The date is the 31st of May, 2009. Let me just say this first and foremost; I go to a shit ton of conventions. Shit ton as in a whole lot of conventions. And believe it or not, I’ve never done a write-up on any of them. I’ve filmed plenty of videos at conventions and talked about them on podcasts and what have you, but never written an article about one.
To be perfectly honest, I’ve never done this because I usually only go to conventions these days to hang out with friends I haven’t seen in a long time and to drink too much and end up hitting on Cerina Vincent (or being hit on by Tiffany Shepis). I couldn’t care less about meeting celebrities anymore or looking through all the independent films booths. I know that makes me a heathen, but hey, I did all that for many years, and now I just want to sit down with a large group of my friends in a drunken stupor and talk about what we saw that day.
However, I just came back from a convention earlier this week that rather tickled me. Monsterpalooza in Burbank, CA. I wasn’t planning on going in all honesty, but I kept getting calls all weekend from good friends who were telling me it was awesome. So I said what the hell and drove down the street to the Burbank Convention Center on a Sunday afternoon not expecting a whole lot.
Let me say now that Sundays are the single worst days for conventions. Everyone usually goes Friday and Saturday, and by Sunday the place has mainly cleared out and there isn’t that much going on. A rather relaxing and peaceful day for a horror convention. But not Monsterpalooza. I walked in and was immediately greeted by Sid Haig and scantily clad women. There’s a bar to the right of me in the middle of the convention floor and the place is packed with black shirts*.
Obviously my first thought was why did I not come to this sooner?! If it is already this cool upon entry on a Sunday, how awesome was it the other two days? My God I’ve made a terrible mistake.
Nonetheless I started walking around to check the place out. This wasn’t just a regular old horror film convention; this was an event to celebrate special effects, monsters, Don Post, Stan Winston, all the greats!
They had this museum set up in the middle of the place that was filled to the brim with almost every famous monster you could think of. Predator, Alien, Dracula, Frankenstein, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the American werewolf, and of course Bruce the shark. I nearly shit my pants.
All the booths were awesome to check out, the vendors all had interesting stuff to be seen, and some kid won a raffle prize of Norris’ head from The Thing. Dude walked past me carrying it on a stick!
To top it all off, I met Marshall Bell of Total Recall and Nightmare on Elm Street 2 fame. I haven’t met an actor in a while that actually made me geek out a little.
All in all this was one damn awesome convention, and I cannot wait until they have another one so I can actually enjoy all three days. Apparently I missed all the best stuff on Saturday night when there was a band and parties to be had. Though I doubt anything can top the Texas Fear Fest where I saw women lighting each other on fire, but I bet this convention could give it a good run for its money.
If you get the opportunity, go to this convention! Just do it. It blows the Fangoria Weekend of Horrors away, as well as most other cons out here on the West Coast. That, and it was the first time I can remember in a long, long time that I actually had fun walking around as just a fan and not a member of the press. That’s the sign of a good convention.
Check out the rest of the pictures below courtesy of the lovely Emma Jacobs!
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*Horror movie fans (99% wear black shirts)