Northern California is where I was born and (primarily) raised. Therefore, I’m always incredibly excited when cool stuff happens here. Sinister Creature Con is probably one of the coolest conventions to happen in Northern California over the last few years. The fact that they moved it to Stockton during June to have it take place two times a year is absolutely brilliant. Southern California is chalk full of cons (if I’m able to drive 6 hours away), but it’s a good feeling knowing something so awesome is happening close to home.
2016 was the first year I actually got to partake in Sinister Creature Con and I fell in love almost instantly. This time around, I only had the time availability to go one day, which was Saturday, the most important day if you ask me. It was the day the “Freddy’s Children Elm Street Franchise” Panel took place.
As I entered the Stockton arena I was fairly unsure of what to expect. I knew I would see some familiar faces as well as some new exhibitors. When I went to pick up my pass, the event staff was incredibly kind and offered me a schedule pamphlet and also informed me that there’s a Sinister Creature Con app available in iOS and Android webstores. If you plan on attending Sinister Creature Con in Sacramento in October, I suggest getting the app as they already have some information available for the October show.
This time around I was rolling solo so I personally felt a bit awkward as I walked around the floor. I made my rounds in the aisles looking for familiar faces while I snapped photos of booths and cosplayers.
One of the first group of friendly faces I encountered were the homies over at Forever Midnight – Brian and Jeff. I hung out and chit-chatted with them a bit about the con and some of their more recent podcast content. They also showed me a pretty rad pin they made in collaboration with Drew Marvick for his film POOL PARTY MASSACRE. The guys at Forever Midnight are super rad and incredibly humble so if you see them around, definitely say hi and check out their show if you’re a podcast listener. As I continued making my rounds, I found myself at the Homicidal Homemaker booth and was kindly greeted and allowed to take photos of the Homicidal Homemaker herself, Kaci Hanson.
Another familiar exhibitor that I had the opportunity to chat with was Monstark. For those who don’t know, Monstark is a were-beast that occasionally takes human form to create weird and monstrous art. I catch Monstark at nearly every con I attend and am always impressed with his lycanthropy artwork. If you run into Monstark at a convention, pick up a print or two!
I also had the privilege to run into one of the dopest artists who I met last year at the Sacramento show, Rickey Williams. For those who are unaware, Rickey makes mind blowing horror dioramas of your favorite horror movie scenes from Neca action figures. His work was recently featured in a well-deserved iHorror article written by Patti Pauley. You can also find him on Instagram under the username @twisted_imagine_nation. Make sure to check out Rickey and his awesome creations at Sinister Creature Con in October, where I’m sure he’ll be raffling off a diorama of your choice!
As I continued my meandering through the rows of booths, I realized that Drew Mavricks booth for POOL PARTY MASSACRE was conveniently located next to the Forever Midnight booth. I sat and chatted with Drew for a bit and he was kind enough to allow me a brief interview with him. Shortly after speaking with Drew, I waited outside of the panel room for the ELM STREET panel, ensuring I had a decent seat for some good pictures.
As the panel began it was being moderated by the Horrific Network and the request everyone wanted was asked, “Ira? Can you just say the line for everyone?” Ira Heiden stands up and shouts, “I am the wizard master!” and the audience went nuts. After everyone settled down the cast members all discussed what it meant to be a part of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET movie. Heather Langenkamp, Amanda Wyss, Brooke Theiss and Jennifer Rubin shared some relatively heartfelt thoughts on the question. Ken Sagoes, being the charmer he is, chimed in with “It means we get a check every year” in which the crowd responded to with immense laughter. Ken then goes on to say that he gets to repeatedly see his old friends and hold down the title of “First Black Person to live through a horror movie.”
As the panel pushed on to the Q&A, we learned some pretty awesome behind-the-scenes stuff while filming particular scenes. Some of these tidbits were mentioned in the NEVER SLEEP AGAINdocumentary and some was new information. Jennifer Rubin explained to us that her badass switchblade abilities were two hand buzzers with the middle removed and rigged with ball bearings with knives attached, therefore, giving her the badass knife wielding demeanor everyone knows and loves.
Brook Theiss explained to us that filming the roach motel scene in A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4: THE DREAM was an 18 hour filming day and she actually got to spend a pretty decent amount of time in the roach costume while filming as there wasn’t a double for that. Rodney also touched on the water bed scene. He explained that it was a room built four feet off the ground with a 6ft deep water tank built under the bedroom. Half of the tank was the water bed separated by a wall and he had to swim under the wall to go under the water bed and tread water while breathing through an airhole. He also explained that the prop was put together with a bunch of apoxy and other chemicals, so if he opened his eyes under water they would burn like crazy!
As the panel was wrapping up, our heroes talked a bit about what the were currently working on. Jennifer Rubin explained that she has been working on a script for a movie based on the Lore of Marijuana and plans to begin filming for it this November. Ira Heiden is currently doing voice over work on a CBS show titled “Code Black” and Ken Sagoes is still doing his charity program, sending underprivileged youth to college – having sent his 200th kid to college this past May!
One of the last things the group talked about was how none of them ever saw A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET becoming a popular franchise, or a franchise at all for that matter. They didn’t see it really getting incredibly popular until the mid-to-late nineties when they would see trick-or-treaters coming to their doors dressed as Freddy Krueger. As the panel ended I made my way through the sea of bodies heading back to the showroom floor. As I made another round through the booths, I took a few more pictures and shook a few more hands before deciding it was time for me to head home.
That about wraps up my experience of the first Sinister Creature Con in Stockton. I think it was a success and I look forward to seeing it happen twice a year now! I’ll be at the October show in Sacramento so if you see me, stop me and say hello! Also, make sure to be on the lookout for my interview with Drew Marvick, the writer/director of POOL PARTY MASSACRE!