Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Reedus, Greed(us), The Cult of Soska and Other Musings From HorrorHound Weekend

Soooo...HorrorHound Weekend-Cincinnati happened last weekend and, holy shit, was it fun. My wife, youngest daughter and I made the 3 1/2 trek to Cinci-nasty to get in on the festivities! There were high points, low points, and simply pointless...points. I didn't get to see everyone I wanted to see, but I saw some old friends, made some news ones, and learned a thing or two...
Norman Reedus. Admit it, your panties got just a little damp just reading that, didn't they? I'm not a fan, and I often bagged on poor, dreamy, Norman for jacking his auto/photo prices through the roof. Well, a visit to his line soon separated the facts from the fiction.
"what? of course I showered!!"
I was accompanied by an almost entirely female entourage, my wife, daughter, cousins and friend, so naturally, we HAD to go see Reedus. I cringed at the thought of spending hours in line with a bunch of lovesick Walking Dead fans, but decided to take one for the team. The HorrorHound staff has this line shit locked DOWN!! We went down about 11:45am, waited about 90 seconds for a ticket with 3pm stamped on it, then....nothing. We enjoyed the con, got lunch, came back around 2:45pm and waited in line for maybe 5 minutes, then BOOM! We were about 4th in line! The esteemed Sean Clark had some tunes blaring, a statuesque blond woman with some killer ink was busily vending 8x10s and ol' hillbilly Daryl himself was holding court like a fucking rock-star. Even with his $80 autograph price, Reedus really seemed to be having a blast interacting with his fans. He took the time for a few words, a couple of hugs and handshakes with each and every person in line, whether they bought anything or not. He also gave my cousin a special birthday surprise. As much as I hate to admit it, he was a class act, color me impressed.
Other cast members from "The Walking Dead" didn't exactly match Norm's enthusiasm. Alanna Masterson (Tara) has been getting the shit kicked out of her on social media for her table prices. In her defense she actually changed her sign to read "Meet & Greet $10" after spying Lawrence Guilliard Jr. (Bob) charging the same thing at the table next door, so it's easy to see where she got the idea.
Which, of course, begs the question "How much is too much?". Easy answer? Whatever certain dipshits will pay! In all seriousness, sooner or later lines will dwindle, there will be a fan backlash, and shit like this will taper off, like all fads. I'm a fan of the show, but the bit players need some lessons in con culture. Greed isn't the way to endear yourself to fans, and fans, kids, are what supports a long career.
Speaking of fans...
I've never fully understood the unwavering loyalty fans of Jen and Sylvia Soska display. Sure, I've interviewed them and interacted on the social media with them all the way back to the "Hooker" days, damn, they make cool flicks, and they're certainly friendly enough, but...
I'm going to issue a challenge to everyone--spend 5 minutes with the Soskas and then try to tell me that they're not two of the most charming, charismatic, engaging, confident, sexy, and intelligent human beings you've ever met. Seriously, I fucking dare you!
Jen, channeling all the sudsy powers of Hell, to bring Rooker to the masses...
You can't, That shit's impossible. My wife (who they once blogged about) and I waited in their line, watching them do everything but cook a meal and perform a shiatsu massage for every fan at their table, and when we got up to them, I was thrown back a bit--they yelled my name, not the other way around! (also, them being Canadian, you'd assume they'd be in hockey sweaters and knocking back shots of maple syrup--but they weren't!!)
I'm the fat guy in the middle...but you knew that already, didn't you?
After several minutes of: me finally giving them a "Zombitch!" DVD, signing it for them (didn't get a photo signed from them for my bar--FUCK!), presenting them with a HorrorHound beer, a lot of infectious laughing, slightly evil smiles, plenty of cursing, and a whole bunch of hugs, I left their table feeling like I had cemented a true friendship. They'll hate me for phrasing it like this, but, they're FUCKING ADORABLE! And while I may not be to the point that I'd take a bullet for them, I most certainly would punch someone in the cock for them. And that, friends, speaks volumes about those two amazing ladies. Long may their particular freak flag fly! They're the genuine article, and I'm forever down.
While we're on the subject of crushes...
My very first "horror film crush" was the late, great Ingrid Pitt. My second? Barbara Crampton. I still remember the evening, after reading about "Re-Animator" in Fangoria or something, I anxiously waited while the slow moving mouth breathers that ran the local video store finally obtained a copy. My sweaty 16 year old hands couldn't wait to pop that baby in my parent's VCR. That night, with the parents safely out on the town, a few friends and I, after some suitable preparation with a substance that's now perfectly legal in a few states, did just that. It was all over with after the first scene, we were enamored to say the least. Shortly thereafter, my house being the de-facto hangout for my group of friends, you could witness 3 or 4 long haired, tough-guy, teenaged,"metal kids" watching "Guiding Light" along with my mom, totally focused, waiting for a scene that included Mindy was pathetic, trust me, I was there.
I've met everyone, for the most part, on my "bucket list" of horror celebs, save for George Romero and the lovely Ms. Crampton. And, while I've never attended a con with Romero as a guest, I've attended two, thus far, with Barbara Crampton featured. Why no autograph you might say?
BECAUSE SHE TERRIFIES ME!! Seriously, I've met all kinds of genre celebs in my travels co-running, doing the "Scream Kingdom" and writing reviews for HorrorHound, and I've very rarely been starstruck. For some reason, completely unknown to me, I get shaky and nervous when it's Barbara Crampton. She's gorgeous, she's talented, and she seems friendly as Hell, but I go full "fanboy" when I see her. I even had an actor friend of mine, who had picked her up at the airport for HorrorHound-Columbus a few years ago, offer to walk me over to her so he could introduce me. My only reply was "nooooo way man!". So, obviously, one of you guys will have to get a signed 8x10 for me if she does a con near you. Pleeeeeeeeaaaase!! I need one, my bar is incomplete without her on my wall.
And indie filmmakers were well represented! The crazy talented Jennifer Valdes ("Jack-O-Slasher") screened her NerdRemix award winning short "Isabelle" and graciously posed with her (sorry!) late award with the Scream King.
Her traveling partner, Jeremiah Kipp, picked up the HH award for best short for his "Painkiller"--fucking winners driving in from NYC, that's dedication!
Fellow horror peeps John Ginder and  Jason Kretten were ran into as well--but fuck I missed a lot of you!!!
Also screening was the fantastic gore-fest "Headless". If you haven't seen this, RUN, don't walk, to your PC and order one HERE.
Their booth was also killer, with "Skullboy" in attendance, and Brian Williams looking resplendent in his green Toe-Tag tee. The banner also featured a quote from me!!
photo ganked from the "Headless" Facebook page
The impossibly hot Ellie Church also picked up an award for best actress for "Headless", she keeps killing it more with every role!!
left to right: Scream King, Ellie Church
Notorious filmmaker Bill Zebub was also kind enough to question my sexuality when I told him I wouldn't make the 10pm screening of his "Holocaust Cannibal", but I heard it went well anyways...
Jason Hignite and crew, by all accounts, put together another bad ass film fest! HorrorHound Weekend is fast becoming the premier place to screen your indie horror masterpiece!
Right next to the "Headless" booth was Stuart Gordon, I bought a signed pic from him and chatted about my favorite author, HP Lovecraft. Mr. Gordon was friendly and gracious whilst I sputtered and attempted to sound well read. Awesome man, awesome films.

sexy? why thank you!
After another lap around the convention, we made the long drive home, tired, satisfied and spent. All in all, HorrorHound ALWAYS delivers!! Get to the next one!!!
I am your not-so-humble Scream King~
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