Oct 19, 2006 12:30 PM EST

Screamfest Horror Convention 2006 - A Convention To Remember

Screamfest Horror Convention 2006 - A Convention To Remember
I have attended NFFC Conventions, I have participated in Mousefest conventions, but nothing could prepare me for Screamfest 2006, presented by Spooky Empire Inc., Florida's largest Horror Convention that was just held for the first time in Orlando, Florida on October 13th - 15th.

Friday October 13th, 2006
To make the most out of the convention, I arrived early on Friday, October 13th around 2pm thinking it wouldn't be too crowded, boy was I wrong. I literally walked into a mob scene. It appeared as if most of Orlando had come out to the event.

After spending some quality time with other convention goers in the registration line, we were finally allowed in the dealer room. It was a simply amazing -- all the hottest stars in horror were on hand to meet and greet their fans with open arms. I had no idea where to turn to first. I met some of my favorites: Tony Todd (The Candyman), Lisa Wilcox (Nightmare on Elm Street 4,5), and the Lost Boys (Brook McCarter, Billy Wirth, Chance Michael Corbitt).

Soon it was announced throughout the hall that the Friday the 13th Panel Discussion with special guest speakers Kevin Blair Spirtas, Amy Steel, Ari Lehman, Adrienne King, Richard Brooker, and Tom Savini was about to begin.

Let me tell you I am not a big fan of the Friday the 13th series (I was more of a Nightmare fan), but these guests made me want to try the series again. They could not be more personable and answered every question the audience had.

As the clock ticked to 10:30 pm, the convention went into full swing. The lights went down and the bands started playing. Featured on the first night were Freak 13 w/special guest Ari Lehman (the first Jason Voorhees), and Killer Robots.

You would think that after the bands stopped the convention would be over for the evening. Well Screamfest just goes on and on like a good serial killer. The party then moved outside the Wyndam's Poolside Tiki Bar. I had the good fortune and privilege to sit down and talk with Ken Foree (Dawn of The Dead) and Patricia Quinn (The Rocky Horror Picture Show). By 3:30 I had to call it quits a get some sleep or I wouldn't be able to function for the rest of the weekend.

"ScreamFest was for me a chance to meet and shake hands with some of the best zombies ever and their creator Tom Savini. The convention was worth every penny!" -- Michael Suhrbier

Saturday October 14th, 2006
Saturday during the day I decided to take it a little easy because I knew I needed to pace myself it I was going to last all weekend (I am not as young as I used to be). I got to the Convention Hall around 12:00 pm to a mad house. I thought Friday was crowded but today you could literally not move. I briefly spoke with Tony Todd about the fine aspects of TGI Friday's Mojitos (We had a few there the night before), spoke to Sheyenne Rivers of Fear Film, and quickly booked it to my room for a nap.

Around 5:00 pm I decided to try the convention hall again hoping the crowds had died down a little. Luckily they had and I was able to have a great conversation with up and coming actress Tara Cardinal (Delivery) and directors Joe Caseella (Delivery) and Matt Dean (Ghost Flight).

Saturday's nighttime festivities arrived a little earlier than Friday; starting at 6:30 with Straight Line Stitch, the room reached a point of frenzy when Voltaire took the stage at 10:30.

After Voltaire had succeeded in getting the crowd all wound up, it was time for the event of the evening, The Rocky Horror Picture show hosted by none other than Patricia Quinn.

It was at this point even the Wyndam Hotel was worried all of Orlando had shown up for the auspicious event and called in the fire marshals. Along with the rest of the FlickDirect crew, Michael Suhrbier and Josh Lanzinger we made a judgment call, that it was time once again to go to the Tiki bar.

During this second trip to the Tiki bar, I met Alex Vincent (Child's Play) and his lovely fiancée Andrea. We had a delightful conversation that lasted till the wee hours of the morning.

Sunday October 15th, 2006
By now I have decided that I need a vacation when I get home. To quote Danny Glover-I am too old for this…. However, before I left the convention I had to attend something that I considered the highlight of my weekend, something that I have been waiting for since 1987, a panel discussion with the Lost Boys (Brook McCarter, Billy Wirth, Chance Michael Corbitt) . It was everything I had expected and more. They were extremely personable and took the time to thoughtfully answer questions and genuinely seemed to care about what their fans were asking them.

How can I sum up Screamfest 2006 in one word? Amazing, Awesome, Unforgettable, (okay that was more like three). Screamfest was an experience like nothing I have ever experienced, I made some great friendships that will last a lifetime, and I am already counting down the days till Screamfest 2007! Special Note to TGI Fridays - please have those Mojitos ready for Tony Todd and I.

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