Monster Mania 21 In Cherry Hill, NJ

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I really thought it might have been different this time. For some reason I thought Monster Mania ironed out some of its kinks. In some respects they did, but others remain the same. This report should be short and sweet considering I spent less than 3 hours there this time around.

Some friends of mine expressed the fact the MM con is so damn expensive, even for children. That sucks because if you want to take your whole family you can spend a lot money just on the entrance fee. Then factor in all the cool stuff that you see when walking around that you didn’t even bank on buying, but “needed” to have.

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Take the above photo for instance. Ever since the first time I saw The Shining when I was a kid, I always said I wanted the photo from the end of the film, but never knew how to get it. Before the days of the Internet, finding rare prints like this was nearly impossible. Within the past few years I was able to get a few large jpegs of the image, but nothing suitable enough for framing or hanging. Now, I finally have it, and for a mere $15 bucks. To me, that’s affordable for a picture I’ve basically dreamed of owning for years.

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I was intent on not going overboard buying crap this time. I had more festivities planned for the rest of the weekend for my birthday so I tried to be conservative. That didn’t mean there would be no impulse buys though. I talked for a while to Neil Meschino, the filmmaker behind the indy horror movie Mold! (moldthemovie.com). I had a very informative chat with him about his experience making the film. Lots of props to him and I can’t wait to watch it! Another purchase was for a good cause – I donated $20 bucks to Scares That Care and in return I got their cool T-shirt. Also, I couldn’t pass up the Friday the 13th art print shown below by Scuuum Inc. from their Slasher Babes series. That was pretty much it as far as “stuff” goes, and now onto the celebs!

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Back in an earlier preview post for Monster Mania, I was pumped to read the news that Robert Englund and the cast of the original Blair Witch Project would be appearing. Ultimately though, I wasn’t super set on paying to meet all these people because I had limited funds this time around. Perhaps the cast of BW2 may have twisted my arm though! My main reason for being there was to get a pic/autograph from Anthony Michael Hall since I have been a life long fan of his films, even some of the shitty ones. Luckily, since I got there fairly early I was able to get a good spot on line, and by the time he actually arrived (a little over and hour late), he had a legion of people waiting for him.

Anthony Michael Hall was really cool even though I didn’t really have a chance to say much to him. AMH is on a higher level of fame than some of the other stars that usually appear at the con. One of the benefits of meeting one of the lower tier celebs at these cons is that you can more than likely have time to shoot the shit with them about things you always wanted to ask them, but when the person has 100 people waiting for them, it makes it more of a challenge. Either way – Anthony Michael Hall was a good guy and happy to meet his fans. It was also cool to run into my friend Jessica Rajs – creator of the Gorgeous and Gory Zombie Pinup Calendar. If you missed her at the con you can pick one up at their official website. Hot Zombie Pinup Girls, what more can you ask for?!!

Even with so many drawbacks, I still can’t stay away from these cons. The entrance fee is high and the parking still is ridiculously atrocious. I wish I could refrain from going sometimes, but I feel like it’s a place to buy cool stuff, meet and talk to like minded people, and of course get some cool autographs. It also doesn’t hurt that the spring installment of Monster Mania usually falls on my birthday weekend so it’s a good way to celebrate. Did you go to Monster Mania 21? What are your thoughts on the various horror/pop-culture conventions?

Happy 73rd Birthday to Jack Nicholson!

batman,the joker,jack nicholson,neptune city,new jersey

Happy Birthday to one of the greatest actors of our time and Jersey boy Jack Nicholson! Nicholson grew up in Neptune City, New Jersey and attended Manasquan High School. Jack was voted class clown by the class of 1954 which seems even more comical when you think about how 35 years later he would become one of pop culture’s most famous clowns, The Clown Prince of Crime, THE JOKER! Sure Heath Ledger gave a one of a kind performance in The Dark Knight, but Jack revolutionized the role in 1989’s Batman. If you mix Jack’s performance in one of my favorite films of all time, The Shining, with his turn as The Joker, you will likely arrive at something very close to Heath Ledger’s approach to The Joker character. Thank you Jack for all the superb, over the top, and ridiculously entertaining performances throughout your career!

A Few of my Favorite Movie Scenes

An excellent horror movie blogger, Final Girl, has inspired many of us bloggers to write a positive piece about films rather than being negative and ripping a film apart. So as part of the Hey, Internet, Stop Being Such Cynical Effing Douchbags Blog-A-Thon I’ve decided to concentrate on certain movie scenes that I always wish I was in. Some arouse feelings of nostalgia, fantasy, or they just look so damn cool. I’ve always wanted to actually experience these scenes first hand rather than just passively watch them.

In 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Kirk Douglas thinks the Nautilus is a sea creature and is about to throw a harpoon at it. The Nautilus was mysterious and it evoked intensity and suspense. The sub, even though it was an extension of Captain Nemo, seemed to have a life of it’s own. Later on we get to see the lush decor on board and I never thought the inside of a submarine could be this cool.
In the 1966 Batman movie, I was seduced by the idea of having poles to slide down into the bat cave. To have an “instant costume change lever” that was actually labelled with its title would be even more awesome. Shit I just used my basement as a low rent bat cave.

