By Jason Harris
The Cast of The Monster Squad.
There will be a second post with pictures from Rock & Shock 2015 coming in a few days.
There will be a second post with pictures from Rock & Shock 2015 coming in a few days.
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.
The 11th Rock & Shock is less than two weeks away and the organizers have brought horror fans another great line-up this year. Some names fans will recognize celebrities such as Tom Savini, Brad Dourif, Roddy Piper, Derek Mears, and Sid Haig. There are also new ones to the convention such as Sharknado and American Pie star Tara Reid and Jeffrey Combs (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Enterprise)
Celebrities who had to cancel their appearances last year are back on the guest list for this year and they are Andrew Divoff (Wishmaster) and John Ratzenberger ( Cheers and the Toy Story movies).
Check out the guest list here.
Once again, there will be authors, publishers, and bookstores at the convention. Authors include Bram Stoker award-winner L.L Soares, Joe Knetter, Stacey Longo, Tim J. Finn, and Bracken MacLeod. Knetter and Longo will be participating on a writer’s panel at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 18, with a few other authors. Publishers and bookstores include Fenham Publishing and Books & Boos respectively.
Rock & Shock takes place at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA. from Oct. 17th through the 19th.
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.
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.
The 10th anniversary of Rock & Shock seems to have been the year for booksellers having a presence at the convention. In previous years, there were only Shock Totem, Sideshow Press, and the New England Horror Writers at the event. Only the NEHW has been consistently representing its members there year after year for more than five years.
This year saw the NEHW joined by the returning representatives of Sideshow Press and Shock Totem, who both haven’t been at the convention in a couple years. The new booksellers at the event were Fenham Publishing and Living Dead Press. Click here to read a previous article on Fenham Publishing. There were also two authors, Jack Ketchum and Joe Knetter, in the celebrity area of Rock and Shock selling their books.
I spent the weekend in Worcester, MA. at the 10th Anniversary of Rock and Shock. It was a great time and in the next couple of weeks, there will be pictures, interviews, and articles from the convention.
Massachusetts prepares for the 10th anniversary of the Rock and Shock Horror and Music convention series this weekend (October 18th – 20th) with a lineup of sinister guests, musical acts and events that cannot be missed!
This year’s celebrity guests include Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger of Nightmare on Elm Street), Robert Patrick (Terminator 2, The X-Files), Gunnar Hansen (Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Michael Rooker, Scott Wilson, Lew Temple and IronE Singleton (of The Walking Dead), cast and crew from Sharknado, the cast of Holliston and many more!
Rock and Shock’s show floor offers so much more than awesome celebrity guests and isle after isle of incredible vendors.
Tickets are available now at http://rockandshock.com/tickets/ with options from VIP to show attendee.