Review: ‘Murder in the Front Row: The San Francisco Bay Area Thrash Metal Story,’ starring Metallica, Exodus, Slayer, Testament and Dave Mustaine

April 24, 2020

by Carla Hay

Metallica’s James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett in “Murder In The Front Row: The San Francisco Bay Area Thrash Metal Story” (Photo courtesy of MVD Visual)

“Murder in the Front Row: The San Francisco Bay Area Thrash Metal Story”

Directed by Adam Dubin

Culture Representation: This documentary has a predominantly white cast (with some representation of Latinos, Asians, African Americans and Native Americans) of musicians, journalists, fans and other people discussing their memories and experiences of the 1980s thrash metal music scene in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Culture Clash: The people in this music scene had a lot of animosity toward bands and fans of “glam rock” or “hair metal” (such as Bon Jovi, Poison, Motley Crue and Ratt), whom they called “posers,” and would often get violent with these “posers.”

Culture Audience: This well-researched movie will appeal primarily to people who are nostalgic about 1980s heavy metal or people who are curious to learn more about the 1980s metal scene in the San Francisco area.

Exodus with lead singer Paul Baloff (pictured at right) in “Murder in the Front Row: The San Francisco Bay Area Thrash Metal Story” (Photo by Harald Oimoen)

The documentary “Murder in the Front Row: The San Francisco Bay Area Thrash Metal Story” takes a comprehensive and fascinating look at this music scene that began in the early 1980s and peaked in the mid-to-late 1980s, which is the decade that gets the spotlight in this film. Several people who were part of the scene are interviewed in the movie, including members of Metallica, Exodus, Testament, Death Angel and Vio-lence, as well as journalists, fans and other assorted scenesters. Because the movie (directed by Adam Dubin and narrated by Brian Posehn) is heavy on 1980s nostalgia from people who were in their teens and 20s back in the ’80s, expect to see a lot of middle-aged people in the documentary talking about their youth.

Metallica and Exodus are presented as the most influential bands that came from the scene, so their histories get the most screen time in the movie. All four current members of Metallica are interviewed: lead singer/rhythm guitarist James Hetfield, lead guitarist Kirk Hammett, drummer Lars Ulrich and bassist Robert Trujillo, who is the only member of Metallica who wasn’t in the band in the 1980s. Exodus members who are interviewed are guitarist Gary Holt, former guitarist Rick Hunolt and drummer Tom Hunting.

Hammett was in Exodus before he joined Metallica, who fired guitarist Dave Mustaine in 1983 and replaced him with Hammett before recording the band’s 1983 debut album “Kill ‘Em All.” Mustaine went on to form Megadeth (a Los Angeles-based band) with bassist Dave Ellefson, and they are both interviewed in the documentary.

Exodus didn’t become as famous as Metallica, but Exodus is described as being a San Francisco Bay Area band that stayed true to its thrash-metal roots, since Exodus never recorded any ballads. (Thrash metal is defined as music that’s played louder and faster than regular heavy metal, with lyrics that often express anger and despair.) Another major difference between Exodus and Metallica is that Exodus has disbanded more than once, and the band’s original lead singer died. Exodus vocalist Paul Baloff passed away after having a stroke in 2012. In a touching scene in the documentary, Holt and Hunting are shown visiting Baloff’s grave.

The documentary gets its name from the nonfiction book of the same title written by Harald Oimoen and Brian Lew, who are both interviewed in the film. And the book’s “Murder in the Front Row” title came from a line in the title track of Exodus’ 1985 debut album “Born in Blood,” which was inspired by all the blood and violence that would occur at many of these bands’ nightclub shows.

The targets of this violence were usually “posers”—the derogatory name given to fans of ’80s “glam rock” or “hair metal” bands, such as Poison, Ratt, Motley Crue and Bon Jovi. Several people in the documentary describe how bands and fans of thrash metal would often immediately pick fights with “posers.” And with or without any “posers” around, there would be violence, whether it was getting slammed in mosh pits, throwing glass bottles, getting into fist fights, or destroying walls and furniture.

Baloff was notorious for starting many of these fights, especially when he was on stage. Exodus had a specific posse of fans known as the Slay Team that would be ready to get rough with “posers.” And there was even an underground Slay Team comic book illustrated by Elizabeth “Lizzie” Francois, who was Baloff’s girlfriend at the time. She’s interviewed in this movie, and some of the comic book illustrations are shown.

Even with all of this violence, the people interviewed in the movie look back on what they experienced with a lot of fondness. (“The [mosh] pits were violent as hell. It was glorious,” says Death Angel’s Mark Osegueda.) The violence is described as not so extreme that anyone got murdered at concerts, but there was enough bloodshed and broken bones for it to be dangerous to go to many of these male-dominated shows. Hammett describes how the musicians often dealt with it: “The anger and frustration [were] being channeled into our instruments.”

