Motor city nightmares has become one of my semi regular stops – it’s not one of the can’t-miss events on my convention circuit, but it seems like I’ve been showing up there more often than not for a few years now. The consistently impressive guest lists in addition to the relatively easy two hour drive and low cost have kept me coming back to this one.
Inflation keeps hitting, but I can’t help but notice most of the guests here are keeping the prices down to around $30 – and even bigger names are reasonable, I expected Udo Kier to be charging more than $40 and even the Walking Dead folks are only charging $30 for signature… Though they were adding on an extra $20 if you wanted to take a photo with them (got a find some way to gouge!).
Speaking of the Walking Dead cast – Xander Berkeley was bizarrely jovial. He is friendly and funny and the absolute opposite of the dire character he plays on the show. Xander is positively goofy… I followed another person in line who had the exact same poster as me, marked up in much the same way. I presented mine and said “I’ve got the same thing but smaller”. Without missing a beat, he smiled and replied “Well I’m sorry to hear that!”. He asked about my Fulchi T-shirt, inquiring if it was a band or not. I’m a little appalled that I had to explain who Lucio Fulchi was (to both him and Pollyanna Macintosh), on the other hand it’s kind of cool being the person who gets introduced them to the legendary filmmaker. He told me a strange story about being at a party once more the DJ pulled out an interesting techno beat with a sample that just keep repeating “I am a zombie… I am a zombie “… I hypothesized it was likely Mantan Mooreland’ voice and that the sample was likely from King of the Zombies. The film is still in the public domain. We joked a bit more and I moved along to Pollyanna, again friendly and charming though not quite as talkative. Xander is one of those people who can practically hold both sides of a conversation all by himself.
I’ve got to express some shock that Malcolm McDowell’s line wasn’t longer. He signs quick, but doesn’t push you through and will chat with you for as long as you like. A couple of friends of mine got to him earlier and got into long discussion about Russian history of all things!I’ve corresponded with McDowell through the mail before so the last time we were at a convention together I was actually going to pass his table by – took a while to make up my mind that I really ought to run over there and get a picture. By the time I had decided, he was gone from the table… doing a panel or a meal break or something along those lines… He didn’t make it back before I had to leave. I’m grateful I got my chance to connect with him this time.
Also on my hit list this time around was Nancy Loomis – the last cast member that I needed from the original Halloween (unless of course some bizarre twist of fate finds me a way to get Jamie Lee Curtis autograph on this poster – HorrorHound tried a few years ago but that didn’t work out well). As we were chatting, I saw a flash of blue and white fro mteh corner of my eye and realized Michael Myers was right behind us. I asked if he’d join us for a photo. Some opportunities you just don’t pass up!
I love that MCN focuses so heavily on programming as well. There’s always a panel and two movies going on at any time. I actually made a point of catching some of the short films going on (Bong of the Living Dead was far less comical than I had expected and Finis was just heartbreaking) while making sure to attend the panels. I actually wandered out of the Walking Dead panel because honestly, there wasn’t much there that I hadn’t already heard from the same people on Talking Dead. However the Iconic monster panel with Ken Kirzenger, Johnathan Brecht and Eugen Clarke was a great deal of fun. Eugene is a character and a lot of fun to listen to and big presence in the panel too, – odd since most of the questions were directed at Johnathan and Ken.
Sid Haig and Bill Forsythse’s panel may have had a Devils Rejects introduction, but it was really just two old friends chatting about thier experiences in the industry. Sid is a real gift to the horror community and it’s always fun to hear him speak. He even had a Star Trek story this time around! “When I did Star Trek everyone was tryign to quit smoking. All of them had the nicotine gum and it was almost every take the director would scream at them to spit out the gum. So between one take, Bill Shatner, being the joker he was, he grabbed a bunch of bubble gum. Double Bubble, Hubba Bubba, whatever. He handed it out to everyone on set and the second the director called ‘action!’ everyone turned around, blowing a bubble at him.”
I caught my friend Brandi in the parking lot. She and her husband live up near this con – it’s about the same drive for them as Cinema Wasteland is for me. The diffrence is, Motor City is definately beginning to outgrow it’s space. I’m glad she mentioned it to me because I know I’m not the only one seeing it. the bottleneck as you enter is really rough and inside, it’s frequently shoulder to shoulder. Honestly, I’m not staying as long as I usually would because it’s just too crowded. As much as I prefer hotel shows, it may just be about time for MCN to expand to another location where they can continue to grow.
Happy 10th anniversary MCN! Here’s to 10 more!