Svengoolie and the Slashers at Flashback Weekend!

(Continued) With so many contestants at the Flashback Weekend costume contest, there wasn’t as much time for Svengoolie to get celebrity guest interviews for his show. Feeling the pressure, the crew quickly headed for the main convention hall to see who was available. I know there had been some discussion earlier of him possibly interviewing the singer, Meatloaf. Thankfully, this did not happen as it likely would’ve been his ONLY interview (see my first Flashback post). As we made our way through the crowd, numerous fans approached Sven for a selfie and he obliged whenever he could despite the rush. Fortunately, Jim was able to keep many of them at bay. 

Chas Alling prepares for his final segment

The first interview was with the lovely Shawnee Smith from the SAW franchise. She originally headlined this event with Tobin Bell before his cancelation. I know a lot of folks were disappointed about that but I was never much of a SAW person, myself. I much prefer Shawnee in the 1988 remake of The Blob. She and Sven seemed to get along well though I was unable to hear them in the noisy room. That’s the irony of the whole thing – I’m standing just a few feet away from these interviews but never know what they’re talking about until it’s on television.

Quick side story – Shawnee Smith’s daughter acted as her assistant. Later that night I was at the hotel bar with some friends when one of their friends sat down and joined us. He was in his early ‘20s and had just attended the Flashback Weekend VIP party where he met Smith’s daughter. For the next fifteen minutes, he gushed about how they’d shared a “moment” and wondered if he had a legitimate shot at dating her. I remember thinking to myself, “Not a snowball’s chance in Hell, kid!” 

Svengoolie’s next interview was with Kane Hodder a.k.a. “Jason” from Friday the 13th Parts VII, VIII, and Jason Goes to Hell. I don’t recall if the two ever met before but it was obvious by Hodder’s reaction that he knew Svengoolie and really liked him.

I was SO disappointed not having the time to finally meet Hodder and have him sign my SCREAM! Factory Friday the 13th poster. Hopefully next time.

Then it was time to leave “Jason” and go see “Michael.” At the other end of the hall were various cast members from the Halloween franchises (excluding Rob Zombie’s) along with the famous station wagon Michael Myers stole from the fictional “Smith’s Grove Sanitarium” in the original 1978 film. As a nice bonus, Svengoolie got to interview the original Michael a.k.a. “The Shape,” Nick Castle, in front of the car.

At this time, fan fervor had been stronger than ever since Halloween Kills (2021) was finally being released in October. I watched it on Peacock the day it dropped and, although this new trilogy is fun, I also find it quite silly. Why is Nurse Marion still hanging out in Haddonfield with the grown-up kids? What’s with that scene featuring the guy jumping out the window? And, most importantly, what happened to Anthony Michael Hall’s acting skills?

I think part of the problem is that I was eleven years old when Halloween II (1981) was released and, forty years later, refuse to dwell in a universe where it’s no longer considered canon. In my world, Laurie Strode is Michael’s sister – end of story! Besides that, Halloween II has Donald Pleasance as Dr. Loomis. No, not the deepfake Donald Pleasance seen in this year’s entry, I mean the real one!

But betting back to Svengoolie…

Sitting next to the car display was a custom Halloween pinball machine created by Spooky Pinball.  This was not the first time I’ve talked about these guys as they were featured in my coverage of another Svengoolie appearance six years ago. 

With all his Flashback Weekend duties complete, We were taken to a private lounge where we could relax, have a snack, and hydrate. This brought us to one of the saddest moments of the weekend, saying farewell to Chas. 

Everyone wished him well and Svengoolie made a point to let him know he was always welcome to join the crew at future appearances. Jim handed me his SLR camera and asked if I’d do them the honor of photographing Chas with the crew one last time. 

We kicked back and listened to Jim discuss all the big public appearances they had planned for October. I eagerly jotted down dates so I could put them all on my calendar. Unfortunately, they were never to be and, despite all my grumblings, Flashback Weekend would be Svengoolie’s only outing in 2021.

I’d love to end this post on a hugh note and say how excited I am to see him this year but, so far, things aren’t looking too hopeful. Since this event, the Delta variant has been upstaged by Omnicron. With the Covid situation seemingly worse than ever, I don’t expect to see Svengoolie in person again anytime soon.

In retrospect, the biggest flashback of Flashback Weekend was an all-too-brief feeling of normalcy. Something we all desperately needed.



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