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FANGORIA scribe and shutterbug David Goodfellow makes his way to Scarefest Horror & Paranormal Convention in Lexington, Kentucky and lives to tell the tale in his "Horror CONfidential" series. This is part 2 of 2...
I awoke Saturday morning feeling refreshed (the bed was awesome) and raring to go. At 9:30 I was meeting Michael (Biehn) and Jennifer for a breakfast interview to discuss their film The Victim that they were screening at 3:oopm that day.
The interview was a lot of fun, Michael’s passion for their project is infectious and he had a lot to share about the world of indie film. Jennifer is full of energy, enthusiastic and funny, constantly reigning Michael back in. If you didn’t know any better you’d think they’d been married for 30 years. I think they compliment each other well and I enjoyed the time we spent together.
We walked across the road back to the con (where I had a few ‘holy crap!’ moments when it would hit me that I was casually chatting with Johnny Ringo/Reese/Coffee/Hicks). I left them at their table and ambled off to shoot and chat with other filmmakers, paranormal investigators, and guests.
Actor/Author/tall person: PAT KILBANE
It’s a little hard to separate who I talked to on which day, meeting that many people over the course of a weekend becomes a chronological jumble (I always get a kick out of the attendees who will approach a guest and expect them to remember them from a con 3 years ago (‘remember me? You signed my poster!”) but I clearly recall everyone I had the pleasure to chat with.
I try to complete the majority of my shooting on the Friday and Saturday when it’s the busiest. I can zip in and out for a shot without disrupting the fans because
the last thing I want to be is intrusive when business is booming. Sundays are traditionally the quiet days where I have far more time to do interviews and even get a few autographs for myself.
I had already said hello to James Hampton (TEEN WOLF – and a million other things dating back to the early ‘60s) Friday night but I stopped dead in front of him again when I had the sudden memory flashback that he was in SLING BLADE – my favorite film of all time (uhhh… can I say that here?) which resulted in our having a good talk about the film and my first purchase, a wonderful signed still of Karl and Jerry.
Ben and Stacey Dixon
James was accompanied by his attractive wife, actress Mary Deese. (who played Harold’s mom in HAROLD AND KUMAR ESCAPE FROM GUANTANAMO BAY – although if you ask me – she’s way too young for the role.) I took some shots, said goodbye, and walked away with my new prize.
I chatted next with Vernon Wells for a bit about living in Australia and travelling in general. He’s a self-proclaimed nomad, who is always travelling, always on the move. (True to his word, he was gone the next day)
I met and shot Courtney Gains and John Franklin (CHILDREN OF THE CORN) and procured an autographed picture for my son from Zach Galligan (GREMLINS) who hasn’t aged a day since that film was released.
At this point I figured I’d better get my feet wet in the paranormal aspect of the convention and wandered over to see the folks at the GHOST HUNTERS table. I’ve heard about them, saw references on the Internet here and there, but I’ve never seen the show. (about to begin it’s 8th season!) I’ve never heard any mention of the ghost hunting phenomena in Canada. Either it hasn’t hit us yet or it belongs to the kids because no one I know has ever whispered a word of it to me.
I managed to get a small piece of an interview in with the three folks at the table before the line started to grow and I scooted out of the way. Representing the show were K.J McCormick, Amy Bruni, and Britt Griffith, and I’ll have more about them in the print portion of this report.
KANE HODDER puts actress ALICIA CLARK on hold
There was another guest here – Zak Bagans from a show called GHOST ADVENTURES who had rock star fame at the con (a little girl told me that he was HOT!) He had endless lineups around the block all weekend, but I ‘m sticking with my GHOST HUNTERS. (eight seasons people – eight seasons)
I had to remember to keep checking my watch (iPhone) at this point because a strange thing happens at these cons. You lose the majority of your senses. You never have daylight to go by, just those harsh halogen lamps swinging 20 feet overhead which provide no clues as to what time of the day or night it might be. I forget to eat (I lost six pounds in the three days I was there) and eventually will forget how to speak coherently. I had to keep an eye on the time because Michael Biehn’s The Victim was screening at 3:00, but all was well, I still had a few hours left.
