|Mike Joy left and Courtney Gains (Children of the Corn) right|
The reasons probably date back to my childhood sitting in front of the television watching Creature Double Feature. I’ve always had a unique relationship with horror movies. As a boy, I used to love all of those old black& white Universal Studios monster moves, Frankenstein, The Mummy, and Dracula. You know that, I’m still that same person today.
What makes it appeal to you more than all the rest?
I like to be scared. Any great movie can give you that feeling. You know the feeling; it’s that inpatient feeling while you’re sitting on the last inch of your seat and you’re so sucked into the storyline that it’s becoming real to you. It’s the ultimate escapism. What’s your pleasure? Do you want to laugh? Do you want to cry? Do you want to be angry? The cinema has it all, but for my money, I like to be scared.
What would you say is your favorite horror movie?
John Carpenter’s Halloween
It’s quite simply the perfect horror movie. It’s not about the individual moments of the movie, but it’s about the collective. John Carpenter takes his audience on a voyeuristic journey and makes them feel what it’s like to be a babysitter alone in a house being stalked by evil. It’s a formula that has been copied many times over, but you can only capture the lightning once. It was the right music, the right actors, the right mask and it was more simply put as the right place and time.
A lot of people believe horror movies are becoming more and more grotesque. What do you think about all of the gore?
I’m not a gore guy, but there are times when it makes sense to use it. A great example of this would be in the movie Alien, when the creature pops out of Kane’s chest. The effect the gore gave was necessary for that scene to work. In recent year, there have been some high profile gore flicks such as Saw and Hostile. If there’s an audience for it, someone will make it.
Thinking about the past decade, what horror movie do you believe is the best of its time?
I’m a huge fan of horror movies that came out in the 1970’s. I think Rob Zombie did an outstanding job paying homage to that decade with The Devil’s Rejects. Other movies that I’ve enjoyed from this past decade include Saw, and the remakes of The Ring,
Chainsaw Massacre, and Dawn of the Dead. Texas
A lot of horror movies are bitting off of older ones. When you look back at recent movies, they all follow the same storyline. Why do you think this happens?
If something works and makes money, then you’re going to see people trying to duplicate it. It’s greed winning out over creativity. Saw sparked the popularity of the torture horror sub-genre, and more recently Paranormal Activity made an impact that has since spawned a sequel and several imitation movies. It’s supply and demand.
What is your opinion of remakes?
In general, I do not like remakes. I think the horror industry is especially plagued with remakes.
is remaking everything. It’s just lazy filmmaking and the people in charge being afraid to put out money behind new ideas. It’s one thing to want to remake something and take it in a new direction with your own spin on it, but it’s an entirely different thing to just remake something because the movie is a franchise. Hollywood
Is there any instance where you believe a remake is better than the original?
Definitely. John Carpenter’s remake of The Thing in the 1980’s was much better than the 1950’s original. That is probably the best example I have of a remake being better than the original. I think some movies come really close tough. It’s a matter of opinion, but some might say that David Cronenberg’s remake of The Fly is better than the classic version that featured Vincent Price.
Many movies are being derived from books; the most popular one is Bram Stoker’s Dracula. What is you opinion of books being turned into movies?
There is absolutely nothing wrong with books being adapted into screenplays. I think as long as the integrity of the story is kept in tact, then it can be looked as a tribute to the author’s work.
Because of that, do you believe that shows the lack of skill and creativity of today’s directors?
I have great respect for the directors who both write and direct their own material. I think that’s why my favorite director is Quentin Tarantino. He’s an outstanding writer. Now I realize that some directors are just better behind the camera and are not skilled writers. That doesn’t make them any les creative, but maybe just a little less talented.
The horror genre seems to be the only genre there’s always multiple sequels to the original. Movies like Friday the 13th and Halloween pulled it off expertly, while movies like Saw are just dragging it out. Saw’s ratings have decreased since the third one; where do you believe they went wrong?
Well, I don’t think that Friday the 13th pulled it off. When you start making movies titled, Jason in Space, you know you’ve hit rock bottom. People don’t seem to understand that when a story runs its course you move on to the next one. In the case of Saw and its sequels, they just don’t see beyond the paycheck. They couldn’t even stop at a trilogy. They overplayed their hand and overstayed their welcome.
It can be speculated that a lot of today’s brutal murders are brought to life from what people see in the movies. Do you personally believe this to be true?
No. you can’t blame movies or television. If someone has the capability to do something evil, they don’t need a movie to tell them how to do it. It’s the people who think like that who want to censor everything. If you banned the movie, then they’ll find it in music. If you banned music, then they’d find in a book. There will always be something or someone to blame. If you start censoring cinema then you’ll end up censoring the Bible.
Not only are you a fanatic, but it’s said you’ve starred in and directed horror movie. Which ones?
In 1999, I was fortunate enough to work on the set of a low-budget horror movie titled, A Poison Tree. It was directed by Kyle Warren. The movie got a lot of local publicity and was covered by the Courier Post. It brought my interest in filmmaking and the horror genre to another level. I’ve dabbed in some experimental horror projects after that but nothing was ever released to the public.
Horrornews.net is a website you write for, so you know what it’s like to interview someone. What would you say is the hardest part for the interviewer and the interviewee?
