Fans ‘Flood’ Chicago’s Fantasy Costumes for Svengoolie!

 

Photo courtesy of Jim Roche

Last Saturday I was sitting at my work desk while gazing at the tempest outside. Since it was the weekend, I had the whole office to myself and decided to turn off the main lights in favor of a small one hanging over my computer. With the dark clouds and rain pounding on my window, it seemed to make the otherwise chaotic place cozier; something you could never accomplish during normal business hours. With Halloween only a couple weeks away, we Chicagoans can be sure of two things; the weather will be erratic and our local/national TV horror host, Svengoolie, will be amidst a busy schedule of appearances. In fact, it almost seemed like this year’s list of events rivaled that of his ultra-busy 2012. I’d covered almost all of those and remember being thoroughly exhausted by the time it was over. This year, however, my “Svengoolie-stalking” activities were clearly lacking as my schedule never seemed to be in sync with his. On this rainy day, however, he was slated to make two appearances with one starting just when my shift ended. I decided it was high time I broke out of my Svenertia. and braved the elements to see him at Fantasy Costumes – the largest costume shop in the windy city!

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The George A. Romero Official Tribute and Memorial

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Join us with George’s close family and friends as we celebrate the life and career of the legendary horror filmmaker, who passed away on July 16th, 2017 at the age of 77.

Romero, who pioneered the zombie film genre with the 1968 feature, Night of the Living Dead, made an indelible imprint on the industry and inspired a multitude of influential directors and actors.Help us celebrity his legacy with a Q&A with celebrity fans and friends, followed by a screening of George’s classic Warner Bros. film Creepshow, starring Ed Harris, Ted Danson, Leslie Nielsen, Stephen King, Hal Holbrook, and Adrienne Barbeau, among others.

The George A. Romero Official Tribute and Memorial
Live at the historic 1400-seat Alex Theatre in Glendale
Wednesday, October 25th
8:00 p.m.

VIP tickets are $50 per person and include a VIP reception at 7 p.m. and preferred seating.
GA tickets are $30 per person.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit http://www.alextheatre.org.

The Stephen King’s IT Killer Clown Party at Horrorhound!

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.

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Meeting Juliet Landau, and Getting Charmed by Drusilla!

Steinbeck’s famous line, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry,” would become my unintended theme for this year’s Indianapolis Horrorhound Weekend. Before I explain, I should confess that it’s been a long time since I’ve been excited about meeting any celebrity in the horror circuit. Don’t get me wrong, I still love doing conventions but mostly for the panel discussions, costume contests, or meeting up with my friends. This all changed when I learned that James Marsters and Juliet Landau would be headliners at this event! “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is my favorite television show of all time; something I’ve mentioned before on this site and on multiple occasions. In fact, my daughter and I just re-watched the entire series and I’m happy to report that, so far as this fan-boy’s concerned, it’s stood the test of time. Having an opportunity to finally meet the “Sid and Nancy” of vampires, “Spike” and “Drusilla,” was second only to meeting the slayer herself! I quickly purchased a photo op with both of them, together while planning what clever prop I could use for it. Unfortunately, neither would go as planned…

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Fire Alarms & Frights at the Indianapolis Horror hound Weekend!

It was a sunny afternoon when my friend, Chris Carr, and I headed out to Indianapolis for this year’s Horrorhound Weekend/Mask-Fest. We met by chance a few months earlier (about a week after I returned from New England) at one of Brookfield Zoo’s “Summer Nights” events. I’d no sooner entered their main gate when I saw a guy wearing sunglasses sitting in their information booth with his feet propped on the ledge like he owned the place. I can honestly say that up till that moment, I’d never seen anyone make volunteering look as cool as he did. He must have noticed me staring because he gave me a nod which I returned with a half-wave before going about my business. Later that night, we’d meet formally and I learned that, aside from the zoo connection, he also loved horror movies and even dressed up as Jason Voorhees for Chicago-based cons. I’d long hoped for a local buddy to do horror-related stuff with and here was the ideal person sitting right here at the zoo the entire time! We started hanging out and eventually made plans to do Days of the Dead Chicago together this November but, after  I began posting my Countdown to Mask-Fest series, he wanted to see what that was all about too. It’s always neat attending these things with newbies (like Jason Schoolcraft at Days of the Dead last July) and seeing their reactions to it. This time around, however, even a Horrorhound veteran like myself would get a taste of something new via the world of costumers. Chris planned on wearing his “Jason” costume and I’d discover a whole brotherhood of costumed slashers I’d never knew existed. But more on that and Chris later…

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WEIRD USA: The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota!

There’s a common misconception that the multi-Grammy Award winning Weird Al Yankovic only performs parody songs. For those of us who’ve been buying his records/cassettes/CD’s for nearly four decades, however, we know full well that some of his funniest stuff is completely his own. These Al-riginals include “Dare to be Stupid,” “This is the Life,” “One more Minute,” and my favorite of them all, “Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota.” It was included on his UHF (1989) soundtrack and revolves around a family road trip to a rather unique roadside attraction. These folks have a penchant for pickled wieners and visiting as many bizarre places in the United States they can find with the Twine Ball their clear favorite. Most of the locales mentioned in the song are real places and I had the opportunity to visit the “Mecca of albino squirrels” (Olney, Illinois) last November.

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