Days of the Dead: Horror Convention Corners Indy Corn Syrup, Food Coloring Market

There will be no candied skulls at the Wyndham Hotel next to the Indianapolis International Airport this weekend. Nor will there be candlelit parades or memorials on graves. No, the Days of the Dead festival this weekend has nothing to do with Dias de los Muertos, though you’ll find plenty of people with a love of gory deaths, and, most likely, people dancing around in skeleton costumes. That’s because Days of the Dead is a convention for those with a love of the macabre, particularly the corn syrup drenched, prop studded world of 80’s horror movies. Dozens of familiar faces in the horror undustry will be making an appearance at the 2011 Days of the Dead celebration at the Wyndham Indianapolis West Hotel. From Friday, July 1, 2011 through July 3, 2011, thousands of Indy horror buffs will crawl out of the woodwork to revel in the darker side of life at Days of the Dead, the largest horror convention in Central Indiana.

Promotional video for the Days of the Dead festival in Indianapolis, running from July 1 to July 3, 2011

ays of the Dead is three days of star appearances, undead beauty pageants, prop presentations, and plenty of spills and chills. The first night, Friday, July 1, 2011 is mostly given over to the movies. The terrifying spectacle begins at 6:30 p.m. on Friday with the first Fangoria Shorts Showcase. Running concurrently with Days of the Dead, the Fangoria Film Festival will be showing independent horror flicks throughout the weekend; the first Fangoria Shorts Showcase will feature “Get Off My Porch,” “Remote,” “Harvest,” and “By Her Hand She Draws You Down.” A screening of I Am Nancy, a documentary centering around Nightmare on Elm Street star Heather Lagenkamp (who is a special guest at Days of the Dead) begins at 8:00, followed by I Didn’t Come Here to Die at 9:30, Caprice at 11:00, and Under the Scares at midnight.

Video of an interview with Heather Langenkamp, former star of A Nightmare on Elm Street; Langenkamp will be speaking at the Days of the Dead festival in Indianapolis

Saturday, July 2, 2011 presents a little more variety for Days of the Dead participants. Plenty of highlights make Saturday the best day to attend this dark Indianapolis event. The Scream Queens Panel takes place at 12:30, which is a Q&A with a panel consisting of Heather Langenkamp, Linnea Quigley (Night of the Demons, Return of the Living Dead), PJ Soles (Carrie, Halloween), and Mark Patton (Nightmare on Elm Street 2). Jason fanatics shouldn’t miss the Men Behind the Mask Q&A session at 1:45, which will feature Derek Mears (Jason in the remake of Friday the 13th), Andrew Bryniarski (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre ’03), and Brian Steele (Hellboy I & II, Blade: Trinity). Show off your ink and costumes with the “That Damned Tattoo” contest at 3:00 and “Wickedbeard’s Wicked Costume Contest” at 4:30 before delving into another Q&A with the “Indie Masters of Horror” at 6:00. And if you like tasty (as far as their brains go) women and gruesome corpses, you can’t miss the 1st Annual Ms. Dead Beauty Pageant, where contestants have the chance to win a spot in Girls and Corpses magazine. Saturday festivities will wrap up at midnight with a book release party for Electric Angel by Sue Dent.

Video of an interview with Derek Mears, the man behind Jason’s mask in the remake of Friday the 13th; Derek Mears will be speaking at the Days of the Dead festival in Indianapolis

Sadly, Days of the Dead has to end at some point, and Sunday provides a fitting close to the weekend’s festivities. The Fangoria Film Festival takes over in total on Sunday, starting with a documentary, Cinemall, that looks at the almost cult like status of the Monroeville Mall, where the original Dawn of the Dead movie was filmed. Dead Genesis, a post-apocalyptic zombie movie, begins at 1:00, followed by Breath of Hate at 3:00 and the final film, Emerging Past, at 4:45. Unfortunately, once the curtain closes on the final film, all the freaks will have to return to their respective Circle City haunts, awaiting the next time Days of the Dead comes to Indianapolis.

Video of an episode of Fright Bytes with an intro directed by Reese Evenshen, who directed Dead Genesis, a film showing at the Days of the Dead Festival in Indianapolis

If you’re a fan of horror, terror, gore, or just plain ‘ol campy fun, the Days of the Dead festival is for you. This Indianapolis festival spans three days, filling the Indianapolis hotel with independent horror movies, Q&A sessions with some of film’s most terrifying stars, tattoo, costume, and beauty contests, and more decapitations than you can shake a stick at, in addition to tons of Indianapolis artists and other vendors in the vendor space. Tickets are only available at the door and are cash only. Weekend passes are $50, while general admission for each individual day is $25, and all Indianapolis children under the age of 10 get in for free. People who are really fervent about their horror can also buy a VIP pass, which sells for $197. VIP passes give entry to all three days (VIP holders can also get in an hour earlier than the general public), a subscription to Rue Morgue magazine, a professional photo-op with a chosen celebrity, and other goodies. There may not be any candied skulls at this day of the dead, but there will be more than enough zombies.

Days of the Dead
Friday, July 1, 2011 through Sunday, July 3, 2011
Tickets: $50/weekend pass, $25/day pass, $197/VIP pass (sold out)
Event Homepage

Wyndham Indianapolis West
2544 Executive Dr
Indianapolis, IN 46241

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