PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Open Mic at Dunbar Lanes Tonight!

1896851_487752167992062_6869654592257809163_nTonight and every Thursday at the Dunbar Lanes “Lane 13 Taproom,” Greg Dean will be hosting an Open Mic. You can sign up starting at 5 PM, and the mic goes live at 7 PM.  

Dunbar Lanes sends out an invitation to promoters, bands and talented people who would like to be heard. All are welcome to come and participate or listen to new and upcoming artists. This could be a really cool addition to the local music scene in one of the area’s most fun performance venues.

Dunbar Lanes is located at 1212 Ohio Avenue, right around the corner from The Dunbar Public Library.

Authors at ShockaCon

10648283_647091122072607_7087443149908748343_oThe PopCult Bookshelf

As anyone who’s been reading PopCult for more than a day probably knows by now, ShockaCon, West Virginia’s premiere horror and science fiction convention, happens this weekend in Downtown Charleston. Check PopCult each morning, starting tomorrow, for an updated schedule of the day’s activities.

In addition to the movie stars, make-up artists, zombie preppers, musicians and dancers, there will also be some pretty darned fine writers and graphic novelists in attendance.  The graphics below will tell you about many of them…


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School Girl Zombies from Hell High

1466184_10203742359052639_931183600810371863_n (1)Opening Thursday night is the newest production from The Contemporary Youth Arts Company, a musical called School Girl Zombies From Hell High. As you may guess from the title, this is not your typical musical.The PopCult crew attended the dress rehearsal Tuesday night so we could bring you this preview, complete with videos of four songs. Keep in mind that these clips are from a rehearsal. By opening night, this cast will be a well-oiled machine.

With music by Mark and David Scarpelli and lyrics and book by Dan Kehde, School Girl Zombies is yet another in a long string of highly original, quirky works from CYAC. This musical tells the story of a high school that has been launched into a sort of limbo between life and death where the deceased and decaying students re-appear among the living once a year to celebrate their Halloween Homecoming.

The play begins when a group of living students decide to check out the legends and rumors as a means to cheer up their friend who recently lost her boyfriend in a car accident. It turns out the legends are true and her boyfriend is among the deceased student body. An explosion many years ago created a rift in the life/death continuum, which traps all the high school aged people who die in this town.

In this preview clip, we meet dead and decaying students of Hell High…

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ShockaCon Schedule


As promised, here is the schedule for this weekend’s ShockaCon, happening Friday through Sunday at The Beni Kedem Shrine Center. Click to enlarge and visit their website for more detail.

10155801_566228330158887_683370258372447471_n (1)Continuing our coverage of this weekend’s upcoming cool event, ShockaCon (at the Beni Kedem Shrine on Quarrier Street near the Civic Center), today we look at Eamon Hardiman and Missy Dawn, of Razor Sharp Studios, who will appear on panels and screen their latest film, “Pig Girl” this weekend.

But first, we’re going to plug Razor Sharp’s latest project, which they are crowdfunding right HERE.

“Steve: Death Collector” is based on a short film Razor Sharp were commissioned to make for the Celluloid Screams festival in Sheffield (that’s the UK, not Sheffield, Ohio). The creator of the “Porkchops” trilogy had to complete a mock trailer for use as a bumper in between films at their festival. They were were given a title and several rules, one of which dictated that the film could only be one-minute in length. Now Razor Sharp Studios plans to expand this mock trailer into an entire film.

10268653_564850606963326_8896313429946127759_n (1)Eamon and Missy will discuss this upcoming project and their other movies during a Q & A session Saturday Afternoon at 2 PM at ShockaCon (the full schedule for ShockaCon will be posted here later today). Saturday night at 10:15 PM, their latest opus, “Pig Girl” will make its West Virginia debut at ShockaCon. Razor Sharp Studios will also have a table at ShockaCon so you can buy all their movies and extra merchandise.

After the jump, you can read the full Razor Sharp press release.

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The Renfields at ShockaCon

The Renfields, Transylvania’s most fun export, bring their horror-punk to ShockaCon this weekend with a live performance, an album release and a really cool panel discussion moderated by longtime Renfields champion (and friend of RFC), Nick Harrah. You can learn about the amazing process that took place to make sure that the new Renfields CD will be ready this weekend by watching the above video.

The CD will be available all weekend long at the band’s table. The “Meet The Renfields” panel will happen Saturday at 5:15 PM in the basement at The Beni Kedem Shrine. The Renfields will then take to the main stage at 10:45 PM, following a set by The Big Bad, to possess the crowd with their monstrous punk-inflected sound.

