HorrorHound Weekend Convention Report: Indianapolis (Sept. 6th – 8th 2013)

The Phantom of the Ville Haunts the Halls of the Indianapolis HorrorHound Convention and Survives a Lunch Buffet with Freddy Krueger!

Greetings, my fellow Halloween and horror enthusiasts, it’s the Phantom of the Ville reporting in with a look at this weekend’s HorrorHound Convention in Indianapolis, headlined by “A Nightmare on Elm Street” fright icon, Robert Englund. The Marriott Indianapolis East was packed to the gills with autograph craving convention zombies, but I survived to tell the tale!

I arrived just after the Vendor Hall doors had opened on Saturday morning only to be met with the news that autograph tickets for Robert Englund had already been capped for the day, and word on the floor was that many autograph seekers had been turned away on Friday night. It seems that Freddy Krueger is still the King of the 80’s Horror icons!

Of course, a number of cast members from “The Walking Dead” were also in the house, including Steven Yuen (“Glen”), Chad Coleman (“Tyreese”) and Emily Kinney (“Beth”), so the crowds were shoulder to shoulder. In fact, I’d say Horrorhound has completely outgrown its hotel roots and needs to seek a larger venue. The biggest dealer room, which also was the home to celebrities like Danielle Harris (Rob Zombie’sHalloween,” “Hatchet III”) and Jamie Kennedy (“Scream”), was often dangerously overcrowded with only one entrance and exit, and lines waiting for celebrity autographs stretching out the door. Sometimes you could gain entrance to the room, fighting the shoulder to shoulder traffic to browse the aisles, only to find getting OUT of the room extremely challenging.

One of the coolest things I saw in that room was the completely restored Green Goblin hood ornament from the Happy Toyz truck in Stephen King’sMaximum Overdrive” (1987). I was even able to chat with the man who rescued and restored the huge fright film icon, Timothy Shockey, who showed me the before and after restoration pictures and told me he would be bringing the Goblin to The ScareFest in Lexington next weekend (Friday 13th – Sunday 15th), so you’ll have another chance to have your picture taken with it!

Our Louisville Halloween booth was in the other big room which was reserved for the HMA’s (Halloween Mask Association) Mask-Fest. Thousands of amazing Halloween masks were for sale and on display, and many haunt industry professionals were showing off their latest creations. Some of my favorite props on display were from GAG Studios, Inc. (www.gagstudios.com), and I especially liked their Quaking Tombstone (SEE PHOTO). I’ve seen some of their props at Caufield’s, and I’ve even seen their Shivering Mummy on display at Wild & Woolly Video each Halloween.

One of the coolest things I experienced in the HMA room was a mini wax museum cobbled together inside of a huge black tent and full of the silver screen’s classic monsters. A life-sized Vincent Price stood outside the tent, welcoming visitors to explore the torch lit museum. Inside were life-sized replicas of Lon Chaney from “London After Midnight,” Nosferatu, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, the Frankenstein Monster and his Bride, the Creature from the Black Lagoon and others. There was even a life-sized “Forgotten Prisoner” based on the 1960’s Aurora model kit!

Among the celebrities I chatted with were character actor, Daniel Roebuck (Rob Zombie’s “Halloween” and “Halloween II”), who is one of the biggest classic horror fans on earth. Daniel’s horror host alter-ego, Dr. Shocker, has a new shock-u-mentary coming out this Halloween called “Dr. Shocker’s Vault of Horror,” which Daniel promises is jammed packed with Halloween goodness. I just pre-ordered my DVD copy of it at www.docshocker.com and if you love Halloween, you might want to order it yourself!

I also chatted with the adorable and beautiful, Megan Ward, star of such 1990’s Full Moon B-movies like “Trancers II,” “Trancers III” and “Arcade.” Megan was one the sweetest and most welcoming actresses I’ve ever met as she seemed to really enjoy talking about her horror film past, and she regaled fans with stories about diving into a fresh pile of butcher shop guts for a scene that ultimately was left on the cutting room floor!

As I floated through the convention, I spotted Barry Bostwick (“The Rocky Horror Picture Show”), Full Moon head honcho, Charles Band, and most of the cast of “Freddy VS Jason” (2003). There were a few cancellations. Emily Perkins cancelled at the last minute, making a double signing of her and Katharine Isabelle from “Ginger Snaps,” a disappointing impossibility. Michael Parks and special effects guru, Robert Kurtzman, were also no shows.

Although I was slightly disappointed not to be able to acquire Robert Englund’s autograph, I ultimately got something even better. I got to eat tacos with him! At about 3PM, my stomach started rumbling and I was unable to locate my hearse driver or bodyguard in the throngs of zombies staggering about the convention, so I headed to the hotel’s bar area and decided to try the $12.99 chicken wings and tacos buffet. As I was alone, the staff brought me to a little private dining area enclosed in glass behind the buffet. There were maybe eight other people in the room.

Just as I sat down with a plate of tacos, I realized that Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund, was also enjoying tacos RIGHT NEXT TO ME! While I wasn’t about to interrupt Mr. Englund’s meal with my fanboy blubbering, I was able to enjoy his interaction with a couple of other fans who noticed him while getting their own tacos. Robert commented on one fan’s buffet selection with his trademark Freddy Kruger voice, “How sweet! Fresh meat!” Just being there to hear that was far better than getting an autograph.

Stay tuned to the Louisville Halloween website this week for lots of news and new stories, including a look at the history of Horner Novelty, the ultimate Friday the 13th documentary, “Camp Crystal Lake Memories” and an entire weekend of horror and paranormal fun at The ScareFest in Lexington next weekend (Sept. 13 – Sept. 15)!

The Phantom of The Ville

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