One, Two… Freddy will sign for you.
Three, Four… want to buy some more.
Five, Six… Monte’s Band will play some licks.
Seven, Eight… gonna stay out late.
Nine, Ten… going to Monsterpalooza again.
The real version of this song haunted many people while we watched one the most iconic movies of the 1980’s- A Nightmare on Elm Street. Thirty three years later, hundreds of fans flocked to the Pasadena Convention Center for the opportunity to meet Robert Englund aka Freddy Krueger and have him sign something and pose for a picture. All this and so much more happens at Monsterpalooza each year.
The Pasadena Convention Center has been the new and more spacious home for Monsterpalooza for the past couple of years and it is so much fun. This convention has a different mix than some of the other Horror or Halloween Conventions around. One of my favorite aspects is the make-up portion. Demos and products are sprinkled throughout the floor and draw attendees to all corners of the room. This year a fan favorite, The Lost Boys was featured in panels and makeup renditions. Ve Neill and some of the others who created the makeup for the movie 30 years ago, recreated the 4 rock & roll vampires from The Lost Boys at the PPI Booth. WOW! The re-creation was just amazing. It was like going back to 1987!
Other creatures were created at different makeup booths and then strolled through the aisles showing off their new look. We were able to observe some of the creatures in the various steps of application and creation and finally to fruition. An incarnation of Herman Munster from the TV Show The Munsters, corralled Brett into the spotlight and posed for a picture. Brett has never looked so short. Rick Galigher was transformed into this bird like woodland creature and he even strutted around on stilts. Pretty cool! The talent and creativity that is showcased is just fabulous and inspiring to see. Of course when you look at what these talented people have created, you must add that palette that they used to your make-up toolbox. So yeah I did just that. A really cool item that we have used for years is tooth stain. Now it too is in a palette form and I can’t wait try it out. Enough about make-up, let’s talk about the other awesome treats at Monsterpalooza.
Buy it, see it or just look at it, but it is everywhere and I mean everywhere. What is it? Everything Horror, which is why people come to Monsterpalooza. I would say the love of movies is the most common thread tying those together attending the show. It can be a classic horror flick or the newest scary release coming soon and you will find something to draw you in. I am a huge Sam fan from Trick ‘r’ Treat and there were plenty of goodies for me to ogle over. Then there are things you never have seen before that you are drawn to. Like this amazing crown I found that would be fabulous for a costume. Midnight Syndicate’s music is a must have for your next Scary Bash or for even just a night at home chilling with some friends. So I added another one of their CD’s to my music collection. You just never know what you will find amongst the tables of the 100’s of vendors. Money is what you need lots of!
Each year there is a museum with props and a variety mediums from movies, television shows and creative people based on one form or another of horror. A familiar voice exclaimed “No flash photography” as we entered the museum. To my delight before me was a Haunted Mansion facade. Just beyond the velvet ropes the display transformed from a dimly lit display to a full-fledged light up and glowing Hat Box Ghost and Bride. No flash was needed and you would miss the wonder of this display if you did.
Suzi Hale sculpted a full-sized werewolf head while attending Don Landing’s Making Monsters 101 class and it was showcased in the museum. Full of details, but my favorite is the drool. Amazing job Suzi! Alien vs. Predator, The Howling, Jaws and even classic Beauty and the Beast were represented in the museum. One of the most bizarre things I remember about the museum is that some of the things in the museum look so real that you think they are. You can spend as much or as little time in the museum, but I recommend lots of time for there is so much to see. Take a double look!
I touched a tad on the signing aspect of this convention regarding Robert Englund. By the way, he signed for the entire day to make sure everyone in line got their time with him and no one missed out. Now don’t forget a fee is charged for the opportunity to get something signed and a photograph taken, but I will say there was not a shortage of people shelling out the money to do just that. Some other Horror celebrities were Cassandra Peterson aka Elvira, Kane Hodder aka Jason and William Katt aka The Greatest American Hero. Some of these special guests also have panels where attendees ask questions and hear what is up and coming for them, but I did not make it any of the panels or movie screenings this year. Trust me there were many many more, but these were just some of the highlights for me to sneak a peek at.
Throughout the room another aspect floods the floor… costumes. Attendees, old and young dress up as their favorite or as an iconic character of the Horror genre. Masks hide the faces, contact lenses change the eyes and blood drips off the shirt of the thing standing next to you. Often you may turn to your right and see some creature, be startled and the next thing you know you are getting a huge hug from that creature, who is actually your friend, that you didn’t even know was them. As in other conventions where people dress up, there is a lot of pride and sense of accomplishment when they strut around the floor and are asked to take pictures with random strangers.
All good things must come to an end, but not at Monsterpalooza on a Saturday night. As the sun goes down and the show floor lights dim, the Afterlife party is ready to begin. Monte Revolta and his band of the Living Dead rocked the house with tributes to some of our favorite Horror iconic movies such as The Exorcist, The Lost Boys and The Shining. If you have never seen Monte Revolta’s band you are missing out. They take popular songs, arrange them and entertain their guests in creepy renditions of the songs. Monte has a scary sidekick Rotley and they have a shtick that you have to experience. So worth the price of admission.
On this Saturday night there was a special award given, the 2nd Annual Fright-Time Achievement Award presented to Ve Neill the make-up legend. But here is the kicker to this presentation… there was a guest presenter of this award. It was Paul Reubens aka Pee Wee Herman as the presenter. Oh man! There he was just feet away sharing stories and appreciation to Ve for her hard work within the industry. In case you are not familiar with her work, Ve has transformed Robin Williams into Mrs. Doubtfire, turned Johnny Depp into Edward Scissorhands and most recently recreated Pee Wee Herman for Pee Wee’s Big Holiday. What great accomplishments for Ve in the past 40 years and we can’t wait to see what she is up to next. Congratulations!
It was a long day and night, but we saw so much and had a scary good time. There is so much to see and do and buy at Monsterpalooza every year. It is definitely not one to miss. It will be back in Pasadena in 2018 for its 10th Anniversary. Can’t wait!
Renee lives in a small suburb of Los Angeles with her husband. Each day she crosses the border into Orange County to go to her desk at a large HR outsourcing company. If you catch her in an elevator, she will usually check out your shoes and wonder where you got them. Renee enjoys most things Halloween, taking photos everywhere she goes, bouncing around theme parks and listening to her rock music at very high decibels. FOLLOW @rcsbelle on Twitter FOLLOW her blog: https://rcsbelle.wordpress.com