Event Report: 10th Annual Johnny Ramone Tribute; “DEVIL’S REJECTS” Reunion Screening
The Hollywood Forever Cemetery was the place to be this last Sunday, August 24th. Playing host to the 10th Annual Johnny Ramone Tribute, the L.A. landmark was full of enough punk rock and horror-themed events to keep everyone satisfied. Attendees were given one unforgettable night of stories, reunions, and a crowd-pleasing screening of Rob Zombie’s 2005 fan favorite, THE DEVIL’S REJECTS.
Kicking things off, the attendees were treated to a mausoleum full of what was one of the most impressive horror collections around, courtesy of Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett. In just looking at the awe-inspiring display, you can tell just how much Hammett adores the genre. The collection included everything from a full size Jason Voorhees from FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER to a screen-used Dr. Hill head from Stuart Gordon’s RE-ANIMATOR, as well as memorabilia that spanned every era of horror.
While Hammett’s collection was worth the trip alone, the impressive gallery was simply the beginning of the night’s festivities. As the sun began to fade and the sky went black, it was time to experience an all-star lineup of musicians and filmmakers paying tribute to not only Johnny, but The Ramones as a whole.
Rob Zombie and bandmates John5, Piggy D. and Ginger Fish opened the tribute concert with an excellent, energetic performance of “Blitzkrieg Bop”, followed by three more, before handing things off to Guns N’Roses bassist Duff McKagen and Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones (Ginger Fish remained behind the kit), for a cover of “Judy is a Punk” and a couple of other Ramones favorites. Switching things up a bit, actor/comedian/punk rock enthusiast Fred Armisen (SNL, PORTLANDIA) joined them on stage for “Danny Says” and one more song, before leaving the stage. A curveball was thrown when it was announced that Armisen’s punk rock alter-ego/character “Ian Rubbish” would be performing, but when the time came to close the tribute, it wasn’t Rubbish who joined the band, it was punk legend Billy Idol. Idol sneered and gave a performance that almost rivaled Zombie’s in vibrancy, giving fans his trademark fist and unmistakable vocals.
Zombie took the stage again just prior to the night’s closing screening of THE DEVIL’S REJECTS. The director not only spoke a bit regarding the film, but also welcomed to the stage REJECTS stars Sheri Moon Zombie, Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Brian Posehn, Leslie Easterbook, Diamond Dallas Page and Danny Trejo for a Q&A. Questions included whether Posehn’s Jimmy character would’ve been successful as a rodeo clown, had he not been shot in the head; if Trejo and Page’s “Unholy Two” characters would ever get a spin-off sequel; tough stories on set, including Moseley feeling that Otis shouldn’t have caved in so quickly regarding Baby and Spaulding wanting ice cream. The Q&A closed with each cast member reciting their memorable lines from the film. Sheri gave fans her signature laughand the entire crowd erupted with cheer.
The climactic screening of THE DEVIL’S REJECTS quickly revealed just how much the film holds up almost a decade later. The hundreds of people attending cheered for the Firefly family with every scene of mayhem that played out on screen, including a wave of enthusiasm when Tiny shows up and saves Baby by snapping the neck of William Forsythe’s Sheriff Wydell character. It was great to see just how beloved REJECTS still is, as well as hearing first time viewers yell and cringe at all of the right moments.
It was a great event, heavy on giving fans of both The Ramones and Rob Zombie exactly what they wanted; some great music and one spectacle of horror all in the same place. You can check out the full gallery from the event below, and don’t forget to pick up FANGORIA Legends Presents: Rob Zombie, available now in the FANGORIA Store!