Event Report: FLASHBACK WEEKEND 2015

FWToday (8/8/15) I attended my second Flashback Weekend in Rosemont, Illinois. As a lifelong horror fan, I wasn’t aware that convention culture existed in the midwest until the last couple years. Last year I attended my first convention c2e2 in Chicago, primarily to meet Tony Todd as CANDYMAN is still one of the scariest movies in my opinion. Later that summer I decided to attend Flashback Weekend as they had several cast members from many of the Freddy Krueger movies attending and purchased a $125 group photo op. There were a couple other actors and actresses I wanted to meet and thought bringing $100 would more than cover it. There’s no way to look online to discover how much a celebrity is going to charge for autographs and photos as their prices vary by event and how popular one might be. That $100 didn’t go very far as I learned guests charge PER autograph PER item. One guest in particular who will remain nameless was known for mainly straight to DVD horror movies, but I was a fan of one of her trilogies. I got there and learned in order for me to get all three autographed it would cost $90 and that wouldn’t include the $40 for a photo using my own camera. At first, I was a bit mad then learned as I walked around that 99.9% of guests charge per item and everyone’s price is different. I attended last year’s Days of the Dead where it was pleasing to find almost everyone averaged 20-30 an item, INCLUDING a photo with them.


 

With this year’s Flashback Weekend, I planned ahead as they announced some of my favorite people like Danielle Harris and Pat Healy. Keep in mind this article is not to pass judgement on anyone however they choose to do their business. This is more of what to expect when attending a convention if you haven’t yet, especially on the financial side.

HALLOWEEN reunion panel

HALLOWEEN reunion panel

This year’s theme revolved around the HALLOWEEN franchise and, for a $35 ticket fee, I got to see over 15 participants from the franchise and many other horror guests. Fortunately, I’m not a huge HALLOWEEN fan outside of the original and the Rob Zombie sequel that everyone feels is cool to hate so I didn’t plan on meeting too many guests. As soon as I entered, that plan changed as my excitement over came me. Instantly we jumped into Nick Castle’s line as I was sure he was going to be most popular guest, being the first Michael Myers and all. Handing over my 35th anniversary blu ray of HALLOWEEN, he looked at it in awe and went through the booklet as it turned out he never seen that rerelease before. After handing over $30, I was able to get an autograph and photo with him and he was actually a pretty nice guy. My partner in crime loves the HALLOWEEN series and met Tommy Lee Wallace, Tom Atkins, Charles Cyphers, George Wilbur, Don Shanks, Will Sandin, Kristina Klebe, and Jeff Daniel Phillips who all signed his box set and took pictures with him for $20. He met Jeffrey Kramer for $25 and William Forsythe for 30.

Scout-Taylor Compton

Scout-Taylor Compton

We both were excited for Nancy Loomis and she was so humble and told me how she finds it so fascinating how this movie has stayed so popular with fans. For $25, she signed my blu-ray and took a picture with me. Scout Taylor Compton was full of energy and kept it real, not hiding her disappointment of the direction of the new HALLOWEEN movie coming out and her lack of involvement. For $25, she signed my RZ HALLOWEEN 2 blu-ray and took multiple pictures with me. Danielle Harris has always been on my bucket list as a huge fan of hers since DON’T TELL MOM THE BABYSITTER’S DEAD. For $40, her handler took my blu-ray of H2 from me and handed it to Danielle herself who signed it and took pictures with me. (That’s not including the $50 professional photo op I preordered weeks ahead of time, along with $10 for my digital copy I can post on Facebook)

Jeffrey Combs

Jeffrey Combs

Jeffrey Combs was also in attendance and, for $30, he signed my REANIMATOR blu-ray and took a picture with me. I’ve been a huge fan of Pat Healy since GHOST WORLD and paid the $20 an item (includes a photo with him) without hesitation. He even recognized me on a first name basis from Twitter interactions and insisted we hug and take several photos together. This kind of meeting took me by surprise as I rarely meet anyone that actually is genuine in their appreciation for fans and he seemed more excited to meet me than I was to meet him. He exemplified what meeting your favorite actors should be like at a convention and I was more than happy to pay for multiple autographs.

Danielle Harris

Danielle Harris

 

After getting though autographs, we were able to sit for some panels, including the cast and crew of the original HALLOWEEN discussing their original auditions and the difficulty of indie filmmaking in the 70s. Danielle Harris had her own panel where she revealed that her role in DON’T TELL MOM was meant for Jennifer Love Hewitt but had to pull out to contractual obligations with KIDS INCORPORATED. During the Rob Zombie HALLOWEEN 1 and 2 panel, Kristina Klebe revealed her awkward first day on set was her sex/murder scene which both were a first in her career. Pat Healy revealed that he was always on set on COMPLIANCE as the actors were actually using working phones to interact.

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Pat Healy

Flashback Weekend is definitely a great experience for horror fans as the entrance fee isn’t as expensive as most conventions and they are great at responding to questions on their Facebook page. There are plenty of vendors ranging from collectable toys and memorabilia of all different price ranges to cool shirts and hoodies sporting your favorite cult flick on it. Most of the celebrity guests are friendly and enjoy meeting their fans and, unfortunately, there’s always some that just want to pocket the cash without looking you in the eye. That is in no way the fault of the convention’s owners as they can not control how their guests choose to interact with fans or what they charge. I plan on going back again next year as it wasn’t an overwhelmingly large event and felt like a tight community. One of my favorite things about attending horror conventions is meeting people in line who share the same fandom as you and don’t make you feel like a freak because you prefer a slasher marathon over the club. The convention experience is something I cherish, even if it can be a bit costly at times.

Comments
One Response to “Event Report: FLASHBACK WEEKEND 2015”
  1. Jonathan says:

    Enjoyed hearing about the event. Pat Healy does seem cool.

    The costs of autographs suck, but sorta make sense (although $90 for signing a trilogy is ridiculous). I’m really curious who the actress is.

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