<![CDATA[Horrornerd.net - Horror Nerd\'s Blog]]>Wed, 20 Sep 2017 23:19:27 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Happy Halloween!......Maybe.....]]>Wed, 20 Sep 2017 14:34:05 GMThttp://horrornerd.net/horror-nerds-blog/happy-halloweenmaybePicture
Well, horror fans sure did wake up on social media when it was announced that Jamie Lee Curtis would be back as Laurie Strode in the upcoming 2018 'reboot' of "Halloween",  As we all know by now, I think, the film will be directed by David Gordon Green, with John Carpenter as executive producer and creative consultant.  I'm not going to go any further into the details, as they have been published on about a million other websites.  You can link to an article from Variety here.  The one thing I would like to note is that, according to the articles, the film will be a direct sequel to the original "Halloween 2", and will ignore all of the other sequels, including "Halloween: H20" and "Halloween: Resurrection", both of which featured Jamie Lee.

What I am really thinking about are the various social media reactions I saw to this news.  Many fans were completely ecstatic, acting as though it was the second coming.  Others simply rolled their eyes over the fact that there was yet another "Halloween" film on the horizon.

I am not entirely sure how I feel about it yet.  I have long maintained that movie fans in general, and horror fans specifically, are always lamenting the fact that "There's nothing new coming out of Hollywood", yet they jump for joy when the umpteenth sequel in a horror franchise is announced.  I think far too many of us are "holding on to the past".  Listen, I love all the iconic horror franchises as much as anyone.  "Friday the 13th", "Nightmare on Elm Street", "Halloween"......these are all defining franchises in the horror landscape, and, for those of us of a certain age, they are films that we grew up with and, because of that, we tend to view them through the lens of nostalgia.  Speaking for myself however, I think there comes a time when certain things have just "run their course".  Personally, if they never made another "Halloween" film, I would be OK with it.  Having said that, who knows?  Maybe this new one will turn out to be really good. 


Picture

]]>
<![CDATA[NJ Horror Con and Film Festival]]>Fri, 15 Sep 2017 21:37:55 GMThttp://horrornerd.net/horror-nerds-blog/nj-horror-con-and-film-festivalPicture
Greetings Horror Nerd fans!  This article was a long time coming!!

​Back in 2016, when I heard that my friend, filmmaker Ryan Scott Weber (Mary Horror, Pretty Fine Things, Zombies Incorporated) was starting his own horror convention and film festival, I admit that I was a little surprised.  He was having it right here in New Jersey, which was already the home of two large, well known conventions. so it was bound to raise a few eyebrows.  However, I had known Ryan for quite some time and he's a true horror fan at heart, so I knew that it was a good bet that he was not taking it lightly, and they he knew that starting a new horror con right here in NJ was going to be a challenge.  He also announced Robert Bruce, of AMC's "Comic Book Men" as a partner in this endeavor, so that was also a sign that this was something that was well thought out.

I had no idea what to expect as far as the size and scope of the convention to come, but over time, Ryan kept announcing more and more celebrity guests.  Kristanna Loken (Terminator 3), Alex Vincent (Child's Play), Matthew Lillard (Scooby Doo), and many other well-known names.  The list just kept growing and growing, and I couldn't help but wonder how Ryan and his team were going to pull this off.  When John Waters was announced as the special VIP guest, it was a huge deal, as John doesn't do a lot of shows.  It was shaping up to be a much bigger convention than I had anticipated.

Picture
Finally, the weekend of the show arrived.  Unfortunately, Friday met us with thunderstorms and monsoon like conditions, which I am sure impacted attendance to some degree, but I was surprised at how many fans were there.  It turned out to be a great showing, all things considered.

The show itself was well organized and laid out.  Some of the vendor spaces were a little tight, but this was related more to the layout of the hotel than to anything having to do with the convention itself.  For a first time convention, things went very well in my opinion.  If I wanted to, I could certainly find things to nitpick.  For example, there was one vendor room that was at the end of a hallway that was a bit hard to find if you didn't know it was there, but this was a minor issue, and even long running, established conventions have their issues.  

The celebrity signing room was well laid out, again given the size of the hotel I could tell that Ryan and crew had some challenges when it came to laying out the room, but I never really had any problems moving around or seeing and of the celebrity guests.  Again, I would like to mention that it was a great mix of guests from Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp) to Lynn Lowry (The Crazies, The Super), to The Amazing Kreskin, there was someone to keep every fan interested.  

In addition to the great lineup of guests, there was also a wide variety of vendors offering a fantastic array of merchandise.  There was definitely something for everyone.


My only regret was that I did not have a chance to check out some of the films that were shown during the film festival, which was run efficiently by filmmaker Tony Goggles.  There were a lot of excellent indie films being screened, many of which were made by filmmakers that I know personally, and I wish I had been able to attend some of them.....next time for sure!

Overall, it was a fun time and again, for a first time convention, it was extremely well run and I have to re-iterate that Ryan, Robert and their entire crew did a great job.  Yes, there were some minor issues, which I am sure will be corrected next time......

​....Speaking of which!!!

The weekend of September 22-24, 2017 we're going to do it all over again!  Based on the success of the first show, Ryan and crew and bringing NJ Horror Con and Film Festival back!  This time, they are at a new hotel, the Renaissance Woodbridge in Iselin, NJ, and once again, they have another great lineup of guests, including a "Goonies" reunion with Sean Astin and Kerri Green, A "Night of the Demons" reunion with Scream Queen Linnea Quigley, Amelia Kinkade, Kevin Tenney and others, Tyler Mane, Scout Taylor Compton AND, in a rare convention appearance, special VIP guest star Crispin Hellion Glover (Back to the Future, Willard).  
As with the previous show, there will also be a variety of merchandise vendors for your shopping pleasure along with a lot of great cosplayers, costumed entertainers, and fans sporting every kind of horror themed costume or makeup you can think of.  All of these things add up to make for a great weekend.

The Horror Nerd is really looking forward to the second edition of the NJ Horror Con and film festival!  It's very hard to get a convention off the ground successfully in a time when there seems to be some kind of fan convention or event every weekend.  Ryan Scott Weber, Robert Bruce and their convention team seem to be well on their way.  I hope that this second show is a success, and leads to many more to come.  Be sure to attend the show the weekend of September 22-24, 2017.  The Horror Nerd will see you there!!

Note: All photos NOT watermarked are the property of NJ Horror Con and Film Festival.  
Picture

Click the image to go to the NJ Horror Con and Film Festival Website!!

