This past weekend's Monster Mania adventure was a sort of Monster Mania Light version of most of the past adventures. For one, Jen and I went alone on this one, rather than with my parents and oftentimes my brother and his girlfriend also joining in the mix. Even though my dad called the hotel to book the room several months prior to the event, the place booked up pretty quick and he was only able to get one room, with one bed in it. So yea, it was just the wife and I. Still feels weird saying that. Am I really married?!
On top of that, we decided to scale back the trip a bit and head out to Jersey on Friday night, rather than Friday afternoon like we usually do. I couldn't really afford to take the day off Friday, so I figured it'd be best to just collect the day's pay, buy a ticket for Saturday only, and make a quick trip of it. We've been to enough of these things over the years, so I really don't feel the need anymore to spend more than a full day and night at the hotel. Then again, it had more to do with money than anything else. These events will wipe your bank account clean if you're not careful!
So yea. We got into good ole Cherry Hill around 9:30pm, where our first stop, as always, was to pick up some booze. And by some booze, I mean a lot of booze. A new Wegmans beer store opened up in the area recently so that has become our new stop. The place is absolutely loaded with delicious craft beers, and this being August and all, there was a variety of pumpkin beers that left me salivating. And later, outright vomiting. But we'll get to that in a bit!
Now here's the problem with going to a convention without my mom. And yes, she and my dad enjoy going to these things as much as I do. They're pretty cool.
So my mom is something of a hoarder, though she doesn't hoard garbage, but rather shit that comes in handy. You need something, she's got it. So whenever we go to a convention, she brings along pretty much everything we could ever possibly need, be it plastic cutlery, bottle openers and even spare pairs of contact lenses. Needless to say, Jen and I don't come as prepared to these things as she does. As a result, I ended up with a ton of beer that I not only had no means to keep cold, but I also couldn't even open. Those bottle openers she brings, yea, they come in pretty damn handy. There I was in the hotel, surrounded by pumpkin beer that I couldn't even open. I tried to pop the tops off using pretty much every different surface in the room, and it wasn't until Jen came up with the idea to wrap the tops in a cotton towel and then pop them off on the marble bathroom sink that I was able to consume any of my delicious pumpkin treats. I can't tell you how bad I felt about myself when I was contemplating smashing the bottles in the sink and scooping out the liquid. I swear I'm not an alcoholic. I just love me some pumpkin beer!
Since we got to the hotel pretty late on Friday, we just decided to sit up in the room drinking and hanging out. There was a little top secret Fright Rags party going on at a nearby pizza joint, which they held for fans and friends, but we decided to sit it out. We wanted to go, and planned on doing so, but we were just too tired and didn't feel like leaving the comfort of the room. I heard it was a lot of fun though, with new designs unveiled and trivia contests held for prizes. Gotta love Fright Rags, always going out of their way for the fans!
Shit Movie Fest's Tom Bryce joined us in our room for our Friday night lazy party, which was probably the most fun we had all weekend. That guy is one of the coolest and nicest I've met in the horror community, a community full of cool and nice people, and I could literally sit around drinking and talking with him for hours. Which is probably why we indeed sat around drinking and talking for hours. Our bromance blooms with each new convention. And as he pointed out, it's almost scary how alike we are. Love that dude!
One last thing I want to mention about Friday. Right after Tom left, and we laid down to go to sleep, we were startled from our slumber by the sounds of intense ass banging in the room next to us. As in, we could literally hear every sloppy wet clashing sound, which was overlaid with a running commentary of feminine moans and 'stick it in my ass' demands. I was of course utterly fascinated, though Jen wasn't as pleased. She made me turn on the air conditioning, the TV and whatever else we could turn on to drown out the sounds. But guess what? The ass banging won out. No matter what we did, we simply could not quell the sounds of their voracious sexual appetites. So to the people in room 643, props to you for living proud and loud! But seriously, eww. You two are gross.
