Monday, March 26, 2012

Mad Monster Weekend 2012 (Part 1 of 2)

So after letting everything sink in, here is my Mad Monster Party Weekend recap. I decided to also include some tidbits on Charlotte, the city that hosted the event, since it too was a big part of making this an awesome weekend. So if you are not interested in my mini-road trip skip on down to the half way point ;)

Thursday March 22nd
I left Philly around 8am on Thursday morning.This trip to North Carolina would be the longest I have ever driven by myself so I wasn't too sure what to expect in my travels. That is why I gave myself the extra day. For one, I didn't want to show up to the Mad Monster Party too late or get there and be way too tired to enjoy myself. I'm happy to say my trip down went off without a hitch. I only made a few stops on my way. The first break I took was in D.C. so I parked outside the Nationals Ballpark aka "Citizens Bank Park South" (dubbed that because anytime the Phils are in town they outnumber the Nats fans by about 30,000).

Also, I ate at Hardee's, a fast-food place that I haven't seen up North in 20 years. Anyway, I arrived at the Blake Hotel around 5ish, and my first impression was that this was way too classy of a joint to be hosting a Horror Convention! My room was much fancier than the places I have been accustomed to at other convention hotels!

Comfiest Bed Ever!

I drove some of my buddy Mike Smash's stuff down to the show so after dropping everything off to him I went back to my room to freshened up. I then took the hotel shuttle into downtown Charlotte to see what the city had to offer in way of a Nightlife and also to catch some Sweet Sixteen NCAA action. The driver recommend the EpiCentre that had some good bars such as "Howl at the Moon" and "Whisky River".

But the place I enjoyed the most was the sports bar, Carolina Ale House  . . .

It's a 2 Floor bar with hundreds of TVs and over 60 beers on tap. If I could have tried them all I would have. I had a "Fat Tire" but I mostly stuck with Crispin Cider.

I stayed there most of the night watching the games but also hit "Fuel Pizza" for a slice. Fuel looks like a 1950s gas station inside and out. Also, pretty good pizza, shocking to say since I am used to all the good pizza places from Philly to New York. I walked around the city some, but by 1am I made my way back to my hotel room due to exhaustion from all the driving earlier. All in all a great first night!

Friday Morning (March 23rd)
I woke up around 9:00am feeling well rested. I think I owe this to the comfy bed since I never sleep past 7. . . Ever! I headed back downtown since the show didn't start until 5/6pm.

Now, while Charlotte is maybe the cleanest and most beautiful city I have been to there isn't shit to do in the daytime! I took some pics around town, but when the Carolina Ale House opened up at 11am I found myself back there for a few hours.

Friday Night at Mad Monster!
Ok, so here's the stuff you more than likely wanted to read about. Sorry if I bored or lost you with my pre-Con stuff :)

Since I didn't grab tickets online I had to wait in a nice sized line to get into the show. It moved pretty fast though so no complaints. While in line I got a good look at all the special cars near the front door. The "Christine" was the best I one I saw. It started up on her own and played songs such as "Bad to the Bone" and "I Hear You Knocking But You Can't Come In" on the radio, very nice touch. Her owner had without a doubt the biggest collection of Christine movie memorabilia I have ever seen, just check this stuff out . . .

Had no clue about half of these Book Covers!

I got this Shop Rag for my Dad, who's a big fan of the movie.

When I got inside I looked for Chris Ott (London 1888) 1) to catch up with him and 2) to get the "Hobo With A Shotgun" print he put out to get it signed by Rutger Hauer.

(Link to Chris' Hobo Print)
Chris has been hard at work since I had last seen him at Monster Mania in Jersey a couple of weeks back. I also got a "Child's Play" print he just did. I'll share that in a bit with you.

After getting the Hobo print I found my way to Hauer's table. There was a nice size line, but I figured since he was the reason I came to the show it was a good place to start things off. I don't get starstruck very often. I used to when I first started attending Cons, but not so much anymore . . . But meeting Rutger was as surreal as it gets! Here's a guy that taught me never to pick up a Hitchhiker or go on a hunting trip with strangers (Surving the Game), and I was sitting next to him!

He's a total class act and all the money he raised that weekend was going to his charity "STARFISH".
You even got a tax receipt from him for you donation, unreal!

The other big name at the show that I have never meet, but always wanted to was Brad Dourif. A really nice guy, I was shocked when I saw his table and his line wasn't packed. The dude is a ICON! Than again it was early Friday, but still.

Since I got the Child's Play off of Ott earlier I got that signed.

To Tom . . . Friends To The End

Also that night I met Mary Woronov (Rock 'N' Roll H.S. and Night of the Comet)

I like her in so many movies, but my favorite was her role as "Dr. Vader" in Rock 'n' Roll High School Forever!

I asked her to sign my VHS copy but she spell spelt "Dr. Radier" instead WTF? Oh well The Eradicators can fix that for me . . . Good times nonetheless lol

My final 'meet and greet' for the night was Angus Scrimm aka The Tall Man from the Phantasm series . . .
Without a doubt the best guest I meet all weekend, so kind and our picture turned out perfect (I am not a photogenic person by no means so this al makes me happy) . . .

I didn't buy all that much besides the prints the first night, but here's what I did get . . .

From the VHS Preservation Society (VHSPS)
Rock n Roll Wrestling, Rocktober Blood, Deadly Prey, and Night Breed

A Couple of old Fangorias "Videodrome" and "Pummpkinhead" Covers

And this awesome shirt for the Con itsself, a Ramones mashup featuring the Tallman and Gill-man!

After the show I hung out with Sean VHSPS and Chris Car in and around the hotel. I think I had more fun shooting the shit with those two on Friday night than anything else that weekend. I love hanging out with my online friends at these shows. It sucks that we all live so far apart that these weekends are the only time we are able to get everyone together.

That's all for Thursday/Friday . . . Saturday/Sunday will be up tomorrow :)

- Tom Bryce


  1. Wow your room must have been a lot better then mine if you consider that a classy hotel! First thing I had to do friday was get the desk to send maint. to stop the drip from the ceiling! The bathroom was old and stained and had mold on the shower curtain. The elevators were so slow we ended up taking the stairs most of the time and the internet connection was alomost non-existant. Thank god I'm used to slum hotels so I didn't let it affect my Mad Monster experience!

    Except for the disappointing RIP experience Mad Monster rocked and I had the best time ever! The celebs were great and the panels and Q&A's rocked. It was a nice atmosphere and people were real friendly and helpful when they could be. It ranks right up there as one of the best cons I've been to. Meeting Rutger was as you say surreal!

  2. Was was in the special gift bag for R.I.P.ers?

    1. Mad monster magazine issues 1&2, a mad monster glass and tshirt, and a bunch of ads/cards including one for free admission to a Charlotte "getlemans club" Since i'm not a gentleman or any other type of man, i tossed that.

  3. BTW I stayed at an Echno Lodge for a show was and the Bed had blood all over it, so anything is classier then that for me lol

  4. Awesome recap. I was running the film festival the whole time so I didn't get to talk to the celebs. During the day I would recommend checking out Heroes Aren't Hard to Find if you're into comics or if you want something different hit the Discovery Place downtown or there other sleazier joints if that's what you're into. Look up MVP next time you're in town and we'll be happy to give you some pointers! **Streebo

  5. Thanks, next year I will have a better game plan for what to do when I am not at the Con :)

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