Spooky Empire - Galavanting to the extreme
You know your either a true fan or truly crazy to fly all the way from Boston to Florida just to meet one person. But this isn't just a person, this is an actor I've associated with my childhood ever since I can remember.
This actor is Mr. Zach Galligan.
Zach is best known playing Billy, the curly head teenager who gets the greatest Christmas gift of all time in Gremlins. For nearly thirty years Gremlins has been a staple for audiences world wide. Along with such titles as The Goonies, E.T, and Back To The Future, Gremlins still holds up today and holds a strong cult status as new generations discover it. Zach later on starred in the film's sequel which was a balls out cartoon crazy thrill ride released in the year 1990.
I remember watching Gremlins 2 more than the original growing up, but the film I truly know Zach from is playing Mark Loftmore in Waxwork and Waxwork II Lost In Time.
I rediscovered Waxwork just last summer and right away all of those amazing childhood memories came flooding back. Waxwork is a truly original fun 80's horror comedy which features a fresh young attractive cast, dazzling effects and sets, and of course in my eyes one of the coolest concepts for a horror movie ever. Quickly after re watching Waxwork I raced to order the bare bones double feature DVD which featured the original and it's sequel. Now I'm sure I'm going to get shit for saying this but, I enjoyed Lost In Time almost as much as the original!
Quickly I decided to search out any films Zach had starred in and began to build a pretty impressive collection of VHS tapes featuring Mr. Galligan. Now funny enough I've had the chance to meet Zach several times at past conventions but for some strange unknown reason I decided enough was enough, I needed to finally meet this guy who I grew up watching and felt was a huge part of my childhood. First there was Blood On The Beach, which I sadly found out about much too late to make plans to go down there. Right away I knew the very next show Zach would appear in I just HAD to meet him no matter how far or how much money it would be.
Well it wasn't long before I saw Zach was attending Spooky Empire this spring in Orlando Florida. As much as I hate traveling long distances, I knew I had to do it and got my plane ticket right away. Months passed and it wasn't long before I saw I would be having Zach sign ten...count me ten solid items. Looks like I was going to be paying Zach's cell phone bill for him!
So this past holiday weekend I braved the two hour flight (fighting air sickness the whole way) and arrived in Orlando Friday night. Lucky for me my friend Kurtis let me crash with him while I attended the convention. Of course rarely leaving MA I was like a dog sticking my head out the window every time I saw a palm tree.
Saturday was finally the big day, I'm going to sound like a complete fan girl/ nerd here but I've never been so nervous to meet somebody before in my whole life. The amount of butterflies that was happening was insane. Walking into the main room I spotted him right away and should have died. Heading towards his table I almost reached it before some dickhead cut right in front of me only to shake his hand "rolls eyes". Zach noticed this and was very polite and shook the guy's hand before he walked away and Zach spotted me. Smiling he said he didn't think that guy knew I was standing there and apologized. Could you die?! Anywho, I seriously can't remember line by line of what happened since it was such a haze but I explained what an honor it was meeting him. I told him I had been waiting almost 15 years to meet him and what a big deal it was for me since I had flown all the way from Boston just to meet him. He laughed with me over the fact he's going to be in Boston this week for Adam Green's Hatchet III party, he did say it was a good thing I had in fact came to see him this weekend since due to work and flying in late he's only going to be making it towards the very end of the Hatchet party. I told him I was bidding on the shirt from Waxwork II and he told me he was this close to wearing it this weekend was afraid he wouldn't get to wash it, but ten again some people would like it unwashed = cut to me dying.
He was blown away by all the stuff I had for him to sign, in fact he had a good laugh over the fact I still had VHS tapes and laserdiscs of his movies. One by one he signed them and talked about each film. He loved that I had the Waxwork II lobby cards and talked some more before I to,d him how much I wanted to try and get a kick starter going to get Scream Factory to buy the Waxwork rights and release it on blu-ray. I told him about screenings that were hopefully happening in the future and we talked Waxwork for a while before we posed for photos. Of course I asked him to do something very lame with me, this was of course to do the famous trapped against the barrier in Waxwork. If anyone doesn't know what I'm talking about check out my cover photo from facebook. Of course Zach laughed and we did it looking like two major dorks but I now have one of the greatest photos of all time.
Soon afterwards Zach's Q&A was held which I raced to. I really gotta give Spooky their props, great set up on stage and LOVED the intro video at the beginning. Sadly the photos I took weren't that good due to the strong lights, but I did videotape some AND when I asked a question to Zach about his cameos in Warlock 2 and Hellraiser III, he remembered my name! "Swoon"!!!
Zach's Q&A was awesome, funny and interesting. I loved all of his. Little stories and his insights on remakes.
The vendors at the show weren't that hot, got a couple of bootlegs, eh...
Of course having HORRIBLE luck I discovered later that night some of my things had rubbed up against each other causing some of the autographs to smear.
So I came back yesterday to say bye to a few friends and have Zach resign my Cupid VHS which got the worst of it. Lucky for me Zach was super cool about it and resigned the tape and we said our goodbyes as he told me little bit about Cupid and even showed me his driver's license to prove he's born on Valentine's Day = oh sweet baby Jesus!
The last thing I asked Zach to go was say my favorite line from Waxwork 2, Zach was a total spirt about it and we cracked up over it.
Before leaving I gave him a 3D comic book based off Waxwork since I heard he was such a big comic fan. This as lame as it sounds really pulled on my heart strings, Zach seemed touched by this and thanked me, of course I told him like eight times what a fan I was and what an honor it was meeting him. He told me he would see me soon (If I don't win that shirt this week I'm burning the place to the ground muhahaha!)
Now I'm about to fly back to Boston (feeling that motion sickness pillI just took) content and beyond thrilled with what a great tine I had. Florida was great but Zach seriously made the trip. Thanks Zach for making a Waxwork fan like myself thrilled'