Monster Mania Con 27
Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring…except for the genre fan wide awake in anticipation for the first of two horror conventions that year. That is exactly what conventions feel like. Once you grow up from Christmas, horror conventions become the next best thing for adults. That’s also what entering video stores felt like. To me, there was a magical feeling upon entering one. But sadly, video stores are now gone. There is ordering online, which is convenient, but it doesn’t compare to the magic of entering a horror convention. Anyway, Thursday indeed felt like Christmas Eve, but I didn’t stay up all night over it. In the past, I’ve had some sleeping problems and didn’t want that to cause me to oversleep on Christmas day. My sleeping has been under control lately, so I was able to wake up in the morning, get ready, and arrive at the Crowne Plaza in Cherry Hill, New Jersey on time…
…But arriving at the hotel at 2:00 PM no longer means “on time” anymore it seems. The latest conventions in my area have become a lot more crowded and this one would prove to be something else. I like parking my car in front, so I can look ahead and see the cars zipping by on the road. If I’m going to wait three hours for the event to begin, that’s better than looking at the front or rear of another car. But surprisingly, the front of the parking lot appeared to be filled up already. There was another person in a car looking for spots and came to a stop. I continued on to the end of the and good thing. There was one spot left at the very end. Thank goodness I continued on and saw it first. I grabbed the spot and had that nice view after all. But I did wonder what parking would be like on Saturday. Would the parking lot to the office building next door be filled up before I get there? Anyway, there is plenty of parking spaces in the remainder of the hotel’s parking lot, but I prefer to watch the “cars zipping by on the street” channel over the others. And it’s not like I just sat and stared like David Puddy. Had newspapers with the new movie reviews and sudoku puzzles. Also had a vegetable pack, cheese-and-pepperoni pack, and a drink from the source of Product Placement, Wawa. It is nice watch the “cars zipping by on the street” channel while eating. The three hours breezed by quickly. But next time, I better arrive earlier to guarantee a front spot.
With fifteen minutes to go, I go inside. Unlike the last convention, there wasn’t an extremely long line from the back room extending out into the lobby. But there did appear to be a lot of people. I enter the back room, pay to get inside, and people are already being allowed into the vendors area before 5:00. As soon as I walk in, it is that magical feeling already. There is the corner leading the right leading to vendors! But first, I wanted to catch Robert Englund in time before an impossibly long line formed. Was finally able to catch Kane Hodder last year before his line circled the earth thirty times. Went out into the hallway leading out to the celebrity room. Before going in, I ask a girl who works there if Robert Englund is inside. Nope. If you want to see Robert Englund this time, you have to get a ticket in the front, listen to your number if its called (along with other numbers), and you might be able to get his autograph. It’s not guaranteed. It worked out that way somehow. There was a table up front with people handing out the tickets. Freddy is no longer on the main floors with the other stars. Similar to roller coasters, you have to get a fast pass. And for that matter, how is it not guaranteed that you’ll have a moment to speak with him and get an autograph? Is meeting Englund this out of control because of the extremely long lines for him in the past? I sort of hope it is that, and not an ego thing, but it still sucks. Wanted to meet Freddy finally, but not like this. Didn’t bother.
I finally enter the celebrity room and almost every one of the guests are there. Except for Tony Todd from the “Candyman” series and “The Crow, as well as Ernie Hudson from the “Ghostbuster” series, “Leviathan” and also “The Crow” apparently. Other than Robert Englund, those are two heavy hitters I was interested in. There are reunions/Q & A’s for both “Candyman” and “The Crow,” as well as “Vincent Price Remembered” (with his daughter), “Roger Jackson Speaks! (the creepy voice guy/Ghostface from the “Scream” series), “Leatherface Reunion” (with the stuntmen from Parts 1-2-3 and last years film). Those are the heavy hitters I would be most interested in attending. There are also Q & A’s for the “Dark Shadows” TV show and “Cujo.” All these Q & A’s would be on Saturday. Anyway, Roger Jackson was already there in the celebrity room, but I wasn’t that personally interested in meeting him.
