The twenty-eighth Monster-Mania Convention was held this past weekend. I believe the number counts the ones in Maryland, but not the one in Connecticut, or something like that. I don't know. bethje and I have attended all the Monster-Manias in Cherry Hill except for one. While we did look at the dealer room, we spent most of the day attending the question-and-answer panels, which have the advantage of not costing any extra money. The first was with Michael Berryman, who recounted his experiences bonding with wolves and tigers (he's a regular Dr. Dolittle, apparently) and of tracking down people who violated their bail.
The next panel was supposed to be with Peter Mayhew, but he canceled at the last minute, and you don't argue with a Wookiee. It does bug me when people do that, though. If you don't want to do the Q&A, don't agree to it beforehand. Verne Troyer was next, and Beth remarked that he needs to come up with longer answers to his questions, because he finished them all very quickly. Adam West and Burt Ward promoted the upcoming 1960s Batman DVD/Blu-Ray set, and they were still able to play off each other.
Burt and his wife now run a rescue for large dogs. Derek Mears and Bill Moseley had a panel together, and even they couldn't figure out why, as they'd never appeared in any of the same movies.
Derek took a picture of the audience, and you can see us in it. In the second photo, we're in the seventh row back, all the way to the left. There was a Q&A for Insidious that ended up being cut short, but I didn't mind because I barely remembered anything about the film anyway. There was an hour break before the next set of panels in a different room, and we waited outside for most of the time while the people around us discussed Comic-Con. I've only been to a comic convention once in my life, and it was a fairly small one in Philadelphia. While I'd certainly be interested in the larger conventions, I have to suspect that my fear of crowds and hatred of waiting would get in the way. From what I hear, they're incredibly crowded, and so many people want to attend the events that they have to use a lottery system to determine who's allowed in. I kind of think Monster-Mania has gotten too crowded, so I can only imagine what those are like. I miss going to Oz conventions, but they never seem to have them in this part of the country anymore. Maybe someday I'll have the money to make it to California for the Winkie Convention. Anyway, the 7:00 panel was for Return of the Living Dead, which we'd never seen. It turned out to largely consist of the two oldest members of the panel making dirty jokes. One of them, Clu Gulager, had once acted alongside Ronald Reagan and Lee Marvin. Also on this panel was Linnea Quigley, whom Beth and I actually know primarily from the Horror Hall of Fame TV specials in the early nineties. Robert Englund hosted, and Linnea appeared in segments with her then-husband, special effects makeup artist Steve Johnson. I don't think she ever talked (or screamed, for that matter) in them. They Live is another movie we haven't seen, but it looks to be pretty popular on the Internet, and I put it on our Netflix queue. Keith David has been in a fair number of other things we have seen. If I had been braver and could think of a legitimate question, maybe I would have asked him about his work on Gargoyles, which I used to watch a lot in high school. Rowdy Roddy Piper was there as well, and that reminds me of a question someone asked about why they often have professional wrestlers as guests at Monster-Mania. Since Roddy was in a horror movie, he's relevant, but others aren't so much. The answer was that some people who aren't big on horror might want to see wrestlers instead. Okay, but by that logic they should have a bunch of other non-horror stuff as well. It's not like everybody who doesn't like horror automatically likes pro wrestling. Then again, they DID have Adam West and some Star Wars actors, so I guess they do try to expand things a bit in other ways. I guess you could consider Chewbacca a monster, but he's not a SCARY monster, unless he loses at holographic space chess. The final Q&A of the night was with Mads Mikkelsen, the Danish actor who plays Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal. There are occasionally guests who seem to attract a lot of women, and Mads was definitely one of them. The ladies love this guy. We watched the first few episodes of the show before coming to the convention, and I did like it. In truth, I don't watch a whole lot of recent TV, which makes me feel a bit left out sometimes, as that's a good deal of what many people talk about. Caroline Dhavernas, who played a character who hallucinated that objects were talking to her in Wonderfalls, is a psychiatrist on Hannibal. I always think it's interesting when an actor plays two roles that are opposites in some way. It's sort of like how Robert Englund was the one who led an angry mob against a serial killer in Strangeland. You'll notice I don't have any pictures for the later panels, and that's mostly because my phone battery died and I didn't bring a regular camera. Since I got a phone that takes halfway decent photographs, I've been neglecting my digital camera. I sometimes feel a little guilty about that, but the batteries on that never seem to last either.
We ate at Friendly's after the convention, and haven't done that much since then. I did get an oil change on Sunday, so that's something. Also, the cats had been staying at Beth's mom's house, but we brought them back up to the apartment last night. They hated the ride (pretty much goes without saying for cats), but they didn't take much time to adjust to being back here. It's probably easier for them to get the attention they crave when they don't have to compete with the dogs. Beth isn't feeling well now, but Wally still keeps trying to wake her up.