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Festival of Fear 2/2


Welcome to part deux of my 2006 Rue Morgue's Festival of Fear adventure. Click here to READ PART 1 and dig into the horror goodness that is Part 2 below! Come on! What are you waiting for? READ ON!

Juliet Landau

Although the last panel was a disappointment, the next one exceeded my expectations. I sat in my seat hoping to God that Juliet wasn’t going to come on stage and become another “Tom Cruise-worthy” activist clone like Linda Blair, and thankfully I got what I hoped for.

Juliet Landau, who is best known for her portrayal as the wacky vampire, Druscilla on the hit shows Buffy and Angel, pleased her fans by recalling memorable moments from filming the shows, talking in different accents, and showing off how polite she is. (She kept saying “God bless you” to people who sneezed in the audience.) Here is what I got out of her panel:

-She is the daughter of famous actors Martin Landau and Barbara Bain. (I don’t know if I was the only one who DID not know about)

-She starred alongside Johnny Depp in Tim Burton’s Ed Wood. She also appeared in Theodore Rex, a movie she admitted sucked big time.

-Has currently shot a period piece film called Yellow Wallpaper. In the movie, she plays Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a feminist writer. The film takes place in 1894, and stars alongside Michael Morarity. She said the film has a feel like The Others. There is a supernatural twist to it. She also got heatstroke a few times while filming this movie.

-Juliet and her co-star James Marsters (Spike from Buffy) were only supposed to be the villains in season two of Buffy and were supposed to be killed off by the end of the season. Due to their characters’ popularity, the writers decided to keep them on longer.

-She talked about her experience on filming Tobe Hooper’s The Toolbox Murders. The first day of shooting, she had to shoot her death scene. She said it was a brutal shoot for she was completely banged up by it at the end of the day. She had to go to another audition with visible bruises all over her body.

-When asked if she would play Wonder Woman in Joss Whedon’s upcoming movie, she told the audience that Kate Beckinsale was cast as the role. (HA! HA! People still believe the April Fool’s Day joke created by JoBlo!) *Note-Kate Beckinsale is NOT going to be Wonder Woman.

-When asked if she ever misses playing Druscilla, she told the audience how she would play her again in a heartbeat, but doesn’t really miss playing her.

Alice Cooper

To be quite honest, I didn’t know too much about this year’s guest of honor. All I really knew about Alice Cooper was that he sang rock music, appeared in Wayne’s World, and supposedly killed a chicken on stage. I had no idea how much he has influenced the world of horror.

I also had no idea how intelligent and horror savvy this man really is. (He knew everything from Vincent Price to Tashaki Miike!) The hour went by pretty quickly because he was really entertaining and I learned a lot about one of the most notorious rockers of all time.

-Although you wouldn’t think by looking at him, Alice Cooper is a Christian.

-Loved Friday the 13thmovies only for the fact that all the characters in a Jason movie, are characters you wanted to see killed in high school.

-He has a distaste for the “torture” movies that are out now. He feels that they’re gratuitous, and you might as well be watching a snuff film. He said he would only like those kinds of movies if you saw Paris Hilton or Courtney Love being tortured in them. (I love this man already!)

-He loves Asian Horror. His favorite horror film right now is Oldboy.

-When asked about his role in Prince of Darkness, he said he honestly had no plans of being in the movie. He was just coming down to the set to watch John Carpenter work. It was then that John Carpenter asked him if he wanted to be a zombie, and then eventually he ended up being the leader of the zombies.  He was there for three days filming his scenes. He loved the experience and the movie, but said it needed a better ending.

-The movies Carnival of Souls, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, and Barberella inspired the Alice Cooper persona.

-When asked about his “chicken-killing” performance in Toronto decades ago, he said that someone had actually thrown a chicken on the stage, and he threw it back, thinking chickens could fly.

Well the chicken plummeted in the audience, and it was THE AUDIENCE that tore up the chicken. (He also noted the first ten rows were people in wheelchairs!) His agent then told him not to deny the rumors of him killing the chicken because it was good for his image.

-Creature of the Black Lagoon was the first film that scared the living sh*t out of him!

Jeffrey Combs

I was expecting to see the same weird and creepy dude that horror fans have seen in movies such as The Frighteners, House on Haunted Hill and of course, who can forget the Re-animator series. When I saw a friendly “Dr. Herbert West” come out onto the panel and stand on top of a table to greet his fans, it was surprising.

It was also cool to see such a humble and funny person display a side of themselves so rarely seen in his movies. During the hour, Jeffrey gave his fans the scoop on working with long time friend, Stuart Gordon, his “trekkie” days, (which you’ll have to read somewhere else, due to the fact I tune out when I hear the words, “Star Trek.”) and what’s been happening with the next sequel to the Re-Animator movies.

