conventions

MonsterMania Con Review

MonsterMania Con Review

I ventured out 6 hours to Cherry Hill, NJ this weekend to attend Monster-Mania Con 42. Like all other conventions I have attended, I try not to be nit picky since it can’t always run perfectly but I’ll get into the positives and negatives shortly.

To start, they had a really good line up this year. Such celebrities include Danielle Harris (Halloween, See No Evil 2), Meatloaf (Rocky Horror Picture Show), All 4 cast members from The Craft (Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, Robin Tunney, and Rachel True), Christina Ricci (The Addams Family, Casper, Monster), Dolph Lundgren (Rocky IV, The Expendables), and the “Heartbreak Kid” himself Shawn Michaels

Friday which was the first night is usually a hit and miss, sometimes it’s not too packed but boy did I underestimate how it would actually be. It was no where to what a Saturday looks like but it was a little close to it. First, what I normally dread is parking. It gets insane when you have to pay more money to park somewhere. The hotel was kind enough to run shuttles every 15 mins to a location where you can park for free, one thing to cross off the stress list. Now brings us to inside the building right at the start of con, some of the lines were unnecessary, those who already had wristbands could have been let in at the start time, there was no need having them linger in line with those who were waiting to get their wristbands, it started to cause confusion and blocked the entrances to where everyone was on top of each other or couldn’t walk by. 

What I liked was that they now scan your wristband each time you walk in, prevents from scammers which I have seen quite a bit of on the Facebook page with them selling or giving them away. They were also quick to come up with a solution for Fairuza Balk missing her first night. A lot of people bought The Craft group photo op they had to keep pushing the times back since Fairuza ran very very late. I think they handled it very efficiently, they posted about it in their new app and group page and offered a solution right away which was a refund or to have their op on Saturday or Sunday.

They had 2 rooms for the guests and 1 additional room upstairs just for Christina Ricci. In my opinion, if possible they should have spread out the major headliners in one room just so that the rest of the celebs had room at their tables. They had to form 2 separate lines one for Shawn Michaels and one for Neve Campbell in a tiny hallway where everyone had to stand in a file line to make room the best they could, they tried their best to be organized with it but it still had the fire marshals showing up with entrances being blocked. I know that they put all 4 girls from The Craft together for a reason so that when you meet one you have to meet them all, but they could of either been spread out or in the room upstairs with Christina. 

Now brings us to Saturday (which was also my last day here). It was jammed pack like usually but seemed a little more manageable. They capped the lines off when needed and the halls were cleared so there was a tad bit more room to walk by. The main room when you walk in was way too tiny to fit about 7-8 celebs in, it resulted into 3 big lines which went out by the main entrance. However, I will give it to the volunteers who kept up on everyone and did everything they could to keep the lines moving. Before leaving, I had to do at least one photo op. That was the fastest photo op I have ever done. The lines were taped off, everything went so smoothly. I actually enjoyed waiting in line for once. 

Highlight for me would be reconnecting with my “con family”, meeting Neve Campbell, doing the Twins bloody photo op, attending Q&As and just being a part of all the epic-ness. 

I honestly don’t have any other comments I can make, lines will always be a part of cons and it was so nice to see small changes being made to MonsterMania each time I attend. Definitely will not be my last time going.

Posted by Sarah Gregory in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, EVENT REVIEWS, EVENTS, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, REVIEWS, SATANIC/DEMONIC, SCI-FI HORROR, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, STAFF PICKS, VAMPIRES, WEREWOLVES, WOMEN IN HORROR, ZOMBIES, 0 comments
Days Of The Dead (Con Review)- House Of Tortured Souls

Days Of The Dead (Con Review)- House Of Tortured Souls

Over the past weekend I had the privilege to volunteer at the Days Of The Dead convention in Atlanta, Georgia and as always, it was a blast. Days Of The Dead is one of my favorite conventions to attend and having volunteer for them before I couldn’t pass it up again. The convention had headliners such as Clive Barker, Hellraiser Cast (Barbie Wilde, Doug Bradley, Simon Bamford, Ashley Laurence,  and Nicholas Vince), David Howard Thornton (Terrifier), Tony ToddSid Haig, Bill Mosley, PJ Soles, and Kathy Najimy.  