Later on that evening, Tony Todd and Ernie Hudson arrived, but the prices for their autographs were too steep. For Ernie Hudson, it was $30, which isn’t too bad, but a bit much. For Tony Todd, it was $30 for the autograph and an extra $20 for any the photos on the table. How does that work exactly? If it was just the autograph, was he going to sign a napkin? With these prices and their long lines, it was clear that they were going to be able to pay for their mortgages that month after all. I’m not judging, I’m not sure why they did that, but $20 for signing a photo of their work ought to be enough. That’s what most of the other celebrities do.
C.J. Graham, the Jason stuntman from “Friday The 13th Part 6: Jason Lives” was there and I joined his shorter line, despite already meeting him for an autograph several years earlier. Why not talk to him again? He is my favorite Jason. Kane Hodder is a great Jason, but Graham played him as a zombie first, and like Hodder, did infuse Jason with humorously quirky reactions to certain situations. And also, Part 6 holds a special place in my heart.
I eventually changed my mind and went back to the other area with the vendors. Went into the side room and one of the usual vendors is there. Went back into the hallway and the usual vendors are there. Went into the main room to the right and all the usual vendors are there. All is right with the world! Yaaaaaay! And upon taking a look at the movie selection, things were looking up. But there is plenty of time to unwrap the movies from the under the Christmas tree. Would end up getting over thirty movies on Friday and a few more on Saturday. First, let’s mingle with the guests at the Christmas parties, or rather the Q & A/reunion’s on Saturday.
When I left Friday, I wasn’t sure if it was worth coming back on Saturday, especially after already spending a chunk of money on movies. But by the end of the night, I realized the event wouldn’t have been complete without attending the Q & A’s. It shouldn’t be just about the movies. You should meet some of the stars in some fashion for the human experience. To learn something from them, and learn more about them and their movies. If I can’t meet Tony Todd and/or Ernie Hudson personally, it would be alternately beneficial to attend their Q & A’s.
But seeing the first Q & A, Vincent Price Remembered, at 12:00 PM would prove to be impossible. I knew the hotel’s parking lot would be filled and went straight for the parking lot to the office building next door. And my suspicions from the previous day were confirmed. It was also filled up. Had to drive past the office building, past two car dealerships, past some houses, and up to apartment buildings. Cars were parked along both two sides of the road. It’s not as far as it sounds. All these locations are pretty tight in the area. Might have been a quarter mile. The road ends and there are the apartment buildings to the left. To the right is a parking lot next to the park. There is a park area to the right all along the way. The parking lot to the park was filled and I didn’t know what else to do. I’m screwed. It’s official, the Monster Mania Con has become Comic Con. But there was one parking spot left by the apartment buildings. There was a snowbank taking up one third of it, and people living there and the people who have traveled so far probably didn’t bother trying to squeeze in. And it felt as miraculous as that one spot being left over on Friday. I squeezed in between the snowbank and the car in the next spot. It was an awkward fit, but It worked. I’ve hated shoveling the snow in the last several weeks, but here it is actually benefitting me. Thank you! The owner of that car could still open their driver’s side door. But the snowbank was to my left, which meant I had to climb over to the passenger seat to get out, haha! And vice versa later on when it was time to leave! Didn’t matter. I had my ticket and was in.
With the time it took to find the last decent parking spot and the walk back to the hotel, there was no making the Vincent Price Remember Q & A. Not if I was going to miss the beginning of it. It was also the least significant of the big Q & A’s and not that crushing to miss. Might as well take my time and enjoy the open air. I make it to the hotel and pay to get in again. The night before, I looked up some of the other movies and realized two of them were worth picking up. Got them right away and one extra. While waiting for the “Roger Jackson Speaks!” Q & A, I actually met him in the celebrity room. Didn’t plan on it, but was worth it, and especially after attending his Q & A later on. I told him he had great creepy voice and he does. And the “Scream” films have entertained me over the years. So, it was worth meeting him. Did say to him that the unexpected “Scream 4” turned out pretty good, and I truly think so. It has its critics, but it could have been way worse off. And what does the voice of Ghostface look like, you might be asking? As he would later say at the Q & A, he looks like a guy who knows his way around donuts. He’s middle-aged by now and has a laidback personality, quite unlike the vicious intones of Ghostface. He signed an autograph to a photo of Ghostface and I was off.
