Rock and Shock is an annual horror convention/horror themed concert series. I have yet to attend any of the concerts (although this year they had The Misfits, who I find enjoyable) but for the past four years I have gone to the convention.
This year the guest of honor was Malcolm McDowell, hence I was doubly excited. I have an inexplicably affinity for/fascination with 1979’s Caligula (I wrote a ten page final paper on the film) and thus had to have Caligula himself sign my rare 2 LP soundtrack. Outside of having one of the coolest resume’s in film history (If…, A Clockwork Orange, Time After Time) McDowell is also a real class act, taking time out to talk to and take pictures with fans.
Outside of the movie biz there are also a number of horror writers in attendance. I fulfilled a yearly tradition by harassing Jack Ketchum. This year I had him sign a Spanish language edition of The Crossings, much to the amusement of scream queen Tiffany Shepis who then performed an impromptu reading from the book.
Either my agoraphobia is getting worse or the convention has seemed to double in attendance each year I go. I arrived around 1 o’clock and the crowds were modest but by the time I left it had become nearly impossible to wind through the aisles of the dealer’s room. Some highlights include on-site tattooing, artists, rare DVDs, make-up demonstrations and enough t-shirts to clothe a small country (I picked up a snazzy Night of the Bloody Apes shirt from The House of Mysterious Secrets).
I only had time to attend one panel, but it was a good one. Director John Landis is a riot. He spoke about everything from Gene Kelly and Ginger Rogers to how hilarious he finds the films of Roland Emmerich (His take on Independence Day: “I haven’t laughed that hard since Richard Pryor”) and gave some great anecdotes on his hits and misses(his stories from the set of Beverly Hills Cop 3 are classic). The interview really got me excited for Landis’ return to features Burke and Hare a dark comedy staring Simon Pegg and David Tennant.
Rock and Shock doesn’t quite have the appeal of New Jersey’s Chiller Theatre, but then again it also does not have the decades of history behind it. Hopefully it will continue to grow and attract top level talent. For horror fans in the Boston area it is impossible not to recommend.