It just so happened the next Monster Mania was only a few weeks away and would be taking place in Hunt Valley, MD . . .
I decided it was time to broaden my horizons and finally checkout a Horror Convention outside the State of New Jersey. The line up for that Monster Mania 20 was stacked! Even more so then the one in Jersey! John Carpenter, Anthony Michael Hall, Tony Todd, Ernie Hudson, Kristin Bauer, and one of my All-Time Favorite Actors Tom Atkins were all scheduled to appear.
Even better many of friends I meet from previous conventions were making the trip down to Maryland . . .
John Squires of (Freddy in Space), his Girlfriend Jen, Kristy "The Queen of Sass" Jett (Fright Rags Shirts), Jay and Steve (Icon vs Icon), Rob Dimension (Late Night Horror Hotel), Dick Greco who I would be meeting for the first time, and Mike Smash who had a table set up with his mirrors and Amazing custom Figures.
Any way here is a recap of my weekend and memories that will last a lifetime . . .
Day 1 (September 16, 2011)
I left Philly a little before 2pm, the the directions were pretty straight forward, 90 or so miles on I95 South then a couple turns as I got close to the Hotel, I made pretty good time and got there a little after 3.
I got in touch with Mike Smash when I arrived and he hooked me up with his extra pass for the weekend, that saved me about $60, pretty sweet.
I walked around the vendor area for a bit but everyone was still setting up their tables for the most part. I got a chance to speak to Rob and Kim Dimension (along with their puppet friends Hack & Danny Pickle). I recently joined the PA/NJ Horror Group Rob runs and I plan on making my first meeting this coming Thursday. After talking to the Dimensions, I headed up stairs to see if a lined formed yet to meet John Carpenter. I peaked in the Halloween Cast Room a few times to see if Carpenter was in yet but but seen someone even cooler . . . Tom "Thrill Me!" Atkins. Mr Atkins was just getting set up his self so he recommend stopping back in about 20. Like I said there was a lot people scattered about in the lobby, but since there was nothing official yet I figured it was a good time to get some pictures of Christine who was parked outside while it was still Daylight . . .
What a beauty!(Courtesy of the Christine Car Club)
After Getting those pictures, I went back inside and along with a couple from New york we kinda got the line going for J.C. I'm pretty impatience person when it comes to waiting in line, so most of the times I usually bail on meeting the Bigger/Main Attraction Stars of the Weekend, but since my buddy Scott couldn't make the show, he asked me to get his original Halloween poster signed for him. Since I knew Saturday would be much more crowded I figured It was best to get in out of the way A.S.A.P. Also since I was already waiting I should get something signed also, soI brought with me my Chris Ott (Of London 1888) They Live Poster . . .
The whole process took about an hour from waiting in line to actually meeting Carpenter, but John was really cool and very personable so it was worth it.
I soon headed down stairs and talked to the Fright Rags Crew for the first of many times that weekend. I always been a big fan of their company and have just about a whole closet filled of their shirts by now, but I can't tell you how awesome it is to talk and know these people outside of ordering off them from online. Kristy is one of the funniest people I ever meet, and I got to meet Dick Greco and Chris Tanski for the first time. We didn't get to talk all that long on Friday, but I could tell right off the bat they were my kind of people.
Mike had his table set up and already sold a couple of his Stormtrooper Zombies since i saw him earlier in the day. The last couple Horror Cons I been helping Mike sell at his table so could get a chance to socialize/network someone or use the Little Boys Room without having to worry about someone walking off with his Customs Figures.
I filled in for Mike for couple hours. Friday Night was a little slow on the Sellers end, so in the meantime I got to talk to the people selling at the tables around me. There was Brandt (of VideoDrome Collectables) selling hard to find/obscure Horror movies and a girl named Lisa who had a table of custom Horror Related Stickers, Girly Things, School Supplies, etc. Both were really nice and made the time fly by some.
In those two hours I have gained a newfound respect for the people who rent out space to sell at these conventions, for every cool person who comes up to the stand, you have 5 dipshits who want to hagle you down on the prices or worse want to know how everything was made. Mike's stuff is really cool and I seen first hand the amount of time and effort he puts into the stuff he makes, but his prices really aren't that crazy. Try finding Ear Rings or anything for that matter when it comes to the Movies Mike makes products for . . . YOU WON"T!
Mike and I setting up his stand . . .
A Look a Mike's Setup At Monster Mania 20 . . .
One of the NonDipShits to stop by was John Squires and his GF Jen. They are two of the nicest people around and I enjoy reading John's Blog "Freddy In Space" almost everyday. It was cool seeing them but since I was stuck at the table I didn't get a chance to talk to them very long, but we made plans to grab drinks some time over the the weekend. After Mike got back I filled him in in what sold and used the the remaining couple hours of the night to get get a couple of more autographs . . .
My friend Juliette asked me earlier in the week to get an 8X10 signed by True Blood Star Kristin "Vampire Pam" Bauer. Kristin was so cool, she signed the photo with a the quote about Sookie's precious fairy vagina. And I alsogot to take a picture with her to boot.
I figured I should go see if Tom Atkins was still around, so I headed up starts back to the "Halloween Room". I got there and Mr. Atkins was sitting alone, he asked where have I been? "I told you to come back in 20 Minutes" Holy Shit he remember that lol
We talked for a good while, I told him about how we did a "Tom Atkins" Night for my Birthday last March and he became the Pardon Saint of our Horror Gatherings "Shit Movie Fest".
He got a good kick out of it all and even agreed to pose for some pictures holding the Shit Movie Fest Banner . . .
As you can image all of this was very surreal. Also he signed the SMF Banner and an 8x10 featuring him from Night of the Creeps that reads "Thrill Me"
The show was wrapping up for the first night, so after a quick stop in our hotel room, Mike and I came back down stairs and hung with Brandt some in the Hotel Bar. The bar was packed with some of the Actors from the show . . . We ran into Anthony Michael Hall who was sitting at the table next to us, he was a cool cat and was up for taking pictures with whomever asked . . .
Also we hung out with Michael Tough , who played the killer from Prom Night. He told us some good stories about how it was like with work with Leslie Nielsen and Jamie Lee Curtis. Mike headed back up to the room to work on some stuff and I didn't stay to much long after Brandt left.
All in all it was a good first day, I didn't get to really do any shopping for myself, it was relief to get all the signing I needed to get out of the way.
I'll get the recap for Saturday/Sunday up later tonight. Hope you enjoyed reading it so far.
- Tom Bryce
(Shit Movie Fest Facebook Page)