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Nov 132009

Ed Gale Autograph

Pinata: Survival Island stars Nicholas Brendan and Jaime Pressly as college students, among a group of others, who travel to an island on a scavenger hunt. While gathering men’s and women’s underpants all over, one team finds a piñata that was possessed by evil spirits and decides to open it. What are the odds, right?

Then it becomes a fight for survival as the Piñata tries to kill everyone and take their souls. He’s like Shang Tsung (Mortal Kombat) on steroids, but he prefers to beat his victims with a stick. A little poetic justice, I guess. The Piñata is smart too. He cuts the boats loose so no one can escape and even takes several demonic forms as a way to quickly get around. It doesn’t work as a camouflage because he still looks like he’s made out of lava rock.

Nicholas Brendan is well known for his role as Xander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I met him at FX Convention 2008.

Nicholas Brendan and me

I also met Ed Gale, who played the Piñata monster, at Spooky Empire 2009. He was a nice guy and great to talk to. I also found out that Ed Gale was one of the Dink men on Spaceballs, which is one of my favorite Mel Brooks films. He was also Chucky on the original Child’s Play and a stunt man in two of the sequels.

Ed Gale and me

This is an exciting horror film overall. In fact, I can actually see this story line on an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. If you think about it, this wouldn’t be the first time Xander went on a solo mission.

Sep 302009

The creative series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003) stars Sarah Michelle Gellar as the lead. Now attending high school in Sunnydale, Buffy not only has a new watcher, but a Scooby gang as well. One thing I don’t understand is that in the movie version, Buffy was a senior. On this show, she starts as a sophomore. That’s a little strange, but then again, the series does work better with more of the seasons taking place at the high school. Smart move, Joss Whedon.

Buffy wax statue

In case you were wondering. This is not the real Sarah Michelle Gellar with me. It's a statue from Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Las Vegas in 2004.

Other than vampires, this show has creative takes on other types of old monsters like zombies, werewolves, robots, witches, ghosts, fairytale creatures like the Gentlemen, Hansel and Gretel, and even Dracula himself. There are also many different types of demons. Just like how Futurama has many different types of aliens and mutants. As much of a drama as this show is, it’s also got it’s share of comedy.

As if all of those monsters weren’t difficult enough, the various monsters aren’t the only threats the hellmouth had to offer. There were times that Buffy and the gang were confronted by magic spells and curses. Such items include; animal possession, a student turning invisible because she was being treated that way, everyone turning into whatever Halloween costume they were wearing, drinking beer that turns college students into cavemen, worst fears coming to life, and the ever popular, everybody suddenly breaking into song. Now that’s creative material.

The fight scenes are amazing. When a vampire is killed, they turn to dust with a neat effect. Too bad it doesn’t work the same way with killing demons.

There were some other great characters also.  But one character who went through a major transformation was Spike (James Marsters).  He started out as a tough villain.  Then he had a chip put in his head that prevents him from harming any humans, which forced him to be a good guy.  He was a pretty useful member of the Scooby gang though.

Charisma Carpenter at Mini MegaCon 2009

I met a lot of cast members from this series at several different conventions.The cast members I’ve met so far are; Nicholas Brendan (Xander), James Marsters (Spike), Clare Kramer (Glory), Julie Benz (Darla), Juliet Landau (Drusilla), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Amber Benson (Tara), Adam Busch (Warren), and Camden Toy (various demons).

Clare Kramer at FX Convention 2009

I’d have to say that out of all of the Buffy cast members that I’ve had the opportunity to meet, Clare Kramer, who played the evil goddess Glory in season 5, was the sweetest.

Amber Benson, Emma Caulfield, and Charisma Carpenter at Mini Mega Con 2009

 Look for pictures of other cast members from Buffy the Vampire Slayer on future posts.