Things to Do

Your Guide to Mad Monster Party Arizona 2022: Guests, Schedule, and More

Some of the misfits of Mad Monster Party Arizona.
Some of the misfits of Mad Monster Party Arizona. Benjamin Leatherman
Everyone loves a good scare now and again. Hence the longstanding popularity of the horror genre, including flicks like the recently released hit The Black Phone or TV shows like Stranger Things. Events like the annual Mad Monster Party Arizona, a weekend-long local horror fandom convention, also tap into this love for the genre.

The event, which has taken place in the Valley since 2014, features three days of actors and artists associated with the horror genre, as well as vendors and programming. This year’s edition runs from Friday, July 8, to Sunday, July 10, at the Renaissance Phoenix Glendale Hotel.

Kevin Blanchfield, one of Mad Monster Party Arizona’s organizers, told Phoenix New Times in 2017 that the con is aimed at all sorts of horror aficionados, regardless of their fandom level.

“There are the guys that are die-hard horror fans that will come out in droves and the more casual fans who just know who Jason Voorhees is,” Blanchfield said. “We cater to both crowds.”

Which is why the crowds at Mad Monster Party Arizona tend to be diverse. There are cosplayers and punks. Mumblegore fans and slasher film geeks. Suburban families and tattooed freaks. Each is there to have a bloody good time celebrating their love of horror while interacting with celebrities and other fans.

The atmosphere tends to be energetic (hence the “party” in the event’s name) but nowhere near as hectic as other local conventions.

“We keep our show at a smaller level and try to create different experiences from those large comicons,” Blanchfield said.

Mad Monster Party Arizona 2022 will feature such celebrity guests as Neve Campbell from Scream and Twin Peaks actress Sherilyn Fenn. If you’re game to attend, what follows is an extensive guide to the event, including prices and other important details.

When and Where Is Mad Monster Party Arizona 2022?

The three-day event will haunt the Renaissance Phoenix Glendale Hotel, 9495 West Coyotes Boulevard in Glendale, from Friday, July 8, to Sunday, July 10.

What Are the Hours?

That depends on which part of the event you’re talking about. Mad Monster Pary's vendor room will be open from 6 to 11 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Q&A panels and photo ops will go until 11 p.m. on Friday, 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 4:45 p.m. on Sunday. There are also nighttime and after-hours activities like Scaraoke and the MADame Monster pageant. (See the full schedule below for more info.)

How Much Is Admission?

Tickets are only available at the door. Single-day admission is $40 on Friday or Sunday, and $50 on Saturday. If you’d like to go all three days, a “SHRIEKend” pass is $90. Hit up an ATM before heading to the event, as they'll only accept cash.
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Lil' Jason Voorhees at a previous edition of Mad Monster Party Arizona.
Benjamin Leatherman

Are There Age Limits?

No. Mad Monster Party Arizona is an all-ages event and kids under 12 are free with a paid adult admission. Be warned, though, the event focuses on horror, which could be a little extreme for children. Certain after-hours activities (like the MADame Monster pageant) might get a bit risque.

Will Mad Monster Party Have Any COVID-19 Restrictions?

There are no official policies listed on the event’s website. That said, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing a properly fitted N95 mask when attending public gatherings or events. Additionally, anyone who feels sick or is showing COVID-19 symptoms would be smart to stay home.

Where Can I Park?

It's free to park at any of the thousands of spaces available at Westgate Entertainment District. Things get pretty busy on the weekends so you might have to hunt for a spot. Parking is also available in the hotel’s multi-level structure for $10 a day.

What Food and Drink Options Are Available?

The hotel has a fast-casual cafe called Ray's and the more upscale restaurant Soleil. Westgate is also within walking distance and has more than a dozen eating and drinking establishments. Fast-food joints like Carl’s Jr. and fast-casual options like Chipotle are also nearby.

What Vendors Will Be There?

According to the Mad Monster Party website, the dealers' room will host more than 120 vendors during the event. The selection will include retailers like Bookmans and Zia Records, artists (Immortal Illustrations, Cult Creep Art), and publishers (Blood Bound Books, Pallbearer Press). There will also be a few local tattoo studios, haunted attractions, apparel companies, toy shops, and prop-makers. A full list of vendors is available here.

What Celebrity Guests Are Appearing This Year?

