I’ve been attending conventions since April 2004, and in that time, I’ve met a lot of celebrities, most of whom I was fortunate enough to sit next to for a photo. I’ve also made friends with a number of other fans, some of whom have kindly contributed their photos, and even their own convention reports. Though we’re usually locked away and kept restrained, when we get out it’s time for the celebs to face the slayer. Now it’s your opportunity to get a look at who we’ve met.
So join us on the trail of dismembered destiny, and come back frequently, as we’re always meeting new people at cons, and this page is constantly under destruction.
Death Ensemble Editor-in-Chief, Big Evil Phil Fasso
Me and Dr. Dan himself, Bruce Abbott
I met Bruce a few year back at a Chiller show. I felt bad for him, because he was stuck in that one corner where other celebs’ lines block off fans from even knowing a guest is there. He’s a very nice guy, with interesting stories, and was kind enough to let me interview him at Monster-Mania. He signed my RE-ANIMATOR 8×10 with a glowing green marker.
They're being punished by the Creator
This is one cool guy. He smiled when I asked him to write, “Phil, You’re being punished by the creator.” Another great grab from the Romero universe.
Me and Amplas at MM
What can I say that I haven’t already said during John Amplas Week? John Amplas is a great guy, a teacher and an underrated actor who’s always kind to his fans. I’ve met him several times, and look forward to seeing him again soon.
Chadworth and Full Moon founder Charles Band
In 2009, I had the thrill of attending the Full Moon Road Show in Silver Spring, MD (right outside Washington, DC) hosted by, Charles Band. It was a blast and a half. I even got to participate in the “Boobie Monster” and fried in an electric chair! Afterwards Charles stayed around and signed everything his fans had, including my program and a lot of VHS covers. We also discussed my love for ROBOT JOX and PIT AND THE PENDULUM. Charles is definitely one of the all time best, and I later got to meet him in 2010 at Monster-Mania.- Chadworth
Goddamn Michelle Bauer is sexy!
20 years ago, I saw HOLLYWOOD CHAINSAW HOOKERS for the first time. Michelle Bauer instantly became my favorite scream queen. All these years later, I got the chance to meet her at the Chiller October 2011 show, and she’s sexy as ever. And she spends a lot of time with her fans.
I’m not an EXORCIST fan. But I’m a huge fan of Linda Blair’s work, in that film and others. I’ve heard Linda can be difficult, but she was good to me at the October ’05 Chiller. The real story, though, I owe to X. A few cons later, when we were waiting on her line, two guys in front of us were ready to break out into a fistfight. Linda stepped out from behind her table and defused the situation before it erupted into a donnybrook. Pazuzu couldn’t have done it better than the pint sized Blair.
Chilly Billy Cardille
Me and Chilly Billy Cardille
I’ve only seen Chilly Billy of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD a few times, and two of them were in the Pittsburgh area. I passed on him at the Chiller where I met George Romero for the first time, but met him at the Monster Bash ’07. The next year at that same con, I got him to sign my NOTLD banner. A very kind guy who appreciates his place in the Romero universe. His daughter Lori made up the 8×10 I purchased from him.
A nice DAY with Lori Cardille
When I first started attending conventions, I wasn’t a big DAY OF THE DEAD fan. The film’s stars were making frequent appearances, but I passed on Lori Cardille every time. When I took interest in the film, she went off the trail. I’m grateful she’s doing shows again, as I finally met her at the Chiller April 2011 convention, and subsequently interviewed her. She’s incredibly nice, and has a great spread of photos on her table.
Fasso and Fulci favorite Al Cliver
Al Cliver is my favorite actor from the Fulci canon. I loved every time I would watch one of the director’s flicks, and Cliver would pop up. He’s great in all those films, and even better in person. Happy to meet his fans, he’s a joy.
Fasso and Herbert West himself, Jeffrey Combs
Jeffrey Combs plays Herbert West, one of horror’s iconic characters. He’s a great actor, and a nice guy to meet. I’ve met him 3 times, each with different 8x10s from the RE-ANIMATOR movies, and he wrote an awesome line from the flicks on each.
Don Coscarelli likes that I think he directs European art films
I met Don Coscarelli not long after I reviewed PHANTASM IV: OBLIVION for Icons of Fright. He was very flattered when I told him the PHANTASM flicks were more European art films than American horror. A genuinely nice guy, and a rare find on the circuit.
