Saturday marked our fourth trip to HorrorHound Indy, an annual Indianapolis convention in honor of the scary, bloody, icky, haunting, stabbing, disturbing, black-garbed aspects of pop culture. The folks at HorrorHound Magazine orchestrate the festivities so loyal fans of the murderous and the macabre can enjoy a themed geek space of their own apart from Star Wars and Star Trek and whatnot. (Well, mostly.) As we’ve gotten older and more puritanical, our touchpoints with horror, terror, and gross-outs have dwindled in number compared to the average attendee, but the intersections between their guest list and our favorite worlds continue to delight and surprise and draw us back into their waiting wings.
Exhibit A: this year’s reunion of three cast members from The Goonies, which they’ve ruled is sufficiently spooky and/or contains enough human skeletons to be on-topic. You might remember Mikey, the asthmatic yet fearless leader who guided our heroes through convoluted clues, deadly booby traps, and the clutches of the wicked Fratelli family to find hidden pirate treasure and give someone in Hollywood the idea to go make National Treasure someday. I saw The Goonies in theaters when I was 13, a year younger than Mikey. Little did I know he would grow up to be Sean Astin — underdog football winner, savior of Middle-Earth, and sidekick to Encino Man. Bonus points to the esteemed Mr. Astin for very nearly guessing my age, and not just because I look it more than ever.
Also in the house: Ke Huy Quan! Best known to our generation as Short Round from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, he later became the Goonies’ gadgetry expert Data as well as the costar of a short-lived sitcom called Together We Stand, later retitled Nothing Is Easy after their dad Elliott Gould died offscreen under circumstances that were never conclusively proven to be not Data’s fault.
The third cast member had the longest line of any actor in the house today: Corey Feldman, star or costar of eighty-three thousand movies from 1980 to 1989, half of them costarring the late Corey Haim and several of them watchable. Feldman technically double-majored today as part of a reunion of Joel Schumacher’s The Lost Boys that brought in his vampire-hunting partner from the movie, two of the vampires, and two guys with a song apiece on the soundtrack, including the internet-famous Greased-Up Sax Guy.
Feldman was the last to arrive, and his entrance was hard to miss if you were in the same ballroom. He entered wearing sunglasses and a gilded boxing robe, and was escorted by a pair of angel cosplayers who sat next to him while he signed and accompanied him on breaks.
Goonies and Lost Boys weren’t the weekend’s only guest themes. Also on hand were four veterans from the Buffy/Angel universe. I’d already met Clare Kramer (big bad Glory from Buffy season 5, last seen as stage host at C2E2) and Juliet Landau (a.k.a. Drusilla, met at Wizard World Chicago 2012), but two were new to me. First up: Mercedes McNab, a.k.a. Harmony. Once upon a time she was snobby friend to snobby Cordelia, until the season three finale saw her go down as a vampire casualty, only to arise in later seasons as a casual vampire. Her final line at the end of the Angel season 5 premiere “Conviction” remains my all-time favorite Angel moment.
Down the way was James C. Leary, best known to Buffy fans as Clem, the loose-skinned demon who hung out with Our Heroes in the later seasons till the going got rough. Clem was proof that not all demons were giant-sized Big Bads. Some were just, y’know, dudes who wanted to go their own way and just so happened to be demons.
Last actor we met for the day: character actor Clint Howard! You might remember him from any of the hundreds of films he’s done (with or without his big brother Ronny), but Anne zeroed in on his child-actor years, in particular the classic Star Trek episode “The Corbomite Maneuver”. As the alien Balok, he just wanted to find some friends and drink some tranya.
As always, HorrorHound is more than just actors signing, though they had plenty more of those. We didn’t avail ourselves of the eight (!) cast members from Friday The 13th Part 2, but they seemed to share a healthy line of fans waiting to collect the set. If and when you ran out of money for autographs and photo ops, another ballroom featured their usual Mask Fest, a collection of vendors and craftspeople dedicated to the fine art of monstrous disguises.
All told, the show went smoothly despite the dense crowds. The HorrorHound guys have their system down and know how to maximize the available space at that storied Marriott location. Granted, the vendors’ room once again felt filled beyond capacity and threatened to crush us all against each other, but we’re almost used to that by now, setting apart the one major logjam we encountered involving a double-wide stroller. At one point the photo-op printers hit a technical snag that delayed photo processing for several of us, but they were back up and running within five minutes.
Our most annoying part of the day wasn’t HorrorHound’s fault. Restaurants in the area apparently had no idea HorrorHound was this weekend…or if they did, they failed miserably at preparing for it. We thought it would be convenient and luxurious to grab lunch at the Marriott’s own Skyline Bistro, but we waited in line at least twenty minutes for anyone resembling a host to greet any of us, let alone mention when or even if actual seating would be possible. Eventually we gave up and walked across the street to Arby’s, whose workers struggled to keep up with the influx of customers with blood-spattered T-shirts and other forms of baroque outerwear. Our total time from entry to food receipt was slightly under twenty minutes. Arby’s 1, Skylight 0. And I guess I can’t complain about the money we saved.
Because this is a convention experience entry, of course we have costume photos. We did the best we could within our increasingly limited working knowledge of the fans’ favorite splatter-fests. A few familiar faces wormed their way into the cosplay proceedings, some more at-home than others. Enjoy!