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Copyright © Kitley's Krypt
2013 RONDO AWARD
MARCH 22nd-24th, 2013
Where to start…
This was our first convention of 2013, so we had been counting the days for this to happen. It had been awhile since we were in Cincinnati, which was for previous HorrorHound show back in November of 2011. These shows were getting bigger, which is probably why they decided to move the next door to the convention center. I didn’t think it had gotten THAT big, but more space and having all the dealers in one place is always a good thing. Before the show, there were rumors going around, such as the show has sold out even before it started. I’m not sure exactly what was going on, but I do know that the bottom line is there were a TON of people there. More than I’ve seen since the Fango shows back in ‘90s in Manhattan. On Friday, it was taking people 2-3 hours or more just to get into the place. In fact, on Friday they even extended the dealer room hours an extra hour to let these people who just were getting in time to walk around. The yellow line in the photo below is what the line looked like early Saturday morning. And that is just where the photo was cut off on the right...the line went even farther. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s back up a bit.
Once again, my wife Dawn and son Nick were joining me to the show, making the Krypt table more and more of the family business. Joining us for the trip was Aaron Christensen. Having an easy trip, we were excited to see how this new set up was going to be. After finding where our table was going to be, we were happy to see that we were going to be set up amongst some of our convention friends. Right next to us was uber-talented artist Don England (and his lovely wife Nina). Across the aisle was Steve Bejma with his usual array of amazing artwork (including a new one of Chaney Sr. from LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT that was just amazing), and Billy and Vanessa Nocera from Razorback Records. So we knew right away, it was going to be a fun show just because of the company we were around.
While they had quite a few names on the guest list, what seemed to be the biggest draw was the 7 guests from AMC’s The Walking Dead series, Norman Reedus, Sharah Wayne Callies, Chandler Riggs, Lew Temple, Scott Wilson, Michael Rooker, and Jon Berntha. Now before I get into my little rant, I did want to make a comment about Michael Rooker. Over the years, I've seen plenty of guests that are a little quiet at these shows. Sometimes you almost have to pull some answers out of them. Well, Michael Rooker is about as opposite of that as you can get. For someone who played one of the creepiest and scariest characters in the movies, of course that being in HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER, he is probably one of the craziest guest I've seen. He just loves to have an audience and just eats that up. So no matter how you feel about him on this TV show, or in his movies, when he's doing a Q&A, it is never going to be boring.
Okay...on to my rant! I’ve made some comments about this on Facebook and some other places and even debated on putting in my report here. But then I remembered…this is my website and this is MY opinion. If you don’t agree, that’s fine too. I’m just using my own soapbox here to express my thoughts on this whole subject. Hopefully you don’t take offense to it. If you do, then get a life. It is, after all, just a TV show. Anyway, I have attended many conventions over the last 25 years and have seen all sorts of crowds and fans, old fans and new fans, die-hards and fly-by-night newbies. But I haven’t seen fanatical fans like these Walkers (my little name for Walking Dead fanatics) since seeing Star Trek fans at some of the sci-fi shows that I’ve been at. There’s nothing wrong with being a fan of something. Trust me, I know this. But there is a point when you start to take it a little too seriously. Most horror fans like to make fun of fans of the TWILIGHT series and how serious their fans take it and how emotional they get about it and that seems to be okay to do. But apparently putting that same ridicule towards Walkers isn’t the same thing. The Walkers that I saw this weekend were pretty close to those fans. During the Q&A for the show, I saw a grown woman literally crying from one of the answers that Michael Rooker gives about working with Reedus. Sorry folks but that is taking it a bit too seriously.
I could go more about this, but it really isn’t necessary, and isn’t going to change anybody’s mind. Hopefully the rumors I’ve been hearing about Creation having their own Walking Dead conventions comes true and we won’t have to deal with this anymore. Key word…”rumors”. But one can hope, can’t they?
Anyway, back to the show. The main headliner of the show was John Carpenter. Granted, it was strange seeing more fans in line for Chandler Riggs (Carl from TWD) than for Carpenter, but I’m sure that had nothing to do with the amount of Walkers that were at this show. Even if Carpenter hasn't directed anything that I personally have cared for in quite some time, you can’t take away from what he has done in his career. He was on hand for the Q&A session for the CHRISTINE reunion panel with William Ostrander, Malcolm Danare, and Steven Tash, and hosted by Justin Beahm. There were some great stories from the making of the movie, though it seemed like Beahm had to remind Carpenter of some of them during the Q&A. But overall, it was pretty interesting.
