at Horrorfind IV
Baltimore, Maryland [August 13-15, 2004]
|See what you missed out at
Horrorfind Weekend IV, which happened to see the coming
together of a large amount of zombie-related celebrities.
ATZ's eyes on the scene, HatefulDisplay, fills you
in on the fun and rubs it in to all who didn't make
it. And if you look close in the pictures, you can
almost see him getting more and more drunk.
by Ron Clark [aka HatefulDisplay]
And so here it was, Friday the Thirteenth. I was in all
my glory as I drove toward Hunt Valley, Maryland for Horrorfind
Weekend IV. All I had on my mind was meeting tons of people,
including George Romero and Jeffrey Combs, who were the
two that topped my “must see” list. Even getting
lost a few times and knowing that I was not familiar with
anybody who would be there when I arrived didn’t deter
my eagerness. I was like a small child on Christmas Day!
I checked into the hotel and chugged down a couple of lukewarm
beers I brought with me before getting in the line for pre-paid
tickets. Initially, it was quite irritating to stand in
line for around two hours prior to the doors opening. After
awhile though, I realized that this was the place I have
always wanted to be in, a place of like-minded horror enthusiasts.
I found myself discussing independent and Asian horror films
with people who knew what the hell I was talking about.
Of course Romero’s trilogy was also a big topic of
When the doors finally opened, I headed inside and looked
for a Romero signing line. Unfortunately, he had not arrived
yet. Kane Hodder, Barbara Crampton, Adrienne Barbeau, Debbie
Rochon, and Dee Wallace Stone were not there yet either.
All of them showed up by the end of the first evening and
honestly, there was plenty to do without them.
I started by drifting over to the table of Joseph Pilato,
of Day of the Dead fame. He was a really cool guy
and I was the first autograph he signed during the convention.
I had a quote ready for months and he smiled when I had
him sign his picture, “I’m running this monkey
farm, Ron.” OK, maybe I’m easily amused, but
Pilato was awesome and a standout guy throughout the con.
He hammed it up with several of his lines from Day
at such a volume that he took the attention of every one
in the room on several occasions.
The next move was meeting Gaylen Ross. I couldn’t
think of any good quotes from her so I just had her sign
her photo. She looks beautiful for her age and I feel that
she is much more attractive now than when Dawn of the
Dead was filmed. I accidentally knocked her water glass
over on her foot when I crouched down for a picture next
to her. I apologized and mumbled something about spilling
water on her after waiting twenty years to meet her. She
didn't get angry with me and took it very well. Thinking
back, perhaps she should have stood for the picture and
we could have avoided the whole mishap <ahem>.
I went on to meet Jeffrey Combs, the Re-Animator himself, who was especially nice.
I couldn’t, for the life of me, come up with any questions
to ask him so I briefly discussed seeing him in a non-horror
film on television recently. Neither of us could figure
out what movie I was watching so I moved on.
Next up was Bill Mosely’s table. His first response
was to compliment my Misfits shirt and point out the fact
that he was wearing two Misfits patches on his jeans. He
was cool and gave a couple cool quotes to help me figure
what I wanted on his picture. I went with the Boogeyman
line from House of 1000 Corpses, which was something
amusing that I recall from that film.
I then visited the beautiful Brinke Stevens. She was incredibly
cool and talked about Nightwalkers and the upcoming
sequel with me. She told me she would be in three segments
of the sequel and I stressed my opinions that she deserved
more exposure in the original Nightwalkers. I ended
up buying a Demon Lust DVD from her, which she signed
The dealers' rooms were next and that's when I began wishing
I were a millionaire. I could have easily spent thousands
of dollars down there. The place was packed with vendors
selling anything and everything horror. You could purchase
DVD’s, rare videos, posters, books, comic books, original
artwork, jewelry, clothing, sculptures, and more. I ended
up buying only a few DVD’s in the dealers’ rooms
in order to keep myself in my weekend budget.
In the dealers’ room, I met the gorgeous and uber-friendly
Syn Devil. I was also able to meet Tom Savini, who did not
talk very much to my dismay. He did sign the Demon Lust
DVD that I bought earlier for free, so I didn’t complain
While still in the dealers’ room, I also met the makers
of two films I own:Teenage Zombie House Massacre
and Stakes. Both men were very open to criticism
on some of the aspects I disliked in their films. Both of
them were very friendly and talked a lot about their films
with me. I took the advice of Stacy, from Teenage Zombie
House Massacre, and bought a copy of Midnight Skater.
I know the money will go into future films so I had no problem
dishing out the ten bucks.
The last line I stood in for that day was for Debbie Rochon.