With all conventions there are positives and negatives with some added pointers for the next con, but in this case I must say it ran very smoothly all weekend. Each celebrity and vendor room were very organized and easy to navigate and spread out. The back hallway had all the panel rooms, photo ops and film room which had a poster on the wall with each event and times per day, very easy to keep up with so you didn’t miss out on what you wanted to catch. I helped out with the photo op lines, and we all know with Saturday’s being the busiest of convention weekends, this went pretty smoothly, the lines were easy to manage and able to line up early enough so con goers could get in and out to continue on with their weekend. Between con goers and guests, there was nothing but positive feedback all around which makes Days so successful. 

A Highlight for me personally this weekend would be seeing a lot of my con family, making new friends, meeting David Howard Thornton he’s such a great guy and has such a great personality, the VIP party, helping out with the line control, and catching some panels. I also just love the overall atmosphere and seeing everyone just enjoying theirselves with one shared interest… horror. 

This was a great convention kickstart to 2019 and I can’t wait to see not only what Days has in store but for other conventions as well. 

Overall Grade: A

Posted by Sarah Gregory in Categories, EVENT REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
2017 Convention Dates and Locations

2017 Convention Dates and Locations

House of Tortured Souls has compiled a list of the conventions going on this year. If you know of others, please let us know so that we can add them to our list. Likewise, if you have any changes or corrections, please let us know. Thanks!

Posted by Alan Smithee in EVENTS, 0 comments
ARTIST OF THE MONTH – DEC 2016: Jaquan Robinson

ARTIST OF THE MONTH – DEC 2016: Jaquan Robinson


By Tammie Parker

Back in October I introduced you to the other half of this artistic couple. I thought it only fitting to showcase her sensei and partner. 🙂


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Jaquan is in the Navy. Come January he will be in for 5 years. It is an honor times two that I have this opportunity to interview him. I have such mad respect for those willing to serve this country and help out those that cannot defend themselves.

Now if that were not impressive enough for ya, get a load of Ernie Hudson (yes the Ghostbuster :O ) with a pair of Jaquan’s shoes

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Jaquan says they (he and Artist of the Month of October, Nicole) met Ernie at a convention, and two years later when they returned Ernie remembered who they were. I would just die right there on the spot!! He wouldn't even need to use his Proton Pack.

Or how about Sugartits himself Merle Dixon?

Holy Shoe Batman!! That is Michael Flipping Rooker! :O :O Can you even? I can't even right now, and I wasn't even there!

Speaking of Batman 😉

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No matter which side you are on, they have you covered!

Jaquan and Nicole run a business called Eclectic Goods. They will do custom jobs by the way. And their arts isn't just on shoes, they do horror-art-shoes-excorsist caps, and bags, and have even painted tiny coffins (great for Halloween or 'Over the Hill' gifts). They do specialize in horror (all genres) well of course otherwise they would be no friends of mine LOL. However they're talents do not stop there. What about your video game hero, your favorite cartoon, or favorite comic character? I promise you this guy is the one to hit up for the job!



But they also have my heart with their classic horror icons like Freddy and Jason

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The couple travel around to many conventions, perhaps you have already seen them and are kicking yourself for not buying those Daryl Dixon pumps. Well I'm about to share their shop on etsy, and their Facebook page.

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Firing away with the questions.

House of Tortured Souls: Are you self-taught or did you take courses somewhere?
JR: A little of both actually, I have been drawing and doing art things all my life. I also went to an art school for a while, that's where I gained a bit more painting experience.

HoTS: What was your first piece?
JR: I painted a The Nightmare Before Christmas piece for my wife Nicole on a modest sized canvas.

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 The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of their favorites to do. 🙂

HoTS: When and why did you fall in love with horror art?
JR: I think I started to really get into it a few years ago. Nicole is a huge horror person, so it definitely helped me embrace it more. She's huge into Stephen King's It. We watched a lot back in the day. And growing up I LOVED scary games like Silent Hill and Resident Evil (the first 3).

HoTS: Who is your favorite immortal creep?
JR: I think it's safe to say the Crypt Keeper.

HoTS: In many photos I see you bent over the shoe, seriously concentrating. Do you draw the pic on first in ink? Or do you screen print some sort of way? Or dive right into painting?
JR: I dive right in and just see what happens, probably not always the best approach. Nicole and I usually discuss how it will turn out first, but I rarely draw it out first. Usually I'm just looking at my phone or tablet and painting from the image there. Sometimes adding something different it think is missing.


HoTS: What's the next con or art show you guys can be found at?
JR: We have nothing planned yet. We are moving in January and how smooth that works out will dictate the next con, not to mention the holidays are fast approaching! We will be busy from here on out until the move.

