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Copyright © Kitley's Krypt
2013 RONDO AWARD
Fifteen years ago, I attended my first Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors convention, held in Los Angeles, California. Being my first real convention, it was an awesome experience, seeing icons like George Romero, Roddy McDowall, or Tobe Hooper (yes, even him...remember, I said this was 15 years ago). But since that time, I have been to many shows, and even went on the other side of the table several years ago by becoming a dealer. And since that first Fango show, I had never been back to California for a show. Until now.
Basically a last minute decision, I made the choice to join my buddy "Tattooed" Phil and journey out to the west coast. With a guest line up like they were advertising, I had to take the chance. I figured there would at least be some of the guests showing up. Even not having that much money didn't worry me. I was really going to get some autographs, and take a shit-load of photos.
So how was the show? Want details? The skinny? The lowdown? Well, I must say that I did have a great time. Got at least one autograph from everybody that I had planned on getting (well...not everybody...more on that later.), plus a few I didn't anticipate. And ended up taking 10 rolls of film. Most of the guests were extremely friendly, as well as a lot of the fans that I met out there. I was very successful in not giving away my money to the dealers, most of them anyway. I have to admit that I really enjoyed myself out there.
But come on now, you really don't think I'm going to review a Creation/Fangoria show, and not complain about something, do you? I do have a few minor items that I'd like to express my thoughts and opinions on, some pros and some cons. Let's start with the volunteers that were helping keep control over the raving mad fans. While they weren't dressed in Trekkie uniforms, they were affectionately referred to as both Line Nazis and Mean Lunch Ladies by quite a few people throughout the show. I understand that they are doing their job, but they also have to understand the other side too.
It all started for me when we were standing in
line Saturday morning to get into the show. Another guy in line asked me
if there was a separate line for people with tickets, and one line for people
without tickets. I told him that I wasn't sure, but had faith "in
Creation, since they are so organized." Well, that little comment was
heard by one of these ladies as she was passing by. She turned around and
asked who said that. I proudly raised my hand and said, "That would be
There were also several times when standing in line for an autograph, that we would be told to do one thing by one person, only to be told something different by someone else a few minutes later. For a company that has been doing conventions for over 30 years, you'd think they get this straight by now.
But I will say, that as much as I don't really agree with the way they charge way extra for "Gold Seatings", I can understand that if they didn't do something like that, the lines for the autograph tables would be utter kaos. The times that I was in line, they did seemed to move pretty quick. I remember being at a NY Fango show years ago, before the Gold Seating, and being in a huge line for Clive Barker, that was about 4-5 people wide, that went on for days. Then after being in line for over an hour, with a bunch more people behind me, Barker stopped signing and left, which almost caused a riot. It wasn't pretty. But I just think that they're might be some other way to do this without gouging the fans for that extra money. Because the the fans that do fork out that hefty extra fee, they feel that they are well deserving of an 'free' autograph. And when they don't get it, get pretty damn pissed, completely understandably so. That's what Creation doesn't seem to understand or care.
And speaking of extra money, why is it that lately Bruce Campbell, Friends to the Fans, requires one to buy an "autograph ticket" to get something signed? I mean, come on Bruce, why don't you get yourself a dealer table like some of these other celebs and charge the $20 for your signature straight out. Yea, I know that he was signing one (and I do mean only one) item for those who did have the gold & preferred seating, but if you wanted a second signature, you'd have to drop another $20.
Which brings me to another question. Could someone please explain to me what Lorenzo Lamas was doing at a Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors show? There seems to be some company who represents a bunch of celebs, books show appearances for them, and then charging $20 for an autograph. One of the autographs that I wanted to get was that of Kathleen Kinmont, on my nice little mini French poster for BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR. But I just couldn't bring myself to pay her the $20 to sign her name next to Brian Yuzna, Johnny Legend, and makeup artists Wayne Toth & Screaming Mad George, all of which cost absolutely nothing!
One last complaint. Sitting in one of the dealer rooms, were David Durston and Lynn Lowry, director and star of I DRINK YOUR BLOOD, which is coming out on DVD very soon. They were very friendly to everybody who stop by their table. Why weren't they up on stage at one point during the weekend? Too obscure? Sorry, couldn't be any more obscure than VAMPYRES. I can't tell you how many people mentioned in that VAMPYRES Q&A that they had never seen the film. I just think it was a shame that they weren't giving the chance to talk to the audience like that. Then again, Lowry had also worked with a couple of other lesser known directors like George Romero and David Cronenberg, and probably wouldn't have anything interesting to say anyway...(sarcasm again...in case you didn't catch that).