Saturday is the big day of convention weekend, so we made sure to get up early and make the most of our one day there. After kicking back a few pumpkin beers, and even a pumpkin cider that Tom bestowed upon us, we headed into the elevator. And who was standing right beside us in that elevator but Kevin "Big Daddy Cool Diesel" Nash, one of my childhood heroes and one of the guys I was most excited to meet at the show. I asked Big Sexy if he was having fun so far and we ended up having a nice little chat, which ended with him shaking my hand and telling me he'd see me later that night. Of course, that never actually came to fruition, but damnit if it didn't feel good to have him say that at the time! And I'll tell ya, walking into the convention area while chatting away with Kevin Nash made me feel like the coolest motherfucker in the place. I'm a huge lifelong wrestling geek, so that was a truly awesome intro to the show for me. Never got around to actually paying to meet Nash at the show, but I'd say that experience far topped such an awkward paid for encounter as that would've been!
One of the things I didn't so much enjoy about March's Monster Mania is how busy the show was, which made it hard to walk through any of the rooms or even grab a drink at the bar. Happy to say that the show was a bit less crowded this time around, which made it a lot less frustrating to enjoy. Most of the day Saturday was spent in the dealer and autograph rooms, picking up whatever merch and meeting whatever celebs my minimal budget for the weekend would allow. But all that goodness will be split up into a couple separate posts, so keep an eye out for that real soon.
One of the big attractions of this particular convention was the elusive Cabal Cut of Clive Barker's Nightbreed, which was shown a couple times throughout the weekend. The Cabal Cut is essentially a very long extended cut of the film, featuring footage that was for years thought to be lost. It's been showing at various conventions and shows around the country, and can't be seen anywhere else, so there's always a lot of excitement whenever it's advertised. Hate to say this but I've actually never even seen the regular cut of Nightbreed, though I own it on DVD, so of course it would've been pretty pointless of me to watch a three hour extended cut. Maybe I'll regret that once I actually see the film, but I'm sure it'll be out on DVD at some point soon anyway. And besides, I never like to spend so much time watching a movie at a convention. I go primarily for the opportunity to hang out and get drunk with friends I only get to see at these things, so that's the main focus for me.
Saturday night, Jen and I were joined by Kristy Jett and artist Chris Garofalo, who is the man who whipped up that kickass limited edition Hellraiser poster that I held a giveaway for last week (the winner of that will be announced very soon!). We basically sat around in our room and then Chris' getting drunk, before ending up in Fright Rags owner Ben's room, and hanging out until the wee hours of the morning with him, his brothers and a couple other people, including Living Dead Dolls creator Damien. It's funny because I see Damien at pretty much every convention I go to, selling Living Dead Dolls, but I never realized he was the one who actually created them. Too cool. Of course, I couldn't resist gushing to him about Jen and I's mutual love of the dolls!
Sunday is when all the pumpkin beer and Garofalo's homemade apple pie moonshine concoction reared its ugly head. I tend to usually be somewhat hungover on a Monster Mania Sunday, but this show marked a first for me when I found myself with my head in the toilet bowl soon after waking up. One of the things that has constantly been reminding me that I'm getting old, in addition to various grey hairs, is my inability to drink like I used to. I used to kick back 12 packs with no problem, and nowadays I wake up in the morning feeling pretty much every beer I had the night before. It's not pretty, which is why I reserve the heavy drinking for events like this one. Though I had a blast Saturday night, it wasn't quite feeling worth it when I found myself emptying all my merch from their plastic bags and puking into them the entire car ride home. When you get old, I guess fun just comes at a cost!
Speaking of puking. While we were checking out, Jamie Kennedy came up to the front desk and was talking to the hotel clerks about something or other. That was my only real encounter with him over the weekend and he seemed really out of it, barely able to properly speak. He looked pretty damn messy and disheveled too. So I guess I wasn't the only one who had a rough night!
So that's the general overview of my fairly brief Monster Mania 22 experience. Again, I mostly go to these things nowadays to just hang with friends I've met through going to them for years, so pardon me if my recaps aren't the most action packed and exciting!
If you want to read about my meetings with Jeffrey DeMunn & Emma Bell, find out who won the signed Hellraiser poster (was it YOU?!) and check out the swag I left the show with, all that goodness is headed your way real soon!!