Last weekend we spent in Mars, PA, for the Monster Bash Conference. This was our fourth year there and it is becoming one of our favorite shows to do. So much fun, each and every time. Ron Adams puts on one hell of a show, with plenty of stuff to keep any monster fan busy from the early morning to the wee hours of the next morning!
It’s not often that I get excited about a guest these days, but I was able to add one more Hammer alumni to my Hammer Films: An Exhaustive Filmography book at the show. That was Janina Faye, who played the young Tania in Horror of Dracula (1958). She is now the fifteenth person to add her signature from people that wrote, directed, or appeared in a Hammer film. Sadly, seven of the names in there have already left us. And since the original studio’s last movie came out almost forty years ago, well… none of us are getting any younger.
Speaking of books, as usual, they played a big part in this weekend. Troy Howarth’s latest title, Human Beasts: The Films of Paul Naschy made its debut at the show. The color editions quickly sold out and most of the regular black and white ones as well. Obviously I’m pretty excited about this getting released, but it has nothing to do with the fact that I had a very small part in it. It is about the celebration of Naschy’s life and his films. Every Naschy fan out there should be excited about this, because at the end of the day, shouldn’t it be all about Naschy’s work and keeping it alive and well? Hopefully it will get some newer fans to check out some of his movies and spark more and more interests in his work. It is as simple as that. That being said, this book looks fantastic and I can’t wait to dig into it. Cover artist Mark Maddox was at the show as well, as well as Rodney Barnett, from the Naschycast, who also wrote a piece in the back of the book, along with his Naschycast co-host, Troy Guinn. Yeah, I know I haven’t read it yet, but I still strongly suggest checking it out.
And while on the subjects of authors, Gregory Mank was there once again. At last year’s show, we talked about his upcoming book on Laird Cregar. A few months ago, I got it once it came out and devoured it inside of a week, which I related to Mank, telling him how much I enjoyed it, as he signed my copy. Mank is definitely one of those that is always working hard to help us fans learn more and more about the genre and the people that work in it. Such a class act.
Another author that was there was a real, honest-to-goodness scientist! I first came across Mark C. Glassy when I stumbled upon his book The Biology of Science Fiction Cinema. Glassy is a cancer immunologist and knows what he’s talking about when he puts some films under the microscope explaining why some of the science in certain movies wouldn’t work, or in some cases would! He was there promoting his latest book, Biology Run Amok!, which continues his teaching on where science ends and science fiction begins. We had a nice little chat while he signed both my copies. I would recommend picking up both of these.
It seems to starting to be a tradition of me desperately trying to stay awake for the Friday Night Mexican horror movie they screen every year, but with about 2 hours of sleep the night before, I just could not stay awake. I was sitting on the aisle and didn’t realize I had fallen asleep until people would ask to get by me. Then I would sit up and then quickly fall right back asleep. One of these times I’ll make it.
But still one of my favorite parts of this show are the fans that come through the door. These are all die-hard monster kids and it is just so much fun having such fun conversations with them, about our favorite movies, books, or actors. I had more than a few of those chats throughout the weekend and it really gives me hope for the current fandom. On Saturday night, I got to hang out with some other new/old friends, like Mark Maddox, Rob Floyd, Vincent Simonelli, and Darryl Mayeski from Screem magazine. We had a great time talking about our favorite films, the state of the genre, and so much more. Good times.
And even better when you can pick up some new little Naschy tidbits for your collection, all thanks to the multi-talented Rob Floyd.
But as usual, it ended too quickly and now are counting the days until the next show. They did announce the theme for their show for next June, which is going to be a Hammer reunion of sorts. And it looks like I’ll be adding one more name to my book. Along with Caroline Munro, Veronica Carlson, Martine Beswicke, who have already signed my book, they will also be having Johnny Alucard himself, Christopher Neame! All four of these star in the newest film from Joshua Kennedy, House of the Gorgon, which will be having the World Premiere at the Bash in June!
Of course, don’t forget that you don’t have to wait until next year for the Bash. There is another one happening on October 19th-21st. So hopefully we’ll see you the next time at the Bash!