Texas Frightmare Weekend Film Festival - Day Three -
Friday April 30, 2010. Dallas, TX -
Evan ODell

It was the first day of Texas Frightmare’s convention. The last two days I’d had a lot of fun at the film festival portion. Today, I was determined to plan out a route of attack and get there plenty early. Instead, I got called in for a job and instead, got out of there just in time to make the 5:00 early open.

Christine and Bill Gibson, owner of one of two remaining production Plymouths

It was frustrating standing there in a relatively short line for almost 40 minutes trying to get my admission bracelet from the will call line as I watched literally dozens of people cruise right in through the cash line. Remind me, what’s the incentive of early ticket purchases? Eventually, someone got the bright idea to send a couple volunteers with ample bracelets out to collect the purchase receipts and hand out bands and I was in a mere 5 minutes later.

I’ve been going to cons since the end of the Eighties. In that time, I’ve seen an enormous amount of change. I remember buying autographs for 5 or 10 bucks, even getting them free at a number of conventions. That’s probably why I have such a hard time autograph collecting now that they're running $25 to $30 and more. It’s not that I’m against buying autographs. It’s just that if I do seek autographs, I better have something truly worth autographing.

For example, two weeks ago I got a pivotal Shawshank Redemption prop replica signed by director Frank Darabont while he attended the Dallas International Film Festival. I had a chance to ask him a few questions and delighted in watching him geek out over my prop. At past horror cons, I’ve collected autographs from the cast and crew of the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre on my replica Poulan saw. If afforded the opportunity, I’d much rather buy them a drink and talk to them as a human being than be herded through assembly line style past a cash clerk and just as quickly past them.

Admittedly, my two favorite parts of convention going are the dealer room, and talking to the fans. Ebay killed much of the vintage stuff that I often hunted for at conventions. Things like magazine back issues, one sheet posters, and obscure collectables, though I can still find plenty of things I’m interested in. Today, I picked up 5 T-shirts, 6 DVDs, and a 1 year subscription to Rue Morgue Magazine.

I really enjoyed talking to the guys from The Christine Car Club. Bill Gibson was on hand with his one of two remaining movie vehicles. Another member of the club, whose name I failed to get, had a Christine Crew jacket as well as a replica letterman jacket from Christine.


(L-R)Ghoulish Gary, Evan, and creator of Rue Morgue, Rodrigo Gudino.

I also enjoyed talking to Rue Morgue Magazine’s creator, Rodrigo Gudino and artist, Ghoulish Gary Pullin. I have 75 issues of Rue Morgue magazine. Seventy-six now that I have the newest issue 100. To show my appreciation to the guys of Rue Morgue, I lined up all my issues on the pool table and snapped a photo, because a picture’s worth a thousand words… And they enjoyed seeing my dedication.

It was fun catching up with friends I’ve made from past cons. There were quite a number of them on hand. It would have been nice to chat over a few beers, but the bar was hopelessly understaffed and a wait for a drink was running well past thirty minutes. Hopefully they’ll adjust by tomorrow.

They played four movies today. Two I had seen previously on the festival circuit. The Retelling by 16 year old director, Emily Hagins, her follow up to the zombie feature length film, Pathogen, which she made at 12 years old. The Retelling is a supernatural story, my least favorite horror subgenre. The girl certainly has a bright future if she can continue to grow as an artist, I just don’t want to see this work again. I never saw Pathogen, but she is selling copies at the show…

I also had previously seen Sweat Shop, a story about a group of friends who have been hired to turn an abandoned warehouse into a rave spot, but encounter a sadistic killer with a giant hammer made from a fitted anvil and steel pole. A number of gory kills did a lot to endear the film to the audience I saw it with, such as a girl who is ground into hamburger when she is hammered through a metal grate. My fondness for this film would have doubled if they'd only provided some motivation or explanation for the killer and his clan.

Sixteen year old horror director, Emily Hagins

I tried to watch Mary Hatchet, about a group of partying youth, celebrating the 20th anniversary of a notorious killer who had achieved local bogey man status, starring Danielle Harris and Bill Mosely, but I’d just drank a 20 oz. energy drink that was being given away in the lobby and I was kind of bouncing around too much to pay attention well and eventually got up to leave. Because I gave up soft drinks years ago, the energy drink really hit me. Oh well, I'll catch it another time.

I also walked out of Texas Frightmare Massacre, a brainless slasher with a really cheeseball sense of humor, shot on location last year, that I was fighting desperately to stay awake in despite a number of bared breasts. I told myself I’d stay in for an hour and a half, but at the 90 minute mark, it didn’t seem to show any signs of wrapping things up, so I left and I don’t think it was much of a loss.

I’d have to be up in 3 ½ hours if I have any hope of attending the zombie walk. I’d really love photos of the event, and even to participate, but an 8 am walk is just ridiculous to me. I go on the Fort Worth Zombie Pub Crawls each year, but those are in the evening and alcohol is involved each step of the way. I truly love zombie crawls for the sense of camaraderie, but I have my limits. Prizes are being given away to the top participants of the zombie walk at the ass crack of morning. Though that just makes me wish there was an open costume contest at the site of the convention, like many other conventions host.





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