It's that time of the year again. We have the undeniable beauty of the vibrant New England foliage, the inescapable aroma of pumpkin spice wafting through the air and, most importantly, the horror industry in full effect for the Halloween season. Returning this Friday the 13th is New England's single most renowned horror convention, Rock and Shock.
A seamless fusion of both horror film and metal music, this three day event is perfectly summed up as being the convention-chimera of all oddities morbid and eerie. To uncover what's in store for this year's Rock and Shock, I sat down with convention coordinator, Michael Welch, for all the gruesome details.
Behind The Scenes At 'Rock and Shock':
RR: 'Rock and Shock' is not only New England's most celebrated horror and metal convention, but also the longest running. How many years has 'Rock and Shock' been running?
13 years, since 2004! When we started we took up less than half the space we do now! It has been so great to watch the show grow over the years.
We have a full convention in a large convention center and run full concerts in a historic music venue all weekend. I’ve never seen a show with that kind of setup. There really is something for everyone. The costume contest is so much fun! The adult contest will be Saturday afternoon, and boasts a cash prize for the top winner. The kids contest will be early on Sunday. We’re hoping to get a lot of entrants, because the more entrants, the more fun.
RR: 13 years is an applaudable amount of time to be scaring the living s**t out of New England every year. How has Rock and Shock continued to stay at the top of the horror game?
When we started it was a two day show. In our third year we expanded to three days. As the show grew we were able to bring in more celebrities and more vendors, and now we are at capacity in terms of space at the DCU Center. We have had movie premieres and unique concert events like our annual Rocking Dead assembly, and there’s no telling how far we can go in the future.
We’re doing our first costumed photo op! On Friday the 13th at 5:00pm, Kane Hodder will be donning the Jason wardrobe and makeup from 'Friday the 13th part VII' for a very special professional photo op complete with a backdrop! We’ve also got James Remar and Pollyanna McIntosh as first time guests in the celebrity room.
Unfortunately, James Remar has since stepped away due to a scheduling conflict, but was promptly replaced by Pollyanna McIntosh's fellow The Walking Dead star, Tom Payne.
RR: I see a lot of great new faces on the lineup this year, such as the aforementioned Pollyanna [McIntosh]. Can we still expect to see some of our favorite veteran guests attending again this year too?
Adam Green is a local boy and definite fan favorite, as are Derek Mears and Tom Savini. and we’ve got a pretty even mix of returning and brand new vendors, about 100 total. Some of the most popular returners are Fiona’s Fright Shoppe, LIX, Joel Robinson and Christopher Ott.
Ken Reid is bringing his TV Guidance Counselor podcast to Rock and Shock, so that should be very fun. Also fun will be the return of Adam and Derek’s Wicked Boss Panel Thing, where Adam Green and Derek Mears (and maybe some surprise guests) spend an hour being naturally funny.
RR: Little miss Fiona Fright's short horror film 'Daddy Dearest' actually made its world premiere at Rock and Shock a couple years back. Will she be returning this year with any updates on her insanely brilliant film, 'Daddy Dearest?'
Yes! Thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign, 'Daddy Dearest' will be having its DVD premiere at Rock and Shock! Fiona will be signing copies and taking photos with fans at the Fiona’s Fright Shoppe booth, and we’re definitely looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next. If you haven’t seen 'Daddy Dearest', it’s simply chilling, and she’s not even a teenager yet!
RR: Being fans of the horror and metal genres aside, what brings you and the Rock and Shock crew coming back to Worcester, year after year?
There is nothing like watching the movement of the show. What I mean is, I watch everything happen from Friday morning when the empty building gets filled with vendors setting up their booths, into Friday evening when doors open to the fans, on to the concert at the Palladium, and then back for Saturday to start again.
Seeing the fans swarm in is so cool. We sacrifice a great deal of our personal lives for this show, so watching the buildings fill with fans is very satisfying.
Tickets for Rock and shock are available at the door or through their site. For a complete list of celebrity guests, band, events and real-time updates, be sure to like their official Facebook page and follow them on Twitter.
What's your favorite annual music or film festival? Tell us all about it in the comments section!