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Monday, January 15, 2024

Creep I.E. Con Returns With Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Scream Reunions

In 1974, Tobe Hooper‘s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre changed the face of horror. Next month, actors Ed Neal, John Dugan, Allen Danziger, Teri McMinn, and William Vail will participate in the first official 50th anniversary cast reunion at Creep I.E. Con in Southern California.

Brett Wagner, who played Leatherface in the 2003 version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre before suffering from heat stroke during the production, will also be among the celebrity guests. Dubbed “The Lost Leatherface,” he played the iconic killer as he claimed the remake’s first victim, played by Eric Balfour.

“We were filming the summer months in Austin,” Wagner explains. “It was so hot. I felt it coming. I hit the ground.” He returned to finish the scene after rehydrating, but he describes the effects of the injury as “the most pain I’ve ever been in in my life.” Unable to wait for his full recovery, the production hired Andrew Bryniarski to replace him.

“I’m Leatherface for a week, as I like to say, but I still got the first kill in the movie!” As a fan who pursued the role, Wagner admits to being “embarrassed” about the situation for many years. He even purged his Texas Chain Saw collection, although he has since reconciled with his part in the Leatherface legacy and is bringing his own collectibles to get signed at Creep I.E.

Creep I.E. Con will also host a Scream reunion with stars Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Matthew Lillard, Skeet Ulrich, Jamie Kennedy, and Lee Waddell, who was the first to don the iconic Ghostface mask.

Waddell first worked with director Wes Craven on A Nightmare on Elm Street when his mentor, stunt coordinator Anthony Cecere, hired him as a stunt performer. When Cecere reunited with Craven on Scream, he entrusted Waddell to play the killer opposite Drew Barrymore, with whom Waddell had previously worked.

“Wes knew me, Tony knew me, Drew knew me, so it was a real nice fit,” Waddell explains. “Back then, I’m just a working stunt guy, so I’m like, ‘Yeah, cool. Let’s do a little bit of stunting, a little bit of acting.’ Now, here we are over 25 years later!”

Waddell is relatively new to the convention circuit, but the Scream team welcomed him with open arms. “They all took me under their wing and showed me the ropes,” Waddell adds. “Every time we do a con together, it’s just a big love fest. We have a lot of laughs and a lot of fun. We have a great time interacting with each other and the fans.”

Wagner cites Felissa Rose, Bill Moseley, and Doug Jones as celebrities from whom he learned how to interact with fans. “That’s how I learned to be gracious and humble at conventions. I see how they treat the fans. These conventions are awesome for when you’re not working and to get out there and meet your fanbase. If you’re friendly with someone one day, hopefully they’ll remember when your new movie comes out.”

The I.E. in Creep I.E. Con represents the Inland Empire region of Southern California. It’s a competitive area for conventions, but Waddell asserts that Creep I.E. is already among the biggest and best: “The promoters do a bang-up job. They spoil the guests, they take care of the fans, the price points are good. Usually it takes five-plus years for a convention to get to the status where Creep I.E. is already.”

February’s guest list also features a Sons of Anarchy reunion with Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman, Theo Rossi, David Labrava, and Emilio Rivera, plus Doug Jones (Pan’s Labyrinth), Dermot Mulroney (Scream VI), Tony Revolori (Scream VI), Adrienne Barbeau (The Fog), Bonnie Aarons (The Nun), 
Dana DeLorenzo (Ash vs Evil Dead), Jessica Rothe (Happy Death Day), Christine Elise (Child’s Play 2), and more.

In addition to the celebrities, Creep I.E. hosts over 200 unique vendors. “I go make a couple bucks signing autographs, but then I spend half of it on all the cool vendors.” Wagner chuckles. Additional entertainment includes a haunt experience, arcade gaming, special effects demos by Face Off contestant Eric Fox, horror speed dating, tattoo artists, photo ops, and more.

Beyond Creep I.E., Wagner is excited for Desert Fiends, an indie horror-comedy directed by Shawn C. Phillips (Amityville Karen) in which he appears alongside Eric Roberts, Bai Ling, Tom Arnold, and Scout Taylor-Compton. “I think it’s going to be one of the grossest movies – and I say that in a good way – you’ve seen in the last 20 years.”

Wagner continues, “There’s so much bad in the world. Being able to spend an hour and a half in a movie theater and leave all your worries behind and get your adrenaline pumping, it’s a good thing, especially nowadays. These directors and writers are so creative, you want to see what the next thing is. I’m excited for that. Horror is a genre that’s never going to go away.”

While Waddell has retired from stunt work, he stepped back in front of the camera last year for a bit part in The Night Butcher Volume 2. “It was so refreshing. It was small, ultra-low budget, but it was a blast. To have this kind of fun, stripped-down filmmaking experience took me back to film school again. I enjoyed that experience so much that I’m gonna probably try to pursue more acting.”

Until then, he’s excited to meet fans at Creep I.E. “It’s just full-throttle fun for three days,” Waddell says. “From the fan’s side of the table, and even mine – because you’ve gotta remember I’m still a horror fan! – it’s a great show. To be able to go and see some of these iconic celebrities and other stuff, how cool is that?”

Creep I.E. Con takes place February 2-4 at the Ontario Convention Center in Ontario, California. Tickets are available now.

The post Creep I.E. Con Returns With Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Scream Reunions appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.



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