Spooky Empire’s Screamfest was the first convention I had been to in a long while. The days of dressing up as a Ghostbuster and taking pictures with kids at shows have passed. Then I got this new gig as one of the site’s writers and boom! I am back, but this time as a journalist.
The Wyndham Orlando Resort is a fucking huge place. The last time I was there I was doing Joey Fatone’s ex-girlfriend and learned Lance Bass’ secret two years before he publicly announced he was hungry for cock. Ah, the sweet memories.
Let’s get this thing rolling. I arrived about an hour before the doors opened on Saturday so I got to wander around the property and I was attacked by a group of Japanese tourists. They assaulted me with cameras and proclaimed me as the “God of Silk” because of my shirt. The tiny foreigners gave me a basket of fruit and went on their way to the kick ass Jade Buffet right down the road. Nice way to start off the day.
The doors opened at 11 A.M. and it didn’t take long for the place to fill up. Most of the convention was your standard fare of toy sellers, pirated DVDs and assorted jewelry tables. But are you really going for the rare X-Men figures and copies of Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four Hell no! We are there to meet the people who were part of our favorite horror films.
There was a bit of a problem at the celebrity area of Screamfest. The space between tables in a “U” shape was about 4 feet. This was just fine in the early hours but when the crowd grew it became almost impossible to navigate around the tables and take pictures. My ass was grabbed many times and I think someone stole some of my pocket lint. Next year, PLEASE give the guests a little more room … I think I stepped on little Meinhardt Raabe (The Wizard of Oz) more than once during my several visits to that area of the show.
It was good to see that there were more horror themed vendors than action figure sellers. Authors and artists were in full force. Too bad I had a whole $41 in my wallet at the time or many things would have been in the back of my truck on the way back to Tampa. Is it too late to become a male prostitute?
As soon as the doors opened I headed straight for the guest area. I knew that I needed to get these pictures and quick before the onslaught of fans gushed in like a sweaty wave. My first stop was at Patricia Quinn. She was stuck far back in a corner and that was near insulting. This woman was in Rocky Horror and the far superior Shock Treat for God’s sake. Give this woman a little more respect! I got my Shock Treatment CD signed and I was as happy as a pig in mud!
After that I was set for the job. I had my press pass pinned on my shirt and it was time to spread the name of Dread. I fought the crowds over to Tom Savini’s table and got my picture taken with the amazing make-up man. Tom is a person who gets right to the point. No time for chit chat what it comes to the press. “Who are you, and who’s gonna take the picture,” was all that was said. I guess you get treated a little differently when you are just the press and not someone with cash in hand. Oh well, I got the picture and that’s all I needed.
I was making pretty good time with getting pictures. Tony Todd, Ken Foree, Bill Hinzman, Jennifer Rubin … I was on a roll. Then someone hit my brakes and hit them hard. Who could be an asshole to such a nice person as myself? Who would want to be jerk to someone that was part of the press and asked kindly just to take a picture of them for Dread Central? Lloyd Kaufman, that’s who. What the fuck is your problem Lloyd? After I told Mr. Kaufman who I was and that I would just like to take his picture, not a picture with him mind you, he told me that I had to buy something. Buy something?! Buy something?!! Lloyd, I bought Troma films since I was a kid. I don’t think I need to buy a thing just to take your picture to use on this site. It’s true I could have purchased a $1 bumper sticker and then snapped his mug but then there would be that feeling that I just got fucked over by Troma. Press pay for a picture of just you? Nope. Not gonna happen. Fuck you Lloyd.
Don’t think I was representing Dread Central alone. Our man Sean Clark was there pimping Horror’s Hallowed Grounds and his shirts. I was able to take some video of a panel that Sean moderated for Halloween‘s P.J. Soles which we hope to get up soon. The video and pictures for that panel turned out rather dark since the room in which it was held was lit as well as the inside of my nuts. Maybe you were unaware but Sean and his show are on the Halloween: 25 Years of Terror DVD. You can order it at the EVILSHOP and see all the locations where the classic filmed as they appear today.
At about the time Sean’s own panel wrapped I was beat. The crowd had hit its peak and navigating through the convention was a bit difficult so it was time to call it a day. Minor annoyances aside the show was well put together and nearly all the stars showed up. Roddy Piper was a bit late but that didn’t bother the fans any. The second he showed up he had the longest line of anyone there. Give the man a medal!
Below I’ve posted a few more pictures from the show since we couldn’t fit them all into the story. We’ll let you know as soon as we get the video up!
Got any questions about the show? Ask me in the forums?