Weekend of Horrors ReCap and Review

Weekend of horrors Re-Cap and Review by Brad Bruce

This years weekend of horrors festivities was kicked off with hordes of the undead roaming the Los Angeles streets searching for flesh. I narrowly escaped the infest, I hid in Raven Whites screening room, I should’ve taken refuge with the zombies. Just kidding Raven you’re a great guy. I arrived bright and early Saturday morning, the L.A. Marriott is a beautiful hotel, as you walk through the front doors the deco is a perfect fit for the weekend of horrors, the staff at the show were very accommodating and they work together like a well oiled machine.

The fans were lined up for what seemed like a mile. All antsy to get behind those doors of the marquis ballroom that holds all their favorite starts of one of the most crowd pleasing genres, horror! The layout was the only problem I had with the whole event.

It was very spread out, the Michael Myers room and the Friday the 13th rooms in my opinion seemed very distant from the rest of the show. One of the Michael Myers I talked to was pissed about his placement, and in my opinion that’s a guy you don’t want pissed at you! I made my way to the first panel the I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE PANEL- the panel members included director STEVEN MONROE, producer LISA HANSEN, and the originator of the 1978 classic MEIR ZARCHI, actors JEFF BRANSEN,SARAH BUTLER,RODNEY EASTMAN & DANIEL FRANZESE, plus the special effects artist, JASON COLLINS, all lead by moderator Steve “Uncle Creepy” Barton.

Producer Meir Zarachi praised the entire cast and crew on the remake. He told a few stories of how he dealt with the MPAA for the rating on the classic, he fought to keep his movie within his vision, the MPAA told him in order to make the R rating he would have to make 100 cuts to the film, in the end MEIR made the cuts, although in my opinion it didn’t take away from the film, its still a dark tale of pure fear. The director of the remake STEVE MONROE told MEIR and the fans in the crowd that his film was going to stay as true to the original as possible. Producer LISA HANSEN told of her struggles with the MPAA for the remake, she was told the film is so real and so powerful they just need to cut a lot. STEVEN MONROE then added they are going to release the film theatrically in the unrated version. MEIR had a couple of stories to share of when he first saw the film in his own words “ITS PRETTY DISTURBING” MEIR’S wife told him while they were watching the remake, don’t invite any of our friends to see this movie, ok? They showed a couple of clips from the film, and let me say this I urge everyone if you love horror even a tiny bit, go see this movie. It has something for everyone, from decapitations; penis’s removed from the body, and not in a nice way (if there is such a thing) and teeth pulled from the head with rusty pliers. It’s sure to please; release is slated for fall 2010!

So with the first panel fresh in my brain, I decided to hit the vendor booths and see who came. The marquis ballroom was filled to capacity with vendors and celebs. Girls and corpses magazine was on rotten hand to spread the word of- well girls and corpses.

Many vendors were loaded down with DVDs, toys and books all relating to horror, like Brain Damage films out of Arizona – brain damage himself accompanied by two lovely helpers were selling some of the industries greatest horror titles. CAROLINE WILLIAMS of Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 made a rare unannounced visit to the WOA show, she told me some of her legal issues she has going on with her film team in Texas, very sweet woman. Also making the bloody hearts of the show beat a little faster were the Suicide Girls offering some DVDs, books and something nice to look at, the Suicide Girls themselves. I then made my way to NEVER SLEEP AGAIN panel with director DANIEL FARRANDS, and writer producer THOMMY HUTSON, and narrator/producer HEATHER LANGENKAMP, the panel discussed how the project of putting together most of the starts from the entire Nightmare series was a daunting task, Heather herself was a little apprehensive about the project, she said “what did I get myself into, what if this things no good” but in her opinion the final product was worth every worry. The films over 240 minutes and the reviews for the film are phenomenal.

