Let me preface this entry by stating that I am an admitted nerd. I enjoy sci-fi and horror movies and TV shows. I’m aware of off-the-wall, B-grade movies and actors that most people have never heard of.
A couple of years ago I learned that one of my favorite actors, Jeffrey Combs (of the movie Re-Animator, and TV shows like Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Star Trek Enterpise and The 4400), would be a guest at a horror convention in Indianapolis. The con was being put on my a magazine I had never heard of before, HorrorHound.
Being so close to home, a couple of my friends and I went over on a Sunday to check it out. I went to meet Mr. Combs and my friend Melissa went to meet Jake Busey. It was fun and we met other actors, like Dee Wallace Stone (E.T), Jason Mewes (Jay, of Jay & Silent Bob fame), character actor Dick Miller and more. A lot of these actors are people you would probably recognize, even if you don’t know their names.
Melissa and I got hooked on these HorrorHound Weekends (HHW), which occur regularly in Indy (in late March) and Cincinnati (in mid-to-late November). We usually make a weekend of it, and it is a lot of fun. There are plenty of vendors selling horror-themed t-shirts, DVDs, and handmade crafts.
The Indianapolis HHW includes an event called Mask-Fest. Here, special effects artists display and sell all sorts of creepy, iconic, and sometimes funny masks. Both the Cincy and Indy conventions have movie screenings, usually of low-budget, independent films that are going to go straight to DVD, if that. Some are as bad and cheesy as you might imagine, but some are really good, with interesting story lines and high production values. However, for whatever reason, a major distributor never picked them up to put out in the theaters.
Personally, I’m a fan of classic horror films, such as the Universal Studio monster movies from the 1930s-40s, and the British Hammer Studio films of the 1950s-70s, starring Peter Cushing and Christoper Lee. I love watching the different versions of Dracula and Frankenstein that have been put out over the years. And I enjoy the 80s slasher films, as well. I like Jason and Freddy okay. I guess the only horror movies I really have a hard time watching are psychological thrillers, where the events portrayed could happen in real life. For instance, at one convention we watched a screening of Maniac. This movie is from 1980 and is considered in the horror industry to be a cult-classic. It’s about a serial killer who scalps his victims. While the story was actually very good, it’s that type of horror movie that I generally avoid.
HHW is a lot of fun. The guests and fellow convention goers are generally a lot of fun to meet. If you are into horror or artsy-special-effects type stuff, this convention might be worth a day or two of your time.