The trash-metal scene in the San Francisco Bay Area was largely centered in working-class areas of the East Bay, where in the late 1970s and early 1980s, unemployment and crime rates were high. Oakland and Berkeley are the two biggest cities in the East Bay, with Oakland known for its racially diverse mix of people, and Berkeley having an image as a hippie-friendly, liberal college hub. Kids were starting to discover new heavy metal, which was thriving in Europe, by trading tapes and reading about bands in magazines. Kerrang! (a British magazine for heavy metal) had free ads for pen pals, while Metal Mania had gone from being a newsletter to being an underground magazine by 1981.

Hammett remembers that in the mid-to-late 1970s, when he was a teenager in the working-class California suburbs of El Sobrante and Richmond, “We were far away from the city. We were isolated. There was nothing to do.” He adds, “There was something I wasn’t getting enough of until I heard this band called UFO.”

Hammett says he became obsessed with UFO and found other passionate fans of UFO with Lew, Rich Quintana (a journalist and DJ at college radio station KUSF) and Rich Burch, who died of needle-related AIDS in 1993. Exodus guitarist Holt describes Hammett as his musical mentor and “the first guy to play me Uli Roth-era Scorpions.”

Around the same time that the thrash-metal scene was growing in the Bay Area, San Francisco retailer Record Vault (which had a lot of imported music that bigger stores wouldn’t have) and a nightclub in Berkeley called Ruthie’s Inn became important hangouts. Ruthie’s Inn is described as the “epicenter” of the scene, because it’s where all the thrash bands that mattered ended up playing at one time or another.

The owner of Ruthie’s Inn was someone who was not a typical rock promoter—he was an African American named Wes Robinson, who had a background in blues music. Robinson’s daughter Darelle S. Ali explains in the documentary why her late father was so open to booking thrash music at Ruthie’s Inn: “His joy for something led his actions in getting involved with it. He never got involved with something just because he thought he’d be able to get involved with it.”

The history of Metallica has been covered numerous times elsewhere. Therefore, people who are already familiar with the band’s 1980s background won’t find out anything new from watching this documentary. Metallica was originally based in Los Angeles, but original band members Hetfield and Ulrich (a Danish immigrant) said that they didn’t really fit in with the Los Angeles rock scene, which was was mostly about punk acts or “heartthrob” metal bands when Metallica formed in 1981.

Metallica found instant acceptance when the band played in the San Francisco Bay Area. And when Metallica needed a new bassist to replace Ron McGovney in 1982, Metallica recruited Cliff Burton from the band Trauma. Burton only agreed to join Metallica if the band relocated from Los Angeles to his home base of the San Francisco Bay Area. Burton tragically died in a tour-bus accident in 1986, at the age of 24. Corinne Lynn (Burton’s girlfriend at the time) and his father Ray Burton are interviewed in the documentary.

Although the documentary is about the San Francisco Bay Area thrash scene, metal bands from other parts of the U.S. are interviewed in the movie if they were part of Metallica’s and Exodus’ 1980s history and if they had a large fan base in the Bay Area. Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante is interviewed because Anthrax (from New York City) and Metallica were signed to Metal Blade Records early in their careers, and the two bands toured together. Metal Blade was based in Old Bridge, New Jersey, where Metallica stayed when recording “Kill ‘Em All.” While in Old Bridge, Metallica developed a fan base called the Old Bridge Militia, who often partied with the band at a place they named their “Fun House.”

Slayer, a Los Angeles-based band, is also featured in the documentary, because Exodus guitarist Holt ended up joining the Slayer in 2011 and was in the group until Slayer disbanded in 2019. Slayer’s longtime drummer Dave Lombardo says of the Bay Area thrash scene in the 1980s: “We felt at home there” because Los Angeles was saturated with glam rock at the time.

Slayer guitarist Kerry King adds, “The Bay Area crowds were far more advanced” than the audiences in Southern California. Slayer lead singer/bassist Tom Araya sheepishly remembers how Slayer used to be a band that wore heavy eyeliner makeup, until thrash musicians in the Bay Area convinced them to stop wearing makeup before Slayer played at Ruthie’s Inn. It was a pivotal show because it was the first one that Slayer did without makeup.

Several people in the documentary also talk about the wild parties that were part of the scene. The so-called Metallica Mansion or MetalliMansion (a modest house in El Cerrito) was a big party hangout, although members of Exodus say that Metallica was hardly there because the band was usually away on tour. Hetfield describes it as a “total bachelor pad” where no area was safe from some of the mayhem that could take place there.

