Ten Terrifying Reasons Not to Miss Days of the Dead Atlanta 2020

Posted on: Feb 3rd, 2020 By:

By Rebecca Perry
Contributing Writer

Get traumatized and HORRORfied this weekend as the Days of the Dead Convention kills it at the Sheraton Atlanta hotel for three days of ghastly gore-filled events, running February 7-9, 2020! Here are our Top 10 Terrifying Retro Reasons not to miss this years’ spooky shindig:

1) THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON! Don’t miss one helluva opportunity to meet the last surviving Universal Monsters icon – Ricou Browning! Ricou portrayed the title character in 1954’s THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, THE RETURN OF THE CREATURE and THE CREATURE WALKS AMONG US. In addition to photo-ops and autograph signings, you can hear Ricou talk about his Creature days on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.

2) TELEVISION’S ADAMS FAMILY ALUM! Get spooky with Lisa Loring, television’s Wednesday Adams! You won’t want to miss The Adams Family Panel featuring Lisa with Felix Silla, a.k.a. Cousin Itt, Friday night at 7pm!

3) GHOULISH GUESTS! This year’s DotD is playing host to a monsterific guest list! Richard Dreyfuss (JAWS, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND), Kathleen Turner (SERIAL MOM, WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT?), John Cusack (THE RAVEN, BETTER OFF DEAD), Tony Todd (CANDYMAN, WISHMASTER), Michael Biehn (THE TERMINATOR, ALIENS), Doug Jones (HELLBOY, PAN’S LABYRINTH, THE SHAPE OF WATER) and Linda Blair (THE EXORCIST) are just a few of the stars you can expect to see this weekend.

4) RETRO REUNIONS! Not only are we getting a SLEEPAWAY CAMP franchise reunion featuring cast members Jarret Beal, Heather Binton, Kendall Bran, Carol Chambers, Amy Fields, Kyle Holman, Mark Oliver and Jill Terashita, but we’re ALSO getting a NIGHT OF THE DEMONS reunion featuring director Kevin Tenney, Amelia Kinkade, Linnea Quigley, Hal Havins, Jill Terashita and Lance Fenton. PLUS Rob Zombie‘s HALLOWEEN reunion featuring Tyler Mane, Danielle Harris, Kristina Klebe and Scout Taylor Compton!

5) EVIL EVENTS! Besides all the great guests this weekend, there are a lot of evil events to enjoy, including a Friday Fright Night pre-party featuring SKARYOKEE!, a Makeup Challenge, That Damn Tattoo Contest, Hell Night Prom After Party dance party and the Chaostume Contest. Check the DotD schedule here for a full listing of events.

6) HOUSE OF INDIE HORROR! There’s a full schedule of panels focusing on the ins and outs of movie making; everything from screenwriting to monster makeup! Catch Kool Kat and exploitation extraordinaire, James Bickert (DEAR GOD NO!, FRANKENSTEIN CREATED BIKERS) and more on the Independent Filmmaker Panel, Saturday at 2:30pm! And you won’t want to miss killer women in horror, Kool Kats Dayna Noffke (“Under the Bed,” “Teaser”) with co-founder of the Women in Horror Film Festival, Vanessa Ionta Wright (“Rainy Season”) amongst others, on the How to Make Your First Horror Movie panel on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.!

7) Reels of the Dead Film Festival! Not only can you learn how to make your own horror flick, you can spend the weekend watching some great spooky cinema. Support Independent Horror, including the Etheria Film Night with Stacy Pippi, celebrating the best women directed genre films!

8) DotD Pre-party! Kick off things early with a rockin’ pre-party at the Clermont Lounge featuring Captain & Maybelle and Beitthemeans, on Thursday, Feb. 6!

9) Spooktacular Shopping! The dealers room is a great place to support independent artists and pick up something creepy cool. Art, jewelry, clothing, DVDs and anything else your monstrous little heart could desire!

