This week ECHG writer Adam Holtzapfel looks back at this past weekend’s Days Of The Dead.
Hosting their 25th show this weekend, Days of the Dead took over the Marriott in Schaumburg, IL for a weekend fans won’t forget.
The weekend kicked off for the early birds on Thursday at Kuma’s Corner where fellow horror fans got to mingle with each other and were surprised to see guests like Gary Pullin as well as the Rock N Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson) show up to mingle with fans and enjoy the atmosphere that goes hand in hand with the vibe DOTD brings to their show.
Friday kicked off at 5pm to a crowd hungry for the show to start. Fans attended panels, films, photo ops, and more through out the night. The Hall of Fame induction for the show included Doug Bradley, Angus Scrimm, and ECHG’s own Michael Exler and Drew Seidler who have become the force behind the panels on the Black Track. The night ended with Scaryoke hosted by Harry “DJ Munchies” Bean. If you missed Ryan Remains from RatBatSpider doing Journey’s Faithfully and folks doing versions of Livin On A Prayer, Sister Christian, and more, then you definitely missed out on the fun Friday night brings to the show.
Saturday was the most packed I have seen at a convention. Chicago always comes through for this show, but it was a whole different animal this year. Starting at 11am and ending way past midnight fans were packed in. From what I saw everything from vendors to celebrities had lines which is a good thing in it’s own right. The panels on the Black Track that I popped in on were standing room only, the 48 hour film festival seemed to have very few open seats, and the Blue Track was closing out it’s first year to a packed house. After convention hours fans were treated to an after party where Gene Simmons was announced as a guest for Indianapolis and Evil Engine slayed the stage with their brand of punk rock. On the Blue Track you had the convention premiere of She Was So Pretty: Be Good For Goodness Sake with the shorts Machine Baby and Compulsion playing beforehand. In the film festival you had Terror From The 80’s: A Late Night Retro Cinema Experience going on. This is proof there’s something for everyone.
Sunday the show is usually winding down, but it was slamming with fans attending a Robocop panel featuring Ray Wise and Ronny Cox, trying to get their last minute shopping done, catching the last of the film festival, and a discussion of copyright laws for artists on the Blue Track.
Overall, this show has grown to where a bigger venue may be needed, but that’s not a bad thing. What worked well this time around was the move of photo ops to the upstairs, if you remember the line last year for Alice Cooper’s photo ops then you can see why this change occurred. The celebrity and vendor rooms were set up to allow fans room to walk and browse vendors like Atomic Cotton, Voodoo Comics, Pretty Spooky Handmade, Pallbearer Press, and more. Fans had a blast interacting with celebrities at the show like Charlie Benante, Gary Pullin, Sean Astin, Dee Snider, Jen & Sylvia Soska, Ray Wise, fan favorites Kane Hodder, Sid Haig, and more. Events like the Chaostume Contest and FX Makeup Contest kept fans entertained.
I recommend not skipping any of their upcoming shows in 2018, it’s always a good time.