Week 6: “A Weekend at Days of the Dead Horror Convention!”
The horror convention is a great place to meet and greet some of our most iconic stars who have influenced not only the genre of horror but also our enjoyment of the genre as well. I was on hand this past weekend at the Atlanta, Georgia, Days of the Dead event as a Vendor representing Dark Arts Props & Vintage Collectables (owner Ron McLellen, who is also an indie horror film maker). This was my second year at the event as well as the second horror con that I’ve ever been to (I’ve ventured into the world of DragonCon briefly but never went back). One of the main reasons I decided to come back for a second year is the fact that as a vendor I got to meet a lot of great people who were not only fans of horror but also created original horror art or had merchandise to sell. It is the vendors that interest me the most at a horror con.
I’m an avid collector of art. Be it horror related or the more mundane lighthouses (don’t judge me too much, my film company is called Broken Lighthouse Pictures), Asian culture, Egyptian artwork, and just about anything related to George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (my number one favorite film). I also collect artwork from friends (but I never display any of my own artwork). I’ve given away all of my own artwork because personally I don’t like looking at my own work. I’d rather look at other peoples’ artwork.
At a horror con you get a taste of all different types and styles of artwork in all different media. This year there were several mask makers on hand of which I picked up a new mask from Night Terror Productions (www.ntpfx.com). Doomsday FX Studios (owned by Eric Molinaris) had a table to show off some of their stuff. There were also more films being represented this year which included “Sorrow” represented by Slasher Marketing (www.slashermarketing.com) and the film makers behind “Attack of the Morningside Monster”, which screened at the event last year and can now be seen on DVD and various VOD services. Monster Buster Entertainment (www.monsterbusterentertainment.com) was advertising the upcoming World Premiere of their film “Invasion of the Undead”, which took three years to make and has some amazing CGI and stop motion visual FX and director Byron Erwin was on hand to put awareness out there for his latest horror spectacle “Mr. Lockjaw”, a series pilot about a man, a Ventriloquist dummy, and murder.
Monsterama (www.monsterama.com) is just around the corner and they had a table again this year while representatives of the con Mad Monster Party (www.madmonster.com) were on site to make sure horror fans were aware of that upcoming event. There were just a lot of great vendors and services at the event this year which was more diversified than last year. Although I must say that Funko Pop! Toys were the entire rave as an overwhelming majority of store vendors had these fun toys in their booths.
If you are a fan of the stars then there was a great list of attendees this year from Tony Todd (Candyman), Angus Scrimm (Phantasm), Doug Bradley (Hellraiser) and a whole collection of stars that played Cenobites in the Clive Barker classic film, Corey Feldman (The Lost Boys), David Naughton (An American Werewolf in London), Sid Haig (Freaks, The Devil’s Rejects), Kane Hodder (Jason of various Friday the 13th films), Bill Mosley (Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2), and many more than I can list here. Just be assured that fans of Hellraiser, The Devil’s Rejects, Sleepaway Camp, and The Lost Boys, to name a few, all had a lot to be thankful for this weekend. I didn’t happen to get any stars’ autographs this year but a highlight was meeting writer John Russo, who helped write Night of the Living Dead and Return of the Living Dead (not to mention a whole collection of other books and films) and getting my book Phantasm Exhumed: The Unauthorized Companion signed by author Dustin McNeill and photographer Kristen Deem. My vendor table was just across from McNeill and Deem and so we talked a lot over the weekend. Russo and I talked at great lengths on Friday before the event even started so that was a great treat.
This was another great year at Days of the Dead and even though I didn’t get to watch any of the films screened and didn’t go to any of the panel discussions or after parties, as a vendor I got to experience the event from a completely different aspect than a casual fan wondering through the aisles. I got to meet a lot of great artists and film makers and people I can now call friends. Whether you’re a patron or a guest or a vendor, Days of the Dead is a great event in which we can all come together and enjoy what we all enjoy most in life which is – HORROR!