Its a hot summer weekend in August in Los Angel… correction Pasadena, California. Outside the Pasadena Convention Center children and adults are dressed up in costumes such as sheet ghosts, cows, Ash from Evil Dead and a bunch of other creepy cos-play ready to Trick or Treat. Yes, in August people in the Los Angeles area Trick or Treat among seeing some of the best art, haunts, and make-up in Horror at the third annual ScareLA convention, and Candi Fear figured her way in.
After disposing of a few bodies and stealing the camera and microphone of an unsuspecting press crew, Candi Fear and her accomplice Worm headed into the zombie and monster infested 55,000 square foot main convention floor. The main floor was filled with art, novels, authors, make-up artists, costumers, sliders, and anything else horror and Halloween related.
As Candi Fear traveled through the massive amounts of creatures and worms she found a lot of interesting people to talk to and lucky for us she had her apprentice Worm film it all so he can learn all there is to know about fear collecting. In a place filled with so much fear it was a challenge to figure out where to start.
Ms. Formaldehyde grabbed Candi’s attention right away with her custom made devil horn headbands. Immediately following Candi getting in touch with her inner demon, Robert “Corpsy”
Rhine of Girls and Corpses Magazine caught her attention, or should we say she caught his attention. Corpsy was there promoting their latest issue which was Gilligan Island and Cannibal Holocaust themed starring the likes of Bill Mosley and Sid Haig; who just so happen to be sitting next Corpsy. More excited than a vampire in a blood bank to meet the infamous Captain Spaulding; Candi went straight for the hard questions asking him about independent horror today.
Moving on from an elated experience, Candi needed to rest. But there is no rest for the wicked so her and Worm continued on to check out all the awesome sculptures of creatures and demons. The replicas of masks lined a booth wall and enamored her interest.
While gawking over an exact replica of a Michael Meyers mask, a screeching is heard from behind. A man in a lab coat holding a crate with some sort of creature screaming from excitement broke the concentration of Candi Fear. After speaking with the nice creature tamer from VFX, she learned that the little monster named Maurice is a fan of The Steve Miller Band and will always sing along… ♪ Some People Call Me Maurice♪.
Parting ways, Candi schemed on how to kidnap the adorable toothy little Maurice but quickly was distracted by everything else the convention had to offer. Candi was able to speak with multiple different people within the Horror genre from all different aspects. Future Featured Fear Maker author Josh Hancock was next.He spoke to Candi and Worm about his unconventional book The Girls of October
Spaz, a slider who is best known for sliding on the ground and scaring unsuspecting Halloween event guests, tried to scare Candi, unknowing that she is not afraid of anything. After the attempt, he was nice enough to talk with Candi anyway. Let’s just say he lived up to his name. A few times during the day Spaz and the rest of the sliders held choreographed shows to entertain convention guests.
One of Candi’s highlights was meeting all the wonderful creatures and monsters that ScareLA had to offer. The middle of the show floor housed Six Flags Frightfest creatures and make-up artists. Scringe, the rat/human mutant commented on how sad she was people saw her as a monster due to the fact she loves people. The lovely but very quiet Tick was certainly a mystery, while the very loud and outspoken Peaches became best friends over their love for children, especially ones with longer hair (they usually are sweeter). Speaking with zombies, like Noel Jason Scott, she was interested in learning about them, which proved to be a challenge due to the insatiable appetite for living brains. Also Ghoulmaster and Monte Revolta and His Band of the Living Dead were in attendance and having a great time performing for The Bloody Ballroom party on Saturday night.
Through out the two days, Candi and Worm met a lot of other people including a man obsessed with creepy dolls named Mark from The Scary Closet with exact replicas of such dolls as Annabelle and Jigsaw; all of which move and are incredibly creepy. Art like Eric O’Neill’s lined the showroom floor. Another fun person was the holiday loving and Krampus worshiper Bill Rude who designed the main art for ScareLA —–>.
