Autograph Hound's Blah Blah Blog

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Texas Frightmare Weekend 2011 fun stuff

I’m sure the last post made me sound elitist about SDCC, maybe I am.  Remember, I did say this show is growing on me.
Kae, the wife, attended Friday night with me.  The first stop was Cary Elwes. Texas Frightmare fans know him from Saw. The wife and I know him from The Princess Bride.
The Princess Bride was a movie the wife dragged me kicking and screaming. I’m sure I left claw marks on the door as she pulled me from the car. I did not want to see this movie.  It had ‘chick flick’ oozing out of its pores and I wanted to avoid it all costs. I knew there would too much estrogen in the theater and I was worried about the consequences of an overdose. I knew I would never again stand as a proud male. Like many good movies, within minutes I was captivated and it’s one of my favorites. Go figure and I can still stand.
The line was long and it reached into the hallway of the hotel.  If you haven’t noticed, hallways usually aren’t well air-conditioned.  I sweated.  I don’t like sweating. It’s like a cat and water. 
We spent close to an hour waiting for this signature.  Even when we got into the room where Cary was signing, it still took a while.  Every now and then, Cary would look up and speak to the people in line, apologizing for the wait and thanking them for understanding.
When we got to the table, Kae got to shake his hand even before we handed over the photo.  He very kindly wrote ‘As you wish’ on the photo. Kae gushed. Cary smiled back and spoke in a soft voice and kindly smiled as we both told him how much we enjoyed the Princess Bride. Then he shook our hands and I’m sure my wife was all atwitter.  He asked if we wanted a photo with him but my wife declined. She was too shy.  Isn’t that just too cute?  Her big chance and she was too shy.
Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus from Boondock Saints were signing downstairs.   Boondock Saints is a cult classic.  So of course, Kae doesn’t know the movie. She does know Sean Patrick from Dead Zone though. 
The line was fairly short at this time (it got much longer over the weekend) but it was another example of the guests taking their time with everyone.  Just as we got to Sean, he was using his phone to photograph a gift from the lady in front of us. He then tweeted the photo.  It was fun watching her react to being tweeted.  When we got our turn, I mentioned how we both loved Dead Zone. He commented on how frustrating it was to not know if he blew up the world or not.
We moved to Norman who is very soft spoken and he also took his time and would pose with fans.  As I mentioned Walking Dead, he smiled and told me that his character’s brother is coming back in the next series; the brother who cut off his own hand to escape the zombies.
The next autographs were Eihi Shinina and Yoshihiro Nishimura from Tokyo Gore Police fame. Come on, don’t poo-poo it because you haven’t seen the movie. It’s fairly entertaining stuff. I’ve seen a few movies from these two. Its Japanese slash/gore; mindless and ‘over the top’ but enjoyable.  And no, Kae never heard of these two or of their movies and was surprised I knew about them.
I got to the table and Eihi was sitting and looking very pretty.  She had been in several movies that Yoshihiro directed.  She signed my item. 
The translator asked if I was interested to have the director sign too. It was oblivious that most people were interested in only Eihi autograph.  I nodded and said ’please’ then I paused and said ‘kudasai’.  Which is roughly ‘please’ in Japanese.  I saw three head whip around in my direction: the translator, the director, and the actress. I really thought for a second I said something wrong but then three smiles appeared and the director repeated ‘kudasai’ like he was impressed. My item was passed to the director and then he signed. 
The item was pushed forward on the table for me to pick up. I used two hands to pick it up. I examined the item for a second.  It’s a cultural politeness thing - not an issue with what or how they signed. Besides, they wrote in Japanese and I can’t read Japanese. They might have written: Die you shameless fat America for your insult to our country.  Then I nodded slightly and gave a formal/polite thank you: Domo Arigatou Gozaimasu. Again, I think I scored some cultural points. They both said something back to me and that’s where my Japanese skills end. They might have said: you’re welcome. They might have said, have a great day.  I just nodded and backed away from the table like I knew what I was doing.  Discretion is the better part of honor.
I heard over the PA system that you needed a ticket for Robert Englund. So I went to the info desk. They told me where to go and even pointed. So I obediently went where I was directed and picked up a ticket. The guy passing out the tickets said it would be a while.  So Kae and I visited the vendor’s room.  After making a small purchase from a vendor, I saw where Robert was signing and showed the staff member at the line my ticket and asked how much longer.  He told me I got a ticket for Angus Scrimm not Robert Englund. So, trying to roll with the punches, I asked if I could get a Robert Englund ticket and I was told they were out for the night. Come back tomorrow.
I wasn’t much interested in Angus. But the line was short and I figured let’s go for it. Kae went to the lobby of the hotel to sit down. I expect she was scoping out the bar to see if Cary would show up. You always know when she is up to something when she put lip gloss on.  She never uses lip gloss for me.
I patiently waited in the Angus line. For having only 10 people in front of me it took 30 minutes.  He was talking and posing with everyone. He was obliging with any request. He wrote whatever was requested, he posed in whatever fashion, and he made voice recordings into people’s phones. Now, I was just there of the signature.  He looked at my photo and then up to me and told me to sit.  There is a chair next to him.  I told him just the signature would be fine. He smiled and looked at the empty chair. I got the hint. I sat.
Who is this for, he asked.  Just me, I tell him. What’s your name boy (he said in character), I tell him and I repeat that just his autograph was just fine.   He mentioned this is one of his favorite photos and no one ever gets it.  Then he signed and asked me where I’m from. I tell him originally from Jersey.  He likes Jersey. He does a couple of shows in Jersey. I asked if one was Chiller Theater and he said yes.  He said the other one was in Cherry Hill called Monster Mania.  I told him I grew up just a few miles from there.  Then he had a few other questions for me.  He put his arm around my shoulders and we chattered. I was really buzzing with joy after this.  Even though he does this for everyone, this was so unexpected.  I loved it.
After this my wife and I left for the night.
Saturday I came back by myself and I had two signatures I wanted: Robert Englund and Roger Corman. But the time I got to the convention on Saturday I was too late for Robert.  I ended up killing a lot of time before Roger was to sign. Luckily I met some friends and we hung out together. We braved the chaos of where and when to get in line. After a few hours in the warm sun, we got Roger’s signature. It was uneventful but a great addition to my collection.
I rushed out of there as I had other plans and knew I had to come back Sunday.

Sunday I got there early but still barely got a ticket for Robert.  It meant I had a lot of time to kill. I sat in a few panels and roamed around the hotel. And finally I got in line for Robert.
He was friendly and talked to everyone. He talked about the odd items he signed over the weekend and the people he met. He talked about the Freddy Franchise and other shows he was in. In fact, he was so talkative; his handler would nudge him with her elbow to let him know he needed to get back to signing. While he didn’t pose with people, he did pause you let you snap your shot.
It was a busy but successful weekend and a nice warm up for San Diego ComicCon.

1 comment:

  1. My favorite thing about my Freddy Krueger photo is the back of the image. His COA sticker that he placed in the corner.