Son of Monsterpalooza 2015
Good day, fellow horror fans. It’s that time of year again. Yes, it’s Halloween season! I started the season off on the right note this second to last weekend of September. I hit Universal Horror Nights at Universal Studios for a few haunted houses and packed it in early so I’d have enough strength to hit Son of Monsterpalooza for the remainder of the weekend.
This con was a staple of the Burbank Convention Center twice a year for quite some time. The bigger of the two cons would come at you around March/April and just when you’re jonesing for another one, you get that last horror hit of the year (for the West Coast) just as Halloween approaches. When it returns next April it will be at the bigger Pasadena Convention Center. It definitely went out with a bang and I had the time of my life. I was extremely excited that I would have the opportunity to meet Ken Kirzinger who played Jason Voorhees in Freddy VS. Jason. I would check the website every day to make sure he didn’t cancel and would get nervous as more guests were added almost daily and his picture would be further down the page.
There were many additions, a lot in the last couple of days before the event started and luckily for me, Ken’s picture was still in the “Attending” section. I really needed him on a few things. For instance, my Jason hockey mask that NECA put out a few years ago. They put out a few different versions for the different Jasons and the one I have is technically his Jason, but I’ve got his L.A. stunt double, Doug Tait, on it as well as Kane Hodder (Jason 7-10), Tom Morga (Part 5), Ted White, (Part 4) and Derek Mears. (Reboot). Naturally, you have to get the guy who went against Freddy Krueger. Let’s put a pin in this for now.
I started the day at the table of two of the villains from Big Trouble in Little China. Peter Kwong and James Pax who played “Rain” and “Lightning” in the John Carpenter classic from 1986. They played two of the underlings to James Hong’s “Lo Pan”. He was also in attendance at a different location in the large hallway. I managed to snap a few photos of him when he stopped by to visit the duo. These three were at Horror Hound in Indianapolis the previous weekend and James Hong was dressed as his character from the ’86 classic doing photo ops. Kewl.
While not a horror movie technically, these guys were welcomed with open arms. Not bad for a last minute addition. Their friend and colleague Al Leong was in the building to visit and chatted a while. He was in a ton of 80s movies. He is probably most remembered for playing “Endo” in the first Lethal Weapon and the Nestle Crunch loving terrorist/robber in the first Die Hard. I really enjoyed my time hanging around these dudes. A lot of folks asked them their opinion of the remake that’s in the works with The Rock starring. They were happy that another generation will get the chance to enjoy the fun story and would definitely be open to joining in on the experience.
Speaking of experience, one of the highlights of Monsterpalooza is always the museum. They always have a lot of cool stuff on display and there is always a line to get in. There aren’t as many things on display at “Son”, but I always enjoy looking at whatever awesome stuff they want to show off to us. There were a few things they brought back from before like the Creepshow ticket booth
and a bunch of wicked cool things that were going to be going up for auction in the future. Now all I need is a nice hot sugar mama who can buy up all that stuff for sexy lil’ ol’ me. I can’t wait to see how large the museum gets when the show moves to Pasadena next year.
There was also lots of cool stuff to see on the showroom floor as always. The life size Bela Lugosi “Dracula” was one of the main highlights on the floor. The detail of these models gets more and more impressive and lifelike.
I’m going to start requesting certain actresses be made so I can finally get a picture of me talking to a beautiful woman who isn’t looking around for security.
The biggest highlight of my weekend was meeting Ken Kirzinger, the man who played “Jason Voorhees” in Freddy VS. Jason. While we are spoiled here on the West Coast with most of the Hollywood actors roaming the streets at times, a lot of the horror actors tend to stay East, rarely doing a con west of Texas. I did not want to miss this opportunity. I recently scored his rare “Jason” figure and really wanted to get it signed. I also had a Toys ‘R Us exclusive video game version of Jason that was already signed by Kane Hodder and Derek Mears and thought Ken’s autograph would compliment them nicely. I met him near the end of Saturday and had a bunch of questions for him that he kindly answered with kindness and enthusiasm.
I shot them out so fast he later asked me if I even remembered any of his answers. A couple. Most of my questions were stunt related, as he was a stuntman in his day before retiring a couple of years ago. I wish I had the experience on video so I could relive the whole thing. The guy was one of the nicest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. He made me feel like we were bros and I wanted to fly back to Vancouver with him and hang some more.
Luckily, I got to hang with him again later in the evening by chance at the Mad Monster Party. This event would feature a Miss Mad Monster pageant with four guest judges, two of which were Ken Foree and P.J. Soles. I forgot who the rocker dudes were, stupid ADD. Anywho, the pageant featured six horror hotties trying to win the Miss Killifornia crown. Miss Scarizona moderated. When one of them was asked what her favorite horror movie was she said the “classic Scream”. I love that movie, but it’s not a classic!!! She redeemed herself a little bit by following that up with Psycho, but the damage was done for all the people in the crowd past their mid-30s. They were all babes and if I was going to have my beauty pageant cherry busted, that sure as hell was the best way to do it. Looking forward to the next one.
The second part of the events was a horror/comedy improve show featuring a hilarious group called The Resistance which features Derek Mears who played “Jason Voorhees” in the Friday the 13th reboot. They are a very funny troupe that perform regularly on Sunday nights at the Comedy Sportz LA theatre. The theme chosen for the evening was “Paranormal Horror” and the crowd shouted out tropes from the genre and the Resistance put together a one hour show filled with a shit-ton of laughs. The evening would be capped off with Scaraoke and Sid Haig impromptu bartending. I was lucky enough to hang with Ken and some friends at the restaurant bar as well as the Resistance who joined later and did not hang around for too long after the Resistance finished performing their hilarity. I did. manage to get a picture with both Derek Mears and Ken Kirzinger and couldn’t have been happier. You aren’t going to meet too many people as laid back and genuinely nice as those two. Those two should have a “Nice-Off” some day. Winner gets a slightly shinier halo than whoever comes in second. You just gotta love the horror crowd. It’s a very small world and a lot of these folks are like family.
Speaking of family, a couple of the Leatherfaces were in attendance over the weekend. Bill Johnson and R.A. Mihailoff were the second and third actors to play the deranged chainsaw wielding killer in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre line. I tried very hard to find the Mezco figure of Leatherface 2, but they are very rare and very expensive. I settled on a mini poster of TCM 2 and had Bill sign that.
I also got a picture with him and hope to get him in my Fangoria book and on that figure some day. I would’ve loved to have gotten R.A. on something but I had to get Tom Atkins in my book as he is the Chuck Norris of horror movies. If Tom Atkins’ character dies in a movie its cause he felt like it. Tom has been in a bunch of movies including Lethal Weapon, Creepshow, The Fog, Escape From New York, Night of the Creeps and Halloween III: Season of the Witch to name a few.
I got to see Creeps at the Egyptian Theatre over the summer and I think it’s one of my favorite performances of his. He said he enjoyed that role the best as well. I hope I get to meet him again some day. I had a blast at this con and I really needed it. I met some great people and made a couple new friends and can’t wait for the next one. Special shout out to the great Sean Clark of Horror’s Hallowed Grounds who is a staple at these shows and could not have been cooler to me. He’s probably the ultimate horror fan and you should check out Horror’s Hallowed Grounds on the ol’ Facebook for some great events and horror news. I’ll be out and aboot on the streets with my Fangoria book trying to get that baby signed so if you see me, stay outta my way unless you’re a hottie, or point the way to a horror celeb. That’s all for now. Thanks and stay cool.