By Marco Cadena
LOGOS STAFF WRITER
From television shows, to scary movies and slasher films, fans of the horror genre gathered Jan. 22-24 at Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center for the first annual Terror Expo.
The convention gave horror and sci-fi fans the opportunity to meet, get autographs from and take professional photos with their favorite celebrities and participate in live Q&A panels.
The expo featured appearances by horror icons such as Robert Englund (“A Nightmare on Elm Street”), Tobin Bell (“Saw”), and movie vamp Elvira the Mistress of Darkness, as well as cast members from hit television shows such as “The Walking Dead’s” Emily Kinney and Denis O’Hare from “American Horror Story: Hotel.”
Among the crowd of fans, celebrities and sponsors, local artists showcased their horror-based art in forms such as paintings, T-shirts, posters and collectibles.
Leo Scaletta, a junior at the University of the Incarnate Word, was among the artists at the Terror Expo.
“Terror Expo was loads of fun,” said Scaletta, who is double-majoring in fine art and psychology. “The artwork and the atmosphere was a lot different from many of the other conventions held in San Antonio mainly because of the ‘terror’ theme. This ‘con’ revolved around horror, so many of the artists and vendors catered to that theme, thus making the atmosphere more ‘spooky.’ ”
This was not the first time Scaletta has put his paintings for sale at themed conventions, as he has been part of the Alamo City Comic Con ever since its first year in 2013.
“My art revolves around the horror theme, so it was only natural to be a part of the Terror Expo,” Scaletta said. “It was also nice to be around people who share the same passion for horror as I do.”
Armando Montelongo of Armando Montelongo Productions, Billy Madison and Fred Hernandez of “The Billy Madison Show,” and Alamo City Comic Con creator Alfredo “Apple” de la Fuente founded the terror event.
The success of San Antonio’s Comic Con, its urban legends, and the hopes of giving horror fans a “fantastic entertainment destination” were among the main inspirations to fund Terror Expo, Montelongo and de la Fuente said.
Terror Expo featured live panels with Elvira and the cast of “Sharknado,” “The Walking Dead,” “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” and “The Devil’s Rejects.” Bell from “Saw” and the “American Horror Story” cast also answered fan questions during the last day of the expo.
“Do you wanna play a game?” Bell said as he was introduced at the panel. Bell touched on subjects such as donating blood as part of “Saw’s” marketing campaign, his career as an actor, his favorite moments while filming the franchise, and horror as an underrated movie genre.
During the last panel of the expo, O’Hare and Naomi Grossman discussed FX’s “American Horror Story.” The duo talked about their roles throughout the seasons, the inspirations behind their characters, the latest season of “Hotel,” and gave predictions regarding the sixth installment of the series.
“I think Season Six is going to be aliens landing on an aircraft carrier that crashes into a large building somewhere in Manhattan, and it’s called ‘Disaster.’ That’s all I know,” O’Hare joked. “Ryan Murphy (creator of the show) likes to announce everything on his own timeframe and literally tells [the cast] nothing because he knows he wouldn’t keep our mouth shut.”
Despite Terror Expo’s low turnout, there are hopes for a follow-up in early 2017; however, nothing has been confirmed yet. On the other hand, Alamo City Comic Con 2016 will take place Oct. 28-30 at Gonzalez Convention Center and will feature appearances from original “Darth Vader” David Prowse, Jason David Frank (“Power Rangers”), and Karen Gillan (“Doctor Who”).
If Terror Expo returns, “I will for sure be back next year,” Scaletta said. “I will always support the bizarre and the weird.”