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The ScreamFest '07 Experience †by Chris Woods
The Halloween Horror Picture Show '07 †by C. A. Passinault
RETRORAMA
Screamfest 2007 †by ED Tucker
MOVIE REVIEW
"Dan in Real Life" †by Mike Smith
FILMLOOK
Documenting Living Saints †by Paul Guzzo
MIKE'S RANT
Last Week .... The Gang's All Here .... And? .... Where's The Treat? .... Whatever Happened To--? Chapter 31: Charles Durning - Next Week! †by Mike Smith
Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our eighth calendar year!
Number 396  (Vol. 8, No. 43). This edition is for the week of October 22--28, 2007.


October is a great time of the year. What makes it great is the Halloween season. Which brings me to an event that is becoming a Halloween time tradition, Screamfest. An event that is held for three days in Orlando, run by Spooky Empire and is the largest horror convention in Florida. This is the second time I attended Screamfest. Last year I had had an awesome time and this yearís event was just as great. Hereís my Screamfest experience.
I headed over to Orlando from St. Petersburg about early afternoon on Friday October 19th. First thing I did was checked into my room at The Wyndham Hotel and Resort where the convention was being held. I had some time to kill before Screamfest 2007 official opened, so I grabbed a bite to eat and walked around the resort for a while.

Around 4:30pm I got in line to get my ticket. Now hereís where things get a little confusing. I bought my ticket ahead of time, like I did last year, which you had to pick up at "will call". Now last year there was just one line for will call and to purchase tickets and it just forked off at the head. Now I thought it would be the same. I thought wrong. When I got close to the head of the line and after waiting 45 minutes, I realized that the line didnít fork off. So, I asked someone from Screamfest if this line was for will call also? They told me no, and that the will call line was all the way down at the other end. Thatís one thing that wasnít really clear on where the different lines were, they were no signs to tell you where they were and what they were for. Also, it was my fault for not asking someone there if this was for will call when I first got there. But when I got to the will call line it was out the door in the parking lot. So, I waited another 30 minutes. There were still no signs but at least someone from the staff was telling people this was for will call. Sorry for the rant. Just had to get that out to tell you about the line situation, but that was the only bad experience I had all weekend, the rest was very cool.

When I finally got into the event, the first people I met up with were Joel and Cathy Wynkoop. They were both there already at their table setting up for the night. We talked for a while and made plans to get something to eat after the show. I then walked around a bit and looked around at all the vendor tables. It was pretty quiet there since it was Friday (Saturday was the crazy day) so I got to check out most of the stuff they were selling there. Most of the things were horror and sci-fi DVDs (mostly bootlegs), there were tons of people selling movie posters, T-shirts, all kinds of toys from horror dolls and action figures to some classic Star Wars toys. There were plenty of artists there, selling some of their work. Some special effects artist as well doing some demonstrations. I ran into make-up artist Joannie Atkins and later on I saw Chris Polidoro who were doing some F/X make-up on some guests. There were also some musicians there as well who were playing at the convention.

Then I walked back to the area where Joel and Cathy were which was mostly the independent filmmaker section. Right next to Joel was Walt Jenkins and crew promoting their film Vampire Biker Babes. Also next to Joel was new actress Jamie Lea who was just in a film with Joel. Also around there were Lloyd Kaufman and the Troma crew, Orlando filmmaker Jason Matthew Murphy promoting his film Zombies, Zombies, Zombies, and other filmmakers that were plugging their newest films. I saw filmmaker Jason Liquori from Hocus Focus Production and by him was Stephen Biro of Unearthed Films and over by him was Terry Cronin of Students of The Unusual comics. It was good to see all three of them. Just across from them was the 100 Tears team, which included Marcus Koch, Joe Davison, Jack Amos, Alanna Baker, and other members of the film. Both Marcus and Alanna were in zombie make-up, they had just participated in the Screamfest Zombie Walk. Very cool make-up job from Marcus.

Actually this year Screamfest was a lot bigger. They had to put the special guests in another room down the hall cause they were so many vendors and people this year. So, I decided to see the horror celebs on Friday and get it out of the way, cause I knew Saturday was going to be nuts, and it was. There were four main people that I had to see this year, and those were Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Gunnar Hansen (The original Leatherface from the The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Michael Berryman (Horror Icon from the original Hills Have Eyes), and Bill Hinzman (The 1st Zombie seen in the original Night of The Living Dead). It was a good thing I went then cause it wasnít crowed at all and the lines werenít long.

