We came out of that one more frustrated than ever, but refused to give up, immediately queuing up for Pam Grier’s panel. The line stood for a good 30 minutes before they let us go in. Brothers and sisters – it was well worth it.
Remember those compliments I was giving Grier a few paragraphs ago? She proved their merit here, as her one-woman panel bordered on one-woman-show. She managed to blast the competition out of the water. Her brutal honesty was tempered with kindness and gratefulness for all the opportunities her career has brought her.
Many of the anecdotes told were pulled straight from her autobiography, Foxy, among them her intense experience auditioning as a strung-out prostitute for Paul Newman’s Fort Apache In The Bronx, how she came to act for Roger Corman, her experiences working with a range of artists from Samuel L. Jackson (his, shall we say, well endowment was discovered by Pam during the gun-in-crotch scene in Jackie Brown) to Snoop Dogg (can you believe he smokes pot constantly?) – Grier tore into everything she was asked with the skill of a born storyteller. Her tales were not all fun and frothy, however, as detailed accounts of how surviving sexual assaults would help build the foundation of tough, empowered characters like Coffy and Foxy Brown. This lent the discussion an air of poignancy otherwise lacking in the other panels.
It was a great, great discussion that was well worth the price of admission, drawing in kids, teens, and adults alike. There were a few unsavory types in the crowd (some assholes booed when Grier refused to name a “worst movie” she’d been in), but Grier isn’t known for taking shit. She took command and weaved a tapestry of tales from the low-budget trenches. To put it simply, if you have the opportunity to meet Pam at a convention or to see her talk publicly – just do it. Don’t think, don’t even question your experiences with her work, just jump in. The lady is easily worth it.
But not all was well for my convention compatriot, Jayme. Walking out of the Grier panel, she started complaining about feeling faint. Smash-cut to a few minutes later, and she was back at the room sick with the flu. Like a trooper, she insisted I leave her behind in favor of the overall mission – to cover every facet of Horrorhound I could. I begrudgingly left her bed-ridden and feverish and returned to the hotel to discover the night life of Horrorhound Weekend.
I returned in time to check out the Coney Island Rock ‘n Roll Road Show andMarathon, but missed the costume contest. The hotel lobby was abuzz with drunken fans that all seemed pretty at home with one another. These are fans and celebrities who reunite convention after convention. One could look in the corner of the bar and find Stuart Gordon having a one-on-one conversation with fans (perhaps the alcohol loosens him up a bit), while Scout Taylor-Compton and Tyler Mane nursed beers with a cluster of fans in a corner booth. Doug Bradley and Gunnar Hansen had a table of Horrorhound staffers and fans enraptured in conversation at a lobby table. This, my friends, is what Horrorhound Weekend is all about.