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August 27, 2010

Exclusive Interview with HATCHET 2's Key SFX artist Robert Pendergraft

I first met Rob Pendergraft during my Junior year in high school. He would come and hang out with my then English teacher and now very good friend Mr. Ward. Actually, if it weren't for Mr. Ward, I probably would have never pursued an interest in writing and you probably wouldn't be reading this right now. I have a vague memory of us all playing lazer tag one afternoon after school. I spoke recently to Ward who told me I used to refer to Rob as FRANKENSTEIN. How apropos. Even back then, it was clear he was a horror movie fanatic.

After being featured on THE OLD SCHOOL AMERICAN HORROR panel at Comic Con, I felt it was my duty to sit down with my old friend and talk to him about his work on the HATCHET movies, where he got his start, and his new shop 'Aunt Dolly's Garage'.

Tell me how you got started in effects.

Well I started out doing stuff as a kid playing around as a normal kid would. You know, on Halloween do other people’s makeup and stuff.

I was a normal kid, I didn’t do that.

When I was growing up, we would always do really cool things like blowing up army men or something like that with blood all over us. You start getting more intricate with doing our makeups and everything and run with it. It ended up being one of those situations where people were coming to me like “Hey, do my make up. Do my make up. Do my make up!” And then I’d never really have any time to do my own so I’d just splatter blood all over me.

Continue reading "Exclusive Interview with HATCHET 2's Key SFX artist Robert Pendergraft" »

October 27, 2009


Tony Todd Talks SPLATTER

Conducted by Phil Fasso and Mike Cucinotta on October 26, 2009

Tony Todd and Stuart Pankin on the set of SPLATTER. Photo by Lisa RoseSo we're sitting here in The Frightquarters waiting for Tony Todd to report in. We interviewing him via telephone so no need to repeat his name five times. We tried it, it didn't work. (Ok, ok... we only got to 4 and turned the lights on.)

A funny thing pops up on our telescreen: An old doc on 'Bride of Frankestein', hosted by Joe Dante, starring Clive Barker and featuring Bill Condon, all of whom have worked with Todd. Barker and Condon having been involved in 'Candyman' and 'Candyman: Farewell To The Flesh', and Dante having recently directed him in 'Splatter', a new 3 episode web series, produced by Roger Corman and debuting exclusively for free on Netflix on October 29th.

Tony Todd chatting with us about this upcoming free web series, as well a few new and upcoming projects, and the legendary Candyman.


Mike:  Can you tell us about SPLATTER and your role in it?


Tony Todd:  This project was brought to my manager’s attention by Julie Corman, the wife of Roger.  You have an iconic figure not only in horror, but in the film business, and then when they told me Joe Dante was going to helm it, that sealed the deal for me.  Joe and I had met a couple of years ago when we were both working on MASTERS OF HORROR.  So it sounded like an interesting project, you’ve got basically all the survivors gathered together in a haunted mansion in Hollywood, and one by one, they get picked off, so it’s all about who lives out.  And I don’t play  Colonel Mustard.  It’s being streamed for free by Netflix, starting on October 29th so you watch 10 minutes and deliberate you, and its macabre, and you decide who lives and who dies.


Phil:  Your character Spencer Pope is an agent, correct?  An agent or a manager type?


TT:  He’s a manager.  There’s a difference between an agent and a manager;  for all my life, I’ve been trying to figure it out.  But I think the two have different responsibilities.


PF:  So did you base Pope on real managers and agents you’ve had experience with?


TT:  Oh yeah.  Actors have to draw from their personality files, that they store up from living and watching people. So definitely, I know some agents, and I know a lot of managers, so there’s a little bit of this, a little bit of that.  Hopefully it’s communicated.


MC:  So what was working with Joe Dante like?  You said you spoke to him a little bit during the MASTERS OF HORROR, but this is the first time you’ve worked director/actor, right?


TT:  Yes, absolutely.  I liked him because he’s very calm, not jittery.  I like new directors if they’ve written their own projects.  Joe Dante is a different animal.  This is a man who develops a groove, and we’re able to develop a shorthand on a set.  You know what the other person’s capable of, what he’s comfortable with, and then you look each other in the eye and make collaborative choices.  And we all volunteered, and we’re all working well below scale here, and they came from vast projects, from PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN.


MC:  You say that everyone was working for scale, collaborating.  Do you feel that it freed everyone to work a little looser.  You’re on a tight schedule and you’re working fast.


TT:  Oh, very fast.  I worked 14 hour days for 9 days.  We’re working up to the gills to make a total of 37 minutes of content.  The hardest job on the set had to be the script supervisor, who had to keep track of what everybody was doing.  We shot all the endings, multiple endings, and then come back and shoot it again.


MC:  So all of those are already shot, it’s just going to be what the audience decides.


TT:  Yes.


PF:  So what’s your opinion of the interactive aspect of SPLATTER, the fact that the fans get to choose?


TT:  With the popularity of the internet being at its highest ever, I think Netflix was wise to do this, they’re getting their advertising revenue, and they present something seemingly for free.  It brings attention to that company.  If it’s successful, they’ll be encouraged to offer more and get into the producing game.  And that’s always great.  It can’t hurt to have another producer out there, willing to take chances.  So hopefully it goes viral and I’ll benefit.  And if not, the best things at least attempt to succeed, and if they fail, it’s okay, it’s your heart on the line


PF:  Let’s talk about what you have coming up now?


I’ve had a great career, and I’m thankful for it.  Tonight, I have a first cast reading for this wonderful projected called DREAMING IN AMERICA, which is about immigrants arriving at JFK, who coexist and its effect.  That’s going to be a wonderful piece shooting five days from now.  And I got a shoot coming January for a movie called PRODIGY, which is a crime procedural.  And I squeeze in a few days on a project called ONE BY ONE, by a first time woman director/writer, at the end of the year.  And of course, I’m always gearing up for my directorial debut, ERIE, PA sometime next year


MC: What’s ERIE, PA going to be about?


TT:  It’s about 72 hours in the lives of two buddy bookies.  They did what they did, and now they’re in over their heads, and now there’s a timeline where they need to turn against each other or come up with the cash.  It’s like MIDNIGHT COWBOY.


MC:  So you’re writing, directing, producing the whole thing?


TT:  I’m writing and directing that, yeah.


MC:  What inspired you on this film?


TT:  I was a film geek fan when I was a teenager, in college, I got my Master’s degree.  I just love film, and I just want to tell intelligent, well-made stories, no matter what the genre is. That’s why Hollywood doesn’t understand why PARANORMAL ACTIVITY kicked its ass this weekend.  It has a different take on things, which is great.


MC:  I think the lesson learned from that is that it represents something new and something different.  Where’d your story come from with ERIE?


TT:  I visited the Erie Horror Film Festival a few years ago, and I was raised in New England.  And it really struck me as this great dinosaur of a city.  You could see it’s magnificent, but it was stuck in the ‘70s.  And it just gave me the inspiration, because there’s this huge gambling problem going on there.  You’re in an area with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns, and Erie is equal distance.  So the course of the movie is during a playoff game between those two teams.  And how that is played and not played.


MC:  Where will we see you after SPLATTER?  Will we see you return to the horror genre?


TT:  ONE BY ONE is kind of a FINAL DESTINATION-esque script.  And then they handed me a project called THE HAUNTED.  From the title, I assume that’s horror, right?


PF:  So what is it that draws you to the horror genre?


TT:  I just like good movies, and it’s not like I wake up on a Tuesday and say, “Give me a horror script.”  I definitely think because of my body of work, people inquire.  If the project’s good, and my schedule fits, I’ll do it.  But I like film, period.  I like film and theatre.  So if I can do one good play a year, and one great story, a good horror script, I’m happy.  Just don’t interfere with my Lakers when they’re on the march.


MC:  A lot of actors we talk to are happy to work in the genre, they’re dedicated genre actors.  But you have such a varied body of work.


PF:  Including PLATOON.


TT:  Which was my first film.


MC:  What is it that draws you to a role?  We talked about how you want to do one good play a year.  What is it that grabs you in a role?


TT:  Everything starts with the story.  You can’t do anything without a great story, or at least a story that has a beginning, middle and end.  Then you look at the character, then you ask, “How does the character relate to my own life?”  I’ve been fortunate because I grew up in Connecticut, spent 10 years in New York, I’ve been out here for, on and off, 15 years.  I’ve gotten to travel all over the world to apply my craft. When I got out of college, I used to go to the old Times Square.  Just walking through that block, you’d be confronted by so many different characters, and I would steal a little bit from here, a little bit from there.  Riding the subway I think is still a valid exercise.  Any actor who doesn’t ride the subway isn’t worth their salt.  All those people hiding behind the New York Post and the Daily News, there’s life there.  So you look at life and pay attention, and it’s all there.  People ask, How do you act?  How do you do it?  Well, how do you brush your teeth in the morning?  What are the little things you do to get going?  So it still excites me.  I think life is one big circus.  And you just don’t want to be the shit from the elephant.  You want to be the other end of the elephant.


MC:  Is there anything you always do when you’re taking a role on?


TT:  Yeah, I have a dream book for every character, where I do sketches.  I’m pretty much of an empath.  For instance, with the Candyman, I was having these dreams and visions and artwork, that led to his backstory of being an artist.


PF:  What do you think makes the Candyman an iconic character as far as horror characters go?


TT:  I’m still trying to figure that one out.  I just came from Chicago this weekend, it was Flashback Weekend.  And it was great, the love there.  The guy, somehow—it was 18 years ago, and the guy is somewhat of an urban, iconic hero.  And I remember when I met with Bernard Rose, in Chicago, and he was going on and on about how, “This part is going to change your life.”  You know, I was a little cocky there, “I’m gonna do a great job, but I doubt it’s gonna change my life.”  And in a way he was right.  If I knew the answer to that, I’d be a billionaire.  I would bottle it, and I would offer it for sale.  But he’s extremely popular in the urban areas and also in the deep South.


MC:  He’s become sort of a hero.


TT:  He’s especially popular among horror fans in those concentrated areas.


MC:  He’s like a classic moral monster.  He’s got a reason to be a monster.


TT:  Yeah, it’s the revenge factor.  It’s classic.  What we were going for in that first one was that tortured, interrupted romance between Virginia Madsen and myself.


PF:  I think the Candyman plays so well because he’s the victim before he’s ever the monster.  So there’s a sympathy built into that.


TT:  Yeah, and there’s also the score by Philip Glass, the cinematography and Clive Barker’s imagination.  The best projects are built on collaboration.  And I hope we capture some of that with SPLATTER.  I think we’re gonna shock you with some of the deaths, because we didn’t do the arbitrary stab you with the butcher knife.


MC:  Is your character up on the line to be knocked off too?


TT:  Yeah, depending on how sick and twisted they are, they can vote me to die first.


MC:  Well, we hope to see you through the whole thing.


TT:  Either way, we shot it all, so it’s all there for you to decide.


MC:  Will this be coming out on DVD, with all the endings?


TT:  I’m sure that’s the ultimate plan, to release it with all the versions.  Right now, we just want to get this whole buzz going, and hope that the viral campaign by Netflix gets people to see it. 


PF:  If your character survives, do you think that there’s a chance we’ll see him in a sequel?


TT:  You never know.  They won’t be seeing him at the pay rate they got him at the first time!  But we did this one for love.

PHOTOS BY LISA ROSE (http://www.lisarosephoto.com)

October 24, 2009

An Interview with Russ Streiner

Halloween is a week from now, and there’s one very special way to celebrate it in Evans City, Pennsylvania this year, at Gary Streiner’s 2nd Annual Living Dead Festival.  Recently, I interviewed Gary about his role in the production of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD.  Through Gary, I was able to interview another of the key people involved in the film:  his brother, the producer and the actor who played Johnny, Russell Streiner.

Russ Then and Now

Russ was an important part of the Latent Image, a commercial filmmaking company which he founded with George Romero.  He’s since gone on to work on many films with another NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD collaborator, John Russo.  Russ was gracious enough to take some time today and discuss the legacy of the zombie classic with me, for his fans at Icons of Fright.



Phil Fasso:  How did you first get involved with George Romero?
Russ Streiner:  I started off wanting to be an actor, which I pursued through high school.  And after high school, I went to the Pittsburgh Playhouse School of the Theatre, and graduated from their two-year acting program.  While I was there, I was working in stage shows at night, and at one of those, I was cast with another fellow.  His name was Rudy Ricci, and we shared a dressing room.  Rudy had been attending classes at Carnegie Mellon University  (back then it was called Carnegie Tech).  He was taking art classes there, and he met George Romero in an art class.  George was transplanted, from the Bronx to Pittsburgh, to go to Carnegie Tech’s School of Painting and Design. Rudy brought George over to one of our shows one night, and that’s how I first got to meet him.  Then, within maybe six or eight months, George called me and asked me if I would be willing to be an actor in a movie that he was putting together, called EXPOSTULATIONS.  And I told him I would.  I showed up for my very first day of production, and really became intrigued with the whole film production part of the business, which I knew nothing about.  I stuck with EXPOSTULATIONS as an actor, and then also helped out on the crew.  That’s how George and I first met.  And we went on to set up a business and worked together for about 10 years.
PF:  How did your experience in commercials and industrial films help you to put together a feature film?
RS:  Any time you get a chance to practice your craft, whether it’s in short form like TV commercials or longer form like industrials, all of that goes to help you refine your craft.  And that’s certainly how our whole group got helped out, all of which led up to 1967, when we did the actual filming of NOTLD. 
PF:  What was the genesis of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD?
RS:  Basically it started off when we first got together.  We always knew that we NOTLD Title Screeneventually wanted to do a feature film.  So during the early ‘60s, by doing TV commercials and industrial films and educational films, we were able to accumulate equipment—by the time NOTLD came around in 1967, we were actually a self-contained production unit; we had everything we needed: camera equipment, sound equipment, studio facilities, mixing equipment, editing equipment, lighting equipment.  Then all we needed was a script.  And in late ’66/early ’67, John Russo, who was working with us, and George Romero started to put together the beginnings of a script.  We all chipped in ideas.  John Russo took all of the good ideas and wove them into what became the shooting script.  And that’s how it got started. 

PF:  What things did you bring to your role of Johnny?
RS:  Well, first of all, my body.  Secondly, I got the part of Johnny almost by default.  We had put together all of our pre-production efforts.  We had most of our casting done, but we didn’t have Johnny.  And the cemetery scene, coincidentally, was the very first scene we filmed, and we didn’t get finished with all of the filming that first day, so we had to relegate it to a second day of filming.  As it turned out, it was also the very last day of filming we had, so it was kind of an unusual circumstance.  But when it came to the first day of shooting, we still didn’t have a Johnny.  And the group said, “Well why don’t you just do Johnny?”  And so that’s how I got it.  So I’d like to say that it was some tough auditioning competition, but it was nothing like that.  I just happened to be around, had dark, horn rimmed glasses, and got the part.  I also had my background as an actor.  The fact that I was also a producer of the picture didn’t hurt my chances of getting to play “Johnny,” it was another actor that I didn’t have to pay because I was also an investor in the project.
When I got the part, I decided that I wanted to give him a couple of unique characteristics.  One of the thingsJohnny Gloves was how he taunted and tormented Barbra.  I wanted to make sure that he was always on the edge with Barbra, complaining about the time of day and how early they had to get up, one thing after another.  And one of the wardrobe elements, of course, were the driving gloves.  I wanted to make a big deal out of the driving gloves, which was my idea, because I knew when Johnny came back at the end of the film, I wanted to give him some sort of wardrobe signature that the audience would instantly know that it was him.  It would be nighttime, his glasses were gone, he would be surrounded by these other dead things.  So I wanted to give him a really instantaneously signature, and that turned out to be the driving gloves.  And it was a device that really worked.
PF:  Johnny seems like a very annoyed character.  What’s your view of him?
Barbra and JohnnyRS:  Well, I think underneath it typifies the kind of sibling relationship that a lot of brothers and sisters have.  Brothers especially get into taunting and tormenting their younger sisters.  And I think that comes through to the fans, and a lot of people comment on it, “Oh, that’s how my brother used to treat me,” and so forth.  So I wanted to keep it realistic on that level.  That plus the fact that we as actors knew what was coming, we knew that this was going to be the very first onset of the living dead things, and I just wanted to set the stage for the gloomy things to come.
PF:  A great part of the subtext of NOTLD is about family.  Johnny and Barbra don’t get along, and the Coopers argue as their daughter is dying.  Family was also behind the camera for you.  How was it working with your brother Gary and your mother?
RS:  Well, obviously, it was a very good experience for all of us.  My brother Gary worked with George Romero and myself since he was in high school.  When we filmed NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, Gary was 21.  So he had been working with us for a few years and was pretty good at any number of tasks.  On NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD in particular, he did an awful lot of the location audio work, and then ultimately the sound mixing work.Mama Streiner
And as far as my mother, you have to understand, the way we were “constructed” at that time.  The company that George and I started was called the Latent Image.  And everybody’s family—George’s family, my family-- became an extension of the Latent Image.  So when it came to filming NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, we recruited my mother, my aunt Norma and several other family members to be zombies and so forth.  And my mother provided one of the key props for the cemetery sequence, her car.  So all around, it was pretty much of a family effort.  Gary was also one of the 10 original investors in IMAGE TEN, INC. the company that owns “Night.”  My mother was also one of the investors who put up money to help get the picture finished.

PF:  And of course there was the fortuitous car crash that George worked into the film
RS:  Well it wasn’t so much fortuitous for my mother.  As I said earlier, the cemetery sequence was the first scene that we filmed, and it was also the last scene.  Now, we filmed NOTLD in 30 days, but we had a break in the middle so we could go back and do regular commercial work that was keeping groceries on the table.  But from the time we filmed the opening scene until we got around to the time we finished the closing scene, my mother was driving her car back and forth to work, and someone crashed into her car.  And I said, “Don’t get it fixed, because we need a way to stop the car when Judith O’Dea releases the handbrake in the cemetery to get away from Bill Hinzman (the film’s cemetery ghoul), and we’ll do something with it, we’ll crash it against a tree or something like that,” and that’s what we ended up doing.  We filmed it in a way to make it look as though the car actually crashed into the tree.  So we were very resourceful.  We had to take all the negatives and turn them to positives somehow.
Romero Shooting NOTLDPF:  What was George Romero like as a director?
RS:  Working with George was always a good experience.  But understand, we had a business that we started in 1961, when we incorporated it.  So George and I had been living together, literally like brothers, sharing apartments, sharing literally everything.  We were as close or closer than brothers for quite a few years heading up to NOTLD.  And it was always great working with him.  And I hope he feels the same way about working with me.

 PF:  Casting a black man in the lead was a bold move, whether intentional or not.  What statement do you think it made, having Duane Jones in the lead?
RS:  Well, it became more of a statement than we had originally intended.  Quite simply, Duane Jones was theDuane Jones best person to audition for the part of Ben.  Up until we met Duane, our friend that I mentioned earlier, Rudy Ricci, was supposed to play the character of Ben.  The character was originally supposed to be a rough truck driver.  A mutual friend of George’s and mine was a woman by the name of Betty Ellen Haughey.  She grew up in Pittsburgh, but at that time she was living in New York, and she knew of Duane Jones. He’d started off in a suburb just outside of Pittsburgh, yet he was off in New York making a living as a teacher and an actor.  And she said to us, when NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD was really developing in pre-production and building steam, “You should really meet this friend of mine from New York, his name is Duane Jones.”  Duane happened to be in Pittsburgh visiting his family for one of the holidays, and we auditioned him.  And immediately, everyone including Rudy Ricci said, “Hey, this is the guy that should be Ben.” 
So that’s how we cast him, and we knew that there would be probably a bit of controversy, just from the fact that an African American man and a white woman are holed up in a farmhouse, being attacked by these living dead things outside, and they don’t really know what it’s all about.  So we thought there might be some element of controversy, but that it was worth going through that controversy to have Duane Jones as the lead.
PF:  When did you realize that Night had become a classic?  And how did that feel?
RS:  Well, we knew almost right away that it was going to be a popular film.  Classic is something that developed over the years.  We set out to make the best, scariest movie we could, with the relatively small amount of money that we had.  The fans made it a classic.  And of course, any time that happens to any type of work, it is incredibly flattering.
PF:  One of the notorious issues with NIGHT is the copyright issue.  You’re still fighting to get the copyright restored.  Do you think this will ever be resolved?
RS:  I hope it will be.  But it is an issue.  The copyright was wrongfully taken from us in the first place by the Copyright Office.  And so it’s a battle that won’t end, and is going on to this day.  We never, ever, ever intended for that picture to be offered up into the public domain.  And this dispute has been going on with the Copyright Office ever since.  Curiously, since NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, they’ve changed the copyright laws so the same kind of thing could not happen to a picture today.  So that’s the underpinning as to why we believe that our position is ultimately right.  And we just have to keep pursuing it, because it is rightfully our property, and there’s no other argument to be made.  It’s our property.


