Crypticon Seattle 2016 Guest Guide
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This will be my seventh year covering this convention (fourth with WatchPlayRead), and I have to say, this is by far my favorite convention that I attend. If you’re a horror fan and you’re interested in film festivals, meeting celebrities, attending informative panels, buying awesome goods from local vendors, or just hanging out with horror nerds like yourself, I highly suggest picking up a pass for this convention.
I prepare every year by making a list of movies that guests have appeared in to watch/re-watch. Every year I find new favorites and hidden gems, so this year I’m going to share my list with you. This year is extra special because it includes members of the cast of Aliens for what will be the 30th anniversary since the film was originally released.
This article will cover the films of Elvira, and the members of the Aliens 30th anniversary reunion including Lance Hendrickson, Michael Biehn, and Alec Gillis. Check back next week for a watch list for the remaining guests which include Kane Hodder (Jason Vorhees), Tony Todd (Candy Man), Ginger Lynn (The Devils Rejects, and many adult films), and Mark Patton (A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge).
Cassandra Peterson aka Elvira Mistress of the Dark.
Read my interview with her from Salt Lake Comic Con 2014 here.
Cassandra has appeared in many films including two feature length Elvira movies, and has had a few TV series in which she presents low budget (often public domain) movies. This will be her second appearance at Crypticon Seattle.
If you’d like the opportunity to take a picture with Elvira while at Crypticon, click on her picture for details.
Here are the essentials:
Elvira Mistress of the Dark (1988) — The quintessential Elvira movie, plus it’s so 80’s it hurts (in a good way). I’d say this is a must watch/re-watch before Crypticon.
Elvira’s Haunted Hills (2001) — The self financed sequel to Elvira Mistress of the Dark. It doesn’t quite live up to her previous work, but still worth a watch/re-watch.
Peewee’s Big Adventure (1985) — If you blink, you’ll miss her. She’s the biker babe who says “I say you let me have him” right before Peewee does his Tequila dance. Not a big role for her, but do you really need an excuse to re-watch Peewee’s Big Adventure?
Elvira’s Movie Macabre/13 Nights of Elvira (1981-1993, 2010-2011, and 2014) — This is Elvira’s TV series, and some of these episodes have been made available through home video, and even streaming services. She always does a valiant job to spice up these boring movies, but she unfortunately never had much of a quality catalog of horror movies to work with. The 13 Nights of Elvira series that was produced for Hulu with the help of Full Moon actually had some fun movies.
All About Evil (2010)
The Search for the Next Elvira — TV series(2007)
Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold (1986)
Attack of the Killer B Movies (1995)
Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie (1980)
Crypticon will host an Elvira look alike contest entitled Who Shot the Couch at 11AM on Saturday, May 28th. To sign-up just visit the Ghoul Girls table any time on Friday. Check out the details here.
Lance Henriksen is probably the most prolific living actor when it comes to the horror genre, especially when it comes to B movie goodness. My list for him is long, but so worth watching. I’m not going to tell you how to be a fan, but if you’re on the fence of whom you’d like an autograph from, I’d highly suggest going with him.
If you’d like the opportunity to take a photo with MR. Hendriksen while at Crypticon, just click his photo to check out the details.
Dog Day Afternoon (1975) — This Al Pacino bank robbing action flick is not only a must watch, it features a twist ending that should be considered particularly relevant today. As gritty as this movie is, it’s really just a tragic love story at its core.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) — Spielberg’s classic alien invasion flick featuring Richard Dreyfuss. I’d be shocked if you haven’t seen this one already. Hendriksen’s role in this isn’t huge, but if you haven’t watched it recently you should seriously consider doing so.
Damien: Omen II (1978) — The sequel to The Omen wasn’t quite as popular as the original, but in my opinion was nearly as good. Lance (like most of his movies) plays a Sergeant at the military school Damien attends. Even though Lance doesn’t make it to the third Omen movie, I highly suggest watching that one as well.
The Visitor (1979) -This fun B movie that doesn’t often get the attention it deserves.
Piranha Part II: The Spawning (1981) – James Cameron’s directorial debut. He would later use Henriksen in his movies The Terminator, and Aliens.
Nightmares (1983) — This movie is an anthology or portmanteau style horror flick. In the segment “The Benediction” Lance plays a priest with a crisis of faith. As he leaves his parish he gets into Duel type situation with a black pickup truck possessed by the devil. This movie is pure 80’s gold.
The Terminator (1984) & Aliens (1986) — It should go without saying that if you haven’t seen these movies, or haven’t seen them recently, you should watch them. These are easily in the top 20 best Sci-Fi movies of all time, and the top 5 for 80’s.
Near Dark (1987) — One of the most clever vampire movies ever made. Near Dark is directed by the Oscar winning Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty, The Hurt Locker, Strange Days, Point Break) and has an amazing cast. Definitely watch/re-watch this movie.
Pumpkinhead (1988) — Monster movies never saw the resurgence in popularity they deserved. While slashers dominated the 80’s, there were a fair amount of quality monster movies, one of those being Pumpkinhead.
Survival Quest (1988) — Written and directed by Former Crypticon Seattle guest and Master of Horror Don Coscarelli (the Phantasm series, Bubba Ho-Tep, Beastmaster, John Dies at the End) Survival Quest is a unique action/drama and a solid watch.
