Saturday, October 23, 2010

Weekend of Horrors October 2010

This past weekend, Brandon and I and a friend of ours attended part 2 of Creation Entertainment's Weekend of Horrors. We had a great time, going to panels and meeting some of our favorite celebrities. The convention itself was quite small and while that meant there were less vendors, it also meant that it was easier to meet with the actors who attended and almost all of the seats in a panel were good ones.

One of the first things I did was pay $1.00 for this awesome pin:

That is Bub from George Romero's Day of the Dead. "Day" is my favorite of the living dead films and the character of Bub is possibly the best in the movie.

After the pin purchase and a short trip to a nearby hotel to check in, we returned to the con and I spotted Joe Pilato at his table. Joe was also in Day of the Dead as Captain Rhodes and has the best lines in the whole movie. While I was talking with him, Brandon took a photo of his table (just to check the camera, but I like the photo)

Those are all images of him from the movie. And Joe's alcoholic beverage.

As we were standing at his table this guy comes up and starts talking with Joe. It turns out he is Zebediah De Soto, a new director directing a new Night of the Living Dead movie. And Joe Pilato is playing the part of Harry Cooper. Good idea since Cooper spent most of the original movie yelling at Ben. Pilato is good at yelling. Anyway, when I asked to have my picture taken, Zebediah offered to shoot it for me. We took one with all three of us and then one with just Joe and I:

Look at my awesome Zombie shirt and my Bub pin!

Joe was so nice. He signed our DVD for free (see photo above), took a photo for free and only charged me $10 for a signed 8X10 photo (they were supposed to be $20.) Here is my awesome signed photo:

This shot is right at the end when Rhodes gets attacked by the horde of zombies that overrun the compound.

Here is a close-up of the quote:

By the way, that says, "Sit down woman or I'll have you shot!" NOT something about snot.

Friday concluded with a panel Brandon was very much looking forward to, Joe Bob Briggs. JBB was the host of such shows as Mostervision and Joe Bob's Drive-in Theater. These are not shows that are terribly interesting to me as they mostly consist of movies of lesser quality, but listening to him speak was quite interesting. I did not get any shots during the panel because I was unsure if photography was allowed but on Saturday Brandon talked with Briggs and got a photo with him at his table.

Brandon also bought from Briggs a DVD on which he does a commentary track. The movie is Samurai Cop a parody of the horror classic Maniac Cop, both starring Robert Z'Dar:

Saturday I was very excited because the first panel of the day was on AMC's The Walking Dead TV show. Included in the panel were Norman Reedus of Boondock Saints fame, who plays a newly created character on Walking Dead, and the person I was most looking forward to all weekend, Greg Nicotero! Greg is the 'N' in KNB Effects the Academy Award winning effects group that has done such movies as Drag me to Hell, Mirrors and The Mist. Before creating his own effects studio with Howard Berger and Robert Kurtzman, Nicotero got his start working on George Romero's living dead films. In fact, the first film Greg worked on was Day of the Dead under the supervision of effects master Tom Savini.

I was so excited to hear that KNB was doing the effects for The Walking Dead. Who better to bring Robert Krikman's zombies to life (heh) than the man who started his career working for the man who made zombies what they are today? The only other person I would want to work on this is Savini himself but he doesn't do much effects work these days.

Anyway the panel was pretty good and the questions that followed weren't too silly or stupid. I don't really remember much of what was talked about other than the fact that someone asked Greg if he had kids and, if so, if said children dominated all the others when it came time for costume day. I thought that was a hilarious question with an even better answer: Yes! Greg said he had recently made his son a Godzilla costume and that it was just awesome. He also said that his daughter has the best zombie walk. How precious! He asked her to come to the panel but she declined because she was afraid of being in front of all the people.

I got some decent photos during the panel (I found out that it was OK to take photos, just no recording.)

The background lights kept changing and that coupled with the bad lighting overall made for really red and orange photos.

Norman Reedus (left) and Greg Nicotero (right) and some guy's head (in front.)

Also present was Joe Giles.

Don't be worried if he doesn't look familiar to you, I didn't know who he was either. He works for KNB and they did all of the zombie test make-up on him. Director, Frank Darabont, liked him so much he is in the show! You may have seen him as this zombie:

Now that I know that is Joe, I can totally see his face under the make-up.

