By Oscar Benjamin
It can be clearly stated that there is a convention for every genre one can imagine. One can also state with confidence that we are in an era of abundant riches when it comes to the subject of the amazing amount of conventions that fans can attend during any given weekend in any city of sleepy hamlet in the United States of America. The sheer amount vying for the attention of potential attendees is a challenge that can sometimes vex and break a promoter. How do you stand above the rest? Ladies and gentleman of the jury I present to you for your examination-Sinister Creature Con!
Sinister Creature Con is a now twice yearly convention that escaped from the mind of horror impresario Tim Meunier. Mr. Meunier is a celebrated and very noted figure in Sacramento, California who has an impressive resume of producing horror related film festivals, shows, events and conventions in the capital as well as surrounding cities. His decision to create Sinister Creature Con in the year 2015 was a logical extension of his obvious love for the horror genre and to share that unabashed love with fans.
In the year 2017, Sinister Creature Con added a summer version in the city of Stockton, California. It was held in the Stockton Arena and it attracted an impressive number of fans whom upon being asked felt that the con filled a void that was lacking in the area. The Sacramento area hosts a number of cons that cater to Anime, Science Fiction and Fantasy but falls short when it comes to conventions that cater specifically to fans of the horror genre. Tim Meunier’s considerable experience and expertise in presenting shows that contain elements of horror and his contacts with professionals in the industry qualifies him as the individual to satiate the demands of fans of this genre of the macabre.
Sinister Creature Con can be described as a celebration of all things horror with a heavy emphasis on the artisan side of the film industry. Make-up professionals from the industry dominate the convention and to the delight of fans-they can be found on the ground floor of the con itself with functioning samples of their work that can be
examined in detail. This Most Awesome Sauce reporter had the opportunity to speak to several of these artists about their work at the previous con that was held in Stockton, California. One of the featured make-up artists was Alan Carnes who had gained notoriety by being featured on the SyFy channel’s ‘Face-Off reality competition show. Carnes was very approachable, amicable and he genuinely enjoyed talking to me about his work. Mr. Carnes was one of many such excellent artists that excited fans with tales of the industry highlighted by the results of their efforts in full view.
Sinister Creature Con also featured an eclectic mixture of horror feature film actors and actresses who had discussed their roles in hour long panels that sometimes had a standing room only crowd. One such panel featured writer and director, Don Coscarelli who initially shocked the cinema world in 1978 with his nightmarish film known as ‘Phantasm’ and can claim with confidence that he has inspired a number of filmmakers that includes famed director J.J. Abrams who had restored the film to 4K glory recently. The panel itself was an exercise in inside industry stories that played like an amusing tale that brought home the fact that the film industry is a minefield that, once
successfully maneuvered the satisfaction of the finished film, far outweighs the pitfalls one may encounter. The director was humbled by the vocal enthusiasm fans showered upon him during the panel and genuinely expressed gratitude that his low budget shocker still receives accolades to this day.
These examples are but a few of what one could encounter and enjoy at the Sinister Creature Con this past June in Stockton. Those that have inquisitive minds might be wondering how Tim Meunier may be able to top that particular con. Sinister Creature Con returns for two days beginning on October 14th through the 15th. Perusing through the website for the convention will reveal an exciting roster of talent both behind and in front of the camera. Leading the roster is famed character actor, Ted Raimi who has graced many films and television shows. He has been featured in ‘Xena: Warrior Princess’, ‘Patriot Games’, ‘Spiderman’, ‘Candyman’ and can now be seen in the popular television show entitled, ‘Ash vs. the Evil Dead’. Actress and director, Danielle Harris makes an appearance and there can be no doubt that she may just steal the entire convention. Controversial German director, Uwe Boll also makes an incredibly rare public appearance and it can be certain that his panel will be filled with jaw dropping statements as well as humorous quotable lines. Sacramento local favorites Nicole Chilelli and Alan Carnes return once again to demonstrate their craft that gained them notoriety on ‘Face-Off’.
Another item of note was the quality of the vendors that were present and will no doubt grace the upcoming con as well. This reporter has never seen such a quantity of vendors whose products were individually hand made. Items ranged from disturbingly clever bone creations to images painted upon vinyl records. If you are planning on attending be sure to have a well-padded wallet full of funds because these items are irresistible.
Sinister Creature Con is just not another by the numbers con run by individuals who are out to drain attendees straight out of a scene from a poorly made vampire film. Sinister Creature Con is a reflection of the infectious enthusiasm creator Tim Meunier has for the often maligned genre. Meunier has stitched together a horror con that fans speak of in glowing terms and like Victor Frankenstein, Meunier has combined the best of what the genre has to offer in the living and breathing organism known as Sinister Creature Con.
By Oscar Benjamin