I stayed put for the next panel because in my opinion it was part of the top two of the whole weekend. The HATCHET 2 panel, in my opinion HATCHET is one of the most solidly entertaining Horror films ever, so with that in mind all I can say is get ready for H2, the panel started off with introducing some of the biggest names in horror, KANE HODDER (Friday the 13th), TONY TODD (Night Of The Living Dead remake),R.A. MAHAILOFF (Chainsaw 3), DANIELLE HARRIS (Halloween 4/5), and director ADAM GREEN (Hatchet), this by far was the funniest panel I have seen in a while, the tales from the set of cast and crew getting the swine flu and the projectile vomiting, to the battles he had with other film studios is why he now has total control of his films, he said he was tired of working on a films setting up shots only to have a 100 suits yell cut, and usher him over and tell him how a certain shots not going to work and that he needs to change it . He also answered some fan questions, one that stood out the most was when he told the fan and the rest of the aspiring writers, actors, directors, to stop talking about it and do it, just because you write a  few pages of something doesn’t make you a writer, it’s doing something with it. He then proceeded to bring out some props from the movie one of them being a severed penis, oh yeah you heard me. ADAM also brought out a prop hatchet and asked the audience a question; one fan had the correct answer and took home a great souvenir. ADAM is a genuine guy; he took the time to talk to every person who approached him.

Next I headed over to the grind house frightful film room, ran by RAVEN WHITE, film historian with a knack for knowing everything about B movie history including owning a huge collection or actual film prints many he had on hand to please the blood thirsty crowds thirst for horror from era’s gone.

The next panel I attended was ROBERT ENGLUND, the theater seats filled up fast and the crowd was buzzing to see the gloved one. ROBERT never disappoints, he took to the stage a one man show, and blazed a path of humor and insight into his world, the entire crowd hung on his every word. There was so much press in the room I couldn’t even get close to MR. KRUEGER. ROBERT is such a nice guy, he took the time to sing for every fan that showed up to see him, and he didn’t rush them along, he loves to talk, and he truly embraces the character he shaped into this cult icon. And he loves every second of it.

Back out on in the vendor room the fans were still devouring all the show had to offer, BILL “chop top” MOSELEY was in attendance, he’s a guy I truly love, he told me a story from the set of Chainsaw 2 in which a mother along with her child had seen BILL in full chop top character, the boy obviously frightened, she told him don’t worry Johnny that’s just and actor in makeup, he’s just playing. That’s when BILL leaned into to boy’s ear and said “don’t believe her”, you got to love him, BILL then gave me a CD of his new music called spider mountain. He’s a great musician and writer, his music is very entertaining. JOE PILATO (Day Of The Dead, effects) was at the show, feeling great and pumped to be there. I was lucky enough to get a warm embrace from Joe, he told me that he had just wrapped NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD ORIGINS (a 3D animated feature) and was doing a project called bottom feeders with the Lewis brothers from BLACK DEVIL DOLL FAME.

I then headed over to the JASON VORHEES room where I met DICK WIEAND, who played Roy the paramedic, super guy. Another Jason on hand was KANE HODDER who was telling stories of kicking in doors on the sets of movies just to scare people, then being charged for the doors, also many talented artists we there showing off their skills one in particular stood out, BRIAN JOHNSON from, who’s work can be seen on the cover of Girls and Corpses issue 4 (GEORGE ROMERO COVER). And let us not forget the fans that came dawned in the costume of there favorite horror character, some we know and some they have created all there own.

CREATION also had one of there annual auctions, raising thousands of dollars for signed banners, photos, and even a guitar complete with a coffin case, courtesy of – well COFFIN CASE.

Like all good things the Weekend Of Horrors saved the best for last, the number 1 panel of the entire weekend Italian horror legend DARIO AREGENTO, responsible for some of the greatest horror films ever made, PHENOMENA, SUSPIRIA, and TENEBRAE. As DARIO was called to the stage, he was met with a standing ovation and a cheering crowd of super fans! DARIO was also accompanied by two of his heroines, from SUSPIRIA fame BARBARA MAGNOLFI, and DEMONS star GERETTA GERRETA. DARIO gave a wonderful and funny tale of being a film maker, also expressing a little disappointment in Hollywood for all the recent remakes, he said “there’s no passion, no story, its all to make money and to shock people with needless gore”.

As another WOH came to a close and the stars began wrapping up there tables and the vendors were packing the goods that didn’t sale, I couldn’t help but be sad, for another  horror show is coming to a close, in such a short time you begin to feel like some of these people are family, we all intermingle and see each other outside of events, but for those three magical days out of the year, we are able to get lost in our world, a world of splatter, a world where the politically incorrect is now 100% correct.

Until next time

And that will be- OCT 15-17, 2010

Brad Bruce…

(go here for all the pictures…)