CELEBRITY GUESTS FOR 2023
LOCAL GUESTS FOR FLASHBACK WEEKEND 2023
Every year at Flashback Weekend we look forward to the annual visit from Chicago Television Legend "SVENGOOLIE". Rich Koz has portrayed the popular character since 1979, and is now seen nationally Saturday nights on the Me-TV network, as well as on CW26. Also featured are "Doug Graves" the laid back musical sidekick, Tombstone the talking skull, and Kerwyn the prehistoric rubber chicken , along with Sven’s popular musical numbers and commercial parodies wrapped around films from the classic Universal Studios library.
Svengoolie/Rich Koz has received 8 regional Emmy Awards, and was inducted into the prestigious Chicago Television Academy's 2004 "Silver Circle" for outstanding contributions to Chicago television. He has won the national Rondo Award as ‘favorite horror host’ numerous times. His original TV coffin is on display permanently in Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications.
Flashback Weekend Master of Ceremonies
Chicago Daily Herald film critic Dann Gire has been a member of the Flashback Weekend Horror Convention Cult from the very beginning. He has interviewed many of horrordom’s greats, including George Romero, David Cronenberg, Wes Craven, Stephen King, Clive Barker, William Friedkin, Stuart Gordon, Peter Medak, plus an encyclopedia of horror film cast members. Gire’s a founding director of the Chicago Film Critics Association and has served 22 years as its president. He also teaches cinema at Chicago’s Loyola University, and has won Chicago’s prestigious Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism in Arts Criticism 10 times. In 2006, Gire teamed up with James Bond 007 novelist (and film historian) Raymond Benson to create "Dann and Raymond's Movie Club," a lively and popular monthly lecture/film clips series that has broken attendance records at suburban Chicago libraries. And it’s still.
Flashback Weekend Co-Host
The first thing you should know about Nick is that in early 1974, his dad took him to the Gateway Theater on Chicago's northwest side to see "The Exorcist"....Nick was 8 years old. Enough said.
Nick Digilio has been a professional Film Critic for over 35 years, and has written, talked, and ranted about movies for more years than that. His reviews were heard on WGN AM Radio for over 37 years, and he has written about film for Cinebooks, The Chicago Reader, New City and many other outlets. Nick hosted the #1 rated overnight talk show on WGN AM Radio for over 20 years, and currently he hosts the very popular pop culture/interview podcast: "The Nick D Podcast" for The Radio Misfits Podcast Network. He has been a part of the Flashback Weekend family since the very beginning, and loves horror movies more than any other genre.
Nick's Top 5 Horror Films of All Time:
- "John Carpenter's HALLOWEEN”
- George A. Romero's “DAWN OF THE DEAD”
- Dario Argento's “SUSPIRIA”
- Don Coscarelli's “PHANTASM”
- Tobe Hooper's “THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE”
Flashback Weekend Co-Host
Steve Prokopy is the chief film critic for the Chicago-based arts outlet Third Coast Review. He is also a regular contributor to SlashFilm.com, Backstory magazine, and the Music Box Theatre's website. For nearly 20 years, he was the Chicago Editor for Ain't It Cool News, where he contributed film reviews and filmmaker & actor interviews under the name "Capone."
Top Five Horror Movies:
- Sam Raimi's THE EVIL DEAD
- George A Romero's DAWN OF THE DEAD
- John Carpenter's THE THING
- Wes Craven's A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
- Herschell Gordon Lewis' BLOOD FEAST
Flashback Weekend Co-Host
Patrick Bromley has been writing about film since 2004 and is a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and Online Film Critics Society. As Editor-in-Chief of F This Movie!, Bromley hosts a weekly podcast and manages a full site devoted to the love of movies. His writing also appears on Daily Dead, Bloody Disgusting, and various other publications. Bromley has been an obsessive fan of horror and genre films his entire life, watching, re-watching and studying everything from the Universal Monsters of the '30s and '40s to the modern explosion of indie horror. He lives in the Chicago area with the best wife and two cool kids, whom he is trying to raise as horror nerds.
