So I attended my first Texas Frighmare Weekend convention this year and had a good time. I have been to conventions before (A-KON, AnimeFest), but it felt like the target demographic was a certain age and I was quickly growing too old, now being 25 (Unless I wanted to show up in a Pedobear outfit). I needed something more in tune with my adult tastes and to be with peers of a similar age. Texas Frightmare Weekend quenched this thirst with blood, sexuality, and a general vibe of “Do your thing and nobody will get in your way“.
What I mean by this is that where at conventions of my youth people were checking your wrist bands, checking to make sure everyone was following the rules, and keeping things orderly, Texas Frightmare Weekend instead gave respect to the audience of adults it is aimed towards and understood that people don’t need to be monitored to act like decent human beings. It was a good time, and I will hopefully be returning next year.
I spent an hour looking for the convention, because I went to the wrong hotel twice. Third time is the charm, eh? And when I finally got there I was pleased to see there was free parking for con attendees and that there was a DeLorean from Back to the Future parked out front. I got outside and was courteously helped by the hotel staff and given the keys to my room. My room was very nice with a beautiful view. From my window you could see a pool down below with con attendees splashing around.
Being late I had time to walk the dealer room a few times, get dinner, and get a good seat for the midnight screening. The dealer room was large and cozy with the usual assortment of t-shirts, posters, action figures, product demos, and Tom Savini… wait, Tom Savini? Jackpot! In the middle of the dealer room were several celebrity guests set up for autographs (usually 20-30$ a pop), including Verne Troyer (Mini-me), Keith David, Tom Savini, Roddy Piper, and a few others. Some of them seemed a bit jet lagged, but over all they were generally pleasant. Suda 51 had a great demo of Lollipop Chainsaw set up at one end of the dealer hall and the super nice, “professional” cosplayer Jessica Nigri was there to answer all questions (You can visit her website here).
For food they had a really cool buffet set up that ran almost all day. Some conventions I’ve gone too only had buffet food available at certain hours, so it was real treat to be able to get food all day, and good food at that. Also I could buy beer. Thank god. Sandwiches, chicken tenders, hot dogs, soft drinks, energy drinks, beers, nachos, etc were all available for a fair price.
They had a special event called Prom Night and for 10$ you could enter a ballroom area, decorated to the theme of Carrie, to eat, drink, and hang out with the special guest celebrities. Everyone had a blast and it was great to see the guests being so involved.
Anyways, I made my way to get a seat for a midnight screening of __________ (It was a secret screening and I’m not allowed to say what it was) and ended up in a comfortable room laughing for the next hour and a half. It was a good way to end the night, and I went to my hotel room and wrapped up for the night.
The next day was a bit more jam-packed, as most conventions always get busier on Saturdays. I got to explore more of the hotel, get charmed by Norman Reedus, view a few more screenings, and sit through an awesome Walking Dead Panel (That I have video of). In a room three times as large as the dealer room was an area solely for the celebrity guests to mingle with their fans (and take their money for photos lol). That’s where I saw him… Norman Reedus, a.k.a. – “That cool dude from Boondock Saints” and Daryl from The Walking Dead. He had a long line. A long line of beautiful women. All clamoring for a chance to pay him money to talk with them. How pathetic….. I got in the line too. ;)
After standing in line for an hour I prepped by DSLR and got a good seat in The Walking Dead panel with Norman Reedus, Irone Singleton, Michael Rooker, Chandler Riggs, and Madison Lintz. The room was overflowing with people who exploded in applause at every bit of news (including me), and a few hints were given for the next season. Don’t worry though, I recorded quite a bit of it and will be posting it to IHOGeek’s YouTube later this week. Be grateful, as I had to delete of my general convention footage to make room on my memory card (Note to self – buy more memory cards).
Anyways, I stuck around and attended a few more panels and viewed a few more screenings before heading home for the week. All in all it was a great time and it felt like an event for adults. Not only that, but it was refreshing to see couples together enjoying horror together. Too often horror gets pushed off as more of a male thing, but Texas Frightmare Convention says otherwise.
Women dressed like it was Halloween (pretty skimpy stuff), and men busted out their favorite costumes too. People walked around and helped each other out, many times with beer in hand and celebrities were really nice too. It was so odd to step onto an elevator next to Tony Todd, the Candyman himself (also Night of the Living Dead).
Come check it out next year. Their official website is here.