Usually when I go to a convention it is just me. Then earlier this year Shooey came to one and this time Jenn AND Shooey came but not at the same time because why would we ever do anything normally?
I gave Monster Mania 36 good ratings and since a ton of stuff stayed the same this time around I am not going to waver from my impressions of a lot of the stuff because they stayed the same or improved a bit, but I do have a few things to say about the guests and how the Gallery’s relationship to conventions is expanding. Oh, and the show gets four out of five masks. Derh.
As always, I will cover:
- Guests / Panels
But not in that order because the guests part will be last. This is part of the nightmare of getting there:
Not only were the vendors essentially the same as last time, they were, for the most part, in the exact same spots. But I will give a special shout out to the Movie Buff Game who invented a game that is an amalgam of stuff we have all played, repackaged in a smart way that will make you angry that you didn’t think of it. Just combine any name game you played in the car before smartphones and combine it with Uno. DAMMIT! Why didn’t I think of that?
Other than that, we got some sweet surprises which you will see later in the week and there was only one let down. No place I could find sold those plastic holders to keep your stuff from crinkling. You know, like pictures and whatnot. But other than that: quality stuff.
The Crowne Plaza Cherry Hill did not get rebuilt since last time so I will call this the same with a couple of improvements. First, they managed the parking on Friday and Saturday which is a HUGE step above the nonsense free for all from the spring. Second, they added an outside attraction, the IT Movie VR Schoolbus experience I did at San Diego Comic Con last month. Still good and it scared Jenn, so bonus. And speaking of scaring Jenn…
Every pic you see below that was taken by Jenn was a source of genuine terror on her part. She was scared as hell of pretty much everyone there. Little kids even scared her. It was awesome. So while the pictures look all good because she knows how to take pictures, enjoy them even more when you envision her all pale and shaking like Don Knotts in a Scooby Doo cartoon while she took them. OMG she is such a chicken.
THIS IS WHEN I SET HER UP!
OK so the way Monster Mania works is that there are three, I guess, levels of guests? I base that on where they are placed in the hotel. So I will review the highlights from each tier.
Headliner – Kate Beckinsale
I wish I could tell you something about it but she wasn’t even on the same floor of the hotel. The pic below from twitter user XXXX shows you what was on the other end of the 10 mile long line to get a $90.00 pic with her. SMH – I wish I had $90.00!
— Sei (@TeamSwoh) August 20, 2017
Tier 2 – The Ballroom
Data from the Goonies, Paulie from Rocky, Sid Haig, the Soska Sisters (ded) were all in the ballroom, which is laid out with the stars around the outside walls so long lines can form. And form they did. P.J. Soles from the original Halloween had a crazy long line. So did Chris Kattan. Things ebbed and flowed. Danielle Harris was great as usual (she does a lot of cons) and Zach Galligan from Gremlins was super nice to everyone.
Best room in the show. Mostly for ONE reason to be discussed below. Honestly, there is no way anyone would have (or should have) enough money to get a pic with everyone but they should have some way to be able to hang with these legends for a little while. I don’t know. Maybe I need to make my own convention….I KNOW WHO WILL HEADLINE!
Tier 3 – The Autograph Room
So there is a small room where they put the Karate Kid last time and this year there was Jennifer Carpenter (with Shooey, below) who was super sweet and the guy from Anthrax and VAL KILMER!
Except Val Kilmer was behind a screen. No joke. You want to look at Val Kilmer? Well pay $60.00 and then you get a picture. So, I guess he was saying: “take a picture it’ll last lonnger!” in advance. I also heard he didn’t speak at all to anyone. Obviously I didn’t hear that from him but I still believe it. The room they were in was smallish and quiet but was packed on Saturday.
I think Val Kilmer was in the Tier 3 room because he needed to be hidden from us peasants and the Ballroom was not conducive to Kilmer-kave konstruction.
Val is sick, though. Let’s hope he gets better.
So this man has always been one of my favorite actors and my #mancrusheveryday ❤️ Doc Holliday was my favorite character he ever played. I really hope that he recovers and wins his battle with cancer because it truly hurt to see him sick. I honestly cried after meeting him and am so grateful that given the circumstances, he still came out for his fans. #valkilmer #monstermania #monstermania37 #MonsterManiaCon #cherryhill #crowneplaza #newjersey #horrorcon #horrorconvention #horror #topsecret #topgun #tombstone #ghostinthedarkness #docholliday #ilovehorror #horrorfam #horrorfan #horrornerd #horrorgeek #getwellsoon
Jen and Sylvia Soska
They made the show for me. The twins from Canada write, direct and produce their own horror films and women in horror is so rare that they would matter even if they weren’t talented. Lucky for us they are – watch American Mary for a good taste of them. They were SO energetic and psyched to be there. They would jump up on the table to hug everyone to came to seem them. They scampered around to the front to take pics. They spent about five minutes yakking with Jenn and me which doesn’t sound like much but it is when there’s a line. And the next day I talked to them for ten minutes easily. Looks like the Gallery will be heading to Atlanta to for the Women in Horror Film Festival – come and see the Soska Sisters (and us)! For real, I would build a con around them and the Gallery is going to support them however we can. That’s an order! You hear that…staff?
Finally – I mentioned that we will be expanding our relationship with conventions, mainly because they are wicked fun – so if you go to a lot of them (or want to) head to the contact page and let me know! Now check out the pics.