Thursday, July 5, 2012
Fright Night Film Fest 2012
It seems like a long time has passed since I randomly decided to check up on Bruce Campbell’s website to see what was new with that deadite-slaying badass. I have been visiting a few random horror and sci-fi conventions in the southeast for the past few years, when time and money permitted, and have been waiting patiently for my chance to catch a glimpse of the star of the Evil Dead series. I had yet to find him visiting anywhere near the southeast for the past few years. When I clicked on his upcoming events section and saw that he would be making an appearance in Louisville, KY as part of Fright Night Film Fest, it dawned on me that this might be my only chance to see Bruce in person, so I got a couple of friends together and the road trip plan was hatched. After learning that Bruce would have very little time at the convention before having to be back on the set for his show Burn Notice, I pre-purchased a photo op with him. Thank God I did that…
After a six hour drive we arrived at the Galt House Hotel, which was hosting the event. The hotel is nice. Damn nice. We stayed on the 8th floor in a suite with a balcony overlooking the Ohio River. Because of the convention the rates had been lowered, and the four of us ended up paying just over a hundred bucks each for a two night stay. Aside from the overcrowded elevator situation, the stay couldn’t have been better.
Registration was easy, the vendor halls were really cool, and as always, the people were all super friendly. Side note: It’s amazing how polite and accepting people who are usually seen as freaks can really be. I find that my fellow nerds and freaks are much more friendly than your average person. Anyway, we visited the Before the Mask: The Return of Leslie Vernon booth to pay our respects to the Vernon clan and to buy stuff for their fund raiser to make the sequel to Behind The Mask. I bought a dental effects kit from Evil Fire Lizard Productions’ booth that has turned out to be educational. Some back issues of Fangoria and Horrorhound found their way into my swag bag, and then I came across the hockey mask to end them all: Jason’s mask from Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. The aging and scuff marks and blood from the hatchet mark on the forehead are perfect! Unfortunately I forgot the booth’s name that did the artwork.
After our initial run through the vendor rooms, the time was upon me. I was going to meet Ash. I made my way to the photo op booth about an hour early, thinking I’d be at least in the middle of the line, if not towards the front. Wrong. The line led down one hallway, made a turn, ran all the way down another hall, and curved back around the opposite wall of the same hallway. It was ridiculous. The lines for any of the events were not well defined, a problem I hope the Fest planners will keep in mind for next year. Either way, I was not about to miss out on my opportunity, so I made it to the back of the line and waited…
As the line began to move, a convention worker got the attention of the people in the line and explained the process. We would have about fifteen to twenty seconds with Bruce, each. Fifteen to twenty seconds… Bummer. I had made the dumbass decision not to buy an autograph ticket for him later on because I figured surely I’d have a minute or two to talk to him at the photo op. After about an hour and a half, I made it to the room, and sure enough there he stood. We were herded through like cattle and I watched person after person walk up to him, say “Hi”, turn, click as the photo was made, then walk off. It was like having your picture taken for your driver’s license. Bruce, though, seemed to try to make the pictures fun and unique. It was obvious he was enjoying hanging with the fans. One girl had brought her special edition Evil Dead dvd, the case made to look like the necronomicon book from the movies. He took the book and said “Oh yeah, let’s pretend like we’re reading it!” So her picture was of Bruce and herself reading the necronomicon! I kicked myself for not bringing mine… Anyway, my time came, I shook Mr. Campbell’s hand, made a studious face as he pointed at my Evil Dead shirt with a classic Bruce Campbell expression, I told him thank you and he said “Thanks buddy!” and it was over. So soon. Still, the whole trip was worth it to get that picture!
We ended up doing another photo op for the Walking Dead cast. It was also pretty cool, everyone seeming to have a good time. Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl on the show, has become a fan favorite at conventions and seems to have a lot of fun with it.
After the long waits for the photos, we went back to the room and rested a while. Later I spent a little more money, watched a couple of short films Saturday night, and went to a nude body art show later that night. All in all, the convention was a huge success for my group of friends. I think we were all a little depressed that we had to leave Sunday. We’re ready for next year!