HoTS: Where can we find and purchase your work?
JR: You can find our work on etsy, search eclecticgoodsva.

HoTS: Do you have any fan pages or a Twitter account so we can keep up with your work?
JR: Yes, we have an Instagram, Egcustomkicks, and a Facebook page, Eclectic Goods: Hand Painted Shoes, where we regularly post new works.

HoTS: Are you working on anything right now?
JR: Oh, yes, always! There just isn't enough time in the day lol, you would be surprised at some of the custom things we have been working on. We just finished working on The Shining, Scarlet Spiderman, and some Deadpool/Wolverine designs. All fun challenging stuff.

HoTS: What are some of your pastimes outside of drawing?
JR: Spending time with family, catching up on some good TV shows, playing some PC games on my rig, and (don't laugh) yo-yoing. Haha.

Keep an eye out for this couple, they are blowing up!

Posted by Alan Smithee in ART AND VENDORS, FEATURED ARTISTS, 2 comments
MIKE NASH and CURIOUS GOODS

MIKE NASH and CURIOUS GOODS

By John Roisland 

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I first met Mike Nash (aka Mike Smash), owner of Curious Goods, in 2014 at Monster Mania in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. I'm a convention lover and attend them  as often as the all mighty dollar will let me. My wife Stephanie and I took our daughter for her 16th birthday.

Over the years I've lost a bit of the fanboy feel that I used to carry towards the celebrities, even though there are still some that I do enjoy meeting and even some I enjoy getting to see and speak with repeatedly. More so, I go to run into my horror family and the vendors that I have met with through the years. These days, my convention weakness is the vendors!!! My wife and I try to collect horror merchandise whenever possible. From art work and jewelry to action figures and clothing, there is no place better to find my personal Xmas list of wants than at a convention! Trust me, I could spend my every last penny in the vendor rooms!

Well it happened to have been at Monster Mania when I walked up to a rather large vendor set-up that wasn't just a folding table full of DVDs or a few t-shirts but rather a full walk-in display of a style of artwork like I had never seen in my life! Now, I'm a horror action figure collector, or I try to be, and what I saw took it to entire new level!

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Creating full size posable action figures, Mike makes ANYTHING that comes to mind - from horror to music and sci-fi! I saw the figures from King Diamond,  Star Wars, Ghost, Jaws, The Human Centipede , American Psycho, and tons more! But these aren't like action figures that you can buy off a rack in any store, no sir!

All of these are so exquisitely and precisely made that they will honestly make you do a double take, and you will find yourself staring at them. The attention to detail is what really makes them extraordinary. After you see one and say to yourself, "Holy shit, it's <whoever> !", then you really look closely at the fine details - and this detail level is in each and every piece that you see on display. You'll fall silent as you pan the entire display that you are now engulfed in because you are quite amazed by it all - now in  an entirely new way. It no longer looks like a guy selling action figures, but rather an artist selling his work.

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Since I last saw him, Mike was at Scares That Care Weekend Convention in Virginia last August and, most recently, at Monster Mania this past March. Curious Goods is now making  3D shadow boxes and, like the action figures, are all custom, hand crafted works of art. And, as I mentioned earlier, Mike makes anything you can think of - from Trick or Treat to Faces of Death and Motorhead to Bob's Burgers. Now he is getting into stained glass work, too. While I was looking I saw what I believe was a finished piece of stained glass, and it was gorgeous!

All items are created, produced and or customized by me. I spend a very large portion of my time and energy on this art, and travel the country sharing it with you, the fans, at comic/horror and tattoo conventions. This is my livelihood/job/career. All items are available and for sale, commissions always welcome... I hope you enjoy what I have created... -Mike Smash

Do yourself a giant favor, the next time you're at a convention, look up Curious Goods and check out all that is offered - especially if you're looking for good quality work and something a little different. While gawking at his work, keep an eye out for pieces that Mike may have added his own twist, or sense of humor to! But you don't have to wait for a convention because you can also look at his work online and stay up to date via his Facebook page.

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If you're lucky enough to find Curious Goods at a convention that you're attending, say hello to the artist. Mike is a great guy and awesome to talk to. But keep in mind, he is there for business, and takes it very seriously. More often than not, he is either watching over his booth or working on more projects as you talking to him. The man is non stop!

