Ultimate Scream Queen Barbara Steele! Italian giallo director Lamberto Bava (DEMONS), son of Mario Bava! Ruggero Deodato, as in the original DJANGO (1966) and CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (1979)! These names are simply legend among cult cinephiles, and they all will be in Atlanta for Twisted Fears Weekend, a three-day horror convention Sept. 27-29 at the Atlanta Marriott Perimeter Center. And that’s just the terrifying tip of a Retro-tastic guest line-up that also includes Linnea Quigley (RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD), a SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE (1982) cast reunion, Tony Todd (CANDYMAN ), Fred “The Hammer” Williamson (BLACK CAESAR , FROM DUSK TILL DAWN ), Geretta Geretta (DEMONS ), Lynn Lowry (original THE CRAZIES ), and more.
The eerie event also will celebrate the worldwide re-launch of Gorezone, the even more splattery sister magazine of Fangoria . Needless to say, ATLRetro couldn’t help but declare con organizer Jeremy Morris Kool Kat of the Week to find out all the deadly details.
ATLRetro: I’ve heard so many local horror fans express absolute surprise and delight about Twisted Fears. Did it get started with the Gorezone anniversary or was something else the catalyst?
Jeremy Morris: Twisted Fears was formed a year ago by my twisted imagination. I have been in the convention scene nearly 20 years. I have met a lot of great people along the way. The true reasoning of the creation of Twisted Fears was a part of my true love of the horror genre. I have lived in Atlanta all of my life and I felt it was time to do a show with a twist, something different than what fans may be accustomed too.
Twisted Fears has an amazing guest line-up, including a lot of celebrities known for their European horror work, making it very different from Days of the Dead, Dragoncon, or even most horror cons around the country. Why take that the con in that direction?
This question is very easy to answer. As a long-time fan of this convention scene, I have always wished to see more international guests at shows because there are a lot of films [that are] forgotten. I chose to bring in guests that you may have not seen in a long time or possibly never, which gives the fans a fresh new roster of celebrities.
GOBLIN’s playing a few days later on Tuesday Oct. 1. Their shows are selling out across the country, and Fabio Frizzi also is doing a Halloween concert in London. AMERICAN HORROR STORY has a clear giallo influence, which many think will be even more so this fall with its “Coven” storyline. Why do you think there’s such a resurgence of interest in giallo right now?
In my opinion, some of the greatest horror films originated from the Italian genre. People are craving fresh, new ideas while sometimes new ideas consist of rejuvenating past genres of films and the Italians are one of them.
We are just privileged and honored that Barbara and Lamberto have chosen to join us for the inaugural year of Twisted Fears. I consider them legends in their own right. They have influenced some of the greatest films that we know of to date.They will be participating in a Q&A panel on Saturday.
I am sure you don’t want to play favorites, but is there anyone you are particularly excited you were able to book?
I am truly excited for all of my guests I was able to book because I took great pride in the guest selection as a fan first. If I had to choose one that made me giggle it would be Ruggero Deodato because he is so rarely seen, but I consider him the master of Italian horror.
Did you grow up reading Fango and Gorezone? What impact did these two magazines have on you?
Yes, I grew up reading Fango, I actually own the first issue. I have considered it the Godfather of all horror publications. I am truly honored that we were hand chosen to re-launch Gorezone after so many years of absence. It makes me giddy inside to think Fangoria wanted to be a part of this show.
One of the anniversary treats is a virtual interview with Fango Editor Chris Alexander, who’s based in Toronto. Can you talk a little about that
It is an anniversary treat so you need to be there to find out!!!
A lot of folks might think about just coming on Saturday. Why should they buy a full weekend pass instead? Or kick in the extra bucks for a VIP pass?
We have a lot of panels, events, night-time parties scheduled. The signature event is the first of it’s kind, our own Twisted Feast Dinner Party, with a very intimate setting for all fans to have a quiet dinner with all of the guests in attendance. This is a chance to truly have an experience of meeting the guests like no other.
I want the fans to know that Twisted Fears will continue to be a show of firsts on every level as we continue to grow. Most importantly I am a fan and always will be a fan first. And I will see you in May 2014 for the sequel.
Hours for Twisted Fears Weekend are Friday Sept. 27, 4-10 p.m., Sat. Sept. 28, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Sun. Sept. 29, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more info and to purchase advance VIP and general admission tickets, visit http://www.twistedfears.com/.