The 2015 Mad Monster Party Part 3

Welcome back for the third and final part of my coverage of the 2015 Mad Monster Party. At this point, you’re probably sick of looking at pictures of me with a goofy grin, posing next to b-list celebrities, but things are about to amp up in a major way. So sit back, grab some coffee, absinthe, or whatever your poison of choice is, and enjoy the home stretch.

When we left off in Part 2, we’d met all the rest of the cast of Fright Night and found something great in the restroom that let me go into a lot of cool, secret places. Ok, there is no way I can word that that doesn’t make it sound weird.

Steve Railsback

Let’s meet some more favorites. First up is Steve Railsback, who I’ve been a huge fan of for years. He’s mostly known for his performance as Charles Manson in the first adaptation of Helter Skelter. I’ll agree he did a great job with that, but for my money, out of all the guys who have played Charlie over the years, the one who totally nailed the voice and mannerisms was Jeremy Davies in 2004’s made-for-TV take on Helter Skelter.

However, when I think Steve Railsback, I instantly think of his performance in Ed Gein. We spoke at length about the role and how he got it and how when I think of the real Ed, I picture Railsback’s face before I picture the actual guy. He just is Ed Gein to me now. Super great guy too. Seriously, meet him if he comes to a con near you.

Tim Capello 2

Next up was another highlight of the con and one of the major reasons why I came this year. TIm Capello! Or, as most of you know him, the oiled up saxophone guy from The Lost Boys. There are very few scenes in films I can think of where a guy just shows up, does a thing for one or two minutes, you never see him again, and it ends up being one of the most memorable parts of the movie. Capello has toured with the likes of Peter Gabriel, Carly Simon, Billy Crystal, and Tina Turner, but that scene, the one we all know and love, made his career and turned him in to a cult film hero.

Tim's CD

Dude is cool as all hell too. I’m still kicking myself for not buying a bottle of his own brand of body oil that he was selling from his table. I did manage to snag the autographed poster above though, as well as a CD of his new single, “I Still, Still Believe”, which he also autographed on the back. More on him later.

Lynn Lowry 2

After him, I finally got to meet Lynn Lowry, who I kept missing all day. We talked about her cameo in The Crazies remake and the fact that the only complaint I had about the con this year was the deficiency of female guests. We’ve already discussed Amanda Bearse, but I also got to meet Christine McCorkindale (“Shunna Sassi” in Nightbreed), although I didn’t get a picture. Lynn was a very nice and friendly lady, and still very attractive. We also had a great discussion about the state of the film industry and her experiences with creepy con-goers. I just hope I didn’t give her another story to tell.

I then headed into the vender room where I got to talk again with Kenny Caperton, owner of The Meyers House – North Carolina, quite possibly the coolest thing a fan has ever done to show his love of a film. I’ve met him before and we have some mutual acquaintances. He’s a great guy and you guys should seriously check out his Tumblr and film, Honeyspider.

After speaking for a bit, I walked around the corner where I spotted Danny Trejo. I don’t have a picture or interesting story, other than to say he was about to go somewhere and couldn’t be bothered to look up from his phone or say a word to me as I mentioned how big of a fan of his my dad is and how much he’d love to be there and, you know what, never mind, Danny just walked off as I was talking and ignored all of that and me completely, so fuck you, Danny Trejo.

Later that night, I met back up with my friends, including Bill of Veggie Macabre fame (one of the best kept secrets on the internet) and hung out in this hotel bar. I half expected to see Jack Torrance sitting alone, nursing a double, and wondering how to handle the woman and the boy. A man does have his responsibilities, after all…

In the bar

From where this picture was taken, if I’d turned around and took a picture of the other side of the room, you’d see a stage where a Fright Night trivia contest was taking place.

Have you ever had one of those really cool moments in life where you wish you could capture it in time and relive it over and over? Minutes after this picture was taken, both William Ragsdale and Amanda Bearse walked in to hang out for the contest, and as they walked by me, I gave them both a “Hey, how’s it going?” Ragsdale then patted me on the back and said, “Heeey!”

I’m telling you kids, having the stars of one of your favorite horror movies pat you on the back while you’re in an incredibly cool bar, hanging out with some of the best friends a person could ask for…it doesn’t get much better than that.

But, things were going to get even better…

Next up, we went back to the room where the Fright Night panel took place to check out some crap opening band who’s name I can’t remember. After that was an AC/DC tribute band called AC Deceased. They were pretty great, actually.

AC Deceased

There was also a costume contest and beauty contest, but I didn’t take too many pictures of that. The one that I did take that turned out ok was just a blurry picture of a guy in a massive Boo Berry costume. Take my word for it, it was fantastic.

All this leads up to the one thing I’ve been teasing for all three parts of my convention coverage. I’m trying to find a way to set this up, but there’s no way to without just coming out and saying it.

