An Ecto Cooler Internet Summit!

Once a year or so, I take part in an internet meeting of the minds, in which some of the coolest guys in the cyber realm fly down to North Carolina and spend a weekend consuming weird movies and even weirder junk food. Those of you who have kept up with this site and my other work know us and what we’re all about, but for those of you who actually need an introduction, read on. You’re about to see shit that will turn you WHITE.

I’m talking of course about Brian of Review the World, Bill/Will of the newly launched Casserole of Disaster (formerly of Veggie Macabre), and Ben of The Juggernaut’s Cave.

The whole thing went down a few weeks ago and has already resulted in a flood of content on all their respective sites. I encourage you to click HERE and HERE and witness the beginning of a disaster of biblical proportions.

I’m going to start out with one of the highlights of the trip which was me experiencing one of the most important rites of passage of every young man’s life – my first can of Ecto Cooler. As big of a Ghostbusters fan as I’ve always been, I somehow went my childhood and teenage years having never consumed a single box or can.

But, dreams come true! Not the kind involving floating, sexed up ghosts, but if you’re looking to score some green Hi-C as part of the marketing to what I’m sure will be one of the biggest franchise disasters in cinema history, well, you’re in luck, you nerds! Bill came through!

So sit back, grab some Twinkies and marshmallows, and help yourself to video evidence of me and the boys enjoying our first Ecto Coolers of 2016. For some of us, it was a blast from the past, one of us became a man, and one of us, well, didn’t like it so much. They can’t all be winners. Check it out:

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But wait, there’s more! Later that evening, Ben got the genius idea to use his culinary skills to reduce the stuff down to ACTUAL SLIME. We didn’t have a Statue of Liberty handy, but we did have copious amounts of alcohol, a cell phone, and a little scientific curiosity. Let’s see if we can make this thing dance. We got the TOOLS! We got the TALENT!

There’s a lot more where this came from, guys. Watch this space in the next few days to see more food reviews, a trip to Old Salem, and hot sauce (UH OH). Also, check out their sites to get their sides of the story, which are probably more eloquently written than mine and already posted in a much more timely manner. Thanks for reading my attempt to write about fruit juice on two hours of sleep.

The 2016 Mad Monster Party! Part 3

Welcome back to the last installment of my coverage of this year’s MAD MONSTER PARTY! Let’s wrap this thing up! If you haven’t yet, check out Parts 1 and 2 to see what’s happened so far.

It was a big thrill to talk to Kenny Caperton of the NC Myers House again. We have a few friends in common and have met a few times before, but I always look forward to finding out what he’s been up to. I finally got to score a VHS copy of his film, Honeyspider. That isn’t the only format it’s available in, but come on; of course I went with the VHS option. I haven’t watched it yet though. I’m saving it for a proper review closer to, appropriately enough…Halloween! If you never have, you have got to check out the site as well as his interviews and TV appearances. This guy is living the dream! In the meantime, here’s the trailer:

I had one last proper guest to knock out before I left. Of course, I would loved to have had more time and money to get much more done, but well, this one was a quick and cheap operation. Get in, make a memory or three, and get out before you get kicked out. But, I ended up saving one of the best for last: Eileen Dietz! For those of you who are unaware (shame on you), she’s most known in horror circles as the face of Pazuzu, the demon that possessed Reagan in The Exorcist, but she’s actually quite a prolific actress who has appeared everything from the original Helter Skelter, a Happy Days episode, Halloween II, Creepshow III, and even an episode of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!

As I mentioned before, by this point, the day was wrapping up and it was time to pack up and leave. In fact, as I approached Eileen’s table, she was doing just that. We chatted as I helped her fold up her table cloth and pack up the last of her things. Her assistant had already split, so there was no one around to take a picture. So, we snapped a couple of quick, blurry selfies:

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But, that’s not the best part! Folks, she was actually selling her very own brand of pea soup and I got the last can!


I’ve snagged a few cool collectables at conventions before, but this one will go down as one of those “the house is on fire and I can only save a few things” saves. Yep, that’s me, standing out in the yard holding nothing but my cat, Squeakers, and a dusty can of autographed pea soup I bought off a cult horror celebrity.