JASON PAUL COLLUM
Celebrating 29 years as a filmmaker and journalist, Jason Paul Collum is also an inaugural guest for the very first Flashback in 2002. Among his 17 writing/directing credits are “SCREAMING IN HIGH HEELS” (which aired on NBC affiliates like SyFy and Chiller), “SOMETHING TO SCREAM ABOUT” (which aired on Showtime), “OCTOBER MOON” 1 & 2 (among the first On Demand titles to air), and “SLEEPLESS NIGHTS: REVISTING THE SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE” (for Rober Corman & Shout! Factory). He has published over 60 articles and 4 books, and was an assistant editor for FEMME FATALES magazine and a one-time editor of CINEFANTASTIQUE magazine. His new horror/parody “MARK OF THE DEVIL 777” was released in December 2022, and his horror franchise guide "They Made How Many?!" is out at the end of July 2023.
THE MOLE MAN OF BELMONT AVENUE, SQUEAL, THE ART OF PAIN
John LaFlamboy, founder of Zombie Army Productions, has been producing award winning haunted houses, events, films, and theatre for the past 20 years in Chicagoland. His theatre and film background give him the foundation to create massive interactive haunted attractions that leave the audience feeling like they had just walked through a live horror film. His production of Statesville Haunted Prison has been a nationally ranked attraction and holds the distinction of being the most critically acclaimed haunted house in Chicago history. His latest creation, HellsGate Haunted House, is his dream project and the culmination of 20 years of haunted house experience. “HellsGate, it’s not just a haunted house, it’s an adventure!” says John. When he is not working in the halls of his haunted houses, he is on stage as an ensemble member of The Artistic Home Theatre and working on independent films in Chicago. If you want to learn more, go behind the scenes of the haunted house industry with John and his Zombie Army crew with the reality web series DaysOfTheLivingDead.com - new episodes drop this Fall!
John Borowski is an award winning independent filmmaker and author whose film works have garnered international acclaim and are distributed internationally on numerous streaming platforms. Borowski's focus is the study of true crime, specifically serial killers, as well as the culture which has arisen from killer celebrities. Borowski has been called an investigative historian and a modern folklorist, documenting the world's worst criminals. With over 20 years of post graduate work experience in the field of filmmaking, writing, and studying true crime, Borowski has been featured on many television documentary programs as an expert in his field. John Wayne Gacy is the focus of Borowski's current documentary film which has been in production since 2019. Panzram at Leavenworth, Borowski's latest book details letters written between the incarcerated killer and his jail guard friend. Borowski is featured in an upcoming six-hour documentary series for A&E on five serial killers of the 1970’s to early 90’s. Filmmaker store site: store.johnborowski.com
James Azrael is a musician, author, film producer, and actor...but most well known as the founder and head curator of The HSPPA; The Horror & SciFi Prop Preservation Association is a not-for-profit traveling museum of screen used props and wardrobes whose mission is to share and promote prop conservation so these treasures of filmic history can be enjoyed for generations to come. James began his career in Chicagoland radio in 1996 and had left radio to pursue music with his band, Court Jester, fulltime by 2000. Court Jester's first CD "Gina" in 2003 paved a strong footing for the band nationwide with a video for "Stand Up" on MTV2. The 2006 follow up, "Strangeland" honed the bands sounds, featured the addition of Dizzy Reed (Guns N Roses) on piano/keys and saw two charting singles, "Hollywood Girl" and "Needles To Say." Court Jester, while never officially disbanding, seemed to call it quits by 2010 after being unable to cope with the passing of drummer, Jon "JS" Stern.
In 2015 James launched The HSPPA and has been operating that full time since; while authoring 3 HSPPA books and producing/acting in film ["Farewell Darkness", "The Hospital 2", "It's Just A Game"]. James also currently owns and runs a movie prop museum in Las Vegas (Cineloggia) with SFX artist Nick J Benson [Society, ANOES 4, The Blob] and a horror themed gluten-free bakery (Spooky's Swirls) outside of Phoenix with three Curators of The HSPPA.
