The Killing Floor: What Happened At Rue Morgue Festival Of Fear 2011

Published on September 29th, 2011 in: Blu-Ray, Canadian Content, Conventions/Expos, DVD, Halloween, Horror, Movies, Reviews, Science Fiction, Toys and Collectibles, Underground/Cult, Video |

By Less Lee Moore

rue morgue booth

Every August, Rue Morgue hosts its annual horror convention Festival Of Fear as part of FanExpo Canada (which also includes Gaming, Comics, Sci-Fi, and Anime). Every year, I await their list of guests and schedule of events. This year they presented a Near Dark screening with Lance Henriksen (read more here), a Q&A with Tom Savini (read more here), a 30th Anniversary cast and crew reunion for My Bloody Valentine (read more here), and much more, like events and panels with Malcolm McDowell, Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger), Elvira, and John Waters. There are literally too many things for one person to do. If ever there were a compelling reason to clone myself, it would be for Festival of Fear.

This year’s FanExpo was in the North Building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and spread out over four days, which resulted in a big improvement over the overcrowding, long lines, and general frustration of previous years. Even still, I somehow got corralled into the attendees’ line-up inside the convention center instead of the media one, which resulted in a few minutes of waiting and confusion. Fortunately, I made it to the correct entrance and arrived at the convention floor before it was officially open. Thus, I was able to check out some of what FanExpo had to offer before anyone else!

empty fan expo floor
Enjoy it while it lasts . . .

Representatives from Fort Henry were there, encouraging people to attend their Fort Fright Festival Of Fear in Kingston, ON (which runs through October 29). Instead of just handing out pamphlets or flyers, they actually set up a mini-haunted house inside the convention area. It was a great way to prepare myself for the next few days of conventioneering (Is that a word? It is now). The haunted house had mechanical scares, creepy music, and real “ghouls” jumping out to frighten people. In addition, there was a coffin ride inside an actual coffin, retrofitted like a much less intense roller coaster ride.

As a horror hound, I love coffins. I was a bit concerned about getting in one with the lid closed due to my slight claustrophobia (something which the Ft. Henry reps scoffed at: “Yeah, you’re worried about claustrophobia, not being inside a coffin!”) but I did it anyway. It was a somewhat spooky, bumpy ride and totally fun.

coffin rides sign

I’m not one to collect horror figures or swag, but I do love horror movies, especially ones that I have a hard time renting or even finding. In previous years Anchor Bay coordinated with distributor Cinema One for a magnificent horror movie booth. Last year, however, there was a decidedly underwhelming HMV booth. Fortunately, this year’s festival had several great vendors with a solid, reasonably priced selection of genre titles.

Zellers was there with a few discount titles of popular movies (unfortunately, they did not have the dirt cheap Mystery Science Theater 3000 box sets again), while Bargain Books, Etc. had a nice variety of inexpensive classics.

Suspect Video was there, as always, and I probably spent more time at their booth than any other, mostly because the employees (Brad, Luis, Todd) are super nice, friendly, and willing to humor me. Suspect Video is located on Markham Street in Toronto (their Queen Street location fell victim to a devastating fire three years ago). It is jam-packed with titles and definitely a place in which to lose yourself (and all your money).

The biggest and best surprise in terms of movie vendors was My Big Fat Independent Movie Store. To say I was impressed would be a vast understatement. Not only did they have a huge selection of genre titles, they had them subdivided by distributor and type. There were sections for Blue Underground, Something Weird, European horror, Asian horror, Roger Corman movies, TV box sets, plus DVDs and Blu-Rays of films that are hard to find, obscure, or even brand spanking new. I could have easily spent forever in their booth, but I did talk to Stephanie, one of the employees, and I definitely plan on visiting their store in Mississauga soon.

my big fat independent movie store

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One Response to “The Killing Floor: What Happened At Rue Morgue Festival Of Fear 2011”

  1. Popshifter » Best Of 2011: Less Lee Moore:
    December 31st, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    […] Canada; August 24 – 28, 2011: I provided a fairly exhaustive recap of the Festival of Fear in our Halloween Horrors issue, but I need to mention all the other stuff […]

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