Me and Charles Craig
Charles Craig’s voice provides much of the information about the outbreak of the undead in NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. He also shows up on the television in the farmhouse in much the same role. I had a chance to interview him in promotion for the Living Dead Festival, and he shared some interesting anecdotes. I’ve met him a few times, and he’s always got his prop microphone on hand, as you’ll see in the picture above.
Sexy Sybil Danning, happy Phil Fasso
It took one cancelled appearance and a few years before I met Sybil Danning, but I finally got my chance. And I get her autograph every time I attend a con she’s at. I’ve got 8×10′s from a bunch of films, and she writes some new sexy thing on every one.
For 4 years, my top get, Joe Dante
For four years, Joe Dante was my most sought after celeb. Dee Wallace spoke highly of him, and THE HOWLING is one of my favorite horror flicks. At HorrorHound Indy in August ’08, I finally got my chance to meet him, and he lived up to my every expectation. And Dee introduced us. I can’t beat that.
Griffin Dunne warns, "Beware the deer, X"
Griffin Dunne was the highlight of X’s trip to Monroeville, PA for the HorrorHound show, which was unfortunately ruined by the deer accident. Hitting a large woodland creature will sour any trip, but I hope Dunne made it at least a little better for X. This was Dunne’s only convention appearance, but X has carried on to other shows.
David Early and David Crawford
Fasso flocked by Early and Crawford
I met David Early and David Crawford at a Chiller show during a down period. Though I was burnt out on the convention circuit, I acknowledge these two were great guys who took their parts in the Romero universe seriously. More recently, I got to watch them perform their debate live at the Saturday Nightmares 2011 show, and it was impressive. I complimented them at their table, where they told me it was their first time doing it since they filmed it. Crawford was getting some guff from fans for forgetting a line, but for me, it couldn’t have been better, or more surreal.
Erin Gray and Gil Gerard
- Wilma Dearing and Buck Rogers
I met Erin Gray at a Horrorfind a few years before I met Gil Gerard at Super Mega Show in NJ. Gray was very pleasant, and Gerard was a nice enough guy, but he didn’t have proper change. I said he could keep it if I could pose with him and Gray, who charges a nominal fee for a picture that goes to a charity. They both agreed, and I was happy. Not so happy when I went back a few months ago and watched most of BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY on Netflix Instant. Some things are better left to childhood memories…
X and Linda Hamilton, post- lip lock
Linda Hamilton made out with every guy on line in front of us. Honest to God. X got his lip lock in turn. Notice his smile. Fortunately, he didn’t get a cold sore a few days later.
Me and Leatherface, Gunnar Hansen
Gunnar Hansen played Leatherface in the very first TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. This gives him the honor of being the alpha movie maniac, over Freddy, Jason and even Michael Myers. He’s also a good guy to meet. He sells these neat blinking chainsaw pins, but sadly has no HOLLYWOOD CHANINSAW HOOKERS pics on his table. And he signs, “You’re next!” inducting you into his number of victims.
Bill Hinzman Is Coming to Get You, Phil!
I passed on Bill Hinzman for a number of cons before I finally got him at a Chiller show. Given I just did a whole retrospective on NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, that surprises me. I met him at a Chiller a few years into attending cons, but I was only really inspired when I saw someone else’s picture with him online in black-and-white. He was in full Cemetery Ghoul garb at the Monster Bash in Pittsburgh, PA, where we posed for this awesome shot. Bill brings along copies of his play version of NOTLD, and FLESH EATER for sale at his table. Buy them to see how much mileage he gets out of his iconic role.
Me and Greatest American Hero William Katt
Meeting Michael Pare at Chiller recently made me question why he didn’t have any Greatest American Hero pics on his table. It also reminded me that I’d met the show’s star, William Katt, a few years ago at the awful New York Comic-Con. Katt was discussing a script for a comic (don’t ask me) based on the show, and so I came back later. Though a little unkempt, he was a nice guy. NOTE: I also met Robert Culp at this show, shortly before he died. Culp was charging for a pic, and so I have none with him.
Lloyd Kaufman and the Troma Team
The Troma Team greets the Generalissimo and Fasso
I’d seen Lloyd at a ton of cons- he’s always on the road promoting Troma- but never had any real reason to meet him. That is, until he inspired me to write a zombie comedy that could very well be the fourth CLASS OF NUKE ‘EM HIGH flick. By dint of fate, he was appearing at Monster-Mania just a few weeks after X and I completed DEADTENTION. It sucks for X that he wasn’t there to see me put the script in Lloyd’s hands, but that’s not my problem. I was giddy on account that it’s not every day I get to hand a script to the president of a studio. As for Lloyd’s hands, notice they’re pointing directly at Nicole’s huge chest, which Lloyd spent more time eyeing than my script.
