TerrorCon, a New Convention for Horror Fans

 

By Jason Harris

 

New England is getting its second horror convention, TerrorCon, with the first one being Rock & Shock, which will be holding its eleventh convention this October. TerrorCon, which takes place in Rhode Island in June, isn’t the only new horror convention debuting in New England this year. Connecticut Horrorfest debuts in August.

TerrorCon is the brainchild of Steven Perry, director of operations for Altered Reality, who has brought conventions to fans of comics, movies, and pop culture. These conventions are Southcoast Toy and Comic Show and Rhode Island Comic Con. Perry had been thinking of his newest one, TerrorCon, for about a year, he said.

Rhode Island didn’t have a big horror type show, Perry said. “We wanted to bring that to the people of Rhode Island.”

Perry thinks the organizers of Rock & Shock do a great job so he decided to have his new convention take place in June so as not to interfere with Rock & Shock. He didn’t want to step on anyones toes, he said.

“Everyone’s happy and friends remain friends. It keeps everyone friendly with everyone. We believe that everyone should work together. There’s no need for shows to stumble.”

Perry isn’t sticking to only New England to organize shows. His company is in the process of organizing shows for New Jersey and Colorado, which should be starting up in 2015, he said. He can’t say what those shows will be since they are not fully developed, which is the reason he hasn’t announced them yet.

“Right now, they will both me similar to Rhode Island Comic Con.”

If you couldn’t guess from the different line-ups for Perry’s shows, they always try to do a theme, he said. They plan their guests around whatever theme they decide to do. Whatever guests they choose and book for the event, they are sure to tell the fans about who is coming. They have lists of guests for the next two years, he said.

“We like to keep the fans enticed and let them know what’s going on all the time. Something new pops up with us, we put it up for everybody to know,” Perry said about constantly updating the convention websites.

Perry was asked last November why they were announcing guests for this year’s convention when the 2013 one just ended. He responded with, “Why keep it a secret? We want them to know and get excited about it. We want the fans to make plans to come out to the show.”

Here is just some of the guests coming to TerrorCon: David Giuntoli (Grimm), Linda Blair (The Exorcist), Michael Biehn (The Terminator, Planet Terror), Dee Snider (Twisted Sister, The Celebrity Apprentice), Lita Ford, Cherie Currie, Michael Jai-Whie (Spawn, Arrow, Fast and the Furious 7, The Dark Knight), Nicholas Brendon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Criminal Minds), Josh Stewart (Grimm, Criminal Minds, The Dark Knight Rises), Kane Hodder (Friday the 13th: Part 7, 8 and 10, Hatchet), Lew Temple (The Walking Dead) and Dee Wallace (ET, The Howling).

Perry started organizing conventions with the Southcoast Toy and Comic Show, which was held in a VFW hall, seven years ago. That first show had about 300 people in attendance, he said. It’s a far cry from the 22,000 people who attended the first Rhode Island Comic Con when they thought the attendance would be around 10,000 and the 30,000 people they had for the second Rhode Island Comic Con. He’s expecting between 10,000 and 15,000 people to attend TerrorCon, which is a safe number in the mind of Perry.

“The horror market is a little more of a niche market so we don’t expect a large audience,” Perry said.

His vision for Southcoast was t bring a reasonable size show that would be community based, Perry said. He wanted something for the fans in that area to be able to look forward to every season or twice a year. Another thing he wanted to do was bring in celebrities that people don’t always have a chance to meet, he said.

Perry said that TerrorCon will be the same size of the original Rhode Island Comic Con plus an extra ballroom.

“TerrorCon will not just be horror. It will be horror themed, paranormal, all mixed together.”

TerrorCon takes place June 7 and 8 at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, RI.

Celebrities Coming to Rock and Shock

Celebrities Coming to Rock and Shock

by Jason Harris

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.

‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Review

The Opposite Sexes Rise Up to Review the Newest Batman Movie

by Jason Harris and Stacey Longo

The Dark Knight Rises movie poster. (courtesy of Warner Bros.)

HE SAID: The Dark Knight Rises does not advance Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise. It’s the weakest of the three movies. In his defense, it’s hard to outdo yourself when your last endeavor included Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker.

The movie starts eight years after The Dark Knight with a memorial for Harvey Dent in front of Wayne Manor. Batman hasn’t been seen since the fateful night of Dent’s death and Bruce Wayne has become a recluse with a limp.

Director Christopher Nolan portrays main villain, Bane, with the right respect, unlike Bane’s portrayal in Batman & Robin. This is the character that in Batman: Knightfall, the serial that ran in 1993, orchestrated the assault on Batman, then broke his back.

Nolan chose Tom Hardy (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) to play the ex-communicated member of the League of Shadows, the organization created by Ra’s Al Ghul. Hardy was superb as Bane. He was the right size and had the right muscle mass. The only problem is you can’t understand him 90 percent of the time. Since Nolan and his brother Jonathan wrote the screenplay, you would think they would want their words heard and understood by the audience.

Anne Hathaway (Alice in Wonderland) dons the mask and claws of Catwoman in Nolan’s franchise. Her portrayal is right up their with Michelle Pfeiffer’s performance in Batman Returns. Nolan captures the character quite well. There should have been more of Catwoman, though.

L-r: Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox and Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ action thriller The Dark Knight Rises. (courtesy of Warner Bros.)

Nolan’s script abounds with in-jokes such as when Morgan Freeman’s Lucius Fox shows Bruce “the Bat” and he tells him it does come in black. This is in reference to the scene in Batman Begins where Bruce asks Fox if “the tumbler” comes in black. It also brings the franchise full circle by mentioning Ra’s Al Ghul, who was the villain in Batman Begins. Nolan also shows scenes from the first two movies to show how his trilogy is connected. It’s just too bad the movie couldn’t have had a better connection to the greatest of the previous two movies.

SHE SAID: The Dark Knight Rises clearly draws from the very first scene of the first movie, in which Thomas Wayne asks “And why do we fall, Bruce? … So we can learn to pick ourselves up.” Everything takes a tumble in this film – Commissioner Gordon’s reputation falls, Bruce Wayne has a spiritual fall, and the city of Gotham itself is set up for a fall. What’s a dark knight to do? Get up and save the day, of course. The problem is that all of these redemptions take waaaaay too long.

This movie spends too much time cutting between the looming threat of Gotham’s destruction and Bruce Wayne’s climb out of the depths of darkness, only to emerge a better man (with a hot new girlfriend in a catsuit to boot.) Anne Hathaway makes the Catwoman character all her own, and I have to agree with Jason that she could’ve used more screen time. Michael Caine (Inception) is still formidable as Alfred, but his presence is sorely missed for a good chunk of the movie. Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption) and Gary Oldman (Bram Stoker’s Dracula) are also still fantastic as Lucius Fox and Commissioner Jim Gordon, respectively. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is introduced as John Blake, a troubled cop who wants to do the right thing. While his performance is fine, it’s not difficult to figure out where he fits in with the Batman legacy.

L-r: Tom Hardy as Bane and Christian Bale as Batman. (courtesy of Warner Bros.)

It would be hard for any D.C. Comics villain to follow in the footsteps of the late Heath Ledger’s delectable Joker, so don’t hold it against Tom Hardy that his Bane falls short. This baddie goes from terrifying to tepid in an instant once his full backstory is revealed; plus, it doesn’t help that his face gear makes him practically unintelligible. However, if it’s hand-to-hand combat and things blowing up that makes a movie great for you, this one has plenty.

Jason and I concur: three out of four stars.