]]>
<![CDATA[Macabre Faire Film Festival - Past and Present]]>Fri, 27 Jan 2017 00:41:24 GMThttp://horrornerd.net/horror-nerds-blog/macabre-faire-film-festival-past-and-presentPicture
In the summer of 2012, a buddy asked me to help him work his table, selling DVDs, at a film festival out on Long Island.  That festival was called the Macabre Faire Film Festival.  I had nothing to do that weekend, so I figured I would give him a hand.  Little did I know the impact that this decision would have on me....

The festival was in a Best Western hotel, and was relatively small. There were a handful of vendors, and a few celebrity guests, but what really struck me was the intimacy and closeness of the event.  It was NOTHING like the large celebrity autograph conventions I had been to, and that was SO refreshing.  It was all about the films and the film makers, and that's what stuck me.  I saw so many great films that weekend and met so many great people, and I was hooked.  One person stood out above all, and that person was Elsie Ginsberg, who, at the time, was introduced to me as LC Macabre.  She was friendly and genuine and I immediately got a good vibe from her.  We hit it off immediately, and I knew that I had found something special in this event.  I met several of the staff members, along with many filmmakers, actors and actresses who are still friends to this day.

As the years went by, I attended every Macabre Faire Film Festival, and it just kept getting better and better.  Every year there were more films, more filmmakers, and more opportunities to make new friends and new connections.  Every time, I looked forward to seeing the Macabre Faire staff, all of whom I were getting to know.  They are an amazing, diverse collection of dedicated people who really know how to run an event.  No matter what happens, someone is there to deal with it.  I found myself wanting to get more involved with this very strange, but very awesome film family.

Macabre Faire - January 2013


Macabre Faire - June 2013

By the summer of 2013, my feeling about this event had already been solidified, and I found myself looking forward to the event more and more.  The June 2013 event was special because I really began to cement friendships that had begun at the previous events.  The festival itself was really growing in terms of the films that were shown and the entertainment that was provided.  It was about this time that I began referring to Macabre Faire as "a convention unlike any other".  It was also a fun weekend because it turned into a road trip adventure with some very special people.  Wait....change that....it was a crazy weekend because of some very special people!  

Not only that, but I was touched that LC and the rest of the Macabre Faire staff marked my birthday, along with another member of the Macabre Family, with a cake presented by Eileen Dietz!
In January of 2014, Elsie and Adam Ginsberg, and the rest of the Macabre Faire Staff really took it to another level entirely with their first Red Carpet gala.  Never before had I been to a film festival where indie filmmakers were treated like royalty, as if we were all in Hollywood during the Oscars.  There were red carpet photos and interviews, and a tremendous dinner with great entertainment and a lot of fellowship, camaraderie and fun into the wee hours of the morning.  I had never attended an event like this.  I was just a patron, and yet I was still made to feel special.  I think about this time my reputation for taking photos with lovely ladies was pretty much etched in stone by hey, there are worse things to be known for!  

I had an amazing time at that first Macabre Faire Red Carpet gala, but little did I know that my experience with Macabre Faire was going to get even better.
For the 2015 Macabre Faire Film Festival, Elise Ginsberg honored me by asking me to be one of the judges on the judges panel.  I was humbled and honored that she asked me, and I took the job very seriously.  For that first time as a judge, I think I watched about 130 films.  It was a lot of work, but it was a joy to do it.  One of the great things about being a judge is that I actually get to watch all of the films.  One of the very few downsides of attending an event like Macabre Faire is that there are so many films screening all weekend that you really have to try and juggle your time and pick and choose which ones you are going to see.  Fortunately, I do not have that problem.  I have seen so many amazing films as a judge, and the quality of the work just goes up every year.

One of the other joys of being more involved with the festival is really getting to meet so many of the filmmakers, actors and actresses.  I've met so many creative people over the years, and I am proud to call many of them friends.  

An important note about 2015 is that for the first time, the Macabre Faire Film Festival partnered with another promotion, the NY Horror Show, which added a new element to the event.  There were a few more celebrity guests than usual, a bigger vendor room and yet another AMAZING red carpet gala.  Macabre Faire was now THE premiere film festival in the NY area.

Oh, and we also roasted the SHIT out of our buddy Paul Gmitter.
The 2016 Macabre Faire Film Festival was as epic as ever.  Once again, I had the honor of being a judge, and the Red Carpet Gala was more spectacular than the last time.  By now, the event had really hit it's stride, and so many of my friends started talking about it in the summer of 2015!  It really is an event where you can get to know people.  There are a ton of events out there where you wait on line for a long time to spend a few seconds with a celebrity, and these kinds of events can be a lot of fun, and I go to a lot of them.  But I go to Macabre Faire BECAUSE it's different, and because I can spend an entire weekend talking to filmmakers, actors, performers and fellow film fans.  Not to mention the ridiculous lobby and room parties! 

Macabre Faire 2017

Here we are in 2017.  As I write this, Macabre Faire was two weeks ago, and I already miss it terribly and I wish it was next weekend. Once again, I spent a weekend with people I have come to regard as family.  I was honored to be a judge once more, and again, I have the privilege of watching almost 100 amazing films.  Even better, I got to meet many of the filmmakers and performers who brought the films to live.  It was truly an amazing experience, and it's hard to believe it's been five years since the first one I attended.  The event has grown in amazing ways and, through it all, Elsie Ginsberg has been the steady, guiding force.  I run a very small event, and I know the challenges that I face.  I can't imagine putting on a event of the scale of Macabre Faire Film Festival, and yet she does.  I also give full credit to Adam Ginsberg and the AMAZING Macabre Faire team.  They work tirelessly and do a fantastic job, and I am very proud to work with each and every one of them.

This time around I also had the honor of working with the lovely and talented Danielle Najarian on the red carpet, conducting interviews and meeting more of the filmmakers and actors.  I introduced her to my strange and wonderful Macabre Family, and she didn't run away screaming!

I also had a blast spending time with the great friends that I have made over the years, mostly because of this very event.  On Friday night, we spend two hours roasting my good friend Tom Ryan, and I must say, we did a hell of a job of it.

The Red Carpet Gala was fantastic yet again.  It's great to see everyone dressed up and having a great time, and I enjoyed seeing all the winners accept their awards

I could ramble on all night.......There's just so much to say about this event, and I could never possibly put all of my feelings into words.  I stand by my statement that the Macabre Faire Film Festival is an event unlike any other.  Nowhere else will you really get the sense that it is ALL about the films and the filmmakers, and the friendships and collaborations simply flow from that.  I get to a point where words fail, so I will just stop there.

I am honored and proud to have been with the Macabre Faire Film Festival since the beginning, and I look forward to many years to come.

