job well done.

After cleaning up around our campsite, the clan then headed back to the ranch. The plan was to head out to Bourbon Street for a night of unbridled debauchery, but after several of us wussed out (myself included), everyone decided to simply retire. Sure, wandering about New Orleans is a rare opportunity for those who don't live there, but dammit, sleep is pretty fun too.

The next morning, we were scheduled to meet in the lobby and grab a bite at The Court of Two Sisters. Once again, sleep sounded like a better idea; the party animals begged off again, with a promise to meet back up with the group after a few more winks.

Around eleven or so, I finally roused myself out of bed, got cleaned up, and headed down to Café Du Monde with Jennie for some coffee and beignets (pronounced “Ben-Yay” not “Beg-Nett,” as us rednecks prefer). I called Chris and was informed that brunch at The Court of Two Sisters was postponed until 2:30, and we would all meet at The French Market a little after one. So we moused around several tourist traps for a while*, met up with our pals, then had a nice (albeit expensive) lunch at the popular Court of Two Sisters. The food was good and the service was excellent, despite being informed by our waiter at one point that: “Shit happens.” (Who’s to argue? It does.)

After lunch, it was time for a trolley ride. Unfortunately for me, however, time was running short and I had to be airport-bound relatively soon. So Jennie, the FreeX family, Scott and I returned to the hotel to regroup as well as escape the unrelenting wrath of the perpetual rain. Lady FreeX had to lay the Doctor down for his nap; Jennie, Scott and I relaxed in Jennie’s suite and chatted about nothing in particular. Around six I said my good-byes and caught a cab to the airport.

Looking back at the experience, the first notion that comes to mind is to compare the festivities to those at B-Fest. In all honesty, it would be unfair to choose one event over the other; they both have their pros and cons. For example, B-Fest is a cruel, twenty-four hour assault on the senses. NOWFF, on the other hand, is only twelve hours of cinematic pain. But NOWFF features the legendary Wooden Seats of Unforgiving Ass Paralysis. So in the end, it all kinda evens out. (I cannot imagine sitting on NOWFF seats through a marathon like B-Fest. It hurts just thinking about it.)       

But most importantly: Did I have a good time, and will I be back? On both counts, an emphatic “yes.” NOWFF was a blast – the movies were horrible; the event coordinators were friendly; and most importantly, my travel companions are just great folks. And I’m not just saying that because two of them sponsor my site. (Chris and Scott are quite keen, though.)

So, in summary, if you have yet to check out The New Orleans Worst Film Festival, allow me to strongly urge you to do so. If not for the bad movies, if not for the crazed atmosphere of the Big Easy, then simply for the commemorative Stomp Tokyo cups.

DeForest Kelley. Commemorative cups. Uranus.

Is there more to life?


Thank God!



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* It was in one these said traps where I picked up my treasured souvenir, the “Cajun in Your Pocket.” My Pocket Cajun features six buttons, each offering a soundbite of Louisiana wisdom (in an authentic Cajun voice, of course). These clips range from “I love you like a pig loves corn!” to the Cajun battle cry “Ai-yeeee!”

The device is priceless.

Though I enjoyed torturing my friends in New Orleans, true joy is found when I take my Pocket Cajun to work with me. Being that everyone has to carry a walkie-talkie at the theater, I discovered that I can torture the entire building simultaneously:

“Joe, will you check the focus on #14?”

“You have to suck da head off dem crawfish!”

“Um, does that mean you’ll check #14?”