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CT Horrorfest
Matrix Conference Centre
July 18, 2015

This past July, The CT Horrorfest returned for a second year in Danbury, CT – featuring a one day event jam packed with an array of horror-themed vendors, along with a bevy of DVD’s, action figures, magazines and horror celebrities to help make the event a rip-roaring good time. HMS’s own P.J. Griffin had the chance to check out the festivities and was able to turn in this fantastic report of the all the festivities. So read on and marvel at all the proceedings for this great new con in the CT area.

Anyone who has studied World War II for more than five minutes will be adequately aware that groups of people can be both a terrible or wonderful concept. Groups of awful people will turn especially awful but groups of awesome people will mean an especially great result. It's just math, or science or one of those things I don't really understand.

Conventions and festivals are a wonderful way to keep like-minded people who are all into the same, hopefully awesome thing, together and continue the fandom as well as culture of a specific interest. For me, it's all about horror and so I am quite lucky to find that horror festivals and the like are in fairly large supply. They may not be as well known as Comicon or any of the more mainstream conventions, but horror cons are a large part of the blood-loving community. It's a great way to find some choice flicks, meet some beloved members of the films themselves and mingle among others who like a good screen stabbing now and again

I've gone to conventions in the past, but mainly just to tag along with my brothers and have some fun people-watching. I finally decided to immerse myself in the horror community and it made sense to make my first trek a local festival: CT HorrorFest. I could stay in-State and have some fun. The guest list was very encouraging, and after skimming through some of the names involved, Gunnar Hansen, Felissa Rose, Doug Bradley, Mick Foley, etc, I knew I was dealing with something legit. My older brother, a veteran of other types of conventions, luckily came along and we both ended up having a killer (see what I did there? Did you see it? Look again) time. Here's why.

CT HorrorFest took place in Danbury CT at the Matrix Conference Center. It was a day event as opposed to a full weekend long convention and promised booths, panels and plenty of top quality guests, which it delivered on quite well in my humble opinion. It was set up in such a way that it never felt overbearing and was easy to maneuver through. Right off the bat I came across roughly fifty things I wanted to own and realized that I'd have to play it cool, lest I not have any money for the next year and a half.

My experience with cons has been limited and I had never before been in a situation where I actually cared about some of the guests that were there. Because of this, I was eager to see how things would be laid out and how I would be able to interact with people I've been a fan of for so many years. It wasn't a densely decorated event, but the distance between the major setups was nice because it never felt too overcrowded or intrusive. Some of it reminded me of a haunted house, never sure what was a stationary prop monster and what was gonna’ move around and make noise.

Not being previously familiar with conventions in which I actually knew any of the guests, it was jarring in the best possible way to find myself in sight of many familiar faces I have admired from the screen for so long. The first person I had to visit was Felissa Rose. Being a huge fan of Sleepaway Camp and Dave Campfield's body of work, meeting her was a must. I also had the mission of dropping off a copy of the latest Caesar & Otto film, Caesar & Otto's Paranormal Halloween. The fact that she was expecting me was extra amazing.


“CT HorrorFest took place in Danbury CT at the Matrix Conference Center.”

After meeting Felissa Rose, one of the nicest human beings I've ever met, I went about exploring the other guests. My eyes couldn't help but drift to all the things being sold; movies, shirts, artwork etc. But the guests were calling to me. Not in a physical way, but more in how awesome they were and how easily it now would be to meet them.

I have not been blessed with the gift of patience so I had to take care of all the things that I set out to do. That meant meeting Ed Neal and Gunnar Hansen back to back as a Texas Chainsaw one-two punch. Gunnar Hansen unfortunately passed not long after and I'm still so thankful I got to meet him when I did. Even just to let him know how much I loved the franchise he helped bring to life. Along the way, I got to meet a lot of different people I was previously unfamiliar with in the wonderful world I came to see. I picked up movies I normally wouldn't have come across from the very people who made them as well as other creative types. This is how I met, James Balsamo, someone's whose work I now follow.

Mike and I were pleasantly surprised to come across Michael Jai White hanging out right near Doug Bradley's booth and I made sure to get a photo of my brother with him. It was great to see such a mixture of guests and the festivals ability to cater to all sorts of different types, even those just coming along for the ride.

My last mission was getting an autograph from Tyler Green from Face Off for my mom and once that was completed, I was free to roam at my leisure and take it all in. I got to watch a panel in which the previously mentioned effects artist took questions about the world of his craft and created a creature right on stage. With a grandmother and a hound dog to take care of back home, I couldn't stick around for everything, but with everything going on, I felt more than satisfied. Of course I had to pick up a few choice flicks, mostly horror comedies and decades-old exploitation smut (two of my favorite topics).

All-in-all, I'm so glad that CT Horrorfest was my first experience in the world of horror gatherings. It was a small-scale event, which is perfect for me, as I have an aversion to being elbow to elbow with other people. “Small scale” is far from a criticism, as the low-key setting made me feel so much more at home with all there was to see. CT HorrorFest has certainly gained my trust, and it's always good to have another quality festival in one's arsenal to venture out to.

P.J. Griffin, HMS

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