The Horror Show (1989) — This movie came out a whole 6 months earlier than Wes Craven’s Shocker, and a year before First Power (1990). All three movies have the similar plot line of an executed serial killer coming back from the dead for more. It’s possible they were trying to capitalize on the execution of famed serial killer Ted Bundy. The Horror Show is definitely the grittier of the three, and probably my favorite. Fun fact, this movie at one point was titled House III despite having nothing to do with the House series. When the producers of House wanted to make a third movie they had to title it House IV, and that movie is bat-shit insane!
Alien3 (1992) — While the original script had a lot more of Hedricksen’s character, Alien3 still manages to be an important watch for fans of his. Though director David Fincher (Seven, Fight Club, Zodiac, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) disowned this movie, there are cuts that exist that are certainly worth watching, most notably the Assembly Cut.
Man’s Best Friend (1993) — Man’s Best Friend pits Hendricksen against a genetically modified Franken-Cujo. This B-movie is a guilty pleasure of mine and deserves a watch by every horror fan.
Millennium – TV series (1996-1999) — This is probably Hendricksen’s most important work. For three years Lance played Frank Black on Fox’s Millennium. Watching all three seasons before Crypticon may be a tall order, but I definitely suggest watching a few. Maybe you could fit in the first season? Keep in mind if you want closure to the storyline, you’ll have to watch the X-Files episode entitled “Millennium,” as the series was cancelled far too soon.
The Pit and the Pendulum (1991) — This Full Moon masterpiece was directed by Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator, From Beyond, Dolls, Robot Jox, Fortress, Castle Freak, Dagon).
Dead Man (1995) — This black and white independent film starring Johnny Depp has a soundtrack by Neil Young, and is pretty interesting. You could probably hold off on watching this one before the con, but you should add it to your watch list regardless.
The Quick and the Dead (1995) — A weird Sam Rami (The Evil Dead series) western starring Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, Russell Crowe, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobin Bell (the Saw series), and has a writing credit from a young Joss Whedon.
Super Mario Bros. (1993) — You know you want to re-watch this hot mess again. It’s probably been awhile, but it’s still just as bad as you remembered.
Powder (1995) — Directed by a truly disgusting human being, Victor Salva (the Jeepers Creepers series, Clownhouse) many people are boycotting his work, and for a good reason. Regardless, this movie is decent and Lance has a solid role as the Sheriff.
Scream 3 (2000) — Some of Wes Cravens worst, you could probably skip this one.
AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004) — Lance has a solid role in this flick, unfortunately I just don’t care for it as a film.
Madhouse (2004) — A surprisingly good B movie from the early 2000’s. Definitely worth a peak.
Abominable (2006) — This movie is one of those cheesy B movies that’s actually entertaining when you’re in the right mood. This gets extra points if you’re a fan of cryptozoology, more specifically the abominable snow man/Sasquatch legends.
The Slammin’ Salmon (2009) — A broken Lizard film (Super Troopers, Club Dread, Beer Fest) that is actually pretty funny despite being straight to DVD.
Michael was a huge part of 80’s cinema being that he played Kyle Reese in The Terminator, Corporal Hicks in Aliens, and Lt. Coffee in The Abyss.
If you’d like the opportunity to take a photo with Mr. Biehn while at Crypticon, just click his photo to check out the details.
The Terminator (1984)
The Seventh Sign (1988) — This is such an underrated and artfully made horror film. Right in the middle of the era of slashers Carl Schultz dared to make a apocalyptic thriller that was really against the grain.
The Abyss (1989) — Three years after directing Biehn in Aliens, Cameron directed him again in what could easily be described as Aliens underwater. This brilliant SciFi film still holds up today despite outdated special effects. The acting in it is top notch, as much of the emotion being conveyed by the exhausted and frustrated actors is very real.
The Rock (1996) — This movie may be the definition of guilty pleasure. Nicholas Cage, Sean Connery, Ed Harris, William Forsythe, and our man Michael Biehn all battle it out on Alcatraz island. This movie is directed by Michael Bay—but was written by a group of talented people including Quentin Tarantino, Jonathan Hensleigh, and Aaron Sorken. All three remain uncredited for their contribution.
Planet Terror (2007) — Directed by Robert Rodriguez as part of the Grindhouse series. If you don’t know about this movie than this is probably not the Con for you.
Take Me Home Tonight (2011) — This throw away comedy starring Topher Grace, Anna Faris, Dan Fogler, Chris Pratt, and about a dozen other hilarious people is actually worth a watch. Biehn plays the father of Topher Grace and Anna Faris.
Sushi Girl (2012) — Sushi Girl is an underrated, low budget, Reservoir Dogs knock-off with it’s own little twist. This years guest Tony Todd and former Crypticon guest James Duval star in this along side acting greats Mark Hamill, Noah Hathaway, Danny Trejo, and Shin’ichi Chiba.
Navy Seals (1990)
The Art of War (2000)
Alec Gillis and his special effects company ADI is arguably one of the best special effects group around. Take a peek below at the list of movies Alec and ADI have worked on and you’ll quickly recognize the quality of his work. Alec has won an Oscar for his work on Death Becomes Her (1992), and was nominated for one for his work on Aliens3. Recently ADI, with help from a successful Kickstarter campaign, managed to produce their own movie Harbinger Down (2015). This movie is definitely on my watch list for Alec as he also wrote and directed it.
Invaders from Mars (1986)
The Monster Squad (1987)
Amazing Stories (1985-1987)
Alien Nation (1988)
Death Becomes Her (1992)
Demolition Man (1993)
Mortal Kombat (1995)
Starship Troopers (1997)
The X-Files (1993-1998)
Alien vs. Predator (2004)
Alien vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)
Harbinger Down (2015)