By: Brian Wilkins
Last weekend, “Rock and Shock” returned to Worcester, Mass. for the twelfth consecutive year.
In addition to celebrity photo ops, autograph sessions, panel discussions, film screenings, costume contests, and a vendor room, “Rock and Shock” combines a three-day horror convention with horror-inspired live musical acts, between two venues in downtown Worcester.
This year’s eclectic celebrity lineup included the likes of George Romero (Night of the Living Dead), Tobin Bell (SAW), Naomi Grossman (American Horror Story), William Sanderson (True Blood), Samantha Mathis (The Strain), Adam Green (Hatchet), Bill Moseley (The Devil’s Rejects), William Forsythe (The Devil’s Rejects), Doug Bradley (Hellraiser), PJ Soles (Halloween), Derek Mears (Friday the 13th), Traci Lords (Blade), Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp), Howard Sherman (Day of the Dead), and more.
The musical portion of the three-day event included Danzig, Superjoint, Prong, Hatebreed, Soulfly, Doyle, Twiztid, Blaze, The Rocking Dead (Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein, Wednesday 13, Ace Von Johnson, Ash Costello, Nikki Misery, Alex Story), and several others.
While “Rock and Shock” ran from Friday through Sunday, I was unfortunately only able to attend on Saturday. So this report will only cover the happenings from that day.
I arrived in the early afternoon on Saturday. After checking in at the ticketing/press area, I headed over to the panel room where the Monster Squad panel was already underway. Stephen Macht, Duncan Regher and Michael Reid Mackay. The trio discussed thief time making the cult-classic along with current projects.
Now, it was time to head over to the vendor room. Walking the floor, filled with posters, DVDs, t-shirts, artists, and action figures, I saw several familiar faces and vendors who attend “Rock and Shock” regularly — some of which included: Horror Decor, the VHS Preservation Society, Troma Entertainment, Sinners and Saints, Rock N Horror Clothing, and dozens of others offering a wide variety of memorabilia, clothing and art.
After making my way through the dealers and celebrity autograph tables, it was time to head back to the panel area for the much-hyped “Adam & Derek’s Wicked Boss Panel Thing” with Hatchet director Adam Green and Friday the 13th actor Derek Mears. Green and Mears came out dressed as the other, which garnered laughs from the standing-room audience. From the heartfelt stories to making the convention-goers roar in laughter, this may have been one of the best panels I’ve ever attended.
After dinner, it was time for George Romero’s panel, hosted by Adam Green. Romero talked about his classic zombie films — Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, along with the filmmaking process of Land of the Dead. He also remarked that he has no interest in directing an episode of “The Walking Dead”.
With a few hours until Danzig was scheduled to take the stage, we headed up to the DCU Center’s third floor panel room to see Old 37 starring Kane Hodder and Bill Mosley. You can check out the trailer here.
The film was the main topic of discussion as we made the five-minute trek over to the Palladium.
As we entered the historic venue, Phil Anselmo’s “Superjoint” was wrapping up their set. After a stage change, the giant Danzig skull banner lowered behind the drum kit. Not long after, the lights lowered and Danzig–dressed in all black–and the rest of the band took the stage.
Sounding a little hoarse, Danzig powered through a fantastic set that included classics from some of his most iconic records, along cuts from his upcoming cover album–such as Elvis Presley’s “Let Yourself Go” and Black Sabbath’s “N.I.B.”.
While fans were left hoping to see Doyle join Danzig on stage to play a few “Misfits” songs, the 75-minute set delivered a great mix of material from Glenn’s heavy metal years.
On Wednesday, “Rock and Shock” organizers posted a “thank you” to their Facebook page:
“We wrapped up the weekend with a bang! Thanks to everyone who came out this year, we’re already hard at work planning next year’s festivities and can’t wait to share all the awesomeness with you.”
“Rock and Shock” returns to Worcester’s DCU Center and Palladium in October 2016.
Follow Brian on Twitter for his thoughts on horror, sci-fi, design and other general musings at @brianwilkins.
Article and Photos Courtesy of Brian Wilkins