I have been a huge fan of John’s site, Freddy In Space, for quite sometime and if you want to know anything horror or related to that genre, this is where you go. He’s a great writer and a good blog-buddy. So after you read this, please pop over and take a gander at an awesome site.
So, John always has great ideas when it comes to joint blog-ventures and this one is a topic that I just can’t pass up. Back in the mid-eighties a great movie introduced me to Universal monsters in the film, Monster Squad. I could go into the plot of the film but for this project we only need to look at their treehouse.
I think every kid had a dream of starting a secret club and building an awesome fort for meetings and sleep overs. John asked the question, what mandatory ten items would you have in your Monster Squad Treehouse? So here are mine.
The horror House Target Set
I am a huge sucker for vintage horror memorabilia. I don’t know if I would ever taken this out of the box if I owned it but as a kid I am sure this set would have slowly disappeared from poor marksmanship. But it is fun to have an initiation where you have to kill at least four monsters to join.
Lucio Fulci Movie Posters!
These posters and VHS box art used to terrify me as a child when we would rent movies at the local rental store but after around the age of nine, my fear turned to fascination. Pretty soon I was that kid from Salem’s Lot who had an entire room full of macabre items and for a bit my parents thought I was Satan’s minion. It would have been nice to have a club house where I could enjoy these pleasures only with fellow weirdos.
Duke Nukem: The Shining Edition
Of course my Monster Squad Treehouse would have power and with that power would come the ability to play scary video games. My absolute favorite right now is The Shining version of Duke Nukem. I don’t think any haunted hotel and axe murdering psychopaths would be a big deal with a shotgun. Groovy. I like to image my buddies playing this for hours and talking in their best Duke Nukem voice.
See? How can you not get into this? Sure “Ghosts & Goblins” is fun to play but when it comes to my club, only gratuitous sex and violence. Thanks Duke!
It’s a boys club. Sorry, no girls allowed.
Every club house should have a proper amount of nudie magazines and my Monster Squad Treehouse will have a double secret hiding space where our stash will be hidden. This is as good as any currency between like club houses. I still have a really shitty Freddy Krueger glove from such a trade. It went like this:
Me- “What will you take for Freddy’s glove?”
Kid- “Whadda ya got?”
Me- “I have a rookie Mark McGuire card in a case?”
Kid- “How about a nudie mag?”
Me-“Banana Boobs for a Freddy Glove? Deal!”
Oh we would need masks! I love these rubber and latex art. It would be a trip to read Famous Monster Magazines in these masks and eat our weight in Twizzlers. And after that we would sneak down and scare my buddy’s sister.
I don’t have a whole lot to say about masks but if I had a Monster Squad style Treehouse without a Frankenstein’s monster mask, I might as well call it a Rainbow Brite Festivity Club. Cause only Sally would join.
This is a must for all club members. It’s a test of courage for any ten-year old who has an eye for monsters, ghosts and creepy things. I remember when I first watched the whole thing as a kid and really hated watching the sun go down for fear of heading to bed. It’s a much better film to watch with your gang during a sleepover. And it’s fun to watch new members squirm during the famous needle in the neck scene.
Candy Candy Candy Candy
If I had a Monster Squad style treehouse Halloween candy would be available year round. Of course if this was back when I was ten, I probably would not have opted for candy corn since that’s more of a nostalgic treat for me today. I probably would have had quite a bit of Bonkers candy, instead. Remember those? Why the fuck did those disappear but we still have Peeps? This world confuses me at times.
Just looked up Bonkers and they are coming back for Halloween 2013! And the day just became brighter!
I don’t think Legos had a specific model back in the mid-eighties but if they did, the haunted mansion would be a mandatory decoration in the club. What a cool item to have for kids to piece together. There is no doubt that this would be in a million pieces after it gets put together but I think on a fun friday night in the club house, this would be a cool project.
Toben’s Spirit Guide from Ghostbusters
This is a real thing, right? Gosh I hope so because these would be definite for the treehouse. Imagine the hours of fun it would be to look up ancient spirits from the movie and cartoon like Samhain and the Sandman. Sheesh, even as an adult, the Sandman still is a bit creepy. Am I right?
