Halloween is my favorite holiday.  It doesn’t expect us to do frivolous things like be grateful for how fortunate we are, spend time with family, or hide eggs.  Halloween is whatever you want it to be.  Want to dress up like Shaquille O’Neal and go out clubbing?  Halloween is happy to oblige.  Want to dress your kids up like Shaquille O’Neal and take them around extorting candy from strangers?  That’s a perfect way to observe the holiday.  Want to dress up like Shaquille O’Neal and stay home watching old slasher flicks?  Do it on Halloween, why not?  You don’t even have to dress up like Shaquille O’Neal on Halloween — that’s how open to interpretation the holiday is.

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Heck, thanks to Crypticon, you can even celebrate Halloween in November if you want.  Minnesota’s premier horror convention will be held this year on November 3rd, 4th, and 5th at the Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport Mall of America hotel.  There a horde of fans, many in costumes, will assemble to celebrate horror, sci fi, and pop culture together.  This is the Rolls Royce of horror conventions.

There will be a lot of different vendors, each with a specialty.  You can buy swords, perfect for home defense or carrying around with you when you don’t feel like talking to anyone.  There are board games for sale, and I’m not talking about your run-of-the-mill Candyland and Monopoly.  These games are complicated and devious, the perfect way to get your friends to all turn on one another.  You can buy rare and hard to find movies like Basket Case 3: The Progeny, the 1991 straight to VHS classic widely considered by many to be writer/director Frank Henenlotter’s Citizen Kane.  Many of the vendors sell their own creations, making Crypticon the only place where you can buy their goods in person. This is how I got the Eraserhead fridge magnet that ties my whole kitchen together so well.

Crypticon is the place to go to see stars talk about their lustrous television and movie careers and get autographs from them.  This year you can see Cooper Andrews, Jayson Warner Smith, Lew Temple, and Steve Coulter of AMC’s The Walking Dead fame.  Marky Ramone, drummer of the Ramones, will be there to talk about real rock and roll music.  Carrie Henn who played the bedraggled little girl in Aliens, Samm Levine from the cult classic Freaks and Geeks, P.J. Soles from Halloween, and Gil Gerard, star of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, will all attend as well.  As a special treat, this year you can meet C.J. Graham and Steve Dash, both of whom have played perturbed misanthrope and hockey goalie Jason Voorhees in movies.  Two Jasons in the same place is just asking for trouble — it is no wonder Kevin Bacon won’t be attending Crypticon this year, given his past experience with the guy.

This year Crypticon has music that everyone can appreciate.  The Devil’s Rejects, a White Zombie/Rob Zombie tribute band, will play the horror virtuoso’s classics before a wild crowd.  Don’t like Rob Zombie music?  Then you must be a Kiss fan, but you’re still in luck.  KISSin Time, a tribute band for the supergroup that blessed the world with treasured anthems like Detroit Rock City, I Wanna Rock N Roll All Night, and Spit, will also bring the thunder at Crypticon this year.  Not a fan of Kiss either?  Get out of here, that’s just impossible.  Gene Simmons is this generation’s Mozart.  Paul Stanley is this generation’s Archimedes, and that doesn’t even make sense.

Whether you’re after unique stuff to read or put on your wall, Hollywood anecdotes, or the best music, Crypticon has got it all.  Go and get a few more miles out of your Halloween costume this year.  I will be going as Garfield, as I do every year.  He likes lasagna just like me.  Garfield is a cat of the people.


By David Scheller