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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.