The Horror Honeys: Visit Days of the Dead Atlanta with Slasher Honey!

Visit Days of the Dead Atlanta with Slasher Honey!

A Slasher Honey Adventure by Chassity

Days Of The Dead Atlanta: My Horror Convention Weekend

One weekend ago, I got the opportunity to attend Days Of The Dead Horror Convention here in Atlanta. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had as a horror fan.

There are a lot of reasons for this. One big reason is because of how all-inclusive I found the event to be. It could have easily fallen into the trap of being the type of genre convention that tries to bring everything in under the convention umbrella, but leaves out some really important aspects that deserve recognition. Days of the Dead also had an amazing film festival lineup attached, which I was super impressed with, especially when I researched the films before attending the convention. With the variety of films to choose from, there really was something for everyone. We had a hard time deciding on a movie to see because we kind of wanted to see everything, and spent so much time trying to decide that we ended up letting time run out and make the decision for us and wound up seeing the last film available, Abed. It wasn’t the type of movie I’d normally ever have watched on my own, but I enjoyed it and it was definitely different from my normal horror film experience.

Film festivals are starting to become a big part of my life, and I can guarantee that after attending Days Of The Dead, my passion for film festivals and discovery of unknowns in the genre to check out.

I’m not normally much of a shopper, particularly shopping under the pressure such as that of limited time like at a convention, but if you ever have a chance to go to one of these conventions, do so, please, if for no other reason than the cool stuff you’ll have the opportunity to purchase. Convention merchandise doesn’t usually impress me much, but it did this time. Not just classic villain memorabilia, T-shirts, and messenger bags dedicated to some of the best horror icons, but it was a great opportunity to add to my horror film collection and replace older versions with newer versions. Arriving Saturday morning right at 11 a.m., the first thing I did was head to purchase some figurines and a cool Nightmare on Elm Street bag.

The best part about attending the convention was being able to make some new friends while deciding which films to purchase, standing around discussing our favorites and making recommendations to each other. Everyone was quite nice and easy to talk to, and it was great to meet other horror lovers by checking out different tables. The best part of that for me was meeting unknown filmmakers and checking out projects and listening to different groups talk about their projects, like my friends at Meeting them was great, and I talked to them a bit about a film they were promoting, that I will be reviewing soon. Because as you know, we Horror Honeys are devoted to supporting indie projects. Andrew from Legless Corpse even gave me some great tips one trying to meet the celeb guests I wanted to meet, and which merchandise I should have them sign.

I spent a lot of time walking around exploring everything, and I was a bit overwhelmed, in a good way, by just how much was going on. I was most excited about the Sleepaway Camp panel, which I unfortunately missed because I got stuck in traffic for 3 hours on Friday night after work, trying to get to the convention. But when I arrived on Saturday, one of the first things I did was say hello to Felissa Rose, who was swarmed with people trying to get her autograph, but she was trying to greet everyone. I had to leave to make panels before I could get her autograph, and was disappointed about that.

There was a sideshow act I checked out between panels, and it was an interesting experience for me in that it showed me how unique the experience, and mind, of a horror fan can be. I am a fan of some of the goriest horror films ever made. I’ve watched people’s bodies get twisted and sliced, I’ve watched people try to take their eyeballs out, and a whole lot more. None of that affects me. But watching the Southern Fried Side Show made me cringe, in a good way, watching the couple attach, and lift, things with their eyes and tongues, and nose, and watching the guy shove a knife down his throat. That stuff creeps me out.

But the best part of Days of the Dead, for me, was definitely the panels. 

Hellraiser Panel
The first panel I attended was the Hellraiser panel. This panel was more than just the typical and expected convention panel. It was thoroughly enjoyable to listen to the cast discuss the importance of the Cenobites and the legacy of Hellraiser. However, things got kind of serious when the discussion turned to sadomasochism and the issue of sexuality and feminism within the genre. Doug Bradley made an excellent point about how the horror genre gets criticized for certain violent and sexual elements when other genres aren’t subjected to the same censoring and criticism as other genres. He especially pointed out how attaching religious elements to some of the same violent images in horror automatically seems to make it okay to show. When asked how they all felt about being forever associated with a thing of nightmares because of being in Hellraiser, the panel guests were all very humble and respectful of the genre in their answers.

My second panel was The Devil’s Rejects, and it was certainly the most packed and most fun. It didn’t feel like we were attending a panel, it felt more like being at a rock concert. People were shouting with excitement before the panel guests came out, and when they did, each of them received the welcome of rock stars (none more than Sid Haig). There was a lot of talk about what it was like to work with Rob Zombie, what the experience of shooting these films was like, and whether or not we will ever see these characters again. For his part, Sid Haig thinks it’s possible… as long as it doesn’t turn into a high-number franchise. He doesn’t want that, and this Honey definitely wouldn’t want to see him angry.
Devil's Rejects Panel
Finally, Sunday’s big event for me was the Faces of Horror panel, which was supposed to be Kane Hodder, Nick Principe, and Tony Todd, but ended up just being Kane Hodder and Nick Principe. I made sure to get there super early because I was sure that the crowd for this panel would be ridiculous. But it ended up being a lot more intimate than I expected. Kane Hodder and Nick Principe decided to forego the formality of an entrance and introduction, and kind of just showed up, and hung out talking to people a bit, and then the panel just started. The cutest part? Before the panel began, while Kane Hodder was walking around, he spotted a young child wearing a Jason hockey mask and went over near him and smiled and waved. Adorable. 

Faces of Horror
This was possibly the best panel of all because both guests were brutally honest in everything they spoke about. They talked about what it’s like to be the villainous face of a franchise, what makes a villain actually scary instead of forced, and the truth about doing stunts. It was hilarious when they talked about how annoying it is when people lie about doing their own stunts, and even called out a few people who do so, as well as a certain few male actors who they’ve found hard to work with over the years because they’re stubborn and egotistical about stunts. What I got out of this panel is that these are two men who are not only great at what they do and appreciative to be working in the genre, but have a very pure, down to earth love for action and horror, and want to see it be the best it can be at all times. 

All in all, Days of the Dead was definitely a unique convention experience, and one I hope to make an annual thing.

Days of the Dead hits several cities throughout the year, catch up with them in Indianapolis and Chicago in 2015!