And Finally…What Ever the Fuck This Thing Is
I saw this on weirdotoys.com and this would have been in a prominent spot in the Treehouse. New members would have to leave offering gifts at its feet. All would respect it and nonmembers would never be allowed to see it.
I will be honest, it’s disturbing to look at. Kinda reminds me of Victor Crowley from the movie Hatchet. I mean really, he’s wielding a hatchet while eerie music plays to his distorting face. Absolute perfection to a club that worships the strange and unusual. Because I, myself, am strange and unusual.
Hello there! I am back with the second part to the Mad Monster recap. Sorry it has taken a little while longer to get this up but stupid work was being, well, stupid. Gotta pay the bills, ya know? Anyway, let us jump right back to where I left off.
I will admit, even though this was a horror convention, I am always amazed by people who think up and create stuff like this. It’s one thing to dress up as your favorite character or even just a random zombie, it’s a whole other bag of beans to strap a quadriplegic zombie girl to your back and walk around in jeans and a button-down shirt just because. It didn’t make any sense. I can’t think of a time I walked around with a mannikin strapped to my back and passed it off as a costume. Well, there was that Halloween when I did the whole “Weekend at Bernie’s” thing. But that was different!
And there was more than one of these weirdos too! It seemed these five guys all over the age of 38 got together and thought this was a brilliant idea. I sure hope these guys are writers or producers of “The Walking Dead” or something because if it’s random, C minus. It just doesn’t make any sense. But this next thing does!!!
What the shit is this? I kind of love it. Really can’t tell how this…thing…got to the top of the stairs and into the convention center but much success to this guy for pulling off such an impressive costume. If it wasn’t for the huge claws and steak knife I would swear that the inspiration came from the old cartoon The Real Ghostbusters. It just seems that crazy. But what do I know?
The main reason I was at The Mad Monster Party was to see and support my boys, Brockton and Bo, from Lost Story Studios. They are brilliant artists and can zombie-fy any character you can think of. Not only are they great artists, they are fantastic people and their wives, Amy and Holly are equally as cool. I wish we lived closer but for my liver’s sake, perhaps it’s better that we don’t. Thank you Amy (long time friend) for expanding my buddy pool.
Just look at their work. I love it oh so much. Also, their comic Death Curse is crazy good. This will be huge so remember folks, you saw it here first.
Later in the evening we all party pretty heavy into the night. I have no idea how these guys can get up the next day draw and be creative. My mind was mush and for once, I understood Busey.
Speaking of Busey…
My good pal Josh C asked me if he could get a personalized hello from Gary Busey and I said sure thing. I knew I could figure something out but honestly, I had no idea the level of insanity that guy has achieved. From the second I met him I knew this needed to be a fast transaction. Here’s how it went:
Me: Hello Mr. Busey, I’m a big fan but my buddy Josh can’t be here. Could I get a picture of you holding this saying hello to him?
Busy: What? Speak up!
Me: HELLO MR. BUSEY, I AM A BIG FAN BUT MY BUDDY JOSH CAN’T BE HERE. COULD I GET A PICTURE OF YOU HOLDING THIS SAYING HELLO TO HIM?
Busey: You have a shirt on you…what?
Busey’s publicist: He just wants you to hold this sign for a friend while he takes a picture.
Busey: So no one is going to sit next to me?
Me: *thinking to myself* Please for the love of Christ, let the camera work.
After that exchange I gave him $20 and he quite literally ripped it from my hand like a money stealing a tourist’s ice cream. I felt like I somehow annoyed him so I bought an autograph as well. It was a headshot from Lethal Weapon. I told him the special forces tattoo line was our favorite when I was in the military. He said of all the movies he has done, that role was his favorite.
Then, out of nowhere, he stood up and saluted me and screamed, “I SALUTE YOU SIR!!!” spitting wildly. I just smiled and backed away like the woman in Elf. You know the scene. The “IT’S SANTA!” scene? Pay attention to the old woman in the background after the Santa shouting. That was me.
Well, Gary didn’t disappoint and he was everywhere all weekend. In fact he acquired a guitar somehow and I barely caught this little ditty.
It’s kind of funny to think that guy could have been murdered by Meatloaf. Loaf. I hate that word.