PF:  You’ve continued to work for several years both behind and in front of the camera with John Russo.  What draws you to working with him?
RS:  John Russo and I have a long work history together.  Although there were several years when we did notStreiner and Russo Teach work together because we were doing different kinds of projects and had different goals.  Over the last several years however we have worked closely on any number of projects including one project we are most proud of and that is the John Russo Movie Making Program at DuBois Business College in DuBois, PA.  We are co-directors of that program and if I do say so myself, this is one of the most unique and best filmmaking programs anywhere.  This is a true hands-on filmmaking and master mentoring film program.  John and I and our senior instructor, Ephraim Stockwell, work side-by-side with our students.  We share our years of filmmaking experience with them to hopefully make them into mature filmmakers more quickly.  “Song of the Dead,” a 20 minute film, which will have its premier screening next Saturday night at the Evans City Living Dead Festival, is a film example of how John and I lead our filmmaking students through the various steps of actually making a movie.

Another project John Russo and I are working on is ESCAPE OF THE LIVING DEAD.  This promises to be a film that stays true to the roots of what makes a good zombie film- GOOD!  We will be able to say more about this project in the next month.

Me and RussPF:  You make many appearances at conventions.  What appeals to you about the convention circuit?
RS:  The key thing would have to be coming face-to-face with fans, and understanding that this is a property that is now 41 years old, and it is quite phenomenal.  It doesn’t happen to a whole lot of movies that 41 years after the fact, the fans are showing up, they still want to meet you, still want to shake your hand, get an autograph.  And that is most flattering.  I can’t say that I understand it, but I certainly do appreciate it.

PF:  Your appearing at your brother Gary’s Living Dead Festival next week.  What are you looking forward to with that?
RS:  Well, it’s the same kind of thing, except the Evans City Living Dead Festival has aGary Aaron Russ separate, special ingredient in that Evans City is the hometown of NIGHT OF THE LVIVING DEAD.  Practically all of the film was filmed in and around Evans City.  (The only exceptions were all of the basements scenes in the film; they were filmed in the basement of our office building in downtown Pittsburgh.  And then we’d set off one weekend to go to Washington, D.C. to shoot the sequence with the reporters and scientists and so forth). Aside from that, everything else was filmed in Evans City.  So Evans City is truly the hometown of NOTLD.
PF:  NOTLD has become a cultural phenomenon that has lasted more than 40 years.  As you prepare to meet fans at the LDF, what are your reflections on the film now?
RS:  Well, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD has taken on a life of its own, so to speak.  How that happened is, new audiences are constantly being introduced to it.  And that has perpetuated this film, and apparently, enough people think it’s a good picture, they find different things they like about it.  But this common creative effort that we all put together as a team, people are still sensing that there’s something good and valuable in the story itself.  And so, coming up to the 2nd Annual Living Dead Festival in Evans City is another opportunity to meet fans.  But these fans are even a little more special, because they make the trek in from wherever they are into Evans City to celebrate the film where it was made.  And that’s a really good feeling for any creative endeavor.

PF:  Thank you for your time, Russ.


September 18, 2009


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with DVD producer DAN FARRANDS! It seems like writer Dan Farrands can't escape his connection to the FRIDAY THE 13TH series. He made his debut in the horror genre penning the screenplay for HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS and later went on to produce an adaptation of Jack Ketchum's THE GIRL NEXT DOOR as well as the recent box office hit THE HAUNTING OF CONNECTICUT. Most recently, after directing the documentary HIS NAME WAS JASON: 30 YEARS OF FRIDAY THE 13TH, Farrands jumped on board to produce the special "DELUXE" editions of FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 4: THE FINAL CHAPTER, FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 5: A NEW BEGINNING, FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VI: JASON LIVES, FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VII: THE NEW BLOOD and FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VIII: JASON TAKES MANHATTAN. We caught up with him to get the low down on all the FRIDAY material he was able to uncover after having been locked away in the Paramount vaults for years! Every thing FRIDAY THE 13TH fans have been wondering about is answered in our in-depth interview! Click HERE or the image below to read it now!

September 02, 2009


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with GARY STREINER! Among those names made famous by NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD some 41 years ago, Gary Streiner might not be the first to come to mind for the film’s many fans. Though Gary was not as prominent as George Romero or Gary’s own brother Russ, he was part of a tight-knit team that produced what would become not only a classic horror film, but a classic film in general. One of the ten original investors in NIGHT, his role as the film’s recording guy and sound mixer gave him an inside view of the movie. He was kind enough recently to discuss some of his experiences on NOTLD with me, as well as his second annual Living Dead Festival, an autograph signing and showing of the movie which will include many first time guests, including Judith Ridley. Visit the festival’s official site at: www.thelivingdeadfest.com. And read the full interview by clicking the image below!

August 14, 2009


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with GRACE writer/director Paul Solet!

ICONS has been with GRACE since it's inception & over the course of the last few years, we've really gotten to know & see filmmaker Paul Solet's passion for the horror genre. That's why we're so thrilled to finally see the movie hitting theaters August 14th, 2009. (With a DVD release in September) We had the chance to sit & chat with Paul briefly about the long road that brought us here, as well as the current state of the horror genre. Considering our familiarity with him (and previous ICONS interviews), we just jumped right in. Click HERE or the images below to read our new unedited interview with GRACE writer/director Paul Solet!


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with GRACE star Jordan Ladd!

It's kinda hard not to crush on Jordan Ladd when you're sitting across from her & spending about 5 minutes just talking about the forgotten art of making a "mix tape". But here we are and with limited time, we jumped right into her experiences portraying Madeline, the mother that would do anything for her baby GRACE. No stranger to the genre, Ladd also worked with another 1st time director on a little movie called CABIN FEVER. We chatted about the challenges of tackling such a complex & emotional role, working with Paul Solet & shooting in Canada. Click HERE or the frame or image below to read her interview!


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with GRACE producer Adam Green!

ArieScope Pictures’ Adam Green needs no introduction to genre fans, since his horror/humor hybrid HATCHET scored high marks in 2007. Though his monstrous subsequent output (the mindbending thriller/character study SPIRAL, the annual Halloween short films, the award- winning commercial parody SABER, his comedy series’ Winter Tales and It’s a Mall World, a screenplay for an upcoming Aquaman animated film, and his upcoming survival thriller FROZEN) has shown he’s not one to remain in one genre for long before showing his talents in another(nor does he have time to sleep, we assume).

In addition to writing and directing, he’s now made his debut producing (with co-producers Cory Neal and Will Barratt) Paul Solet’s GRACE through ArieScope, having championed Paul’s vision for years and finding a home for it with Anchor Bay Entertainment. Icons’ Adam Barnick sat for a candid, informal chat about some of the details in getting GRACE going that aren’t usually covered in a press release, as well as its reception at its debut, this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Click HERE or the frame or image below to read the interview!

August 05, 2009


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with GLENN MCQUAID!

Introduction: Find a way to recreate 19th’ century England and Ireland in modern New York City, and get popular actors, stunts, deliver numerous practical effects…ready? Go! This statement might give some emerging indie filmmakers heart attacks, but writer/director Glenn McQuaid took the ball and ran with it.

Adapting his somber, minimalist short film The Resurrection Apprentice into a wilder, bolder comic feature, I SELL THE DEAD finds grave robbing partners Arthur Blake and Willie Grimes (Dominic Monaghan and producer Larry Fessenden) awaiting their executions for their criminal lifestyle.

A holy man (Ron Perlman) arrives, willing to take Arthur’s statements and confessions, and Arthur begins to spin his macabre coming-of-age story, a life of fending off con men and murderers and things that go bump in the night...but who’s conning who? Chock full of gallows humor, atmosphere you can swim in and a barrel of human and supernatural beasts, Dead is a hoot, its decomposing tongue planted firmly in cheek. Produced through Fessenden’s SCAREFLIX line of indie features, the film is about to be exhumed for the world to embrace after its worldwide festival run, winning awards at its Slamdance debut… -by Adam Barnick 8/09

Click the frame or image below to read the full length interview!

July 31, 2009


On July 31st, THE COLLECTOR, the directorial debut of Marcus Dunstan will hit select theaters across the country. And as a genre fan you should take note. This indie flick was written by Dunstan with Patrick Melton, the duo whom have scripted not only the FEAST trilogy, but also SAW IV, SAW V and SAW VI. (They've just been tapped to write SAW VII) We got the chance to chat with them about all of the above, including the humble beginnings of THE COLLECTOR prior to the movie's premiere last night in Hollywood. Read on for our exclusive chat with Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton!

Robg.: Where did the story for THE COLLECTOR come chronologically for you guys? Was this something you wrote after FEAST but before SAW IV?

Marcus Dunstan (Director, Writer): This was actually written before FEAST!

Patrick Melton (Writer): This started as a short film – to go way back, when I was in film school, I had to come up with ideas for short scripts for this Kodak endowment thing, where Kodak gave LMU all this money to make a short film and so Marcus and I had written “ROLLED BONES”, which was the first script before FEAST in 1999. And so we brainstormed together and we came up with this short script and it’s called THIEF, what if a thief broke into the house of a serial killer? We wrote the script and it didn’t get made for that thing, but afterwords, we decided let’s make this on our own & Marcus wanted to direct it. It was going to be a 10 minute short, but then we won PROJECT GREENLIGHT. So then it went on hiatus.

Robg.: Well, you guys were busy for a couple of years after that! (Laughs)

Patrick Melton: Right after (the first) SAW came out, everybody wanted that million dollar idea. Like a horror movie that you could make for under a million dollars, and you can make it in a contained location with a high concept. We had this idea and we ended up pitching it in a meeting to these guys who ended up producing this. They bought it in the room, with the agreement that Marcus would direct it. We finished the script, but the problem was the company said they didn’t have enough money so they were going to go halves with another company. Marcus didn’t have an appropriate reel so we couldn’t sell him as a director. So the company gave us $5000 to shoot the trailer to the movie, which would be stylized to show off Marcus as a director. So we did that. All the Gulager’s helped, Jon Gulager shot it. Clu Gulager was in it, Diane Goldner was in it, Tom (Gulager) was in it. It came out really good, and we started taking meetings showing people the trailer along with the script. Bob Weinstein ended up seeing it, watched the trailer, closed the door to his office and said “You’re not leaving this office until I get this movie.” So we sold it to him. A year or so later, we started shooting in Streetport, Louisiana with Marcus directing and we finished it. Edited it for about a year and then they watched it. (Marcus starts laughing) And said, “We love it! But… we don’t have any money.” Because all their money was in HALLOWEEN 2 and INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS…

Robg.: (Sarcastically)Those pesky movies that no one’s going to see!

Patrick Melton: Right! So we said, “What if we bought it back?” And they said sure, as long as you give us what we spent for it then sure. Mickey Liddell watched it, really liked it, bought it back and here we are.

Robg.: Now let me ask you - I know very little about the movie beyond the initial premise. And you had this story for a while, but the general misconception is obviously - you guys have done the SAW sequels and THE COLLECTOR has “traps” in it. So, what can you say to genre fans that don’t know anything about the movie? How is this different from what we’ve seen in SAW IV, SAW V or SAW VI?

Marcus Dunstan: The difference between this and a SAW film is we’re coming from a point of a thriller intersecting with a horror movie. SAW has always taken place within the horror realm and has embraced that. Whereas we wanted to take James Caan from THIEF and have him accidentally break into The Tooth Fairy’s house from MANHUNTER. (Both Michael Mann movies, by the way!) Tactics to catch a cat burglar in your home, if you’re not going mano y mano from scene 1, it involved setting up some kind of snare. Perhaps setting up some kind of compromising position for that thief to have to endure. So we kept this as close to the vest and what you can really make from anything already in your home as possible. These things, if they are implements used in the movie, we built them ourselves in the living room. If you see razor blades? I cut my fingers on them for real to make sure they worked. And it’s just based on very intimate fears, things that are around your home, because we didn’t want this to be specific elaborate traps at all. We’re trying to create a villain that is the land equivalent of a shark. If you go into the water, a shark might get you. If you’re on land, you’re on this killer’s territory and everyone’s vulnerable.

Patrick Melton: The big difference too is I think the tone is very different. The SAW movies are wonderful because they almost seem like you’re going into a different world with the heightened reality, while this one, we tried to keep it much more grounded with things that are in your house. Thing that can be put together quickly that aren’t sort of too fantastic.

Robg.: It’s kinda like Nancy at the end of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. Rigging the booby traps!

Patrick Melton: (Laughs) That’s so funny you say that.

Marcus Dunstan: I gotta say one thing. You’ve got to stay through the credits on this one, because we’ve rewarded the person that does! A little something extra.

Robg.: In terms of the SAW movies, you guys have both gone on record saying that SAW VI is one of your favorites, and probably the best one you’ve done. It seems you guys went into SAW IV, V and VI with an overall story arc. Now you guys are doing SAW VII. So is it interesting, challenging or different to start from scratch with SAW 7? Or are you continuing some of the threads that appeared in your trilogy?

Marcus Dunstan: A lot of SAW IV and SAW V really hinged on SAW VI coming together. And the way 6 did, it completely recharged our batteries creatively. 6 recharged us and it gave us new ground which we hope to mine more horror from.

Patrick Melton: What we were really trying to do was, we finished 6 and we were done with 6 before we even started thinking about SAW 7 to be honest. 6 ends and we wanted to end that arc from 4, 5 and 6. Those three, 4, 5 and 6 all make sense tying the stuff from the first 3 as well. And it ends! You could leave SAW VI and say ok, I’m done, I’m happy, I’m completely fulfilled. Now, with 7 we’re definitely turning the page a bit. It’s a new chapter. But you’ll see, and we can talk more in depth when you see 6, but you can where it’s going to go, but there is definitely a closure at the end of 6 and with 7, it is the beginning of a new trilogy. It’s the third trilogy for the SAW films.

Robg.: Is there any criteria going into PART 7 either from Twisted or Lionsgate, or are you guys free to go whatever direction you want?

Marcus Dunstan: No, there’s always been a bible and a cannon and an ultimate end game for them, so we have to respect the rules that have been established, and we have to respect the tone. Other then that, it is earned. Earn the audience.

Robg.: You’re both writers, and now Marcus is directing, but you also made a fun little cameo in Adam Green’s Halloween short film THE TIFFANY PROBLEM. Any chance we’ll see you acting in front of the camera again soon?

Marcus Dunstan: (Laughs) Based on my appearance in front of that camera, I think I’m going to have to do a little changin’ before I make any more appearances! (Laughs)

Robg.: I seriously just want to thank you guys for FEAST. That first movie was probably one of my favorite genre pictures since EVIL DEAD 2: DEAD BY DAWN. Just the same kind of energy, so I’m always indebted to you guys for writing FEAST!

Marcus Dunstan: Aw, right on! We didn’t want to let any Gulager’s go untouched in THE COLLECTOR. Diane Goldner’s in it. Jon Gulager helped us with some shooting. Tom Gulager was the 2nd unit director when we were shooting for 24 hours a day! Clu Gulager recorded some beautiful narration for us. So everyone (from the family) is in this one.

Robg.: This is more of a fan to fan inquiry. HELLRAISER is up next to be “rebooted” and there have been several writers brought in and you guys were amongst the bunch to take a crack at it. What was your take on it, and what’s made this new HELLRAISER so difficult to crank?

Marcus Dunstan: The treatment for it was beautiful, and what it did was… it just gave scale to what was only hinted at in the darkness and the shadows of the first entry. We didn’t want to go back and repeat that story if at all possible, because that first story was wonderfully told. So, it wanted to grab darkness and appreciate it much like a PAN’S LABYRINTH would. And Pinhead’s become more then just that ending guy that gives a few lines. He’s become a figure in horror cinema, so we wanted to respect that, and re-announce that and make it bigger. The problem with that first treatment? It was too darned expensive. It just was.

Patrick Melton: Our thing was – everyone knows Pinhead. You show Pinhead, people know exactly who he is, the average person - they may not know exactly which movie it is or they may not have seen a HELLRAISER, but they know him. We were trying to build up his backstory and make him a true supervillain. And so, a lot of the story had to do with fleshing out his backstory, which is revealed more in PART 2. We were combining elements of 1 and 2 and building up Pinhead as a bigger character. Because not only in his past life, but also in the time he’s spent in hell. Giving him an end game, an end goal, and making him much more active as opposed to just torturing people. I don’t know, it was just maybe too much minutia for Dimension. At the end of the day –

Marcus Dunstan: Sometimes when you’re a fan of a movie, you want to put a hell of a lot more in it then necessary. You want to see the dream version of it, when… maybe it needs to be sheer, severe and slick. And that might ultimately be the HELLRAISER that comes out. I don’t know.

Robg.: Besides THE COLLECTOR and SAW 7 obviously, what’s next? Anything you’re excited to tackle?

Marcus Dunstan: Well, I’d love to direct an adaptation of a graphic novel called DEAL WITH THE DEVIL by Mike Miller. It’s just a brilliant bad-ass plot and I think it would make one hell of a movie.

THE COLLECTOR is now playing!

July 26, 2009


I’ll admit it. I was slightly intrigued by the promotional poster for ORPHAN the first time I caught it at a bus stop back in New York. I couldn’t help but stare at this oddly photoshopped image and try desperately to figure out exactly what was wrong with Esther? Needless to say, whatever they did to the image worked because it got me to stop and examine it. But after that, I honestly didn’t have high expectations set up for yet another “evil child” horror movie. However, because my expectations were low, ORPHAN actually ended up exceeding my initial expectations and I left the theater more then satisfied by the experience. It’s a fairly solid little horror movie that definitely earns its R rating and delivers on some truly genuine shocking twists.

ICONS OF FRIGHT was invited to sit in on a series of roundtable interviews with various people involved in its creation including producers Joel Silver & Susan Downey, writer David Leslie Johnson, director Jaume Collet-Serra and actors Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard and Isabelle Fuhrman making her screen debut as Esther. The following is a series of quotes pulled from an array of topics we covered in the hour long interview session. Enjoy!

On the origins of the story & co-producer Leonardo Dicaprio?

Joel Silver: Appian Way is Leonardo’s production company, they had really come up with the idea for this movie and it was a horror movie they wanted to make. And he had sent off the script and Warners had read the script and thought this might be a great vehicle for us at Dark Castle to jump into. We met with Leo and his business partner and we felt that it was a great idea. Susan worked with them very closely to bid off the script and with the movie itself.

David Leslie Johnson: At the very beginning, the project was developed internally at Leo’s company Alpine Way, and one of his executives Alex Mace wrote a treatment for it. They basically were looking for a writer to adapt the treatment and get a fresh take on it. They only gave me the first 3 pages of it. Basically the beginning of the story, the family dynamic, who the characters were and Esther comes to the home – now what happens? So, I sort of took that, came up with the ending and worked backwards to match up with the story they had and pitched them that and that’s sort of how it came to be.

On casting Isabelle Fuhrman as Esther?