On a more sobering note, Hetfield also remembers famous San Francisco music promoter Bill Graham lecturing him early in Metallica’s career about the band’s wild ways, which included trashing dressing rooms. (Graham died in a helicopter crash in 1991.) Hetfield says that the talk had a big impact on him, because Graham said he had a similar talk with Keith Moon (The Who drummer) and Sid Vicious (of Sex Pistols fame), who both died of drug overdoses in the late 1970s.

Hetfield says that he was so remorseful about the violent damage in the dressing room that he offered to pay for the cost. But he noticed that the next time Metallica played a Bill Graham show, the entire dressing room was covered with plastic protectors. Metallica’s performance at the 1985 Day on the Green festival in Oakland (a Bill Graham Presents show) is mentioned as a major turning point for the band’s increasing popularity.

A counterpoint to Day on the Green was Day in the Dirt, a thrash-metal festival in Berkeley that was promoted by Ruthie’s Inn owner Robinson. The first Day in the Dirt in 1984 had a lineup that included Slayer, Exodus, Suicidal Tendencies and Possessed. Speaking of Possessed, bass player Larry LaLonde (who was an underage teen in high school when he joined the band and would later find fame as a member of Primus) says that most of the satanic imagery by the thrash bands back then was just created to get attention and that none of the band members took it seriously.

The late Debbie Abono, who used to be the manager of Possessed and Exodus, is fondly remembered by several people in the documentary. Metallica’s Hetfield says that she was Metallica’s “metal mom” and that her house in Pinole “was always a safe place,” even though her daughter Julie Ebding laughs when she remembers some of the crazy things she would have to walk over in the house when she had to go to school in the morning.  LaLonde gives a lot of credit to Abono for his early music career, and he mentions that she paid for the guitar lessons that LaLonde got from Joe Satriani. Abono’s daughter Nancy Labowitz and Rick Nelson-Abono are also interviewed in the documentary.

Other people interviewed in the movie include Chuck Billy and Alex Skolnick of Testament; Phil Demmell and Robb Flynn of Vio-lence; Metallica fan club leader K.J. Doughton; Metal Blade Records co-founder Brian Slagel; Metallica road crew member John Marshall; Bay Area scenester Sven Soderlund; former Faith No More guitarist Jim Martin, who was in EZ-Street, Cliff Burton’s first band; Mark Menghi of Metal Allegiance; Toni Isabella of Bill Graham Presents; music journalists Alex Gernand, Steffan Chirazi and Joel Selvin; and fans Connie Taylor and Pam Behrhorst, who remember racking up expenses on Metallica’s checking account, and Taylor’s parents paying the cost to replace the money before the band found out.

Despite this long list of people interviewed in the movie, “Murder in the Front Row” doesn’t feel overstuffed with talking heads. That’s because this well-edited film keeps things lively with great stories and a treasure trove of archival concert footage and photos. People who despise heavy metal probably won’t enjoy this movie. But for everyone else, it’s a fun ride back to an era when musicians and fans were allowed to be a lot more hedonistic, and heavy metal was celebrated a lot more than it is now.

MVD Visual released “Murder in the Front Row: The San Francisco Bay Area Trash Metal Story” on digital, VOD and DVD on April 24, 2020. The DVD has an extra 90 minutes of bonus footage.

2019 New York Comic Con: What to expect at this year’s event

October 2, 2019

by Carla Hay

“Star Trek: Discovery” (Photo courtesy of CBS All Access)

The 14th annual New York Comic Con takes place October 3 to October 6 in New York City. The event is expected to draw about 250,000 people, according to ReedPOP, the company that produces the event. New York Comic Con’s main hub is at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, but there are also numerous activities taking place at several other locations in the city, including Hammerstein Ballroom, the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, the New York Public Library, the Way Station (in Brooklyn) and AMC 34th Street.

TV shows dominate the most high-profile panels and activities. New York Comic Con in 2019 also seven major exclusive TV panels: HBO’s “Watchmen,” based on the graphic-novel series; “Servant,” the Apple TV+ show from executive producer M. Night Shyamalan; the FX show “DEVS,” the first TV series from “Ex Machina” director Alex Garland; the Starz series “Outlander,” which is coming to New York Comic Con for the second year in a row; Hulu’s “Castle Rock,” which will premiere the first episode of the show’s second season; the “Star Trek” universe on CBS All Access will get a spotlight with a panel for “Star Trek: Discovery” and “Star Trek: Picard.” and a 20th anniversary panel for “Angel.”

