FRIDAY: The Fangoria Weekend Of Horrors kicked off a little past 1PM on Friday, June 29 th the way it always does, with introductions from Creation Entertainment’s Adam Malin and Fango’s editor-in-chief Tony Timpone, followed by the return of the trailer previews! I so, so miss seeing the previews at the beginning of the cons, don’t you?! Long before the days of the internet, I’d rush to get to the Fango shows early JUST to catch the previews. And this time, they were hosted by Fango’s Michael Gingold. (Who spouting wonderful one-liners like “This next one has Paris Hilton and it’s called ‘I Know Who Jailed Me’. Whoops. I meant Lindsay Lohan and ‘I Know Who Killed Me’”)
After the trailer presentations, Gingold remained on stage and moderated a “Indie Filmmakers Panel” with Alan Rowe Kelly (BLOOD SHED), Joshua Nelson (EAT YOUR HEART OUT), Bart Mastronardi (VINDICATION), Marcus Koch (100 TEARS) and Mel House (CLOSET SPACE). Each filmmaker presented a trailer for their respective film (Marcus Koch’s gory 100 TEARS inciting a great audience response) and then fielded questions from Gingold and the audience. The group explained in great detail the difficulties of making your own films, far outside the studio system. For struggling filmmakers, this was definitely an educational panel, and proved that with the right dedication, anything is possible. Every one of these filmmakers have worked on each other’s films, which shows just how tight knit this group is. Joshua Nelson, the actor/writer of several New York based indie films (including AUNT ROSE) jokingly offered up his newborn to finance his next film, proving that you need to have a sense of humor to be in this line of work. (And maybe be a little bit crazy too.) Over all, great panel, and I enjoyed all the previews these guys showed.
Next up, New York writer/director Joe Ariola showed the trailer for his debut KNOCK KNOCK, an old-school 80’s “slasher” flick, which sports a crazed, tall “Leatherface-esque” burned killer. Joining him on stage was star Sal Sirchia and special FX make-up artist Tate Steinsiek, whose career was profiled in the documentary HORROR BUSINESS. Tate talked about creating the FX sequences for the film, which features plenty of inventive kills. One gory bit, which we caught glimpses of in the trailer involved a girl hanging in the shower with her entrails hanging out. Mother Bates would be proud! Sal talked a bit about his friendship with Joe Spinell (MANIAC) and how Joe introduced him to all the horror genre greats back in the 80’s. KNOCK KNOCK looks like a good throw back to the “slasher” era that a lot of fans (myself included) look back upon so fondly.
Next up, writer/director Stevan Mena (MALEVOLENCE) took the stage with Clerk’s star Brian O’Halloran (his first convention appearance ever) and producer Tom Bambard to preview the upcoming horror/comedy BRUTAL MASSACRE, which features David Naughton, Gunnar Hansen, Gerry Bednob, Ken Foree and even all 3 Ladies of The Evil Dead. We were treated to a trailer, followed by several funny scenes from the flick. It follows Harry Pendirecki, an old school horror filmmaker looking to make his come back in the genre with BRUTAL MASSACRE. Of course, a lot goes wrong during the production and insanity ensues. And ironically enough, Stevan hints that perhaps fact is stranger then fiction, as a lot of the films gags were inspired by the difficult shoot on MALEVOLENCE. Some of these scenes convinced me that we were watching what is sure to be the “Spinal Tap” of horror films. Getting glimpses of Harry’s early work such as SASQUATCH AT A MALL, I’LL TAKE THE RING AND THE FINGER TOO, and RETIREMENT HOME (wait ‘til you see this one) makes me excited to experience this whole film and relish within in its humor. Look for cameos by both Tony Timpone and Mick Garris in a Fango convention scene!
Another Fango first, Timpone moderated a panel with composing legend Harry Manfredini, whom horror fanatics know as the man behind the music for FRIDAY THE 13TH, HOUSE, WISHMASTER and JASON X. It’s interesting to hear about the creative process that goes into making a score from scratch. Manfredini shared stories of how he created the infamous Jason “Kill Kill, Ma, Ma” bit from the original FRIDAY THE 13TH. He commented on how much he likes his JASON X score, despite fan reactions to the film itself. And he talked about his working relationship with Robert Kurtzman on WISHMASTER, whom he’d become friendly with from his KNB days. Overall a really entertaining and unique panel for a Fango show.
