Wednesday, March 12, 2014

MonsterMania Recap - I Met Charles Band and Bought a Lot of Shit

I stayed till 9:30 this year! While some of you simply mock me with your ability to stay all weekend long, partying, getting pics at the VIP party and getting every signature you could want, I am always on a budget of time. I get one night at MonsterMania in Cherry Hill, NJ, and I always try to see everyone, meet up with all my friends and make new ones. I also do my annual post-tax return shopping spree with some of my favorite vendors. This year was particularly successful. Let me run through it right quick.

I tried something different, and I do not recommend this. I went to vendor room first rather than getting autographs signed during the pre-show. That one hour window let's you meet some of the greats up close and personal without the long lines, without the hot sweat of the room and typically, more intimately. I had a few on my list though not as many as I would have liked, so I figured I'd set out with my first task. Taking the DiabolikDVD table by storm.

It's no secret that I adore DiabolikDVD and their sister organization Exhumed Films. We have a history that is every growing. Combined they represent at least half of my cinema education in a given year. This year I picked up some great Blu-rays and even a vinyl. Yes, I want to pick up the Wax Works, Death Waltz and One Way Static, but at $25 a pop I have to do it slowly. They all have great packaging, but I figured my first new release vinyl would be Prince of Darkness. It's one of my favorite Carpenter scores. It has somewhat plain Jane packaging, but it fascinates me. I'm sure it'll be pure creep out when I get the chance to enjoy it.

The DiabolikDVD table is one of the best places to have discussion about movies that don't involve convention guests. It's a great selection, and I'm glad I had the chance to pick up some totally random shit. Got to meet some new faces and see the ever exciting Nick Lombardo.

DiabolikDVD pick ups:

Black Sabbath Redemption Blu-ray
Adjust Your Tracking DVD
Voices From Beyond Blu-ray Code Red
Fascination Blu-ray Redemption
Lady Terminator DVD from Mondo Macabro
Just Before Dawn Blu-ray Code Red
Prince of Darkness vinyl Death Waltz
Lady Frankenstein/Velvet Vampire/Grotesque/Time Walker DVD
The Blood Beast Terror Redemption Blu-ray

I immediately found my favorite Fangoria vendor, and preceded to buy tons of early back issues off him. My goal was to own 1 through 20 when I left including what I had at home and I almost go there. Still a few missing, but I picked up some newer ones that piqued my interest. They also had some beat up books for $2 a pop. I love the artwork no matter how tattered so I grabbed some Creepy mags and a few others.

After the Fango table, I went into the pit of the vendor room. I always like to peruse the used stuff. Picked up Children of the Corn, Near Dark and I Spit on Your Grave inexpensive. I guess Near Dark may actually be out of print? Not sure if that's true, but I actually had a dream about it the night before the convention. Made total sense to grab it.

From there I ran over and hung out with Quiltface, Chris Garafolo and crew for a bit. Drinking PBR no less. Well done. I checked out a few other tables, and eventually had the opportunity to hang with Little Punk People. These are my movie going buddies. We hit the late late show on opening night (when our kids are asleep). They're fantastic friends. I post on their blog from time to time including reposts from this blog. They're currently working on a family portrait for us which we are absolutely ecstatic about.

After making my way through the deluge of indie filmmakers making movie and selling them at cons I ran into VHSPS, George and Lisa Jordan. We chatted for a bit, but they were heating up. I love their success at cons. I picked up a few choice items include Radioactive Dreams (as seen at last year's Exfest), Terror on Tape, Gorgon Video guide, Horrible Horror (all hail Zacherley and Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors as well as their old and new T-shirts. I love both styles. The new one is by Jeff Zornow (who I didn't get to catch up with unfortunately... another busy fella).

From there I went into the autograph room which was like a sauna. Got Bill Johnson's autograph aka Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, R.A. Mihailoff Leatherface from Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3, Dee Wallace and Lewis Teague (who directed two of my absolute favorites Alligator and Cat's Eye). Going to cons alone means you get fewer pics with celebs. I did get a pick of me and Lewis Teague. All the guests were truly nice, and I'm very glad to meet all of them. I was also glad to help Mihailoff get silver sharpie off his leather vest.

I found my way into another vendor room where I saw House of Mysterious Secrets' Kevin Miller, but he was a busy fella, so I only got to chat with him for a little bit. I met two new folks right next to Kevin's table. Mary Bastion and John Tatarelli Jr. Mary was selling horror shaped soaps and John his sculptures (incredible sculptures). We caught up for quite a bit. It was great to meet two amazing folks who I had only previous met on the internet. Great people. Great wares.

By then I was ready to tackle more authographs. The Walking Dead people were completely booked, Robert Englund's line is always a bear and I was hoping to get a look at the Shining Twins, but didn't. Still I saw Wyatt from Weird Science as well as several stars from Cujo, the fella who did the voice for Ghostface in Scream, Gunnar Hansen and Dan Yeager (two more Leatherfaces). Tony Todd's line seemed to go on forever, so I immediately decided that I would catch him another time and went off to see what had become of the Dark Shadows reunion.

While in the second autograph room I met up with Zom-Bee TV fellas. I was overwhelmed by how nice they were and can't wait to check out their programming (if I can figure out the Roku device I don't have and can't see myself using). They took a couple pics with me and just talked in general. Horror Hosts live!

Perhaps the craziest moment of the night was being sold the Full Moon Streaming service by Charles Band himself. They make you a great deal, throw in a bunch of free movies (that I would have bought anyway) and you get the subscription for a period of time. I'll try to review the service soon, but picking up Troll, Naziathon and Subspecies on Blu-ray was worth it for me. Hell, I got to use Band's cell phone due to some tech issues with getting the subscription through. It was surreal. I can say that I understand him better now, and I almost forgive him for the Wizard Video VHS releases. No matter how great they look they aren't he originals. I can't wait to catch up with him again at Chiller Theater in April.

After finding Thomas Bryce (finally) and Thomas Kingsmill (yeah!) and talking to these two fellas about wrestling I decided I was getting a bit sleepy, so I headed home. I'm an absolutely satisfied con fan, and happy to catch up with so many great folks. (Rob Dimension, Walter Paisley, Chris Beaumont to name a few).

Maybe next year I'll sleep at the hotel (yeah right).

-Doc Terror

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