Monday, June 21, 2010

Popping My Horror Convention Cherry

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
Summer School

Cortez the Killer

HorrorBlips: vote it up!


the jaded viewer said...

I'm glad Alice Jacobs got some screen time as well as Summer School. Both awesome flicks.

Good job on your part to get the word out on those.

christine said...

Great post. I love reading about con experiences. You should do one solely on comic con! SO interesting!

Bill said...

sounds like an awesome experience - let's get this dallas shindig up and running!

Geof said...

Sounds like a blast! You got to meet Felissa Rose?! Lucky f'er!

I wish you luck with the Dallas screenings. Maybe one day we'll be t buying tickets PlanetofTerroricon.

Matt-suzaka said...

I'm super happy you finally got to go to your first horror con. There is a glow that can not be matched that first time. You need to make it out to one of the cons this way so we can get drunk!

B-Movie Becky said...

Sounds like you had fun! Kane Hodder is so funny...I hope I get to meet him sometime, maybe at next year's Crypticon while I'm in the area. Who knows? Although after reading your story, I'm a little afraid...

Cortez The Killer said...

@Jaded, thank you good sir. I hope to screen them again in Dallas soon. Definitely films that deserve as much exposure as possible.

@Christine, I haven't been to comic con in about 10 years. I'm sure my experiences would be pretty boring compared to now with all the movie stars that attend. Unless you want to hear about my insane bartering skills in getting a copy of X-Men #24.

@Bill, I'm on it my friend. Hopefully, I'll get something going by in the next month.

@Geof, yup. She was the coolest. Like pee your pants cool. And thanks for the well wishes. Hopefully, it all comes together.

@Gracias Matt! And I just might have to make this an annual thing. Maybe I should plan a trip once a year to a different states' horror convention? I had THAT much fun.

@Becky, Kane was totally cool. But yeah, the strong grip kind of freaked me out a little. He's a dude I'd love to buy some beers and talk shop with.

Chris Hallock said...

Oh man, sounds like a great experience! Glad you made this post because I've been dying to find out how it went.

Any plans for doing it again soon?

Strange Kid said...

Gets me pumped to attend my first convention/event. I've only ever been to one event, DragonCon, and that was quite a few years back, but I've been itching to attend some horror conventions.

I know I'm completely going left field on this one, but it would be so freaking awesome to do a road trip and visit them all. If only reality didn't get in the way so much, haha.

Cortez The Killer said...

@Chris, it was amazing. And yes good sir. I'm talking to a theater owner in Dallas soon.

@SK, that would be totally awesome! I've always wanted to road trip across the US to visit Major League ballparks. Why NOT horror conventions too? We could start like a tour guide service or something....OK, now I'm just getting wacky.

Will Errickson said...

Damn, I miss going to horror cons. Never seem to come to where I live now but back in the early '90s I was up in NJ so got to go to a bunch of Fangoria Weekend of Horrors in NYC. Amazing people and crap to buy! Love(d) it.

Cortez The Killer said...

@Will, the people watching was almost as amazing as the experience itself!!

And I did come away with some cool stuff. Can't wait to go to my next one!

Bryce Wilson said...

Just wanted to let you know I gave you the Versatile Blogger Award

That and two dollars will get you a cup of coffee but the sentiment is genuine.

Emily said...

GLad you had a good time! Conventions can be such a mixed bag, but it seems like you met some of the friendlier starts and did it right. And wow, Felissa Rose looks smoking!

Theron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Theron said...

Sounds like an amazing first time. My first time ended way too soon and left me crying in the corner...but I digress.

Actually, I've only been to a couple myself. I'm hoping we meet at the next Dallas con, buddy...

Cortez The Killer said...

@Bryce, thank you kindly good sir. And I very much appreciate the kind words.

@Emily, so I've heard. Glad I didn't have any negative experiences. And yes, Ms. Rose is smokin'. Not too mention, just a sweet all around gal.

@Theron, oh card you. Heck yeah good sir, I can't wait for Texas Frightmare Weekend next year!