Another Texas Frightmare Weekend has come and gone. 2015 was an exciting and fun year for me as a press attendee and huge fan of horror. The convention was again held inside the Hyatt-Regency at the DFW Airport in Dallas, TX on May 1st through the 3rd. Thousands of fans gathered to meet all their favorite genre celebrities and party with likeminded individuals for a few days.
I attended all three days to fully take in all that I could. Friday night I spent just surveying the situation and taking pictures of the different booths I found interesting. There were tons of t-shirt and collectible venders to pick something up from. One that jumped out at me was a mask maker with a Swamp Thing pullover mask. Another had actual face casts of Vincent Price, Linda Blair in “The Exorcist,” Robert Englund in his Freddy makeup, and Angus Scrimm as the Tall Man from “Phantasm.”
I also made my way through Neve Campbell’s autograph line to take pictures of her signing a new photo after she accidently spelled my friend’s name wrong. That was a debacle in and of itself as her management / handler put up a stink about the situation and was trying to just squeeze another “e” in the same signature she just paid $85 for. He then allowed her to just get a whole other one redone after stating “he just couldn’t deal with it anymore.” Can anyone say drama queen whiner?
I arrived on Saturday at 5:30PM only to find out that the dealer rooms with most of the celebrities I needed to interview were closing at 6. I tracked down my buddies Duane Graves and Justin Meeks and tagged along with them for a night of just hanging out and other amusing festivities. Duane and Justin co-direct films like “The Wild Man of the Navidad,” “Butcher Boys,” and their latest “Red on Yell, Kill a Fella.” Basically, we just hit the hotel lounge where everyone was having drinks, watching a basketball game, and playing pool. If you’ve never seen a group of horror fanatics watch a basketball game, it’s one of the most surreal things you can encounter. I didn’t even know hardcore gore hounds even liked sports.
I ran into Fangoria writer and “The Psycho Legacy” director Rob Galluzzo and got his thoughts on Season Two and Three of “Bates Motel” and where the show is heading. I also asked if he ever wanted to do a follow-up to the documentary that would concentrate on “Bates Motel” and where the franchise has been taken since the release of the first one. He told me no to a filmed follow-up but maybe in the form of a book.
I also had the opportunity to meet one of my favorite actors from “You’re Next,” “The Sacrament,” and “A Horrible Way to Die.” I told A.J. Bowen I loved his work and the movies he had starred in. We spoke for a couple of minutes and agreed to meet up the next day for a short interview.
The rest of Saturday night was spent hanging out at the V.I.P. party with Duane and Justin while watching the actors and director from “Phantasm” graciously posing for pictures with fans and chatting with them. Alex Vincent was also walking around and mingling with the crowd. It was weird to see little Andy from “Child’s Play” nursing a cocktail in one hand and greeting party-goers with the other.
We decided to entertain ourselves with a trip to the Scaryoke Room next. Upon arriving, we witnessed a slightly overweight kid in his early 20s perform “Because I Got High.” He was holding a mixed drink in one hand and the microphone in the other while dressed in Superman footie pajamas complete with a cape. It was the perfect close for a rather entertaining evening.
Sunday was made up of one interview after the next. I decided I wanted to go with a simple themed question for each celebrity to answer. One of the themes of the convention was “Scream.” I asked everyone a two-part question: “What’s Your Favorite Scary Movie and Why?” Two of the actors I asked gave me answers off-camera, while many others were more than happy to be filmed.
Malcolm McDowell said his favorite scary movies are ones like “The Exorcist” and “Rosemary’s Baby.” He said they’re his favorite because they’re “highly unlikely.” I think this was a polite way to say he’s an atheist, but don’t quote me on that. The always gentlemanly Udo Kier said his favorite scary movie of his generation was “Rosemary’s Baby.” He stated he liked the atmosphere of Roman Polanski’s 1969 film.
Another fun moment to witness was Udo Kier getting an autograph from Brad Dourif. I don’t know if it was for a friend or himself, but Kier looked a little star struck upon approaching him and gave him a kiss on the top of the head. Kier is the ultimate symbol of European class.
One of the biggest highlights of the weekend was meeting Vincent Price’s daughter, Victoria. I couldn’t help but get a little choked up while telling her what her dad’s work meant to me and my son. My 8 year old came to be interested in him through the Scooby-Doo character Vincent Van Ghoul. I was surprised to hear that she hasn’t seen the “Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated” episodes featuring her father’s alter-ego and encouraged her to seek them out.
Texas Frightmare Weekend is always a genuinely great experience and 2015 was no different. It’s a well-organized event that I recommend to any horror enthusiast. The celebrities and media guests are always extremely approachable and many go out of their way to interact with fans. I can’t wait for next May to get here!
You can see photos from Texas Frightmare Weekend right here.