 

Keep It Evil

Posted by John Roisland in IN THE SPOTLIGHT, PRODUCT REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments

Interview: Lou Avilleira: The Mind Behind FATHER EVIL

By John Roisland

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Many of you have come to him as Father Evil, the lone evil priest who wanders the conventions in search of sinners. Now we take a few moments to meet the man behind the character , Lou Avilleria.

For years now, people have been going to movie and comic conventions and dressing up as their favorite character. Many of the cosplay (as its called) artists, often enjoy many different characters. That wasn't the case for Lou, he found and created Father Evil, and the world has quickly come to know his name!

I first met Lou online, and we quickly became good friends. I think it was a little over a year later that I then met Father Evil in person at Monster Mania in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. It was a thrill! What a showman! I look forward to see both Lou and Father Evil soon at upcoming events, ...but I must be honest, of all the celebrities that may be in attendance,...Lou is actually more exciting to meet.

Lou is a loving husband and very proud father. He hails from the Garden State of New Jersey, where he balances his family life, and the life he created as Father Evil. Doing many guest appearances in local events, Lou has also be seen doing the tri-state area conventions. Well he has spread those evil wings and has been seen in conventions as far as Texas and most recently Atlanta, GA.

 

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Lou took a few minutes to give me a short interview to catch us up.

 

House of Tortured Souls: First, Lou, thank you so much for taking the time out of what must a very hectic schedule you are growing into to spend a few moments with House of Tortured Souls.

LA: You're most welcome!

 

HoTS: At what point did you realize that you wanted to join in the cosplay world?

LA: It was around 2010. I went to Chiller Theater with a character I made up over 20 years ago through one of my sketches. It was supposed to be a one time thing...a "goof" but as soon as I showed up, people lost their shit and wanted pics. What really floored me was when a featured guest and Italian director (his name escapes me) flipped his shit and wanted pics as well. He actually excused himself from his fans to take pics of me. I figured if I got his attention I may have something here... and the rest is history. (Mind you it was just a $20 costume from Party City when I first appeared.)

 

HoTS: Upon creating what the world is quickly knowing as Father Evil, how long has it taken you to get to the point of his outfit, look at it, and say "Now, its perfect!"?

LA: Two years. To where I was like okay, this is authentic... But I'm never or will never be done "evolving". It will never be "perfect" in my eyes.

 

HoTS: What other, if any, other cosplay characters had you tried before deciding on Father Evil ?

LA: Never tried any other...I was going to do a vampire, but by that time people we're too engrossed with Father Evil. I even mentioned about cosplaying another character, but one guy said, "No dude, you can't be anything else. You are Father Evil & Father Evil is you."

 

HoTS: Father Evil has become what it seems to be an almost over night sensation. I know you've worked hard, put in lots of hours, and done numerous events to support his character. Did you ever think that he would have gotten such a huge following?

LA: No… nowhere near to what he is now, not at least this fast. I mean I knew that, hey, I got something here but never believed it would be this big, this fast. Never.

 

HoTS: From autographs, to fan photos, to celebrity photos - at their request, what is the one thing that a fan has done that has just put you over the top, to where you can't really believe it just happened?

LA: When a fan got a tattoo of Father Evil. I was like, “I don't even have a movie or comic, yet. Did this really just happen?” I was BLOWN away to be at that status.

 

HoTS: On the same note of dealing with fans, at the end of the day, when you're out of costume, do you ever just sit and think, "Is this really happening to me?"

LA: Yes, every other day.

 

HoTS: I've seen people swarm to Father Evil, I've seen them run scared from you, with your outfit being that of an evil priest. My question is have you ever encountered any, let's say, religious fanatics scolding you or, on the flip side, any individuals, from, let's say, the dark church approach you?

LA: No… nothing negative, nasty stares but nothing verbal. Maybe they're too scared. Who knows? I have met three Baptist pastors, and all wanted a pic. One said I was "grotesquely beautiful ".

 

HoTS: So I hear there is really big news in the work for Father Evil. Care to fill us in?

LA: Graphic novel. That's all I'm going to say... for now.

 

HoTS: Lou, you are a hard working man. You have a gorgeous family. How do you balance time between Lou and Father Evil?

LA: When I'm on vacation, Father Evil stays home. When I'm not doing something in the convention scene or hosting, I'm just a dad who loves to play with his kid.

 

HoTS: In closing, Lou, thank you so much for your time. We all wish you the absolute best with Father Evil and hope to see you soon. Is there anything you like to say to the readers of House of Tortured Souls?