​-The Horror Nerd

Macabre Faire 2017 - Full Photo Gallery 1


Macabre Faire 2017 - Full Photo Gallery 2


Macabre Faire 2017 - Full Photo Gallery 3


]]>
<![CDATA[The Horror Nerd's Picks for 2017 - Part 1]]>Sat, 07 Jan 2017 13:42:39 GMThttp://horrornerd.net/horror-nerds-blog/the-horror-nerds-picks-for-2017-part-1Well, I mentioned some of my favorite films from 2016, so I thought it fitting that I list a few of the horror flicks coming up in 2017 that I am looking forward to.  Again, these are in no particular order, just some movies that I will be checking out in the upcoming year.

Picture
"It" (September 8th) - I am really looking forward to this one.  I am a fan of the original adaptation but let's face it, it does have it's flaws, Tim Curry as Pennywise notwithstanding.  If I'm being honest, he was the singular best thing about that movie.

As far as the remake is concerned, Bill Skarsgard's Pennywise looks suitably terrifying, and I can't wait to see what the production team will be able to do with current filmmaking techniques and effects.


Picture
"Get Out" (February 24th) - I am a BIG fan of Jordan Peele, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what he can do when it comes to writing and directing a horror flick.  Early buzz is very positive, and I like the trailer very much.

"Get Out" follows a young black man who discovers something very sinister while visiting his white girlfriend's family estate.  Given the state of race relations in the USA at the time this film was made, it should prove to be interesting to say the least.  


Picture
In "A Cure For Wellness" (February 17th), Dane DeHaan stars as an employee who goes to a European "Wellness Spa" to retrieve his boss, and soon realizes that there's something sinister going on, other than the health needs of the patients and that the miraculous treatments offered at the facility are not what they seem.  Oh, and he also discovers that he's trapped.

This is director Gore Verbinksi's first horror film since 2002, and I am a big fan of his, and I am a fan of psychological thrillers, such as this film, which might not be considered "true" horror films (whatever that might mean). 


Picture
Any time I hear that people puked during a film and others walked out, I am always skeptical, but with "Raw" (March 10), I tend to believe it, especially given some of the gruesome films that have come out of France over the last few years.

Justine (Garance Marillier) shows up for her first year of vet school at a, well "unusual" institution.  Almost immidiately, she is thrust into viscious hazing rutuals, some of which involve the consumption of raw meat, which is difficult for Justine, considering she's a strict vegetarian.  Things begin to escalate, of course, and this gorehound is looking forward to watching!!

I've heard good things about this one, and I'm looking forward to checking out what I hope to be a well shot, gory film, with an interesting story line.


Picture
"The Belko Experiment" (March 17) - I'm a fan of "psychological experiment" films.  I will check out pretty much any film where a person or persons are thrust into some sort of scenario to see how they will react.  I've heard some good things about this one, where a group of about 80 Americans are trapped in their corporate office in Bogota, and forced to participate in a viscous game of kill or be killed. Greg McLean (Wolf Creek) directs this one, which was written by James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy).  I am a fan of both of them, so I am optimistic about this flick.


Picture
There was much ridiculous controvery over the casting of Idris Elba as The Gunslinger in "The Dark Tower" (July 28th), and that alone would get me to see it, even if I was not a fan of the books. Admittedly, I only read the first three books, and I am still counting the days until this film comes out.  I am never one to bitch and moan about casting decisions.  I prefer to wait until the film comes out, and then make my judgments.  When you have an actor of the caliber of Idris Elba, how can you go wrong?  So the guy is Black, so what?  He will either be good in the role or he won't.

Stephen King adaptations have had mixed results so, if anything, I am more worried about some of the liberties they may take with the story, but I am still very excited about this one, as I have been hoping for a film version for a very long time!


Picture
"XX" (February 17th) - The Horror Nerd is a fan of horror anthologies to begin with, but here comes one where all of the segments are directed by women, with women in all the lead roles. Now, if I am being completely frank, that fact in and of itself would not really affect my desire to see the film.  However, when you have filmmakers like Jovanka Vuckovic ("The Captured Bird"), Roxanne Benjamin ("Southbound"), Karyn Kusama ("The Invitation") and two other excellent female artists, St. Vincent (Annie Clark) and Sofia Carillo, how can you go wrong?

Anthologies can be a bit uneven because, generally speaking, some of the segments are usually better than the others, but I have a good feeling about this one, given the talent that's involved.  We'll see!  Be on the lookout for this one from Magnet Releasing.


Picture
"Split" (January 20th) - I'm a big fan of James McAvoy, who is good in just about everything and yes, I am a fan of M. Night Shyamalan. Shyamalan is a guy who has had a very strange career, to say the least.  A few good to great films, and a whole bunch of duds (in my opinion anyway).  "The Visit" though was pretty good, not great, but definitely interesting enough for me to be looking forward to "Split".


McAvoy plays an man with 23 different personalities who kidnaps three young women.  The trailer, in my opinion, is fantastic, and makes me want to see more.  I truly hope this one is good, because I would love to see M. Night Shyamalan redeem himself.  I still believe he has it in him.  We'll find out I suppose!


Picture
"Alien: Covenant" (May 19th) - For the record, I was a fan of "Prometheus", despite it's many flaws, which admittedly are hard to ignore.  I liked the concept, and the visuals of the film.  It's like, there was something special there, but it just didn't come completely to fruition.  I'm hoping a lot of these flaws will be corrected in this upcoming installment, and that a lot of questions will be answered. Oh, and let's face it, the teaser poster is AWESOME!

The crew of the Covenant comes across a planet that appears to be a virtual paradise.  It turns out that the only inhabitant is David, the andriod played by Michael Fassbender, that managed to survive the Prometheus expedtion, and it turns out that the world may not be the paradise that it initially seems to be.

In interviews, Ridley Scott has said that this film will answer many of the questions left over after "Prometheus" and, while I don't personally need every plot point of a film spoon fed to me, I don't want to have to work that hard to understand a film, so I hope Scot is true to his word.  Either way, I can't wait to see this one!


]]>
<![CDATA[Horror Nerd's Picks for 2016]]>Thu, 29 Dec 2016 15:04:02 GMThttp://horrornerd.net/horror-nerds-blog/horror-nerds-picks-for-2016Hello faithful readers!  As 2016 winds down, I decided to list some of my favorite horror/sci-fi films of the year. I personally think 2016 was an excellent year for horror.  There are a ton of films that came out that I haven't even had a chance to see yet.

These are in no particular order, because I found it hard to decide which ones were "better" than others.  I prefer to just list of films that I enjoyed during the year, and since this is my blog........that's how it goes!  I hope you enjoy the list and the films if you get a chance to see them.

