March 16th, 2008

wart

Chaos at the Convention

Yesterday was the tenth Monster-Mania Convention in Cherry Hill. bethje and I have been to all ten of them, although we didn't do much at the first one. Monster-Mania is now a magazine as well, and Beth bought the first issue. Anyway, this time around, we didn't even bother checking out the dealer room or any of the movies, instead just staying in the room with the question-and-answer sessions. I must say that this was far from my favorite of the conventions. It's not very well organized even at its best, and this particular one had more people attending than ever before, which made it even more chaotic. I'm not sure whether it's that the convention has built up more of a following or because they had some first-time celebrity appearances, but I always kind of liked how relatively low-key it was before. If the large turnout this time isn't just a fluke (which it might well be), they probably should think of moving the convention to a larger venue, or at least bringing in some more chairs. Usually it isn't until the last few panels that all the seats are filled, but this time it happened pretty early on, and stayed that way throughout most of the day. In between panels, they played videos from eighties at a ridiculously loud volume. Don't they realize that people might want to sit and talk amongst themselves during the downtime? Anyway, the panels we saw were:

  • John Morghen - As far as I know, the only thing I've seen him in was Cannibal Ferox. We came in late for his session, and I don't remember much about it.
  • Zach Galligan and William Ragsdale
  • Heather Langenkamp, Jobeth Williams, and Amanda Plummer
  • Bruce Campbell - I actually liked the Evil Dead movies when I saw them, but Beth hated them. She once said something about their being horror movies for people who don't really like horror movies, which I guess I can see. But anyway, he was entertaining. He gave a sarcastic answer to the frequently-asked "Did you realize that [fill in movie or franchise here] would be as big as it got when you were making it?" question, and dismissed Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash as a lame Internet rumor. I noticed that he mentioned in his Monster-Mania Magazine interview that it wouldn't have worked due to the requirements of the different franchises, which makes sense.
  • Keith David and Rowdy Roddy Piper - They ended up together because they were both in They Live, which I can't say I've ever seen (well, okay, I COULD say I have, but it would be a blatant lie). Someone asked Keith a question about the ass-to-ass scene in Requiem for a Dream, which is one of Beth's favorite movies. As for Roddy, I liked him better than Diamond Dallas Page or Andrew Bryniarski, the other two former wrestlers who had done Monster-Mania Q&A sessions. I was kind of surprised to learn that (at least according to his own testimony) he actually is half-Scottish (the other half is Irish), even though he doesn't normally talk with an accent.
  • Jason Mewes - He never actually showed up, supposedly because there were a lot of people waiting in his autograph line, and not because he was too stoned. That's okay, because I hadn't really wanted to see him anyway. I became familiar with Kevin Smith's work in college simply because I hung around with people who were fans of his, but I doubt I would have ever paid any attention to it otherwise (and that's really what's happened since I left college). Replacing him were some independent filmmakers previewing some American Pie type of film that they'd made. Couldn't they have come up with some better substitute programming? And why would they get Jason Mewes for a horror convention anyway? Questions abound, but answers did not.
  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre Reunion, with Gunnar Hansen (Leatherface), Terri McMinn (Pam), Edwin Neal (Hitchhiker), Marilyn Burns (Sally), William Vail (Kirk), John Dugan (Grandpa), and Allen Danzinger (Jerry) - This was fun, and Gunnar is one of my favorite recurring guests at these conventions (along with Robert Englund, who should be back for the eleventh Monster-Mania; and Sid Haig, who was there this time but didn't do a Q&A). I like it when he talks about why he didn't like the remake, which is primarily because they explain away Leatherface as a kid with a skin condition.
  • Malcolm McDowell - He showed up late, because of a pain in his gulliver. No, seriously, he apparently didn't know when he was supposed to show up for the panel, and had gone at to eat at a local Italian restaurant called Aldo's. He said it was really good, so maybe I'll have to check it out sometime. Anyway, he was entertaining; and I'm kind of surprised he even agreed to do this, seeing as how he's a bigger star than most of the niche celebrities who do the convention circuit. I think the excuse for bringing him in was his role as Dr. Loomis in the Halloween remake, but he said he'd never watched the original, and there was no real acting required for the part.
  • Corey Feldman - He was also late, but I would say this was excusable. Dave (the guy who organizes the conventions) explained that he'd recently had kidney surgery, had paid out-of-pocket for his flight after missing the one he was supposed to take, and hadn't gotten much sleep. While we were waiting for him, Dave fielded questions about the convention, and asked for suggestions as to what guests he should get for future ones. We learned that Stephen King doesn't do conventions, and John Carpenter never leaves his house. But hey, he did manage to get Crispin Glover (we didn't see him, since you had to pay extra to do so, but he was there), so I suppose anything is possible. Anyway, Corey's session was brief but enjoyable.

After the convention, we went to eat at Applebee's, where I had the double crunch shrimp, with an apple caramel shooter for dessert. All of the restaurants with the crazy crap on the walls seems to be doing the dessert-in-a-shot-glass thing these days, and I'd say it's a good thing, because I often don't feel like eating an entire slice of cake after a meal. Actually, you know how sometimes, when you haven't eaten in a while, it doesn't take as much to fill you up? Beth has said that's also true for her, but I don't know how common it is. Anyway, that's how I felt last night.