Scream’s Neve Campbell, Sherilyn Fenn from Twin Peaks, and Machete’s Danny Trejo top the list of celebrity guests scheduled to be at the event. The actors behind such horror icons as Jason Voorhees (Kane Hodder), Michael Meyer (Nick Castle), and the Cryptkeeper (John Nassir) will also appear. Other notable names include Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton of Re-Animator, Sky Elobar and Michael St. Michaels from The Greasy Strangler, and Ken Foree from Dawn of the Dead. Guests won’t be limited strictly to the horror genre as Rugrats voice actress E.G. Daly and Robert Carradine, Don Gibb, and Brian Tochi from Revenge of the Nerds will also be on hand.

How Much Are Celebrity Autographs and Photo Ops?

It depends. Celebrity guests will pose with guests during professional photo ops throughout the weekend, which can be purchased at the event and will cost anywhere from $40 to $100 or more. Certain guests will also offer selfies at their table, as well as autographs. Prices will also vary for each.

What Programming Is Planned?

Several high-profile guests have Q&A panels scheduled throughout the weekend, including Campbell, Trejo, Fenn, and Hodder. There will also be panels focusing on specific films featuring multiple actors, like Sunday’s Revenge of the Nerds Q&A with Carradine, Gibb, and Tochi. Other activities include a charity auction and costume contests.
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Didn't we see y'all in The Shining?
Benjamin Leatherman

What Kind of Costume Should You Wear?

Given Mad Monster Party’s horror bent, attendees tend to dress like characters from Stranger Things, The Walking Dead, Saw, Get Out, and numerous other films and television shows from the genre. (You’re free to wear costumes inspired by other genres and fandoms, though.) And if you’ve got a great get-up, a cosplay contest for adults will take place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, followed by a separate competition for kids at 4 p.m. on Sunday. Both will offer cash prizes.

What’s the Schedule?

Here’s a complete rundown of what’s happening and when all three days of Mad Monster Party Arizona 2022.

Friday, July 8:
Doors open at 6 p.m.

7 p.m. – Tom Devlin Q&A panel
7:15 p.m. – Revenge of the Nerds photo ops (groups and singles)
7:30 p.m. – Spencer Charnas photo op
8 p.m. – Ken Foree Q&A panel; Sherilyn Fenn photo op
8:30 p.m. – Deborah Foreman and E.G. Daily photo op
9 p.m. – Greasy Strangler Q&A panel; John Kassir photo op
9:30 p.m. – Nick Castle photo op
9:45 p.m. – Robert Rusler photo op
10 p.m. – Robert Rusler Q&A panel
11 p.m. – Mad Monster Scaraoke

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Scream and Party of Five actress Neve Campbell.
Saturday, July 9
Doors open at 11 a.m.

Noon – Danny Trejo Q&A panel; Sherilyn Fenn photo op
12:30 p.m. – Spencer Charnas photo
1 p.m. – Danny Trejo photo op
1:15 p.m. – Kane Hodder Q&A panel
2:15 p.m. – Nick Castle Q&A panel
2:15 p.m. – John Kassir photo op
2:45 p.m. – Robert Rusler photo op
3:15 p.m. – Neve Campbell photo op; Re-Animator Q&A panel with Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton
4:15 p.m. – Voiceover panel feat. E.G. Daily and John Kassir
4:30 p.m. – Jeffrey Combs, Ken Foree, Barbara Crampton photo ops (groups and singles)
4:45 p.m. – Nick Castle photo op
5:15 p.m. – Deborah Foreman Q&A panel
5:30 p.m. – Deborah Foreman and E.G. Daily single photo op
6 p.m. – Revenge of the Nerds photo ops (groups and singles); Mad Monster charity auction
7 p.m. – Adult costume contest
8:15 p.m. – MADame Monster pageant
9:30 p.m. – Mad Monster Scaraoke

Sunday, July 10
Doors open at 11 a.m.

11:30 a.m. – Nick Castle photo op
Noon – Neve Campbell Q&A panel
12:15 p.m. – Jeffrey Combs, Ken Foree, Barbara Crampton photo ops (groups and singles)
12:30 p.m. – Spencer Charnas photo op
12:45 p.m. – Revenge of the Nerds photo ops (groups and singles)
1 p.m. – Revenge of the Nerds Q&A panel with Robert Carradine, Don Gibb, and Brian Tochi
1:15 p.m. – Neve Campbell photo op
2 p.m. – Rochelle Davis Q&A; John Kassir photo op
2:15 p.m. – Rochelle Davis photo op
2:45 p.m. – Danny Trejo photo op
3 p.m. – Sherilyn Fenn Q&A panel
3:30 p.m. – Deborah Foreman and E.G. Daily single photo ops
4 p.m. – Sherilyn Fenn photo op; Kids costume contest
4:15 p.m. – Robert Rusler photo op
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.