We made it home safe and sound from our first trip out to The Monster Bash Conference in Mars, PA. It was a bit of a drive out there, but I have to say it was just a great time and well worth the trip. Ron Adams from Creepy Classics, and his Monster Bash crew, really knows how to put on a show. Sure, it is aimed more for the older classic monster fans and those movies, but none the less, we had a blast.
Ron has events planned from early in the AM until the wee hours of the morning, during every second of the weekend. There is no way anybody could be bored at this show. Hell, he even had films screening on Thursday because he knew quite a few people were arriving early for the show! But something that was different that I liked (even though I didn’t get to spend too much time in there) was that besides the Q&A’s and the movie screenings, there were also presentations given, such as one on films being banned by Britain in the ’30s and ’40s. Not only does it give the attending fans something to do during the weekend, but they can actually learn something too!
The guests were very accessible and very friendly to their fans. One of the main reasons for deciding to do this show was because of Valerie Leon, star of Hammer’s Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb was going to be there. Ever since I bought my copy of Hammer Films: An Exhaustive Filmography by Tom Johnson and Deborah Del Vecchio, I’ve been adding signatures to it from anybody from the Hammer Films family that I have met at conventions, some of who have since passed away. I had 12 signatures in there already and Valerie Leon was going to be lucky number 13. And it seems with each new addition, they always go over the other ones to see who had signed it, often recalling some great stories about them.
We also got to see the title star from one of our favorite movies….The Blob! Collector Wes Shank was there along with this bucket of ooze! Yes, it was the actual stuff used for the creature from outer space, one that scared the crap out of me when I was a kid. He also had the little prop used for when the gooey terror tries to come underneath the door into the freezer, that was actually used to show the blob coming under the door. Very cool. And honestly amazing that this stuff is still around. Kudos to Shank for keeping something like this around all these years. He was full of stories and didn’t have any problem with people taking photos either and there was no charge! Imagine that.
The dealer room was a lot bigger than what I was expecting and had more than a few dealers tempting my money from my wallet. That usually doesn’t happen at most shows that I attend. We found some great deals on books and even picked up a few movies that I’ve been looking for. Like any show, you just have to know what is a good and fair price, and what is way overpriced. Do your research before doing any impulse buying. Trust me, you’ll regret it later otherwise. Like paying $195 for a poster for The Burning, and then finding another one for more than half that price. Just saying.
There was item that I seen that I would have loved to have in my collection, but the price was just way too high for me to justify. There are a couple of companies out there that made custom made figures, which some more well known characters, but also a few not-so-well known. They are each individually made, so the prices are not cheap. They usually go for $100 or higher. Some are smaller in size, around 8″, while others are a big larger, maybe 12″. But as cool as they look, just can’t see spending that much money on a figure. But at this show, that was really put to the test when I seen the Waldemar Daninsky figure there. Being the huge Naschy fan I was, it would have been great for the collection. But just couldn’t do it. Even at half that price, it would still be too much. Nothing against the quality of the figures, but I would rather spend that money on 3-4 books for my library. But to each his own.
While traveling out of state for these shows, one the favorite things my family and I like to do is try out different restaurants. We try to support the non-chain places when we can, especially the smaller little mom & pop places. While on our way Thursday night, we were trying to find a place in Indiana that would still be open since it was getting close to 9pm, which seemed to be the time when most places were closing. We were hoping to make it to Elkhart, but it looked like it would be too late. We were coming up to South Bend and Nick jumped on the internet and found a place called J.W. Chen’s that had some great reviews, including one where they said the owner came over, sat down at their table and ordered for them. So we knew we had to try it. Sure enough, not a couple minutes after sitting down, the owner Jean comes over and pulls up a chair. She asks where we were from and how we found our way to her place. She then proceeds to tell us about herself and her restaurant. Then she starts asking us what kind of food we like or don’t like, all the while making notes on her note pad. Then she said she would have them make something good for us. What seemed like minutes later, we got our food and it was all delicious. You could tell how popular this place was since it was pretty crowded for a Thursday night. But I just love the personable touch they give you when you come in. We will definitely be back. And yes, we asked to get our picture taken with Jean. Check out their website HERE and if you’re ever in South Bend…look this place up.
We will be officially adding Monster Bash to our Kryptic World Tour from now on. They already have their next show in October planned, with special guest Barbara Steele! For all the show info that they have posted so far, just head to their website HERE.
We have a few more reports about the show which should be posted in the next few days. So stay tuned!