This past weekend SpookyDan tore up Creation’s Fangoria Weekend of Horrors convention in Burbank, California. The guest list was massive as any horror icon you can possibly think of was in attendance, it was almost too much if there’s such a thing. Inside you’ll find Dan’s report from the fest so you can see all the fun you missed out on, maybe next year you won’t wuss out? Read on and enjoy…
Halloween, Hatchets and Horror in Burbank, CA.
Almost the entire horror industry was at this weekend’s Fangoria convention, held at the Hilton in Burbank, CA. With over 100 scheduled guests, there was something for everyone. There were so many panels I could not catch them all, but I did get to see quite a few of them. And, there was a new kind of buzz in the air with people running around filling their bags with vendor goodies and movie t-shirt freebies. Then there were the parties… oh the parties! In the many years that I have been going to the Fangoria conventions they have had some very memorable ones and some very lackluster ones. But, I will rate this one as a hugely successful con! As expected, there was record-breaking attendance, even selling out on Saturday. And, I will add that Creation has taken a lot of heat for running some of the past conventions poorly, yet this is the 3rd one in a row that I have attended that was a great experience! The only big complaint that I heard was that they over sold the con again and many people were stuck out in the sweltering heat while they waited to get their tickets… so make sure you get your tickets in advance for these shows in the future.
The best part about going to these cons is the personal interaction you can get with the celebs and filmmakers. Not only could you wait in line for autographs and meet the big guys, but just take a stroll through the vendor room and the celebs and fans were hanging out, buying and selling, and meeting each other. The horror world has taken a change over the past few years, and its definitely starting to feel like a wonderful, small and disjointed family. At any moment you might have run into Frank Darabond, Tony Todd, Tim Sullivan, Tiffany Shepis, Lyn Shay, Roddy Piper, Rob “Blasko”, John 5, Ryan Schifrin, Reggie Bannister, and tons more… the list of guests is posted on the Creation site. But I have to say that this year, the filmmakers were out making REAL connections with the fans.
Here are a few highlights that people were buzzing about:
Nightmare Man, and Abominable had their respective panels with casts and filmmakers talking about the making of the movies. Tiffany Shepis moderated the Nightmare Man forum, with her usual goofy flair, and genuine sexy fun. Richard Moll stole the show with his deadbeat humor. Abominable makes its debut on DVD in October, after a big premiere on the Sci-Fi Channel a few weeks ago. On the panel director Ryan Schifrin brought out legendary film composer (and father) Lalo Schifrin. What a treat for the horror fans to hear from the man who scored so many important movies throughout his career… and he even spoke about what a treat it was to work with his son on his first film. Ryan Rotten from Fangoria moderated that panel and even got Lalo to talk about his score for Amityville Horror.
The Gravedancers panel was pretty packed but I intentionally missed it because I am dying to see this film!! NO SPOILERS! But later I spoke with Director Mike Mendez about his highly anticipated film. Because the premiere of his film at Tribecca went so well, this sounds like it is another in a list of great indie films that we horror fans will get to see a theatrical release for.
Later, the world premiere of Paul Solet’s short film GRACE, played to an unsuspecting audience… The film was disgusting on multiple levels and had the crowd cheering and gagging at the climax. Director Solet brought out the star of the film “Grace” herself, a zombie baby covered in slime and blood, and actor Brian Austin Green, was there to support the film. This is his first real entry in the horror genre, and he spoke about getting involved in the production based on the enthusiasm of Solet alone! Eli Roth was in the audience and knowingly joked in asking what was next for this short, Solet replied that he is looking to use the short to raise funds for the feature of this insanely gross and intense film. From the Crowd reaction I have a feeling we will all be sitting in a theater watching this horrific film… in a feature length form… this one is nasty! If you get a chance to see it don’t miss out!
The Grace screening was followed by an appearance from legend Lance Henriksen, with a little about his career in the genre and his latest greatest films. A Friday highlight was the fact that he actually showed up to the Fango ****tail party and got to mingle with the fans and friends.
So much more happened throughout the first day, Fred Dekker was on hand to talk about why we won’t see The Monster Squad or Night of The Creeps on DVD soon, because the rights are tied up in companies without faith in the titles. And that he has yet to see Slither. The Filmmakers of Brotherhood of Blood spoke about the trials of making a low budget horror film. And Rusty Nails previewed a bit from his upcoming documentary about George Romero. A labor of Love that has been a long journey in making, but has the fans excited to finally see as it is coming together.