Still had an hour before the Q & A and looking at how especially crowded the whole event is, I was feeling uneasy about sticking around. Even the line to the food area was long. Across the hallway from the food area is an open area with chairs and tables. The line went from the food area and wrapped around the other end of the opposite area. The line was taking its sweet time, too. Only one server behind the counter, with one or two others in the kitchen. That line has never been so long and slow before. One thinks the staff would be prepared with more servers behind the counter. Hopefully, they’ll be more prepared at the next convention. This entire event also has never been this crowded period. There is almost nowhere to hide, sit down and breathe. It was a bit much for me…
…But eventually, I decided to stay and try sticking it out. Giving up now would be giving up future conventions. Still had time before that first significant Q & A. If I was going to be here for the long haul, might as well get a bite. Got in line, and thankfully and conveniently, there are newspapers placed in the open area. Read a newspaper while waiting. Grabbed all the food and drinks and I would need for the remainder of the day. That meant purchasing not one but two bottled sodas now, especially with the three other Q & A’s playing back-to-back-to-back later. Just like last year, I will be sitting it out for three whole hours in a plain metal chair and that can be exhausting. But it is always worth it for the right Q & A’s.
Finally, the Q & A for Roger Jackson Speaks! He was four years old when he realized he enjoyed playing different voices. Found it when he grew up there is a career for it. And you do have to attend a special school where you learn techniques to master different voices. He also might have become an actor in general, but not sure. When Drew Barrymore shot the opening scene for “Scream,” she wanted to actually speak with and react to another actor on the other line. They would find an actor and dub him later. They picked Roger and later decided they liked the creepy tone of his voice! No need to dub him. Wes Craven inspired the performances from the individual stars by motivating each one of them. Roger would see him silently talking to an actor for maybe fifteen minutes. Craven got a rise out of Barrymore and made her cry when ready, when he found out she was particularly upset by animal abuse. He went up to her when it was time, told her he lit the fire or something, and action. That might sound cruel on his behalf, especially written here, but that was a method to make her appear terrified and upset by Ghostface and his/her actions. He gave only a little but enough direction to the actors. He is acknowledged a brilliant director.
With Ghostface, Wes Craven was looking for the right voice, just like he had looked for the right Freddy Krueger a decade earlier. Roger Jackson must have been lucky to have been on that set. This is where I question if he was a stand-by actor. He did improvise some scenes through the series. One memorable scene that sticks out is from “Scream 2” when Jamie Kennedy confronts Ghostface on the cell phone outside the college before being killed. After Roger improvised some mean lines and then “Cut!,” Kennedy was really enthusiastic, wanted more lines like that, and they improvised a lot more. Roger was always isolated from the other actors, but he was placed nearby and would watch the actors reactions to him and follow. During that scene with Kennedy, Kennedy’s mother was placed nearby with Roger. Roger said, “You’re mother’s right here, and if you don’t take me seriously, I will slice her ear to ear!” It was some line like that, and it got a great reaction from everyone! At one point, in between takes, Sarah Michelle Gellar went, “Who is that guy? He’s creepy!” Some of the actors might have been genuinely frightened of him!
For the first time in years, I bothered asking a question. I asked about “Scream 4.” In that, the killer almost gets away it, and of course Neve Campbell is almost killed. There could have been a dark ending for a change. I asked if there was any thought to go with a dark ending and not move on to the hospital for the happy ending. Roger said he didn’t see those kind of decisions from his positions, but there might have been some alternate endings. This is true. However, I didn’t get quite a reception for this question from him or the audience. I thought it was a good question. “Scream 4” is decent for a decade-later sequel, but should have taken more risks.
