Quantcast Fangoria Weekend Of Horrors SAT. June 4th, 2005 Burbank, CA

Fangoria's Weekend Of Horrors, DAY ONE - Sat. June 4th, 2005 (Burbank, California)
-by Robg.

FANGORIA editor Tony Timpone & CREATION Entertainment's Adam Malin kicked off the show with introductions & a slew of trailers for upcoming films; which included comic book properties such as 'Batman Begins', 'Fantastic Four', genre flicks such as 'Dark Water', 'Skeleton Key', & horror/comedies such as 'Comedy Hell'. The trailers for myself, as a fan are always an excellent way to kick off the weekend's events. It's been close to 3 years since Fango has done an event, and their hard work at making this one stand out definitely shows. They assured us that they didn't outsell the capacity of the panel room at the door. And they added set times in the schedule for autograph sessions at the side of the stage, making it a lot easier to keep track of all the day's activities. For the most part, the event was better organized then any con I've ever attended previously.

This was Part One of the 'FRIDAY THE 13TH' panel; featuring writer's thru-out the series. From left to right: Todd (Jason X) Farmer, author Peter Bracke (Crystal Lake Memories), Dean (Jason Goes To Hell) Lorey, Mark (Freddy Vs. Jason) Swift, and Barney (Part IV) Cohen. The panel consisted of interesting stories on how each writer approached tackling their entry into the series. Barney Cohon admitting to not being familiar with the film's prior to writing Part 4, until he went to see a triple feature of Parts 1 thru 3 in one sitting. Dean Lorey, who penned Jason Goes To Hell & also played the mortician decided to have fun with his story & did something that had never been done before; blow up Jason in the opening. He also added that, the Freddy's glove finale was always an intended ending thanks to Friday's recent move to New Line. Overall, it was an entertaining panel and lead beautifully into the next Friday related panel...

Sean Cunningham (writer/director) & Adrienne King (of Friday The 13th) hosted the next panel. Sean addressed questions pertaining to the future of the Friday The 13th franchise. He ruled out the idea of another VS. movie. And says another straight forward 'Friday The 13th' film will be more probable. In the meantime, he's working on a brand new 'Friday The 13th' television series, which will hopefully go into production at some point this year. (For more on that, check out our FRIGHT exclusive interview with Dan Farrands) He also mentioned that he has an excellent idea for a 'Last House On The Left' remake, but nothing's official as of yet. (Read on for Wes Craven's reaction to this idea).

Now, this was a different kind of panel for a Fango con. This was for the upcoming film 'LIGHTNING BUG' & the panel featured director Robert Hall, actress Ashley (Hellraiser) Laurence, producer Kevin Bocarde and actors Bret Harrison & Hal (Queer As Folk) Sparks. First off, Ashley Laurence looks fantastic!!! Second, I kept trying to figure out who the hell Hal Sparks was and why he looked so familiar. I finally figured out that he shared an elevator with Spidey in 'Spider-Man 2'. Anyways, the film 'Lightning Bug' is a semi-autobiographical film about a small town boy trying to be a special effects make-up artist in a small town where everyone just write's him off as a "devil-worshipper". It actually looked like a very entertaining drama & seemed very relatable. An audience member asked director Robert Hall if his real childhood girlfriend was as hot as the actress playing her in the trailer, to which he paused & eventually replied, "...no." Did I mention how fantastic Ashley Laurence looks? See for yourself below...

Lion's Gate Entertainment was on hand as one of the key sponsers for this Fango con (along with Anchor Bay). The Lion's Gates folks know how to promote!!! They had a table set up, & were giving away plenty of freebie's including posters, key-chains, pins and various other goodies for all their upcoming projects. They also had a television set up which repeated trailers for a slew of their upcoming films thru-out the weekend. Below is a pic of a beautiful actress hired to pose as Marie from 'HIGH TENSION'. Yet another excellent marketing ploy on Lion's Gate's part & I knew I had to take a picture!!! 'THE DEVIL'S REJECT' seemed to be the biggest draw to the table, which leads to our next panel...

