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Inside Spooky Empire’s May-Hem 2011 with Bruce Campbell, a chainsaw, costumed Deadites, and horror hilarity – in 3D!

Inside Spooky Empire’s May-Hem 2011 with Bruce Campbell, a chainsaw, costumed Deadites, and horror hilarity – in 3D!

Halloween season is here! Wait, no it’s not. It’s not even summer yet. But that didn’t stop the Deadites at Spooky Empire from putting on a ghoulishly good time with their first May-Hem event, which took place May 27-29, 2011 at the Wyndham Orlando Resort on International Drive. With hundreds of guests pouring in to Spooky Empire’s Ultimate Horror Weekend each year, it was decided to branch out and offer horror aficionados a chance to get together outside October.

And May-Hem certainly delivered. Over three days and nights, attendees walked the convention halls by day, meeting celebrities and browsing macabre merchandise, and partied by night, with undead dancing and lively entertainment. Throughout it all, our roaming cameras captured much of the excitement in video and hundreds of photos. So enough with the words. Let’s get on with the picture show.

First up, take at video trip around the May-Hem show floor and celebrity meet-and-greet area, stopping to chat with special guests Alex Winter (Bill S. Preston Esq. from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure) and the ladies from Evil Dead, amongst others:

For three days and nights, our intrepid cameraman Michael Gavin lived, ate, and slept May-Hem, snapping photos all the while. The result is nearly 400 photos capturing the merchandise, celebrities, exhibits, presentations, VIP parties, and attendees. (So if you were there, you just might see yourself here!) But I know 400 pictures is a lot to sift through, hoping to find that one great shot of Evil Dead star Bruce Campbell using a chainsaw to cut a themed cake (yeah, that happened) or bikini-clad zombie girls lounging around a pool (yep, that happened too). So I’m going to make your life easier.

Before we get to the complete slide show of all our May-Hem photos, I share with you a few highlights that give a good sense of what the event was all about. Then you can decide if you belong with Spooky Empire or if this crowd’s just not your thing. Horror fans are definitely a specific breed with similar tastes in clothing, entertainment, and music, each of which often revolves around massive amounts of fake blood. So if you’re squeamish, you may not want to press on. Consider yourself warned.

And there’s a special reward for those of you who make it to the bottom. Get your red/blue anaglyph glasses out (or a Nintendo 3DS) and keep on scrollin’ to find some fun 3D photos from within the May-Hem halls.

Highlights from Spooky Empire’s May-Hem 2011:

Bruce Campbell - Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

Horror legend Bruce Campbell ready to meet fans at Spooky Empire's May-Hem in Orlando.

Bruce Campbell - Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

A Bruce Campbell doppelganger arrives.

Bruce Campbell - Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

Bruce's voice will be featured in Disney's upcoming Cars 2!

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

Nearby, Ted Raimi is... well, he's just Ted Raimi.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

The ladies of Evil Dead are more than happy to tell tales of excessive gore.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

And if The Evil Dead isn't enough, how about The Walking Dead too? Here's star Jon Bernthal pointing menacingly. The girl too.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

Zombies come in all ages. Addy Miller is one of the show's youngest stars.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

But Bill Hinzman is a much older zombie. Zombie #1, in fact, from Night of the Living Dead.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

Alex Winter knows a bit about zombies himself, after rising from the dead in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey. Death sucks at Twister.

Anthony Michael Hall - Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

Anthony Michael Hall played opposite Johnny Depp in Edward Scissorhands. I suppose that's close enough to a zombie.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

Land shark!

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

It's all part of Chris Kiszka's incredible Jaws collection.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

Elsewhere on the May-Hem show floor, attendees can take a virtual ride to a funeral inside a closed coffin. If this doesn't scream Spooky Empire, I don't know what does.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

It helps to be dead (or undead) when riding...

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

...but even young Deadites enjoy the trip.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

Merchandise aplenty on the show floor.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

Plenty of action figures to buy. Mostly Michael Myers.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

Several makeup artists lend their skills to those wanting to be zombified...

