Horror Conventions

All posts in the Horror Conventions category

Dagger Cast with Corinne Halbert

Published March 11, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

Corinne and NunsYou can keep your Vanessa Redgrave, your Florinda Balkan, your Bonnie Aarons. They’re all awesome, but none of them can hold a cloistered candle to Corinne Halbert! One of Chicagoland’s most important horror artists, Halbert joined us on the latest Dagger Cast to talk about her influences and how discovering a love for the macabre in your youth shapes you. Believe me, we can all relate, right?!? In particular we look at the nunsploitation genre, including such classics as The Devils and School of the Holy Beast, and how it has informed her work. ACID-NUN-Halbert

Also joining us this time around are the amazing Rhea D and Coye Vega – con regulars, cos players and generally awesome people.


You can also check out other examples of Corinne’s work (or even support her Patreon for as little as a $1 a month) at:




DC Group Corinne

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!


Music to Make Horror Movies By: Eddie Murphy

Published January 6, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan


eddie vampire-in-brooklyn-lb-1

A modern king of comedy, Eddie Murphy’s time as a nocturnal scavenger in Vampire in Brooklyn turned out to be one of his less toothy ventures in cinematic mayhem. Of course, as with many others, the uneven specters of love have perhaps haunted Murphy with more aplomb than any failed celluloid enterprise. Here, his ‘80s hit Party All The Time serves as prime evidence.

As with other funny men, Murphy has had extremely homophobic moments in his material. He apologized in 1996 for comments about the AIDS crisis in his film Delirious, confirming that he wasn’t “anti-gay”. As another twenty some years have passed since then, I am sure that he has evolved even further and in that spirit of hope and forgiveness, I post this column here.

eddie vampire

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!



Fan Boy Blues

Published November 3, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan


I was recently asked to submit some interviews to a fledging publication. One of the pieces was going to be a revised question and answer piece from a year ago. The subject asked to sign off on the article. I sent off the newish result for approval…and despite a couple of contact attempts…never heard back. I was nervous about it going to print. Did this person like the piece? Was all the information correct? Would there be some kind of an uproar when it was published? So, I was actually relieved when I was, eventually, told that the issue was overlong and this particular article was not going to be used. Flash forward to my email inbox yesterday…and this personality is, suddenly, enquiring when the magazine with their interview will be available. What? I was honestly confused, having had assumed, for awhile, that this celebrity had forgotten all about the piece or maybe had hated what I had done with it and had lost all interest. I mean, they had never responded back to me. Thus, I, nervously, spent half the day composing a response email to this individual, hoping that I wouldn’t offend or upset them…chewing over the possible outcomes in my mind. Even today, after all is said and done, I find my nerves a little wracked.

I realize if this had been a colleague of mine from another field, I would have still felt a little bad and awkward about the situation.  But, troublingly, I also realize that my feelings here were definitely compounded by the fact that this person has appeared in a number of films that I love and that, as a result, I have placed their opinions above my own and the people I hold most dear to me in my everyday life. I have a feeling that I am not the only one that this is true for. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve witnessed beer swilling bro-types hanging slavishly on to every word of some aging horror legend as he, bluntly, describes a female co-star’s breasts…something that I find both disturbing and sexist, but I guess that’s another story for another article. But, right now, I do think it’s time that I find a more emotionally healthy way to fan boy.

Granted, it can be very hard to keep our feelings for these personalities in perspective. So many emotions revolve around them. They have been a part of our lives, sometimes for decades. They represent our first dates in high school and all night viewing parties with deceased parents. They remind us of the first time we kissed that rebel in the alley outside of the theater and certain of their films completely encapsulate entire beginnings and endings of so many portions of our lives. How can it not matter if they don’t like us when we meet them? How can their lack of approval not hurt? But they are human, not gods and goddesses. Is it really so much more important when one of them follows us on Twitter as opposed to some super cool, indie start up horror femme fatale from the gut buckets of Indiana? Are their thoughts really more valid than your super smart scientist friend whose ideas truly could bring about a better world? fan-boy-1

Obviously, a major part of this site has been about my slavish (and over-the-top, hopefully humorous) love for these folks, but this recent incident has been a good reminder of where my focus really belongs. I should care more about those 25 pounds that I want to lose, the book I want to write, that zombie musical that I am co-writing than what some possible terror icon thinks or doesn’t think of me. Especially as we enter an era where the prices of autographs and photos are at an all time high, where it’s more and more obvious that certain convention attendees care more about making money than making a connection. It seems like the perfect time for me, and so many others, to enter a period of more self respecting, less reverential fandom.

I’m starting today.

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!


