Wednesday, April 22, 2015

This Con Is Going To The Dogs


Without the doubt the most rewarding experiences from MONSTER-MANIA CON XXX centered around ADAM GREEN.  I had been a big fan of his film FROZEN, which if you haven't seen it you owe it to yourself to do so.  Four years ago at MMCON 17 we had FROZEN'S EMMA BELL as a guest back when autographs from stars of THE WALKING DEAD cost less than a week's worth of groceries and we added FROZEN to the film list as I always enjoy possibly exposing good films to fans who may not yet have seen them.  ADAM had gone on to do the HATCHET film series as well as two season of HOLISTON for which he is probably more recognizable to horror film fans. One of the fun things about adding FROZEN to the film list of MMCON XXX was knowing that most likely some fans unfamiliar with the ADAM GREEN film were probably wondering what the hell a Disney film was doing on the MM CON film list.

The email came in from ADAM'S company that he was wrapping up a tour promoting his latest film DIGGING UP THE MARROW and that he was interested in finally attending MM.  I had tried to get ADAM a few times in the past but the timing was never right so I was thrilled to be contacted by him.  I had followed his great success on the horror film convention circuit and was particularly impressed that he is the epitome of fan friendly.  In a time where costs of autograph prices have taken a very ugly and quite frankly greedy turn, it was extremely impressive to learn that ADAM doesn't charge fans for his autograph at all.  I immediately responded that we would be more than happy to add him to the show and offered to help promote DIGGING UP THE MARROW by adding a banner to the MM website.  As he was wrapping up the promotional tour which had him skipping around the country night after night, ADAM was looking to appear on Friday and Saturday and had intended to finally head home on Sunday.

As his assistant and I started working out the details of his stay at MM, I mentioned that ADAM may be interested in sticking around on Sunday because of our CELEBRITY AUCTION FOR THE SAVE A YORKIE RESCUE.  Like myself, I knew ADAM was a devoted owner of a Yorkie which was named after his assistant.  Amusingly, when I was first contacted by his assistant I was already aware that his dog was named Arwen so when I started receiving emails from Arwen on ADAM'S behalf I wondered if he had either somehow mastered the art of teaching his Yorkie to send emails or if he was emailing me under a pseudonym.  It wasn't until talking with him at the show that I learned he had named his pet after his assistant.   Once I sent the information to him about the auction ADAM immediately wanted to be a part of it and changed his appearance schedule to not only attend the convention on Sunday but he wanted to be a part of it. 

In a relatively short period of time I was now communicating back and forth with ADAM and he was totally dedicated to helping the Yorkie Rescue.  To my surprise he decided to auction off a private dinner with him to the highest bidder.  In no time we were promoting the event on MM's social media avenues and getting tremendous support from the horror community on Facebook and Twitter.  The winning bidder won with a $600 bid which ADAM actually matched himself, already raising $1200 for the auction before it had even taken place. Having worked with the SAVE A YORKIE RESCUE for the past seven years I have always been impressed with their dedication to saving the lives of dogs who are truly in need of some love and kindness.  I first encountered Don and Marilyn when I adopted my boy Yogi and have been thrilled to offer an avenue to help raise funds to help them with their cause.  Adding the $1200 that ADAM had raised even before the auction began raised my hopes that we would surpass the record of over $5000 raised at one event for them.

But ADAM was not yet done.  I was stunned when I received an email from him informing me that he wanted to donate an actual screen used hatchet prop from HATCHET II.  Again we promoted this on the various social media outlets and we excitedly anticipated what such an item would raise to help the dogs.  Easily the most generous offer we've ever received for the Yorkies, I was particularly excited because first off it was sure to raise a generous donation for the rescue but it would also provide an exceptional opportunity for a fan to get a screen used prop directly from the director of the film.  Clearly this would become an unforgettable moment in Monster-Mania history.

And it did not disappoint.  It was now Sunday and time for the auction.  The day before ADAM had given one of the most heartfelt and inspiring Q&A with fans, explaining the path he had taken to beat the odds and become a director and explained the importance of the encouragement he had received from DEE SNIDER along the way.  Now he was about to act as auctioneer for the prop he was donating for the cause.  When it came time to put the hatchet up for bidding ADAM took the stage, taking over for our usual host Rob Dimension.  ADAM gave the history of the hatchet explaining that it had been used in a scene in HATCHET II where KANE HODDER in his role as VICTOR CROWLEY wields the prop to repeatedly strike his victim in the face.  ADAM explained that "when you hit someone in the face with a hatchet two or three times it's horror but when you hit them thirty times it's fuckin' hilarious."  The room erupted in laughter and applause and the bidding was now underway.   The bidding started out at about $100 I believe but it quickly began to escalate.  The room was electric and when the bidding hit $500 I watched as Marilyn from the rescue realized what was truly happening.  As the bidding continued everyone in the room could feel the positive vibe that they were part of.  The bidding went past $600, $700, $800.  And it was still going.  The room was buzzing.  People were genuinely excited to be witnessing what was going on and none of this escaped ADAM as he continued to act as auctioneer.  At points it was clear that he was becoming emotionally effected by what was going on and at times even lost the bidding increments as the event proceeded

The moment of truth was at hand.  As the bidding continued the one question now in everyone's mind was would it really hit $1000?  Advancing in increments of $25 it went to $975.  A few bidders were still in game and still had their hands raised at the $975 mark.  Incredulously the amount was now at $1000 and the moment was not lost on anyone, most of all ADAM GREEN.  The room erupted again as he emotionally called out the $1000 mark.  Many in the crowd rose in a standing ovation.  ADAM choked up a bit and the applause continued.  And the bidding continued.  Eventually the winning bid landed at $1200.  Singlehandedly ADAM GREEN had been responsible for raising $2400 for the rescue with his dinner donation and his donation of the HATCHET II prop. 

I have many memories from MONSTER-MANIA CON XXX.  It was fascinating to learn that TERMINATOR II's ROBERT PATRICK slept in his car as he struggled early in his acting career.  It was ironic to learn that SAW's TOBIN BELL realized that he was meant for a career in acting as a child when he feigned an illness and lay on a sewer grate.  He explained that it was then that he realized at the age of only seven that he could control the feelings of adults.  COSTAS MANDYLOR pointed out how that paralleled exactly what he had done in the first SAW film which was the film that launched his iconic horror film character JIGSAW.  It was especially rewarding seeing LIN SHAYE again as at her last appearance at MMCON she was appearing for her supporting roles in films such as NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET and SNAKES ON A PLANE.  Now she had made the remarkable jump to being the lead character in the INSIDIOUS film series.  It's always a great feeling when I see the growing success of stars who have appeared at the show.  But of all the wonderful memories that I've come away with from MMCON XXX, by far the one that stands out above all is the generosity of ADAM GREEN to the fans and the Yorkie rescue.  MMCON was founded with the intention of paying tribute to my late father who was both a horror fan and an animal lover and the memory of what ADAM GREEN did fits in perfectly with what MMCON is truly intended to be all about.

Be sure to support ADAM GREEN at his official website and tune in to his popular podcast THE MOVIE CRYPT.