Susan Downey: It was pure old fashioned casting. We put a bunch of kids on tape and she just popped right out. And it was interesting because if you do read an early draft of the script, the description of the little girl is the complete opposite of what Isabelle actually looks like. She was supposed to have pure white skin, and blonde curly hair. It wasn’t her look, but she was so good in her audition and just stood out from all the other kids that it was a no brainer.

Joel Silver: Leo was making a movie in South Africa, BLOOD DIAMOND actually, and the way that you can cast now, there’s websites with protective locks so you can put up video of all the people testing for a role. Leo called me early one morning and said, “I saw this girl and she’s fantastic!” We hadn’t even seen it yet because he had been ahead of us in time, and he just said, “She’s the one. She’s the one.” He was very specific about that because being a child actor himself, he was very conscious of what that does and what that is and he was always concerned that this girl not be affected by the process. He was very conscious that she be very focused and not given too much information about things in the movie that might hurt her future.

Isabelle on portraying the character of Esther?

Isabelle Fuhrman: I read the script and I talked to my acting couch about the character and he helped me figure out different things I could do, because each person has different things. Some people bite their nails. Some people run their fingers through their hair, or scratch or itch. So I was thinking about different things I can do that would make Esther different from me, because she’s totally different from me. I like touching my hair, and I don’t do it all the time but I do run my fingers through my hair, so Esther I thought maybe would do something a little different. A little more swing in her step and she’d be a bit more girly because of her secret. I went to lunch once with Vera and we were at a restaurant I kept watching all these women, they kept looking at me like why is this girl starring at me? I was watching them for how they crossed their legs or tilted their heads. Or how they grabbed for their water. I was watching Vera a lot on set, and it all just helped and worked. On the day, it all came into place.

Susan Downey: The thing with Isabelle is she’s got great parents and they’re really smart. They’re incredibly supportive and with any movie you do, you always have a teacher on the set as well. You just kind of talk them through it to a certain point. You’re always conferring with the parents and with the teacher about what is appropriate and not. And what’s great, we saw this when Jaume was working with her and the other kids, there’s certain things you can explain in a somewhat adult way, and there’s other things you try and you see it’s just so above their experience level and you’re like “OK, just imagine that your sister just stole your toy.” (Laughs) You know? You have to really boil it down for them. But I think with Isabelle, she’s incredibly smart and very articulate. Her parents are the same way, so it made it very easy.

Isabelle Fuhrman: I had a dialect couch during the entire filming (in the movie, Esther has a thick Russian accent), so he’d come into my apartment where I was staying in and we’d go over the lines in the accent and we’d try to get different sounds. Like the W’s are different. My mom’s Russian, so I watched her a lot. Foreign people move their lips a different way. We tend to move our lips fully when we say something like “show”. But European’s keep their mouths kind of closed, they’re not very open when they talk. (Gives example.)

Isabelle Fuhrman: Well, my usual day was, I’d get my hair curls and then I got into my dress, I would go, I would transform into her and I would go about my day being her, being Esther. And um, something clicked. Every morning I would put on the dress and it clicked, time to perform.

David Leslie Johnson: When I first started writing the script, it was sort of one of those things that you can fall into with the evil child is how are all these adults being outsmarted by this child? I wanted to go into it thinking she’s just really that smart. She’s Hannibal Lector smart. She walks into a room and sizes everybody up and she figures out ‘ok, I know what your weakness is and what your weakness is’ and I don’t want anybody looking at me. I want you looking at her. And being mad at each other so that I can do what I want to do. That was the idea.

On the appeal to this story and the character arch’s?

Susan Downey: It was very much in the writing. It was very much in the script that we had originally received and then continued to work on & develop. The characters that we got from the original material in terms of Kate’s backstory and John’s backstory or for the little girl – just everyone, there was such a level of consideration that you often see more in dramas then in genre pictures, so we were fortunate to be able to have that as a starting point and to continue to develop it. Which then when we brought Jaume on, that’s what really appealed to him. He’s one of these director’s that grew up on the great horror movies of the 70’s, the ones we always reference in our development meetings that we hope to achieve and you never do. Or you ya know, you keep looking for that. He continued forward with what the script already brought to the table and it allowed us to get actors excited & involved who furthered that and continue to elevate the material.

Vera Farmiga: For me, when I consider a script there’s always a sense of wanting to defend the character and I had that with Kate. The appeal of the script for me was trying to understand miscarriage grief and at a time when I was desperately trying to get pregnant and wanting to be a mother. So there were issues in there that intrigued me about it. I spent a lot of time on websites for women who’ve gone through 3 trimesters and then suffered miscarriages and I was completely moved by it. The shock, it’s an intense grief and the recovery from it. The body heals before the soul does, so I saw that in my character and wanted to explore that.

Peter Sarsgaard: Well, I immediately felt very comfortable around Vera. There’s usually a ‘getting to know you’ awkwardness. But from the first day, when she busted her lip we were fine. It was also the only accident I remember happening on the film before cameras rolled.

Vera Farmiga: I wailed into Jaume and cracked my nose.

Peter Sarsgaard: And got a bloody nose! With playing these characters – you feel them out and they’re from your own life and they’re from what you’re sensing coming from that place, and it’s fairly subtle, so it’s those kind of things that just happen.

Vera Farmiga: We have a chemistry and we’ve known each other for 10 years. We have the same manager for a decade.

Peter Sarsgaard: We didn’t go back and write the story of our lives together, no. But the alcoholism, we talked about that stuff.

Vera Farmiga: Sure, this is a highly dysfunctional relationship that they have. I think how she first deals with the shame and pain and guilt and bereavement is to turn to alcohol. This is a man who just puts bandages on these bullet holes, he doesn’t really deal with things in this relationship and the grief is really what drives her to drink. She spends the whole film recovering from that. She feels tremendous guilt for her daughter.

How does ORPHAN compare to other “evil child” movies?

Vera Farmiga: I did something similar, but not many people saw JOSHUA. I had a great time with Sam Rockwell and the only really similar thing is that there’s a mother in distress, but I really don’t feel that my career’s in danger of being pigeonholed. And the story was radically different for me. I look at the character and what her trip is and I found this really complex. It’s a complex grief, trying to get over a miscarriage, and the dysfunction of this family. I have to say, what really got me, the secret of the film, I had never read anything like that before and I wanted to be a part of that but I wanted to make sure that whomever would be a part of that as well could make it work. As soon as Peter’s name was brought into the mix, I said ‘I’m in’. We’d been trying to find things to work on over the course of a few years.

David Leslie Johnson: Even when the BAD SEED was made, it was a taboo subject. At the end of THE BAD SEED, they have to break the 4th wall and say “Oh look here’s the actress, she wasn’t really bad and she didn’t really die.” (Laughs) It’s such a bizarre ending! I don’t remember ever seeing a movie like that where they actually had to say “its ok everyone, the little girl’s fine.” So it was definitely I think more taboo then and I think that was sort of – it sort of broke a barrier of what you could or couldn’t do certainly. But I think that the idea of children being scary has always been there. Because there’s something very primal about the need to protect children, so when you turn that on its head and you make the children, the child the bad guy, it’s violating everything that you feel. They are meant to be innocent. And there’s another aspect to it, and I don’t know if this is real or not, but there’s obviously a need to nurture kids and protect kids, but on some level, I wonder, kids also are reminders of our own mortality in a way. Ultimately your child kind of looks like you, grows up and acts like you and ultimately is here to replace you. I don’t know if maybe that’s one of the reasons that it persists as a horror sub genre, maybe.

Jaume Collet-Serra: The idea is for people to see the movie and have them think they know what this movie is going to be like, but it’s not. So, right now with the poster and the trailer, a lot of people are feeling like they’ve already seen this kind of a movie, but I don’t think that’s true. So, hopefully the movie will have an opportunity to grow with word of mouth.

Isabelle Fuhrman: This is an evil character, and most evil characters are male. Not many evil characters are female. There’s THE GOOD SON, THE OMEN. There was THE EXORCIST but I never saw that movie and I probably never will because I’m freaked out by the head spinning around! (Laughs)

A journalist asks insensitively if Isabelle, now 12 is ready for “America to hate her”?

Isabelle Fuhrman: (Pause) I’m totally different then Esther, and if America hates me then I’ve done my job! I’m supposed to make everybody hate me, but at the same time, I hope they feel sorry for her, but at the same time think ‘Whoa I feel sorry for her, but she’s so mean!’

On what’s next for producers Joel Silver and Susan Downey & Joel’s appreciation for comic book properties?

Joel Silver: LOBO (based on the DC Comic character) is the one I’m really excited about doing one day, hopefully soon. I’ve always loved graphic novels. We bought WATCHMEN and V FOR VENDETTA in the late 80’s. I lost WATCHMEN over the years, I wish I hadn’t but I’ve always been interested in graphic novels. When I read WATCHMEN, it changed my view of so many things, it was the first time I read a graphic novel really like that. So, look we made RICHIE RICH before so I’ve been involved with comic book stories for a long time. PREDATOR might as well have been a graphic novel. Obviously it wasn’t but it read like one.

Joel Silver: With WATCHMEN, Look – I love Zack Snyder and I love his work and I think he’s very talented, but the script that we developed was I think better then the movie they made. I thought there were some really good ideas we came up with. I know he stayed very close to the original material, but he made some changes anyways. I think it could’ve been a more satisfying movie. But you make the best movie you can. I think Zack made a great movie though & I don’t want to minimize what he did, but at the end of the day it was more tuned to just to the big fanatics of WATCHMEN as opposed to a broader audience that didn’t know the original comic book. As far as LOBO, we’ve got a script for LOBO we like. And when any of you see AVATAR, the technology is genius. It’s fantastic. So it’s time. I think it’s structured now as a PG-13 movie, but I love it. I want to make a good LOBO movie and it’s a great character.

Susan Downey: We all have high hopes for SHERLOCK HOLMES, that it will be a big fun action version of it and I actually think we got there. It maintains the integrity of people whom are SHERLOCK HOLMES fans. It’s smart, there’s a great history at the core. I think Robert Downey Jr captured the essence of Sherlock. I think Jude Law is going to surprise people in his portrayal of Watson. I don’t think we’ve seen Jude do something in my opinion that’s as fresh and solid as this performance. He’s really, really great. Rachel McAdams adds a wonderful splash as Irene Adler and so I think we’re going to satiate the people who are old Sherlock fans and see that we’re doing it right, and for the next generation who hasn’t really read those stories, I think they’re just going to enjoy the ride.

ORPHAN is playing in theaters now! -Robg.

July 06, 2009


FRIGHT fans, you are in for a treat! We're proud to present PART ONE of our EXCLUSIVE TWO part interview with director Dave Parker about his latest film THE HILLS RUN RED. Fans of 80's "slasher" flicks take note, this is the movie for you! This interview took place several months ago during the editing process for HILLS, so we got the first insight into how the film was coming together from Dave's perspective via the editing room. He also provided us with some exclusive new images seen for the first time ever here in this ICONS article. Click HERE or the image below to read our extensive FRIGHT exclusive interview with THE HILLS RUN RED director DAVE PARKER!

Synopsis A film fanatic's obsession with finding a complete print of a classic slasher movie leads him and two friends into the backwoods where the film was shot. They realize too late that filming never ended -- the movie's star, the deformed, murderous BABY FACE, and his twisted family continue to film and kill unsuspecting victims. Now our heroes must survive the nightmarish onslaught or become part of the movie forever.

Directed by Dave Parker from a script by David J. Schow, John Dombrow & John Carchietta, THE HILLS RUN RED stars Sophie Monk, Tad Hilgenbrinck (LOST BOYS: THE TRIBE), William Sadler (THE MIST, "Death" in BILL & TED'S BOGUS JOURNEY!), Alex Wyndham and Janet Montgomery (WRONG TURN 3).

Check out our panel report on THE HILLS RUN RED from last month's LA FANGO con by clicking HERE or the link below!

And check last year's FRIGHT exclusive interview with DAVE PARKER!

May 18, 2009


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with writer/director ROB ZOMBIE! A few months back, ICONS OF FRIGHT were invited down to the set to see the making of Rob Zombie's eagerly anticipated HALLOWEEN sequel H2. We were able to chat with Scout Taylor-Compton, producers Andy Gould and Malek Akkad, as well as FX artist Wayne Toth, but with only 3 days left in the tightly-scheduled shoot at the time of our visit, it was difficult for Zombie to break away to chat & explain his intentions with the latest film in the HALLOWEEN series. Now in the midst of post-production, he took a quick break from editing to fill us in on how the project has evolved since the last time we spoke to him. (Click HERE for that interview!) Click the frame or image below to read our new FRIGHT exclusive interview with ROB ZOMBIE on HALLOWEEN 2!

Make sure to read our set reports from H2 by clicking the images below!

HALLOWEEN 2 SET REPORT! PART ONE: FX ARTIST WAYNE TOTH! (Click image below to read it!)




Rob Zombie returns to write and direct HALLOWEEN 2, which stars Scout Taylor-Compton, Malcolm McDowell, Tyler Mane, Brad Dourif, Sherri Moon Zombie, Danielle Harris, Brea Grant, Bill Moseley, Caroline Williams, Margot Kidder, Daniel Roebuck, Chase Wright Vanek, Dayton Callie, Richard Brake, Matt Bush, Howard Hesseman, Bill Fagerbakke, Ezra Buzzington, Jeff Daniel Phillips & Mark Christopher Lawrence. H2 hits theaters this August 28th!

May 07, 2009


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with JT PETTY! Director JT Petty is carving an intriguing and intelligent path through the horror genre, crossbreeding story elements and narrative approaches and yielding exciting results. His extended NYU thesis ghost story Soft For Digging blended live action and pixilation into a nearly wordless narrative; his sequel Mimic: Sentinel played with what we expected from late-in-the-series installments, fusing elements of Rear Window and dark humor into the franchise; and his documentary S&Man found a new way for an audience to explore the nature of voyeurism and manipulation of media in a non-fictional/fictional context. Petty’s newest experiment The Burrowers successfully splices a Western with a creature feature in a way that will satisfy both camps. Read on to learn more about this tense, slow-burn, character-driven film that introduces a new and disturbing class of monster to the old West, and get a hint of his intentions for his potential reimaginging of the shockumentary Faces of Death. Click the frame or image below to read the full interview!!!

April 07, 2009


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with BOBBI SUE LUTHER! This month, we got to speak to the lovely Bobbi Sue Luther, who produces & stars in LAID TO REST, written & directed by her husband Rob Hall of Almost Human FX & starring Lena Headey, Kevin Cage, Sean Whalen, Thomas Dekker, Johnathon Schaech, Richard Lynch & Nick Principe. No stranger to the genre, she worked under the direction of Robert Englund for his recent flick KILLER KAD and will next be seen in Adam Gierasch's NIGHT OF THE DEMONS remake. We talked to her about her earliest horror recollections, recruiting close friends to make LAID TO REST and even her brief appearance on an episode of CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM! Read the frame or image below to read her interview!

March 29, 2009


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with WILLIAM BUTLER! As a genre fan, you probably recognize William Butler. After all, he got killed in just about every major horror sequel in the late 80's/early 90's - LEATHERFACE: TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE III, FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VII: THE NEW BLOOD, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD 1990. Hell, even the Ghoulies got him in GHOULIES II, as well as Freddy Krueger in an episode of FREDDY'S NIGHTMARES.

But after all those on-screen cinematic deaths, he went on to write & direct a few horror features of his own with MADHOUSE (starring Joshua Leonard, Jordan Ladd, Lance Henriksen & Natasha Lyonne) & FURNACE (with Michael Pare, Ja Rule, Danny Trejo & Tom Sizemore). He also co-wrote RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD 4: NECROPOLIS & RETURN TO THE LIVING DEAD 5: RAVE TO THE GRAVE. (Don't worry, he explains what happened with both of those in this interview).

Between all of the above mentioned projects, on top of directing gigs for everything from music videos to POWER RANGERS episodes to THE GINGERDEAD MAN 2 (and 3!), Butler has had one of the most interesting and prolific careers in the genre. We got to talk to him candidly about it all! So sit back, read and enjoy our FRIGHT exclusive interview with actor/writer/director William Butler! Click either image below to read it!

March 27, 2009

THE ITALIANS ARE INVADING CHILLER THEATRE! Mini-Interviews with Ian McCulloch, Silvia Collatina & Michael Sopkiw!

The Italians Are Invading Chiller Theatre!

Fans of 1980s Italian exploitation have every reason to rejoice. In three weeks, Chiller Theatre in Parsippany, New Jersey will host the Italian Invasion, a gathering of a number of stars from the Fulci period. Mike Baronas has put together a great collection of guests that include: the 30th anniversary ZOMBIE reunion with Ian McCulloch, Al Cliver, Richard Johnson, and old Worm Eye himself, Ottaviano Dell’acqua; Silvia Collatina and Giovanni Frezza, the child couple from Fulci’s HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY; sci-fi/ horror director Luigi Cozzi; action star Michael Sopkiw; and Fulci actresses Malisa Longo and Zora Kerowa, the latter of ANTHROPOPHAGUS fame.

In anticipation of the Italian Invasion, Mike Baronas was gracious enough to grant me access to three of the Invasion guests for quick interviews. I thank Ian McCulloch, Silvia Collatina and Michael Sopkiw for taking the time to answer my questions. If you’re a fan of the Italians, go meet these three at Chiller. From the answers they gave me, I guarantee they won’t disappoint.

Ian McCulloch

Phil Fasso: ZOMBIE has developed a rabid cult following over the years. Many Fulci fans place it on par with Romero’s DAWN OF THE DEAD. Why do you think that it’s achieved that status?

Ian: It is difficult to find a reason for the continued success of ZOMBIE. I suppose it came out at the right time and had all the right ingredients of plot, exotic locations and special effects. It would be nice to think that we actors helped too but I think we could have changed roles with the Zombies and the film would have been as successful. The marketing team also deserve a pat on the back and the continued notoriety of certain scenes and its video nasty history have all helped.

PF: What are your best recollections from working on ZOMBIE?

IM: ZOMBIE was the first major film I made where I was a leading player. When you move overnight from a dingy bed and breakfast and seven performances a week in a dilapidated theatre in an English provincial town to being treated like a prince in the best hotels in Rome and New York and being accorded a decent amount of respect on the set with the time and money to enjoy life – you realize what you have been missing. The unit were really professional, helpful and friendly. Bizarrely it was the time taken over my make up which gave me my first surprise. Instead of the perfunctory 30 seconds in a British movie accompanied by a gasp of horror when you asked for your eyelashes to be darkened to spend half an hour being made screen presentable was a delight.

PF: ZOMBIE wasn’t your only foray into living dead films. How did your experience on ZOMBIE HOLOCAUST compare with working on Fulci’s film?

IM: ZOMBIE HOLOCAUST was a really silly movie but fun. Fabrizio de Angelis cleverly cashed in on the success of ZOMBIE with virtually the same plot, same locations and me. I liked the director. I am impressed by people who have had careers outside show business and he had been a fairly distinguished boxer. There can’t have been many film directors with the same qualifications. I also liked the idea of there being a statue of him at the Olympic Stadium in Rome. The film clearly had a smaller budget than ZOMBIE and sadly it shows but I presume it made a good deal of money for Fabrizio and I have only happy memories of making it.

PF: How was your experience working with Luigi Cozzi, another Chiller guest, on CONTAMINATION? Did you prefer acting in science fiction as opposed to horror? Why or why not?

IM: I have not seen any of my Italian films on screen. CONTAMINATION was as silly as ZOMBIE HOLOCAUST but when you consider all the problems getting a film from idea/script to finished article you have to give credit to the people behind it. Luigi was a lovely man to work for. Very generous and considerate. Far and away the most gentlemanly of the three. Sadly I was not asked to contribute to the DVDs of the film but I am looking forward to seeing him again in Parsippany. There is of course no difference to acting in either of the two genres. As I have frequently said the acting is not all that important in such films.

