From the organizers that brought us Alamo City Comic Con and The Billy Madison Show, the first ever Terror Expo brought the cult delights for fans of horror, sci-fi and everything that goes bump in the night.
Photos by Victor Gutierrez
With all new events or cons, the first year can be tricky to nail down the details of the inaugural weekend. We ran into some issues at the start of the day because the organizers had run out of “Media” passes, so we were given “Exhibitor” passes instead. These small mishaps proved a bit tricky when navigating through celebrity managers, because we had to explain Shuffle Online and were denied access to several celebrity booths.
However, we persevered and were able to meet several of “The Walking Dead” cast, including Chad Coleman, Scott Wilson, and Seth Gilliam. Freddy Krueger AKA Robert Englund’s booth was filled to the brim with Krueger cosplays including the cutest little girl who channeled her inner Freddy.
The “Sharknado” panel, featuring Ian Ziering (Finn) and Tara Reid (April), was interesting to say the least. I have not seen the “Sharknado” series, but given that it’s been almost unavoidable to at least know about it, I was curious to see what Ian and Tara would bring to the expo. When asked how they both felt about the script, Tara responded with, “We thought it was such a bad title, it can’t be Sharknado!”
Ian expressed equally bad feelings about the film, admitting that he thought, “the movie was going to be horrible and a complete disaster.” I think one of the great things about this panel was the fact they were so honest and aware what Sharknado is to the fans. They aren’t fooling themselves into thinking this is not ridiculous, but quite the contrary. Embracing the outrageousness of the films is what has made it a success, “This is a fun genre, everyone knows the joke except the actors,” Ian commented.
My favorite moment came from Ian, he takes his role seriously no matter how ridiculous because his job ultimately as an actor is to “act natural in an imaginary reality.” Definitely checking out the “Sharknado” films ASAP!
“The Walking Dead” panel
A few members from “The Walking Dead” cast joined us for the second panel of the day, Scott Wilson (Hershel), Chad Coleman (Tyreese), Seth Gilliam (Father Gabriel), Major Dodson (Sam), Jose Cantillo (Martinez) and Michael Traynor (Nicholas). This was a great panel, not only because I’m a huge “Walking Dead” fan, but because it showcased actors that normally aren’t highlighted in mainstream interviews or press junkets. My favorite behind-the-scenes story came from Jose Cantillo. Jose told the audience about his first day on set. No one knew who he was yet and the director was blocking out his first scene and told him to wait on the ground in the middle of a field. He started getting a little uneasy and soon realized that he had been placed on top of an ant mound and started to undress and run frantically into the forest in only his birthday suit.
Honestly, there were mostly unexciting questions from the audience, “What’s been your favorite scene?” or “How do you think your character would be involved in Alexandria if your character made it?” I think with this type of panel, it can get a little dragged on, because the series is still in progress and the cast can’t discuss the nitty gritty of the show, like a “Sharknado” or “Nightmare on Elm Street.”
“Nightmare on Elm Street” panel
On the other hand, the “Nightmare on Elm Street” panel was such a treat. When actors are so giving with their past experiences, it makes for a great nostalgic experience for both fans and the cast. Robert Englund, aka infamous Freddy Krueger was talkative from beginning to end. He was joined by Lisa Wilcox, Amanda Wyss, Joann Willette, Ronee Blakely and Leslie Hoffman.
The audience had a hard time getting questions in because of the elaborate answers coming from Robert and the cast. I truly enjoyed this panel because the passion of the franchise was felt. This wasn’t a past franchise with actors trying to relive glory, but friends meeting again to share their experience with this enduring franchise. Robert Englund, did shed light on his favorite kill as Freddy Krueger, which was killing the deaf boy. He said that people with disabilities are fans too and seeing themselves just like anybody else on screen is important and Freddy was equal opportunity in the killing department.
Overall, the first Terror Expo shows a lot of promise. The vendors and booths were great, but also very reminiscent of Alamo City Comic Con. With time, it has the potential to grow and develop its own identity and continue spreading love for horror, sci-fi and your worst nightmares!