Tim on state

I SAW TIM CAPELLO PLAY “I STILL BELIEVE” LIVE.

I know this sounds corny and I don’t care. We had some really great seats and when the music started and he was standing off stage, out of sight with his sax revving up, I can count on one hand how many times I’ve been that excited about a show…or anything, ever. Then, dude came out and played the hell out of that song and it was just as glorious as you would want or expect it to be. And it was long! He extended it at the end, came into the crowd, and just rocked out. The only thing that could have made it better was if I’d looked over and saw Star doing her slow clap dance.

star

I say this without a shred of humor or exaggeration; it was the climax of an amazing weekend and literally one of the greatest moments of my life.

The next morning, Bill and his crew had to split, but I had free reign to go back in for another day because… R.I.P. PIN, SUCKERS! Before checking out some of the panels I had in mind, I had about half an hour to kill, so I decided to go down to the hotel lobby to get some coffee. Coffee was really all I had in mind, but near the bar, they were serving a massive buffet breakfast. One of the bartenders told me they were about to close up, but since they were going to have to pack it all away soon, I could get a plate for free. Keep in mind, those were his exact words.

So I sat down to a couple of massive pieces of bacon, fruit, and juice. I looked over and across the room, sitting alone, I spotted Stephen Geoffreys. Obviously, I wasn’t going to bug him, but it was cool to know that we were sort of eating breakfast “together”.

About a minute later, a waitress came back and dropped off a check… for $17! Hey now, I thought this was free. So, I went back up to the bar and the guy I spoke to earlier was gone. I mentioned it to the female bartender there, and she didn’t seem to know what I was talking about. It was nearly time for the Doug Bradley panel to start, so I didn’t feel like arguing it. That was some damn expensive bacon.

Doug Panel

The panel was great and he told a lot of informative anecdotes about how he first met Clive Barker, their early years working together, and particularly about shooting Hellraiser 3, which was shot in North Carolina. I was particularly interested in his detailed description of how the Pinhead makeup has evolved over the years and what it was like to apply it for each film. The Q&A was fun too and hearing him totally rip into Hellraiser: Revelations was worth the price of admission alone.

Tobin Bell

Next up was the Tobin Bell panel. That guy is intense. I didn’t meet him or get his autograph, but the panel was a lot of fun and he had some interesting stories regarding his career outside of the Saw films. He’s a very serious guy and I get the impression he stays in character during most of the shoots. I kind of regret not bringing a little handheld tape recorder and having him say something into it.

I also attended a Child’s Play panel attended by Chris Sarandon and Alex Vincent. I mentioned in Part 2 that I’d met Sarandon several times, but this was the first time I finally gotten to meet Alex Vincent. He’s a cool guy and incredibly down to earth.

After leaving the panels, it was time for my final sweep. This is both one of my favorite and least favorite parts of every con. Have we milked every bit of this that we can? How much money do we have left for one final autograph? Who haven’t we met yet? This is it. YOUR LAST SHOT to do something or see something or meet someone cool. Don’t blow it.

So, I made a final sweep of the Fright Night cast, saying my goodbyes to all of them. I stopped by Stephen Geoffreys’s table and mentioned the $17 dollar bacon to him. He got all shifty and nervous, looking around, and said, “Yeah, that’s uh…really unfortunate.” I don’t think I’ve ever had a single conversation with him that didn’t weird him out in some way. I really need to work on my relationship with Evil Ed, you guys. It’s not working out like I dreamed as a kid.

I also walked by the tables for Adam West and Burt Ward. Now it may surprise a lot of you, knowing how much of a Batman fanatic I am, that for the entire weekend, I didn’t bother to talk to them or get an autograph. But, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m actually not a massive fan of the show. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really great and everything, but as Batman fans go, it just never quite hit with me the same way it has a lot of others. Not to mention, West was charging a million hundred zillion dollars or something like that to even talk to him. This didn’t dissuade any of the diehards though. Despite him sitting there looking glum and older than water, all while making money hand over fist, he had a lengthy line, stretching all the way down the hall. Burt Ward though…poor guy didn’t have a soul.

Naomi Grossman

It was then that I realized that the one I hadn’t knocked out yet that I had my eye on was Naomi Grossman, aka “Pepper” from the latest season of American Horror Story. And man, did she not disappoint.

This is the second of two pictures. After chatting for a while and me shamefully admitting that as big of a fan as I am of the first three seasons of the show, I haven’t seen the third one yet, she had her assistant take a picture of us together. The assistant framed it all weird so it was kind of looking up at us, creating all kinds of bad negative space at the top. Naomi then jokingly chastised her, asking her if she’d ever taken a fucking picture before and if she had any idea what the hell she was doing. It was seriously one of those you-had-to-be-there kind of moments, but trust me, it was hilarious.

