Saturday, April 9, 2011

Monsterpalooza: Day One Report

by Armand Vaquer

Above, Carla Laemmle, 101 (born October 20, 1909), the last surviving actress of the 1931 "Dracula" and the niece of Universal Pictures founder Carl Laemmle, enjoyed talking with fans.

Here's my report on the first day at Monsterpalooza.

The convention itself was loaded to the Gill Man's gills with things to see and people to meet. I was able to meet Bela Lugosi, Jr. and we talked about how I came upon his Inglewood telephone book listing when I lived in nearby Hawthorne.

Above, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello meet Frankenstein again in Monsterpalooza's museum.

Miki Hayashi discussed Japan with actress Julie Adams (Creature From The Black Lagoon). Adams said she was in Japan once for a USO show in the 1950s when the Korean War broke out.

Miki got Haruo Nakajima's autograph and posed for a photo with him. Earlier, she said that he is very famous in Japan. She is from Kyoto, Japan.

Above, the original Godzilla, Haruo Nakajima with Miki Hayashi. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Later, I introduced Miki to kaiju suitmaker Shinichi Wakasa (below). Wakasa was the primary Godzilla suit maker for the Millennium Series of G-films.

Monsterpalooza's museum again was loaded with some great wax figures that didn't disappoint attendees.

Above, Lon Chaney, Jr. as the Wolf Man prowled Monsterpalooza's museum.

At 7:00, I headed over to catch Peter H. Brothers's talk (below) on Godzilla director Ishiro Honda and prepared the table for sales of The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan. At 8:00, my presentation on Japanese monster locations began. Pete and I shared the table out side of the ballroom for book sales.

Although both of our presentations were well-received, unfortunately, the room for the presentations was away from the convention center and in the main hotel. (This was to make room for more vendors.) This resulted in a sparse attendance for our presentations. We each had about 35-45 attendees. Additionally, the people of the next presentation, "Zombies From The Supermarket" (John Naulin) sabotaged our book sales by grabbing the table immediately following my presentation. We were promised a table before and after our presentations. What gave them the right to grab our table?

Above, Miki in the Monsterpalooza museum.

The Monsterpalooza staff tried to get people over for the presentations by making announcements over a p.a. system, but we were told that the noise in the convention center drowned out the announcements. At past Monsterpaloozas, the presentations took place in the convention center, which was easily accessed. Having the room for presentations away from the convention center is like being out in the boonies. The Monsterpalooza planners need to address this problem for future shows.

Above, my "Scene To Seen" presentation in progress. Photo by Richard Pusateri.

Following my presentation (and table fiasco), Miki and I left for dinner at Fuddrucker's in the media center area of Burbank. We were both starved. We both enjoyed our meals.

Above, following my "Scene To Seen" presentation. Photo by Richard Pusateri.

Despite the aforementioned glitches, Monsterpalooza was fun. I'll be heading back today to take more of it in.

1 comment:

  1. I really wish I could/couldhave made it. It just always sneaks up on me and I never have proper spending money saved up.



Burbank, CA – March 29, 2010 – Legendary Pictures announced today that they will develop and produce a new film based on Toho Company’s famed GODZILLA character. Through the terms of the agreement, Legendary Pictures has acquired the rights to produce a movie inspired by Toho’s Godzilla, a franchise the Japanese company created and has nurtured for over fifty years.

Toho’s GODZILLA franchise boasts one of the most widely recognized film creatures worldwide, resulting in a series of books, television programs, video games and more than 25 films worldwide. Legendary intends to approach the film and its characters in the most authentic manner possible. The company will, in the near future, announce a filmmaker to helm the film for an intended 2012 release. The film will fall under the company’s co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. Toho will distribute the film in Japan."

"Godzilla" is coming back -- this time, with Legendary Pictures taking the lead, co-producing and co-financing with Warner Bros. for release in 2012.

Legendary announced Monday it had obtained rights to the iconic monster character from Japan's Toho Co., which has overseen more than 25 "Godzilla" films. Toho will release the pic in Japan.

Legendary said it's planning to announce a director shortly.

In addition to Legendary, producers on the new film will be Dan Lin, Roy Lee and Brian Rogers. Yoshimitsu Banno, Kenji Okuhira and Doug Davison will exec produce.

"Godzilla is one of the world's most powerful pop culture icons, and we at Legendary are thrilled to be able to create a modern epic based on this long-loved Toho franchise," said Thomas Tull, Chairman and CEO of Legendary. "Our plans are to produce the Godzilla that we, as fans, would want to see. We intend to do justice to those essential elements that have allowed this character to remain as pop-culturally relevant for as long as it has."

Legendary noted the film will fall under its co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. Legendary's productions with Warners have included "The Dark Knight," "300" and "The Hangover."

Speculation about a new "Godzilla" has been active since last summer. The Bloody Disgusting web site reported in August that the project was in development.