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

...like this guy! Oh wait, he's only a model.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

The May-Hem vendor room had no shortage of grim artwork and photography.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

Friend of Inside the Magic and Halloween Horror Nights designer Ray Keim shows off his definitely-not-the-Psycho-house paper model. It's available for cutting and folding in the new Mad Monster magazine.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

But Spooky Empire would be nothing without the fun and unique people that make it come alive, figuratively speaking.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

And there were quite a wide variety of people who showed up to May-Hem. You've got the gory undead.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

And the attractive undead.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

The wacky undead.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

The video game undead.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

The tall undead.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

And the short undead.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

How about a little Spooky Empire May-Hem riddle? What do you get when you add a pretty face...

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

...to a not-so-pretty face?

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

Something in between. Scary? Check. Still somehow pretty? Check. Such is Spooky Empire.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

But when it gets out of hand, you call in the exorcists. I don't think that's pea soup...

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

Or... maybe you call the Ghostbusters?

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

Vote time! Female Ash 1?

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

Or Female Ash 2? (We'll let the real Ash, Bruce Campbell, pick the winner below...)

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

After the sun sets, the party moves to the pool and Spooky Empire mastermind Petey Mongelli reveals the secret behind his show's success.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

Celebrities party with the rest of 'em...

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011

...and it should be obvious why.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011 VIP party

At the VIP party, a themed Evil Dead cake stands tall, awaiting destruction.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011 VIP party

Chef Eric Woller puts finishing touches on his creation.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011 VIP party

Attendees marvel at its glory.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011 VIP party

Even Bruce Campbell is impressed.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011 VIP party

Bruce thanks Eric for his hard work on the cake...

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011 VIP party

...then tears into it with a chainsaw. Ash is back!

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011 VIP party

Bruce has some good aim with that icing.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011 VIP party

The rest of the Evil Dead cast joins in to sample.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011 VIP party

And Bruce is thrilled.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011 VIP party

Remember the female Ash vote above? I think Bruce has chosen his winner, as he admires her... chainsaw.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011 VIP party

Then the rest of the zombie dancers hop on stage to boogie with Bruce.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011 VIP party

And the May-Hem concludes with a night of dancing and partying. And zombie pole dancing. That's Spooky Empire.

Spooky Empire’s May-Hem 2011 – in 3D!

I promised a bonus for those who made it all the way down here, so here are a few 3D photos from Spooky Empire May-Hem!  If you have a Nintendo 3DS, you can download them all in MPO format here in a ZIP file. (Need help? Click here for instructions on how to load the files onto your 3DS.)  If you don’t have a 3DS, take out the red/blue anaglyph glasses you got when you bought Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare on DVD and enjoy:

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011... in 3D!

Brains...

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011... in 3D!

DO doo doo DO doo doo DO do DO do DO doo...

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011... in 3D!

One, two, Freddy girl's coming for you...

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011... in 3D!

Ch ch ch, ah ah ah...

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011... in 3D!

A witch!

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011... in 3D!

Suddenly Female Ash 1 looks like the winner.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011... in 3D!

This is Steven Yeun from The Walking Dead's idea of a cheap 3D trick.

Spooky Empire May-Hem 2011... in 3D!

But I can't leave you with that. So instead we finish with 3D undead babes. You're welcome.

The first-ever May-Hem event from Spooky Empire appeared to be a big success. It may have been a smaller scale than the annual Ultimate Horror Weekend in October, but the different time of year afforded a chance to draw different celebrities they haven’t been able to book. And what horror fan doesn’t appreciate a little spooky fun months before the Halloween season kicks into gear? Even with the grim genre, there were smiles to be found everywhere throughout the May-Hem weekend, with surprises and laughter accompanying all the screams and gore. While not for everyone, May-Hem is just the right mixture of frights and fun for a ghastly good time.

More photos from Spooky Empire’s May-Hem 2011:
(Photos by Michael Gavin. 3D photos by Ricky Brigante.)


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