Apparently, Roger also did voice work in animation. I can see that happening. I think it might have been a “Transformers” cartoon or something. Didn’t catch what it was. Throughout, he did Ghostface and animation voice at times. Ghostface, to him, represents the worst qualities in every person. For every killer throughout the series, Ghostface represent the very worst in them. This is what makes the notion of Ghostface scary, and the “Scream” films unique. He’s right about that, and I never thought about it that way before. He enjoyed playing Ghostface, because he could play someone completely different. He can rewatch scenes from his movies and have difficulty believing that was him. He is a laidback guy, but played that other guy in “Scream” films. He’s proud of that. And he was a good, entertaining guest.
Had more than hour before the next Q & A. Went out into the lobby, had a bite. Walked outside for some air, walked around to the outside entrance to the celebrity room. It occurred to me I could still talk to C.J. Graham again after all these years. Went on in and saw that he was not busy. I told him that he is my favorite Jason and that I met for an autograph before (though he probably forgot). Told him how I was babysat as kid and “Friday The 13th Part 6” was on TV. The babysitter, an older kid from church, let me watch it. It was my first horror film and it left a strong impression. Had vivid memories of its finale for years before finding out what it was again. Later that night, my mom took me to return a movie to a video store. I somehow wandered off into the horror aisle and found that movie. And I never left it. Also told him how I saw “Highway to Hell” fairly recently and was quite impressed with his performance as Hellcop. He appreciated hearing my feedback to his work and my introduction to horror. It was great to talk to him again and the meaningful exchange with a celebrity I was looking for.
Looked around the vendors some more to kill time and stopped at the table with the comic books. First looked at the cheaper ones for $1-2-3. Then saw “The Death of Superman” for $10. That was a major storyline in the early `90’s. Wasn’t planning on spending more money, but had to get that.
The next Q & A, Leatherface Reunion. We have Gunnar Hansen from Part 1, Bill Johnson from Part 2, R.A. Mihailoff from Part 3, and Dan Yeager from last year’s “Texas Chainsaw 3D.” I know and remember Hansen well from a few Q & A’s in the past. He had a miserable experience filming it, it was extremely hot, he felt alienated by the cast and crew, etc. Was most interested in R.A., because Part 3 stands out best among the sequels. Turns out he is Swedish or something. Three scary movies for him were “Invaders From Mars” from 1953 (when he was 5), “The Exorcist” and the original “Chainsaw.” He grew up watching classic monster movies and wanting to play one, and got to do exactly that with Part 3. He lived his dream. Getting the part – and for any actor to get a part - was hard. Once he had it, and trusted the director and crew, it was on. His chainsaw apparently weighed 80 pounds. He didn’t have that much else to say. He often cut to the point and didn’t go out of his way to tell stories. He also looks like a Hells Anger biker. Bald/shaved head, full beard and a biker outfit. The first three Leatherface’s alone all look like they could be Hells Angels bikers, but R.A. appears and dresses the most like one.
Unlike R.A., Gunnar Hansen can tell stories. In Part 1, they had rehearsed him chasing the girl through a hallway and doorway. Then he was up to do it again, run with his back straighter or something, and he was already tall and wearing three inch boots. The top of his head hit doorway and he fell back. At first, the actress, or actress’s double, thought he was dead. After a moment, he saw Tobe Hooper looking down at, sigh of relief quickly, and call a break for lunch! The filmmakers took advantage of the “Based on a true Story” label in the beginning that is famously known by now, with some people still convinced. It is based on Ed Gein but not entirely. Hansen was there and asked Hooper where he came up with it. It was inspired by two minor elements of Ed Gein, one possibly being the skeleton and bones laying around. Other than that, it is mostly made up with a lot of ideas he and the writers found scary. That “Based on a true story” label he considers bullcrap. To compare Ed Gein to Leatherface isn’t fair to him. Leatherface has a crazy family altogether.
