Indianapolis is starting to show itself as the home of horror in the mid-west here as of late. It started with Horror Hound Weekend and now it is expanding with the addition of the Famous Monsters of Film Land Convention this coming July! For those of you not familiar, Famous Monsters of Film Land has been one of the longest running horror mags for decades, took a short hiatus, and is now back and ready to claim its spot at the top of the list once again!
If you check the convention page, you’ll see there is already a stellar line up of guests and with the backing of the magazine, I’m sure there is going to be a lot more excitement to be had before it arrives in July. Thomas Jane is headlining the guest stars which in itself is pretty sweet; he’s a pretty cool guy that seems to connect with the fandom. (Read about Jane’s home grown attempt to try out for Jonah Hex here.) On top of that, we get Ernie Hudson, Derek Mears, a “Night of the Living Dead” reunion, a “Nightmare on Elm Street” reunion, (Sorry, no Robert Englund….yet) and a lot more.
All of these guests are great in their own right. Some of them I’ve met a few times before. (For the record, Derek Mears is a hella nice guy, for real!) For me however, there’s one stand out that I’m down right giddy over getting the chance to meet…..
Herschell Gordon Lewis, to put it simply, is the grand-daddy of splatter films. He single handedly created the entire sub-genre with his low budget classics such as “Two Thousand Maniacs” and “Blood Feast” leading to the influence of so many horror film tropes that we all love and enjoy to this day.
I’ve always enjoyed meeting the celebrities and such at conventions and the majority of them are really nice people and happy to chat for a few. I generally refrain from the shrieks and over excitement that often comes with such a moment, but when it comes down to meeting an idol of writing, film making and general creative exploration, it’s kind of hard to contain ones self! I’ve already busted out my copy of Christopher Wayne Curry’s “A Taste of Blood: The Films of Herschell Gordon Lewis” for a re-read before the show and for the highly coveted autograph as well. There will be copious amounts of film watching and posts leading up to the event too, I’m sure. I’ll just come out and say it; I’m in the throws of a fan-boy freak out, in case you couldn’t tell! In the past, I met another luminary in the world of genre starting films when I ran into Rogero Deodata, so this is my chance to add another notch to the meeting idols belt.
One of other quick note: “A Taste of Blood” is by far the best book I’ve found detailing H.G. Lewis’s career. Highly recommended if you want to read up on how gore films got their start.
So, there you have it. “The Famous Monsters of Film Land Convention” hits the Indianapolis-Wyndham hotel July 9-11. Tickets will run you $20 a day or $40 for a weekend pass with what sounds like plenty to keep you busy. I’m sure there will be quite a few films being shown as well throughout the weekend, so should be a blast.
I’ll be there at some point throughout the weekend, so be sure to look me up and say hello!