|Monster-Mania ConX Saturday report
||[Mar. 16th, 2008|11:31 am]
Ax Wound: Gender & The Horror Genre
Parking for the con was a pain, as it so often is for cons. I had to leave my car near a dog park and walk a good five or ten minutes to the hotel, which didn't seem to have enough parking even for its regular patrons.
There was a huge line outside wrapping around the building, but it turned out this was to meet Bruce Campbell. I was able to walk right in and get a wristband in no time, happily. Inside there were lines for at least Roddy Piper and Malcolm McDowell. I was able to meet Amanda Plummer and Tom Savini and get their autographs without wait, Plummer on a Fisher King pressbook and Savini on a Simpsons framegrab collage he had and on my copy of the book Horror 101, for which he had done the introduction.
Vendors were pretty good, though I think bootlegs now outnumber actual DVDs now. VHS were relatively scarce. A lot of the bootlegs were of movies that had been on VHS that I actually own the legit releases of. Some bootlegs were of even the cheap stuff, like Alpha Video's DVD of Eyes of the Mummy! And they were going generally for $15 apiece! Prices of movies were also largely inflated. Sundays tend to be the best day to buy, when prices usually drop. I only bought two movies, Brainiac: El Baron Del Terror, and a asian double feature of Magic of the Universe/Counter Destroyer, the latter featuring "Robovampire, a Chinese Freddy Krueger, a Taoist priest with vampire assistants." Probably the vampires are hopping zombies.
There weren't that many asian horror movies there compared to other cons I've been to, and I only saw a couple Turkish movies - both apparently bootlegs of Onar Films DVDs masquerading as legit ones. They seem to go through fads in terms of what's for sale.
I bought two versions of the comic Killer Gnomes #1 for $3 total, and two issues of the mag Slaughter House for $12 total. I got the book Film Posters: Horror (according to the sticker on it, originally sold at Hot Topic!) which looks really cool. I got a Dr. Caligari t-shirt for $10, and most cool, a "The Ground House" coffee mug and "Ethiopian Horror Blend" package of coffee for $6 plus a free poster from people promoting a horror movie in production about a coffee house, The Ground House. Could be good. It reminds me I'd been told there had been a Turistas coffee cup cozy at Starbucks or The Daily Grind, weird.
Line for the little coffee shop the hotel has was incredibly slow to get a premade wrap sandwich and bottled smoothie, since I was feeling faint after a couple hours and the long drive there. Bathrooms, as they so often are at cons, were horrendous. I was only aware of one men's room on the first floor, serving apparently all men. Three stalls, one with a clogged toilet, second with a moron in it or else a defective lock, third with no toilet paper except for a small square box of tissues that appeared to be empty. Thankfully, I didn't need to go that badly.
I sat around for a while watching people. Some Marvel Zombies and a "sexy nurse," several Freddy Kruegers both male and female, a female Silent Bob (a couple Clerks actors were there), mostly white people, but a decent mix of others, mainly black. Much better in terms of mix of male/female and ages from babies to seniors, but still probably mainly young men.
Went in early to the Women in Horror panel and caught another panel with Zach Galligan from Gremlins 1+2 and Waxwork 1+2, and William Ragsdale from Fright Night 1+2. People started to run out of questions, so I asked what horror writers they liked. Ragsdale wasn't much of a horror reader, so he just named Stephen King. Galligan named Lovecraft, Poe, and Arthur Machen (!) and said that Lovecraft's "The Tomb and Other Tales" freaked him out as a kid. Galligan also had the more interesting horror movie tastes, naming The Crawling Eye, Fiend Without A Face, Squirm and Don't Look Now, while Ragsdale mentioned The Exorcist.
The Women in Horror panel was an unusual lineup, I thought, of Jobeth Williams from Poltergeist, Heather Langenkamp from Nightmare on Elm Street, and Amanda Plummer from (as they billed her) Needful Things, Pulp Fiction, and The Prophecy. I think people were mainly familiar with her from PF, as she got less questions than the others. One guy wanted to know if she really kicked Mike Myers in the balls on the roof in So I Married an Axe Murderer. I think that questioner and his brother were literally retarded, to be honest. Another apparently mentally handicapped person had asked Zach Galligan if there was a CD of the Gremlins singing "Hi Ho Hi Ho" from the movie. Wow.
I should have printed out Plummer's horror filmography to ask about: Mimic: Sentinel (2003) (V), Needful Things (1993), The Prophecy (1995), Satan's Little Helper (2004), Seven Days to Live (2000), Shadow Realm (2002) (TV), Tma (2005), Vampyre Wars, The (1996). I liked that Mimic movie a lot, but don't remember her in it at the moment. The others I haven't seen. The last two appear to be unreleased, so I'm really sorry I didn't ask about those.
Anyway, the questions for the women were different than those for the men. They didn't get asked their favorite horror movies or authors. They didn't get asked about their male costars (as the men had been asked for the women) - except Langenkamp was asked about Englund (boring predictable question). Both panels did talk about remakes and sequels, coming down against the former. The women's attractiveness was remarked upon, but not the men's. The women were asked about "creepy fans" and "perverted costars" and what they're afraid of, three basically not all that dissimilar questions. The men didn't get asked those. Langenkamp had already mentioned how New Nightmare came out of a discussion with Craven about a rare troublesome fan, she said some fans love the movie or the character or whatever so much, they end up wanting something from the actor without even knowing what they want, and the actor obviously can't help them figure out what that is. Williams said she was afraid of this year's elections, which Plummer agreed with.
Plummer in a way was the funniest. I don't think she was all that comfortable at the con. She behaved a lot like the funny, timid side of her characters, hiding her mouth, or cradling her head, and so on. Her answers tended to be short yet rambling, as she said with Terry Gilliam she sat on his lap and he twisted her around his arm three times and held her up in the air, and he was a big strong man with a big heart (?). Lucky McKee she also said had a big heart (I'd asked her to talk about the movie she was doing with him, Red). She also shared a dream about having dirty teeth, and picking something out and seeing it was half a worm, meaning the other half was still in her teeth...
I also mentioned how McKee and Bettis had switched roles of actor/director with May and Roman and whether she might do that too, and whether any of them had any directorial ambitions. Plummer said she and McKee were still talking. I knew Langenkamp had had some crew roles, and it turns out she's directing an anthology about prank calls called Prank (not sure if it's horror, she didn't say). Williams had actually directed several shorts and one of them was Oscar-nominated! I hadn't known this, since they weren't horror. But I should have remembered she'd directed an episode of Night Visions and asked her about that - oh well.
After the two panels, I was pretty exhausted and didn't think I wanted to spend more money, so I left for the long ride home. For part of the way on the way there and back I listened to Nine Inch Nails' Ghosts I-IV, Year Zero, and Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D. Car managed to hold up OK, having just recently had a new muffler, pipe and couple put on that had it running quieter than it's been in years, or ever! I was worried about my driver's front turn signal being out and not having a spare, and not having yet renewed my AAA membership, but all turned out OK in the end.
More thoughts as they come to me.