Located by Giants Stadium, the convention takes place in a hotel FAR too small for such an event.
Before I tell you about the guest list, let me give you a broad explanation of what these events are to anyone who has never been.
Horror conventions, comic book shows, Sci-Fi conventions, toy shows, etc. are all pretty much the same.
They have most of the same guests, the same vendors and the same nerds in attendance.
The only difference is the MAIN FOCUS of the event. Still, just because someone has NOTHING to do with horror films doesn't preclude them from being a guest at Chiller.
The guest list included:
It's hard to decide WHAT celebrities you want to get a photo with, but Elvira was an easy choice. The 56 year old macabre host looks almost exactly the same in person as she does on TV.
The only drawback is the price.
Elvira's prices were pretty much the standard for the event. $20 for autographed photos, $20 to autograph your item. Basically you had to pony up $20 for your encounter with the Mistress of the Dark.
Adam West and Burt Ward:
TV's Batman and Robin were also on hand. Getting their autograph was gonna cost you more than Elvira, however. $40 would get you West, and Ward would be an additional $30.
Tom 'Tiny' Lister:
The muscleman who worked the WWF as Zeus for a short time and has appeared in tons of films (notably Friday) was on hand as well.
Lister charged $20 for an autograph, but if you wanted to take a picture (with YOUR camera) that was an additional $10. Plus he isn't as pretty as Elvira.
Not now, ask me in 10 years, and the answer might change.
The legendary horror director was THE most popular man at the event. Bar none. His PERSONAL line was over an hour long and to get in THAT line you had to have already waited in a line to get into the 'guest tent' which took anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours to wait in.
Abdullah the Butcher:
There was a bunch of wrestlers on hand (Mick Foley, Rob Van Dam, Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff.) Deciding to only visit ONE wrestler, I choose Abdullah. I met him once before a match in Philadelphia. I got a photo then, too. In that picture he was biting my forehead.
If you are not a wrestling fan, you may not know Abdullah. Heck, even most casual fans have not ever seen him. But they heard of him. Abdullah has been wrestling since 1958. Now, approaching 70 years old he still wrestles on occasion.
His matches are known for being the bloodiest and Abdullah is considered to be the most sadistic man in wrestling.
That said, he was the nicest guy at the convention.
On his table was a mess of photos and other merchandise. My favorite item was the autographed fork (Abdullah often uses a fork in the ring to cut open his opponent's head.)
For $25 he let me have the fork, an autographed cane and three autographed photos. Plus he let me snap one with my camera.
After the photo was taken he said "You don't want another picture?"
Of course I did.
So he grabbed my head and we took THIS photo:
Sure, I was scared. Obviously, it was painful. But it is ALMOST the greatest photo I have ever seen.
Unfortunately, if you look over my shoulder you can see Vince Russo, the idea man who helped destroy WCW. Cut him out and the photo is pure gold.
Jennifer Parker from the first Back to the Future film was also on hand. She was really nice and possibly HOTTER than she was 20 years ago. She signed a Back to the Future 'Save the Clock Tower' flyer for me. She wrote "I love you" and her phone number JUST LIKE IN THE MOVIE. I didn't even have to ask!
Sadly, she won't take my call.
This barely scratches the surface of the guest list. Larry Hagman, Barbara Eden, Tom Savini, The A-Team's Dwight Schultz, Tonya Harding and about 30 other people of different levels of notoriety were on hand.
Of course, unless you had a couple grand to spend, you could never afford to get all their autographs.
So, you go to the vendor room.
This is a room packed with toys, bootleg DVDs, comic books and posters. I didn't buy much but I ran into Sylvester Stallone's son Sage a few times.
I didn't talk to Sage out of fear of calling him 'Stage Sallone' but I did watch him eat a Reese’s Big Cup.
THAT was worth the $20 admission fee alone.
In addition they have discussion panels and films.
I caught a couple discussion panels. One featured John Landis. The Blues Brothers director is a jerk.
During the course of his discussion a video clip was shown. The video projector (for some reason) projected the clip in black and white, not color.
Then Landis berates the 17 year-old running the projector.
He mocks the kid for the next 20 minutes.
It was pretty disappointing.
Here is my open letter to John Landis.
Since you work in the film industry, you should know that mistakes sometimes happen. Sometimes it’s minor like when a projector doesn't work.
Sometimes it's major like when a helicopter kills Vic Morrow.
Try to learn the difference and react accordingly.
Chiller Theatre was awesome, but it was SEVERELY overcrowded and overpriced.
In the end I can tell people that Mick Foley and Claudia Wells asked me where the lobby was, Tonya Harding waved to me and Burt Ward was in the bathroom with me.
I guess I lived the American Dream in just a couple days.