Day 2 at Days of the Dead Los Angeles
We started off Day 2 of Days of the Dead much more refreshed than the previous day, having actually gotten a good night’s sleep the night before. It was a surprisingly sober night too! That being said, my friends and I were ready to rock by the time the convention opened early for the day on Saturday! I had the most fitting outfit for the day as well since Corey Feldman was going to be there:
Sleepaway Camp Panel
Our first stop of the day was to head straight for the panel room upon entering the con for one of my most anticipated panels: a Sleepaway Camp reunion featuring the original cousins Ricky and Angela, Jonathan Tiersten and Felissa Rose! Frank Sorrentino was supposed to join them as well, but was nowhere to be seen. Oh well, the show must go on! This panel was another very fun one. It was easy to tell the chemistry between the two and the deep level of friendship they shared. They still seemed very close to this day and very at ease up there. It was like watching a brother and sister interact. They touched on a number of subjects like the film’s impact and cult status, filming on location, the controversial ending, them dating on the set and more. Felissa proved to be one of the friendliest convention guests, calling fans by name. She also said that Sleepaway is “the best thing that ever happened to me”, and that she appreciated each and every fan. She also is clearly a horror fan herself and seems to have a great appreciation for the genre. They talked about many big name fans of the film like Tina Fey and Eli Roth, while Jonathan mentioned that it “depicts what summer camp is like better than any movie before or since” and how truly special it is. Overall, it one of the most interactive panels of the weekend.
Next up, I made a beeline back to the signing room. Corey Feldman had to yet to show up, so I took the opportunity to meet the guys from one of my all time favorites, The Monster Squad. I hit it off with Ryan Lambert, who played the badass Rudy in the film, as I thought I would. I mean, he was one of the inspirations for my wrestling character after all! We talked about that, music and he gave me some good bar ideas for later in Hollywood. When I got his autograph home later, I had to laugh as he signed it to “Ronnie fuckin’ Angel!” Yep, he gets it! I talked for Andre Gower for a bit from the film as well, joking about how Dracula scarred the little girl in the film for life by getting too much into the character. Good times!
By this time, it was time to meet the man himself, the myth, the legend….Corey Feldman! Honestly, I had set my expectations pretty low as I had heard some bad stories about him and not being very personable. I took the advice of my friend though, and decided just to tell him my story, whether he thought it was funny or not. Do or do not, there is no try, right? Much to my surprise, Corey was actually very cool and personable. I told him how I always get told I look like him (it’s been happening my whole life and in different countries to boot. Really). I even showed him a nametag that I was pranked with at a previous job with his name on it. To my surprise, he actually got a kick out of it and we ended up chatting for a few minutes as I told him wrestling stories and how I get billed as his stunt double on occasion. He even had his girlfriend compare us. Afterward, he leaned in and asked me quietly my thoughts on his book. He seemed genuinely appreciative. All in all, I had a pretty damn good experience with the guy and it was one of the highlights of my trip. He even kept pointing me out over the next two days and giving me a shout. Very cool! I had a great experience with the guy.
Saturday definitely seemed to be the big day at the con, as it usually is at most cons. The place was packed and hard to move at times, but all the guests were still accessible, as well as the vendors. Aside from Feldman, the other big draw of the day was master of horror Clive Barker. Sadly, I did not get to meet him. The reason behind this was the line stretching out the door and across the parking ramp. By some accounts, it was over two hours wait. Dayum! The stars of Sharknado, Tara Reid and Ian Ziering were also in attendance that day. I didn’t get to meet either of them, but they seemed to have a good turnout. They also had a Sharknado panel in the afternoon. I didn’t attend because…well, I hated that movie honestly. Ah well. Another huge draw for the day was wrestling legend and star of the cult classic They Live, Roddy Piper. I didn’t talk to him until Sunday, but he had some long lines on Saturday and seemed to be very busy. My next stop was one of the most anticipated events of the weekend for me: The Thing panel!
The Thing Panel
The panel room was completely packed for the reunion for the John Carpenter classic The Thing. The actors in attendance were TK Carter, Thomas Waites, David Clennon and Joe Polis. Richard Masur was supposed to be there but couldn’t make it. This was another incredibly entertaining panel. The guys shared stories of filming on location in Hyder, Alaska and getting “Hyderized” the local tradition of downing flaming Everclear. They also shared a funny story of Keith David being carried out of the bar and propping him up on the director’s door, then knocking and running! many of the stories centered on the small town. TK joked that only show they got was The Jeffersons and they all must have thought he was George, as they had never seen a brother before! One of the stories involved a near fatal bus accident where all of them were barely saved from dropping off a cliff by Kurt Russell. It was really fascinating stuff. They talked about the groundbreaking effects, their death scenes (or dissapointing lack of in the case of Polis and Carter, both said there was more planned but not used due to budget cuts), and the film’s bombing at the box office. This was attributed to bad timing (released right after ET and right before Poltergeist) and bad early reviews.
Of course, one of the main stars of the convention was the imaginative costumes on display throughout the day. Here’s a look at some of the badass works of cosplay I ran into throughout the day:
By about this time, I had already spent several hours at the con and I needed to get out. Sadly, I missed the Nightbreed reunion, but it was time to head into Hollywood for my first time. It was an incredible experience seeing it for myself for the first time. We walked Hollywood Boulevard, visited the Musem Of Death, Mann’s Chinese Theater and The Hollywood Sign. You know, all the tourist stuff. I wanted to visit the filming locations for Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street and House on Haunted Hill, but sadly that will have to wait for another day.
We finally made it back to the hotel hours later and the afterparty was in full swing. Miko Hughes of Pet Sematary was even acting as the DJ for the night! I finally stumbled back to my room at around 4am, bumping into every wall on the way. I would get a couple hours of sleep at least before the next day. I could already tell that Sunday was going to be a long day! Stay tuned for Day 3!