News Article

News Article

SDCC 2009: FEARNET Guide to Comic-Con 2009

It started back in 1970 as the Golden State Comic Book convention, when a small group of 300 rabid comic book fans and sci-fi nerds gathered at the historic U.S. Grant Hotel in San Diego to share their passion and trade back issues of The Fantastic Four and Mad Magazine.  Now almost 40 years later, Comic-Con has become the world wide pop culture event, as literally hundreds of thousands of fans from around the globe descend onto the sunny shores of San Diego to celebrate not just comics, but TV shows, films, manga, anime, video games, toys and collectibles and all sorts of celebrities from the worlds of fantasy, science fiction, horror, and the just plain weird. For those of you attending, we’ve weeded through the numerous sessions to find the ones focused on our genre that you won’t want to miss. For those who can’t make it, don’t worry, we’ll have full coverage of every thrilling moment hear at FEARnet.  Either way, here are your best bets listed day by day of the essential events, screenings and big name stars from the world of horror and fear:

THURSDAY July 23
Day One is the packed with the most genre choices, so we suggest wearing a comfortable pair of running shoes, because you’re going to have to move fast to take in all that the convention has to offer on opening day.  For starters, there’s a Disney sponsored panel on the recent slate of state-of-the-art 3-D movies, which will feature a live Q&A with Robert Zemeckis (Tales From The Crypt, Gothika, House on Haunted Hill,  What Lies Beneath, Monster House, The Reaping, etc.) and genre fave Tim Burton (do we really need to list his bona fides?).  Speaking of 3-D, convention goers will get the first look at the new 3D release of The Final Destination, as well as traditional 2D sneaks of Sorority Row, Pandorum, Avatar and The Twilight Saga: New Moon.  The celebs are also out in full force, including appearances and Q&A sessions with Sigourney Weaver, Bruce Campbell, Terry Gilliam and James Cameron.  As for our choices of the two “can’t miss events:

BEST BET
9:30-12:00 Halloween Comes Early: Trick 'r Treat Screening— Be among the first to see writer/director Michael Dougherty's (Superman Returns, X2) creepy, darkly comic celebration of the scariest night of the year. Trick 'r Treat takes the Creepshow/Tales from the Crypt approach to nefarious new depths with four interwoven tales set on Halloween night: a high school principal who moonlights as a vicious serial killer; a young virgin whose quest for that special someone takes a gruesome turn; a group of teens who carry out a cruel prank with disastrous consequences; and a cantankerous old man who battles a mischievous trick-or-treating demon. Prior to the screening, Ain't It Cool News mogul Harry Knowles will moderate a panel featuring Michael Dougherty and members of the cast, including Anna Paquin (True Blood, X-Men), Tahmoh Penikett (Battlestar Galactica, Dollhouse), and Brian Cox (The Bourne Identity, X2). A collection of creepy stories that mixes fun with fear, candy with poison, and laughter with screams, the critically acclaimed Trick 'r Treat will be released on Blu-ray Hi-Def and DVD and On Demand by Warner Home Video in October. Ballroom 20

SLEEPER SESSION
12:45-1:30 Legendary director Joe Dante (Gremlins 1 & 2, Innerspace, Explorers, The Howling) makes his return to the genre he knows best with the 3-D thriller The Hole. Three kids come face to face with their darkest fears after they unlock a bottomless hole in the basement that makes their nightmares come to life. Join Dante—along with actress Haley Bennett (The Haunting of Molly Hartley)—as he discusses his return to thrillers, working in 3-D, and The Hole.

FRIDAY July 24
Although Friday is officially dedicated to Star Wars, there are still plenty of offerings for the fear and terror set, including sneak peeks of the new A Nightmare On Elm Street, Legion and District 9, the latter hosted by producer, horror meister and “ring master” Peter Jackson.  Speaking of star power, there will also be sessions with directors Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline) and Robert Rodriguez (Grindhouse) James Cameron (Avatar) and Peter Jackson.  And we humbly submit our own little shindig, which unveils our new FEARnet original production Fear Clinic.  Along with a sneak peek, participate in a cast and crew Q&A featuring star Robert Englund, and moderated by horror icon Clive Barker.

