Before diving into my experience at Sinister Creature Con, I think it’s important to mention that I was absolutely stoked to have a horror con in my hometown of Sacramento. 2016 is the second year that they have done it and I was really disappointed to have missed out on it in 2015. Having now gone, I will let you know that I will be attending every year moving forward. This review isn’t going to be written day by day but more of a blending of our experience at the convention.
First, I need to tell you that the weather was absolutely fantastic to attend a horror convention. It was the first weekend we had received any rain in MONTHS and everything looked dreary and their was a lot of cold moisture in the air. We arrived around 11:30 and promptly got in line. The line was not very long and it only took about 10-15 minutes to get through it, get our passes and make our way into the Con. Considering I have never been to the Scottish Rites Center before, I had no idea how the event was going to be set up; however, the check-in table was at the entrance to a room that look like a very large hallway leading into two other rooms and another, smaller hallway, that lead to the panel and workshop rooms.
Upon entering we walked passed a few booth that had very detailed masks and another booth that I found very interesting. A gentleman was standing at this booth with a banner that displayed “DYER LANE” across it. We immediately stopped to inquire and the gentleman informed us that he is in the process of writing a movie about Dyer Lane. I was beyond excited because I have been venturing onto that diabolical road for years. For those of you that live in the Sacramento area, I would suggest looking into some information about this movie and taking a drive down Dyer Lane if you haven’t already. Next stop was another room where we got to gaze around toys, artwork and shirts. We were able to pick up a few prints of paintings from artist Sean McCaffrey, who commissions some incredibly stunning paintings of horror movie icons. After navigating back through the main room we noticed quite a few things that caught our eyes such as an artist who was displaying horror movie dioramas that he built by hand. They were breathtaking and showed multiple scenes from different movies such as the pit bitch scene from ARMY OF DARKNESS and Freddy Krueger standing menacingly in the boiler room. The artist explained to us that it takes him roughly 10 hours to put the dioramas together and that the ARMY OF DARKNESS scene took about 15 hours. After leaving him and his amazing collection of dioramas we saw a booth for the movie THANKSKILLING. I was ecstatic because I was not expecting to see much of that movie at the convention, let alone meet Ryan Francis who plays the nerd character, Darren, in the film. Ryan was incredibly nice and very excited to see that we were just as excited about the movie. We chatted for a few minutes and he explained to us that there is a group of individuals that turned his movie into a play, which is something I would be very interested in seeing. He also gave us a signed copy of another movie that he had produced titled BIKER BABE VS ZOMBIE BABIES FROM HELL which I’m looking forward to reviewing, especially since Lloyd Kaufman has a cameo in it. We said goodbye to Ryan and made our way to the main show floor area which is where we saw Lori Petty’s (“Orange Is The New Black”, TANK GIRL) booth where she was selling photo ops and autographs.
As we entered the main room, directly to our right was a booth where I knew I would be dropping a decent amount of cash on movie posters as well as another booth, Punkstuff.org, that was selling amazing horror movie T-shirts with amazing quality prints on them. I would recommend purchasing movie shirts from them because they have an amazing selection, I walked away with about 5 T-shirts from a wide variety of movies such as BAD TASTE,SLEEPAWAY CAMP and NIGHT OF THE CREEPS. As we meandered through the booths we stumbled upon Samm Todd’s booth (TRICK R TREAT) and I was very excited. She was incredibly kind and was not hesitant to take a photo with me. We also attended her panel later that day which was very informative where she talked about her acting career during the filming of TRICK R TREAT. Throughout the entire convention we saw a great deal of amazing costumes and cosplayers, one of my favorites being the Werecat from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video. Another booth that we visited was for a podcast, Forever Midnight, which had some awesome enamel pins and these people were some of the nicest people we had met at the convention. They were immediately impressed to see that we knew who “Art the Clown” was from ALL HALLOWS EVE. They also hooked us up with some free stickers, horror movie postcards and a replica matchbook from the HALLOWEEN franchise for the Rabbit in Red Lounge. I made sure to check out their podcast after the Con and would definitely recommend giving it a listen! We also got to check out a booth that was home to the Homicidal Homemaker, a cooking program where the host, the Homicial Homemaker, cooks horror related recipes. You can find episodes of their show on Screambox and I’ll be looking into that in the near future.
After walking the floor and attending Samm Todd’s panel, we decided it would be best to stay in the panel room. Up next was the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3: DREAM WARRIORSpanel featuring Ken Sagoes and Jennifer Rubin. I was ecstatic to watch this panel as I’m a huge fan of the Elm Street franchise. Ken talked about being the first black actor to make it through a horror movie and him and Jennifer bantered back and forth about their experiences with the movie. I was happy to also see that both actors were very open and willing to answer all fan questions. After the Elm Street panel we stayed to listen to the one and only John Kassir, the voice of the well beloved Crypt Keeper. I thought his panel was by far one of the best that I have attended. John was amazing and gave us insight on how he grew his career from the ground up. He talked about how he is no longer part of the “Tales from the Crypt” franchise, how he initially got the part and other gigs he has worked on. I wish I had the opportunity to shake his hand but there were people around him at all times, even his booth was crowded non-stop. One thing he offered at his booth, which I thought was brilliant, was for $30 he would record your voice mail recording as the Crypt Keeper!
After John’s panel we wandered around the floor a bit more, trying to fight the urge to spend more money than we already had, while soaking up the atmosphere of the convention before our departure. All in all, I absolutely loved Sinister Creature Con – I felt completely at home, not just because it was in my hometown of Sacramento, but because I hadn’t felt this connected to a bunch of strangers since Midsummer Scream. I was also very happy to have my fiance with me for the experience because she had never been able to attend any panels or really have the experience to see and meet all the people that are so thoroughly invested within the horror community. Overall, I think Sinister Creature Con was a complete success, it was organized fairly well, and I will most definitely be returning next year. Sinister Creature Con opened my eyes to how vast the horror community is in Sacramento and I find it unfortunate that I missed out on 2015’s convention but I look forward to the years to come!