It’s a known fact that when MeTV’s national horror host, Svengoolie, makes an appearance near the Wisconsin border. It’s going to generate a record number of fans. Especially when you factor in temps in the ‘70s, that it’s his last appearance of the Halloween season and his first at Volo since 2019. This is why even a prolific Sven-stalker like me generally avoids this event; especially, since I’d just visited the museum with my friend, Jason, last August. However, when Svengoolie’s producer, Jim Roche, asked if I’d give them a hand, I couldn’t turn him down. I guess I was relieved they still wanted me around after sharing my displeasure with “Svengoolie Uncrypted” in a recent post. But now that the appearance is over, I’m wondering if this wasn’t retribution.
Who’d of thought zombies terrorizing an Illinois city’s streets would inspire warm, cuddly feelings of life getting back to normal? That’s what happened last Saturday when I visited “Nightmare on Chicago Street’ – the quintessential Halloween event that many feared would never happen again. Fortunately, a Global Pandemic proved no match for the Undead as I entered the Safe Zone of Elgin, Illinois smiling from ear to ear.
On that Saturday morning at Flashback Weekend, I was enjoying breakfast with my friends when Svengoolie’s producer, Jim Roche, called to say they were en route. This was a whirlwind weekend for the horror host as he’d be appearing at two major Chicago conventions – C2E2 (Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo) and Flashback Weekend – while filming segments for his October MeTV special – Svengoolie Uncrypted. If you watched it when it first aired back on October 1st (encore presentation this Sunday, October 30th), then you know that Flashback Weekend played a pivotal role during its ongoing skit.
We arrived at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare just in time for Flashback Weekend’s Registration. My friend, Jason, flew in from Rhode Island the day before, and our friends, Don and Bunny, were already indulging in the perks of their VIP pass with early admittance to the dealer’s room. As soon as we saw them, Bunny gave me the full lay of the land so I could strategize. As a general rule of thumb, you want to meet the celebrity guests on your list first and foremost. This year my autograph goals were minimal – Quinn Lord and John Michael Graham. The latter was for the purpose of adding yet another signature to my Halloween (1978) poster which I discussed last year. Bunny informed me the closest guest, however, was Quinn Lord a.k.a. Trick r Treat Sam, making him my defacto first stop.
I’m pleased to welcome back Mark Spangler for another one of his insightful reviews…
In the days of yore, we quaked to Quasimodo, dreaded Dracula, and feared the Frankenstein monster. The wolfman had us howling while the mummy had us screaming for mommy. Soon came atomic monsters, horrors from Hammer, and later still, demon-possessed little girls, slashers, freaks, cannibals, and zombie hordes. There was and still is much to be afraid of when we venture out into the darkened theaters we love so well. The most terrifying element in the history of the horror film, however – or any genre for that matter – is the dreaded “s”’ word. Yes, we’re referring to the unmentionable, the taboo, the hideous… subtitles.
With Father’s Day just around the corner, I decided to read a fatherly-themed vintage, horror paperback. After a quick scan of my collection, I managed to find the perfect story – assuming, of course, you’re sick and twisted. The story begins with Carnes and his sixteen-year-old daughter, Deirdre, taking a road trip through the rural United States. After a dated discussion regarding Michael Jackson and MTV, they decide to stop for the night in the small town of Burton. When dad returns with the room keys, his jovial mood turns to terror when he discovers that Deirdre is missing. He immediately goes into a panic and for good reason, too, as his daughter is now in the clutches of a savage rapist/murderer! For this reason alone, Daniel Ransom’s 1985 horror paperback, “Daddy’s Little Girl,” should have more aptly been titled, “Daddy’s Worst Nightmare.”