First, I met Gunnar Hansen. He was very cool. I got his autograph and a picture with him. I was talking to him about The Horror Channel since Gunnar shot a few things for them. I told him how I edited a few of his segments and he said he liked the way they came out. Next up was Michael Berryman, he was awesome. Got an autograph and a picture with him as well. A few other people that were there mentioned the remake of Hills, I added in, they shouldnít of remade the film and left it alone. Michael agreed with us.

Some other stars that were there were Kane Hodder (Jason), Doug Bradley (Pinhead from Hellraiser), Danielle Harris (From the Halloween films), Ricou Browning (The Creature from The Black Lagoon), Tom Savini, David Naughton (An American Werewolf in London), and many others.

After that I decided to get in line to meet Robert Englund, Freddy Krueger himself. The line was outside the door of the room. When I went to what I thought was the end of the line, one of the staff members told me the end of the line was way outside. They just had a break in the line for people wouldnít block the hallway. It was kind of like that scene in A Christmas Story where they tell Ralphie the end of the line starts way down there to see Santa Claus. So, I went outside and waited. I thought I waited a long time in the line for my ticket, I ended waiting for two hours just to see Freddy. But it was worth it, Robert was very cool and got a picture with him and his autograph. Iím glad I got this over with Friday; cause Saturday's wait for Englund was about four hours, I heard.

Once I was done there, I ran back to the dealerís room to meet up with Joel and Cathy. When I got there I was asking Joel if the Screamfest people would let me videotape tomorrow around the convention. I was going to have Joel maybe get a few interviews with some of the horror stars. Joel and I went over to Petey Mongelli who is the promoter of the event. Joel asked him if it was cool if we could shoot and we even told him that we would give him a copy of the footage we shot. Pete said he was cool with us shooting, we just couldnít interview Englund, but everyone else was cool. So, we were happy about that. Special thanks to Pete for letting us shoot there and a big thanks for Joel for talking to him.

When the convention closed for the night we went over to a little bar and grill by the pool and had some dinner. It was very cool hanging out there. Doug Bradley was there hanging out with some people. Michael Berryman also came by and he stopped at our table to talk to us for a while. One thing cool about having it at a hotel resort is if your hanging out at the bar you might run into a few horror celebrities. Shortly after that I went back to my room and got some rest for Saturday.

The second day of Screamfest started off very good. At 11am, I went back to the dealerís room. Went over to the Wynkoop table and got out my camera and started taping. Joel and I were going to shot some stuff with the people after I finished watching Zombies, Zombies, Zombies. But before the film I went around the dealerís room and shot some footage. Went over to the 100 Tears table and talked with Joe Davison, he talked about his film playing at the event later today. Went around and shot all the cool stuff at the vendors tables. Tons of people were there. Saturday was jammed packed. As I was shooting, I lost track of the time and realized it was almost time to catch Zombies, Zombies, Zombies. I rushed over there but I got there late and the movie sold out.

So, I used that time I had to spare to get Joel and take the camera around and shoot some more. I taped Joel at his table talking to some of his fans. Joel was also walking around with me doing the interviews with the people. He talked to Lloyd Kaufman over at the Troma booth, talked to Jason Liquori at his table and then went over to the 100 Tears crew and talked to them. We pretty much talked to all the indie filmmakers that were around us, then we headed over to the celebrity guest room.

When we got over there, the place was flooded with people. We didnít know if we were going to get a chance to talk to anyone cause the lines were so long. As we were walking through we did find some people with short lines. At first Tom Savini just had one person at his table so we went over and asked him for an interview, but by the time we got over there we looked back and there were more people in line for him now and Savini told us to come back tomorrow and he'd do the interview.

After that we did find some others to talk to. Joel did interviews with music composer of the Friday the 13th films, Harry Manfredini, Brooke McCarter from The Lost Boys, Sean Clark host of Horrorís Hallowed Grounds, J. Larose from Saw III and I finally got to meet Bill Hinzman from Night of The Living Dead. We got an interview with him as well. I also got an autograph from him and bought an A&E documentary on Zombies that he was in.

