Well Kids, it is indeed that magical time of the year again. The Calgary Horror Con is almost upon us and coming from the humble thoughts of this video store guy it once again represents everything we as genre fans love. Beers, laughs, movie nerd talk, and of course meeting some cool cats that made movies we grew up with and could not wait to get our hands on from those dusty shelves whether it was BETA, VHS, LASERDISC, DVD, BLU RAY, or now 4K Blu Ray. We are a passionate people and an event like this brings us all together over a summer weekend in Cowtown to share that love with each other and maybe have a drink or two with a Killer Klown From Outer Space.
For 11 years Dan Doherty has done everything he can to keep this dream alive. And after the whole COVID thing he has done his best work to assemble a fun and brilliant throwback weekend for all genre fans. Running a convention like this is no easy task and once you realize the people behind putting it on are just big nerds like the rest of us we can feel good knowing that we are indeed in good hands. So big props to Danny once again for keeping the dream alive. Now you might be asking…why should I go this year? Glad you asked…
When it comes to growing up on horror movies in a videostore one of the biggest underground cult hits for fans since it hit the shelves in 1988 was The CHIODO BROTHERS’ KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE. I am pretty sure everyone reading this right now has either seen the movie or owns it on physical media on some format. Call it unique, bizarre, cheesy, a good time, and simply punk rock the movie is now celebrating it’s 35th anniversary and all the big guns involved in making this cult classic are gonna be there!
Let’s start with the film makers themselves. The Chiodo Siblings are coming! Stephen , Charles, and Edward. Known for the Killer Klowns they are also the creators FX wise for the CRITTERS! Yup, before making their masterpiece B-Movie they were tasked with creating those spikey furballs back in 1986.
Did you also know they were tasked with creating the iconic LARGE MARGE effect for Pee Wee’s Big Adventure? Well you do now. You can ask them how that came to be.
They also did the FX work for the immortal classic ERNEST SCARED STUPID. Ever notice that Killer Klown in the Ernest movie? Yup, their finger prints were all over it.
The idea of getting to talk to these fine gentlemen about their long careers and the stories they will have to tell sounds like it’s worth it alone to me from an 80s kid point of view.
On top of that we are getting a couple of the KILLER KLOWNS themselves coming down. Stuntman/ Actor Mike Martinez and Harrod Blank. Come listen to them talk about working on that flick in those insane and iconic costumes along with their other stories of cinema .
Then we have the lead actors themselves coming down! First up genre veteren Grant Cramer. You might think, oh ya, that’s the dude from Killer Klowns. That’s where I know him from. But dig deeper fellow genre nerds. Mr. Cramer’s career during the primetime era of videostores is damn impressive and you might wanna bring a few other movie titles for the man to sign…
Indeed Grant Cramer also was in other 80s cult classic flicks like NEW YEAR’S EVIL, HARD BODIES, SANTA CLAWS, and most recently the NIC CAGE banger WILLY’S WONDERLAND! Nuff said.
Then we have the lovely Suzanne Snyder as the lead actress from the movie. The actress is a genre favourite to fans not just from Killer Klowns but her hilarious role in Return Of The Living Dead Part 2 and of course her fun cameo in the legendary NIGHT OF THE CREEPS. Oh and let’s not forget Weird Science. Get your things signed and listen to some stories about those movies. She is a beauty!
Now some of the other guests are really intriguing to say the least. The fact that you can get to chat with them about the movies they were involved with whether you liked or hated them is kinda cool. Case in point. Actor Mark Burnham is coming. Now most might know him from the latest TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE film. Honestly not my cup of tea but he did his job the best he could. Wish I could say the same for the damn writers. Regardless to be able to pick up the chainsaw and played the immortal role of LEATHERFACE must have been a blast and meeting the man should be as well. Personally I think I would most excited to talk to Mark about his brilliant and insane performance in the film festival favourite LOWLIFE! If you guys have not seen it yet DO IT before you meet Mark. He is simply amazing as the crazed big baddie in this beauty!
And then there was another reason for any self respecting horror movie fan to go CALGARY HORROR CON this year. THE BALLAD OF HARRY WARDEN! Actor Peter Cowper was the man behind the mask. any self respecting canadian slasher movie fan owes it to themselves to meet the man. Get that autograph. get that picture. Sing The Ballad Of Harry Warden to his face. And ofcourse buy him a MOOSEHEAD beer over the weekend. Cheers!
