Tattoo & Horror Festival Attracts Biggest Names in the Business

The 7th Annual Full Moon Tattoo  amp; Horror Festival in Nashville on Easter weekend will feature an early opportunity for horror fans to see the newest George A. Romero zombiefest Diary of the Dead. The festival features the best in horror actors and the best tattoo artists in the region.

About this time last year, I was at the Egyptian Campaign, a gaming convention on the campus of Southern Illinois Unviersity when one of the vendors mentioned that Tom Savini was going to be at the 6th Annual Lone Wolf Tattoo and Horror Festival in Nashville later in the spring.

I know the name Tom Savini because my husband is a huge horror movie fan and Tom Savini is a master of makeup effects in dozens of movies, including the original Dawn of the Dead. You may know him from that or from one of his many acting roles including the sheriff in the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead or Sex Machine in From Dusk 'til Dawn. But I had heard nothing about the horror convention. Quickly, I changed that.

My friend Dawn, her fiancé and I made plans to head to the show just to meet Tom Savini. Dawn and Jerome also enjoy tattoos, so they liked the entire focus of the show. I was just there for the horror portion. And, none of us were disappointed.

Special guest last year included Savini, Gunnar Hanson (from the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Tony Todd who played Candyman and several others. My husband was away at school, but I got him the appropriate autographs.

We also got to see a trailer for the new Bloody Moon Films production "Shudder" and enjoy the art that accompanies horror films. All in all, it was a good day trip.

Having heard me talk about, my husband was disappointed to miss the trip, until we began looking into the 7th annual show. This year, the show is being held Easter weekend, March 21-23 at the Airport Marriott Hotel in Nashville. Thankfully, Tom Savini will be returning so that my husband can meet his hero. But this year, that is only a minor draw to the convention.

The major draw is master of horror and zombie-king George Romero. In celebration of the 40th anniversary of "Night of the Living Dead", George A. Romero will be the guest of honor at the convention.

In addition, Romero will be screening his new film in the Living Dead series, "Diary of the Dead" on March 21 at midnight at the Belcourt Theater in Nachville. The theater is a historic landmark in Nashville, complete with concession stand and bar and art deco theme and $1 of every ticket sold goes to help preserve and restore the theater. At the Good Friday midnight show, Romero himself will introduce the film.

According to the trailers, the film is Romero's commentary on the modern media, much as Dawn of the Dead was his commentary on consumerism and Day of the Dead spoke about the military. Diary features a college film crew that is making a movie as the first zombies attack.

Though much of the cast of the film are relatively unknown, viewers will recognize several of the newscasters in the film including Wes Craven, Stephen King, Guillermo del Toro, Quentin Tarrantino and Simon Pegg.

In addition to the special events surrounding Romero, the tattoo and horror festival features dozens of the best tattoo artists from across the country and a Saturday evening costume contest for the best zombie, best serial killer (real or fictional), and more.

More information about the festival is available via the show's myspace page.

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