This week I had a chance to chat with fellow East Coast Horror Group member Michael Exler about how ECHG got it’s start and how he got involved with Days of the Dead.
Adam Holtzapfel – You’ve done several panels at Days of the Dead, how did East Coast Horror Group start and you get involved with DOTD?
Michael Exler – Drew and I started ECHG as a movie review show that we planned on showing on a YouTube channel. We decided to cover conventions along with movie reviews. We purchased tickets to DOTD Indy when they had the large Texas Chainsaw Massacre Reunion. We also bought tickets to the TCM BBQ. In doing that I started talking with Adolfo and we decided to do an interview with him. Adolfo saw how professional we were with the interview and how we conducted ourselves. So after that we were given several panels each show until ultimately we were given all of the panels which was the goal for us. So now ECHG happily hosts all the panels at DOTD.
AH – What has been your favorite panel?
ME – There have been so many amazing panels that I have done over the years with Days of the Dead and HorrorRealm. Panels like Angus Scrimm, two Godzillas, the largest House of 1000 Corpses panel ever put together. But the one that stands out for me is the George Romero panel at Culture Shock. It was a dream to be able to do an hour long one on one interview with George.
AH – What can fans expect from the Black Track in Louisville?
ME – We strive to provide the best panel experience on the convention circuit. We try and ask out of the box questions to the celebrities rather than the same old questions that are asked over and over again. We added intros over a year ago and this year we will be testing a new, what we are calling, hype videos prior to each panel. These will be famous scenes the actor was in just to get the crowd pumped for when we start the panel. If it goes over well in Louisville we will continue it to the other DOTD cities.
AH – How do you prepare for the panels?
ME – Depending on the panel the first step is to watch the film if it is a reunion. I always like to watch the special features as well to get all the information I possibly can. I also use various websites for research as well. Once all of that is done and I have an outline, I start to formulate questions. I take into account what the celebs have not heard a thousand times and what questions would get the most information from them. I will admit I will ask questions I have always wanted to know as well. So alot of time and research goes into each panel.
AH – What’s one panel that’s a not miss for fans in Louisville?
ME – I get asked this alot and it is a tough one to answer. The thing I have learned with over 200 panels is to expect the unexpected at any panel. I think The Crow panel though is one not to miss.
AH – Last but not least any favorite films of 2017 so far?
ME – I know this film has a date of 2016 on it but i saw it early 2017, The Autopsy of Jane Doe. It was original, creepy, well acted. Probably one of the best films I have seen in years!
To keep up with panels and podcasts or to view previous ones, be sure to check out ECHG on YouTube!