All of them were asked about Leatherface and his crazy families overtime. How he relates to them and feels about them. They don’t quite know how he would personally feel about them, certainly Gunner Hansen and Bill Johnson. R.A Mihailoff should have had something interesting to say. In Part 3, he had a young daughter. They obviously kept one of the female victims around for that in the past. That was a new element to Leatherface, and they all say Leatherface is a complex, mysterious figure. Hansen and Johnson think another extended family of Leatherface should be present in the next part of the new series. This is a good point. His assorted families (perhaps cousins in different parts of Texas) in all the films are all quite different. And they should try to keep Leatherface mysterious enough and not reveal too much about himself. According Dan Yeager, one of the movies that scared him is the original “Chainsaw.” And according to Bill Johnson, he considers “Silence of the Lambs” scary.
Dan Yeager has been doing monster-type parts in Hollywood for 28 year. He was first told to go to Hollywood and he will get those parts. But he resisted at first. He did a lot of TV work, some on Disney. And when he went back to Disney after “Texas Chainsaw 3D,” the first thing they see when they look up his work is always a photo Leatherface! They turn him down now, but he doesn’t regret it. Bill Johnson had as much to say as Gunnar Hansen, but I wasn’t able to process all of it. In general, he had good time on the set Part 2 and the crazy cast. With the obvious exception of Gunnar Hansen and Part 1, those stuntmen to follow had genuinely good experiences making their versions. Gunnar Hansen was already working out before Part 1 and the fifteen pound chainsaw was nothing. There were 20 or more different chainsaws in Part 2, some that ran, some that didn’t, and some electric ones. The electric ones might have been the heaviest, 30 or 40 pounds.
The Q & A for “The Crow” reunion with Tony Todd, Ernie Hudson, Sofia Shinas and Jon Polito (he might have canceled and a Michael some-or-other came instead). Have not seen “The Crow” myself. Went to this for Ernie Hudson, and Tony Todd as well. Didn’t know Todd was in this. I take it he plays a thug in a gang who killed Brandon Lee. And of course Brandon comes back in spirit for revenge. He knew Ernie Hudson’s character. There might be a big scene where Hudson saves Brandon from Todd at the end. Apparently, they and fans like that scene. Either Ernie or Todd remembers playing pool with Brandon. He got along with him well at a tough time. They had some talks. By that time, Hudson had done big movies like both “Ghostbusters” films, and yet, he still wasn’t at that big point of his career yet. He had mixed thoughts. When his wife’s brother died, Brandon was there for him. He was sympathetic and understanding. And then, shortly after, Brandon died in that freak accident. Hudson learned from Brandon, before and after his death, that he had to enjoy the big points of his career, and accept the lower points when they followed.
There were specific questions and answers that went over my head, since I didn’t know the movie that well. They enjoyed working with director Alex Proyas. They knew he was onto bigger things after this. Hudson had a good feeling about the movie, but was even more surprised at how successful and important it was upon seeing it. He and the cast are proud of it. And it should have made Brandon Lee a star. It’s strange to think about what happened to him, and then think about what happened to his father, Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee died quietly with a heart attack or something. Some people believe it was too quiet, like people were trying to silence him (and covered up). And then Brandon Lee with that prop gun winding up with live bullets. How does that happen? Both of their deaths could have been so simple and unlikely, and especially tragic in Brandon’s case. And part of me wonders if there is something to there to the theories. Who knows. Nobody actually commented on Brandon’s fate and nobody needed to. Everyone knows and it sucks what happened.
How did they finish the film without Brandon? They brought in a double who was actually a close friend of his. He was familiar with the way Brandon’s body language. In the case of Sofia Shinas, Brandon’s girlfriend, there might have been an intended love scene that hadn’t been filmed yet. Without wanting to re-do makeup and so on, they scratched that and repeated an earlier scene, like a flashback. Also, a supposed remake of the movie was brought up and they don’t see the point. The audience agreed. What about “Rosemary’s Baby” while at it? Ernie Hudson said he would love to play the baby!
