It was a bustling Saturday at the 2018 Indianapolis Horrorhound Weekend and one could easily lose track of time in the immense ballroom I mentioned last time. Regardless, I was determined to attend at least a couple of the celebrity panels – especially the one featuring some of the child actors from Stephen King’s IT. Horror conventions are in no short supply of players from older projects, so I give Horrorhound props for boasting actors from 2017’s biggest horror blockbuster. The film debuted the same weekend as last year’s Indianapolis Horrorhound and none of us could have predicted how it would have smashed Box Office nor change the world of fandom. Somehow it destroyed all conventional wisdom and endeared us to a new Pennywise the killer clown despite the thankless job of filling in the footsteps of Tim Curry. In fact, I’ve yet to attend any genre event since that hasn’t had at least three cosplayers dressed as Bill Skarsgard’s new version. Unfortunately, Skarsgard was not in attendance here which was a pity since I’ve no doubt he’d of had conventioneers falling at his feet if he had. Fortunately, most of the film’s “Loser’s Club” was here and willing to come together for a panel. I’m glad that Jason and I arrived early because that room was packed by the time Jack Dylan Grazer (Eddie Kaspbrak), Wyatt Olef (Stanley Uris), Jeremy Ray Taylor (Ben Hanscom), Chosen Jacobs (Mike Hanlon), and Jackson Robert Scott (Georgie Denbrough) walked in.
I first read Stephen King’s “IT” when I was a sophomore in high school. It was the longest book I’d ever read at that point (later beaten by King’s full version of “The Stand” a few years later) and I remember being consumed by the story and characters. The iconic author is known for his uncanny ability of capturing the angst of youth as well as tapping into what scared us. In truth, it wasn’t until my late ‘20s when I read IT a second time that I truly appreciated that. We adults tend to romanticize childhood, reminiscing about our favorite cereals and TV shows, while dismissing the grimmer realities of neighborhood bullies, parental pressure, and how helpless we were. Many people site their first exposure to IT via the 1990 TV mini-series but I’ve always been much closer to the source material.
I remember back in the ’80s, when I was in my mid-teens and horror novelist, Stephen King was at the height of his popularity. After reading his amazing book, IT, I became an immediate fan and had no sooner finished it before heading out to the book store intent on grabbing all of his previous works. While I enjoyed them all (and in many cases, re-read and enjoyed them again) I was particularly enamored with PET SEMATARY.
We were honored last week when Jason Hignite from HORRORHOUND WEEKEND asked us to induct The Universal Shock Theater Package into the Hall of Fame this coming weekend at the big event! This historic collection of 52 films (one for each week of the year) given to commercial TV stations in 1957 featured Universal’s classic collection of monsters and led to both the proliferation of horror hosts as well as monster fans across the country!
Almost a year ago we published a blog on nature gone awry films, which you can check out HERE! This piece proved to be so popular that we have decided to make it an annual event! This series focuses on real animals attacking real people for whatever reason (though it’s usually because of something man has done). Because these stories tend to be based in reality, they also can be a lot scarier and more realistic. The best of these films were released pre-CGI which means that in many cases, actual animals were used to convey the threat! This realism certainly adds to the overall enjoyment of these films!