Flashback 2009 Recap. By Brian Kirst
With an inundation of horror events in the last month, it seems bizarre to recall that October 2009’s Flashback Weekend in Chicago was just a mere three weeks ago. There, as usual, there was plenty to see and do – including some neat revelations from the horror performers on hand.
In addition to his genre work, Tim Thomerson (Near Dark, Scanners, and Wicked Lake) revealed that he enjoyed working on the sitcom, “Just the Two of Us,” in the early 80’s – “Peter Cook was great. He was so English and just didn’t care. You’d always catch him smoking next to the No Smoking sign. The female lead took it too seriously, though. She was a stage actress and wanted to examine everything. You wanted to say- It’s just a television sitcom lady- c’mon relax!”
Mercedes McNab (caught shaking her booty to a fan singing Pebbles’ “Mercedes Boy” in the vender area and overheard joking that she had inscribed each bead on the Hatchet Mardi Gras necklaces available at her table) revealed that she had just completed another horror film – while at the table next door, Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps, Freddy vs. Jason) sat reminiscing with her brother, former actor (and current director), Joshua Murray. “We did three films together,” Isabelle reported. Murray (who played young Bill Scully in a 1994 episode of ‘X-Files’ and worked with Lynda ‘Wonder Woman’ Carter in ‘Posing’ – “She was awesome – She told me there was a guy on the set of Wonder Woman who drilled a hole in her dressing room wall so he could watch her changing!”), also revealed, “I played your father in Knight Moves – I was Christopher Lambert’s character as a kid.” ‘That kind of freaks me out,” Isabelle replied – but not enough to insure that she wouldn’t work with Murray again, thankfully. “She’s in my film(“Favorite People List”),” Murray confided, “just being her crazy, kooky Katharine self!”
Later, Kevin J. O’Connor (Deep Rising, The Mummy and most recently, G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra) admitted that his career has had many ups and downs and that his agent did not want him to do “Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane”. “I wasn’t working a lot and I had never done a true B-movie before, so I really wanted to do it. I thought the script was fun and the character was great.” O’Connor, who kept copies of Scary Monster magazine on The Mummy set, also revealed that he was a huge fan of Lance Henriksen (in attendance at the fest, as well.), whom he had worked with a couple of times.
Another horror film legend, Robert Englund, confided how he had truly wanted to play Tom in a stage production of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie. “I would have played him like a Southern poet,” he exclaimed slipping into a Mississippi accent, “not gay or whatever – but as a poet, a real Southern poet!”
Local filmmaker Bennie Woodall happily pumped associate Tony Swansey’s (the lead actor in Woodall’s effective Fast Zombies with Guns) other projects at his booth. “Squeal (a hick horror production recently highlighted in Fangoria) is his!” Woodall reported. “It’s awesome!”
Artist Joel Robinson (Vincent Price Presents), meanwhile, acknowledged the grit and grime that is part and parcel to any kind of artistic pursuit by briefing talking about a cease and desist order that he had to place on one of his well known collaborations.
Most importantly, though, was the sense of community one could perceive at the event, especially during the evenings. One could pass by any table gathering and witness groups of unheralded talent such as Cory Udler (director, Incest Death Squad), artists Putrid and Chris Kuchta (currently working on a calendar of horror films that never were), Kryssie Ridolfi (lead singer of Deadmans Wake), Jon Pata (director, Better Off Undead), Dan Kiggins (producer, Massive Ego Productions) and Jon Kitley (Horror Hound magazine’s Kitley’s Krypt column and featured commentator for Fanex Files: Hammer Films documentary DVD) all deep in friendly conversation. This kinetic energy and excitement is the true heart of horror and one of the most important aspects of any Flashback Weekend convention experience. (Well, besides horror icon Tony Todd catching a low budget horror film actor, half nude, tucking his junk in-between his legs, and walking down the hallways of the hotel on Sunday morning, that is. Quoted Todd, wearily, “Dude, pull up yer pants!”)