LA: If you have an idea for something, do it. No matter how crazy it may sound, do it. I read a quote by Henry Rollins that really spoke to me and basically it speaks for itself here it goes… "There is no such thing as downtime, spare time, or part time all you have is lifetime. GO !!!"

Keep It Evil.

Posted by John Roisland in INTERVIEWS, 0 comments
Fear Fete Horror Con and Film Fest

Fear Fete Horror Con and Film Fest

By Dixielord

Fear Fete in Biloxi

Fear Fete in Biloxi Mississippi

Fear comes to the Mississippi Gulf Coast this Halloween season, as the Fear Fete Horror convention and film festival returns to Biloxi. This October 16-18th Fear Fete will be back at the Mississippi Coast Convention Center. While Fear Fete might be a smaller convention, it isn't lacking in great celebrities and cool horror films.

I went to Fear Fete last year after discovering it on Facebook at the last moment. I was only able to stay a couple hours but was able to meet Lloyd Kaufman, of Troma fame, for the first time. Also got to meet (again) Tony Todd (Candyman) and Tyler Mane (Halloween) again. I only had the time to check out on feature film, the independent Dorchester's Revenge: The Return of Crinoline Head, and had the chance to meet the director Tommy Faircloth and actress Lizzy Mears.

Sid Haig Is Coming to Fear Fete

This year the guest list at Fear Fete is just as impressive. The list includes the nicest guy on the circuit, Sid Haig (The Devil's Rejects), Alex Vincent (Child's Play), Andrew Divoff (Wishmaster, and special effects master Robert Kurtzman of KNB effects. Robert was also the director of the Wes Craven produced Wishmaster, along with many other guests. Fear Fete will also feature a reunion of last years film favorite Dorchester's Revenge. Dorchester's Revenge has been re titled for DVD release as Dollface, which is a little less of a mouth full.

The show also has a full weekend of Horror films, both feature length and shorts. Films include Valley of the Sasquatch from the United States and Inner Demons from Australia, and many more. A full list of movies can be found on the website. There will also be vendors of course and something called “The Zombie Survival Experience” sounds intriguing.

The full guest line up (as of this writing) is:

Sid Haig
Jeremy London (Mallrats)
Alex Vincent
Andrew Divoff
Ari Lehman (Friday the 13th)
Robert Kurtzman
Cast and crew from Dollface

So come on out if you are in the area, and I hope to see you at Fear Fete in Biloxi.

Posted by Allen Alberson in EVENTS, 0 comments
Gia Nova Announced for Rock and Shock

Gia Nova Announced for Rock and Shock

Gia Nova Returns to Rock and Shock

By Dixielord

Gia Nova to perform at Rock and Shock

Gia Nova sings and performs at Rock and Shock

The Rock and Shock horror convention in Worchester, Mass has announced that multi-talented dancer and performer Gia Nova will be appearing at their October show. Just in time for Halloween Gia brings her horror burlesque show to Rock and Shock on October 16, 17, and 18, 2015. Gia Nova will be signing all weekend and will be doing her stage act at the VIP party.

Gia Nova has graced the pages of Playboy on numerous occasion and won numerous awards for her performances. In 2012 she won exotic dancer entertainer of the year. Since then she has made various appearances at horror conventions to sign autographs, perform on stage, and give burlesque lessons. She also has had a small role in Rob Zombie's Halloween 2 and a role in the upcoming Frankenstein Created Bikers.

Her stage act incorporates burlesque with horror and side-show elements. Everything from playing with fire to walking on glass, all with a horror bent. If that isn't enough to sell you, then check out her YouTube videos. Holy flaming pasties folks! Along with all that Gia is just as sweet as she is beautiful, and is a pleasure to meet and chat with. She truly loves her fans and it shows.

George Romero will be there too!

Gia joins a guest line up that is already beyond awesome, including the King of the modern zombie film George Romero. Other guests appearing at Rock and Shock include Adam Green (Hatchet, Holliston), Tobin Bell (Saw franchise), Traci Lords, Samantha Mathis (The Strain), William Sanderson (Blade Runner), Doug Bradley (Hellraiser), and many more. The convention also features a Monster Squad reunion with Stephen Mact, Duncan Regehr, and Michael Mckay as well as a reunion of American Horror Story: Freakshow with Naomi Grossman, Erika Ervin, and Rose Siggins. There will also be a gathering of Leatherface(s) with Dan Yeager and Bill Johnson. Gunnar Hansen was originally scheduled to appear but has had to cancel. And there are even more guests than I have listed.

