I’ve been going to Texas Frightmare Weekend since 2016, so when May starts getting close each year, I get excited for convention season! This year’s lineup of guests and panels looked very promising, with John Carpenter and Sam Raimi being the headliners. Keeping an eye on the pre-TFW event that kicks off the convention, I discovered that the Alamo Drafthouse was hosting “An Evening with John Carpenter”. The two film choices were “The Thing” and “They Live.” Being a huge fan of “The Thing”, I opted for that one.
While the movie is always an awesome watch, especially with a crowd, I was a little disappointed how quickly John Carpenter appeared to want to get through the intro. Especially since he left right after the short intro and didn’t come back. The Alamo even dedicated that specific theater auditorium to him, and as they were reading the plaque, he had them skip over his list of movies that he had directed. It was a fun event overall, but I’d be lying if I said that didn’t put a damper on things.
As Friday evening approached, Texas Frightmare Weekend began to kick off! In previous years, the convention had been held at the Hyatt at the DFW airport, but they had outgrown that spot and this was the first year that they had moved it to the Irving Convention Center (a very welcome change). While I was a little worried that the hotel and convention itself might not be as cohesive without being in the same building, everything worked out great. The Texican and Westin hotels were just across the street, and there were a ton of dining options right next to everything.
I always go to the event with a budget in mind, but as prices for autographs and what not have been on the rise, my budget seems to go considerably less further every year. I brought a couple comic books that I own, picked up a 4K release of Trancers at the convention, and had Charles Band sign them all (which he does for free). I had initially wanted to get one of my Walking Dead comics signed by David Morrissey, but he canceled awhile back. I still ended up getting Barbara Steele to sign my comic book, but backed out of John Kassir since he was taking table photos with his mask on. Maybe I’ll get him next time.
I sat through a lot of panels, including the one for Terrifier 2, with David Howard Thornton (Art the Clown) and Damien Leone. These were a lot of fun and really give you a deep dive into what was going on behind the sets of these movies. One of the only films that I sat through was the one for Malum. It was very well done for a low budget film, and I might revisit that one at a later time.
Overall, I had a blast at Texas Frightmare Weekend. I ran into a couple celebrities at the Westin Hotel, with the most receptive being Charles Band, Robin Sydney, and Malcom Danare (a super nice guy). I’ll be coming back next year and look forward to the guests and panels in 2024 and beyond!