The annual Mad Monster Party horror convention returned to Charlotte, North Carolina for its third incarnation this past weekend, featuring over 30 celebrity guests, including William Shatner (Star Trek, The Twilight Zone), Corey Feldman (Dream a Little Dream, The Goonies), Henry Winkler (Happy Days, Scream), and Elvira (Mistress of the Dark), in addition to three days of film screenings, Q&A panels, and more.
The horror comedy Smothered, written and directed by John Schneider (The Dukes of Hazzard), had its world premiere screening Friday night, while pro wrestlers Hulk Hogan and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper reminisced about their classic feud from the ’80s during a special panel moderated by “Mean” Gene Okerlund on Sunday.
Other guests in attendance included Caroline Williams (Days of Thunder), Heather Langenkamp (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Sid Haig (The Devil’s Rejects), Ken Foree (Dawn of the Dead), and Barry Bostwick (The Rocky Horror Picture Show), among many others.
Williams remarked to us about how much Charlotte has changed since she was in the area to film Days of Thunder (1990) more than 20 years ago.
“It’s changed so much, I hardly recognize it,” she said of Charlotte. “But I love it here.”
Bostwick also spoke to us briefly about working in Wilmington in 1996 on the TV movie A Different Kind of Christmas.
“It was hot,” Bostwick said. “We were doing Christmas in July, with all the winter clothes and everything, and it was hot. But I love Wilmington. It’s a beautiful place.”
When we told makeup and special effects legend Tom Savini (Dawn of the Dead, From Dusck Till Dawn) about the possible expiration this year of North Carolina’s film incentive program, Savini, who made an unreleased horror film called Blood Bath in Franklin, North Carolina, in 2002, remarked simply, “But what will happen to Wilmington?”
Promoter Joe Moe told us that the Mad Monster Party will return to Charlotte next year.
“We will remain in Charlotte,” Moe said. “We picked this area because we researched where there was the market but not anything like this happening. As soon as we visited here, we knew this was the right place. We love it here, and we will be back.”
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