Gia Nova plays with fire

Gia Nova plays with fire.

There are plenty of reasons to attend Rock and Shock, but if you have ever seen Gia on stage you know she is reason enough. Just always remember, don't go to any show for just one guest, as cancellations DO happen, and are beyond the ability of the convention to control. Besides the celebrities there is always something to do and see at a horror convention, so go for the stars, but look around make new friends and have a great time! If you are anywhere near, get to Rock and Shock on October 16-17, 2015, I don’t think you will regret it.

Posted by Allen Alberson in EVENTS, 0 comments
George Romero at Mad Monster Party!

George Romero at Mad Monster Party!

By Dixielord

MMPMad Monster Party returns to Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2016. It's still a long way out but they have announced their first guest and it should make a lot of people happy. Joining the fans next year will be none other than the man who redefined the zombie genre and changed horror forever. That's right, the one and only George Romero will be at Mad Monster Party Charlotte.

Now unless you are one of those people I have mentioned before, ya know that horror fan who has been buried under a boulder for 60 plus years, you know who George Romero is. For that guy though, way back in 1968, there was a little film called Night of the Living Dead, directed by George Romero. Before Romero, zombies were relegated to being minions of voodoo witch doctors. They basically shambled around with arms outstretch and, well didn’t do a lot more. Then, in Night, George Romero gave zombies some bite, pun intended, and changed the game forever.

Romero is no stranger to the con circuit, but his appearances had become rare for a few years amid concerns for his health. But the last two years he has been doing shows again, and next year he will be doing Mad Monster.

Mad Monster Party's main show is in Charlotte, North Carolina, although they have also done shows in Chicago, Phoenix, New Orleans, and a few other cities. The show will run March 25-27, 2016, at the Sheraton Charlotte Hotel. Tickets are on sale now, and rooms are available at a special convention rate. Tickets can be purchased from the Mad Monster Party website, and there is information there on booking a room as well.

The show is off to a great start with George Romero and there will be many more guests added before the show. Mad Monster Party is always a good time, and 2016 looks to continue that legacy. Hope to see you there!

Posted by Allen Alberson in EVENTS, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
CON REVIEW: Scares That Care 2 (2015)

CON REVIEW: Scares That Care 2 (2015)

By Dixielord

During the last week of July a horror convention took place in Williamsburg, VA. Now horror conventions are nothing new, you can find one somewhere almost every week, but this one was a little different. This was the Scares That Care 2 weekend, a horror convention founded to let horror fans “give back” by donating all of the proceeds of the weekend to sick and needy families. This was the second year of the convention in Williamsburg and it was successful enough that a third convention has already been announced for 2016.

Tiny LesterA little bit of information about Scares That Care for those who don't know. It was founded by Indy film director Joe Ripple back in 2006. The organization at first raised money by auctions and vending at other conventions. The money raised was then distributed to other charities such as the Make A Wish foundation and the Johns Hopkins Children's Cancer Wing. Once the charity received its 501c certification from the IRS, it began to disburse the money it collected directly to families in need. Since its founding it has raised and donated over $75,000 dollars.

In 2014, Scares That Care held its first horror convention in historic Williamsburg, Va. It included celebrities from the horror genre including Kane Hodder (Jason Voorhees), Cassandra Peterson (Elvira), and the cast (and car) from Christine. There were also vendors, karaoke, movies, and a costume contest. The show was successful enough to return in 2015 with an even bigger and more ambitious show.

TongueI was lucky enough to attend both the 2014 show and the 2015, and in full disclosure I am partial to the show and the charity. I have volunteered with the charity for several years, and worked as a volunteer staff at the show on Saturday. That being said, I have been to dozens of shows in 13 different states and I can honestly say this is a great, well run show and the most fun I have had at a convention. Scares that Care strives to be a family friendly show, with a little something for everyone, while keeping prices as low as possible.

The biggest draw, and the staple of conventions is the celebrity autograph room. Unfortunately conventions always come with the danger that announced celebrities can cancel, sometimes with little or no warning. The Scares that Care show was hit hard early with numerous cancellations including Tawny Kitaen and Billy Drago. The promoters worked hard and announced several replacements including Chelan Simmons (Final Destination 3) and others. Then a few days before the show another wave of cancellations including fan favorites Kane Hodder and Ken Foree happened with no time for replacement celebs for the show.

