0 comment Friday, April 18, 2014 | admin
As promised, here is my full report of my journey to Spooky Empire's Ultimate Horror Weekend, otherwise known as Screamfest for all of us purists. The trip marked my first ever convention-attending experience and, to put it mildly, it was a complete blast. It felt like a home away from home. You can bet that I'll be a regular attendant at Screamfest in years to come. So if you're in the area, by all means head on down and give us a shout! But now on to the journey, told through scintillating pictures!
After an exhausting two and a half hour drive (which actually turned into roughly a four hour drive when we realized we were missing a bathing suit), we arrive at the hotel pretty spent. But we're just brimming with joy. Can't you tell?
I'm so worn out that I can't even work a camera properly.
But that doesn't stop me from getting my crazy face on!
The camera failed to catch the cold hand on my bum.
Huzzah! Wristbands! Let's get this party started.
Our first celebrity correspondence of the trip was with Billy Wirth and Brooke McCarter of The Lost Boys, two hunky vampires that were part of Keifer Sutherland's bad boy gang. They were extremely nice and talkative and even remembered us during subsequent run-ins with each other. Cindy was just about to melt next to these guys.
We next went up to the Nightmare On Elm Street table where I began chatting with Mark Patton from Part 2: Freddy's Revenge. You might remember him as that poor teenager Jesse whose body Krueger was just so eager to take over. I brought up the "Reflections On Fear" article we both contributed to at The Terror Trap which got us on the subject of his piece, Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs. He told me of the apparent plans to remake the film and urged me to watch the original. He was a really great guy, and he even asked me to friend him on Facebook. One of my favorite moments from the con.
A moment Cindy and I were both anticipating! We didn't get a real chance to talk to Danny Trejo, due to to the long line of people waiting for him. (By the way, that old saying about stars not being the size you thought they were certainly applies here.) But Danny was a real sport, smiling and hugging everybody who came on up (I think at one point he even kissed a baby). Not pictured here: my hand stroking the back of Mr. Trejo's ponytail.
Cindy with Danielle Harris, Michael Myers' darling niece Jamie from Halloween 4 and 5. A very sweet girl; don't you just wanna pinch those cheeks? The ones on her face, guys.
Just a fraction of the dealer's room that we caught a glimpse of during the first night. So much cool stuff!
Not the best picture, but it's a KISS tribute band called KISS Alive playing out by the pool Friday night. We only stayed for a few songs, but they were excellent performers and from Cindy's assessment (she's more familiar with KISS than I), they sounded exactly like the real thing!
Saturday morning saw us at The Lost Boys panel discussion. Billy and Brooke were in attendance as well as G Tom Mac, the songwriter behind the movie's theme "Cry Little Sister." A fun and insightful look at the workings behind the film. Brooke provided a fun party-boy atmosphere while Billy was the more mellow of the two. Didn't get to ask any questions, but listening to all three of these guys was enough.
This seems like a rite of passage for all horror convention attendants. All I asked was for Kane Hodder to sign my Jason X DVD (stop laughing) and to grab a picture with him. That's it. Even when Kane walked from behind his table to reveal that in this case the movies weren't lying about his size, I still thought I'd getting a nice photo with a jovial arm-on-shoulder pose. That's when I felt his gloved hand wrap around my throat. I was surprised to say the least.
While I had no idea who Lita Ford was, Cindy was all too excited to meet the rocker chick in person. After this picture was taken Lita's bracelet got caught in Cindy's shirt. Lita then divulged how the same thing happened with a pair of her own unmentionables and the acrobatics she had to perform to undo herself. You have to feel at least a little special when a rock star tells you a story about their underwear.
Me with Ricou Browning, one of the actors famous for bringing Universal's Creature from the Black Lagoon to life.
Cindy with Rochelle Davis, that adorable girl who accompanied Brandon Lee in The Crow.
Saturday night there was a showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show accompanied by onstage actors that were part of the Midnight Cinema Shadowcast troupe. Cindy and I were psyched to get the chance to dress up, so that we did. I created a Transylvanian character out of cheap costume pieces and colored hairspray. Thus Electric Blugaloo was born.
Cindy went complete with leather jacket, burlesque dress, garters, and boots.
Yes, we are both wearing lipstick.
Cindy in a shot with the actor playing Dr. Frank-N-Furter in the show.
And me too.
Wild and untamed things!
Columbia's down in the dumps
I'm going home...
Magenta and Riff Raff just before blast off.
Final bows! The entire experience was mind-blowingly entertaining. From the risque virgin games that opened the show to the hilarious comments that the actors were shouting at the screen, I ended up laughing till my lungs shriveled up and my eyes were wet with tears. If you ever get the chance to get the full RHPS treatment, I whole-heartedly urge you to take it!
