For the past thirteen years, WAAF alum Kevin Barbare has been the rock behind Rock and Shock Horror and Music Convention, one of New England’s biggest horror and music conventions, and 2017’s show was no exception. The convention takes place annually in the Massachusetts city of Worcester (pronounced “Wistah” for those non-locals) at both the DCU Center and the Palladium. This year, they were lucky to kick things off on Friday the 13th, a fact that guests and F13 alumns Kane Hodder, Derek Mears and Amy Steel did not let go unnoticed. There were new guests to the con, including two Walking Dead cast members: Thomas Payne (Jesus) and Pollyannae McIntosh (Jadis).
I was there to represent PopHorror once again for the entire weekend, snapping photos, chatting with guests, sitting in on panels, and getting to see tons of film and short screenings. I got an update from the now 12-year-old Fiona Fright, whose film Daddy Dearest (read our review here) had screened at Rock and Shock in 2015. After her recent crowdfunding campaign, she was able to get her short released on DVD, an announcement I was thrilled to hear! Although I don’t generally cross over into the music portion, this year I peeked in on Adam Green’s band, Haddonfield, and I’m pretty glad I did. Who knew the guy could do more than direct? All in all, it was a fantastic weekend full of great people, friendly staff, inventive cosplay, some sweet merch, and so much more.
Rock and Shock Guests
Rock and Shock boasted both new and returning guests this year. I was lucky enough to chat with both the aforementioned Thomas Payne, Pollyanna McIntosh, Kane Hodder, Derek Mears and Amy Steel, as well as FX artist Tom Savini, Zach Galligan (Gremlins), Linnea Quigley (Return of the Living Dead), Tiffany Shepis (Victor Crowley), director Adam Green (Hatchet), Alex Vincent (Child’s Play – read our interview with the actor here), Mercedes McNab (Hatchet), Kristina Klebe (Rob Zombie’s Halloween), Tom Morga (The Shawshank Redemption), Kirk Acevedo (Oz TV series), Christine Elise (Child’s Play), director Kurando Mistutake (Gun Woman – read our interview with the director here), Barbara Magnolfi (Suspiria), Eugene Clark (Land of the Dead), Eileen Dietz (The Exorcist), Sarah French (The Night Watchmen – read our interview with the actress here) and F13 FX artist John Carl Buechler.
It’s always a highlight of my Rock and Shock weekend to chat with Derek Mears and his fiance, Jenny Brezinski. They are the epitome of humbleness – and hilarious to boot! You couldn’t ask for a better celebrity meeting. The sweet, stunningly gorgeous Kristina Klebe spent so much time with each of her fans, giving them all 100% of her attention. Bouncy brunette Tiffany Shepis went above and beyond what was needed to make her guests feel comfortable, shaking their hands and asking them about themselves. Still as beautiful as ever, Amy Steel’s smile brightened the room, encouraging all who passed her table to stop by and say hi. Kane had a busy weekend, dressing up in full Jason Voorhees attire for an exclusive photo op with guests, as well as introducing his much anticipated biography, To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story. Adam Green divided his time between a screening of Victor Crowley in Salem, a set with his band, Haddonfield, and two separate hour long celebrity panels. Everyone was grateful and exceedingly friendly, a fact that helps make Rock and Shock one of the best conventions in all of New England.
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