Dinner with Herschell

Published September 30, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan


Creatively, he revolutionized the horror genre by inventing an offshoot that revolved around excessive gore. Due to his business acumen, you can probably blame a lot of the junk mail that fills your mail boxes on him, as well. Meanwhile, personally, filmmaker Herschell Gordon Lewis, who died this week at the age of 90, was a compelling presence whose commands were not to be ignored – even by the youngest of us.

I know this.

It’s mid-October of 2011 and Lewis is appearing at a 24 hour horror movie marathon in Chicago. In the evening, a few of us retire to a pub, next door, for dinner. Lewis is, happily, leading the conversation, taking our enthusiastic questions and giving them detailed and energetic answers. He is in his element except — a child in a high chair is letting out high pitched and elastic screeches, every couple of minutes or so, in the booth directly behind us. Each shriek jolts him out of his reveries and it is obvious, as time wears on, that he is losing all patience.

Finally, as the cranky babe lets out another voluminous wail, Lewis raises himself up, with grave dignity, and still seated, bellows out, in the direction of the child, with Greek authoritarianism, “STOP – THAT – NOW!” Each word is a separate thought, punctuated with irritation and will.

The toddler halts mid-cry and…is totally and completely silent for the rest of the meal.

Now perhaps, there are two sides of the table to fall on, socially, here. One side will be sympathetic towards struggling parents with infants and understanding of the need to get out with friends and colleagues, sometimes even with a whiney child in tow. The other side may feel, emphatically, that, in the name of common courtesy, children should be kept at home until they are more manageable. Good points, each.

But…I have a feeling that both sides can agree on the fact that even a mewling babe knew that it was important, if not vital, to listen to and obey Herschell Gordon Lewis – a sure and fabulous testament to his effective worth,  if there ever was one!

So, Rest in Peace (whoops, I almost wrote ‘piece’), you crazy and creative bastard! You will be missed.

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!



Take Back the Knife at Hot Springs Horror!

Published September 18, 2015 by biggayhorrorfan

take back
Not every scream queen grows up to run her own horror film festival. More importantly, Tamara Glynn (Halloween 5, Freddy’s Nightmares) is keeping the women in terror theme going with this year’s version of her Hot Springs Horror Festival, running this weekend (9/17-9/20/2015), in Arkansas.

Glynn is presenting of the premiere of (Chicago based) director Matt Storc’s Take Back the Knife, a slasher variation in which three former female victims reinvigorate their weakened power, at this year’s event – and proud, femme loving scare freaks couldn’t be happier.

More information on Take Back the Knife and the Hot Springs Horror Festival is available at:

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!


The Cowardice of Bullying

Published June 19, 2015 by biggayhorrorfan


So, I know with the name and my slavish fan boy enthusiasm that I put myself out there for criticism. I’ve had comments on my video interviews that have ranged from the homophobic to the simply bizarre. One recent statement, disbelievingly, referred to me as “a real 3 dollar bill”. U-m-m…no shit!

The Backside of Horror, my look at male nudity in terror was even, recently, called out as the reason that “horror fans get a bad name”. That one I can even understand…but even when I can’t, I just roll with it.

Yesterday, on my personal Facebook page, I gave a quick shout out for an upcoming film event that I am a part of. It involves the appearance of one of my favorite horror queens, whose bio I, enthusiastically, laid out in the announcement.

The post.

The post.

This morning, I woke up to a burst of scatter shot private messages from an individual who had “friended” me three years ago. We’ve had no contact since. Basically, he linguistically gutted me for being nothing more than a wanna-be fan boy and stated, in a variety of ways, that I was living a worthless life. He then blocked me and/or disappeared from Facebook altogether, mooting any chance I had of a response. Not that I would have…

…but it did get me to thinking. What remains with me the most about this experience is the total and complete cowardice of those who bully. This guy, basically, slammed me in the back of the head with a grapheme hammer and then ran off with his tail, tucked firmly, between his legs. I am sure that he is feeling very bold and self righteous and powerful – if not a little crazy – right now but, in reality, he is the complete opposite.

H-m-m…I guess it’s a good thing that I am a white faggot writing about genre movies and not a black Christian right now, huh?

Before you all throw up your arms, I know this is a small, small thing compared to the tragedy that took place in Charleston yesterday. In fact, it’s not comparable.

But, I do truly believe that this is where the germ of such terrible, true life horrors begins.

Let’s stop this now.

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan.


Reunited: Kelli Maroney and Catherine Mary Stewart!

Published May 27, 2015 by biggayhorrorfan

Reunited - and it feels so good!

Reunited – and it feels so good!

Lee and Cushing. Karloff and Lugosi. Price and Lorre.