After that experience I moved over one spot to my right and there was his son, Jake Busey. Not nearly the line that his father had but he seemed to be in good spirits. We actually shot the shit for a while about the first episode of Tales From the Crypt and how that show evolved since the first season. He seemed surprised that someone would recognize him for that rather than Frighteners or Starship Troopers. I didn’t have the balls to say what I really think of those movies anyway. He was even pretty patient when my friend couldn’t work the camera while making “aw shit” faces. Jake casually said, “That’s not a good face”.
We figured it out finally. Looking back, he’s a pretty tall dude! I am right at 6 feet so he’s, what, 6.4? He must have been pretty annoyed to be stuck between Gary and the Halloween mood table that played Halloween 3’s Silver Shamrock commercial over and over. That’s his penance for The Hitcher 2. And yes, that is also the autograph I chose.
Good ol’ Kirk Hammett, the meekest member of Metallica, stopped by to sign his new book. It’s no secret that Kirk has always been into the retro monster flicks and masks so it seemed right for him to be there. He’s definitely the coolest and after that dump-in-a-jar documentary, Some Kind of Monster, he out shined the two women, Lars and James. If Metallica has lost many of its original fans, Kirk has been the bridge to keep the others.
You couldn’t approach him. In order to talk with him you needed to sign up for another $100, weeks ahead of time. I get that but it’s still a little disappointing. The cool thing is they put him in plain site of the public and we could at least get a quick snapshot of him.
Of all the people at this event, meeting actor Jeffery Kramer was one of my favorite experiences. He was the nicest of people and out of the whole Jaws panel, he was the one I geeked out over the most. Sure Chrissy, the first shark victim, was cool but as a kid, I remember Deputy Hendricks the most. He went on for a long while about shooting Jaws one and two and how nuts Robert Shaw was to work with and what it was like to work on Halloween two. He’s just an over all nice person and he couldn’t believe I could recite all his lines in both of the Jaws movies. I, myself, couldn’t believe I actually let anyone know that. Especially him.
He was so flattered he signed the wrong character to the Halloween 2 picture and gave me another. I said it was more than okay because that just makes it a little cooler. He insisted so now I have two. This photo always makes me feel bad for poor Ben Tramer. Of all nights to go out on Halloween dressed in a pale William Shatner mask and mechanic overalls. Who knew Michael Meyers had that same costume idea too?
May have gotten him to sign my Jaws 2 shirt as well. “The Beaches Are Closed”. Love it! He’s never signed a shirt before. Looking back I hope I didn’t creep him out. I was powered by bud light all weekend.
Hey it’s Lea Thomson from Back to the Future, Red Dawn, Jaws 3-D and Howard the Duck! She was also sweet and still a pretty good lookin’ lady. My buddy DJ D is in love with her. He said something about me creating a diversion, a trunk and rope. I am not sure I was paying attention close enough. Maybe that’s for the better.
This was the time when the show was wrapping up for the second day and all my friends had finally arrived. It was party time. I will admit you have never fully partied until you are at a Monster Party karaoke bar with my friends. It was called “Scareoke” but I kept saying “Spookeoke” by accident. I like “Spookeoke” better.
The whole night is a bit of a blur so that’s why I took a ton of pictures and put them into a slide show for your viewing pleasure. I made so many great friends on top of spending quality time with my buddies. It was horror. It was my best pals. Its was heavy metal. It was my movie and music idles. I was in heaven. Where else can you drink beer with Tyler Mane and Salacious Crumb? No where, that’s where!
Like I said, it’s all kind of blurry but I know it was a great time. Also, when I finally had enough, I decided to head up to the room and when the elevator opened and I got on I found myself between Michael Meyers and Leatherface.
I asked if this was the murder elevator. They had a good laugh and I asked if I could get their picture because tomorrow it will just be another “no shit, there I was story” and they more than obliged. Tyler Mane is such a great guy. I remember that ride but looking through my pictures I never noticed…
Ace Frehley was on it too! And should I know the girl in the middle?
I know my chronological order is a bit skewed but let’s pretend it’s not. The last day was one of buying all the stuff I didn’t feel like dragging around. And holy shit I bought a lot. In fact my home office looks like a fanboy’s spank room. I thought we were just going to kick around for a few hours before going back to the real world but when it comes to fun and horror, the party didn’t stop. I stayed another day just to take it all in again.