We also saw actress Shawnee Smith from the Saw films. She was just there on Saturday and Sunday and she had a very long line and we didnít think we could get an interview with her, so I just taped her from afar. One of the Screamfest staff started yelling at me to not tape here, but Joel saved the day and went up to the guy and he knew Joel. He told him we had the okay from Pete and after that the guy asked us if we wanted an interview with Shawnee. So, we got in there for a few seconds and got a very cool interview with her. We also asked again about getting an interview with Englund, he told us just ask one of his managers if it was all right. Joel went over to Englundís table and we were very close to landing an interview with him. Joel told them we just needed 30 seconds of his time, the manager actually said sure it was fine, but his other handler mentioned something to him and after that he told us no, but we could shoot him from afar. So, we just thanked him and moved along and got some cool shots of Freddy with some fans.

We also went back around and got some interviews with Michael Berryman, Alex Vincent (Childís Play), Ricou Browning, and Danielle Harris. We also got a quick interview with the promoter of Screamfest, Pete Mongelli. Also Joel has a great fan base. As we were walking around tons of people went coming over to Joel and were saying, "youíre Joel Wynkoop". It was great. People were even asking him for his autograph. Joel did an awesome job interviewing everyone too. I said he would make a good reporter cause he just gets in there and has a great way of talking to people. Joel was saying we made a great team and I told him yeah were the Double Ws, the Woods-Wynkoop Connection. But we had an awesome time talking to everyone.

As we finished up the interviews, I tried to get back in time to see 100 Tears, but the crowd in the hallway was so bad it took awhile to get to the film festival, and like the other film it was sold out. So, I went back to the dealerís room to shoot some more video. I also saw some more familiar faces walking around like Shelby McIntyre, Steven Shea, Doug Vater and his wife, actress from Zombies, Zombies, Zombies, Hollie Winnard and Krista Grotte who was hosting the Fear Films Film Festival Freak Show and actor Rod Grant who is in 100 Tears. There was also a great moment with Joel and Jack Amos who was dressed as Gurdy the Clown, his character in 100 Tears that I got on tape. After that I decided to catch a movie for the third time. This time I went early. I watched a documentary called Blood, Boobs, Beast, which was about horror independent filmmaker, Don Dohler. It was a very good documentary that showed Dohler's ups and downs with making films from the 70ís all the way up to this decade in Baltimore, Maryland. He also started the short-lived magazine Cinemagic. Once the film was done, I went back to Joelís table and shot a few more things. As the con was beginning to close for the second day we decided to all got out for dinner, myself, Joel, Cathy, Jason Liquori and his wife Nancy.

After dinner we went back to the resort and we all went over to the bar. As I was getting a drink, David Arquette walked by me. At first I was thinking, hey that guy looks like David Arquette, but it was him. He was there for one night only to screen his new film The Tripper. Shortly after that, I went back to my room to get some sleep. Sunday for me will be a short day at the fest cause I wanted to head out early to go back home.

On the last day of Screamfest, Joel and I went back over to the horror stars to get some more interviews. We did get a chance to interview Savini, we also talked to Danielle Harris again and got an interview with Gunnar Hansen and William Forsythe who has been in many films over the years, most recently The Devilís Rejects and the new Halloween. After we were finished with the interviews I went back with Joel to his table and was about to get ready to leave, but then I ran into Andy Lalino. I was looking for Andy yesterday at the convention but he decided to go on Sunday. He was there with Andrew Allan and they just arrived at the fest. Then, minutes later, we ran into Ed Tucker and his wife. I was saying to both of them this is where all our articles will "meet" because Andy and Ed will be writing about Screamfest as well. It was very good to see them all there.

Around 1pm, I said my good-byes to everyone and headed off to St. Pete. Screamfest 2007 was awesome. I had a great time there. I was happy to see everyone and was thrilled to meet all my favorite horror icons. It was very cool we got to videotape around the con. Iíll be using some of the footage in a 3 to 5 minute piece that will soon go up on Tampa Bay On Demand, hopefully I can get it up there before Halloween. It was also fun hanging out with Joel and Cathy. Again, Joel did a great job interviewing everyone and having him there made it so much fun. One thing I wish that my good friend and other half of ICON, Simon Lynx could've been there. Originally he was going to go for the weekend, but wasnít able to make it. But, he said he wished he could have been there.

All in all, I had an awesome time, some great memories, and look forward to going there next year. So, hope to see you all at Screamfest 2008 and that has been my Screamfest experience.



"The ScreamFest '07 Experience" is ©2007 by Chris Woods.

All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.

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