Lots of really fun and crazy things went on during the Day Two of the TEXAS FRIGHTMARE WEEKEND 2011. Now I call this “Day Two” (which was Friday of the convention) but most people consider this to be the first day. But I attended the Thursday night screening of Lucky McKee’s THE WOMAN (review is coming), and that was also an official TFW event. So Friday is Day Two for me!! Earlier on Friday I sat in a few press round tables for some celebrities (Sid Haig was one of them). But the really huge event was the Red Carpet, the official opening of the TFW where all the big celebrities make their entrance into the convention. Earlier last week I confirmed my press pass and was told I was granted a spot on the Red Carpet to interview and photograph the celebrities as they came down the Red Carpet. As you can imagine, I was friggin’ stoked!!
After going through the guest list and making sure I had something intelligent to say to all the various celebrities other than, “Uuhhh; you’re cool;” or “Who are you wearing,” I took my spot on the Red Carpet. I was surrounded by some pretty big time players like Dread Central, Horror News Net, etc … These guys are old hat with interviewing celebrities and every outlet had two people with them: one to conduct the interviews and one to take the pictures and videos. And then there was me; alone to juggle around my voice recorder and camera. I was in this odd state of “panicked bliss”!! I was standing next to a woman (I’m so sorry if you’re reading this, but I totally forgot your name) from a big time Dallas newspaper and she helped calm me down by telling me to talk to the celebrities as if they were long lost friends I hadn’t seen in a while. Well it worked and I ended up talking to a few of the celebrities and getting a ton of pictures!! [PLEASE CLICK ON EACH PICTURE … I POSTED THEM IN THUMBNAIL SIZE TO FIT MORE INTO THIS POSTING].
When the event began the first two celebrities down the Red Carpet were Dieter Laser and Tom Six from THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE fame. Now you all know I wasn’t a huge fan of that film, but Laser and Six were so thrilled to be involved in the TFW 2011 convention that they were practically glowing. Laser, in fact, was decked out in his full Dr. Heiter outfit complete with the stark white lab coat and sunglasses that make him look both crazy and intelligent. They talked to every single person in the press on the Red Carpet and were both extremely nice and really loved the fanfare they were getting. I asked Dieter Laser how it feels to be an “instant horror icon” and he just smiled rather sinister-like at me and responded in a thick German accent, “It’s delicious.” Classic!!
Angus Scrimm was next and as he slowly made his way down the Red Carpet, talking to everyone who wanted a word with him, I had flashbacks of when I was 9-10 years old watching PHANTASM for the first time. When Scrimm’s Tall Man summons that deep, dark “BOOOOYYYYY” I still get goosebumps and shivers up and down my spine!! So when he approached me where I was standing I couldn’t help it. Instead of asking him what his new project(s) is/are, I asked him if he wouldn’t mind giving me a good old fashioned “Boy.” He laughed, looked right at me, and in the time frame of a split second transformed into “The Tall Man”, got that evil scowl on his face, looked right at me, and growled, “BOOOOYYYYY.” I wanted to hug the man!! That kindly, grandfather figure suddenly became the frightening killer and digger-upper of dead bodies that scared the s**t out of me as a boy. I was in heaven. And of course because I only have two hands, I didn’t capture that once-in-a-lifetime moment on either video or film!! I’ll have more in-depth coverage of Angus Scrimm in another posting.
Then the gang from CHROMESKULL: LAID TO REST 2 started coming down the Red Carpet. Writer-director Robert Hall and actors Nick Principe, Brian Austin Green, Thomas Dekker, Angelina Armani, and Mimi Michaels were all present. This was the rock-n-roll group of the convention. They were all having a blast and made you remember why it’s so cool to be an actor and filmmaker in the horror genre. I asked Robert Hall when we can expect to see LAID TO REST 2 and with a gleam in his eye he told me it’ll be out on DVD on September 20, 2011 (the day before my birthday!!) and will have a limited theatrical run before it’s DVD release. If there’s ANY cosmic justice in this world, LAID TO REST 2 will run in Austin!!! Come on Alamo Drafthouse, make it happen. I’ll have a lot more on LAID TO REST 2 in a future posting!!
