News Article

News Article

We Experience Monsterpalooza 2012

Last weekend saw Monsterpalooza 2012 roll into Burbank. The fourth annual celebration of all things monstrous -- from the folks who design them to the men who dress up as them to the heroes and heroines who are menaced by them -- proved to be the biggest one yet. After the jump, check out a photo gallery of the fantastic creatures on display and read our report on the show.

Note: Be sure to enlarge the above gallery for maximum monster enjoyment... Monsterpalooza 2012 had a range of guests from all manner of creature feature -- aliens, serial killers, vampires, werewolves, zombies -- including special cast and crew reunion tributes to An American Werewolf in London and Fright Night, and a return visit from the cast of Return of the Living Dead. Making their first appearance at the show were Suspiria and Phantom of the Paradise's Jessica Harper, Planet of the Apes' Linda Harrison, and my own favorite Hammer heroine, Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter's Caroline Munro. And attendees were treated to a lineup of programming from Screamfest, as well as a presentation from notable festival filmmakers like Toby Wilkins (Splinter) Jason R. Miller (Frozen), and Christian Beckam (Infected). Most signing guests were located in the Marriott and in the convention center's parlor rooms. 

The turnout was evident from the moment one pulled into the Burbank Airport Marriott Hotel & Convention Center. I arrived on Saturday around 2 PM, and it took me a good twenty minutes to find a spot int eh parking lot. Many attendees wisely chose to park in the lot across the street from the show and walk over, as a good quarter of the convention center's parking lot was closed off to them. After parking, I noticed that the line of fans waiting to enter the convention wrapped around the building (it was just as long when I left hours later). Once I got in, I saw that the front lobby of the convention center and the paths through the exhibit hall were jam-packed. Mostly this was due to the huge number of attendees, but many of the makeup effects studios on hand performed live makeup demos, which always seemed to gather a large crowd of onlookers that stopped traffic dead. Add to this the long line of folks waiting to get into the Monsterpalooza Museum (many displays from which can be viewed in the above gallery), and it was obvious that Monsterpalooza, in just its fourth year, had far outgrown the convention center. 

One solution to the traffic problem may be a second convention with which to spread the love. So the organizers have just announced a Son of Monsterpalooza, scheduled to take place the weekend of October 26th through 28th, again at the Burbank Airport Marriott Hotel & Convention Center. Of course, since that will be the weekend before Halloween, I'd expect throngs of newcomers at the con getting into the spirit of the season, and perhaps a good deal of folks in town for the nearby Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights. As announced in this year's program book (much slicker and glossier than those in past years -- another sign of growth), next year's Monsterpalooza will also take place in April, dates TBD.