By Jason Harris
Vermont Comic Con held it’s second annual convention this past weekend. It was bigger and better than it’s first convention in 2014.
Another Rock & Shock has come and gone, the 10th one to be exact. It was another good one with even more vendors this year. The one thing that was lacking was attendees in costume. There just wasn’t a lot of people in costume. Here are pictures from the event.
Jason Mewes and Brian O’Halloran to Host Panel & Autograph Session at Rock & Shock
Rock & Shock may be less than two weeks away but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still a few surprises in store! And speaking of stores, one of those surprises includes the addition of Clerks stars Jason Mewes and Brian O’Halloran to the convention’s long list of special guests! The actors will not only be signing autographs but will host a panel entitled “I’m Not Even Supposed to Be Here” on Saturday at Worcester’s newly renovated DCU Center.
Mewes will also be joining actor/writer/director Kevin Smith on stage at the Worcester Palladium on the convention’s opening night, Friday, October 18. The twosome will bring their famed characters, Jay and Silent Bob, to Rock & Shock with a viewing of their new animated film – Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie. Having brought the characters to life in several of Smith’s renowned films such as Clerks, Mallrats and Dogma, the legendary best buds from Jersey are back on the big screen to dispense weed and wisdom, this time in cartoon form. Audiences will have the opportunity to watch the new movie with its stars and then participate in rip-roaring Q&A and podcast recording afterwards. A special early screening of Smith’s Westboro Baptist Church-inspired horror flick Red State will precede the featured presentation.
Another Rock and Shock has come and gone. The New England Horror Writers were there once again. We have been there for the past four years. This year saw less atttendees then last year, but last year’s guest line-up included Robert Englund, whose line went on forever and never seemed to get any shorter, and Ace Frehley, former lead guitarist of KISS. This year had Heather Langenkamp, of Nightmare on Elm Street fame, Anthony Michael Hall, of televison series The Dead Zone and movies The Breakfast Club and Weird Science, and another former KISS member, Peter Criss.
Before getting to Rock and Shock, the wife and I went to fellow NEHW member Trisha Wooldridge’s house, where we were staying over the weekend. We were also going to be joined by another NEHW member Kristi Petersen Schoonover, who would be arriving later that night. It’s always a party when the NEHW members get together.
After leaving Trisha’s house, we drove to Annie’s Book Stop in Worcester to talk to the owner about her bookstore. The wife and I were picking her brain since we’re opening our own bookstore called Books and Boos in Colchester, CT. It was a very informative 40 minutes.
I was there the entire weekend and Saturday was the busiest day. Friday started off with Breakin’ into the Biz panel, which included myself, T.J. May, Matt Bechtel, and Kristi Petersen Schoonover, who ended up as moderator since there wasn’t anyone from Fangoria magazine there to do the job like there were for the other panels during the weekend. The panel went well and there were a lot of suggestions and advice given to the people in the audience.
The audience grew a little bit for the Women in Horror panel, but that was to be expected since Langenkamp and Lisa Marie (Ed Wood, Mars Attacks!) joined NEHW members Tracy Carbone, Stacey Longo, and Trisha Wooldridge. This panel had Jack from Fangoria, moderating the panel. One thing surprised me was that the audience didn’t asked two many questions when that time came. Four questions were asked of people on the panel and two of those questions came from me. I asked Heather how was it working on Just the Ten of Us and if she would do another television show. She said, she would love to do another tv series. It was also nice to hear that she will be in the next Star Trek movie titled Star Trek into Darkness, but she couldn’t say what character she’s playing. It was also great talking to her and Lisa Marie when the panel was over.
On Friday, it was great talking with Sean Whalen who was in The People Under the Stairs and Twister, and many other movies. Check out his credits on the Internet Movie Database by clicking here. He gave Carbone, Longo, and myself some good ideas.
I introduced myself to Doug Bradley, who portrayed Pinhead in most of the Hellraiser movies except the last one, since I conducted a phone interview with him a few weeks ago. You can read the article here.
I was hoping to interview Hall on Sunday since that was the day his manager, John Boitano, said would be the best day since it’s the slowest of the convention. On Friday, I had the feeling it wouldn’t happen since there was a sign on Hall’s table stating he wouldn’t be at the convention until 2 p.m. on Saturday. When Saturday came, he didn’t show up at his table until 3 p.m. Later on Saturday evening, he took a break and a sign said he would be back at 5:45 p.m. He didn’t get back from his break until 6:15 p.m. Seeing those signs, physical and figuratively, told me that Hall wasn’t going to keep an interview with me on Sunday. It would have been cool to interview him, but it wasn’t disappointing. I did interview another filmmaker, Ryan Convery, on Sunday about his movie Mourning Wood, which is about “humping zombies.” There will be an article and a movie review coming in the near future.
It was great meeting Tony Todd (Candyman), Brian O’Halloran (Clerks), and Sig Haig (House of 1000 Corpses) this weekend. I won’t get autographs since I am not paying $20 or more for an autograph unless they are selling a movie or a book. I will shake their hands and tell them I love their work.
There was a Horror in the Movies panel on Sunday, which Rob Watts, Bracken Macleod, myself, and Stacey Longo were on. Longo ended up being the moderator when Jack from Fangoria couldn’t do it since he had to do something else. It was attended by a good number of people.
There will be another post with pictures tomorrow.
Rock and Shock is lining up the celebrities for this year’s convention and it seems a new one is added every day. In the last two days, Heather Langenkamp (Nightmare on Elm Street)and Danny Trejo (From Dusk till Dawn, Machete) were added to the line-up. They join Doug Bradley, who portrayed Pinhead in eight Hellraiser movies and Lylesberg in Nightbreed, Sig Haig and Bill Moseley, who both appeared in House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil Rejects, Brian o’Halloran who portrayed Dante Hicks in the two Clerks movies and Anthony Michael Hall (The Dark Knight), who has been in the John Hughes’ classics The Breakfast Club and Weird Science and in The Dead Zone television series. These are just a few of the celebrities appearing at Rock and Shock.
If you are not into the movie celebs, there are also a star of the written word appearing at the convention. Author Jack Ketchum will once again bring his talent to Worcester. The writer of such novels as Red, Offspring, The Woman and The Girl Next Door, which all have been made into movies.
Wrestling star turned actor Diamond Dallas Page (The Devil’s Rejects) will be at Rock and Shock too.
It seems like the organizers of Rock and Shock can’t get enough of the music group, Kiss. They invited Ace Frehley, former lead guitarist of KISS, to last year’s convention. This year Peter Criss, the former drummer of the band, will be on hand signing autographs.
For a list of the other guests appearing at Rock and Shock, click here.
Rock and Shock takes place at the DCU Center, located at 40 Foster St., in Worcester, MA.