At Scareacon I met and interview indie artist ‘Splatter Guts’ about his latest project…
Check it!

Here is a vid to one of the songs… long live indie!!!

Check out the FACEBOOK PAGE for more!

-ZK

Oct 16th… Dread Sundown!

OH MY FUCKING GOD!!!! A horror remake that looks like it will kick serious ass… I was a huge fan of the original, and this looks REALLY faithful and well done. Could this be the exception to the rule that horror remakes suck? (I don’t feel that way but it seems that the internet does…) Get your ass out on October 16th and SEE IT!

tds

Here is the original trailer in case you are feeling nostalgic…

Convention weekend!

Wondering what to do this weekend? Well, the Opinionated Monsters are all up in your grill!
We are doing a 2 prong attack- so if you are in Montreal Canada (or close enough to visit), come say hi to us at:

mtlhfst

We are ALSO going to be hitting up Scare-A-Con in Verona NEW YORK!

scarelogo

We plan to be all over these shows, so come on by and see us!!!

Heya Shamblers,

Gonna hand over to the site to one of our roving reporters to provide a unique look at the recent Festival of Fear show (part of Fanexpo) in Toronto, introducing: Amy Jane Von Purr!!!
(By the way- all the Pics get bigger if you click on them!)
-ZK

Little Ghoul in the Big City:
Your Grisly Guide to Fan-Ghouling at RUE MORGUE’S FESTIVAL OF FEAR 2014
By Amy Jane Von Purr

