Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Phil attends MONSTERPALOOZA 2013 at the Marriot Hotel and Convention Center in Burbank-April 12-14, 2013

Greetings and salutations from Burbank!! Over the weekend I headed on down to sunny Southern California to attend my very first MONSTERPALOOZA, which was held at the Burbank Airport Marriott Hotel and Convention Center. For almost three days, yours truly (along with my friends Michelle and her boyfriend Bobby) had one of the most amazing times I have ever had! I got to meet cool horror celebrities, saw some amazing make up effects and designs, got a ton of autographs, bought a bunch of cool stuff, hung out with my LA friends (Dave Reda, Jessica Cameron, Joe Flynn, and Pat Jankiewicz)as well as with all my other friends that came down from NorCal (Miss Misery, Lord Blood-Rah, John Gillette, Adam Richardson, and Ken Constantine), and made some great memories.

There was so much to see and so much to do and so many people to meet I was in overload mode the entire time! I met so many of my idols (and got a TON of autographs), it's best that I list them:

1) Tom Savini: One of THE most influential make-up artists of all time! This legendary SFX wizard was responsible for the cool make-up and special effects on George Romero's 1978 film DAWN OF THE DEAD, Sean Cunningham's 1980 FRIDAY THE 13TH as well as MANIAC, THE BURNING, THE PROWLER, CREEPSHOW, and DAY OF THE DEAD. He also directed the 1990 remake NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and has acted in such films as TWO EVIL EYES, FROM DUSK TILL DAWN and GRINDHOUSE: PLANET TERROR.

2) Camille Keaton: You can't tell by looking at this breathtaking actress, but Keaton stared in one of the most controversial exploitation films of all time; 1978's I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE. A beautiful woman, inside and out.

Kenneth J. Hall, Ginger Lynn, me, and Linnea Quigley.
3) Linnea Quigley: Here is an actress that I grew up with. Having watching Linnea's films on USA Up All Night, I have been a fan for over 20 years. Meeting her was such a thrill! She has appeared in so many classic B-movies such as CREEPOZOIDS, VIRGIN HIGH, NIGHTMARE SISTERS, VICE ACADEMY, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, HOLLYWOOD CHAINSAW HOOKERS, and SORORITY BABES IN THE SLIMEBALL BOWL-O-RAMA.

4) Ginger Lynn: Another actress I've been watching for the past 20 years, Ginger started off in the adult film world, appearing in such classics like TABOO IV, NEW WAVE HOOKERS and BLAME IT ON GINGER. She crossed over into the mainstream in the late 1980s and that's when I first saw her in films like VICE ACADEMY 1-3, YOUNG GUNS 2, and BOUND AND GAGGED: A LOVE STORY. She made her triumphant return to adult films in 1999 with TORN, and soon starred in WHITE LIGHTENING, NEW WAVE HOOKERS 6, and SUNSET STRIPPED. She now has a radio show and acts in both mainstream movies (THE DEVIL'S REJECTS) and adult films (SEASONED PLAYERS 4).

5) Kenneth J. Hall: Screenwriter extraordinaire! Kenneth has written such classic genre films like NIGHTMARE SISTERS, DR. ALIEN, and PUPPERTMASTER. He's also written and directed his own films like EVIL SPAWN, LINNEA QUIGLEY'S HORROR WORKOUT, and THE HALFWAY HOUSE.

6) Donna Wilkes: This lovely lady starred in one of my favorite films from the 1980's: ANGEL! The tag line for the film was, "High School Honor Student by Day, Hollywood Hooker by Night." How can you not love a movie with that tagline? Donna also appeared in JAWS 2, ALMOST SUMMER and GROTESQUE (with Linda Blair). She also appeared in numerous television shows like Father Murphy, T.J. Hooker, and Days of Our Lives.

Yours truly with genre icon Danielle Harris.
7) Danielle Harris: This very beautiful and talented actress has been in numerous horror films like HALLOWEEN PART 4 and PART 5 as well as in Rob Zombie's HALLOWEEN and HALLOWEEN II. She's also been in HATCHET II, STAKE LAND, THE VICTIM, and the upcoming HATCHET III. She's also just released her directorial debut with the feature film AMONG FRIENDS!