Most importantly for me, Ernie Hudsen was asked about working Harold Ramis, who died recently. Good, someone asked about that after all. According to him, Harold Ramis is a genuinely nice guy, and I’ll miss him. And he did everything. He was an actor/writer/director/producer, and also a Ghostbuster. Nobody asked about either of the existing “Ghostbuster” films or “Ghostbusters 3,” and it doesn’t matter. Since 1999 passed, I’ve had mixed feelings about a third “Ghostbusters.” It might be too late now. And according to Ernie Hudson in recent YouTube footage, he says they might as well forget about it altogether. I agree.
The Q & A for the Candyman Reunion with Tony Todd, Virginia Madsen, and Rusty Schwimmer. Rusty was the female cop who takes pictures of Virginia after she is found bloody and her friend dead. Rusty is cold and Virginia just wants to take a shower. The director, Bernard Rose, told Rusty to say nothing and be mean. There is a reason Rusty played the cop who gives her the cold treatment and eventually strips her of her bloody clothing. She grew up with Virginia in Chicago and they were/are friends. For such an uncomfortable scene, Virginia wanted someone close like Rusty. The poor conditions of the Cabrini Green apartment buildings were real. Downtown was nearby and nicer. Overtime, it turned into that tough environment. Those apartments, in which you sneak through the bathroom mirrors into the next apartments, all real. The one location with the big spray-painted face of Candyman with the hole where his mouth would be – that was shot specifically on a set. By the time of filming, those buildings were ready to be torn down. And now, any remnants of that location is gone.
Generations of families grew up and lived in those buildings. At first, some thugs didn’t take to people filming there. Bernard Rose came from Britain and never saw the racial lines and thugs in this strange land before. He was fascinated by it. He approached some thugs very eagerly and must have been asking to be shot! The director is described to have a funny personality like that. But the thugs and people in that area saw what they were trying to do with the film and accepted them. The thugs in the building hallways who faced outsiders like Virginia with uneasiness, some of them lived there and were hired act tough.
It had to be mentioned at some point and it’s not something that can be asked so casually in any situation. Someone asked Tony Todd about barriers being broken with him being first African-American horror icon. There should be a sense of honor in his work in the films and it should be acknowledged. Yet Virginia Madsen brought up another barrier being acknowledged. When she and her female black friend first investigate Cabrini Green, they are confronted by the female black tenant for snooping around. And when she refers to “you white girl,” she is looking at Virginia’s friend, because she is a lighter shade of black and came from the “rich” side of town. There are other racial barriers than just black and white.
They didn’t see much of Clive Barker. He stopped by once or twice and was proud of how it going, and must be proud of it today. Bernard Rose really wanted Virginia Madsen to be hypnotized when Candyman confronts her and she was. He learned all about it and had a hypnotist put her in trances. She didn’t think she could be put under – and then her head was down before she knew it! Candyman first confronted her in the car garage. And people have seen her in car garages since and will go “He-e-e-e-e-e-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-e-e-e-e-e-n-n-n-n…” for a good scare! She is allergic to bees. The director didn’t believe her and had her tested to see how allergic. She learned to not be afraid of them growing up, or else she couldn’t leave her house. And she had no problem with the bees. Tony Todd actually had to have bees all over him. There are different bees, some possibly safer to cover him in the movie, but he was stung in some places including his head. Virginia enjoyed bringing up those old wounds, and he was like, uh, yeah, thanks for reminding me!
The greater issue of racial barriers being broken was said to really be there deep in the movie, and they are, and it should have sparked real conversations and change afterward. Virginia Madsen said so. But instead, these deeper issues were put aside as people embraced Candyman and famous urban legends. Xander Berkely played her husband, who is a cheater. He wanted to be seen in a sympathetic light when Virginia escapes from the mental ward and returns home. But the director wanted him to act cold and feel terrified by this nutcase of a wife. I agree, he should come off that way, and then try to redeem himself at the end when he feels bad and chants her name. When it came to chanting Candyman’s name, they always created some diversion when filming. The idea of a Candyman or a Bloody Mary they took fairly seriously and as a superstition not to be taken lightly. I can understand that. And an urban legend like Candyman led to “Urban Legend” six years later. The first sequel was acknowledged. Tony Todd appreciated more backstory for Candyman. The third film was not mentioned and it didn’t need to. I’m already aware that he doesn’t care for it and can understand why. I find there be some good ideas in it, but it is superficial effort. Ten years ago, he would have been up for “Candyman 4,” but he’s moved on. He does plays and different works now. I don’t recall anyone asking about his special appearances in the “Final Destination” series. I imagine he would/should be proud of his work in that series.