Picture
"The Witch" - Many people complained that his movie was "too slow" and that "nothing happens" and some even said "It's not really a horror movie."  They would be wrong.  It was billed as a "New England Folk Tale," but it is most definitely a horror film.  I loved the sense of isolation, dread and paranoia that builds slowly throughout the entire film, and, for once, I was impressed by the performances of child actors.  The attention to detail for the period is amazing as well. Definitely one of the creepiest films I've seen in a long time, and I love the fact that, as it turns out, the "evil" in the film was most decidedly real.


Picture
"Train to Busan" - I had no idea I needed to see yet another zombie movie until I saw this one.  If most other zombie films handled the genre as deftly as this one does, they would all go up a notch in quality.  The film does an excellent job of balancing the violent zombie action with character driven drama and in the end, it's really just the story of a father trying to connect with his daugher.....and incidentally, trying to protect her from an undead horde.  Last I heard, there is going to be the obligatory American remake.  It's probably something I can do without.


Picture
"Baskin" - Holy shit!  My podcast co-host pushed me to finally watch this film and I am so glad I did.  This Turkish film drags us on a journey into hell along with a group of police officers.  Once there, we're treated to a series of surreal, violent and bloody set pieces that almost made my break split in half.  The main "villain" of the story is awesome and, I don't want to give anything away, but it turns out that his "look" in the film is real!  So help me, he actually looks like that!  Honestly though, this is a gory treat that will satisfy gorehounds but will also make horror fans happy with a good story.  "Baskin" is a must see!


Picture
"Don't Breathe" - OK, OK.  I know that Fede Alvarez's thriller is not what people usually consider a "horror" film and I know it has its detractors, but I liked it. Despite its flaws, of which there are a few, I genuinely liked it.  I am Stephen Lang fan, so that could be a big part of that, but mainly I enjoyed seeing three basically unlikeable people get tormented for 90 minutes.  Yes, there are some plot inconsistencies that will drive some people crazy, but overall, I had a fun time at the movies with this one.  There are some genuinely tense moments, and one of the better "total darkness" scenes that I've watched in a while.


Picture
I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like "The Eyes of My Mother".  My favorite horror films are the ones that get under my skin and stay there, and this is definitely one of them.  The fact that i's shot in haunting black and white gives it that much more of an impact.  Without giving too much away, I will say that basically we're witnessing a realistic (I think) and grim birth of a serial killer.  The truly horrifying thing is that it's presented in a very sympathetic way. It bothered me a bit that I sympathized so much with the main character, despite the graphic violence.  I think that is the true power of this film.  Director D. Nicolas Pesce is one to watch.  I just hope that after this stunning debut, his future films are not judged too harshly.


Picture
"10 Cloverfield Lane" - Again, not really a "horror" film per-se, but I had to include it because I really liked it.  I just wish the studio hadn't forced a tie in with "Cloverfield" that doesn't really make sense.  This film was originally called "The Cellar" and I wish it had stayed that way.  I also wasn't thrilled with the theatrical ending.  If you're curious, once you've seen the film, look up the description of the original ending and I think you'll see what I mean.  Other than that, I truly enjoyed this film, and John Goodman's performance is a revelation.  I have always felt that he is highly underrated as an actor. He creates some moments in this film that were so tense I could barely take it.  Ugh, again, that ending.......Still an very enjoyable film though.


Picture
I admit it.  I'm a fan of anthology horror films. They're hard to pull off because the individual segments can be (and usually are) uneven in quality, but "Southbound" is one of the better horror anthologies I've seen in a long time.  It manages to stay consistent in it's tone, through the 5 separate tails tied together in a circular fashion through a radio DJ (Larry Fessenden).  There are some good scares and some funny moments as well, along with a good mixture of genres in the individual stories (creature, religious cult, medical horror and others).  The performances and even the score are excellent as well.  Check it out!


Picture
"Hush" could easily have been just another "cat and mouse" type home invasion thriller, but is it most definitely not.  Let's face it, I've never seen one that featured a deaf protagonist, have you?  Maddie is a deaf author leading a reclusive life in a home in the woods.  A killer begins stalking Maddie, and the story that follows is tense, creepy and unsettling, and does not go down the path you might expect it to. I found the idea that sound had been removed as a factor in the story allowed the film to avoid most of the traps and cliches that films like this tend to fall into.


Picture
"They Look Like People" has a very simple, yet intriguing premise.  Creatures are slowly taking over the world by gaining control of the human race.  How?  They look just like humans, reminiscent of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", only with more convincing "replacements".  Here's the catch though....is this invasion really happening, or is it all in the mind of the main character?  Star Macleod Andrews does an excellent job projecting the fear and paranoia that would be associated with such a premise.  This was one of the most fun, interesting films I've seen in 2016.


Picture
"The Autopsy of Jane Doe" is one of the most unsettling horror films I've seen in a long time, and one with a very original plot, unlike anything I've seen, yet with some elements that seemed familiar.  I can't really explain it.  All I will say is that if you're a horror fan, you MUST see this film.  A small town coroner and his son conduct an autopsy on an unidentified woman. whose body was discovered at a crime scene where a violent murder has occurred.  As they perform the autopsy, they begin to discover that this is no ordinary corpse, and they experience a series of bizarre, supernatural events.  I won't give away anything more.  Just see the damn movie!!

]]>
<![CDATA[Northeast Film Festival Horror Fest 2016]]>Sun, 11 Dec 2016 18:04:05 GMThttp://horrornerd.net/horror-nerds-blog/northeast-film-festival-horror-fest-2016
On December 7th and 8th 2016 I had the pleasure of attending the Northeast Film Festival Horror Fest, held at the Teaneck Cinemas in Teaneck, NJ.   The NEFFHF is an extension if you will of the Northeast Film Festival, which is held at the same location in the Summer.  I also attended that event this year.  Festival director Larry Rosen, who is also a filmmaker and actor, does an excellent job of putting this festival together.  On a more mundane level, ordering my ticket online was a snap and getting my pass at the theater was also a breeze.  I love the easy going nature of the festival, which is apparent as soon as you get there, given that Larry is such a friendly, easy going guy.  He's approachable and easy to talk to, and it's clear that he loves what he's doing, but more on that later.

Teaneck Cinemas is a small, local theater that that serves and an excellent venue.  It truly is a movie going experience, with all the movie snacks you might enjoy, and it's great to see independent films being shown on a big, true "movie theater" screen, which is not often the case at local film festivals.  Several of the filmmakers and actors/actresses in attendance mentioned to me how cool it was to see their work up on an actual big screen, and I shared their enthusiasm for this touch.  Again, well done on Larry's part for finding the location.
Films are screened in blocks throughout the evening, starting at 6:00PM and divided into two hour blocks.  Each block might consist of a feature and a short film or two, or anywhere from 5-6 short films.  Tickets are available for each block, or you can purchase an all-day pass, or an all access pass which covers the entire two-days of films, plus the awards ceremony and the after party that takes place at the end of the second day.

