The first HorrorHound convention of 2013 will be remembered for many things, most being the cast of The Walking Dead….. and the 15,000 plus wall to wall sea of visitors that literary jammed the Sharonville Convention Center waiting for hours including outside, sometimes literary all day to meet Norman Reedus (Daryl), one of the other Walking Dead members or one of the many other guests who came for the show. Though the average wait time was anywhere from 1-8 hours depending on what time of day you got in the inside line, and what your position was outside to start. Hundreds of die-hards showed up hours ahead of time, some with the sun, ignoring whatever mother-nature threw at them ensuring their early spot inside once doors opened. Such dedication might seem odd or slightly insane to the casual fan but as veteran convention goers know, if there’s a movie ‘con’ in town, they, EVERYONE will come.
Though the lines were long and the weather was less than perfect over the weekend especially Sunday, almost everyone that wanted to get in did. Convention main attraction Reedus, stayed late until 1am on Friday, stayed till late evening Saturday and till around 7 Sunday hours after the show closed making sure that everyone got some Daryl time signing memorabilia and taking fan pics. To accommodate the sheer volume of humanity show hours were extended into mid-evening. Though there were some admission organization issues Friday afternoon, they were resolved by Saturday and convention organizers and venue staff worked hard to make sure everyone that came had the HorrorHound experience.
Besides Daryl, other appearing members of the Walking Dead cast included Lori Grimes (Sarah Wayne Callies), Carl (Chandler Riggs), Merle (Michael Rooker), Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson) and Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal). Other convention main attractions included John Carpenter, Tom Sizemore and Robert Patrick. A strong supporting cast of Diane Franklin, Tony Todd, show vets Sid Haig and Bill Moseley, Subspecies director Ted Nicolaou cast members Anders Hove (radu), Denise Duff and Full Moon Director Charles Band, also the little Munster himself Butch Patrick, the car from Christine and the cast from Fear.com’s Holliston among other guests. Vendors included Toe Tag, Red Moth Records, Samhain Books, Fright Rags, and Full Moon Entertainment among many others. Several weekend Q n A panels including SubSpecies, House of 1000 Corpses, The Walking Dead, Christine and Holliston. The first time ever Weekend Night terrors included the Zombie Ball costume party masquerade Friday night at the Crowne Plaza Hotel along with the Horror Concert Saturday and Water Park after hour party and all night movie screenings to make sure you looked like The Walking Dead by dawn.
Saturday night’s concert sponsored by the makers of magnetic mayhem Skull 13 for all the devils, ghosts, demons and other society outcasts who’d naturally blend in the party headed across the street to the former HorrorHound home. The show also featured the talented movements of the buxom babes in beauty of Burlesque Le Moustache and the illusion, magic and wonder of slowly decaying Magician of the Living Dead Joe Lyon who tragically met his end during the performance fighting off one pissed off killer bunny rabbit.
The show started with The Big Bad spewing out only the best of grade A West Virginian horror punk. Guided by the eerie hypnotizing cat’s eyes of tattooed singer Mr. Von Nasty or Zackula to his friends, they immediately broke out the Bat Repellent in case any audience member chose to take flight during the show. Next was a tribute to one of the masters of horror Clive Barker and his novella Cabal which spawned the cult classic Nightbreed. Other scary tunes included twisted tales of Possession, Prom Night 1957, hello Mary Lou and a song about the holiest and most respected and embraced day for all horror fans, Halloween. Nasty’s taken some of Elvis and a little Jerry Lee Lewis and turned it into a deadly performance package. With Col Frankenstein on bass, slicing guitars by Machette and Cemetery Flowers rounded off by a dead guy on drums and a special guest saxy player. Check them out on Facebook for samples from their After Dark CD and upcoming release See You in the Shadows. Mr. Nasty was also celebrating his tenth anniversary with the lovely Mrs. Nasty. They make a cute fanged couple.
