There’s always a special place in my heart for the big ROCK N SHOCK horror convention that takes place each fall in Worcester, Massachusetts. Back in July 2010, when David Albaugh and I created this site, there had never been any plans for us to formally meet (that story covered HERE). ROCK N SHOCK provided the opportunity and venue for this to not only take place but to also solidify our friendship – turning online pals into best friends. By the time the weekend was over, there was never any question that I would return.
I just returned from the FRIGHT NIGHT convention in Kentucky but wanted to wrap up this event before delving into that one. I attended the VIP party there as well but, it was so horrendous, I couldn’t make a blog out of it if I tried. Let’s just say that the one I describe below was 1,000 times better and showed that sometimes the “new kids on the block” could teach a thing or two to the older ones!
Saturday was a busy day at DAYS OF THE DEAD and, as the doors to the main convention halls closed, I tiredly dragged myself up to my room. I took a shower and, as I was organizing all the materials I’d acquired during the day, was jarred by the ringing of my cell phone. Upon answering, I soon heard the monotone voice of Illinois Public Access host, Count Gregula, asking what I was up to. After revealing that I had no plans for the evening (save zoning out in front of TV) Gregula asked the question that every horror conventioneer longs to hear, “Would you like to attend the VIP party with us?”
It was a ride for dear life as we headed down to Indianapolis for the first annual DAYS OF THE DEAD horror convention! One could not ignore the FINAL DESTINATION like signs as we made our way through a torrential Midwest thunderstorm, a near collision with a semi truck sporting a decal reading “Drive Safely: Heaven can Wait,” and a large, ominous wooden sign with the words HELL IS REAL glaring at us. The irony of these sights while traveling to an event named DAYS OF THE DEAD was not lost upon us.
Despite these “omens,” we did arrive safely and the only collision I encountered was bumping shoulders with actor, Tom Sizemore, in the hotel lobby. Indeed, celebrities were in no short supply at this convention and were located throughout the three main convention halls. The event was run by a young man named Adolfo Dorta who admitted that this was not only the first DAYS OF THE DEAD convention but his first venture in running one. Judging by the positive reactions from both the celebrities and fans I heard throughout the weekend, it is certain not to be his last.
The biggest draw of any fan convention lies with the celebrities they feature. I find that there are few experiences more gratifying than seeing your idols up close and having an opportunity to tell them how much you appreciate their work. You can also get a small glimpse of what they are really like as opposed to the 2-Dimensional view offered by the small & large screens.
There are so many types of horror movies out there…slashers, vampires, werewolves, inbred families, etc. It seems like most of these come and go in cycles. One successful movie will come out and then all of a sudden you will be inundated with similar movies and television shows. One type of movie though doesn’t seem to subscribe to this…the zombie movie. It seems that they have always been there, lurking in the background ready to strike at a moments notice. With the exception of a period during the 80’s, we have never really been overwhelmed with zombie films. They are sporadic and there certainly seems to be more hits than misses. The movie I am talking about here is certainly one of the hits!
Yesterday (Halloween) was more than just a horror fan’s favorite holiday. It also marked the premiere of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” a series dedicated to one of horror’s favored sub genres – zombies!
After the curfew of trick-or-treating had arrived, I eagerly set to the task of gathering up the kids’ costumes, straightening up the house, and sending the children to bed. By 9pm CST, Halloween’s “adult swim” had commenced at Fuentes house and I was ready to partake in this monumental occasion.