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Friday, June 29, 2012

My Interview With Fangoria (Editor In Chief) Chris Alexander

 Chris Alexander,  Please tell my readers where you are from?

Chris Alexander: I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. And with the help of technology, I edit FANGORIA - as well as dabble in other media - from my office just outside the city limits.... 

Chris: Chris A., Who inspired you to become a writer? 

Chris Alexander: A desire to communicate. To me, music, film, writing...it's all the same, it's all music...it's all rhythm. It's all creating a world that invites, entertains, provokes. I always knew I could write since I was a little boy. And when I started getting rewarded for my work - gold star from teacher - that was it. By reading, by watching other people read, actor's act, listening, observing and grafting onto writer's I liked, I found a style that imitates my speech patterns. That style owes as much to beat poetry as it does the late Chas. Balun. That's important - find your style, don't repeat words, learn NEW words, always expand your vocabulary, always try to get BETTER.... 

Chris: You've worked for the two biggest names in horror publication, how do they differ in content and marketing styles?  

 Chris Alexander: RUE MORGUE gave me my first taste of having a following for my thoughts and writing. The company itself was on the upswing, growing rapidly and knocking down its competition when I was there. It felt like you were part of something but by the same token, it was like a club. FANGO is old blood and by the time I got there, it was in need of a fresh coat of paint, which I have tried to do by making the horror mag that I'd like to read. Comparing the two from my point of view...there is none. At RM I was just a writer. At FANGO I have creative control....obviously the latter wins for me!

Chris: As an avid reader of your former column in Rue Morgue, are there plans of ever bringing it back to a larger audience in Fangoria?  

Chris Alexander: I like to think that the little column in RM - Schizoid Cinephile - has been expanded to the point that its all over FANGORIA....every page of the mag is personal to me and that was the point of the column, to defend and get people excited about cinema that meant something to me, to others. To find interesting angles in common stories, always defy expectations.  Plus, I write SO much of the mag now....it feels like a refined version of that column, which i cannot ever read today because it feels so sloppy and immature!

Chris: You composed the Music for Rodrigo  Gudiño's series of short films would you like to talk about that experience? 

Chris Alexander: Negative. Rod bought one of my pieces 'ORGAN GRINDER' for his short film THE DEMONOLOGY OF DESIRE. I liked the film and I thought my track worked well. 

Chris: You also have an album coming out through an independent music company correct?  

Chris Alexander: Already out from 2M1 records...it's called MUSIC FOR MURDER and it's a collection of some of my favorite pieces of music that I've been quietly making over the last decade.  

Chris:  What through your mind when Tony Timpone gave you the reigns at Fangoria? 

Chris Alexander: The reigns were handed over to me from publisher Tom DeFeo and then VP Scott Licina but it was with Tony's blessing. Tony is a hero to horror, a guy who kept a mag chugging along against the odds for years. A legend. I still defer to Tony in many cases. He's a total pro. What went through my mind was HOLEEEEEE FUCKING SHIIIIIIIIT! No really. I mean, I still don't believe that this is my job....it still hasn't quite hit me. FANGORIA is mythical and yet here I sit, making it, every month. Working with Mike Gingold, Bill Mohalley...legends of horror print media. Surreal. 

Chris:  You've revamped Fangoria's look, and over all feel, was it important to make your mark immediately?  

Chris Alexander: Yes. Again, I wanted to make a fun, exciting somewhat experimental horror and cult film magazine that honored its history and classic feel while forging ahead into a more unpredictable terrain. I like taking chances... and that doesn't mean making it GORIER and more EXPLICIT...it means challenging people's conceptions as to what a horror film is and can be.

Chris:   Where do we see Chris Alexander in 5 years? 

Chris Alexander: Who knows? My kids and family are everything to me, the mag is everything to me,  music is my spine...and now I'm dabbling in filmmaking so I hope to be a better, stronger, smarter version of what I am now. I still don't feel like I've peaked and at the age of 37, that's a good way to feel!

Chris: What are your thoughts on the current state of horror in Hollywood? 

Chris Alexander: Same as it ever was! With horror, you always need distance....once you remove the politics, the trends and the commercial cynicsm we can view Hollywood horror with clearer eyes and appreciate it more. Movie have ALWAYS been about making money, always about getting bums in seats, eyes on screens, popcorn in guts. I always say give ANY horror movie 10 years and it looks better than it did when it was released.  If you're asking about how I feel about remakes, I don't care. I love what I love. Plus most classic films were riding commerical tides from popular films, remakes or ripoffs or homages. I mean look closely and THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE is a rip off of DELIVERANCE. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD is a direct rip off of Matheson's I AM LEGEND and the first adaptation, THE LAST MAN ON EARTH! So none of it bothers me....in fact, I just watched the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET remake again in cable last week and didn't hate it nearly as much as I did theatrically....so time, distance, and circumstance - I think horror works BEST at home, alone, late at night - are key to loving and embracing all horror.

