Get Your Halloween Horror Fix at Rock and Shock (5 stars)

The Rock and Shock Horror Convention is an amazing opportunity for fans to get their Halloween Horror fix.  Movies, makeup, posters, comics and books are all represented – not just as merchandize to buy but as an experience to behold.  You don’t just go to this convention to buy, you go to create memories as fans.

Rock in Shock is a two part show (hence Rock AND Shock).  The Rock part consists of numerous bands in the hardcore, metal and punk genres.  Ministry headlined Friday night as legends of the music scene.  While Sunday was headed up by Twiztid – the Grindcore counter parts to Insane Clown Posse.  These two bands alone bring the fans in droves. 

The second part of is Shock, the convention itself.  It boasts an impressive lineup of merchants, film makers, makeup artists and even tattoo artists.  You can easily take hours as you get lost in the pop up mall of Rock and Shock.  If you have a favorite horror movie, chances are you can buy merchandise – both custom and mass produced to match your passion. 

There were numerous artist who make awesome horror merchandise for you to take home.  Among the longtime veterans of Rock and Shock is Derek Rook of Rough Publishing.  Along with his long collection of great comic book work he brought out the new Gore Shriek comics featuring 3 variant covers as well as The Dead Omnibus and The Gates of Hell.  Local film maker Paul Michael McAlarney was representing his company Ungovernable Films whose recent feature Honky Holocaust was featured directly across from his booth at the Troma table where you could purchase a copy of it on DVD along with such cult hits as the Toxic Avenger and Class of Nukem High. 

Billy Coyne long time Boston Makeup artist was there showing off his works and discussing his upcoming Halloween projects.  “Most of what I make I put into my workshop“ says Billy.  He says you need to constantly reinvest in your work to keep things going.  Billy truly illustrated the dedication local artist go to deliver for fans.  Erich Gamache, a local author, had several of his horror novels ready for sale.  He is happy to tell you the story behind the monster on the cover and how it was conceived and design by his young son. 

And if you think Horror fans are heartless guess again.  Among the merchants selling t-shirts and posters were several dog rescue shelters who use the convention as a means to gain awareness and attention for their cause.  We got to meet Juno the Chihuahua who is the mascot for Red Hot Rescue.  Juno rides around Rock and Shock in his mini race car escorted by a bloody Valkyre named Gustava raising awareness about animals in need of rescue.  Now that is not a sight you see often.

If turning yourself into a work of art is your thing and you want to be a model of the macabre then there is plenty here for you.  Several tattoo artists are on hand to permanently mark your love of horror.  If you like your art more ephemeral you can go to The Get Dead Crew and be turned into a creature of nightmares by the very talented makeup artists on hand.  Meagan, the lead artist was a beautiful and scary mummy / bride of Frankenstein hybrid who was busy transforming a young model into a twisted creature. 

The main attraction that brings out the fans is the celebrities.  Here you can meet your some of your favorite horror movie stars both new and classic.  I spoke with many fan favorites to catch up with them and see what they were doing.   Kirk Acevedo, most known for being a bad prisoner in the TV series OZ and his brief time on the Walking Dead hinted that he would make a big impact on the new season of Arrow.  Legendary actor director and makeup artist Tom Savini just created new special effects and kills for the Friday the 13th video game that just came out.  He was thrilled to revisit the series having been the special effects artist behind the very first movie back in 1980.

Much of Rock and Shock geared itself around a home town hero Adam Green.  Adam Green hails from Holliston Massachusetts and has gone on to make numerous horror movies and even a web series.  Most famous for his Hatchet Triology, he had just announced he made a fourth installment called Victor Crowley.  He recently had a sold out screening up in Salem and the crowd was not disappointed.  This years show truly belonged to him and the many people he assembled to make his latest piece. 

Many of the stars of the Hatchet series were on hand to help hype the new film.  Zach Gilligan, most know for his role in Gremlins was there to say he was let in on the secret of Victor Crowley but he managed to keep silent on details.  Tiffany Sheppis, who rose to fame in Troma movies and later Sharknado, hinted at her part in the movie but didn’t want to spoil anything. So she kept hushed up about any spoilers.  Horror Icon Kane Hodder made his name in the Friday the 13th playing the killing Machine Jason Voorhees.  Now he might be just as well known as Victor Crowley among horror fans. 

Many of the actors and actresses from Victor Crowley headed up a panel to discuss the movie and particularly the business of film making.  Adam Green lamented that making his movies was difficult due to them having relatively low budgets but high production values.  He also seemed disappointed in the direction the movie industry was going in that it is becoming harder for movies to make money now that fewer outlets for DVDs exists.  Everyone is streaming because Netflix cost so little to subscribe to. 

Overall Rock and Shock delivers all a horror fan could want in a big package to boot.  You get music, artist, merchandise and famous horror actors.  This is the perfect convention to make your October a memorable one leading up to Halloween.  Be sure to make Rock and Shock a definite destination in 2018!