STEVEN TASH - HOST JUSTIN BEAHM - MALCOLM DANARE
And while on the subject of Carpenter, one of the guests that I was excited to meet was Dean Cundey, who was Carpenter’s Cinematographer on most of his early films, such as HALLOWEEN, THE FOG, and THE THING, not to mention working other films like PYSCHO 2, JURASSIC PARK, and a ton of other great films. So it was a real honor to meet the man who made some of my favorite films look as good as they did. Shame more people there didn't seem to realize who this man was and how responsible he was to making some of their favorite films look the way they did.
Right down the aisle from us in the dealer room was the director and star of the SUBSPECIES series, writer/director Ted Nicolaou and stars Andres Hove & Denice Duff. It was a shame that not more people were there for their Q&A session since it was pretty interesting, with some scary stories of making movies in foreign countries. But they were all very cool people and great to talk to.
DENICE DUFF - TED NICOLAOU - ANDRES HOVE
They also had a 10th anniversary reunion for Rob Zombie’s HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES, which included Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Walter Phelan, Robert Mukes, Irwin Keyes, and Jennifer Jostyn. Still amazes me and make me smile with the line that Sid Haig draws. But also makes me sad by wondering just how many of these people in line know the amount of work Sid had done BEFORE working with Rob Zombie. But at least he is getting the attention now that he’s deserved for 40 years.
SID HAIG - BILL MOSELEY - JENNIFER JOSTYN
ROBERT MUKES - IRWIN KEYES - WALTER PHELAN
They had Norman Reedus in his own separate room since his line was so huge, taking 2-3 hours just to get through it. It seems he’s gotten even a bigger following, which is probably why he raised his autograph prices from the $30 price tag to now $40. But I guess if these Walkers are going to pay it, who is to say he’s wrong. Maybe it is just being on that show allows you to charge more since Lew Temple was charging $30 now. Now THAT is a head scratcher.
There were plenty of other guests around, but either they weren’t doing a Q&A or we just never got around to their table.
As we’ve mentioned in our convention reports before, one of the best parts of the shows is the afterhours events that go on, even just going out to dinner. Saturday night, a group of us headed to Blue Ash Chili, a staple in Cincinnati. We’d heard about this place some time ago and wanted to give it a try and we were not disappointed. Having chili on top of pasta, covered with cheese and fried jalapenos is never a bad thing. And from the look of our empty plates when it was over, you could tell how much we enjoyed it. Usually when we hit these restaurants in the evening, there is a bunch of us and are not the most...quiet of guests. So I got to give the people of these places that we hit each and every time for putting up with us and not kicking us out in the first two minutes! Maybe it is because we usually have one of the wait staff always trying to pick up Putrid!
Overall, it was a pretty good show and we did have a good time. Little crazy at times with all the people there, but we had fun. But when the show was over, then the real fun started. The Midwest was getting hit by a snowstorm. A BIG one. It took us about 5 hours just to get north of Indianapolis, which really shouldn’t have taken more than a couple of hours. Apparently, Indiana doesn’t believe in plowing their interstates, so it was very difficult to even see the road let alone drive on it. The traffic was moving so slow, looking more like a wagon train from the old west. We lost count on the number of cars we saw on the side of the road in the ditches. It was VERY slippery, causing our van to start to slide at any given time. Now, I wasn’t trying to be crazy or anything, and I kept the van moving at a nice slow speed…somewhere around 5-10 miles an hour, but I just wanted to get home. I didn’t care how long it was going to take, I wanted to keep going. But after our second close call, it was strongly suggested by my fellow passengers that we needed to get off at the next exit to find shelter until this blows over.
The first exit we stopped at didn’t have any lodgings, but were told to go back the direction that we just came to the previous exit and we would find some there. So we slowly made our way back there and found both the motels there had no vacancy. So without traveling any further, our only refuge was an Iron Skillet Truck Stop. The nice state trooper that was there with a lady who had been in a slight accident, told us that the roads weren’t “officially” closed, but advised us to stay off them. So since it was around 11pm and figured it was going to be another 5-6 hours before we were going to be able to leave, we decided to test the local cuisine. As the old saying goes, “what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger”, right? So I got the meatloaf and had a wonderful late dinner hearing some seasoned truck drivers talk about their wonderful careers. Exciting stuff, kiddies.
After that, while the rest of our party kept themselves occupied at this wondrous travel stop, I tried to go sit in the van to get a little sleep, in between turning the van on to warm up a bit. As you can see from the photo to the right, this was my view for most of the evening when I was trying to sleep. Eventually, somewhere around 5 or 6am, we decided to give the roads a try. By that time the storm had blown over and the roads had somehow miraculously cleared and we were home in no time. I can only be thankful that my fellow passengers pretty much threw a mutiny and forced me to get off the road. It could have ended quite differently if I hadn’t listened to them. Lesson learned…this time.
Did I mention that I hate doing shows during the winter?
THE WALKING DEAD GUESTS
HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES REUNION