EVENT REVIEW: MONSTER MANIA HUNT VALLEY

Monsters, mayhem, and fiends, OH MY!!!! Horror is unleashed this weekend in Hunt Valley, Maryland at Monster Mania!!

This weekend I drove 3 1/2 hours to just outside Baltimore to the Hunt Valley Inn to convene with other Horror fiends during Monster Mania weekend. Monster Mania, which will be celebrating its 10th year in 2013, brings together horror fans to celebrate the best of the best multiple times a year. Every Monster Mania we see a good gathering of horror celebrities, and horror-related vendors. This year, unfortunately, due to filming changes the members of “The Walking Dead” were unable to attend, but the other horror celebrities who were in attendance really were amazing. We saw reunions of two of the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” ( actors who played Leatherface and Sally Hardesty), Jeremy London (Mallrats, 7th Heaven), Jamie Kennedy (Scream, The Jamie Kennedy Experiment), The girls of Nightmare on Elm Street, Asia Argento, and more. I attended several of the panels and even got some of your fan questions answered!!!

As usual, there were also many vendors that sold horror-related crafts, books, and artwork. I was gifted a horror-erotic book, Asphyxia, written by Gori Suture. Asphyxia is part of her “Smut Series” that mixes true horror with, well, as the author calls it, smut. I’m really looking forward to reading this book, and I will DEFINATELY post a review on the book once I finish it!

 

I also attended several panels on Saturday. One of the first panels I attended was Jeremy London’s panel, in which he was asked questions about his roles both in front and behind the camera. Jeremy is most notably known for his role as T.S. Quint in Mallrats (Directed by Kevin Smith), Griffin Holbrook in Party of Five, and Chandler Hampton in 7th Heaven. He also discussed his next project in which he is the director of The Devil’s Dozen (which stars Eric Roberts and Jake Busey). The plot line hasn’t been revealed yet, but is slated to be released to Netflix/DVD soon as they are in the post-production phase of filming. Jeremy commented that as much as he loves to do comedy, which in his opinion is easier, he prefers Drama pieces, and would love to work with Martin Scorsese. He’s also a big supporter of original work, and is not a fan of remakes because 99% of the time the remakes are not good. The question I asked Jeremy was what Kevin Smith asked him to do during his audition for Mallrats. Jeremy said for his auction he had to the first scene of the movie, which is in the DVD extras. He said Kevin was so impressed with his comedic skills and way he embodied what he thought TS Quint would be like, he gave him the role on the spot.

I also attended the Texas Chainsaw Massacre panel, in which Marylin Burns (who played Sally Hardesty) and Gunnar Hansen (who played Leatherface) were in the panelists. This was a very interesting, as they took on questions such as filming of TCM and their reactions to the subsequent remakes, sequels, and spinoffs. One interesting factor was that while filming, Gunnar (Leatherface) was housed and kept separate from the rest of the cast, even after filming stopped for the day. The directors and producers did this to create genuine reactions from the cast members when they encountered Leatherface. They also relayed a bit of Texas Chainsaw trivia, which I had tweeted live during the panel. Apparently the house they filmed in was the house of a local drug dealer in the middle of nowhere in Texas. The drug dealer had field of marijuana plants growing around the house. The owner didn’t let them remove the growing weeds, and were left in during filming. This made the producers very nervous, as they didn’t want to upset the local authorities, or the house owner, of course. It all worked out in the end, but when you watch the movie, keep an eye out for the Marijuana fields. As for the sequels, remake and spinoffs, they are still pretty shocked that the movie has blown up to what it had become. When filming it, and even for a while after it was released, they didn’t’ think it was wildly popular. Marylin said the first time she realized how big it had become was when mentioned in a nationally syndicated TV show. Even to this day, they still are amazed by its cult following despite how the critics tore it apart after its release.

Another panel I attended was the famous Asia Argento, who’s father, Dario Argento, is (as she called him) “maestro of horror.” Asia is known for her roles in Land of the Dead, XXX, Dracula 3D, and many more European horror films. Asia’s panel proved to be a good insight into the horror lifestyle, as she grew up seeing her father’s work, and following in his footsteps. She has done a lot of behind the camera work, in addition to acting. She admits she loves to direct, and would love to do more, even with her being very picky with the projects she chooses. Panel go-ers (her panel was the most attended panel) asked questions on her thoughts on modern horror movies, projects she’s worked or currently working on, and if she will ever work with her dad. Asia, despite growing up in a world where her father wasn’t around much but was so widely recognized and beloved, is an amazing person and absolutely gorgeous. She even recognizes the pain she went through as a child not having her father around as much. I believe we will see great things from her, because its obvious she got more than just great genes from her father. She was given a great love of horror and the ability to see beauty in horror. That, my dear fiends, is not a common trait to come by.

Another panel I attended was Jamie Kennedy’s panel. Jamie Kennedy is most famous for his role in Malibu’s Most Wanted, ScreamThe Jamie Kennedy Experiment, and Ghost Whisperer. Jamie is a very cool panelist, as he was not only funny, but very candid. I personally am a fan of Jamie’s, as I grew up watching him in 3 of the Scream movies, as well as his Experiment TV show. I have to admit, I had a pretty big celeb crush on him. (And I still do!!) Despite a few misunderstandings during the panel, Jamie recounted his favorite and least favorite roles, his aspirations, and was, again, very candid. Scream was one of the few movies that made me actually very nervous to watch when I was in high school because it could ACTUALLY HAPPEN. Kept me very on the edge, and helped me learn that killers always come back 3 TIMES in horror movies!!! I’ll never forget that.

 

There were also movie screenings of different horror films throughout the entire weekend (on an old-fashioned film projector, no less!!!!! awesome!!!) and even a party Friday Night (which I was not there for, but heard it was fun). I also got to hang out with Dave from Monster Mania a bit and I gotta say, the guys that put this Con on are pretty dedicated to horror. They are all amazing guys, and spend a lot of time and effort to put on a great convention several times a year. If you live in the NYC tristate area, the next Monster Mania is in March in Cherry Hill, NJ. 2013 marks their 10 year anniversary, so all the Monster Mania cons WILL be amazing, as I’ve been guaranteed. I have not been given any info further than that, but I know they will celebrate with  BANG. It will be TO DIE FOR….muahahahahhahahaha! All jokes aside, I am eagerly looking forward to attending March’s events, and their future events.

 

 

 

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