The National Svengoolie Fan Club’s annual convention, “The Big Blog Cast,” is in Bryan this weekend with a show-viewing party open to the public Saturday.
The show viewing party is the main event of the convention, featuring trivia games, a rubber-chicken-throwing contest and a silent auction to benefit the Brazos Valley African American Museum, where the event will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Like movie hostess Elvira, Svengoolie hosts horror shows every Saturday night and makes commentary on classic movies. The show he hosts shares his name and airs on MeTV. It’s a long-running local program out of Chicago that has recently expanded nationally. Since then, it’s gained a cult following.
Wearing thick skull-like makeup around his eyes, a moustache and goatee, a fright wig, a black top hat and a black tuxedo jacket over a bright red shirt, Svengoolie shares background about the movies before and after commercial breaks. He presents sketches, tells “corny” jokes and sings parody songs spoofing the film, said Jack Miller, a local who started watching the show about five years ago with his wife, and is the reason why the national convention is in town — he’s been campaigning to bring it here.
Part of the appeal of Svengoolie is that the movies are “horror” movies, but not the slasher kind that come out these days, Miller said.
“We refer to the movies every week as horror classics, but there are also cheesy 1970s made-for-TV movies, a lot of them are the old black and white horror and science fiction movies,” Miller said. “They’re kind of family friendly. There’s no tremendous oaths spoken and the blood and violence is all very nonexplicit — the shadow covers over the women, the camera goes off to the side, and you hear a scream.”
The viewing party tomorrow will be entertaining because even if the movie isn’t the most entertaining, it’s always fun to watch together, Miller said.
“Basically, if nothing else is going on, you can always make fun of the movie,” he said.
The convention participants will meet up tonight at Blackwater Draw Brewing Co., where the brewing company named a beer for them — Hair of the Wolf. The group is rejoining Saturday at Martin’s Place for lunch that will include a pit tour, followed by a tour of the science fiction collection at Cushing Memorial Library & Archives, then will meet up for the viewing party.
“It will be a fun event,” Miller said. “And if the silent auction works out, we’ll be able to raise some money for the museum.”
For more information about the Svengoolie and its blog, visit svengoolie.com/blog and to watch Svengoolie, check local listings for Saturday evening.