Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Monsters, demons and teddy bears

Hey! It's convention time! It's that time, when bloodsucking vampires and heartless demons come together in one place. No, not the Republican National Convention; It's the Monster Mania Con 2!

(FYI: Feel free to substitute 'bleeding heart' and 'Democratic' for 'heartless' and 'Republican.')

The Monster Mania Con 2 was the THIRD most anticipated sequel this week (just behind Anacondas and Baby Geniuses 2.)

This convention features B-list celebrities, roundtable film discussions and dealers selling ALL sorts of paraphernalia connected to horror, comic books, sci-fi, pro wrestling and any other form of entertainment popular with weirdoes that still live in their parent’s basement.

This year’s guests included:

Verne Troyer:
Star of the Austin Powers films and stuntman for ALL KINDS OF CREATURES. Troyer has played a creature in Wishmaster, a goblin in Harry Potter and an alien in Men In Black.
Troyer has also played a baby gorilla TWO times! Could you imagine what his resume looks like?

Verne Troyer

1987-1990 Paperboy
1990-1997 Cashier at Woolworth
1998 Gorilla
1998 Gorilla

I would hire him on the spot.

Oddly, 'gorilla' is not the strangest thing on his resume. He did stunts dressed as a baby for the film Baby's Day Out.

Verne seems to be a genuine nice guy with a handshake that is MUCH firmer than you would expect.
People often say that famous people look taller on TV. This is TRUE with Verne! Verne is 2’ 8" and looks even smaller in person. Vern was sitting at a table next to the 3' 6" Phil Fondacaro (Return of the Jedi, Troll) and Phil TOWERED over him. It was like seeing H. Ross Perot sitting next to... uh... someone much taller than him.

Ingrid Pitt: Star of the Vampire Lovers and Wicker Man, Pitt was a sex symbol in several early 70s films.
It was somewhat strange to see her today in her sixties, sitting with her husband. They looked like a typical set of grandparents, EXCEPT GRANDMA WAS SIGNING TOPLESS PHOTOS OF HERSELF FROM VAMPIRE LOVERS!!!!

Fan: I'd like an autographed photo
Ingrid: Okay, sonny-boy. Do you want the head shot or one of my nudie pictures?
Fan: Uh, nudie I guess. Wait, are they new or old nudie pictures?
Ingrid: Old
Fan: Old? Does that mean the photos are old, or your body is old in the photos?
Ingrid: The photos are old. I was young in them.
Fan: Shucks.

Tony Todd: Star of the Candyman horror franchise. He is not actually made of candy (and he does not like when people try to lick his hand.)

Also on hand were Robert Englund (of the Freddy Kruger films), scream queen Caroline Munro and two of the Creature from the Black Lagoon stars.

The main problem is the price for autographs can get pricey. Especially when many of these celebrities are not recognizable to... uh... ANYONE!!!

Horror Fan: Look at these photos.
Regular person: Oh, who is this?
Horror Fan: CJ Graham.
Regular Person: Who?
Horror Fan: The guy in the Jason costume in Friday The 13th Part VI.
Regular Person: And, who is that?
Horror Fan: Kane Hodder.
Regular Person: The wrestler?
Horror Fan: No. He was also Jason.
Regular Person: Hey! This other guy works at Ralphs!
Horror Fan: No, that's Jason from the first film.
Regular Person: Yeah, but doesn't he work at Ralph's Supermarket on Gower Street?
Horror Fan: Yes.

The fact is, even if you are a big Texas Chainsaw Massacre fan, you don't know what Leatherface looks like without the mask!

The man under that mask, Gunnar Hansen, looks more like Kenny Rogers than a chainsaw-wielding killer. In fact, maybe Kenny was performing nearby and just showed up. He pretends to be Gunnar for a few hours and makes a few extra bucks.

Most of the celebrities took part in panel discussions. My favorite was Roger Corman.

Corman took part in a Q & A. Every sentence Corman uttered was greeted by a 'Yeah baby' by some idiot in the third row.

Corman: First I worked on Highway Dragnet.
Idiot: Yeah baby!
Corman: The studio chose the title to play off the TV show Dragnet
Idiot: Yeah baby!
Corman: I was distressed when I made it because my best friend had died.
Idiot: Yeah baby!

In addition to Corman, there was a Doctor Shock tribute, a Women of Horror panel and stand up comedy from Don "It Came From Hollywood" Reese.

They also showed films including Spider Baby, The Hazing and Wickerman.

The convention ran for three days: Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Attendees had the choice of either a daily admission of $15 or a $30 weekend pass.
The admission ticket was a wristband in blue, purple or green. This caused plenty of anger with attendees that did not want the purple wristband to obscure their mark of the devil tattoo.

Each day held different films, different events and different foul odors from the attendees.

I suppose shower day was Thursday and the further we got from that the worse it got.

Another wonderful aspect of the convention was the dealer room. This is the best place to get something for that weird cousin that no one likes.

Tons of horror books, videos and other knickknacks were on sale. Really odd stuff.

Some of the things I saw:
-an 8X10 photo of Charles Bronson driving a truck
-a bootleg Star Wars Holiday Special DVD
-a Freddy Kruger bobble head doll
-teddy bears with chainsaws

The teddy bear toys seemed to be very popular. They had bears holding every kind of lethal weapon you could think of (but not Lethal Weapon 4, even teddy bears have limits!)

I am going to release a similar line of toys.


a broken bottle, or

a Q-Bert Atari cartridge, or

a box of Cinnamon Life, or

the cremated remains of Teddy Ruxpin

Perhaps I will launch them at next years Monster Mania Con 3!


  1. Anonymous8/31/2004

    I shall substitute Democrat for Republican. Thanks for understanding.

    -Mike Gries

  2. I can't decide who looks cuter, Sweetie or Verne.

  3. Wow, that actully sounded pretty cool. Good stuff.

  4. Definatly Sweetie (unless you have a thing for short guys.)

  5. Don't lick people's hands anymore! We don't like it!

  6. How exciting that you girls chose me! If only the rest of the world was full midgets, I would be quite a catch!

  7. I once went to a horror convention. Actually, it was a "Feeding and Grain Supply" convention, but then a giant blimp crashed into the building. It exploded and many people died or were seriouslY injured. I still look back at that convention and think, "The horror...the horror...."

  8. You know what would be AWESOME??? If Evel Knievel jumped over Verne Troyer, but because Verne is so small, Knievel didn't need his bike. He just ran real fast and jumped over Verne. Oh man that would be SSSSWWWWWWWEEEEEEEETTTT!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Gene Hackman is so cool that conventions attend him!

  10. A few weeks ago, I attended Duff-a-con 2004. I got to meet several stunt people from Lizzie McGuire, view lost episodes, and purchase bootleg concert footage. My fan fiction about Lizzie losing her hat won a Lizzie fiction contest. It rocked, until the blimb crashed into our building.

  11. I shall keep 'heartless' and 'Republican.'

  12. I went to convention for old people who have wrinkled pants. Most people pulled their pants up above their belly button, but I didn't. My pants were still wrinkled though. But I do wear a different pair of pants every day. It's just that they are wrinkled. That's why I went to the convention. The wrinkled pants convention for old people. Not the horror convention.

    Does anyone know a good dry cleaner?


    Take your pants and hang them in the shower. Then hang yourself in the closet.

  14. I love that photo! Awesome!

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