Moving on from the artwork we ask – What would Halloween be without haunted mazes? The cast and creators of The Houses October Built, an independent found footage film about finding the most extreme haunt, were there to answer questions. They explained to Candi and Worm some of their most scary haunts and Mikey Roe may have had the scariest one by far. During one haunt they went on, he was blindfolded and had a gun pulled to his back. He was slowly pushed towards an edge of the building and he knew he just had to fall. With your sense of sight taken away and gun to your back, it is really hard to rationalize if you are safe or not. Lucky for him and us, everything was safe but that is one of his most terrifying experiences. Candi also spoke independent horror with the cast and crew along with questions about the challenges of making it in this industry.
In the back of the convention hall a dark room brimming with a layer of thick fog housed five independent haunted mazes, that gave convention goers a little taste as what to expect for the upcoming Halloween season. The mini mazes were intense, dark, claustrophobic, and interesting. Spooky Hollows’ Legends of the Swamp, Drunken Devil Productions “The Sinner Soiree”, Fear Station’s The Birth of the Windingo, and The Curse of The Devil Swamp created enough screams to soundtrack nightmares until the end of time. Also in this room was a unique experience called The Haunted Stadium’s Exorcism where haunt goers are put in a room with a “live” exorcism, which on a bigger stage will absolutely chill you to the bones.
On top of haunts, a newer form of Halloween entertainment made a big presence with their very own panel. Interactive horror is taking over Halloween attractions by putting horror fanatics in real life situations that mimic or feel like Horror movies. Fear Maker Madison Rhodes, who runs CrossRoads Escape Games, allowed Candi to play a mini game which was solved 7 seconds too late. Jon Braver spoke about Delusion while Dylan Reiff elaborated on The Stanley Film Festival and Erin Reynolds guided fans down the pathway of bio-feedback gaming with Nevermind
Local Halloween and Horror stores made an impact as well. One of Worm’s favorite shops, Dapper Cadaver, had a great display showcasing all their new body parts and lab equipment. It is safe to say Candi was intrigued, especially with one of the Flagons which she used to fill up with Fear through out the convention. Also friend of We Are Indie Horror and Candi Fear, Del Howison of Dark Delicacies in Burbank spoke with Candi about the history of Scare LA and few little tips and tricks for his drink cup.
Makeup artists from Boneyard Effects took over the entrance way with beautiful and scary creature designs that roamed around the convention. Larry Bones, the head of Boneyard Effects and also the head make-up artist for Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood was kind enough to endure Candi’s pestering about monsters and creatures. His team of make-up artists are incredibly talented, as you can see, and will be creating monsters and nightmares for years to come.
The high point of Candi Fear’s adventure throughout ScareLA was speaking with some of the legendary and up and coming Fear Makers who are a part of Tales of Halloween anthology. The mastermind herself Axelle Carolyn was more than excited to speak with Candi about the journey to such an epic anthology. Alex Essoe, one of the stars in the film, spoke about her fear of haunted mazes. Dave Parker , Andrew Kasch , John Skipp , and Ryan Schifrin spoke about their segments in the film and their inspiration. Adam Gierasch told Candi incredible stories about his pumpkin patch arm tattoos. And Paul Solet and Adam Green who was interrupted by Neil Marshall conversed about films and situations that truly scared them growing up.
To round out the conversations, Candi Fear spoke with creators of ScareLA, who informed her that this year is the first in the beautiful Pasadena Convention Center due to the overwhelming fan reaction from the past two years. They were in a tiny facility and had to expand. Finding out the origins of this fear collecting playground was main priority when talking with ScareLA creators David Markland and Lora Ivanova. They explained how they were two friends who in the month after Halloween, which for some reason nobody could remember, decided that Halloween needs to start earlier. And they sure are glad they did, because each year Halloween starts in August for Los Angeles convention goers and everyone there couldn’t be happier.
This is all just small taste of what you can see and do at ScareLA, so if you missed out you may want to think about going next year and jumping on those tickets early. Candi Fear will absolutely be there next year, especially now that she knows she can find a whole year of Fear by just walking the show room floor and interrogating unsuspecting Fear Makers.
With all that said; let’s kick off the Halloween Season officially! So worms: HAPPY HALLOWEEN FROM WE ARE INDIE HORROR!