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Copyright © Kitley's Krypt
2013 RONDO AWARD
HorrorHound hadn't been back to Indianapolis since early last year, but now we were back to where the same place where this show began. So it was a great to make that return with them. And holy crap did the hotel do a little remodeling while we'd been away! The whole front lobby and restaurant part of the hotel is complete different and just looks amazing. More room for the massive onslaught of horror fans to have a great time.
This time out, the only ones in the Kryptic Van making the trip was just the Kitley family, my wife Dawn and son Nick. So we were able to get on the road much quicker than normal, arriving in Indy the earliest we’ve ever got there. Okay…so it was a little too early…could have stayed in bed a couple more hours instead of getting up at 3am. Have to remember that next time. So I knew right there that later that evening was going to be a little tougher than usual. But at least we had plenty of time to unload, get set up and take our time making sure everything was right. We found our table spot and started the process. One would think that paper is a very light thing to carry, but for some reason when you press them into a binding, and put them in a container with a lot of other ones, it is amazing how freaking heavy these books can get. But none the less, we love the fact that we can pass on our love of horror reference books to other inquiring fans out there.
These Indy shows are usually packed with fans, so we were a little worried when we didn’t see a huge line building as the clock ticked closer to opening. But with fingers crossed, we hoped the fans would turn out. Either way, we planned on having a great time this weekend. How could you not when you are surrounded by tons of other horror fans, and having the chance to hang out with your convention family? It always equals a good time. Set up right next to us at the show was Adam Bartlett and John Pata, our buddies from Wisconsin that were there promoting their film DEAD WEIGHT. It was also one of the films playing in the HorrorHound Film fest that weekend. So we were pretty excited for them, hoping they can get draw some more attention to their movie. Sure, I know these guys and others that worked on it, but anybody that knows me, knows my feelings on independent movies (just ask Pata!), as well knows that I wouldn’t promote something that I really didn’t think was worthwhile. And their film is more than that.
Some other dealer friends that were there was Buzz-Works, making their first appearance at a HorrorHound show. And from the sound of it, Buzz will be back again for more fun. Of course, our hotel companion for the show was Don England, whose artwork just keeps getting better and better. Along with Steve Bejma, it is amazing to see how many people coming through a convention that has one of their shirts on. And then there is the sculpting talent that is AJ from MeatSpider Studios. You will never see anything like his unique style of work. Fans of Lovecraft will definitely get a kick out of his work. Another new dealer to the show was Billy and Vanessa from RazorBack Recordings. We’ve sort of known of Billy for a little while, from first meeting him at one of the Cinema Wasteland shows, but also due to our mutual friendship of the artist Putrid, who has worked quite a bit with Razorback Recordings over the years. But it was nice to actually have some time to chat with Billy about all things horror, the independent music industry and our mutual friend Putrid, who was suppose to be there at the show but decided to go to Germany instead (we’ll have to see if they let him back in the country). While we might not personally be a big fan of death metal, it is easy to see that Billy and Vanessa share that same undying passion for horror films that I do, so that makes us family anyway. If you a fan of death metal, then take a second to check out Razorback Recordings.
It was also great to see our friends from Acme Design set up in the Mask Fest room. Dean, with help by Mitch from the Horror Society, was doing some wonderful photoshop work by putting people in some classic lobby cards. We got one done from him a few months ago and now have that proudly hanging in our Krypt. Also in the Mask Fest room right across from them was Kristy Jett, there to help get the word out for the BEHIND THE MASK sequel. Since Jett is a promotion tornado, I couldn’t think of anyone better to help that cause. At least at this show, we actually had some time to spend talking about movies and some upcoming projects. Anytime I meet someone that has that same fanatical passion about the genre that I do, you can’t help but feel that connection, like a long lost sister!
But there one other dealer set up in the Mask Fest room that really did make my weekend. And that would be the uber-talented Monte Ward. Not sure when I had first met Monte, probably at some convention, but really got to know him from our mutual buddy Phil’s tattoo parties. But even before knowing Monte that much, I knew his work. Phil has a lot of models and stuff that Monte has worked on. And let’s just say his work is stellar. I had seen this new bust that he had recently finished, that of the poster creature from Fulci’s ZOMBIE. From the pics alone, it looked…pardon the pun…dead on. But it wasn’t enough that Monte would just created a perfect likeness of the undead figure, but he would sculpt 3 different famous scenes on the sides and back of the base of it! I knew I wanted one of those for my collection, but it was going to decide on how well we did at the show. Needless to say…I have one of those beautiful pieces of art sitting on my bookcase right now looking at me as I type this. I didn’t really plan on spending that much money, but when you start to see this stuff as what it really is, a piece of art, and then they really are an investment. But that wasn’t all Monte had on display. He had taken this ZOMBIE bust and made a full size figure as well! Add that to the full size figure of the creature from THE FUNHOUSE, and some amazing busts of Pinhead and a Killer Klown, it was a sight to be seen. Lucky for you readers out there that couldn’t make it to the show…we have a photo or two. If you want to see more of Monte’s work, just head over to his website HERE. Even if you can't buy it (yet), just take a look at some of the amazing work he has done.
Once the show had actually opened, it did seem like a very slow start, even for a Friday. Not to say there weren’t people coming through the door, but just seemed a little less than what we’ve come to expect for an Indy show, which is usually just packed to the gills. But while flood was slow, it was constant throughout the afternoon. One of the best things that has changed since the early days of the HorrorHound shows is the amount of Q&A’s that they have. For me, a convention has to have something going on besides the dealer room. There is only so much walking one can do over the weekend. So these Q&A’s give the fans a chance to sit down for a few minutes to rest. Not to mention the fact that they can get to hear their favorites stars talk about the movies they were involved with, often giving some great and funny stories about the making of them. And even better, it gives the fans a chance to get some photos of them without having to pay some stupid charge.
