This year I attended my very first Montreal ComicCon and HorrorFest. It was the first year during which the ComicCon included a horror pavilion and film festival.
Apparently, last year, people were actually turned away at the door as the event ran out both of space and tickets, so this year the ComicCon was held at the large Montreal Convention Center and over three days instead of two, running from September 14 to 16.
Guests included cast members from Being Human, Smallville, and Warehouse 13, as well as William Shatner and Sir Patrick Stewart. But to Slasher fans, that’s neither here nor here; what is of import to us is that Gunnar Hansen, Tom Savini and Malcolm McDowell were present.
Savini was there to unveil a documentary on his career titled Smoke and Mirrors (check the trailer).
I got a chance to chat with Mr Hansen and will write about what learned from him in a later post.
I also sat in on Malcolm McDowell’s panel. The actor is an inordinately good speaker—he’s funny and charming, with a teasing sense of humor that allows him to sidestep sometimes awkward questions with a sly barb that manages to make the “victim” feel he or she is in on joke (or so it seemed to me).
He spoke of his first film role, in Lindsay Anderson’s If, as well as his work inTank Girl (he thought the script was weak, but loved the cast and had fun on set), Caligula and, of course, A Clockwork Orange.
The Slashers and horror films McDowell had participated in didn’t come up often. He did say, however, that it was his idea to play Sam Loomis as a prick in Zombie’s Halloween 2. He said he’d gotten bored with the character as portrayed in the first film and Rob Zombie thought the idea was hilarious. Personally, I hated hating Loomis, but, then again, there were few things I enjoyed in either of the Halloween remakes.
Unfortunately, no one asked about Silent Night, the remake of the 1984 Slasher, Silent Night, Deadly Night, which is currently in post-production. Of course, if I wanted answers, I probably shoulda asked the questions myself, right?
As mentioned, this year was a first for the HorrorFest and its film festival. It included screenings of several Slashers, including Murder University (trailer), Famine (trailer), and Bloody, Bloody Bible Camp (trailer). I finally got to see Matt Farnsworth’s The Orphan Killer (trailer). My review will be up soon.
I spent a good deal of time with the Jacob crew, including writer/director/star Larry Wade Carrell, and stars Dylan Horne and Grace Powell. Jacob is an truly unique indie Slasher still searching for distribution so, if you get a chance to see it, do so. I’ll be putting up an interview I had with Carrell and his team soon. They’re a great bunch and have something really special on their hands (check my review of Jacob and the trailer).
One thing I discovered is that it is pretty much impossible to attend an event such as the Montreal ComicCon and HorrorFest without buying stuff. I came home with not one, not two, but four horror-movie figurines and props. I just couldn’t help myself. If this thing ever goes for a week, I’ll have to take out a bank loan before attending.
But then again, no. The other thing I discovered is that I can only take about one full day of this kind of event before I need a break. They’re fun and the ComicCon was clearly well-organized, but it can be a little overwhelming and, after a few hours, you kinda feel like you’ve been walking around in someone else’s pop-culture-fueled acid trip. You jump to avoid a baby-sized Alex DeLarge, only to bump into a decidedly attractive but nonetheless confusing female Boba Fett, then back into a zombie chasing a human arm dangling from a fishing rod. And the next thing you know, you’ve purchased a hundred bucks of toys.
Hey, don’t get me wrong: it was fun. I’m just not sure how the hardcore convention-goers do it.
Were you there? Any highlights? Lowlights? Who’d you see or talk to? What’d you buy?