The Horror Honeys: Classics Honey’s Horror Highlights from NYCC 2017!

Classics Honey’s Horror Highlights from NYCC 2017!

All photos shot by Samantha McLaren

A New York Comic-Con Diary with Classics Honey Sam

Well, New York Comic Con 2017 has come and gone, and your Classics Honey is more than a little exhausted. I am, after all, a creature of the night, of dark crypts and quiet tombs. But my first visit to NYCC was a wild ride, complete with a delicious undercurrent of the macabre and bloody, and I’m delighted to share the horror highlights with you all!

Full disclosure: I was out of the country for the first two days of the con, and so sadly missed the gloriousness that was Jennifer Tilly and the Cult of Chucky team (*sobs*) at their panel on Thursday. I arrived back in New York around 2am on Saturday morning, jetlagged and cranky, and was up and raring to go just a few hours later.

Saturday’s highlight was the hilarious Ash vs. Evil Dead panel, with the incomparable Bruce Campbell in attendance. Joining him was a host of new and familiar faces from the show: Dana DeLorenzo (Kelly), Ray Santiago (Pablo), and newcomers Arielle Carver-O’Neill and Lindsay Farris, who will each have very different relationships to Ash in the upcoming third season, which premieres February 25, 2018, on Starz.

Sam starts her NYCC '17 journey!
“If there’s one thing I know about Evil Dead fans, they’re never satisfied!” Campbell declared, before treating the audience to an exclusive surprise screening of the season three premiere. The episode orchestrates some of the most creative kills yet, and sets a bloody brilliant precedent for the season to come (emphasis on the bloody). Some spoilers ahead, so tread with caution...

“Bruce is the nicest guy ever,” said Carver-O’Neill, who plays Brandy, the estranged daughter of our lovable fuck-up of a hero. A moment later, in a very Ash-like move, Campbell reached into the pocket of his suit and pretended to pay her off. Before long, he had handed out dollar bills to half the cast when nice things were said about him, and then to the audience—and when the singles ran out, he started handing out fives, then twenties, in a running gag that soon had the room in stitches.

“He’s basically the worst father ever,” Campbell said of Ash when asked what the character’s relationship with his newly-discovered teenage daughter will bring to the show. “But saying that, he’s also the best father ever. Ash never lies to his daughter… but it sounds like he always lies! He sounds like a raving lunatic!”

The arrival of Brandy will also affect Kelly, who takes the girl under her wing. “She gets painted into a bloody corner,” DeLorenzo said of her ass-kicking character. “She snaps. Kelly’s gonna get her revenge against evil… It rivals the Kill Bill fight!”

And as for Pablo? “The illegal has powers this season, so watch out!” Santiago joked. Pablo spent a significant portion of the last season cut in half, so it’ll be interesting to see what he does with his newfound Necronomicon powers.

Sunday’s highlight was something I’d been looking forward to all weekend: a popup escape room celebrating the upcoming release of Jigsaw, the eighth installment in the recently revived Saw franchise. “Jigsaw: Survive the Trap” began with a VR experience in which I found myself trapped in a chair with saw blades positioned over me, ready to kill. A tape clicked on, and a familiar puppet informed me of the rules of the game. Unfortunately, I was so enraptured by the sight of Billy and the voice of Tobin Bell in my headphones that I immediately died. Oops.

But John Kramer must have been in an unusually lenient mood because after removing my VR headset, I was shackled by the wrist to my partner, another member of the press I’d met just fifteen minutes prior, and told to press play on the tape recorder stuck to the wall. At that point, the doors were opened and we were pushed into a creepy blood-spattered room. Another door opened, another shackled couple entered, and the doors were closed behind us. A tape clicked on. Jigsaw offered a cryptic message. A timer started. We had five minutes.

Working together, we realized we’d need to find two keys to open the door, and set to work digging through the assorted torture paraphernalia, trying not to tangle ourselves up in our chains. I feel fairly confident saying I was the only person in the room who had seen any of the Saw films because I was definitely the only one squee-ing at the situation! I was also the person who set eyes on the blood-drenched sink and had a moment of epiphany since Adam (Leigh Whannell) lost his own key to survival down a drain in the very first film. Confident in my Saw knowledge, I plunged my hand into the drain, only for the sink to simulate the garbage disposal turning on. Despite myself, I jumped a mile and yanked my hand out! But I still had all my fingers (although my shirt was noticeably bloodier), so I retrieved the key. And after a few minutes of frantic searching, we used a blacklight to find the combination to a locked box and retrieved the second.

We survived with just two seconds to spare. The team behind “Survive the Trap” informed us it was the closest call they’d seen all weekend. As a reward for passing our test, we got to live (the swag bag with posters, a blood syringe pen, and a ticket to the new movie was a nice bonus!). My thanks to Lionsgate and the team for squeezing me in and creating such a fun experience, and my apologies to the poor man chained to me by the wrist who had to listen to me babble about my love of the franchise for fifteen minutes.

One of the most thrilling parts of both days was looking out for the marvelous cosplayers. I myself was part of a group cosplaying the various incarnations of the God Media (Gillian Anderson) from American Gods, the Starz adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s mythology-bending book, helmed by showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green. Dressed as the David Bowie “Life on Mars” version of Media, I accidentally got myself covered in blood from the Saw experience right before meeting the cast, but that seemed somewhat appropriate considering Media’s sinister leanings. Huge thanks to Ricky Whittle, Yetide Badaki, and Pablo Schreiber for taking the time to geek out with us, and to my cosplay group for making the weekend so memorable!

Sam and her American Gods cosplaying crew!
In the midst of a thousand dudes cosplaying the Joker and Rick Sanchez, I spotted a few rays of blood-splattered hope (and a whole lot of red balloons). Here are some of my favorite horror cosplayers from the weekend.

So that was NYCC 2017. It was a mad weekend that got a whole lot bloodier than I’d expected, but that’s never a bad thing at Chez Honey. I can’t wait to see what surprises next year will bring!