Rock and Shock Horror Convention Preview
It’s October and this is my favorite time of year. I love horror movies and I love the Halloweenification of everything from Star Wars to Hello Kitty. I don’t know if that’s a real word, but I’m sure you get the meaning. One of the highlights of this month (aside from my wife’s birthday, which I am obligated to mention any time I mention October) is the annual Rock and Shock Horror Convention at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Rock and Shock is a collection of horror icons like Ashley Laurence, Danielle Harris, Tom Savini, Kane Hodder, Malcolm McDowell, Derek Mears, Linnea Quigley, and the late George Romero as well as podcasters, musicians, filmmakers and horror writers. In addition to them are the vendors selling horror-themed wares including apparel, music, collectibles, movies, comics, tattoos and more. Rock and Shock also has an accompanying concert series that runs the same three days at the convention, which this year takes place on the 12th, 13th and 14th and features some excellent bands. I’m particularly looking forward to Avatar, but there are plenty of bands to suit your musical tastes while still adhering to the overall aesthetic of a horror convention such as Twiztid and Trivium, as well as Ice Nine Kills for the Official Kickoff Party on Thursday the 11th, which I will also be attending.
As of this week, writing guests are still being announced, headlined by the star of The Exorcist, Linda Blair! I’m very excited to meet her and talk to her about her experiences, as well as Jeremy Davies, whom I enjoyed in Lost and Ravenous. Malcolm McDowell will also be there, and I am very much looking forward to chatting with him about his recent role in American Satan.
On a personal note, I’ve been attending this convention since 2008 and I’ve made a lot of connections and friends through this show. To quote my wife, “It’s more like a family reunion than a convention” because we get to see folks that we interact with all the time through various social media platforms, and texting and calling. This is the only time of year where we are physically in the same place at the same time. It makes this experience that much better. I’ve come to appreciate the camaraderie of my fellow horror family and look forward to this all year long. Getting to see some of my friends that I only get to see at this convention is the reason that Rock and Shock holds such a special place in my heart and why I will continue to support it.
Of all the conventions I have been to over the past few years, I feel like Rock and Shock has the best balance of crowd size, vendors, celebrity guests, and other attractions compared to other venues. It can be overwhelming for first-time attendees because there is so much to see and to do. Unlike some other conventions I’ve attended, vendors aren’t crammed into small spaces so that the biggest displays are reserved for corporate sponsors that have nothing to do with the convention. No, Rock and Shock is all about the experience and the joy of fans of horror joining together from all over the country to see the stars of the films they love, immerse themselves in some new aspects of their favorite genre, and meet new people who share their feelings. To me, that’s what this convention is all about and I can’t wait to go to see what this year’s show holds!
For more information on Rock and Shock 2018, check out the convention’s website.
Patrick Rahall covers entertainment for MFST. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickRahall