News for May 14, 2006

Wonderfest in Louisville, Kentucky

5/14/06, 10:12 pm EST - Xoanon

Greg writes: Since Wonderfest and more importantly KING KONG is right up your sites alley and I wasn't sure anyone had ever mentioned it on the site I'm sending you the link and some cool information about it. This year's fest is May 27-28 in Louisville, Kentucky.

I highlighted some of the cooler sessions. Wonderfest started out as a modelmaking show and has grown into something wicked fun. You can find out more at With both Bob Burns and Randy Cook making appearances and hosting cool sessions it'll be a Kong lover's dream.


X-Men Attack!
X-Men 3 opens this WonderFest weekend and two of the FX-masters involved-- Miniature Unit Supervisor Pat McClung and ‘Fest alumni John Eaves —will be on hand to talk about the mutant-inspired mayhem they wrought for the film and bring us up to date on their other projects as well. John Eaves is a returning starship fan-favorite whose credits include Terminator 2, Batman Forever, Flight of the Phoenix and the Star Trek films and television series and Pat has worked on everything from Battlestar Galactica to The Empire Strikes Back to The Day After Tomorrow…

Up in Lights: The Eighth Wonder of the World!
Dinosaur Filmography scribe and life-long Kongphile Mark Berry hosts a panel discussion based on all things Kong! From the beloved classic to the awe-inspiring Peter Jackson remake, panelists Joe DeVito, Bob Burns, Randy Cook, Dave Conover and the King Himself(!) will tackle the timeless appeal and inspiration that Carl Denham’s Giant Monster-- and it’s creators Merian C. Cooper and Willis O’Brien-- spawned for generations.

ALIENS Revisited: Return to LV-426...
It’s the 20th Anniversary of James Cameron’s blockbuster action-horror epic and we’re celebrating with displays and this presentation by Bob Burns and miniature FX-master Pat McClung! See exclusive video from the Burns Museum of classic miniatures and props like the Sulaco, the Narcissus, the drop-ships plus the full-sized Queen Alien and her minions and hear tales from the Colonial Marine trenches from Pat, one of the sole survivors of the production!

Mighty Joe DeVito: King of Skull Island!
Last year Joe DeVito made his stunning WonderFest debut with a dazzling display of his paintings and sketches from his masterwork Kong: King of Skull Island and he’s returning this year with even more! Joe will take the audience on a little “expedition” of his own to show how he develops and executes his beautiful oil paintings and talk about his own unique vision of the history—and pre-history—of the Eight Wonder of the World…

Frankenstein Speaks!
Another WonderFest first! This year’s appearance by child-actor Donnie Dunagan will mark his first major genre convention appearance and the Rondo Award’s David Colton will be on hand to interview and field audience questions from classic horror fans about Donnie’s role in Universal’s 1939 hit The Son of Frankenstein! Living, breathing horror history from an actual co-star of genre giants Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff ! See the movie Friday night at our exclusive screening and say “Well Hello” to the star on Saturday!

Persistence of Vision: The Animated Career of Randall William Cook
Randall William Cook’s career as a stop-motion animator, creature and FX makeup designer has spanned 30 years, culminating recently in three (count ‘em!) Academy Awards for visual effects on The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the role of 2nd Unit Director for last year’s dazzling King Kong! WonderFest is proud to welcome him as he talks about the state of the FX art and looks back on highlights of his work on films like The Thing, Ghost Busters, The Gate, Fright Night, 2010 and…The Further Adventures of Major Mars?!?!

From Ballerina to Batgirl: Yvonne Craig
60’s pop icon Yvonne Craig joins us this year to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the classic Batman TV show and genre super-writer Tom Weaver will moderate a fun Q&A session with Batgirl herself! Yvonne’s legendary grace and beauty set hearts athrob across the genre with appearances in everything from In Like Flint to Star Trek, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Six Million Dollar Man, Land of the Giants, The Wild, Wild West, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. too!

The Rondo Awards
A Celebration of the Best in Horror and Fantasy! WonderFest is proud to welcome back the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards presentation for the second time! The Rondo award program, named after 1940s character actor Rondo Hatton, is an email survey of the classic horror fan community sponsored by the Classic Horror Film Board. Now in its fourth year, the five weeks of balloting in 23 categories were solicited at websites, online discussion groups and through mailings and it just so happens that a majority most of the winners in the fields of art, comics, writing and film will be attending the show! Join David Colton, Bob Burns, Kerry Gammill, Bob Tinell, Donnie Dunagan, Tom Weaver and many more for this year’s ceremony.

Modeling ENTERPRISE in a BIG way!
Sides Model builder Sean Sides will present an overview of the 2+ years involved in the construction of his amazing Federation starship on display at this year’s show! The presentation will include pictures and discussion from the basic armature assembly, the electronics and wiring, body work to final assembly and finish. At the end of the presentation, Sean will also share a glimpse into his newest, even Bigger project!

The Monstrous Techniques of Frank Dietz
WonderFest veteran and Disney animator Frank Dietz goes the fine-arts route this year with an exercise in Classic Monster portraiture! The author/artist behind the fan-fave Sketchy Things series will render everyone’s favorite giant simian in charcoal while discussing his techniques and treating the audience to some of his more recent efforts in the vein of classic horror and sci-fi…

'Monster' Exhibits:

Our ever-expanding Exhibits area will feature a full metric ton of cool items to ogle this year, including:

A classic TREK display of props, costumes and replicas (including a whopper of an ENTERPRISE!) in celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Original Series!

An ALIEN-ating exhibit of xenomorphic relics from 1986’s instant classic ALIENS—courtesy of Bob Burns!

The KING himself! The one-and-only original animation armature from the 1933 classic KING KONG will be returning to WonderFest – and he’ll have his simian cousin with him, too! Mighty Joe Young will join in on the fun as part of our tribute to the original KONG, Peter Jackson’s great remake, and the career of Merian C. Cooper!

Ray Castile and his fellow fiends in the Yahoo! Universal Monster Army Group will also be presenting an astounding, museum-quality exhibit of classic monster toys of the 60’s and 70’s at this year’s ‘Fest! Come out and see the objects of monster worship that made us all what we are today in this dazzling display of nostalgia! Check out the online version.

Thanks for your passion and commitment to all things Kong and Peter Jackson.