Day 3 of Days of the Dead Los Angeles
As with any other convention, the final day is always the hardest. That’s when the full blown exhaustion takes over. It didn’t help that I was still up at 4:00 a.m, drunkenly stumbling around the building. By the time we had hit day three of the convention, we felt like some of the zombies from The Walking Dead. Appropriate for a horror convention I suppose! Thankfully, there happened to be a Starbucks in the hotel lobby. Trust me, it proved to be a lifesaver more than once throughout my weekend in LA. After getting some much needed coffee, I was ready to rock the final day of the Days of the Dead convention!
Once we hit the convention floor, we made a beeline for the panel room. Despite having a noon start time, the stage was surprisingly empty. Thankfully it gave me some time to eat and recharge while I waited. After a short wait, the cast of one of my all time favorite horror classics finally arrived:
THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD PANEL
The first star to hit the stage was Beverly Randolph, who played the sweet and innocent lead Tina in the film. She seemed every bit as friendly and outgoing as her character as she introduced the rest of her cast mates. She was joined by Alan Trautman (“The Tarman”), John Philbin, Don Calfa, Clu Gulager, and Jewel Shepard. The only one that didn’t make it in time was Brian Peck. All of them seemed to be in high spirits and joked constantly throughout the entire panel.
Clu proved to be the funniest and had the whole cast and audience rolling. To give you an idea, he started the panel with, “Nobody wants to hear about the movie. let’s talk about sex…Don’s too old for it, Beverly is just starting to catch on and Jewel wrote the book on it.” He kept it up the entire time! At one point he saw someone in a Freddy Krueger costume and said, “I know we have a history and you burnt up my son, but I think you’re okay.”
They all shared jokes and stories from the set. Trautman talked about his heavy costume and even did his walk on the stage. Many of them seemed very much like their characters in the film and even talked about that, especially Jewel, John and Beverly. They said the star Thom Matthews couldn’t be there as he was at George Clooney’s wedding and talked about the two’s friendship. Then John chimed in “Beverly, didin’t you have sex with Clooney?” She was clearly embarrased and slid to the ground as they all cracked up laughing. Everybody seemed to have a great time in the panel and it seemed like all of them really enjoyed catching up with eachother. During the Q & A, I asked Beverly about their late costar Mark Venturini and she shared some amazing stories about the man.
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3: THE DREAM WARRIORS PANEL
The next panel I caught also happened to be the last one of the weekend. It was for the third entry in the Nightmare On Elm Street series and featured stars Ira Heiden, Penelope Sudrow and Bradley Gregg. It seemed more subdued and to the point than many of the other panels. It was still very informative with the focus being on behind the scenes . They all talked about their death scenes and what went into making them and the effects. They also shared Englund stories (Ira had a funny one about preparing for his death and Englund being in such a cheery mood that it threw him off). Ira even went on to say that he still gets recognized for the role to this day! They had a lot of great stories and I’m sure many of the fans of the film left with a great knowledge of it.
After the panels ended, I made my way back onto the convention floor. I caught up with Bradley Gregg for an interview (coming soon!) and talked with Kane Hodder, Dee Wallace and Barbara Magnolfi from Suspiria. I have met them all before, but it was nice to catch up. Barbara is always incredibly sweet and fun to talk with. I got to head over to Roddy Piper’s table and caught him at a moment where I could talk shop again with him for a while about the wrestling business. He seemed to be in a great mood on this last day. Among the other Sunday guests were Lisa Wilcox, Michael Bailey Smith, and more new additions specifically for Sunday that kept the crowds coming back.
By this time, the weekend was winding down and vendors were packing up and getting ready to head out. My friend and I left the convention floor late in the afternoon and hung around the pool for some last rays in the sun for a while before heading out. We left at 9:00 p.m. and arrived back in Seattle after 11:00 p.m.–of course the rain was there to greet us as we returned.
Well, that wraps up my coverage of Days of the Dead. I hope you enjoyed reading about my exploits. Happy Halloween everyone!