Texas Frightmare Weekend Returns with Killer Lineup

Will you make it out alive?
Will you make it out alive?
Christian McPhate

Hello Boys and Ghouls,

I know it is only February, but one of the most howling good times in Dallas is coming up. Texas Frightmare Weekend has garnered so much attention it now has a fence around it like a graveyard because everyone is dying to get in. Just kidding. That was tacky, but puns, man. Deal with it.

Texas Frightmare Weekend will celebrate its year 11 from April 29-May 1. For the newbies, it is three days of mayhem at the Hyatt Regency DFW Hotel with all of your favorite cinematic horror icons and their victims in attendance, signing autographs, taking pictures, talking on panels about your favorite cult films they slaughter or were slaughtered in. It’s a horror fan's wet dream.

Founder Loyd Cryer always goes the distance and this year is no different. I asked him what keeps him going (he wears close to every hat) and how he strategizes which talent to bring in and panels, movies and surprises to program (since there are so many trendy horror films old and new); here is his endearing answer: “The attendees! We have such a diverse group of people that attend from literally all over the world. Their excitement, energy and passion make this event what it is. We listen to [them] very closely and try to fulfill their requests. The fans know what they want, and you just have to listen to them.”

Dallas has always been big on film, but for underdogs like Thin Line, Oak Cliff Film Festival and horror convention Texas Frightmare Weekend, it is about the fans first. TFW has become one of, if not the go-to horror convention in the U.S. Like Comic-Con, attendees dress up as their favorite horror characters — some stay in character — and the thrills ensure everyone has a grand ole time.

The guests — you want to know who is going to be attending. There are quite a few, but here’s a handful of the ones I’m looking forward to seeing: the dreamy Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger); zombie maestro and all around nice guy, writer-director George Romero; Lance Henriksen (Pumpkinhead, Near Dark, the cyborg in Aliens who was ripped apart but stuck around to help Ripley and her crew); Kane Hodder (who played Jason Vorhees more menacing than any of the others in the series); Tony Todd (Candyman — please just say his name once. I do not want to be held responsible for your death.); Mitch Pileggi (the deranged Horace Pinker in the late horror guru Wes Craven’s Shocker); the cast of Nightmare on Elm Street (Englund and heroine Heather Langenkamp); Halloween II (minus Jame Lee Curtis, who is probably busy doing those goddamn Activia commercials); and the most punk-rock zombie movie ever made, Return of the Living Dead. None of these panels should be missed.

As you can tell, there are a lot of guests, and I’ve only scratched the surface. The full lineup of who’s going to be there is at texasfrightmareweekend.com.

Something else important to note: This is a kid-friendly event. In fact, a lot of parents have their kids dress up as their favorite Hollywood serial killer, and it’s so adorable. There's a variety of passes you can choose from (I’d go for the Premium — which is about to sell out — for all-access if I were you). Texas Frightmare Weekend runs from April 29-May 1. If you’ve never been before, I promise you’ll have a bloody good time.

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