Saturday marked our fifth 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.
This year HHI moved its proceedings into larger digs at the Indiana Convention Center, where guests, exhibitors, and attendees benefited from lots of extra square footage. Gone are the days of inching through the ballrooms of the Marriott at 21st and Shadeland, which the show outgrew long ago. This year we could move freely through the aisles without elbowing everyone around us, and didn’t have to worry about coming to constant standstills whenever autograph lines clogged up the area. (To be fair, this still happened a little with one busy aisle.) It was a smart and welcome move. For the most part, the growing pains didn’t show.
As usual, we met a few famous folks along the way. You might recognize the gent in our lead photo, Hollywood’s Patrick Wilson, from such films as The Conjuring, Insidious, Watchmen, and DC’s Aquaman, in which he chewed all the underwater scenery he could reach as the Ocean Master. Personally I would recommend Young Adult, while my son is a fan of Hard Candy.
Also on hand from the world of Watchmen: Carla Gugino! The star of such promising but short-lived TV shows as Threshold and Karen Sisco, Gugino is also known as the mom from the Spy Kids series, The Rock’s better half in San Andreas, a survivor of Sucker Punch, and the original Silk Spectre in Watchmen, in which her daughter dated Patrick Wilson even though Gugino is 48 and Wilson is 46. She’s been in many other cool things, but you get the idea.
One more name for fun: John Carroll Lynch! One of those great character actors I’ve seen all around, hither and yon, in works including but not limited to:
- The Founder, in which he played one of the McDonald brothers who get swindled by Ray Kroc out of their dream business
- one of my favorite episodes of The Walking Dead as a mentor who teaches Morgan that humanity still needs morality after the apocalypse
- Zodiac, in which he gave Jake Gyllenhaal the creeps as a real-life leading suspect
- Fargo, as Sheriff Frances McDormand’s duck-painting husband
- an old episode of Frasier in which special guest Shelley Long writes an entire play inspired by her time at Cheers; in her version, Lynch is a haughty therapist named “Franklin”.
The show’s celebrity aspects went relatively okay, apart from when there was an unexplained half-hour delay in photo ops in the late afternoon. Also, at one point earlier, the autograph lines near us stopped as Gugino, Wilson, and a handler gather to huddle around their phones for a few minutes. My first thought was, “Please tell me they didn’t just learn their checks bounced and they’re all walking out right now.” That didn’t happen, though at one point Gugino ran two tables down to confer with fellow guest and Watchmen costar Jackie Earle Haley. Eventually they stopped huddling and whispering, and they resumed chatting and signing stuff. Kinda weird for a bit there, though.
I would’ve loved to meet more talents, but our budget was stretched too thin. It was some consolation that we already saw Mr. Haley in person at a previous surprise appearance a few years ago, but a clearer photo would’ve been nice. (Did I mention we’re not even recovered from Dragon Con yet? Or finished posting about it?)
But with greater square footage comes bigger sights. The spacious Convention Center gave HorrorHound the means to venture into a new frontier with their Indy show: horror-themed cars! I had no choice but to stop and check out the star of John Carpenter’s 1983 underrated classic Christine, which I caught one late night on cable TV some thirty-odd years ago. It left such a deep impression that it led me to reading my first Stephen King novel, which our junior high school library happened to have. To me this creepy ’58 Plymouth Fury is kind of a big deal.
(I do wish we could’ve seen her sides as well as her front, but her handlers had her corralled off in her own private booth, same as Cary Elwes does at his con appearances. You should’ve seen his Dragon Con line…)
Of course there was the usual assortment of spooky objects around the show…
And yes, of course there was cosplay! Not as many costumes as we expected, but quite a few bringing the blood and scares to life.
…and that’s the HorrorHound Indy that was from our modest perspective. I love what they did with the new location. I hope we’ll see them again in the future. I’m sorry we couldn’t delve more into the guest list. (Did I mention we have another con coming up in two weeks? Convention-wise, we knew September would be a painful embarrassment of riches…)