Monsterpalooza is creeping up on the horizon. The annual celebration of art, monsters, and movie magic again descends upon The Pasadena Convention Center in southern California this coming April 12-14. Dread Central recently caught up with the convention’s creator, Mr. Eliot Brodsky, in order to discuss its past, present and future.
“Monsterpalooza started as a very small east coast gallery-style show called Maskapalooza in 2018, where we had roughly nine hundred people attend,” Brodsky offered of the show’s humble beginnings, “before expanding its name to Monsterpalooza in 2009 in order to reach a wider audience.”
And reach a wider audience it did. Moving across country and setting up shop at the Marriot Hotel in Burbank, CA, the convention benefitted from the then-recent disappearance of Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors, long a Burbank Marriot staple, and served to fill the massive vacuum which it left.
Horror fans responded with fervor.
“Twenty-eight hundred attendees came out to Monsterpalooza over that three-day period,” recalls Brodsky of the inaugural event, “and many people had nice things to say about the show, and hoped it would return.”
Known internationally as the place to be for fans and professionals of film, makeup, special effects, collectible toys, art and monsters, Monsterpalooza has continued to evolve over the past decade, and having outgrown its digs in Burbank (although it’s fall iteration Son of Monsterpalooza still calls the Marriot ‘home’), it moved to the Pasadena Convention Center in 2016.
Arguably the San Diego Comic Con equivalent of the horror effects world, attendees of Monsterpalooza are able to meet award winning artists behind some of the greatest creatures ever created, as well as peruse a selection of over four-hundred exhibitors selling one-of-a-kind creations, live makeup demonstrations and more.
“Personally I feel horror has always been a wonderful, and always evolving genre,” Brodsky offered of its recent uptick in popularity witnessed within the mainstream. “From Universal classics like Frankenstein and Dracula in the 1930’s and the The Planet of the Apes films in the 1960’s, to the resurgence and explosion of practical effects in the 1980’s with films like An American Werewolf in London and The Howling, my goal with Monsterpalooza was to personally introduce attendees to the creators of these films, as well as to show off their own creations.”
“It’s also nice to know that many of the creatives that participate as exhibitors at our show have found wonderful opportunities working in their desired field,” mused Brodsky. “Guillermo del Toro himself has mentioned Monsterpalooza during many Q&A sessions, when asked how he finds creative talent (for his films).”
When nudged for his own personal highlights, Brodsky offered, “Having seven-time Academy Award winner Rick Baker provide our program cover for 2018, as well as his display in our museum, was a thrill. Not to mention presenting him our Lifetime Achievement Award. If not for people like Rick, Monsterpalooza would not exist.”
As for what attendees can expect of this year’s event, which is expected to draw numbers in the thousands, “Each year the show seems to attract the attention of artists worldwide,” concluded Brodsky. “We have artists from Japan, Australia, China, England and more. I’d like to consider Monsterpalooza 2019 The World’s Fair of Monster Making!” For more info and to purchase tickets (advance tix at $30 and are recommended, as the show often sells out, with lines snaking around the block), visit Monsterpalooza at its official website at http://monsterpalooza.com/spring/index.html and ‘like’ them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MONSTERPALOOZA.
You can check out some highlights from Monsterpalooza 2018 in the video below