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The NJ Horror Con & Film Festival takes over Showboat this weekend
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The NJ Horror Con & Film Festival takes over Showboat this weekend

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Halloween may have been last month, but for those of you still jonesing for another dose of the macabre, you are in luck, as the NJ Horror Con & Film Festival sets up shop in Atlantic City from Friday through Sunday, Nov. 12 to 14, at Showboat Hotel.

In case the name didn’t give it away, the NJ Horror Con & Film Festival is a convention focused on scary movies. Whether your deepest fears stem from the relentless murder spree of Michael Myers, the nightmare of an encounter with Freddy Krueger or the unspeakable terror caused by the demon in The Exorcist, all will be well represented here in a variety of forms, from films to cosplay to toys and more.

The origins of the festRyan Weber is the creator of the NJ Horror Con. Weber has been entrenched in the entertainment industry since he was a teen, often putting together events to showcase his punk band Crash Romeo and submitting his own films to various festivals. This is his eighth time putting on the Horror Con, and the fifth time it has been held in Atlantic City. And his enthusiasm for the project is obvious.

“I saw a need for something like NJ Horror Con in New Jersey,” Weber says. “The first reason was to have a place where filmmakers can show their films and have an audience. Then, I wanted to bring in celebrities for fans to meet their favorite actor or actress or even filmmaker.”

The NJ Horror Con accomplishes both of those goals, and then some. Weber has put together a large-scale event that will satisfy fans of horror and beyond.

“An attendee can expect a lot from our show — especially if they love horror,” he says.

“There are over 30 celebrities they can meet, take pictures with and receive autographs from, as well as over 100 vendors that have all different types of merchandise you can’t find anywhere else. We do over 10 celebrity panels where you can ask questions and learn more about them on a personal level, and we also have a three-day film festival with movies you cannot see in a normal theater.”

The CelebsFans and autograph seekers will have a lot to work with at the NJ Horror Con, with a variety of well-known faces waiting to sign items and take photos. And although stars from the world of sci-fi and horror will be plentiful, the list expands well beyond just that one genre.

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“The focus is horror, but we always have a little pop culture mixed in. I love all genres of film, so I put a little of what I am a fan of into these shows. Most celebrities that have been in a horror film have also been in other genres. We have something for everyone to enjoy,” Weber assures us.

So who will be there? The list is a long one, but some of the highlights include appearances from actors like Tom Sizemore and Clint Howard, rockers Lita Ford and Richie Ramone, plus the stars of a plethora of horror films including the “Halloween,” “Friday the 13th” and “Child’s Play” franchises as well as several mini “reunions,” featuring cast members from such beloved films as “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure,” “Back to the Future” and TV shows like “Seinfeld.” There will also be some famous vehicles on site, including the DeLorean and Marty McFly’s Toyota pickup truck from “Back to the Future.”

Prices for autographs differ for each celebrity, but the full list of who will be there and what they will charge can be found on NJHorrorCon.com.

The Film Festival Though the genre has been around forever, makers of horror films don’t always find the same opportunities to showcase their work as mainstream filmmakers would. That’s where festivals such as the NJ Horror Con come in.

Over the course of three days there will be more than 40 films screened, along with an awards show hosted by Felissa Rose and Dave Sheridan 8 p.m. Saturday in the Bourbon Room, with a post-show screening of “Bloody Summer Camp.”

The full list of films can be found on the Horror Con website.

The VendorsHalf the fun of an event like this is wandering around and checking out all the merchandise. And when you are talking horror, the amount of action figures, posters, clothing, toys, films, costumes, props, lunchboxes and more that will be on hand at the NJ Horror Con is staggering.

Fans can expect every horror franchise to be generously represented, from the most mainstream to the deepest obscurities. Shopping for the holidays and need to find the perfect T shirt for that horror-obsessed fan in your family? This is ground zero.

The CosplayYou can’t have a “con” of any type these days without some heavy cosplay being a big part of it, and the NJ Horror Con is no different. From 5 to 6 p.m. Saturday, there will be a cosplay contest, with contestants competing for prizes in a variety of categories including Best Construction, Most Creative, Best Kid Costume (15 and under), Best Entertainer/Persona and Best in Show. Prizes range from $50 to $100. No real weapons of any kind will be allowed.

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