Quantcast Chiller Spring 2004 review

Chiller Theatre Expo, Spring 2004

Chiller Theatre is one of the largest horror and sci-fi conventions on the East Coast. It happens twice a year, the weekend before Halloween, & again in Spring (usually March/April). Chiller is famous for having tons and tons of guests to meet and sign autographs and also it’s two huge dealer rooms. The three-day event is also famous for attracting a very large crowd & the ever-rising cost of autographs and pictures. This has made Chiller exciting and something I always look forward to and at the same time a frustrating and annoyingly expensive event to attend.

The guest line-up at this spring’s expo seemed to little light. This is not a criticism of the guests in attendance, but the guest line-up was lacking most of the standards who seem to be at every Chiller. There seemed to be a bigger focus on 60's television shows this weekend, which is nice, but for me utterly useless. I really didn’t know who half the guests were. However, while some of the regulars were missing there were several stars I had never met before such as Betsy Palmer of Friday the 13th (what a sweet woman), Phil Fondacaro (Troll) and Paul Naschy. However, I hope that the October line-up has something more to offer the horror fans.

There seems to be a new trend of charging for a picture with the guest. I can understand charging for a photograph if you’re not getting anything signed, but if I’m buying your signed items for $25, do you really have to charge me another $10-20 to stand for a picture with me, with my own camera? Many, many of the guests did not do this: Ken Foree, Betsy Palmer, Phil Fondacaro, and Alex Vincent are among many who were happy to take a picture with you if you’re getting an item signed. However, a note to those who charge: It leaves me, as a fan, very unhappy, very unsatisfied, and feeling ripped off.

Despite my issues with the guest line-up, the dealer rooms at Chiller were, as usual, spectacular. Tons of tables selling & offering everything from original artwork, toys, rare posters, rare DVDs. This is also the place to check out the independent horror production companies such as Light and Dark Productions, Troma Studios, and I also ran into some great people from Toe Tag Pictures (the bloodied-up couple).

One huge improvement at Chiller was the system of crowd control. Usually you’d have to fight your way to every guest, and claw your way from table to table in the dealer room and leave exhausted. When we arrived, we noticed one very long line, which we assumed was the ticket line. This was the line for the dealer room. There was also a huge line for the tent housing the guests. We got our wristbands then waited on the line for the guest tent. We waited for nearly an hour we started to get frustrated, even though Zacherley, the Cool Ghoul, stopped by to liven things up! However, once inside, it was a major improvement. While it was still crowded around the most popular guests, you could actually walk around and see what was going on for once. We spent nearly two hours in the guest tent. When we left, there was still a line for the tent, but the line for the dealer room had cleared up.

With hundreds of guests to find and book, and thousands of people to control, the people running Chiller has always done a good job. You know going in that it’s an exhausting, expensive day, but at least we always leave having met some great people and a trunk of full o’ spendings. -mikec.

A chiller tradition. The photo of the empty truck at the beginning of the day.

Mike C., (person who was removed by request) & Robg. grab a quick bite to eat before the show.

Iron Mikey & Robg. with the legendary Ron Jeremy. Star of various Troma films,
The Boondock Saints, and umm... some OTHER movies. Yea.

The Icons Of Fright meet the very cool Alex Vincent; Andy Barcley from Child's Play 1 & 2.

Mikec. gets to chat with Ken Foree!!! (of Dawn Of The Dead & Leatherface: TCM 3)

The Icons Of Fright meet Phil Fondarcaro of Troll, Willow & Ghoulies 2.

KA-POW!!! Adam West aka the Batman.

This is the Rowdy Roddy Piper table, where we waited 2 hours for him to return from a very long lunch break.

Worth the wait. Iron Mikey of the Pistol Wips meets his hero, Rowdy Roddy Piper!

Robg. professes his love for the cult classic 'THEY LIVE'.

This cool chiller staff member kept us company during the long wait for Mister Piper.
We had to take a pic with him & show our appreciation.

As always, some genre fans show up to Chiller in great costumes!!!

The fine folks at Toe Tag Pictures, dressed to kill!


The trunk at the end of the day. Sadly, it's a bit lighter then usual.
Good times regardless!!! Until next con...

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