There have been plenty of famous male partnerships in the history of horror. But the teaming of the divine Kelli Maroney and the exquisite Catherine Mary Stewart in 80s horror-dramedy Night of the Comet produced one of the only significant female duos in the universe of terror, making them both highly beloved by progressive audiences, everywhere.

This two beauties recently reunited, in late April, for an episode of the Maroney co-hosted podcast Rick’s Martini Bar – and the enthusiastic cries of those fan boys and girls, worldwide, was overwhelming.

You can download the episode (and others featuring such guests as Kristine DeBell, Barry Livingston and Tony Dow) at http://www.mccartymetro.com/podcast.html.

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!


G-FEST 2014: Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion

Published July 17, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

gamera poster
A recent showing of Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion (1996) at G-FEST 2014 in Rosemont, IL proved that while Americanized dubbing may occasionally miss the mark, it can often produce truly hilarious results. (Especially, if like me, your sense of humor hasn’t regressed much beyond the 5th grade!)

This tale of everyone’s favorite avenging turtle facing down sprawling tentacle creatures, that just happen to be waging mass destruction for a huge alien invader, featured such comical readings as:

“The second it flowered, we were completely helpless!”

“We cannot afford another Sendai!”

“He’s going straight for the Big One!”gamera watching

“Gamera is alive. He will come back for us. Gamera will not let the Legion win!”

“I don’t have time to argue with you! Give me every ounce of your power!”

“The Big One is right on top of us”

gamera“The Big One has something new up its sleeve!”

“It’s the Big One! He made it past the last barricade!”

Still hurting from that last one… and with hopes that you brought your own double entendres (because mine are all used up), Big Gay Horror Fan!

Still giddy from Gamera!

Still giddy from Gamera!

PS: G-FEST is held every July in Rosemont, IL. For more information, take a look at http://www.gfan.com.


Tom Atkins: The Television Diversity of a Genre Icon

Published April 3, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

Personally, I like to get well rounded by visiting the donut section at the 7-11 one too many times.

Others, thankfully, show their versatility off in other ways. Honored genre actor Tom Atkins (The Fog, Halloween III, Night of the Creeps), for example, proved his elastic mettle in a couple (early career) made for television movies.

With Hesseman in Tarantula

With Hesseman in Tarantula

As Buddy in 1977 nature-gone-wrong horror Tarantula: The Deadly Cargo (which was actually nominated for 2 primetime Emmys for sound design), Atkins provides an easy going joviality to his party happy pilot. He works well off of (fellow character actor) Howard Hesseman and their early demise, nicely, sets up the terror-ific, multi-legged antics that follow.
With Brooks and Tanya Roberts in Murder

With Brooks and Tanya Roberts in Murder

Meanwhile, Atkins is given much more to do as Jack Vance in the 1983 Mike Hammer flick Murder Me, Murder You. Vance, a notorious arms dealer, provides our silver haired gent with the chance to intermingle masculine bravado with an almost childlike neediness. Atkins’ tender scenes with the sexy, surprisingly eclectic Randi Brooks (TerrorVision, Looker), whom plays his secretary/lover Arla, are almost creepy in their sensitivity and he, also, handles the character’s vocal handicap (an intense stutter) with natural ease, as well.

Atkins will be appearing the weekend of April 4th – 6th, 2014 at Cinema Wasteland, the true film buff’s paradise, in Ohio.


Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan


Music to Make Horror Movies By: Guitar Goddess Lita Ford!

Published November 10, 2013 by biggayhorrorfan

Deadly spider on my wall, how did you get on the cover of the magnificent Lita Ford’s 1984 LP Dancin’ on the Edge? Perhaps, Professor Arachnida was trying to illustrate the correlation between rock ‘n’ roll and horror. Indeed, this slamming effort from our favorite goddess of leather-graced thrashing is inundated with titles such as Dressed to Kill and Lady Killer.

Ford, whose 1988 Lita is a must hear pop masterpiece, entered further reaches of darkness with her biggest hit, Close My Eyes Forever, a duet with Ozzy Osbourne. Indeed, with lyrics stating “Like a dagger, you stick me in the heart and taste the blood from my blade. And when we sleep, would you shelter me in your warm and darkened grave?” this song is a commandingly hardcore look at velvet terror.

Ford, whose scare credibility is further enhanced by a saucy appearance in 1991 horror-comedy Highway to Hell, will be appearing the weekend of November 15th, 2013 at the Chicago faction of the Days of the Dead convention. http://www.daysofthedead.net/chicago/.

Sounds like a perfect time to get out your guitar string codpieces and head on Back to the Cave, no?

Lita Hell

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan