The epic Albuquerque Comic Expo launches this Friday with an incredible roster of guest stars. In addition to all the awe-inspiring comic book industry talent (click over to our ACE Panel Schedule or visit abqcomicexpo.com to see the lineup), there are some tantalizing names from film and television. Star Wars personnel Peter Mayhew, Jeremy Bulloch and Tom Kane (read the Alibi interview) will be there. “Star Trek: The Next Generation” alums LeVar Burton (also interviewed this issue) and Marina Sirtis are expected to be on hand. Old-school “Battlestar Galactica” cast members Richard Hatch and Anne Lockhart will be in attendance. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” star Nicholas Brendon will stop by. Ghostbuster Ernie “That’s a big Twinkie” Hudson will make an appearance. Not too shabby. Personally, I’m most jazzed by the participation of ’70s martial arts star Jim Kelly. I’ve spent the last week watching classics like Enter the Dragon, Black Belt Jones, Three the Hard Way and Hot Potato in preparation. Hope he doesn’t break my hand when I shake it.
Cult icon Lloyd Kaufman, founder of Troma Films, will also be around. But he’s not just there to sign autographs and answer questions about The Toxic Avenger. No, Lloyd is there to host the eighth annual TromaDance New Mexico Film Festival. For the past several years, Albuquerque’s own Burning Paradise Video has organized the event at Guild Cinema. Now the indie film fest has made the jump to ACE. A collection of crazed genre films, both feature-length and short, will be screened throughout the weekend at the Albuquerque Convention Center. Festival organizer Kurly Tlapoyawa promises six features and two short-film blocks. The blocks run 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 4 to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Tlapoyawa is excited about some of the local entries such as Psychotronic Hellride, an anthology collection of short films from filmmaker Alan Himes. “He’s one of the great untapped talents of Albuquerque,” says Tlapoyawa. Also showing are Chris Dillon’s Albuquerque-lensed zombie flick Desolation and Troma graduate Trent Hagga’s directorial debut Chop. In addition to all the film screenings, there will be a TromaDance after-party Saturday night at Blackbird Buvette (509 Central NW) with live music and DJs. Doors open for that at 8 p.m.
If you wanna get in on all the multimedia fun, grab your advance passes now. Individual tickets are $25 for Friday or Saturday, or $20 for Sunday. Three-day passes will run you $50.