25 October 2014

October 25th

Flint Horror Convention Part 4
Not a bad way to inaugurate the sixth week of Halloween, if I do say so. I never have a bad time at the FHC. It has a relaxed atmosphere with enough going on that I have to choose between multiple things I'd like to do at any given time. I also like the family-friendliness of the con, which features a children's costume contest, a lady painting scary faces, and a guy making balloon creations (including a balloon Freddy claw for one lucky girl!). This is exactly how you create the next generation of horror geeks.

Mondo Matt's Trailers
Like the past couple of years, the con kicked off -- at least for me -- with my movie trailer / intermission time compilation in the movie room. There were only a handful of folks there to catch it this time out, but I heard a few laughs for the silliness I included. I think the goofy Psychos in Love trailer went over the best of the lot, though I'm personally in love with the Neon Maniacs trailer.

Vendor Room
Having moved to the Riverfront Banquet Center, there was tons of breathing room for the vendor tables this year. Though the new place lacks the character of the creepy old Masonic Temple from previous years, the space just works better for a convention. Man, I spent way more in here that I intended to. Grabbed some cool pictures to hang up, a set of magnets with the Lament Configuration's faces on them made by my pal Jason, a couple of movies from Synapse's table (Jerry always talks me into one extra), and other fun stuff.

Danny Hicks & Tom Sullivan
My pal Jack hosted a Q&A with this pair of Evil Dead vets. Both had plenty of funny stories to tell not just about Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2, but other projects they've worked on as well. I especially liked Danny Hicks' Liam Neeson impression, extra-thick on the Irish accent. Later, I grabbed autographs from both these gentlemen. Tom Sullivan, when he saw that I was buying a print of his Lovecraft Deep Ones painting, enthused at length about "The Shadow over Innsmouth" and showed me all of the other Innsmouth-related paintings he had made for a Chaosium RPG supplement that never made it to print. Very cool.

At the last minute, Christine herself decided to grace the con with her presence. I gotta say, the caretakers of Christine are very professional. It goes without saying that Christine herself has been restored into like-new condition, and they've implanted remote controls into her so that they can scare visitors with a sudden flash of her headlights or beep of her horn. They also had a nice mini-museum of Christine memorabilia with toy cars, just about ever version of the book ever printed, and even an old board game featuring a Plymouth Fury. They had a TV playing the movie on repeat throughout the day. They had numerous Christine items to buy, including a nice polo shirt with a fiery Christine stitched into the breast. I went for the very reasonable $10 photo + print combo. I couldn't pass up the chance to grab a picture with the world's most evil car:

John E.L. Tenney
Towards the end of the day, we attended the John E.L. Tenney talk. I'd caught his paranormal lecture at a couple of previous FHCs, but had regretted skipping it last year. Whatever you may think of the supernatural, Tenney is an excellent storyteller. He spins some odd tales -- a restaurant that he ate in twice that no one had ever heard of and no one could ever find later -- but couches everything in the soft skepticism of "I don't know what it was, I just know it was weird."

One tale in particular I found disturbing to consider. As a teenager, Tenney was clinically dead for some minutes due to a congenital health issue. With some slight hesitation, he revealed what he experienced while dead. It was not a bright light and no dead relatives were there to welcome him. It was not pleasant at all. He said that it was incorporeal awareness trapped in infinity. He said he wanted to scream, but had no mouth. He wanted close his eyes, but he had no eyeballs. Unending awareness of the infinite without recourse. If there's a Hell, this is what it is.

He ended his lecture with the same story he always tells to wrap things up, which I'd heard a couple of times before. This telling was different, though, as his eyes welled up a bit when he related the tale of the lost necklace under the floor. It's hard to dismiss the story as made-up, or misunderstood, or an exaggeration when you see such emotion coming from its teller.

And that was it for this year's Flint Horror Convention. I had a great time again and hope to return in 2015 for part V.

Constantine (2005) directed by Francis Lawrence
After the con, I still needed to get a horror movie in for the day to keep up my Six Weeks pace. I never got around to reading the comic series Hellblazer, so I suppose I'm lucky not to be distracted by what I'm told are huge differences between the film and its source.

On its own without that baggage, I like the film. It's beautifully shot, has an interestingly legalistic take on the mythology of Catholicism, and features a bunch of cool half-mystical / half-physical fights with demons. It doesn't hurt that I am also an unashamed Keanu Reeves fan. Sure, the movie's a little Hollywood in some of its approaches (the super-duper cross-shaped gun with a flamethrower on it comes to mind), and some of the CGI demon stuff looks a little wonky, and Shia LaBeouf is annoying as ever, but I can ignore those things easily enough in favor of the film's numerous other charms.

1 comment:

  1. Never pass up a photo op with Christine.

    A lot of people hate on Constantine because it's not the book. Taken on its own, its a reasonably entertaining popcorn flick. Count me in as a Keanu fan as well.