News Column

Blood at the Beach Geek Fest Lurches Into Town

Nov. 8, 2012

Robert Morast

OK, let's get the semantics out of the way.

Blood at the Beach, which will collect a legion of C- and D-list horror and sci-fi movie celebrities to Virginia Beach this weekend, is a sequel, of sorts, to last spring's Blood on the Beach event.

Why the preposition change? Minor business details. It's a boring story.

More interesting is that this geek gathering, which coincides with a zombie walk and a zombie prom, has grown into a franchise just six months after its debut. Geeks all over Hampton Roads can smirk in appreciation.

Another detail to discuss: This article is using the affectionate form of "geek" - we love you pop-culture obsessives.

And let's be clear, there is going to be a host of geeks flowing through the Cavalier Hotel this weekend. Horror movie geeks. Sci-fi geeks. Zombie geeks. Reality TV show geeks. Maybe even some Guns N' Roses geeks.

That happens at these pop-culture conventions where the fans line up for autographs and photos, and for panels where the celebs tell stories and talk about the nuances of their various projects.

Along with the fan/celeb interactions, Blood at the Beach will screen films every day and showcase a few featured attractions. Read on for details.

'The Walking Dead'?

Talk about perfect timing. With the ultra popular "The Walking Dead" in the midst of its latest season on AMC, Blood at the Beach is bringing together a pack of the popular zombie TV show's actors for a Q&A panel.

The highlight could be hearing IronE Singleton (T-Dog) talk following this week's episode, in which his character was killed off. Along with Singleton, Blood at the Beach will welcome Chandler Riggs, who plays the young Carl, and a few of the more familiar zombies.

'Weird' reunion

Even in the spectrum of geek conventions, this is unexpected and unprecedented, a partial reunion of the cast from the 1985 film "Weird Science."

If you didn't see the sci-fi comedy, Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith played a pair of teen misfits who accidentally created a British babe a la "Frankenstein." They'll both be at Blood at the Beach, but not Kelly LeBrock, the babe in question. Also along for the reunion will be Judie Aronson and Suzanne Snyder (they played the boys' high school crushes) and Robert Rusler (an alpha teen tormenter).

"This is the first time they've all been together at once," says Al Keisel, Blood at the Beach organizer.

Sadly, "Weird Science" co-stars Robert Downey Jr. and Bill Paxton couldn't join the gang. We'll get by without them.

Zombie Walk

A horror movie convention without a zombie walk would be like a Kentucky Derby without ridiculous hats.

If you're ready to get gangrene with envy, the zombies will pool together at 2 p.m. Friday in Virginia Beach's Town Center. We're expecting dozens of traditional, skin-rotting, leg-dragging zombies. But we'll give props to anyone who dresses up like a Bill Murray zombie (from "Zombieland") and sends us the photographic proof.

Zombie Prom

While it's well known that zombies are all about brains and moaning, you might be surprised to find out they also like popularity. Watch many zombie flicks and you'll see a pack of the decaying people following a leader.

Saturday night, Blood at the Beach will fete the zombie popularity perspective, holding a zombie prom with a king and queen being crowned at midnight - of course.

The prom starts at 10 p.m. in the Cavalier Hotel and will be full of food and drinks and music provided by DJ J Rob and MC H8te - veterans of the horror convention circuit.

If you go

What: Blood at the Beach

When: 5-10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday

Where: Cavalier Hotel, 4201 Atlantic Ave., Virginia Beach

Cost $25 for day passes, $45 for weekend passes

More info www.bloodatthebeach.com

Stars align

Unless you're a hard-core pop-culture geek, a lot of the "famous" faces at Blood at the Beach might be familiar, but not familiar enough for you to know their names. We're here to help.

Jamie Kennedy

You know him from The "Scream" franchise, where he played the horror film know-it-all Randy.

Holly Marie Combs

You know her from "Charmed," where she played the friendly witch Piper.

Verne Troyer

You know him from The "Austin Powers" franchise, where he was the scene-stealing Mini-Me.

Steven Adler

You know him from Guns N' Roses, for which he was the original drummer, or from his time on "Celebrity Rehab."

Kane Hodder

You know him from ... Actually, you probably don't know him, but he was the man behind Jason's hockey mask in several "Friday the 13th" movies. Pro tip: He's been known to "choke" fans when he takes photos with them.

Alex Winter

You know him from "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure." He was Bill.

Joey Lauren Adams

You know her from "Chasing Amy," where she was the titular, squeaky-voiced lesbian pursued by a young Ben Affleck.

Zach Galligan

You know him from "Gremlins," where he was Billy, the point person for the gremlin outbreak.



Source: (C) 2012 The Virginian-Pilot and The Ledger-Star, Norfolk, VA. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved