Retro in Feel With Modern Technique, Monsterpalooza Takes Over Pasadena

‘The Monster was the best friend I ever had’ – Boris Karloff


Makeup artist works on his project - Photo by Craig Hammons
Makeup artist works on his project – Photo by Craig Hammons

Zombies, ghouls and goblins walked the streets of Pasadena last week to get to their favorite show of the year, Monsterpalooza.  This was the first year it was being held at the Pasadena Convention Center. The move from the Burbank Marriott allowed for more vendors, monsters and stars without the feeling of being too over crowded.

This year’s show had everything a monster geek could ask for with a well-organized signing area which included Linda Blair, Adrienne Barbeau, Britt Ekland, Fred Williamson to name a few.  The line to meet and greet Linda Blair was long all day but I got to see my old friend Kimmy Robertson (Lucy from Twin Peaks).  There were members of the Boris Karloff family, the Vincent Price family and the Bela Lugosi family all keeping the family name alive or dead.

When you first enter the Center there is a Hollywood Horror Museum which featured a walk-in environment representing all aspects of horror films, TV and art.  You got be up close and personal with the pieces that we all know from Batman, to Michael Jacksons Thriller Zombies and even Kurt Cobain with King Kong.
Besides what was going on in the main exhibit hall they had a theatre, 3D exhibit, VHS swap meet and nice lounge to relax after being chased by monsters all day.

Of Monsters and Music - Photo by Craig Hammons
Of Monsters and Music – Photo by Craig Hammons

The main attraction is the makeup artist that shared their secrets of magic with latex, silicone, liquid hair, body art ink and fake blood.  Some of the world’s top body painters were doing live paintings that showed off their talent in an amazing way.  Some of the models sat for hours while they were being made up.  The zombies were out of this world and so realistic you swear the walking dead was after you.

I got to meet award winning make-up artist Kenny Myers who has a resume that dates back to 1979 and has been the main make-up artist for Pirates of the Caribbean, Austin Powers and most recently Bridge of Spies.  He was busy turning Ryan Kelley aka Teen Wolf into a mutated lion creature.  He was very kind to spend some time with us explaining his craft.

20160423_142913But besides all the professionals, stars, vendors of all sorts from Creepy Babies to mask makers, the real stars are the people who attend Monsterpalooza.  These are the real people who love the genre so much that they come dressed as their favorite monster.

This year the biggest monsters of them all Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were seen walking together thru the crowd.  I even saw a female Elvis zombie with more cleavage that Adrienne Barbeau.    They had many workshops throughout the day that included a celebration of the Wolf Man turning 75 and a Greg Cannon presentation covering 40 years of character makeup and monsters.   There was even a Godzilla panel which included the original Godzilla suit actor Haruo Nakajima.

So all you lovers of the mad, mysterious and macabre be sure to get your Frankenstein on at the next Monsterpalooza.    You are in luck as Son of Monsterpalooza will be held at the Burbank Marriott Hotel and Convention Center on September 12-14 2016.

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