HorrorHound Weekend brought out the living fans of all things dead to the Sharonville/Cincinnati area during March 22nd to the 24th. Being that HorrorHound is based out of Cincinnati, it was no surprise that they went all out with the guests and amount of vendors that were in attendance. The convention was sold out for all three days and was jam packed with die-hards, like myself, and the casual horror fan who only watches THE WALKING DEAD.
After the long drive from Pittsburgh across the flat land that is Ohio, I arrived at the convention center around 7PM on Friday to be greeted by two long lines of horror fans that wrapped around the building. I was pretty surprised seeing so many people outside waiting since the event started at 5PM that night. After standing in the cold for about an hour and a half, I finally got into the convention and was kindly upgraded to early admission passes for the rest of the weekend.
I was greeted by many awesome vendor tables upon entering the Sharonville Convention Center. Like any convention, the range of goodies available was vast. If you couldn’t find what it is you were looking for, then your eyes must have been stabbed out. There were some great up and coming filmmakers and authors mixed in with established film and publishing companies like Troma, Full Moon, and Samhain, lots of artists selling prints and posters of their hard work, horror clothing ranging from reprints to Fright Rags originals, and an abundance of the strange and unusual. One could have easily blown a life savings here.
The guest lineup was one main reason why HorrorHound Weekend was such a large, sold out success this year. Having Norman Reedus, Michael Rooker, Scott Wilson, Lew Temple, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, and Chandler Riggs from THE WALKING DEAD brought out all the living souls who religiously watch the show. The lines for Norman Reedus alone were roughly five hours on Friday and Saturday and about an hour or two for the rest of the cast members. Utter insanity.
Other guests included an almost complete HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES reunion with Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Jennifer Jostyn, Walter Phelan, Robert Mukes, and Irwin Keyes. Karen Black was scheduled, but had to cancel due to illness. The HOLLISTON cast (Adam Green, Joe Lynch, Dee Snider, Dave Brockie, Laura Ortiz, Corri English) was there in full force, signing free autographs, and being overall great people. John Carpenter, Michael Madsen, Tony Todd, Robert Patrick, and Tom Savini all had long lines of fans waiting for them as well. There were many more guests involved and scattered around the vendor halls including the original ’58 Plymouth Fury known as Christine.
HorrorHound Weekend also included some extra events outside of the convention center. The Killer Cruise brought out some wicked horror themed hot rods and murdercycles in the parking lot of the convention center. Over in the Crowne Plaza hotel across the street, there was a weekend long film festival, an after-hours zombie ball and costume contest on Friday, and a live concert featuring five horror punk and psychobilly bands on Saturday.
The film festival showcased yet to be released films, shorts, and other films that are not available in the mainstream media. I caught a screening of the MANIAC remake starring Elijah Wood and let me tell you, it was one of the most brutal, disturbing, messed up pieces of film I’ve ever seen. It was a beautifully shot film and I was surprised at how well Elijah pulled off the role of a whacked out serial murderer. I loved it.
Unfortunately, HorrorHound Weekend did not go as smooth as it should have. The event was an unorganized mess of affairs, starting with the lines waiting to get in on Friday. Once inside, the staff of the convention was pretty much useless. It seemed like none of them knew what was going on at any given time throughout the entire weekend. I witnessed staff members asking convention goers what or who the line they were in was for and even where things were in the building. I overheard many fans saying that HorrorHound Weekend was one of the most chaotic and disorganized events that they’ve ever been to, and I would have to agree. It was very off putting that the convention organizers did not take the time to train their staff that should be there to help the fans, not to ask the fans for help.
Overall, HorrorHound Weekend was an enjoyable and fun time with some bumps along the road. I met some great people and got to nerd out amongst a crowd who were equally as happy to be there. I’m always ready for more gore, so bring on the next one!
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