Despite sore feet and heavy backpacks, Jon and I survived the Labour Day Long weekend at Toronto’s Fan Expo Canada. Fan Expo is the 4-day-long genre event that turns the largest city in Canada into a haven for nerds of all shapes, costumes, and sizes. It descends upon the city every year, offering the best of Comics, Anime, Sci-Fi, Gaming, and la creme de la creme – HORROR!
This year’s line-up boasted a pretty impressive roster of horror guests;
- The Cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, including Tim Curry and Meat Loaf
- Norman Reedus of The Walking Dead
- Bruce Campbell of Ash Vs. Evil Dead and The Evil Dead film series
- Khary Payton of The Walking Dead
- Richard Dreyfuss of Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind
- Kathleen Turner of Serial Mom
- Anthony Stewart Head of Buffy The Vampire Slayer
- Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, & Caleb Mclaughlin of Stranger Things
There were the mind-blowing moments of Tim Curry’s Q-and-A (in which he discussed the Upcoming It adaptation and the new Pennywise), Bruce Campbell’s hour of hilarity, and the world premiere of Ghosted with Craig Robinson. Unfortunately, there were a few other Horror panels that we were unable to attend due to capacity limits or conflicting schedules. We would have loved to have seen the Stranger Things panel, the It panel, and the cast of the Rocky Horror Show reunion.
When we weren’t busy in panels (or running to-and-from one) we took the opportunity to check out the exhibition floor, and all of the awesome Horror vendors and Exhibitors. One of our first stops was Deadly Grounds Coffee company, providers of spooky caffeinated goods. Including Never Sleep Again (a coffee inspired by our favorite knife-fingered villain), Sinful Delight (the spooky combination of chocolate and *gasp* cinnamon), or one of their many Terror Teas! We’ve long been fans of Deadly Grounds, after discovering them at our local Board Game cafe (a regular haunt). It was great meeting head of Canadian Operations, Brad Mavin, and to hear about all of the exciting plans for Deadly Grounds in the near future. Including a HORROR. THEMED. CAFE. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on this amazing, caffeinated company!
It: Float VR Experience
On the exhibitor floor, there was also a giant, slightly terrifying school bus. The set-up was promoting the IT: FLOAT VR experience, leading up to the latest Stephen King adaptation, It. The Losers’ Club cast was also in attendance for a panel, but we were unfortunately unable to attend. The highly anticipated film hits theatres on September 8th.
Guillermo del Toro: At Home With Monsters
I’ve been eagerly awaiting the Guillermo del Toro exhibit that will be making it’s way to Toronto beginning September 30th, and was ecstatic to see The Art Gallery of Ontario‘s booth promoting it. They were offering t-shirts, tickets, and copies of the 144 page fully illustrated catalogue of the exhibit. The event promises:
From the fantastic to the frightful, don’t miss this rare glimpse into the world of renowned filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and his cabinet of curiosities. Taking inspiration from del Toro’s extraordinary imagination, At Home with Monsters reveals his creative process through his personal collection of art, artefacts, books, props, and ephemera, all culled from Bleak House, del Toro’s creative haven located in Los Angeles. This unique exhibition explores the creative mind behind one of the most inventive filmmakers of our generation revealing his influences, from the Medieval era to contemporary culture, and his particular obsession with horror, fantasy and the rich heritage of the Victorian era.
And, just for fun – they had a green screen set up and were offering pictures with some of Guillermo’s most iconic characters. Jon’s is featured at the top of this article (if you’re wondering why I’m not in it, Green Hair doesn’t fair well against a green screen..)
Toronto After Dark
The team from Toronto After Dark also had a booth at the event promoting their annual Horror Film Festival. Toronto After Dark is always a treat, spotlighting the best upcoming genre films during a week long event in the heart of Toronto. We were excited to get a glimpse of the first wave of films announced at this year’s festival, including: My Friend Dahmer, Mayhem, Tragedy Girls, Cult of Chucky, and more! The festival runs from October 12-20th. All-access passes can be purchased here.
We also stopped in at the Shudder booth, the Troma booth, Black Fawn Distribution, Raven Banner Entertainment, the Horror Writers Association and so many more. And, the festival wouldn’t be the con I know without an array of COSTUMES. Every year, cosplayers come decked out as their favorite characters – and there were no shortage of horror-inspired outfits! Pennywise was definitely the most popular choice of the summer, with a few serial killers here and there. My favorite of the festival was the Sanderson sisters Hocus Pocus cosplay (above).
We also had the awesome opportunity to meet and chat with fans, listeners and readers, (and to give out a few Nightmare on Film Street stickers!). Overall, it was an exciting weekend, and a great way to interact with our local Horror community. We can’t wait to see what scares next summer will bring!
If you want more Fan Expo Canada coverage, head over to our social media. We posted tons of photos and updates on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. We will also be covering Fan Expo Canada on this week’s episode of Nightmare on Film Street.