I can’t specify one show from this past year as I was lucky enough to make it to Atlanta, Indianapolis, Louisville, and Chicago. Each show had something different, but also something every genre fan can appreciate. Very fan friendly with a ton of great vendors. Days Of The Dead boasted guests ranging from Phil Anselmo, Sid Haig, and Bill Moseley to a Return of the Living Dead reunion, Shannon Elizabeth, and Alice Cooper. The inaugural Louisville show was insane, featuring the tattoo expo headed up by Scott Medjesky. Each show also had their usual events that fans have come to love: FX/Make Up Competition, Chaostume (costume) Contest, That Damn Tattoo Contest, Scaryoke, Panels, and of course the JABB Pictures 48 Hour Film Festival. Also, in Chicago they partnered up with Kuma's Corner for an event the Thursday before the show. I hope to see that continue as it gave everyone a chance to enjoy some quality time before the show kicked off. If you’ve been on the fence about this show, jump off now and get there anyway possible.
3. Claudio Simonetti's Goblin
This version of Goblin did a handful of US Dates and I had a chance to check out the Pittsburgh show at the now defunct Altar Bar. There was something special about being in the home of the modern zombie, seeing a band that had contributed to so many great Italian horror soundtracks, playing iconic themes at a former church. They played everything from Roller and Opera to Dawn of the Dead and Suspiria. It was also great seeing Toetag’s own Fred and Shelby Vogel at the show. It just goes to show how many people are still into these guys.
4. Nightmares Film Festival
Last year Columbus, OH was treated to their first genre specific film festival at the Gateway Film Center. Nightmares Film Festival had filmmakers from all over the world showing shorts and features spanning every genre of horror. I walked away from four days of movies feeling like I didn’t hate anything, what I disliked was just because it wasn’t up my alley. I also got to see myself on the big screen in a small appearance in Cannibillies (which is indescribable). While there was a smaller crowd than I hoped for, they did a stellar job and will only go up from here. I can’t wait to see what they bring in 2017.
5. Cinema Wasteland
Located outside of Cleveland, I always try to check out the fall and spring show. Last year I made it to their spring show in April which boasted a Street Trash reunion. All I can say about Wasteland is if you’re looking for something hard to find or niche, chances are you can find it there. This is another show that is very fan friendly and you’ll be sure to have a good time ate if you’ve never been.
(Photos taken from Facebook and Google)