PF: As a citizen of the U.K., what is your opinion of the outcry during the video nasty era in the early 1980s? How do you feel about violence in films?

IM: In a strange quirk of fate my wife’s uncle sat on the committee which classified my three Italian films as video nasties. He told me they had just banned twenty or so. I told him I was in three of them. He looked at me reproachfully and said “ Ian, how could you?” I thought it was funny at the time but today writing this I am wondering why he did not know I was in them . Mindless violence is to be condemned. In films like ZOMBIE you expect it. I was upset by the countless deaths in "WHERE EAGLES DARE" where I played a German officer. Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton between them slaughtered what seemed like several divisions of the German Army.

PF: ZOMBIE has made you a cult figure in the United States. How does it feel to have that status?

IM: Needless to say I do not feel like a cult figure. However I am looking forward to seeing fans of the film at the convention.

PF: ZOMBIE is 30 years old. As you prepare to tour the convention circuit, starting with Chiller, what stand out about it for you now?

IM: When I was asked to be in "ZOMBIE" I thought it was a joke. It was after all April Fool’s Day. But it led to a year of filming in the States, the Caribbean and Italy and while it did not make me rich financially it enriched my life. Coming to Parsippany is part of that.

Silvia Collatina

PF: How did you first get to work with Lucio Fulci?

Silvia: In fact I do not remember my first contact with him, I just have a potpourri of images and scenes but I still remember my test. My agent told me there was a part in a horror movie and I didn’t think twice. … I had to play a scary child using all the features of my face, miming amazement and terror. Frankly speaking I do not remember my first contact with him.

PF: Fulci was known to be hard on his actresses, and I’ve heard also on his child actors. How did he treat you when you worked with him on HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY?

SC: He was very impulsive and spontaneous so, consequently, unpredictable. He wanted us to be very involved while acting and Lucio didn’t hold back from shouting at us if he was not satisfied with a scene. He had everything already fixed in his mind and thus was rather severe. The scene in which Mae cries in front of the display window where Anja Pieroni’s mock-up loses its head – because she was to die - tells a lot. I didn’t succeed in crying because to be honest I couldn’t care less about her death in reality so Lucio got so angry (just verbally) that I was very upset and I burst into tears (also after the scene). Anyway I was fascinated by his behavior: sometimes affectionate, even childish but also capable of being rude and very demanding, you had to create a close connection to him to understand his thought.

PF: You play the creepy, supernatural child in HOUSE, much like Damien in the OMEN films. From where did you draw inspiration for the character? What was your acting technique?

SC: Since very young I’ve always been fond of horror movies and that somewhat helped. When the production chose me I was very excited to take part in such a peculiar movie. I had no special technique to follow: my only inspiration was trying to get involved in my role; I really felt I was Mae trying to save Bob. I had this mission. I was real and unreal at the same time! Hanging between the past and the present. I felt totally at my ease playing such a character, Mae was me, and I was Mae!

PF: HOUSE is part of Fulci’s revered zombie trilogy. How does it feel to be part of such a well-loved work?

SC: It’s an honor having taken part in such a movie, which still represents a must, a cult movie for his genre. I did not know there were so many fans of this movie considering almost 30 years has passed! I think that people love this movie so much because it has lots of different successful elements mixed all together: the shots that focus on the actors’ eyes, closing up on peculiar details, the horror transmitted slowly but so violently to the public, the environment so grotesque as a whole, the pastel colors of the autumn, the mystery that enshrouds the movie…. And Dr. Freudstein… Everyone has been fascinated by him: in our collective imagination he is still alive, for ever living in that House and awaiting other victims, other fresh flesh…

PF: You worked with Fulci again on MURDEROCK. How did that experience compare with working on HOUSE? The shift from small town zombie flick to big city giallo must’ve been interesting.

SC: Decidedly two different locations and Mae and Molly are two different personages. I’d define them as two cameos even if they are not the main characters in their respective movies. Mae was free to appear everywhere, in very wide spaces, while Molly was anchored to her wheelchair in limited area. Working on MURDEROCK was perhaps a little more challenging, I’d say harder, because Molly had a strong personality. Owing to her handicap, she was a mean, spoiled and bored child, completely different from what I was (luckily!!). Mae on the other hand embodied the ethereal, the supernatural, a pure white energy. I feel very close to this character…

PF: You’re appearing at the Chiller Theatre convention with your co-star Giovanni Frezza. As you prepare to meet the fans, what stands out to you about HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY and MURDEROCK now?

SC: Certainly, It will be unusual for both of us. I am very excited at the idea of meeting fans because I am fan of horror movies too and I am honored to shake the hands of other important guests I’ve always admired through television so I will be surely happy and very willing to welcome them of course. I think that people see Mae and Bob as a cult couple of horror movies, the saver and the saved. In the collective imagination they will be always together, immortal and eternally children in another dimension.

Michael Sopkiw

PF: What was it like being an action star during a time when Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger were among the biggest names in all of film?

Michael: Sylvestre and who; Arnold? I know I've heard of these guys before; especially that Arnold one. Isn't he my governor? I think he's one of those guys who spent all the state's money while things were good without putting any aside for the rainy daze and now that it's pouring says he trying to work out a better budget now........ And that Sylvester; wasn't he one of the family Stone? Sure you got his last name right? Whomever they are, I can assure you it was not competitive. I counted my blessings being put into the position of "action star". It alters reality a bit, puts one into a different realm altogether and you just have to know what is real and enjoy the moments as you pass through them; giving your best throughout. Growing along with it but not losing yourself in it. My guess is that Sly & Arnold were in similar states but on a grander scale. They're still alive too right?

PF: You made two films directed by famed Italian Lamberto Bava. What were your experiences like working with him?

MS: Almost nothing but praises for Lamberto. He's a very compassionate guy; pretty much to be expected being Italian. That was my experience with most Italians. But he shows it in his everyday consideration and caring for both actors and crew. And he sure knew how to make a lot with a little. He was always quite accessible and gentle but seems to have had a bit of a penchant for blood. You noticed? I would love to speak with him now to find out a little bit more of what drove him.

PF: Your career was strictly an endeavor in exploitation films. How do you feel about your films, and the whole exploitative genre?

MS: Was? Is it over? I am just preparing myself for the best! OK; I have mixed feelings about the genre. On one hand exploitive anything has negative connotations. Something more original and popular is being ripped off. If the choice was mine to make I would have been doing Clint Eastwood and Harrison Ford in DIRTY HARRY and BLADE RUNNER or something with a more original or intriguing story line. But the exploitation genre has the advantage of not having to take itself so seriously and therefore has a great deal of freedom. So it actually turns out that, in a big way, this genre suits me and I find some of it quite entertaining. Some more than others ......

PF: Which of your four films was your favorite? Why?

MS: That's a tough one. They were all a blast to work on. I suppose overall AFTER THE FALL OF NY would top the list as a fave film. I think it has the most memorable lines like "Cleaned up & disinfected she might be all right." I also think it has the best caliber of actors overall with Gigi, Vince, Romano, Gigetto, Valentine, et al. There were really some good performances there I think and some serious actors.

PF: Your post-film career took a turn toward science. Can you tell me about it? How would you compare it to a career as an action hero?

MS: WE DON’T NEED ANOTHER HERO! Tina Turner. Not so sure she had it right but it's not an easy career to maintain. Necessity breeds ingenuity though and I needed to do something after figuring out that Tina seemed to be right by about 1989. So I started a couple of other ventures including the special violet glass I work with now. I am actually a distributor, not a scientist, although some scientific background is helpful due to the special properties of this particular glass. Most of the 5 semesters I spent in various schools after high school were math and science courses. The glass is an effective light filter, and extensive research has been done which wavelengths are filtered out and how much of which penetrate the glass. But it is their effects on the products stored in the glass which is most amazing. There is hardly any way I can see to compare the two careers other than we live in the same body through them. (Actually, I think I would have stayed in much better shape if I had the camera aimed at me more through the years....) So in short, I am fascinated by the glass and really believe the world is a better place with it in my honest opinion, but frankly, being an action hero had its perks!

PF: As you head toward meeting fans at Chiller Theatre, what kind of fan reaction do you get from fans of exploitation cinema nowadays?

MS: I think I only have about 6 and they are all more like friends. Well, one of them, and probably the biggest, is my mother, and she's less like a friend and more like a mother. But they're very supportive so like when things get tight and I need a little beer money, all I have to do is email and tons of cash comes in, which holds me over since I don't get any residuals from the Italians. At the same time they respect my privacy, which is great, because I wouldn't know how to handle more correspondence.


Meet these great guests at CHILLER on April 17th-19th. Full details HERE (or at the image below!)

March 14, 2009


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with director JEFF BURR! Words can not express how much I love LEATHERFACE: TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE III. When I was roughly about 14 years old, I waited for hours outside my local theater until someone would pretend to be my "guardian" to sneak me in. And from then on, I continued to follow the career of the film's director Jeff Burr. It wasn't too difficult. After all, Burr had helmed several franchise sequels through out the 90's, all of which I sought out such as STEPFATHER II, PUMPKINHEAD II: BLOOD WINGS & PUPPET MASTER 4 & 5. I eventually went back to discover his underrated anthology debut THE OFFSPRING (aka FROM A WHISPER TO A SCREAM). Most recently, I checked out EDDIE PRESLEY and STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS, 2 great independent films that truly round out the career of such a diverse & prolific filmmaker.

Jeff was kind enough to sit down with Mike and I to discuss candidly in great detail all of the above movies. We got the full scoop on making LEATHERFACE, heard stories about Vincent Price and LOST's Terry O'Quinn, talked about NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW and got the real story on the behind the scenes of THE DEVIL'S DEN. FRIGHT fans, this is one of our finest interviews. Click the frame or images below to read it!

March 01, 2009


From Tim Sullivan, "This past weekend on February 21st, Robert Quarry left us. He was 83. He had been ill for some time, with the last year particularly hard with his move to the Actor’s Home. Through it all, the love displayed by his fans was a constant source of comfort to Bob. When the call went out to fandom that Count Yorga was moving into a new crypt and needed both basics and some simple frills, the response was overwhelming. Within a mere two weeks, Bob’s new room at the Actor’s Home was completely furnished with gifts sent by fans and friends from all over the world.

The music he loved, the movies that mattered to him, all replaced with brand new CD’s and DVD’s. Bob got a chance to read each and every one of the notes and emails that were sent to him, a true testament not just to the caring and kindness of those that make up the horror community, but a striking tribute to the man who inspired this outpouring, Bob Quarry himself. A true giant of the genre, one of the last great icons of fright to grace the crimson screen. I will always cherish my friendship with “Uncle” Bob. I am deeply grateful for the following interview that started it all with Bob in all his candid glory, the subsequent screening of both Yorga films that emerged as a result after dear Frank Darabont saw the interview and ordered 35mm prints to be shown at the American Cinematheque, an amazing event that put Bob back in the spotlight where he deserved to be. I thank all of Bob’s friends, fans and extended family for showing the love, especially Fred Olen Rey and Terrill Langford, who were right by his side to the very end.

Goodnight, Sweet Count. We will never forget you. Like Yorga, you live forever."

Click the image below to read the vintage interview with the late, great ROBERT QUARRY as part of SHOCK N ROLL!

February 06, 2009


Oliver RobinsPOLTERGEIST. It's my favorite movie. Since the time I first watched those cathode-ray dwelling specters snatch little Carol-Anne when I was kid to this very day it remains one of the films I can watch over and over and over again. I've double-dipped on the DVD, and I'd triple-dip if only MGM would give us a special edition really worth buying. There's something about that movie, be it the family dynamic, or the special effects, or great directing and storytelling that make it hold up nearly 26 years after it came out. Sometimes you can't explain why a movie captivates you. All I know is that if you had 114 minutes to spare I could perform the entire movie for you verbatim.

This month we had the opportunity to talk with one of the cast members from POLTERGEIST. Oliver Robins starred as the Robbie Freeling in both POLTERGEIST and POLTERGEIST II: THE OTHER SIDE. In his first interview Robins opens up exclusively to Icons of Fright on the making of the two POLTERGEIST films, as well the super scary, super mean 1982 TV movie DON'T GO TO SLEEP. Fans can meet Oliver Robins at the upcoming Hollywood Collectors Show February 14th and 15th in Burbank, California, WonderCon February 27th-March 1st in San Francisco, and this spring at the Chiller Theatre convention in New Jersey April 17-19th. (Special thanks to Samantha Prado at AJW Celebrity Services for making this interview possible!) - Mike Cucinotta 2/08

IOF: We're so glad to talk to you because the POLTERGEIST movies really are my favorite movies of all time. I'm not sure I'd be as passionate about horror without having watched them at such a young age.

Oliver Robins: Oh, well, thank you so much. I enjoyed making those films and I think we all felt when we were making the movie that it was going to be something special. Even in the very beginning. We didn't know the extent of the impact it would have, or that it would be so long lasting, but even every crew member knew that the film was something they would be proud of.

IOF: Well it's a great story, it's got a wonderful cast, some fantastic special effects. Everything about it really holds up. I watched it the other night and couldn't help but comment to friends online well it's stood the test of time.

OR: I've thought about that, about why this film holds up the way it does for almost 30 years now. I think it's a combination of not just technology, but the storyline. You have characters you're really rooting for, and a level of compassion for everyone in it. It's not about guts and gore, or things of a graphic nature. Honestly the special effects were extremely limited at that time. We didn't have half of the technology that was available today. You really had to rely on story and filmmaking to understand what these character were going through. The old cliché is that you have a willing suspension of disbelief because you want them to survive through this situation. The special effects are important, but they're almost secondary to the characters, what they're feeling, and how you want this to end. You have normal people in extraordinary circumstance.Poltergeist

IOF: I think that's one of the keys to that movie. They are very normal, and the Freelings are so very relatable. They seemed like my family. Robbie, Carol-Anne, you could be my siblings or my cousins.

OR: You know I thought about that over the years, and having become a filmmaker, having gone to USC film school. It's amazing when everything begins to work and you have so many great minds working on that movie, so many different talents. Everything came together. And it's a miracle when that happens because it's so difficult to make even a bad movie let along a good movie. So you had such an amazing team: You had Tobe Hooper, who's the quintessential horror director, and you have Mr. Spielberg who's the master storyteller, and writers like Michael Grais and Mark Victor who wrote some great dialogue. Then, on top of everything, you had us, the kids. Something Tobe really worked on with us was that he wanted us to be children, he didn't want us to be actors, and we were extremely natural. I think that conveyed the feeling that these kids could be part of anybody's family. They were normal kids, it wasn't a Little Lord Fauntleroy style of acting, we were normal. And I'd really had zero training at that point. Tobe made us feel so comfortable that we could be kids, we could perform and I think that comes through in the performances, combined with the performances of JoBeth Williams and Craig T. Nelson. They took us under their wing and made us feel like they were our mom and dad on the set. That translated into the film and made us look like we were a real family.

IOF: I think that was clearly achieved in the film. What do you recall about getting yourself cast in POLTERGEIST?

OR: It was interesting, my family moved from New York to California, and at an early age I was bitten by the bug. I saw children act on TV and thought that looked like fun. So after much persuasion my mother put me in a commercial workshop class. At the end of the class I was introduced to a couple of agents. For 6 months I'd been doing commercials when my mom got a call that there was an open call and they were looking for a little boy for this Spielberg movie. So we stood on line for hours and waited. We met with the casting people, it was Mike Fenton and Jane Feinberg, and after several callbacks I met with the team, Tobe and Steven and they selected me. I was amazed, and I never really knew that what we were working on was as big as it was. I think this was important because Tobe, Frank and Steve always presented it like it was camp for us, for the kids on the set. They made us feel like we were not in this big movie but we “were just all going to have a great time.” There were these big sets you could play on, you could design your own room, bring your own toys to the set. It was a very fun environment. That allowed me to be very comfortable because I'd only been in front of the camera maybe one other time having done a commercial. So I really needed to have that kind of comfort without the training.

IOF: Were you aware that you were supposed to be making a scary movie?

OR: Oh yea, yes. I'd read the script, I was an avid reader from an early age, like 6 years old. I knew it was scary I just didn't know the degree of the fear. I realize in some films the children don't know what they're in, we understood exactly what we doing. The room looks like a hell hole, kids!Tobe would explain the scenes. Here, I'll give you a good example: They really didn't know what the effects were going to quote look like. [Industrial Light & Magic] was working on all the mattes. But they had maybe sticks to wave in front of us and they would tell us, “Picture the scariest thing you could ever imagine in your life and that's what you're seeing right now”. So we knew we were supposed to be scared, and we knew it was going to be terrifying however what audience sees on screen, but we didn't know what we were going to see at all. Most of those effects were going to be optical, for instance the closet scene when you have that vortex that's trying to suck us in. They built a set that was called a gimble room. I believe it was on stage 30 at MGM. It was the same technology they used to have Fred Astaire dance around a room and go on the ceiling. The room rotated on an axis so we were falling backwards with the camera pointed below us in such a way that it simulated being sucked in the vortex. The reverse effects, when they shot the other side, those are opticals later put in by ILM. But we didn't know that. They would just yell, “There's something trying to suck you and it is the most terrifying thing you've ever seen in your entire life!” So we did know we were in something very scary, but we had no idea what that fear was going to embody until we went to the screening of it months later. Even during ADR most of those opticals weren't in yet.

Tree - PoltergeistIOF: Well, what about the scene with the tree. Was that huge model, or miniatures? I only see you being grabbed by a tree, it's still completely convincing me!

OR: It was an interesting process to go through, because in screen time it's not much more than a few seconds. They built approximately 4 trees and each one had a different visual design. For instance the tree outside, the exterior tree, was not much more than a normal looking tree with something like a face carved on. Then they had another tree with removable arms, the arms would actually move. Then another tree where the arms would extend to the window. Then another tree was designed for purposes of swallowing me, it had it's own internal “stomach” so to speak, for taking me in. Then a final tree was built on a hydraulic system to be pulled out of the ground. Now you have to keep in mind that the way they'd probably shoot that today is by using a lot of digital technology. At that time they didn't have that so you really had to make it look seamless through a lot of cinematic magic and through cutting and performance. Filmmakers today have a lot of resources that this team didn't have. That's what I think is so amazing about how it holds up today. They didn't have all that technology and they still made it work.

IOF: It's so convincing even today that I don't think you'd even need a digital effect to fix it up. There's been a trend of filmmakers revisiting film and fix effects, but it's so perfect. And that tree...that...that is one of the great moments in horror. Tobe directed it so well, and you played it so well with the counting. Scared the crap out of me!

Killer tree!

OR: It was amazing to see that assembled. My feeling as to why that works so well is that it was the special effects, and it was the filmmaking, but the critical part that makes it fly is it taps into that childhood fear that we all have. The tree outside the window...what if it came alive? That's a timeless element, a hundred years from now children are still going to be looking out their window and still be scared by the trees during a storm. 

IOF: Absolutely, it's timelessly frightening. Now, what about poor Robbie who has such a hell of a time during both those movies, constantly attacked by the ghosts. He's such a nervous wreck by the middle of the first movie. How did you maintain that level of hysteria and fear through the film?

OR: Tobe, you know, is a great director and one of the great elements of that is that he was able to guide and and tell me how scared I was supposed to be. You know they shoot a film out of order, you don't really know where you are in terms of your fear. Am I so petrified that I can barely speak, or am I just learning about these ghosts? Am I confused? You have different degrees of fear and he was able to convey that. So he explained to the cast, “This is the part of the movie where you're so terrified that if anything moves around the house you're frozen in terror.” It was just through the direction and the guidance that I was able to tap into my own personal fears. And I was actually able to use my own childhood memories. There were no hauntings on the set of POLTERGEIST, however I do believe in ghosts and I had to live in some very old places in Manhattan. I lived in this building that built in the 1870's and I swear it had to be haunted. I'll never know for certain I was able to tap into those feelings and bring into the character of Robbie, even though we were shooting out of order and shooting on a set is very mundane and slow. So even thought the set wasn't haunted and the special effects weren't in all the feelings coming from me were very genuine.

