The weekend before this past Thanksgiving, we attended the greatest party in horror, Days of the Dead in Chicago, IL. Here's what we have to say about latest example of why Days of the Dead is the best convention/party on the cicuit.
By James Orrell
I am an unabashed fan of Days of the Dead. The level and variety of celebrity guests they bring in are both wide in scope and incredibly fun for the fans to meet. The film fest put together by Jason Hoover is quite simply the greatest I've ever seen and one of their strongest features. The events that they put together for each show are astounding. And let's be honest, no one puts together parties like Days of the Dead. No one.
The guest lineup is always a strong aspect to Days of the Dead, but this show in particular really was one of the most stellar lineups in their growing history. As a fan of horror, music and wrestling, they managed to bring out some of the biggest and best names in all three genres.
In the horror genre, you can't go wrong with a headliner like Elvira. She's a true icon for the genre and always gives the fans the attention they deserve. Honestly, I'd love to see any other 64 year olds look that amazing or is quite as fun and funny as Elvira did. She was a total sweetheart.
Fan favorites such as Bill Moseley, Sid Haig, Kane Hodder and Doug Bradley all delivered their best and proved yet again why we love them at conventions so much. There are great reasons why they keep coming back and have some of the longest lines all weekend long.
Out of all the horror guests, I'd have to say Carl Gottlieb was the most impressive this weekend. I never imagined I'd have the opportunity to talk with the screenwriter for Jaws, but that's exactly what happened. He was a lot of fun and had great stories to tell about one of the most influential horror films of all time. I truly hope that Days of the Dead brings him back to more conventions.
Then there was Tony Moran. Tony was hands down one of the funniest personalities I have ever met. He easily partied as hard as any of us all weekend long. What more, he provided one of if not THE biggest highlight that caused quite the discussion. I won't get too deep into what happened in this post, but I will say if you speak with any of the con attendees what the craziest thing to happen at the event that they will undoubtedly bring it up. The man is a legend, pure and simple.
From the rock world, they again hit a home run. Ace Frehley has been a hit at Days ever since the very first convention and it was no different here. He's always a good guest to meet. The newcomer in this genre to Days of the Dead, however, was a dream come true to your's truly. None other than the bass player from the legendary metal act White Zombie herself, Sean Yseult. As a huge fan of hers and White Zombie, the moment she was announced as a guest I was knew I was attending this convention. She never disappointed either. Not only was she as sweet as I had hoped, but she had a ton of fun stories about her time in one of the biggest names in metal during the 1990's. I cannot express my gratitude enough to the promoters for Days of the Dead how much meeting her meant to me. Guests like this make me thrilled to see who they have coming next.
As you can see, Jason Hoover went all out this weekend. Premieres such as DEVIL DOGS OF KILO COMPANY and AGP BLOODSHOCK did not disappoint. I can see both of them becoming true favorites in our community. Layering in several films that are already fan favorites such as CIRCUS OF THE DEAD, HEADLESS, and RUN(my personal favorite film of 2015) wisely injected some love from the fans.
Then there was the world premiere screening of the "Snuff Edition" of Fred Vogel's beloved AUGUST UNDERGROUND. It's one thing to view a screening of AUGUST UNDERGROUND. It's a whole different animal when that screening includes the commentary from Fred Vogel as his character Peter Mountain. Should this happen again, you DO NOT want to miss out!
The amazing panels hosted by peers such as East Coast Horror Group's Michael Exler are always a treat. If you want to learn more about any of the celebrity guests or the films/bands that they are in, this is wear you want to be. I guarantee hearing from the people involved and the amazing questions from the hosts will always teach you something you never knew.
That Damn Tattoo Contest is always a hit with the crowd. A ton of it is amazing artwork fellow fans are displaying. It must be said that the hosts of the event are just fucking awesome. If you haven't had the chance to listen to Scott Medjesky and Harry Bean talk all kinds of shit to one another or other people(good natured of course), then you are in for quite the treat. Plus, they always have some of the coolest stuff to give away!
A newcomer to the events is the SFX Challenge. This is the perfect compliment to the fun and lively Costume Contest. Hosted by Chris Blair and Brad Thacker, you get to listen to their funny banter while a group of SFX make up artists use pre-selected items from Blair to come up with the most creative makeup that they can on their model. The level of creativity involved is high and watching art being made while Blair and Thacker make you laugh has made it one of the hottest events at Days of the Dead. Congratulations to Phil for winning, yet again!
Finally, we come to the parties. If you don't drink, you can laugh at people(like this author) that do! It's all meant to be a good time and they never disappoint. At the VIP Party, we even got the chance to be a part of the announcement of a BRAND NEW Days of the Dead! They will now be adding Louisville, KY to the cities that they infect every year! Every city Days visits brings something unique and special to the event. I truly cannot wait to see what Louisville brings to the party!
Overall, this quite possibly may have been the best showing yet for Days of the Dead. Every show seems to up their game. If that pattern holds true, then I cannot wait to see the madness that Atlanta, GA brings!