Rob Zombie himself hosted 'THE DEVIL'S REJECTS' panel, right after treating the audience to the first 15 minutes of the movie. The conference room was the most packed for this particular panel which consisted of writer/director Rob Zombie, actor's Bill Mosely, Sid Haig, and Sheri Moon Zombie. A lot of questions revolved around the process of making this particular sequel (as Rob steered away from any questions not pertaining to 'The Devil's Rejects'). It's interesting to learn that other genre fave's such as Ken (Dawn Of The Dead) Foree, PJ (Halloween) Soles & Michael (The Hills Have Eyes) Berryman will have bit parts in the new flick. People should be pleased with the R Rated cut of the film, as even Rob himself was surprised how much he was able to get past the censors. He does admit however, that he had to cut the film 8 times to secure an R Rating. He assured us that Lion's Gate has been extremely supportive of this project from the get-go and we can look forward to a DVD release that will boast a slew of extras & bonus footage. Among them, most likely will be all the Dr. Satan scenes. (Which have all been cut from 'The Devil's Rejects') He mentions that he most likely will eventually get around to re-cutting an unrated director's cut of 'House Of A 1000 Corpses' but it won't be for a while. The audience seemed to really love the first film & the footage screened here from the sequel. Hope you folks enjoy it too!

Mike Elizalde from the FX company SPECTRAL MOTION stopped by to show some props and screen a cool making-of featurette from the making of 'Hellboy'; one of the many films his company has worked on along with 'Blade: Trinity' and the upcoming 'Fantastic Four'. He assured us that his company will be working on 'Hellboy 2' once director Guillermo del Toro's schedule free's up.

Next up was the '2001 MANIACS' panel, which started out with a presentation of selected scenes (or I should say "kills") from the upcoming remake/sequel to the Herschell Gordon Lewis cult classic! Among the scenes we saw? 1. a girl tied from each limb to a few horses ready to take off in all directions (which they did! OUCH!) 2. a kid getting seduced by quite possibly one of the hottest gals I've ever seen (did I mention she was naked?), only to have a tube stuffed down his throat with battery acid. 3. a blow-job gone horribly wrong, when yet another hottie decides to insert mechanical razor sharp teeth right before doing "the deed". (Again... OUCH!) 4. a young fellow being speared from groin to mouth. (OUCH!) These gory bits instigated both laughter & cheers of approval from the Fango audience. Sure, this flick is injected with obvious black humor, but it's the gory, brutal footage shown here that really got everyone in the room excited for this film. On hand to talk about it was star Robert (Freddy Krueger) Englund, director Tim Sullivan, actress Lin (Dead End) Shaye, actors Giuseppe (Cabin Fever) Andrews & Johnny Legend, producer Scott (Evil Dead 2) Spiegel & a few of the hotties I mentioned before. The film is currently Rated NC-17 and according to Tim Sullivan, the plan is to release it that way. It's still unclear as to when '2001 Maniacs' will be released and if it will be a theatrical or straight to DVD release, but they ARE aiming for a theatrical run. They urged fans to get vocal about the film to make that a reality. Either way, '2001 Maniacs' looks like it'll be a gory good time.

A few members of the '2001 MANIACS' cast, along with director Tim Sullivan were more then happy to hang around and sign autpgraphs and promotional pictures for the fans. I was able to snag the following pics.

While looking around & doing some shopping, I bumped into two good friends of mine. Tony Masi, webmaster for the official 'Halloween' website & 'Halloween 6' writer Dan Farrands. Both have been interviewed for the Icons Of Fright website. Note that Tony and I are proudly wearing Halloween shirts.

Next panel was for the upcoming 'RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD' Sequels. That's right, we can look forward to TWO 'Living Dead' movies soon. We were treated to a 5 minute clip from each film, and zombie fans should be excited, because it looked like some really good gory action. One scene involved what I think was a jailhouse with hundreds of zombie's confined to the cells, only to be released and attack a small group maneuvering themselves around this deserted building. The zombie effects looked pretty good and the clips we saw definitely did NOT shy away from some bloody on-screen violence. On board to answer questions & discuss the flicks were writers William Butler & Aaron Strongoni, FX creator John Vulich, producer Anatoly Fradis and actress Aimee-Lynn Chadwick. Most genre fans will recognize William Butler (center) from 'Friday The 13th 7', 'Leatherface: TCM 3' and 'Night Of The Living Dead 1990'. He wrote these two films with the first 'Return Of The Living Dead' in mind and it showed in the subtle black humor of the featured clips. "I don't know. I know a lot of you out there like 'Return Of The Living Dead 3', but I hated that one. I wanted to get back to what the first one was like."