-When he read the script for Re-animator for the first time, he said he thought it was a bloody motherf*cker. Originally, Dr. Herbert West wasn’t the center of the film, once they edited the movie, the focal point shifted towards his character.

-He told the audience that there are actually two versions of Re-animator. (The unrated version and the rated R version) He recommends everyone to watch the unrated version, because the R rated version changed things about the movie that he didn’t like, such as the “hypnosis angle,” and having his character shoot up.

-He finished filming an episode of Masters of Horror entitled “The Black Cat.” Re-animator’s Stuart Gordon has directed the episode. He plays Edgar Allan Poe, and says fans will like the twist to the episode.

-Said the last movie that disturbed the sh*t out of him was Wolf Creek.

-He has just finished filming a horror movie called Wizard of Gore. He says the remake sticks with the main premise from the original film and updates it. The film also stars Crispin Glover and Brad Dourif. (Herbert, Chucky, Mcfly...oh my!)

-He said the show The 4400 has been picked up for another season.

-He said he has no idea what the status of House of Re-animator is because the film needs distributors. He said the film will be about Dr. Herbert West going to The White House to reanimate the Vice president, and the President is an idiot and has no idea what is going on. (Insert “Bush” joke here)

He also said William H. Macy was once attached to play The President, but now since the project flat-lined, there is no momentum for making it at the moment. (Cross your fingers! Hopefully, it will be picked up!)

Ben Chapman

When I asked someone who Ben Chapman was at the convention, and found out he was the man who played the original “Creature” from Creature From the Black Lagoon, the first thoughts in my head were, ‘That man is still ALIVE?!’ I’m glad I went to his panel, because this man was a sweet man, and his panel was surprisingly interesting because he had a lot of funny and even nasty stories to tell. (You don’t want to know how he had to go to the bathroom in his creature suit.) Here is what I got out of the “Creature’s” panel:

-He is the last living Universal Classic Monster.

- He was cousins with actor John Hall. (I had no idea who this was, but he made it seem like this person was a big deal.)

-He filmed The Creature From the Black Lagoon when he was 24 years old. He hired because he was a free diver.

-He wasn’t in Revenge of the Creature, but told the audience that a young Clint Eastwood was. Clint was not signed on to do another film, because...get this...the filmmakers thought he had NO talent, and also said his enormous Adam’s Apple was too distracting. (That’s pretty funny!)

-He only did the original film. In total there were 4 men who played the creatures in the trilogy.

-Universal Studio’s was going to go bankrupt, and the revenue Creature From the Black Lagoon made at the box office actually saved the studio.

Roddy Piper

The convention saved the best for last. Again, I didn’t know too much about this WWF wrestler/actor. The only things I knew were that he was considered the “rebel” in the series, and starred in John Carpenter’s cult classic, They Live. I am so glad I came to see this man speak, because he was freaking hilarious.

He had my attention from the moment he walked on the stage in glasses, a leather coat, and a quilt. During the hour, he recalled times from when he ended up accidentally kicking Cyndi Lauper in the head, his experience on filming horror movies, his family life, and being Canadian! (woo-hoo!) Here is what I got out of the final panel:

-When asked about his “stellar” performance in Hell Comes to FrogTown, he laughed and said how embarrassed he still is for doing that movie. He said it was humiliating when he was sitting in the theatre, and watching himself after Toni the frog dies. He said he was using his best acting skills during the scene, and everyone just laughed at the screen.

-When he signed on to do They Live, he had never heard of John Carpenter or his work before. He had no idea what an honor it really was until he started shooting.

-He said the long fight sequence in They Live with Keith David was completely improvised. John Carpenter had wanted the longest fight sequence ever shown in a film. When they had tried to stage fight, Keith David kept missing his marks, and Roddy had eventually told him to really hit him instead. So after a while, they were really fighting.

-His latest project is a horror film called Sin-Jin Smyth. He said the movie is very character driven. The story is about two bad marshals. His character is a wife-beater, (which he mentions he hates) and the second marshal is a murderer. (played by Richard Tyson) They have to take in a prisoner to prison, (played by Korn’s lead singer, John Davis) and what they don’t realize is that the prisoner is The Devil, and he is actually planning on taking down to Hell. (Sounds like a really frigging cool movie!)

-He has a meeting with Lion’s Gate films to possibly make a movie off his life. “Great for Insomnia” he joked.

Here are a few choice pictures from my weekend!

Jason says "Whassup!"

Looking for Neil LaBute to punish him for the Wicker Man remake?

Me and sweetie JoBlo

Karen "I turned down Devil's Rejects" Black!

Arrow with fan of the site Steven! (Thanks for the pic Steve)

Director Mike Pereira, me and Jay Clarke!

Me, director Kevin Lane, Director Darren Bousman and Arrow...drunk again (Arrow that is)





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