A few weeks later, X and I met Lloyd at the Strand Bookstore, in NYC. As he signed my copy of Direct Your Own Damn Movie, he told us how much he loved the script, but didn’t have a dime to make it. That hasn’t discouraged us yet, and Lloyd’s still willing to play Principal Clark.
Horrified by my clean shave!
Our time with Lloyd wasn’t over yet. In August 2010, I won a low budget lunch with Lloyd. I brought cheese sandwiches with us, as I was sure Lloyd would make us pay for lunch. But to my surprise, Lloyd took us to a nice diner around the corner from the Troma studios. I hate to bust Kaufman’s cover, but he didn’t live up to his reputation as a cheapo at all. X and I had a blast, and it was a day I’ll always remember. Especially since it was a horrifying, rare clean shave day for me.
X with Lorinz, Charlotte Kemp dressed like an Oscar
See X’s huge smile? That’s because: he’s in a picture with James Lorinz, standing next to the beautiful Charlotte Kemp, and she’s dressed like an Oscar.
Me and Zora Kerowa
Zora Kerowa was born for one specific purpose in life: to die violently in Lucio Fulci movies. She was great to meet, though she spoke broken English. I applaud her choice of loud tie.
Me and the beautiful Kathleen Kinmont
All I have to say is this: I don’t show the women I date this photo. Any woman interested in me doesn’t like this pic. Which makes me love my meeting Kathleen Kinmont even more!
Klebe and Fasso Reign in Blood!
I met Kristina Klebe twice, which is a shock, considering how much I despise Rob Zombie’s HALLOWEEN movies. First at TFW, where she was seated with Danielle Harris and Scout Taylor Compton, and they signed a mockup of the three girls on the steps from Carpenter’s version. Then at Monster-Mania. I was actually on line with Nicole and Jonathan Yuhas, who was waiting to get a poster signed. I noticed she was missing an 8×10 of her and Slayer guitarist Kerry King that I’d seen in Texas. She had one last copy tucked away, and explained to me he was on set to present the special Reign in Blood shirt he’d designed for her. Klebe rocks, and she’s a solid up-and-comer, even if Rob Zombie is a hack.
ADD kid John Landis and X
John Landis has a serious case of ADD. He’s hyper and it’s impossible to pin him down to a point. X and I had met him back at the Chiller Oct ’05 con, as part of the MASTERS OF HORROR contingent. He was part of the draw with the AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON contingent at the fateful HorrorHound Pittsburgh show that involved us hitting a deer. He signed X’s AWIL artwork. This picture catches them both in good spirits.
X and madman James Lorinz
X is in love with Frank Henenlotter’s FRANKENHOOKER, so it was a true joy for him to meet its star, James Lorinz. Lorinz is a comic madman, always on point, and outright hilarious to meet. He and X recently spent time together at the Cinema Wasteland con discussing DEADTENTION, in which Lorinz wants a lead role. This shot is from their first meeting, at Chiller some years back.
Fasso and the handsome Kevin McCarthy
Dashing and handsome even in his 90s, Kevin McCarthy was the main reason I went to that very first show. My first inductee into the Hell of Fame, Kevin will always be my favorite guest meet. There are a handful of celebs I meet every time I see them, and Kevin tops that list. I hope he’s in Heaven, and doesn’t have to outrun pod people in the afterlife.
Me and Catriona MacColl
Catriona MacColl is a classy lady. Still very beautiful, and absolutely elegant. I met her first at a Chiller show, and she was the highlight of the con. Through my connection with Mike Baronas, I interviewed her at the Rock and Shock ’09 show, and she gave me my best interview to date. One moment sums up just what a lady she is: When we sat down for the interview in the green room, she offered to get me coffee. I told you she was classy.
Fasso and ZOMBIE star Ian McCulloch
I’m not a huge fan of Italian zombies (I fall squarely in the Romero camp), but Ian McCulloch is the lead in a movie where a zombie fights a shark. I enjoy that. I was fortunate to interview Ian through email a few months before I met him, thanks to my friend Mike Baronas. If you love Fulci, meeting Ian is a no-brainer.