I woke up on Friday morning to my alarm going off signalling that the wait was over. It was finally here; we were going to Rue Morgue’s Festival of Fear. Every year, I impatiently wait for the end of summer to arrive and bring with it my beloved Fan Expo. At some point in June, when I feel bogged down by chaos, commitments and summer heat, I count the days until the Festival of Fear (affectionately referred to as FoF) and suddenly, everything seems tolerable… surmountable… transitory… For it is only a short wait until we venture forth to the big city and let our inner geeks out to play.
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Now, the wait is over. On the days leading up to the last weekend in August, Facebook lit up with teaser photos of booths and set-ups awaiting fans and celebrities alike. The Metro Toronto Convention Centre is transformed into another realm- one full of demons and devils, Storm Troopers and sonic screwdriver-wielding doctors, Batmans and Spider-mans- there are wings, tails, hoop skirts and top hats as far as the eye can see. Smack dab in the middle of the busy city streets, costumed crusaders punctuate the crowds and the air is tainted with a mysterious magic. Fan Expo has arrived.
But for now, I am struggling to get out of bed, throw on my pre-chosen outfit (choosing is no small feat- many people have their costumes and clothes chosen months in advance) and hit the road to begin our adventure. Like every year, I have my best friend Steve and my mother, Paula in tow. This year marks our six year anniversary of Fan Expo madness- a tradition that started by accident six summers ago when I tried to talk my mother into joining us for our first ever Festival of Fear experience. Despite her initial reluctance, I was rather surprised when she agreed. Being a retired teacher, mom prefers not to spend her days walking endlessly while squished into small spaces with youngsters. However, she agreed to come that first year and from then on, she was hooked. We all were.
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We drive to Whitby and hop on a Go Train to Union Station. One year, our train was delayed due to the police discovering a body on the train track. It seemed sinisterly appropriate, but this year- no bodies, no wait and we are off! The scenery rushes by- the beautiful Rouge Hill stop perched on the edge of the shimmering water. Another year, a bridal party stood atop one of the rock plateaus at Rouge Hill and we watched as they soaked up the magical view. But they were missing out- WE were headed to Fan Expo after all.
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After what always seems such a long trip, we arrive in downtown Toronto. We have poured over the map from the information package received in the mail months ago- sent early no doubt to inspire longing and anticipation. We make a plan to head to the horror section of the South Building first, as well as Artist’s Alley, before moving to the North Building and Rue Morgue’s Festival of Fear. That way, our time can be divided to make the most out of our afternoon. Of course, nothing ever goes as planned…
Every year, we order advance tickets. And every year, we are thrown into a crowd of people, we cross the Skywalk, end up outside the Convention Centre and are told to walk to the other side of the building to get in. My mother, who turned sixty this year, always dreads this walk and frankly, so do I. It is sad that those who purchase in advance are always put out in this way- it makes more sense to buy your tickets when you arrive so you don’t have to march all over the area in search of the right entrance (which is on the exact opposite side of the building, but with no ease of access- you must circle the entire centre in order to get in). After a hot, crowded and long walk, we finally see our entrance. And… we are in! We made it!
Instantly, we realize our map is useless. We were not given programs or guides upon our entry (mom scooped one up off of a table in the other building on our way out). There are no signs to indicate where you are, save for the giant hanging posters advertising films, companies and collectives. It takes us a while to realize that we are in the North Building- the site of the Festival of Fear. Though this was not the plan, we decide to do this building first and then, make our way to the South Building. In years past, our first stop was the “Vampire Wear” booth to have matching fang bite-marks (temporary tattoos) applied to our necks and to purchase jewelry. The past few years, the Vampire Wear booth has been MIA. Come back, Vampire Wear, we desperately miss you!
So, we dive right in. Mom and I are both collectors, so we stop at a booth of toys, figurines and comic books. Mom buys a Snow Miser from the retro classic The Year Without a Santa Clause. I spot an adorable father-son team of Luigi and Captain Canuck.
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I ask them if I may snap their picture and they were all too happy to oblige. I had seen on the Rue Morgue website that the FoF section, and the Rue Morgue booth in particular (my holy grail), were situated below a large banner for the upcoming Goosebumps film. When I spot this banner, I tell mom that we need to start heading in that direction. Steve, a comic-book and video game fan (more so than horror, at least), wanders off to find his treasures. Mom and I continue on.
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We spot a fantastic Edward Scissorhands
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and I stop a sexy Freddy Kruegar
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outside the HMV booth. Freddy is my favourite, likely inspired by a strong childhood fear of the burned, scar-faced villain, so I find another Freddy
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and ask for a picture. I find out later than this Freddy discussed his costume in a panel and did his own makeup. Very impressive. He bids me adieu in his growly, Freddy voice.
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I see a bloodied, zombie girl and I stop her as well.
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There are so many amazing costumes! I cannot help but wonder if someone of these poor folks are melting from the heat under their thick makeup and elaborate outfits. I find myself feeling thankful that I wore my beloved Sourpuss retro Hallowe’en cat dress, as it is light and airy. I see a Pyramid head and wonder how he can see to walk in the crowd. We see TROMA ENTERTAINMENT INC. and they are handing out “Free Candy”.
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The Ontario Ghostbusters have a lovely booth set-up, so I stop for a photo-op with Vigo the Carpathian, Stay Puft and some friendly Ghostheads.
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Steve mysteriously re-appears from the crowd and points to Ted Raimi and Lisa and Louise Burns (better known as the twins from The Shining). I bounce gleefully up to their lines, but there are a ton of people waiting and I do not have the time nor the inclination to stand in a line. Must… keep… moving… I notice that it costs $60 for an autograph with the twins- I’m guessing it’s a two-for-one kinda deal- and I daren’t check the price for a photo-op. I snap a pic from a distance and one of the twins glances over at me with a smile. Can’t play with you now, twins, so much to see!!
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We turn a corner and see a set-up for the new film Annabelle- a loose prequel to the smash-hit The Conjuring. There’s a crowd gathered around, but I ask if I can pose for a quick photo with the set. The lady running the booth smiles warmly and tells me to “get right on in there”. I tentatively move closer to the creepy doll and mom snaps my picture… just then, the doll lurches to life and grabs for me! I squeal and run off! No time to play with you either Annabelle, still so much to see!