Obviously, Labyrinth has a ton of classic scenes and shots. This one really captured the first moment where we see a full view of the Labyrinth and what’s in store for Sarah. When I saw this movie for the first time I don’t think I was old enough to even define the word labyrinth so seeing that Sarah was about to head into a whole adventurous world of mazes and creatures made me want to jump into the screen and join her in the search for her brother Toby.
What I would’ve gave to ride my big wheel around the deserted Overlook hotel while horrifying spectacles are haunting every corner just like Danny Torrance in The Shining.
I take a lot of flak for always referencing Sleeping Beauty as one of my favorite films. The exciting finale featuring Maleficent’s fire breathing dragon (GREEN fire by the way) vividly sticks out in my mind.
The documentary within the movie Boogie Nights is classic. Dirk Diggler’s speech touches on subjects like Napoleon, jealousy, and how he’s “gonna keep rockin’ on.” It’s some of the most eloquent stuff I’ve ever heard! DIRK: “Like my shoes? They’re like this patchwork reptilian pattern design.” I can’t leave out the recording session where they record “Feel My Heat” and “You’ve Got the Touch” which frequently come up in my iPod shuffles.
This scene in Love Actually perfectly captures how every guy feels about a girl at one time or another. You know when there’s a girl you like and she’s with someone else and you desperately want to show her that you could make her happier than the guy she’s with? This guy goes into Bob Dylan mode and knocks on aptly named Juliet’s door. He shows her notes he wrote on poster board expressing romantic sentiments while her boyfriend is sitting on the couch inside. Even though it’s apparent he’s got zero chance, he gave it his best shot. He settled for letting her know truly how he feels. She gave him a consolation kiss. It doesn’t hurt that Keira Knightley looks hot as hell either.

Return to Oz depicts a very different, more realistic Oz than the glistening green skyline we’re used to seeing in the 1939 version. As a kid it was pretty scary after realizing that the whole sparkling city was turned to stone and the wheelers vandalized it. If you’re an adult and you still haven’t experienced Return to Oz, then GET ON IT!
The finale of Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, shows Jack Sparrow once again taking the helm as Captain of the Black Pearl: “drink up me hardy’s Yo Ho!” Then Klaus Badelt’s “He’s a Pirate” kicks in to pump you up.After the kick ass water slide scene, The Goonies kids discover the cou de gras…The Inferno, (One Eyed Willie’s Pirate Ship)…with TONS of rich stuff aboard.
I must have a million more, but for now…what are some of your favorite movie scenes?

Spooky Viewing Pleasure on You Tube

While searching for some scary stuff on You Tube, I came across a few videos that are worth watching.

I’m going to wager that many of you already know about this but if not, I highly recommend checking out the re-cut Mary Poppins trailer entitled “Scary Mary.” Whoever thinks to re-edit these trailers are pretty damn creative. This one is especially original. I would’ve never though to make such a sweet innocent movie like Mary Poppins into a horror movie.

Even if you despise the band Papa Roach you should still check out this montage of Psycho clips put to their song “Getting Away with Murder.” It’s surprising to see how perfectly the song and lyrics meshed with the plot of the film.

Another re-cut film trailer which is already a classic is of the Shining. I’ve been watching this one frequently for a long time because it really makes me laugh. I commend the person who created this one because it’s completley over the top. Watch one of the creepiest movies ever miraculously turn into a touching drama, it’s SNL caliber!

A Very Sexy, Sexy Armpit Summer Excursion

It’s the end of the summer and I figured I’d recap all that happened but then I realized, not all that much happened. At one point during the summer I got fed up with typical outings like movies and restaurants and sought out some off the wall things to occupy our rare free time. I picked one place to write about in particular that my girlfriend and I visited called Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton N.J.

Grounds for Sculpture is basically an enormous sculpture park. It wasn’t a trip to Six Flags but it was original to say the least. It was a deadly hot day as we walked around the fields and paths looking for objects that might have been a sculpture that we were supposed to be on the lookout for. Occasionally we would be discussing the finer points of a large tree only to find out that it was actually only just a tree and not a sculpture. I can’t tell you how many times I uttered the phrase “Is this a sculpture?” It was probably more times than I’ll ever say that phrase again in my life. Every time my girlfriend saw a flower she had to examine it to see if it was real and each time it was. What kind of nickle an dime operation is this? They called this a sculpture park? The amount of actual sculptures paled in comparison to the ones that weren’t!

I felt kind of uncomfortable at times because of the random nude sculptures complete with bush and all. These sculptors have no shame! Most of the time we were looking at sculpts that reminded me of something Delia Deetz from Beetlejuice made. There was even one sculpture of a human form that paralyzed me for a moment. I walked around a corner and looked straight ahead down a walkway to see this human sculpture. I felt like I was in the Shining when Torrance walked into room #237 and saw the lady rising up from the bathtub. It was pretty frightening for a moment. Being in such surreal surrounding, it made me think I was in an alternate dimension or the Overlook for a second.

Of course, there were no shortage of silly “Hey look I’m part of the sculpture” photo ops to lighten the mood. It was a fun and odd excursion and if you’re ever just feel in the mood to see some freakin‘ sculptures then definitely pay them a visit. You never know, you might see that clay UFO that you made in pre-school!