Happy Labor Day!
Before delving into my experience at 2014’s Flashback Weekend featuring Svengoolie and his LIVE talk show with Robert Englund, Lance Henriksen, and a host of other cast members from A Nightmare on Elm Street films, I should probably explain just where the heck we Terror Daves have been this past summer. This time last year I think I’d covered about nine conventions as opposed to this year’s impressive…er…ONE but, rest assured, we’re both still alive.
We did formally discuss taking a step back earlier this year, though I surprised myself by actually following through on that. We both took the time to devote energy on our animal interests which, for me, involved volunteering more hours at Brookfield Zoo while focusing extra attention on my AAZK (American Association of Zookeepers) Chapter (the same group that hosted Svengoolie last March in a story David covered HERE). The funny part of the story is that our site’s traffic actually increased instead of decreased. I guess the previous four years of hard work had paid off with older posts like my story on meeting Pam Grier, David’s 1980’s “Boglin” toy retrospective and the one he did on Asia Eriksen’s “Werepuppies” becoming large draws. The revelation that the break didn’t end up harming the site was pretty fantastic but, what wasn’t so great, was missing out on a bunch of Svengoolie’s summer appearances…
I have a confession to make – I didn’t see the original Insidious in theaters when it came out. It was only when Terror Dave Fuentes asked me to review Insidious 2 that I rented it via Red Box. I watched it just two days before seeing Insidious 2 so it was very fresh in my memory – and I’m glad that it was!
Friday night at Days of the Dead didn’t have quite the after party Russ and I hoped for. That wasn’t shocking since Saturdays tend to be when convention festivities kick off and it certainly wasn’t everyone else’s fault that we were only staying over on Friday. After we ate dinner the convention rooms closed but Days offered activities in the hotel lounge which included a monster burlesque show.
The inimitable “Russ Wrangler” arrived at my place around 1pm; all smiles and full of energy. Clad in sunglasses and sandals, he looked more prepared for a day at the beach as opposed to a horror convention but clearly the overall message was “vacation” and a welcomed one at that. We loaded my things and immediately embarked for Indianapolis with no lulls in conversation, making the drive go by much quicker.
This was my third Days of the Dead in Indianapolis (fourth overall) and Russ’ second. I remember attending the very first one while being impressed with how fan-friendly it was; something I’d hoped hadn’t changed. It seems like fan conventions of any kind start off slow and friendly and, should they find success, later become out-of-control Goliath’s with the fans getting lost somewhere in the mix.
It was a beautiful sunny day in Chicago when I arrived at DePaul University to see a Q&A session with national horror host and broadcaster, Rich Koz/Svengoolie! While I’ve seen him at various appearances this would mark the first time I would catch him without his familiar make-up and, rather than greet fans, get to see him discuss his vast career.
One of the highlights of this year’s ROCK & SHOCK convention in Worcester, MA was meeting and getting to know the artist couple Asia and Anders Eriksen. Asia was covered not too long ago with her amazing creations known as WerePups (you can read all about it HERE). Anders, her husband and an amazing artist in his own right, is the creator of NIGHTMARE GLOVES, the VERY BEST Freddy Krueger gloves available on the market today! Being a collector of masks and props it takes a lot to impress me these days and I will say with all honesty that when it comes to these two, impressive is a perfect adjective! Not only are they amazing artists but they are also very friendly and personable and if you get the opportunity to meet them at a convention, please do not hesitate. You will not be disappointed!