Horror movie conventions are one of the best places to be at if you are a die-hard fan. There’s plenty to see, buy, and people to meet, both new and old friends, as well as celebrities. Horror conventions were a very important part of a lot of us horror fans “growing up” as we learned more and more about the genre, building our collections, or just meeting new people that have become lifelong friends, or even a wife!
This is our first part in a series of episodes on conventions, so we’re going to start out at the beginning for us, such as how they all started for us and which ones did we go to, to the current shows that we still attend.
These are the different conventions that we mention during this episode:
Chiller Theatre, Cinema Wasteland, Cinevent, Crypticon, Famous Monsters, Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors, Fanex, Flashback Weekend, HorrorHound Weekend, Mid-Summer Scream, Monster Bash, Monsterpalooza, 25th Anniversary Night of the Living Dead Convention, Scarefest, Texas Frightmare
End of another year. Another decade. I know one thing for sure that this last decade will not be remembered as one that didn’t produce any good horror movies! Just look at 2014 and you’ll find a ton of amazing films, from here in the US to around the world. As a horror fan, I feel pretty blessed with these last ten years of terror. Let’s hope the ’20s bring us another long list of great cinema.
I had thought that this would be a personal low when it came to films watched, only because it didn’t feel like I had watched that many. In fact, there were a couple of months were I only got to a handful of films. With my book coming out, doing another retrospective for HorrorHound, and the usual holidays, it takes time away from being able to sit and watch movies. But once the tally was done, it turns out that I had watched more in 2019 than I did since 2013! The final number was 236, with almost half of them, a total of 115, being first time viewings. There were a few trips to the drive-ins, some movie marathons, a couple of Turkey Days, and other mini-marathons with friends or just by myself. And I intend to do it all over this year! Really going to try and hit 250 viewings in 2020.Continue reading →
We never bothered with going to the celebs that were signing outside in the hall, mainly because they were ones that have been convention regulars, plus the fact that I had no interests in paying for an autograph. But there were more than a few “famous” people wandering around the vendor room throughout the weekend. On Saturday, as Dawn, Scott, and me were wandering around, we were coming up to the Severin table and I see this hat from the back. I looked over at Scott and said, “That’s Richard Stanley! I can tell by the hat.” And I was right. In 1990, I was got to see Stanley’s first feature film, Hardware, in the theater. It was an incredible experience, filled with colors, images, and music, all intertwined together into this futuristic, post-apocalyptic tale of humanity, barely holding on. His second feature, Dust Devil (1992), was another visually stunning film. His latest film, Color Out of Space, is in post-production and I can’t wait to see it. Stanley is one of those directors that I had never met before, but always wanted to at least shake his hand and thank him for his work. And now, I got to do just that. Another one off my bucket list.
Since this was our first West Coast show in close to two decades, I was hoping to see some vendors that we don’t normally see the usual shows that we go to. We definitely did, which is why I probably I spent so much money! But the Krypt is always needing some new little trinkets, right? Got to keep it fresh, right? Like this little Blind Dead bust? I mean, can you really have too many Blind Dead items? I didn’t think so either. Especially when it is a bust that was sculpted by Daniel Horne!
Sometimes after walking around any vendor room, you see plenty of cool stuff, but nothing really jumping out at you that is demanding that you take it home with you. Earlier in the weekend, we noticed that this guy had some old-fashioned looking hand puppets, but with characters you wouldn’t expect to be seeing, such as the little doll from Dario Argento’s Deep Red or Corbis from The Devil’s Rain! These were handmade and very cool, but with a price tag of $50, I really didn’t need one of those. Then walking by their table again on Sunday, either I missed it the first few times or they just put it out, but now they had a Mr. Sardonicus puppet out. Being a huge Castle fan, I just couldn’t pass it up and bought it. Check them out at www.skullclown.com. Just they don’t have a lot listed on their site so just email them and ask about their puppets. Or about all the other cool stuff they had out on their table. I know I’ll be looking for them again at the next show.Continue reading →
On Friday, we finally make our way over to Monsterpalooza. We were technically dealer “helpers” so we got in right away, and thankfully so because the line to get in was freaking huge each and every single day of the 3-day event. A little advice to those coming to this show, be prepared to be on your feet a LOT! With a concrete floor, it plays holy hell on your feet, legs, and back. At least I know it did for us. Plus, there’s not a ton of places to sit down either. Normally, as vendors, we get to sit behind our table more than wander around so it’s no big deal. But not being at a table, I really felt the effects of it by Friday night and really aching by the time Sunday was over. I think I need to take a vacation to recoup from this vacation!
The last time I was in California was in 2003, for a Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors, so it was about time I made a return. Our friends Don England and Chris Kuchta have been setting up at Monsterpalooza for a few years and I was always hearing great stories about the show, from celebrity sightings to just seeing some amazing makeup jobs, props, artworks, and other interesting things on display. So my wife Dawn and I decided to take a little mini-vacation and head out to our first Monsterpalooza. On the Thursday before the show, we were on a plane heading to the West Coast.
I know the updates here have been getting farther and farther apart it seems but have no fear. The Krypt is not close to shutting its doors anytime in the near future. I have just been crazy busy. My work in the real world has been utter chaos which has me questioning my career choice every single day. Plus, I’ve got some big writing deadlines I’m working on, not to mention trying to get the book to the final stages before going to the design and layout stage. So while the updates aren’t as regular right now, they will be back. I promise.
Adding to the things taking me away from the site is a couple of cons. Last weekend, for the very first time, the wife and I attended Cinema Wasteland not as dealers, but as regular fans. I gotta admit, it was pretty strange. There were several times during the weekend that I had a momentary thought that I needed to get back to my table. But it was fun hanging out with our friends, spending way too much money, and still getting very little sleep over the three days. And can’t wait to do it again.
But this weekend, we’re off for another first. We’re heading to the West Coast for our very first Monsterpalooza! I’ve been hearing about this show for years, so this time we decided to make it happen, and I’m really excited about it. So I would expect plenty of photos to be posted on our Facebook page over those three days. And we’ll get to actually visit Dark Delicacies as well!
So if you’re coming out to the show this weekend, maybe we’ll see you! Just look for the guy in the Kitley’s Krypt shirt with his eyes bulging out of his head at all the amazing displays!