I’m writing this article on Friday, October 25th. Which means Halloween is less than a week away. Which means I’ve been watching a sh*t-ton of horror flicks because I’m basically obsessed with this, my favorite holiday. So you’ll have to excuse me if I point to a horror movie or three to make an analogy about sequels—i.e., our return to Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas for EXPO 2020.

Scream 2
Scream 2

About 30 minutes or so into the horror flick Scream 2, a film class at the fictional Windsor College is talking about the brutal murders of two Windsor students at the premiere of the movie, “Stab.” Some in the class wonder out loud if someone is creating a “sequel” to the killings in Woodsboro just a few years earlier (aka, the original Scream).

“Who would wanna do that?” says student Randy Meeks, a character from the first Scream movie who returned for Scream 2. “By definition alone, sequels are inferior films!”
“It’s a bullshit generalization,” says fellow student Mickey Altieri. “Many sequels have surpassed their originals.”

Of course, the entire on-screen argument about sequels is ironic, since it’s happening in a film that is a sequel (tip of the cap to Wes Craven, may he rest in peace). A class debate on sequels follows, noting films that were as good as, or better than, the originals. Aliens. Godfather 2. Terminator 2. The Empire Strikes Back.

Personally, I can make a case that Scream 2 is better than the original (you may be cringing, but I’ll happily debate you on it). I also prefer Halloween II (the original, not the ill-conceived Rob Zombie remakes) to the original Halloween. Phantasm II over Phantasm is a no-brainer, as is Evil Dead 2 over Evil Dead. Technically speaking, Silence of the Lambs is a sequel to Manhunter (at least in terms of the books that the movies are based upon), so score another for the sequels. And, here’s another one sure to spark some ire — I have Rocky II by a nose over the original Rocky.

EXPO 2020, Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas
EXPO 2020, Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas

Long story short, as Mickey deftly points out, many sequels have, in fact, surpassed their originals. And that’s exactly what we at ED Publications aim to do with EXPO 2020 at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, albeit with a new theme, “Decoding the Future of Your Club.” We at ED don’t mind sequels, and after the rave reviews that attendees gave Planet Hollywood following the most recent EXPO, we’re pretty sure you all don’t mind sequels, either.

Still, there are certain aspects of sequels that reflect the most enjoyable parts of the original. That’s why we’ll be bringing back the ED University “Training Certification Seminars,” which were met with great enthusiasm from convention guests. Once again, we’ll be presenting “certification” seminars on key areas of club operation, which will, in turn, allow you to bring home something tangible from the industry’s only national convention.

Dave's pick, Halloween 2 (1981)
Dave’s pick, Halloween 2 (1981)

We’ll also be bringing back a very vibrant EXPO Tradeshow Mainstage, along with the “chill day” event on the final day of EXPO where more beautiful entertainers will compete for $10,000 in cash and prizes. And of course, the Annual ED’s Awards Show will once again honor the best of the best from across the US and around the world.

As I was wrapping up this article, I polled ED Publisher Don Waitt and Head Sales Guy Kristofer Kay (both are huge film aficionados) about their personal favorite sequels of all time. Don has Aliens, Kris is going with The Empire Strikes Back (which is his favorite movie of all time, period).

Me? I have to go with Halloween II. Donald Pleasance delivers more memorable one-liners, and Michael Myers is … well, Michael Myers (I have a Myers tattoo, after all). I watch it every year, without fail. Makes me feel like I’ve squeezed a few more hours out of my favorite holiday.

EXPO deal 1