Jonathan Cherry, the star of such films as FINAL DESTINATION 2 (come on, he stole the show in that one!) and HOUSE OF THE DEAD (let’s not hold that against him) was on hand to preview his new horror/thriller THE WRECK with director James Jones and producer Patrick Moses. Icons own Jay Alvino (aka Jsyn) was brought up on stage, since his WICKED EFX make-up company provided the films gruesome FX. The story centers around a couple who get in a horrible car accident and find themselves trapped in a overturned car and trapped. It seems someone is watching them from a far and he isn’t too friendly. The group screened a trailer, which sadly didn’t show much, but Alvino’s enthusiasm for the project, topped by promises that the trailer didn’t show us anything made the whole film intriguing. Even Cherry, a funny and likable guy was mum on exactly what part he plays in this story.
A few hours later, the Icons crew were still eagerly awaiting the arrival of our buddy Joe Lynch, whose flight was running 3 hours late! We opted to have a few drinks with the conventions celebrities, and check out the live broadcast of FANGO’s Sirius show with hosts Dee Snider and Debbie Rochon (still looking gorgeous as ever).
After much discussion, tonight was the night that the radio duo were going to unveil the full fledged Tony Timpone make-over into a more modern “horror” fan. E (Ian) came on stage and performed a live rendition of his Timpone rap introduction “The Double T” and with that, Timpone hopped on stage complete with long black dreads, goth make-up and fake tattoos. His transformation was complete! And he looked like a cross between Twiggy (from Marilyn Manson) and Dee Snider’s Strangeland character! The audience really seemed to get a kick out of the Tony Timpone make-over, and he remained that way for the rest of the radio broadcast.
The radio show boasted plenty of guests from the weekend. First up, Dee and Debbie had a nice long chat with FX legend Stan Winston (who spent the majority of the weekend signing for free at the After Dark table) and the lovely (recent Icons interviewee) Natassia Malthe. The pair discussed the upcoming werewolf flick SKINWALKERS, which Winston produced and Malthe starred in.
(Look at how adorable Natassia is making this face!)
After their discussion, Winston and Malthe posed with the Fango Radio crew for a picture.
Up next was super-nice guy & actor-turned-director David Arquette. Hours before this radio interview, you could spot Arquette humbly sitting at the hotel bar and happily taking pictures with fans. Here he discussed his directorial debut THE TRIPPER which just saw a limited release back in April of 2007 and is expected to drop on DVD October 30th. As always, David was sweet, nice and humble.
Here David Arquette poses with the Fango radio crew.
Last but not least, Brian O’Halloran joined Debbie and Dee to discuss BRUTAL MASSACRE. Half way through the interview, the group invited writer/director Stevan Mena to join them, and O’Halloran continued to talk about his first “horror” experience, which was VULGAR, a flick Debbie mentioned really liking. (It’s the one where he plays a clown and gets man-handled and raped. Ouch!) Brian’s a very funny guy, and he shared a few stories about his working experiences with Kevin Smith. (Who rumor has it will helm a horror movie next!)
The whole group poses for a picture with the Fango radio hosts.
SATURDAY: First thing, Saturday morning, Media Blasters hosted a presentation which included a slew of trailers for their films. Among them, we got the first look at the upcoming THE HILLS RUN RED, the flick being helmed by Fright friend Dave Parker. This teaser looks BAD-ASS! And we’re not just saying that because we know Dave! A girl is strapped down with barbed wire to a theater chair surrounded by a theater full of dead audience members. Maggots crawl thru the popcorn on the floor, as the crying girl is forced to watch what’s on screen. An unsavory looking character with two giant blades enters the theater and starts racing down towards the aisle to insure that the one living girl joins the rest of the audience. Just as he swipes down with his blades…. Well, you’ll see it on line soon enough. The trailer was sweet, to the point and beautifully colorful. And if it’s any indication of what the movie will be like, it’s just proof that Parker has grown leaps and bounds as a filmmaker. Can’t wait for this one.
After that, the lovely Debbie Rochon hosted the “FEARMAKERS” panel – Timo Rose’s latest gorefest and on hand was producer Ted Geoghegan (center in white), cast members Joe Davison, Manoush and screenwriter Jason Stewart. (By the way, Debbie stars in this flick too!) They talked a bit about the experience of filming German horror and how difficult it is with law enforcement interference. They don’t take too kindly it seems to gallons of fake blood being spurt in front of the cameras over there. Regardless, the enthusiastic bunch talked up their latest FEARMAKERS.
Click THIS link to proceed to PART TWO with DAVID ARQUETTE, STEVE NILES, MICHAEL DOUGHERTY, STAN WINSTON, NATASSIA MALTHE, JOE LYNCH, CORALINA CATALDI-TASSONI, BRYAN NORTON, BETSY PALMER, MARCUS KOCH, RAINE BROWN, JAMES MARSTERS, JOE BOB BRIGGS, UWE BOLL, RICK YUNE, JOHNNY BUTANE, NOMAD and more.