This year’s Flashback Weekend offered something different from previous years and specifically geared towards younger horror fans; a screening of the 1967 Rankin/Bass Mad Monster Party hosted by national commercial TV horror host, Svengoolie! Though not as popular as the animation team’s Christmas TV specials (Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, The Year without a Santa Claus, etc.) this full-length film featured the voice work of the legendary Karlos Borloff as well as Phyllis Diller!
There’s a whole room reserved for national commercial TV horror host, Svengoolie, to his fans at Flashback Weekend. I was informed by my friend, Don Johnston that he and his crew arrived and headed straight there from the main ballroom. Don manages the event’s hotel, the Crown Plaza in Rosemont, and is a great guy who often grants me event and parking passes in exchange for helping out where needed. In this instance it was to direct fans into the room he was in while seeing to it the line stayed moving. Lucky for these folks, waiting in line involved sitting in chairs that wrapped around the room’s perimeter. After fans got up to meet him, the rest would simply move down the corresponding number of chairs until it was their turn. It may sound goofy but, trust me, as someone who has stood in line for hours to meet a convention guest before, being able to sit in a comfortable seat for the duration was worth its weight in gold!
This year’s Flashback Weekend paid homage to the Halloween films (original, remake, and sequels) and featured numerous cast members from the franchise(s) along with an outdoor screening of the original John Carpenter classic.
Joining me on this adventure was the beautiful Susan Hoss who last appeared during our coverage of the Hearse Show (which you can check out HERE). Since Susan looks a helluva lot better in front of the camera than I do, I figured I’d do you all a favor and showcase her in most of the photos rather than myself (you’re welcome). Flashback Weekend is a family run expo (Mike and Mia Kerz) and usually more navigable than the corporate ones I attend. Consequently, if meeting a horror celebrity is the goal, I find it a LOT easier doing so here. This year’s theme worked out perfectly since it meant adding more signatures to my 1978 Halloween poster. It would also be the the first time I’d see Svengoolie and his crew since C2E2 and this year he’d not only show up for his customary Saturday appearance (greeting fans and hosting the annual costume contest) but also returning the next day for a a special event (more on that later).
Happy Halloween and, if you live in the State of Illinois, Happy Svengoolie Day! Since hearing the news back in April that October 31, 2014 would not only mark my favorite holiday but also its merging with my favorite horror host, it seemed just too good to be true. Thanks to my formidable fellow fan, Brian Bernardoni, as well as Representative Kay Hatcher, the seemingly impossible has become reality and here we are. Sven will be busier than ever starting with an appearance on the You & Me This Morning Show on Chicago’s WCIU, various bumper spots throughout today’s MeTV programming, a radio appearance on Chicago’s WGN Radio, and stopping off at The United Center to help kick off The Chicago Bulls home opener. On behalf of The Terror Daves, we would like to congratulate our friend, Rich Koz, on this momentous occasion!
Happy Labor Day!
Before delving into my experience at 2014’s Flashback Weekend featuring Svengoolie and his LIVE talk show with Robert Englund, Lance Henriksen, and a host of other cast members from A Nightmare on Elm Street films, I should probably explain just where the heck we Terror Daves have been this past summer. This time last year I think I’d covered about nine conventions as opposed to this year’s impressive…er…ONE but, rest assured, we’re both still alive.
We did formally discuss taking a step back earlier this year, though I surprised myself by actually following through on that. We both took the time to devote energy on our animal interests which, for me, involved volunteering more hours at Brookfield Zoo while focusing extra attention on my AAZK (American Association of Zookeepers) Chapter (the same group that hosted Svengoolie last March in a story David covered HERE). The funny part of the story is that our site’s traffic actually increased instead of decreased. I guess the previous four years of hard work had paid off with older posts like my story on meeting Pam Grier, David’s 1980’s “Boglin” toy retrospective and the one he did on Asia Eriksen’s “Werepuppies” becoming large draws. The revelation that the break didn’t end up harming the site was pretty fantastic but, what wasn’t so great, was missing out on a bunch of Svengoolie’s summer appearances…
Coverage of the 2013 Flashback Weekend concludes…
Don and Bunny Urban and I found ourselves some seats in the room designated for Flashback Weekend’s annual costume contest. Per the custom at Flashback, it would be hosted by Svengoolie who always adds his own brand of humor to enhance the entire event. Soon we were rejoined by Bill and Joan Yingst and sat together in a row that could have been marked, “Reserved for Sven’s Goolies.”