Making one of her first Fango appearances, Kelly Stables, best known to genre fans as the actress behind Samara in 'The Ring', 'Rings' & 'The Ring 2' spoke to the crowd about her experiences working on those films. The tiny, yet gorgeous actress explained how some of the special effects of both film's were pulled off & she even sang 'happy birthday' to an audience member at a fan's request.

One of my personal highlights for the whole weekend was getting to meet writer/director Lucky McKee. He stopped by to show a few trailers for his upcoming projects, one of which included his follow-up to 'MAY', 'THE WOODS' featuring Bruce Campbell. We also saw a trailer for a film he produced called 'THE LOST' based on a Jack Ketchum novel. During his panel, he had mentioned how he'd love to tackle more of Kecthum's stuff, in particular 'The Girl Next Door', which he cites as one of his favorites. The third film he previewed was 'ROMAN', directed by 'MAY's' Angela Bettis from a script he wrote. It features Lucky in the title role and as he put it, it's the "brother film to MAY'." It looks as though Roman and May could be long lost soul mates. He also talked about his influences on 'May', which ranged from his love of 'The Breeders' ("I had a huge teenage crush on Kim Deal & I just love her music, and I'd use it in all my films if possible"), Dario Argento ("His films are just beautiful") and the music of 'Nirvana'. As an added bonus, he showed a trailer from one of his first high school films, 'All Cheerleaders Die' which got a enthustiastic response from the crowd. This is a filmmaker to watch out for, folks!

Fango welcomed director Wes Craven with a short clip saluting all of the director's previous body of work. We were then treated to a trailer/clip of his latest film, 'RED EYE', which is meant to be more of a thriller, now in the age of terrorism as opposed to horror. He speaks very highly of his 'Red Eye' cast Rachel McAdams & Cillian Murphy and says we should expect to see a lot of them in the future. Wes was very calm & collective and more then happy to answer all the fan's various questions. Among them, someone asked how he felt about the remake of 'Last House On The Left' that Sean Cunningham had mentioned prior in the day. "I haven't heard anything about that yet. But Sean did call me recently to meet up for lunch, so I suppose now I know why. (laughs) I wouldn't be opposed to the idea of a remake." Speaking of remakes, he goes on to tell us a bit about the upcoming 'The Hills Have Eye's' remake, being helmed by 'High Tension's Alexandre Aja. "It'll be fairly close to the original, yet Alexandre is taking it in an interesting new direction." Filmmaker Alexandre Aja cites the original 'Hills Have Eyes' as one of the first horror films to truly scare him & make him a fan of the genre, so Wes relishes on the idea of giving him a chance to make his own version of it. He goes into great detail on the troubled production of 'Cursed' & how it was one of his least pleasurable filmmaking experiences. When asked if he'd return to doing drama's again along the line's of 'Music Of The Heart', he says that 'Red Eye' is already in that direction & he's open to do more films like that after a break. He revealed to us that he recently got re-married and became a grandfather! He also said he would return to do a 'Nightmare' film if it were a similar situation as he had had on 'New Nightmare'. He stuck around to sign autographs & insured that the end of Day One of this year's Fango con... was one to remember!

What would any convention be without a few fans in costume! And Fango celebrate's by holding a costume contest at the end of Saturday's show. The lucky winner's were decided on by crowd applause & the ghoulish couple on the far left won that honor. For those who stuck around, later in the evening was a Shock-N-Roll Spooktacular concert featuring 'Horrorpops' & 'The Ghastly Ones' with horror stand-up & a movie preview for 'Comedy Hell' and the act 'Chicks With Sticks'. I would have loved to have come back for this, but my ride fell asleep!

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