The day before my buddy, Chris Carr, and I left for Horrorhound Weekend/Mask-Fest, we saw Stephen King’s IT with my kids. It was the Thursday night premiere and afterwards I groggily posted a blog on it before getting the few hours’ sleep necessary for the drive to Indy. At the time, we assumed there’d be lots of fans dressed as Pennywise at this event but, outside of a couple Tim Curry versions, that wasn’t the case. Understandably, most folks hadn’t even seen IT yet. That’s not to say, however, that Horrorhound didn’t seize upon the film’s debut nor the resurgence of killer clown popularity since last year’s media-driven hysteria.
After the main convention activities ended, the Marriott’s Freedom Ballroom opened for after-hour events. In celebration of the film (which we had no idea at that time would go on to be the highest grossing horror movie in history) they held a special IT party with Scare’oke’ and Clown Costume Contest that Friday night. It would end up being just as goofy and unforgettable as its name would imply.
First, we walked back to our hotel to unload our autographs and some rather bulky items I purchased in the vendor’s hall. In many ways, the friendship between Chris and I defies the Laws of Nature. He’s one of those sports-fan, athletic types while I’m pretty much the epitome of “dork.” It was sort of like if Anthony Michael Hall and Emelio Estevez went out for pizza together after finishing up detention in The Breakfast Club. During the course of the weekend, I saw a lot of folks wearing T-shirts with Trick r Treat Sam, Jason Voorhees, and Michael Myers but only Chris touting Notre Dame Football. This immediately caught the attention of that big security guard I mentioned in my first post who suddenly snapped out of his usual, “take no crap from anyone” stance to strike up conversation with Chris. Honestly, in my years of doing this event, I’ve never seen that guard crack a smile, let alone converse. I stood there in disbelief as the two began chatting in that strange foreign language I like to refer to as Jockanese. If only I could have Chris along whenever I take a cab ride back in Chicago. That man could buffer a lot of uncomfortable conversations between me and the driver as they inevitably break the awkward silence with an even more problematic discussion on sports! This same scenario would play out later between Chris and one of our waitresses at a nearby restaurant and honestly made me realize the importance of traveling with an interpreter!
When we entered the Ballroom, the stage was set up and they were doing sound-checks via some guy singing ACDC (and doing a pretty good job, I might add). I noticed Woody the Clown was leading the festivities which was like a blast from the past. The last time I saw him was five years ago at the Fright Night Film Fest in Louisville. Back then he was part of Atomic Age Cinema with Baron Mardi, Basement Boy, and Dr, Calamari. I have no idea whatever happened to those guys, but Woody was obviously alive and well and began this event by “singing” the classic ‘80s hit, “99 Red Balloons.” Once he (and the rest of us) struggled through the first verse, a set of double doors opened and a bunch of Horrorhound volunteers started kicking real red balloons into the hall; each one with the Stephen King IT logo on them. You honestly couldn’t have come up with a better intro.
Once the room was sufficiently loaded with balloons, the lights dimmed and it became a free-for-all. Everyone started running around pell-mell amongst killer clowns (who showed up for the costume contest) while kicking around the balloons and listening to the performers.
The Scary’oke singers represented all ranges of talent from a guy screeching Aerosmith’s “I don’t want to miss a thing” to a voluptuous zombie gal performing a rather cool rendition of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit.”
By far the weirdest moment was when a guy who calls himself “Con Jesus” and an evil minister performed a duet together. I have no idea what that song was but it was a riot!
When the music stopped and the stage became more brightly lit we knew it was time for the Clown costume contest. Here are some highlights…
And more highlights…
I have to say, the whole night was pretty hilarious and Chris proved to be one of the most fun people to do conventions with! He added a lot of energy and his humor enhanced the entire weekend. I was so glad he asked to join me and, mismatched as we may be, I’ve no doubt that he’ll be making a lot of appearances on this site in the future. Between him and Jason Schoolcraft at “Days of the Dead,” I’m starting to wonder if the best thing for this site is to literally go “beyond the Daves.”
…though I still have NO intention of ever watching sports!
Coming Up…Jason Takes Indianapolis!