Have you ever heard about the curse of the Poltergeist trilogy?
As the rumour goes, the child actors from the movie series died after the films were made. It’s partially true. All but one from the original cast tragically passed away after the movies were released in the ’80s.
But 41-year-old Oliver Robins, who played the brother Robbie in the original, has lived through the curse and will be a special guest at the second annual Calgary Horror Con, says convention organizer Jeff McNair.
“There’s this curse of the Poltergeist that has gone unspoken for years and now the only surviving child actor will be here at our show,” McNair says. “Everyone remembers the little blond girl but Robbie is the true star of the movie, he’s the one that fights the evil.”
Dominique Dunne, who played teenage daughter Dana, was murdered by her ex-lover in 1982 when she was 22 years old — the same year she filmed Poltergeist. Remember that cute little girl Carol Anne, played by Heather O’Rourke in all three films and best known for uttering the creepy words “they’re here”? Well, she died at just 12 years old from septic shock due to a misdiagnosed stomach problem.
Not everyone knows about the curse, but true horror fans do and McNair says the appeal to diehards is a defining aspect of the event.
“This is the only dedicated horror convention in Western Canada, and one of only two across Canada, period,” he says. “There won’t be comics and stuff, this is all horror.”
Whether it’s cinema, literature, lifestyle, art or performance, there is something for every horror fan, including special guests like Robins and Linnea Quigley, who has appeared in 121 horror movies to date, including Return of the Living Dead.
“She is the ultimate scream queen. Everyone is so excited to meet her,” McNair says.
And what horror convention would be complete without everyone’s favourite masked killer? Richard Brooker, the actor who first played Jason in Friday the 13th, will be at the convention, as will Kane Hodder, who played Jason a number of times,
“Kane Hodder is literally the biggest man in horror,” McNair says. “He’s played Jason four times, but he’s also played Freddy Krueger’s arm and played in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Everybody exploded when we announced he was coming.”
And that’s the beauty of a horror convention — meeting the icons of the genre and learning the mysterious facts that help make these movies cult classics.
“Our first year was just word of mouth and we had over 500 people, and it’s only going to get bigger and better from there,” says McNair. “We genuinely care about horror films and we want to bring our guests everything we can.”