Vampires, goblins and werewolves, oh my! April 22 was not the typical night for any lover of horror. I put my Freddy Krueger sweater dress on with my tall brown boots and was ready to submerge into the fandom that was found at the eighth annual three-day Monsterpalooza horror convention created by Monsterpalooza President Elio Brodsky.
It was held for the first time at the Pasadena Convention Center, which allowed for additional vendors and artists. Previously it was held at the Marriott Burbank Hotel and Convention Center.
There were many special guests on-hand for photo and autograph opportunities such as Linda Blair from “The Exorcist” and C. Thomas Howell from “The Outsiders” but not without a $40 price tag.
Families of late horror icons, referred to as Hollywood Horror Royalty, were present with their own booths like the families of Lon Chaney, Vincent Price and Boris Karloff.
Special effect artists had booths where they did demonstrations and transformed anyone interested into incredible monsters, showcasing their creative talent.
I enjoyed checking out all of the vendors in the exhibit halls, especially the artists. I purchased a print of a demented Harley Quinn holding a voodoo doll of the Joker from Ghoulish Bunny Studios. This piece caught my attention because Harley Quinn and the Joker are my favorite characters in the DC Universe, and I enjoy art pieces with a dark interpretation.
My parents purchased a framed print from artist Terry Wolfinger depicting a scene from the 1967 stop motion animated comedy “Mad Monster Party” conceptualized as realistic people featuring the characters Frankenstein, Dracula and the Invisible Man.
My family also bought handmade Haunted Mansion soaps for our bathroom and tiki glasses modeled after Gill-Man from “Creature from the Black Lagoon” and the shrunken head character from “Beetlejuice.”
There was a pop-up museum in one of the rooms featuring movie props. The outfit worn by John Carroll Lynch for the character Twisty the Clown from “American Horror Story: Freak Show” was showcased in that pop-up museum.
I ran into one of my leads at the Downtown Disney stores I work at who was also attending the event for the first time with her family.
“My favorite part was meeting one of my favorite monsters,” Kristine Fujinami, Ontario resident, said. “I met Philip Friedman who plays the bride in black in the first ‘Insidious’ movie. This was my first time attending Monsterpalooza, but it definitely will not be my last; I had a lot of fun.”
For those who have attended the previous conventions, they were able to compare the difference with the new location.
“This is my second year going,” Hilda Mendoza, Los Angeles resident, said. “I like the new venue because it is bigger and all of the events are in the same building. I loved seeing the actors from the horror movies.”
Attending Monsterpalooza is a tradition for some, especially when forming friendships with other horror lovers.
“I have been coming to Monsterpalooza for the past seven years and am attending all three days this weekend,” Maurilio Ponce, Upland resident, said. “I love catching up with friends and checking out the make-up demos.”
I will, without a doubt, be found at the next Monsterpalooza convention. It was well organized with many talented individuals. Next time I will have to buy another art piece to add to my collection and plan another horror themed outfit.
Jennifer Jackson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.