Quantcast Monster Mania February 2007 review - MONSTER SQUAD reunion - SAW reunion

Monster Mania, February 16th - 18th 2007 (Cherry Hill, NJ)


Report and write-up by Robg. with contributions by Mike C. and photographs by Robg. and Cynthia Longo.

THE AUTOGRAPH ROOM:

Fans flocked to the autograph rooms all weekend to meet their favorite genre celebrities. Have a peek below who was there!


Tom Savini signs for fans at his table.


Original Leatherface Gunnar Hansen (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre) had a line of fans the entire weekend.




Kane Hodder, everyone’s favorite Jason (from Friday the 13ths 7 thru 10) greets & signs for fans at his table.


Warrington Gillette, Jason unmasked in Friday The 13th Part 2 makes an appearance.


Monster Squad! Ryan Lambert (Rudy) and Ashley Bank (Phoebe) pose with a fan.


Dracula actor Duncan Regehr! Didn’t want to get too close!


William Forsythe (The Devil’s Rejects) meets fans for his first ever convention appearance.




Tom Atkins, star of The Fog, Night Of The Creeps, Halloween 3, Maniac Cop and countless more signed at a table next to William Forsythe!


“Thrill me!” Tom Atkins with IconsOf Fright’s Robg.


Mike C says, “The good news is your dates here...the bad news is it's Atkins!”


The lovely Patricia Quinn! (The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Shock Treatment)


Emily Perkins from the Ginger Snaps trilogy!




Convention fave Sid Haig (Spider Baby, House Of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects) returns!


The SAW guests! The beautiful Shawnee Smith! (Amanda – SAW 1-3)






Jigsaw himself, TOBIN BELL!


SAW 1-3 writer and victim Leigh Whannell!




SAW 2 venus fly-trap victim Noam Jenkins!




Freezer girl victim Debra McCabe meets SAW fans.


As does, SAW 3 victim J. Larose. (the chain man!)


Barry Flatman, the judge from SAW 3. (He was also in Cronenberg’s THE DEAD ZONE!)


Fans line up to take a picture in the infamous venus fly-trap from SAW 2!


Various items were on display from ALL 3 SAW films.








THE VENDORS:


From the vendor room - toys, models and magazines of all your horror faves!


Sculpts and statues of all your Universal faves!


Filmmakes promoted their independent movies, while other vendors sold life-like displays & models like this Terminator!




Hell On Earth was giving fans an opportunity to take a picture in a torture chamber with victims and your weapon of choice.




Grimpressions was selling original painted art work in the vendor’s room. Visit www.myspace.com/grimpressions to check out more!

CRISPIN HELLION GLOVER:

Crispin Hellion Glover's appearance at MonsterMania was absolutely something I was looking forward too, especially since the appearance would include a performance piece, "The Big Slideshow", and his film, "What Is It?". Having been exposed to Glover's "art" beforehand through his patently bizarre album, "The Big Problem Does Not Equal The Solution. The Solution = Let It Be". That album includes odd songs like "Clowny Clowny Clown" and a cover of "These Boots Are Made For Walking" which Glover "cries" through. I almost knew what to expect of the performance and film.  I'm not sure people who know Crispin only from "Back to the Future" or "Friday the 13th, part IV" knew what to expect.



Glover came onstage to perform his slideshow and announced he would be reading from all 8 of his books. Glover's bizarre books appear to be old books that he has partially rewritten and highlighted with bizarre photography from the turn of the century. It doesn't seen to follow any sort of clear narrative, and it's awfully hard to describe, so just take a look at the video clip.


Crispin Glover slide show clip



After the slideshow we were treated to "What Is It?". What it is, is a 72 minute experimental film featuring Crispin and his cast of actors with down-syndrome. Crispin claims in his Q&A that the film has a very clear narrative, but I'm not sure I still understand it. It's about a boy who kills snails by smashing them and pouring salt over them. This boy leaves his house and finds other people on the streets who take him to a strange house where Crispin Glover lives. In this house Crispin sits on a throne while everyone takes orders from a Shirley Temple doll that is dressed up like Hitler. The house is also host to a number of naked women who are wearing monkey masks, one of whom gives a handjob to a man with cerebral palsy who is birthed from a giant clam shell. A man in blackface injects snail guts into his face, claiming that soon he will become an invertebrate. Then there is more snail smashing. Then all the people with down-syndrome appear to kill each other.

