Horrorhound Weekend boasted a cavalcade of celebrities as well as excellent panels and vendors. We literally left one aisle of MASK-FEST before seamlessly finding ourselves in the middle of it; a transition putting us in immediate temptation. Everything looked so incredible, you could easily blow a hundred bucks without walking more than five feet! Fan conventions have gotten a lot pricier since this site began nearly ten years ago. The biggest increases are from guest celebrities. They charge top dollar for their autographs and you should count yourself lucky if they don’t tack on an additional fee for a selfie. I had brought along a couple of Blu-ray covers I’d hoped to have signed but when I saw those prices…well let’s just say those covers remained untouched throughout the weekend. It wasn’t that I didn’t have the money but rather my being haunted by all the things I could do with that cash instead. And it wasn’t as if Horrorhound didn’t offer plenty of alternatives.
The best $20 I spent at this event was on a signed Blu-ray copy of Never Hike Alone (2017). This Friday the 13th fan film is free on YouTube but had DVD/Blu-ray copies available for a limited time after two successful fundraisers. Unfortunately, I’d only heard of this film a few months ago and not only missed the opportunity to support it but failed to get a physical copy. If you look on eBay, you’ll be lucky to find the red-covered first printing for under a hundred dollars and the blue-covered second one for under sixty. So when I found the film’s Writer/Producer/Director – Vincente Disanti, selling the original red release for $20 it was like hitting the jackpot!
The movie is under an hour and well worth your time. The cinematography is top-notch and Crystal Lake never looked so beautiful. The cat and mouse between Jason (played by Vincente) and the hiker (Drew Leighty) will have you on the edge of your seat and, unlike most of Voorhees victims, you actually care about this one. I should mention, there’s currently another Indiegogo fundraiser going on for its sequel, Never Hike in the Snow. Unfortunately, I don’t see any physical media offerings for its backers which is a tough sell for me because since I’m not ready to give up on physical media. After this, we decided to split up and do our own shopping. I was glad because I didn’t want them to see me doing a frivolous shopping spree but, despite the enticement, I remained frugal.
We met up at the end and were just about ready to leave when Jade asked if I’d seen the booth with Mothman and the Flatwoods Monster shirts. In 2017, we’d gone on a road trip through West Virginia and visited both Braxton County (home of the Flatwoods Monsters) and the Mothman Museum in Point Pleasant. I featured them in two separate Scary Monsters Magazine articles. Incidentally, my final WEIRD USA article (featuring the Hodag monster in Wisconsin) will be appearing in their winter “Robot” issue. I’ve reached a point in my life where I just want to write for myself; whenever I feel like it and on my own site without obligation. My understanding is that the publisher, Don Smeraldi, will be continuing the WEIRD USA series, himself, which I fully support. I’ll be doing the same thing on this site whenever a WEIRD opportunity arises.
Up until Horrorhound, I assumed my kids were hapless stowaways whenever we stopped at bizarre attractions. Apparently, that trip to West Virginia made an impression on Jade as she purchased a neat T-Shirt featuring both of its monsters.
The Pickled Punk Show had some fantastic designs and I was tempted to buy myself a shirt, too, if not for the fact that my closet is already overrun with genre-related T-Shirts. I ended up buying prints instead which I framed and hung in my living room after we returned to Chicago.
With my cryptid prints in tow, it was time to stop beating around the bush and head over to an entire room dedicated to them. We left the main convention hall of Horrorhound and MASK-FEST and headed across the lobby to this year’s NEW show, Fact or Fiction Fest!
Coming Up…the Bigfoot Hunters!