This year's Fan Expo has come and gone. It was a weekend filled with frustrations and once-in-a-lifetime moments. This year it was held in the North Building of the Toronto Convention Centre - a building that can only hold so many vendors and people. The convention hasn't been in the North Building in years...my only guess is that they didn't book the South Building in time.
Friday started out pretty rough. I arrived nearly 2 hours prior to the early entry time of 2pm. The line-up started at the front of the building and wrapped it's way up some steps, beside the entrance of the CN Tower and the Skydome (Rogers Centre). I didn't actually enter the convention floor until 2:30pm/2:45pm. This was only the beginning of some of the annoyances.
Overall, Friday was one of the better days to go. I managed to get the shopping and autographs out of my system that day. First up was Lance Henrikson...
Lance Henrikson signing my VHS Pumpkinhead Poster
After Lance, I wandered the floor in search of deals and cool costumes. Another sore spot of the convention this year was the lack of a Cinema 1 booth. Cinema 1 always has the best deals. Instead we got HMV. They had some good deals, but it just wasn't the same.
From there, I wound up back at the Rue Morgue booth because I had been informed of Ken Russell's 5pm signing. I was second in line and it was fuckin' weird. In the centre of the Rue Morgue area is a black tent. The volunteers opened up the side of the tent and there sat Ken Russell sitting in his wheel-chair. I had already heard and read a few things about Russell lately. Particularly an interview in Toronto's Eye Weekly, and just how strange he is publicly. Eventually they wheeled him out to sign some autographs. The man seemed nice, although I don't think he said one thing all weekend. He signed my Altered States poster and then I was off...
After that, my friends and I went to the Bill Moseley Q&A. It was a cool Q&A and he seemed pretty down to Earth. He spoke at length about working with Rob Zombie and talked a little bit about working with Tobe Hooper. I'm sure someone will post the video on YouTube eventually.
Saturday was by far the most frustrating. We arrived at the convention at least an hour prior to opening. Thankfully we didn't wait too long. We headed up to the convention floor...
...walked around a little and then decided to grab some lunch before checking out Cronenberg's Q&A - man was that a BIG mistake. We took the escalator down and discovered no one was getting back up to the convention floor. To make matters even worse, no one was being let into the building...it was at capacity.
Trying to get back upstairs
I swear these guys were standing out there for at least 3 hours.
By this point we had decided Saturday was a write-off and got in line for Cronenberg's Q&A. Attending Cronenberg's Q&A was by far the highlight of the entire weekend. He talked about his new movie, discussed the horror genre and was even given an award by none-other than Ken Russell. This totally made it worthwhile waiting all that time at the front of the line for front-row seats...thank you North Building max capacity.
Ken and David meet for the first time
L to R: Rodrigo Gudino, David Cronenberg, Ken Russell & Dave Alexander
Overall, it ended pretty cool. Sunday was much better when it came to the crowds. There was far more space to move around so I caved and spent the $40 for Cronenberg's autograph on my Brood poster (to go along with my Art Hindle autograph).
He got bored listening to me talk so he fell asleep.
My biggest problem with Sunday was the scheduling of the Horror Q&A's. Heather Langenkamp was up first at 3pm. She talked about her upcoming doc (I Am Nancy), the NOES doc Never Sleep Again, female horror heroines and the state of horror today.
Immediately after Heather's Q&A was Lance Henrikson's Q&A and a Cast & Crew Reunion for Rituals. Most people I knew were attending the Henrikson Q&A so I decided to check out the reunion for the classic Canadian horror film RITUALS.
L to R: Production Designer (Karen Bromley), the first victim (can't remember his name), Screenwriter (Ian Sutherland), Actor/Produce (Lawrence Dane) & Dave Alexander
A very fascinating Q&A. If only they would release the movie on DVD. According to producer, Lawrence Dane, they are still trying to figure out who actually owns the rights to the movie.
That pretty much wrapped up the weekend for me. A few bumps along the way, but overall an entertaining weekend with some friends. Hopefully I can make it next year!
Here are a bunch of photos I took on the convention floor of booths and costumes. Enjoy!
Alien Quadrilogy Blu-Ray Display
Charles Band of Full Moon with some Fans
Just a couple of lonely Ghostbusters walkin' the streets of Toronto.
Camille Keaton of I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE
Super Expensive MOTUC figures
For more coverage and pics from the Fan Expo and Festival of Fear, check out THE HORROR SECTION.