While wandering through the dealer room on Saturday before the show opened, I came upon an art print that blew me away. It was a collage of all the different creatures/monsters that were created by low budget monster maker Paul Blaisdell, which even included a couple of images of Blaisdell himself. If you’re not familiar with highly underrated talent then you have some homework to do! He created a bunch of different creatures for the low budget AIP features back in the ’50s, with very little time and money. But he always came up with some interesting monsters and aliens, like we’ve never seen before. He worked on titles like It Conquered the World, Invasion of the Saucer Men, The She-Creature, and a few more. So to see him and his work highlighted in this beautiful piece of art made my heart swell. I can now proudly say that it is now framed and hanging in my office. The artist is Scott Jackson and has been doing this kind of work for quite some time. He had some other great prints for sale, including a stunning one from The Picture of Dorian Gray, with him standing in front of is decayed portrait. Definitely will be picking that one up from him in the future. You can check out his work at his site HERE.
On Saturday night, when the weather permits, they have a blow up screen put up outside for a late night movie screening. This year it was How to Make a Monster, in honor of two of the guests, Gary Clarke and Gary Conway, who both starred in the film. Even though I was pretty tired at that point, I always try to take in little things like this because they are just so cool. Like a mini drive-in theater, it was a lot of fun watching this outside with a bunch of like-minded film nuts.
Now because I was the only one at our table, I didn’t get to see any of the Q&A sessions during the show. Nor did I really get to check out the celebs that were guests that this show. I had brought a German one-sheet for How to Make a Monster for the Clarke and Conway to sign, but after finding out that it was $25 and $30 per signature, I didn’t feel the need to spend that much and turned around and sold the poster at the show. More and more, autographs mean less and less to me these days. I’d rather spend it in the dealer room and add something nice to the collection than a scribble name on a poster or photo.
Another little toy that I came across, which really showed me the last thing you’d ever think to see a toy made of, but an actual Japanese plastic toy figure of the Turkey headed monster from the 1972 film Blood Freak. This one wasn’t for sale, but from what I’m told they go for around $100, and apparently there are a couple of different color variations. Which is good they are at that price, since then I wouldn’t have been tempted to pick it up. Though…I got to say, I’d love to have one in my display case!
Other guests there were Ricou Browning, the last remaining Universal Monster, the actor who played the Creature from the Black Lagoon in the underwater sequences. Also Jo Morrow, Bert I. Gordon, Larry Storch, the lovely Veronica Carlson, and a few more. Most of these, I had met before, so I wasn’t too bummed that I was stuck more behind my table than being able to run around like I normally do. Probably cheaper for me too!
The other thing about the Bash and those that attend, these people are book lovers! They are still old school, like me, that love reading about their favorite movies, actors, directors, and the like. So this brings even more conversations up, talking about favorite books, ones they had in their childhood, and so many other great stories. Once again, just something that makes this show so much fun. Of course, it wouldn’t be a great show if I didn’t come home with a few more titles for my library, right? I was able to score a couple of McFarland titles for only $10 each, Horror Films by Subgenre by Chris Vander Kaay and Kathleen Fernandez-Vander Kaay and Films of the New French Extremity by Alexandra West. How can one pass up those? I also picked up a copy of Frank J. Dello Stritto’s A Quaint and Curious Volume of Forgotten Lore: The Mythology & History of Classic Horror Films from the author himself, who was gracious enough to sign it (for free, I might add). The last edition to the library came from my good friend Alan Tromp, which honestly just blew me away. I’ve known Alan for quite a few years now and his kindness and generosity shows no bounds. He had acquired a second copy of Gérard Mangin poster book Affiches: Du Cinema Fantastique. This thing is a huge hardcover book filled with some amazing French poster art from horror films. All the text is in French, but it doesn’t matter with it filled with these wonderful images. Always love coming home with more books!
Now here is the funny thing. Apparently when I got home from work on Thursday, I was in quite a hurry to get on the road as I changed out of my work clothes into something more comfortable for the drive, including taking off my steel-toed work shoes and putting on my tennis shoes. But somehow, I had put them on again on Friday and Saturday morning as well, being completely clueless. Because when I put them on Sunday morning, I noticed this:
I had somehow put on two different shoes and worn them all weekend without noticing. I’m not sure if that is a sign that I’m getting old, or that I was just so excited about the show and how much fun I was having that I didn’t care to notice!
I also wanted to point out that this show seems to be a great place to meet up with friends we know from the internet, but have never actually met. But since this show seems to bring the monster fans together, it is almost like a beacon where we can meet up. This time out, I got to finally meet up with a couple of Facebook friends and fellow fans that are also carrying the torch of horror fandom. The first one was Jeff Owens, fellow writer and film critic. We’ve been following each other’s work for a while so it was nice to finally meet up in person. The other one was Derek Koch, the host of Monster Kid Radio. I really wish I had more time to listen to podcasts because there are so many great ones out there, like Derek’s. Definitely a huge classic monster fan. So again, great to finally meet up at this show.
But Sunday afternoon was there before I knew it and it was time to pack up and make our way home. The 8-hour drive home was nice and relaxing after the long weekend, getting to ponder all of these wonderful memories we had just made. I couldn’t recommend Monster Bash enough to other fans of classic horror. Or even to the younger fans that want to learn more of their horror heritage. The show has so much fun stuff going on throughout the entire weekend, there is always something to do. So don’t be like me and wait so long before taking a chance on this show. Come on out and have a bash and hang out with other like-minded horror degenerates like the ones below!