I'm not a virgin anymore! Before this weekend, I'd never attended a horror convention, but Irving, Texas whispered sweet nothings in my ear and deflowered me at their annual event that draws thousands of rabid horror fans into a cramped hotel space. Texas Frightmare Weekend lasted more than a weekend -- the film fest started on Wednesday night and the convention ran through that Sunday -- but I managed to squeeze a couple of hours in on Saturday, and I'm back to report that there were a lot of cool sights crammed into the time I was there.
5. The Celebrities!
The Guest of Honor at this year's Frightmare was John Carpenter, and while I did spot him signing autographs, I didn't actually get the chance to meet him. His line was the longest by far, followed by guests Elvira (still beautiful), Sid Haig (still not-so-beautiful), Lance Henriksen, and George A. Romero. I saw two Jasons -- Kane Hodder and the ridiculously friendly Derek Mears -- and spotted cast members from Romero's Night of the Living Dead, Day of the Dead, and Survival of the Dead.
What's cool is how accessible many of these familiar faces were at the event. I made small talk with Jarlath Conroy (the chopper pilot Brit from Day of the Dead) right when I entered the main hall, talked to Lucky McKee for a bit at a table hawking Full Moon merchandise, and shook hands with Julian Sands (whose horror work I've actually never seen -- we ended up talking about a movie he's in that I love, Leaving Las Vegas).
The celebs were definitely the central focus of Texas Frightmare Weekend, but the autograph hunting can be costly and you spend a lot of time standing in line. It's not my favorite part of the convention scene, but, it is really wild to look around and spot Charles Cyphers or Meg Foster chatting with fans, in-person.