10) In-Costume Photo-Ops! Where else could you get a photo with CANDYMAN Tony Todd or HALLOWEEN‘s Danielle Harris wearing their iconic costumes? Book ahead of time as these do tend to sell out fast.

For tickets, hotel information, and more please check out the Days of the Dead Atlanta website. Be there or be scared!

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Spring Into Cinema: Your Retro Primer to the 2015 Atlanta Film Festival

Posted on: Mar 20th, 2015 By:

AFFlogoBy Andrew Kemp
Contributing Writer

Alongside the first appearance of flip-flops and the musk of Bradford Pears, the arrival of the Atlanta Film Festival at the Plaza Theatre (and other venues) is becoming a new annual rite of Spring. Starting Friday, the AFF is bringing another year of offbeat and engrossing titles, and you can bet that ATL Retro is going to be all over it, providing coverage, features, and reviews of the best of what the festival has to offer.

For Retro-inclined readers out there, we’ve taken the liberty of targeting a few productions that may be relevant to your interests. Every screening at the AFF is likely to be a great time at the theater, but consider this your retro primer. In fact, let’s make that official:

OLD SOUTH

OLD SOUTH

Kick off your AFF experience with a little crowd participation by visiting the folks from Lips Down on Dixie as they present their extremely popular performance of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975). Although a Plaza staple for years, the show gets even better when seen with a festival crowd of fervent movie fanatics. You could even decide to see the show twice during your festival-going, if you just can’t get enough of the good Doctor Frank-N-Furter’s “hospitality.” There’s another midnight screening the following Friday. (THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW plays at midnight, March 20 & 27, at the Plaza).:

Retro is a broad category, and it can sometimes mean a state of mind. In OLD SOUTH (dir. Danielle Beverly) contemporary values collide with a damaging stereotype from the past as a college fraternity in Athens “known to fly the Confederate flag” attempts to mount an antebellum-style parade in a historically black neighborhood. The film plays with PEN UP THE PIGS (dir. Kelly Gallagher), a film described as “handcrafted, collage animation” that explores connections between old slavery and present-day racism. (OLD SOUTH plays 3/21 at 12:45 @ the Plaza)

Meanwhile, HOLBROOK/TWAIN: AN AMERICAN ODYSSEY (dir. Scott Teems) explores a more positive representation of the old south. Hollywood legend Hal Holbrook’s most famous role is that of Mark Twain, who he’s performed on stage in a one-man show for most of his life. This new documentary looks into the special relationship Holbrook has with his version of Twain, and features new interviews from stars like Sean Penn and Martin Sheen discussing Holbrook’s life and legacy. (HOLBROOK/TWAIN plays 3/21 at 8:00pm @ The Inn at Serenbe Pavilion, with an encore screening on 3/29 at 4:30pm @ 7 Stages)

ThEditor

THE EDITOR

Finally, for retro horror lovers, don’t miss THE EDITOR (dir. Adam Brooks, Matthew Kennedy). In this Canadian comedy-horror film, a shlock film editor with wooden fingers is accused of a string of murders and must clear his name. The production comes from the demented minds of Brooks and Kennedy, two members of the ensemble who brought the world MANBORG (2011), and features genre mainstays Udo Kier (SUSPIRIA) and Paz de la Huerta (NURSE). (THE EDITOR plays 3/21 at 9:45pm @ The Plaza)

Musician Frank Morgan’s life can be used as a cautionary tale about how great talent is no defense against the traps of the world which, in Morgan’s case, manifested as a drug addiction that sent his life and career spiraling into bankruptcy and incarceration. SOUND OF REDEMPTION: THE FRANK MORGAN STORY (dir. N.C. Heikin) chronicles Morgan’s struggles beginning with the ups (when the saxophonist was considered a successor to Charlie Parker) all the way to the downs and the back again. The documentary features extensive concert footage featuring the likes of saxophonist Grace Kelly and pianist George Cables, both of whom will appear in a live performance preceding the film. (SOUND OF REDEMPTION screens 3/25 at 7:30pm @ The Rialto Theater at Georgia State University)

