A Bloody Good Time!!!


This event to me, is similar to a child anticipating adventures in trick-or-treat, yes, it’s similar each time, however little nuances constantly evolving change the experience every time, and that’s how I feel about the NJ Horror Con. We all know it occurs for the same three days Friday through Sunday, the hours relatively the same, and so is the conceptual design. Nevertheless, fans of the horror genre gather together to express their excitement, passion, and admiration of the films, from conversing with each other, to wearing tees, buying artwork, and of course cosplay. Often folks state they don’t have the money to shop or get autographs (which is honestly a key principial of this event) so why attend, that’s the wrong attitude…. Well, I’ll show the error of that thinking in this article and I’m including quite a few vendors, as I’ve not given them the necessary press coverage in the past.

Friday, November 12th

Well, due to vehicle issues I had to bail on staying at the hotel missing out on some of the early morning parties, ugh, but I arrived to moderately priced parking of $10; along Creepy Crazy Cathy (aka 3C), who also went to cover the event from a Handicap Person’s perspective (very original concept), at first we were directed to a very long line, however pulled from it as I’m a sponsor and hence free passes awaited us. The staff was able to assist in correctly what line I needed to be in – answer NONE! First it was off to meet Dee Wallace, and along the way I met author E.L. Jefferson who spoke about his new book dropping in April 2022, he’s a talented individual and creates vicious stories. One thing before I mentioned my encountered with Dee, I enjoyed the layout of the floor of the con, a return to the ‘old-style’ with vendors and guests (stars) aligned next to each other, a sheer improvement from the previous one in September. It really allows the fans the opportunity to mingle amongst the guests and see the offerings from sellers, as before the two entities were separated from each other, which made it difficult to filter the fans into the vendor room. Anyway, onto Dee, it was wonderful to meet her, 3C mentioned how E.T. was her first film she saw in theaters and when I started I never saw it, she comments “What’s your fucking problem?” I comment I like vicious aliens, a nod to The Thing [1982], Dee just smirked, and still willing to sign my original The Howling [1981] poster. We walked around until I found John Russo, who was selling literally everything possible on his table; one item actually put in an odd position and a joke throughout the weekend which was copies of actually checks showing payments for services rendered, others in line quietly noting, “kinda low.” I had him sign my Return of the Living Dead Japanese press book, others in line found it to be very cool, I previously had others of the film sign it, most recently Linnea Quigley. I quickly realized the time and hustled over to the Q&A Panel for Felissa Rose, who was a riot and very animated for her descriptions of films, namely Sleepaway Camp [1983]. The very experienced host Chris Stiles mentioned how it was to be a surprise reunion on stage with co-star Maximo Sorrentino, however due to travel arrangements his plans were delayed. There were plenty of fans on hand, she was so supportive of their comments and truly leaned in as to express such deep thoughts of how her character in the movie her as person affected them. My words cannot due them justice in their wonderful manner of expressing themselves, once again the horror community at the New Jersey Horror Con is open to accepting so many without intolerance.

I noticed that there still seems to be a problem, “the call-to-action” the attendees of the event don’t know what to do, there needs to be a simple run-down, i.e. the 7-keys, which is what I used to explain to patrons about the con, in a direct simplistic phrasing to those who had that look of confusion. They were: Table Shop the vendors (gather business cards – still a thing) always able to shop on-line later, go to a Q&A panel, while at a panel freely click pics of the star, ask questions of them, a free film festival if on Saturday – there’s an award show and scaryoke – this year even included a concert from American grim, therefore actually eight items. I met with actor Edward X. Young and discussed the passing of John Link, another actor primarily known in the indie markets, asked him on behalf of the Horror Times for an obituary article for our Remembrance of the Dead and fully agree, and thankful for it. He asked what is going as far as panels and told him he missed a raucous Q&A with Ms. Rose and what was upcoming for tomorrow.

I took a moment to visit with a favorite vendor of mine, so happy to see them again, it was Get Mugged, a coffee mug company which had prints of horror films on them, this time it was purchasing The Muntsters’ mug  and a Terrifier tumbler. I decided to watch at least one film at the fest, it was “Do Demons Read Bedtimes Stories” from director Phoenix flash, which used the Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta (Movement III) by Bela Bartok which most identify from The Shining [1980], which a father wants his child to read more and encourage him to develop a imagination, but the lines blur of fiction and reality. Overall, a cutesy story, but lack on true fears, however worthwhile for a 10-minute short. Sadly, I needed to leave for the night a 60-mile ride home and need to be ready for tomorrow long day.