After each block of films, any filmmakers, actors or crew members who were involved in any of the films are invited down to the front of the theater to take questions from the audience.  This is always a highligh of any film festival for me.  I love hearing people talk about their work, and I always try to come up with a good question or two, as I am genuinely fascinated with the filmmaking process, and I always want to learn more.

There is also a great red carpet room, where festival attendees, filmmakers and guests can have their photos taken, either by the professional event photographer or with their own camera.  Red carpet hostess, the lovely Bethany Nicole Taylor, was conducting interviews with the filmmakers and guests.  All of this is a very nice touch, and it definitely added a level of glamour and excitement to the evening.  Who doesn't like to have their picture taken on a red carpet? I mean, I realize I am a photo whore......but still.....

In any case, it was a lot of fun to take pictures and to mix and mingle with the filmmakers, actors and actresses who were there.

PictureCast and crew of "Gemma"
There were a total of 22 films accepted into the festival this time around, and I had a chance to see almost all of them.  There was such a wide array of excellent films shown.  It's undeniable that the indie film world is alive and well.  This is why I get so annoyed when people complain that "there are no good movies to watch."  BULLSHIT!  You have to seek them out!  Go to a film festival and see what you've been missing!

On the first night, I saw a great short film called "Gemma", which is the story of one young girl telling a bedtime story to her twin sister, with a very clever sci-fi type twist, that turned out to be very touching.  I had a chance to meet the filmmakers and the girls that starred in the movie, and the were a pleasure.

Also on the first night I saw a great feature film called "Bad Frank", directed by Tony Germinario (a NJ native) and starring Tom Sizemore as a sleazy crime boss, and another NJ native, Kevin Interdonato.  Kevin turns in an excellent performance as Frank, a guy with a sketchy past who is trying to stay on the straight and narrow, but people and events from his past keep trying to pull him back into a world of violence and trouble.  Kevin won a well deserved Best Actor award at the festival for his performance and I can honestly say he definitely earned it.  I plan to write up a comprehensive review of the film separately.  Again, people who skip these festivals really are missing out.  Not only was the film excellent, but I had a chance to meet with and speak to both Kevin and Tony after the film, which was a treat.  I look forward to following the film, as I am sure it's going to be a hit everywhere.  The film also featured yet another New Jersey guy, Brian O'Halloran, whom I am sure everyone will remember from Kevin Smiths "Clerks".  The remainder of the cast, including Amanda Clayton as Franks wife and Lynn Mancinelli as the daugher of Sizemore's character is excellent as well. 

Click on the image below to go to the Bad Frank IMDB page

Picture
Left to right, Tony Germinario (director), Kevin Interdonato (star), myself and Brian O'Halloran of "Bad Frank"
 There were so many great films shown over the course of two days that I cannot possibly write about them all, so I will mention a few of my personal favorites.  (Note: If I do not mention a particular film, it means NOTHING!  All of the films were good in their own way.  I just happened to particularly enjoy certain ones.)

"Wraith", written and directed by Daniel James, produced by Sam Borowski and starring Gregg Prosser and Melissa Archer is an excellent little ghost story, and I am a sucker for a good ghost story.  Gregg and Melissa turn in great performances, and Daniels directing is top notch.  The camera work in this film is particularly well done, which I made sure to mention BOTH times I've seen this film.  I've also been lucky enough to meet Daniel, Gregg and Sam on more than one occasion to speak to them about the film, and about filmmaking in general.

"The Catalyst", from filmmaker Alan Fine, is another cool ghost/possession story which I really liked.  Again, I have to mention how indie filmmakers are really stepping up their game, and this is a prime example.  Well shot, well acted, and well directed, with some very cool special effects.   According to Alan, this short is a "proof of concept" film, and the goal is to secure funding to develop a feature.  I am looking forward to the day I can see that!

"Let's Play Dead Girl" was an interesting short film, directed by Christian A Moran, and based on the "Slenderman" events that occurred in Wisconsin.  In this film, two girls create a fictional, on-line character called "Alto", who they hope to bring to life through an act of terrible violence.  Another example of the great work that's happening in the indie horror world.

"The Cabinet in the Woods" is definitely one of the most "different" indie horror films I've seen in a long time, and I mean that in the best possible way!  It concerns a witch, and some of her victims, and what she does to them..........well, I am not going to say, but you just need to see it to believe it.  Andrew Schwarz won Best Director at the festival for this film, and it was easy to see why!  A very clever film with a great story, great cinematography and great performances.  I had the good fortune to be able to discuss the film, and filmmaking in general, at length with Andrew and I am definitely a fan!

My last two mentions are "Evil Rising" and "Megrim".  "Evil Rising" is another "possession" type short film written by and starring Brandi Alyssa Young and directed by Savion Smith.  Brandi's reaction and exuberance when she won Best Actress at the festival was one of the highlights of the entire event.  She is adorable!   "Megrim" (directed by Stuart Valberg) concerns an artist and a subject, only the artist does not have the best of intentions when it comes to his subject!  The dialogue between the two, and the gleefully malevolent performance by Pascal Yen-Pfister as the artist made this short film one my absolute favorites.
The climax of the second night of screenings was the awards ceremony, where awards were handed out in the usual categories.  All of the awards were well deserved, and I enjoy seeing talented filmmakers and performers being recognized for their work.

The two day event ended with a great after party at a local restaurant.  The festival attendees had a chance to mix and mingle with many of the filmmakers and performers and it was great opportunity to network.  I made a lot of great new friends and a lot of new contacts in the indie filmmaking world.  I am looking forward to working with many of them in the future.  I also won't hold it against Sam Borowski for taking candy from a little kid....after all, he actually did ask!

Overall, it was a great two nights.  Events like this are why I love being involved in the indie film world.  So many great movies and so many great people.  Cheers to Larry Rosen for putting on a great evnt and cheers to everone who was there.  I look forward to doing it again next year!  For more information on the Northest Film Festival Horror Fest, just click on the link!!

For my full photo gallery, click HERE!

]]>
<![CDATA[New Jersey Comic Expo 2016]]>Sun, 27 Nov 2016 14:42:58 GMThttp://horrornerd.net/horror-nerds-blog/new-jersey-comic-expo
Greetings faithful readers!  On Saturday, November 19th, 2016 I had the pleasure of attending the New Jersey Comic Expo, which was held at the NJ Convention and Expo Center in Edison, NJ.  The organizers were gracious enough to grant me a press pass, and I am glad I attended this show.  (I intended to do so anyway.  The press pass was a nice development.)