When asked about urban legends they believed growing up, Virginia and Rusty knew a weird house on the block and believed there something strange or haunted about it. Tony Todd grew up in Connecticut and there was something strange in the woods. I didn’t quite catch some of these details. There was footage of Virginia and Todd dancing. It might have been part of her initiation into her ghost world as Helen whose name should not be called five times in front of a mirror. They were on a spinning turntable and he might have been taking her into his world. They wish that footage could be found and shown as an extra. It’s supposed to be beautiful. It’s possible Virginia spoke up for Todd for some of the sensitive issues. As proud as he should be of his work in the film, there might be something still sensitive about it.
Virginia Madsen is siblings with actor Michael Madsen, and yet they have not acted together very often. Michael jokes about them being involved in intimate scenes to gross her out! She thinks they ought to play opposite roles like opposing lawyers or authority figures in a movie. Virginia also went out of her way to recommend Bernard Rose’s prior film “Paperhouse” from 1989, and I agree it is a terrific movie. It’s about a girl with a vivid imagination, who has real dreams connected with a real boy her age. She is able to draw pictures and they come true in their shared dreams, for better, for worse, and not always as expected. It is an amazing and dark PG-13 horror film. I think Bernard Rose got Stephen Glass to conduct the amazing score for “Paperhouse,” and Glass was adament about not scoring movies anymore. Bernard had to get in his face and beg him to do the impressive score for “Candyman,” and I think he went on to score more movies afterwards.
That was it for the Q & A’s and the convention. Had enough movies and processed more than enough information. And none of the movies being screened we worth watch/re-watching. Upon leaving and making my way down the long street from the hotel, I was slightly concerned over my so awkwardly parked car by the apartment buildings. Would it still be there? Was it okay to park in a spot possibly designated for someone living there? Thankfully, it was still there and everything was okay. Made it home and survived another Monster Mania Con. But what about future cons? Will they be forever overcrowded like this one? Will I always have to arrive super early on Fridays and Saturdays to get a decent spot? Will there be enough breathable air for the hundreds of thousands of fans in that hotel? And with the ridiculously long and slow line for food, will some fans starve and turn on each other? Oh, the horror of it all!
All right, that’s enough storyline, kids. I know you’re anxious. Time to open the presents under the tree. And there are more movies than ever this time!
-Alice Sweet Alice (1977) – One of the half dozen proto-slashers before “Halloween” kick-started the slasher craze. Features a young Brooke Shields.
-The Amazing Spider-Man (1977) – You might be aware of the live-action TV series in the late `70’s. This is the live-actin TV-movie that led up to it.
-Blood Rage (1987/1988) – Slasher concerning twin brothers.
-Blood Screams (1987/1988) – Something about a cult in a Mexican village.
-Blood Tracks (1985) – Slasher with rock band making a music video on a snowy mountain.
-Backwoods (1987/1988) – Looks exactly what it sounds like, a backwoods slasher.
-Death Spa (1987) – A spa location is haunted by a demon.
-Night of the Demons 2 & 3 (1994/1997) – These aren’t so easy to get online, so why not? Now it means having to get my hands on the original movie soon.
-Fatal Pulse (1988) – Slasher set at a college with sorority sisters.
-Halloween II/Halloween: Resurrection (1981/2002) – These are the alternate/producer’s Cut versions. H2 has all the extra scenes when shown on TV, and H8 has a lot of extra footage that never made it into the already “beloved” cut in theaters and on DVD. Have been sick of this series for a while, but these were the only other alternate cuts I didn’t have yet. Down the road, will watch these over the regular cuts. Was $5 each.