Saturday, November 13th

Everyone knows that Saturday is the biggest and longest day at any convention, the most people are present, everyone is hustling and bustling for the entire day, which adds to the fun and excitement. I made sure to arrive by 10a, to take advantage the full day, loaded down with extra camera batteries, mics basically the works, as I stormed onto the floor, meeting with various fans, with 3C in tow once again, the first stop was by a new cosplayer Jesus, he was next Father Evil. Now, somehow I was asked by listeners and readers to investigate ‘Jesus’ well he is not trying to convert anyone, merely playing the opposite of the evil, to battle sinister forces, he doesn’t represent any one religion, therefore I do hope that solves everyone’s curiosities. On our stroll we found the filmmakers for A Comedy of Horrors, Volume 1 with actor Ken Arnold, noted his previous movie The Night Watchmen, which I informed him I had seen it at the first NJ Horror Con back in 2017, that was by the end of flick standing room only, and I wrote a review of which had views 1,700 views. Ken asked for us to share the link for him, and he turned share a private link to a screener of this film; I explained I had to attend Ms. Rose’s Q&A panel which aired at the same of his film.

I arrived with time to spare for the Q&A Panel of Return of the Living Dead (ROTLD), which featured Beverly Randolph, John Russo and Thom Mattthews and once again Chris Stiles lead off the questions, while I was in the front row soon found myself joined by Edward. As the audience got settled an interesting chat occurred behind me comments about the event – all positive feedback, and it switched to a familiar themed who they like to have reunion, strangely The Breakfast Club (1985) stood out, then a familiar title Hellraiser franchise reunion, wow a tall order – but in 2022 it would be a 35th-anniversary or The Blob [1988]. Finally, it was time for the first reunion of the day, and while the discussion started on ROTLD, it somehow skewed into Mr. Russo discuss Night of the Living Dead, and then the legal battle of using the term “Living Dead” which was very interesting. There are a few moments that had everyone laughing however, it ended on the sad note, of John recalling the final time he saw George Romero, which really pulled at the hearts of those in the crowd. After that it was time to venture back to the vendor room, making another sweep through, this time meeting a Horror Host Lord Damien MacDonovan, who has a YouTube channel where his airs public domain horror films, such as The Wasp Woman [1959] his link shall be found at the bottom of this article. He, like many other vendors, made sure to engage with patrons, rather than just sitting.

One thing with the vendors, it actually takes a few times going through the room to really see everyone, it must be an unhurried journey, handled as it’s all an adventure, which is what it all is. Next up was the Collector’s Den which had a very large booth, filled with plenty of Halloween masks, props and few other odds and ends to entice the horror crowd, I could’ve spent a fortune at this booth, alas it was time to return to the Q&A panel room for the Cujo Reunion. As we journeyed back, saw a phenomenal cosplayer as Art the clown from the infamous Terrifier films, he was clowning around a Christmas tree once seated in the room, I noticed that I formed a slight entourage and again discussion of films folks enjoyed Deadly Friend [1986] seemed to come up a few times which led to demand for Scream [1996] incidentally two movies from the late great Wes Craven separated by just 10-years. Needless to say, the room was nearly packed to see Dee Wallace and Danny Pintauro, who first commented that the dogs on set were treated better than they were and led in all directions from Stephen King’s approval to Dee demonstrating her working both real and puppet doggies. She even noted her dislike for Pintos (the car used in the film) and an awkward romance scene with then husband Christopher Stone, in which she does no nudity, so a skirt was carefully positioned, between takes told him giving nothing to work with, which generated a rousing laughter from all in the room. After that highly enjoyable Q&A finished, it was time for Clint Howard, who deliver another very informative session, who spoke in detail of films and his brother, humble at times and then brought so much insight to filmmaker, and plenty of stories to tell, thoroughly enjoyable time.

After a brief chat, 3C ventured to her car for a rest, MS can tire some individuals, fatigue and weakness biggest issues, while she rested I went on my journey picking up once again in the vast vendor room this time meeting author S.D. McGuire, who was the author of a collection of short stories which he called the Tombstone Tales, with at three books completed, and two more to come, however one didn’t need to read them in order, hence he gave me Book Two titled Yashewe. This short novel included illustrations from Erick “Dub” Weir who some note his monster artwork-design in the fantasy-horror flick The Head Hunter [2018]. McGuire’s vast and diverse background allows him to generate vivid creations for readers to become lost within, and that makes wonderful reading material. Then with book in hand I ventured down to author Tammy Vreeland, but she wasn’t present, and decided I’ll track her down tomorrow, time to see Psycho Ape [2020] from director Addison Binek. I had the pleasure of viewing this movie on private link, as I am fortune enough to get this opportunity from many filmmakers, thankful to each, it is still on my list to complete the review this year.

