With the success of “Stranger Things” and the recent adaptation of Stephen King’s “It,” it’s safe to say that the ‘80s have officially invaded modern pop culture, and the opportunity to come face to face with some of that decade’s most visible entertainment personalities is an exciting prospect for geeks of any age.
Friday through Sunday, the annual Days of the Dead convention will take over the Atlanta Sheraton Hotel for its most impressive weekend to date, expanding on its initial format of horror and action movies to include pro wrestling stars and marquee names from the decade of excess.
Attendees of this year’s show will be able to shake hands with Ralph Macchio, William Zabka and Martin Kove from the original “Karate Kid,” C. Thomas Howell from “The Outsiders” and Traci Lords from “Cry-baby” among many others, and sign up for special “photo ops” that include having their picture taken with Ernie Hudson in his full “Ghostbusters” uniform. Guests can also find out if WWF legends Shawn Michaels, “Mean” Gene Okerlund and the Rock N’ Roll Express still have an intense grip.
In keeping with the convention’s horror theme, a cast reunion of 1989’s “Jason Takes Manhattan” will take place, featuring original cast members VC Dupree, Tiffany Paulsen, Barbara Bingham and the man behind the iconic hockey mask, Kane Hodder. Actors from both the classic TV version of “It” as well as the 2017 update will also be on hand, and “Child’s Play” franchise star Alex Vincent and “Twin Peaks” performer Ray Wise are also scheduled to attend.
That’s not to say everything at Days of the Dead is rooted in nostalgia. In honor of Women in Horror Recognition Month, a Women of Indie Horror discussion panel is set for Saturday afternoon with Atlanta-based filmmakers Brooklyn Ewing, Lynne Hansen, Dayna Noffke and Vanessa Itona Wright, followed by a 2-hour block of short films directed by women. Several new independent features will play throughout the weekend, including “Devotion,” “Musclecar,” Night of Something Strange” and “Space Babes from Outer Space.”
Visit www.daysofthedead.net/atlanta for full schedule and ticketing information.