Chris: Do you have any plugs you'd like to make? 

Chris Alexander: Hmmmmm....yes! The only thing I love more than horror is the band KISS. I'm happy to say I am the editor and Fango is the publisher of the new KISS: MONSTER magazine, a real labor of love that is out now and can be ordered via www.fangoria.com. Buy it!  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My Interview With the Owner of online store (The Raven's Room)

Let's talk woman's clothing and accessories with a good friend of my shall we.

Chris: Krista, can you tell me where you're from?

I am from the Boise, ID area.

Chris: And your company is based out of there as well?

We are mainly based out of Nampa, ID.

Chris: For anyone that doesn't know what you sell can you please tell us?

We make handmade, upcycled, and revamped items such as hair accessories, clothing, home decor, skin care items, and wedding bouquets. We also do custom orders upon request.

Chris: I see you cater to the alternative woman, the one that's into horror, metal, punk, ect, is this done on purpose? 

For the most part, yes, this is done on purpose. My partner and I love to look beyond the norm and we enjoy providing unique items for our customers. Our slogan is "So Original, So You..." and we try to keep strong to it.

Chris: I must say i love you're skull hair clips, there fantastic; who comes up with your designs?

I actually came up with that design. For most of our items my partner, Taraya, and I collaborate to see what we can   come up with. But, there are some items that are of our own minds

Chris: Who gave you the inspiration to start your own company?

Taraya and I are basically house wives that got sick of the day to day routine and we wanted more out of life. We sat  down one day to figure this problem out and we came up with The Raven's Room as our solution to the dull and the drab.

Chris: What was your favorite horror movie growing up as a kid?

As a kid, I wasn't much into horror, but my whole family was. So if I had to pick one, I would say "It". That was '  terrifying to me as a kid. lol

Chris: I also know you like metal, do you use that to infuse different designs in your clothing and accessories?

try to on some items, but from a business point of view I have to keep in mind that a lot of people are not like me and just  because I'm obsessed with something doesn't mean that other people will be equally infatuated.

Chris:  Where do we see Krista in 5 years?

In 5 years I hope to still be running The Raven's Room,but at a much stronger level, finishing with college, and what the  hell, probably have a couple of kids! lol

Chris: Do you have Plugs you'd like to make?

Taraya Rizzo is my partner in this whole shenanigan and our website:   http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheRavensRoom

twitter: @theravensroom

Friday, June 22, 2012

My Interview With: All Things Horror Contributor (Chris Hallock)

Let's chat some horror shall we with one of New England's best on the subject.

Chris: Chris, Please tell us where your from?

Chris Hallock: Hi, Chris. Thanks for considering me for the interview! I'm originally from the hills of gorgeous West Virginia, but my home is now in the Boston area because I wanted to be closer to my Celtics.
 Chris: You're a multi-talented artist, you've been a producer, a screenwriter and a film festival director- how do you manage  your time?
Chris Hallock: I don't know if it's management of time so much as management of my ADHD. I've always had my hand in multiple projects, always been extremely active and interested in so many different things. When I was younger I'd write comics, play in some bands, make improv horror videos with my friends. There wasn't much going on in my hometown, so we made our own fun. The seeds were planted there. I never feel comfortable unless I'm working hard on something I really love, whether that means I wake up at 3 am with a hankering to polish a film review, or skipping my lunch break at work to knock out a shot list. I'm not satisfied unless I'm completely exhausted at the end of the day. The key for me is that I don't beat around the bush when things need to get started.

Chris: I know you just finished a film recently, can you give us any details about it?

Chris Hallock: There are two short film projects that I worked on in the fall that are still awaiting editing. One of them is tentatively called "Anmoore at Night" which is a relationship drama that happens to have a monster in it. It was shot by James Carr, and stars Alexa Panico and my good friend Stef Snyder who went above the call of duty for me when another actor pulled out at the last minute. I went home to West Virginia to shoot that one.
The other project is called "Residue", another relationship drama in which one half of an estranged couple might or might not be a ghost. This was also shot by James Carr, and stars Emily King. Emily is a real trooper and a seriously great talent. She endured hours of being tied to a chair in a basement. This one is also still being edited, mostly because I couldn't afford extra space for the HD files.

