Event Coverage - 35 Years of Terror

Event Coverage - Halloween: 35 Years of Terror

I recently attended the Halloween: 35 Years of Terror convention in Pasadena, CA, a fitting location to hold the celebration. Although I have attended and covered several music conferences in the past, this was my first horror related con. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. But I have been a fan of John Carpenter's Halloween since I first saw it at 8 years old, and both the movie and I were celebrating our 35 years in existence. So I can't think of a better convention to start with. 

I arrived on Friday at 6pm when the General Admission crowd were set to be let onto the floor. Before I was able to go down the steps into the main hall, I was able to view the convention floor from a birds eye view, and to my disbelief, it was really small. But my disbelief in the size of the hall was quickly overcome by enthusiasm when I saw some of the amazing merchandise that was being sold on the floor. Finally we were let down into the con, and off I went, trying to make a mental map of the layout so that I could formulate a game plan to get the most out of this event. And like a first time con goer, I immediately made my first mistake. See there was this one really long line for one of the tables. And I thought, whatever that is, I'll just wait until this dies down and come back. Well it turns out that that was the Mondo poster released for the event. And before I could figure that all out, they were already gone. And not only would I have liked to have had one for myself, I had several friends begging for one, and have had offers from strangers to pay me 10X the price of the poster. I could have bought a few extras and had my con pay for itself. Note to self: Don't blow that next time. 

The advantage that I was presented though in making my rookie mistake, was that I was given unfettered access to some of the stars I was anxious to see, without any lines whatsoever. Now, I was unaware that the main focus of the convention was for the stars to show up and sign autographs, and I was even less aware that they would be charging 20 -30 dollars at a time. So I was apprehensive to approach some people, fearing that even by making eye contact, I would be drawn in through some sort of guilt tractor beam. But it turned out that, and this may have only been my experience, that most of the stars were happy to talk and some even to take pictures without trying to change you for an autograph. 

Then there were a few people who's autograph I wanted, and I was happy to pay for those. I got to meet many amazing people including Nick Castle, Dick and Billy Warlock, Tyler Mane, Kim Gottlieb Walker, Wendy Kaplan, Beau Starr, Ken Foree, Alan Howarth, Daisy McCrackin, and the ever so talented, and ever so lovely, Miss Danielle Harris. I also got to spend a little time chatting with the hilarious Brian W. Collins (BadAssDigest.com) and Rebekah McKendry from Fangoria. It was a great event to get familiar with some of the other people in the local horror community, of which I consider myself a proud member. It was a really good time, but what made it worth going for both days, were the panels. 

There were several panels on both days of the convention, each primarily dealing with a different individual film in the series. There were individual panels for John Carpenter's Halloween (1978), Halloween II (1981), Halloween III: Season of the Witch, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, one panel for both of Rob Zombie's Halloween films, and one panel that had everyone that played Michael Myers over the years, excluding one or two people. The Halloween 4 panel was my personal favorite, partly because I absolutely love film, and partly because Brian W. Collins is a great host. 

Something that was pointed out in one of the panels, is that Halloween is the only film franchise that gets it's own convention. None of the other horror franchises have conventions. And that made it even better. Getting so experience a little something from all of the films. It was completely awesome. Although it is possible to have gotten it all done in one day, I am glad I was there for both days. I though it was well put together by Sean Clark and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It was so much fun that it kind of bums me out we have to wait 5 more years for another one. But I will definitely be there. 

-Leo Francis
The Children of Samhain