Before last year’s Days of the Dead in Louisville, I had never been to any sort of nerd convention. After the amount of fun I had at that event, I’ve since ventured out to several similar cons in the last year, including Days of the Dead Indianapolis in July which was, again, a fucking total blast (I met Day of the Dead’s Lori Caudille and she kissed me on the cheek!).
At last, DOTD returned to Louisville with another stellar line up of horror icons (Linda Blair, Tony Todd, Kane Hodder) and other pop culture celebrities (Ernie Hudson, Jerry the King Lawler, Kurt Angle, Gary Busey). Also, as I’ve seen at other DOTD cons there was a huge selection of vendors selling all sorts of horror merchandise and artifacts. Naturally, my fiancee Jenn (who also loves horror) and I were there like a couple of priests at an exorcism.
We arrived on Friday evening around 6PM and walked in to this oversized goul near the entrance (pictured above), perfectly setting the tone for things to come. While taking that photo, I quickly noticed all of the excited folks flooding in ready to get this party started. There were all sorts of killer cos-players, all of which I wish I had the time or sense of the moment to get pictures of, but whatever, I was kind of drunk and having way too much fun.
We made our way to one of the “Celebrity Rooms” and eagerly walked up to David Naughton who played “David” in American Werewolf in London. He was about as genuinely sweet and courteous with his time as you could hope as he let me get a photo with Jenn without charging us for it (pictured above). We did, however pay $20 for a signed 8×10 glossy of himself, but it was totally worth it. It has already been framed and is hanging in our house.
The next person we spent some time with was none other than Jerry “The King” Lawler, a man I grew up “hating” because of his heel status as a commentator in the WWF and vocal disdain for Bret Hart, who happened to be my favorite wrestler as a kid. It was quickly apparent that this guy was pretty cool, inviting us to sit and hang out for a minute while making fun of Gary Busey who was sitting at a table caddy-cornered to us. Looking back, this might have been the weirdest 10 minutes of my life. He insisted that Jenn wear his crown while posing for a photo (pictured above).
Jenn and I then headed to the hotel bar for a shot and a beer where we ran into the Louisville Ghostbusters who had the same idea. We chatted them up for a bit about their badass proton packs and that Ghostheads documentary (they weren’t overly thrilled it). They were super nice dudes; get more information on them and what they do here. Also, be sure to follow their Instagram account because it fucking rules.
Next we hung out with Eugene Clark for a few minutes who was in full make up as the Big Daddy zombie from George Romero’s Land of the Dead. He was funny as hell and generous with his time, although we paid him $20 for the photo(s). Whatever, it was totally worth it.
Afterward we walked around the merch area and spent too much money on t-shirts, toys, jewelry, bootleg DVDs and other horror-related memorabilia. Soon after our purchases, we headed home some time after 10PM as we both had to work early the next day.
The two of us arrived back on Sunday early in the afternoon after a quick breakfast and couple of celebratory beers. We really wanted to go to DOTD Saturday night to watch Stonecutters perform, but the first Louisville football game of the season was on that evening, so no dice. Go Cards, am I right?
As far as money goes, we were both just about tapped out, so we weren’t able to pay for any more posed photos although we really wanted one with Ernie Hudson, Tony Todd and of course Linda Blair, all of which were super nice people. But at $30+ per picture, who can afford more than a few?
We left Sunday afternoon happy with our DOTD experience, already looking forward to the next go around. Adolfo Dorta and the folks that run these conventions do a hell of a job keeping everything smooth and on schedule while maintaining genuine sense of camaraderie among the masses of horror nerds that made there way to the three day event. Everyone we spoke to was having a blast, and it was easy to see why because DOTD is about as good as it gets as far as I’m concerned.
ALSO: Check out a cool video our friends at House By The Video Store made documenting a bit of their experience at DOTD ’17 below: