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Take a Trip to the Best Monster Convention in the West!

Written by: Elliott Thomas

This weekend I took a trip to visit Eliot Brodsky's Monsterpalooza convention in Burbank, CA. The show has quickly become the premiere destination for monster movie fans on the West Coast. It's a gathering that celebrates the art of monsters. The three day show brings together some of the biggest stars, the most talented artists and the people who love them. Let's take a look inside the show to see what it's all about.

Celebrating the Art of Monsters:

Monsterpalooza was created many years ago, and since it's humble beginnings it has grown bigger and better with each passing year. The positive buzz around this show is tremendous and I finally decided that I needed to see what it's all about. It is a wonderful gathering place for artists and the people who love them to come together and celebrate our mutual appreciation for the monster movie genre.

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In this photo we see a young man being transformed into Eddie, the monster mascot of the heavy metal band Iron Maiden. The artists working on this creation were among several companies, schools and individuals that were present at the event. This illustrious list includes such well known names as the Stan Winston School of Character Arts, the Cinema Makup School, and the legendary Dick Smith Special Makeup Effects Training School. This convention is definitely the place to be for anyone looking to get their start in makeup effects, but it's also a great place for anyone who loves and appreciates this art form.

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Here we see Eddie in his final form. This version of Eddie comes from the classic Iron Maiden song called "The Trooper." He has been featured on album covers, T-Shirts and other merchandise. This real life recreation is easily the best version of the character I have ever seen, even rivaling those found at Iron Maiden concerts.

Monster Merchandise:

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Monsterpalooza is a shopper's paradise. I arrived at the show with only my cameras and I left with an enormous bundle of incredibly cool swag! In this photo we see some amazing monster candles created by sculptor James Bonner. Amazingly enough Mr. Bonner is a self taught sculpting prodigy. It is almost a shame to burn these incredible creations. Luckily the sculptures were also available in a more permanent, statue bust form.

The selection of merchandise available from vendors at the show was truly outstanding. From rare movies on every format from VHS to Bluray, to posters and other movie collectibles, to vintage toys and even high end artwork. There was definitely something for everyone and every budget.

Special Events:

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Monsterpalooza was packed with special events. There was always something to do and see from open to close. Some of the best events at the show included an all-star tribute to Dick Smith, a retrospective on Bob Burns, and a special screening of House of Wax in 3D, hosted by the LA 3-D Club and introduced by Victoria Price, daughter of Vincent Price. Fans also got a behind the scenes look at American Horror Story, live Makeup Demos, and a look at the history of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios.

Celebrities:

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Of course the biggest draw of the show was the celebrity signing area. The huge assortment of famous faces was a dream come true for autograph hounds like myself. This was a once in a life time chance to rub elbows with some of the biggest names in movies and TV history. Notable celebrities included Sonny Chiba, Linda Blair, Linnea Quigley, Cloris Leachman, Julie Adams, Sybil Danning, Sarah Douglas, Margot Kidder, Yaphet Koto, Michael Biehn, Jennette Goldstein, Joe Polito, Howard Sherman, Michael Gross and the incredible George A Romero! Mr. Romero was easily the most popular celebrity at the show. Rivaled only by Sonny Chiba who also brought out fans in droves.

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The greatest moment of the show for me was having George A. Romero sign a copy of my latest pulp project, Zine of the Living Dead. This zine is a testament to my personal love of the zombie movie genre. Meeting Mr. Romero was truly an honor. This is the man who created the modern zombie movie genre. Despite his legendary status he is a surprisingly gracious, humble and incredibly sincere person. You can tell that he really appreciates the love and devotion of his many fans. After he signed my copy of Zine of the Living Dead I was almost speechless. I will always remember this wonderful moment in my life.

Take a Tour of the Monsterpalooza Museum:

Take a video tour of the Monsterpalooza Museum. Step inside and take a look at all the terrifying exhibits on display. See life size creations from Westworld, The Watchmen Movie, Tron, Dracula, Creepshow and more! See incredible animtronics, magnificent mannequins and super scary masks from all your favorite films. The museum featured creations by some of the most talented artists in the motion picture and makeup effects industry. It was all set to the music of Midnight Syndicate.

Until Next Time...

I had an amazing time at Monsterpalooza. It was my first visit to the show but it definitely will not be my last. There is one more thing that I feel needs to be mentioned in this article. The celebrities, artists, fans and community at Monsterpalooza were among the best group of people I have ever encountered at a convention. Everyone at this show was friendly, even the hardworking staff of the convention and of the Burbank Mariott Hotel. Everywhere you went people were polite and incredibly enthusiastic about our common love. It honestly was a fantastic group of people. Their enthusiasm was infectious and it truly heightened my experience at the show. My sincere thanks go out to Mr. Eliot Brodsky, George A. Romero, the organizers of Monsterpalooza, all of the incredible artists and celebrities, and of course to you, the fans. See you next year!

About The Author: Elliott S. Thomas is our resident horror movie maniac, zine publisher and our intrepid man in the field. Unfortunately soon after writing this article he was bitten by George A. Romero and now he is infected with the zombie virus.

Be sure to check out our Hollywood YouTube Channel for more videos from the show.