Meanwhile,  Warner Bros. Television is having a panel for several of its shows: “Riverdale,” “Manifest,” “Roswell, New Mexico” “Batwoman” and “Harley Quinn.” There will also be a panel for the TNT series “Snowpiercer,” which is the TV version of the 2013 movie of the same name. “The Orville” will have its first New York Comic Con panel since moving from Fox to Hulu. Fans of USA Network’s  “The Purge” will get to see the first episode of the show’s second season, followed by a Q&A with the cast.

AMC’s “The Walking Dead” TV series has had a panel at New York Comic Con every year since the show debuted in 2010. The show’s 10th season (which premieres October 6, 2019) will be the first without original “Walking Dead” star Andrew Lincoln, who played “The Walking Dead” group leader Rick Grimes. Lincoln left the show in 2018, because he said he wanted to spend more time with his family. There will also be a separate panel for “The Walking Dead” universe, including the third “Walking Dead” TV series whose name is to be announced.

There are some movies due to be released in theaters that will also be showcased at the event, such as “1917,” “The King’s Man,” “Free Guy” and “The Grudge.” There will also be a panel featuring “The Lord of the Rings” hobbit actors Sean Astin and Billy Boyd, as well as a panel featuring several actresses who are the voices of Disney princesses in animated films.

Broadway shows are represented with separate panels for “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” “Dear Evan Hansen” and “The Lightning Thief—The Percy Jackson Musical.” And, of course, there will be plenty of panels, exhibits and previews for comic books, video games, fantasy novels and other pop-culture attractions.

Every day during New York Comic Con, Syfy Wire on the NYCC Live Stage (at Booth 174) will have brief interviews with the talent appearing on the panels. It’s an opportunity to get an intimate, close-up look at the talent, but seating is limited. Click here for the NYCC Live Stage schedule.

And it wouldn’t be a Comic Con without cosplaying and merchandise sales. The Cosplay Central area returns for its second year at the River Pavilion of the fourth floor of the Javits Convention Center. While at Cosplay Central, cosplayers can mingle, pose for photos, use the dressing rooms and attend panel discussions. New York Comic Con also has an enormous amount of merchandise for sale for numerous types of entertainment.


(Image courtesy of Anime Fest)

As previously reported, For the second year in a row, New York Comic Con has partnered with Anime Expo to create Anime Fest, which will take place on the same days as New York Comic Con 2019 in New York City: October 3 to October 6. Anime Fest is a separate event that will be held at Hudson Mercantile. It’s a change in venue from the 2018 Anime Expo, which was held at Pier 94. The good news is that Hudson Mercantile is much closer to the Javits Convention Center than Pier 94.


Several stars from movies and TV shows will have individual autograph sessions and/or photo opportunities with fans. They include:

  • Tom Hiddleston (“Thor,” “Thor: Ragnarok,” “The Avengers” and the upcoming Disney+ “Loki” series) on October 3 and October 4.
  •  Paul Rudd (“Ant-Man,” “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” “Avengers: Endgame”) on October 3 and October 4.
  • Billy Dee Williams (“The Empire Strikes Back,” “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”) on October 3, October 4 and October 5.
  • Amy Acker (“The Gifted,” “Person of Interest,” “Angel”) on October 4, October 5 and October 6.
  • Benedict Wong (“Doctor Strange,” “Deadly Class”) on October 3, October 4 and October 5.
  • Billy Boyd (“The Lord of the Rings” movie series) on October 4, October 5 and October 6.
  • Anika Noni Rose (“The Princess and the Frog”) on October 4, October 5, and October 6.
  • James Marsden (“Angel,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) on October 3, October 4, October 5, and October 6.
  • Charisma Carpenter (“Angel,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) on October 3, October 4, October 5, and October 6.
  • Nichelle Nichols (“Star Trek” original series) on October 3, October 4, October 5, and October 6.
  • Christopher Eccleston (“Doctor Who,” “The Leftovers”) on October 3 and October 4.
  • Tom Kenny (“SpongeBob SquarePants”) on October 3, October 4, October 5, and October 6.


“The Purge”

October 3, 2019, 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM

Hammerstein Ballroom

Based on the popular film franchise, USA Network’s “The Purge” is back! In Season 2 of the hit anthology series, we will finally discover what happens the other 364 days of the year, which will leave you asking: does what happens on Purge night really stay on Purge night? Don’t miss the premiere screening of the first episode from the new season, followed by an exclusive Q&A with the executive producers (including creator James DeMonaco, Krystal Houghton Ziv and James Roland) and stars Derek Luke, Paola Nuñez, Joel Allen and Rochelle Aytes.