IOF: So nothing strange going on during “POLTERGEIST” other than some crazy special effects?

OR: There wasn't anything abnormal from any other set I'd ever been on. There are always technical problems, but people always want to bring those elements together because it's a ghost movie and it's easy to connect the dots. People want to believe it's haunted, or it's cursed when the fact is those same things happen on almost every other set. For instance they said on one of the POLTERGEIST installments the film got fogged. Well, that happens all the time, when I was in film school that happened to me all the time. It just a technical error, you know. Of course it's fun to talk about because of the ghosts in the movie.JoBeth Williams

IOF: What are something you remember about the actors playing your on screen family? Anything still stand out about Craig, Jobeth, or Heather?

Heather O'RourkeOR: Craig had an amazing sense of humor, and I think because he was a writer before he was an actor. Craig was very fatherly. We were in some strange circumstances, we were always covered in mud, molasses, or some kind of dirt and he made the set very fun. JoBeth is a fantastic actress and I didn't have a lot of experience, she was very maternal, and taught me a lot about the craft of acting. Heather...Heather was a sweetheart. She was so precocious and so bright. She was glowing on the set and very mature for her years. I believe she was 5 and she was like 5 going on 25. It was amazing, I mean I was 10 years old and I was amazed that she'd take direction from Tobe like she was an adult. I always thought this little girl is going to grow up to do great things one day. That's what made her death even more tragic was that here was a person who had so much work and such a bright future ahead of her. Not just to have a person die at such a young age, but to have a person that you know was going to become an adult who was really going to give things back to this world.

IOF: When POLTERGEIST opened, it was huge. Were you aware at the time you'd been in a phenomenally big hit?

OR: I think we had the complete realization that it was going to have historical value after the first summer. People were waiting in line to watch it, they seemed to be truly touched by it, and they wanted to see it time and time again. That's what's rare today. You don't see movies today that are event films, they come and go.

IOF: But I think this movie almost immediately embedded itself into the popular culture.The Freelings had weird pets.

OR: I think the timing of it was perfect. American was coming out of the late 70's with a feeling of disillusionment and this family embodied all the values that we wanted to have again. Then you take that family and thrust them into this incredible situation where they're cynics and they become believers. I think the audience does too.

IOF: Did you ever, say, have friends who'd razz you for having been Robbie in Poltergiest?

OR: It's funny you ask because I was thinking about that. It never really happened to me, and I think it's only because I grew up in Hollywood. I was surrounded by people who's parents made their living from the entertainment industry and it never fazed them. For my friends and peers it was a part of daily life. It didn't seem abnormal. However, when I travelled to certain places it did become an issue, people seemed amazed by it. And I was confused by their amazement because I thought everyone lived in this kind of world, because that's what Los Angeles is. Detroit builds cars and LA makes movies.

IOF: How hands on was Steven Spielberg as the producer. Do you remember seeing him a lot on set?

Steven Speilberg was a powerful force on set.OR: Well, he wrote the original draft of the script. So he was a very powerful force on set, but he worked as a team with Tobe. Tobe was always the director, Tobe always told me what to do. But the director will always come to the writer and he wants the writer to be there to get input. Not to mention, Steven was the producer so he was in a position where he had to be there on set to guide the production. I think Steven and Tobe worked as an incredible team. So to answer your question, he was there but working in the capacity as a writer and a producer. I can say from my own experience, I just recently wrote a Hallmark movie, and the director always wanted to talk to me to find out what I had in mind for the scene, how did I visualize it, what was I thinking about the characters so he could talk to the cast and convey what I had on the page. That's really the best kind of filmmaker, one who wants to work closely with the writer, and I think Tobe did that. It was just an amazing team effort, because both Tobe and Steven come from different perspectives on filmmaking. That kind of collaboration brought something very unique and very special.

Don't they make you laugh?

IOF: And it was a very different kind of film from Tobe's previous work in dark and grisly horror, while elements of the family were so typical of what Steven was doing at the time. It is a really interesting mesh of those two different styles. We have to talk about something that's listed in your IMDB profile. A bit of trivia is written that you had a “near death” experience on the set while filming famous clown scene. What happened?

OR: Well, the way they shot the sequence, it was shot as I remember in about five hours. Now going back to the technology again they didn't really have the special effects the way they do today. Today they might have done it with an optical effect. So, the clown doll had this extended arm and they had me act backwards. They had me start with a big expression and go back to a normal face, film it and show it backwards. So what happened was that contraption got caught around my neck. I was in a tight confined space under the bed and...It's almost like a car accident. You know how a car accident happens so fast you don't remember but if you don't act something is going to happen? Well, Steven saw that, probably in the video assist, and he pulled me away from it. Who knows what might have happened otherwise. It was very fast and I don't think anything would have happened, but who knows...maybe I wouldn't be here today. What's wrong with a hug?

IOF: Well, I'm glad they got you out of it. It sure made for a great scene though! No one my age would go near a clown doll for years, for sure. Now...you had an awfully busy year when you did POLTERGEIST, didn't you?

OR: I think I might have done a TV movie...

IOF: Yes. You did that TV movie “DON'T GO TO SLEEP”, which is one of the meanest, nasty, scariest of the early 80's TV movies cycle!

OR: And I worked with another great cast.

IOF: I know! Valerie Harper, Dennis Weaver, Ruth Gordon.

OR: It's sad that they don't really do movies-of-the-week anymore.

IOF: They don't!

Don't Go To Sleep

OR: You'd probably never find that on television today. It's funny you mentioned that one because I just watched it the other day on YouTube, and I was thinking this is extremely entertaining and almost forgot that I was in it! But I do remember working with Ruth Gordon. She was a fantastic actress. I think actors trained from that period are very different from actors today. The studios trained them in such a way to have a respect for the craft, and in how to hold yourself on set. She taught me those things. As I remember Valerie Harper was a sweetheart. It was an interesting film to be in. I got to play a little bit of a bully. That was very different, usually I played the innocent boy. I think this was closer to myself at the time because I was a little bit of a prankster. I was able to tap into that and use those elements for “DON'T GO TO SLEEP”

IOF: That was such a weird movie! When you were watching it did you think it was a little odd for TV? I mean the entire family is dead by the end of the movie. It's so cruel! They have you fall off a roof, and then someone comes after Valerie Harper with a pizza cutter, for crying out loud!

OR: I was thinking about that, you don't see films like that being made, even on television at that point.

IOF: Did they start making that after POLTERGEIST came out? Was there an influence, especially when they cast you?

OR: I think everything influences everything. There's nothing that's completely original. So I wouldn't say they went out of their way, however that was probably in the consciousness of the filmmakers of the time. You know, much in the way they make one space movie and they make more with totally different stories and completely different premises. It just goes to show the viability of that kind of movie. Just like with the “Saw” films, they make various kinds of films that are derivative of the “Saw” films because they think that's what audiences want to see.

IOF: And you did also had the “AIRPLANE” movie release that year. Another great cast... Airplane II

OR: Robert Hayes and Julie Hagerty were among the greatest people to work with. You know they say some actors are afraid to work with children and animals because they can steal a scene, however they weren't afraid, they embraced it. They assisted me and made me feel so comfortable and helped me with my comedy as well. It was so much different than POLTERGEIST because comedy is all about the timing and they helped me with that, getting the lines right.

IOF: And you had a wonderful scene with Peter Graves, and it's interesting that he'll be appearing at the upcoming Chiller Theatre convention, where you will be. You can have an “AIRPLANE II” reunion as well!

OR: I have not seen him since that set, I look forward to seeing him again! He was fantastic. You know I think I was blessed because I had some wonderful experiences growing up as a child actor. I think I've taken that with me as an adult and I try to create that same environment for the children I work with on set, and the adults too. You know where you have this environment where you're going to have a lot of fun and, yes, you have a job to do and a story to tell but it's the kind of environment where you give the actors the creative freedom to play. That's what happened on “AIRPLANE II”. Ken Finkleman made me feel like I could play with the line and experiment to get them right.

IOF: What were you doing between 1982 and 1986 when you did “POLTERGEIST II”?

OR: I was going to prep school at that time and my parents wanted me to focus on my studies. I didn't really do much acting at the time. In retrospective I think that was great because it really gave me the chance to have the childhood that I might not have had otherwise. So those years I got to be a kid and do the things that kids do. I was very much geeky at that time, not that I've changed much, and went to computer camp, learned to program in FORTRAN, go to school and have my friends over. All the things I wouldn't have done if I'd been on a set. So I think I got a good balance. I really credit that to my parents too. They were never the stereotypical stage parent that forces the kid to do something they didn't want to do. I only acted because I wanted to act and loved it myself.

IOF: Well you know five years doesn't seem like a long time as an adult but as a kid that's much different. That's a whole stretch of time. So how did it feel to be on set when it came time to do POLTERGEIST II?

OR: I'd been acting in plays at school, and at that time I'd begun making movies myself. Steven Spielberg gave me a Super-8 camera. Initially I'd made these little films and Steven very much liked them and gave me, I think it was the only sync-sound Super-8 camera that existed at the time. I started making films when I was in school because even then I knew I wanted to be a filmmaker. Finally when I got to POLTERGEIST II I was really looking forward to being back on set and it gave me an experience to watch with different eyes. Now I was 15 years old and I was thinking, “Now, how do they make these films, how do they assemble these things?” Oliver Robins really braced himself for the sequel.

IOF: What were you looking for? What were you observing on the set of “POLTERGEIST II” and what did you learn?

OR: Well, I think camera design, visual design. How does a director work with an actor? What is he telling me that's going to work on technical level and a storyline level. And I don't know if I was looking at it in those technical terms, but that's what I absorbed. It also showed me what the requirements and the difficulties because “POLTERGEIST II” was difficult for everybody. MGM was going through this flux where they were potentially going to knock down the studio and build condos. So there was a pressure to cancel the production, even midway through. It put everone under duress and I saw that.

IOF: Tell me about that, what did you see. Who was having difficulty?

OR: I saw it in the background. It was never brought to my attention, but it showed me that a director has to stay very focused and tell a story and at the same time juggle the balls of politics that may be happening. But they avoided that and got a good product at the end.

IOF: Yeah, they did. What about some of the new characters and cast members not from the original film. Julian Beck as Kane is absolutely unforgettable.

OR: He was a fine actor. He was suffering, and it taught me something about being a trooper. He loved acting so much, that he was willing to do this movie even going into it having cancer. So he was, I'm guessing, in a tremendous amount of pain, but he loved the craft. He was a lovely man who would tell stories, and was a very good person. It was refreshing in a business where people sometimes aren't so forthcoming.

Who wants a lollipop?

IOF: And everyone remembers POLTERGEIST II so well because of what he did. In horror, it's a legendary performance.

OR: As I understood he had did a theater group in New York prior to becoming a screen actor, and he brought those talents and skills with him. You can see how he developed that character. I think sometimes an audience will take that for granted and assume that's how it was always going to be. His decisions as an actor allowed that character to be as scary as it was. People didn't laugh, they were indeed afraid because of his performance.

IOF: What about getting back together with JoBeth, Craig and Heather. Was it at all difficult snapping back into being a “family” again?

OR: It was amazing. You know how there are certain friends you might not see for 10 years, but you can meet them for lunch and it was like you were never apart. That's what my experience was like with the whole family. We couldn't wait to work with each other again, it was like we were never apart. We got along so well. I don't think that ever really disappeared.



IOF: Tell me about Will Sampson, because Robbie has to develop a very strong relationship with his character, Taylor.

OR: He had a different perspective on how to develop a role. Certain people in your life will not say a lot of things, but what they do say are very important. When we talked about the character and what we were going to do he gave me a level of comfort that perhaps didn't come from words. It came from a certain feeling that everything was going to be OK in the scene. It was a different kind of experience than I'd ever had with another actor. I was able to draw from him that when you're acting it's not so much the words, but the subtext of what you're saying, the emotion, is deep inside you. That's how, I believe, Will Sampson developed his role. I picked up on that, even at 14 years old.

IOF: And this too was a very effects heavy film, maybe even more so than the original. Especially in scenes like the ending where you're in that strange, etheral netherworld. Can you recall anything, maybe even about that creature, that utter insanity, that comes out of Craig T. Nelson's mouth.

Bad breath?OR: Well I wasn't actually there that day, but it was definitely well done. I was actually scared by that when I did see it. What I do remember was the netherworld that we went into. It was difficult to shoot that because basically you have a harness, you're strapped up and flown around. You're having a fun time doing it, but at the same time you're stuck in this harness for weeks at time, and you have to be able to act. You're in front of a green screen or blue screen and the director, Brian Gibson, would once again say, “Ok, it's the scariest thing you've ever seen in your life. Your terrified and the ghosts are coming at you”. And of course all the special effects are laid in after the fact, so it tests your ability to act and your ability to hang for pretty much 8 hours a day.

IOF: What about Brian Gibson, how did the experience differ from say, Tobe Hooper?The Infamous Vomit Monster

OR: Brian came from a background of directing commercials, so he was a very technical director. He planned everything out in a very detail-oriented kind of way and he didn't really diverge from his plan of attack. It made it very efficient on set and allowed him to tell the story the way he wanted to tell it.

IOF: Well, let's talk about what you're doing now, and what you've been working on since you've left acting. As I understand, from the moment you left acting you began working on developing yourself as a filmmaker. You started entering films into competition as early as 15, right?

OR: Exactly. I'd been making film from the time I was 10 years old and I'd made this 16mm film called “The Crystal”. The film won 1st Place at this French film festival, Les Mesnil-le-Roi. It was my first experience working with an entire crew and I learned a great deal. My cinematographer actually now teaches at USC Film School.

IOF: That's very intense for a 15 year old.

OR: It was a trial. I had the life experience of working as an actor with a full crew but until you're put in that position it's like sitting next to a driver your whole life but never driving the car. It became a trial by fire situation. You have to learn to do your shot list and preparation, all the homework you have to do as director.

IOF: What about after school, did you immediately end up back in film professionally?

OR: After USC I took a break for a while. I worked briefly as a stock broker, I just took a step back and gain some perspective on life because I'd been in the film business for so many years. But then I work up one day, I'm trading stock positions and thinking “I should be making movies”. That's my passion, you have a finite time on this earth you should be doing what you love. When I'm old and gray I want to look back at some of the movies I've made. That's why I went back to filmmaking after my brief stint in the world of securities. So I wrote this film for the Hallmark Channel called “You've Got A Friend” and it starred John Schneider and it was the highest rated premier for the network. It was a heartfelt piece and I think they've shown it almost a dozen time.

IOF: What about the film you directed last year. A film called “Man Overboard”?

OR: “Man Overboard” I'd say is “Office Space” meets “Glen-Gary-Glen Ross” set in a boat shop.Man Overboard

IOF: Wow.

OR: Yes, an interesting combination! The storyline is about this gentleman who owns this boatshop, and he's a bit of a nebbish. He's in a situation where his sales aren't so good and he has a group of goof-off salespeople who are struggling to sell boats, but he doesn't have the heart to fire them. In the meantime this sociopathic character comes into his life, and at first seems to be the consummate salesperson who can turn the shop around. In the process our lead character learns he's not the salesman he thought he was but instead he's insane and stealing from him. Our character has to fight and take him on and prove to his family.

IOF: Where can we see it? Is it out on DVD.

OR: The street date is going to be August '09 and you can visit the website at Manoverboardmovie.com. The trailer is up there, and our news clippings and blog so people can stay posted on it. It's a fun movie and just an entertaining enjoyable piece.

IOF: And what's also very exciting is that fans of your films are very soon going to get the chance to meet you. You'll be doing an appearance in LA very soon.

OR: Yes, I'll be at The Hollywood Collectors Show in a week to meet and sign, and answer any questions people might have on the history of the movies. I'll answer to the best of my ability!

IOF: You will also appear at the Chiller Theater Convention in New Jersey this coming March. Have you ever been to that show?

Oliver Robins - Photo by Keli Squires Taylor

OR: It's my first experience going to Chiller, but I can't wait to go. I'm a movie fan myself and I can't wait to meet all the other actors and filmmakers who'll be attending.

IOF: It's a trip, you've probably never seen anything quite like it. It's enormous, thousands of people all weekend long. A great show, you'll get to meet a lot of people, I think you're going to have a great time. So, if I may ask, what has gotten you interested in making appearances this year?

OR: You know they were thinking of doing a remake of “POLTERGEIST” and I guess you just take for granted that you were in something that has meaning. I was reading on blogs and message boards that people still had interest in the movies. I was thinking I'd like to, in so many words, set the record straight on what took place on the set. I think it's almost a duty as a young actor who was in the film to tell it how it happened. At the same time I think it would be fun to share those experience with other aspiring filmmakers and fans alike.

January 31, 2009


An introduction from SHOCK N ROLL's Tim Sullivan:

"With SAW 5 hitting the video shelves this past week, it hit me that five years ago I had done an interview with James Wan that was meant to be the first edition of SHOCK N ROLL. Horrifically, I misplaced the tape, and the interview never saw (ahem) the light of day. But just as Jigsaw always finds a way to resurrect himself, so too did this tape, mismarked in a draw as the soundtrack to DETROIT ROCK CITY. Imagine my surprise when, expecting some rock and roll KISS action, I instead was greeted to the ever exuberant Australian accent of none other than James Wan! The lost Interview!"

"It really got to me hearing James and I speak for the first time. Since then, we’ve become good pals who have each made several films and watched SAW become a major franchise and sub genre (dubbed, rightly or wrongly, as torture porn) that has spawned four widely successful sequels with no end in sight. It’s extremely hard to think of the horror community pre-SAW or pre- WAN, but when James and I spoke back in 2004, that was exactly the setting! So strap on the time machine- watch out for spikes, razors, needles and other contraptions, and read on. Oh, yes, there will be blood."

Click the frame below to read the lost interview with JAMES WAN!

January 22, 2009


ICONS exclusive! SHOCK N ROLL ISSUE 7: ZOMBIE 2 HALLOWEEN 2! Our staffer Tim Sullivan got the chance to chat with Rob Zombie and uncover what the filmmaker has got in store with his recently announced HALLOWEEN sequel, H2. No, it's not a remake of the original sequel set in a hospital, but a completely original beast of it's own.

Of note is how Zombie plans on approaching the character of Laurie Strode. (The first film focused on Michael, whereas HALLOWEEN 2 will be about Laurie.) He also addresses what would happen to the Loomis character should Malcolm McDowell's schedule conflict with the upcoming shoot. He gives a quick update on his latest record. (Tyler Bates orchestrated one track!) And talks about the influence of the recently departed Forrest Ackerman. Click the frame and image below for the full details on ALL of thew above! As an added bonus, Tim let us include reprints of his interviews with Sheri Moon Zombie & Rob Zombie from THE DEVIL'S REJECTS release!

Tim's interview intro:

With MY BLOODY VALENTINE kicking ass at the box office and anticipation high for FRIDAY THE 13TH, remakes of 80’s splatter classics (and not so classics) continue; like it or not. As someone who has remade an exploitation favorite, (TWO THOUSAND MANIACS!), it’s hard for me to throw rocks while living in a glass house. For the most part, I wish Hollywood would be a bit more original and allow filmmakers to come up with something new. But if remakes are to continue, then I guess those opposed should hate the game, not the player.

So when a remake (or sequel to a remake) is announced, then we should be grateful that someone like Rob Zombie is behind the lens, and not some TV commercial director hired by a producer who gives more about the “buck” than the project. I have a lot of love for Rob Zombie. Besides the fact that I consider him among one of my best friends in this industry, I think he is one of the greatest American filmmakers alive today- a modern Scorsese. Every time I talk to Rob I wish I had a tape recorder present. The conversations are always that good. Rob is thoughtful. Passionate. Often pissed off. And always REAL. Which could also describe both his music and his films. At first, I’ll admit, I was a bit skeptical when I heard about his pending HALLOWEEN sequel. Like most of Rob’s projects at the outset. But in the end, Rob always makes a true believer out of me.

