October is one of the most fun months, partly because there are so many horror conventions this time of year. Charles headed to Crypticon in Minneapolis and had a blast. He met the stars of Carrie and Nightmare on Elm Street 2 and had a blast! He even made a special prom invite for William Katt! How cool is that?
Check out his recap below!
Crypticon Minneapolis 2016
As inevitably as the leaves changing colors and falling to the ground, Crypticon made its way to Bloomington, Minnesota this past weekend, and I ventured out to the Crowne Plaza on its first festive night to take in the macabre sights and mingle with classic horror icons of the past.
Arriving at around 4:30 P.M., I purchased my admission and waited patiently for 5 P.M. to roll around when they allowed the general admission folks to enter. There was some debate between the two volunteers manning the door: the one wanted to graciously permit us to enter five minutes early, while the other wanted to wait until the precise moment; ultimately, they compromised with entry granted at 4:56 P.M.
Excitedly, I marched into the banquet room and noticed right away how compact it was. All of the celebrity guests and some vendors surrounded the perimeter of the room, with the center occupied by the remaining vendors. I did my obligatory lap to get a feel for the event. To my surprise, I completed it within two minutes.
I feel there really are two approaches to going after an autograph at an event like this. You either go right up to them upon sight, or you mill about and choose your moment. For me, it’s always the latter. I really have to make sure I’m prepared with the item I plan on having them sign ready to go and the cash at hand so that I’m not fumbling to find it in my brief moment with the celebrity. From there, it’s game face on and dive right in!
My first meet-and-greet of the night was with William Katt. As William and the fan ahead of me bantered about, among other things, Corey Feldman’s latest P.R. debacle, his assistant took my money and asked which 8×10 I wanted a signature on. Proudly, I told the assistant I had a very unique item of my own to present.
With the man ahead of me gone, William welcomed me over with warm smile. I marched right up to him and laid a simple piece of paper in front of him. It only took a brief moment for him to realize what he was staring at: a faithful re-creation of the prom ballot from Carrie, lovingly designed by my talented fiancé, Justin (previously, I had a friend replicate this ballot, signed by P.J. Soles, but, sadly, I lost it in a move). William seemed genuinely excited and thrilled as he studied the ballot, asking how it was created. I explained to him how I got screen shots from the movie and how Justin generated it all on computer (even using a primitive design program to do it). Impressed, he asked how I wanted it signed. The first thing I told him was he needed to cast his vote for the winning couple, a decision he really seemed to agonize a bit over before casting his vote for Tommy Ross and Carrie White. I told him that he really had to make that choice to ensure the win for the prank (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).
With that, William got up and we posed for a couple of pictures. He even grabbed a glossy of Tommy and Carrie at the prom for us to pose with alongside the ballot. Before I departed, William told me to tell my “wife” that he did an amazing job. It occurred to me that I told him my fiancé created it, but I didn’t mention he was a he and his name was Justin. When I texted Justin about William’s blunder he responded: “…I’ll take it. If he approves, then that means I did it right.”
After my meeting with Mr. Tommy Ross himself, I made a few more rounds. I felt kind of silly because there wasn’t really a lot to see in the way of interesting vendor tables; that is, until I stumbled upon the Slasher Studios table. Having been aware of this small band of devotees to the classic slasher genre for quite some time, I was extremely delighted when the filmmaker himself, Kevin Sommerfield, engaged me in a conversation about horror. We discussed his films, Don’t Go To The Reunion and Dismembering Christmas, and how the classics we grew up with inspired their creation. It was truly a pleasure to meet someone with such passion and creative vision to help keep old-school horror alive and well. Kevin is very much a fanboy at heart and I can’t wait to see what Slasher Studios comes up with in the future.
I could have talked horror with Kevin all night, but next on my list: Mark Patton and Kim Myers from A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. I had previously met Mark at the Days of the Dead convention in Atlanta, Georgia back in 2012, which was a truly thrilling experience as it was my very first horror convention. The friends I made the trek down there with were also friends of Mark’s, so we spent a lot of time hanging with him, capping off the evening with all of us having dinner together at the Waffle House.
Being that I had already met Mark before, I initially planned on only stopping by to say a quick hello, but once I found out he’d be there signing with Kim Myers, who rarely makes convention appearances, I knew I had to meet them both. So, the hunt was on to find just the right item for them to sign. Unfortunately, there were slim pickings in the way of unique merchandise, so I settled on a one-sheet reproduction from the movie. Ultimately, I was happy with the purchase as it now provides me with a unique challenge I’ve always wanted to fulfill: getting as many cast members from one film to sign a movie poster.
Poster in hand, I walked up to Kim first and she was very warm and engaging. Even though the quality of her entry into the Nightmare series is a source of debate, one thing that will never be debatable is Kim’s performance, which I think really helps ground the film. As she gingerly unrolled the poster, she was very considerate to ask where to sign and with what color sharpie she should use (unlike some divas, who shall remain nameless, but have been mentioned in a previous article I have written). After she signed, I told her I would really love a picture, but my selfie skills left a lot to be desired. Luckily for us, a gentleman sitting between her and Mark offered to take one for us.
Moving right down the line, I approached Mark, who was right in the middle of a story explaining how difficult traveling can be with his replica Freddy glove and he always has to check his bags to make getting through security more seamless. Fans who frequent these conventions know that Mark always has a glove on hand to pose with, but what they may not realize is that once he is done with a glove he donates it to the Trevor Project. The glove that was at this convention, however, is one he’ll keep since it was one of the only items to survive a fire that occurred at the home of the artist that makes these gloves for Mark.
As Mark placed his own signature next to Kim’s on the poster, we socialized a bit more. I asked him about his upcoming documentary, Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street. He shared with me that it’s in the heavy stages of post-production and they are gearing up to show it at either the Sundance or New York film festivals. Hopefully, it will be released some time in 2017, also possibly making its way to a streaming site like Netflix or Hulu. We were talking about the poster for Scream, Queen! and the different concepts he had for it, one done in the style of the poster from Madonna’s Truth or Dare documentary, and the other which was fan-created of a Freddy glove holding a tiara. Mark asked which one I preferred and I told him I really liked the Madonna-inspired one. Before I could get the sentence out, he was signing that specific mini-poster to me at no additional cost. What a great guy!
Crypticon, small of a gathering as it was, turned out to be a very fun experience!