Monster Mania 27, in Cherry Hill, NJ (March 7 – 9, 2014), was most likely our last long distance convention for a while. Why? Well, we have a two-year-old and now another on the way (due July 17). Thankfully, we have a few close cons coming up (Scares That Care Weekend in Williamsburg, VA and Wizard World in Richmond, VA) — so, we’ll still get our fill of horror con goodness! But I digress. Let’s get to the fun stuff…
We arrived late Friday night — with a wide awake two-year-old who was super stoked to be staying somewhere new (because there’s fresh havoc to wreak). It was around 10 pm or so, and we were pretty starving by this point. So, we ordered room service. Of course, food didn’t actually arrive until well after midnight. WOO HOO. So, that was a fun night. On top of that, two adults (one 5 months pregnant) and one small but knows-how-to-stretch child ‘slept’ in a queen-size bed (even though we booked a room with a king-size bed).
Saturday morning arrived (too soon I might add) and we grabbed some breakfast and headed onto the convention floor. As we expected — though, not fully mentally prepared for — the place was a madhouse. We quickly scoured the vendor tables, attempting to eye anything for which we might return. And yes, we’re one of those families that pushes a stroller through the crowds. We know this is quick to piss off some folks — but hey, we’re just trying to pass along the horror love to our offspring. And in times like these, a stroller is necessary.
The time had come to visit the guest room. Here we go… PACKED. There was a decent “The Walking Dead” line-up (Hershel, Beth, Tyreese, Carl) — which always translates to massive crowds. It was overwhelming — and hot (hormones). We quickly scoured the room to see which guest was where, trying to find a short line for someone we’d like to meet. Ah, there’s John Heard with no line. He was kind of odd and looked somewhat out-of-place. Maybe he’s not used to conventions? It’s possible; though, he was wearing a Trick ‘r Treat t-shirt (which gave him a few bonus points in our book… but just a few).
After that one, it was sadly time to take a break from the floor.
After a few hours — yes, hours — we returned. And I have to say, it was significantly better. The morning crowds had dispersed and we were finally able to move our way through the rooms without feeling like we couldn’t escape had an emergency occurred (more on that topic later). And here’s who we met at this time —
Chris Marquette — Linderman from Freddy vs. Jason, Eli from The Girl Next Door, Linus from Fanboys, and all-around extremely nice guy. He was happy to talk and meet his fans.
Virginia Madsen. Helen from Candyman and about a million other things (Sideways, Highlander 2). She, too, was very nice. She interacted with Milo (which I love) and looks amazing.
We also met, Rusty Schwimmer (look her up) — Madsen’s real-life best friend — who was very, very sweet with Milo. We were in line for Madsen and Rusty left her own table to come talk to Milo. Makes me wish we had gotten her autograph…
Brendan Fletcher. Mark from Freddy vs. Jason, Jeremy/Finn from Ginger Snaps 2/Ginger Snaps 3. Like Chris Marquette, this guy was very nice. He gets up from his table to come talk to you. Milo was also very chatty with Fletcher — and he appeased Milo by being chatty back. Side note: all of the male Freddy vs. Jason cast we’ve met have been extremely nice and gratifying. The girls on the other hand — Monica Keena and Katharine Isabelle — have just been okay. MK seemed kind of spacey and out of it; whereas, KI just seemed to be going through the motions.
Last pic from Saturday — Johnny and Milo with Sam from Trick ‘r Treat (a prop). This was at the FEARnet table.
Sunday! Time to wrap things up!
The first goal was to meet Dee Wallace. She was one of the main ones we wanted to see — and she did not disappoint. She is the ideal horror con guest. Meaning, she’s established herself as a real actress (The Howling, Critters, Cujo, E.T.); she’s hasn’t upped her price ($20) and doesn’t charge extra for a photo (that’s a thing now); and she’s extremely personable when you meet her. She even gave Milo a pack of original E.T. trading cards (which he promptly tore open). She was without a doubt our favorite of this show. A true delight.
Danny Pintauro. Jonathan from “Who’s the Boss?” and Tad from Cujo. As a massive 80s fan, I had to get a ‘Jonathan’ headshot. And as with Dee, this guy was as sweet as could be.
Next stop — last minute trip to the vendors! First — Fright Rags! And here’s Miss Kristy Jett (leaving Fright Rags to become the full-fledged, full-time, awesomely talented writer that we all know her to be). And I love this picture. It’s a happy moment.
We bought two Fright Rags shirts. One, a Splatter University shirt (not pictured here), and, two, the kick-ass Basketcase shirt you see below.
Now for the kiddie stuff. A Monster Squad shirt (Rainbow Alternative), a Pee-Wee light switch plate (Night Owl Designs) and (finally) a “Muppet Babies” complete series bootleg. This last one was very important.
From Johnny: “I don’t necessarily buy or read a ton of movie novelizations (though I have fond memories of reading the “based-on-the-hit-movie” versions of Karate Kid II and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a kid). However, I love Freddy. A whole lot. So we grabbed this book to add to our little Nightmare collection.”
Our ‘media’ haul: Irish creature-comedy flick Grabbers; horror short No Clowning Around on VHS; and Castle Freak signed by Charles Band.
We’re about to move into a new house… so, what better way to start decorating than by buying some awesome Muppet prints at Monster Mania? Milo insisted we get the Beaker one.
Again, we’re decorating. This time, with Gremlins and Die Hard!
And finally, we’re creeping to 10,000 followers on Twitter (as I type this, we’re at 9,325), so we decided to pick up some potential giveaways as part of this 10K celebration. From Johnny: “Since Charles Band was signing stuff, shaking hands and such, it seemed fitting to get something Full Moon signed for the giveaway, and since I love comics, we went with Puppet Master #1. And have you ever read any of the Friday the 13th-themed books? I haven’t, but this one, ‘Mother’s Day’, sounds fun as hell (though since Mother’s Day falls on a Sunday and not a Friday, how’s that gonna work out?). And rounding things out, we’ve got a nice little Stripe figure. Can’t beat that.”
And there you have it. That was our MMC27 trip. It was fun, crowded, sometimes stressful, but always a memorable time. I love seeing familiar faces — and I love that my kids are going to grow up with this tradition. Here’s to the Scares That Care Weekend in June! I’ll be a good eight and a half months pregnant, so it’ll assuredly be a good time. Has anyone ever had a convention-born baby?
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