After that, I walked her out and at that moment, it hit me how surreal it was that the face of one of the most notorious cinema demons ever was chatting with me about her hassles with taxes and the healthcare system in this country. We were just two people, walking down the hall, making small talk about all the annoying shit of life. I’ve actually kept in touch with her and had some great conversations since. It was one of the best and most unexpected ends to a convention I’ve had in a long time.

That’s it, folks! I’m going to end things with an assortment of random pics I took around the convention floor, including the costume contest from later that night. Enjoy! Thanks for hanging in for all three parts of this.

Next up, I visited some notable internet buddies a couple of weeks ago and the whole thing quickly dissolved into a blur of hot sauce, angry geese, and Ecto Cooler. I’ll tell you all about it soon. Stay tuned, nerds.

The 2016 Mad Monster Party! Part 2

Last weekend, I spent some time with some best buds and fellow bloggers. Weird food and drinks were consumed, videos were shot, little sleep was had, and things got ridiculous. It will result in quite a bit of content that I’m going to start posting here very soon. Trust me, it will be worth the wait. But, tonight, I’m going to knock out Part 2 of my coverage of THE 2016 MAD MONSTER PARTY!

When last we left off, I’d been talking shop with Louis Tripp of The Gate. Just to the right of him was Derek Mears (aka Jason Voorhees) from the Friday the 13th remake. If you’ve seen the fantastic documentary Crystal Lake Memories, you may have heard it mentioned that he’s the nicest guy in horror, and I can certainly attest to that, despite my feelings about said remake. I got lucky enough to spend quite a bit of time talking to him and we chatted at length about all the different roles he’s had and what it’s like to spend so much time under prosthetic makeup. The dude was the definition of cool. He was selling autographed hockey masks and machetes, but I didn’t have enough scratch to score one of those. Instead, I got this:

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Thing is, buying that autograph also entitled you to a free picture with the dude, but we got so busy talking, that I totally forgot to get my picture taken with him. You owe me a photo op, Voorhees.

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A couple tables down, I finally got to meet a living legend and one of the reasons why I went to this con in the first place – Henry Manfredini! It was a serious thrill, and the guy is cool as all hell. We talked quite a bit about film scoring in general and some of his influences. I asked him all about the disco theme from Friday the 13th III and he told me the story behind how that was put together. If you ever get the chance to chat with this guy, take it. You won’t regret it. Dude’s got some stories.

It was around this time that I decided to make the rounds of the vendors and check out a few other guests. I walked by quite a few folks that I didn’t talk to at all (mostly due to dwindling time and money, as the con was ending for the day VERY SOON), but it was incredibly cool to be in the same room with so many stars. In the span of a couple of minutes, I walked right past Malcolm McDowell, Nichelle Nichols, Chyna (R.I.P.), and a few others.

Circling back around, I returned to the main floor, where I made a point of speaking to Dee Wallace again, who a few years ago, was responsible for one of the coolest celeb encounters I’ve ever had. It was her first time at Mad Monster and my buddy, Bill, of Casserole of Disaster (formally of Veggie Macabre), wasn’t able to make it that year. I told her what a fan he was, so she insisted on calling him on MY cell phone. She left him a message, which he didn’t get until hours later. If Derek Mears is the nicest dude in horror, Dee Wallace is hands-down the nicest lady.

So, once I got a chance to speak to her, I told her I was the “phone call guy” from a couple of years ago, and she totally remembered it. Once again, Bill wasn’t able to make it this year, and you guessed it — PHONE CALL! Again, a message was left and an amazing memory was made. I like to think this is the start of Dee Wallace and me having a regular “thing”.

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Speaking of repeat performances, I then made my way over to see PJ Soles, who was a guest at the first Mad Monster ever. She and Stephen Geoffreys were the 2 main reasons I went that year, and I told her that story, including the part where she kissed me on the cheek. She didn’t quite remember that, but she was incredibly cool and snapped the picture above, even after I awkwardly told her that I totally still have a major crush on her. Feel free to track down my account of the first time we met (if you can find it), if anything, to monitor the progression of my hair loss.

You know what, since good things come in threes, I’m going to stop right here, and we’ll come back in a couple of days for Part 3 of this thing. Yes, I know that wasn’t the original plan, but trust me, I’m saving the best for last. Here’s a teaser: Michael Meyers and pea soup!

