HORROR CONVENTIONS: the “ins and outs”, the “ups and downs” and the inevitable “money shot”
Ahhhh, the horror convention, a rite of passage into full blown nerdity!! Have you busted your “convention cherry” yet? I’ve attended a few, but I’m far from a seasoned convention veteran. However, I have made some keen observations and learned some valuable lessons—so let’s begin!!
- OH YES! THERE WILL BE FREAKS!!! Con attendees run the gamut: “cosplay”, full out “Goths”, Juggalos, guys dressed like it’s 1988 and they’re on the way to a Testament show, people dressed like they're going to funeral (if the funeral in question is Joey Ramone's) normal folks—you’ll see ‘em all. But I’m talking about real live weirdos!!! Quick example—at Cinema Wasteland’s fall 2011 show, my wife and I were signing a “Trio of Terror” DVD (I directed “Zombitch!”, she starred in it) that a guy had bought and asked all involved to sign, pretty unremarkable except for the fact that the man in question was wearing a T-shirt tucked into his sweatpants, breathing heavily through his mouth, sweating profusely all while staring intently and directly at my wife’s cleavage!!! Yeah…just like that.
- HAVE A GAME PLAN! If you’re getting anything other than a signed 8x10, you gotta plan shit out! I’m totally screwed on my autograph planning—case in point (try to keep up) The “Dawn of the Dead” dilemma: I have an original 1-sheet, attended CW last Fall, David Emge was a guest, partied like a rock star with him on Friday, didn’t bring the poster, never got his sig, going to Motor City Nightmares this weekend, Ken Foree is a guest, could have got his sig on it too, but never got Emge’s sig, so now I’m fucked!! Another example of my dumbfuckery—“Devil’s Rejects” style—Bill Forsyth was a guest at MCN 2010, got a signed 8x10, should have bought a DR poster because…(are you still with me?) Bill Moseley was at HorrorHound Cincy, got a signed TCM-2 photo, going to MCN 2012, Forsyth cancelled, but Ken Foree, Sid Haig, Michael Berryman, PJ Soles, and the aforementioned Bill Moseley are all guests.(I still do not have a “Devil’s Rejects” poster Goddamn it!!!) In my defense, I do have a NOTLD mini-poster with several cast members sigs on it.
- NO MATTER HOW COOL YOU (think) YOU ARE—SOONER OR LATER, YOU WILL ACT LIKE A “FAN-BOY”—“Fanboy moments”, I’ve had a few—First con (MCN 2010), first celebrity meeting-Tiffany Shepis—I shook, I stammered, I was sweating like a fucking meat loaf, my mind went blank, I acted like a jack-off, in short, total nerdity!! And, by the way, Tiffany Shepis is easily 10x sexier in person than she is on film (and she’s pretty fucking sexy on film!) no lie, no contest! CW-Fall 2010-I met a personal hero: HG Lewis, couldn’t wait to meet him, the extent of my in depth, intelligent conversation? “Uhhh I really admire your work, can you sign my poster?” After meeting April & JimmyO Burril at MCN 2011 I was visibly geeking out and April said to me: “we’re just normal people like you”, I nodded but my mind was screaming:”no you’re not!! You’re CHAINSAW FUCKING SALLY!!!!”. I shudder to think what I’ll be like meeting Debbie Rochon at MCN 2012 this weekend.
- PACK A SACK FULL OF CASH—YOU’LL NEED IT! If you’re a horror fan, like me, you’re gonna want to buy EVERYTHING!!! Vendors everywhere, with truck loads of cool shit: DVDs, artwork, posters, masks, shirts, collectibles, magazines, celebrities selling stuff—it’s like a total horror nerd-gasm!!! Spend wisely, or you’ll be broke as shit in no time flat!!
- IMBIBE WISELY! Ask anyone who saw me drinking like a retarded fish at CW 2011, talking loudly, Coor’s Light seeming glued to my right hand, asking “where’s the party?”, talking nonsense with David Emge—not one of my (or my long suffering wife’s) prouder moments! (although it was Tim-not me, that drank Emge’s beer down). Pace yourself!
So, hopefully, these few pointers help you avoid: looking like a douche, looking like a drunk douche, looking like a broke-ass douche or looking like a total loser! As for me, I’m off to a convention this weekend—Motor City Nightmares—I’ll may break one (or two) of my own rules, but I guarantee I’ll have a blast doing it!
Some past convention coverage for ya!!