Surviving Monster Mania 6
August 25-27th saw Monster Mania 6 land deep in the heart of Cherry Hill, NJ. Since this particular event was dubbed the "Fan Appreciation Show," horror freaks from all points on the globe flew in for the weekend, met up with long-time friends from horror forums, and partied their asses off.
As has become the new tradition, MM6 kicked off Thursday night with a meet and greet party that put fans shoulder-to-shoulder with the top names in the creep-out biz. Great food was followed by a live DJ so good he even compelled Kane Hodder to do the Electric Slide. Now there’s something worth the price of admission! This of course was just a warm-up for opening day, when all the insanity really begins.
Friday is generally seen as the "Mad Dash." The object of the game is to collect as many of the autographs you're gunning for before the place gets ridiculously packed on Saturday. This time around, it was no small task. The entry signing room alone contained the likes of Alex Vincent (Child’s Play), Angela Bettis (May), our very own Joe Knetter, and Sid Haig joined by Leslie Easterbrook (representing team Devil’s Rejects)! The Lost Boys reunion was in full force including Billy Wirth and Brooke McCarter (two of the four vamps), Jamison Newlander (the long lost Frog Brother), and Chance Michael Corbitt (aka Laddie aka evil Eddie Munster.)
Across the room, looking as if they wanted to rumble with the LB crew (or at least have a break dance competition), were some of your favorite Dream Warriors from Nightmare on Elm Street 3! Jennifer Rubin (Taryn minus her mohawk) was joined by Rodney Eastman (Joey) and Ken Sagoes (Kincaid). Not far from them were cast members of the punk rock cult favorite Return of the Living Dead, complete with Don Calfa (Ernie) and the one and only chainsaw aerobics instructor herself, Linnea Quigley (Trash).
Looking a bit out of place among the collection of our favorite punks, misfits, and high-haired bloodsuckers (and I’m not even talking about team Troma), sat Ernie Hudson (of Ghostbusters fame), smiling away as if it were just another day. With breaks to catch films introduced by cast members of various Friday the 13th installments, your day is pretty much done by now!
Saturday starts bright and early, most likely jumping into a line for one of the headliners of the show. If you didn’t take advantage of the looser crowd on Friday to go and get some claw marks from Robert Englund, that would be your first stop. The man is always very accommodating, and no matter how tired he may be, you’ll always get a "RAA!" face and a clawed hand pose from him for a photo.
Right next to Robert was the man who chewed bubblegum and kicked some ass in They Live: Rowdy Roddie Piper!! Fans tripped over themselves to meet the man in the kilt who came with such autograph combinations as 8x10 photo with piece of chewing gum or 8x10 photo with official They Live glasses. Priceless. Shawnee Smith (of the Saw series) greeted fans with a smile and a laugh, seeming to get a kick out of the crowd and their stories. Saturday also saw the arrival of Eddie Furlong (of T2 & Pet Semetary 2), who, when tossed a Dread Central t-shirt called back, "Rock and roll, man!" See? I told you we were fuckin' punk rock! Heh.
The highlights of Saturday would have to be the panels, including just about every guest on hand, reuniting to talk about fighting Freddy with dream-induced super powers, following Kiefer Sutherland to dinner on the beach, and running from the unstoppable Jason Voorhees -- or even just being him! Before one such Friday the 13th panel, the crowd was urged not to ask questions about former hockey mask wearers being replaced by others, as it is just pointless to dredge up such things between obviously friendly, great guys. As it is in every crowd, there had to be one bozo to ignore these wishes. Audience participation was at an all-time high when the loser who wouldn’t shut up was escorted out of the show to the tune of 100 horror fans singing, "Hey hey hey, gooodbyyyyye!!" That’s how we take care of the stars we love.
Sunday offered one last chance to snap up that super collectible and catch stars for a final autograph, so the main signing room was buzzing with action. In this room you could find Ari Lehman (the original Jason Voorhees) alongside Betsy Palmer (Momma V herself) and Erin Gray (Jason chasee and "Buck Rogers" hotty) next to Ken Kirzinger (Freddy vs. Jason). With Kane Hodder, Steve Dash, and Richard Brooker littered around the room among half a dozen other Voorhees men, you could pretty much get every Friday poster you own signed by Jason and victim alike!
Of course Dread Central and Action-figure.com were in the middle of it all dishing out more posters than any 50 fans could carry home from films like Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, The Covenant, Silent Hill, and The Descent. Fans grabbed raffle tickets all day for a chance to snap up one of three episodes of Masters of Horror or Silent Hill on DVD, 12" figures from Sideshow Toys, and Corpse Bride swag from McFarlane Toys, among the 90 prizes offered up all weekend.
As the show drew to a close on Sunday night, vendors packed up their merch and celebs stopped by to exchange info, making sure we’d keep in touch. The horror fans we knew from shows past joined our boardies who show up at every damn event the world over, and the new people we met all weekend are now counted as our friends. We can’t wait to see you all again and spoil you rotten with the best of the best the world of horror has to offer. See you next time!
Special thanks to Anchor Bay, Sony, New Line, Lionsgate, Universal, Sideshow Toys, SOTA Toys, Mezco Toys, McFarlane Toys, Level 27 Clothing, the creators of Sullengrey, Cara and Dre (our excellent booth crew), and of course Dave Hagan and the gang from Monster Mania. It’s always a great time! Here's some more photo lovin' for ya; be sure to visit Monster Mania's official site for info on the next show!
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