Another great Monster Mania weekend has passed. One highlight for me was having my copy of Chain Saw Confidential – How We Made the World’s Most Notorious Horror Movie signed by the author Gunnar Hansen, who played Leatherface in the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The book chronicles his experience in making the classic film. It joins other books on my shelves penned by such horror legends as Kane Hodder and Robert Englund.
Another person I was looking forward to meeting was Victoria Price, the daughter of the late horror icon, Vincent Price. She signed a lobby card of her and her father and posed for a picture. I sat through her presentation of “Vincent Price Remembered” which I found fascinating. Vincent’s grandson Jody was also in attendance, as he resides in New Jersey.
The program was a refreshing change from the usual question and answer panels. Victoria spoke not only of her father’s film career, but also of his private life. Vincent was an avid deep sea fisherman and art lover. When he first heard the audience voice their displeasure at his turn as a villain in a stage production, that was when he knew what type of character he wanted to play. Their booing encouraged him to seek other such roles.
Victoria recalled trick or treating in Beverly Hills as a child. Her father would accompany her, and he delighted in providing scares along the way. She also revealed that he would read bedtime stories, but none of the scary variety.
The presentation included slides to accompany Victoria’s narration. At the conclusion was a clip of Vincent speaking at the roast of Bette Davis. An hour didn’t seem long enough to summarize a life well lived. This was my favorite part of the convention, so much so that I was inspired to add a few Vincent Price films to my video library.
Monster Mania also featured a Cujo reunion, which included a question and answer panel with stars Dee Wallace, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Danny Pintauro, and director Lewis Teague. I learned from the director that 11 dogs were used in the film, 1 Rottweiler and the rest St. Bernards. Although the movie took place in the high heat of the summer, in reality the actors were freezing during the shoot and Dee Wallace said the animal actors were cared for more than their human counterparts.
I thoroughly enjoyed the behind the scenes look at Cujo. Actress and animal lover Dee Wallace generously donated an autographed picture to me, which I will give to Pet Savers (a Gloucester County organization) for a future raffle benefitting local animals. Her gift was very much appreciated.
The convention was crowded as usual, but I managed to accomplish what I set out to do. My book was signed and I met Victoria Price. The panels and autograph were added bonuses I did not expect. I learned more about iconic films and the actors who starred in them. Who knew horror conventions could be educational as well as fun?