Monday, March 21, 2016

Con Report – HorrorHound Cincinnati

HorrorHound is sponsored by the magazine of the same name and is growing as a convention every year. Parking was nigh impossible this year and the halls in the dealer’s room were warm and impassible. I’m much more into comics than straight horror, but I attended last year with my friend Rob and we had a blast. This year we went again, along with Rob’s fiancée Lisa. If anything it was even more fun.

John Noble of Fringe and LOTR
We started out in the main celebrity room, where the stars and crowds gathered. This room held the most popular visiting celebs, such as folks from The Walking Dead, the Daredevil TV show and numerous old horror/slasher flicks. Rob was there for one reason—(well, two reasons really) to meet Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. We both loved Cassandra Peterson’s look and persona, and admired someone who could make a living for over 35 years with a look inspired by Vampira and two other assets, which you can probably guess. Of all the celebrities, Elvira’s line was the longest by far. That was surprising to me; probably not many people under 40 even know who she is. However, there were men, women, groups and families waiting patiently for hours to meet her, get an autograph and/or get a photo with her. There were masses of adults and kids dressed like her. We skipped her line for now, hoping it would die down later in the day.

Jon Bernthal
I went over to meet actor Jon Bernthal, who was a freak. He has had a busy career as an actor with a reputation for intensity. He has portrayed characters in The Walking Dead, L.A. Noir and is presently playing Marvel anti-hero The Punisher in season two of Daredevil, which hit Netflix on March 18. I love the Punisher and hoped he had some Punisher photos. He did:


Bernthal’s line went relatively quickly. He and his assistants had a small Sony boombox set up with music blasting to discourage conversation. The dark-bearded Bernthal was dressed in a t-shirt and jeans, with dark sunglasses and a baseball cap cocked a few degrees to the right. When posing for pictures with fans, time after time he did the Fonzie “thumbs up” motion, which was weird. I didn’t get a picture with him, but when he was signing my Punisher photo I told him I was a big Punisher fan and looking forward to watching the show. He just said, “I hope you enjoy the performance,” and I was out of there.

Scott Wilson
I then walked over to meet Scott Wilson. Most people know him as Hershel from The Walking Dead, but Wilson has had a 50-year career as a character actor, appearing in the original In the Heat of the Night, In Cold Blood and dozens of other classic Hollywood films. I didn’t get a photo or autograph, but just chatted with him a moment about his work while the lines were short. I asked about the film In Cold Blood, starring him and the infamous Robert Blake. He said, “Oh, now you’re going back a ways,” as if he was surprised anyone recognized him further back than The Walking Dead. I asked if they really filmed the movie, based a book by Truman Capote about the murders of a Midwestern family, in the places where the actual events happened. He didn’t really answer, saying something about Capote writing a brilliant novel and the film just following the novel. In the middle of our talk, a family wheeled up a disabled young man in a stroller-type chair to meet Scott. He
Scott with a Disabled Fan
instantly went over to greet the boy, high-fived his brother and posed for pictures with the entire family. He made that kid feel like a million bucks. He then came back to me and we finished our conversation. How exemplary, I really respected that.

Next, into the dealer’s room. The room had rows and rows of dealers, selling everything from edgy art to music to magnets, dolls, movies and masks, all with a bloody horror theme. Some items were not for the easily offended. There were also some celebrities set up in there, such as German actor Richard Sammel
Booth from the Dealer's Room
from The Strain, and Stephen McHattie and William Forsythe from a million different movies. I wanted to tell Mr. Sammel how much I enjoy his role as an evil vampire monster on The Strain, but I was afraid he would suck out all my blood and throw my body in a ditch. We saw Seth Gilliam from The Walking Dead introduce himself to William Forsythe, which was cool. Gilliam is such a good actor you just want to punch him in the face for being quite the convincing jerk on television. We somehow restrained ourselves.

The X-Files Panel
The only panel I attended was the X-Files panel. The actors really couldn’t say much—the miniseries has finished and further episodes are planned but not scheduled. I did ask actor Mitch Pileggi if he better enjoyed playing heroes like FBI Director Skinner on X-Files or villains such as his neo-Nazi character on Sons of Anarchy (not an original question, I admit). He said he enjoyed the variety, but pointed out his SOA character eventually came around to being a good guy. Uh, sorry to disagree, but the character had a swastika tattooed on his chest. Not sure how that qualifies him as anything but a tool.

Elvira Signing
At the end of the day we tried Elvira’s line again. It was still the longest in the house and she was just getting back from a break. I wanted to get an autograph, but Rob’s dream was to get a photo with her. The line went quickly, but when we neared the front, one of the con volunteers announced that Elvira’s eyes were getting tired because of all the camera flashes and she wasn’t taking any more photos with fans. Rob was crushed! When we got up to her, she was in full Elvira makeup, the jet-black wig and deep-cleavage black dress. She looks fantastic, especially for being in her 60s. We still got autographs. I told her I liked her in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure—she played a biker chick, not Elvira—and she reminded me there is a new Pee Wee movie on Netflix. “I’m not in it,” she said with a pouty, mock sadness. “His loss,” I remarked just as sarcastically. “I’ll tell him that,” she said with a smile. Rob is a big pinball guy and owns several pinball machines (nights at his house are infinitely entertaining) and asked her about the licensed Elvira pinball machine. She said she used to have one but never played it. Too bad, Elvira playing Elvira pinball would make for a fun picture.

Despite Rob’s crushing disappointment at not getting a photo taken with the Mistress of the Dark, we went home happy and I took tons of photos. Speaking of which ...

This year’s cosplay was the best ever. Here are some examples.

A Demon Angel?
Back of the Demon Angel
Twins from The Shining
The couple that plays together ... 
A Happy Happy Clown
A very young Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy
Some ... Green Chicks?

A snatch of Elviras
Presenting the Mad Max Family
A good 10-foot Demon costume

Creative Witches
Getting a huge Dragon costume upstairs
The Dragon completed. Probably 15-feet tall.
A cross-dressing Kali
Except for the parking problems and Elvira’s aging eyes, we had a great time at this year’s HorrorHound. I’m sure we’ll head back next year!


  1. "A snatch of Elviras"? Really, sir? Really?

  2. Don't blame me! Is it worse than a murder of crows? Memes have to be started somewhere ... :)

  3. This looks fun! A bit gross, but way entertaining!

  4. You've hit the nail on the head, Liz!