Earlier this month (November 11-12) we made our way to Oberhausen to attend "House of Horrors" (Thomas Hartz' new horror convention). One of the guests that attended this year was Courtney Gains, mostly because of his role as Malachai in "Children of the Corn" (1984). I've seen this movie a long time ago and I liked it, so I was pleased to see one that Gains was announced. What I never realized, however, is that Courtney also plays a pretty iconic role in one of my all time favorite movies...."The Burbs" (1989).
On the first day Carola and I were walking around in the "guest area". At one point we walked past Courtney Gains' table and I checked out the pictures on his table (the ones you can choose from to have signed). I was surprised to see a picture of "The Burbs" and I took a closer look. It was a still from the famous "It came with the frame" scene between Rumsfield (a fantastic role played by Bruce Dern) and Hans. Now I must tell you: my brother Ingmar and I must have watched this movie hundreds of times and we still quote some of the scenes sometimes, including the scene from the picture. At that moment it hit me, Courtney Gains played the role of Hans! I was flabbergasted. I honestly never made the connection. "The Burbs" revolves around Ray Petersen (Tom Hanks) and takes place in a typical American neighbourhood in the suburbs of an American city. Ray has a week off from work and he just wants to hang around the house and do nothing. However, a new and somewhat peculiar family(the Klopeks) moved in next door and nobody has ever seen or talked to them. When Art (Rick Ducommun) one of the other neighbours hears some strange noises coming from the Klopeks' basement and the old man down the block disappears the madness begins. Together with Art and Rumsfield (another neighbour and war veteran), Ray is determined to find out if the Klopeks are involved in the disappearance of old man Walter.
From that moment on, I gave Carola a hard time; every time we passed the table I said "It came with the frame". At one point Carola demanded that I went over and have a chat with him. At that moment I did not have the guts to do just that, but we had another day and I had some presents (chocolate and other dutch candy) in my bag in the car. I had a good night of sleep and on Sunday we would start with Courtney Gains' Q&A. However when we arrived in the Q&A room (which was still very red!) there was one other guy and that was it. Some time had passed and the Q&A should have started already, but still no Courtney Gains (he was still sitting at his table). I decided to venture into the lion's den and ask him . He was very nice when I approached him. It turned out that Courtney decided to do his Q&A together with some other actors, but the organization failed to communicate that. Courtney did go into the Q&A room to tell the other guy himself. Later that day we did attend the Q&A, which consisted of Courtney Gains, Jonathan Breck ("Jeepers, Creepers"), Rodney Eastman ("A Nightmare on Elm Street 3") and Jsu Garcia ("A Nightmare on Elm Street"). That was a lot of fun, because the guys were just having a casual chat on stage and they were really interested in what the others had to say just like the rest of us. They all shared some great "on set" stories. Like I already said it was a lot of fun.
And then the moment came, I took a bag of 'Schuimpjes' (Dutch Candy) and was determined to shake Courtney's hand. He was very friendly and I told him about my love for "The Burbs" and especially that one scene. He said that a lot of people refer to the 'Sardine'- scene (which I rewatched with Tristan the night before and we laughed our asses off). He also seemed to like the 'schuimpjes' and immediately tasted one. Courtney was very friendly and being able to have a chat with him, brought a smile to my face. But the day was not over yet. Carola and I walked around some more and we talked with some people we knew, like Kelly (The Dutch Fredette) and Anne. They were there the whole weekend at the stand of Movie Props NL. At the end of the day, Courtney visited the stand and I don't know how she did it, but Anne persuaded Courtney to say the line with me beside him. That really made my day! Thanks Anne and thanks Courtney.
Meeting Courtney Gains made me want to rewatch some of his old movies, like "The Burbs" and "Children of the Corn". He's a very friendly guy and if you ever get the chance to meet him at a convention, do it. he has a lot of great stories to tell.