Jon has written an amazing new Horror book "Discover the Horror: One Man's 50-Year Quest for Monsters, Maniacs, and the Meaning of it All"
While Jon Kitley continues to be a Cinematic Archeologist, he is also a staff writer for HorrorHound magazine, where you can read his Rondo Award-winning column, They Came from the Krypt. His work has also appeared in Evilspeak magazine, as well as in the books Horror 101: The A-List of Horror Films and Monster Movies, Hidden Horror, When Animals Attack, and Strange Blood. He has also appeared in several documentaries, such as Monster Madness: The Golden Age of the Horror Film, Monster Madness: The Gothic Revival of Horror, and Fanex Files: Hammer Films, as well as in Shout Factory's Horror Hunters! When not attending multiple horror conventions, 24-hour marathons, and hitting the dirve-ins, he is hard at work on his website, Kitley's Krypt, which has been helping fans Discover the Horror since 1998. Visit this amazing Horror News site at www.kitleyskrypt.com.
Ron Fitzgerald, Master of the Dark Realm, is an Actor and Gotthic Illusionist who delivers what he calls " dark, sticky fun"! Ron is the only dark/shock illusionist that has actually acted in multiple Horror movies, which gives him his uniqie place in the entertainment industry. Fitzgerald has appeared as a lead and supporting actor in the feature films "The Item", "The Thirsting", "Blood Gnome", "MAGUS", "Dracula's Orgy of the Damned" , Arkham Sanitarium: Soul Eater and "The Devi's Canvas" as well as others. In addition, Ron Fitzgerald has co-written, co-produced and stars in his own groundbreaking Horror feature film "Dark Realm", which is an artistic blend of his stage show of Gothic Illusons and a Horror film narrative, and can now be seen on Amazon Prime Video. Fitzgerald is also featured in the shocking documentary film "National Vampire", which is a look into the undergroud Vampire cuture in America. Master Fitzgerald has performed his wickly fun and dark illusions from Hollywood's The Magic Castle to Hong Kong for it's Halloween festival, and even in Hell, as Fitzgerald was Mayor of Hell, Michigan for a day! (Twice actually!) Recntly Ron lent hes voice to "Monster Mash" by the LA based dark alternatemve bend House Made of Dawn, along with a video for the song. Fitzerald is also the author of the upcoming boook "Monstrous Magic", a memoir about his strange and unusual career and all of the many chalenges along the way.
Master Ron has appeared on national television and at numerous dark culture and alternative events and venues, which includes Fitzgerald being the only illusionist to ever perform on the second stage at Lollapalooza. All with his wickedly fun, funny and mysterious, theatrical style of sinister Illusion in his live stage show "Fitzgerald's Realm of Magic", which includes Master Ron eating razor blades as well as decapitating and cremating his lovely companions, among many otehr deliciously dark acts of madness and mystery! Ron is also featured in the supernatural comic book series "Haunting Tales of Bachelor's Grove" and this Dark Artist previously hosed his very own cult classing cable TV show "Fitzgerald's Realm'! One thing is for sure, Ron Fitzgerald is so much dark, sticky fun, he'll leave you screaming for more!
Chad Savage is a dark artist/designer and the owner of Sinister Visions inc., a dark visual design company that caters to the horror, Halloween & haunted attraction industries. Besides providing branding, art and websites for hundreds of haunted houses around the world, he manages a series of genre websites including PumpkinCult.com and the DarkChicago.com series of sites, and is the Art & Marketing Director for Flashback Weekend and The Zombie Army.
Sinister Visions inc. is an official sponsor of Flashback Weekend, and will host/sponsor the Costume Contest on Saturday - details HERE!
To learn more about Chad Savage and his work, visit SV23.com.
Alexandra Paul needs to postpone her 2023 appearance at Flashback. We look forward to having her as a guest at a future Flashback Weekend.
Unless otherwise noted, all celebrity guests will be appearing all three days.