Still the show must go on, and Scares that Care opened with a still impressive list of celebrity signers including Tiny Lister (Friday), Piper Laurie (Carrie), Kim Coates (Sons of Anarchy), Sid Haig (The Devil's Rejects), and many more. Prices were very reasonable with most celebrities charging $25 dollars, with a few (including Sid Haig) charging $20 and only one (Kim Coates) charging $40. Table photos were free with a autograph purchase for pretty much all the celebrities. All the stars I met were wonderful, fan friendly, and seemed genuinely happy to be there.

It's not all about the celebrities that you see on television and movies, though, at Scares that Care. With the help of author Brian Keene, the convention is quickly developing a reputation of being a friend of horror authors. There was a large contingent of authors signing and selling their books, as well as giving readings from their work. Authors in attendance this year included Brian Keene himself, as well as Johnathon Janz, Thomas Montelone, Kelli Owen, and many others.

kids preparing to trick or treatThe other component of all good conventions is the vendors area. Because of the hotel layout, besides a main vendors room, there was also an upstairs vendor area. Vendors who chose this area were able to rent a room to themselves, allowing for a larger space for their wares, and the ability to lock the room door after hours. It did come at a price of being a bit harder to find than the main vending room. Walking through the area you could find anything from prop weapons to tarot card readings. Inside the main area you could find the usual horror staples, of DVDs, fangs, and artwork as well as everything from horror themed pillows to children's books.

Vendors and celebrities are the meat and potatoes of conventions, but there was so much more at Scares that Care. In the bar area there was Scaryoke for three straight nights starting Thursday night. Friday and Saturday night there were live acoustic musical sets by William Bozarth and Benjamin Samedi.

In efforts to keep the show for the whole family, there was a trick or treat parade during the day on Saturday. The children and their parents were lead through the rooms, where they were able to trick or treat at the tables, ending up back at the will call area where a big bag of candy was divided among the children participating.

Scares that Care weekend wasn’t just for the kids though. On Friday night, there was a burlesque dance seminar and class for the ladies only taught by the beautiful Gia Nova. Sadly, no amount of begging could convince them to let me audit the class. On Saturday night, Gia Nova performed her horror themed burlesque act for a packed audience.

Gia Nova juggling fireThe costume contest allowed kids of all ages to break out their best costumes, both home made and store bought. Cosplay, which is more than an anime and sci fi convention staple is become more popular at horror conventions as well. While most horror conventions have a contest, more and more you are seeing the average conventioner show up dressed as his favorite villain or hero from a horror classic. In order to help keep the show safe and fun for everyone Scares that Care has adopted the Cosplay is Not Consent principle. It's sad people have to be reminded of this, but it's important that shows do provide a safe environment for costumers.

Add to all this, a film festival, all volunteer haunted house, silent auction, seminars, and panels and you have a full show with something for everyone. Did I mention the promoter karaoking Sex Bomb while wearing a pink bra to help raise money? For me, no show is compete without after hour drinking and fun. It's a time to get together with old friends, meet new friends and have a great time with little drama. The atmosphere all weekend was laid back and peaceful and just fun.

It would be totally remiss to not mention the hotel, the Double Tree Wyndam in Williamsburg. The hotel and its staff have been beyond accommodating to the Scares that Care staff and guests. I met several young ladies on staff who were excited to get to meet Kim Coates on Saturday.

Finally, it was announced on August 5th, that this years convention raised a total of $13,000 for the charity. There will be other small events during the year before the check presentations in October. As a fan of horror conventions, I am glad that Scares that Care provides a great convention experience and a fun time. Beyond that though, I am happy that it allows fans a chance to give back, to help those less fortunate than us. I'll be eagerly waiting for next year's show on July 22 and I hope to see you there.

Special thanks to my friends Robert Tongue, Jennifer Hall, and Alfred Guy for the use of their photos.

STC

Posted by Allen Alberson in EVENT REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments

2015 Convention Dates and Locations

By HoTS

These are the convention dates and locations we have assembled for the rest of 2015. If we missed anything, please feel free to let us know. If you would like us to include you in our 2016 list, feel free to let us know.