Okay, enough bitching. What was cool at the show? Plenty! There were quite a few dealers, but as I said, I tried to stay away from them. We of course had to stop and chat with Jill from Lix who was set up there. I was even helping her by wearing the bitching LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE t-shirt that I had bought from her. Like all of Jill's stuff, it's really cool. But the real find of the show was picking up an original one-sheet for Ted V. Mikels CORPSE GRINDERS for only $35! That one will be going up on the office wall very shortly.
It was also great to meet Michael and company from La-La Land Records. They were there promoting the release of they latest CD soundtrack, from Stuart Gordon's FROM BEYOND. This has always been a favorite score of mine, and was very happy to see it released on CD finally. And even more great news, in June they will be releasing the soundtrack to George Romero's CREEPSHOW, another great score! Keep up the great work, guys!
Then there was the two stars of JEEPERS CREEPERS 2 on stage promoting the movie, Ray Wise and the Creeper himself, Jonathan Breck. Director Victor Salva and makeup artist Brian Penikas were also there at the autograph table, with all four signing free movie posters for the fans. Then the cast and crew for the also upcoming UNDERWORLD were there as well promoting their new take on the Romeo & Juliet story, except this time with vampires and werewolves. Should be interesting.
Another highlight was meeting the some of the cast and crew from HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES. First you had not only cast members, but genre legends. The first being Sid Haig. From being in countless classics, including my personal favorite SPIDER BABY, Haig is one hell of a nice guy. Very friendly and personable, and glad to meet and talk to his fans. The other was Karen Black. Super sweet lady (as long as you don't take pictures of her bad side) who was also very friendly while meeting her fans. But she really was a trip when she was up on the stage with fellow cast members talking about the film. Joining her and Haig was Bill Moseley, production designer Greg Gibbs, and makeup effects artist Wayne Toth.
One movie that was being hyped the whole weekend was the long awaited FREDDY VS JASON movie. Director Ronny Yu and producer Sean Cunningham were there to promote it. I really couldn't be safe in passing any advance judgment about this film before seeing it (not that it hasn't stopped me in the past). I did that for Yu's BRIDE OF CHUCKY, and was completely wrong. Though I will say the ending scene in the trailer with Freddy flying out of the water seemed a little too much MATRIX-like for my tastes. But we will see.
Brian Yuzna came to promote BEYOND RE-ANIMATOR, and called out surprise guest Jeffrey Combs to the stage. Then came out effects wizard Screaming Mad George to all talk about the new film. Then at one point, the Bride start Kathleen Kinmont came on stage, along with Stuart Gordon, in somewhat of a RE-ANIMATOR reunion. All we needed was Bruce Abbott! But while Combs quickly disappeared once he left the stage, both Yuzna and George sat and signed autographs. While I haven't enjoyed a lot of his films, Yuzna always maintains a great and friendly relationship with his fans.
The Ladies of EVIL DEAD were there, and once again, were very friendly, as well as still being very entertaining. They really love to meet their fans. Didn't need any $20 autograph tickets to get them to sign anything. I got all three of them to sign my Turkish Evil Dead poster for $5 each. Ahhh...those were the days....
One of the main highlights of the show for me, and one of the main reasons for me wanting to head out to the show, was the first (and probably only) convention appearance of VAMPYRES stars Marianne Morris and Anulka. Always a favorite of mine, this great cult film has recently been re-leased on DVD, and they were there to talk about the film, working with Jose Larrez, and more.
Stan Winston was there promoting both TERMINATOR 3, as well as WRONG TURN in which he was the producer. While I can wait for T3 to hit DVD, WRONG TURN looks very interesting, being another throw-back to those back woods kind of films from the 70's-80's. Maybe that'll continue the trend that Rob Zombie started...
Another one of the highlights of Sunday was first having the Tall Man himself, Angus Scrimm reciting Edgar Allan Poe stores, along with a few of his own poems. Strange seeing someone so menacing on the screen and having them so warm and friendly in person. Scrimm was there to present Don Coscarelli a Lifetime Achievement Award from Fangoria. Joining them onstage was the coolest and the badest Ice Cream man you'll ever meet, the one and only Reggie Bannister.
Wes Craven was there to close the show Sunday night, but really just did not seemed to want to be there. Either that or had just waken up before coming on stage.
So overall, for me, the show was a great success, and I had a great time. Don't know if I'd be going out there next year, but you never know...Guess I'll have to get through the rest of this year first...As usual, below are some more of the highlights from the show. ENJOY!
JEEPERS CREEPERS 2
HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES CAST
GREGG GIBBS - BILL MOSELEY - WAYNE TOTH
BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR REUNION
EVIL DEAD REUNION
LYNN LOWREY - DAVID DURSTON
RONNY YU - SEAN CUNNINGHAM
UNDERWORLD CAST AND CREW