After taking the picture, a little girl walked up also wanting one. Instead of having the assistant take care of it, she turned to me and said, “Can you do it? She has no idea what she’s doing and she’d just screw it up anyway. You said you’ve worked in film before right? Maybe you will know how to frame a shot. It’s not like she hasn’t been doing this all damn day or anything.” I died.

Kit

So, she was my last hurrah. Time to go. I took one last look around and headed out. When I initially came in on Saturday, I spotted Kit outside and made a note to make sure to take a picture at some point before leaving. I took a few and this was the best one. It was a great time. Can’t wait for next year.

Here is the last of the random pics I took all around. Enjoy and thanks for hanging in here with me for all of this. Stay tuned to this spot. I’ve got some cool stuff planned for the summer. Pinky swear with blood and guts on top.

Sitting DownGirl Jason Killer Bunny  Skeletor Tall clown

The 2015 Mad Monster Party Part 2

Thanks for coming back to Part 2 of my coverage of the 2015 Mad Monster Party. When last we left off, we’d just been to the Fright Night panel. After that, I headed to the bar to meet with some friends, including BIll of Veggie Macabre!

One enormous burger and a few drinks later, and it was off for more autographs. On the way, I stopped off at the restroom and got a pleasant surprise in the stall. Something that would make my weekend MUCH better.

Ok, I’m sorry, that didn’t come out… I mean, it was just something I found and grabbed… Oh god… What I’m trying to say is, I put it in my pocket and… OH JESUS, JUST LOOK AT THE PICTURE.

Pin

You see this? This pin means you bought an R.I.P. Pass. Basically, flashing this gets you a three day pass for all three days of the con, as well as other special privileges, including getting to the front of the line for autographs. Well, I stepped into a stall to take care of some business, looked down, and there on the shelf was was this golden ticket.

Now I had to do some moral inventory. Clearly, someone, somewhere paid a hefty price to get the R.I.P. treatment. They only sell a limited number of those tickets and they usually go for around $200. I was only planning on being at the con for one day, and that cost $35 (not including pictures and autographs). So, I made a deal with myself. If someone came into the restroom specifically looking for the pin while I was there, I’d fork it over. But, if I walked out without hearing a word about it, then I was home free. Besides, whoever bought the ticket would have email proof of the ticket purchase anyway, so he could possibly just get his hands on a new pin. Well, that’s what we’re telling ourselves anyway.

I guess I don’t have to tell you how it went down. I clearly still have the pin.

WELL, LOOK WHO’S A BIG SHOT NOW! I spent the rest of the evening flashing that bad boy all over the place, hanging out in special, elite lounges and skirting to the head of a couple of long lines, which is exactly how I so easily got this.

Peter's Book

It’s Peter Criss’s book and autograph. I’d bought the book ahead of time just in case he wasn’t selling them at his table, which was a good call, because he was sold out. I’m a moderate KISS fan. I like a lot of their older stuff, but I wouldn’t say I’m even close the level of the guy in line in front of me who came in full Criss cat makeup and costume, and talked Peter’s head off to the point that security had to kind of shoo him out.

But, I am a wannabe drummer and out of all the guys in that band, he is the one I’d go out of my way to meet. Unfortunately, I had to budget my autograph/picture money out and he was just asking way too much to have a picture taken. So, I settled for just the autographed book. I wanted to read it anyway. Two birds with one stone and all that.

I have to say, he was INCREDIBLY nice and gracious. We talked for a bit and he gave me some advice on drumming, and insisted on giving me a hug. I can’t speak from experience, but I have a feeling Gene Simmons would have probably charged $15 just for permission to speak his name.

After this, it was time to move on to meeting the rest of the Fright Night cast that I hadn’t met yet. I already knocked out Stephen Geoffreys (twice) and Chris Sarandon several years ago, but this year they were ALL there, minus Roddy McDowell of course (R.I.P.).

Amanda Bearse 2

They each had their own table along the wall here, and I went down the line, starting with Amanda Bearse. She’s an incredibly nice lady and she talked to me for quite a while. Plus, I’ve always kind of had a thing for Vampire Amy, so this particular autograph is going to go down as one of my favorites. I had to resist the temptation to not be that guy and ask her to punch me in the arm, just so I could say “AAAAAY-meee!”

William Ragsdale 2

Next up, William Ragsdale! FINALLY, I met Charley Brewster! And yes, he was in fact, so cool. We talked about the film industry in general for a bit as well as his recent roll on a Criminal Minds episode. I was jazzed when I saw him turn up in that. It’s nice to know he’s still getting regular work. I also let him know that I always enjoyed Herman’s Head. I haven’t seen that in years and have no idea how well it holds up, but I’ll just hang on to my memories. Sometimes older sitcom just…well, don’t.

