The September 2019 Days of the Dead Horror Con

Alright, everybody. Halloween is coming to get us like our name is Barbara, and I’m dangerously close to exclusively filling up the next tree weeks with…work. Not the good kind either. Boring day job stuff. But I’ll be damned if I let that happen. So, this weekend is devoted to CONTENT, CONTENT, CONTENT, and I’m starting in just about the best way possible.

I went to Days of the Dead and MET CLIVE BARKER AGAIN!

Of course, this isn’t the first time, but this time was a slightly longer meet. I had the pleasure of discussing literature a little bit with him, but didn’t want to take up too much of his time, as there were people in line behind me. I also had a nice conversation with his manager, Chris, who manages a few other horror legends. Just like last time, the room Clive was in was covered in his artwork and merchandise. Having a Barker original hanging in my place is major bucket list material for me. One day…

Clive-and-Me

But I did check another one off the list that I wasn’t able to last time. The photo op! Finally, I achieved a lifelong dream of getting my photo with the man himself. I’ve mentioned this before, but Clive is essentially my idol, and the reason why I almost changed my major in college to English lit because I wanted to be an author. He’s my “who’s the one person living or dead you’d like to meet” person, and I’ve now done it twice. I tell ya, there are worse things in the world than sitting next to your idol, having him call you by name, shake your hand, and call you his friend. Yeah, it was a good day.

But, we’re not done. The other interactions didn’t disappoint either. This coverage is going to be a little different than all the previous ones, as Barker was the only photo-op I did. I had a lot of cool conversations, but you’ll just have to take my word for them, as in almost all cases, they were people who I’d met before. It’s pretty rare that I do a photo-op with someone twice, but it’s still fun to pop by a table and have a chat. Here’s the rundown:

Heather Langenkamp — We’ve met a couple of times before, and she never disappoints. She even remembered my name and the fact that I gave her a Barnes and Noble gift card that one time. We actually chatted a bit about books and what we’re both reading right now. Every interaction with her is gold, and it doesn’t hurt that one of my biggest childhood crushes knows me by name. You take the little victories where you can.

The Soska Sisters — SO GREAT! Seriously, go rob a bank right now if that’s what it takes to meet them. They’re super friendly and engaging, and give out hugs. I usually have a “Jerry Seinfeld meets Kesha” policy when it comes to hugs from strangers, but who passes that up? Also,  it was another case where they remembered me a little bit. We talked about the FANTASTIC promo they recorded for my show that one time, and I pulled it up on my phone and played it for them. They got a big kick out of it. We discussed Hellevator and their new remake of Rabid that I can’t wait to see. They’re two of my favorites.

Amelia Kinkade and Linnea Quigley — They were doing a photo op in costume as their characters from Night of the Demons. Obviously, I didn’t get that one, but I did have a nice chat with them at the hotel bar, and another one at their tables. I’d met them both before, and they’re another recommended meet, especially Linnea Quigley. It was enough to make me want to hop on top of a tombstone and do a little dance.

Tom Savini — Met him and chatted for about 30 seconds, just like the other three times I have. He’s a legend obviously, and there was a time in high school in which I was dead set on becoming a special effects artist myself. I can’t say it was a negative reaction necessarily, but I will say I got the famous “Savini cold shoulder”. Let’s just say he’s no Soska Sisters when it comes to fan interaction. Savini’s all business.

Judge Reinhold, Danielle Harris, Kristina Klebe, and Scout Taylor Compton — I had nice, brief conversations with that all of them. Reinhold’s obviously part of all of our childhoods, and I’ve met Danielle Harris before. With all of them, we spoke a little bit about the convention itself and how slow it actually was. Seriously, for everything this one had it going for it, it was oddly the deadest one I’ve ever been to. In fact, I almost didn’t speak with any of the Halloween girls because they weren’t at their tables that often. Not because they were at panels or anything, but because they were walking around. There were so few people coming up to the tables that it actually wasn’t even worth sitting there all day. This isn’t a criticism of the con itself, but rather just an observation about how odd it was. The joint was a ghost town.

In fact, there were a few that I wanted to meet that I never got to at all because they weren’t at their tables that often (Tony Todd, Traci Lords, and Clint Howard). It was just bad timing, but still kind of disappointing.

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Not to end on a downer, but they put out a table for Sid Haig (R.I.P.). The bits of paper were laid out so you could write messages which would be passed on to his family. On a more positive note, 3 From Hell, which I missed the first time around in theaters, is getting another brief run through Fathom Events. Can’t wait to finally catch it next week!

Despite a few hiccups, this was obviously one of the best yet. To make up for all this being a bit text-heavy, here’s a little bit of a photo dump:

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This standoff went on for quite a while, and ended with the three of them holding hands and skipping down the hall. True story.

Hey, guess what. We’re not done yet. The perfect capper to this was that later that night, the Ayrsley Theater was showing a double feature of both Hellraiser and Candyman. And cousin, you better believe I went! It’s all part of a Halloween retro horror series they’re doing right now.

Theater-flyer

Check out that lineup!

Kicking off the season by meeting your idol and finally seeing your favorite horror film on the big screen for the first time all in one day is pretty much perfect. I don’t know that I can top it, but we’ve got just a few weeks to squeeze as many spooks out of the season as we can, so don’t waste a minute of it. Buy some Oreos with witches on them…watch a cult horror movie you’ve never seen before…put spider webs on your desk at work (and keep them there all year round). Do whatever you can to capture as much fall atmosphere as possible before it all slips by and it’s (ugh) January again. Don’t waste a single second of it. LET’S GO.

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