Click HERE to read the rest!!!

January 21, 2009


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with DEREK MEARS, the new Jason Voorhees from FRIDAY THE 13TH! FRIGHT fans, you're in for a treat! This month, we were given the chance to chat with actor Derek Mears who dons the infamous hockey mask of Jason Voorhees in the upcoming Platinum Dunes relaunch of FRIDAY THE 13TH. Since our time was limited, we thought it'd be fun to get YOU, our faithful ICONS readers involved. So we asked him questions submitted by you guys via our My Space page. Below are Derek's responses to YOUR questions! And for the record, for a guy portraying one of the most iconic movie maniacs, he's easily the nicest interview we've ever done here on ICONS. What are you waiting for?! Just click the frame or image below to read it!!!

The new FRIDAY THE 13TH directed by Marcus Nispel and written by Damian Shannon & Mark Swift (FREDDY VS JASON) was produced by Platinum Dunes Andrew Form and Brad Fuller and stars Jared Padalecki (SUPERNATURAL), Derek Mears (HILLS HAVE EYES 2), Amanda Righetti (RETURN TO HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL), Danielle Panabaker, Travis Van Winkle, Aaron Yoo, Adam Finberg, Nick Mennell (ROB ZOMBIE'S HALLOWEEN), Jonathan Sadowski, Nana Visitor, Arlen Escarpeta, Ryan Hansen, Richard Burgi, Julianna Guill and Willa Ford. It hits theaters Friday, February 13th, 2009!


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with composer JOSEPH BISHARA! A horror movie without effective music is like sex without an orgasm. Enter Joseph Bishara, composer for AUTOPSY, THE GRAVEDANCERS, THE CONVENT and music producer on Darren Lynn Bousman's REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA & the upcoming NIGHT OF THE DEMONS. It takes talent & a refined sense of how music works to put together a unique score combining elements ranging from punk to industrial to classical. Joe understands these all, which lends to the unique aesthetic evident in his work. We chatted with him about the creative process, as well as all of the projects mentioned above. Click the frame or image below to read the FRIGHT exclusive interview!

December 31, 2008


With this year almost completely behind us, we wanted to take a look back at 2008 and all the content we were fortunate enough to share with you wonderful fiends! Below you'll find links to every interview, convention report, commentary & TOP 10 list we put together in 2008! It was quite a year! And as always, we have YOU to thank for your continued support! Here's until 2009!






















JOHN PATA! (Writer/Director/Producer BETTER OFF UNDEAD)















SHOCK N ROLL ISSUE 3: GEORGE A. ROMERO + GREG NICOTERO! (In honor of the Blu-Ray release of LAND OF THE DEAD, a reprint of this classic interview!)







Tom Holland’s CHILD’S PLAY director commentary as a FREE MP3 Download! Click the image for details or HERE!!!


The first commentary track features writer/director Tom Holland, stars Chris Sarandon (Jerry Dandrige) & Jonathan Stark (Billy Cole), moderated by Tim Sullivan.

The second commentary track features writer/director Tom Holland, William Ragsdale (Charley Brewster), Stephen Geoffreys ("Evil" Ed Thompson) & FX artist Randall William Cook, moderated by Jeremy Smith (aka Mr. Beaks from Ain't It Cool News) and hosted by Tim Sullivan.

TOP LISTS OF THE YEAR!!! (Click images to read them!)




CHILLER MAY 2008 VIDEO REPORT! (From Dave Neabore!)








December 25, 2008


Merry Christmas, fiends! Just in time for the holiday, we've got a special double Christmas treat for you! We've got the latest edition of Tim Sullivan's SHOCK N ROLL. A reprint of his chat with actor John Saxon following a 2004 Midnight screening of BLACK CHRISTMAS! On top of that, Tim is letting us share with you his 1983 holiday themed short film A CHRISTMAS TREAT! In 1985, the short ending up winning the Audience Award at the 1985 Fangoria Short Film Search! Check out our next post to watch Tim Sullivan's A CHRISTMAS TREAT! And click the image below to read his interview with legendary actor JOHN SAXON as part of SHOCK N ROLL ISSUE 6 "I'M DREAMING OF A BLACK CHRISTMAS"!

Click the image below to watch TIM SULLIVAN'S A CHRISTMAS TREAT!

December 14, 2008


As a fitting tribute to the late, great "Uncle Forry", Tim Sullivan wanted to make SHOCK N ROLL ISSUE 5 an updated version of his piece "THE LAST FAMOUS MONSTER". If you were a fan of Forrest J Ackerman's or grew up a "monster" kid collecting & reading FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND, then you'll want to read this. And for younger fans not familiar with him, this is your perfect introduction to a man who was one of us, and made it a point to preserve our horror history. None of us, including ICONS would be here if not for Forry. Click the frame below to read the latest SHOCK, our tribute to Forrest J Ackerman by Tim Sullivan:

For past SHOCK N ROLL issues, click the logo below!

December 12, 2008


Just added! FRIGHT exclusive interview with writer/director/producer SUSAN MONTFORD! This month we got the chance to chat with Susan Montford about her directorial debut WHILE SHE WAS OUT (Opening December 12th, 2008), which stars Kim Basinger and Lukas Haas. Producer Don Murphy also joined in for our chat where we got to discuss the making of WHILE SHE WAS OUT, as well as the duo's working relationship with Guillermo Del Toro (they're producing SPLICE, as well as Del Toro's long awaited Lovecraft adaptation AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS), their upcoming project WE3 (based on the Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely comic book) & the FACES OF DEATH remake (with writer/director JT Petty at the helm). They also dispelled a long on-going internet rumor about JOHN CARTER OF MARS. Click the image below to read the full interview!

November 14, 2008


Just added! SHOCK N ROLL ISSUE 4 is a FRIGHT exclusive interview with PUMPKINHEAD writer GARY GERANI! Check out Tim Sullivan's introduction below, and click the frame or image below to read the extensive interview in it's entirety!

Chances are, you’ve crossed paths with Gary Gerani and never knew it. You’ve watched his movies. Owned his books. Read his magazine articles. Collected his bubble gum cards. If you consider yourself a Monster Kid and came of age in the 70’s and 80’s, then Wacky Packages, Garbage Pail Kids, Dinosaurs Attack, The Monster Times, Fantastic Television and Starlog are all familiar friends that elicit warm, nostalgic memories. Gary had a hand in writing them all. And did I mention PUMPKINHEAD? That iconic 80’s creature feature that even the new monster kids on the block know and love? Gary wrote that one, too.

He’s been called the Card King as well as the King of Pop Culture. A guy whose unyielding love of the realms of fantasy has found him both preserving legacies as well as creating them. As a ten year old I read the advice column he wrote in The Monster Times under the moniker Big G- both G for Gerani and G for Godzilla, the giant lizard supposedly penning those helpful hints (Shhhhh! Don’t tell anyone it was actually Gary!). As a teen I stuck Gerani designed Wacky Paks all over my High School gym locker (my fave being Slaytex Living Gloves), then in college studied his articles in Starlog with religious zeal.

The real treat came in 1988 with the release of PUMPKINHEAD, a welcome return to old school monster movies in a genre oversaturated with unimaginative slasher sequels. PUMPKINHEAD never made it to my local theater thanks to poor distribution, but he became an eternal presence on my VCR where I discovered him like buried treasure, and 20 years later, he himself sits on my bathroom window in plastic Todd McFarlane effigy.

More importantly, the man behind these rites of passage has become my cherished mentor and deeply adored friend.

My personal path with Gary crossed back in 1996 when I was working at new Line Cinema analyzing scripts for Mike DeLuca. A script he had written called VAMPIRELLA made its way onto my desk, and I was blown away by its merits. I wrote up these merits in a very gushing “reader report”, a love letter that, alas, was not good enough to result in the script being bought by New Line, but did result in Gary Gerani contacting me to say Thanks.

Thus began the beginning of a beautiful friendship, as they say, a friendship forged by two guys whose love of the movies, particularly monster movies, has provided the fodder for endless dinners at Jerry’s Deli in Sherman Oaks, California; dinners where Gary and I can be found once or twice a month engaged in animated conversations all things genre. I love yielding myself to his reveries on the days of monsterdom a bit before my time, and it’s often hard for me to believe that my awesome buddy is the same guy who created all those wonderful benchmarks of my own youth. This industry we work and play in can both be very rewarding and demeaning. Failure does walk hand in hand with success on Hollywood Boulevard. But as long as I have my “Geek Out” sessions with Gary Gerani to look forward to, I know I’m not alone.

I usually get the Roast Beef on rye with a side of Russian dressing. For Gary, it’s the turkey dinner with double mashed. Feel free to join us. Order whatever you want. The geeking’s about to begin….. -Tim Sullivan (11/12/08)

For past SHOCK N ROLL issues, click the logo below!

October 30, 2008


Just in time for Halloween, this month ICONS OF FRIGHT got to speak to both Sean King and Mike Koscik, the Long Island filmmakers behind THE GHOULIGANS! We got to speak about the humble beginnings of "The Slack Pack", the filmmaking troupe formed by King & Koscik with Peter Bune and Justin Hertz, what it's like to tour the convention circuit as THE GHOULIGANS and we got the behind the scenes scoop on their latest DVD release THE GHOULIGANS SUPER SHOW. Sean also talked about the anthology LOST SUBURBIA for which his short MARY'S GRAVE is a part of. Click the frame or image below for our FRIGHT exclusive interview with THE GHOULIGANS!

October 24, 2008


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with TOMAS ALFREDSON, the director of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN! (Now playing in theaters!) One of the best movies we've had the opportunity to see this year is the Swedish vampire flick LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, based on the novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist. So when ICONS was offered a chance to sit in on a round table interview with the director Tomas Alfredson, we happily complied! The following is an interview that took place in NY with several journalists present, all fielding different questions. We are presenting you with the entire transcript; questions from ICONS are noted. Beware of mild spoilers. Click the frame below for our FRIGHT exclusive interview with LET THE RIGHT ONE IN director Tomas Alfredson!

Don't forget to check out our FIRST LOOK REVIEW of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN HERE or by clicking the image below! LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (Låt den rätte komma in) was directed by Tomas Alfredson from a script by John Ajvide Lindqvist (and based on his original novel of the same name) and stars Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragner, Henrik Dahl, Karin Bergquist, Peter Carlberg, Ika Nord & Mikael Rahm.

LET THE RIGHT ONE IN is the inaugural release in Magnet's "Six Shooter Film Series," a series of six films highlighting the vanguard of genre cinema from around the globe. Five films will follow over the coming months: Nacho Vigalondo's TIMECRIMES (Spain), Ollie Blackburn's DONKEY PUNCH (UK), SPECIAL (US), BIG MAN JAPAN (Japan), and EDEN LOG (France).

October 18, 2008


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with BRUCE CAMPBELL! Bruce Campbell is a man that needs no introduction. (At least not on this site!) Genre fans know & love him for his portrayal of Ashley "Ash" J. Williams in the EVIL DEAD trilogy (THE EVIL DEAD, EVIL DEAD II: DEAD BY DAWN & ARMY OF DARKNESS). But now he's back with his latest directorial effort MY NAME IS BRUCE, where he plays B-movie actor "Bruce Campbell", recruited by a small town to save them from a real life monster. We got to chat with him about shooting his latest movie in his home state of Oregon, the differences between MY NAME IS BRUCE & THE MAN WITH THE SCREAMING BRAIN, the future of the EVIL DEAD franchise (including EVIL DEAD 4, the EVIL DEAD remake & the EVIL DEAD: MUSICAL movie), why the BUBBA HO-TEP sequel never happened & the underrated RUNNING TIME. Click the frame or image below for our FRIGHT exclusive interview with the man himself... BRUCE CAMPBELL!!!

Written by Mark Verheiden, produced by Mike Richardson and directed by Bruce Campbell, MY NAME IS BRUCE stars Bruce Campbell, (the gorgeous) Grace Thorsen, Ted Raimi, Ellen Sandweiss, Danny Hicks, Tim Quill, Michael Kallio, Adam Boyd and Dani Kelly. Click HERE for theatrical dates and listings!

October 07, 2008


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with director ZACH PASSERO! WICKED LAKE hits DVD shelves TODAY and ICONS got the chance to speak with director ZACH PASSERO! Zach has a history in animation and worked with Lucky McKee & Chris Sivertson on their first feature length film ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE. He's done videos with Al Jourgensen's REVOLTING COCKS project, as well as tour visuals for his main band MINISTRY. We chatted with him about all of the above, as well as the making of WICKED LAKE, written by Chris Sivertson (THE LOST) and Adam Rockoff (GOING TO PIECE: THE RISE AND FALL OF THE SLASHER FILM) and starring Marc Senter, Robin Sydney (THE LOST), Will Keenan (TROMEO & JULIET), Justin Stone, Tim Thomerson (TRANCERS) and Angela Bettis (MAY). MINSTRY's Al Jourgensen composed original music for the film and cameos in it as well. Read on for our FRIGHT exclusive interview with Zach Passero by clicking the frame of image below!

October 01, 2008


It's officially October 2008! And today marks the release of George A. Romero's LAND OF THE DEAD on Blu-Ray! The flick marked his return to the "zombie" genre which he created back 1968 with NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. In celebration of this release, ICONS and Tim Sullivan have decided to reprint 2 vintage interviews with George A. Romero and Greg Nicotero from SHOCK N ROLL when it was a feature on Upcoming Horror Movies.com. These are among 2 of my personal fave interviews that Tim conducted for LAND's release back in 2005. So sit back and enjoy a candid chat with both Romero and Nicotero about LAND OF THE DEAD! ICONS OF FRIGHT and Tim Sullivan's SHOCK N ROLL present ISSUE 3: THIS LAND WAS BLED FOR YOU & ME! (Click the frame to read it!) -Robg. (10/1/08)

Tim's original intro from 2005: Move aside George Lucas, another George is in town. This George’s name is Romero and yeah, you might have written a little space opera called STAR WARS, and yeah, you might have made a bit of a cultural impact in the land of sci-fi, but hell, in the land of horror, this guy made the modern landscape what it is today! A land of rip-offs and parodies and remakes and sequels and sequels to remakes and even sequels to sequels of remakes (got that?), and it all started in Pittsburgh 40 years ago with a bunch of chocolate syrup and leftover goodies from the local butcher shop and a certain little line of dialogue…

“They’re coming to get you, Barbara…”

Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. No matter how freaking old you are now or when you first heard that immortal line, whether it was a Drive-in in the 60’s, a revival house in the 70’s, a rented video in the 80’s or a netflick last week, that line is to horror freaks what “Luke, I am your father” is to sci-fi geeks. But NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD has a full ten years on the STAR WARS legacy, and one would be hard pressed to think of another genre series that has lasted this long, let alone bringing forth a new chapter in all but one decade since its first entry. (Ah, one wonders what a 90’s George Romero LIVING DEAD movie would have been like. Think of it, a mid 90’s Clinton-era zombie parable, sandwiched between the alternative grunge of the early 90’s and the boy band pop of the later 90’s).

This summer is Nirvana. Not only have we finally seen Anarkin become Darth, but we are finally seeing the maestro play comeback kid on the long side of 60, showing all his moviemaking protégés how the mentor does it. The grandfather of the modern horror film is back kiddies, and Grandpa can shock and roll with the best of them, maybe even better than us all. Pay attention, cuz this is how it is done. With thoughtfulness and storytelling and craft and characterization. Oh, yeah, and did I mention blood and guts and chopped off hands and stomped heads and imploding entrails? This is George Romero supersized. Widescreen for the first time, a bigger budget than previous zombie efforts, but with his independent spirit and unique flavor intact and as potent as ever.

Along for the ride with Grandpa Zombie is one of his ‘grandkids”, make-up impresario Greg Nicotero, a fanboy FX assistant 20 years ago on DAY OF THE DEAD, now, with partner Howard Berger of KNB, in charge of the entire special make-up effects army so integral to Romero’s world. Greg is proof in the pudding that one can go from apprentice to colleague, so aim high, zombie kids. Here now, is a double feature for y’all, straight up from the LAND OF THE DEAD. After all these years, “They’re STILL coming to get you…”

Read the other 2 issues of Tim Sullivan's SHOCK N ROLL!



September 29, 2008


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with MICK GARRIS! Mick Garris got his start much like we did here at ICONS, by interviewing filmmakers for magazines & his Z channel show FANTASY FILM FESTIVAL. (His guests included John Landis, John Carpenter, David Cronenberg, John Boorman) He went on to write for Steven Spielberg on AMAZING STORIES, then directed CRITTERS 2: THE MAIN COURSE, the prequel/sequel PSYCHO IV: THE BEGINNING starring Anthony Perkins, and later went on to work with Stephen King more then any other filmmaker on such films as SLEEPWALKERS, THE STAND, THE SHINING, RIDING THE BULLET & DESPERATION. (His next King adaptation will be BAG OF BONES!) He also created Showtime's hit series MASTERS OF HORROR, as well as it's NBC follow-up FEAR ITSELF! It helps that he's probably the nicest guy in the movie business, which is why he agreed to speak to us about all of the above! Click the frame or image below (or HERE) to read the FRIGHT exclusive interview!

September 25, 2008


Just added! ISSUE 2 of Tim Sullivan's SHOCK N ROLL column, "MR. HOLLAND'S OPUS"! In this issue, Tim chats extensively with Tom Holland, the writer/director of FRIGHT NIGHT, CHILD'S PLAY, THINNER, THE LANGOLIERS, 5 OR DIE, writer on PSYCHO 2, THE BEAST WITHIN, CLOAK & DAGGER & more! The article covers all grounds! Read Tim's introduction below and head over to the full on interview by clicking the frame and image below!

Gun to my head, it would be FRIGHT NIGHT. Yup. Freddy truly scared me. Pinhead freaked me out. Jason and the Living Dead's Return were bloody good fun. But with finger to the trigger forced to choose my favorite 80's horror show, without hesitation my answer would be FRIGHT NIGHT. Could anything be cooler? Well, maybe Charley Brewster, but I wouldn't want to wrestle Evil Ed over that one. Or maybe I would...

In an era where androgyny and style ruled the radio and the MTV, writer/director Tom Holland dished up Jerry Dandrige, perhaps the smoothest, sexiest vampire to ever stalk the crimson screen. To a young horror fan still in the coffin circa 1985, Dandrige's invitation to Evil Ed was a no-brainer; I would have gladly let him wrap his turquoised leather coat around me and forever joined his army of the night.

This past week, 23 years later, I finally got the chance. For real. You see FRIGHT NIGHT, along with its creator, is experiencing a bit of a renaissance. After a decade in the shadows, Tom Holland has returned to take his rightful place at the Masters of Horror table. PSYCHO II and CHILD’S PLAY alone would be enough to earn Holland that seat, yet add to that the valentine to 60's/70's horror with it's 80's time capsule picture frame that is FRIGHT NIGHT, and you've got a guy who should be as much a horror household name as Craven, Carpenter and Cronenberg. But out of sight, out of mind as they say, and for awhile there, Tom was not around. But the vampire has moved in next door again, thank God. And with a vengeance. WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM, his standout episode of MASTERS OF HORROR has just been released as part of a killer "skull" set from Anchor Bay. CHILD’S PLAY has been re-released in a 20th anniversary birthday edition. And FRIGHT NIGHT has taken its show on the road. Beginning with a reunion convention panel in Dallas, March of this year, the "rebirth" truly culminated the week of September 15th here in LA - a week that will forever be burned in my memory as FRIGHT NIGHT WEEK- or- the week I got to sit in close quarters with Jerry Dandrige, Charley Brewster, Evil Ed and Billy Cole. Bite me now, please. With a sold out Midnight screening at the Nuart Theater serving as the anchor, FRIGHT NIGHT's cast and crew got back together to celebrate this film with the fans that have made it a Horror Hall of fame classic. The love for the film kept flowing like blood from a bat bite- websites and webmasters crossed party lines and joined together in unanimous articles and interviews of praise and reminiscence, talkbacks and emails exploded on the web with unique and personal stories yet all with the same prevailing theme - FRIGHT NIGHT is a true classic, an underrated classic, and a seminal, inspirational monster movie that cannot be forgotten by those on whom its been imprinted.