Jonathan Stark 2

And now, Jonathan aka Billy! You may also know him as Jerry Dandrige’s…ahem, “roommate”. Much has been said about Fright Night‘s possible gay subtext and it was a subject that was brought up at the panel I attended earlier. As a kid, I never picked up on any of it, but I’ve never exactly been known for my horror gaydar anyway. Hell, I didn’t even think anything was weird about A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2 for years, and that was the same movie where Freddy straight up kills a guy by whipping his bare ass with a gym towel in a steamy locker room, minutes after this happened:

Anyway, gay subtext or not, I always enjoyed Jonathan’s character and told him that my cousin and I have a running joke that whenever one of us wants to make the other one laugh, we’ll turn the other guy, make a cross with our index fingers and go, “Uh, oh!”

You uh…have to the see the movie.

Also, the whole interaction with Stark and Ragsdale was doubly funny and awkward because they were nice enough to handle the picture taking for one another’s fans. I can count having Charley Brewster try to figure out my phone so he can take a picture of me with Jerry Dandrige’s ghoul as being one of the most surreal experiences of my life. We also stood side by side at the urinals in the restroom later…so that happened. Mad Monster Party restrooms, you guys. I’m telling you. Full of surprises.

I think that will do it for this installment. When we come back, we spend a lot more time with Bill, I have one final awkward interaction with Stephen Geoffreys, we meet a few more celebrities, and I tell you about quite literally (and I’m using that term properly here) one of the greatest experiences of my life. For now, more cosplay.

Akasha

Well, HELLLOOO, Akasha!

The 2015 Mad Monster Party Part 1

In keeping with my usual tradition of reporting cool things that happen long after everyone has finished talking about them, I’ve decided to finally get round to writing about THE MAD MONSTER PARTY horror convention I attended nigh on two months ago. So much happened at the convention that I’m spreading my adventures there over two or three posts.

Since Dark Entries: Goth Radio (podcast found here) is on summer hiatus, I’m going to have a lot more free time over the next several months to post more frequently. So, consider this just the first of hopefully many things to come before we all get geared up to put together some shitty costume at the last minute by buying a dodgy mask at a CVS minutes before we have to drive to a Halloween party. Yeah, like I’m the only person who’s ever done that.

I’ve made no bones about my love of all things Clive Barker and Hellraiser. It’s hands down my favorite horror film of all time and Barker himself, as well as Doug Bradley, have always been at the top of my bucket list of horror icons I’ve always wanted to meet. So when I found out that Doug Bradley would be in attendance this year, well, Jesus wept if I wasn’t jazzed beyond belief. I’ve been to the Mad Monster Party every year since its inception and each year there is always one name that stands out a little more than the others. They’re my own personal BIG NAME – The one person I’d make that drive to see even if no one else was there. This year, Bradley was the guy.

So, after waiting line for an ungodly amount of time to get in, I made a bee line straight for his table and promptly nearly lost my shit when after years of fan worship and Pinhead doodles in all my school notebooks, THIS FINALLY HAPPENED.

 

Doug Bradley

And this…

Doug's book

AND THIS…

Doug Bradley autograph

I’m thinking about hanging it in the bathroom.

Next up was a guy who was my BIG NAME for the first one of these I ever went to, STEPHEN GEOFFREYS. I’m also an enormous Fright Night fan and I’ve met and had my picture taken with him before, but this year, the convention offered the chance to have your picture professionally taken with several stars in full costume. In the case of Geoffreys, it meant buying a ticket ahead of time for $75 and the makeup was provided by Steve Johnson himself, who was responsible for it in the original film. Speaking as a kid who actually entertained the idea of going into practical makeup effects as a career, even just meeting Johnson himself was a huge thrill.

Here is a sentence 8-year-old-me never thought he’d ever type: Here’s a picture of me standing next to Evil Ed in full makeup! Unfortunately, it also happens to be the most unflattering, horrible picture of me ever captured on film. I’m afraid my nerves got the worst of me in the last second and instead of talking him into doing the cool pose with me that I had planned ahead of time, well, it turned out to be this disaster. Is it too late for Jerry Dandrige to find me in an alley and make me cool?

Evil Ed

Shortly after that was taken, I headed into the Fright Night panel. Stephen was a little late showing up because he had to get the makeup taken off, but once he got there, it turned into a great one. A lot of great stories were told and Steve Johnson was on fire. That guy’s a character. Here’s the only decent pic I could get.

Fright Night panel
I think that’s enough for one post. When we return, we’ll meet the surviving cast of Fright Night and have a guest appearance by another amazingly cool blogger and friend. I’m not naming names, but he’s famous for macabre vegetables. I’ll leave you with some of the best cosplay I saw all weekend. THIS GUY:

Frank