Back from the Burbank 2007 Fangoria Weekend of Horrors and had a great, great time. I went down with my buddies Rob Merickel, John Bowker and Mike Hegg and Rob drove the whole time! He's a manaic. Or a machine. Or something like that. Anyhow, I took a bunch of photos along the way and am in the midst of sorting and resizing them to post over on my website. Hope to get that up over the weekend.
I met the famous Eric Spudic, whom I've e-mailed with many times and shares the same birthday with me. I knew we would hit it off when he was introduced to me and he said, "Wow! I just farted! Have you been farting a lot?" Eric hung out for a while and then had dinner with us and was full of great little movies stories. What a fun guy.
I also ran into Jeff Dylan Graham who I last saw when we shot stuff in my garage for BLOODSUCKING REDNECK VAMPIRES. Jeff is just starting on his directorial debut and I found out that his birthday is only 2 days before Eric's and mine! I also met Jeff Leroy, who also seemed like a great, funny guy. He was holding a midnight premiere of his WEREWOLF IN A WOMEN'S PRISON movie in LA, but we ended up not going as someone ended up buying us rounds of drinks in the bar that night and (along with other wild stuff going on) it was too good a time to leave.
I met writer/director Michelle Fatale and damn if she doesn't look even hotter in person. I reminded her of my interview with her for Dark Gallery a while back and she told me she remembered it because it seemed like I really did my research to come up with good questions. That gave me a happy warm feeling in my heart since that's what I was trying to do!
We got there too late to see David Naughton of American Werewolf fame. I wonder if anyone asked him about being a Pepper. Or "Makin' It?"
Doug Bradley (Hellraiser's Pinhead) stood behind me in line at the breakfast buffet and pretty much hung out in the bar all weekend. Nice gig if you can get it!
I didn't have much expectations for Heather Langenkamp's appearance. I mean, I went and all, but I'm not a gigantic Elm Street fan or anything. She had great behind-the-scenes tales to tell and seemed to have a good head on her shoulders as she talked about the difficulty of getting work as a 40-ish actress and how she and her husband run a special effects company.
Rob Zombie didn't really seem like he wanted to be there - he's in the midst of editing his take on HALLOWEEN. On the one hand, he didn't want to talk much about it as he wanted us to see it and judge for ourselves if it was a good or bad idea, and didn't want to tip his hand on too many plot details. On the other hand, he kept steering the questions back to HALLOWEEN rather than his other projects. He was trying to get more questions asked to the actresses (and the kid who plays young Michael) he brought with him, but most people just wanted to ask questions of him.
On the opposite end of the spectrum was Eli Roth, who seemed thrilled to death to be there, engaged the crowd with his fanboy enthusiam and talked about everything and anything.
Henry Rollins didn't say much but what he said was entertaining and WRONG TURN 2 director Joe Lynch seemed even more excited than Eli Roth to be there. They showed the opening sequence to WT2 and it was stunningly gross - in that "cool movie gore" kind of way.
I had just read earlier in the week on Aint It Cool News that Thomas Jane had dropped out of Punisher 2 - you could tell from the e-mail they posted (supposedly written by him) that it was a heart-wrenching decision. He so wanted to be involved but in the end the powers that be didn't want to stay true to the comic book. He was there to talk about THE MIST, but someone asked him about P2 and you could tell it was still a tough thing for him to talk about. Kudos to him for having such conviction.
Tony Todd, who was there with his son (who is a musician) mentioned some sort of NBC dramedy called CHUCK that he is in that just got picked up.
Zard Ward (who as a kid played Scut Farkus in A CHRISTMAS STORY) and actress Jackie Tohn had a presentation called the "Wild World of Uwe Boll," and damn if it wasn't entertaining. Boll has a rep for making horrible movies (I have only sat through one - the others I tried I couldn't make it through), but it sounds like he is a madman to work with, in that hilarious sort of way. They had funny stories to tell and outrageous trailers to show and really had a great, fun attitude about it all.
Don Coscarelli, Reggie Bannister, Bill Thornbury, Kathy Lester and Gloria Lynn Henry appeared for a PHANTASM Reunion panel. It was great and I learned a few things I didn't know about the franchise. They were signing the new Anchor Bay releases of PHANTASM 1 and 3 afterwards. The line snaked around a booth and out the door, so I headed outside to get in line. When I got outside I saw that the line snaked waaaay around, but got in it anyway. When the line had only moved a few feet after what seemed like about 15 minutes, I decided to head back inside.
I met Debbie Rochon and was struck by how small she is! I think she's a tad taller than Brinke Stevens but both screamers are tiny little ladies! Both were extremely nice.
Tim Thomerson was so hilarious - just seemed like a regular kinda guy, and I got him to sign my Trancers VHS box! Director Jay Woelfel took two great pictures of Tim and I - wait until you see 'em.
Michael Madsen was there to talk about a new comic book from Fangoria Comics that will be turned into a movie in a year or two, SHIFTER. He'd come from a motorcycle movie shoot that didn't end until 3:30 that morning and he was a tad loopy. At one point, he started banging the microphone on his knee, which made a booming noise in the auditorium. Pleased with himself and oblivious to the rest of the panel (one of whom was speaking), he kept banging it and then added a running commentary:
"BOOM....hey that's pretty cool...BOOM...that sounds like someone's coming...BOOM...Aaah! A giant's coming! Look out!!" It was hilarious. Very entertaining.
We went to see a screening of Thora Birtch's horror flick DARK CORNERS. In her appearance earlier that day, she hesitated to talk much about the plot since it had many twists and turns in it and was one of those movies where you are not sure what is real and what is not. She was a no-show for the screening, which she was scheduled to introduce. The movie itself was confusing. She'd mentioned that it was one of those movies where you and your friends talk about it afterwards, so on the van ride home, we decided to talk about it. None of us could figure out exactly what the 'real' plot was - every time someone came up with a theory, someone else would point out something that didn't jive with it. All in all it was just plain frustrating.
I picked up some cool stuff - Ted Newsome's NAKED MONSTER, Jay Woelfel's BEYOND DREAM'S DOOR, a TRANCERS II miniposter, the STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL (which my son and I just finished watching and both got a big kick out of it) and NOT OF THIS EARTH, a cool CD of Ronald Stein soundtrack music. It's interesting that when looking at a lot of stuff for sale, Netflix and the internet in general kept popping into my head. Some DVDs for sale I'd already seen via Netflix, others I knew were there or would soon be there. Even some of the bootlegs of old shows like ISIS and ARK II were not interesting because official editions are out or soon to be out and even if I don't buy them, I can rent them via Netflix. Other things like PHANTASM 3, I figured I can ask for for my birthday. I got a pile of color handouts and cards and a couple of free t-shirts, too.
All in all it was a fun trip but I am still trying to catch up on my sleep. I'll post again once I have those photos up.