You scream, I scream, we all scream for Halloween mid-summer. Midsummer Scream‘s second annual convention was a massive success. If you slept on it this year, DO NOT MISS OUT NEXT YEAR. I personally vastly underestimated this con and went for Sunday only. Could have easily spent a full day walking the mazes and attending panels, and another full day attending panels and walking the show floor. The Gold Bat pass would be worth it for the mazes alone, if you’re into that. Which… if you’re attending a Halloween con… I assume you are!
The Hall of Shadows was almost entirely devoted to mini walk through mazes from some of the hardest hitters in the horror game. The Six Flags Fright Fest stilt walkers were terrifying and fun. Opted to run upstairs for the Hocus Pocus anniversary panel and ran out of time to do the rest of the mazes, hence the full weekend recommendation.
Speaking of the Hocus Pocus panel… Magical. As. Fuck. Were we giddy? Yes. Did I also get unexpectedly weepy? Yes. Did the weepiness occur more than once? Sure as hell did. The panel opened up full force with three actresses from Rockwell’s Unauthorized Hocus Pocus Musical Parody (returning October 4th) prepping the crowd with a rendition of the film’s famed musical number, “I Put A Spell On You”. Then the panel members filed out, including creator David Kirschner, screenwriter Mick Garris, FX Master Tony Gardner, composer John Debney and actress Thora Birch. The story came about from a tale Kirschner told his young daughter. Garris eventually wrote the screenplay, and after a pitch involving candy corn , two brooms and a vacuum suspended from a ceiling- the movie went into production eight years after the screenplay was completed. The panel members were charming and gracious with fun behind the scenes anecdotes. The initial box office failure of the film, followed by its rise to cult classic status and all the heart and soul that went into it was an incredible story to hear told by the people who made it.
Another highlight of the con was Slashback Video, returning to The Mystic Museum this fall delivering a fresh new twist and the same video store nostalgia you yearn for. Miss the days of perusing the glorious VHS horror covers housed in the brick and mortar video stores of yesteryear? Revenge of Slashback Video will satiate your horror hound needs. Bonus: Spotted Thriller Michael Jackson casually playing a round of the Slaughterhouse video game next to the checkout counter.
Personal highlight of this Horror Girl’s day = Cassandra Peterson walking in our direction as we headed towards the Hall of Shadows. My brain had just enough time to register, formulate three words and move my mouth enough to spit them out. “I love you” are the three words I shot in her direction as we passed one another. Concise, usually. Casual, never. I thought she either didn’t hear me or ignored me, but as it turns out I missed a very sweet look back with a smile and a shoulder squinch. But replaying it based on that description is enough to warm my little black heart.
Overall the event is beautifully organized. The line for the Hocus Pocus panel could have easily been a real shit show, but the white bats in black (the unsung volunteer heroes of the con) were stationed strategically at every twist and turn of the line keeping it moving and orderly. And… I’m pretty sure everyone made it into the panel which was surprising and awesome as hell.
Lots to see, lots to buy, lots to do. So many wonderful/talented people creating wonderful things, lovable weirdos dressed like Halloween in July. If you’re a self proclaimed Monster Kid, it definitely feels like home. Midsummer Scream returns to the Long Beach Convention Center next year: August 3-4, 2019. Grab a weekend pass, and if you’re into mazes and shows/panels, it’s worth it to go for the gold. Thank you, Midsummer scream for throwing a truly amazing con. Can’t wait for next year!
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