This weekend, the Showboat Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ, hosted the New Jersey Horror Con and Film Festival. Fans packed in to meet and greet their favorite celebrities, take photos, shop the vendor tables, and indulge in Q&A panels. The panel area opened up Friday night with a dynamic duo from Ash vs Evil Dead as stars Dana DeLorenzo (Kelly Maxwell) and Ted Raimi (Chet/Henrietta) took to the stage… or should I say took over the stage. Despite the series being cancelled by the STARZ network earlier this year, DeLorenzo had one of the most consistently packed lines at NJ Horror Con and there were plenty of Ash cosplayers. They gave the fans a hell of a fun time during their panel’s Q&A.
Raimi instantly took over the stage and had the crowd hysterical. A young girl from Richmond, VA, who was in Kelly Maxwell cosplay, was asked to come up on stage. After asking her parents’ permission, she was able to quote DeLorenzo’s favorite Kelly-line from Ash vs Evil Dead, which is definitely NSFW. DeLorenzo has an amazing rapport with young kids and there were plenty of young girls posing for pics with her throughout the weekend.
The panel moderator asked the actors how they felt about getting involved in the AvED process and DeLorenzo discussed getting the call and “cry-laughing” while her and her mother laughed about her “75-year-old grandpa scream.” Raimi joked about driving getaway cars and needing the job, before they reflected on him getting back into the Deadite Henrietta costume for the first time since Evil Dead 2 in 1987.
They also took questions from the eager crowd:
Q: Who are your artistic heroes?
Dana DeLorenzo spoke about her time playing Amy Winehouse in a tribute band and meeting the great Carol Burnett. She also referenced the physical comedy of the late great Robin Williams. Ted Raimi referenced lesser-known character actors that had an impact on him, like Bill McKinney and EG Marshall.
I chimed in:
Geeks Of Doom: I have a 7-year-old daughter and Dana you’ve been taking photos and meeting all these young girls, you obviously have a huge impact on them. What’s it feel like to get the role and 4 years later you’re an inspiration to girls all over?
Dana DeLorenzo: My answer is going to be honest. I hear you saying that and I’m thinking who’s he talking about? Me? No, I’m just some girl from Youngstown, Ohio. I worked in a bar my whole life. I was never the cool kid, so when you say that to me it doesn’t feel like me. So if I’m doing that, it’s bread and butter because I’m just being who I am. Here’s the best way to answer your question: When the show first started, there were posters everywhere; it was season 1 and my parents’ friends would say, ‘Oh Dana’s a star now, she’s on billboards, how does it feel that your daughter’s a star?’ And my mom was like, ‘She’s not a star, she’s just my Dana.’ That’s really what it is. I just want to be an entertainer, I want to make you laugh, or cry or share the human experience and I know it’s crazy because it’s a show about a guy with a chainsaw arm. Anything else that I am, I’m not aware of it, but I’m happy to be it. I don’t know if it’s a good choice for me to be that inspiration, but hey if Kelly Maxwell inspires people the way those legends inspired me, then I’m a lucky girl.
As they did on Ash vs Evil Dead for three seasons, Dana DeLorenzo and Ted Raimi were consistently entertaining and absolutely awesome. On the way back to their tables, I got to speak with Ted Raimi about his film career and his near Sean Bean-esque talent for dying on screen. He told me his favorite death was in Shocker (1989) and described how he practiced the scene for director Wes Craven. He also joked about “getting off easy” in Midnight Meat Train (2008) as his gruesome death was entirely CGI, whereas the other actor in the scene with him was subjected to a 4-hour shoot in very uncomfortable conditions.
The New Jersey Horror Con just wrapped an awesome three days on the boardwalk in Atlantic City. The Ash vs Evil Dead aspects were part of what made it so great. For more info about the convention, visit the official site.
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