A certain special guest at this year’s event was set to tear our souls apart! Mr Doug Bradley, best known as Pinhead in Clive Barker’s sinister and imaginative Hellraiser franchise returned to the UK for the first time in several years. The lines to get to his table were massive over the entire weekend, cementing his reigning popularity even almost 30 years on following the release of the 1987 horror classic.
In a Q&A led by Grindsploitation director Gary Baxter, Doug Bradley stated that he is in a fortunate position career-wise and is grateful for the opportunities he has been given as an actor. He discussed the subject of typecasting and how he is pleased that he has been able to play Pinhead in eight of the Hellraiser films. He claimed that it’s better to be well known for a role than being in a position of an actor struggling to find work. It’s clear that Doug Bradley is hugely appreciative of how Clive Barker changed his career. The two have been friends for many years, having met during childhood. However, Doug nearly ended up playing another role in the first Hellraiser movie which was that of the delivery man who brings the mattress to Larry and Julia’s home. This part is still a significant role as it kicks off the action which leads to Frank’s bloody escape from hell into the attic however if Doug had made the decision to take the other part he wouldn’t have become the icon he is today.
He spoke openly and honestly about his thoughts on the Hellraiser sequels beyond part III and his distaste for the notorious Hellraiser: Revelations (2011); he had turned down returning as Pinhead based on the quality (or lack of) of the script. Doug discussed the political decisions of the film studios which as fans we don’t often consider. A studio has to maintain the rights of the franchise by releasing more films under its name and is a primary reason we often get less well–made sequels, this portion of the Q&A shed some light on where political and creative decisions in film collide.
An audience member asked Doug about the possibility of a crossover featuring Pinhead going head to head with another iconic horror villain. He then revealed that around the time that Freddy VS. Jason was released, Dimension films were keen to get in on the crossover action and put forward the idea of Pinhead VS. Michael Myers. This is a subject up for debate with the next Ghostface Girls article so I won’t reveal too much of my thoughts on this just yet! Clearly the film never went ahead due to a negative response from a poll conducted by Halloween’s producer Moustapha Akkad at the time but it proved an interesting topic of discussion.
Doug profoundly spoke about the lack of acting roles available for older women in a general sense. Once an actress reaches a certain age they aren’t offered the same exciting parts that they did in their 20’s and 30’s. He stated getting older is a part of life and every medium of entertainment should reflect that. This nicely tied in with Linnea Quigley’s Q&A where she addressed that she mainly gets offered the role of the grandmother in comparison to the sexy horror chick she played back in the 1980’s.
Linnea Quigley is one of the hardest working women in horror with a career spanning over thirty years. She’s best known for her role of Trash in Return of the Living Dead (1990) and for defeating Gunnar Hansen’s chainsaw cult in Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (1988), a movie that’s a blend of film noir and sexploitation. She also starred in the controversial killer Christmas flick, Silent Night, Deadly Night and played one of the soul’s in Freddy Kruger’s chest in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. Linnea had an interesting career starring in a variety of B-Movie’s and trash films. As well as a horror actress she is an animal rights activist and vegan, although she admitted to being partial to human flesh, cannibalism isn’t out of the question! Back in the 80’s Linnea starred in her very own Horror work out, paralleling fitness and gore in an unlikely way yet somehow it works! Linnea is not just an actress she’s a musician, singer-songwriter for her punk rock female-fronted band, The Skirts. Linnea still has a number of projects in the pipeline and is eager to keep working in the genre making her one of America’s most well-known Scream Queens.
As well as Linnea, our own UK Scream Queen Emily Booth was in attendance during the horrifying weekend. Similarly, to Linnea, Emily has appeared in B-Movies, namely on the British indie circuit such as Pervirella, Cradle of Fear, one of the Witchcraft sequels and more recently Inbred. However, she is best known for her presenting work on the Horror Channel. Emily didn’t have her own Q&A which was a shame as it would have been interesting to hear about her career and her experiences within the industry.
Keeping in with the theme of low budget gore horror, Ian Mcculloch also attended Horror Con taking part in a Q&A and met with fans of Italian splatter. Mcculloch is beloved by horror enthusiasts since starring in Zombie Flesh Eaters (or Zombie 2), Zombie Holocaust and Contamination. His work with Lucio Fulci is iconic, with Zombie Flesh Eaters being a pure, cult classic. Mcculloch recalls making the films but did not actually see them until years later. He wasn’t aware at the time that these Italian exploitations had been caught up in the Video Nasties panic which is fascinating in itself.
Other than the special guests the main attraction of Horror Con is of course the Cosplayers. So many people arrived in creative and inventive costumes, some mimicking legendary horror characters from Jason and Freddy to Michael Myers to Pennywise to the Female Cenobite. Others dressed as Zombies and stalked the “innocent” Horror Con attendee’s throughout the weekend. There were Zombie mermaids, werewolves and a whole lot more.
The event was rounded off with a fantastic scareplay competition hosted by the beautiful and hilarious Drag Queen Bunny Galore. With David Naughton judging the competition, cosplayers had to “walk the catwalk” and improvise in character before heading past the judges and an unsettling looking yet highly convincing Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers.
The female cenobite with her bloody open throat rightfully won along with some terrifying looking werewolves and of course the adorable little Sam from Trick ‘ r Treat who went up to Jason with their Halloween sack in a really sweet moment. The crowd cheered then posed for photographs with their favorite horror characters bringing the whole event to a fright-tastic close!
If you’re a Horror Fan, then get yourselves to Horror Con. It’s an incredible event that’s the stuff of nightmares! Bring on more thrills and frights in 2017!
For professional horror and make up effects check out Horror Con’s Official sponsors www.Horrify.Me.UK. Horrify Me are an FX and photography company where you can book a horror photo shoot of your choice. Their horror portraits are incredible.
Read Part 1 right HERE Watch the Ghostface Girls Video Below to hear more about the stalls at the event and the awesome horror items we bought from them.