THE KEEPING ROOM

THE KEEPING ROOM

THE KEEPING ROOM (dir. Daniel Barber) is a Civil War drama that places the spotlight squarely on a trio of strong, Southern women in a tough situation. When their father and brother go off to fight for the Confederacy, two sisters and their slave must defend the homestead from marauding Union soldiers who are in advance of Sherman’s infamous march. THE KEEPING ROOM is a tense, claustrophobic drama that features known stars Hailee Steinfeld (TRUE GRIT), Brit Marling (ANOTHER EARTH), and Sam Worthington (AVATAR). (THE KEEPING ROOM screens 3/26 at 9:30 @ The Plaza).

Atlanta director and ATLRetro Kool Kat Eddie Ray follows up his 2011 short film SATANIC PANIC: BAND OUT OF HELL with the in-demand sequel, SATANIC PANIC 2: BATTLE OF THE BANDS. The sequel finds our heroes, electronic dance band who pretend to be Satan worshippers for marketing reasons, preparing for a huge band battle while their manager plots to sacrifice them to the Dark One himself. In their new adventure, the band must contend with “secret government spy missions, band rivalries, and growing egos.” Look for an exclusive interview with Eddie Ray here at ATLRetro.com next week. (SATANIC PANIC 2 screens 3/27 at 6:30pm @ 7 Stages)

BLACK SUNDAY

BLACK SUNDAY

The folks from Splatter Cinema join the festival this year with a special presentation of the Italian horror classic BLACK SUNDAY (dir. Mario Bava). Banned in the UK for years—a true badge of honor in the horror world—the film stars the immortal Barbara Steele as a witch burned at the stake who returns 200 years later for bloody revenge. Featuring memorably grotesque and frightening scenes, BLACK SUNDAY is a slam-dunk classic of the genre that is well worth the effort to see on the big screen. (BLACK SUNDAY screens 3/27 at 10:00 pm @ 7 Stages)

LOVE AND MERCY (dir. Bill Pohlad) is an unconventional biography film about the life and career of singer/songwriter Brian Wilson. The film chronicles the young Wilson’s struggles with his musical ambitions, as he seeks to throw off the “surf music” label he had become known for as part of the Beach Boys, and with his overuse of psychedelic drugs. Paul Dano (LOOPER) plays Wilson as a young man, while John Cusack (GROSSE POINTE BLANK) plays Wilson as an adult, on the other side of experiences that left him a broken man. (LOVE AND MERCY plays 3/29 at 12:15pm @ The Plaza)

LOVE AND MERCY

LOVE AND MERCY

And finally, there’s a documentary that has sadly gone retro, as one of our favorite downtown eateries is sadly no longer with us. DANTE’S DOWN THE HATCH (dir. Jef Bredemeier) is a profile of the famed restaurant and its owner, Dante Stephensen. Far more than a place you could eat fondue while watching the alligators lounge in their pool, Dante’s became a landmark for many of us an integral part of the Atlanta landscape, and this documentary ensures that legacy is not forgotten. If you missed ATLRetro’s Kool Kat interview with Dante about his unique decor, you can find it here(DANTE’S DOWN THE HATCH plays 3.29 at 4:30pm @ The Plaza)

Of course, these films represent just a tiny portion of the events, shorts, seminars, and screenings taking place as part of the festival. For a complete list, you need to check out the official Atlanta Film Festival Schedule. And keep an eye on ATLRetro throughout the fest for coverage on all the fun and films. Enjoy this year’s AFF, movie lovers!

Andrew Kemp is a screenwriter and game designer who started talking about movies in 1984 and got stuck that way. He can be seen around town wherever there are movies, cheap beer and little else.

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