8/14 - 8/16 B Movie Celebration @ Nashville, IN

8/15 - 8/17 Motor City Comic Con @Novi, MI

8/20 - 8/23 Wizard World Chicago Comic Con @ Rosemont, IL

8/21 - 8/23 Crypticon @ Kansas City, MO

8/21 - 8/23 Carnival of Parahorror @ Buffalo, NY

8/22 - 8/23 Bruce Campbell's Horror Fest @ Rosemont, IL

8/27 - 8/30 Horrific Film Fest @ San Antonio, Tx

9/3 - 9/6 Fan Expo Canada @ Toronto, ON

9/4 - 9/6 Wizard World San Jose Comic Con @ San Jose, CA

9/4 - 9/7 Dragon Con @ Atlanta, GA

9/11 - 9/13 Scare-A-Con @ Verona, NY

9/11 - 9/13 Motor City Nightmares Halloween Horror Show Novi, MI

9/11 - 9/13 Scarefest Horror and Paranormal Con @ Lexington, KY

9/11 - 9/13 HorrorHound Weekend @ Indianapolis, IN

9/18 - 9/20 Wizard World Ohio Comic Con @ Columbus, OH

9/18 - 9/20 Son of Monsterpalooza @ Anaheim, CA

9/18 - 9/20 Shock-A-Con @ Charleston, WV

9/24 - 9/27 New Orleans Horror Film Fest @ New Orleans, LA

9/24 - 10/1 Fantastic Fest 2015 @ Austin, TX

9/25 - 9/27 Edmonton Comic Expo @ Edmonton, AB

9/26 - 9/27 Monster Con @ San Antonio, TX

10/1 - 10/4 Mile High Horror Film Festival @ Denver, CO

10/2 - 10/4 Monsterama @ Atlanta, GA

10/2 - 10/4 Wizard World Ft. Lauderdale Comic Con @ Ft. Lauderdale, FL

10/2 - 10/4 Monster Mania @ Hunt Valley, MD

10/2 - 10/4 Cinema Wasteland @ Strongsville, OH

10/3 Monster Fest @ Chesapeake, VA

10/8 - 10/11 New York Comic Con @ New York, NY

10/8 - 10/17 Spooky Movie @ Washington, D.C.

10/9 - 10/11 Sacramento Horror Film Fest, Sacramento, CA

10/9 - 10/11 Necronomicon @ Tampa,
FL

10/10 Fantom Fest @ San Antonio, TX

10/13 - 10/22 Screamfest Horror Film Festival @ Los Angeles, CA

10/15 - 10/18 Idaho Horror Film Fest @ Boise, ID

10/15 - 10/23 Toronto After Dark @ Toronto, ON

10/16 - 10/18 Rock and Shock @ Worcester, MA

10/16 - 10/18 Monster Bash @ Mars, PA

10/16 - 10/18 Telluride Horror Show @ Telluride, CO

10/16-10/18 Fear Fest @ Biloxi, MS

10/16 - 10/18 Eerie Horror Film Fest @ Erie, PA

10/16 - 10/18 Scream in the Dark Film Fest @ Omaha, NE

10/16 - 10/18 Bizarre A.C. @ Atlantic City, NJ

10/16 - 10/18 Sinister Creature Con @ Sacramento, CA

10/17 - 10/18 Horror- Rama @ Toronto, ON

10/17 - 10/18 Shock Around the Clock @ Columbus, OH

10/19 - 10/25 R.I. International Horror Film Festival @ Providence, RI

10/22-11/1 Twin Cities Horror Fest @ Minneapolis, MN

10/23 - 10/25 Crypticon @ Minneapolis, MN

10/23-10/25 Wizard World Tulsa Comic Con @ Tulsa, OK

10/23-10/25 Chiller Theatre @ Parsippany, NJ

10/23 - 10/25 Knoxville Horror Film Fest @ Knoxville, TN

10/23 - 10/28 Martinsville Horror Fest @ Martinsville, VA

10/30-10/31 Wizard World Austin Comic Con @ Austin, TX

10/30 - 11/1 Spooky Empire @ Orlando, FL

10/30 - 11/1 Walker Stalker Con @ Atlanta, GA

10/30 - 11/1 Colorado Horror Con @ Northglenn, CO

11/7 - 11/8 Don Con @ Burbank, CA

11/12 - 11/15 New York Horror Film Fest @ New York, NY

11/13 - 11/15 Housecore Horror Festival @ San Antonio, TX

11/13 - 11/15 Living Dead Horror Con @ Portland, OR

11/14 - 11/15 Buried Alive Film Fest @ Atlanta, GA

11/20 - 11/22 Days of The Dead @ Chicago, IL

Posted by John Roisland in EVENTS, 0 comments