By Jason Harris
Super Megafest took place at the Royal Plaza Trade Convention Center in Marlborough, MA. back in October.
Super Megafest took place at the Royal Plaza Trade Convention Center in Marlborough, MA. back in October.
The filmmakers behind Inkubus, Infested and Self Storage will be showcasing their latest production Army of the Damned at Rock & Shock 2013. Along with a special invite-only premiere on Saturday, October 19, the film’s producer, director and cast will be meeting with fans all weekend long.
Some say that New England is quickly becoming the Hollywood of the East and thanks to Rhode Island based producer Chad A. Verdi and writer/director Tom DeNucci, they may just be right. The duo have cranked out hometown horror with Hollywood legends and their latest endeavor is no different. Boasting an all-star cast including Tony Todd (Candyman), Academy Award nominee Eric Roberts (The Expendables), *NSYNC ‘s Joey Fatone (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Sully Erna (lead singer, Godsmack) and professional wrestlers Tommy Dreamer, Maria Kanellis and Thea Trinidad, Army of the Damned is poised to once and for all put the East Coast on the movie making map.
To celebrate the release of the Rhode Island helmed horror flick, Verdi, DeNucci and the film’s cast will be heading up to Worcester, MA to premiere the film at Rock & Shock 2013. Joining the film’s aforementioned stars will be David Chokachi (Baywatch), Nick Principe (Laid to Rest), Jackie Moore (Atlantic Rim), Tom Paolino (Inkubus), David Gere (Remains) and Billy Vigeant (The Fighter).
Army of the Damned follows the crew of a hit reality TV show as they chronicle the lives of local cops in a sleepy town. When things go horribly awry after a call that brings new meaning to the term “domestic disturbance,” these small town cops must put their lives – and their training – on the line if they want to make it out alive and avoid joining the Army of the Damned.
Rock & Shock, now in its 10th year is an annual convention that brings together monsters, music and mayhem for three days of frightening fun! This year’s event will see the likes of Robert Englund(Nightmare on Elm Street, Hatchet), Robert Patrick (Terminator 2: Judgment Day, The X-Files), Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead), Scott Wilson (The Walking Dead), Gunnar Hansen (Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps, American Mary) and many more signing autographs, taking pictures and meeting fans from all over the world. In addition to Twiztid, this year’s live performers include Danzig with special guest Doyle and Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes; who will be screening their new film Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie and answering fan questions with a live podcast.
For a complete list of attendees and up-to-the-minute announcements, please visithttp://www.rockandshock.com.
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.
He had a great time on the movie and compares John Carpenter to a computer because of the way he had every shot planned out.
“We never shot more than three shots for every scene,” Moran said. “He was pretty amazing.”
He considers Jamie Lee Curtis, his Halloween co-star, “really cool and really good.”
“[She] was a down to Earth chick.”
When asked if there were any scenes filmed that didn’t make it into the movie, Moran didn’t know of any.
Moran was asked to be in the sequel, but turned it down.
“I didn’t want to wear a mask,” Moran said about his reason for turning down the sequel.
The mask was uncomfortable and “really hot,” he said.
“You couldn’t breathe through it. The only holes through it were for the eyes.”
When asked how long he was in the mask on a typical day, he replied. “It seemed like forever.”
Moran received credit in the sequel since footage from the original was used in it, he said.
He doesn’t plan on seeing Rob Zombie’s Halloween remake.
“It’s a remake of me so I won’t watch it.”
Moran is proud to have portrayed the character of Michael Myers
and wouldn’t want to be known for Freddy Krueger or Jason Voorhees, two other horror icons from Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th fame, respectively. He states “Halloween started it all …”
Moran has added producer to his resume when he took on that job when a guy messaged him on Myspace and sent him a script for Beg, a short film. It’s now a full-length movie starring his friend Tony Todd, P.J. Soles, and Michael Berryman, who he got to be in the movie. Debbie Rochon is also in Beg.
He would love to work with director Martin Scorsese and actor Robert De Niro.
“They are brilliant.”
Moran will be appearing at The Nightmare Factory, located at 2 Museum Place Mall in Salem, MA. from Friday through Sunday.
There’s a misconception around the campfire these days that certain products should only be placed in a venue that showcases primarily the same exact products, just in different packaging. The same can be said about writers. We all want to present our work in environments where we are most likely to reach a captive audience. It only makes sense to want to sell our books at events where people attend simply to buy books. Trendy restaurants join other restaurants at local food festivals to sell their food and hot tub salesmen compete with other hot tub salesmen at the local hot tub expos, so why not? For starters, we aren’t hot tub salesmen; we’re authors with our own unique approach in our artistry. There is something very different in all of us that sets us apart from the assembly line produced…dare I say, crap.
Over the years, I have worked at various trade shows with my company and the most important thing I’ve learned is the value of having a unique and distinguished product to offer. Fortunately, my company fits that description, however I’ve witnessed much frustration and disappointment among patrons due to the over abundance of repetitive trade displays such as window installation, granite countertops and vinyl siding companies. So when I began the process of selecting events to promote my new book, I was aiming toward venues where I wouldn’t be just another author pushing my wares. I wanted to find places where an independent bookseller would be a welcomed surprise rather than a usual suspect.
Thanks to the like-minded folks at the NEHW who organize networking events, my vision has been met head-on. Sure, the horror cons such as Horror Hound Weekend and Rock & Shock are festive and fun. Yes, the energy at a comic con is off the hook, but when it comes to actual book selling and valuable interaction between writer and reader, arts and craft shows are an untapped resource for authors. When I spoke to a fellow writer not too long ago, they laughed and asked me if I hated the thought of being in a setting where soccer moms are buying handmade jams, baskets and socks. To which I replied, absolutely not. I would much rather interact with soccer moms than try to convince some teenager, who only has enough money in their pocket to meet Kane Hodder or Tony Todd at their 18th million appearance, that he/she should be buying my book instead. In short, I’d much rather spend my time at events where the chances are much greater that I’ll sell books and make fans.
Even though I write horror, a horror con isn’t always an ideal venue for a bookseller. The same can be said for comic cons. Attendees at these types of events are not really interested in books. They just aren’t. It’s not a slam on them; it’s just the way it is. They are more interested in meeting celebrities, sorting though rare DVDs and dressing up as their favorite characters. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy these events because I do and oftentimes it’s more about who you meet rather than book sales. Just two weeks ago, I had a table at the Toronto Comic Con. Book sales were ok, but the best part was meeting an illustrator who’s going to design for me. So in the end, it was worth the time, travel and cost. It’s definitely worth it to participate in as many events as possible. But they aren’t all at the top of my preference list.
Whenever I see arts and crafts events listed on the NEHW’s calendar, I jump at the chance to attend every one of them. I love that we’re known simply as the authors in the room, not the other authors, or the one out of 20 bookseller tables. We are distinguished and well-regarded might I add. And the best part is, the patrons at these events actually enjoy reading and they love the fact that they are buying the books directly from the person who wrote it. And make no mistake about it, we as writers and independent booksellers fall under the guise of arts and crafts. These events are held everywhere, at any given time of the year and at low-cost. Why not take advantage of it? Don’t just wait for horror events held in the fall. October horror writers are only what Santa Clause is to Christmas. But that doesn’t need to be the case. And if I have the choice between selling at a horror event, where I’m up against Jack Ketchum’s forty-dollar signed copy of Off Season and Robert Englund’s autograph, I’ll take selling next to a table of country-made jam any day of the week.