By Molly Shores and Daniel Coston
Every year the Mad Monster Party has given me some of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had with TV and movie celebrities: that time I photographed Hulk Hogan and Roddy Piper together, talking with David Prowse about being Darth Vader, seeing how many celebrities I photographed at the festival quickly turn my photos into their Facebook photo. I once realized that if the younger version of myself knew that, someday, I would meet and photograph all of these people that I followed through movies and TV, I would have been in awe; and the grown-up version of myself still thinks it’s pretty cool.
Some people wonder about the once-in-a-lifetime chance to take a selfie with the huge names that come through, but right before selfie-sticks went from novelty to necessity, Mad Monster Party had a high-end solution. This year, they’re offering Pro Photos with celebrities with themed backdrops, a professional photographer, a couple props even, and a chance to focus on the fact that Brad Dourif is touching your shoulder, while your hand is on the Chucky prop… Surreal shit, man. For more details on this, including information on a free digital copy, click here.
Each year, the giving nature of these fabulous horror-nerds comes to the surface, such as charities like Scares That Care, and Linda Blair’s Worldheart Foundation. While Scares That Care will be having an Auction benefiting the organization (full of some of the most unique movie/animation/script rarities around), Linda Blair will be collecting proceeds via money raised at signings and photo-ops.
Scott Homewood has a very inside look at the Charlotte Mad Monster Party, and gave us some insight on what goes down.
S16: What are a couple of the most memorable things that have happened in the previous MMPs?
Homewood: Wow, where would I begin. So many celebrities, so many people. Everyone brings their own expectations to the event, including the celebrities. I am sure each person there would have a ton of their own stories about someone they met, something that happened during an interaction that was unique, something unexpected. For me, it would be how friendly William Shatner was. He gives the appearance of being a bit standoffish, a bit cold and removed… but it’s just an act. He knows what he is doing and he is actually very friendly and talkative. People will find that most celebrities are […] eager to interact with their fans. We only bring people to Mad Monster who have good reputations as far as treating the fans with respect and being happy at being involved.
S16: Is there a chance that you would like to announce an exclusive update via Shutter 16?
Homewood: I wish I could. Rest assured, there will be more announcements forthcoming. One will be a huge surprise to most people, I believe.
S16: What is the most-anticipated event happening this year?
Homewood: It’s hard to nail down just one. Each person attending seems to have their own favorite celebrities. I think having Malcolm McDowell. He’s a legend. Most of the picture opportunities are one of a time events. Celebrities in the costumes they made famous etc. Some of these are still coming together. People interested in these should keep an eye on Facebook and at our website http://www.madmonster.com
S16: What can new-comers expect on any given day of Mad Monster Party?
Homewood: The unexpected. Everyone’s experience will be different, even from day to day. Don’t just come for one day. Enjoy the whole weekend. Soak it up.
S16: What do you think makes Charlotte and Arizona so special, to host Mad Monster Party?
Homewood: Well, the event has been in other cities, but Charlotte and Phoenix seem to be cities that are growing at a huge rate and filling up with new, energetic people that like to do fun things.
To those of us who may have one or two things in particular they want to see, I implore you, this only happens once a year, and each time, something will happen that you probably shouldn’t post on Facebook about: The Miss Mad Monster Pageant, Scaraoke, and a costume contest via NukeTheFridge. The schedule is going to be released soon, but events in the past have included a primo Burlesque show with local performers, GetDeadCrew hypefolk parading the convention scaring and seducing the attendees.
Owner of GetDeadCrew (otherwise known as Breathing Canvas Fx), Megan Grant is also a MMP veteran, attending each year since the convention soiled bankertown with infectious fun. Here’s what she plans to bring to MMP this year, and what else you can expect from the convention:
S16: What can we expect from GetDeadCrew this year?
Grant: Get Dead Crew is about bringing creatures and characters to the party! We show up with a box full of tricks, [otherwise known as special effects makeup and accessories], ready to help transform guests into their formal/horror/gore-er-wear.
This year you can expect blood, blood, and more blood — and of course you can expect to find us slinging our infamous free “got dead?” stickers, as well as a limited batch of a new sticker design!
Patrons can find us in the vendor hall by following any of our models wearing a “got dead?” sticker or by asking any of Mad Monster’s incredibly friendly volunteer STIFF(staff) members.
S16: What is your most fond Mad Monster Party memory?
Grant: My fondest moments of MMP 2012 (the very first year of mad monster), we had the pleasure of collaborating with Miss Patty Mullen (Frankenhooker). Joe Moe [national event coordinator] Suggested we help her feel a little more in character and she was so thrilled to have us portray our version of her famous look. So sweet and pleasant during her makeover. A real chance for fans to see her face to face as her character! That’s when I realized how fan focused and how truly passionate about providing once in a lifetime experiences for the guests MMP is.
Over the last four gatherings, the Mad Monster Party has brought many of the most famous names in the horror, science fiction, and fantasy to Charlotte. Everyone from William Shatner to Bruce Campbell have drawn large crowds over the three-day festival. This year’s festivities include legendaries such as Malcolm McDowell, George Romero, Linda Blair, Jeremy Bulloch (the actor behind Boba Fett), Paul Sorvino, James Duval (Donnie Darko), and more. You can purchase autographs from the guests, attend panel discussions on various topics, or just see who is wearing the weirdest costumes. Part of the show at Mad Monster Party isn’t the celebrities, but the patrons that are letting their freak flag fly for all to see and tweet about.
Corey Feldman, previous guest
Even more than the star-studded guest-list, there are a vast number of local and national vendors selling goods, providing services, and advertising local events that those travelling to Charlotte can attend during the weekend. There’s something about Mad Monster Party that provides to more than just horror fans; it brings the city wrestlers like Chyna, and Al Snow; it brings actors who have starred in horror as well as comedy/romance/indie (McDowell, Sorvino, and Manu Bennett).
Ever wonder what would happen if Charlotte lets itself go for a few days, and embraced its inner child of TV and movie fandom? Come by and dive in. Oh, and if you want to know what it means if you don’t go, well, you’ll find out. And to all of you keeping your health in mind and preventing the boo-hoos, use #twitfromthepit to show off what’s happening!