Horror fiends were out in full force when the Fangoria Weekend of Horrors convention stormed the Los Angeles Convention Center this past weekend. As usual, Fango gave genre fans a lot to keep them busy over the three-day event.
Friday kicked off with panels on upcoming releases including Walking Distance, Pig Hunt, Grace, S. Darko, and Herschell Gordon Lewis’ return to directing, Grim Fairy Tale. For many fans the highlight of the night was the chance to see director Sam Raimi on stage discussing Drag Me to Hell, which heralds his return to his horror roots and pretty much gives all of us reason to celebrate these days. He didn’t disappoint, nor did Justin Long, who kept pretty much everyone in stitches throughout. Additionally, Sam was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the end of the panel and was obviously quite genuinely touched by the gesture.
On Saturday and Sunday the WOH was bursting at the seams with stars, films, and panels so Fango opted for something a little different this time around: two tracks of panels running simultaneously both days.
For Saturday fans were given a chance via Track #1 to preview and listen to panels on upcoming films including Fading of the Cries, Night of the Demons, Laid to Rest, and Mutant Chronicles. Anyone who saw the Mutant Chronicles panel knows how much fun it ended up being as the featured actors (one in particular rhymes with “Schmomas Schmane”) were in rare form. Saturday’s Track #2 panels offered up looks at independent releases Hisss, Stanley, Christmas Evil, Godkiller (moderated by our own Uncle Creepy), New Terminal Hotel, and The Graves.
Fans were also treated to a Hellraiser reunion with legendary horror visionary Clive Barker, Doug Bradley, and Ashley Laurence all in attendance. In addition, on hand that afternoon were the “Maestros of Italian Horror,” featuring Ruggero Deodato, Lamberto Bava, and FX artist/director Sergio Stivaletti.
Just because Sundays generally can be slow at conventions didn’t mean that Fango was gonna skimp on planning a full day of activities for the horror enthusiasts in attendance. They still ran two full tracks of panels and previews all day long. Featured upcoming releases on Sunday included The Orphan, The Lair, The Grudge 3, Babysitter Wanted, Dark House, The Hills Run Red, and Plague Town.
Sunday’s panels were also chock-full of genre favorites including legendary director Tobe Hooper, cult favorite Lloyd Kaufman, and professional wrestling legend (who is the coolest dude to ever wear a kilt) Roddy Piper. There were also a few featured film reunions held on Sunday including a Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies panel, and for all those Zydrate fanatics out there, Fango showed some love to Repo! The Genetic Opera by hosting director Darren Lynn Bousman, co-creator/co-star Terrance Zdunich, and Largo brothers Ogre and Bill Moseley (for those keeping count, I believe Bill Moseley might have been the busiest guy at the con as he was featured on five different panels).
For me, though, the highlight of Sunday — and actually the entire weekend — was the “Horror on the Web” panel moderated by Ryan Rotten of Shock Till You Drop. Other featured web contributors included Jimmy-O (Arrow In The Head), RobG (Icons of Fright), James Zahn (Fangoria), Sean Decker (Fangoria), Staci Layne Wilson (Horror.com), Louis (FearNet), and Dread Central’s Uncle Creepy.
The panel was filled with a group of people I have followed over the last several years and have come to admire through working in the same industry. What impressed me most is that while there is naturally a certain level of competitiveness among these various sites, all you could feel up on the stage was absolutely nothing but love for the genre and respect for each other. In short, the Horror on the Web panel capped off a perfect convention weekend for this Horror Chick!
It was great to meet so many people during my first-ever LA convention so thanks to all of those people who came over and said hi to me during the weekend. I am still slightly adjusting to the idea that people actually know me. Also, as usual the Anchor Bay booth was “the” place to be this weekend as the guys there always specialize in getting the fans riled up and excited for horror.
Overall, I was pretty impressed at Creation Entertainment’s ability to pull together a three-day event that was able to cater to every type of fan, newbies and life-long horror fanatics alike. I am not easily impressed at conventions, but I walked away on Sunday night a very happy camper. The Fangoria Weekend of Horrors solidified for me why it is I recently moved to Los Angeles: for the love of the horror genre and everyone who feels the same way as I do.
Big thanks to Tony Timpone and the whole Fangoria crew; Adam Malin, Amy Murphy, Monica Gillen, Ted Venemann, and the rest of the Creation staff; and Emilie Noetzel for the great pics!
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