By Jason Harris
Smales has two stories in Insanity Tales II: The Sense of Fear.
Smales has two stories in Insanity Tales II: The Sense of Fear.
There will be a second post with pictures from Rock & Shock 2015 coming in a few days.
Rock & Shock begins this coming Friday. I have always enjoyed going to and taking pictures at conventions. This year I’m looking forward to seeing authors Jack Ketchum, Joe Knetter, and Stacey Longo again. They have all attended the convention in the past.
The celebrity, who hasn’t been to Rock & Shock in the past and the one I’m looking forward, is Samantha Mathis. I have been a fan since her first movie, Pump Up the Volume.
Lately, Mathis can be seen on the television series The Strain or the now canceled Under the Dome. You can find out about the other celebrities and events happening at Rock & Shock here.
As your local shops fill up with skeletons, vampires and friendly ghouls to hang about your house, our thoughts turn to Halloween, and for folks dedicated to all things horror, that includes planning their annual trip to the biggest horror and music convention on the East Coast during the spookiest of seasons; ROCK AND SHOCK! October 16th through 18th, Rock and Shock will celebrate their 12th year of music and mayhem at Worcester, MA’s DCU Center with a full schedule filled with panels, film screenings, activities and contests running across a show floor jam packed with excellent guests and awesome vendors. You’ll find all the holiday gifts you need for the creepiest kids in your life!
This year’s guest lineup includes George Romero, Godfather of Zombies everywhere (and director of Night of the Living Dead if we need to mention that), Tobin Bell (SAW Films), Naomi Grossman (American Horror Story), William Sanderson (Blade Runner, True Blood), Samantha Mathis (The Strain, American Psycho, Pump Up The Volume), Adam Green, Bill Moseley, William Forsythe, Doug Bradley, PJ Soles and more!
Check out the full lineup HERE!
This years’ bands include Danzig, Hatebreed, Twiztid, Prong, Soulfly, Soil Work, Blaze, Witch Mountain, Sanctuary, Superjoint and many more! Part of the “many more” is a special addition you’ll find only at Rock and Shock. Last year, primo photographer Jeremy Saffer presented to us THE ROCKING DEAD. Last year, primo photographer Jeremy Saffer presented to us The Rocking Dead. A band of music’s finest was assembled from acts that were on the Rock and Shock bill as well as surprise special guests, and with a mere soundcheck as their only practice as a unit they took the stage and belted out a set of classic Misfits songs. When they were done the fans knew they had seen something truly special, and in many a mind there grew hopes that this rare assembly would return. Well, their voices were heard, and Jeremy Saffer will once again present The Rocking Dead to you this year! But this time, the monster has grown! Led by musical director, protector of animals and rock and roll guitarist extraordinaire Ace Von Johnson, a band has been assembled that brings back many of last year’s gang but, like any good sequel, this one is even bigger!
The band and/or signings will include luminaries from rock and metal such as:
DOYLE WOLFGANG VON FRANKENSTEIN–The Misfits/Doyle
WEDNESDAY 13–Murderdolls/Wednesday 13
KYLE CASTRONOVO–Wednesday 13
ACE VON JOHNSON–Faster Pussycat
TAIME DOWNE–Faster Pussycat
ASH COSTELLO–New Years Day
NIKKI MISERY–New Years Day
MIKE D’ANTONIO–Killswitch Engage
ACEY SLADE–Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
BRET VON DEHL–The Relapse Symphony
As icing on the cake, many of the players will be signing during the convention! (Note: some will be signing all three days but due to touring schedules some will only be able to sign on Saturday.) As for the performance, what bands and songs will they cover this year? Will there be surprise guests? Well, some secrets are better kept until the show, but with The Rocking Dead added to an already stacked Saturday concert lineup this is an event not to be missed! Check out the full music lineup HERE!
We’ve got three days of films rolling out as well, including Chainsaw Maidens, Old 37, Fury, Diary of a Deadbeat, Pieces of Talent, plenty of shorts and some surprise features!
After cruising the show floor to shop with an incredible array of vendors, you can take in programming where amazing folks from the horror industry share their secrets with you, visit the Rock and Shock Creative Lair and learn drawing, writing, mask casting, creative activities and more, wave hello to super talented cosplayers roaming the floor or join them in our Cosplay Contest (for little AND big kids!) sponsored by Halloween Outlet and swing by the Idle Hands booth to test your horror knowledge or accept a challenge, all for killer prizes!
While every day at Rock and Shock provides a kid friendly atmosphere families will love, Sunday is KID’S DAY with a schedule including face painting, pumpkin decorating, a coloring contest and a cosplay contest just for your little monsters. We also show our appreciation for our servicemen on Sunday by offering FREE ADMISSION to all Police, Fire, EMT and Military personnel. Just show your service ID at the doors and you can receive up to 4 free tickets to the convention!
