I had the chance to attend the Texas Frightmare Weekend this month in Dallas, Texas, May 3-7, 2018. It was my first time attending this particular convention. It is actually my first time attending any convention out of town – and for an entire weekend. I went with my cousin Daryl, horror YouTuber Mr. Meat Hook (past blog guest) because he wanted to meet his fellow horror YouTubers – and I really thought it would be fun to attend a new event. So we bought our tickets…and we went!
The event takes place at the Hyatt Regency literally attached to the DFW Airport in Dallas, Texas. So that made it easy, especially if you fly American. You just walk through the tunnel in the parking garage and VOILA you are there! And since we were staying at the same hotel as the convention that best thing I could say about the event is this: it was like being at summer camp with monsters! I won’t lie, I had an amazing time.
Thursday, May 3, 2018
It seems most flights were delayed getting into Dallas. Perhaps because they had a big storm with a lot of rain. My flight leaving Los Angeles was delayed by 30 minutes but my cousin who flew out from Ontario, CA (an hour away) was delayed by 4 and a half hours. As soon as I sat down I hear my name: ‘Michael?’ I look up and an acquaintance of mine, Jeff Miller, was sitting in front of me on the plane. He had three movies screening at the convention. It was nice to see him…and of course, I knew I was going to see his films!
And I landed safely in Dallas and was forced to hang out at the hotel a while by myself. I made my way to the hotel, check into the room and sort of rested a bit. I made my way downstairs for some dinner! I sat next to two gentleman – who had a booth, and spoke at a couple of panels – and I deeply apologize that I do not know their names. They mentioned that I could go downstairs and check into the convention and get my program and wrist band…so I did! BAM – not I am legit ready for the festival.
While checking in I turned and saw my LA friend Ryan Cusick, contributing writer for iHorror. He was there with his family. I see Ryan a lot at horror conventions in Los Angeles, including Monsterpalooza. Since I was waiting for my cousin, he decided to join me in the bar to catch up. While we there we saw three Jasons from the Friday the 13th sitting at a table across from us. Kane Hodder, Ken Kirzinger, and Steve Dash. The convention was having a Friday the 13th reunion – as well as a reunion for the Hellraiser Series and Child’s Play.
Eventually Kane Hodder left to head to bed, followed by Steve Dash, leaving Ken – Jason from Freddy vs Jason – alone at the table with his beer. He looked our way briefly and I looked at him and said ‘would you like to join us and have a beer?’ He graciously accepted and moved to our table. He was a very pleasant person. I bought him a beer and there he sat with Ryan and myself just talking about filmmaking and horror. Of course, I am texting my cousin to get his ass there so he could have a drink with him as well. Luckily his flight made it and he was able to have one beer with us before we all decided to all it a night. I want to say thank you to Ken Kirzinger for joining us that evening. From there Daryl introduced me to some of his YouTuber friends : Hot Cheetos and Blood who were having drinks in their room. Then we also met a few other YouTubers in another room. I met quite a few people my first night there. (I will mention them throughout this post.) After that, it was time for bed! It was already a long day and it was just beginning.
Friday, May 4, 2018
May the 4th be with you!
Also, opening day of Texas Frightmare Weekend. And it was raining! Of course, the event didn’t open until 6pm (5pm if you were VIP) so we had the day to relax. That included the breakfast buffet down in the lobby, mingling with more guests, watching the horror celebrities walk around – some who were willing to stop and chat or say hi. It was constant. The best part? They started to decorate the lobby for the convention. Including the logo projected on the floor! It really started to make the event come to life!
But let’s skip to the best part. The convention. I do have to say this. There was a booth out in the front for a non-profit called Stop the Stigma. It goes to support those with mental disorders. So we rummaged around the booth and I bought an enamel pin of Friday the 13th. My cousin says to me ‘don’t buy that pin because if you buy one you will buy more and create an addiction’ Just for the record, he was totally correct and I now have a new hobby!
Okay so the doors open and we rush inside. My cousin Daryl runs to the Arrow Video Booth because he came to buy movies. (He even brought an empty carry on specifically for films) I rush over to the BlumHouse booth because I promised my friend Brantley I would get him the poster for the new Halloween movie. Which they were out of within 20 minutes – no joke! I was one of the few people from our group who was able to get one. I ran right up to the room and dropped it off. That was a hot commodity.
We were able to see most of the vendors on Friday, which was nice. It’s not as crowded on the opening evening so we were make our way around…and my cousin could buy most of his movies. I also took my camera around and recorded a few interviews for the YouTube page. There was also a fun backdrop in which to take pictures. But the event for the evening was the Camp Crystal Lake party in the ballroom. It’s an additional charge for non-VIP members. The music was good and it looked pack when I poked my head in but I was tired and we all went to the lobby to have dinner and drinks. This weekend was about the fellowship as well as the convention – so have to make time for both!
Saturday, May 5, 2018
Happy Cinco de Mayo.
So this was the busiest day of the convention, naturally. The space isn’t massive to begin with and with that many people it was crazy. CRAZY! So many horror fans and cosplayers in one area. Jealous?
Well Saturday was great because it was a wonderful sunny day. And I was inside partaking in the festivities. Also, my cousin’s best friend, Brian, who we all grew up with drove in from Austin with his family to visit us. First time I had seen him in 20 years! Crazy, right? He just wanted to get the signature of Doug Bradley from Hellraiser because he is a huge Hellraiser fan.
Also I attended the screening of two films my friend Jeff Miller had screening that day: The Toybox and Ouija House, both starring Mischa Barton, who I have worked with on a couple of films. It was nice to reconnect with her. And by the way, I greatly enjoyed both films. We saw Ouija House at 10pm and a few of the YouTubers went with me and it was fun.
After that we wen to the Scaryoke and watched a few of the people sing, had a few drinks to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and by 1am I was ready to call it a night. Just for the record we walked a LOT. I made my daily step count twice each day we were there!
Sunday, May 5, 2018
Final day. This day will be short. We finally went around and got the signatures we wanted since the crowd was beginning to die out. I finally got to talk to Kane Hodder again and caught up with Adrienne Barbeau. (I met her a few years ago when I set up a book signing event for her at Barnes and Nobles through my horror film festival. Maybe we could have her on the podcast!)
Once the convention concluded we decide to grab an Uber and head to a restaurant in town. We went to iHop. It may not sound exciting but just getting out for a couple of hours made a huge difference. I got to see some of the town…and our waiter was hella cute and totally funny and charming and it made it worth it!
Thank you everyone I met for such an amazing weekend. I look forward to doing it again next year. This time I plan on getting a VIP pass!
Check out my video about the convention!