The Horror of It All: Texas Frightmare Weekend 2017

Texas Frightmare Weekend is my favorite entertainment convention. There, I finally said it. I've been attending the event every year and still find it the most welcoming and fan-friendly cons I've been an attendee of. 2017 proved to be no different.

I didn't get to spend as much time at Texas Frightmare Weekend as I would have liked to this year. I usually like to spend Saturday night hanging out with my good buddies and Texas filmmakers Duane Graves (Butcher Boys, The Wildman of the Navidad), Justin Meeks (Kill or Be Killed), and their henchman Robert Inman, but duty calls and that just wasn't possible in 2017. It's always fun to hang out in the DFW Airport Hyatt Regency Hotel bar and watch actors from your favorite films mingle with the regular folks.

Sunday was the only day it was possible for me to get out to Texas Frightmare Weekend, so I had to make the most out of my limited time. I knew I had to meet the cast of Bates Motel, being that I'm such a big fan of the show and anything Psycho-related in general. Max Theriot, Nestor Carbonell, and Freddie Highmore were high priorities on my list and I was not disappointed. I told Carbonell that it made me sad to see the Bates house torn down. He informed me that they were tearing it down twelve hours after the last scene wrapped. Both Highmore and Theriot smiled mischievously when I told them I hadn't seen the last season and series finale yet.

Photo taken by Matt Hardeman.

I was fortunate enough to get a few moments to talk with Wilford Brimley about his time on the set of Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. As soon as I heard the actor was going to be a guest, I knew I had to meet him as a huge fan of The Thing as well. Brimley was everything I expected him to be based upon his onscreen personas. I approached Mr. Brimley and asked him if I could ask him a couple questions about his time shooting Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. He replied, "If I can remember." I laughed and moved on to the question, "What was the most memorable part of making Ewoks: The Battle for Endor?" Without pause he exclaimed, "Working with them midgets."

Duane Graves, Jayson Champion, Robert Inman, and Justin Meeks. Photo courtesy of Jayson Champion.

Most of my time was spent hanging out at the Greek Productions booth where Filmmakers Duane Graves and Justin Meeks were busy promoting their films. Graves and Meeks have worked together for several years making some great independent thrillers and horror movies. Their first two movies, The Wild Man of the Navidad and Butcher Boys, were produced by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre co-creator Kim Henkel. Both have their own unique atmospheres and are great examples of Southern storytelling and minimalist filmmaking. There newest release, the western / slasher Kill or be Killed, is available on DVD and streaming services like Netflix and Amazon.

Just like any convention, the lines to meet and greet actors and other media guests were many times long. You have to know going into an event like Texas Frightmare Weekend that if you're wanting to meet Freddie Highmore or get that Suspiria poster signed by Dario Argento, you're going to stand in line for a while. These are high profile celebrities who aren't regular guests at horror or comic book conventions.

If you've never attended Texas Frightmare Weekend, I would highly recommend you do so as a horror enthusiast. You'll see all sorts of interesting cosplayers, from Michael Myers to Jack Skellington. Actors and filmmakers aren't the only celebrity guests in attendance. Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein of The Misfits was a guest at this year's event. Past musical guests include Ace Frehley and Peter Criss of KISS and Ghost. There are also great tattoo artists, sculptors, illustrators, and painters to be admired.

For more information on Texas Frightmare Weekend, you can visit their website.





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