ScareFest Horror & Paranormal Convention Report
September 2009. Lexington, KY

The second ScareFest Horror and Paranormal convention was held the weekend of September 11-13 in Lexington Kentucky and work schedules being what they are, I flew solo the three hours up I-75 for this one.

Let me say right off the bat that, man, who would have thought that ol’ Kentucky would have become such a big state for Horror conventions? They already had the fine Fright Night Film Fest an hour away in Louisville, plus next year a new convention in Pikeville called the Dark Woods Con, and now The ScareFest looks to be here to stay.

When a new convention starts up, you never really know how it’s going to work out, but from what I’d read about the first ScareFest last year, it seemed to be a real hit with the fans. Now that I’ve seen it first hand, I can see why. It’s a well run, large convention with lots going on. I’m not really into the ghost hunter angle as much but this thing seems like it would be an especially huge deal for those who are as there were constant psychic/medium/ghost hunter type events going on. I’ve gotta say that I would have been up for the Haunted Pub crawl myself, though. Heh. On the horror side, ScareFest is a solid con with a normal amount of vendors, a row of signing celebrities, and some panels.

I hit a couple panels of note on Saturday, the first being “The Men Behind the Monsters”. This was a six man panel consisting of Kane Hodder (Jason, Victor Crowley), Chris Carnel (The Miner), Gunnar Hansen (Leatherface), Walter Phelan (Dr. Satan), Doug Bradley (Pinhead), and Warrington Gillette (Jason from the original Part 2). This panel was largely dominated by Hansen and Bradley, but everyone chipped in and seemed to get along well, riffing off each other at times. Notable moments included Doug Bradley rattling off the Hellraiser movies in the order of his favorite (part 1) to his least favorite (part 5 by far), and showing no mercy when offering his opinion on remakes (including, by the way, Halloween).




In fact, the entire panel expressed strong disdain for re-makes, with the obvious exception of Chris, who displayed a sense of humor about it. Gunnar Hansen told the story of how he turned down a part in the original The Hills Have Eyes as, at the time, he did not want to be an actor. He also indicated a fondness for the movie Brutal Massacre, which even as a giant Gunnar Hansen fan, I have a hard time understanding.

The afternoon panel I went to was one for Rob Zombie’s Halloween which as a large Dawn of the Dead fan (duh), I wanted to catch primarily to hear what Ken Foree had to say. This panel also included Dee Wallace (The Hills Have Eyes, Cujo, E.T.), Danielle Harris (Halloween 4, 5 and Zombie’s Halloween 1&2), and Leslie Easterbrook (Police Academy, The Devil’s Rejects).

Interesting parts here included Danielle Harris and the rest reminiscing on Donald Pleasance and how he liked to drink (tea and more), and this was funny when on the subject of Dr. Loomis, it lead Harris to mention how she didn’t understand it, but found herself thinking Malcom McDowell was hot. All four discussed their different approaches to acting with Dee Wallace saying that other than learning her lines, she doesn’t prepare AT ALL. She just shows up and goes. The favorite story of mine was when Ken Foree told of how he and George Romero re-wrote the ending of Dawn of the Dead, with Ken approaching Romero and recommending that they have at least a semi-positive outcome, as he did not want to go the way of Duane Jones’ Ben in Night of the Living Dead.

with pictures and video

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