Wednesday, August 25, 2010

International Monsters Converge on Ohio Campout

An idea that started taking shape at G-FEST XVII became reality on Friday, August 20, 2010, as the Cuyahoga Kaiju Club met for an overnight extravaganza. Old friends and new faces alike enjoyed much monster fellowship as the heat of the day gave way to picture-perfect weather for outdoor movie viewing.

As folks arrived throughout the late afternoon, tents were pitched, toes were twinkled in “Tokyo Bay,” and introductions were made between new participants. Facebook “friends” and “friends of friends” meeting for the first time found it easy to slip into knowledgeable conversation about the upcoming Legendary Pictures Godzilla film, classic sci-fi television programs, and even Star Wars miscellany. A wonderful summer-picnic-style supper was served, more conversation ensued, while younger generations excused themselves to play Wii, go swimming, or create their own adventures.

Some highlights of the evening included Tom Tvrdik allowing us a look at a prototype he’s working on for 2011 (all I can say is that it is incredible) and the surprise appearance of Matt Evangelista. The Kaiju Modeler himself brought one of his completed pieces, a large concept Millennium Godzilla, to the great delight of those who had never seen his work before.

Oh yeah…there were movies, too! As dusk deepened, the “Monsters Around the World” marathon began with the Danish disaster “Reptilicus.” I had not seen this film since my childhood, when I recall being none too enamored of it—especially the monster itself. Perhaps the good company was an influence, but I had fun watching “Reptilicus”—it falls into the “so bad it’s good” category for me. Andy and I thought the musical interlude “Tivoli Nights” was super cool, having sung it during G-FEST’s “Kaiju Confessions.” It is hard to hate a film in which a giant winged lizard shoots what my friend Ashley now calls “the green snot of doom.”
Next came “Gorgo,” and it looked great on the newly constructed and painted “Theo-ter” screen. The general consensus was that “Gorgo” has a lot going for it, especially the destruction scenes. I agree—it is an atmospheric picture, enhanced by effective visuals, interesting characters and a fairly brisk pace.
That was all the fun we could stand, so we made our way back to Tent City and drifted off to sleep to the sound of explosions and monster roars. What could be better? There is nothing that compares to being awakened by Gamera’s keening wail in the middle of a summer night! The marathon continued into the wee hours with “Cloverfield,” “Destroy All Monsters,” and the original “Gamera.”

Campers began to stir with the morning light, and soon youngsters were gathered around the video game console, and more talk of giant monsters and Ultra heroes could be overheard in the damp air. Overnighters posed for pictures before the outdoor screen with Tom’s hand-lettered banner and were treated to a hearty breakfast. Pancakes, bacon, watermelon and milk made it an “Andy’s favorites” type of meal.
One by one, tents were disassembled as the heat and humidity quickly rose. Farewells were said, and soon it was back to business as usual, with many new monster memories having been made. Special thanks to the Theobald family for their gracious hospitality and to Don and Tom for inviting all of us along on their kaiju journey.

We are thankful to have been made to feel welcome and to live close enough to participate in the CKC. There is even talk of having a Lake County CKC event in the future. It sounds promising, and you can be sure that Monsterland Ohio will share the details when they become available.
The Cuyahoga Kaiju Club is an informal, family-friendly movie club that has met in Northeast Ohio since 1996. For more information, search for “Cuyahoga Kaiju Club” on Facebook or e-mail Don “Kaiju” Theobald at:

No comments:

Post a Comment