Monster-Mania Con 37

I skipped #35 and was out of town for #36, so it was long overdue for me to get back down to Cherry Hill for Monster-Mania Con 37, Philadelphia’s semi-annual horror film and memorabilia convention on Friday, August 18. Friday is always the best day to find parking, and also after the initial three hours, there are little to no lines. Dave really outdid himself this time and brought in two huge headliners – Kate Beckinsale and Val Kilmer. There were plenty of bumps in the road to MMC. Kate canceled, only to be rebooked a day later. She was then attacked by an overzealous fan at a similar event a few weeks prior. And Val’s health condition was a looming possibility for cancellation. In preparation of a headliner canceling, Dave was proactive and brought in Peter Weller as backup. In the end, Fairuza Balk was the only star who was unable to attend.

I had already met a few of these guests – Halloween leading ladies PJ Soles and Danielle Harris, and Rocky star Burt Young. That left me needing to see Kate, Val, and four others. I had purchased photo ops for Kate and Val, and was guaranteed to meet them, so my game plan was to start with the other four, and then if time permitted and lines were moving quickly, I would get the autographs from Val and Kate.

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Daphne Zuniga ~ A rare appearance from the Spaceballs star, Daphne was pretty surprised that I remember her from the 1985 TV movie she did with Lucille Ball – Stone Pillow.

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Ethan Embry ~ I underestimated Ethan’s popularity and following from The Walking Dead. Even though his line wrapped around the corral a few times, he took his time with every single fan.

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Jonathan Ke Huy Quan ~ A rare appearance from The Goonies star, Jonathan was a man of few words, yet bestowed great appreciation to all of his fans.

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Tom Morga ~ Part of a lineup featuring several of the actors to portray Jason Voorhees, I was one of the few to get Tom for his brief time as Michael Myers in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers.

After finishing up with my wants, I scoped things out and found Val and Kate were both taking dinner breaks. Lines had pretty much dwindled down as no one wants to stand on line for a star that is not even present when other stars are sitting idle. The one thing you have to be careful with when attending on Friday night is that some stars break for dinner and never come back down without warning, ala Adam West and Burt Ward. In this case however, Val and Kate were most certainly returning, so I hoped on Val’s line. He returned not long after, and without table photos being offered and his limited ability to speak with fans, the line moved very quickly. I then ran upstairs and jumped on Kate’s line before she returned from dinner. This line moved a little slower as there were security precautions and rules. I would estimate I waited 30 minutes for Val, and another 30-45 for Kate. Dave’s staff made it extremely easy and stress-free to be able to accomplish this, and my successful evening may not have been if it were not for them.

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Val Kilmer ~ Val was one of the first big working movie stars to do shows, and while he’s been attending them since the mid-90s, his popularity and lines are at an all-time high.

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Kate Beckinsale ~ Similar to Val Kilmer, Kate’s one of the few working motion picture actresses who books appearances like these. It was a whirlwind chain of events to get here, but she made it, and never looked any worse for wear.

As always, I wrap up with a huge thank you to Dave and the Monster-Mania family for bringing in this great roster of rare and big names. I also want to do something I seldom do, and that is thank my fellow convention goers. If it was not for our respectfulness, cooperation, and understanding, big draw guests like Kate and Val would not have good experiences, nor make these shows look appealing for fellow stars.

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