By Jason Harris
The 3rd Annual MASSive Comic-Con happened the last weekend of June.
Altered Reality Entertainment, owners of Rhode Island Comic Con, the Biggest Show in the Smallest State, celebrates the return of Terror Con with a Halloween Reunion.
Terror Con, which returns to the Rhode Island Convention Center after a two-season hiatus, welcomesMalcom McDowell, Tyler Mane, and Scout Taylor-Compton in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the 2007 remake of the original movie by Rob Zombie.
Throughout a career spanning over fifty years, McDowell is perhaps best known for the controversial roles of Alex DeLarge in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, the title character in Tinto Brass’ Caligula, and Mick Travis in Lindsay Anderson’s trilogy of if…., O Lucky Man! and Britannia Hospital. He is also known for his work in Cat People, Tank Girl, and The Artist. McDowell has had recurring roles in numerous television series such as Entourage, Heroes, and The Mentalist.
Tyler Mane is a former professional wrestler. As an actor, he is known for playing Sabretooth in X-Men and X-Men: The Official Game, Ajax in Troy, as well as Michael Myers in the remake of Halloween and its sequel, Halloween II. Scout Taylor-Compton has appeared in numerous television roles and feature films. In addition to her role as Laurie Strode in Halloween, her most notable role includes her role as Lita Ford in the film The Runaways.
Halloween is an American horror movie franchise that predominately focuses on the fictional character of Michael Myers who was committed to a sanitarium as a child for the murder of his older sister, Judith Myers. Fifteen years later, he escapes to stalk and kill the people of Haddonfield, Illinois while being chased by his former psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis. Michael’s killings occur on the holiday of Halloween, on which all the films primarily take place.
Terror Con, celebrating horror, paranormal, music, and wrestling, comes to the Rhode Island Convention Center on February 25th and 26th. Tickets are currently available through the event’s website, www.theterrorcon.com. Ticket prices range from $25 to $45. VIP packages are available for $99.99.
Scare-A-Con took place the first weekend of June at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, MA.
I am a well-educated, fairly dignified woman. I read Faulkner and Hemingway and have studied the morphological and chemical variations of the common dandelion. And, as anyone who has ever been to a convention with me can tell you, I totally geek out when it comes to meeting former wrestlers.
For me, wrestling is a fond childhood memory, dating back to the time when my father would take my sister and me to the Glastonbury High School gym to watch Bob Backlund wrestle Ray “The Crippler” Stevens. There’s a special love there, one that nobody likes to talk about, but is recognizable in other wrestling fans when they let slip that yes, they have always wondered how George “The Animal” Steele got his tongue so green. (The answer: spearmint Chiclets, which I learned after meeting him at the Southcoast Toy and Comic Show.)
At Rhode Island ComicCon, I had the pleasure of meeting Jake “The Snake” Roberts and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan. For those of you who don’t know who these men are, you’ve probably already given up on this article anyway, so I don’t feel I need to explain.
Wrestling superstar Jake “The Snake” Roberts stated in casual conversation that he’s feeling great, is drug free, and recently lost 40 lbs. He’s an advocate of DDP Yoga (www.ddpyoga.com) and highly recommends the workout and meal portions that the program teaches. He was animated and enthusiastic when talking, and it was wonderful to see Roberts looking and feeling well.
The wrestling panel that was scheduled for Sunday afternoon turned in to a Q & A session with WWE Hall of Famer “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan. (Originally, the panel was to include Roberts and wrestler Big Van Vader, but Roberts had to leave early to catch a flight, and Vader was a no-show.) Duggan has been wrestling for 33 years, and his love of the business was evident in his enthusiasm and the beaming smile he wore while talking about his career. He was friendly and articulate, occasionally breaking out into his Hacksaw persona to emphasize a point. Duggan patiently answered questions about his former employers (both the WWE, which Duggan states “is run like a corporation, which it should be, because it is one” and the WCW, which he recalled as “the inmates running the asylum.”) He spoke about former coworkers Andre the Giant (“he was a lonely man”) and Hulk Hogan (“he’s a real good guy”) with fondness. As with any employee at a company, he didn’t always get along with the people he worked with, but was a gentleman when former opponents he didn’t care for came up. “We aren’t close,” he would explain if someone asked him about a specific wrestler he didn’t get along with, and would deftly move on to the next question.
Duggan’s achievements in the ring include winning the first (then-WWF) Royal Rumble in 1988 and WCW Television Champion and United States Heavyweight Champion. He named his 2011 WWE Hall of Fame induction as one of his proudest achievements. When asked about the 1997 “Montreal Screw Job” (in which WWE Champion Bret Hart was asked to drop the belt to Shawn Michaels prior to Hart’s exit to WCW, which Hart refused to do; WWE owner Vince McMahon called for the bell early even though Hart hadn’t submitted, ending the match) Duggan surprised the audience. “I actually think Bret was wrong,” he admitted. “If the boss tells you to drop the belt, you drop the belt.” Hart hadn’t wanted to lose in Canada, his home country. “I don’t want to lose in America,” Duggan laughed. “But you do it because the boss tells you to.” Duggan and Hart have spoken about the incident and remain friends. Duggan is also close to “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and Hogan.
Duggan ended the hour-long session by allowing fans to get their picture taken with him, a big-hearted gesture considering other celebrities were getting $10 to $20 on the convention floor for photos. Meeting both Roberts and Duggan was a thrill for this particular wrestling nerd, and the highlight of my weekend.
Side note: I was able to meet Big Van Vader briefly at this event as well. We aren’t close.
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.