Cindy with the actor who played Eddie (that low down, cheap little punk!).
Sunday afternoon we patiently waited in line for an hour for the John Carpenter Q & A. It was well worth the wait and then some. We heard some talk that apparently Carpenter had actually suffered a seizure the previous night and had to be rushed to the hospital. I never found out whether there was any truth to this claim, but God did JC put on a show for all in attendance. He listened to every question posed to him by the audience and responded with the greatest respect and intellect. Carpenter seems so laid back but his insights into filmmaking and the horror genre are nothing short of astounding. A really hip guy with a great sense of humor to boot. And not afraid to let a few casual F bombs fly in the wind either.
Even though I had no intentions of do so going into it, I actually asked a question to Carpenter. Nothing ground-breaking, just inquiring about his thoughts and possible regrets about not continuing the Halloween series in the same vein as Season of the Witch (each following sequel featuring a different story revolving around the holiday). He responded by saying that it's called show business for a reason, as opposed to show art. Plus, he wittily pointed out the benefits of getting a nice check everytime Michael Myers is used for another film. Although Cindy said I sounded fine, I felt more nervous than I anticipated speaking to Carpenter. Butterflies, shaky voice, the whole bit. But being in the same room as the man was a really great experience that I wouldn't have given up for anything. Easily the shining moment for me during the whole weekend.
Back in the vendor's room, I started taking pictures of whatever caught my eye. Here are some neat classic monster dolls. Can you name all the Usual Suspects?
Neat masks that struck me as Haunted Mansion-esque for some reason.
Born in blood. Cool poster for one of the few TV shows I actually keep up with.
I love the Sideshow Collectibles line of Classic Universal Monsters. I used to own quite a few, but now all I have left is a Boris Karloff Frankenstein's Monster, his arm appropriately held together by black masking tape.
A few retro horror toys that looked pretty snazzy.
These guys are actually pretty cute. They're bat puppets that rest on your shoulder whose heads realistically move about through finger manipulations. Their fur felt like it was made of angel feathers.
Everyone loves Halloween masks! I favor the bloody-mouthed pumpkin myself.
A groovy dude dressed up as Ash that I ran into.
Just before the costume contest, we tried to take a candid picture of Gary Busey. He didn't quite like the idea.
An awesome shot of a hand-made (yes, HAND-MADE) werewolf costume we spotted out in the hallway. It was really fantastic; the mouth moved perfectly and the legs looked like they were made of hydraulic stilts.
Cute girl dressed up as a Jawa from Star Wars in the kids' costume contest.
A kid dressed as Sam from Trick R' Treat A.K.A. the most adorable thing ever.
The costume contest begins! No idea what this was, but it looked like a giant tent with a vulture's head attached to it. It was a helluva lot cooler than what I just made it sound like.
Giant Anubis on stilts. All hail the lord of mummification!
Kooky skeleton tribal crew. One of the more original ideas.
Can't wait to try their meat pies.
This got a great reaction from the audience. Finally, someone has ended all our misery.
A pair of absolutely beautiful Fallen Angels. Sure, this does nothing for the Women's Movement, but it was really stunning concept-wise.
Trolls just wanna have fun.
The original machete wielder takes center stage.
He did a damn great howl too!
Zombie Kermit and Miss Piggy, munching on Fozzie-On-A-Stick.
The zombie Iron Man was the bee's knees! The minute he came lumbering out to the Black Sabbath intro I was blown away. Those light pads on his hands were the perfect touch.
Will YOU take Carrie to the prom?
Who invited Rick Moranis?
Wolfie takes third place! Not pictured here: Vulture-Tent thing placing second!
All hail first place winners The Fallen Angels!
The spoils of war. My T-shirt from the convention.
And Cindy's too!
My Creature From The Black Lagoon Legacy set that Ricou Browning signed.
Cindy's The Lost Boys DVD signed by Billy With, Brooke McCarter, and G Tom Mac.
Our busty signed photo of Elvira.
Mr. Trejo looking particularly badass in the photo we had him sign.
Danielle Harris' signed photo of her as a terrified little murderer spawn.
Lita wants you to rock on.
A sinister white cat that we got from artist Dirk Strangely. His accompanying black feline friend will be shipped to us shortly. For more work by Dirk, check out his website.
Edward Scissorhands acrylic by Jerrod Brown.
The Crow acrylic by Jerrod Brown.
The Lost Boys acrylic by Jerrod Brown.
Frankenstein acrylic by Jerrod Brown.
Wolfman acrylic by Jerrod Brown.
Nosferatu acrylic by Jerrod Brown. For more of Jerrod's ghoulish art, click HERE.
Jerrod was also kind enough to give us this Screamfest program from 2008 for free since we were first time convention attendants.
Speaking of which, here's the program from this year! And that, my dear friends, bring us to...