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2013 RONDO AWARD
October 23rd-25th, 2009
There were a few changes with this yearís Flashback Weekend. First off, it was at a different hotel. This was one thing that I think we actually preferred, since the hotel that it had been at for the last few years was just too expensive. From the food, to the parking, to everything else in between, it just kept adding up. So we were happy for this change.
But they also moved the show from their normal summer spot to the end of October. Iím sure there reasons for this move, but to the outsiders, it just didnít seem to make sense. There are not as many horror events going on in the summer months. But in October, thereís already more than enough events going on every weekend. So why put a show at a time when thereís going to be so much other stuff to compete with? As we said, weíre only seeing the outside of this, and Iím sure thereís a reason for it. But we really hope that they change it back to the summer time. It gave us horror fans something to look forward to in the summer months.
The other thing that was missing was all the Q&A sessions. There was only 1 during the whole weekend, and that was for the Near Dark reunion, which was pretty damn entertaining and a lot of fun. They had a lot of great stories and seemed to have a lot of fun talking about the movie. Tim Thomerson was sporting a The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly T-shirt, which was pretty cool. Thomerson even said in the Q&A that he actually thought Jenette Goldstein was hispanic, after seeing her in Aliens. This was the first time we had seen Goldstein at any shows before, so it was a nice reunion.
But again, not sure why that was the only one during the weekend. Flashback always had Q&A sessions with their guests that were a lot of fun. Sure, this time out there was the Charles Band Road Show, which seemed to have gotten a really good response, but not much else going on other than a few movie screenings. Where was the Q&A with the Ginger Snaps girls??? Granted, we do have personal reasons for wanting Q&A's, and that is to take photos. Times have changed since when you could walk up to the celebs table and ask to take photo of them. I don't want my photo taken with them, but just a keepsake photo of them at the show. But it seems that these days at any conventions, you have to pay for those, which really bums me out. So instead of getting irritated when I get those answers, I'd rather not even go up and ask. But at the Q&A sessions, you can take as many photos as you want. That is why you won't see any photos in this report of the other guests, like Tony Todd and the Ginger Snaps girls. So again, please bring back the Q&A's next year!
The guest list was also much smaller this time out, which I personally donít have a problem with. Itís cheaper for the fans coming in, since they donít have to manage their autograph money as much. And truth be told, it does leave more money for dealers. I really thought that Lance Henriksen would have had a much bigger draw than he did. I was shocked that there were many times during the weekend when he was just sitting at his table alone. With the amount of work he has done in all genres, I thought for sure he would be mobbed. But I was wrong. Thatís truly a head-scratcher.
The real draw for the weekend was Robert Englund, who was only appearing on Sunday. Usually thatís a good idea to get people to stick around on Sunday, which is normally the slowest day of any convention. But what happened this time out was that that most people waited until Sunday to come out to the show. The head count for Friday and Saturday were much, much lower, since everyone came out on Sunday. So instead of people coming out for the all three days, they just hit the last day, but were there mainly to see Englund. I wouldnít be surprised if the economy is still having an effect on collectors, so they are trying to save money as much as they can, just like the rest of us. Though, it does still amaze me the amount of people that still come out each time to see him too. But I guess that just shows how the genre gets new fans every year, even for movies that are decades old.
The dealer room was smaller than normal too, but that might have been since it was sort of broken up into two adjoining rooms, so it seemed smaller. They did have a nice selection of dealers, with a wide variety of different merchandise, which is always nice. Plus, there were a lot of newer faces there too, which is also a good thing. It was also great to hang out with our normal horror buddies that we get to see only at the shows. One of them was Cory Udler, who was working the table for Full Moon. But Cory is not just table lackey, but a filmmaker in his own right. He had recently completed his film Incest Death Squad, which is getting a lot of positive responses....even if it was made in Wisconsin! It was also great to hang with our buddies from Chicago's own Horror Society, with Mitch, Jessica, Kitty, Brian, and Shu showing the crowd what the Chicago horror community is all about. Of course, the after hours fun in the lobby and bar area is something that gives stories to be told and retold for years to come.
So while we did have a good time there, weíre really hoping that the changes that they made were just for this show and that next yearís show will go back to the old way. Except for the hotelÖ.we prefer this new one a lot more. This is the only regular horror convention that Chicago has, and weíve been there since the beginning, and keep planning on going. But letís just hope they make a few more changesÖ.like going back to the old way.
KEVIN J. O'CONNOR & LANCE HENRIKSEN