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Dec 072016
 

I will admit that it has been a few years since I last attended this convention. This year it was very special because my sister and I got to meet one of our all-time favorite performers, Weird Al Yankovic.

weird-al-yankovic

It was a real honor and was really excited, since Weird Al was a huge favorite of mine since childhood. I have been to several of his concerts over time, but never would’ve imagined that I would actually meet him face to face. It felt like going to a convention for the first time. Of all the celebrities I have met at these events over the years, that’s saying a lot.

Along side of getting a photo, I got Weird Al’s autograph on a small movie poster from the 1989 film UHF. It was also autographed by Jay Levey, the director. He also co-wrote the screenplay with Weird Al.

Even though a few scheduled celebrities could not make it due to the hurricane delaying Spooky Empire, many of them did like Butch Patrick. Yes, TV’s Eddie Munster returned this year and his Q&A panel was interesting. He talked about his time on The Munsters as well as his thoughts on the comparisons with related Munsters remakes like The Munsters Today (1987-1991) and the made for TV movie Mockingbird Lane (2012). Let’s just say that there’s no substitute for the real thing.

Overall, I had a wonderful time. One last note: I couldn’t help but notice that among the most popular celebrities to attend Spooky Empire were cast members from the new Netflix original series Stranger Things. It was mostly the kids who attended. What could’ve made that better, in my opinion, was if Winona Ryder had been there. Now that would have been interesting. Maybe she’ll come next year?

Jun 062012
 

The masked killer Michael Myers (Tyler Mane) is back in the Rob Zombie sequel Halloween II. It starts right where the first Halloween movie left off. Michael’s sister Laurie (Scout Taylor-Compton) barely survives and gets treated at the hospital, but did we really have to see all of those extreme close ups during the mending procedure?

At this point you’d think that Michael Myers is dead, but as it turns out, he is still alive and slashing. He continues to hunt for Laurie and kills anyone who gets in his way. Every so often there’s a scene with completely random characters having different conversations, which are unrelated to the basic story line, but still match Rob Zombie’s brand of humor. Then all of a sudden, there’s Michael butchering everyone again.

I met Danielle Harris at Spooky Empire 2007.

However, this story line does go further than just Michael Myers on the loose. Two years later, Laurie and Annie (Danielle Harris) have recovered. However, Laurie still gets nightmares about Michael coming for her, due to lack of closure from within.

Malcolm McDowall returns as Dr. Loomis, who has also recovered from his wounds in the previous movie. Loomis is now on a book tour with his book about his adventure with Michael Myers. However, it’s not entirely glamorous for him when some people believe that Loomis is partially responsible for Michael’s actions.

Sheri Moon Zombie returns as Deborah

Things become more intense when Michael sees apparitions of his mother Deborah (Sheri Moon Zombie) and his younger self (Chase Vanek). Laurie also sees them in her dreams, even when she’s awake. This causes Laurie to turn against Annie and get drunk with her friends at a Halloween party.

Weird Al Yankovic (as himself) makes a cameo as a celebrity guest on a talk show, which Dr. Loomis also attends to talk about his book. That becomes a disaster for Loomis, but Weird Al has such witty commentary during the interview.

The Halloween party Laurie goes to features great music and a comedic emcee, Uncle Seymour Coffins (Jeff Daniel Phillips), who likes to howl and tell blonde jokes. Unfortunately, Michael also arrives and Laurie sees the apparitions of her mother and young Michael again. They want her to join them so they can be a family again. Oddly, no one else can see or hear them. Soon Laurie has run out of options as Michael finally catches up to her.

This sequel was good, but gorier than before. It also featured a white horse as a term for dealing with psychosis. I had no idea.

Nov 272010
 

The Simpsons fourth album was another TV soundtrack called Go Simpsonic With The Simpsons: Original Music From The Television Series. This one not only had songs from newer episodes, but also older ones that weren’t on The Simpsons: Songs in the Key of Springfield. Some of the major highlights include, Homer and Marge singing “Those Were the Days”, which fits perfectly in comparison to the theme from All in the Family, especially Marge’s singing voice. As well as “Canyonero” and “Garbage Man” (Based on “Candy Man”).

Just when I thought The Simpsons discontinued having new music on the series, they had one more called Simpsons: Testify. Highlights from that include Bart singing “Testify” and Weird Al Yankovic singing “Homer and Marge”.

As The Simpsons continue in popularity, I don’t know if they’ll have another album, but these are all favorites, especially if you’re a fan of classic Simpsons.

Jul 262010
 

On the night of July 21st 2010, Weird Al Yankovic came to Orlando and performed a concert at the “Hard Rock Cafe” at Universal Studios City Walk. It’s been awhile since I last went to one of his concerts, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I got a T-shirt and some trading cards there. Good thing my sister and I arrived early.

These are only a few from a set of 50.

Weird Al opened with a polka medley with songs from Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, and others. Then came some classic songs like “You Make Me” and “Good Old Days”, both of which come from the album Even Worse. They weren’t among his bigger hits, but I remember them well.

Of course Weird Al also performed other big hits like “Smells Like Nirvana”, “Fat”, “Eat it”, “Money for Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies”, “Amish Paradise”, “Dare to Be Stupid”, and “White and Nerdy”. He even included some new songs like “Skipper Dan” and “Craigslist”.

Weird Al was a really smooth dancer when he performed “Wanna B Ur Lover”. He came down from the stage and sang to the ladies in the front row. It was so funny. Then while performing “Ode to a Superhero”, a guy had to hold a harmonica for Weird Al while he was playing the accordion.

In between songs there were many channel flips on the screen. Among them are “interviews” with celebrities like Celine Dion, Avril Lavigne, Snoop Dog, Eminem, and Jessica Simpson. (Or is it Sampson?) I figured that Weird Al needs that time for all those costume changes.

There were also plenty of short segments, where Weird Al was animated on other shows like Johnny Bravo, The SimpsonsFuturama, and Celebrity Death Match. That even includes other shows that so much as even mentioned Weird Al as a reference. I never realized there were so many. It was set up very well, much like Robot Chicken.

Weird Al also mentioned that July 21st was an anniversary of when UHF premiered. Everyone was cheering, including myself, because we know that movie is a real classic.

After the concert, there was an encore with a Star Wars theme. I thought it was appropriate with Star Wars Celebration V coming up in August 2010. But first, Weird Al sang about cell phones. There wasn’t much to it, but if you had a cell phone, you could hold it up while hand waving to the song.

Then came Weird Al’s two Star Wars songs, “The Saga Begins” and “Yoda”. Just before finishing “Yoda”, Al and the band did some other kind of singing that sounded like random chanting. I admit, that choreography was tight, as it had appeared unexpected.

I’ll tell ya, Weird Al Yankovic is better than ever. I wonder if he has a new album coming out soon.

Jul 012010
 

Stan Bush is a musician who was at BotCon 2010. He was a real nice guy. Stan is best known as one of the main performing artists on the soundtrack album from the 1986 animated Transformers movie. The songs he performed were “The Touch” and “Dare”. I had him autograph my copy.

There was a lot of great music on this album that came from the movie, which includes several instrumental tracks from composer Vince DiCola. Other artists include N.R.G., Spectre General, Lion (who performed the Transformers theme), and Weird Al Yankovic. Now who would’ve thought that Weird Al would be on a Transformers album with his hit song “Dare to Be Stupid”?