Things were in full swing in Burbank, Ca this past weekend when Monsterpalooza celebrated the horror genre with it’s annual convention. With a ton of reunions, events and rare guests, fans got to meet their favorites from classic monster movies like ‘The Creature from the Black Lagoon’ (1954) to the more contemporary films like John Carpenter’s Christine (1983).
It was nice to see all the families out and about. The attendance was packed and the lines were long. We talked with one of the vendor’s from Reel Art, Cory Glaberson who specializes in authentic collectable movie one sheet posters and lobby cards. Cory told us that it was definitely busier than last year (perhaps signs of a slow economic recovery). He also mentioned that Monsterpalozza is one of the better conventions and is in his TOP 10.
Among the special events was a reunion to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the classic monster movie, The Howling (1981), bringing director Joe Dante with his acting troupe Dee Wallace, Robert Picardo and Balinda Balaski together for a lively panel discussion. Among the topics discussed were the many sequels and reminiscing’s of cast members Slim Pickens and John Carradine. Congratulations guys on 30 years, your film still holds up!
The documentary ‘American Grindhouse’ which celebrates the “Grindhouse Theaters and Exploitation Films” of the 70’s and 80’s was also on hand for a discussion that included a panel of the genre’s top filmmakers and experts; Jack Hill (Spider Baby), Joe Dante (Piranha) Jeremy Kasten (The Attic Expeditions), along with Larry Cohen and Bill Lustig (who I worked with on their film Uncle Sam back in 1996). Among topics discussed was the 42nd street theaters and drive-ins, how the onset of VHS killed the grindhouse experience, and how VOD risks putting the movie theater’s and a communal theater going audience on the endangered species list.
For more info on this fantastic documentary go to AmericanGrindhouse.com!
Another reunion of interest was, the unusual and fun film, Cat People (1982) reuniting cast members Nastassja Kinski and Lynn Lowry with screenwriter Alan Ormsby along with the special effects team. The panel discussed the style and look of the film and the effect it had on director Paul Schrader’s film career, and the influence American Werewolf in London had on their tranformation sequences. Alan Ormsby also revealed what actually got the film green lit!
Malcolm McDowell was scheduled to appear, but was stuck in Canada filming an episode of PSYCH, so he was excused. Mr. McDowell had this to say:
It is with great regret that I’m unable to be there with you this weekend. As luck would have it, I got a job. I’m off to Vancouver to shoot Psych. I was very much looking forward to visiting with you, and seeing some of my cast and crew mates from The Cat People. I’m very proud of that film. I have good memories, and worked with some incredible talent. It remains one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy all the festivities planned around it.
I hope that we’re able to get together someday soon. Perhaps I’ll be invited back next year. Until then, my very best wishes, and have an enjoyable weekend. Elliott and his crew have put together what looks to be a very GOOD TIME!
– Malcolm McDowell –
We also caught up with Malcolm Danare and talked about Moochie from John Carpenter’s Chrisitne, James Hong and Al Leong for Big Trouble in Little China, Julie Adams and Ricou Browning (who played The Creature in the 3 films) for Creature from the Black Lagoon, Carla Laemmle about her film Dracula (1931) along with the Monsterpalooza Museum and much more!
Our very own Matthew Dowling will share a more detailed account of the events later this week in his Blog, so don’t miss that!