BEST BET
10:00-12:30 Warner Bros.— Join WB for a look at their much anticipated  slate of upcoming genre films, including Where The Wild Things Are, The Book of Eli, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Box, Jonah Hex, and Sherlock Holmes. Hall H

SLEEPER SESSION  
 
9:30-10:30 The Blood Factory— This screening and Q&A with The Blood Factory creators features Danny DeVito (actor/director/producer), Tracey Walter (Batman, City Slickers), John Albo (screenwriter), Nick Bonamy (production designer), and Tkay Garcia (website creative director). Learn how they bring tales of horror and menace to life. Room 7AB

SATURDAY July 25
What Saturday lacks in quantity of genre offerings, it makes up in quality.  First and foremost, there is an afternoon spotlight session with all-genre legend Ray Bradbury.  What can we say…his influence is giant, his work is essential.  So meet the man, hear the stories, and have something truly cool to tell your kids about.  But the day has so many great offerings that this session didn’t even make the list below.  You can also get a taste of the new season of HBO’s True Blood, including a Q&A session with the cast and creator Alan Ball.  Sneak peeks of Zombieland with star Woody Harrelson on hand; and Roland Emmerich’s upcoming end of the world epic (does he make any other kind of film?)  2012.  And yet, there are still even darker delights to be had, including the first ever look at Scream creator Kevin Williamson’s newest TV series, hosted by the man himself:

BEST BET
5:55-7:00 The Vampire Diaries Pilot Screening and Q&A - The Vampire Diaries stars Nina Dobrev (Degrassi: The Next Generation), Paul Wesley (Killer Movie), and Ian Somerhalder (Lost) appear with executive producer/writer Kevin Williamson (Scream), writer Julie Plec (Kyle XY), and executive producer Bob Levy (Gossip Girl), as the series makes its Comic-Con debut with a screening of the much-talked-about pilot, followed by a Q&A. This edgy and romantic new drama, in which two vampire brothers—one good, one evil—are at war for the soul of one girl, is based upon the bestselling book series of the same name. Lynette Rice of Entertainment Weekly moderates. Room 6BCF

SLEEPER SESSION
6:30-8:00 Troma Roast— In Tromaville, you don't just roast 'em, you nuke 'em! Come see this no-holds-barred roast of Troma Studios president Lloyd Kaufman, featuring past and present BFFs: Stan Lee (Spider-man, Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Hulk), Terry Jones (Monty Python), Brian Pulido (Lady Death, Evil Ernie), Richard Saperstein (Planet Terror, John Q, Se7en), James Gunn (Scooby Doo, Dawn of the Dead, Slither), Batton Lash (Supernatural Law), Steven Paul (Ghost Rider, Baby Geniuses), Penelope Spheeris (Decline of Western Civilization, Wayne's World), Ron Jeremy (Boondock Saints, Studio 54, Killing Zoe), Joe Lynch (His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th), Mick Garris (Stephen King's The Stand, Sleepwalkers), Chad Gilbert (lead guitarist, New Found Glory), John Rieber (G4 senior VP), Jean Prewitt (Independent Film Alliance), Terry Stewart (president, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame), and more! What a way to celebrate 35 years of Reel Independence with Troma Entertainment! Indigo Ballroom / Hilton Bayfront

SUNDAY July 26
Comic-Con wraps up with most sessions firmly focused on the comics, but still includes some genre offerings, such as famed fantasy illustrator Marshall Vandruff ‘s workshop on how to draw monsters, and a sneak peek of the new season of Supernatural, including a Q&A with cast and creators.  However, your best bet for fear and fun is fittingly the last event of the convention.  Pull out your fangs and get ready to party!  And for lovers of giant Japanese monster movies, DO NOT miss our “Sleeper” selection:

BEST BET
4:00-5:00 Buffy the Musical— Let's end this show with a bang! The powers that be behind Fandom Charities Inc. and Whedonopolis.com present a screening of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical episode Once More With Feeling as Comic-Con 2009's big closing event! Many say this is the finest, funniest, most ingenious episode ever to come out of the Buffy-verse.  Ballroom 20

SLEEPER SESSION
1:30-2:30 Master of Monsters— Author August Ragone (Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters) presents a visual tribute to Japan's "Master of Monsters," Eiji Tsuburaya, the man who created the analog special effects for Godzilla and invented the kaiju eiga (giant monster movie) genre. Much like Derek Meddings (Thunderbirds), Tsuburaya and his team build elaborate miniature city and landscapes, which were summarily destroyed in pyrotechnical conflagrations or by men in monster suits. See over a hundred rare, behind-the-scenes photographs from some of his major films, such as Rodan, The Mysterians, Mothra, and The War of the Gargantuas. Room 8

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