The 2016 Mad Monster Party! Part 1

Good lord almighty, has it honestly been 3 months since I last posted something here? I could spend a whole paragraph explaining why, but I won’t bother. I’ll just sum it up with one word: COLLEGE.

But, it’s officially summer, and with it comes its own brand of horrors; summer camp maniacs…shark infected beaches…and in my personal experience, the weather in South Carolina, that at this moment has resulted in me sitting in front of a fan, with the window open, hating humanity, but still refusing to turn on the AC because I’m a cheap, grumpy old man now. In that vein, I’m devoting the next 3 months to regular updates here, as we enter into the season that I like to think of as one big opening act to Halloween.

To kick it off, we need to talk about this year’s MAD MONSTER PARTY. Let’s jump in.

This year was a quick in and out. I don’t remember why, but I had to leave town much later than I wanted, which meant I arrived at the venue with about an hour and a half to work with before the whole thing closed down for the day. Folks, that is not near enough time to fully explore this particular convention, but you’ll be surprised what you can do when you have to. Luckily, several years of experience with this con has taught me exactly how to effectively prioritize autograph/picture opportunities.

Every year, there’s always one big guest for me. I just call it, creatively enough, THE BIG ONE. The one person that I would make that 90 mile drive to meet even if there was no one else there. This year, it happened to be George Romero, but his line was WAY too long when I first walked in, so for the sake of squeezing as much into the little time I had as I could, I immediately got into line to see my 2nd choice – Adrienne King! Of course, most of you know her as Alice, the final girl from the original Friday the 13th. She was incredibly nice, and luckily, we had a little time to talk. I was hoping to score a bottle of her wine, but she actually said she wasn’t allowed to sell it at the convention. I do plan on ordering some from her website soon though.

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Adrienne King

We talked for a bit and she mentioned that she was always annoyed at how quickly she got killed off in the beginning of Part 2 and the fact that the phone conversation she had in that scene was entirely ad-libbed and done in one take. I also had her record a station ID for Dark Entries: Goth Radio and scored the autograph above. Great times!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, by the time that was all done, Romero’s line had died down enough so that I wouldn’t have to spend an hour standing in it. In fact, it only took a few minutes. I told you guys, my convention game is tight. I don’t mess around. Unfortunately,  he was not allowed to personalize the autographs, but he did scribble his name on this:

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We chatted for a few minutes before I was shooed away from one of his people, but he was incredibly gracious and every bit as cool as I was hoping. He even agrees with what I’ve been saying for years, which is that Day of the Dead is the most underrated in the series. Straight from the lips of the master. You heard it here.

Next up, I went down the hall and knocked out some other favorites. First, I spoke to Ohgr of Skinny Puppy, who I chat with every time I go to this thing. We talked about the possibility of him calling into Dark Entries: Goth Radio sometime for an interview, which would just be the tits. He was selling a copy of John Carpenter’s ‘Lost Themes’ album on vinyl at this table for $40 and it absolutely killed me that I had to leave it there, but I had a tight convention budget that was getting smaller every minute. Let’s just say getting a George Romero autograph ain’t cheap, kids. I love that I’ve reached this surreal point in my life in which I can walk up to Ohgr once a year and he knows exactly who I am.

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A couple tables down I got to meet another one that I was jazzed about – Louis Tripp! You know him as Terry Chandler from The Gate. At least, you should. If not, rectify that immediately! He’s a super nice guy and we talked a bit about his music, which I’m going to play on the show soon. I’m also going to work on getting him to call in for an interview. It was interesting to find that out that he had zero acting aspirations before The Gate, and after The Gate 2, he had no interest in being in movies again. These days, he focuses his energies toward his music and the way he sells it is fascinating. I saw on his table what I thought was a CD, wrapped in a strange fabric with a sort of small tube attached. It turns out, the delivery system for the album is one of the most interesting ways of selling an album I’ve seen in a long time. I really wish I’d broken down and gotten one now, but like I said before… Romero.

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This seems like a solid place to wrap this up. I’ll be back in a few days with Part 2, featuring Dee Wallace, a cool VHS score, the scariest can of pea soup ever, and much more. Keep it spooky. We’re back, kids!