Next up was time for the Cosplay Contest, unlike last year I was able to attend the entire hour, mainly for a twofold reason. First, I wanted to experience the entire event and second there was a 2-hour break between the last film Drawn Like Moths and the Award Show. I think this cosplay event grows each time it appears, with many creative costumes, and some quite weird, there was one-character name Bubbles who was truly unique and hilarious, but the contest had little children, duos, originals, and genre favorites- oh and one political person. The MC of the event, got in a few chuckles to many, and the zombie shaman didn’t get a recount when they lost and accept the defeat. These individuals, for the most part, are quite talented, it’s not just done the costume correctly but also if the character is a mainstay in horror then getting the character’s voice or actions perfectly is a huge aspect, such as with winner Art the clown. A net aspect that I perhaps missed from previous years is when the MC Host would ask for their name and the character name if their character that didn’t speak on screen they wouldn’t such as with Michel Myers, Jason, Art, and a zombie representing ROTLD wanted brains, well it was near to dinner time.

3C and I met up at the film festival room, and while it was nearly over for the night, we entered to chat about the event and started discussing her article, I took the opportunity to watch over the equipment in the room and meet with the filmmakers of Air B&D and telling them when they go up on stage. They corrected me, “if we win” I had no inside track, but I was right they earned some awards. The hosts this time were Felissa Rose and Dave Sheridan (Scary Movie [2000]), they were assisted by festival director Tony Goggles, but the duo had a comedic rhyme sadly many filmmakers were not in attendance, hence the LIVE award show went by quicker that usual, only a few people accepted the awards for the films. The next challenge came which to cover the special after awards movie called Bloody Summer Camp or the LIVE minor concert featuring American Grim, which is industrial meets metal music the crowd wasn’t too large, and as it continued those on hand were preparing for Scaryoke at 930p with hosts Felissa and Dave from the award show. I sadly needed to call it a night, for a multitude of reasons, namely a long drive home.

Sunday, November 14th

When sunshine cracked through in the early a.m. I knew it would sadly be the last day of this wonderful event. I think by now, most have come to realize I call it “liquid-day” just think of a water pouring through a strainer, slowly at first, tad faster, and finally gushes through, as the day moves along quicker. I noticed it was 1015a, 3C didn’t accompany me, her MS had gotten the best her overnight and cancelled her out for today; therefore, with two hours to spare as and with my day mostly planned I wanted to stay nearby the Q&A Panel for the Rob Zombie Halloween Reunion at noon, I strolled through the vendor area, once again. I never try to cover it all in one-shot, too vast and their times, I like to spend time conversing with vendors, learning about their book, art or product, a version of window shopping and giving the necessary attention to these artists. First up author James Redmond who promoting his book Hell’s Maelstrom which is a post-apocalyptic survival horror that contains hungry dead and supernatural terrors. Then I ventured up into a back-room area, which housed a few independent filmmakers meeting first Fingerlakes Grindhouse Entertainment company who hail from upstate NY an bring some the sickest and most twisted flicks possible to the forefront who were championing their latest creation entitled Till Death Do Us Part from director Anthony Pierce. From my brief observation they were popular among those curious concerning underground movies, which is always cool, and fun for discovery of new horror, the adventure could be good or bad, but if not ventured then everyone loses. Across the room was Slasher 15 Productions, who did the closeout film from Saturday night entitled Bloody Summer Camp and have two other movies one which called Curse of the Slasher Nurse (2017). The filmmaker, David Kerr, is always making strides forward, learning from previous efforts, and proceeding top hone his craft, and allowing his bizarre ideas to leak out of his mind onto the screen to terrorize his audiences. I passed through into another room, which I suppose I never realized how the two areas previously connected, which I was actually in the previous day, neat – even I discover new things. Then stumbled across a comic book artist Alton Simpson that I had seen at previous NJ Horror Con in 2018, he’s truly an incredible creator, his talents include so much but to name a few that’d filmmaker, musician, and is working on trailer for Vampires of New Jersey. His work is all self-produced, and very well-done, and was noting his latest creation Witches of Westchester, which he describes as “Buffy meets The Craft [hint] of Evil Dead” but definitely for the mature audiences and yet you should definitely support, purchase, and enjoy his comics.

