When I say Mad Monster Party, don’t be confused. I am not talking about the Rankin/Bass animated comedy from 1967 but rather a growing convention within the city limits of Charlotte, NC.
In the past, the convention convened at The Blake Hotel, but this year’s Mad Monster Party moved to the Hilton, a scenic location right off Highway 85. There were a variety of reasons for the move – one of them being that The Blake Hotel is no more.
The scale of the convention is definitely on par with a convention center size event, but there were complications which forbade the con utilizing Charlotte’s convention center. Doing their best, the Mad Monster crew set things up at the Hilton Charlotte University Place; barring the growing pains, this was definitely a hot and happening convention that I was pleased to get to attend.
Since Charlotte is a 4 1/2 hour drive away for me, I definitely made the wise choice to book a room and hang out for all three days of the convention. Sadly, I didn’t have enough money to purchase a R.I.P. (aka VIP ticket pass) pass, but my three day pass still gave me access to a really cool selection of celebrities, vendors, and events.
Round 1 came and went fast – valet parking and a smooth check-in. We arrived about an hour after the convention had started and it was slammed with attendees. The line reached from the front of the door and wrapped around the building. After dropping off our bags, I immediately set out to get my wristband and scout out the lay of the land. An escalator delivered you to the bottom level and introduced you to some informational tables and a view of an outside lake. Parked outside was a replica of both of the Scooby Doo van and Ecto 1 from Ghostbusters. Through the winding corridors, I found a variety of vendors along my journey into the depths of the hotel. Eventually I found the two main rooms where the vendors intermingled with the celebrities.
The celebrity list ranged heavy hitters like Sid Haig to classic behind-the-scenes celebrities like Night of the Living Dead co-creator John Russo. Here’s a list of celebrities in attendance:
The Twilight Zone
– William Shatner, Richard Kiehl, Anne Serling (Rod Serling’s daughter)
House of 1,000 Corpses/Devil’s Rejects
Sid Haig, Bill Mosley, and Ken Foree
Rocky Horror Picture Show
– Barry Bostwick, Patricia Quinn, and Little Nell
– Harry Winkler (Night Shift, Happy Days), Michael J. Pollard (Star Trek, Scrooged), Jane Badler (V), Elvira (Horror Host), John Schneider (Smothered, Dukes of Hazard), Richard Kiel (The Twilight Zone, James Bond)
– Heather Langenkamp (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Dick Miller (Gremlins), Corey Feldman (The Lost Boys), Tom Atkins (Night of the Creeps), R.A. Mihailoff (Texas Chansaw Massacre 3), Don Shanks (Silent Night, Deadly Night), Malcom Danare (Christine)
-Tom Savini (Creepshow), Cherie Currie (The Twilight Zone: The Movie), Caroline Willams (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2), Patty Mullen (Frankenhooker), Jeremy Licht (The Twilight Zone: The Movie), Ted White (Friday The 13th), and Camille Keaton (I Spit on Your Grave).
– Rowdy Roddy Piper, Ox Baker, Hulk Hogan, Mean Gene Okerlund, and Jimmy Hart
Other guests included:
Nivek Ogre (Skinny Puppy), Doyle (Misfits), George Kosana (Night of the Living Dead), Eric Powell (Goon),
There was no shortage of celebrities or vendors. There were many vendors selling t-shirts, art, figures, collectibles, autographs, jewelry, books, face painting, and even high quality, horror themed chocolate. There was something for everyone.
MORE TO COME…. STAY TUNED!!