“RWBY Volume 7”

October 3, 2019, 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM

Hammerstein Ballroom

The cast and crew of “RWBY” return to New York Comic Con with an early look at the upcoming Volume 7, world premiere reveals, news, and more!


October 3, 2019, 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Hammerstein Ballroom

An exclusive event with master storyteller M. Night Shyamalan as he introduces Servant, a new psychological thriller series coming to Apple TV+. “Servant” follows a Philadelphia couple in mourning after an unspeakable tragedy creates a rift in their marriage and opens the door for a mysterious force to enter their home. Please join M. Night Shyamalan, Tony Basgallop, and the cast including Lauren Ambrose, Toby Kebbell, Nell Tiger Free, and Rupert Grint.

“Big Mouth”

October 3, 2019, 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM

Main Stage 1-D – Javits Center

Get comfortable being uncomfortable with your favorite puberty-driven animated series “Big Mouth”! Join Nick Kroll and cast, along with executive producers as they take on NYCC with hilarious clips and commentary from the highly-anticipated third season. Filled with complicated friendships, hormone monsters, musical numbers, and everything in between, “Big Mouth” is bringing its most heartwarming and raunchy moments to Comic-Con with a super-sized panel not to be missed.

“Marvel’s Runaways”

October 4, 2019, 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM

The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden

“Marvel’s Runaways” is headed back to Madison Square Garden with an action-packed panel you won’t want to miss! Be the first to experience the premiere episode of the highly-anticipated third season with the stars and creative forces of Marvel’s Runaways. After the exclusive screening, join Jeph Loeb, Head of Marvel Television, along with the cast and executive producers, to discuss what’s to come in Season 3. All episodes of Marvel’s Runaways Season 3 drop on December 13, 2019, only on Hulu.


October 4, 2019, 3:45 PM – 5:45 PM

Main Stage 1-D – Javits Center

Set in an alternate history where masked vigilantes are treated as outlaws, HBO’s upcoming series “Watchmen” embraces the nostalgia of the original groundbreaking graphic novel of the same name while breaking new ground of its own. From the co-creator of “The Leftovers,” Damon Lindelof’s new series is set in contemporary 2019 where roughly 30 years have passed since the original “Watchmen” story. Please join producers Lindelof, Nicole Kassell, series stars Regina King, Jeremy Irons, Jean Smart, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr., Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Hong Chau for an exclusive sneak peek of the first episode of the HBO series followed by a panel discussion.

“The Walking Dead” Universe

October 5, 2019, 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM

The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden

“The Walking Dead”

The Walking Dead is a story that started 10 years ago with one man trying to find his family. That family grew and gradually communities took shape. They fought and survived, thrived and gave birth to a new generation. Season 10 picks up a few months from where we left off, with the collected communities still dealing with the after effects of Alpha and the Whisperers horrific display of power, reluctantly respecting the new borderlines being imposed on them, all while organizing themselves into a militia-style fight force, preparing for a battle that may be unavoidable. The Whisperers are a threat unlike any they have ever faced, and the very idea of whether civilization can survive in a world filled with the dead hangs in the balance. The series’ milestone 10th season returns on October 6, 2019.


The untitled third series in the Walking Dead Universe will focus on the first generation to come-of-age in the apocalypse.

“Angel” 20th Anniversary Reunion

October 5, 2019, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Hammerstein Ballroom

On October 5, 1999, “Angel,” the incredible spin-off from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” debuted. On October 5, 2019, we reassemble the cast on the stage of the Hammerstein Ballroom to honor a truly groundbreaking show on its 20th Anniversary. Moderated by Clare Kramer (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”).

Amazon Prime Video: “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” and “The Expanse”

October 5, 2019, 10:45 AM – 1:30 PM

Main Stage 1D – Javits Center

Join stars and producers from Amazon Prime Video’s Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” and “The Expanse” for world premiere screenings and individual Q&A sessions on the Javits Main Stage.

“Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan”: Season 2 World Premiere Screening and Q&A

Join the cast of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, including John Krasinski, Noomi Rapace and Michael Kelly, for the world premiere screening of Season Two’s action-packed first episode. After tracking a potentially suspicious shipment of illegal arms in the Venezuelan jungle, CIA Officer Jack Ryan (Krasinski) heads down to South America to investigate. As Jack’s investigation threatens to uncover a far-reaching conspiracy, the President of Venezuela launches a counter-attack that hits home for Jack, leading him and his fellow operatives on a global mission spanning the United States, UK, Russia, and Venezuela to unravel the President’s nefarious plot and bring stability to a country on the brink of chaos. The second season of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan will premiere November 1, 2019, on Amazon Prime Video.