The Renfields are one of the most fun bands in the state, and if you ever liked any type of live music before in your life, you must come out to see this band perform in the flesh…or bandages, in the case of one of them.

For more details, visit the ShockCon website.


Jeremy Hatfield
Jeremy Hatfield
ShockaCon happens this weekend, and your PopCulteer is honored to be a guest. I will be appearing on a panel Sunday morning, along with my fellow toy experts, Lee Harrah and Jeremy Hatfield. Lee, in addition to be one of the area’s dominant vocalists (see him in RFC 200) is a long-time toy collector and expert on monsters, some of them green. Jeremy is the man behind Third Floor Comics at the Antique Mall in Nitro, as well as being a gentleman, scholor, co-owner of Definitely Loud Entertainment and a Ghostbuster.

Together, we will walk you through the history of monster and horror toys. We will begin with the advent of television, when decades worth of Universal Monster movies were exposed to a generation of children, who demanded toys based on Frankenstein, Dracula and The Wolfman.

From there we will trace the lineage through the Aurora model kits, Creepy Crawlers, The AHI Monsters, Kenner’s Alien, McFarlane Toys, Sideshow Toys, Re-MEGO figures and up to today’s hottest toy line, Monster High.

This all happens as part of ShockaCon, happening this weekend at The Beni Kedem Shrine on Quarrier Street between the mall and the civic center. The History of Monster Toys Collector’s panel starts Sunday morning at 11:30 AM on the main stage. A full schedule of ShockaCon events will be posted in PopCult on Wednesday. Check the ShockaCon website for ticket information.



200Radio Free Charleston has finally reached its 200th episode, and it does so in a grand manner with four never before seen performances by the area’s top bands, plus animation, short films and more. Your host, Rudy Panucci, presents songs from Farnsworth, The Laser Beams, HarraH and The Velvet Brothers. There is a short film from Frank Panucci, a movie trailer from Jake Fertig and the first new animation featured on RFC from Third Mind Incarnation since 2007.

Hosting the show in front of some building

This episode of the show is called “Blues Brothers Shirt,” named after a shirt which your host received as a gift from his new wife, Melanie Larch, the day after they got married less than four weeks ago. This milestone episode of the show is a monument to procrastination. If I had continued producing Radio Free Charleston at the pace that I did between 2009 and 2012, we would have hit episode 200 last November. I wanted to make the show really special and came up with grandiose plans and panicked as the date approached.

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MMA 922

Our art this week is a painting on digital black velvet of Greg True and Johnny Velvet, based on a frame-grab from The Velvet Brothers’ performance on Episode 200 of Radio Free Charleston. That’s right, RFC 200 will be winging your way later Monday morning, along with full production notes. You will see and hear The Velvet Brothers, Farnsworth, The Laser Beams and HarraH, and you will see all kinds of new mind-hurting weirdness. That’s later today. For now, look at the velvety wonderment of this image clicking on it to see it bigger. If that’s not big enough, then get really close to your computer monitor.

Sunday Evening Videos: ShockaCon Is Coming!

10355494_588886917893028_6588607383510956933_oThe third installment of SHOCKACON, West Virginia’s premiere horror and sci-fi convention, starts Friday, with all sorts of cool guests like Eria Eleniak, Michonne’s Pets from The Walking Dead, Tyler Mane, Jennifer Lynn Warren, Fred Williamson, Vernon Wells and more. It all kicks off Friday afternoon. Then day two begins with a huge costume parade through the mall scheduled for Saturday. In all there are three days of good, old-fashioned cool stuff happening, right in Downtown Charleston.

There will also be music from The Renfields, The Jasons and The Big Bad, plus dancing by The Wayward Girls School of Burlesque. Stand up comedians will perform horror-themed sets Friday and Saturday nights. Vendors will be selling all manner of cool horror/sci-fi stuff, including books, toys, jewelry, art and costuming. Seminars and discussion panels include Q & A sessions with the stars, plus discussions on effects make-up (with R.J. Haddy, from the SyFy show, “Face Off”), and panels on collecting, cosplay, writing, burlesque and surviving the zombie apocalypse.

This all starts Friday, September 26, and runs through Sunday. It’s Three days of horrific fun at The Beni Kedem Shrine Center, on Quarrier Street, right between The Charleston Civic Center and The Charleston Town Center Mall. For a full schedule of events and ticket information, check their website or Facebook page, or just check back in PopCult on Wednesday.

Above you see a cool promo spot produced by Scott Gregg, with announcing by Stephen Hensly, both of whom work on the best webshow that I can’t get away with mentioning by name here. Below you’ll see a spot I put together.

After the jump you can watch last year’s PopCult videos from SHOCKACON, and our two Halloween shows, which originated from the event.

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