Time enough to visit Lin Shaye (wow she’s pretty! And no Lin, NOT just in comparison to your nasty characters), the girls from PARANORMAL HIT SQUAD (they chase ghosts, and they’re hot – they don’t chase hot ghosts), Bill Moseley (to shoot pics of him and his daughter), The Deadpit boys, and towering funnyman Pat Kilbane of MADtv and the DAY OF THE DEAD remake. Really nice guy, who’s written a guide for the newly undead : THE BRAIN EATER'S BIBLE, a funny hardcover parody in glorious full color (well, mostly grey and red).
The lovely LIN SHAYE
Luckily this last visit left me very close to the Table Beihn because as it turned out, my watch (IPhone) was an hour off and Michael and Jennifer collected me as they made their way to the screening.
Danielle Harris and Brianne Davis took part in the screening as well which was a critical success from every indication in the room. Michael looked like a proud parent – before and after the screening. (I’ll have a review up for this shortly).
After the movie I had time to run around and take in more of the sights before my dinner date and photo shoot with the sweetheart of horror, Linnea Quigley.
(yes – several times a day I DO have to pinch myself). So with that warm thought to keep me company, off I went to visit with horror host Argos T Fleam (very cool outfit and makeup), the very amiable, naughty, and amusing Sal Lizard (VAMPIRE SANTA), and model/actress/writer/journalist/yoga instructor (I’ve gotta catch my breath) /meteorologist/LGBT advocate/epilepsy awareness spokesperson, the gorgeous Tucky Williams . I had to take a couple of pictures and quickly get far from her, before I melted into a small jealous puddle of insignificant talentless goo.
MICHAEL BEIHN introducing his screening of THE VICTIM
Heading down the outside aisle I ran into a pair of ornery looking cowpokes going by the name of the Booth Brothers. Apparently these gentlemen make fright films for SyFy so I stopped for a fun chat and picked up a DVD to check out. (Which I just now realized that I must have left on the table while we were talking – crap!!)
I was distracted by the fact that brother Chris told me that he sang for a spell in the Canadian band Sweeny Todd, who’s single ‘Roxy Roller ‘was a huge favorite back in the day (I still love it). Didn’t see that one coming.
Still more people to see. I popped over to see leggy and lovely Felissa Rose Esposito (SLEEPAWAY CAMP) as well as her costar Jonathan Tiersten, a likeably goofy character that probably earned the kick in the ass administered by Felissa that I had the good fortune to catch with the camera. (OK – I missed it the first time, but she lovingly staged it for me a second time)
I had a chat and took a few shots of the legendry Don Calfa (RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD) as well as his uber-cute and also leggy (yes Beverly I said it) costar, Beverly Randolph. I’m pure fan at this point, ‘Return’ being one of my all time favorites. Don, Beverly, and Linnea have a lot of honest affection for each other which is truly heart warming to witness.
At this point it was time to head over to my hotel and pick up the gear I needed for my shoot with Linnea. I was on the way out when I was taken in by an eye-catching booth. I couldn’t make out if it was for a tattoo parlor, a film company, or a modeling site.
Turns out that it was all three and more. The colorful real estate was property of Ben and Stacey Dixon, the directing/acting team behind Bloody Moon Films. Ben also owns a number of tattoo parlors and hosts a tattoo/horror convention of his own down south. Also – if I read his facebook information correctly - he can kick your ass to the eighth degree in several disciplines of Kung Fu. We had a nice long chat and I snapped a couple of shots before I had to run and find the hotel shuttle.
A tasty assortment of scary clowns
Between the wonderful woman at the registration desk and ‘T’ my driver, they got me to the hotel and back in time for my photo session and dinner with Linnea, which was a blast to say the least. I will tell you this: watch the pages of Fangoria early 2012 for a pictorial of Linnea that will melt your socks and have your mother dragging you to church – on Saturday!
Sunday morning and here it comes again… that leaden feeling of loss you experience when you know you’re about to say goodbye to people you won’t see again for quite a while, but you’d love to spend time with every weekend.