“The Expanse”: Season 4 World Premiere Screening and Q&A

“The Expanse” will host a world premiere screening of the first episode from the Amazon Prime Video series’ highly-anticipated fourth season! Season 4 marks a new chapter for the crew of the Rocinante, as they join the land rush and embark on a U.N. mission to explore the newly discovered, Earth-like planets that exist beyond the Ring Gate. The first planet to be settled, Ilus, is one rich with natural resources, but it’s also scarred by the ruins of a long dead alien civilization. While Earthers, Martians and Belters maneuver to colonize Ilus and its natural resources, tensions rise between the opposing nations, but these early explorers don’t understand the true threat of this new world and are unaware of the larger dangers that await them. Following the premiere screening, join the series stars and showrunner for an in-depth conversation and exciting updates about what fans can expect when the new season launches on Amazon Prime Video on December 13, 2019.


October 5, 2019, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Hammerstein Ballroom

Set more than seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland, “Snowpiercer” centers on the remnants of humanity, who inhabit a 1001 car, perpetually-moving train that circles the globe. Class warfare, social injustice and the politics of survival play out in this riveting television adaptation, produced by Tomorrow Studios, based on the acclaimed movie and graphic novel series of the same name. TBS offers a brand-new sneak peek of the highly anticipated post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller along with a panel featuring stars Jennifer Connelly, Daveed Diggs, Alison Wright, Mickey Sumner, Lena Hall, Sheila Vand, Steven Ogg and EP / showrunner Graeme Manson.


October 5, 2019, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

Hammerstein Ballroom

From visionary screenwriter/director/filmmaker Alex Garland (“Ex Machina,” “Annihilation”) comes FX’s “DEVS,” a high-tech suspense thriller about a young software engineer who investigates the secretive development division of her employer, which she believes is behind the murder of her boyfriend. Please join Alex Garland and cast for an exclusive sneak peek and must-see conversation about this electrifying new limited series. “DEVS” premieres on FX in 2020.

“Star Trek” Universe

October 5, 2019, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM

The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden

Over 50 years ago, the world was first introduced to what would quickly become a cultural phenomenon for the ages. “Star Trek” broke barriers then and continues to do so now, inspiring people of all generations and walks of life with its celebration of cultural diversity, scientific exploration and the pursuit of uncharted frontiers. Today, the “Star Trek” universe continues to thrive, exploring all new missions for Starfleet. CBS All Access invites you to join Sonequa Martin-Green, cast and producers of its hit “Star Trek” series including “Star Trek: Discovery” and Sir Patrick Stewart, cast and producers from the highly anticipated “Star Trek: Picard.”

“Castle Rock”

October 5, 2019, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden

J.J. Abrams and Stephen King’s hit psychological horror series returns! Set in the Stephen King multiverse, “Castle Rock” combines the mythological scale and intimate storytelling of King’s best-loved works, weaving an epic saga of darkness and light, played out on a few square miles of Maine forestland. In season two, a feud between warring clans comes to a boil when budding psychopath Annie Wilkes, Stephen King’s nurse from hell, gets waylaid in Castle Rock. Panelists include series stars Lizzy Caplan, Tim Robbins, Paul Sparks, Yusra Warsama, Barkhad Abdi, Matthew Alan and Elsie Fisher, along with co-creator and showrunner Dustin Thomason. Castle Rock premieres Wednesday, October 23, 2019, only on Hulu.


October 5, 2019, 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM

The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden

Join the creators and cast of the hit STARZ Original Series for a discussion on the series so far and what is to come in Season Five.

“The Walking Dead”

October 5, 2019, 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM

The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden

AMC Presents a special advance screening of the Season 10 premiere of “The Walking Dead.”

Warner Bros. Television: “Riverdale,” “Manifest,” “Roswell, New Mexico” “Harley Quinn,” “Batwoman”

October 6, 2019, 10:30 AM – 2:45 PM

The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden

“Riverdale” Special Video Presentation and Q&A

10:30 AM–11:30 AM

Now that the Gargoyle King has been revealed, The Black Hood is dead and Hiram is in jail, can Archie and the gang have a normal senior year? Riverdale returns for its second appearance at New York Comic Con, to discuss the new mysteries of season four, including the shocking finale flash forward and what it means for Jughead and the others. Join us for a special video presentation followed by a Q&A with series stars Mädchen Amick, Marisol Nichols, Mark Consuelos and Skeet Ulrich and executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. “Riverdale’s” Season 4 returns October 9, airing Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.