Me and a very appreciative Derek Mears
I have never seen a guest as hyped about meeting fans as Derek Mears. Just about a month after the release of the FRIDAY THE 13TH remake, he was flying high at Monster-Mania, appreciative to the hilt that people would be so interested in meeting him. I met him on Sunday morning, when he was so tired he started to write F13 stuff on the HILLS HAVE EYES 2 8×10 I’d chosen. He then scribbled, “I’m an idiot,” before starting fresh on a new pic. A testament to just how great a guy Derek is: he posed for pics at the bar with any fan who stopped him that Saturday night, and didn’t charge a penny.
Dick Miller, Walter Paisley himself
Dick Miller is an old pro from the Roger Corman school, and Joe Dante’s good luck charm. He appears in THE HOWLING, and that was reason enough for me to meet him. He’s a little pricey, but a nice guy. And he’s got one killer beard in this pic.
Me and Bill Moseley
Bill Moseley is easier to find at a convention than a Big Gulp at 7-11. He does scores of shows, and is a popular draw. He’s also a cool guy, if a little offbeat. I met him twice. The first time, I bought a Chop Top 8×10, and had him sign the “Lick my plate” line. The second time was much more recently, where I bought a NOTLD 90 pic of him as Johnny just so X and I could try to get him a script for DEADTENTION. A good union man, he wouldn’t accept it. That’s cool. He probably couldn’t fit filming into his con schedule anyway.
Finally a pic of me and Caroline Munro
Caroline Munro was one of three guests I met at that first Chiller. I was starstruck the first time, especially when we talked about MANIAC, and her work with Joe Spinell. Back then I didn’t yet have a digital camera. So I was thrilled to meet her at my most recent con, have her sign a MANIAC piece already signed by Savini and William Lustig, and get that picture with the still beautiful star.
Phil howls at David Naughton
Okay, I admit it. I zinged David Naughton. He’d skipped out or left early on a few cons in a row when I was going to meet him. So I decided to wear one of my many HOWLING shirts, which he instantly made note of. I also chose an 8×10 off his table that’s not actually of him, but a Rick Baker special effect. David was in good spirits about the whole thing, as the photo shows. We’ve met him since, and he’s a nice guy.
Phil and Judith O'Dea defend Barbra
I met Judith O’Dea seconds after my first awesome meet with George Romero. She’s an eloquent lady, and was thrilled at how geeked-out I am over NOTLD. She signed the 8×10 I’d gotten from Russ Streiner at Horrorfind and had just gotten Romero to sign.
We met again at TFW ’08, where I had her sign my poster. We had a lively discussion in defense of Barbra, which inspired my recent Piece By Piece article. I hope to see Judith again, as I’d love to interview her and get her to sign more stuff. A must-get for any NOTLD fan.
Phil and George Romero, a god
I’m a disciple of George Romero. It’s not often in life that I get to meet someone who’s a legend. I’ve met him several times, and I still get giddy like a schoolgirl every time. For a while in ’04/’05, he was cancelling out on conventions right and left, but at Chiller’s October ’05 show, he was there, and provided my greatest convention story.
X and I hop on line as soon as we got to the con, and there are maybe only 15 people in front of us. We still wait about an hour, because Romero is spending plenty of time with each fan. We’re down to one guy in front of us, when some autograph seller comes over and cuts the line. He’s got a deal worked out with Romero’s agent Chris Roe, so George agrees to sign some stuff. The whole line starts to groan. This seller pulls out a book with about 1,000 photos in it. Romero starts to sign, and this guy has Post Its all over the 8×10′s. He wants Romero to sign some of these pics in 4 different spots, in specific marker colors. People on line are getting vocal with their annoyance. Romero then says, ” Look, this is gonna have to wait. We can do this after the show tonight, in my room. I’m here to meet the fans, and signs things for them, not you.” The guy pushes the book of pics toward Romero, who barks: ”If you don’t get that book out of my face I’m going to get up and shove it up your ass!” The line erupts into wild applause. With that one gesture, I acknowledge that Romero is a god.
I’d passed on Kyra at a few earlier conventions, but she was one of the reasons I made my inaugural trip to Pittsburgh, so I could meet her at the Monster Bash ’07. She was really cool, and wrote “I hurt” on one of the two 8×10′s I bought from her. A must get for any NOTLD fan.
Phil and Tracy Scoggins
Another beauty who’s held onto her looks. I met Tracy at the I-Con at my alma mater, SUNY Stony Brook. She had an assortment of cheesecake shots, which is probably why I can’t remember if she had any DEMONIC TOYS pics. I got one of her on a sandy beach. Pretty hot.