The first Q&A of the show was with the two lovely lades from the original NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, Heather Langenkamp and Amandy Wyss, which was run by the ever talented and aforementioned Kristy Jeff. They had some interesting stories to tell about the film, especially since when they were making this one, being the very first “Freddy”movie, this was before any of the Freddy-mania had started. This was just a movie with some scary looking burned guy killing people. Who would have thought that it would have such a lasting impact?
The next Q&A was with actors that played zombies in George Romero’s LAND OF THE DEAD, Boyd Banks and Big Daddy himself, Eugene Clark. This was my first time seeing these two actors at a convention. While the part of the session that I caught, they seemed to being having more fun than answering any questions, they still seemed like they were having a great time with their fans. Clark, especially, was a very funny guy. They talked more about the genre in general than the actual making of the film, or at while I was in there.
But the next Q&A was a mini-reunion of sorts for one of my favorite movies: NEAR DARK. Coming on the stage was Lance Henriksen, Jenette Goldstein, and Jenny Wright. The first thing that always amazed me about Jenette Goldstein is how much of a chameleon she can be. The first time we had seen her, she was a bad-ass marine in ALIENS. But just a short time later, she looks completely different, but just as much of a bad-ass, playing Diamondback in NEAR DARK. Lance is never short of some great stories, about filmmaking, the movies themselves and the people that he’s worked with, or just life in general. A very interesting guy.
The last Q&A for the day was the monsters from MONSTER SQUAD, Duncan Regehr, Carl Thibault, Michael MacKay, and Tom Noonan. All of them had some great stories about working with the late, great Stan Winston, both humorous and some very heartfelt. Noonan seemed to do most of the talking while we were in there, but he did have some great stories, especially at some of the evil things that Winston use to do to him while he was in the makeup chair...like gluing his arms to the chair.
The only Q&A’s that we got to on Saturday were the two big ones, reunions for TERMINATOR and ALIENS. The TERMINATOR one consisted on Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Kristanna Loken, Michael Biehn, Danny Cooksey, and Peter Kent. A lot of the questions were for Hamilton since this was her first appearance at HorrorHound, but at least she did seem like she was having a great time there. Edward Furlong was pretty honest in his answers, not trying to hide his past personal issues. Of course, Biehn was the one that look like he just strolled in from a 3-day bender. But once again, they all had some great stories working on the films. Hearing some of the stuff that Peter Kent had to go through still amazes me.
For the ALIENS panel, returning to the stage was Henriksen & Goldstein, while being joined by Ricco Ross, Cynthia Scott, Carrie Henn, and Mark Rolston. For some reason Biehn wasn’t there, at least not while I was in there. While Henriksen once again commanded the stage and is a pretty funny guy, there were also some interesting stories on the making of this epic picture. It is another one of those movies where what we see on the screen is completely different in mood and atmosphere on the soundstage, but these actors and other filmmaking technicians make it all come together to create cinematic magic.
But for me, the real highlight of the show was on Sunday when the star of Peter Jackson’s BRAIN DEAD, Timothy Balme making his first convention appearance here in the states, took the stage. Being one of my favorite movies, it was great to get to see him on stage and hear his take on this gory film and how much…fun…it was making it. One can’t image what he had to go through filming the famous lawnmower scene, constantly being covered in blood day in and day out. Such a trooper then and such a great guy now. My son was very excited to be able to meet him, since, like father like son, he is a huge fan of the movie as well.
For the first time at HorrorHound, they were hosting a film fest, with Elvira and Peaches Christ being the hosts. One of the films up was DEAD WEIGHT, by our good friends Pata and Barlett. They ended up winning Best Editing. The film that won Best Film was one simply called found, and they were located right by us in the dealer room. So we got to watch the trailer all weekend. We ended up with a copy for review, so expect to see that posted shortly.
Since we go to so many of these out-of-state conventions, there is usually a group of us making a mass exodus in the evening to find some food. Lately, I have been trying to stay away from the chain restaurants simply because we are trying to support the little places. But not only that, but because sometimes these little places are gold mines just waiting to be discovered. And this time, thanks to our local friend Ken Johnson, he turned us onto a pizza place called Jockamo Pizza and it was epic. They had quite a variety of different kinds of pizza, so between the wife and son, we had to try three different kinds and they were all great. Although, the Caliente Pizza, which had more than a few jalapenos on it, really lived up to its name. Of course, the total for our bill…$66.60. That would be the Number of the Bill! So when you’re coming out to these shows, please do the same and support these little places. And if you get some good food / service, make sure you let the management know. So many times the only time they hear a comment from a customer is a complaint. So if you are happy when you leave, let them know.
So over all, we had a blast at this show. Met some new people and had some fun conversations with, and seen a lot of old friends and chatted with them as well. It is really what makes these shows so great. I can still remember my very first convention back in 1988, that once the show was done for the day, I went up to my room and sat there looking at all the cool stuff I bought. And only leaving the room to go grab something to eat. Boy…how things have change since then. Now, I don’t get back to the room until 3am or so, barely have a voice by the time the weekend is over, and still ponder over how people can pay so much for an autograph, especially from someone who’s “celebrity” status is highly questionable. Oops…thought I was going to make it through a whole report without an autograph rant. Oh well….