Days Of The Dead: Talking Terror With Co-Founder Adolfo Dorta

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With only a week left until Days of the Dead invades Louisville, Ky for the location’s inaugural show,1428 sits down with convention Co-founder Adolfo Dorta.

Photo courtesy of Adolfo G. Dorta

From Sept 2-4, Days of the Dead will invade card country, Louisville, KY at the Crown Plaza Louisville Airport. Bringing with it some of the biggest names in horror, past and present, the convention’s first event in the bluegrass state will certainly be an event worth attending.

So, to get you gore hounds ready for the upcoming fear festivities, I sat down with convention Co-founder Adolfo Dorta to talk about our horror roots, what to expect from Days of the Dead Louisville, and who he would love to book if anything were possible.

Without further ado, I present my convention with Mr. Dorta.


Joey Click:  I assume since you hold a position of importance at Days of the Dead, you love the horror genre. Can you talk about some of your earliest memories being introduced to the world of horror?

Adolfo Dorta I grew up in that wonderful era where there was a mom and pop video rental store on every other corner and my parents would always take my brother and I to pick out a stack full of tapes every Friday after grade school. My mother was always strict about making sure I stayed out of the horror section lest I be stricken with nightmares by some of the ridiculous cover art that was so common back in those glory days.

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Despite her best attempts, I always found a way to sneak away and marvel at the gruesome, gory, and over the top imagery that adorned those beautiful boxes, and the fact that it was “forbidden fruit” made it that much more enticing.

As I got older and my mother eased up a bit on her restrictions, I made it my mission to rent every single horror title in the store (a feat I managed to accomplish many times over). From there on, it’s been a life long love affair.

JC:  Man, I miss the video store days. For film lovers like us, it truly was like being in Narnia every time. My personal all-time favorite film is John Carpenter’s Halloween. It was one of the first horror films I ever saw and the experience blew my mind. What are some of your favorite horror films?

AD: In no particular order, Id say that Jaws, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), and Night of the Living Dead come first to mind. Growing up in South Florida and spending a lot of time near water, Jaws has me forever looking for that fin when going in the water. Body Snatchers and Night of the Living Dead are sort of quintessential midnight movies and, much like many others I’m sure, I got my first taste of those by staying up past my bedtime without my parents knowing. Both hold up incredibly well to this day and both play on that fear that eventually, despite all of your best efforts, they WILL get you. The hopelessness of the inevitable slow death is, in my opinion, one of the most effective devices in horror.

Steven Spielberg’s ‘Jaws’ One-Sheet-Courtesy of Universal Pictures.

JC:  I would loudly second that notion. It’s one of our most primal fears. Can you talk about your position with Days of the Dead? How did you come to get your job and how did you get there? Did you move up within the company?

AD: Days of the Dead is essentially myself, Rick Lara, and Bill Philputt. A lot of folks are always under the impression that it’s a big machine with lots of moving parts, but it’s really a pretty small, grass roots operation with three founding partners and about a dozen core volunteer staff. I’ve known Rick for a while and we ran a horror culture website for a few years prior to DAYS OF THE DEAD called From Dusk Till Con (it’s still active and can be found at

Bill handles celebrity bookings for events and has been involved with conventions in the past. I met Bill while he was working for another show in Indianapolis and when that show decided to disband, he asked me if I’d be interested in teaming up to do one ourselves.

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As a lifelong horror fan and someone who has an event promotion background, it seemed like a no brainer. Our first show was in Indianapolis, July of 2011, and since then we’ve done 19 shows in 5 different cities. Louisville marks our twentieth show.

JC: The horror community thanks the three of you. While this will be my first Days of the Dead show, I’ve always wanted to attend one. Every horror fan loves coming to conventions as we get to be around like minded people. Our horror family, if you will. Can you talk about the process in getting something like this together and the decision to expand into Louisville, KY?

AD:  Louisville is a city we’ve gotten a lot of requests for in the past. Many folks from Louisville also travel to our Indianapolis and Chicago shows so when we got a great offer from the Crown Plaza Louisville hotel, it just felt like the right time to make the move. Seems like Louisville has been in sore need of a well run show for quite some time and we’re more than happy to be the ones to give it to them.

Next: Days of the Dead Louisville's Future and Dream List Guests