OK this list is taking waaaayyyyyy too long. Let me just say that I meet a TON of celebrities in the horror genre: Linda Blair (SAVAGE STREETS, THE EXORCIST, and my favorite film ROLLER BOOGIE), Barbara Steele (BLACK SUNDAY), the Ladies of the NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD Judith O'Dea, Kyra Schon, and Judith Ridley, Eric Roberts (THE DARK KNIGHT, CHILLERAMA), Eugene Clark (LAND OF THE DEAD), McKee Anderson (from Tom Savini's 1990 remake NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD), Virginia Madison (CANDYMAN), just to name a few. Also there were rock legends Lita Ford from The Runaways and Ace Freely from KISS!!

But the really cool part of my trip was meeting several of the living legends there. I met Sara Karloff, the daughter of Boris Karloff (FRANKENSTEIN, THE MUMMY), Ron Chaney, the grandson of Lon Chaney Jr. (THE WOLFMAN) and great grandson of Lon Chaney Sr. (THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA), and Julie Adams (Kay Lawrence from THE CREATURE OF THE BLACK LAGOON)! However the biggest thrill for me was meeting the legendary Carla Laemmle!! For those of you who may not know her, Carla is the niece of Carl Laemmle, the founder of Universal Pictures! She has appeared in the 1925 silent film THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (with Lon Chaney Sr.) and she spoke the first lines in Universal's very first all talking supernatural thriller: DRACULA!! What made meeting her so special was that not only is she the link between  silent films and talking pictures, but the woman is 103 years old! And she's still making public appearances!! Plus she was one o the nicest person I have ever met! She even recited her opening line from DRACULA for me!! Meeting her was the highlight of my weekend!!

The "FX of the HATCHET Series" panel.
There were many cool panels to attend as well. Michelle, Bobby, and myself sat in on a couple. On Staurday we did was the "FX of the HATCHET Series" and it was amazing! Creator and filmmaker Adam Green was there along with Kane Hodder, makeup artist Robert Pendergraft, Danielle Harris, Derek Mears, and HATCHET III director BJ McDonnell. Then right after that was the HOLLISTON panel. Just in case you have been living under a rock or in a cave, HOLLISTON is the Adam Green's hilarious sitcom that you can see on Fear.net! Once again Adam Green, Robert Pendergraft and Kane Hodder along with Joe Lynch,
Laura Ortiz, and Oderus Urungus from the freaking awesome rock group Gwar!! After both panels, the entire gang signed HATCHET III and HOLLISTON Season Two posters for everybody! On Sunday we did THE MONSTER SQUAD Reunion! I first saw this film when it first came out way back in 1987, and it was so cool to hear all their stories and the hilarious anecdotes! A good time was had by all who attended these panels!!

Also worth noting was that the ultra cool Screamfest Horror Film Festival was there to screen two incredible and diverse films THALE and AMERICAN MARY along with the short film INCIDENT ON HIGHWAY 73. I'll be reviewing each of those films separately so keep your eyes peeled for those!

The purpose of Monsterpalooza is to celebrate the art of monster makeup and special effects. In the main convention building, fans were treated to some of the most astonishing and awe-inspiring creature and makeup effects that must be seen to believe! There were live demonstrations throughout the convention from well respected schools like Cinema Makeup School, Gnomon School of Visual Effects, The FX Lab and such. There were suppliers there that were selling makeup paints and other cool products like Premiere Products, Inc., Silpak Inc., and Reynolds Advanced Materials. There were many sweet dealers there selling T-Shirts, movies, and such. My good friends from Time Tunnel Toys were on hand there, as well as Rotten Cotton, who have awesome T-shirts and posters to sell! They also have made a truly remarkable exploitation film called BLACK DEVIL DOLL!! So make sure you check these guys out! Remember kids, if it ain''t Rotten Cotton, it ain't shit!

THIS WAS THE BEST WEEKEND I HAVE EVER HAD!! I saw so many of my friends from LA as well as all my friends from NorCal that came down! I meet so may icons in the horror genre, saw some great movies, party hard with all my friends, stayed up way too late, got up way too early, drank, ate, everyday was party!! This was such a blast! No you're all probably wondering when's the next convention? Glad you asked! There's gonna be a show in October called Son of Monsterpalooza! As soon as more details are released. I'll let you all know! In the meantime, to see who else was there, and to learn more about the event, check out their website at www.monsterpalooza.com.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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