Rock and Shock 2009: Horror descends on Wormtown

Do you like scary movies? How about heavy metal? You're in luck: the Rock and Shock horror convention -- which blends both into one noisy, bloody milkshake -- rolls into town this weekend at the DCU Center and the Palladium in Worcester.

By day, you can meet horror icons like actor Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange, Metalocalypse, and the Halloween remakes) and director John Landis (An American Werewolf in London, The Blues Brothers, "Thriller," and that ill-fated Twilight Zone movie that chewed up three people in a helicopter accident). If you've seen any Friday the 13th film, you know that just one Jason is bad news, and Rock and Shock has two: Kane Hodder from movies 7 through 10, and Derek Mears from this year's reboot. Want to shake Leatherface's hand and have him sign your chainsaw (or maybe the other way around)? Go right ahead -- Gunnar Hansen will be there in the flesh. Been debating who would win in a fight, Hellboy's Abe Sapien or Jay from Clerks? Convince actors Doug Jones and Jason Mewes to duke it out! Add to that Chris Carnel from My Bloody Valentine 3-D, Sid Haig from Halloween '07, and Bill Moseley from The Devil's Rejects and Repo: The Genetic Opera -- with this many insane killers under one roof, only good things can happen.

Maybe you want to snag a Halloween costume or yet another skull T-shirt to round out your collection. Vendors will be selling everything that is gross, scary, and rockin', from indie horror DVDs to demonic teddy bears. If you've been meaning to get a Texas Chainsaw Massacre tribute tattoo, you can get that here, too. Maybe you can even convince Gunnar to pose for it. Ask nicely.

Once you've filled your goodie bag with all the ghoulish merch you can stand, head next door to the Palladium, where no fewer than 25 bands will take the stage over the course of three days. Tonight brings headliners RevCo and Jim Rose; Saturday, Type O Negative scrape off their October rust to join the Misfits; and Sunday -- Sunday has (hed)p.e. and the Insane Clown Posse (yes, the horrorcore rappers/aspiring wrestlers who dress like killer clowns and spray their fans with the Building 19-grade soda known as Faygo).

Of course, no horror convention would be complete without some actual horror films, and on Sunday, Rock and Shock delivers. Drive-In Horrorshow, an anthology horror film like Tales From the Crypt directed by yours truly (shameless plug), will have a sneak-peek screening -- three of its five terrible tales will be shown, and music videos, too. Next up is Dead Air, starring Corbin Bernsen, which promises a plague of flesh-ripping maniacs terrorizing LA. The final film is The Beyond, the Italian horror classic from gore-meister Luci Fulci. Have you ever seen someone killed by face-eating spiders? No? You need to. Seriously, this movie is insane.

Top it all off with a hatchet-wound-sporting cupcake from Corpse Cakes, and your weekend is complete. Who needs to wait until Halloween to kick off the horroliday season?

--Michael Neel, director of Drive-In Horrorshow

For a full line-up of guests and vendors, visit

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