Monster-Mania 57 was held at the Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA. It was ab absolute blast. The Hagan family did an incredible job. They had endless volunteers, staff, and people working all weekend to make sure the convention runs smoothly. The guest list was beyond the galaxy. The Legedary Alice Cooper was the featured guests along with: Never Campell, Matthew Lillard, David Artquette, Doug Bradley, Michael Ironside, Judith Roberts (SHE IS AN ICON!), David Naughton, Tom Atkins, Hayden Panettiere, Ashley Laurence, Hannah Hall, Skeet Ulrich, Roger Jackson, Jamie Kennedy, Lee Waddell, Davif Howard Thornton, Amelie McLain, Michael Giannelli (The Original “Art The Clown” from All Hallow’s Eve), Damien Leone (The Director, writer, special effects master), Michael Leavey, Kevin Foster, Lochlyn Munro, Vernon Wells, C.J. Graham, Eugene Clark, Joe Zaso, Scott Jackson, and Buz Hasson.
Friday started off strong. It was a beautiful day, and a great evening. Lochlyn Munro had a panel at around 7:30PM. Lochlyn is always fun and kind to the fans. He answered questions, he spoke about working on films like: Scary Movie, White Chicks, and more.
Fans came from all over, all walks of life to disappear into the amazing madness that Monster-Mania is. Dave Hagan and his family do a great job keeping everything flowing. The Terrifier panel was the last panel of the evening for Friday, and Damien Leone confirmed Terrifier 3 again. He was happy to talk about everything from writing, special effects, and more. Phil Falcone, Mike Giannelli, Michael Leavy, David Howard Thornton, and Amelie McClain were all present for the panel. They laughed, spoke with fans, answered questions.
It was great to see all of them. Monster-Mania was packed, and tons of people dressed up in cosplay as some of their favorite characters.
Saturday was busier, it was packed all day in the vendor rooms, and the celebrity autograph section. Vendors from all over the place were in attendance. Quite a few staple vendors including Buffalo Bill’s House: The Silence of the Lambs Filming Location https://buffalobillshouse.com/
Horror Show Jack was on the scene making fangs. He had quite an amazing collection as always. I met one woman who told me Jack made her fangs five years ago. They are holding up. The quality is always there. Dreddfulthings.com has some incredible stuff. They make custom clothing. CarinaeArtist was also in attendance. Simply Synchronicity, Unconventional Creations (They were next to Buffalo Bill’s House), Tess Givinish, and Wood Burning by Donovan. The amazingly talented Artist, Jennifer Harding was there also.
I met an amazing artist named Byron Winton. His artwork is stunning. Check out his work at www.ByronWinton.com.
I also met Sneaky Burritos. She had a ton of fun stuff at her booth.
So many talented people. Saturday went into full force with the panels. The first panel of the day after the announcement that the SAG-AFTRA Actors strike was over. We were advised actors could answer any questions, respectfully of course. Neve Campbell was first, and started around 12:30PM. She was introduced, and honestly she probably didn’t even need an introduction. She portrayed the beloved Final Girl, Sidney Prescott in the SCREAM franchise. SCREAM came out in 1996. A groundbreaking film making fun of horror movies directed by one of the greatest directors ever, Wes Craven, and written by Kevin Williamson.
ALWAYS remember as Sidney stated, “Don’t f*ck with the original.” SCREAM elevated Horror. The monsters were human beings, it was funny, the soundtrack is just *chefs kiss*.
Neve came onstage to an eruption of applause, and fans were just thrilled. We even had a few Ghostface’s lurking about. I was able to ask her a question, and it was quite a moment as a horror fan who loves SCREAM. She spoke about her love for Wes Craven, the sadness of losing him, working with her co-stars, and so much more. She even got a motivational speech from a fan in front of me. The person did not truly have a question but what was said was impactful. Neve had a huge smile on her face, and I’m pretty sure Sidney Prescott might have smiled too.
Matthew Lillard and Skeet Ulrich were schedule to do a panel at 1:00PM but they cancelled due to the lines. They wanted to sign for the fans, and get through the lines, and pro photo ops.
A couple of things I would like to mention. I’ve been going to conventions for years now, and over the years when being a horror wasn’t always so great. I had the usual shit tossed at me, including: “If you watch those movies, you turn into a serial killer.” Or, “You’re going to hell for watching those movies.” I don’t want to get political or talk about nonsense but there are still creepy lurkers, and women and men go through a lot. I was never afraid of being a horror fan. It’s comforting, cathartic, and it takes you out of the real horrors in life.
Horror is such a vast genre. It has touched on every subject. It embraces us weirdos, it allows people to be themselves.
Back to Matthew and Skeet. They has long lines. I also want to mention, if you have never been to a convention, join a group of talk with other fans who have been to conventions. One thing I learned over the years is this community is pretty awesome. They talk to you, and I’ve met some of my best friends.
The next panel was Roger Jackson. Roger thrilled fans by doing the infamous voice. He answered questions, spoke about films, and actors he loves. They also held the MAC FUND Celebrity Auction. The money all goes to help animals. It was beautiful.
Alice Cooper’s panel started at 3:30PM, and fans were beyond delighted. I’ve never seen so many variations of Alice Cooper in one place. A fan gave Alice a gift. Alice talked about The Beatles, working on his albums, his love of golf, working with Vincent Price, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, Jim Morrison, Johnny Depp, Tim Burton, and more. He needs to write a book or something. It was fun listening to all of his stories. He goes through each story with ease, and captivates people as if he were onstage at one of his shows. If you ever get a chance to see Alice Cooper in concert, GO TO THE CONCERT. Alice Cooper is amazing.
The Costume Contest and Curse Your Luck Trivia Game closed out Saturday.
The convention was amazing. The people work hard, and it’s such a positive environment. A few con tips, not that anyone asked but if you go. Take snacks, grab water for waiting in line, buddy system, do the buddy system. If you have a photo-op at 1:00PM, and you are in line, have a friend stay in line, and inform the people in front of you and behind you that you have a photo op, and people usually don’t have a problem. It’s not always expensive. I know people think conventions can be extremely expensive. Sure, if you are getting everything autographed, buying every photo-op etc…. It can be expensive but you can just also walk around, take in the sights, talk to people, see friends, shop in the vendors room. Wear comfortable shoes because if you are waiting in line and non-stop walking, you are going to want comfy shoes.
I was not there on Sunday but I imagine the Tom Atkins panel was ICONIC, Jamie Kennedy, and David Arquette.