Hit up RockandShock.com for further info and to find the ticket option that best suits your fiend level!
Rock and Shock is a three day horror and music convention featuring celebrity signings, movie screenings, concerts, panels and more. Now in its 12th year, Rock & Shock has played host some of the biggest names in horror and rock. This year’s event will be taking place October 16-18, 2015 in downtown Worcester, Massachusetts at the DCU Center (http://www.dcucenter.com) and the Worcester Palladium (http://thepalladium.net).
I was happy to see that three actors from the 1987 movie, The Monster Squad, will be at this year’s Rock & Shock, which takes place Oct. 16 – 18. These actors are Stephen Macht, Duncan Regehr, and Michael Reid Mackay. Macht and Mackay play Del and The Mummy respectively. In the last few years, Macht has been in the television series, Suits and The Mentalist while Mackay has been in Insidious Chapter 3.
The one I’m looking forward to meeting though is Regehr who portrayed Dracula in the movie. I have always loved The Monster Squad. Yes, it has its flaws, but to me they are easily overlooked because of my love of the movie. If you haven’t seen it or don’t own a copy, it is streaming on Netflix at the moment. I own a copy, but once it became available on the streaming service this past September, I watched it there as well.
Besides The Monster Squad, Regehr has been in a few favorite television shows of mine such as V: The Series and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I recently rewatched “The Begotten,” an episode of DS9, and it dawned on me that the same actor who portrayed Shakaar was also Dracula in The Monster Squad. I’m not sure if I’ve made that connection before. Before I started writing this post, I thought Regehr was on more than just three episodes of DS9.
So if you are a Star Trek or V fan, make sure to come to Rock & Shock to meet Regehr. Don’t me surprised if you see some V cosplay when you are attending Rock & Shock.
Books & Boos Press has debuted the cover for Insanity Tales II: The Sense of Fear. The cover plays off of the eye theme from the original Insanity Tales anthology cover. Both covers were created by artist Melinda Phillips.
Insanity Tales II: The Sense of Fear will debut in early October. According to Stacey Harris, co-owner of Books & Boos Press, she hopes to have copies of the new anthology to join the first one at their table at Rock & Shock. Two of the authors, Stacey Longo and Rob Smales, will be on hand during the convention to sign copies.
The collection features eleven stories from six of New England’s finest storytellers. David Daniel, Stacey Longo, Dale T. Phillips, Rob Smales, and Ursula Wong each have two short stories in the book; Vlad V. contributed a novella. Multiple Bram Stoker winner Joe McKinney (Crooked House, Plague of the Undead) wrote the foreword.
The book is a themed anthology: each author based their stories on different senses, going beyond the traditional (sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste) to elements such as a sense of doom, of powerlessness to control the future, and a sense of false hope.
The anthology is the second installment from Books & Boos Press. Insanity Tales debuted in October 2014.
Books & Boos will be sharing space with Fenham Publishing this weekend at Rock & Shock, which runs from Oct. 17 through 19. Publisher Jim Dyer will be representing Fenham Publishing and author Stacey Longo will be on-hand to sign her books (Secret Things, Insanity Tales) at the Books & Boos table. Longo is also a movie reviewer and writer for Jason Harris Promotions. She will be on the Writing panel with Joe Knetter at 12 p.m. on Saturday.
Rock & Shock is getting ready to turn it up to 11! In anticipation of the 11th anniversary of the horror and music convention that brings 3 days of monsters, music and mayhem to downtown Worcester, MA, Rock & Shock is giving the public an extra early sneak peak at this year’s attendees. While there are still plenty of big name acts yet to be divulged, Rock & Shock is pleased to announce that among this year’s guests will be Brad Dourif, John Ratzenberger, Jeffrey Combs, Nivek Ogre and Fiona Dourif. Meanwhile, King Diamond, Machine Head and Twiztid are among some of the convention’s scheduled performers.
Brad Dourif, the voice of everyone’s favorite flame-haired doll turned serial killer Chucky will be making a rare convention appearance at Rock & Shock 2014. Dourif is a legendary character actor who is best known for his appearances in Rob Zombie’s Halloween 1 & 2, The Exorcist III, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers & The Return of the King, Dune, TV’s Deadwood and his breakthrough role as Billy Bibbit in Milos Forman’s 1975 classic One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. To make the event a true family affair, Dourif will be joined by his real life daughter and True Blood star Fiona Dourif. Fiona’s other screen credits include Curse of Chucky, Deadwood and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Academy Award nominated film The Master.
