HORRORWEEKEND ROCKS THE SMOKY MOUNTAINS AND SURVIVES THE UNDERGROUND!
ABOVE: Bryan Wilson Gasses Up The Smoky Mountains.
Gatlinburg, Tennessee, knows how to get their horror groove on! I’m talking about the most-excellent HORRORWEEKEND, that took place September 30 – October 2. Horror stars and horror fans flocked to the Gatlinburg Convention Center to take part in a variety of events, film screenings, Q&As, and parties. The promoters of this event, Jennifer Black and Adam Phelps, really took great care of us as guests and gave the fans just what they wanted. I have so many nice things to say about this show, but I’ll try to keep the words brief and use lots of pictures!
ABOVE: Bryan Wilson, Cerina Vincent (CABIN FEVER), Jim O'Rear, & Monique Dupree (POST MORTEM AMERICA 2021).
Bryan Wilson and I arrived early to check in and get our table set up. While walking to the convention center we ran into our old friend J. LaRose (SAW 3, INSIDIOUS) and took a few minutes to catch up and discuss one of his favorite subjects… beer! Arriving at the convention center we saw that LaRose was going to be seated right behind us, but that changed when the promoter moved him three tables down from us. J said it was because we were “too ass-grabby.” Apparently, he is all too familiar with “The Treatment.” (J, of course, was making a joke…he actually loves it when we grab his ass!)
ABOVE: Jim O’Rear & Bryan Wilson give Doug Jones (HELLBOY, PAN’S LABYRINTH, SILVER SURFER) “The Treatment” as Doug gets “ass-grabby.”
ABOVE: Doug Jones after Jim O'Rear & Monique Dupree grabbed his "junk."
The official event kicked off Friday night at the Hard Rock Café for a special VIP Meet And Greet party. When Bryan and I arrived, our buddy Cernia Vincent (CABIN FEVER, NOT ANOTHER TEEN MOVIE) was there to greet us with a big hug. We were soon joined by the lovely Monique Dupree (POST MORTEM AMERICA 2021) and her awesome husband Saint and after a few minutes we were ushered into a private room where we joined more friends such as Dick Warlock (HALLOWEEN 2), Felix Silla (ADDAMS FAMILY, BUCK ROGERS), Sid Haig (DEVIL’S REJECTS), Alex Vincent (CHILD’S PLAY), Doug Jones (HELLBOY, PAN’S LABYRINTH, SILVER SURFER), Camden Toy (BUFFY, ANGEL), Sonya Thompson (WALKING DEAD), Brian O’Halloran (CLERKS, DOGMA), Hanna Hall (FORREST GUMP, HALLOWEEN), and many more. The fans who purchased VIP tickets were let in and the party was on…complete with free food and drinks and a live performance by Radio Cult (an awesome group of musicians and darn fine people)!
ABOVE: Radio Cult takes a picture of me while I’m taking a picture of them!
This party was a blast….and we were treated to seeing Sonya Thompson bust a move! The Hard Rock provided us all with free T-Shirts and we all signed a guitar to be auctioned off to raise money for breast cancer. We have to thank the fine people and wait staff at Gatlinburg’s Hard Rock for all their hard work and participation in making this a fun event for everyone, especially Hillary and Jessica! Here’s a few photos from the event:
ABOVE: Jim O'Rear autographs a guitar to be raffled for breast cancer.
ABOVE: Bryan Wilson autographs a guitar to be raffled for breast cancer,
ABOVE: The guitar signed by all celebrities in attendance.
ABOVE: Hard Rock Hillary gets "The Treatment" from Jim O'Rear & Bryan Wilson.
ABOVE: Bryan Wilson taking part in an in-depth discussion with Felix Silla (ADDAMS FAMILY, BUCK ROGERS) and Dick Warlock (HALLOWEEN 2).
ABOVE: Bryan Wilson about to get a handful of Alex Vincent (CHILD'S PLAY).
ABOVE: Group shot promoting Hard Rock!
Saturday was filled with events such as a costume contest, a scream queen contest, Q&A panels, film screenings, and more. We were also joined by more celebrities who couldn’t make it Friday night, such as Derek Mears (FRIDAY THE 13TH, PREDATORS), Ari Lehman (FRIDAY THE 13TH), Margo Kidder (SUPERMAN), Ernie Hudson (GHOST BUSTERS, THE CROW), Kristina Klebe (HALLOWEEN), WCW’s Diamond Dallas Page (DEVIL’S REJECTS), Zach Galligan (GREMLINS), P.J. Soles (HALLOWEEN, STRIPES), Nivek Ogre (REPO), and more.
ABOVE: The Three Stooges -- Bryan Wilson, Zach Galligan (GREMLINS), & Jim O'Rear.
