Horror festival brings the ‘bizarre’ back to Atlantic City

The Ink Illusionists perform at December's first-ever Bizarre A.C. horror festival. (Photo via Facebook)

Back in December, the Tropicana Casino and Resort hosted the first-ever Bizarre A.C. expo, highlighting the weird, the scary and the freaky in the Atlantic City, NJ venue. Six months later, the horror festival returns to the Tropicana from Friday, June 13 through Sunday, June 15 to serve up some scares and highlight oddities with the help of some big-name guests.

It’s only appropriate that the festival begins on Friday the 13th, and even more appropriate that the film of the same name is being honored. Cast and crew from Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter will participate in a Q&A addressing inquiries concerning what it was like to work on the legendary film. Ted White, who—albeit uncredited—played Jason Voorhees, Erich Anderson, who played Rob Dyer, and Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter character creator Victor Miller are the panelists at this 8 p.m. session in the Pageant Room.

The first horror movie screening of the festival takes place on Friday, June 13 at 9 p.m. Bloody Slumber Party, the story of a group of slumber partying friends who, one by one, get killed off as they tell scary tales, screens at 9 p.m. in the Carousel Room. Throughout the screening, the film’s directors and actors will provide behind-the-scenes commentary.

On the second day of the event, Saturday, June 14, stars of the reality series Ghost Hunters Academy (a spinoff of Ghost Hunters) Dave Tango and Steve Gonsalves tell stories from their adventures in tracking down the paranormal at 3 p.m. in the main ballroom.

The movie that made waves by being so disgustingly repulsive, Human Centipede, naturally gets a nod on Saturday, June 14. Three actors from the movie will discuss the—ahem—closeness they encountered when making the flick at 6 p.m. in the Pageant room. Following the panel, you’ll have a chance to get a picture taken with the actors. Human Centipede pose not required.

Bizarre attendees are urged to get ugly. Seriously. The Bizarre A.C. Costume Contest offers cash prizes to contestants that best represent Halloween, horror and science fiction. Award categories include “Most Likely To Make Kids Cry,” “Best Craftsmanship,” and “Best Group.” The contest will be held at 7 p.m. on the main stage in the Grand Ballroom, but if you’re competing, you’ll need to get ready and set up by 6:15 p.m. on Saturday, June 14.

It’s the ideal way to close out the second day of the expo: party with 80s star Corey Feldman after his 7 p.m. panel at Boogie Nights in the Tropicana on Saturday, June 14. Doors open at 9 p.m. but the party doesn’t begin until 11 p.m.

With a website and books devoted to its strangeness, the guys who have turned New Jersey’s weirdness into entertainment, Mark Moran and Mark Sceurman—the guys behind Weird NJ—will share tales from the state’s odd past at noon on Sunday, June 15 in the Pageant Room.

Throughout the duration of the whole festival, a Bizarre Bazaar will be set up with various exhibitors selling all things bizarre.

Tickets are $20 in advance at $25 at the door and a full itinerary can be found here