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       FANGORIA 2009
       Thursday, April 30th 2009

       Well hello there all of you horror fans! Recently, my associate, The Tim Reaper, and I attended Fangoria’s annual Weekend of Horrors at the Los Angeles convention center. When we got there I immediately missed the old days when the con was held in Burbank. Remember the cozy feel? Remember the bar? Remember the drunken DeadByDay member passed out in the bar? Poof. Gone. This was the second year at the convention center and it was even worse than last year. There seemed to be less vendors and the whole environment seemed more sterile. For some reason I felt like there was more clothing than anything. I’m sorry, but I don’t go to a horror convention to buy clothes. I go because I want a sneak peek into anything new coming out. But, guess what? Didn’t happen. Overall, the thing was a waste of time. Aside from the scantily dressed “nurses” (probably working the Health and Fitness Expo in the same building) there wasn’t much eye candy. And the lines for “photo ops” – holy fuck! No thanks.

       Because I was so unimpressed by what I saw and because I’m an asshole, I had my partner in crime do the write up on the event. I doubt we’ll be going next year. We went Saturday but after seeing what we saw, or didn’t see, we didn’t feel the need to go on Sunday. After you read what he has to say about it, you’ll see why…

10 Things I Learned at Fangoria's Weekend of Bores...I Mean, Horrors
By The Tim Reaper

       As a harbinger of doom and the keeper of souls, I've seen some crazy shit in my day. Plagues, wars...hell, even an A-bomb or two. So let's just say I was not expecting to be blown away by Fangoria magazine's annual "Weekend of Horrors" at the Los Angeles Convention Center April 17-19. I did not realize, however, how terribly uneventful the weekend would be. Granted, I only went on Saturday, so maybe I missed a preview of the greatest horror cinema movie in the last 20 years on Saturday night. Or maybe Sunday featured an all-out, no holds barred cage match featuring C.J. Graham (FRIDAY THE 13th VI) and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (THEY LIVE, 80s WWF). That would have really been something (though nothing could top Piper's fist fight scene in John Carpenter's THEY LIVE--it is perhaps the longest fist fight scene in all of movie history. YouTube it. Or just rent the damn movie).

       I did walk away from the convention center an enriched man...or specter, whatever you want to call me. I gained some knowledge, and I am choosing to share just a smidgen of what I learned at what I affectionately refer to as "Fanboria."

       1. Horror fans are awesome. Their unwavering support for movies and books that are generally ignored by the public is what keeps the business undead. However, sometimes, I think the industry assumes we'll just embrace anything. Corey Haim was there, for instance.  Sorry bud, but once you go to E! to do a reality show, you can't come back and expect us horror fans to still be impressed by your cry-baby role in LOST BOYS.

       2. A convention center in the heart of sunny Southern California is not exactly conducive to a "weekend of horrors." It's great that there IS such a place to house a convention for us freak horror fans, but can't we find somewhere a little more...well, thematic? Rent out a run-down mansion or some shit. Decorate. Do SOMETHING. For Christ's sake, I felt like I was about to do business with a printing company walking in there.

       3. Italian horror directors, such as Ruggero Deodato (CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, CUT AND RUN, HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK), Lamberto Bava (DEMONS 1-2, GHOST SON, MACABRO) and FX artist/director Sergio Stivaletti (WAX MASK, DELLAMORTE DELLAMORE, MOTHER OF TEARS) are impressive. Unfortunately, Fangoria's English/Italian interpreter is not. In fact, he DIDN'T SHOW UP until halfway through the damn panel. Luckily, there just happened to be a guy in the audience who spoke Italian and could translate...though it was a shaky panel at best. The whole thing was kind of a bust.

       4. Surely Clive Barker, who has one of the most twisted and fucked up minds in the business could bring some excitement to Fangoria, right? Well, yeah...sort of. A panel featuring him, Doug Bradley (Pinhead), and Ashley Laurence (first HELLRAISER) was pretty interesting. They discussed how the story of HELLRAISER was born and how they had to cut down the sex scene in the movie by one hump in order to get the MPAA's approval. But I gotta say, Doug Bradley thinks he's some kind of comedian and seemed more interested in making jokes than letting Clive do most of the talking. And the way Ashley Laurence kissed Clive's ass was a little much. Let's put it this way--she said that she read the HELLRAISER script the first time "with such ABANDON." She also said "absolutely" quite a bit, which always sounds pretentious to me. But maybe I'm being too negative...after all, I hate everything and everyone. I'm Death.

       5. I'm really thankful for air conditioning and well-ventilated rooms. I'm not saying anything bad about horror fans, or comic book fans, or rabid fans of anything really. Nor am I saying anything bad about body odor. Or how the two sometimes go together. Or how the table near Adrienne King (FRIDAY THE 13th) smelled like an armpit. I'm just really thankful for ventilation.

       6. John Saxon (NIGHTMARE ON ELM ST., CANNIBAL APOCALYPSE) looks kinda old. Methinks I'll be seeing him really soon. Yeah, I said it.

       7. I love to see pain inflicted. But I don't want to see dudes getting tattoos at a convention. Mostly because they don't want to ever put their shirts on afterward. But it's pretty cool that the service was rendered.

       8. Ron Jeremy was the most horrifying thing there...and I don't even know if he was invited. He merely wandered around outside the conference doors, posing for pictures with women who couldn't wait to post the photos to Facebook. C'mon, this is a horror convention, not the AVNs, Ron. Go home, and well, shower or something.

       9. A Zombie Walk to benefit the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is a brilliant idea. I'm kind of upset that I missed it. Next year, I plan to get out of my coffin a little earlier in the day in order to participate.

       10. Ultimately, horror lives. Though I was underwhelmed with the event, it's always great to see people caring about the movies that make me smile. Meaning that I like movies in which people's throats are cut to look like what I refer to as "neck smiles."

       Until next time…or whenever your heart gives out…

                            - The Tim Reaper


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