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Back to life, back to reality – or so the song goes. That first few days back to regular work and home life after Texas Frightmare Weekend is HARD, even if it’s your 9th time!

Yes, 2019 was my 9th year attending Texas Frightmare Weekend and I just NOW had the bright idea to write a recap post about the experience. Truth be told, I’ve spent the last 20+ years with knobbygirl/knobbyverse.com trying to convince myself that I am NOT a blogger – I am a critic…I’ve been hesitant to write anything but reviews (on this site anyway). But who am I kidding? No one gives a shit what I call myself…so why don’t I just BE a write and write whatever I want?

As far as guests go, this year was one of biggest years for Frightmare ever, with the event headlined by bigger stars than ever before. Tim Curry was the name on everyone’s lips this weekend. Frank N. Furter. Pennywise. Wadsworth. Rooster. I am a BIG fan and it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity…and I decided not to meet him for a photo opp. I was torn – I’ve been such a fan for so long, I was afraid that I would be disappointed. Not by his physical condition (wheelchair-bound) – natural human aging is nothing to be ashamed of – but what if he’s a dick? Or worse, not all together there? Unfortunately for me, but fortunately for all the fans who DID get a photo or VIP session with him, he was reportedly an absolute pleasure to meet, and sharp as a tack. Of course, I’m kicking myself now – and will I even have a chance ever again? The one small consolation is that my son and I did get to see him in passing on Friday, as he was being wheeled through the front door of of the hotel. I may not have gotten to touch Frankie, but I did get to see him in person.

 

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You know who we did get to meet though? Meatloaf! I feel like we kind of HAD to, after persuading my 14 year old son to dress up like his character, “Eddie”. The idea just hit me like a bolt of lightning a few nights before the convention – he wanted to wear my old leather motorcycle jacket and were looking up vampire ideas and it just popped into my head. It also helped that my son has a few saxophones and I found a ratty Elvis wig in the garage. (See, this is why hoarding can be good sometimes!) I was fully expecting lots of picture requests, but I shit a goddamn brick when Scott Ian (of Anthrax) stopped my son for a picture. I thought nothing of him saying, “I gotta send this to my father-in-law,” until my sister told me that Scott is married to Meatloaf’s daughter. I had no idea! That also explains why Meatloaf acted like he knew my son when we met him – yeah, I AM a little slow sometimes! Of all the guests I’ve met at Frightmare, Meatloaf has to be one of the nicest, most “real” guys alive. As we were having pictures taken, I was a dumbass and asked him what the one thing he wouldn’t do for love IS. He was quick to tell me that I need to listen to his lyrics – it’s not one thing, it’s NINE things he won’t do. Needless to say, I felt like a dumbass. I even told him that I felt like a dumbass, and he said, “You should feel like a dumbass.” He wasn’t being mean, he had a twinkle in his eye and we were both laughing. I thanked him for settling a longstanding argument between my sister and I, and as my son and I started to walk away, he suggested I tell her that he charged me $20 for the secret and not to tell her unless she coughed up the cash. Meatloaf is a national treasure! I had Meatloaf sign a 1985 RHPS Revival poster, previously signed by Patricia Quinn at her 2013 appearance.

 

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My son wasn’t the only one wearing a costume. My 11 year old daughter made her Texas Frightmare Weekend debut this year, dressed as Wednesday Addams. She was resplendent in braids, black lipstick and an $18 dress I got off Amazon. If it sounds like I am describing her first debutante ball, you are not wrong – if Halloween is like our family’s Homecoming Dance, then Frightmare is surely the prom. She got just as many compliments and picture requests as my son, although I think it was a bit overwhelming for her. Her costume was a happy accident that coincided with meeting Carel Struycken, AKA The Addams Family’s “Lurch”. “Lurch” is cool and all, but it’s not “The Giant.” I wanted him to sign my Twin Peaks poster! When he was choosing where to sign, he said, “Let’s save the middle for Kyle,” and signed off the side. My Twin Peaks poster was signed by Michael Parks (RIP) on 2014 and Sherilyn Fenn in 2015. I met Billy Zane last year, but it looks like in the shuffle of meeting him and drooling all over him, it didn’t actually get signed – a good excuse to see him again!

There were lots of other amazing guests that I didn’t meet in person, not only because of my pocketbook, but I also knew there was no way I could make my kids spend the whole weekend in line without a mutiny on my hands. I’d gotten a pic with Bruce Campbell at A-Kon in 1999, so I didn’t feel bad about missing him. Sam Raimi was also there, making his first Con appearance. Cassandra Peterson and Robert Englund are fairly common guests – someday, I’ll meet them. I’d met Traci Lords at a previous Frightmare. Jenna Jameson’s table was right beside Meatloaf – she looks like a Zombie Stripper.

 

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I kinda feel like I buried the lead here, which is the fact that I got to meet one of my idols and inspirations, Joe Bob Fucking Briggs. His original column was a bit before my time, but I devoured them in book form. I brought his book to sign – his line was one of the longer ones – and our interaction was brief, but he seemed excited to be there interacting with his fans.

I try to make it a point to catch a screening each year – I really wanted to see Velocipastor, about a priest with the ability to turn into a dinosaur….but the showing was at midnight and there was no way my kids would maje it that long. I did become aware of several promising films to investigate: Dickshark (not even kidding) and Clownado.

We did attend the Frightmakers 101 panel, featuring Billy Pon (Circus of the Dead, Dollboy), Courtney Sandifer and Chuck Norfolk (The Haunted Trailer, Getting Schooled). My son is interested in filmmaking, so of course I am going to shove him into it as hard as I can. Their panel discussion was great, with a lot of audience interaction and honesty about the challenges of Indie Filmmaking. It’s a double-edged sword these days – technology means that anyone can do it…the only problem is the market saturation because everyone IS doing it.

I am not exaggerating – 2019 was the most fun I’ve ever had at Frightmare, especially getting to see my kids’ faces light up when people asked for pictures. I’m hoping that my kids continue to enjoy it and keep coming with me.

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