Quantcast Fangoria Weekend Of Horrors CHICAGO SUN. March 5th, 2006 Rosemont, IL

Fangoria's Weekend Of Horrors CHICAGO, DAY TWO - Sun. March 5th, 2006 (Rosemont, IL)
-by Robg.

The second day of the CHICAGO Fango event kicked off in the Michigan - Erie (screening) room, where Christopher P. Garetano and Mark Brochardt (American Movie) introduced the screening of 'HORROR BUSINESS', Chris's documentary. Despite competition with the main auditorium's previews and the first look at filmmaker Rusty Nails 'DEAD ON: THE LIFE & CINEMA OF GEORGE A. ROMERO', there was a decent turnout. Friends joined to screening to show their support.

At 1 PM, George A. Romero and Tom Savini took the main stage for a panel. They both discussed the changes in make-up effects through out the years as opposed to CGI. Neither is against CGI, as long as it's used wisely and unlike, as Tom mentioned "the way it was in An American Werewolf In Paris." Some people may look at the original King Kong and be taken out of the film because it's not believable. Some may say the same about CGI, but as Tom theorized, "the challege is to convince you it's real. And American Werewolf In London proved that. You saw David change into a wolf." An audience member asked George what it's like to make films now, knowing that he'll have to option to release it unrated on DVD. Obviously, the pressure to deliver an R rated film like LAND wasn't that bad considering the DVD would ultimately be his cut. Someone asked Tom why he doesn't do make-up anymore and he commented that he'd rather focus on acting and directing. And the students of his school can use his name to futher their careers. Overall, an interesting panel, but it was mostly just discussion as opposed to scoops.

Another highlight for the weekend was the panel for the upcoming movie 'SILENT HILL', which featured producer Andrew Mason (Dark City), Deborah Kara Unger (White Noise), Laurie Holden (The X Files) and fan favorite Alice Krige (Sleepwalkers, the Borg Queen in Star Trek: First Contact). They all discussed how passionate director Christophe Gans (Brotherhood Of The Wolf) was for this project, which is what will set it apart from all other game adaptations. The material is being taken seriously and with respect to the game. In fact, most of the score is music from the original video game. The cast members mentioned that they did in fact film the majority of the film on built sets in Vancouver and that the vibe of the material definitely influenced everyone's performance. They screened the official trailer for us, and then showed us another unrated 2 minute clip. In the clip, a female character gets picked up by 'Pyramidhead' who in one swoop - rips all her cloths off. Then he digs his hand into the center of her chest and rips off her flesh. It was a horrific scene that drew loud cheers of approval from the Fango audience. THIS is definitely a flick to look forward to this year.

The one guest I personally couldn't wait to meet was director Alexandre Aja. I had been a fan of his since getting a chance to see a import DVD of 'HIGH TENSION' last year (thanks to Jsyn). The film didn't get a proper release here in the US like it deserved but has gone on to find it's fanbase. And if anyone is going to tackle the difficult task of remaking an old horror "classic", it should be him. Alexandre Aja was on hand to preview his new flick 'THE HILLS HAVE EYES'. (based on the 1977 Wes Craven movie of the same name) It looked as though he just got in from the airport, because he jumped on stage with his winter coat still on. We were treated to the theatrical trailer for HILLS and then a short clip, which won the excited audience. Alexandre really loves the genre and it showed from his panel. He says he's the most nervous about how fans will respond to his new take on THE HILLS, and he hopes that they feel he did the original justice. He discussed the controversal ending to 'High Tension', which he always intended to have a "twist". And at one point, a fan asked if he'd ever consider doing an episode of Masters Of Horror, to which he replied "I'd love to, if someone asked me to". To the audiences' surprise, Mick Garris stood up from the front row and called out, "Alex... You're hired!", which drew huge applause from the Fango crowd. After his panel, Alexandre Aja was giving out autographed 'HILLS' posters. Yet another Fango highlight!

Gary Sherman, the director behind RAW MEAT and DEAD & BURIED showed up and did a panel to promote his return to the genre - '39: A FILM BY CARROLL McKANE'. He showed a promotional clip of the main character taking to himself in the mirror. It wasn't an actual scene or footage from the movie, but more of a teaser piece. He then fielded some questions about his genre work and greeted fans at the side of the stage to sign autographs.

The SHOCK-O-RAMA panel featured director Brett Piper and actress Misty Mundae (aka Erin Brown), who were on hand to discuss the movie of the same name. Misty claims that the Shock-o-rama gig was easy for her, because it was semi-autobiographical in a sense. She also mentioned that she's waiting for something good for her next project. She's been offered plenty of parts since her amazing performance in the Lucky McKee episode of Masters Of Horror 'Sick Girl', but most of the parts are knock off's of that character and she'd like to do something different. Icons own Jsyn seems to love Misty. I spoke to her very briefly on the bus ride over from the airport and she seemed ok.