After the panel Nicotero got a little swamped with fans wanting autographs and photos. He was very nice about it even though it was obvious he wanted to leave. Brandon and I had him sign our Day of the Dead DVD and our Land of the Dead DVD. Here is a shot of the autographs:

We didn't want to pester him so we didn't ask for a photo. Yet. A little while later we noticed that he was still in the main hall, talking and signing. I begged Brandon to take a photo of me with him but he kept saying we shouldn't bother him, it was clear he was trying to leave. Finally he gave in and we walked over to him. I apologized for bothering him and he was very nice about saying that that was the reason he was here. I got a pretty good photo:

Be jealous of my awesome Walking Dead shirt! Thanks Aaron!

We did some more shopping (well, Colin did most of the shopping. He ended up buying like 30 DVDs) and had some lunch before making it back to the convention hall for the costume contest. I actually did want to see the contest but the ulterior motive was to get as good seats as I could for the Bruce Campbell panel immediately following. It seemed others had the same idea so my seats weren't as good as they had been in the morning but they weren't too bad. At least I was on the end (easier to take good photos.) Here are my photos from the costume contest:

A pretty good zombie costume.

A zombie Nazi from the movie Dead Snow, which was a surprisingly good movie.

This was the winning costume and I must say, it is quite good.

Here is a full length shot of the winner.

For those of you living under a rock for the last 25 or so years, Bruce Campbell is a horror icon, starring in The Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, Army of Darkness, Man with the Screaming Brain, Bubba Hotep and My Name is Bruce. Most recently he has been in the hit TV show, Burn Notice. The Evil Dead was Campbell's first feature length film and is considered a cult classic.

Bruce was hilarious in the panel, playing the nice guy pretending to be a dick. He seems to genuinely love what he does and he graciously answered (most) of the audience's questions. (If they were silly questions he went to the next person so as not to waste our time.) After his panel was the autograph signing which, unfortunately you had to pay in advance for, and I wish we had. He was very nice to everyone who came up and talked with them rather than just signing and sending them on their way. Here are some shots from the panel:

The man himself!

He was singing :)

This was the only panel that was completely packed (at least that I went to, maybe the Boondock Saints panel was too but what is an action movie doing at a horror con?) and I was happy for the small venue because, as I said before, none of the seats were terrible. It was also nice because unlike Comic-Con there weren't thousands of people milling around being rude and all of the celebrities were there because they believe in what they do, not because of the money.

After Bruce's panel we did some more shopping and talking and I finally went to Ken Foree's table to ask about the price of a large Dawn of the Dead poster. It was only $20! I used the last of our spending money (and some of Colin's) to purchase this poster and have him sign it. Ken is one of the leads in Dawn of the Dead and says the movie's tagline, "When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the Earth." At Comic-Con a few years ago Brandon and I went to Ken's signing and Brandon got a nice photo with him and now I wanted one. Unfortunately, Brandon was not paying enough attention to the lens and the photo is completely out of focus. First I will show you the poster, then maybe I will show the out of focus photo. Maybe.

Please excuse the clothes, I needed something to keep it from rolling up.

I guess I will show the blurry photo. I am so disappointed. Here:

:( My chance for a picture and it's out of focus. Oh well.

We also stopped at Fred Williamson's table so he could sign Brandon's copy of From Dusk Till Dawn, Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's amazing vampire movie. (Interesting trivia: Tarantino was paid by Robert Kurtzman, formerly of KNB, to write the screenplay for Dusk Till Dawn based on a short story he had written.) If you have not seen this movie, see it. Brandon and Fred Williamson:

He makes Brandon look so pale! (He is!)

Some other movies that were purchased over the weekend: a copy of Submersion of Japan (the link is to "Tidal Wave" an apparently crappy American re-edit of the film.) a film I have never heard of but Brandon had been looking for for a long time, and an 18 DVD set from Charles Band, called the Archive Collection. Some photos:

The top.

The side, signed and numbered.

That was the end of the weekend for us, we decided not to go on Sunday because there really wasn't anything to see (although we did want to go to the auction) and we had run out of money. Overall we had a great time and I can't wait to go again next year, John Carpenter is going to be there! Brandon is very excited. On an only slightly related note, here is a Halloween decoration in front of someone's house between the con and our hotel:

It kind of looks like the creatures from Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal**.

I know this post has been long but I hope you have enjoyed the photos and stories!

P.S. Yes, I love zombies. Yes, running zombies are stupid. Yes, I would freak if I ever got to meet George Romero, he is the reason I love horror movies (and zombies!) No, 28 Days later is NOT a zombie movie, you have to be dead to be a zombie.

1 comment:

  1. I wouldn't call Samurai Cop a parody, more like a rip off of Maniac Cop. Funny for all the right reasons.