Sacramento movie-monster aficionados have a new reason to convene and cackle under one roof.
Serving as an extension of the ninth annual Sacramento Horror Film Festival, which wrapped up last week, the inaugural Sinister Creature Con is a two-day event (Oct. 17 and 18) that features a wide range of regional and national horror-genre talent who will be on hand at Sacramento’s Scottish Rite Center to answer questions, sign autographs and, in some cases, showcase their craft live.
Ticket holders will get to hear from famed actors and writers, professional makeup artists, Hollywood special-effects teams and other artisans first-hand. In short, there’s a lot to see and do this weekend. To help avoid any aimless wandering at the event, here are five highlights you won’t want to miss:
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” guest panel
Local fans who weren’t able to make the 40th anniversary New York convention for this 1975 cult movie classic now have a chance to catch the same celebrity guest panel in their own backyard.
While actors Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon weren’t available to attend, Sinister Creature Con’s director Timothy Meunier booked the three biggest supporting cast members instead: Patricia Quinn (Magenta), “Little” Nell Campbell (Columbia) and Barry Bostwick (Brad Majors).
Meunier says the Q&A session will be a perfect opportunity for “Rocky Horror” buffs of all ages to see and hear from a few of the film’s memorable characters. “They’re getting older, and we don’t know if some of them will be around for the 45th (anniversary) or 50th (anniversary),” he says. “That’s why I think them being here in Sacramento for the 40th (anniversary) is kind of a cool thing."
Makeup, special and visual effects guest panels
Some of Hollywood’s most creative individuals will be in attendance over the weekend to meet with guests and answer questions on their infamous creations.
Among the veterans offering insight into the special, makeup and visual effects industry are Academy Award winner Howard Berger (special makeup effects for “Evil Dead II,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “The Walking Dead” television series); Fon Davis (visual effects for the “Star Wars” and “Matrix” series); and Mike Rotella (sculptor for “X-Men: First Class,” “Man of Steel”).
Meunier says the panels honoring these monster makers are the heart of the convention. “The focus really is on celebrating the craftsmanship of the makeup and the prosthetics,” he says. “While CGI has a great place in film, we adore the films that still use practical effects.”
Syfy’s “Face Off” alumni demos and workshops
The Syfy Network’s popular special-effects and makeup competition series “Face Off” spotlights emerging talent across the country.
Sinister Creature Con is presenting five alumni contestants from the show including Roseville native and Season 3 winner Nicole Chilelli.
In addition to the live makeup and sculpting demos, guests can also participate in hands-on workshops with some of the “Face Off” contestants and take home whatever costume pieces they make for an additional fee.
Haunted houses and mazes
Considering that Cemetarium Haunted House and Necrotic Creations are scheduled vendors at Sinister Creature Con, Meunier says a smaller version of their haunted house exhibit in Citrus Heights will be taking place for those seeking a traditional Halloween scare.
What would a Halloween-themed convention be without at least one costume contest? Sinister Creature Con certainly has that checked off its list with a cosplay (costume play) competition Saturday.
The 10 best dressed cosplayers will be judged and the winner will receive an unspecified prize and bragging rights.
While store-bought costumes are acceptable, Meunier says it’s usually the homemade ones that truly impress. “[A] lot of these guys will figure out unique, inventive ways to create it,” Meunier says. “But the whole culture overall is very, ‘Hey, at least you're part of the club.’ You know? That’s what I’ve come to find that’s cool about the cosplay thing.”
Sinister Creature Con
What: A two-day convention for movie-monster aficionados.
When: 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 17 and Sunday, Oct. 18
Where: Scottish Rite Center (6151 H St., Sacramento)