She looked incredible and was very friendly. She cuddled
up close against me for a picture and that's when I discovered
that I accidentally turned my camera off when I gave it
to the guy to take a photo. I joked with her that I did
it on purpose. Yeah, double the cuddle time. Debbie Rochon
was definitely worth talking to.
I recognized Amy Lynn Best inside and asked about her upcoming
film, The Resurrection Game. It has zombies in it,
and any body that knows me knows that I’ll buy almost
anything with zombies in it. She informed me that the film
was complete and they were looking at least one strong possibility
for high quality distribution.
The remainder of the first night was spent between bars
and outside the convention area. I ran into Angela Bettis,
from the sleeper hit May, outside. She seemed to
be amused at the fact that I asked if it would be all right
to take her picture and joked about promoting health by
smoking while I took it. I also ran into Kyra Schon from
the original Night of the Living Dead. She's another
woman who is very polite and has aged very well. I had seen
pictures of her in the past, but they do not give credit
to the real person. She posed for a picture with me that
day and freely mingled throughout the weekend when she went
outside for cigarette breaks.
Saturday morning, I struggled to get up around nine. That
wasn’t an easy task after consuming such large amounts
of alcoholic beverages the night before. I knew the Romero
line would start early so I had to drag myself up and get
moving. I hit the main line around 9:30 with the doors opening
at ten. There were already more than one hundred people
ahead of me. I didn’t really mind, it was my fault
for not stopping the previous night's drinking sooner.
As soon as the doors opened, I got in line to meet George
Romero. While in line, I met a couple guys who had gone
to the Evans City Cemetery and took wonderful black and
white photographs of the area used for Night of the Living
Dead’s cemetery scene. The guys told me about
almost getting hit by cars while doing the road shots. The
photos were outstanding and it was obvious that they were
well planned out.
After approximately two hours in line, I was ushered in
and got to sit down next to Romero. It was incredible. I
had tons of questions, but felt that I should only ask a
couple so the others in line wouldn’t be held up longer
than they had to be. I asked him what his thoughts on Lucio
Fulci’s work were and he informed me that he felt
Fulci’s films were fun and he enjoyed watching them.
He informed me the downside to his work was that they lacked
in the social aspects. I asked him his thoughts on the remake
of Dawn of the Dead and whether he felt it paid homage
to the original. I know I could have found an interview
somewhere, but I wanted to hear it from the source. Romero
informed me that he was not worried about any homage to
his films. He smiled and told me, “It was a lot better
than I thought it would be.” He went on to add that
he doesn’t think zombies should run. I agreed with
him, shook his hand one last time, and had to walk away.
Later on I made my way to the lower level to catch a couple
authors’ readings. I went to hear readings from Brian
Keene (The Rising)
and Drew Williams (Night Terrors). Both men did amazing
readings and were great to talk to. There were a number
of other readings, but I skipped out on the rest. Keene
was the only one I was intent on seeing. He was so loud
at one point that he interrupted the reading in the room
next to us. It was hilarious. I got to speak to Keene a
few times throughout the weekend, and I must say he’s
a really cool and down-to-earth guy. He offered to buy me
a shot the first night if I ran into him at the bar. By
the time I made my way to the second bar, I steered clear
of him because I knew a shot of hard liquor would most likely
induce vomiting when mixed with all the beer I drank.
The costume contest was held that evening. This was awesome.
There were killer clowns, grim reapers, a scarecrow, an
evil Little Red Riding Hood, and more. Some of the costumes
were amazing. I can only imagine the amount of time that
was put into them. During this part of the evening, I ran
into Reggie Bannister of Phantasm fame. He was really
nice and happily posed for a photograph.
After the costume contest, I skipped down to one of the
bars to catch part of the 'Sugar Virus' set. They had a
pretty cool sound that my friend found to be reminiscent
of 'Samhain', if any one knows who they are. I picked up
one of their CD’s to listen to later, which I found
to be pretty enjoyable. Check them out if you’re into
horror-punk or Misfits-type stuff.
Before I called it a night, I ran into fetish model Calla
Ford and Irwin Keyes (House of 1000 Corpses) in the
upper bar. I tricked both of them into getting a picture
with me. Okay, maybe they were willing to get in the pictures.
After that, and running out of the last case of beer we
brought, I called it a night.
The next day, I almost slept past the hotel’s check
out time. I rushed to get my stuff to the car and to check
out the convention one last time. I was pretty hung-over
and dehydrated, so I wasn’t into staying much longer.
I ran into one of the cool folks I met and said my goodbyes.
Then, it was off for an incredibly long two-hour drive back
to the land of normalcy.
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