The Horror Honeys: Son of Monsterpalooza: Where Monsters Meet Their Makers - Part 2

Son of Monsterpalooza: Where Monsters Meet Their Makers - Part 2

A Monster Honey Wicked Weekend Recap by Jennica

Saturday may have ended on a note that couldn't be topped, but the mayhem wasn't over just yet as I rushed back to sunny spider-infested Burbank the following morning for another daily dose of monster madness. Pale and wide-eyed from the previous day's adventures (but, really, I always look that way), I bypassed the caffeine and got my early jolt from Hollywood effects artist Shannon Shea during a comedic as well as educational play-by-play of his career and promotion of his upcoming book I'm Rubber, You're Glue: The True Story of an 80s Monster.

Through his personal photo collection, Shea unveils how his obsession with drawing dinosaurs and his idol Willis O'Brien first sparked his love of monsters and led to his interest in sculpting and makeup effects. In the span of his career, he has worked with such noteworthy names in entertainment as Mike Spatola (House), Dick Smith (Invaders from Mars), and Stan Winston (The Monster Squad, Jurassic Park). An art school dropout, Shea advised all aspiring monster makers that the key to succeeding in the industry is to never be afraid of failure and to always value yourself.

His only regret was that 70s hair.
After starting my afternoon with a tall order of inspiration, I left the theater ready to conquer the convention floor with my horns held high. A few steps into my walk down the hall and I stopped to check my program to map out the rest of my day. Suddently, I felt an eerie yet familiar presence hovering behind me, breathing heavily, and staring directly at me. 

I slowly turned around to find a pale face in a green apron with a blood-spattered wrench the size of my face in one hand and a bucket containing a severed head under his arm. Of course, most humans would run away screaming from such a sight. But Monster Honey? Hah! This deadly dude happened to be none other than Los Angeles horror convention regular and master of disguise, Chris Hannan. Chris can be seen lurking about all of the hottest horror conventions in the Los Angeles area from Scare LA to Monsterpalooza. I never know which mask or costume he will be hiding behind, but spotting him and snagging a photo together has become a convention tradition of mine.

I need an adult!
With my obligatory photo opportunity mission complete, I was off to cover more convention ground and spread some Horror Honeys fear-- I mean cheer-- with promotional goodies in exchange for RAWRs. Then I stopped dead in my tracks as I happened upon a table seating a lovely lady with an even lovelier smile who was looking like quite the happy camper on this bright sunny afternoon. Just when I began explaining that I was Monster Honey, and I follow her on this and that social network site, and I'm a big fan, blah, blah, blah... the tables were unexpectedly turned on me. As it turns out, Felissa Rose is a HUGE fan of The Horror Honeys. Felissa Rose! My day was officially made and it wasn't even half over.  

She likes us! She really likes us!
Felissa Rose was only the beginning to my talent meet-and-greets for the day, however. A delightfully familiar little ditty suddenly filled the main convention hall. As my ears tingled with the high pitched sounds of Leonard Graves Phillips serenading me with words of murderous clowns from a faraway place, my eyes met with Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988) kreators the Chiodo Brothers... and we got just a little krazy!  

These guys krack me up!
As I headed toward the exit doors to get some fresh air after several hours of being a monster in a sea of humans, I crossed paths with a man who I had yet to ever see grace the Burbank convention center before. Some might know him as the Antichrist and I suppose running into him could be considered a sort of omen. That's right, all the way from England, one of horror cinema's original devil children Harvey Stephens aka "Damien" came out to show fans that he's really a nice guy. 

I forgot to check his head for the Mark of the Beast.
While I had crossed off the majority of anticipated iconic guests off my autograph bucket list, there was just one left that I was missing, one that I had been searching for all day without any luck. Keeping my eyes open wide as I peered down every hall and around every corner, I caught sight of a grin that never faded from my memories of being an angsty outcast of a teenager and repetitively watching Carrie (1976). William Katt, who played horror's sweetest prom date "Tommy Ross," stood up with that "aw, shucks" grin as I greeted him. With William Katt, PJ Soles, and Nancy Allen's signatures, my simple Carrie DVD cover is now almost complete. And lucky for me, William Katt had some helpful tips for gaining the original Carrie White's John Hancock.

They're all gonna laugh at us!
Since all hands had been shaken, all autographs had been secured, and the schedule of panels for the day were coming to a close, there wasn't anything left for me to do but wander aimlessly through the convention center to blow what little cash remained in my wallet on unnecessary but one of a kind horror merchandise. 

My first stop was one that has become a must at every Monsterpalooza and Son of Monsterpalooza event. I had to claim my traditional blind buy from the kind gentlemen at Severin Films. For this past year, I have been trying to choose more wisely to make up for last year's idiotic shot in the dark with Birdemic: Shock and Terror (check out my review here). Birdemic was more painful than menstrual cramps, but my selections have improved since. Earlier this year, I had picked up Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide, which proved to be darkly humorous as well as highly educational. So, it was obvious that my next Severin blind buy was destined to be The Definitive Guide Part 2

Don't let me down, guys!
One DVD, one Horror Hound Magazine back issue, a laser gun magnet, and several stickers and pins later, my wallet was feeling lighter and my bag was feeling heavier. And above all else, everything was in pain. 

My feet hurt from stomping around the convention floor, my back hurt from all the autograph lines, and my stomach was ready to be filled with anything more substantial than booze and candy bars. It occurred to me that I was beginning to grumble and stumble around like one of the undead. Conveniently at Son of Monsterpalooza, if you're feeling a little dead, there are artists on every corner who can make you look it. As I was prepared to collapse, I came across the dudes at the Cult Classics booth who advertise ten-dollar zombie portraits each year. Seeing as that was the last of the dough I had to throw away, why not? Much to my amusement, these guys perfectly captured how I felt on the inside at that moment.

Once my bag could not be filled any further, vendors began stuffing their boxes, and the talent tables grew empty, it became clear that my monstrous weekend of horror was coming to a close. Of all the horror conventions to grace the best coast, Monsterpalooza and Son of Monsterpalooza are the two that I would not suggest missing. As Shannon Shea explained in his discussion earlier that afternoon, "Son of Monsterpalooza is more than just monsters, and creatures, and fun. It shows that working with your hands is one of the most important things you could do." Both conventions are crucial to the horror community because they treat artists and actors alike as royalty. Son of Monsterpalooza provides demonstrations on how monsters are made and encourages fans and aspiring artists that anyone can learn to create the nightmares of tomorrow. 

Will you be attending Monsterpalooza or Son of Monsterpalooza next year? Be aware that these festivities will have a new home to haunt at the Pasadena Convention Center! 

Were you roaming the halls at Son of Monsterpalooza last Sunday? Perhaps you saw me RAWRing! Share your experience with me on Twitter: @PrmQueenFrmMars