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Texas Frightmare Weekend 2016: Exclusive Q&A, New Panels Revealed!

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With a little over a month left before horror hits the Southwest at Texas Frightmare Weekend, scaring fright fans from April 29th to May 1st at the Hyatt Regency DFW in Dallas, Texas, FANGORIA still has exciting announcements creeping down the pipeline. This week, not only does FANGORIA have the latest additions to the petrifying panels at Texas Frightmare Weekend, but we also have an exclusive Q&A with the macabre mastermind behind the event, Loyd Cryer!

First off, FANGORIA is proud to announce the latest additions to TFW 2016’s exciting event schedule with a pair of panels guaranteed to please fans of kick-ass cult flicks! The first panel will feature actors Michael Beck and James Remar, discussing their seminal ‘70s action thriller THE WARRIORS, moderated by the Alamo Drafthouse’s James Wallace on Saturday, April 30th at 12:00 p.m. Wallace will also moderate a 1:1 Q&A with horror/sci-fi icon Lance Henriksen on Sunday, May 1st at 1:00 p.m. in a panel no horror-head will want to miss.

Now, without further ado, here’s our exclusive chat with Texas Frightmare Weekend head honcho Loyd Cryer…

FANGORIA: So, following Texas Frightmare Weekend 2015, was there any ideas swirling about what you wanted to do this year?

LOYD CRYER: I always start out with the suggestions from our attendees to see what they are wanting for the next year. We’ve received a lot of requests to bring back Tony Todd and Kane Hodder so that was our starting point.

FANGORIA: Among your first guests were Tony Todd, Kane Hodder and Robert Englund, and since then,  you’ve assembled many more performers who have played notable slashers. Was that always the plan for TFW 2016?

CRYER: No, actually, that just seemed to happen on it’s own. As I said before, we booked Tony and Kane first. After that we booked Englund and I thought, “We need Michael Myers now.” Dick Warlock has always been an often requested guest. But this will be his first TFW appearance so he was the logical choice. I’m not sure why, but it seems to be rare to have all these guys attend the same show all at once.

FANGORIA: What should fans expect differently this year as opposed to last year in terms of events, programming, etc?

CRYER: With the help of you and FANGORIA, we’ve actually evolved our panels to the next level. Instead of the typical Q&A’s and reunion panels (which we still have a couple) we’ve also added more topical discussions like the Rags, Records and Blu Rays Panel, which will feature personnel from Alamo Drafthouse, Vinegar Syndrome, Severin and more discussing the importance of physical media. Another great example is is the Remembering Wes Craven Panel, where several actors from his films will discuss his importance in the genre and how deeply he’ll be missed.

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FANGORIA: You’ve announced some really awesome Photo Ops this year, such as the DAY OF THE DEAD Op and the Robert Brian Wilson/Santa Outfit Op. Can you tell us about how some of these Photo-Ops came together?

CRYER: Howard Sherman’s agent, Ken Leicht, has been trying to get Howard to reprise the Bub makeup for years. This just happened to be the year he agreed to do it! Fortunately, Savini was his always accommodating self and jumped in to supervise and also brought in one of his student’s, Face/Off 2015 winner Nora Hewitt, to do all of the work and makeup application involved..

FANGORIA: Obviously, the passing of Wes Craven late last year hit the horror community hard, and from the assembled TFW guest list, the convention is assembling performers from throughout his storied career. Was it important for you to bring together Craven collaborators for this year’s Texas Frightmare Weekend?

CRYER: It was very important to our attendees that we do this. We’ve been fortunate to have most of the great genre directors as guests at TFW over the years: [George A.] Romero, [John] Carpenter, [Tobe] Hooper, and [Clive] Barker have all been guests in the past. Over the years, we attempted several times to bring in Craven himself. For one reason or another, it just never worked out. So this is our way of honoring the brilliance that Craven brought to the genre.  

FANGORIA: You really have a varied guest list this year: Peter Criss, the stars of SCREAM: THE TV SERIES, etc. What went into your guest programming process this year? Was there anyone you were surprised to get this time around?

CRYER: Honestly, our approach has always been two parts. 1) Bring in the guests that our attendees ask for. 2) Throw everything against the wall and see what sticks! Since Ace Frehley appeared at our event a couple of years ago, we’ve received multiple requests from attendees to bring in Peter Criss. I was actually very surprised last year when Skeet Ulrich contacted us directly last year and told us he’d love to attend with Neve Campbell. He’s become a very good friend of the show since. This year, I was very excited that David Arquette wanted to join us. It really helps is tie up the SCREAM guests that we started last year with having Skeet, Matthew Lillard and Arquette join us this April.

FANGORIA: Between these guests, events, screenings, etc., TFW is easily one of the definitive horror events of 2016. In your own words, what would you say most separates TFW from the other horror conventions? What makes Texas Frightmare Weekend worth the trek for horror hounds outside of the region?

CRYER: I think the number one thing is the vibe from the attendees at our event. They are the best in the nation and they are true horror fans. Everyone is completely thrilled to be at the show from our guests to our attendees and even the hotel staff. They totally get into it. You’ll see several hotel staffers in costume and make-up all weekend long.

FANGORIA: With less than 2 months to go, are there any more exciting announcements to come?

CRYER: The Alamo Drafthouse here in Dallas has a couple of announcements coming up that I know everyone is going to love. We might have one or two more guest announcements. The thing about Texas Frightmare Weekend is that we’re never done announcing things until the doors open up Friday!

For those who don’t want to miss this eerie event, tickets are still available for Texas Frightmare Weekend HERE, and you can find more updates at the event’s official Facebook Page. Stay tuned for more exclusive announcements for Texas Frightmare Weekend here at FANGORIA.com!

About the author
Ken W. Hanley
Ken W. Hanley is the Managing Web Editor for FANGORIA and STARLOG, as well as the former Web Editor for Diabolique Magazine and a contributing writer to YouWonCannes.com. He’s a graduate from Montclair State University, where he received an award for Excellence in Screenwriting. He’s currently working on screenplays, his debut novel "THE I IN EVIL", and various other projects, and can be followed on Twitter: @movieguyiguess.
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