The Anti-Christ and Fasso finally meet
My favorite horror flick has always been THE OMEN. Meeting the Anti-Christ himself was the main reason I went to the TFW in Dallas. Harvey was an absolute flirt with Kristina Klebe, and signed “666″ within the “D” in “Damien” for me. But not for X, because he didn’t make the trip. I hail Satan even more.
Thumbs up from a demonic kid
Harvey was kind enough to be my first interview, which I wrote out in text for Icons of Fright, and I thank him kindly.
F13 Part 2's Amy Steel
Amy Steel is the “final girl” in my favorite FRIDAY THE 13TH film, PART 2. Though I don’t dig the Jason flicks nearly as much as I did in my teenage years, this entry is the best, and Amy was great in it. She’s even better in person, and if you love Vorhees, you’ll want to meet her.
Gary Streiner with Phil and his NOTLD banner
My gig as an internet horror writer has privileged me with the opportunity to support some causes over the years, one of which was the second Living Dead Festival, in Evans City, PA. I met Gary Streiner at Chiller, when he was promoting the con. He wasn’t in the same room with the rest of the NOTLD people, so when X and I asked his brother Russ where he was, Russ called his cell and found out for us.
Gary is more than just a convention guest to me; he’s a friend. The Streiners are a great family, not a bad apple in the bunch, and Gary is an extraordinary human. His invite to the LDF provided my first visit to Evans City, where NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD was filmed, and he got every guest at the show who I hadn’t already met to sign my banner, which I’m holding in the picture above. I thank Gary for being my friend.
My first meeting with Russ Streiner
Russ Streiner was the very first NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD celebrity I ever met. I thought it was the coolest thing at the Horrorfind Weekend in 2005 when he wrote “They’re coming to get you, Phil!” on the 8×10 he’s holding, which is my favorite of all my 8x10s. It was even more awesome when Judith O’Dea signed the same pic and wrote, “They got you, Phil!”
Russ and I at the LDF
I interviewed Russ over the phone to promote the Living Dead Festival, and he was very happy to see me at the con. When I told him the story about how he and Judith signed, he kindly offered me a complimentary 8×10. This time, he wrote: “They’re still after you, Phil!”
Posing with the Streiners, one classy family
Russ’ kindest act of all came at Saturday Nightmares 2010. When Russ read on Icons of Fright about my mom’s NOTLD story, he offered to toast in her honor. He, Gary and I raised Diet Cokes in Mom’s memory, and this was the most meaningful thing that’s ever happened to me at a convention. I love the Streiners, and with good reason.
Chadworth encounters very lost boy Kiefer Sutherland
In 2011, I ventured from MD into the Big Apple to meet one of my all time favorite villains. None other than Kiefer Sutherland, David from THE LOST BOYS. It was gamble whether or not the crew and I would get him. Street meets usually are, but it worked out. He crossed the corner and my heart started to skip a beat. He said 1 item only, and signed my photo already signed by Brooke McCarter and Billy Wirth (later completed by Alex Winter). We took a photo and I told him I made the trip just for him, he shook my hand and said “Cheers mate, thank you!”. Definitely a moment I’ll never forget.- Chadworth
Mark “Beef Treats” Tierno
Me and Beef Treats
While X was off being interviewed for some reality show by a guy he graduated college with, I was in my glory meeting yet another Romero alumnus, Mark “Beef Treats” Tierno. He signed my 8×10 “Nice hat, asshole!” He also took a DEADTENTION script from X and me, which he was extremely apologetic for not having finished when we met him again at Saturday Nightmares 2011. I forgive him.
Towles and Fasso, two handsome bald men
Me: Tom, don’t take this the wrong way, but you did a great job (in NOTLD 90) of playing a prick.
Tom: Actually, that’s the highest praise you could give me. When you play the villain in a movie, you want people to hate you. Thank you, Phil.
Now that’s a real man.
It was hard for me to choose which pic for Dee, as she’s one of the few celebs on the “meet every time” list. She’s not on the list just because she’s in so many movies I love, though that’s true. It’s because she’s one of the loveliest people I’ve ever met.
Fred “The Hammer” Williamson
Fasso and Hammer
Hammer was one of those people I always wanted to meet, given my love of blaxploitation. But for a time, he was with an agent who was overcharging, and wanted money for a photo. Then I went to meet Richard Roundtree and found out what real gouging was. Fortunately, at that same Chiller, Hammer was charging $20 for an 8×10 and nothing for the picture. I’m now even a bigger fan of Fred “The Appropriately Priced Hammer” Williamson. He’s a fun guy to chat with, and what you see is what you get.