John Carpenter's "Halloween" is probably one of the most influential horror movies of the 20th Century. It turned the genre on its ear and began a whole new variety of films for horror fans to ingest. Without "Halloween" there probably would have never been a Freddy Kruger or a Jason Voorhees. Speaking of Freddy, 2014 marks the 30th anniversary of "A Nightmare on Elm Street." This iconic killer and its series of film help turn a small independent movie studio, New Line Cinema, into a major powerhouse. On May 30-June 1, Spooky Empire's May-Hem returns to Orlando at The Doubletree by Hilton at the Entrance to Universal Studios. Spooky Empire has one of the best reputations for putting together very impressive guest lists, but this year they really have outdone themselves beginning with both a "Halloween" and "A Nightmare on Elm Street" reunions.
The Master of Horror himself, John Carpenter makes his return to Spooky Empire and he is bringing along a lot of friends starting with none other than The Shape himself, Nick Castle. That would have been more than enough for some horror fans, but Petey and Gina Mongelli, who run Spooky Empire, did not stop there. The little boy who played Michael Myers at the very beginning of the movie, Will Sandin will also be in Orlando. Baby sitters/victims P.J. Soles and Nancy Loomis will be there and also Charles Cyphers (Sheriff Leigh Brackett) and the movie's editor/production designer, Tommy Lee Wallace. There will be a Q&A session with the group on Saturday at 2:00. Click HERE to see the full schedule of events.
Happy 30 "A Nightmare on Elm Street!" To help celebrate May-Hem 2014 is bringing in the icon himself, Robert Englund. Both Heather Langenkamp and Amanda Wyss from the original movie will both be there and the two have been known to stop by the famous pool party at night (more on that later). They will be joined by Nancy's mother, Ronee Blakley. Mark Patton, who was in the second Nightmare movie is also scheduled. Their schedule Q&A will take place on Sunday at 2:00.
As mentioned earlier, the list of guests at this year's Spooky Empire's May-Hem is just mind blowing. "Godzilla" was the #1 movie worldwide this past weekend, but do you realize that 2014 is the 60th anniversary of the King of the Monsters? Haruo Nakajima, the man who was in the Godzilla costume for almost 20 years will be here to help celebrate the occasion along with his co-star, Akira Takarada. If you are a fan of this storied franchise then you must meet these two men. Their Q&A takes place on Saturday at 1:00.
The list of guests goes on and on. Lana Parrilla, Rebecca Mader and Sean Maguire from TV's "Once Upon a Time" will be in attendance all weekend. That is not the only famous TV show Spooky Empire has booked, Laurie Holden from "The Walking Dead" will be making her first Spooky Empire appearance. Lee Arenberg and Martin Klebba from the first three "Pirates of the Caribbean" will also be at the Doubletree. Wrestling legends Roddy Piper, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka will be there and also music greats Lita Ford, Marky Ramone and Cherie Currie. Pat Carroll, best known for voicing Ursula in "The Little Mermaid" was a surprise hit at Spooky Empire and is returning once again. To see the full lists of this year's guests, just click HERE.
What separated Spooky Empire from so many of the other horror conventions is that they are more than just celebrity guests, Q&As and a dealer room, although the vendor room is always quite impressive. The convention had been looking for a place to call their new home for the past couple of years since leaving the Wyndham and it looks like they found it with The Doubletree by Hilton at the Entrance to Universal Studios. One element that stood out for fans was the famous "pool party" that took place on Friday and Saturday night. It wasn't really until this past October at Spooky Empire's Ultimate Horror Weekend that it really felt like it was back. The party had featured great bands and DJs and you can expect another great time at this year's party.
Here are some other notable events you may want to check out. On Friday night at 8:00 prepare for In the Pit with Piper. This event will feature Roddy Piper on stage with Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka in a very rare live event. Big time wrestling fans should remember the feud these two had in the past. Anyone want a coconut? Piper will return to the stage on Sunday where he will be with his "They Live" director, John Carpenter. This will be the first time these two have shared the same stage ever! A monumentous occasion, for sure! Other events include the return of the celebrity poker tournament, a monster film festival along with the film premiere of "Disciples." There will also be a showdowcast of the movie "Beetlejuice" and the tattoo room is also back" That will be a sight to see. Be sure to check the schedule to see the full list of events.
Finally, something else that has always made Spooky Empire stand apart is the affordability of it, especially given the enormity of the convention. A weekend pass in only $50. A day pass in between $30-$35 dollars, but the weekend pass is the best value. Click HERE to purchase tickets.
If you have never been to a Spooky Empire event before, May-Hem 2014 is the time to finally go! Where else can you meet so many famous faces of horror, science fiction and fantasy all in one place? No matter where you may live, it is worth the trip. Ask anyone who goes there every year without fail and they will likely tell you how the place and the people are like getting together with family. So many of the fans have known each other for years and they always leave by making new ones. When you go, you'll understand. Hope to see you there.