Unrated goes to the Days of the Dead

             Days of the Dead Chicago 2016 Brings a Batch
                               of Horror with Delight
 Marriott in Schaumburg, Illinois November 18 – November 20

                                                          By: Coren E. McLeod

I am going to be very honest here: I like horror films. I really do. However, I was exposed to a new level of fandom when I attended this year’s Day of the Dead Event Chicago at the Marriott in Schaumburg, Illinois. I have a few friends which are horror film buffs. Seriously, these friends know everything down to the little detail of fake blood that was used in the final scene of a particular movie.

I went to this convention with a very open mind considering this was very new to me. If you haven’t
notice, I love my music and I love my craft beer. Those are the two things in life that makes me happy. (There are others like the World Series Champs, Chicago Cubs… #Justsaying…)

When the theme is “Where Horror Comes to Play,” I knew I was to have my eyes wide open on unique merchandise and seeing some celebrities part of the horror industry. Now, one of my favorite movies happens to be “House of 1000 Corpses.” Right when I was walking down the hallway of everything bloody and unnerving, in the corner of my eye was the one and only Sid Haig! I was with my two friends and they started to laugh at me. See, my friends have
Days of the Dead
 been to horror events like this before. They knew what to expect. Me on the other hand, I still to this day get star stuck. After a few girly laughs, I found out that Mr. Sid Haig was going to hold a panel at around noon to discuss his career and other such moments in his life. I could not wait to attend.

After walking around looking at all the memorabilia that could be
Days of the Dead
 purchased such as a “Human Centipede” bracelet, a very well painted monster toilet set and a bunch of figurines from classic movie characters like PinHead, Freddy Kreguer and Michael Myers. Tons of definitive DVD’s were being sold around each coroner as well. I could see the hard core fans were truly enjoying see the different items they could purchase. I was extremely happy when I laid my eyes on a one of a kind original art piece of my favorite cult movie, “Boondock Saints.”

There happened to be a few items from movie sets that were partially weird yet awesome at the same time. If you wanted to, you could lay in a real life coffin for $7.00. And one booth actually had I guess you can say the “costume” from the 3rd installment of the movie “Human Centipede: Final
Days of the Dead
 Sequence…” One could pay $10.00 to be put in the prisoner uniform. I did look at the outfit and I thought to myself, “No…. I cannot do that…” If you watch any of those movies, you know why.

I found it to be truly awesome to see other stars there taking pictures with fans. One in particular was Shannon Elizabeth of “American Pie” and “Thir13en Ghosts” fame. Jon Heder of
“Napoleon Dynamite” was on hand as well. However, since I am truly a music fan, witnessing Dave Ellefson from Megadeth in all glory was a site to be seen and I loved it!!!!

Now, it was time to get over to see some of the panels. The two that were happening back to back was one with Sid Haig and the cast of “Texas Chainsaw Massacure 2.” While listening to Sid Haig, I thought he was made famous by the movie, “House of 1000 Corpses” and “The Devil Rejects.” I was able to learn Sid was in a ton of movies I had no idea about. I should

have taken notice when he mentioned one of my favorite directors of all time Quentin Tarantino had him in both “Jackie Brown” and “Kill Bill Vol. 2” Sid has been in a lot of TV series such as “Charlie’s Angels.” This man has had a stellar career and it was great to hear Sid go through speak about his accomplishments within the Hollywood industry.

At about 1 pm, the cast of “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2” was the next panel to speak. The 3 cast
Days of the Dead
members were Bill Johnson as Leatherface, Bill Moseley as Chop Top and Caroline Williams as DJ Vanita “Stretch” Brock. What I found to be surprising was how the cast spoke about how long the days were on set and how hard it was to get into character daily. Bill J. and Bill M. told the audience that Caroline had the best scream they ever heard on any set they worked on.

Seeing how the cast still got along since the movie was filmed in 1986 was a pleasure to witness. I like hearing how Bill Moseley thought he was being paid so much for acting in the movie he thought he was rich. I feel like Caroline is a class act and was just so sweet. I could not believe she was actually in this sort of film.

All in all, considering this was my 1st horror event, I found it to be entertaining. I loved seeing the fans dress up as their favorite icons along with some children. Being able to rub elbows with the greats was mesmerizing and just reflecting on some old school classic brought me back in time. So, until next year, thank you to the people of the Days of the Dead!!!!!


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