First a quick note about the registration and check-in process.  (Boring, I know, but important.)  The on-line registration process was easy and so was the check-in process.  The staff member who checked me in was friendly and courteous and it took all of 30 seconds to check in and obtain my badge.  The security staff and event staff throughout the show were also all very friendly.

The NJ Expo Center in Edison is basically just a big, wide-open space.  It's up to each show to decide the layout.  The setup of NJ Comic Expo is basically the same as other conventions that take place in a similar space.  Aisles of vendors, artists, dealers and others, separated with tables or "pole and drape" type setups.  There were separate sections called "Artists Alley" and "Cosplay Corner" (more on that later), which I thought was a good idea, and there was also a separate area for the celebrity guests that were in attendance.
Before I continue, just a quick note on the celebrity guests.  I understand why conventions like this have them.  A lot of fans like getting autographs, and I am certainly one of them, but I was very glad that this convention was not centered around celebrity autographs and photo ops.   I felt they had a nice number of guests and the ones who were there were appropriate to the venue.  Catherine Dyer and Randy Havens from "Stranger Things" were both very nice and personable.  Steve Coulter ("The Walking Dead", "The Conjuring") and Major Dodson ("The Walking Dead", "American Horror Story") were also there, as was the awesome Lew Temple, who is always a great convention guest.  

OK, that's enough about the celebrity guests!!

The array of artists, authors, comic vendors, toy dealers and other vendors at the show was amazing.  I walked the entire show floor multiple times, and spent a lot of time talking to many vendors that caught my eye.  Everyone I spoke to was very nice, but there is something very important I want to point out.

At every convention I go to, there are always a few vendors or artists or dealers who are sitting behind their table, playing with their phone.  I get that there is some downtime if there's a lull in traffic, but that is the EXACT time you should be standing up, making eye contact, and engaging with people!!  Why should they stop at your table if it seems like you're bored and don't want to be there?  I just don't get it.  I made two purchases for no other reason than the people were friendly and engaging, and they drew me in, told me about their offering, and convinced me to make a purchase.  THAT'S the way to work a convention!!  
There were many great artists and writers on hand, some, such as Neal Adams (Superman, Batman, Green Arrow) and Fabian Nicienza (Deadpool) are very well known, and others might not be, but it's that kind of diversity that made the show interesting. 

I know I'm all over the place, but I just want to make a note about the attendance at the show.  I thought it was well attended, but not so busy that you couldn't take your time and see everything, and there wasn't a huge crush of people in the aisles, which was great.  As I said, I was able to spend a good amount of time speaking with everyone.  People ask me how it compares to New York Comic Con and the answer is, there really is no comparison.  That does not mean I am saying NYCC is better, it's just different.  That show is so huge that it can be overwhelming.  A show like NJ Comic Expo is great in that you're not shoulder to shoulder with everyone.  There's plenty of room to stop and chat or to take pictures, which is a welcome change from some of the "giant" shows that are out there.  

There were tons of other artists there, with an dizzying array of offerings.  New comic book characters, new graphic novels, creative interpretations of exiting characters.  It was fantastic.  

The merchandise vendors were great as well.  Tons and tons of interesting finds if that's what you were looking for!
Like most comic conventions, cosplay was a big part of the show, but, before I get to that, I want to mention the amazing array of vehicles that were at the show.  If you're a fan of cars that are used on TV and in movies, you would NOT have been disappointed!  The Batmobile, The Mystery Machine, ECTO-1 and more, they were all there and they were awesome!
The cosplay at this show was awesome.  I am always amazed at the time, effort and craftsmanship that people put into their costumes. They also always have so much fun doing it.  Watching the cosplayers interact with the fans, and especially the children, is always a lot of fun.  There were quite a few well known cosplayers in attendance as well, the most "cosfamous" of which was Ivy Doomkitty.  She is always very nice, and it was a pleasure seeing her again and chatting for a few minutes.  Vegas PG Cosplay, Lua Suicide, Kay Victoria and a few others were there, along with my friends from Superheroes Unlimited (they are a LOT of fun!)
There were a ton of other cosplayers there all day, either hanging out in Cosplay Corner taking photos, or wandering around the show interacting with fans.  Again, it's always so much fun talking to them and taking pics.  I must admit, I get a little selfish.  Instead of just taking pics as "press", I always want to be in the photos!  Thankfully, I usually have a friend or two with me who will oblige and take some photos.  Yes, I'm just a big kid at heart!
Friday night closed out with a great cosplay contest.  Again, there was so much creativity, workmanship and talent on display.  The dedication of these cosplayers is incredible, and it's great to get to watch them show it off.
Well, that about wraps it up.  Overall, I had a great time at this show.  It was well run and well organized, and the staff were all friendly and courteous.  It's a busy show but again, it's no so crowded that it takes twenty minutes just to cross an aisle.  You can spend time with each artist of vendor without feeling like you just need to get out of the way.  There are also a lot of "free" spaces where you can go to take photos with your favorite cosplayers without being in the way.

I had a great time at this show, and I can't want to go next time!

​-The Horror Nerd

Click on this link for my full photo album


Click on this link for the NJ Comic Expo Facebook page


Click on this link for the NJ Comic Expo Web page


]]>
<![CDATA[Social Media, Friend or Foe?]]>Sun, 21 Aug 2016 13:20:01 GMThttp://horrornerd.net/horror-nerds-blog/social-media-friend-or-foe"Everyone is entitled to their opinion!"  How many times have you heard this today...or this week...or this month?  It's become a very overused phrase in my humble opinion.  This may seems strange coming from me, considering that I constantly share my opinions about a great many things.  The problem it seems is that a great many people wield their opinions like some kind of weapon and it also seems that, on social media, these opinions are generally negative.

Lately I have been thinking about how social media impacts how we consume art and entertainment, particularly movies.  Personally, I feel that the impact has been negative, for the most part.  The minute any news about an upcoming film is released, my Facebook and Twitter feeds will light up.  Any casting announcement, any plot detail, will generate a flood of commentary, most of it negative.  There are people who will bash a film based on a single promotional image that is released years before the final film hits theaters.
Two recent examples of this (as of the writing of this article), are "Ghostbusters" (2016) and "Suicide Squad."