But I’m not one to wallow, so instead I charge the day head on with an early wake-up and a filling breakfast in the hotel restaurant (I’ve seen about 4 people now have Pepsi for breakfast, what’s that all about?). I packed up, got lost on the way to the lobby, checked out, and caught the shuttle one last time over to the convention center.
I knew I was a bit early, but by the look of things in the near abandoned hall, a lot of people were hard partying late last night. I’d heard that the Florida Gators were in town tearing it up and wondered if there were going to be any stories of what blows up when football players and horror fans drink together but if it happened, no one was talking.
While it was still very quiet I wandered over to a table where a large group, all wearing the same t-shirts (PARANORMAL PARODY), were hanging out. I thought that they were a comedic answer to all of the paranormal investigators surrounding them but instead they were filmmakers that had made a film parody of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY (directed by C.J. Goodman - with 2 sequels hot on it’s heels). These guys were cool and friendly and I have a feeling we’ll be keeping in touch. The editor of Paranormal Parody, Brandon Hunt, gave me an award winning short film he directed called THE DUTY OF LIVING that I’ll be checking out ASAP.
I ran into Patti Star after that, the tiny little ball of energy who, along with her stalwart husband Chuck, organize and run the convention. I pulled them both aside for an interview and learned the secrets to running a smart, professional, successful convention. I’ll let you in on our conversation in the printed piece due for the magazine, but Patti was absolutely adamant that we acknowledge the hard work and efforts of Lee Kirkland, Jennifer Kirkland and Jeff Waldridge, who were all instrumental in making the convention the shining well oiled machine that it was.
JONATHAN TIERSTEN and FELISSA ROSE
The last hours of the convention were going by fast. I have to go on record here to say that of all the conventions I’ve ever been to – this was the only one that flew by. No matter how fun, sooner or later they all slow down and begin to drag, but not ScareFest. The weekend was almost over and I had no idea where it went.
With this in mind I rushed around trying to fit in every last thing I could. I wanted a picture with Don, Beverly and Linnea but as the girls were currently busy I went ahead to get a shot with Don because I was afraid I’d miss the chance. As someone took the picture Beverly ran over and jumped in but Linnea was too busy at her table to make it. Next time.
I grabbed pics of Cassandra Peterson, (Elvira), Leah Thompson (BACK TO THE FUTURE), and Erin Grey (BUCK ROGERS, JASON GOES TO HELL). Did I mention that the room was full of beautiful women?
I had a long talk with John Dugan (Grandpa from THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE)
who was another fun and friendly guy. I hope he stays in touch. I had a mini interview with Kane Hodder, and chatted with filmmakers/photographers Chris Jay and Kitsie Duncan. I did mention that the room was filled with beautiful women...right?
At his point I had to say goodbye to Linnea, who was leaving with Don for the airport. As always I was sad to see her go but at least we have plans to hook up again in the near future. This left Beverly on her own, and the con was extremely quiet by then so we sat and chatted until her time came to leave as well. Beverly left with an assignment (see Local Hero immediately and report back)
She’s a very sweet girl and I’m glad I had the chance to get to spend some time getting to know her better.
Before Linnea left I did get a chance to get a picture of her and Shauna together, the two lovely ladies that I was fortunate enough to spend most of my free time with.
The last people I met were Aron Houdini and State Trooper Sutton. The former was to escape the cuffs placed on him by the latter but I missed this while saying my goodbyes. My final farewell was actually to Lance Henriksen, appropriate as he was the first person there that I said hello to. Lance is winding up his book tour after two more stops so he won’t be as easy to run into anymore, which is a drag because he’s a hell of a nice guy. If one of these last stops is in your town, make the effort to get out, meet the man and pick up his biography. You’ll thank me.
And really, that’s about it. I walked out with Shauna, squished her in a big it-was-amazing-to-finally-see-you-in-person hug and hopped in an airport shuttle.
You know the rest; Bumpy flight, irritating neighbors, fond memories, a suitcase full of DVDs, and hopefully some new friends that I’ll run into again somewhere along the trail.
Keep your eyes peeled for the companion piece to this report in the pages of FANGORIA Magazine as well as my online review for THE VICTIM.
Until then, see you at a con in a town near you.
Horror CONfidential, signing off.
DON CALFA says: See YOU next time!
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