It was supposed to be the granddaddy of all Star Trek conventions — and wound up as the mother of all meltdowns.
This is how one weekend in June, 1982, saw the rise and fall, and rise again of a dream. How one ambitious Houston fan and his band of friends sold the dream — the first-ever, all-cast Star Trek extravaganza — complete with laser shows, orchestral hoopla, and a revolving arena stage…
And then just failed to sell the tickets.
Or … was it really that simple?
A saga worth saving
It’s a car wreck of a story: a mysterious “sellout” status told to would-be ticket buyers … con staff who go into shock when the truth is revealed … fans wrongly kicked out of their hotel rooms … dealers who “pass the hat” to keep the doors open … the incredible “burning planet” … and the unsuspecting Hollywood veterans who walk into this PR nightmare.
It’s also a personal story: my first coming-of-age con road trip — and I’m thrilled, after all this time, to preserve it for the ages in my first documentary film project, “THE CON OF WRATH” (what fans were already calling it by weekend’s end … just a couple weeks after the smash debut of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan).
You can help
We’re interviewing the orignal crew who built the dream, saw it implode (in somes cases, literally!), and then did their damnedest to carry it out anyway. We’ve gone back to the old Shamrock Hilton Convention Center in Houston to round up tales of hope and horrror from as many volunteers, dealers, hotel vendors and of course attendees as possible.
Of course, the Hollywood contingent had their own heroics, and so far producer Harve Bennett, George “Sulu” Takei, Walter “Chekov” Koenig, Nichelle “Uhuru” Nichols, and Wende Doohan (widow of Jimmy “Scotty”) are aboard to help recount their own disaster in all its glory.
Were YOU there?
Are you a survivor of “The Con of Wrath”? Do you have pics or video to share, or even vivid memories? Email Larry and be part of the record to assure your place in one of fandom’s most infamous moments.
Donate — and take some credit!
Our budget is modest, but travel, expenses, and even minimum post-production zazzle do add up. You can help! As a thank you, check out THE CON OF WRATH swag package for each level of giving.
ALL DONORS WILL ALSO GET A SCREEN CREDIT!
You’ve heard my Trek stories and read my research all these years, so you know I love this stuff — and that you can donate with confidence. Won’t you help preserve this crazy corner of Trek history, and let us Make it So?
Donate $2500 or more and you’ll get all of the above PLUS The Con of Wrath jacket and an extremely limited-edition custom-made The Con of Wrath watch.
Jump to $5000 and get an associate producer screen credit on the film.
I’ve never sought funding for a project before, so I can’t say it enough: Thanks for your interest, your trust, and your passion for Star Trek, its people and fandom, and for helping to preserve even more of the incredible history that’s made us what we are today — wacky though it may be!
Thanks also to our crew — cameraman/ DP Neal Hallford, editor David Dobson, artist Kevin Hopkins and more — and to all the folks in Houston, Hollywood and elsewhere who were a part of the original event.
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Copyright © Larry Nemecek. All rights reserved.