On Saturday morning we descended upon the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts approximately a half hour before the “Rock & Shock” convention was to begin. While observing the rather interesting looking attendees, the doors soon opened and we anxiously entered the main hall. It took some time for our eyes to adjust to the kaleidoscope of sights before us, so that we could determine which direction we should head. As mentioned during my coverage of Horrorhound, it is always a good idea to pre-plan your convention experience to ensure that you get the very most out of it. David had wisely printed out an itinerary that listed all the celebrities we wanted to meet by order of priority.
The top two celebs attending this event included the “godfather of zombies,” George Romero, as well as MACHETE himself, Danny Trejo. The line forming for Trejo was (at that time) relatively short, so we opted to start with him instead of Romero. In hindsight this may have been an error in judgment but, never the less, in mere minutes we were standing before one of 2010’s most unexpected leading males.
Danny Trejo comes off as “tough as nails” in his various film roles and his checkered past would certainly reinforce this image. Still uneasy after my initial meeting with Trejo’s MACHETE co-star, Tom Savini, at Horrorhound, I was happy to see Trejo smiling and genuinely looking pleased while meeting with his fans.
Trejo has a long standing career of playing supporting roles in such horror classics as FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, THE DEVIL’S REJECTS, and Rob Zombie’s HALLOWEEN to name but a few. After the positive response received from his faux trailer MACHETE (shown during the fantastic Tarantino/Rodriguez GRINDHOUSE films), it was time to turn “fake” into “real” and give Trejo’s character a chance at center stage.
Danny Trejo had some of the best Hollywood still photos available for signing and it was really a tough decision in choosing which one we wanted. Ultimately, we opted for a shot of him posing with PLANET TERROR’s “crazy babysitter twins” (Elise and Electra Avellan). “Ah, GOOD choice!” Trejo grinned while applying his signature. David would later send both of our signed pics directly to these real-life sisters in the hope that they will graciously sign them for us, as they’ve done for him in the past (they had better or David owes me 30 bucks!).
Just as we had observed, he was extremely friendly and seemed genuinely appreciative of all the attention being received from his fans. “You can tell that he is really enjoying all this,” David would later say. As he posed for photos, I noticed him look at what was now a HUGE line of people set to meet him and this appeared to make him very happy – and we were happy as well for not having to wait in it!
Trejo was not the only GRINDHOUSE alumni available at “Rock & Shock.” Sitting nearby was New Zealand beauty, Zoe Bell. Ms Bell was featured in Tarantino’s GRINDHOUSE entry, DEATH PROOF. Fans will remember her as the daring stunt gal clinging to the hood of a car as the psychotic “Stuntman Mike” (played brilliantly by Kurt Russell) attempts to murder her along with her pals via his killer, “death proof” to no one but himself, Chevy Nova.
I asked her if she actually did her own stunts and she assured me that, in the six weeks it took to film the famous car chase scene, it was all HER. Of course this makes sense since Bell was not only playing a stunt woman in the movie but had been one in real life for years. Her work includes playing stunt doubles on TV’s “Xena: Warrior Princess” as well as for Uma Thurman’s character in Tarantino’s KILL BILL films (of which I am also a HUGE fan).
I couldn’t help but notice that my co-blogger appeared to be on “Cloud 9” just standing in her presence (in fact, I believe he STILL is). Always wanting to make my friends happy, I decided to give something a try. As she got ready to pose for a picture with him I said, “Hey Zoe! Why don’t you give us a picture that will help make his girlfriend jealous?” With that she gave David a full embrace and helped create one of the ultimate fan photos EVER. This is a moment David will scarcely forget and I believe it is safe to say he owes me one!
When it was my turn for a photo the saucy vixen gave a wide smile proceeded to squeeze me so hard I thought my head would pop of my shoulders. She also kicked up her right leg and straddled me with it.
Next up: The Rob Zombie gals of HALLOWEEN!