Most of the people in the audience didn't seem to know what to make of the film. Some people laughed. A few people got up and left. One person was escorted from the theater, I think for yelling at the people who were laughing at the film. I'm sure of this, I don't think I've ever seen a theater full of horror fans made so utterly uncomfortable.



What Is It? trailer



However, that, according to Crispin seems to be the point of this film. During the Q&A he explained that the film was his psychological reaction to "corporately funded and distributed film". He explained that he was upset that elements that make people uncomfortable, or uneasy, are almost always excised from today's films. I can seen his point, and with that point in mind, "What Is It?" actually becomes a very liberating and powerful experience for an audience. When was the last time you can remember being made truly uneasy by the content of a fictional film? It's an emotional response we're not used to experiencing while watching a movie and while unpleasant, I'm almost grateful for the experience.
 
As I said, Glover followed the film with a Q&A session. It seemed most of the audience was a little stunned by "What Is It?" and the questions people asked related mostly to his film. I suppose after watching handjobs and a Nazi Shirley Temple a question about "Back to the Future" seemed a tad inappropriate. Glover's answers were a little bit rambling, to be honest, and long-winded, but very detailed. After the Q&A he stayed and signed for every single person in the theater. This took almost 3 hours, but Glover was really great to everyone and insisted, even as hotel staff were suggesting the event end, that he be able to sign for each and every person in attendance. -Mikec


Crispin chats for a few minutes with each & every fan as they step up to his table.


Crispin asks Mike C for his thoughts on 'What Is It?'


Crispin Glover with Icons Mike C.


Crispin with Icons Robg.


Music Video for "Clowny Clowny Clown"


THE PANELS:

Masters Of Mayhem panel: The “Masters Of Mayhem” panel brought together original Leatherface Gunnar Hansen, Kane “Jason” Hodder and special FX legend Tom Savini. Gunnar and Kane were running a few minutes late coming down from the autograph room, so Savini offered to show a video clip he put together of “every single kill I’ve ever done on film.” Although he promised it was a short 5 minute clip, it spanned about 20 minutes.



Regardless, it was really fun to check out every Savini kill in a row. Clips from the original Dawn Of The Dead, Maniac, and From Dusk ‘Til Dawn drew the loudest applause from the audience. After the video, the 3 veterans took the stage and Kane Hodder immediately joked, “Welcome to the Tom Savini show!”






Gunnar spoke a bit about the latest flick he just worked on, the mysterious horror/comedy ‘Brutal Massacre’. He didn’t offer much info other then that it’s a unique film and he had a good time working on it. He was also asked his thoughts on the Texas Chainsaw remake and pointed out all the inconsistencies and errors in the movie. “When one of the producers contacted me, they said ‘THIS time it’s going to be a dark, psychological thriller, not a blood bath like the original.’ I asked ‘Did you even SEE the original?’ They just missed the point.”



Kane talked very fondly of ‘Ed Gein: The Butcher Of Plainfield’, the new movie which he plays the title character. “I know I’m not exactly a psychical fit to Ed, but it was just such a great dramatic role to play.” ‘Ed Gein: The Butcher Of Plainfield’ will be released on DVD on March 6 th courtesy of Lions Gate. He also spoke highly of HATCHET, saying “It’s my favorite horror movie I’ve ever been involved in.” He talked about the release being shifted to September of this year. “The reason for the shift is that it’ll be playing theatrically everywhere. And it’ll be worth the wait.”





Tom Savini said that he does NOT appear in a cameo in George Romero’s Diary Of The Dead, but that he IS in ‘GRINDHOUSE’ and really proud to be a part of it. “You’re really going to see some stuff you’ve never seen before.” He described one scene in which a helicopter hovers face down over a huge crowd of zombie’s (or “sickos” as Robert Rodriguez calls them) and chops dozens of them to pieces. ‘GRINDHOUSE’ comes out April 6th here in the US. -Robg.



Sid Haig and William Forsythe host a panel for 'The Devil's Rejects'.






The Monster Squad reunion: The fine folks behind the now-cult classic Monster Squad were among the many special guests in attendance for this years Monster Mania convention. The panel consisted of director/co-writer Fred Dekker, Duncan Regehr (Dracula), Tom Noonan (Frankenstein), Tom Woodruff Jr. (The Gill Man), Ashley Bank (Phoebe), Ryan Lambert (Rudy) and Andre Gower (Sean).









