Horror fans, this is your weekend to check out Texas Frightmare Weekend, which has been dubbed "the Southwest's premier horror convention." And with the kind of lineup they have this year, even non-horror fans might find something worth braving.
Here are our picks for the panels and films you won't want to miss over the convention's run this Friday through Sunday. You can see the complete schedule of events here.
Friday Panel: Pet Sematary, 7 p.m. You didn't forget about this one, did you? In 1989, director Mary Lambert brought Stephen King's adaptation of his own novel to the big screen. Friday night, Lambert and Denise Crosby, one of the film's stars and a favorite with Trekkies for her role as Lt. Tasha Yar, will talk about that creepy cat, their memories of making the film and its staying power with fans.
Film: Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan, 10 p.m. Judging by the trailer, this is one you have to see to believe. Could it be scary? Maybe, but the amount of bad green screen and bad Joe Estevez on display here tells me this gonna be one decidedly campy affair. And on a Friday night, what's so wrong with that? Please, please watch the trailer:
Saturday FRIGHTMAKERS 101: The Postmodern Horror Film, 1 p.m. Curious about where the genre's going in our po-mo age? Join this special discussion with fans and filmmakers on what separates your garden variety horror film from horror films with a postmodern twist. Careful, though: It could get pretty meta in there.
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Panel: Alien, 3 p.m. No, Sigourney Weaver won't be there, unfortunately, but Veronica Cartwright, Tom Skerritt and Tom Skerritt's mustache will. Neither of their characters fair all that well in the film, but the opposite is the case for Cartwright and Skerritt's careers, regardless of genre. Hear what they have to say about working with Ridley Scott and on playing cat and mouse with a guy in a rubber alien suit.
Panel: Danny Trejo Is Loco, 5 p.m. And so are you if you pass up a chance to see Trejo in the flesh. Trejo's incredibly varied career goes back to 1985, when he ended up as an extra in the thriller (but not thrillingly titled) Runaway Train. Since then he's worked like crazy in small genre films and on TV. His biggest film so far may be Robert Rodriguez's Machete. A sequel, called Machete Kills, hits theaters later this year.
Sunday Panel: Dee Wallace Q&A, 11 a.m. She was the mom in the family-friendly E.T., but Dee Wallace has also had a pretty successful career in the horror industry, with roles in Wes Craven's original version of The Hills Have Eyes, The Howling, Cujo, and Rob Zombie's remake of Halloween. Have your burning questions ready for this special Q&A Sunday morning.
Film: Adjust Your Tracking: The Untold Story of the VHS Collector, 12 p.m. While some cinephiles are up in arms about the rapid disappearance of celluloid, others are lamenting the disappearance of VHS. God only knows why, but this documentary tries to shed some light on the question. Directors Dan M. Kinem and Levi Peretic talk to a group of devoted VHS collectors about how they first became collectors and why they love the format so much.