HAMMERED AND TWISTED: WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE

Thursday, August 5th and I was heading to Ohio for Twisted Nightmare Weekend. It’s been a long time since I’ve attended a horror convention. I think the last one was in 2000, Chiller Theatre for their October show in New Jersey. Filled with every kind of degenerate imaginable (including a very inebriated Stormtrooper), it was the best con I had ever been to. After that one, I felt that I had seen and done it all conventionwise, so I stopped going…apart from my yearly nerdout at the San Diego Comic-Con. But then, earlier this year, came the invitation.

I had met Robyn Griggs and Keith Kline at a little horror festival called Fright-Fest a few years back. They told me of a convention they put on called Twisted Nightmare Weekend. We talked about me flying out to Ohio to check out the show, but it only took us three years to actually get this organized. What can I say? We lag.

So, I was on my way to attend my first Twisted Nightmare and my convention festivities got off to an early start when I met Trent Haaga at the airport. Trent was flying to Twisted to promote and screen his brand new feature he produced called “Easter Bunny, Kill! Kill!” Shortly after meeting him, we met up with Brinke Stevens, and it was a huge honor to do so. Brinke’s the ultimate Scream Queen and a total sweetheart to boot. So, like the mighty Voltron, we formed the Los Angeles wing of the Twisted Nightmare convention crew and boarded our plane for some Ohio shenanigans.

Finally made it to our hotel and was immediately greeted by the one and only Robyn Griggs. And shortly after we met up with Keith in their room. It was an emotional reunion – tears were shed, as well as clothing. Okay, no clothing was shed…except for Keith who ripped off all of his clothes upon seeing me. I could be lying…

Several drinks and some catching up later, it was time to get some sleep because Twisted Nightmare Weekend was about to begin.

Woke up around noon and had to tear myself away from Shark Week on the Discovery Channel to hobble my ass downstairs for some food. I hadn’t eaten much the day before, so I was kinda hurtin’. Something weird was going on with the hotel restaurant what with it being closed all weekend. Whatevers, filthy Denny’s was across the street and I was ready to digest more eggs than was probably good for me. But…my damn lighter refused to work, so I popped into the hotel bar for some matches when the bartender asked if I would like anything else.

Four hours and several pints of beer later and the convention had begun. My trip to Denny’s had been thwarted by that bastard Sam Adams. What a cruel bitch.

Feelin’ fine, I hit the convention floor. The first order of business and one of the major highlights of the weekend – meeting FT writer Mike Watt and his lovely wife and talented actress Amy Lynn Best. It had been a long time coming and it made for another emotional meeting – tears and clothing…you know the drill. Mike and Amy were at the show to promote their new film “Abbatior.” Looks juicy!

People were still coming in with plenty more to arrive on the following day, so I met who I could before it was time for Trent Haaga’s movie to screen.

You hear the title “Easter Bunny, Kill! Kill!” and you see the poster image of a big Easter Bunny holding what appears to be a power drill and you think wacky slasher movie. What you actually get is something quite different…and that’s a good thing. I’ll just say here that it’s a really dark, mean movie primed for maximum discomfort. Details will follow in my upcoming review of it on the site. Or you can check it out youself as I’m sure it will be playing a festival near you sometime in the near future.

And then it was back to the hotel bar for more drinks. But first, there was a mysterious bag left in front of my room. I took the bag inside figuring that it would be convention t-shirts or something. I dunno. I open the bag and inside are a pair of old shoes – like New Balances or some shit.. Confused, I stick my face in the bag to see of there’s anything else in there. And that’s when the smell hits me like Ivan Drago hit Apollo Creed. These shoes smelled like Bigfoot had shit in them and then put them on and ran a marathon. I’m sorry, but if you’re reading this and you know that these are your shoes, please visit a doctor’s office immediately so they can remove your feet at once. You’re broken.

So, like I was saying, more drinks, more good times. I believe a fight even broke out, but I won’t go into that here.

The next day brought more convention wandering. The Troma team had fully assembled which always means good times/trouble. Checked out Lloyd’s panel and got to see a couple clips from “Poultrygeist.” Movie looks classic. Old school Troma just how all the bad kids like it. Looks like we’ll hopefully being seeing it by the end of the year.

Met filmmaker Sean Cain earlier in the day and got to see his film “Naked Beneath the Water” later that night. I’ll have a review of the film on the site shortly, but I’ll just say now that it’s gonna require a second viewing. Insane in the membrane stuff going on there. Not meant for casual viewing. Definitely something completely different.

Later that evening, I accidentally sent a member of the Troma Team packing by buying her the drink that pushed her over the edge. Oops. Those that stayed on, however, joined me in drunken karaoke screeching of “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” and “Shout at the Devil” to everyone’s dismay. I think we even muscled in on someone’s performance of “Baby Got Back.” But, it was a lackluster rendition of Rush’s “Freewill” that got us booed out of the bar. Good thing the jacuzzi was nice and warm.

Things were fairly quiet Sunday as everyone licked their wounds. I said my goodbyes and headed on out. It was great a time hanging out with everyone, seeing old friends, making new ones. I don’t know about it being a Twisted Nightmare, but it was definitely Sloppy Drunkard Weekend. What else can I say? Good times. Till next we meet, dahlings.




Posted on August 14, 2006 in Features by
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