ALIENS Carrie Henn (Newt) can take care of herself!

The best thing that came out of 2017’s Days of the Dead Chicago was the realization that my kids were blossoming into ideal convention buddies. They arrived that Saturday when things were at their busiest and, having done many events since I started my Terror Dave tenure nine years ago, proved themselves deft in the ways of horror cons. They know how to operate a Canon SLR camera with ease, are versed in all iconic films, and the ins and outs of celebrity encounters. There were numerous times when we needed to “divide and counter” to achieve goals and their proficiency filled me with a sense of geek pride.

As mentioned in my last post, my daughter Jade (a Lord of the Rings and Stranger Things fan) met Sean Astin while my youngest son, Luke, had aspirations of his own. As with many thirteen-year-olds, Luke seldom gets enthusiastic about anything and spent most of the last Days of the Dead buried in his phone while Jason Schoolcraft and I enjoyed the event. This all changed when he learned that a cast member from his all-time favorite movie, ALIENS, was a guest. He visibly perked up while picking out a poster and preparing to meet Carrie Henn a.k.a. “Newt.”

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Hunting Boba Fett at Chicago’s “Days of the Dead!”

Us middle-aged dorks sure have it made these days. Just about everything we loved as kids is back, and stronger than ever. Let’s take STAR WARS for example. This weekend sees the release of a new film and just after I got to see Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett from The Empire Strikes Back) at Chicago’s Days of the Dead . Despite the twenty-seven-year difference, the two films have been mentioned together a lot these days, with critics calling this latest installment “the best since Empire.” I can’t say if I agree with that yet as I won’t get to see it till Sunday, but totally understand why The Empire Strikes Back is used as a benchmark for STAR WARS greatness.  It’s got a great story, the first appearance of Yoda, that amazing battle on Hoth, a twist ending concerning the relationship between Luke and Vader, defied movie standards by not having the good guys win, and featured one of the coolest bounty hunters in ANY galaxy, let alone one far, far away. It’s no wonder its a critical and fan favorite. It’s also no mystery why so many of us flocked Days of the Dead to celebrate the great Boba Fett and the man behind his mask.

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Rescue Dogs Make Linda Blair’s Head Spin!

The most important lesson I got from Linda Blair at Chicago’s Days of the Dead is that sometimes celebrity encounters offer a learning curve. The last time we met was over seven years ago at Chicago’s Wizard Con where things didn’t go as I’d planned. Back then, I was fairly new to the convention circuit and assumed, incorrectly, that celebrity guests were all fan-driven and eager to discuss their movies. Instead, meeting Blair was like getting a crash course from the conventioneer’s “school of hard knocks” as it was evident the The Exorcist star was much more interested in discussing her canine-driven, Worldheart Foundation, rather than horror films. Since I was such a fan of her iconic role, that really disappointed me. So this year I decided to literally throw all expectations to the dogs and lead in with her foundation rather than wait for her to drag me into it. In doing so, I’d inadvertently gain a new respect for the actress along with a hard lesson about mistaking ones passion for standoffishness.

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A Touch of Holiday Horror at Chicago’s Days of the Dead!


I had plenty of anticipation going into the 2017 Chicago  Days of the Dead with goals to match. Although I’m no vlogger at this stage of the Terror Dave game, I wanted to capture as much video as I could while meeting celebrity guests, doing some shopping, and stepping out of my comfort zone for a bit of cosplaying (more on that later).  This year’s headliners included Linda Blair, Sean Astin, Dee Snider, and Jeremy Bulloch. As a lifelong STAR WARS fan, seeing Bulloch, a.k.a. Boba Fett, was priority #1 while my kids had autograph ambitions of their own. On this Friday night, however, it was “adult swim” as my horror compadre, Chris, and I attempted to tackle as much of the event as we could before the Saturday crowds made it a challenge.

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Is “Plank Face” Horror or Soft-Core Porn? What’s the Difference!?

I spent our last night at the 2017 Indianapolis Days of the Dead just like I did the first one; taking in another screening at their “48 Hour Independent Film Fest!” This time around I’d be seeing Plank Face, an Independent film created by a group of Indianans who’ve managed to put out several genre movies for the past few years. I got my first taste of them here and would categorize them as “B horror films,” though this is not a criticism. I grew up on a steady stream of low budget films that I loved and will forever cherish. In fact, in my home state of Rhode Island, I work with an Independent movie company called Scorpio Films Releasing and consider several of their films to be the hallmark of my movie library.

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