This past weekend, I went to my very first horror convention. Ever. Shock-o-rama, I know. Most horror bloggers have been going their whole lives. I was born and raised in San Diego and they didn't have an annual horror convention. Instead, I went to the ComicCon every year which has now become something of an interesting thing in and of itself as it's hugely Hollywood. When I went, the biggest 'star' I ever met was Adam West.
So how crazy is it that posting on this dinky blog would lead to a convention director out of Seattle reaching out to us? So impressed was he by our love and support of indie horror, he invited yours truly out to participate in the annual convention known as Crypticon.
Now being a 'veteran' of the comic convention world, I had somewhat of an idea of what to expect: people dressed up, lots of debate on comics (in this case horror films) and people just generally nerding out. What I didn't expect was the engaging and without pretension (I say this because I've read blogger 'horror' stories of meeting their heroes and having them turn out to be complete dicks) nature of the genre stars that I met. Here is a rundown of the folks I talked to and some of the things that we discussed:
- Kane Hodder talked to me about Hatchet II. I wasn't a huge fan of the first film but my partner in crime, Complaint Dept. (pictured above) really dug it. Kane was really excited about it and said that it's waaaaay better than the first and because of that, I'll most likely check it out. Plus I'm a sucker for slashers.
The picture below was re-taken after my flash didn't work properly. On the first take, he had a kung fu grip around my neck which I thought was funny at first until I gasped for air. And my neck hurt for the rest of the day. I'm a pansy.
- I met the very boisterous Amanda Wyss and the very classy Heather Langenkamp. They signed my Never Sleep Again poster after purchasing the documentary. Heather stated she has absolutely no desire to see the remake. And they both mentioned how they want to do more genre pictures together. Just an FYI to all our filmmaking friends.
- By far, my greatest experience was with one Ms. Felissa Rose. She couldn't have been more sweet and fun to talk to. I actually had no idea that she was going to be there. Before heading out to the convention, I had read an article about how they kept the ending of Sleepaway Camp a secret from her (afterall she was only 13 at the time). It wasn't until years later (in her 20's) that she actually found out what happened at the end of the film. To say the least, it shocked the hell out of her.
After talking to her, Complaint Dept. and I headed to a conference room in the hotel where a special screening of Sleepaway Camp took place. Ms. Rose was on hand with some of her colleagues (she was there helping to promote a film distribution company) and they all took turns in MST3K fashion, poking fun at the 80's hair styles and wardrobes. Ms. Rose also talked onset gossip and revealed some interesting, little known facts about the film. Did you know that James Earl Jones' father, Robert, played the camp cook Ben?
Next up was our real reason for being there: screening two amazing indie horror films for convention goers. We passed out fliers all morning long and hoped for a good crowd. Unfortunately, the way the convention schedule shaked out, we were up against about 5 other events at the same time. And being that it was a pretty small convention to begin with (there were a total of about 300 people there, maybe 400 tops) it made it difficult in getting a sizeable crowd.
But the show went on with a respectable amount of people taking in both films. And despite annoying sound issues, people stuck with it. Some stopped by to talk about the films afterwards which was a lot of fun. Overall, the experience was amazing and I hope to carry over my learnings into a series of screenings that I want to get up and running here in Dallas.
Thanks to all in the blogger community for your support, especially Becky Sayers over at The Horror Effect and Chris Hallock and Mike Snoonian over at All Things Horror.
If you haven't already, please check out our reviews of the films below and afterwards, check out our interviews with the filmmakers on the 'Interviews' tab of the blog. They are really deserving of your time and support.
Alice Jacobs is Dead
Cortez the Killer