For as long as I can remember horror films have been a staple in my life. I credit this to my parents leaving my uncle to babysit me while they were both working. While most middle aged adults would not dare to venture into the horror section of a video store with a nine year old child, this is where my uncle guided me.
This is where classics such as Slumber Party Massacre, Henry, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre kept me glued to the television at night, and then terrified to go to bed. So when I had the opportunity to attend HorrorHound Weekend in Ohio last weekend, I have to say I was elated! Seeing iconic actors such as Kane Hodder (Friday the 13th), C.J. Graham (Jason Lives), Wilford Brimley (The Thing), Thomas G. Waites (The Warriors), and almost the entire cast of The Monster Squad in one venue, I knew this was an opportunity I could not pass up.
I arrived at the Sharonville Convention Center an hour before being open to the general public. To my surprise the line was already formed halfway around the building, even though it was forty degrees, windy, and raining Talk about diehard fans. Once inside I made my way onto the vendor floor. Here you can find anything from apparel, prop replicas, figurines, and Horror/Sci-Fi art in all forms. One booth I found myself particularly drawn to has custom made Boglin figures. Next, I found myself in the Tattoo artists alley. I’ve seen these before at other cons, but never so many in one room with lines of hungry horror fans looking to get inked.
One thing I did notice that many cons are lacking was that HorrorHound was very well organized. From the autograph lines, down to the staff. Every staff member I came in contact with was very knowledgeable about guests and screenings, and were able to guide me in the right direction.
Once again I arrived an hour before the show, and if I thought day one was bad, day two had about four times as many people waiting to get inside. Today was my day to visit panels. First on my list was the indy filmmakers Q & A. It was incredible to hear some of these up and coming filmmakers talk about all the blood, sweat and tears that go into making a film. From budgeting to guerrilla style shooting to where you only have one take and you have to nail it, otherwise you may find yourself booted from a location or property. From Sam Raimi, James Gunn, Peter Jackson, and Kathryn Bigelow many of these great directors we know and love started out this way.
My next panel of the day was The Monster Squad, and the one I was most excited for. Sadly missing from the panel were Brent Chalem (Horace) who passed away in 1997 and Mary Ellen Trainor (Emily) in 2015, but a heartfelt remembrance was given by each of the surviving cast members during the panel. When asked how it was working with the great SFX designer Stan Winston, Bill Noonan replied “He was an asshole!” with a chuckle. He then proceeded to tell how Stan would torture him by gluing either the prosthesis on his eyes or mouth shut jokingly on set. I was also surprised to find out the role of Dracula almost went to Liam Neeson, but instead went to the incredible Duncan Regehr who to this day is still one bad ass Drac! When asked why Fred Dekker was not in attendance the audience was told he was on location for the up and coming Predator film.
Last and final day still produced huge crowds. Today was my day to speak with some of my favorite artists in the screen printed poster industry. First on my list Sara Deck and her husband Josh Deck who reside in Ontario Canada. Sara has done many breath taking screen prints.From her amazing take on American Horror Story: Hotel, to Vampyr her work is both eloquent and frightening all at the same time. They also unveiled a Cronenberg piece that was done by Josh that is equally amazing and captures the eerie feel of Cronenberg’s films. To see more of the works checkout www.SaraDeck.com.
Next on my list Chris Garofalo (Quiltface) who hails from Norristown, Pennsylvania. Chris has a style all his own that has a gritty grindhouse feel of the posters of the seventies and early eighties. One of his most recent pieces was from the eighties classic The Thing, and he also knocked it out of the park with one of my all time favorites, Critters. To check out more from Chris head over to Quiltfacestudios.storenvy.com.
I hopped one aisle over and ran into Ghoulish Gary Pullin and Jason Edmiston, two fun loving Canadians. You may have seen some of their works with Mondo, Skuzzles, Wax Work and Fright Rags to name a few. One of Gary’s most recent pieces he brought along was a beautifully done art print for one of the most critically acclaimed horror films in recent years The Babadook. His second piece is for the eighties slasher My Bloody Valentine. Jason brought along 3 new pieces to add to his Eyes Without A Face series, which are, Billy(Saw), Capt. Spaulding(House 1000 Corpses), and Ash(Evil Dead). He also brought along Giclee prints of his Derry painting which debuted late last year at his Mondo gallery show. To checkout more of their work Gary can be had at GhoulishGary.com. Jason’s work can be found at JasonEdmiston.com.
Next on my list another damn Canadian (must be something in the water up there) Mr. Matt Ryan Tobin. Matt has done artwork for Mondo, Grey Matter Art, Hero Complex Gallery, Death Waltz and HorrorHound and many others. Some of his most recent works include Gremlins, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and the best damn Let the Right One In poster you will ever see. He is also the lead vocalist for the Canadian metal band Ritual. To see more of Matt’s work check out Www.WorksofMattRyan.com
Last, but certainly not least on my stop was Hero Complex Gallery’s booth(HCG). Holding down the fort was Mr. Adam Martin (A.K.A.: The Smasher), and Timothy Caballero. The artist they brought along to showcase was none other than Mr. Vance Kelly. Vance resides in New Orleans, Louisiana. He has exhibited works at Flood Gallery and Hero Complex Gallery. His Horrorhound debuts are a glorious rendition of The Monster Squad, along with his frightening take on A Nightmare on Elm Street. To see more of Vance’s work head over to VanceKelly.com. Hero Complex Gallery can be found at HCGart.com
Overall I had a blast at HorrorHound. I’ve probably attended about 15 different cons now, and hands down Horrorhound is in the top five! Every attention to detail was put into this con and it shows. From great celebrity guests, to awesome artists, there is something for everybody. It’s obvious that this con was put together by fans of horror for horror fans. I will definitely be back next year!
HorrorHound launched in 2005 and quickly grew to become one of the best-selling and most respected magazines covering the genre. In 2007 we launched HorrorHound Weekend, an annual convention which is currently held twice a year, in Indianapolis, Indiana and in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 2013 HorrorHound Records was launched; a record label specializing in horror-themed original musical acts that includes Harley Poe, The Big Bad, and more. In 2014 HorrorHound Radio was established, providing bi-weekly podcast content revolving around the world of horror, and featuring the latest HorrorHound news. Near the end of 2015 the first-ever mass-produced “HorrorHound” action figure will be released. And starting in 2016 HorrorHound steps into the world of film distribution, with the new company: HorrorHound Features. Proving that after a decade in the industry.
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