This article appeared at www.worcestermag.com.
Rock & Shock Returns to Worcester
By Trisha J. Wooldridge
Hordes of leather- and black-clad denizens of the underworld are crawling, walking or running into Worcester’s DCU Center and the Palladium this weekend of October 14- 16. There will be cries of terror, thundering earthquakes, and screaming guitar strings and fans. It’s Rock & Shock time again!
“I really enjoy coming to Rock & Shock because it’s New England’s horror con, and everyone we’ve met there has been great,” says Penny Dreadful, horrormovie hostess based out of Massachusetts and regular Rock & Shock guest. “This is New England’s big convention for all things monstrous and horrific, and there’s rock ‘n’ roll to boot!” Attendees to this year’s Rock & Shock get the added Shilling Shockers bonus of a free six-page preview of the upcoming comic, “Penny Dreadful’s Cauldron of Horror,” with artist Frankie Washington of Marvel Upper Dec art cards doing special signings on Sunday.
The DCU Center and Palladium host the unique convention pairing the horror industry with the rock and metal music industry. Not only do attendees get to meet horror icons such as Robert Englund and William Forsythe, but they get to see music legends like Ace Frehley and attend concerts given by local bands to headliners such as Insane Clown Posse.
Rock & Shock is the dark, evil love project of WAAF’s Kevin Barbare and Mass Concert’s general manager Gina Migliozzi. Based on both horror fans’ experiences at conventions, they wanted to create the unique event that is Rock & Shock. As the convention grows every year—with significantly more in 2011 than prior years, it’s excellent reputation grows with it.
“It actually makes it very tough to book the show because so many people want to come back here, year after year,” says Migliozzi. “You want to have them back, but you can’t because you have to have new people in, to keep it exciting and different.”
Barbare adds, “And if we weren’t a show where they wanted to come to or had a good experience with, it would be much harder to get them to come, even if they wanted the work.”
In fact, this year the convention has drawn the attention of Rhode Island’s Woodhaven Production Company, which will be hosting the world premiere of “Inkubus,” starring horror legends Robert Englund and William Forsythe, at Rock & Shock. It’s a full red-carpet affair drawing the entire cast, the director, writers and producer. Tickets are available exclusively as giveaways, by invitation or contest. Only paid attendees of Rock & Shock can attend the premiere and following Q&A.
Having the premier at Rock & Shock is “a win-win for everyone,” says producer Chad Verdi of Verdi Productions. “Rock & Shock benefi ts by having us there, and Rock & Shock is the best place to promote the movie.” He’s particularly looking forward to sharing this first red carpet of one of his movies with first-time director Glenn Ciano.
“We’re treating [Rock & Shock] like Comic-Con, getting all the actors there, doing panels,” describes Ciano, “taking a fan’s first route with this, because if it is going to get out there and be what we want it to be, the fans are going to have to take a part in how we do that.”
As an additional gift to Rock & Shock attendees, one of only five dolls made of Englund’s demon, Inkubus, will be raffled off at the convention. In addition to the doll, Rock & Shock fans will also be the first to hear about future projects with the character.
Another regular booth at Rock & Shock belongs to the New England Horror Writers, an organization founded in 2001 to provide peer support and networking to opportunities to authors who sell books, comics and other literature throughout the weekend. “I love that the New England Horror Writers’ organization is a part of Rock & Shock again,” says Jason Harris, New England Horror Writers’ director of publicity. “The written word fits in well at Rock & Shock. Without the written word, horror fans wouldn’t have Wes Craven’s creation, Freddy Krueger in ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street.’”
“The great thing about the New England Horror Writers’ being at an event like Rock & Shock is that there’s a unique energy—it’s our time of year, we love rock, we love scary movies,” describes New England Horror Writers’ member and author, Kristi Petersen Schoonover.
This year’s Rock & Shock still has more to offer. Starting on Thursday, where weekend ticket-holders can attend a preparty concert with Alisano and The Bones at the Palladium. On top of that, Fangoria Magazine is sponsoring an excellent panel track that includes Q&As with actors, screenwriters and filmmakers; a writing workshop with professional authors and editors; a look at publishing in the horror industry, including small press, ebooks and indie publishing; and much more.
There’s more reason than ever to check out the convention that continues to become the northeast’s premier horror media con — plus it’s right in our own back yard!
Worcester’s Rock & Shock Hosts Red Carpet Premiere of “Inkubus”
While Worcester DCU Center and Palladium are crawling with the torn shirts and band T-Shirts of recently undead or concert goers, some dark denizens will don tuxedos and dresses to strut down the red carpet for the World Premiere of “Inkubus,” the latest horror film starring icons Robert Englund and William Forsythe.
In this film, Englund plays the demon Inkubus who arrives during the last shift, a skeleton crew of officers closing Cranston Police Station, with the severed head of a girl so he can use his one phone call to contact retired detective Gil Diamante [Forsythe], who nearly caught him 13 years ago.
In addition to the intriguing plot, it’s interesting that this film with amazing star power behind it—Jonathan Silverman, Joey Fattone, and Michelle Ray Smith help round out the cast—is a local production filmed less than an hour away, in Cranston, R.I., at the old Cranston Police Station, employing local cast and crew.
“During ‘Inkubus,’ I drove twoand- a-half minutes from my house to the police station,” describes actor Tom DeNucci, who plays Offi cer Pax. “It’s something that wouldn’t have happened even a few years ago. Maybe a whole future generation of filmmakers could get churned out of Rhode Island because they see what we’re doing and say, ‘Oh, we can do that, too.’”
Producer Chad Verdi explains, “We want locals to support local filmmakers. And I can guarantee you, no one had more fun making these films than us and the actors. They’re coming to this red-carpet premiere because they want to come.”
Only attendees of Rock & Shock will be able to attend the World Premiere of “Inkubus.” Tickets are being given out via contests and giveaways throughout the convention. After the premiere, there will be a special Q&A. The movie will be released in theaters throughout nine states on October 28.