On May 5-7, 2017, the cowboys in Dallas, TX welcomed the zombies, ghosts, ghouls, and boogeymen for Texas Frightmare. Celebrating their 12th year, the horror convention was held at the Hyatt Regency DFW Airport.
The con was spread throughout the lower level of the hotel. Guests and vendors filled two ballrooms, while other rooms were reserved for panels and professional photo ops, and the main hall area encompassed the check-in and ticket booths, help desk, con merch, and silent auction. The place was packed with horror fans, though the hotel’s layout with hallways shooting off of the main area provided space for a bit of elbow room and breather in between activities.
Guests included Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot, Nestor Carbonell, and Ryan Hurst (Bates Motel), Dee Wallace and Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes), Danny Lloyd (The Shining), Frank Henenlotter (Frankenhooker), Rick Hearst (Brain Damage), Doyle (Misfits lead guitarist), Pollyanna McIntosh (The Walking Dead), Sting and Ric Flair (pro wrestlers), Jen and Sylvia Soska (writers/directors/actresses), Willie Aames (Cut and Run), John Shepherd, Debi Sue Voorhees, and Melanie Kinnaman (Friday the 13th Part V), Ken Page (voice The Nightmare Before Christmas), Michael Paré (Streets of Fire), Ted Raimi (The Evil Dead), Shannon Elizabeth and Chris Owen (American Pie), Sean Whalen (The People Under the Stairs), and Tom Savini (make-up artist), among others. 31 cast members Richard Brake, E.G. Daily, Meg Foster, Judy Geeson, Malcolm McDowell, Pancho Moler, Jeff Daniel Phillips, David Ury, and Torsten Voges were there.
(Next week look for interviews in Scoop with Judy Geeson, Melanie Kinnaman, Chris Owen, and John Shepherd.)
Anniversaries and reunions were held at Texas Frightmare for three classic horror flicks. A Suspira 40th anniversary celebration with writer-director Dario Argento, Stefania Casini, Barbara Magnolfi, Udo Kier, and Claudio Simonetti was held. The Thing 35th anniversary with Dean Cundey, Keith David, Wilford Brimley, and Thomas Waites took place. Plus, there was a Fright Night reunion with director Tom Holland, and stars Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse, Stephen Geoffreys, and Jonathan Stark.
Stop the Stigma, an organization devoted to helping end bias against those with mental health struggles, held a silent auction. It included several photos and props autographed by celebrities, as well as the full-size Autopsy of Jane Doe model.
Vendors were constantly busy, selling a wide range of merchandise. Realistic props, masks, busts, full-size models, etched pint and shot glasses, replica Lament Configuration boxes from Hellraiser, and carnivorous plants were among the high caliber items.
Heritage Auctions was set up, displaying prices realized on horror merchandise, such as the apron from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, an insert from Frankenstein, and the Grateful Dead Trip or Freak Winterland concert poster. Movie production companies like Blumhouse and Arrow Films as well as the popular movie theater Alamo Drafthouse Cinema were at the con. The con also hosted Mondo and other movie poster recreation companies, Action Lab Comics, and Halloween Tattoos.
(Look for an interview with Heritage’s Comic Book & Animation Art expert Weldon Adams in next week’s issue of Scoop.)
The film-related booths sold tons of movies from main stream to rarities, out of print titles, b-movies, even video nasties.
Vintage toys and lots of modern action figures, novels, trades, graphic novels, movie companion books, t-shirts, jewelry, trading cards, purses, and other apparel were also available at dozens of booths.
Films shown throughout the weekend were The Curse, Dreaming Purple Neon, Killing Ground, Lilith’s Hell, Prevenge, Realm of the Damned, The Slayer, and Lucky Jack.
There was a Full Moon/Charles Band screening, Arrow Video, Crimson Creek filmmakers, Blumhouse, Shockwaves podcast, writing horror, creating modern horror comics, indie filmmaking, fake trailer showcase, trivia events, parties, and Scary-oke.
Q&A sessions with director Deborah Voorhees, director Robert Hall, Dean Cundey, Ted Raimi, and Shannon Elizabeth. There were also reunion panels for The Thing, Bates Motel, Fright Night, The Hills Have Eyes, Rob Zombie’s 31, and Suspiria.
Gemstone Publishing Associate Editor Amanda Sheriff attended the show to promote her upcoming book, The Overstreet Guide to Collecting Horror. “I spoke to a lot of people about the book and got nothing but positive feedback. People were excited about the breadth of topics and types of items that will be covered,” Sheriff said. “I also talked to dealers and artists about advertising in the book and contributing their expertise. Talking to fellow horror fans about the book was so much fun and made me even more excited for the project.”
Attendees came from all over the country for Texas Frightmare. From the impressive guest lineup that included writer-director Dario Argento, anniversary reunions, and stars of current hits to vendors who offered a dynamic blend of merchandise and memorabilia, it was a great time for horror fans.
Since there were so many terrific photo opportunities during Texas Frightmare we have posted many more in our In the Limelight section.