HALLOWEEN LIVES DVD announcement was made. Finally after a few years of waiting for this behemoth of information about one of our most beloved horror films, anchor bay told us what to expect with this anticipated dvd coming July 25th, including Bloody Disgusting friend Sean Clarks Hallows Horrors Hallowed Grounds featurette which features P.J. Soles and a look at the locations they filmed at around Hollywood.
Driftwoods, Tim Sullivan and his entourage were on hand to talk up the next chapter in the New Rebellion legacy the upcoming film. Diamond Dallas Page and editor Bud Smith, plus Talon Torriero were there to tell us about this certain to be creepy ghost story set in a juvenile corrections facility. This looks super cool! Tim Sullivan is an insane man and has many stories and projects to spew about. He f*cking rocks! I cant wait to see what’s next!!!…. Any sequels Tim?
Snoops Hood of Horror was a fun ride of a film and the producers are busy juggling distribution deals around town. This movie (which we have seen) is a super fun film that delivers the gore a plenty and some laughs on top of that…Expect to see this by the years end! Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson has a roll in the horror trilogy film and showed up to really remind us why we love him and what a great addition to the cast he is.
Halloween/Rob Zombie news was announced to the attendees, by now you know about it, so nothing different than you have already heard, but it was the first place we all heard about it while we were at the convention. This is such a big deal to the fans. We know that Zombie will do us right with his take on the Meyers legacy.
HATCHET!!!!! If I had to put a stamp on which film has the most buzz and which film had the most people talking it has to be Hatchet. The crowd was bursting with insanity for Hatchet; during the bad ass clip that was screened they were going bonkers, screaming and cheering, it was so loud they must have heard it throughout the entire convention! Everyone is really excited about Hatchet, and since this was the first screening of any footage from the film on the west coast, everyone had their expectations and high hopes met! Surprise guest Tony Todd spoke along with most of the actors from the film. And Director Adam Green gave out a prop Hatchet from the film to a attendee who had been emailing him about the film, named Richard Horror. Richard was able to go to the Fango convention if he made good grades in math…so he studied his ass off and got to go, to his great surprise he was singled out and given this one of kind prop. Rock on Richard Horror! Now lets get this film into the theaters already!!!
Rock and Shock concert went on a bit late but the people were packed into see the bands that were performing, but I missed it because Me, Ryan Rotten, and Ryan Schifrin threw a hotel room party where a bunch of celebs, friends and fans alike showed up to get loaded and wreak havoc on the hotel room. Thanks to everyone who was there…and if you lost your switchblade dildo in the bedroom, drop a line to me to have it returned to you, I don’t think I will need it anymore. The party was fun, even if there was way too many people in that small ass hot hotel suite. As I write this on Mondays most people’s hangovers should be wearing off.
One word… Guillermo!!!
He exploded onto the stage a more fit man than the lat time we saw him and told us all about the variety of projects that are in the pipeline for him. The Ronald Dahl Witches remake, Mouth of Madness, Hellboy 2, and most importantly Pan’s Labyrinth. He showed us an extended preview from this fascinating looking film, and then went on to speak about it with actor Doug Jones. Joked about being asked to be a Master of Horror, and compared it to having a 12 inch ****, not many people are masters and he wasn’t sure that he was ready for that title.
Other highlights throughout the day were Bob Clark speaking about the Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things remake, and how he is approaching it from a different angle than any other zombie film…From the zombie perspective, “like do they have to take a **** after being dead for 20 years? And a focus on the different tiers of death from long long dead to freshly dead, do they have different appetites, or do they till have a sex drive” Another on the long list of soon to be made films that will hopefully kick some horror ass!
Then the last panel I attended was the spotlight into the new horror directors including Chris Sivertson (The Lost), Phillip Chidel (Subject Two), Scott Glosserman (Behind The Mask), and Michael Basssett (Wilderness). Sivertson spoke about upcoming projects and commented that there is a whole bunch of REALLY good and original stuff out there looking for directors. Maybe we will even get to see some of it soon! And Bassett revealed that he is about to move into his next production, a 14 million fantasy based on the Solomon Kane lore, shot in Eastern Europe and shooting later this year. WOW!
Hats off to Tony Timpone, the Creation crew, and especially to the vendors that really had to work the show. This was a fun and exhausting weekend… I cant wait for the next one! See you there.