As soon as it was announced that "Ghostbusters" was being rebooted with an all-female case, the Internet went nuts.  People went batshit crazy over the fact that one of their beloved movies was being recast with all women.  From now until the end of time, I will be convinced that a good percentage of the naysayers were just sexist dicks who simply couldn't handle this.   When the first image of the ladies in their costumes was released, it got even worse.  Social media went absolutely apoplectic over it, to the point where I had to just stay away for a few days.  That's how relentless it was.  From the minute the film was announced, to the day it came out in theaters, the negativity just went on and on and on.  Then, when the film was finally released, all of the negative "reviews" came out.  I am still quite sure that many of these people never even saw the movie.  Even if they did, they couldn't wait to run back to their computers to let the world know how much the movie sucked and how they were "right" all along.  As I write this, these same people are still gloating over the fact that the film is projected to lose money.  This Horror Nerd is so glad that he does not need this kind of validation.  

For the record, I actually liked "Ghostbusters" (2016).
Another good example is "Suicide Squard", specifically, Jared Leto's joker.  Again, from the minute the casting announcement was made, to the first promo image, to the premiere of the film, people went bananas over this.  They couldn't seem to handle the fact that the filmmakers were taking the character in a new direction, both in appearance and personality.  Once again, once the movie was released, people whipped out their phones to make sure we all knew how much Leto's Joker sucked.

The point I am trying to make here is not so much about people expressing an opinion.  That is certainly not going to change.  My point is that in today's world of instant news and social media reach, I'm wondering how it all affects how we consume entertainment, specifically films and TV shows.  Does the relentless negativity have an effect on the box office take or on TV viewership?  I am not sure, but I tend to think that it might.  Let's face it, movies are expensive, so if people see nothing but negativity written about a film, perhaps they are less likely to go and see it.

Beyond that, I think all of it has, overall, a negative impact on our collective enjoyment of film.  Even though I personally do not care what someone else thinks of a film (I either like it or I don't), reading nothing but endless negativity does have an impact on me at times.  It just wears me down.  Especially this drive so many people seem to have to be "right".  As soon as the first negative review of a film hits the Web, some people will post "See!  I knew it was going to suck!" Well, good for you junior!  I hope you can sleep better tonight feeling that way.
Negative opinions about a film, even before it was been released, are nothing new.  When Michael Keaton was cast as Batman for Tim Burton's 1989 film, people scoffed, saying he was too much of a comic actor.  Well, that turned out fine, didn't it?  There are a thousand other examples.  However, back then, news items about a film were much more scarce.  We didn't know about casting choices or plot details 2 years before a film hit the theaters.  We heard or read tidbits, but we didn't really get a lot of information until the first trailer hit.  We also didn't have the Internet (yes, I am old) and even after the World Wide Web came along, we didn't have social media for a while, so while news about upcoming films would be posted to websites, people raging about some casting decision didn't have the ability to share their lovely opinions with the entire world with just a few keystrokes. Today, that's all different.  A website posts information about an upcoming film, and ten seconds later, everyone knows what everyone else thinks about it.

So.....rather than drone on and one about this, I will close by saying that I don't think that overall the Internet and social media are a bad thing when it comes to our shared experience with film and other entertainment.  I do enjoy reading about what my friends thought of a particular film, or TV show.  However, I do think that social media overall does cast a shadow of negativity over all of it.  If a casting choice or plot decision is the least bit "controversial", people who consider themselves custodians of a particular property will spew their vitriol all over everything, and we're forced to just wade through all of it.  All I can say is, don't let it consume you.  If you're interested in something, go check it out, and judge for yourself.

Until next time.....thanks for reading!

The Horror Nerd
]]>
<![CDATA[Cosplay, Hobby or Career?]]>Sun, 20 Mar 2016 16:01:21 GMThttp://horrornerd.net/horror-nerds-blog/cosplay-hobby-or-careerAllow me to preface this by saying, "No cosplayers were harmed in the writing of this article."  What I mean to say is that I have many friends who are into cosplay, and this post is in no way reflective of anyone specifically.  I've been noticing some trends in the cosplay world, and I thought I would comment.

I first started "noticing" cosplay around 2010 or so, which is when I went to my first non-horror related convention, or comic-con if you will.  I saw so many people dressed up as their favorite characters, and I thought it was really cool.  They put a lot of time and effort into the costumes, and I could tell they were very dedicated to it.

I made friends with a lot of them, and through social media, I was able to keep up with their cosplays, and then we'd meet up at conventions and it was always a lot of fun.

Over the years, I also became familiar with most of the "famous" cosplayers, Yaya Han, Jessica Nigri, Ivy Doomkitty, etc.  These people also put a lot of time and energy into their costumes, and I was usually pretty impressed.  However, for some of them it seemed to be more about being famous than about the actual cosplay.  Now, dear reader, please do not misunderstand.  This is just a personal observation, and I'm not saying they are bad people, it's just that I noticed that for some it seemed more about the fame than about the actual costumes, when all along, we had been told that was not the case.

OK, so let's set aside the "big names" for now.  They are not the focus of this article.......

Many of the cosplayers I followed, regardless of "notoriety level", would offer signed prints, or other memorabilia, as a way to earn money to buy materials for future cosplays.  I have no issue with this. I do not begrudge anyone the right to make a dollar, and I am all for free enterprise.  Over the years, I purchased many prints.  It's a memento for me, and it helps out people that I have come to like and appreciate.  Most of the cosplayers in question were very grateful.  I receive handwritten notes from many of them, and I also received emails or Facebook messages thanking me for my contribution.

Then, over time, it seemed to change a little bit.  For several cosplayers, I noticed that they were constantly asking for money.  My newsfeed became, to a certain degree, constant "spam".  Then the crowdfunding campaign requests began to roll in.  Indiegogo, GoFundMe, you name it.  People were constantly asking for money to either support their next cosplay, or help them get to a certain convention.  I started to think, "Wait a second.  I thought this was a hobby?"  I have a lot of friends who have all sorts of hobbies and interests, and none of them have ever asked for money to support those hobbies.  I have friends who collect autographs and movie memorabilia, and none of them ever started an GoFundMe campaign to help them go to an autograph convention.

Again, let me make it clear.  This is America, and I have no issue with this in principle.  If people want to ask for money, and other people want to hand it over, it's a private transaction between too people.  I should also state that the cosplayers did provide certain perks, such as signed prints or exclusive photos, or other things like Skype chat sessions.  Again, the cosplayer got some money, and the fan got something that they felt had value to them.  Full disclosure, I did contribute to a small handful of these campaigns, but these were for people who I had met in person and who I considered friends.  

Now, as I write this in March of 2016, the latest request for money seems to be in the form of Patreon.  For those who are not familiar with this, cosplayers can set up a Patreon account, and people can become "Patrons", and contribute various amounts, per week or per month.  The cosplayer offers different rewards at different "tiers". Again, this could be signed prints, exclusive photos and videos, or other types of perks.

