So far as personality traits are concerned, there’s little doubt that C.J. Graham’s an Alpha. With a level of confidence that could give Gene Simmons a run for the money, he’d prove his formidability at the 2020 Days of the Dead convention in Indianapolis. It was there Graham, like Alex Vincent from Child’s Play, would find himself the lone participant in a would-be reunion. Covid-19 would turn the event’s Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives panel into a one-man show. But despite portraying the mute character of Jason Voorhees on-screen, ‘the man behind the mask’ had plenty to talk about with his audience.
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.
In 2015, I was at a small costume store and saw a mother point out a Michael Myers mask to her young son and say, “Look! It’s Freddy from Friday the 13th!” I semi-subtly pointed it out to my dad about a minute later, saying, “Look! It’s Michael Myers from Halloween!” to clear up the confusion amongst the surrounding patrons.
Perhaps it was inevitable, given my name, that I would not only work toward “carving out” (pun intended) a career in film (and TV, and theatre, and… pretty much anything entertainment-related) as an actor (and writer, and director…), but also love horror movies. I first got into horror by watching Svengoolie on Saturday nights… which you can read about here!
Perhaps you’re wondering, as countless others have asked me during my lifetime, “Do you like Jamie Lee Curtis?” As a matter of fact… yes! I first saw her in Freaky Friday, so my first impression of the “scream queen” was actually via comedy. I was a little more inclined to pay attention to her work due to the similarities in our names, but I still respect her skills just as much as if my name were “Holly” or “Christy” (both of which almost were). I’ve heard every Activia joke under the sun. I roll my eyes at them… not because I’m embarrassed, but because there are much more interesting things about Jamie Lee Curtis that these people could reference. If you’re going to make a joke about someone’s name, remember that we’ve been hearing these our whole lives. So step up your game and make good humor choices.
Having graduated Class of ’89, the early ‘90s heralded my transition into adulthood. Although I had a job and was attending community college, those hedonistic days were also spent partying and having drunken horror movie marathons with friends. Although we may not have had any trouble staying dry, the same couldn’t be said for our entertainment. The golden age of slashers seemed to disappear as fast as our teens with trips to the video store yielding fewer and fewer results. Needless to say, any ‘80s-style horror stragglers were a welcome sight and today’s SteelBook Spotlight is a prime example. Whether the film’s charismatic masked killer or its “movie within a movie” homage to ‘50s sci-fi films, Popcorn made for an unexpectedly fun night back in 1991. And now, nearly three decades later, it’s been given an upgrade.
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.