As we previously told you here on Shock, the announcement was made earlier this week by Chicago's Flashback Weekend Convention that Robert Englund will be appearing at this August's event in full Freddy Krueger makeup and costume, Friday only.
Not only will he be appearing on stage, as Freddy, for a special live talk show, but he'll also be signing autographs and taking photos with fans, also as Freddy.
The event will mark the very first time Englund has ever hit the convention circuit in character, and in fact it's the first time he'll be slapping on the makeup and iconic Christmas sweater since Freddy vs. Jason, over ten years ago.
Needless to say, this is big news. Like, massively huge news. The only catch, which has turned many fans off? It costs $365 to take a photo with 'Freddy,' with a weekend pass to the convention and attendance to the live stage show built into that price. And there's no cheaper option available, for those who maybe just want to take part in the unique meet and greet session.
A bit too expensive?
Some seem to think so, and many have been quite outspoken about the fact that they feel like us die-hard Fred-Heads are being ripped off, and taken advantage of. To that I say: Are you fucking serious?!
I've been quite outspoken in the past about the prices most celebrities charge at horror conventions, and I personally feel that the large majority of them charge way too much. When I first started attending conventions, my favorite genre stars would oftentimes not charge a single penny for a picture with them, which resulted in fun interactions that didn't break the bank.
Nowadays, it's a whole different story. It's gotten the point where even the lowest stars on the Hollywood totem pole are charging at least $20 for an autograph, with no option to get a picture with them unless you're paying at least that amount. As for the bigger stars, such as the folks from The Walking Dead, that autograph price is typically doubled, and it's not uncommon for an additional amount to be tacked onto that for a staged 'photo-op.'
Quite frankly, the prices at these events have gotten absolutely out of hand, and I’ve personally chosen to never spend more than $20 on meeting ANYONE. Yes, that even includes Robert Englund, who played my favorite character in the history of cinema: Professor William Wexler from Urban Legend. (Just kidding. I'm of course referring to Freddy Krueger, who I've been totally obsessed with since I was a wee little horror fan.)
Despite the fact that I've been to many conventions over the years that Englund has been signing at, I've actually never once met him, which has led many of my fellow fans to wonder what the hell is wrong me. I love Robert Englund, I love him dearly, but the idea of spending somewhere in the ballpark of $40 to get his autograph just doesn't appeal to me, nor does spending all day waiting on the long lines that typically wrap around the buildings these things take place in.
So, believe me, I totally understand where you're coming from, if you feel that $365 – over nine times the cost of the usual Englund meet and greet session – is a bit too rich for your blood. We're not all made of money, and we've all got more important things to spend it on than stuff like this. We've got bills. We need to eat. And by golly, we absolutely can’t live with ourselves if we don’t buy every single release that Scream Factory puts out. I'm right there with you on all of that.
That said, I find little to complain about in regards to this situation. In fact, I can't help but feel like $365 is an absolute bargain, for what's being offered up here. Do I want to spend $40 to meet Robert Englund? No, I don't. But if I lived closer to Chicago, would I shell out nearly $400 to meet Robert Englund…as Freddy Krueger?
I think many fans are underestimating how absolutely incredible this opportunity is, and I personally feel – as a lifelong Elm Street fan – that it's an opportunity/experience that's worth at least double the amount being charged. I must remind you that this is the first time Robert Englund has ever appeared outside of an Elm Street movie set in full costume, and it's also likely the last time he will ever play Freddy Krueger. And again, as I mentioned a few paragraphs ago, it's also the first time he's donned the makeup in over 10 years.Friends, this is a huge opportunity, and the absolute experience of a lifetime. I'm a big believer in the idea that you can't put a price tag on experiences, and what's being offered up here isn't just a meet and greet session with a celebrity, it's an experience that I can guarantee everyone taking part in will never forget, as long as they live.
When you're on your death bed, are you going to look at that picture of you with Freddy Krueger and regret spending $400 on it? No. You're going to smile ear to ear, and then quietly slip away into eternity, comforted by the fact that you lived your life to the fullest, and didn't pass up such an awesome opportunity.
Okay, so perhaps that last paragraph was a bit dramatic, but you get what I'm trying to say here.
The point is that you really are getting a bargain, when you exchange $365 for the horror fan experience of a lifetime. And again I must remind you that this seemingly exorbitant amount of money also comes with a weekend pass to the event, which is $70 in and of itself. So really, you’re only paying $295 for the experience of interacting with one of the most iconic fictional characters in the history of horror, which is probably not even all that much more than you’ll likely spend on going out to the theater to see the next shitty Elm Street sequel/reboot that comes along – assuming, of course, that you consider overpriced popcorn and soda essential elements of the theatrical experience.
If you're planning on attending Flashback Weekend, and you're a Freddy fan, don't pass this up just because it seems like a lot of money. Because you will regret it, when fellow fans start bragging about their experience Monday morning on social media, and cluttering up your news feed with the coolest profile pictures of all time. Trust me. You will.
Oh and did I mention that FX legend Robert Kurtzman is the one applying the makeup to Englund, using the same techniques used in the movies? Kurtzman worked on the effects teams of both Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, and is one third of the KNB EFX Group – in case you don't recognize his name. So yea. This is the real deal.
It's also worth mentioning that all net proceeds from the event will go directly to preserving and keeping Illinois' Midway Drive-In Theater operational, so keep in mind that you're helping out a good cause, in addition to buying the thrill of a lifetime.
This year's Flashback Weekend takes place August 8th through the 10th at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare Hotel in Rosemont, Illinois, and you can learn more about the event and purchase tickets over on the Flashback website.