The first announcement they made was that Lions Gate has acquired the rights to ‘The Monster Squad’ and is planning a Special Edition release for October 2007! The Monster Mania panel with the group was taped and will be among one of the many features on the disc. (Although Dekker didn’t confirm it, he also hinted at a commentary track as well.)





Most of the cast told humorous stories of their memories on the set. For example, Ashley Bank was 5 years old when she portrayed Phoebe and admits that she was rather scared of Dracula actor Duncan Regehr. At the end when he attacks her as the vortex opens, it was all one take and her screams were genuine. Ryan Lambert admitted to having a huge crush on actress Lisa Fuller who played Patrick’s older sister. “I know I was this really cool guy in the movie, but in real life, I was pretty much a dork.” When asked by a fan how the adult Monster Squad would fair up against the newer movie maniacs like Freddy, Jason & Michael Myers, the Monster Squad’s team leader Sean (Andre Gower) proudly responded, “We’d kick all their asses.”





When asked about if there were ever any plans for a sequel, Fred Dekker responded, “Usually… studio’s don’t care to make a sequel to a movie that’s a bomb.” However, we all know that The Monster Squad thru-out the years has found it’s audience, hence the long-overdue Special Edition DVD. When asked about Night Of The Creeps on DVD, Fred coyly replied, “Hopefully. Knock on wood!”



Overall a fun, entertaining panel and it was great to see this whole group back together. I’m sure they’ll be making more appearances as the DVD release gets closer! -Robg.









SAW panel: The SAW reunion panel started out with the many victims of Jigsaw from the 3 films. Debra McCabe (Freezer Girl in SAW 3), J. Larose (Chainman in SAW 3), Barry Flatman (Judge Halden of SAW 3), Tony Nappo (Gus of SAW 2), Tim Burd (Obi of SAW 2 & 3), Noam Jenkins (Venus Fly Trap victim of SAW 2) and SAW co-creator/writer/victim & funnyman Leigh Whannell.







Most of the victim actors described the pains they went to for their deaths. “I was in that pit getting covered by pig guts for about 14 hours”, said Barry Flatman. “It’s just funny that after all I endure, I die by accident!”, the actor continued with a laugh.



When asked how he thinks up some of the kills, or how he decides whom will live or die, Leigh Whannell stopped to think for a moment and responded, “Well, usually when I’m trying to think up of a line of dialogue for someone, if I get stuck, I think… ‘Oh Fuck it, I’ll just kill them!’”







When asked about SAW IV, Leigh didn’t want to divulge too much information, but despite earlier claims that he wouldn’t be involved past the 3 rd movie, he says, “James and I, as executive producers are still treating it like our baby. We’ll still oversee it. Make sure they do it right.” When pressed by the audience about potential clues in SAW 3 of what’s to come? Leigh said that yes, we can find clues in SAW 3 for 4. By the end of the panel, they made an official announcement that SAW IV starts filming on April 16 th for an October 2007 release and will give fans “more twists and turns then we’ve ever seen.” According to Fangoria’s website as of this morning, SAW 2 & 3 director Darren Lynn Bousman will be the man behind the camera for SAW 4 as well.





They were later joined by Jigsaw himself Tobin Bell (at his first convention ever) and the lovely Shawnee Smith (Amanda). Tobin started out by personally thanking all the fans that made the trip & braced the cold to be there. “The support has been overwhelming.” Sure enough, there were lines to meet Tobin that filled the lobby, went past the front door and up the stairs to the 2nd floor! -Robg.






















THE LATE NIGHT/COMEDY SHOW:

Saturday Night Comedy Show: So at the hotel that MonsterMania takes place at there is also a comedy club, which coincidentally, was featuring comedian Judah Friedlander. You remember Judah from "Feast", and our Icons interview with him a few months back. Neither Rob nor myself had ever been to a comedy show, and seemed like a cool way to break with the convention activities for a hour or two. Also appearing with Judah were comedians Chipps Cooney and Mike Bochetti. During Judah's act he engages the audience in an endless game of "one-up". Anything you've done, Judah's done better. Can you ski fast? Judah can ski 90mph. Uphill. He is, after all The World Champion. -Mikec.


Comedian Chips Cooney.



Comedian Judah Friedlander.









Comedian Mike Bocchetti.


Dread Central's Nomad takes some offers.


When seeking advice who better to ask then the World Champion?


Look who decided to crash the party?!

Special Thanks again to Cynthia Longo for the addition pictures in this report!


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