“Manifest” Special Video Presentation and Q&A

11:35 AM –12:05 PM

Last season’s breakout hit drama returns with more heart-pounding mystery and answers to some of last season’s biggest questions! When Montego Air Flight 828 landed safely in New York after a turbulent but routine flight, the crew and passengers were relieved. Yet in the span of those few hours, the world had aged five years and their friends, families and colleagues, after mourning their loss, had given up hope and moved on. Now, faced with the impossible, they’re all given a second chance. Join the series cast and executive producer/creator Jeff Rake, as they delve even further into the mystery of Flight 828, and offer a special sneak peek at some exclusive new footage! “Manifest’s” second season will air midseason on NBC.

“Roswell, New Mexico” Special Video Presentation and Q&A

12:10 PM – 1:00 PM

Following the shocking season one finale, where Max used his powers to resurrect Rosa while not realizing that he was sacrificing his own life in the process, join “Roswell, New Mexico” as it returns for its second appearance at New York Comic Con! In season two, Liz mourns her lost love by seeking comfort in science, both earthly and extraterrestrial, as Rosa turns to Kyle to help her find her place in the unfamiliar territory of 2019. In their grief, Isobel explores potentially dangerous methods of self-defense, and Michael spirals into some old bad habits, putting his relationships with Maria and Alex at risk. Join us for a special video presentation followed by a Q&A with series stars Jeanine Mason, Nathan Dean Parsons, Michael Vlamis, Lily Cowles and Tyler Blackburn and executive producers Carina Adly MacKenzie, Chris Hollier and Julie Plec. “Roswell, New Mexico” will return midseason on The CW.

“Harley Quinn” Screening

1:05 PM – 1:30 PM

Catch an early look at this upcoming adult animated action-comedy series coming soon to DC Universe. Harley Quinn puts everyone’s favorite Gotham villainess front and center as Harley has finally broken things off with the Joker and attempts to make it on her own as the criminal Queenpin of Gotham City. Voicing the title role of Harley Quinn, Kaley Cuoco (“The Big Bang Theory”) leads an all-star comedic voice cast which includes Lake Bell (“Bless This Mess”), Alan Tudyk (“Doom Patrol”), Tony Hale (“Veep”), Ron Funches (“Powerless”), JB Smoove (“Spider-Man: Far From Home”), Jason Alexander (“Seinfeld”), Diedrich Bader (“Veep”), Chris Meloni (“Happy!”), Jim Rash (“Community”), Wanda Sykes (“Black-ish”) and so many more.

“Batwoman” Pilot Screening and Q&A

1:35 PM – 2:45 PM

Armed with a passion for social justice and a flair for speaking her mind, Kate Kane soars onto the streets of Gotham as Batwoman, an out lesbian and highly trained street fighter primed to snuff out the failing city’s criminal resurgence. But don’t call her a hero yet. In a city desperate for a savior, Kate must overcome her own demons before embracing the call to be Gotham’s symbol of hope. Join cast and producers for a screening of the pilot, followed by a Q&A. From executive producers Greg Berlanti (“Arrow,” “The Flash,” “Supergirl”), Caroline Dries (“The Vampire Diaries,” “Smallville”), Geoff Johns (“Arrow,” “The Flash,” “Titans”) and Sarah Schechter (“Arrow,” “The Flash,” “Supergirl”). The cast includes Ruby Rose (“Orange Is the New Black,” “The Meg,” “XXX: Return of Xander Cage”), Rachel Skarsten (“Reign,” “Fifty Shades of Grey,” “Lost Girl”), Meagan Tandy (“Survivor’s Remorse,” “UnREAL,” “Teen Wolf”), Nicole Kang (“You”), Camrus Johnson (“Luke Cage,” “The Sun Is Also a Star”), Elizabeth Anweis (“Twin Peaks”) and Dougray Scott (“Taken 3,” “Hitman,” “Mission: Impossible 2”). Marcos Siega (“You,” “God Friended Me,” “Blindspot”) directed the pilot, for which he also served as executive producer alongside David Nutter (“Game of Thrones,” “Arrow,” “The Flash”). “Batwoman” premieres October 6, 2019. airing Sundays at 8/7c on The CW.

In addition, Sunday’s Warner Bros. Television Block will also include exclusive footage into the upcoming seasons of “Black Lightning” (returning Monday, October 7, 2019, at 9/8c on The CW), “Katy Keene” (premieres midseason on The CW), “Legacies” (returning Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 9/8c on The CW) and “Prodigal Son” (Mondays at 9/8c on Fox), as well as the current second season of Titans (now streaming on DC Universe).

“DreamWorks’ She-Ra and the Princesses of Power”

October 6, 2019, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Main Stage 1D – Javits Center

Join cast and creators for a discussion of the hit animated series. Panelists include A.J. Michalka, Aimee Carrero, Karen Fukuhara, Krutika Mallikarjuna, Lauren Ash and Marcus Scribner.