At 3:40 PM, we were treated to a 'HORROR BUSINESS' panel, which had screened earlier in the afternoon downstairs. On stage was our buddy, filmmaker Christopher P. Garetano and Mark Borchardt (American Movie, Horror Business). Chris & Mark both fielded questions about 'Horror Business' and Chris explained how it took a matter of 3 years for him to complete his film completely on his own. If anything, it's encouraging for aspiring filmmakers to see what Chris accomplished with his documentary because of his dedication. We were treated to the trailer for 'Horror Business', as well as the 5 minute promotional piece for Chris's next documentary 'The Horror Of Dante Tomaselli' and Mark Borchardt's 'SCARE ME'. The 'Scare Me' clip was hilarious. What starts as a serious trailer for a horror film quickly turns into a joke, as Mark shows up to state that he hates trailers because they give away too much about the movie. So, for 5 minutes, we meet most of Mark's friends who try to describe what they think 'Scare Me' is about. It was very, very entertaining and it definitely made me want to see his movie. Chris also announced that he's already hard at work on the Horror Business sequel 'SON OF HORROR BUSINESS' and that he's in final negotiations for a DVD release on 'Horror Business' which should be out in stores by summer 2006. 'Son of' will feature follow-up interviews with all the previous filmmakers, as well as new interviews with everyone from Debbie Rochon, Paul Solet, John Torrani, Nick Palumbo, Sid Haig and more. Should be a great follow-up to his acclaimed documentary.

John Torrani and Mark Borchardt!

There was a full extra room of vendors set up downstairs where I was able to catch up with Troma's own Lloyd Kaufman!

The lovely Wendy Kremer and Robert Englund (sorta!) from '2001 MANIACS'.

It's hard not to be intimidated by the gorgeous Christa Campbell from '2001 MANIACS'.

Aw. What's a convention without Jill from LIX-Shirts!!! (www.lixonline.com)

The wonderful Debbie Rochon!

Director Mick Garris has got my vote as one of the nicest guys in the genre. He kicked off his panel by showing us the first 15 minutes of his latest Stephen King adaptation 'DESPERATION', which featured Ron Perlman and Henry Thomas. The clip was excellent, well paced and suspenceful. I'm not familiar with the King book, but once the 15 minutes were up, I was dying to know what was going to happen next! Supposedly we won't have to wait long, since 'DESPERATION' will make it's television debut on May 18th 2006, followed by a DVD release from Lions Gate. Although he hasn't recorded it yet, Mick promises a director's commentary track. He's trying to secure the majority of the cast for the disc as well, considering 'Desperation' features a large ensemble. He talked about other potential Stephen King projects and says he's surprised no one had done 'The Dark Towers' yet. At one point, it was being pitched as an HBO series. He mentioned that he has tried to get Stephen to write and/or direct an episode of Masters Of Horror ("There IS no bigger Master Of Horror then Stephen King"), but King hasn't shown much interest in directing since his accident a few years back. (Doesn't mean it won't ever happen though!) In regards to Masters Of Horror, Season Two is definitely a go, and he mentioned that the DVD's for the shows are the biggest projects that Anchor Bay Entertainment have ever handled. We can look forward to plenty of more 'Masters' on DVD in different incarnations. (All good things to those who wait!) After this panel, Mick yet again was more then happy to talk to fans, sign autographs and take pictures by the side of the stage.

The final event of the evening? Original Jason Ari Lehman (he was the kid version of Jason who popped out of the water at the end of the first Friday The 13th!) performed with his new band 'FIRST JASON'. There is not much I can say about these hard rockers, other then... well, they rocked! Check the pics out below. This was a unique way to end yet another awesome Fangoria Weekend Of Horrors show. See you in Burbank! -robg.

Back to DAY ONE of the Fango con & see exclusive pics of Tony Timpone, Lloyd Kaufman, the 2001 MANIACS panel with Tim Sullivan, Dylan Edrington, Christa Campbell, Wendy Kremer, Mark Altman, Mike Hurst, Ellie Cornell, Ellen Sandweiss, James Gunn, Nathan Fillion, Michael Rooker, Gregg Henry, Jenna Fischer, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Brooks, Eric Newman, Max Brooks, George A. Romero, Tom Savini, Debbie Rochon, Mick Garris, Stuart Gordon, Dennis Paoli, Robert Kurtzman and many more!!!

Want to get a good look at the Fango schedule? Click on the thumbnails below
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