Interview with MIMESIS director Doug Schulze!!
Why watch a horror film when you can live one? For over a century, fans have had their blood curdled and spines chilled by the vicarious thrills of horror films. Whether populated by ghouls, slashers, zombies or vampires, fans flocked to have their pulse quickened and exercise their scream-generating skills. But one thing remained constant: Eventually the story ended because it was only a movie. What if it didn’t have to end? What if the next level of horror was to experience a horror film from the inside?
I really liked Doug Schulze (DARK FIELDS)’s MIMESIS (review coming soon!). It was a really interesting and well done examination of how far people can go when they get numb to violence and want to take it to the next level: really hurting people. I recently caught up with Doug to talk about MIMESIS and his future projects. Read on Fright Fiends!!
The concepts and twists in MIMESIS are really interesting, it was different to see a film that isn’t just another meta-movie, with nonstop references to other films, instead this one lives and breathes within NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. What inspired you to work from that angle?
Well you know, I came at this first and foremost as a horror fan, a lot of my friends are horror fans that kind of exist in the horror convention circuit. For years, I’ve kind of been drifting in and around this and watching the horror fans, and the idea just kind of evolved one day into you know, “how far can horror fandom go, with the extremism?” You look around today at the things that are happening around us, and instead of running from subject matter that talks about people who try to emulate their favorite rock songs or horror movies, I chose to make a film that addressed the concept. That’s how the idea first came about, it wasn’t so much a “let’s take NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD” and update it, it was more about the concept of horror fans taking their love of the horror to the next level.
Totally. Like Romero’s zombie films, there’s definitely that social commentary in MIMESIS, focusing on how people can get numb from the violence and look for that next step, was that an important subject to address for you?
Yeah, that was everything. As important as the story itself, I feel like every story should have a moral premise and something deeper. That’s why I love Romero’s films, there’s a social commentary, sometimes it’s hidden beneath the fabric, and sometimes it’s more apparent, but either way it’s there. The Dead films definitely have social commentary running through them, so I felt it was an important part to be “homage-ing” if you will, with MIMESIS. It’s all very conscious for sure.
There’s an apparent love for the genre in MIMESIS, and you said that you’re a big fan yourself, have there been any recent horror films that have really stood out for you?
Oh boy. I know there are films that I’m looking forward to, like THE LORDS OF SALEM. It looks really interesting because I haven’t quite seen a real witchcraft-type film since the ‘70s, a real throwback to that. That looks like a lot of fun, and even the EVIL DEAD reboot looks pretty terrifying. I think those are going to be the two films to see in the upcoming months for sure. When it comes to of late, and what comes down the pipeline, CABIN IN THE WOODS was very interesting, and I’m waiting for another Eli Roth film for sure. I tend to exist more in the classic realm, I would sooner throw on SUSPIRIA or the original HILLS HAVE EYES before you would find me seeking out a lot of the newer horror films.
So what’s next for you, did I hear correctly, that you’re working on a MIMESIS sequel?
Yeah, the story was always setup to explore the group, you know, the horror fans that want to emulate their favorite horror films. Like an underground HOSTEL type thing, where there would be more of them out there, and there are more films to be explored. I would like in future films, to go further and explore the psyche of the person behind the curtain if you will, with each story progressively. We’re well on our way, and slated for production on the next MIMESIS film this summer…so we’re pretty excited about that.
Do you have any projects outside of the MIMESIS stuff that you’re doing?
Yeah, horror is not the only thing, I just wrapped up a video for the multi-platinum yet highly-controversial Insane Clown Posse. We shot something, sort of in tandem with MIMESIS. It’s a stand-alone song and it might prove to be somewhat controversial. I’m also a big dog lover, so I teamed up with the Michigan Humane Society to do what is also a really controversial documentary. These aren’t horror things really, so they’re kind of existing out on the fringes.
Awesome, well I appreciate you taking the time to talk today.