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Back in May 2010, I took my first flight to California in order to meet up with a friend at the Weekend of Horrors. This was the weekend with a firsts for me. I'd never been on a plane let alone walked through California. I'd never been to a horror con fest as they usually are nowhere close to my hometown and usually I couldn't afford to make the trips. Lastly, I'd never met my bud who I'd be hanging out with for a whole weekend. You can probably imagine just how excited I was and even a bit nervous. What can I say?
Chances are, you're probably gonna have a lot of fun if you like horror films or being around those that do. You're going to see lots of cool people in make-up and tattoos strolling around so hopefully this is your cup of tea. You needn't worry though as most are pretty friendly and the majority of them will carry on conversations with you. I talked with a lot of nice people while waiting in line for autographs or merchandise. People would also speak to you or nod their heads also when you're just lounging around in the lobby. WOH is a very cool atmosphere and thank heavens no one was there to ruin it.
Sadly, I arrived in LA early Saturday morning so I missed meeting William Lustig and Meir Zarchi. Bummer, huh? Supposedly Meir Zarchi and the cast/crew who bequeathed the I Spit On Your Grave remake were signing posters on Friday. Although I didn't find any autographed posters left the following day, I did manage to get the standard poster. (It's around somewhere.)
Saturday morning was a big day. Chris and I ate breakfast buffet inside the Marriott and had to eat quick as the tour van would be pulling up to take us around California. We were almost afraid of missing out on meeting Robert Englund and Heather Langenkamp of Nightmare on Elm Street but wanted to see some of LA, Beverly Hills, and Venice Beach. Thankfully, we made it back in time to get autographs and still partake in many of the activities that day. Robert Englund was kinda snobbish but Heather was a real sweetheart. She even let me take a photo with her! OMG!
The WOH is a great place to buy goodies (DVDs, t-shirts, etc.) or just chill out and watch movies. It's $20 to get in which allows you access to all the activities be it interviews with cast/crew members, movie screenings, and unlimited access to the vendors who are usually quite knowledgeable. In fact, many of them will talk to to you even if you're not buying anything from their table. Some of them even sign autographs for you if you're purchasing items. Be prepared to open your wallet though and have some cash on hand as many vendors do not accept debit cards. You will probably buy a lot of junk you don't need but there are some good bargains so go ahead and let loose of that hard earned cash.
Perhaps the highlight of my trip was meeting Dario Argento. Being a long time fan of his work, this was like a dream come true for me. I met him just before Inferno played in one of the activity rooms and he was very friendly. His thick Italian accent reminded me a lot of my grandfather. He shook my hand and smiled. He even thanked me for my compliments. Before the WOH was over, he signed my copy of Suspiria. I thanked him again for making the stateside appearance. I saw him once more in the Champion s bar and grill within the Marriott before I left the hotel that day. I so wanted to go up to him and talk with him again but didn't want to look like a stalker. Know what I mean?
During the trip, I also ran into some other great horror veterans. Tony Todd, Joe Pilato, Barbara Magnolfi and many others were quite sociable and certainly easy to talk with. I would definitely go again. ;-) Oh yeah, Chris was awesome to hang around with as well. He's a great friend and he's kinda like the sick-twisted brother or cousin I never knew. Hahaha!
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