Event Report: Rock and Shock 2008!
So the 5th annual Rock and Shock convention in Worcester, MA has come and gone and I have to say, this show keeps getting better and better as its reputation grows and word spreads about it.
The big draw for this year’s show was Lost Boys star Corey Haim, who was joined by Aliens and Terminator badass Michael Biehn, a Hellraiser reunion that included Doug Bradley, Ashley Laurence, Simon Bamford and Barbie Wilde, Rock and Shock alum Jack Ketchum, Jason Mewes, Brian O’Halloran, Waxwork star Zach Galligan, and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper . That’s a damn fine lineup and actually only a partial list of horror luminaries fans finally got the chance to have some face time with.
Friday night started way too early, at least for those of us who were helping out the ever-diligent Nomad get the Dread Central table ready, but overall the crowd was kickin’ for what is usually one of the show’s slowest days. Creepy and I moderated the panel for Mewes and O’Halloran, which started off slow but got really fun after about ten minutes, thanks to O’Halloran’s natural rapport with the crowd and Mewes’ bizarre behavior that kept everyone paying attention just to see what he’d do next. After a while Creepy and I realized we could just kick back and let that panel run itself.
The rest of the night went well, fans mingled, met their horror heroes, bought stuff from the wide variety of vendors (more than I think I’ve ever seen at the show) and all in all had a good time. Of course we were all just anxious for the doors to close and the after-hours fun to begin, but I can’t really write about those kinds of experiences now can I?
Wait, can I?
Just got word; no, no I can’t. Damn. Some great stories came from that night, too!
Saturday morning the show kicked into gear nice and early, and I’m happy to say the crowds were thick & steady all day long. I got to moderate the authors’ panel which consisted of our secret lover Joe Knetter and Jack Ketchum among others, and I have to say I did a pretty damn good job keeping those guys and girls talking about their craft. Later on Creepy got to sit with Tom Savini while he fielded questions from the audience (you don’t really need to moderate a Savini panel, the man has it under control) as well as a very cool Hellraiser reunion panel later in the day.
The Dread Central table was, as always, the cool place to be for kids of all ages. Between the boxes full of nylon bags we had courtesy of Viz (everyone loves those) to the posters from Lionsgate, stickers from a variety of vendors, toys from Wizkids and all the other badass companies who contributed to the show, the free stuff was flowing like the waters of the mighty Nile all weekend long! I would be shocked if a single fan walked out of there without something from the Dread Central table, and they all better remember who gave it to them!
Saturday night was an interesting one, to say the least. The Rock and Shock crew had their usual soiree at the Palladium, but because the GWAR show had sold out, they had to leave the balcony open for the entire night. This meant that, instead of the usual exclusive area all us cool kids got to hang out in, the balcony was populated by a gaggle of sweaty and, as the night wore on, increasingly more grue-covered GWARheads. I know that all sounds a bit snobby, but really I think they should always go down that way, damnit. That’s what being a horror fan is all about; getting sweaty and covered in fake gore! I’m glad we got to rub elbows with those kids this year. GWAR fans really are the coolest.
After that party let out it was back to the hotel for the rest of the partying, which ended up in us being asked to move from the suite we usually (over) populate to the hotel’s ballroom! It was an odd setting change to say the very least, especially considering we kept running into toasted guests from an early wedding.
Finally Sunday dawned upon us, far too early. My lovely Girlcreeture actually took the initiative to (wo)man the DC table solo for the first hour or so of the show while the rest of us got our lazy asses in gear, and from what I hear tell she did a bang-up job. Of course, giving stuff away isn’t exactly the hardest job; everyone loves free stuff! The day was spent gaggling at all the Juggalos (as ICP fans are known … the band was playing that night) and trying our damndest to make sure Nomad had as little to take home with him as possible. I got some face time with Doug Bradley and Simon Bamford (look for their comments on Book of Blood soon) and said our goodbyes to all the fantastic Rock and Shock staffers who helped make the weekend yet another memorable one.
Rock and Shock just keeps getting bigger every year and this one was no exception. I’m glad Gina, Kevin, Bill and the rest of the R and S crew keep at it year after year cause there really is no other show like this out there. Start making your plans now so you don’t miss next year!
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