As noon fast approached I hurried over to the Q&A panel once more, in anticipation of the Halloween (2007) Reunion, however I already knew it was down one person Kristin Klebe (sadly she had to cancel her attendance). I strolled into the room, as the previous panel finished and as I took my seat I notice a problem unfolding, only two chairs were set on the stage, Chris and just one other person, leaving a confused audience in a lurch. What was originally to be three people, became just one, Tyler Mane, due to unforeseen film schedule conflicts Scout Taylor Compton had to leave early, and while some thought that perhaps Dee Wallace or Clint Howard would make a return to the stage for their minor role in film; that realistically wasn’t going to happen. Chris made the announcement and then even had to note a delay frankly unsure how the audience would gauge the situation, but once Tyler arrived he got right into the mode, though it was quickly uttered that his time was limited, and while his took a few questions, and mentioned his entertainment company it was over in just 14-minutes. The fans just quietly shuffled out of the room, while a few convention staff and press personnel hung around chatting about the convention, layout, and the horror genre; and was confirmed that the final Q&A with Tom Sizemore was cancelled as he never showed due to travel problems.

Once more to the vendor floor to locate two remaining authors and get a few pick-up shots for 3C, one is likely curious why the interest in authors, well, they are the unsung heroes that likely could save the genre, their stories adapted into screenplays might generate a whole world of terrors and nightmares. Anyhow, as an avid reader I thoroughly enjoy discovering new novels, first Christopher Michael Blake, who was enjoying people visiting his table, he penned the book ‘Prey for Dawn’; I stopped by and before I said anything he raved about my tee, which was I Spit on Your Grave [1978], saw the film at age 12, – wow that’s definitely an early age to see that exploitative highly offensive film, his stories must be a wonderful read – I’ll let you know with a future review. I always wear the less common theme ones, both to generate a response and provoke, which is core underneath message within the horror genre, playing it safe isn’t for me, remember my motto “The Extreme Makes and Lasting Impression!” Secondly was Tammy, this wasn’t the first time I tried to locate her, since she attended previous NJ Horror Con, this mission has gone unfilled, well when I stand by her both, someone there I think texted her, thereby informing her press was there to meet her. SUCCESS! Tammy, for those unaware is a talented author for magazine articles, children’s books, and horror novels her stories give readers the opportunity to explore through her imagination, and perhaps help them unlock their artistic passions too. One of her earliest novels is Tailor (2008) and The Folks (2007) which has spawned at least one sequel, she’s a regular on the convention circuit so if given the chance take the time to meet her and purchase her books, always fun meeting celebrities.

One might note I didn’t attend much of the Film Festival that is partially untrue, I have been fortunate enough that as reviewer with a vast background as both a critic and reviewer for over 16-years and a solid well-built reputation, I’m often watching these crafty indie-creations on various private password guarded links and the filmmakers, as always I am thankful as I speak about them with online reviews or in discussions on my podcast show Baron’s Crypt.

Needless to say, it’s not the fault of the Con or Ryan and his team, guest’s schedules, suddenly change business on a Sunday the stars have a tendency to leave early, Mr. Howard did; strangely people were still buying tickets at one and two in the afternoon for an event ending mere hours, showing the true attraction for the convention’s marketing. There’s a primary philosophy to late-ticket-buying among some on the convention circuit, there’s bargains to be found from vendors. In the end the convention lived-up to the name and continued their style points of having a great show for all in attendance, giving everyone plenty of opportunity to meet celebrities, new movies and share thoughts on horror films, perhaps even conjuring the imagination to create their own magnificent terrors to entertain future crowds. As I decided to leave 2-hours in advance I bid an encouraging farewell to the guru, mad-hatter of the Film Festival Tony, wished him happy holidays, and bloody good times until the next time, noting my reasons for leaving thoroughly understood. On my way out I found an individual who missed the cosplay, perhaps next year, it was Harry Warden from My Blood Valentine, sporting a truly authentic miner’s uniform complete a mockup a buck knife and pickaxe, that’s great way to leave a con!

See you in April on 8th to 10th for the next zany NJ Horror Con and film Festival.


Links to the NJ Horror convention:





Links to the vendors and other Notables: