Sounds like a disappointing year for fans attending the Chiller convention in New Jersey this year. Things are sounding more and more repetitive as the same stars show up at every events- of course with one or two rare new faces. Inside you can find a small report by our writer Brian Juergens as he meets Angela Bettis and find out details on her next film along with a small update on the Sisters remake, which I’m dying to see.
Chiller Theatre Horror Convention January 2005
By: Brian Juergens
More a bump in the night that a screamingly good time, this installation of the Chiller Theatre event was much smaller than past events and not really the party that it has been in the past. The lineup of celebrities was paltry at best, there were fewer merchandisers than usual, and there were no panels, preview screenings, or special events to speak of, except for a screening or two of “Prison A-Go-Go”, somewhere — I couldn’t even find it.
That said, I did try to make the best of it. After edging past the “Alone in the Dark” table (which seemed oddly popular — unless co-star Tara Reid was re-enacting her red carpet wardrobe snafu, I can’t say I can see why), I wandered into the main hallway to find a sparsely-populated room sprinkled with celebrity guests — some of the usual (Zacherley, Jonathan Beck of “Jeepers Creepers”), some interesting appearances (Nancy Loomis of “Halloween” and just about everything else John Carpenter directed for about 10 years, the delightful Dee Wallace Stone of “The Howling”,”E.T.”, and “Cujo”), and only one real face that I hadn’t seen before at one of these things: teeny-tiny little Angela Bettis of “May”, “Toolbox Murders”, and the made-for-TV “Carrie”.
Knee-high to a grasshopper and twice as spunky, Angela was a refreshing sight. It’s not often you get young stars at these things — it’s generally considered a late-career kind of move for folks who want to capitalize on their past fame. Angela, however, was using the opportunity to tell people about a new production company that she’s been building with Lucky McKee (“May”, the upcoming “The Woods” — in which Angela plays “the voice of the woods”). The project is called Mo-Freek (www.mo-freek.com) and seems like a kind of collective that promotes filmmaking, music, and the like outside of the traditional distribution model. I checked it out and there are previews for a few of their films, one called “People are Dead” which stars Angela and Mia Tyler (currently appearing in the VH1 Celebrity Fit Club show?!) — it’s definitely worth a look.
I let Angela know how much I enjoyed Toolbox when I saw it at a few festivals (I still can’t believe it didn’t get at least a limited theatrical run…) and she was kind enough to stand in front of a giant photo of herself to have her picture taken with me.
Otherwise, not too much going on. Sid Haig was quite jolly and hugged my friend and Pretty-Scary.com co-conspirator Amanda by Night, which means she won’t be bathing anytime soon. Hellraiser’s Doug Bradley and Ashleigh Laurence seem to have patched up that whole “tear your soul apart” thing and were happily ensconced next to one another in a corner of the room, both looking quite well.
Elsewhere, indie provocateur Douglas Buck (whose “Cutting Moments” lays the infamous claim of having disturbed the undisturbable Abel Ferarra) was promoting his “Family Portraits: An American Trilogy”, which combines Moments with two other short-format stories to tell a bleak and horrific tale of the state of the American family unit. I saw the film in the theatre, and definitely recommend it — you can check out glasseyepix.com for more info. Doug told me things are going well with the “Sisters” remake that he is writing/directing, and said that filming will happen this year in Montreal. Look forward to a retelling that delves far deeper into the psychology of the sisters — I’m anxious for casting news, myself (none yet).
In all, a low-key Chiller. Here’s hoping for more previews, panels, and off-the-wall celebs the next go-round.