Us middle-aged dorks sure have it made these days. Just about everything we loved as kids is back, and stronger than ever. Let’s take STAR WARS for example. This weekend sees the release of a new film and just after I got to see Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett from The Empire Strikes Back) at Chicago’s Days of the Dead . Despite the twenty-seven-year difference, the two films have been mentioned together a lot these days, with critics calling this latest installment “the best since Empire.” I can’t say if I agree with that yet as I won’t get to see it till Sunday, but totally understand why The Empire Strikes Back is used as a benchmark for STAR WARS greatness. It’s got a great story, the first appearance of Yoda, that amazing battle on Hoth, a twist ending concerning the relationship between Luke and Vader, defied movie standards by not having the good guys win, and featured one of the coolest bounty hunters in ANY galaxy, let alone one far, far away. It’s no wonder its a critical and fan favorite. It’s also no mystery why so many of us flocked Days of the Dead to celebrate the great Boba Fett and the man behind his mask.
The most important lesson I got from Linda Blair at Chicago’s Days of the Dead is that sometimes celebrity encounters offer a learning curve. The last time we met was over seven years ago at Chicago’s Wizard Con where things didn’t go as I’d planned. Back then, I was fairly new to the convention circuit and assumed, incorrectly, that celebrity guests were all fan-driven and eager to discuss their movies. Instead, meeting Blair was like getting a crash course from the conventioneer’s “school of hard knocks” as it was evident the The Exorcist star was much more interested in discussing her canine-driven, Worldheart Foundation, rather than horror films. Since I was such a fan of her iconic role, that really disappointed me. So this year I decided to literally throw all expectations to the dogs and lead in with her foundation rather than wait for her to drag me into it. In doing so, I’d inadvertently gain a new respect for the actress along with a hard lesson about mistaking ones passion for standoffishness.
I had plenty of anticipation going into the 2017 Chicago Days of the Dead with goals to match. Although I’m no vlogger at this stage of the Terror Dave game, I wanted to capture as much video as I could while meeting celebrity guests, doing some shopping, and stepping out of my comfort zone for a bit of cosplaying (more on that later). This year’s headliners included Linda Blair, Sean Astin, Dee Snider, and Jeremy Bulloch. As a lifelong STAR WARS fan, seeing Bulloch, a.k.a. Boba Fett, was priority #1 while my kids had autograph ambitions of their own. On this Friday night, however, it was “adult swim” as my horror compadre, Chris, and I attempted to tackle as much of the event as we could before the Saturday crowds made it a challenge.
The 2017 Rhode Island Comic Con has come and gone and as in past years, Terror From Beyond The Daves was there. I have been coming to this event regularly and seen it grow and develop into a convention to be reckoned with. It truly is the biggest show in the smallest state.
What would a fan convention be without a bit of cosplay? In the world of expos, these daring men and women guarantee we all go home with fun photos to commemorate the occasion as well as spice up our social media pages. For years I’ve stopped them for photographs while having no real appreciation for the amount of work that went into it. Thanks to my friend, Chris Carr, this would all change during last month’s Indianapolis Horrorhound Weekend. That Saturday, Chris would don his Jason Voorhees costume while I’d act as escort. In the end it would prove a fun experience while providing numerous positive interactions with fellow fans I’d of never had otherwise. It also offered some much-needed illumination regarding the creative world of cosplay.
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.
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…