Texas Frightmare Weekend
Today I had the privilege of going to Irving, TX for Texas Frightmare Weekend. Yeah, it's a horror convention, punctuated by a lot of C-list genre celebrities acting like carnival barkers and would-be entrepreneurs hocking their wares. Luckily I had attended last year (which had a slightly better line-up), so I knew what I was in for.
As soon as I had made my way into the parking lot of the Sheraton where the convention was being held I was greeted by a handful of disheveled looking fellows, that could possibly have been undead. Ah, yes, the freaks and weirdos were out and dressed in full regalia. This was to be expected.
Walking in to the front doors, the booths for such stars and starlets as Jason Mewes (Jay from the View/Askewnivers) and Linda Blair signing autographs for their throngs of faithful. In all fairness Linda Blair did have a relatively long long of folks waiting for hers, this may or may not be because she would sign for free, whereas nobody else would. Once I was in the main show room, I immediately noticed Corbin Bernsen sitting directly in front of me with a bucket full of baseballs waiting to be signed for the bargain price of $25 per. Seated a short ways down from him was the corpse of Barbara Steele, dressed like Miss Havisham, with pen in hand.
It was a little off putting to see a relative genre giant like Tobe Hooper, looking like a disheveled Steven Spielberg, sitting there in basically anonymity next to these other has-beens waiting for someone to stop by so he could sign their copy of Lifeforce. Maybe that's because he was charging thirty bucks a hit. A bit steep in this "recession", ain't it Mr. Hooper?
All of the requisite booths were there, DVD booths, T-shirt booths, get-yer-face-painted-like-a-zombie booths, the lone comic book booth...and, as was to be expected, almost all of the DVDs were over priced. I say almost, because the Dark Sky Films booth actually had some pretty good deals. I was able to pick up Werewolves on Wheels for $12. Not too shabby. The T-shirt booths generally had decent deals if you bought two at a time, which I obligingly did, picking up this nice ANOES shirt and this Leatherface shirt for myself.
After perusing all the merch, passing up Dick Miller who stared longingly at me, as if his next meal depended on me buying his autograph from him, and walking through some tiny little "haunted hallway" or something, my posse and I decided it prudent to head over to the Q&A room. This turned out to be a good call. We made it in time for the Laid to Rest cast and crew question and answer session, which by all counts was fairly entertaining and informative. Unfortunately, I've yet to see the movie (they held a "screening" of it the day before) and I didn't cover my ears when the spoilers were bandied about.
After the Laid to Rest gang was through, we paid a visit to a Q&A session with Derek Mears (the new Jason) and Tyler Mane (the new Michael Myers) which turned out to be pretty good because both guys were pretty funny. Mainly Tyler Mane cracked on Derek Mears the whole time. One of the better moments was when someone in the audience asked how Mane felt about Liev Shrieber taking over his coveted role of Sabertooth for the new Wolverine movie. Mane basically said he had to refrain from comment, only really saying "Isn't he shorter than Hugh Jackman?" which drew a laugh.
I did end up leaving early, the weather was getting pretty bad and I needed to get home (which is a long drive). I will say this, overall I'm playing it down quite a bit here, as it is a fun event for a genre-file like myself to go to. There's all kinds of cool memorabilia, neat art, and the costumes are actually pretty fun to see. Some times it gets a little tiresome, but for the most part it's a very enjoyable place to spend a few hours on a Saturday.