Once again, it's up to each person to decide where to spend their hard earned money.  If they want to donate $25 per month and get some exclusive photos out of it, fine, go for it.  

I must say, some of these cosplayers seem to have the right idea. Some of them are receiving hundreds, if not thousands of dollars per month.  I'm starting to think I am in the wrong business!!  Now, I know I run the risk of sounding sexist, and I thought of ways to try and be diplomatic when saying this, but the fact is, the vast majority of the cosplayers who are making the most money on Patreon are the ones who engage in "sexy" cosplay.  Again, there is NOTHING wrong with this, and I am not judging.  I guess it just goes to show that people are willing to pledge a certain amount of money, every month, in order to receive pictures of beautiful women in sexy costumes.

Where am I going with all of this?  Well, I guess my question is, when cosplayers say they "do it for fun" and "it's a hobby," are they really being sincere about that?  Is it really just a hobby for some of them, or is it more of a career?  Even if it has turned into a career, is there inherently anything wrong with that?

I must say, I have mixed feelings.  I have many cosplay friends and I follow their efforts very closely, and I love meeting up with them at conventions and events and taking pictures and having fun.  However, my news feed seems to have become a flood of requests for money. Not only that, but with a lot of them, I can no longer just purchase a signed print here or there.  I have to pledge a monthly amount in order to get these items, and for right now, I am just not willing to do that.  Something about it just doesn't seem right.  I am all for people making money, especially if they can do it as a by-product of doing something that they love, but there comes a point where it seems like overkill, and the constant requests for money can be a little off-putting.  There has to be a balance out there, and I hope we can find it.

Note: I purposely didn't add any pictures to this blog post, as I usually do because I didn't want to give the appearance that I was singling anyone out.   I love all my cosplay friends, and I admire their hard work and dedication, but I just felt the need to state my feelings on this subject, and I am sure there are others out there thinking about the same things.  

Please feel free to post your thoughts and comments!

​-The Horror Nerd
]]>
<![CDATA[Please Take the "Con" out of Convention]]>Mon, 22 Feb 2016 15:12:05 GMThttp://horrornerd.net/horror-nerds-blog/please-take-the-con-out-of-convention I have been going to horror conventions and other "fan" conventions for about 16 years now.  When I first started going, they were not really a "thing" yet, and most people who attended were hardcore fans of whatever genre the convention was based around.  Horror fans at horror conventions, Star Trek & Star Wars fans at sci-fi conventions, etc.

Back then, very few guests charged for autographs, and they never charged to take table photos with them.  Over the years, things started to change, especially with the Internet and the advent of sites like Ebay.  Dealers figured out they could make money, and would show up at cons with stacks of 8x10s and other memorabilia for the guests to sign.  Eventually, the guests caught on, and figure that if someone was going to make money on their likeness and signature, it might as well be them.

Well, lo and behold, suddenly "agents" and "managers" came along, and they learned that they could make a cut on this (mostly) cash business, and the dawn of the "convention as big business" era was upon us.

Now, mind you, there had been "big" shows, like Fangoria Weekend of Horrors and the Creation Entertainment shows that were out there for a while, but these were not the norm.  These were the bigger shows that had the bigger stars, and everyone knew that these conventions would be pricier, and we had no problem with that.  There were enough other conventions out there to keep those of us who did not want to shell out big ticket prices happy.

This brings us to where we are today.  Fan conventions truly are big business, with guests charging ever higher prices for autographs and photo ops at their tables, and the latest travesty to hit over the last few years, the "professional photo op" where, for a significant price of course, you can have your photo taken with your favorite star, by a professional photographer!  Yay!  They will even print out the photo for you the same day, and sometimes even within minutes!  You line up ahead of time with hundreds of other people, get ushered into the photo room, stand next to your favorite guest for about 2.7 seconds, just enough time for the flash to go off, and they you're ushered out the opposite door.  Sometimes they'll even throw in a cool background or something like that.  ALL of this, for (from what I have seen) an average price of about $80, sometimes a lot more if it's a group or cast photo.

Finally, we get to my favorite.....the VIP ticket!  Convention promoters figured out that there are a lot of fans that are willing to pay top dollar for preferential treatment.  They are willing to pay hundreds of dollars for the right to get to the front of an autograph line, or front row seats at a panel.  Oh, they do get some cool goodies like a t-shirt and, the best of all, a special lanyard to go around their next, advertising their VIP status for all to see!

Now, I do not have a problem with this.  I really don't.  People can spend their hard earned money any way they see fit.  Here'my my thing though.  We are now at a point where a certain convention promotion has top VIP package prices of $700 and $1,400!  WHAT IN THE HOLY HELL IS THAT ALL ABOUT????  For $1,400, I don't just want to meet a cast member from Doctor Who, I want a role on an upcoming episode!  Are people really paying this??

Here's what I hate about this.  People don't seem to realize they are being bamboozled.  There are a lot of convention "newbies" out there, who think that high ticket prices, and high autograph/photo op prices are the norm.  These are people who had never been to a fan convention before, who are watching popular shows like "The Walking Dead", "Sons of Anarchy" and "Doctor Who" and want to meet their favorite stars from these shows, and they are willing to shell out a lot of money.  However, in my opinion, they are being fleeced.

The convention promoters know how popular these shows and these characters are.  They will see you a "regular" ticket, and tell you that, if you get there early, and are willing to wait in long lines, you "might" be able to meet your favorite star, but there's no guarantee.  However, if you are willing to shell out top money for a VIP ticket, we will guarantee you a spot in the front of the line!  Well, isn't that nice of them?  All of this for the price of either $700, or for extra special PLATINUM status, you can pay $1,400.

Now, to be fair, the $1,400 price gets you some other perks, like a 'personal guide' and line jumps to the front of all the guest lines (once per guest), but it's FOURTEEN HUNDRED FREAKING DOLLARS!

Where does this madness end?  I get that the top stars have high guarantees, and the convention promoters need to make money, but this is getting ridiculous, yet the fans keep paying.  They seem to be willing to shell out just about any amount of money to meet the stars of their favorite shows.  At what point are the fans going to just walk away?  Personally, I don't see it happening any time soon.  There are too many people showing up to these cons and willing to shell out this kind of money.  I personally have no problem telling a guest, or their handler, "Sorry, but that's too much," and just walking away.  The sun will rise just fine the next day without that autograph.  Like anything, it's supply and demand, and when the fans stop paying, maybe these prices will come down to earth.  I remain hopeful....

​The Horror Nerd]]>