As a 'thank you" to FRIGHT NIGHT aficionados (and an "F you" to studio decision makers who have not given the film the proper home video presentation it deserves), Tom Holland and company gathered for not one, but TWO exclusive audio commentaries (three if you include one he did for CHILD’S PLAY) that will be made available as free audio downloads here at Icons of Fright. Pirate commentaries we call 'em, with everything you ever wanted to know from the people you wanted to hear it from. Tom Holland. Chris Sarandon. William Ragsdale. Stephen Geoffreys. Jonathan Stark. FX artist Randall Cook. Just press play and geek out.

When I first saw FRIGHT NIGHT, it rocked my world. And if you told me that one day I would be breaking bread with the folks behind the scenes, part of a car pool driving to a secret location to do an after hours commentary, then hosting a midnight screening that lasted till 5 in the morning highlighted by Stephen Geoffreys doing his best Evil Ed lines, I would have said, "Sure. And one day I'm gonna produce the KISS movie or remake a H.G. Lewis flick." But dreams do come true. "You gotta have faith, Peter Vincent." Right? Hell, yeah. So to all the faithful, enjoy this celebration. Sit down with me and Tom as we discuss FRIGHT NIGHT and all things Holland that go bump in the dark. And if you are really, really lucky and keep that faith (and write lots of emails and blogs to those in charge!), FRIGHT NIGHT just might return to a midnight screening near you- cast, crew and coffins included. -Tim Sullivan (9/1/08)

Click HERE or the image below for the full interview!

September 15, 2008

ICONS EXCLUSIVE: Director Tim Sullivan's SHOCK N ROLL Column Launches!

We're absolutely thrilled to welcome our new staff writer director Tim Sullivan to ICONS OF FRIGHT! Today we relaunch Tim's SHOCK N ROLL column, which originated several years back on Upcoming Horror Movies.com. And on top of delivering extensive interviews with the biggest names in horror, ICONS and Sullivan are planning tons of special surprises just for the fans, including "pirate" commentary MP3 tracks which should begin surfacing later this month. What better way to kick off the 1st Issue of SHOCK N ROLL then with an interview with the man behind it. Click the logo below to read about Tim Sullivan's early career as a journalist and why he decided to come back to it exclusively for ICONS! The full press release follows!

Continue reading "ICONS EXCLUSIVE: Director Tim Sullivan's SHOCK N ROLL Column Launches!" »

August 28, 2008


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with THE WIZARD OF GORE director JEREMY KASTEN! This month, ICONS got the chance to speak with director Jeremy Kasten (THE ATTIC EXPEDITIONS, THE THIRST, ALL SOULS DAY) about his latest film THE WIZARD OF GORE, based upon the cult-classic 1970 Herschell Gordon Lewis movie of the same name. Jeremy's updated version boasts an impressive cast lead by Crispin Glover (in the role of Montag The Magnificent, reminiscent to Crispin's own stage performances), Kip Pardue, Bijou Phillips (HOSTEL: PART II, IT'S ALIVE), Joshua Miller (NEAR DARK, RIVER'S EDGE), Brad Dourif (Rob Zombie's HALLOWEEN) and Jeffrey Combs (RE-ANIMATOR). On the basis of the beautiful bloody opening 5 minute scene of WIZARD OF GORE, which plays out to THE BLACK HEART PROCESSION song "The Old Kind Of Summer", we immediately knew that we had to talk to Jeremy. Click HERE or on the frame below for one of our all-time favorite ICONS chats!


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with actress ERIKA SMITH! Erika Smith first caught our attention back in 2006 with the movie SINFUL co-starring Erin Brown (aka Misty Mundae). Since then, she's appeared in dozens of genre films including SKINNED ALIVE (starring Melissa Bacelar & Joshua Nelson), CRIMSON, iMurders (with Terri Colombino, Gabrielle Anwar & Tony Todd), SPLATTER BEACH, SEXY ADVENTURES OF VAN HELSING & SOUL KILLER. She also recently appeared in the comedy BACHELOR PARTY 2 and will next be seen in Darren Aronofsky's THE WRESTLER, as well as Greg Lamberson's SLIME CITY sequel, SLIME CITY MASSACRE. Click HERE or the frame below to get yourself more familiar with Erika in our FRIGHT exclusive interview!



Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with actor/writer JOSHUA NELSON! Joshua Nelson is one of the hardest working actors/writers on the East Coast. We first spoke to him after he completed AUNT ROSE, and since then he's completed work on several other horror films including SKINNED ALIVE (formally EAT YOUR HEART OUT, out on DVD Aug. 26th), PINK EYE (with frequent collaborator director James Tucker & co-starring Melissa Bacelar and Raine Brown), Allen Rowe Kelly's THE BLOOD SHED & Marc Fratto's ZA: ZOMBIES ANONYMOUS (aka LAST RITES OF THE DEAD)! We caught up with Joshua via email for his 2nd ICONS interview! Click HERE or on the frame below for the full scoop on all of the above features!


July 22, 2008


Today's a good day for genre fans looking for new DVD's to add to their collection! New York based director Larry Fessenden's latest THE LAST WINTER starring Ron Perlman (HELLBOY 2: THE GOLDEN ARMY), James LeGros (PHANTASM 2) and Connie Britton (FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS) is officially out on DVD and boasts hours of bonus features. To learn more about THE LAST WINTER, as well as Larry's other work, check out our FRIGHT extensive interview with the filmmaker by clicking the frame below! This is among one of our favorite interviews!

Also, check out Larry's episode of FEAR ITSELF this Thursday night, July 24th titled "SKIN & BONES" starring Doug Jones!

BRUTAL MASSACRE: A COMEDY also is available on DVD today from Anchor Bay Entertainment. The mockumentary written and directed by Stevan Mena (MALEVOLENCE) is a must-see for genre fans considering the cast! (Quite possibly the largest genre cast ever assembled for a flick.) It features David Naughton, Brian O'Halloran, Ellen Sandweiss, Ken Foree, Gunnar Hansen and Gerry Bednob. We've got 3 exclusive interviews for you! Click the frames below!





July 17, 2008


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with actress TUESDAY KNIGHT! FRIGHT fans, you are in for a treat! We were fortunate enough to speak candidly with actress/jewelry maker TUESDAY KNIGHT, who took over the role of Kristen Parker (originated by Patricia Arquette) in A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4: THE DREAM MASTER! We asked Tuesday about her experiences facing off against Freddy Krueger in the Renny Harlin directed NIGHTMARE entry. She also talked about her company TUESDAY'S HIP VINTAGE, which boasts clients such as Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, Lindsay Lohan & Paris Hilton, as well as the "almost-made" Madonna bio-pic, her strained relationship with Lisa Wilcox and what it was like appearing on THE X-FILES! (David Dochovny's a doll, Gillian Anderson is not!) Fiends, this interview has got it all! Click either image below to read her extensive interview with ICONS OF FRIGHT!



Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with actor BRIAN O' HALLORAN! We were thrilled to get the chance to chat candidly with actor Brian O' Halloran, whom genre fans will see along side David Naughton, Ellen Sandweiss & Gunnar Hansen as Jay the "A.D." in Stevan Mena's mockumentary BRUTAL MASSACRE: A COMEDY. Being a huge fan of Brian's work, we couldn't help but also chat a bit about his humble beginnings, his work with Kevin Smith - particularly on CLERKS and CLERKS 2, and what it was like to work on M. Night Shyamalan's THE HAPPENING! Click the images below for to read on for a one of a kind interview with Brian exclusively here on ICONS OF FRIGHT!



Just Added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with filmmaker LARRY FESSENDEN!

Introduction by Mike C.: Who is this Larry Fesseneden and why do people keep trying to kill him? Our writer, and keeper of The Vault, Jsyn had been goading us to find out exactly that after catching Larry's film “THE LAST WINTER” (starring HELLBOY's Ron Perlman) earlier this year. If you've followed independent horror over the the last decade then you may have become familiar with Larry's company “Glass Eye Pix”, with which he's directed 4 films, as well as produced a number of others, including Ti West's “THE ROOST ”. Knowing little about Larry, aside from his many acting roles (where he's often killed, Jodie Foster did him in last year in “THE BRAVE ONE”) Rob G. and myself finally decided to get caught up in some of the features he'd directed.

I'd seen “WENDIGO” a few years back, but we both found ourselves intrigued and drawn into his second feature, the very New York, and very allegorical vampire film, “HABIT”. After watching this boozy, surreal and dreamlike slice of mid-1990's Manhattan which left us with a strange connection to it, we knew that we would have to immediately meet up with Fessenden. We knew this one would have to be an Icons team effort so we gathered up Rob G, the evil Adam Barnick, Jsyn and myself and met up with Larry for drinks in the city.

When our plans to meet up at one of our favorite watering holes The Library was stymied by a surprisingly large (and loud crowd) Larry suggested we move down a few blocks us to Bar A-2, the very place, he told us, where he'd written most of “HABIT”. With that wonderful ambiance, a few adult beverages in our bellies (and oddly, comedian David Cross staring us from across the bar) we got down to business:

Click the images below to read our extensive chat!


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with writer/director STEVAN MENA! It's no secret what huge fans we are here on ICONS of Stevan Mena's debut film MALEVOLENCE. So, with the release of his mockumentary BRUTAL MASSACRE: A COMEDY slated for later this month (and starring genre vets David Naughton, Ellen Sandweiss, Ken Foree and Gunnar Hansen), along with the upcoming MALEVOLENCE prequel MALEVOLENCE: BEREAVEMENT (starring genre fan fave Michael Biehn) close to completion, we knew we had to check in with the writer/director for all the latest! We chatted with Stevan via email for his 3rd ICONS interview! Click the images below to read the full interview!



June 08, 2008


Just added! The complete transcription of the first ever PSYCHO franchise reunion panel! On April 25th, 2008, ICONS own Robg. debuted 12 minutes of footage from THE PSYCHO LEGACY documentary and followed it by moderating the first ever PSYCHO franchise reunion panel. Guest included Hilton Green (PSYCHO), Tom Holland, Chris Hendrie, Andrew London, Lee Garlington (PSYCHO II), Kurt Paul, Juliette Cummins, Donovan Scott, Katt Shea (PSYCHO III), Mick & Cynthia Garris (PSYCHO IV). At the frame below is the footage that screened, followed by a complete transcript of the now legendary panel. Read on FRIGHT fans! You're in for a treat that even "mother" would approve of! Click the frame to read it now!



Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with writer/director ERIC RED! On Saturday April 26th, 2008, ICONS staffer Kevin Klemm arranged for an interview with screenwriter/director Eric Red, who was responsible for some of our favorite genre pictures, including THE (original) HITCHER, NEAR DARK, BODY PARTS, BLUE STEEL, BAD MOON and COHEN & TATE. Eric spoke to us prior to his panel at the LA FANGORIA Weekend Of Horrors for his latest film 100 FEET and also gave us the scoop on the upcoming NIGHTLIFE and CONTAINMENT films. ICONS own Robg., John Torrani and Bryan Norton joined in for this rare chat with the filmmaker and here are the results! Click the frame to read the interview!


May 15, 2008


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with writer/producer/filmmaker JOHN RUSSO! In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, this month, Icons staffer Beth chatted with co-writer on NIGHT, John Russo! Also, writer of RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD and the upcoming ESCAPE OF THE LIVING DEAD. A true ICON of fright, click the frame for our exclusive interview with John Russo!


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with PAUL DEL VECCHIO, DAVID R. DOUMENG & DOUGLAS FRYE, the filmmakers behind THE FINAL DAY, the winning short film for the DIARY OF THE DEAD DVD contest! Hey there horror kids! Joining me today is the cast and crew of THE FINAL DAY, the grand prize winning, short film that will be featured on the May 20th release DIARY OF THE DEAD DVD! These gentlemen were hand picked by George Romero himself, as winners of the Myspace film contest. And now…these Long Island, NY based filmmakers are sitting down with ICONS! Click the frame to read the full interview!


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with JOHN PATA! Who doesn’t love an up and coming filmmaker? John Pata, writer, producer and director of BETTER OFF UNDEAD joins us today to talk about his very first zombie flick and his new project AMONG THE DEAD! You may recognize John if you’ve been to any of the last few Chicago Flashback cons or 2007’s Chicago Wizard World! You know, he’s the goofy looking red head manning the booth with this guys face (below) on it… (Click frame to read the interview!)

April 07, 2008


On March 8th, 2008, writer/director Tom Holland, Chris Sarandon (Jerry Dandrige), William Ragsdale (Charley Brewster), Jonathan Stark (Billy Cole), Amanda Bearse (Amy Peterson), Stephen Geoffreys ("Evil" Ed Thompson), Julie Carmen (Regine Dandrige) and writer/director Tommy Lee Wallace were all brought together for the first ever FRIGHT NIGHT reunion in Dallas, Texas for FEAR FEST 2. ICONS own Robg moderated the historic event, and now with the kind permission of John Gray, Pit Of Horror and the Dread Central crew, we present to you the complete transcription of the panel! (With video clips!)



Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with LLOYD KAUFMAN of TROMA! In mid-February of 2008, Icons Of Fright arranged for staffer John Torrani to interview TROMA president/director extraordinaire LLOYD KAUFMAN for his web series AMERICA'S BAD KIDS Episode 2. What transpired was among one of the best Icons interviews EVER. Even Kaufman called our chat one of his all-time "finest". Now, we present to you the full transcription of that interview in it's entirety! From THE TOXIC AVENGER to POULTRYGEIST, all grounds are covered in this TROMA-rific interview!



Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with actress GINA PHILLIPS! FRIGHT fans, prepare for a treat! Ever since we've started the site, we've always wanted to talk to actress GINA PHILLIPS, who made a strong and impresionable debut in the genre as Trish in JEEPERS CREEPERS. She also appeared in the horror/comedy DEAD & BREAKFAST and now you can catch her in THE SICKHOUSE (now available on DVD)! She gives us the run down on all of those films, confesses to us her favorite horror films and explains why she didn't come back for JEEPERS 2!



Hey Fright Fans, Jsyn here with something really special for you all. Like most of us who found the horror genre at an early age, my childhood was shaped by certain iconic influences that left an indelible mark. It started with a fascination with dinosaurs, magic tricks and superheroes. Later, it was all about the local Mom and Pop video store, FANGORIA magazine and a maniacal urge for comic book collecting. I was lucky enough to have a shop in my neighborhood that took care of all three necessities at once, and one comic that I was absolutely bat-shit crazy for was a book called: “Doc Stearn… MR. MONSTER

This comic had everything any red-blooded American adolescent genre fan could ever ask for… gorgeous art, awesome stories, bizarre monsters and a hero armed only with his superior knowledge of all things supernatural and a blazing pair of Colts! Being an independent book (all the rage in the ‘80’s) MR. MONSTER practically burst at the seams with splatterific scenes of sublime carnage, sexy vixens in distress, and pure gonzo slam-bang pulp action, all without the impediment of that pesky Comics Code. There was just no way Doc Stearn could ever exist under a Marvel or DC banner and for the developing rebellious artist in me, that alone made him ten times cooler than he already was.

Here in a rare interview, creator/writer/artist Michael T. Gilbert gives us all the nuts and bolts of his career, shares his thoughts on the early days of independent comics and walks us through the creation of one of the most thoroughly entertaining comic series I will ever read!

I hope that this interview encourages all you Mr. Monster newbie’s out there to discover this gem for yourselves. Read on and learn something, ya mugs!



Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with Aaron Christensen, aka DR. A.C.! You may recognize Aaron Christensen from the many horror cons he attends across the mid-West His booth decorated with a skull wearing a graduation cap. That's "Dr. A.C." - Aaron's alter ego and professor of all things horror. This Chicago based writer & actor is the author of HORROR 101: AN A LIST GUIDE TO HORROR FILMS AND MONSTER MOVIES and heads up a horror themed theater company called WildClaw.


March 04, 2008


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with NEIL MARSHALL! If you're a devoted genre fan, then like us, you've probably been following the career of writer/director Neil Marshall. After all, his 3 films to date offer interesting ensemble casts usually set in unique locations. From DOG SOLDIERS to THE DESCENT to his epic DOOMSDAY (Out March 14th, 2008), we chatted with him about all 3 of his films, as well as about all things horror! Read on for our FRIGHT exclusive interview with Neil Marshall!



Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with actor/director KEITH GORDON! I'm watching an episode of DEXTER & am surprised to notice the name Keith Gordon listed as this particular episode's director. Could it be? The same Keith Gordon that made his acting debut in JAWS 2? Played the lead in John Carpenter's CHRISTINE? Was in Brian DePalma's DRESSED TO KILL and the comedy BACK TO SCHOOL? Sure enough! Keith Gordon started his filmmaking career by acting but made the shift to directing almost 20 years ago. We figured his diverse filmography warranted closer scrutiny. So we tracked him down & he was more then happy to talk to us! Read on for our FRIGHT exclusive interview with Keith Gordon!



Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with the original Leatherface, GUNNAR HANSEN! Over 35 years ago, outside of Austin, Texas, a group of filmmakers and actors accomplished something remarkable. With a shoestring budget, little in the way of experience, and conditions that were almost unbearable, they all combined their various talents to create "THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE". Gunnar Hansen, fresh out of school with a Masters Degree in English, was chosen to perform the unforgettable role of "Leatherface", one of horrors most frightening, disturbing, fascinating, and enduring characters.

Gunnar was able to take the time to talk with us about the legacy of "Texas Chainsaw", as well as his role in the upcoming satire of independant horror "Brutal Massacre", and offer us a look into the world of indie horror, and give us his insight into who we are as horror fans, and why "Texas Chainsaw" continues to intrigue both filmmakers and fans alike.


February 18, 2008


Several weeks back, we were proud to let our staffer John Torrani launch a new ICONS exclusive web-series titled "AMERICA'S BAD KIDS"! With the success of the first episode (which was filmed at HYAENA gallery in Burbank, CA) we're happy to announce that more BAD KIDS episodes are definitely on the way! In fact, the next two episodes were shot this past weekend. For a SNEAK PEEK at what you can look forward to, check out the teaser pics below with America's favorite "bad kid"!


February 03, 2008


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with the SWAMP THING himself DICK DUROCK! From the 70's and 80's, if you turned on the TV you just might have caught actor Dick Durock on one of his many small roles on TV and not recognized him. That's because the role he's best remembered for had him wearing 80 pounds of green latex. Dick played everyone's favorite leafy green superhero Swamp Thing not just in 2 feature films, but for 3 seasons on USA Network's early 90's series. Dick sat down with us so we could dredge up some old memories from the swamps!



Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with actor ZACHARY LEVI! On February 8th of 2008, the movie SPIRAL hits theaters for a limited theatrical run before debuting on DVD a mere two weeks later on the 19th. The project reunites HATCHET director Adam Green with actor Joel David Moore (also the co-writer of SPIRAL). This month, we got to speak to one of the stars of SPIRAL Zachary Levi (TV's CHUCK). His buddy Joel Moore sat in as a guest ICONS contributor to help us interview his friend. Below are the unedited results of that interview!



Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with actor AJ BOWEN! This winter you're going to be introduced to a whole staple of new talent when “THE SIGNAL” releases. Once again we sat down with one of the lead actors from this amazing new film. Actor AJ Bowen plays Louis, another victim of the strange transmission that is wreaking havoc in the city of Terminus. It's no surprise with a film as strong as “THE SIGNAL” is that some huge genre fans were behind the making of it, and AJ is no exception. Here we got to geek out over USA Up All Night, “Sorority Babes In The Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama”, and talk serious about what an incredible collaborative effort “THE SIGNAL” was.


