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Event Preview: The 5th Annual Calgary Horror-Con

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In 2015, the beloved Calgary Horror Con is now entering its fifth consecutive year, and what better way to celebrate a half-decade of collectively sharing the joy of creepy culture than with a 30th anniversary commemoration of what is not only the holy grail of H.P. Lovecraft adaptations, but also one of few fright films that revolutionized sci-fi body horror: director Stuart Gordon’s RE-ANIMATOR. The freaky festivities for the annual Horror Con will be going down on June 20 & 21, 2015 at Calgary, Altberta’s Clarion Hotel, 2120 – 16 Ave NE.

Canadian horror fans are anxiously anticipating the welcome arrival of Lovecraft auteur and esteemed genre veteran Stuart Gordon, as well as several key cast members of Gordon’s revered adaptations, RE-ANIMATOR and FROM BEYOND, the former of which was released upon the horror-crazed masses on October 18 of 1985. The RE-ANIMATOR reunion roster includes acclaimed genre stars and FANGORIA favorites Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Bruce Abbott and Carolyn Purdy-Gordon.

“RE-ANIMATOR is probably the most famous H.P. Lovecraft film ever made, with the most famous H.P. Lovecraft director and the most famous H.P. Lovecraft actors,” Horror Con founder and CEO Dan Doherty cites. “When it comes to H.P. Lovecraft… he was writing in the ‘20s, so he’s influenced a lot of horror over time.”

“I’ve known a lot of RE-ANIMATOR fans and since year one we’ve talked about doing [this reunion],” Doherty adds. “And [this year] just happened to be the 30 year anniversary, so it was like if we’re going to do it, this is the time to do it. It’s these anniversary shows that I really look forward to doing.”

The idea to orchestrate the reunion has been a priority since the very inception of the Western Canada’s only vital horror convention. But in addition to the zealous welcoming of RE-ANIMATOR’s key players, the guest lineup also includes other esteemed stars of the scary screen, Heather Langenkamp of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET fame, John Carpenter regular Tom Atkins, and ‘80s starlet Dee Wallace of such recognized killer creature flicks as CRITTERS, CUJO and THE HOWLING.

“I always try to get a cross section from different subgenres of horror,” Doherty explicates. “I try to get people from different periods as well as different types of horror. I’m trying to build a show that has everything horror. So other than the reunion, if you’re not coming to see that then I want to pull from as many subgenres as possible and different periods of horror. I want that representation; it’s not just about building numbers, but as a fan of all subgenres for the most part… I want to represent it all basically.”

This year, Horror Con team Doherty, Lee Brown and newest addition to the fright-fanatic family, Katrina Kryzalka, have teamed up with Kevin Martin of Edmonton’s The Lobby DVD Shop to spread the love of the red stuff; Martin will be selling tickets at his shop from now until June.

“Having one of the last DVD genre shops [The Lobby] selling tickets is a huge deal for me. Fantastic store. I know it’s going to bring in more numbers for me. We want to make sure [the shop] always stays open because there are no other shops like it.”

Doherty also foresees a strong partnership between Martin and Derek Clayton of Edmonton’s DEDfest, which he hopes will lead to the development of a much more monstrous mash of all things macabre.

“I think together we are going to build something for Western Canada even bigger than just the [Calgary Horror Con],” Doherty reveals. “DEDfest has done a fantastic film festival every year, and it keeps building and keeps getting better. Anything I can do to help those guys out, anything they can do to help me out. They’ve been really awesome. It’s just one of those things, [where] we’re all in this together. And we all have the same challenges and struggles.”

The bloodletting begins on Friday, June 19 at Dickens Pub, 1000 – 9th Ave, where the Calgary Horror Con will unleash its obligatory kick-off After Dark VIP on horror hounds who wish to participate in a night of dark and depraved debaucheries. This year, Doherty and his Horror Con cohorts have partnered with Dickens to organize what is expected to be the most superlative celebration of scary stuff the con has ever hosted.

“We’re going to have celebrity meet and greets,” Doherty divulges. “We also have a bunch of performances. This year I’ve passed off the role of managing the performers to [Calgary-based creep-queen contortionist] Visha Loo. She’s picked all the performers and they’ve been going to rehearsals and choreographing her performances or whatever. This year [the] performances are geared towards the celebrities that are coming. There’s going to be one for A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, and there’s going to be a RE-ANIMATOR performance…”

Tickets for the Calgary Horror Con can be purchased online at horror-con.ca, or at the following Calgary retailers: Words & Pictures, 2610 Centre St. NE; Ink, Toner & Moore, 1200 37 St. SW; and Red Moon Curios, Crossroads Market, 1235 26 Ave SE. Tickets can also be purchased in Edmonton at The Lobby DVD Shop, 10815 82 Ave NW, and in Red Deer at The Soundhouse, 4921 48 St. You can also follow all the Horror Con happenings at their official Facebook Page.

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About the author
Lacey Paige
Lacey Paige is a die-hard horror enthusiast, avid reader and movie collector. A recent post-secondary journalism graduate, Lacey is currently freelancing for FANGORIA, GOREZONE, Absolute Underground and Cinesploitation; past publications include Diabolique, West Edmonton Local, The Griff, Intercamp, Fan-Girl-Tastic, Cinema Head Cheese and GRIP, as well as her now-defunct personal blog, Absolute Cinephilia. She currently resides in Deadmonton, Hellberta, Canada with her two cats, Buddy and Guy, and steadily growing DVD library.
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