Then Lucky McKee and two of the stars of his latest feature THE WOMAN (Sean Bridgers and Carlee Baker) made their appearance. I already talked about these guys in a previous post (click here), but I’m actually impressed that there’s still director’s out there like Lucky McKee who are true artists and won’t compromise to the big machine when it comes to him making the kind of film he wants. I’ll have a more in-depth interview of Lucky McKee in a post coming soon. Malcolm McDowellwas next as he confidently walked down the Red Carpet, knowing he’s been a horror icon since his role of Alex in 1971’s A CLOCKWORK ORANGE.
Then the crazy director of MUTANT GIRLS SQUAD, Yoshihiro Nishimura, and actress Eihi Shiina(the crazy bitch in AUDITION) strolled by. I asked Nishimura, through a translator, how he enjoys having the reputation of being a wild, “out there” director (he’s directed the films TOKYO GORE POLICE & VAMPIRE GIRL VS. FRANKENSTEIN GIRL), and he simply responded, “Wait until you see MUTANT GIRLS SQUAD and HELLDRIVER!!” Great answer.
Rodrigo Gudino (creator of Rue Morgue Magazine) and Ghoulish Gary Pullin (Rue Morgue Magazine’s art director) were next. Gudino beams like a proud father when asked about Rue Morgue Magazine and is extremely proud of where the genre magazine is today. Gudino then suddenly recognizes me (our hotel rooms were across the hallway from each other). This is something I find incredible every year. You can run into one of the celebs one time at the convention and they’ll remember you if you run into them again. I just really can’t see your typical A-List actor/actress doing the same thing!!
Then we got hit with a trio of some major genre stars: Doug Bradley, Robert Englund, and Cary Elwes. These guys are fantastic and even though Cary Elwes starred in the film that helped define the sub-genre of torture-porn, SAW, most people were asking him questions about his role as Westley in THE PRINCESS BRIDE … and he loved answering questions about that film. Bradley, as always, is a gentleman’s gentleman and is always ready, willing, and eager to answer questions about the upcoming HELLRAISER remake. Apparently the lines of communication are open and Doug Bradley MIGHT REPRISE HIS ROLE AS PINHEAD in the remake!! I’m sure we’ll be getting a lot more info on this in the near future.
Robert Englund is as crazy as ever!! The man, now in his 60’s, has more energy and enthusiasm than people half his age!! He also might be the easiest person in the world to interview. Just ask Englund one question and he’ll go off for 30 minutes answering your question and giving you a ton of great stories!! Englund is really thrilled to be at this current stage in his life. He says he really enjoys playing the roles of “crazy scientist” and “mad doctor” and wouldn’t have it any other way. He also had a lot of very nice things to say both about Jackie Earle Haley’s portrayal of Freddy Krueger and Haley as an actor in general. Englund is crazy (in the best possible way, of course) and I could listen to his stories forever.
Finally towards the end of the Red Carpet event were actors from the SAW films, including Costas Mandylor and Shawnee Smith (sporting a bizarre hair style) and the cast of THE BOONDOCK SAINTS, Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus, and David Della Rocco. Yeah I know it’s not a horror flick, but Norman Reedus is in THE WALKING DEAD TV series and Sean Patrick Flanery is no stranger to genre films, having starred in SAW 3D and of course MONGOLIAN DEATH WORMS.
The Red Carpet Event was a first for me and I can’t wait to be apart of it next year!! I’ll be better prepared and I’m even thinking of bringing one of my faithful readers along with me and giving them a free press pass so we can both cover the entire convention. Would any of you be interested in that (please note that I would just be covering getting you a press pass: transportation, food, and lodging will be up to you)?
So this wraps up the Opening Red Carpet Event for the 2011 Texas Frightmare Weekend. What do you think? I have a ton more pictures that I’m going to eventually post, but as you can imagine I have a ton of s**t to still write about this amazing weekend!! Stay tuned and …