Monday, March 14, 2011

My Thoughts on Creation's Weekend of Horrors

DSC_0082

Today I attended the bi-annual Weekend of Horrors here in L.A. and it was pretty damned terrible.

After much procrastination and losing my way twice on the freeway, I arrived at the con around 12:30pm. I honestly wouldn't have gone to this con at all were it not for the fact that I won a general admission pass. Apparently, day passes are up to TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS which is insane!

Creation in all of their "wisdom" held this con at the horrible LAX Marriott with the psychedelic barf carpets where I saw the Re-Animator reunion last year. Twenty minutes of driving aimlessly around the parking garage still found me no free spots in sight, so the security guard told me I could park in one of the valet spaces. This happened last time the con was at this hotel and apparently nothing has changed for the better.

Grabbing my handy new bag, I made my way down the escalator to what my friend Erik so hilariously calls "Grandpa's Basement of Horrors." The freaking con is stuffed into these tiny rooms down in the bowels of the hotel, and if you didn't know there was a convention going on, you'd never find it!

Steeling myself for the potential suckage ahead, I took a cursory glance around the lobby. A few Italian directors, plus some regular Argento actors were scattered about, along with the "con regulars" like Andrew Prine. Since I see her at every con, I greeted Barbara Magnolfi (from Suspiria) and got yet another photo of her as a silly joke "for my collection." I have two already from previous cons and she was a good sport and posed for another one. Sadly, this one turned out blurry, so you'll just have to imagine it.


DSC_0028

Cutie Ted Raimi was on hand to moderate a panel on a new TV show I believe is called Death Valley. Sounds like fun.


DSC_0027

A table of tribbles!


DSC_0034
The eensy-weensy dealers' room

Halfway around the teeny-tiny dealers' room, I spotted a very familiar face from the past! In 2006, I attended my very first horror convention in Cherry Hill, NJ. To this day, Monster Mania is still my favorite convention for many reasons that are now in my past. Back then, I was still taken by a tiny mad scientist; Libby was head over heels for Lance Henriksen. We bonded instantly and became fast friends.


DSC_0043
Libby & me!

Over the years, we lost touch, but within seconds, she recognized me and we spent the rest of the day hanging out. That was probably one of the highlights of this con for me.

Having flown in especially for the day from Texas to see him, Libby instantly wanted to know where Lance was, so we made it our mission to hunt him down! Finally spotting him in a corner of the dealers' room, I let Libby loose to fangirl squee all over the poor man.

DSC_0036

This is my favorite photo I took today. Lance was there promoting his autobiography, Not Bad for a Human and after a cursory thumb through Libby's signed copy, it looks pretty good.


Lance & Libby

Here's Lance and his future wife back in 2006 at Monster Mania.


Lance and (Future Wife) Libby at Weekend of Horrors

And here they are today. Lance was a total sweetie to both Libby and me and very patient as Libby trembled in his presence.


DSC_0045

Loved these eye hairclips. Don't know if I'd ever wear one, though. Wave hello to me in the mirror!


DSC_0049

I liked these little dudes and would've bought one if I knew what I'd actually do with it!


DSC_0055

At 2:30, Stuart Gordon presented a brief scene from Re-Animator: The Musical, which I wanted to see, since I had attended the original preview waaaay back when last year. They've shaken out a few kinks, changed up a few things (and actors), but it's still not amazingly great. Graham Skipper is amazing, but he's channeling the "original" movie Herbert West to such a degree that it's more an homage and less an original performance now, which was a bit disappointing. There was a fun little slashy element to the infamous basement scene between Dr. Hill and Herbert West ("Oh, it is not the appearance of life, it is life!"), but of all scenes to present, this was one of the weaker. A Herbert/Dan scene with "I Give Life" may have been more fun for me personally. The audience seemed to eat it up, so maybe it's just me and my need to have things canon.


DSC_0059

Two fantastic cosplayers at the Re-Animator musical performance. Loved their outfits, right down to the Miskatonic nametags.


DSC_0046

Anyone recognize this guy?

No?






What about now?

Yes, my friends, that is Ian Patrick Williams, who played the professor in the opening scene of Re-Animator! Does he not look exactly the same?! Freaky. Must be all that reagent. XD


DSC_0044

In some bizarre booking, Ernest Borgnine was a guest at this Weekend of Horrors. Apart from Lance, Ernest's panel was probably one of the most interesting and fun of the day.


DSC_0033

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Sunshine himself, Tom Savini! (I kid, I kid. He just has a bad rep of being a jerk at cons. He was nice to me, though!)


DSC_0048

Freddy Krueger's favorite girl, Heather Langenkamp was there promoting her new biopic, I Am Nancy.


Unfortunately, a lot of the celebs were charging for even casual photos with your own camera. It's getting as bad as the Hollywood Show! After getting the evil eye from Tippi Hedren's people, I decided against getting a photo of her. She is a tiny thing!

As a few more blasé spins around the dealers' room brought me no closer to enjoyment, I headed over to the tiny ballroom to check out Lance Henriksen's Q&A session and get some shots for his biggest fan. Whilst waiting for the panel to begin, one of my readers, Brian, spotted me and came over to say hello. We had a good bitch session and he shared my disappointment in this con. I think a lot of it had to do with the vibe. Monsterpalooza has this friendly, fan-like vibe, whilst WOH is cold and corporate. No one - neither celebrities nor fans - seemed very into the con today.


Lance Henriksen's Q&A

Lance is a wonderful storyteller and kept the audience entranced by his hilarious and bawdy tales of life onset. He would berate anyone who would leave the auditorium during his Q&A, singling them out as they skulked away out the door. Too funny.

After Lance's Q&A, Brian had had enough shitty con and left in disgust. I hung out with Libby for a few more hours so she could have moral support to say goodbye to Lance before flying home. It was really lovely to reconnect with Libby today, and I hope we can continue our friendship.

After being so spoiled by Monsterpalooza's amazing organization, warm vibe, and friendliness, attending Weekend of Horrors was almost a chore that I performed only out of habit because I love horror. Creation has taken the genre and squeezed all the lifeblood out of it, until it's become a watered-down, boring, overproduced, zombified turd. It's utterly disheartening.

My kingdom for another horror convention option here in L.A.! For now, I will continue to attend the WOH, if only in hopes that someday it may improve.