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HORRORHOUND WEEKEND - SEPT. 10 - 12
Written by Connor Petrey - Editor-in-Chief
HorrorHound Weekend has just come and gone for all the horror enthusiasts out there in the Cincinnati area. Two years have passed since the last time us horror fans had the chance to get together under one roof and celebrate the genre. While it was a pleasure to be able to attend a convention like this again, that doesn’t mean it didn’t have it’s fair share of issues.
1PM (4 Hrs Until Doors)
Packed and poster rolled it was time to head out to attend what once was an annual tradition between myself and my dad. Extremely excited for certain guests pushed through to this con from the cancelled one of 2020, my hopes were high but hesitant, knowing that at any moment things could shut down again.
3PM (2 Hrs Until Doors)
My dad, brother and myself arrive at the convention and quickly recover our weekend passes and get vague instructions of where to stand. We were among the lucky ones that investigated the situation and decided to hedge our bets and stand close to the building in the shade (away from the long line) only to be told by a security member that were in fact near the beginning of the correct line. Things became confusing but all we cared about was staying in the shade and figuring out our plan of action to get the autographs we desired most – for Friday it was Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger). People began to line up around us, unknowledgeable of the lineup where “Early Entry”, “VIP” and “General Admission” were meant to go – sending some into a tailspin of anger.
4 PM (1 Hr Until Doors)
General Admission are the last remaining as the Early Entry and VIP have now rushed in and presumably gotten into their respective lines. But for us we waited. The final hour ticked by slowly.
5 PM (Showtime)
We race in and make our way to Robert Englund’s filled line but all we care about is getting a virtual queue card from the man at the front. Once we have that accomplished, our main goal is done, now the remainder of the night should be a breeze – wait till 6:30pm and get in line for the master of nightmares.
From there we walked through the vendor room at all the unique Funkos, collectibles, shirts and all things we love about horror and pop culture. Custom shirts with clever horror location advertisements such as Captain Spaulding’s Chicken and Gas or quotes like “It’s not for sale Francis!”’accompanied by a photo of Pee-Wee’s bike. You could really make a haul at this convention and be happy with every dollar spent because the items are either cool for being cool or awesome because you can tell someone put a ton of work into making the items.
6:30 comes along and we get in line for Mr.Englund – we are currently outside of the ropes and awaiting our turn to enter. Nearly 7 pm we gain access to the ropes and prepare our stuff, knowing the he might be signing for another few hours at least to get through these people. We also did know that he had a Q&A at 7pm for A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 so when Englund got up and left we didn’t think much of it. Sadly that’s when we were informed that he would not be returning to his booth for the night and things got heavy in an instant. Directed by the Englund booth to head to the front desk in order to obtain new passes for Englund the following day the rat race was on.
Upon arrival to the desk, flustered and confused – the HorrorHound staff remained calm and collected – although just as concerned by the sudden departure of Mr.Englund as we were. A particular staff member who I didn’t catch the name of was an absolute delight, working with us that were thrown to the slaughter by the mad people further along in the lineup. He stuck by our side and promised us that we would be first to see him the following day and come the next day. That would be true. The staff handled a bad situation extraordinarily well, especially when it was sprung upon the staff, volunteers and guests so suddenly. Luckily come Saturday we met the man of our nightmares.
Friday ended on a relatively happy note however with hope of getting him the following day and being able to meet both Michael Myers from Halloween (1978) and Halloween (2018) – Nick Castle and James Jude Courtney. Both of which were absolute delights and fans of the series should leap at the chance to meet these two legendary men. Also the finale of my Clerks poster – finally receiving the remaining autograph to finish up the piece, Jeff Anderson (Randal Graves).
Day Two – the rush to get Robert Englund begins. Once we arrived at the convention center our focus turned to getting in line and hopefully getting to the start of the line in order to redeem our new tickets. Soon after standing around, we recognized the helpful staff member from afar, which he then led us to a separate line that let us go in first in order to make sure that we were at the front of the line. As 10am hits we are let in front of the VIP/Early Access guests and guided to Englund’s abandoned line.
It’s not till nearly 11am that Englund shows and two rows back, it takes an hour to get to him but the final results speak for themselves.
With the mission accomplished we sought refuge down in the cafeteria – hosted by numerous great smells and welcoming sights. Food options galore in this small room tucked away. Familiar with them and aware of their horror theme we went for Zombie Dogz ($8 a dog) even with the inflated convention pricing the one hotdog managed to fill us for the time being and with one final spin around the vendor room we finished our first day early but satisfied.
Wait just a minute…
Our day wasn’t quite finished yet with the sudden inclusion of Billy Zane into the mix. Undecided whether or not we were going to go through with an autograph from the legendary Titanic actor, we decided to go for it at the last minute. Choosing a rad poster of The Phantom (1996) we went over to him and got an unexpected welcoming interaction with the actor who was a last minute decision. Extremely friendly. Open to talking about any of his films - I personally spoke to him about my love of Back to the Future and my brother spoke to him about his small part in the second Zoolander. A fine conversation that made us happy for the day but as we turned away he invited us back to grab a still from Back to the Future and Zoolander 'on him' and that more than made our Saturday.
The final day has arrived and with it all of our autograph desires have been met at this time – we return only for one thing…panels. HorrorHound is known for it’s wonderful Q&A panels with the stars of several film franchises, some of the best from the past being the panel for The Boondock Saints and Tucker & Dale Vs Evil. This year’s Clerks and Michael Rooker panel truly earned a spot near the top of the list – especially for fans of Rooker – his Q&A was a wild one.
The Clerks panel was undeniably an uneven experience with Jason Mewes leading the panel for the first twenty minutes and exiting shortly after Brian O’Halloran and Jeff Anderson’s entrance. Both parts were great but the lack of time with all three together left something to be desired. Zack and Miri questions were answered, we saw the classic Randal dance and we got some rumors started about a possible Vulgar 2 starring O’Halloran and a return to Clerks animated after the end of the true “New Jersey Trilogy”. When Rooker came to the stage things seemed different, Rooker lurked in with no introduction and started his panel early by having the sign language translator constantly translate “Jiggly Butt” in sign. Then he “attacked”, zooming through the auditorium asking both people with and without questions what their question was and if they didn’t have a question for him well he’d offer to make one up for you on the spot. No matter the question though as he zipped throughout, his answers were fast, snappy and almost never concrete as he said “I don’t give advice.” While clearly an entertaining hour that I truly want to transcribe for everyone to read, it never really fulfilled the A for most of the Qs.
Concluding our time with HorrorHound Weekend I left exhausted from the weekend but happy I went overall. HorrorHound is kinda like a home for like minded people with the love and enthusiasm to celebrate the thing that they love – horror. While some things went awry like our time with Robert Englund for more reasons than one, ultimately the weekend was a trip down memory lane and in doing so created many new memories to cherish.