It’s the month for spooky stuff, and just before all free time is taken by Halloween parties, there’s time for Horror-Rama, Toronto’s horror convention, celebrating their third year. This year’s show was October 15 & 16 at the Hyatt Regency hotel. For the people who know Mike Myers as a murderer and not a guy from Saturday Night Live.
The spinal chord of the convention was vendor’s room where attendees could buy any kind of spooky memorabilia and media. Pentagram necklaces, VHS tapes, or quality printed T-shirts, and authentic animal bones. This was a world of vending by people with passion, not detached moneymaking. 3 Freddy Kruegers wandering the event is a good growth from last year. Next year there should be enough people in costume to warrant a masquerade event or costume contest. You could also meet the crew from The Avod podcast.
And around the perimeter there was a considerable number of guests. Dyanne Thorne, the star of the “Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS” and Danielle Ouimet, star of “Valerie” were extremely fun to listen to, with their endearing nostalgia recalling the time when Cinépix was willing to push all boundaries on violence and sexuality like only horror can. The two actresses still look great and appreciate that their cult stardom never goes away. Horror culture isn’t about mainstream glory, the icons are stars of the C-list and the 80s. Films of the era had a quality that combines visceral and corny that now only exists in the grindhouse world of low budget direct-to-DVD.
After dark there was a party at the Toronto bar named The Bovine Sex Club but despite the name it’s really just a normal dark bar with friendly staff and a pinball machine.
Horror might be a scary genre full of death and hatred and lots of gore, but in Toronto the community is loving and welcoming. During a month when everybody pretends, some people love the spooky stuff all year around and it’s important Horror-Rama gives them a place to network, since Fan-Expo’s very meager horror section isn’t enough for the people who liked zombies long before Walking Dead. Last year Horror-Rama felt like it was a great production but the lack of attendees meant guests were sitting around, this year the word started to spread but not so much that the crowds were ever tight.
If after Halloween you’re still eager for the dark and twisted, check out the Blood In The Snow Film Festival.