Darth Vader mingles with the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Bikini-clad contestants strut in front of audiences as arachnids, reptiles, and insects lurk behind glass cages. Ordained actors unite their fans in matrimony. The sleek, modern interior of the Blake Hotel bears witness to these happenings during the three days of the annual Mad Monster Party. Created by filmmakers and co-editors of Mad Monster Magazine Eben McGarr and Joe Moe, the convention presents a family-friendly celebration of horror films through celebrity guests, special events, vendors, and screenings.
Meet and greets let attendees shake hands and trade self-autographed headshots with storied sci-fi and horror actors such as Rutger Hauer, Linda Blair, and Brad Dourif alongside other celebrities such as Marky Ramone and Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley. Screenings include the director's cut of Nightbreed and other cult films, paired with horror-themed twists on speed dating and karaoke. A monster-mask-making competition tests artistic prowess, and live music and displays of silver-screen vehicles such as the '58 Plymouth Fury from Christine and the Duel truck can frighten serial jaywalkers into rehabilitation. Mad Monster Party hosts many of its events at the 100-year-old Haunted Mill, which also thrills weekend guests with full-run tours comprised of 40 live actors and special effects.