CON REVIEW: Motor City Nightmares Delivers

Motor City Nightmares Inaugural Halloween Horror Show, 2015

By Amy Lynes

MCN Poster

Art by Jeff Zornow

Since 2010, I have been attending the Motor City Nightmares annual convention (always held in April at the Sheraton in Novi, Michigan) and it always a fantastic time. I always come home with some killer additions to add to my ever-growing collection of autographs and collectibles as well as many fond memories of the weekend and the people I have met and the hangovers I have conquered.

The guests lists are always incredible – I have met MANY celebrities that have been longtime icons to me over the years – thanks to Todd and Tommy Brunswick and their efforts. They work very hard throughout the year to ensure that everyone from celebrity guests and convention attendees to vendors all have a great time.

Forgotten

Forgotten Photography

In addition to meeting all the fantastic genre favorites (such as Jeffrey Combs, Heather Langenkamp, Doug Bradley, PJ Soles, Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Michael Berryman, Ken Foree, the cast of The Return of the Living Dead and MCN favorites Dee Wallace and Kane Hodder), I have also made some lasting friendships with some badass people that I adore and have TONS in common with. People that I actually miss seeing throughout the rest of the year and look forward to meeting up with again in April. And I can’t stand most people, so that’s saying something.

There is more to it than just meeting celebrities and getting autographs, though. The panels are always awesome and a lot of fun. I have seen some great ones at Motor City Nightmares. (The Devil’s Reject’s, The Return of the Living Dead, and The Frighteners are among my favorites.) There are workshops for filmmakers, SFX artists, and screenwriters, as well as a film festival that runs through the weekend. The vendors are all either extremely talented at their trades or are well stocked in most of the merchandise they carry. Stuff that most horror fans are looking for, and it’s all priced to sell. I’ve found some truly fantastic items to add to my various collections at Motor City Nightmares, and I didn’t even come close to putting myself into debt doing it.

Alex MCN

There are also raffles and costume contests that offer up some spectacular prizes. And the costume contest entries? WOW! Some of the best cosplay I’ve seen has been at Motor City Nightmares. There is some seriously phenomenally and breathtaking work to be seen.

After things wind down for the day, there are always after parties on Friday and Saturday nights, and the place gets ridiculously insane. And so do some of the celebrities. There is plenty of craziness and sometimes debauchery for everyone. I have seen some crazy things at Motor City Nightmares parties. (You haven’t seen anything until you see Boyd Banks rock his face off so hard that you have to rescue his phone when it flies out of his pocket like a projectile missile because he’s headbanging so fucking hard.) I am telling you, the festivities and libations rage on All. Night. Long. This past April, I woke up still drunk BOTH Saturday and Sunday mornings. Motor City Nightmares April 2015, was a rough one, folks. But much fun was had by all…

Tyler Mane

Tyler Mane AKA Michael Myers Rob Zombie’s Halloween

So this year, we got lucky and the team behind Motor City Nightmares, Todd and Tommy Brunswick, decided to put on a second show. From what I gathered from speaking with Tommy Brunswick is that this. too, will become an annual event just like the April show, and plans have already begun for the fall show in 2016.

Unfortunately, there were several cancellations, with Daeg Faerch, Hannah Hall, Rochelle Davis, and Derek Mears all being unable to make it. However, there were still plenty of celebrity guests to meet and converse with. Todd Farmer, Bai Ling, Costas Mandylor, Fred Williamson, William Forsythe, Scout Taylor Compton, Jordan Ladd, and the ladies of The Evil Dead, Betsy Baker, Ellen Sandweiss, and Theresa Tilly were among those in the house, and each and every last one of them was nice, friendly, and outgoing.

Even though it was a much slower weekend than what is normally seen in April, everyone had a great time. Todd and Tommy really do find the greatest guests. This inaugural show was a little smaller than the April affair, but this was also the same weekend as the Horrorhound convention in Indiana. Traffic was a little slower and, because of that, it was a little more personal with the celebrities this time around. Granted, that could have also been because I had already met a few of the featured guests – I had already made the acquaintance of Alex Vincent, Tyler Mane (and his lovely wife Renae Geerlings), Jeff Zornow, and Hal Delrich, at prior conventions so there was a little familiarity there and almost kind of like we knew each other already.

From Hell

Grand Rapids area metal band FROM HELL

The after parties and the bands that played were all awesome. On Friday night there was a killer metal band from Grand Rapids, MI, called FROM HELL and they were fucking awesome. Let me tell you, if you haven’t heard the metal version of “Mississippi Queen” yet, you simply have not lived.

Basically, the weekend was like a mellow, laid-back version of the craziness that is April’s Motor City Nightmares, but all the awesomeness of the weekend was still there. I will definitely be going back for Motor City Nightmares 2.0 again next fall, and I look forward to it. If you are in Michigan, anywhere near it or can afford to travel to it, I cannot recommend this convention enough. Go and have a blast. I always do! And if you spot me in the crowd, feel free to come and introduce yourself.

Tommy and I

Convention Organizer Tommy Brunswick and me

Posted by Alan Smithee

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