Kane Hodder, ladies and gentlemen, the legend who played Jason in the Friday the 13th and Hatchet I and II. And that’s a real chokehold! Keep in mind, he plays Jason and is about three inches taller than me. Here it looks like we are the same height. I will admit, I was a bit surprised by that grip.
Again, what a cool guy and he checked my knowledge about Friday the 13th and the scene of the photo he signed. He specifically asked what scene it was and what happened. Thank God I knew the answer! I had him sign it to my pal who runs one of my favorite sites ever and NO SHIT Kane Hodder knew what it was. I feel a bit proud. I was shocked that a 58-year-old horror icon knew my buddy’s site and even said, “yeah, it’s a funny one. Last time I was there he was talking about Easter eggs and shit.” He must have gotten there by word of mouth or the numerous F13 posts. Who knows, but I got him an autograph as proof. Good for you, Mathew!
Some $500 later in mech, I saw Jake the Snake Roberts at the buffet looking…sore. I feel for these wrestlers from my childhood. There’s no way their bodies and hearts can be fully functional. But it’s fun to know Jake and I have the same shirt! Speaking of wrestlers, you know I had to get this…
Ever been in the “Cobra Commander Chokehold” by Sgt. Slaughter himself? I have. It’s pretty surreal to think about but I had no intentions to even get a photo with the guy. I wanted this amazing poster but before I knew it, he came around the table and said, “hold still”. Ooooookay?
You have to admit that’s pretty badass. I appreciate the “At Ease, Will” addition. This has pretty much my 1987 loves wrapped into one poster. The only reservation I have is…
…the weird smiley dick. I think that would give most people the heebs.
The day kept getting better. Since the night before I had the pleasure to hangout and befriend one of the best musicians to grace metal, Brent Hinds from Mastodon.
Brothers don’t shake hands, brothers gotta hug! It’s weird to talk with one of the greatest guitarists and musicians in the world. I saw him in Spokane in ’09 and got caught in a moshpit so tough, I lost both shoes. It was even cooler that he hung out with my friends the entire night and shot the shit. Great guy and so very humble.
I am getting tired of writing this so I will hurry up. Just a couple more neat-o events.
As the show started to wrap up, you could tell the celebrities were winding down too. I only had one person I had to see left that was on my list, Amelia Kinkade from Demons 1,2 and 3. She was another adolescent crush that I had to tell. Something happened though, and I got sidetracked and when I came back to the showroom, she was gone. I was really bummed out. Until…
I went to a restaurant down the street to get dinner and there she was by herself, trying to order. Usually I would just leave it be but this was destiny. I sat down, ordered a beer and quietly said I was a big fan as I pretended to watch the basketball game. She scooted over a seat and we talked for a good hour. So so so cool. I bought her dinner and she gave me a couple of her books. She’s a huge animal activist and..(ahem)…animal psychic. It was the perfect end to a perfect weekend. But just when I thought it was over as I went back to the hotel, two mega horror movie stars most anyone would know were sitting at the hotel bar and asked if there was anything to get into on a Sunday in Charlotte. Just so happens I am buddy’s with Bill the owner at the Tremont Lounge and gave him a call. Wouldn’t you know it? There just happened to be a freak show there that night. And I gave them a ride there.
I so want to say who they are but I feel that by doing so it could harm them. I know no one reads this but if some bullshit were to happen, I would feel like total dog shit. Anyway, I had to leave them early because I just couldn’t do it anymore. The batteries were severely low at that point. I did get a call at 4am wondering where I was and how to get back to the hotel. Of course I picked them up. I’m a nice guy and these guys caused me nightmares for years.
So that was that! It was a great time all the way around. I am very thankful for my friends who made it all the more special. If you can, next year come to the Mad Monster Party in Charlotte. Do the whole thing. Live it up and experience everything. I absolutely had one of the best times of my life. Us horror fans have a weird bond. I guess that’s why there are no drama or comedy movie conventions. The weird people need a place to be themselves.
BONUS! Wanna see DJ D sing “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap “by AC/DC?