-Hatchet I/II/III (2007-2013) – Saw and used to own the original “Hatchet,” and disliked it. The death scenes are fantastically gory, but the script/story/dialogue was so bad. But for the sake of Kane Hodder, will give it and the whole series another shot.
-Hide and Go Shriek (1987) – A slasher set in a furniture store. Now, that is new! Can’t believe I overlooked this familiar title so long.
-Hider in the House (1989/1990) – Gary Busey plays a nutjob who hides within the house of a family without them knowing it. Wow, that is a genuinely frightening premise, because Gary Busey already is a weirdo in real life!
-House I/II/III/IV (1986-1992) – Against my better judgment, I picked up this bootleg boxset for $10. Normally would prefer proper DVD’s, especially now them I’m used to ordering online. But what the heck, if they play well, this series is out of the way.
-The Last Horror Film (1982) – Slasher from Joe Spinell of “Maniac” infamy.
-Lunch Meat (1987) – Backwoods slasher I never heard of before.
-The Meateater (1979) – Another slasher.
-Next of Kin (1988) – An Australian slasher. I remember this being recommended last year, so nice to find it.
-Open House (1987) – A slasher with a somewhat original premise. Realtors and clients are knocked off by a psycho. Was aware of it, but never took it seriously as a potential slasher. Now is time to check it out.
-The Pit (1981/1984) – An bullied/tortured autistic boy discovers a beast under a pit and uses it for revenge.
-The Prey (1984) – This made my day. A backwoods slasher I was hoping to find. Its only original point of interest is featuring a disfigured gypsy. There was a gypsy community in the 1940’s, there was fire, and now there is one of them left in the woods, etc. It appears to be the shorter version without the opening flashback with the gypsy community, but at least this copy is something to go by.
-Primal Rage (1988/1990) – Something about a scientist at a university creating a monster.
-Pumpkinhead (1986) – Bullied kid comes back as monster for revenge. About time I saw this.
-Slaughterhouse Rock (1988) – A guy is haunted by a dead rock star in his dreams.
-Sailor Moon (2003) – This is a live-action series from Japan based on the anime. Had bought the original anime at one of these events in recent years and finally got to properly relive that nostalgia. It ran for five seasons, but the first three were enough. I’m over the nostalgia of the anime show, but the live-action version might be entertaining. Won’t take it as seriously as anime. The live-action version was $40 dollars, which is reasonable. It’s just that I had spent quite a bit of money already. Wasn’t planning or expecting something like this. But it was worth the purchase.
-The Slayer (1982) – This also made my day. A supernatural slasher with a monster. Ordered it last year and the seller neglected to mention it was Region 2. Now have in a proper format.
-Sorority House Massacre (1986) – The title of this slasher says it all.
-Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark (201?) – This is was the disasterous Spider-Man musical with its actors frequently getting injured.
-Three on a Meathook (1972) – Something similar to the “Psycho” and the real-life crimes of Ed Gein.
-Visiting Hours (1982) – Slasher primarily set at hospital with a killer targeting a feminist. Have seen it and should have it in my collection.
-Whip and the Body (1963) – Early Giallo from Mario Bava.
-The Wizard of Gore (2007) – Remake of the 1970 Herschell Gordon Lewis film which was easily his best film from the 1960’s and `70’s. Featured a magician killing volunteers for real and somehow getting away with it. With the already whacked-out Crispin Glover playing the magician in this version, why not give it a shot?
-Zombie High (1987) – Virginia Madsen is new to her high school and discovers her peers acting more and more like well-behaved robots. Sounds interesting and is remarkably similar to 1998’s “Disturbing Behavior.”
-That is it. A lot of interesting movies, some I had forgotten about and overlooked since the VHS days. And fourteen of them are more potential slashers rip-offs from the 1979-1991 era. My slasher collection is becoming a monster in itself. After the last convention, didn’t expect this much extra slection. With these older and forgotten horror movies and the Q & A’s, this was another worthwhile convention.