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FangoCon: Cool Trailers, Bad Costumes, and Dry Humps from Hot Actresses

Written by: Paula Haifley, CC2K Horror Chick


ImageAfter last year, I told myself that I would not spend another Fango con hanging out in the dealer’s room with my friends and barely going to any panels. So guess what I did this year? That’s right, hang out in the dealer’s room with my friends and barely go to any panels… though missing Sunday’s Night Of the Living Dead reunion was not my fault as the time was misprinted on my schedule. But it still sucked.

This year, the convention moved from its previous home at the Burbank Hilton to the convention center in downtown Los Angeles. The good things about the move: no two-hour line to enter, you could still buy general admission tickets at the door, and the venue was easily accessible by public transportation. The room in which the panels were held was well laid-out, so it was easy to see the stage and hear what everyone was saying.

The bad things: no bar. The food in the concession area was worse than it was at the Hilton, and the food place opened late and closed early. The con felt more spread out and disconnected, and the screening room was tucked away on a different floor.  Also, did I mention no bar? Horror movies are rock and roll, and everyone knows that drinks always help bands sound better. 

Friday

I had to miss Friday’s events because I had to work at my day job. I was bummed to miss the panel on cult director Ted V. Mikels, who has the finest Dali-esque mustache in the business, and the Psycho reunion panel, which united cast and crew from all four Psycho films, including Tom Holland and Mick Garris, and was moderated by Robert Galluzzo, director of the upcoming Psycho Legacy documentary and snappy dresser. There was also the usual Tony Todd panel. I swear, this man is at every con and most of the horror film festivals. I think he has invented his own teleportation device.

That night, City Slab Magazine was supposed to be throwing a party at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, but it got canceled so I played Rock Band with some friends from work instead. 

Saturday 

I caught the Black Waters of Echo’s Pond panel first. I’ve been a fan of star James Duval since I saw The Doom Generation at age fourteen. The film also stars Danielle Harris (the Halloween remake), Electra and Elise Avellan (the crazy babysitter twins from Grindhouse), and Robert Patrick (Terminator 2). Patrick was not at the festival, but his method acting (he was in character the whole time he was on the set) provided many humorous stories that the cast and cowriter/producer Sean Clark shared, from his feeling that his killing of another character was “cowardly” to his assertion that he didn’t have to cross the set to see that a radio was broken because he could “see that it’s broken from here,” even though his crossing the set was an integral part of the scene. The cast also gave out and signed a kick-ass, 70s exploitation-style poster for the film, which was commissioned by cowriter/producer Sean Clark specifically to hand out to fans, which was the talk of the fest. (Yes, I totally got one, and it is awesome.) 

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The one film that made it to my absolutely don’t miss list was Brutal Massacre, a comedy mockumentary about the making of an ultra-low budget horror film. This is the type of film that, if I didn’t know who was involved, I would run from screaming (and not in the good way), but as I watched the footage that was previewed I couldn’t stop laughing. David Naughton (American Werewolf in London) plays it straight as an indie horror director taking one last shot at reinventing his career. The film features Brian O’Halloran (Clerks) as the Assistant Director, Ken Foree (the original Dawn of the Dead) as a grip who once crapped his pants on set because he couldn’t take a bathroom break, Gunnar Hansen (the original Leatherface) as the crazy/creepy owner of the house that serves as the set for the film-within-a-film, and the ladies of Evil Dead: Ellen Sandweiss, Theresa Tilly and Betsy Baker. Brutal Massacre is writer/director Stevan Mena’s second film, and a big departure from his debut, the serious, scary Malevolence. During the panel, Foree and Hansen argued about who had the bigger role, and got into a mock fistfight, which O’Halloran tried to break up before he was knocked down. The film promises stellar comedic performances from people who usually scare you… well, except the Clerks guy, who is only scary if you hate goatees.

In the dealer’s room, you could by your standard T-shirts, DVDs, autographs from genre stars, and other associated-with-horror stuff. I blew a chunk of change on Monster Buckles, which always look cool and are made in limited runs so I don’t have to worry about seeing ten kids coming out of Hot Topic wearing the same thing.

There were also a bunch of tables promoting upcoming films, film festivals, and indie distributors. Horror hosts Mr. Lobo and The Queen of Trash, champions of the public domain cult film, had a table where they sold DVDs of their nationally syndicated show. If you ever get a chance to attend an event hosted by these two, go! They’re highly entertaining, passionate about films that most people would dismiss, and the Queen of Trash is what Divine would have been if she was a woman and hot.

At the table for the upcoming film Psychosomatika, I hung out with writer/director Jeff Dylan Graham and got a hug from smokin’ actress Elissa Dowling, which somehow turned into us creating a spontaneous parody of two girls, one cup by dry humping each other’s legs while dry heaving. Yeah, when two horror chicks meet weird things happen. The film also stars veteran scream queens Lynn Lowry (who had her own table and is just gorgeous in person), Debbie Rochon, and Brinke Stevens, and is in post-production. Mine and Dowling’s production of Two Girls Dry Heaving has not been scheduled. Anyway, the trailer for Psychosomatika, about a man with partial blindness and amnesia trying to find out what happened to him, looked really cool and bizarre, and I can’t wait to see it.

A few people attended in costume on Saturday, even though the costume contest wasn’t until the next day. There was a zombie, a zombie, a really cool female zombie, another zombie with a zombie dog, and a… tall, orange rock formation with a troll head and giant man-boob pecs. What the hell was he dressed as? If you know what the hell an orange rock-formation-man-boob-troll is supposed to be, let me know, because no one I talked to had the foggiest.

That night was the annual celebrity cocktail party, which lets you pay to mingle with some of celebs attending the convention. Featuring the Reggie Banister band (known for his parts in the Phantasm films and Bubba Ho-tep) and Smith and Pyle, the musical outlet for actresses Shawnee Smith (Saw) and Missie Pyle (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), the event was exclusively for the people who bought the top level tickets, so I didn’t attend.

Author: Paula Haifley, CC2K Horror Chick

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