Next up was good ole Dead Dick Hammer and the TBA Band. Unfreshly arisen from their underground penthouse in the upper-crust and making their weekend residence at the Gates of Heaven Cemetery down the road, they turned on the living starting with their own Resurrection. Singing out of his custom made spade mic, decorated with black roses, skulls and authentic hallowed earth, a ‘stage prop’ that would get more use later. It’s a nice subtle way of saying ‘my mic’s a shovel-headed killing machine’ without being obvious. Adding some crazy, space aged guitar effects to hypnotize tonight’s dinn-,…. the crowd Dead Dick literary guts the sound out of his guitar then munches on the strings, drawing first blood early. Dick brings out his bag of tricks/goodies showing every country poke zombie has a good side and isn’t just trying to bribe the crowd. He offers people a slightly used buffet of common every day, house broken into items such as duct tape, dirty gloves, Neosporin, aspercreme, breathe mints, candy (for the ladies), special lube, set lists, shoe polish, nasal spray, black stockings, salve, sunburn spray (for the sparkling vamps), chap-stick, tums, burial clothes even ointments of a highly personal nature. He proudly asks if anyone needs any hemorrhoid cream before throwing it out to some unlucky a-hole. He pulls out a family pack of double A’s has second thoughts putting them down. He doesn’t want them knocking someone out before he does. He says he gets everything from the dollar store which questions the validity of the no shoes, no shirt sign, half rotted or not. The truth is everything in the bag’s taken from the homes of past vict-, …. acquaintances and friends DD and the TBA band have hung out with and they don’t like to see things sit and go to waste. He also takes a ‘prospecting’ tour from the stage mingling with the living. His lovely corpse bride the gracefully decaying cadaverous beauty Doreen Laveau smiles watching Dick play with his food. Now it’s time to rot n roll as its Last Call and the love of your life’s in the room but she won’t talk to ya. Fill up on some nice yummy, curiously crunchy Catfish Gravy. Be prepared for their new CD and get some Fourplay by the Eight Track just like dad and grandpa. Their show was loud, fast and Dead Dick showed he has a biting sense of humor. They’re not getting any younger… or older for that matter. They also claim legit rights as being the only authentic walking dead in attendance that weekend.
What do you get when you combine acoustic twanging, a banjo player, drummer and a stand-up bass with the most ugly, offensive, vulgar, graphic poetry known to mankind? Why Kokomo’s Harley Poe of course. Captained by their Mario mustached singer they break all rules of decency, any semblance of respect, decorum or civility and jam on subject matter best saved for the gentleman of Cannibal Corpse and other dapper death metal diehards. Think a po-dunk country fair on the prairie side of a honky-tonk folk jam that will make kids cry in their mother’s arms and scare families. Fun knee slappers about transvestites, vampires, dead things, feminine hygiene, psychopaths and other dirty deeds sung dirt cheap with the sincerest heartfelt sentiment. They could be Dexter’s kill-room band or what’s played at a family reunion to make everyone leave.
Straight from the west coast warm piranha filled waters of California comes the stone pale tanned and toned Stellar Corpses playing their first HorrorHound show showing what a 50’s greaser band plus one black n purple haired hottie would sound like with a modern day suit and tie guy ‘soc’ at the helm. Intro’d by the blue masquerade as strangers look on; Dusty Sheehan plays it cool and suave keeping it all business opening with his own Twisted Fantasies singing about that skin biting Vampire Kiss. He starts disrobing as the spotlight heat gets to him turning his eyes Blood Red as the sun goes down outside and the evil temptress spreads her wings. They’re a stellar mix of Misfits, mixed with some Chris Isaak and maybe even a little Monster Magnet. They get upright bass thumping as the Steel Butterflies take flight, after enough spirits you’re liable to see almost anything floating through the air. They pay tribute to The Evil Dead (original), play their namesake then pay ode to the Cemetery Man who’s always working at the dead of night. They’re a traveling horror movie, performing grave yard shift numbers about midnight monsters, scary corpses and the dark, deadly, dismembered side of Hollywood.
For the grand fatale finale straight from the tough streets of psychobilly Detroit rock city come the deadly when played with Koffin Kats. After 9 years of touring and over 1200 shows later they’ve come to hang out with us, possibly their scariest crowd ever, oh the horror. The Good Times began as the high speed long string strumming started as Glen Danzig throated Vic Victor played his huge well used plaything like a guitar. Three songs in they’re out For Blood they’re Boozinacrossanation playing hillbilly rock at moonshine proof speed. There’s a twist n shout tribute to Leatherface, as the Chaos erupts in the Splatterhouse and as any horror fan knows it’s a Terrible Way to go out. Koffin Kats make horror movie chase scene music any deranged silent, knife/chainsaw/machete wielding silent killer would be happy to strike terror and savagely maim during. They slow it down a little with a passionate ode to Mary Shelley’s original green guy. All the Bad Apples come out when the Bottles Called. When they’re not recording or touring they can be found hanging out at the Graveyard Tree. The Koffin Katz Rock and they’re For Hire. Victor does upright tricks too using his bass as a ladder, seat, bat, battering ram, back scratcher and standing chair for both guitarist EZ Ian and himself.
Next HorrorHound will be in September in Indianapolis starring Friday the 13th Director Steve Miner, Independence Days Vivica Fox, and a Freddy VS Jason cast reunion among others. Check their page for guest/vendor updates. HorrorHound Magazine Editor-in-Chief/Promoter Nathan Hanneman has suggested the return of certain members of the The Walking Dead but who walks in ready to kill is anyone’s guess.