Dallas Frightmare Weekend
This past May 1-3, we attended the Dallas Frightmare Weekend, an annual event in Irving, TX, that serves as an independent horror film festival and publicity vehicle for aspiring film-makers and actors. Of course the main draw is the roster of actors, directors, etc., that have already made it big or at least to the B-movie list.
Quite a few people showed up in costume, like the gentleman above, who I display in black and white for a silent film still effect. If I published half the decent photos from this event, it would really clog the front page of this blog, so I'm going to put some up only as links at the bottom.
Alice Cooper was the headliner and Ace got made up just for him. It turns out Alice is quite a bit of fun, especially when it comes to discussing horror movies.
Out in the exhibitor's room, I'd never seen so many people eager to pose with dangerous types.
Barbara Steele was quite a big deal in the world of 1960s and 70s horror movie production, having acted in several Mario Bava movies, including Black Sunday. She was also in one of my favorite Vincent Price/Roger Corman movies, Pit and the Pendulum. It was fun to meet her, but I wish she'd have taken off the sunglasses.
Lycanthopy isn't cheap. This werewolf would set you back $400.
There was a lot of stuff for sale. This vendor sold dolls and stuffed animals with her own unique twist. Really, what adult hasn't wanted to shoot a Teletubby?
Saturday started with a zombie parade outside. I didn't get to see it as I had another appointment, but the convention center was full of zombies when we arrived. The zombie soldier is Mike Buckendorf.
The pregnant zombie is Amanda Fite of Tulsa. another shot. Here she is out of makeup.
Ace's wore a priest outfit Saturday to meet Exorcist actress Linda Blair. Good Samaritan that he he is, he checked out Blair for any residual demonic possession and discovered she was just fine.
Since he was already wearing a priest outfit, Ace decided to "save" as many people as he could. Amazingly, they were all women.
Saturday there was a Q&A session with Alice Cooper.
One of the vendors would make up your face as if you were being eaten by maggots. It's not for everyone.
Aside from the fictional horrors at the show, there were real things to worry about. Some of the actors weren't shaking hands or posing with people for fear of the Swine Flu. There had been an outbreak in Irving's schools while the convention was occurring.
Paul Riddell, proprietor of the The Texas Triffid Ranch. The business' website says it is "more than just a nursery for carnivorous, prehistoric, and otherwise exotic plants. The Triffid Ranch is also a resource for carnivorous plant enthusiasts, urban gardeners of all sorts, and anyone interested in the particular challenges of attempting to grow unusual plants in the North Texas area." Sounds cool.
Hey, if you've gone to a flat screen, the triffid ranch could recycle your old monitor into a terrariums for carnivorous plants. That's pretty green.
Roger A. Scheck, writer and director of Nobody Loves Alice, told me he financed his film on a student loan.
Another woman saved. I swear, I never ask women to kiss Ace. It just happens; if I could bottle and sell whatever he's got, I would. I guess women weren't worried about a jackalope carrying a pig flu.
Director Tobe Hooper isn't afraid of chain saw murderers or poltergeists, but isn't crazy about swine flu.
Jay Reel, writer and director of the vampire movie, Dawn, visited my town of Hutchinson, Kansas, a few years ago and I got to know him a bit. Dawn, the story of a little girl vampire, her father and how the two ensure her survival, is quite well-crafted film.
As if the swine flu scare wasn't enough, severe storms swept through Irving that Saturday.
The storm didn't deter people from bringing their hearses to a car show associated with the convention. This was the hood decor of a van. Other car show photos here, here, here, here and here.
Saturday night there was a dinner gala. This was the centerpiece.
Fairuza Balk of the 1996 movie, The Craft, got friendly with Ace.
Actress Bobbi Sue Luther tried to eat Ace. More Bobbie Sue Luther photos are here and here.
Luther was promoting her latest film, Laid to Rest, with director Robert Hall (pictured).
Saturday night didn't end so well for Ace, as he was strangled by actors Tyler Mane (left) and Derek Mears. Mane, born Daryl Karolat, played Michael Myers in the Rob Zombie films reboot of Halloween and Halloween II. He is a former professional wrestler.
Mears is an actor and stunt man, recently known for his role as Jason Voorhees in the reboot of Friday the 13th. Photos of Mane and Mears with fans are here and here.
What else can one do after being strangled but return as a zombie? And that's just what Ace did for Sunday.
I talked with Tobe Hooper again, director of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist. Hooper has said he formed the idea for The Texas Chain Saw Massacre while standing impatiently in the hardware section of a crowded store. He spotted chainsaws while thinking of a way to get through the crowd. Gee, and all I've ever thought of (but not used) is "coming through, gotta throw up."
I didn't know Corbin Bernsen had become a horror movie actor since his LA Law days. He played in a movie called Dentist and its sequel. Bernsen with Ace
Christa Campbell is a B-movie actress whose horror roles include Day of the Dead. She has also posed for Playboy and just finished filming for her first family movie "cool dog" a remake of Rin Tin Tin.
Of course, being a zombie, Ace attracted the attention of a haunted house promoter.
James Sale, owner of the Floating Phantoms Halloween store shows his wares. It's sort of cool that a Halloween dealer's name sounds a bit like Frankenstein director James Whale.
And here is one of Sale's ghosts in action:
Hunter Carson menaced Ace while actress Karen Black looks on. Both were in the 1986 remake of Invaders from Mars.
Ahh, role models are a good thing, are they not?
Jason Mewes is the vocal one in Jay and Silent Bob.
Around closing time on Sunday, I realized that it would be much cooler if Alice Cooper did Ace's makeup himself. I asked and he obliged.
His road manager, Toby Mamis, remarked "There's something so wrong about this" to which Alice replied "and yet so right."
As he drew Ace's eye and mouth makeup with a sharpie, he remarked "This is only gonna hurt for a second; then you'll be immortal."
And a good time was had by all.
Darla Enlow of Next Monkey Horror films
Guy in Marilyn Manson makeup with two woman
Ladies representing Ghoultown, a horror/county/punk band
Cute brunette woman with Ace
Person in swamp thing costume
Guy with chainsaw and guy with hockey mask and machete
Zombie bride and groom
Whitney Andrew of Little Oak Film Group folks, from Houston
Woman with leather face guy
Man getting head gash makeup
Japanese monster costume
Actor William Forsythe
another shot of Forsythe
Photographer arranging two Shatner-masked killers
Women working the Assassination City roller derby booth
Brooke Lewis, actress in the movie, iMurders
Woman with interesting contact lenses
Ace meets another traveling creature, an orange monkey
Jade Hilliard, artist
Ace with Carmen Garrison and Darla Enlow Dana Pike of Next Monkey Horror Films
A zombie with Ace
James Hampton, Hamilton Dobbs on F Troop.
Jay Reel with Ace
Character actor Dick Miller
Artist Andrew Magnum