Undead Like Me FEAR FESTIVAL

Undead Like Me FEAR FESTIVAL
Diehard horror fans have a reputation for being a little strange, full of blood lust and devoted to a genre that often mixes paint-assisted gore, sloppy plot structures and run of the mill acting. From August 26 to 28 the Metro Toronto Convention Centre will play host to the country's biggest and best horror convention. Presented by Toronto-based horror culture magazine Rue Morgue, the second annual Festival of Fear will provide passionate horror buffs with everything they need in the form of special guests, exclusive film screenings, first-rate paraphernalia and celebrity makeup artists.

Founded in 1997 by publisher/horror fanatc Rod Gudino, Rue Morgue began as a 20-page, black & white, Toronto-only zine and in eight years has become one of the leading horror publications in the world. Rod's enthusiasm took his magazine to new heights last year when he organised the first Festival of Fear. "I didn't really decide to start the [convention]; it was pressure from readers and industry alike that got me to do it," he humbly admits. "I wasn't really inspired by American festivals but I knew that the FOF would only work if I brought in the horror genre's most celebrated names."

There's no denying he's succeeded at roping in familiar names, faces, killers and victims. Guests include celebrated author/director Clive Barker (Hellraiser), Elvira (aka Cassandra Peterson), Linda Blair (The Exorcist), Gunnar Hansen ("Leatherface"), Crispin Glover, and Frodo himself, Elijah Wood. "I'm trying to make it quality over quantity," says Gudino. "Cons are about the fans, so people like Elvira and Gunnar Hansen are people I picked because fans want to meet them. But I also am very interested in getting the names that don't have as much mainstream recognition, and yet have a rabid cult following. The line-up is really strong and I'm a little worried, thinking how I am going to top it next year." For more info, visit www.rue-morgue.com/festival.php.