(Continued) As soon as Svengoolie completed his interview with the cast of The Manson Brothers Midnight Zombie Massacre (2021) the room quickly filled up with contestants and onlookers for Flashback Weekend’s annual costume contest. It was soon evident that a lot of creative fans used their time in last year’s lockdown to make costumes as this was the largest number of contestants I’d ever seen. The line of hopefuls wrapped around the room and beyond – with no end in sight. This would be “Mayor” Don Johnston‘s turn to shine as he had the dubious task of directing everyone on and off the stage – something a bit more challenging when dealing with kids or those visually impaired by their own costumes.
As always, the child contestants were up first and never disappoint. In fact, if memory serves, their costumes outshined the adults at the last (2019) show.
Artist, Mitch O’Connell’s, son always makes a splash with his creative costumes, usually winning the top prize. This year, his son was dressed as Kevin Van Hentenryck from the cult classic, Basket Case (1982), complete with his deformed/conjoined twin!
O’Connell’s costume was certainly memorable but the most notorious child contestant was a girl dressed as Captain Spaulding from Rob Zombie’s House of 1,000 Corpses (2003). After impressing the crowd by imitating the late Sid Haig’s southern drawl and delivering the line, “What’s the matter, kid, you don’t like clowns?” Svengoolie made the mistake of encouraging her to share more quotes. She happily obliged and then proceeded to drop an F-bomb on stage to the chagrin of both audience and host!
Don did his best to keep up with the contestants but a few of them were just a bit too quick. One kid dressed as Friday the 13th’s Jason literally jumped off the stage prompting Svengoolie to quip, “Hey Look, this Jason even does his own stunts!”
After all the kids were finished, they lined up for judging. Svengoolie would hold his rubber chicken over each contestant and the level of applause would determine the winner.
This year would prove a Flashback Weekend upset as the reigning champ, O’Connell, was bested by an adorable Killer Klown!
It was now time for the adults to take the stage. Get ready to scroll, folks, cause there were a lot of em!
By the end of the contest, there was but one contestant everyone was talking about…Stone Cold E.T.! Yes, as soon as he lept on stage, it became a free-for-all or, as our Captain Spaulding girl would probably say, a clusterf**k! Grabbing the microphone, he went on a professional wrestler-style tirade while Svengoolie and the audience sat in stunned disbelief. The problem was you couldn’t understand what he was saying through the mask – despite yelling through a hole above the mask’s left eye.
Having lost control of the stage, Svengoolie could do little more than let him continue on with his unintelligible banter which went on a bit too long. In hindsight, I think it probably would’ve been best if Don went up there and moved things along but my guess is that he was as dumbfounded as the rest of us. In truth, it was entertaining if not insane. Besides, if he’d been cut short we’d have likely missed out on his extraordinary grand exit.
After finally relinquishing the microphone, he began doing cartwheels before finally leaving the stage.
This wasn’t the last we’d hear from him.
After Svengoolie gathered all the adult participants (who were so numerous, judging had to be done in two separate line-ups), Stone Cold E.T. began yelling more wrestling talk before getting fake-stabbed by one of the Michael Myers contestants. Stone Cold was a good sport and played along; grabbing his “wounds” and dramatically falling to the floor. This set off the Dr. Loomis contestant who started yelling, “No, Michael!!!” Before pretending to shoot him with a faux pistol he had in his pocket. Now, with two contestants lying “dead” on the floor, it had become official – this was the whackiest costume contest I’d ever attended!
Stone Cold E.T.’s antics paid off as he’d take 2nd place. At the end of the day, however, it was craftsmanship rather than showmanship that took the top prize and the ‘Creature’ would have a sack full of goodies to take with him on his return trip to Black Lagoon.
After it was over, a few contestants hung around to get pictures with Svengoolie.
Unfortunately, with the contest having so many contestants, there wasn’t much time to spare. With the convention hall near closing, it was a race to get celebrity guest interviews for the Svengoolie show. Fortunately, some of the best ones were still available.
Coming up…My Flashback Weekend 2021 coverage concludes with Svengoolie and the Slashers!