Saturday, August 3, 2019, 5 PM: The Flashback Weekend costume contest ends and Svengoolie reunites with his crew before we all head, single file, to the main convention hall. Don Johnston takes the lead; helping to reel in celebrities for Sven to interview. I’m the caboose of this entourage doing my best to stay out of the way while taking photos. Suddenly, Svengoolie makes an unexpected detour to visit one of the vendors. She’s a Svengoolie fan who follows him on social media and mentioned how they’ve never formally met despite his passing her booth every year at Flashback Weekend. This time, he makes sure to break tradition and say ‘hello!’
Svengoolie would end up filming interviews with several guests including actress/composer/producer Brooke Theiss from A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988).
Brooke was with her daughter and had been walking in the opposite direction before stopping Svengoolie, herself. It turns out she’s a fan and enthusiastically agreed to tape an interview with him right there on the spot.
Of course, Svengoolie stopped to greet his old friend, Tom Atkins. As soon as the star of The Fog (1980) and Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) finished attending to his fans, he also did an interview. Tom promised he’d also attend Svengoolie’s VIP party – a promise he would keep.
While Svengoolie was taping with Atkins, I noticed he got the attention of actress, Cerina Vincent, nearby. Cerina’s had roles in Cabin Fever (2002), Tales of Halloween (2015), and Not Another Teen Movie (2001). I heard her asking her assistant to investigate who Atkins was chatting with as it was obvious she wasn’t about to let a camera get past her. When it was her turn she turned on the charm and made for an excellent interview. Svengoolie talked to her about her role in Not Another Teen Movie which impressed his producer, Jim Roche. “Where did you pull that one out of?” Jim later asked.
“That’s easy,” replied Svengoolie. “She had the poster hanging behind her booth.”
Cerina accidentally spilled the beans on something that was supposed to be a Flashback Weekend surprise – a special cake for his anniversary party.
“Oh, so YOU’RE the one that cake in the VIP room was for!” she said. Svengoolie, ever the pro, just played along.
Next up was Lisa Wilcox from the 4th and 5th installments of A Nightmare on Elm Street.
Another old Flashback Weekend pal of Svengoolie was Amanda Wyss from A Nightmare on Elm Street. Wyss mentioned how she’s been seeing people wear their Sven shirts in her hometown of LA.
5:30 PM: From the main hall, Don walked us over to the Caddyshack restaurant I mentioned in my first ‘Flashback Diaries’ post. Incidentally, I did finally watch Caddyshack since that published at the behest of my friend, Johnny Doyle. I thought the movie was a lot of fun but mostly for the Rodney Dangerfield’s scenes. When we reached the restaurant, Mia Kertz was standing guard. For the next hour and a half, the restaurant would be closed to the general public and open only for Flashback VIP holders.
Once inside, I spotted my friends, Ron and Angela Urban. If you think I’m a prolific Sven-chaser, this couple has been at it since the early ‘80s. If anyone should attend a 40th Anniversary party for Svengoolie, it’s these two. Svengoolie chatted with them a bit before it was time to make his rounds.
Tony Todd is a tall actor and no stranger to the convention scene. After years of crossing paths, he and Svengoolie were finally able to meet.
They attempted an interview but the noise level was pretty high and Kertz suggested they use the VIP breakroom (for lack of better words). We walked inside and the room was empty except for Nick Digilio and Lisa Zane sitting at a table to the left of the door. To the right was the aforementioned Svengoolie cake meaning the surprise would have been spoiled even if Cerina hadn’t slipped up.
After his interview with Todd, we gave the cake a closer look. It was created by Johanna Wyss from Battycakes: Custom Bake Studio, a local baker with a penchant for the macabre. She’s presented her amazing cakes to Alice Cooper and Robert Englund while making frequent appearances on local television. When she learned of Svengoolie celebrating his 40th year, she volunteered to make this one for free!
Soon, both Svengoolie and his doppelganger pastry took center stage as a crowd gathered. Flashback Weekend’s Mike Kertz paid tribute to the host (which hopefully Sven’s camera guy, Mike, got all on tape since I couldn’t hear much of it) while everyone cheered – including Tom Atkins who had a front-row seat.
Johanna began cutting her masterpiece, starting at the shoulder. This caused the real Svengoolie to grab his own shoulder and wince as if in pain. A Voodoo cake…imagine the possibilities.
Svengoolie was offered the first piece but the poor man can’t eat when he’s wearing makeup. That honor went to me, instead, and I took my hallowed desert back to Ron and Angie’s table. “So how is it?” asked Angela. “It’s Rich!” I replied. “See what I did there?” She rolled her eyes. Obviously, I should leave the corny jokes to the professionals.
When the party ended, everyone went back upstairs to the room. I said goodbye to Svengoolie and the crew before he started removing his makeup. They thanked me for helping them out and I thanked them for all the amazing perks that came with it. I brought my bags back to the car before returning to the Caddyshack restaurant. Ron and Angie were still inside waiting for me. It had been a long day and there was a “classic caddy cheeseburger” with my name on it.