Yes, I started writing for Horrornews.net in 2008 when the site was created. Our site, while still young has grown tremendously over the last couple of years. I am one of the original three members and our site now has a staff of over 50 employees. We currently get 5,000 visitors a day which is double from where we were one year ago. I am part of the site’s public relations team as well as its senior interviewer. I’ve also done book and movie reviews and covered news topics.
If I record a phone interview, the hardest part is afterwards when I actually have to transcribe it into written words. It’s a real pain. The interview itself is a piece of cake. Now, if you’re talking about trying to get an interview with someone in specific, the most frustrating part can be the waiting game involved. I have a n interview on April 3rd with former Governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura about his new conspiracy theories book. I’ve been trying to get this interview with Governor Ventura for over a year. Being the interviewee is easy.
Not only do you interview actors and directors but you’ve interviewed bands and writers as well. Out of them all, which have neen your favorites?
I’m just breaking into getting interviews from music artists like A Skylit Drive. I’m on a waiting list to interview Slash from Guns & Roses about his new horror production company, Slasher Films. It’s hard to pick a favorite but I’ll pick one from each category: actor, director, and writer. These men have been extremely open and welcome to any question that I asked them, Courtney Gains (actor in Children of the Corn), Tom Holland ( director of Child’s Play), and Tom Malloy ( writer of The Alphabet killer).
Horror conventions are not a common occurrence for most people; can you describe what goes on there?
It’s a meeting ground for horror fans to converge and talk, see, and buy everything horror related. It’s sometimes a place to see screenings of rare horror classics or brand new never before seen movies. In most of our daily live, we don’t usually bump into the entertainers that we see up on the silver screen. At conventions, it creates the opportunity for anyone to meet and greet with some of their favorite actors and directors.
If attending do you have plans to interview anyone in particular?
Yes, I plan to attend the next Monstermania Con in
. I’m going to be meeting up with Bill Apter, who is best known for his works as a journalist and photographer for Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Bill not only has wrestling connections but also entertainment ties. It’s all about networking. I don’t have any other interviews scheduled, but I am making inquiries. Cherri Hill NJ
Your popularity as a horror journalist is rising. You have a fan base, your own website and currently a column you write – Unexplained Confidential. Tell me a little about that and where you got the name?
Unexplained Confidential is my paranormal column. I do a lot of interviews with different paranormal research groups across the country. I’ve also talked to The Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) regarding UFO news and sightings, as well as some well known authors on the subject of extraterrestrials. I’ve always had a deep interest in supernatural events, and this column provides a definite outlet. I try to keep the focus more reality based and less on the entertainment side of the paranormal subject matter. You asked how I came up with the name. I put so many combinations of words together trying to find something that fit and Unexplained Confidential just really worked for me.
If you could interview one person, who would it be?
The answer is easy. He’s my favorite director. I would appreciate the opportunity to sit down and talk with him about his creative process. He is responsible for a good number of my favorite non- horror movies. Pulp Fiction is a groundbreaking masterpiece and probably the best movie to come out in the last 20 years. In the Kill Bill series, he takes old school martial arts movies to a modern cutting edge stage. I have a long list of who, how, what, where, and why? My questions are endless.
What other websites do you write for?
At the moment, I am only writing for Horrornews.net but have written for other websites in the past. I wrote a horror related column titled, “Joy of Horror” for the
based movie website ObsessedwithFilm.com. UK
You used to wrestle in your younger days, can you tell me a little about that?
I’ve had several friends that broke into the professional wrestling business. I’ve always enjoyed the physicality of the sport. I have ten years of aikido training under my belt, along with Brazilian Jiu- Jitsu training. I never made the leap into professional wrestling, but I have wrestled with The Blue Meanie & Mikey Whipwreck from ECW, and Twiggy H. Ramirez & Madonna Wayne Gacy (the wrestlers) form NWA.
It’s surprising that you’re not a wrestling journalist, why is that?
In the early 90’s, I started two separate wrestling newsletters. The first was titled, The Shooting Star Press. It was named after a move the Japanese Wrestler, Jushin Liger made famous. I also started an audio format newsletter titled, Audio Wrestling Report. This newsletter was recorded and sent out on cassette tapes, and focused on the local, independent wrestling scene. I haven’t covered professional wrestling in close to 20 years.
Any plans to start?
I don’t know, it’s a thought. I have recently interviewed a number of personalities from the professional wrestling industry for Horrornews.net. I interviewed former ECW and NWA World Champion, Raven about his movie role in Sleeper. I also interviewed George “The Animal” Steele about Ed Wood, and Ox Baker about Escape from New York. I interviewed legendary wrestling manager, Sir Oliver Humperdink. As I mentioned earlier, I’ll be meeting with Bill Apter in a couple of weeks. We’ll have to see where that interview will take me.
So what’s next for you, any exciting interviews lined up?
There is a lot of buzz right now about turning my Unexplained Confidential Column into a podcast. It would be a live show on BlogTalkRadio that would focus on everything paranormal from UFO’s to Ghost Hunters. Right now, it’s about me just finding the time to do a podcast as it will obviously take some serious dedication to make it work.
There’s rumors of you being on the Art Bell Show soon, is this true?
or George Noory. It’s only true if I decide to move forward with the Unexplained Confidential podcast. At that point, Horrornews.net wants to book me on Coast to Coast to really push the website and our paranormal podcast. It’s up in the air at the moment. I’ll make an official announcement on Horrornews.net in the next month or two about those plans. Bell