Wednesday, October 17, 2007

SiliCon 2007 Report

SiliCon was a blast! A blurry, gone-by-way-too-fast blast!

SiliCon was my first convention appearance as a “guest,” so I was pretty excited/nervous. I, along with my two cohorts/bodyguards hopped into the car at 4am to drive up from Orange County to the Bay Area. After a smooth drive up the 5 freeway, with plenty of fast food hash browns and enough coffee and Rockstars to fuel a busload of caffeine addicts, we arrived in San Jose around 10:30am, checked in and poked around our room.

At 2pm, we headed downstairs to the Green Room, where we got our press badges and ran into Brett and Rob of the Popcorn Review. They regaled us with stories of their new house in L.A. and their custom-built stripper pole. Oh dear…

The convention was still being set up, so we wandered around a bit and met up with Grant, the organizer extraordinaire of the con. He gave us a sneak peek behind the scenes and let us into some areas that were still being set-up. We already saw a lot of people in costume for the cosplay aspect of the con, including a very convincing Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka get-up.

The horror side of the con kicked off with a screening of Slayer. Director Ed Peduzzi, whom I was excited to meet, unfortunately couldn’t attend, which was a real bummer. So instead, we decided to grab some grub at the hotel restaurant. I said hello to some other people, including the lovely Mr. Joe Flynn and Molly, Wil and Murder from Horror Yearbook, before digging into a sandwich and fries, my first real meal of the day.

By then it was around 5:30pm, and we were all exhausted from being up so early and the loooong drive up. We crashed for a few hours before the SiliCon Short Film Festival, which I was judging. After a Rockstar, I was ready to watch 2 hours of short films, baby! My fellow judges included author and all-around sweetie Gregory Solis (Rise and Walk), the crackin’ wise duo of Brett and Robert of the Popcorn Review, director Michael Paul Girard (Oversexed Rugsuckers from Mars) and storyboard artist Neil D’Monte (Pirates of the Caribbean 1 & 2, Day of the Dead remake, Night of the Living Dead 3-D).

Two Rockstars later, all the films had been seen (there were some pretty cool ones!) and the grand prize winner of the Fest was a short called Criticized by director Richard Gale. Criticized ( was an amazing short that told of a critic that gave a scathing review of a horror film, which didn’t sit too well with the filmmaker who takes his revenge in a very eye-popping way. In second place was Grace, the excellent short by director Paul Solet, and third was The Pit and the Pendulum, a stop-motion film based on Poe’s classic tale.

After the film fest, I was wiped out, so after saying hi to a few more people, I completely sacked out. We slept in a bit Saturday morning, but managed to rouse ourselves for breakfast (with plenty of coffee for me!). It seemed that there were a lot of problems with the audio/visual equipment, so a lot of the films I was looking forward to finally seeing on a big screen didn’t even play. Bummer.

On Saturday, I did catch Michelle Fatale’s excellent film The Cleaner, starring Kristin Burke and Shannon Lark. Though there were some technical difficulties, the crowd absolutely loved the short and they even had a fun Q & A afterward with Fatale and most of the cast. Since the hotel staff was having so many difficulties with the audio/visual equipment, among other technical difficulties, and since I had already seen most of the films screening at the con, we decided to slip out after lunch and take a tour of the Winchester Mystery House! It’s highly recommended if you are ever in San Jose!

We got back around dinner and met up with Jeff Smith, director of Stupid Teenagers Must Die! and their lovely PR rep, Sara Parrell at the bar. Saturday night is traditionally party central at SiliCon, so we began to prepare ourselves for the festivities…

On Floor 2 everyone began opening up their rooms for party-goers and offering up alcoholic drinks for guests. The Klingon room was by far the best of the night, with super-strong drinks being handed out like candy (with proper ID, of course) along with Klingon songs sung by everyone dressed up. You haven’t lived until a huge guy dressed in a Klingon suit prepares a drink named “Revenge” for you while singing about said drink.

Hanging out at the bar with the Horror Yearbook crew, we learned how one of their staff members had allegedly had a run-in with the Black Devil Doll ( crew after commenting how one of their stripper actresses looked like a transvestite on their posters. Everyone was buzzing about the film’s trailer, though, which looks to be exactly as advertised on their site, “violent, misogynistic, sleazy.”

Also got to chat a bit with director Mel House and actor Tim Wrobel of Closet Space (– really fun guys to hang out with! Around midnight I even caught a screening of Stupid Teenagers Must Die! at the Midnight Movie Massacre, which was a lot of fun!!

Everyone was up ‘til the wee hours of the morning, so none of us stumbled out of bed until late Sunday morning. I couldn’t stick around on Sunday because of a previous engagement, but we managed to grab some grub before saying our goodbyes and heading out.

Unfortunately, I have no photos of the convention, except for those above. I don’t know why, but I didn’t pull out my camera once for the festivities!! Hmmm…guess this means I’ll have to go back next year!!
SiliCon showcased a very close-knit group of horror enthusiasts, and I was very happy to see familiar faces again, along with some new ones. It was definitely a pleasure to attend and I thank both and SiliCon for having me!

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