Revenge Of The Horror Nerds: Crypticon Convention Comes To Houston

It's been 14 years, but Houston is finally getting a horror convention. Crypticon Houston will descend upon the Reliant Center the weekend of October 16-18, just in time for Halloween.

The guest list was recently finalized and features a host of horror fan faves. For example:

Adrienne Barbeau (Creepshow, Swamp Thing, Escape from New York)
Kristy Swanson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Phantom)
Ed Neal and Teri McMinn from the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Dee Wallace (The Hills Have Eyes, The Howling, E.T.)
Troma's Lloyd Kaufman
Jonathan Breck (Jeepers Creepers)
Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes, Weird Science)
Duane Whitaker (Pulp Fiction, Feast)
Courtney Gains (Children of the Corn, Rob Zombie's Halloween)

The convention is being organized by one of the stars of the 1990 cult film Frankenhooker -- former Playboy Playmate and Houstonian Charlotte Kemp. Hair Balls talked to her about the con and her involvement with it.

Hair Balls: How did a nice girl from Omaha end up in Houston?

Charlotte Kemp: Do you mean there aren't nice girls in Houston? The women here are hot!

Everything is a yin and yang, and while I would say it has been a positive experience, I have seen and done things that you'll have to read in my book out next year. I moved here to be closer to my family and have my son closer to his cousins. Omaha to Houston, Beijing, Hong Kong, Paris, Monte Carlo...I have lived all over the world but my roots are here in the USA.

HB: You continued working with Playboy for years after your appearance in the magazine (the Playboy Running Team. For example). Would you describe your experience as a positive one?

CK: Well this is a difficult one, Hef loved me being the first Playmate ever to have a license [to use the Playboy name], but Christy did not and we had battles...again more in the book!!!

HB: Were you always a horror fan, or did it just come naturally after making Frankenhooker?

CK: I was a horror fan after I saw Boris Karloff. My mom would come downstairs and turn off the TV. Hooked for 40 years.

HB: How did you get involved with Crypticon?

CK: I have always wanted to put a convention on (especially in horror), and I talked to one of the presenters and put it all together. Conventions are not easy and when you have people that disagree, blah,blah, blah. Nothing is easy, unfortunately.

HB: Did you have a hard time -- pardon the expression -- nailing down any of the guests?

CK: No, not at all, I do a lot of conventions as a guest and most of the guests are my friends. Oops, by the way I did not have to nail any of them. I know I am a Playmate but give me a break. The casting couch would be my couch anyway...remember the new Series "HUNG"? (For the record, I was trying to make a torture joke with the "nailing" comment, but her version works, too.)

The convention will also feature a costume party and performances by local bands. Tickets are on sale at the official Crypticon site. Stay tuned to Hair Balls for interviews and more updates.

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