PHOTOS BY JANE JONES CLARK
It’s been called one of the best Horror Conventions in the country. And the 15th Annual Scarefest, which was held in Lexington, Kentucky last month, did not disappoint.
An amazing and varied array of celebrity guests, a venue capable of welcoming 20,000 fans without it feeling crowded and some very unusual vendors made the show a blast to attend. Throw in the amazingly kind citizens of Lexington and you have the makings for a wonderful weekend.
While the show is Horror-centric, featuring true genre’ icons as Kane Hodder and Adriene Barbeau as well as cast reunions from such films as Day of the Dead, Creepshow, Halloween, Sleepaway Camp and Friday the 13th. Also in attendance: two of the most influential make up artists in the history of film, Tom Savini and Greg Nicotero.
There was another cast reunion that took me 600 miles to attend: the rare quadruple punch of Richard Dreyfuss, Jeffrey Kramer, Jeffrey Voorhees and Susan Backline from the greatest film ever made, JAWS. Other guests that I enjoyed meeting included Dylan McDermott, Jack Osborne, David Arquette and the always underappreciated Clint Howard.
One of the highlights for me was the JAWS panel in which Richard Dreyfuss, who had just come from New York City where he had seen the play “The Shark is Broken,” was asked his thoughts on the show and he didn’t hold back. If you haven’t seen the show, it takes place aboard Quint’s vessel, the ORCA, during the filming of JAWS. In the show, Dreyfuss is portrayed as, in Dreyfuss’ word to “Vanity Fair” magazine, “a big jerk.” On a brighter note, my partner in crime Jane and I handed out fliers and t-shirts promoting our JAWS 50 Facebook group, ensuring that each of the JAWS cast members got a shirt. Susan Backlinie loved hers! We also met up with several JAWS fans from all over the world that were part of the group and some that soon would be.
The show was laid out perfectly, with celebrity guests and vendors having ample space to greet their fans or ply their wares. My pick for “most unusual vendor” was a gentleman who not only had created a card game based on real-life serial killers but was selling shadowboxes containing a photo of where a particular killing had taken place as well as actual dirt from the scene!
One final note concerning the Scarefest staff. I’ve been involved in similar conventions for over 40 years and the staff at Scarefest were among the friendliest I’ve ever come across. I spent a lot of tome with the JAWS people and the staff was both helpful and courteous to celeb and fan alike. Also, unlike some conventions where you have to stand back and away from a celebrity table unless you’re purchasing something, the staff here was very cool with allowing fans who just wanted to say hello to their favorite celebrities the opportunity to do so.
All in all, it was a great weekend. One I hope to repeat next year!