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I see Lisa Ladouceur working at the Creepy Christine booth and I run up to speak with her. I had the pleasure of seeing Ladouceur speak at an event in Ottawa and she is an absolute delight. I own her books, Encyclopedia Gothica and How To Kill a Vampire- and I am quite the fan. I feel humbled when I introduce myself and she says, “I know who you are.” She agrees to a photo and I feel ecstatic.
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Then, mom spots SUSPECT VIDEO. And all hell breaks loose. She came with the intention of finding certain DVDs for her collection. She came to look. She came to conquer. And she does. After looking through every single title at their booth (I am NOT exaggerating), she holds up a Black Christmas DVD triumphantly! “It was the very last DVD in the row!” she announces, clutching the case as though it were gold.
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The fellows working at Suspect Video are kind and funny- talking us through the choices and showing us items which may be of interest. I happily purchase two posters- one from Lucio Fulci’s The Black Cat and the other Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Blood Feast. The Suspect guys tell us about Horror-Rama, an upcoming horror convention brought to us by Suspect Video and FANGORIA MAGAZINE. I was already pumped for this event in November, but hearing their enthusiasm added to my excitement. Mom continues to dig through DVDs, so I wander off to find more treasures.
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Then, I spot the beautiful Paige Reynolds and her amazingly talented partner, Justin Erikson of PHANTOM CITY CREATIVE.
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Erikson has gorgeous prints for sale, so I snap a pic of the booth. Though I was a little disappointed that Paige wasn’t selling her fabulous jewelry, she informs me that she will be a vendor at the THE BAZAAR OF THE BIZARRE in October. And right across from Phantom City Creative is the GHOULISH GARY PULLIN booth!
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I have been a fan of Ghoulish Gary for quite some time and I am overjoyed to meet his beautiful wife, Nicole. I ask her to pose with his booth and snap a pic of the fabulous art for sale. So much talent in such a short period of time! I am getting overwhelmed and fan-girling- err… ghouling… pretty hard!
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Next we come across the SUSPIRIA ART booth and I am beside myself with excitement. An incredible artist is giving a patient and inked gentleman a Captain Hoody (from The Exorcist) tattoo right there! We see tables of these disturbingly cool “Terror Tots”- grim and ghoulish toys for the freakish!
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I nab a wicked “Attack of the 50 ft. Vampira” poster and take photos of the booth. Then… after all the waiting… after all the build-up… we are here. We are at the RUE MORGUE booth.
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I am tired, my feet hurt and I’m fairly certain that I am dehydrated- but it doesn’t matter. Rue Morgue is here. I am home. In years past, Rue Morgue has had some pretty exciting and elaborate set-ups. There are usually large creatures to pose with and endless tables of Rue Morgue merch to purchase. I have to say, that this year was the most “minimalist” Rue Morgue booth that I have ever seen! There were issues of the magazine to buy and t-shirts- but that was pretty much it. I bought my treasured Rue Morgue mug at my very first FoF many moons ago, so I always look forward to the Rue Morgue swag, but this year was sorely lacking. Only two creatures stood by for photos and the table seemed small.
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I admit that I felt slightly disappointed that there wasn’t a grander set-up, but I had finally made it to Rue Morgue and nothing could diminish my elation. I eagerly scooped up a Rue Morgue logo shirt that I had long desired and tried to chat with some of the people working the booth. However, they were understandably busy and distracted, so I left with my shirt in search of more horror goodness.
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At this point, we hadn’t even left the North Building, so we made a plan to head over to check out the South Building and Artist’s Alley. When we get there, we are informed that the horror section labelled on our original map didn’t actually exist and everything was mixed in together. We lose, find, lose and re-find Steve again and make our way slowly through the crowded vendor booths and tables. I am a jewelry nut- and I was specifically looking for horror-themed jewelry- something I acquire every year. However, we don’t see much in the South Building for us and eventually, mom and Steve found a place to sit down. I wander off to try to find more jewelry, but instead, run into my good friend and horror/sci-fi academic Derek Newman-Stille. We laugh about the crowds and detail some of our finds, but before I know it, I am swept up into the sea of people yet again… Searching… but not finding… So tired… Must stop…
Deflated, I return to the table where Steve and mom had settled to announce that I hadn’t found any horrific jewelry and that I was feeling rather exhausted. They share my sentiment and we decide that our day had come to close. More walking… so much walking… We find an exit and make our way out into natural light. Costumed fans wander about, pose for photos, laugh and share their stories. I snap a photo of Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn as we exit the convention centre grounds and find our way back to Union Station.
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On the train ride back to Whitby, I have time to mull over my adventure. A few things became clear. Firstly, we are so exceptionally lucky to have such a fantastic convention in Toronto. The crowds rival some of the biggest conventions in the US and it is an experience that I highly recommend to any and all fans and collectors. With any large event, there are some issues which should be rectified. Advance tickets should be easy to pick-up and maps should be distributed to everyone upon admission. More signage would help their cause- some of us are there for very specific areas of fandom and it would save time (and energy) if people could get right to it. While some people are genuinely kind and thoughtful, there is an abundance of rudeness, pushing, shoving and aggression. Let’s all remember that we are lucky to be there and should treat each other with respect and compassion. This is a safe-space for all types of nerds, geeks, fans and cosplayers- please keep this in mind.
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As we keep our tradition of stopping at Harvey’s on the way home, we discuss this year’s Fan Expo and our individual experiences. We struggled to get everything done in an afternoon- a practice that I do not recommend, as one needs more time to truly get through it all. We had vowed to buy what interested us, as in years past we have eyed something but decided to keep looking in case we find something better or for a different price. DO NOT do this- buy it when you see it or you won’t get it! I am still lamenting over not purchasing a pair of beaded skull earrings and a certain Living Dead Doll.
As always, the Rue Morgue Festival of Fear was extraordinary. I spend a great deal of time looking forward to it each year and then, as soon as it is over, I feel a slight sadness that it is another year before it comes again. However, it is a spectacular event for fans and one that should not be missed. Regardless of how long you have to spend- just an afternoon of shopping or a weekend of screenings and panels- I highly recommend that you venture down to the Convention Centre and get your geek on. Our support keeps this going and personally, I hope it never ends.
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CHECK THIS OUT!!!!

Yep- that’s right, my fav team on Killjoy are ramping up to do it again, and you can HELP!

Get yer walets out if this is something you can get behind because time is a wasting! Only 8 days left on this one, but the rewards are pretty sweet.. Go check it out and do what you can (if you can that is!)

-ZK