Horror Weekend – 2011: Late, yes?

It’s been over a week so I guess I should maybe go ahead and post something about Horror Weekend that we attended in Gatlinburg on Saturday, October 1. My bad on that, I guess. It seems that most everyone finding this blog lately have been searching for the Munsters (which is normal for this time of year – it happened last year, too) and the Human Centipede. Halloween is a great thing, yes, and I’ve finally started getting a little bit of traffic from folks who are not looking for porn. Cool.

In a word, Horror Weekend was awesome. We figured as much since we have attended shows organized by the same team in the past. With the sad and unfortunate fall of AdventureCon, it’s nice to know that someone is willing to step up to the plate and provide a nice platform for fandom to stand on in the Knoxville area and for the few hours we were there, it seemed like many, many others shared those feelings.

With a Tennessee home game in town in addition to the already crazy traffic and tourist population of Gatlinburg, many people commenced to complaining about the crowds, similarly to how they were when AdventureCon relocated from the Knoxville Expo Center to the Grant Resort Hotel in Pigeon Forge (recently listed as the nastiest hotel in the country – classy!), but I found little problem getting around. Anyone who has lived in this area for any amount of time knows how traffic is in Galinburg / Pigeon Forge so it should’ve been expected.

Before hitting the road, we were slightly disappointed to hear that some of the stars, namely Heather Langenkamp of A Nightmare on Elm Street fame, Bill Moseley of House of 1000 Corpses fame, Daeg Faerch of Rob Zombie’s Halloween fame and Tony Todd of Candyman fame – among a few others – had canceled last minute due to flight problems or filming obligations, but the ball room still left very little room for improvement. We rubbed shoulders with Ogre – Pavi Largo from Repo! The Genetic Opera, Mark Patton – Jesse from A Nightmare on Elm Street pt. 2: Freddy’s Revenge, and Diamond Dallas Page – namely from WCW / WWE from the past (and possibly present, I don’t know) and the Devil’s Rejects. Everyone was super nice, friendly and chatty (for lack of better term). I’ve found guests at horror cons tend to be like this and that makes me proud that it’s my industry.

We got some autographs from the above and snapped some photos (Erin’s phone came to the rescue after your humble narrator forgot both cameras he indented to bring) and also spoke with some of the venders, filmmakers, actors and promoters including Derek Young, writer and director of Midnight Matinee Psycho, William Mahaffey representing Knoxville Horror Film Fest, actor David Fultz promoting his recent film “My Bloody Wedding” and others.

We usually don’t find the time / desire to hit up very many panels at cons, but this time we were lucky enough to be just in time to visit a Nightmare on Elm Street panel held by Mark Patton and Amanda Wyss. The panel was entertaining and informative, though Mark seemed to run the show. I came away with a new appreciation for his film (Nightmare pt. 2) that I’ve never had, and want to watch it again soon as well as the often promoted documentary “Never Sleep Again.”

After spending around five hours at the show / in town, we decided to head back to Knoxville with a Mark Patton-autographed Nightmare pt. 2 poster in addition to the autographed photo and “Mark Patton: Scream Queen” t-shirt whose proceeds act as donations to a suicide hotline for homosexual kids and teens. Good cause! We also picked up an over-sized Repo! poster autographed by Ogre and DDP signed my Devil’s Rejects poster (his name’s autograph #5 on the poster!)

In the future, I’d like to see more artists present. I almost said authors, too, but we all know how I feel about most authors at cons. Artists – definitely, though. Lydia Burris was in attendance but she was the only artist I saw. While Lydia’s work is phenomenal (we bought up a Graverobber print from her when we visited Fright Night Film Fest in Louisville earlier this year), I would’ve liked to of seen a bigger turn out for artists. Otherwise, here’s to hoping we get to do this again soon. Horror cons are my favorite and if I don’t have to drive to Nashville, Louisville or Indianapolis to one, all the better!

Here are some of the photos we shot while there:

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