“Batman Beyond” 20th Anniversary

October 6, 2019, 1:45 PM – 2:45 PM

Main Stage 1D – Javits Center

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, “Batman Beyond” won two Emmy Awards and three Annie Awards as it captured the imaginations of a new generation of Batman fans, setting new standards for super hero storytelling with innovative designs, outstanding voice acting and an intriguing approach to DC’s iconic characters and stories. The series also spawned an acclaimed animated film, “Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.” Come celebrate the series’ 20th anniversary and its upcoming remastered Blu-ray box set release with key members of the Batman Beyond creative team, led by the voices of Batman & Terry McGinnis – Kevin Conroy (“Batman: The Animated Series”) and Will Friedle (“Boy Meets World,” “Kim Possible”). “Batman Beyond: The Complete Series Deluxe Limited Edition” box set arrives from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital starting October 15, 2019 and in a stunning Blu-ray box set on October 29, 2019.

“The Orville”

October 6, 2019, 1:45 PM – 2:45 PM

Main Stage 1D – Javits Center

Emmy-nominated series “The Orville” is back for season 3 and heading to New York! Join the dynamic crew of the U.S.S. Orville: Adrianne Palicki, Penny Johnson Jerald, Scott Grimes, Peter Macon, Jessica Szohr, J Lee, Mark Jackson & Chad L. Coleman and Executive Producers David A. Goodman, Jon Cassar & Brannon Braga to celebrate the show and learn about its exciting, new adventures on Hulu!

In addition, these TV shows or web series will be showcased with panels at New York Comic Con this year:

  • “Are You Afraid of the Dark?”
  • “The Banana Splits Movie”
  • “Castlevania”
  • “Charmed”
  • “Creepshow”
  • “Daybreak”
  • “Dragon Ball Super”
  • “The Dragon Prince”
  • “Emergence”
  • “Evil”
  • “For All Mankind”
  • “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee”
  • “Impractical Jokers”
  • “Impulse”
  • “The Last Kids on Earth”
  • “Lincoln”
  • “Lost in Space”
  • “Nancy Drew”
  • “neXt”
  • “Pandora”
  • “Primal”
  • “Reprisal”
  • “Resident Alien”
  • “Robot Chicken”
  • “Seis Manos”
  • “Steven Universe”
  • “Tell Me a Story”
  • “Wonder Woman: Bloodline”
  • “Wynonna Earp”



AMC 34th Street

October 3, 2019, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Sam Mendes, the Academy Award-winning director of “Skyfall,” “Spectre” and “American Beauty,” legendary Academy Award winning cinematographer Roger Deakins and more take you behind the scenes of their thrilling new epic, “1917,” about two young British soldiers on an impossible mission, in a race against time, to cross enemy territory and deliver a message that will stop a deadly attack.

“The King’s Man” and “Free Guy”

October 3, 2019, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Main Stage 1-D – Javits Center

20th Century Fox will be at New York Comic Con with Criminal Masterminds, British Intelligence Agents, Despondent Bank Tellers & Biker Girls for An Insider’s Look at “The King’s Man” and “Free Guy.” This panel will introduce both films and feature exclusive conversations with the cast and filmmakers. “The King’s Man” is Matthew Vaughn’s origin story of Britain’s very first independent intelligence agency hitting theaters in February 2020. “Free Guy” is an adventure-comedy directed by Shawn Levy starring Ryan Reynolds as a forlorn bank teller who discovers he is a background character in an open world video game, in theaters in July 2020.

“The Grudge” (2020)

October 3, 2019, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Main Stage 1-D – Javits Center

Sony Pictures presents “The Grudge,” a reimagining of the horror classic. Appearing in person: producer Sam Raimi and cast members Betty Gilpin, Lin Shaye, Nicolas Pesce and Andrea Riseborough.

“Murder in the Front Row: The San Francisco Bay Area Thrash Metal Story”

October 3, 2019, 6:45 PM – 7:45 PM

Room 1A21 – Javits Center

Join us to celebrate the theatrical release of “Murder in the Front Row: The San Francisco Bay Area Thrash Metal Story”! Based off the 2012 photojournal of the same name, the documentary contains over fifty interviews with various metal stalwarts, (including Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, Exodus, Testament and Death Angel), telling its tall tales through a mix of first-person interviews, animation and narration by comedian Brian Posehn. In addition to never-before-seen clips, we’ll talk with our headbanging panelists about metal music’s influence within today’s comic con culture. NO BALLADS!!!

*All panel descriptions are courtesy of New York Comic Con.

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