When I submitted my 2020 vacation requests back in December, I had all kinds of fun activities in the works. In addition to taking a week off in March for a Spring road trip that would never happen, I also took a chunk of July off for fan conventions. The idea was to attend G-FEST with my sons, Days of the Dead Indianapolis with my friend Jason, and see Svengoolie at Flashback Weekend here in Chicago. Unfortunately, this would not be the year for any of us to travel or partake in large gatherings. When the world shut down in March, I still hung on to the naive hope things would be back to normal by the summer but it was not to be the case. By the time July rolled around, the only event standing was Days of the Dead. Prior to all this, my friend, Jason had purchased his plane tickets from New England while generously getting us both VIP passes. Exactly a week before the event, and with their guests dropping like flies, I persuaded him to postpone his visit for Chicago in November (assuming things are better by then). Jason successfully switched his airfare and DOTD had no problem swapping tickets. They also offered folks who did make this show “half off” on their next one. This amiability, however, would not prevent them from getting roasted on social media by many who found them irresponsible for not just postponing this show in the first place. Undeterred, DOTD would remain steadfast as long as it was legal for them to do so. In a related story, the city of Atlanta shut down there next show in August just days before this one. I’m not sure why they went through with Indianapolis amidst all the controversy but I’m guessing it had something to do with whatever arrangement they had with the Marriott. Regardless, there was no question that this would be a crippled convention; hemorrhaging vendors and guests right up until their doors opened last Friday. For my part, I decided to honor my hotel reservation, follow all safety guidelines, purchase a regular weekend pass, and go by myself. I had the luxury of self-quarantining afterward since my kids would be with their mother and I was not due back to the office until August. Furthermore, I looked forward to pampering myself in a nice hotel while taking a little break from single parenthood and having worked my ass off throughout the shutdown. I make no apologies for my attendance and, at the risk of being judged, will now share that experience.
Once again John Landis has proven why he is the master of mixing horror with comedy. He did it first in 1981 with AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON and he was back at it eleven years later with INNOCENT BLOOD. Things that worked in his werewolf film…things like a recognizable cast, amazing effects, fun cameos and just the right mixture of horror and comedy…work just as well when he takes on vampires. Why he isn’t making more films I will never know.
It was a muggy day here in Chicago when national horror host, Svengoolie, made his annual appearance at The Little Boots Rodeo in Elk Grove Village. Last year was my first visit to this event and, in regards to weather, was far worse with direct sunshine and even higher temps. At least today there was a breeze – though it’s worth noting that even if it had been hailing fireballs I’d probably still of shown up.
I first became aware of WerePups over a year ago. After a friend took pics of them at the HORRORFIND convention in Gettysburg, PA, I knew it was something that I wanted to find out more about (plus, of course, I wanted one). Thankfully one of the pics my friend took included the URL for the WerePups website and the rest is history so to speak. Over the past year I came into contact with Asia Eriksen (creator of the WerePups), her husband Anders Eriksen (creator of Nightmare Gloves, the BEST Freddy Krueger gloves available) and of course Eriq Chang, mastermind behind Fable Foundry, who brought everything together.
EXCERPT FROM SVENGOOLIE NEWSLETTER 7/29/11
Our “Photo of the Month” is actually an autographed picture this time, thanks to our pal Dave Fuentes of the “Terror from beyond the Daves” website that he does along with Dave Albaugh. Dave went to a convention, where he met David Naughton- star of “An American Werewolf in London” – and those “I’m a Pepper/You’re a Pepper” TV commercials from the 70s. He told David about the old commercial parody we did years ago at WFLD where I combined the soft drink commercial with his werewolf transformation from the movie. Mr. Naughton said he had indeed heard of me, and thought the parody idea was “genius” (oh, now, you’re making me blush!). He also signed the below autographed picture for me, indicating that he drinks Dr. Rabies, too! He also told Dave to give me his congratulations on our program going national!
While George Romero and Danny Trejo were “Rock & Shock’s” top draw, the two guests I most wanted to meet were Dee Wallace and Adrienne Barbeau. Both of these women have substantive careers as actresses that span over 30 years with no sign of letting up.