And then we get to guests that the name might not ring a bell at first but looking at their resume your jaw simple drops. Case in point. ANTHONY CECERE. Obviously he is being promoted as one of the Stuntmen/ actors that dawned the iconic GHOSTFACE mask in Wes Craven’s SCREAM. Dig deeper my friends…Mr. Cecere’s history with genre films is simply insane. If there is one man I would kill to share a few drinks with over the weekend and talk the good talk in life it is him. DEAD AND BURIED, WES CRAVEN’S NEW NIGHTMARE, BAD DREAMS, METAL STORM, MINORITY REPORT, THE THING, TERMINATOR, WRATH OF KHAN, GHOSTBUSTERS, HILLS HAVE EYES 2, CHOPPING MALL, HOUSE, RAMBO:FIRST BLOOD, SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW, PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS, RETURN OF SWAMP THING, SHOCKER! Are you kidding me?!?! Oh my god the stories he should have to tell!
James Jude Courtney should need no intro at all to modern day horror movie fans. He easily was the best version of MICHAEL MYERS since Nick Castle or George Wilbur. Now, don’t get me wrong. The way the new trilogy sequel played out was unfortunate in my eyes and mind and most of you that have visited the shop have heard me bitch and complain heavily about it. But I have never once said Mr. Courtney was the reason. Quite the opposite. His version of Myers was incredible but sadly mismanaged in the final installment. Aside from meeting the man, maybe sharing a drink, getting a story, how cool would it be to hear about the reshoot issues, the script changes, the challenges of making this trilogy over covid and simply hearing ‘maybe” what the original plans were for the story. Either way…I hear he is a beauty of a human and should be amazing to meet!
In 2018 a bunch of us went to see this bizarre indie horror movie by some guy named Ari Aster. Holy hell. I honestly do not care if you liked it or hated it. It left a mark. The central figure (or so we thought) was Charlie played by actress Milly Shapiro. Maybe she was gonna be like Linda Blair in The Exorcist or Damien in The Omen? Well the answer was given to us with a big thud of a telephone pole on the highway and it was NO. Needless to say though the young actress left an impression in the movie for the viewers and since has been a great talking head (no pun intended) on shows dealing with the genre films like ELI ROTH’S HISTORY OF HORROR. The fact that the Calgary Horror Con managed to get her is great and for the fans of the new forms of genre and horror films will get a big kick out of meeting her and getting her thoughts on the new wave of horror that is hitting the big screen!
And what would an Alberta based Horror Con be without some local goodness. Love it or hate it the Edmonton filmed movie SKINAMARINK made big waves this year for indie cinema and the cast and crew will be there to take your questions on why you loved it and were utterly traumatized or why you thought it was the biggest snoozfest of WTF you have have ever seen. One thing there is no denying. It was an incredible underdog story of cinematic goodness and you have the chance to ask director KYLE EDWARD BALL what he has next up his sleeve! The beauty of cinema…what is not one person’s cup of tea is definatly the others sitting right next to him.
On top of that the lovely Catherine Corcoran will be there. Keep in mind this actress was front and center in one of Terrifier’s most brutal kill scenes and comes from the world of Troma films. Ya…she will be worth your time dear friends!
On top of getting to chat with all the guests, getting autographs, taking in panels, getting pictures, there will be an army of vendors there. Vendors that know exactly what you love about this world. From artwork, toys, VHS, vintage posters, and collectables this will be your chance to build on your personal movie nerd caves and pick up some badass and unique items to remember the the Con.
So I guess the bottom line is events like this are made for US. And they made for us to introduce friends looking for something new and fun to experience. Like entering the videostore and finding a rekindled love from your youth or simply the passion of movies the mainstream world does not understand this festival is made for you. Run by your peers, attended by your peers, and embraced by your peers. So whether you can make it for the entire run which includes a VIP KICK OFF PARTY on Friday night June 16th or just the Saturday or Sunday try to come down and support. Shake a hand, get a pic, tell a favourite movie story, meet new friends, get a few drinks, and like entering the video store itself let yourself escape the real world for just a little bit and remember what you loved and still love in your life…the genre known as HORROR! Calgary Horror Con…The Lobby DVD Shop Salutes you. Cheers!
So get exicted! JUNE 16-18th is right around the corner! Grab a ticket from the videostore, book your hotel in Calgary and get ready to drink, laugh, and nerd out. CALGARY HORROR CON XI is set to be a banger!
VIP PASSES (INCLUDES THE FRIDAY NIGHT KICK OFF PARTY) $75.00
WEEKEND PASSES (SATURDAY AND SUNDAY) $ 45.00
SATURDAY PASSES $35.00
SUNDAY PASSES $25.00