Hail Satan! At last, the time has come where we as horror fanatics get to meet a few of our favorite folks involved in the biz. I’m of course talking about DAYS OF THE DEAD, which is set to happen this weekend (September 2-4) at Crown Plaza Louisville Airport Expo Center! Who (dead or alive) wouldn’t get stoked on experiencing three days of celebrity guests including Elvira, Heather Langenkamp (Nancy in A Nightmare On Elm Street), Sid Haig and Bill Moesley (House of 1000 Corpses & The Devil’s Rejects), a Return of the Living Dead reunion, and a whole helluva lot more!?!? There will also be film/trailer screenings, plenty of badass vendors, special events, a tattoo expo, and more! For more information on this righteous happening, go here.
To get you mega-hyped on this weekend’s festivities, I reached out to DOTD organizer Adolfo Dorta to see if he’d be willing to answer a few questions, and thankfully he was kind enough to oblige. Read on as we talk about horror movies, the origin of DOTD, and a few do’s and don’t do’s for conventions!
Never Nervous: How did Days of the Dead come together, and how long has it been running as the annual horror convention it is today?
Adolfo Dorta: Before DAYS OF THE DEAD, I started and ran a website called From Dusk Till Con (along with co-founder, Rick Lara) which covers the horror convention scene and the culture behind it ever since its inception on Halloween of 2009. Originally, DAYS OF THE DEAD was going to be the mid west expansion show for another long established horror convention on the east coast (which I am not at liberty to name) and they approached From Dusk Till Con about sponsoring an after party event for that show. A few months later, one of the original promoters changed their mind and Rick and I were offered the opportunity to take their place as a partner and the face of what went on to become DAYS OF THE DEAD. As huge horror fans who go to about 4-7 horror conventions a year, it was an offer we simply couldn’t refuse.
NN: Considering that this will be my personal first outing to one of these sorts of conventions, do you have any recommendations on how to get the best experience possible? Maybe some DOTD do’s and don’t do’s?
AD: Be yourself, make friends, and just come ready to have a good time. Mingle, make friends, and expect to stay up late hanging out with a fun group of like minded individuals. DAYS OF THE DEAD is one big party celebrating all things horror and if you’re a fan, it’s impossible not to have a good time.
That said, wear deodorant. Please. Hygiene is important. Nobody likes funky folks. Nobody.
NN: Initially, what inspired you to put Days of the Dead together? And why center it on the horror genre?
AD: As a life long horror fan and an avid horror convention goer, when Bill Philputt made me the offer to join him and have a hand in doing one of my own, I just couldn’t refuse. One of the most popular topics of discussion that happens after hours at horror conventions over beers and cigarettes is “How would YOU do a horror convention if you could do your own.” It’s fun to be able to answer that question first hand and put together the kind of show that I would want to see as a fan.
NN: What do you consider to be your favorite horror film from the last ten years?
AD: Oof. That’s a tough one. I may have to go with either Martyrs or Inside, which are coincidentally both French films. I still remember the first time watching Martyrs and feeling like I was repeatedly punched in the gut by a film for the first time in years. I don’t think anything hit me that hard since Irreversible (Ha!….also a French film). Inside is kind of on the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of tone, but it’s such a ridiculously over the top films in terms of violence and gore and the shocks are sold so well – kind of reminds me of the Japanese film, 2LDK (check it out if you’re not familiar with it).
NN: Before you go, tell us who you’re most excited to see this year.
AD: I’m most excited to see the Return of the Living Dead cast again. We’ve done the reunion in three of our four other cities and they’re some of my favorite people to work with. They’re probably some of the most real, down to earth, fan friendly celebs you’ll meet at any convention, especially Beverly and Linnea. I love them to pieces.