Bizarre AC: A Horror convention and unique bazaar all in one

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bizarre_ac2My girlfriend and I made the drive to Atlantic City, NJ on December 14th to attend the first ever Bizarre AC. Bizarre AC is a mix of celebrity meet and greets, dining experience, bizarre shopping experience, and sideshow attractions. We had authors, comic book artists/writers, adult entertainers, celebrities, artists, promoters, directors, and vendors. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stay the night and check out the screenings of the movies or watch some of the actors participate in karaoke, but I want to just touch on some of the highlights for me. You will be seeing some things from the convention in the next couple of weeks in my reviews.

The one thing I would like to note is that the weather forecast for the area was fairly disheartening, with ice and snow taking the headlines. I would attribute the lower attendance more to the weather than for the quality of the con. I was impressed with everything this convention brought to the attendees.

Well, I might as well start in with the celebrities (since this is the first area I visited). The first person’s booth that I approached was Kane Hodder. Kane has stared in some of the Friday the 13th films as well as Hatchet films, Exit to Hell, and so many more. Right down the row from Hodder was Michael Berryman. You’ll recognize Berryman from movies like The Hills Have Eyes (a movie not to watch prior to a camping trip), The Devil’s Rejects, Weird Science, etc. These two gentleman were friendly and loquacious. Both of them provided me with some stories about their filming lives. I didn’t feel like I was just another autograph to them which, for someone who is in love with horror as much as I am, can make a convention even better. I ended buying a signed copy of Kane Hodder’s book: “Unmasked: The True Life Story of the World’s Most Prolific Cinematic Killer”. I can’t wait to dive into this book and let you all know what I think.

I also had the opportunity to meet Doug Bradley (Hellraiser), Fred “The Hammer” Williamson (From Dusk til Dawn), John Russo (Night of the Living Dead), and Robert, the tire from the movie Rubber. Mr. Russo was another interesting person to talk to. He is working on a Civil War series in Western PA (not far from my hometown) and has released several books. I picked up his book “The Hungry Dead”. Ah, to continue my fascination with zombies and zombie horror.

Unfortunately, one of the stars I wanted to meet, Tiffany Shepis, had to cancel at the last minute due to a family emergency.

Let’s talk about the vendors, authors, directors, etc that I had the fortune to meet.

The one thing I would like to set straight is women and horror. I love horror and all it can bring to viewers. I am amazed by some of the female influences in horror (to drop some current names: Jovanka Vuckovich and the Soska Sisters to just name a few). So where am I going with this? There were a few booths that just didn’t fit in for me. Adult entertainers were present and, while I am a guy and all, I just don’t think this was a great mix.

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One of the booths that I loved was “Gorgeous and Gory: The 2014 Zombie Pin-Up Calendar” vendors. I love the mix of women and zombies/horror/blood. It is interesting and effective. I picked up a copy of the calendar and I can’t wait to see what else these talented folks have in store for us in the future. You can check out their products at the official website. Jess Rajs is the brains behind these projects and she is also the writer of Dead Flesh, a zombie column in “Rebel Ink Magazine”. You can see more about her projects at her Facebook page.

So, what treasures did I bring home in the form of movies?

Sheriff Tom vs. The Zombies:

One year after Mary Horror’s rampage, Sheriff Tom has her spell book and wicked intentions of his own.

While talking to the director of this film, I ended up also picking up one of the books that is a prelude to the film as well as the soundtrack to the movie. I’m looking forward to diving into all three media formats and providing a comprehensive review.

Miss December

Chosen by the man himself, the Kevin Smith Movie Club presents Miss December. Fear strikes Philadelphia when a serial killer begins to monthly stalk and butcher one female victim to add to his calender.

This movie stood out to me due to the mix of comedy and horror. This movie is another one that I am looking forward to reviewing and giving you all my thoughts.

While wandering around, I was asked if I wanted to check out some comic books. I’ve never been the biggest comic book fan (yes, there are some that I really like, but it’s never been a huge interest for me). I opened the front page and was pulled into the story. The name of the series is ‘Super’ and seems to take a little different take on the superhero genre. I picked up the first three issues and I will let you know my thoughts soon!. You can see more about the series here. They are also hosting a Kickstarter campaign to fund the publishing of this comic series. You can find more information at the same website.

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Finally, I stopped at an author’s booth who image intrigued me. The red leaves popped out at me from the dark background and made me take that step toward the booth to see what this guy had to offer. His book, “Rise of November”, is a different take on the zombie genre. It is focused on the tale of one survivor. He told me some of the plot, but I want to wait to read the entire book and provide all of you a review. Maybe I’ll see if I can also get an interview along with that as well. Here is the synopsis from Amazon.com:

Embrace the emptiness of a world that has died overnight-A world now spread with terror and the ravenous undead. Within the mind of one man, one can see the horrors endured within seven days, along with the personal hell that dwells within. All the blood, dirt, smoke, and pain-all of it echoes from the aching lust of the undead, begging these questions: To what end does one fight to survive? To what lengths could one maintain humanity? How much blood can be spilled before the mind loses itself, dowsed in fear and the vengeful cries of the relentless undead? When the world seems most bleak, who do you turn to when there is no one left alive? At what point does it no longer matter? Humanity, it seems, does not come without its own sense of irony. This is the rise of November.

All in all, I consider this convention to be a success. Interesting guests, fun vendors and sideshows (I didn’t even get into those, but let’s just say they were fun and interesting), tattoo booths, and so much horror. I was like a kid in a candy factory. I am hoping that they folks behind the convention will continue to host these events. Next time, I will be spending the night and will be partaking of the unusual dining experience. Thanks to everyone at the convention for making it an amazing time!

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