January 09, 2008


FRIGHT fans, you're in for a treat! This month, we had the pleasure of speaking with ANTHRAX drummer CHARLIE BENANTE! A life long horror fan, Charlie recently appeared in the JAWS documentary THE SHARK IS STILL WORKING to talk about his all time favorite movie! We also got to chat about all things horror including his meeting with Freddy Krueger, working with master of horror John Carpenter and the meaning & inspiration behind the front cover images of ANTHRAX's records! Read on!



THE SIGNAL opens in theaters on February 22nd, 2008. The ICONS staff have already named it as one of the best genre movies we caught on the festival scene last year. Now, we're ready to launch the first of two FRIGHT exclusive interviews we've conducted to prepare you for this kick-ass, unique horror movie. This month, we spoke to the two leads of THE SIGNAL, actors Justin Welborn and Anessa Ramsey! (Both are featured on the recently released poster for the flick.) Read our exclusive chat with the duo about THE SIGNAL!


January 02, 2008

AMERICA'S BAD KIDS: Episode One! New Webseries

We love to cover all aspects of horror culture and fandom on Icons of Fright so here comes our gift to you for the new year: The premier episode of "America's Bad Kids", starring IOF's John Torrani, a new webseries that you'll only find here.

In each episode Johnny will travel the country looking for bad kids all over America. In this premier episode John explores the Hyaena Gallery in Burbank, California, home to one of the largest collections of serial killer artwork, and a host of other very bad, very strange artwork. The show can be found in this news entry, or at www.americasbadkids.com. A Lilly Production in association with Cult Hero Productions and Icons Of Fright.

Continue reading "AMERICA'S BAD KIDS: Episode One! New Webseries" »


Happy New Years, fiends! Well, we had quite an amazing year here on ICONS OF FRIGHT! We thought now would be a good time to reflect and look back at all the FRIGHT exclusive interviews we conducted during 2007! Thanks to all of YOU devoted readers out there for making 2007 one of the best years we've ever had. Here's to a FRIGHT-filled 2008!

Continue reading "THE YEAR THAT WAS 2007 IN ICONS INTERVIEWS!" »

December 09, 2007


Just added! Our FRIGHT exclusive interview with JOHN KASSIR... THE CRYPTKEEPER! Well, hello, kiddies! For 7 seasons, 3 feature films and an animated series John Kassir voiced that grinning ghoul The Crypt Keeper on HBO 's TALES FROM THE CRYPT. During the Crypt years, John worked with some of the most talented actors and directors in Hollywood and more directly with many of the most important effects artists in the business. Without Johns dead-on performance its no doubt that The Crypt Keeper would never have become as widely recognized a horror and worldwide pop culture icon. Click the frame below to read our interview with John, and perhaps hear a special greeting for all you devoted FRIGHT fans from the Cryptkeeper himself!



Just added! Our FRIGHT exclusive interview with FX artist/performer TOM WOODRUFF JR! Tom has had extensive work in the FX field of dozens of genre favorites. He was the man in the suit for the Gillman in THE MONSTER SQUAD, PUMPKINHEAD on Stan Winston's directorial debut. And has performed the ALIEN on every ALIEN film since ALIEN 3. This month, you can see his work in ALIENS VS PREDATOR: REQUIEM. If you're even remotely interested in special FX make-up, then this interview is a must read! Either way, click the frame to get started!



Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with the producers behind THE SHARK IS STILL WORKING: THE IMPACT & LEGACY OF JAWS! We spoke exclusively with James Gelet, Jake Gove, Erik Hollander and J. Michael Roddy, the filmmakers behind the extensive documentary about JAWS! Click the link below to read about the making of the upcoming project!



Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with cinematographer WILL BARRATT! Will was the Director of Photography on HATCHET (out on DVD December 18th!) and has maintained a close working relationship with filmmaker Adam Green. He also shot SPIRAL, as well as the web series IT'S A MALL WORLD. We had an educational chat with Will about the technical side of making HATCHET and SPIRAL. Read on for our first cinematographer interview, as well as our other FRIGHT exclusive HATCHET interviews!



Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with filmmaker JANE ROSE! (HEADING HOME, THE STATEMENT OF RANDOLF CARTER, I SPIT ON ELI) As part of the independent east coast horror community, Jane Rose has revealed a taste for evocative film adaptations of literary horrors from H.P. Lovecraft to Ramsey Campbell. One of the filmmakers featured on the whacked-out anthology film “ new anthology film “LovecraCKed: The Movie” and making her mark along the genre festival circuit, we caught up with the lovely Ms. Rose and her diabolical future plans. Click the frame below to read our FRIGHT exclusive interview by guest contributor Jeremiah Kipp!


November 27, 2007

PART TWO Of Our FRIGHT Exclusive Interview with TIM SULLIVAN!

Just added! The second portion of our extensive FRIGHT exclusive interview with writer/director TIM SULLIVAN! Tim opened up to us about his thoughts on 2001 MANIACS now in retrospect, revealed to us about his intended upcoming MANIACS Director's Cut DVD, talked about the recently released DRIFTWOOD DVD, teased about his upcoming vampire flick BROTHERHOOD OF THE BLOOD and gave us the low-down on the MANIACS comic and sequel. Just click the frame below and read for yourself!

Continue reading "PART TWO Of Our FRIGHT Exclusive Interview with TIM SULLIVAN!" »

November 18, 2007


Icons of Fright has the first exclusive video look at writer/director Stevan Mena's follow-up, a prequel, to the 2004 independently produced slasher film "Malevolence".


November 09, 2007


We're proud to present part one of our FRIGHT exclusive chat with writer/director TIM SULLIVAN! We chatted with Tim about the 2001 MANIACS experience in retrospect, the 2001 MANIACS comic book and sequel, as well as the newly released DRIFTWOOD DVD and the inevitable MANIACS Director's Cut! Part two will premiere later in the month! In the meantime, this should get you going!



Holy mother of all creatures big and small! Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with the gorgeous CERINA VINCENT, star of CABIN FEVER, IT WAITS and most recently RETURN TO HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL! We talked to her about all of the above, as well as working with David Lynch, what movies scare her and the convention experience. Read our candid chat with Cerina below!



Good Lord! Just added! Our FRIGHT exclusive interview with the foxy TIFFANY SHEPIS! Shepis boasts over 50 credits, the majority of which are in the horror genre including THE HAZING, ABOMINABLE, DARK REEL, BONNIE & CLYDE VS DRACULA, TROMEO AND JULIET, TED BUNDY, CORPSES and many, many more! You can catch her right now in theaters in NIGHTMARE MAN, playing as part of November's AFTER DARK HORRORFEST 2! Meanwhile, check out our FRIGHT exclusive chat with her right here on ICONS OF FRIGHT!



Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with writer/director ROLFE KANEFSKY! You may recall we spoke to Rolfe earlier in the year. Now, his latest film NIGHTMARE MAN (starring Tiffany Shepis) is premiering in theaters today as part of the AFTER DARK HORRORFEST (8 FILES TO DIE FOR). Check out our new interview with Rolfe, and make sure you check out our chat with Tiffany Shepis too!



Just added! With AFTER DARK's HORRORFEST beginning today, ICONS is bringing you FRIGHT exclusive interviews with the director's of two of this years 8 FILMS TO DIE FOR! First up is JIM MICKLE, the director and co-writer of MULBERRY STREET! Check it out below!


October 08, 2007


Just added! A FRIGHT interview with ELVIRA: Mistress of the dark! OwwwOOOO!!! It's ELVIRA! The original lady of the evening, er, I mean "Mistress of the Dark" has got her own reality show, "The Search for the Next Elvira", where she's looking to find the first recruit for a potential Army of Elviras. Not to fret, the boobalicious boo-maker isn't hanging up the wig and dress just yet, she's just looking for a few helping hands during the Halloween season. Icons recently participated in a roundtable discussion with the demonic diva herself, and I'm sure you'll see there's more to her than just a few choice assets! Read it by clicking the frame below!

Continue reading "FRIGHT INTERVIEW - ELVIRA!" »


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with JEFFREY COMBS! It's hard to be a genre fan and not be impressed with the constant contributions of thespian actor JEFFREY COMBS. He's appeared in everything from HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL to FROM BEYOND to THE FRIGHTENERS, as well as several FULL MOON movies such as CASTLE FREAK, DOCTOR MORDRID and THE PIT & THE PENDULUM. He a frequent collaborator with filmmaker Stuart Gordon. Most recently on THE BLACK CAT, and together the duo created a true Icon of Fright, Herbert West from RE-ANIMATOR. We're proud to present a candid, casual conversation with Jeffrey about his work.



Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with WRONG TURN 2 director JOE LYNCH! Very few filmmakers display such an open affection for the horror genre as director JOE LYNCH. All it takes is one conversation with the guy to realize how seriously he loves our beloved genre. It also becomes quite obvious that he's a walking encyclopedia of horror knowledge. He just completed directing his first full length feature WRONG TURN 2 (now available on DVD) with Henry Rollins and Erica Leerhsen. We got to chat with him extensively about his entire career thus far. Click the frame below to read it, fiends! This interview's an instant Icons classic!



Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with actress ERICA LEERHSEN! This October, actress Erica Leerhsen plays Nina, the vulnerable lead in Joe Lynch's directorial debut WRONG TURN 2: DEAD END (available on DVD now)! Besides co-starring with Henry Rollins in the new sequel, genre fans already recognize her from her film-acting debut in BOOK OF SHADOWS: BLAIR WITCH 2, as well as "Pepper" from THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE remake. Erica was kind enough to chat with Icons about her genre work. We also managed to set the record straight on some of the trivia facts listed on her IMDB page. Click the frame below to read what she had to say!



This month, we've got a FRIGHT interview with ZELDA RUBENSTEIN! Zelda Rubenstein is best known for her role as short-in-stature, strong-in-mind psychic Tangina Barrows from the “POLTERGEIST” series. As the original film celebrates it's 25 th Anniversary with a new re-mastered DVD, Zelda chatted with Icons of Fright, as well as several other horror publications for a roundtable interview about the blockbuster 1982 film, as well as some of her work since in the horror genre.



In keeping with the tradition of the FRIGHT FLASHBACK INTERVIEW, this month we're re-showcasing an interview we did with writer STEVE NILES back in July of 2006, over one full year back. Steve's an established comic book writer and creator of 30 DAYS OF NIGHT, which was recently adapted into a feature film by director David Slade and opens October 19th, 2007 in theaters everywhere. Check out our interview with him about the origins of 30 DAYS OF NIGHT!


September 17, 2007


Since we update the interviews on the main page so frequently, I thought it'd be neat to re-showcase past interviews in the off chance you missed them on their initial run. So, this month I wanted to re-introduce you to filmmaker ERIC NICHOLAS, who wrote and directed the creepy, inventive & unique indie flick ALONE WITH HER, starring Colin Hanks and Ana Claudia Talancon. Colin Hanks plays Doug, a socially inept, lonely salesman who becomes obsessed with the beautiful and vulnerable Amy (Talancon) and begins intrigrating himself into her life. The entire movie is seen through the perspective of Doug's hidden camera's making us, the viewer the voyuer. Read on for our interview and DVD review!


September 03, 2007


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with "MADMAN MARZ" himself, PAUL EHLERS! If you've ever skimmed through the VAULT page here on Icons then you'd know that we're collectively huge fans of obscure cult horror classics. So, it came as a pleasant surprise to us when we learned that PAUL EHLERS, the actor who portrayed "Madman Marz" in the 80's "slasher" gem MADMAN lived right here in New York! We caught up with the man behind the make-up who scared the pants off of us as youngsters! Check out our casual conversation with Paul about all things MADMAN and his fantasy knives. Jsyn even gets to debate with him the true meaning of the infamous "refrigerator" scene! Read on!



Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with HATCHET star JOEL MOORE! Who better to play the unlikely hero in a horror film then funny man Joel David Moore?! He's appeared in several comedies thru-out the years including DODGEBALL & GRANDMA'S BOY. And he'll next appear in Jame's Cameron's AVATAR. But on September 7th, he'll go up against Victor Crowley in Adam Green's HATCHET. He spoke to Joel about working on HATCHET, as well as re-teaming with Adam Green on SPIRAL. Read on!



Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with HATCHET star TAMARA FELDMAN! If Victor Crowley is the new boogeyman, it’s only fitting that he’s matched against a new Jaime Lee Curtis. When the ensemble of HATCHET ventures into the Bayou for a light-hearted Haunted Swamp tour, one of them isn’t there for the legends or the fun. Marybeth may end up the group’s only hope when they venture too close to Victor’s abandoned homestead; and Icons of Fright caught up with the talented rising actress Tamara Feldman, who portrays her.



Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with HATCHET's MERCEDES MCNAB! Actress Mercedes Mcnab is no stranger to fantastic material, and her most well-known and popular roles have been genre-blenders, most notably horror and humor. Those projects have offered strong writing-and a chance to show off how good she is- and Adam Green’s HATCHET, an old-school slasher with memorable characters, adds another to the list. We had a short, smart conversation with the talented Mercedes recently. Enjoy, and be sure to be at the theater September 7th!



Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with HATCHET actor DEON RICHMOND! Actor Deon Richmond plays Marcus, the best friend to Joel Moore's character Ben in HATCHET, writer/director Adam Green's loving homage to old-school "slasher" flicks! Deon also made an appearance in the horror genre with SCREAM 3 and re-teamed recently with Adam Green on the web series IT'S A MALL WORLD. Enjoy, and be sure to be at the theater September 7th!


August 10, 2007


Just Added! The interview you've been waiting for! We've got an extensive, candid FRIGHT exclusive interview with writer/director ROB ZOMBIE about ALL things HALLOWEEN! Rob answers all of our questions and explains how and why he went about the daunting task of re-inventing HALLOWEEN. Fiends, this one's a MUST-READ!



Just Added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with BILL JOHNSON! When it comes to horror ICONS, "Leatherface" is definitely considered one of the most cherished! We are honored to feature an extensive FRIGHT exclusive interview with actor BILL JOHNSON, who took over the role of Leatherface in Tobe Hooper's TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2! Here in his first full length on-line interview, he talks about working with Tobe Hooper, Jim Siedow, Bill Moseley, Dennis Hopper and goes into great detail about the making-of the cult classic sequel! Read on!



Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with actress VIGDIS ANHOLT who plays the female killer of the cult classic indie "slasher" LITTLE ERIN MERRYWEATHER. Here, in one of her first on-line interviews, she talks about tackling the role of the female antagonist! Read on for the intro and interview!



Just Added! We've got a FRIGHT exclusive interview with filmmaker PAUL NATALE! Originally based out of Long Island, NY and now living in France, Paul checks in with us to talk about MISERY LOVES, his segment for the anthology film LOST SUBURBIA! Anyone who puts us on hold to inquire about tracking down an obscure Fulci film is totally cool in our book! Read on for the introduction and interview!


August 06, 2007

AVP2 Effects Guru Confirms "R" Rating

Tom Woodruff Jr., effects supervisor and creature effects designer for "Aliens vs. Predator" sat down for a Fright Exclusive interview today with Icons of Fright. He couldn't share too many details on AVP2, but he did confirm that the film will carry an R-Rating:

"They're telling us we've got to be so quiet. It was actually disappointing that Comic-Con came and we could present or release anything, we're being very secretive. The big news is that it's an R-rated movie, and they've returned back that harder edge. The fans should be very pleased with it."

Look for the full Icons of Fright interview with Tom Woodruff in a Icons edition.

July 09, 2007


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with actress/musician/painter CORALINA CATALDI-TASSONI! Coralina comes from an opera background, but made her theatrical debut in Lamberto Bava's DEMONS 2. She later went on to work several times with Italian legend Dario Argento on such films as OPERA, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and his upcoming, eagerly anticipated THE THIRD MOTHER (aka MOTHER OF TEARS). Read on for the full interview!



Just added! Adam Barnick gives us a FRIGHT exclusive interview with DAVID J STIEVE, the writer of BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON. This is a MUST-READ for aspiring screenwriters AND die-hard fans of the cult-classic film! Ever wonder who "Eugene" was originally based on? Or where the idea for BEHIND THE MASK originated? Or what would happen in BEHIND THE MASK 2 if it ever happen? David reveals it ALL with us in this interview! Read on!


June 10, 2007


Just added! You've seen the video, now check out the complete extensive FRIGHT exclusive interview with filmmaker MIKE MENDEZ, the man behind KILLERS, THE GRAVEDANCERS and THE CONVENT. Read on for more...



Just added! We've got a FRIGHT exclusive interview with up and coming writer/director ERIC NICHOLAS, whose impressive debut ALONE WITH HER was released on DVD earlier this month. Trust us, this is a different, unique kind-of flick you're going to want to check out. (Look at our DVD review) Read on for the FRIGHT exclusive interview!



Just added! Jsyn scores a FRIGHT exclusive interview with super hot actress NATASSIA MALTHE! Her new flick 'DOA: Dead Or Alive' opens June 15th, and you can catch her next in the werewolf flick SKINWALKERS. Read on for what we guarantee is one of the funnest interviews you'll get to check out here on Icons Of Fright!


June 01, 2007

Mike Mendez: Director of Gravedancers

Hey There Fright Fans, we caught up with director Mike Mendez while we were in California. Mike directed "The Gravedancers", which was part of After Dark Horrorfest's 8 Films To Die For. He also directed "The Convent" and "Killers". Mike's got an amazing toy collection too and he gave us tour of his house. Check out the video inside, and check back in a few days because we'll have an expanded interview with Mike for you to read as part of our June edition.

Continue reading "Mike Mendez: Director of Gravedancers" »

May 08, 2007


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with filmmaker/writer/director DAVE PARKER! Dave made his debut with the Full Moon indie cult classic THE DEAD HATE THE LIVING! He wrote the original first draft for HOUSE OF THE DEAD (Wait 'til you read the story behind that movie!) and is set to return to the genre with THE HILLS RUN RED! Read on...



Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with filmmaker/writer/director ROLFE KANEFSKY, who's movies include the cult classic THERE'S NOTHING OUT THERE, THE HAZING and NIGHTMARE MAN! Read on...



Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with filmmaker CHRIS GARETANO, the director/producer of the documentary HORROR BUSINESS and the upcoming COTTONMOUTH, SOUTH TEXAS BLUES, MONTAUK UNVEILED, THE HORROR OF DANTE TOMASELLI and ANGEL'S GATE.


April 08, 2007


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with Actor/Writer JOHN FALLON, the lead character Rane of DEADEN and creator of the website ARROW IN THE HEAD...



Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with Writer/Director JOE HARRIS! Joe co-wrote David Arquette's directorial debut THE TRIPPER. He also made the short films WITCHWISE and TOOTH FAIRY which was the basis of the film DARKNESS FALLS, which Joe also has writing credit on. Joe also has a history writing for MARVEL comics...


March 24, 2007


Just added! A FRIGHT exclusive interview with TONY KRANTZ, the director of SUBLIME, the 2nd of 3 Direct-to-DVD titles from the new RAW FEED label!



Just added! A brand new FRIGHT exclusive interview with composer GORDY HAAB (BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON)!


February 14, 2007


Just added! Our FRIGHT exclusive interview with LESLIE VERNON himself, actor NATHAN BAESEL from BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON!



Just added! Our FRIGHT exclusive interview with Director SCOTT GLOSSERMAN, the filmmaker who made BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON!



Just added! Our FRIGHT exclusive interview with filmmaker JAMES FELIX MCKENNEY. (AUTOMATONS, THE OFF SEASON, CANNIBALISTIC!)


January 20, 2007


Just added! Our FRIGHT exclusive interview with filmmaker and film teacher BRYAN NORTON, the writer/director behind the acclaimed short film PENNY DREADFUL with Betsy Palmer and Warrington Gillette!



Just added! Our FRIGHT exclusive interview with actress CHRISTIE SANFORD, the star of Dante Tomaselli's DESECRATION, HORROR & SATAN'S PLAYGROUND.



Our new staffer Holly caught up with new-author DUSTIN WARBURTON, whom she’d met at last Fall’s CHILLER THEATRE show.


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