He has danced with the stars, voiced some of your favorite cartoon characters and even fought for the Rebel Alliance and this October, Cheers‘ very own John Ratzenberger will be returning to the place where everybody knows his name. In addition to portraying Cliff Clavin, postal worker extraordinaire on the seminal Boston-based TV series Cheers, Ratzenberger has appeared in films such as Motel Hell and House 2: The Second Story, competed on Dancing With the Stars and has become the voice of Pixar. Ratzenberger is, in fact, the only actor to voice for a character in every Pixar film; most notably Hamm the Piggy Bank in the Toy Story series, The Abominable Snowman in Monsters, Inc. and Mack the Truck in the Cars.
A legend in both the horror and sci-fi communities, Jeffery Combs will be making his triumphant return to Rock & Shock this year. Combs first made his name as Herbert West, the main character in Re-Animator and it’s two subsequent sequels. He followed that up with appearances in several classic horror films including The Frighteners, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, House on Haunted Hill, FeardotCom and most recently, Would You Rather. However, science-fiction fans will best know Combs for his portrayals of several characters within the Star Trek universe, most notably the Vorta clone Weyoun on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Rounding out the early announcements is Skinny Puppy and ohGr frontman Nivek Ogre. Since forming Skinny Puppy in 1982, Ogre has wowed audiences as both a musician and an actor, appearing in films such as Repo! The Genetic Opera, 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams and The Devil’s Carnival.
Speaking of world renowned musicians, this year’s performers are set to include: King Diamond, who will kick-off the event’s pre-party on Thursday, October 16, Machine Head, Children of Bodom, Epica and Battlecross, who will be rocking the Palladium stage on Friday, October 17 and Twiztid, back by popular demand with their Fright Fest festivities and scheduled to close out the event on Sunday, October 18. A very special guest headliner for Saturday is set to be announced in August, so let the speculation begin!
Tickets for Rock & Shock 2014 go on sale this Friday, June 27th at 10am and may be purchased at ticketfly.com, FYE stores or at the Palladium box office. There are still plenty of celebrity guests, musical acts and events yet to be announced so make sure to follow Rock & Shock on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram and visitrockandshock.com.
Author Joe Knetter started writing ten years ago after being a lifelong horror fan. His start came when he was online and found a publisher who was looking for stories.
“I thought it would be fun to give it a shot, so I wrote four and sent them in.”
All four of his stories were accepted, he said. Since then, he has written many more stories with interesting titles. His favorite title is “For the Love of Orson Welles’ Fat Black Ejaculate,” which can be found in his collection, Vile Beauty.
“It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever,” Knetter said about the title. “I was stoned one night. I just randomly said that. I can’t remember what about.”
He ended up writing that story for a gross-out contest. After submitting it and people started reading it, the contest organizers changed the rules so that his story was excluded, Knetter said.
“Vile Beauty is really nasty. It’s more for shock value and over-the-top stuff. The other stuff is a little more mellow. Zombie Bukkake is obviously pretty out there.”
There are times Knetter will come up with the title first, then work the story around it.
He has a new story, “Crack in the Sarcophagus,” appearing in Canopic Jars: Tales of Mummies and Mummification, which debuts this month at Anthocon.
“I think it’s going to be a fun book.”
He loves attending horror conventions, and attends quite a few. When he first started out, he would attend up to 14 a year. This year he has only been to three, including Rock & Shock.
“Being that there are so many shows across the country, it kind of gets oversaturated a little bit.”
At his first convention, his goal was to sell one book. At one of the many conventions he has attended since that first one, he met his girlfriend of four years, Sarah French.
“The goal is always to make money, but it’s just as important for me to network,” Knetter said about conventions. “The shows are fun. It’s great to meet people.”
He did have a fan come to a show once whom he later found out was disturbed. This fan later arrested for putting bombs in vibrators, which is what Knetter used in one of his stories, he said. The fan was caught before anyone got hurt. He would have felt bad if someone had gotten hurt, but realized that if the fan didn’t react to something he wrote, he would have reacted to someone else’s work.
“Lucky enough, he was stupid enough not to do it right. Thank god. Horror fans are good people generally. They’re not troublemakers.”
He did have another fan buy one of his books that was poorly edited early on in his career. This fan highlighted his mistakes in the book then brought it back and gave it to him, Knetter said. “That was pretty comical, actually.”
Inspiration strikes Knetter everywhere. He has used an old mental hospital his mother worked at as a setting in a few stories. He has also written about a haunted hotel his girlfriend lived in while growing up. His story, “Room 17,” describes what happened at that hotel.
“I had to change the name of the hotel by one letter. Legally, I’m good to go now.”
He has been inspired by the early work of Clive Barker and is a huge Stephen King fan. His work has been compared to Wrath James White and Edward Lee.
His advice to writers is to just write, but don’t expect to make money, because writers don’t make much.
“Write because you have to tell the story and hope that you get lucky enough that it finds someone who likes it. You have to keep writing.”
You can find out more about Knetter on his website, click here.