I’m not exaggerating when I say that Monster-Mania is one of the best run convention series in the world. I feel that since I cover around 8 conventions a year, I’m qualified to say this! At every show I like to talk to vendors and celebs alike to see who is doing well and what their experiences are like. It’s the suit in me.
You could assume I was chomping at the bit to see how a hotel convention series handles a crowd in town to meet Bruce Campbell, Corey Feldman AND Malcolm McDowell, among a serious looking army of horror’s elite. Amazingly, the staff that has been on hand since day one pulled it off without a hitch … and many a gaping jaw at the insane crowds that were double a regular Saturday mob!
For some reason the costumed freaks called each other to compare notes before the show, as there were a Wolverine, decaying and bloody, Spider-Man, a bit chewed on, and Batman, showing signs of gnawing. Spawn bore no tooth marks. Spawn always gets left out.
Fans quickly fell into two camps. Those lining up for around 3 hours to meet either Bruce Campbell or Corey, and those hitting the interior for two packed rooms lined with celebs or grazing along the vendors’ area. William Ragsdale, enjoying his second convention ever (his first being Fear Fest the week before!), was tossed on stage with Zach Galligan as a sort of “Teenage boys who kick monster ass” theme. As this was New Jersey, questions included “So … Mannequin 2. What the fuck?!” I asked William how his second experience was going and he remarked “Fantastic. They come over to the table and I say no … I’m not the kid from Gremlins. He’s over there.” Soon after this conversation, I found some leftover swag from The Reaping. I told him he could give them to some fans that come by his table. Thinking I meant fans of the film, he snickered and said, “Yeah, so far that hasn’t been a problem!” Cue the drum and cymbal hit.
I’m told the weekend actually kicked off on Thursday night with a party attended by many of the celebs on hand. The festivities include dinner, dancing, mingling with your favorite creeps and of course, a cake cutting with a chainsaw. Actually Monster-Mania staff couldn’t get the damn thing fired up so it was the hotel staff to the rescue. Wow; fresh sheets, clean towels and priming your chainsaw. That’s service. Since we live in the future, this moment was captured and can be seen in all its glory on YouTube. That’s America.
Rocky Horror Picture Show … Texas Chainsaw Massacre Reunion … Malcolm McDowell yelling about Dr. Loomis being an idiot … Roddy Piper and Keith David re-united … Jobeth Williams still looking hot … Sid Haig, well, being Sid Haig … THESE are the things that make Monster-Mania what it is. People being brought together after years of separation to the extreme and sometimes fanatical joy of the horror fans. This is the number one reason why, at every Monster-Mania, Dread Central packs a table with as much free swag as we can get our hands on.
On that note, I’d like to thank WETA, Fox, Dark Horse, RocketUSA, Genius, Activision and the half a dozen other companies who provided posters, pins, dvd’s and toys for freebies and contests all weekend long. You make the show just a little more killer for the fans, and Lord knows, Dread is all about more bang for your buck. We’d also like to thank Magnet and Fox for providing The Signal and Aliens VS Predator: Requiem Uncut for screenings! Of course, the biggest thanks goes out to Dave Hagan and my psycho security family at Monster-Mania. Without their tireless prodding for contest tickets, I would feel unloved.
Also, quick thanks to MY CREW … something I’m not used to having at Monster-Mania! Plagiarize and his lady Katy took on some photography duties and managed to capture key dorky moments you normally would not be able to witness, so YAY for that! Heather Buckley and her ace cameraman Dan assaulted many a celeb for an interview, marking one of the first cons where we actually take advantage of having such amazing talent gathered in one place. Look for those vids soon! Lastly, there’s Cara of the psychotic organization and legendary boobies. Without her, we could not keep going.
P.S. to the guy who bought those Inhumanoids figures off the table next to us before the show even started. Sir, I shake my fist at you.
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