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Saturday, October 29, 2011

FEAR AND LOATHING AT ROCK AND SHOCK


Once again I found myself in good old Worcester, MA for the Rock and Shock Festival. Held every October this combination rock/metal show and horror convention is one of the most fun times you can have. I certainly was in all of my glory with the combination of two things I love dearly.


I was really only interested in the Friday night lineup of bands and I saw a bunch of great ones. From THE OCEAN, EARTH CRISIS, OTEP, THE DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY and the headliner MUSHROOMHEAD; everyone put on a good show. I especially loved seeing Otep Shamaya, Devin Townsend and Max Cavalera; three of my musical and lyrical heroes back to back to back on the same stage. Mind blowing! As I said I had no interest in the other musical acts although a funny thing happened to me the next night when I bumped into some ICP fans. You can read about the loathing part here. You can read about the loathing part here.

Max Cavalera leads the way!

I spent the rest of my time at the convention hall checking out all of the celebrities, vendors and fans. Rock and Shock is a great even for people watching and meeting new and old friends alike. Even though there were some last minute cancellations by some notable folks (I'm bummed The Walking Dead folks never made it) people like Robert Englund, William Forsythe, Ace Frehley, Lance Hendricksen, Camille Keaton, Gary and Jake Busey and many more were big draws and many more made it all worth it.

Gary Busey plays drums with MUSHROOMHEAD.

Besides all the cool vendors and scores of people in costumes and cosplay outfits Rock And Shock is a place where the industry gathers. I got to talk to many folks like two of the editors of Fangoria at length about horror films and take part in their panel discussion. The fest also shows horror films, including some premieres. On Saturday night I attended the screening of Robert Englund's new film INKUBUS (review to follow) co-staring William Forsythe, Jonathan Silverman and Joey Fatone! It was really cool to see the cast up close at the screening and take part in a few Q and A's. There are already planning a sequel. Sunday at the festival saw the debut of IWRESTLEDABEARONCE's horror film A BEARY SCARY MOVIE (review to follow). The flick was excellent and the band hung out with everyone and generally were awesome.

Pretty Tied Up.

Vendors ranged from legendary (TROMA) to local.

Larry from Three's Company as a Zombie?

Obama's approval rating would improve as a zombie.

Many Q&A panel's were held. like this one for the Freddy movies


Jake Busey and IWABO hang after their screening. 

Lance Henriksen

Mother and child?


I'll definitely be back next year!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

FILM REVIEW: RED STATE

Written and Directed by Kevin Smith (Harvey Boys/Smodcast Pictures)


Right in time for Halloween is one of the most suspenseful movies I have ever seen in the form of Kevin Smith's new movie, RED STATE. Earlier this year Smith (CLERKS, CHASING AMY, DOGMA) caused an uproar at The Sundance Film Festival when he announced he was going to stop making films entirely. He took his finished film on a D.I.Y. tour across the country, holding his now familiar Q&A sessions to raise money to release it himself. I took in the film some months back at a screening At The Wilbur Theater hosted by Smith. Between the tour, pre-release paid VOD viewers and special packages, he has already made back his money in time for a limited wide-release.

Michael Parks as
Rev. Abin Cooper
Based on the controversial Westboro Baptist Church and their leader Fred Phelps, Coopers Dell is set in the rural Middle America and is home to the Five Points Church. Led by fanatical Rev. Abin Cooper whose views are so extreme that even the KKK distanced themselves from him. The church gained national attention by protesting the funerals of reported homosexuals. Although those actions are deplorable enough, it is what goes on inside the compound that is real cause for alarm. Church goers abduct suspected local sinners and torture them and worse. When an investigation uncovers the truth, the ATF is called in. A fracas breaks out and quickly devolves into a Branch Davidian-type, no-win scenario. Undergoing a third stylistic change in under an hour and a half, several shocking plot twists and turns are revealed as the film comes to a gripping end.

Smith does a masterful job making a huge feeling film with just original script writing and fine camera work for a mere four million dollars. There are many great performances in the film such as Michael Parks as Rev. Cooper, John Goodman as Agent Keenan, Melissa Leo as Sarah Cooper and in lesser, but worthy roles Kerry Bishe', Stephen Root, Kevin Pollack, Matt L. Jones and Kevin Alejandro. Virtually the entire cast will return in Smith's final directorial turn (in 2 parts) HIT SOMEBODY, due next year.

Smith and his hetero life-mate Jason Mewes will
be at the Wilbur Theater on October 7th.


OCTOBER MEANS HALLOWEEN



Next to Thanksgiving, Halloween has always been my favorite time of the year. I celebrate the entire month long in some form or another. Decorating the house, watching horror movies, costume parties, various parades, haunted houses and of course candy too.


Halloween in the hood was a bit of a mixed bag for a me growing up as a kid. My family always decorated the house. My mom made individual candy bags to give out. For a costume I often wore a homemade get up, like being a clown or a cat. One year I got a “fancy” Spider-Man costume from Woolworth's. Oh those suffocating plastic masks with strangulating rubber bands and costumes made of sweaty plastic. My costume was torture, but I was so happy. Growing up in the “Summer of Sam” my dad had to take us around for candy. Older kids would go “bag snatching” “egg bombing” or other forms of mischief to terrorize little ones.

Halloween also means horror films! I grew up on the classic Universal Monster movies, from there it was the Hammer Dracula movies and finally slasher films. The 1980s brought me THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, FRIDAY THE 13TH, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, HALLOWEEN and the Steven King novel films. As a teen, inspired by my favorite Vincent Price role I went to a party as “The Red Death” from MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH. A simple red hoodie and red face paint is all I needed. Sadly, nobody understood what I was since it was so obscure.   


I will surely hang out with my friends on October 31st, put on a costume and help take their kids Trick or Treating. Last year I had just seen ALICE COOPER in concert, so my costume was a homage to him. This year I will be either Beetlejuice or a member of KISS as suggested by my friend, 7 year-old Kennedy Mae O’Neil.

I swear I am ALICE COOPER damnit! Sigh. 


Here are some cool Halloween themed events around the Boston area worth checking out!