ABOVE: Sonya Thompson (WALKING DEAD) gets zombified for Bryan Wilson.
ABOVE: Ogre (REPO, SKINNY PUPPY) about to give Jim O'Rear "The Treatment."
ABOVE: Jim O'Rear & Bryan Wilson give "The Treatment" to Plucky and Brian O'Halloran (CLERKS, DOGMA, CHASING AMY).
As the day came to a close, Sid Haig asked if I would join him for dinner, along with a few other celebs. Sid is a great guy with TONS of fantastic stories…how could I NOT go? Sid, P.J. Soles, Ogre, and myself loaded up into a hearse that had been converted into a limo (with padded bench seating, a bar, and television sets playing episodes of THE MUNSTERS) and headed to a steakhouse to meet up with J. LaRose, Diamond Dallas Page, and Monique and Saint. Always the gracious host, Sid invited our limo driver inside to have dinner with us. Unfortunately, Bryan had to leave and fly to Ireland and missed out on a wonderful meal and time of fellowship with these great folks.
ABOVE: Dinnertime with Sid Haig (DEVIL'S REJECTS), P.J. Soles (HALLOWEEN, STRIPES), Jim O'Rear, Monique Dupree (POST MORTEM AMERICA 2021) and Saint, WCW's Diamond Dallas Page (DEVIL'S REJECTS), J. LaRose (SAW 3, INSIDIOUS), Ogre (REPO), and our wonderful limo driver.
After dinner we were scheduled to make an appearance at Ole Smoky Moonshine (Tennessee's first legal moonshine distillery) where we were provided with all the tasty moonshine we wanted to drink and were given care packages to take home with us. Thank you to the owner for his hospitality!
ABOVE: A group visit to Ole Smoky Moonshine with J. LaRose (SAW 3), Sid Haig (DEVIL'S REJECTS), Brian O'Halloran (CLERKS), WCWs Diamond Dallas Page (DEVIL'S REJECTS), Jim O'Rear, Ogre (REPO), Monique Dupree (POST MORTEM AMERICA 2021), and Derek Mears (FRIDAY THE 13TH).
From there we were rushed back to the Hard Rock for another VIP Meet & Greet party where Ari Lehman and his band, First Jason, rocked the house. Carl Donavan, a friend of Bryan and I from over 20 years ago, showed up with his lovely friend “Plucky” and joined me for the party. He had come in earlier that day to check out the con and to be around for the sneak screening of UNDERGROUND ENTERTAINMENT, that was to be held the following day. I had not seen him in 20 years (he was around during the television years of UNDERGROUND) and it was great to catch up.
ABOVE: Who knew Dick Warlock (HALLOWEEN 2) would get so upset when Jim O'Rear put the moves on his wife?
Sunday morning started a little slowly as people were fighting the effects of all the moonshine the night before, but it didn’t take long for things to come to life. Although there were more Q&As, concerts, and film screenings (including Zac Parker’s fantastic new flick SCALENE, featuring Margo Martindale, Hanna Hall, and our good friend Jim Dougherty) the highlight of the day, for me personally, was the sneak peek screening of UNDERGROUND ENTERTAINMENT.
ABOVE: Black Bears love UNDERGROUND ENTERTAINMENT.
The reaction of the attendees after the screening was fantastic, including people thanking us for making the film (as it touched the fan geek inside of them), people asking if we would please release a boxed set of the original television episodes, and the return of the shows tag line being uttered from people’s mouths, “Underground Entertainment doesn’t suck!” It was a surreal moment to hear several people saying that tag line after not hearing since the television days 20 years ago. Bryan and I thank those who came to see it and thank everyone for your acceptance of this screwball comedy which shares a small piece our lives.
ABOVE: Zac Parker (SCALENE), Jim O'Rear, & Hanna Hall (FORREST GUMP, HALLOWEEN).
ABOVE: Jim O'Rear & J. LaRose (SAW 3) wonder what's in the sandwich.
ABOVE: Jim O'Rear, Cerina Vincent (CABIN FEVER, NOT ANOTHER TEEN MOVIE), & Camden Toy (BUFFY, ANGEL),
ABOVE: Jim O'Rear with Hard Rock Hillary & Hard Rock Jessica.
Again, we want to thank Jennifer Black & Adam Phelps for putting on a great show that ran smoothly and without a hitch. It was a fantastic weekend and I do hope to be able to participate again next year! If you weren’t able to make it this year, keep an eye open for HORRORWEEKEND 2012.
ABOVE: Bryan Wilson gives Jesus "The Treatment."
Thanks for reading,
Jim O’Rear & Bryan Wilson