I’m convinced that the Monster Mania convention is the Disneyland for the demented. It’s one place where like-minded fans of horror and all things scary can come together for one weekend and feel comfortable in their skin. If you’ve never been to this or any other horror convention, you’re in for a real treat.
This show has a wide range of guests to appeal to everyone. There are plenty of horror celebrities past and present, from both movies and television. There is usually one featured guest, and a wrestler or two in the mix. This weekend’s draw was Robert Patrick, from Terminator 2 and more recently, True Blood. Ric Flair was the wrestler who appeared on Friday, and there was a Saw reunion featuring Jigsaw himself, Tobin Bell.
For the uninitiated, Friday is the best day to meet the guests, purchase their autographs and take photos with them. Saturdays tend to be crowded, and you can spend the day checking out the dealer rooms, sitting through question and answer panels, and watching films. Sundays are also a good day to meet the stars, but be aware that some of them may leave the show early to catch flights. If there’s someone you really want to meet, in order to avoid disappointment, don’t wait until Sunday.
I had a plan of attack the moment the weekend pass wristband was secured. It was Friday the 13th, and meeting Kane Hodder and Sean Cunningham were top priority. After all, they were both involved in the Friday the 13th movie franchise as an actor and director, respectively. I met Kane Hodder first. I shook his hand and wished him a Happy Friday the 13th. He thanked me for the wishes and signed a photo of himself as the iconic horror character Jason Voorhees of the Friday the 13th films. The only bummer of the entire weekend was that he was asked not to take photos with the fans due to the length of his line. I have never had this happen with him before, and the powers that be decided to do this on freaking Friday the 13th? I resisted the urge to pout and stamp my feet. I remembered the photo we took a couple years ago in an embrace and I quickly got over it. (Editors note: promoters via Twitter stated that they told no one not to take pictures with fans at the event.)
I had to meet Sean Cunningham, the director of the original Friday the 13th that started it all on that date as well because I am geeky like that. His line barely moved, and we were informed we may not meet him before the autograph session closed. I decided to stick it out and it was well worth the wait. He thanked me for waiting in the line. I wished him a Happy Friday the 13th. He looked up at me from the table, smiled and said, “Happy Friday the 13th, Loretta.” The autograph I chose turned out to be the same image on the shirt I was wearing. I pointed that out and we had a laugh about that. I walked behind the table for a photo and Sean became very serious. He stood close to me and told me he had a policy regarding photos. I was not to take off my clothes or kiss him on the lips. I told him he ran a tight ship and we both started laughing, we were having a good time as evidenced by the photo:
I had never met Robert Mukes before, Rufus Jr. in House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects. He is far and away the biggest person I have ever seen. He said, “Hi, I’m Robert” and stuck out a hand the size of my head. I shook it, watching my tiny hand disappear. Fortunately for my fragile bones, he was super gentle. I chose my photo, his character in House of 1000 Corpses, shrouded in a bear skin. Robert was surprised that I chose that photo. He told me that different pictures are popular in different parts of the country and the photo I liked wasn’t popular anywhere. In fact, he never put it on the first row of photos to choose from. I told him that my husband and I often quote his line from House of 1000 Corpses, “Car’s done!” We say that in his Rufus style whenever the mechanic calls about one of our vehicles. Robert got a chuckle out of that before we posed for a picture. I am a scant 5’2” compared to his massive 6’10” (just over 2 meters) but I love how the picture turned out. I told him I would like to see him at a future show. He said they seemed to like him, and hoped to be back. He was a very nice guest to meet.
The next must-see star was Bill Moseley. He is always a fan favorite, known for portraying Choptop in the second Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Otis Driftwood in both House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects. I know that Bill hails from Illinois and is a Chicago Blackhawks fan. I told him I was a temporary Hawks fan because his team recently acquired my favorite Philadelphia Flyer. “Timonen?” Bill asked. Bill knew exactly who I meant, Kimmo Timonen. Bill mentioned the player’s health issue and how this will be his last year before retirement. While I hoped he would retire a Flyer, Bill assured me that the Blackhawks would give him a good send off. After a photo I left Bill’s table with a smile and dumbstruck that I just talked hockey with Otis Driftwood.
I can’t say enough good things about Adam Green, the director of Hatchet and Frozen (not Disney’s). Horror fans have him to thank for the Victor Crowley character. His signatures were free, and he signed three DVD liners that I brought. At the time I stopped at his table, he was out of Hatchet photos to sign. Instead I chose a picture of a white-eyed Adam holding a hatchet. He signed the photo “Victor Crowley loves you xo.” I was giddy over this inscription, because I love this character. Even more awesome was that Adam’s table was next to Kane Hodder, who played Victor Crowley in the Hatchet series. Adam wrote “Loretta—Don’t ski” on my Frozen DVD liner. Beyond awesome. Adam had for sale the elusive Hatchet Army shirt I had been coveting. It was $20.00, but he told me that he had a better baby doll shirt for girls, $5.00 cheaper and double sided. Not only did I finally get my shirt, but I can brag that I bought it from the film’s director.
Monster Mania had an auction for the Save a Yorkie Rescue, with many guests donating items for bidding. Adam auctioned off a dinner date with him that sold for $600.00. Not only did he match the winning bid with his own money, but he donated a screen-used hatchet used in Hatchet 2. Several dogs would benefit from everyone involved in the auction. Adam Green is a class act, if you ever have a chance to meet him, don’t pass it up.
P.J. Soles, who appeared in such films as Halloween, and The Devil’s Rejects, never has a shortage of admirers. She is so down to earth and friendly that horror fans flock to her. We took a picture and she gave me a big hug. She is another great person to meet if you ever have the opportunity.
I had an unforgettable experience with William Forsythe. In his question and answer panel, a fan had asked him about his role in Dear Mr. Gacy. I had just finished a fantastic book called The Last Victim by Jason Moss. It’s about a teenager who writes serial killers and who forms an interesting relationship of sorts with John Wayne Gacy.
I visited William at his table afterward and I told him I read the very disturbing book but hadn’t seen his movie. (It’s since been ordered and on its way to me). He told me that he saw Dear Mr. Gacy once with his mother, who didn’t say a word to him for the duration of the film. He said he would never see it again, the role affected him so much. William told me that the author of the book had killed himself on 6/6/06. His takeaway from playing Gacy is you never really know people. I chose a photo to be signed from Dear Mr. Gacy. William began signing the picture, but quickly tore it up telling me he liked ripping up pictures of Gacy. Wow. He signed another print of the same picture. “To Loretta—God Bless You and Screw Gacy.” William Forsythe is an amazing actor and I am grateful he shared his experience with me.