Quantcast Chiller Fall 2004 review

Chiller Theatre, Halloween 2004

It's that time of the year again, when Rob G. and myself get into the FrightMobile and head out to East Rutherford, NJ for the bi-annual Chiller Theatre convention to pick up rare goodies, meet the stars, and promote the hell out of Icons of Fright. This year the star line-up included Dean Stockwell, Kane Hodder, Linda Blair, Ernie Hudson, and...Laverne and Shirley. Chiller is definitely become more inclusive and during the last few years has included more and more celebrities guests outside the horror genre. It's all just a celebration of our cult and kitchy pop culture icons, so no complaints there.
The first thing we did when we arrived on Saturday was purchase our tickets. Every time we go to Chiller we say to ourselves, "We should buy advance tickets" and don't. We highly recommend that if you plan on attending Chiller at all anymore that you purchase your admission in advance and try to purchase the VIP tickets that let you in an hour early. We did not do this and we ended up waiting almost an hour just to get into the hotel. It will be advanced tickets for us from now on. (Yea, yea, yea...)
First place we hit up was the dealer rooms on the second floor. All the usual dealers were there selling everything from vintage and new toys, and rare and hard to find movies to unique metal sculptures, movie props.  It's a great opportunity to meet talent on the rise. If you're a fan of cult toys like "Toxic Teddies" or "Living Dead Dolls", this is the place to meet with the creators and have your pieces signed (usually for free).  It's also in these dealer room where you find some of the newest underground independent horror filmmakers selling their movies and promoting their production companies. While over the years you can find more and more of these rare items on the internet, nothing beats the thrill of the hunt at a convention, visiting each table and chatting with each vendor in person. You can often get the latest news in your favorite collectible items, be put on the right track to finding an item you always wanted, or maybe, just maybe, strike a real bargain or deal with someone. That's just not as fun to do on your computer.
Next we checked out the guest tents. The price of autographs now seems firmly set at the $10-20 range (depending on the guest and whether it's your own item to be signed or a picture you purchase from them), which can become expensive, but with the advent of eBay paranoia and maybe just a twist of greed thrown in, this seems to be the way it's going down. I could tell you about times when you could bring your own DVDs to conventions and get them signed for free or, like, $5, but what's the point? Still, if you don't want to incur the cost of getting autographed items many of the guests are happy to chat with you about their experiences and share a story or two for free. Isn't that what these conventions are really supposed to be about anyway?
What has seem to be hurting the Chiller convention over the last couple years has been the amount of people that come to the show. Every convention seems to attract more and more people and it seems very little has been done by event organizers to account for this. The line to get into the show was about an hour, but the line to get into the guest tent after that was a staggering 3 hour wait. Of course, the event organizers are under the watchful and strict eye of the fire marshalls and you must execute some form of crowd control if you have this many people showing up. However, the blame for the long waits for everything cannot simply be placed on fire codes and unexpected crowds. This event has simply out-grown the venue that it is always been held at, and this should have been apparent by now. It's time that the event organizers consider either renting out more floors of the hotel, or looking for a bigger place to hold Chiller. Of course, this year seemed to be an unusually large turnout for Chiller, even prompting the organizers to suspend ticket sales early in the afternoon for several hours. However, it's hard to expect the paying public to continue to wait hours in line to pay for admission, only to have to again wait hours in line to take part in the actual convention events. -mikec.

YES! We're dead last to get tickets to the event! But waiting is half the fun!

The line to get into the celebrity tent...

...more & more people waiting to get into the celebrity tent.

Robg. & Ian showing off their umm... bracelets! YEA!

... and entertaining each other during the long wait.

Two legends meet. Mike C. with Zacherly.

Hmm... Any 'Night Of The Living Dead' stuff in that trunk?

Ah. The COSTUMES!!! Ian meets a shark.

"We're ready to believe you! GHOSTBUSTERS!!!

The movies may be over, but 'Lord Of The Rings' is still HUGE amongst the fans!!!

SANDPEOPLE!!! Where's Anakin Skywalker when you need him?

Jack and Sally! Always so lovely!

Jason Lives! And he attends Chiller regularly!

Ohhh... you can KILL BILL if you like. David Carradine has his back turned!
Go go go!!!

Um.. yep. Lorenzo Lamas!!!

Hey now! What are you grabbing for!? Robg. finally meets Cassandra Peterson aka ELVIRA!!!

Ernie Hudson!!! "Thats a big twinkie."

Ernie... tell Ian about the twinkie.

Ahh... an Icons Of Fright friend! Ruthie with Robg.

Good Lord! Olivia Hussey! The original 'Juliet' and NORMA BATES!!!

Ian's highlight! Meeting 'Night Of The Living Dead's Patricia Tallman.

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