Chris: Your a columnist for the internet site All Things Horror, how did that come about?
Chris Hallock: All Things Horror started up a few years after I met my good friend Mike Snoonian. When I first moved to Boston, I met Mike through a music messageboard. He was hosting "horror movie nights" at his apartment in Allston and I sorta invited myself over. I fell in love with that whole crew, and still hang with a lot of those folks. Everyone would bring a movies, we'd put it to a vote, and  project the winner on the wall. It was really fun! We did a zombie walk together when Land of the Dead came out, which was a real highlight at the time.
After a few years of going to shows and films with Mike, he approached me about writing for a site devoted to the horror genre. I jumped at the chance. We've expanded to doing our own screenings of independent film. It's something I take a great deal of pride in. We've been at it for about three years.
Chris: Your an indie comes first guy, but i have to know if Hollywood knocked on your door would you answer?

Chris Hallock: Haha, I'm not holding my breath on that one. I have no interest in pursuing that at all. Everything I need is right here in Boston. I don't compromise very well, and would not fit in. I'm not receptive to dumb ideas.
Chris:  What are you're thoughts on the current state of horror in Hollywood right now?
I'm going to try to refrain from being overly negative here, but it's not good, Chris. It's not good at all, haha. There are several things that tick me off about Hollywood. One is the lack of creativity and originality. But that's always been a problem in the entertainment biz, whether it's movies or music or books. I'm not a fan of producing a few dozen bloated mega-productions when that money could fund vast amounts of smaller-scale, higher-quality work. The whole model, the whole monopoly Hollywood holds over everything needs to go. It's not enough that they own all the theaters. Now they want to own all the projectors. Next they will want to own and control the very air we breath. Occupy Hollywood, I say!

Chris: Who inspires both as a filmmaker and as a writer?

Chris Hallock: I don't know if there's one particular person who inspires me. My girlfriend Sarah absolutely encourages me in all my pursuits, and is always there to lend a hand on anything. I'm inspired by people who are out there in the trenches, those folks that work 9-5 jobs, raise families, and still manage to find time to make a short film or write a novel. People who overcome odds to create inspire me.  

Chris: What horror movie started you're love for the genre?

Chris Hallock: I can cite a couple of movies that were catalysts from when I was really young like The Brain That Wouldn't Die or numerous Godzilla movies on Chiller Theater out of Pittsburgh. However, my clearest memory - the spark of it all - was absolutely John Carpenter's Halloween. I was in first grade, and I remember it being on cable or possibly network TV, and I was hiding under a blanket on the couch pretending to be asleep. I kept peeking through the covers and I was TERRIFIED. My mom would leave the room periodically to do laundry in a remote laundry room of our apartment complex, and I was just petrified that Michael Myers would get her. Ever since, I've tried to recapture that feeling and have come close only a couple of times. Halloween still scares the hell out of me!

Chris: What is your ultimate goal?

Chris Hallock: Still figuring that out, Chris. I'd like to be a really good drummer someday. I'd like to finish everything I start, but that's not likely to happen, haha. I guess just to keep passionately
doing what I'm doing until I die.

Chris: Do you have any plugs you'd like to make?
Chris Hallock: Well, since you asked, Chris...
I'm very excited about a number of events we have planned for All Things Horror Presents. We're hosting the premiere of the Etheria Film Festival, a festival that features the best sci-fi and fantasy films created by women. The idea is to increase awareness and expand opportunities for women working in film as directors, writers, and producers. That event will be held on Saturday, September 15 at the Somerville Theater from 4 pm - 10:30 pm.
In October, Mike and I do a larger event for the Halloween Season called Shudder Fest. Last year we screened some great indie films Absentia, I Didn't Come Here to Die, The Corridor, and Ashes, as well as a lot of cool short films. That event will take place at the end of October.
Thanks for the interview, Chris!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Interview with the minds behind Shock Horror Magazine (part 2- Jason Miller)

This is my interview with Arts Department Editor Jason Miller who works for Shock Horror Magazine. So let’s talk art shall we.

Chris: Jason, please tell my readers a little about yourself, where you’re from?
Jason: Well hello, a little about me… I’m from a little town just outside northwest London, called Watford. I was brought up on a steady diet of comic books, films and rock music. From as early as I can remember, when asked “what do you want to be when you grow up?” I always responded with the answer “a comic artist”. I had an early introduction into horror movies, which came from my grandfather, who used to use ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ to try and get me to bed, when I stayed at my grandparent’s house. It didn’t work, I just fell in love with the genre. So as time went on I started to mix my two loves more and more. So along with Shock Horror I also work as a freelance artist, mainly working on horror related stuff. In my spare time my favourite things to do include spending time with my fiancé, my son and best mates, drinking beer, watching grown men wrestle about in spandex, and listening to dirty metal and music from the deep south.

Chris:  Who came up with the ideas for your terrific page layouts?
Jason: As a rule I design the layouts for the magazine. If something comes to me that is really out there, I always run it by Dean (the editor) before I proceed. I think myself and Dean have quite a similar vision for the mag so I like to think he trusts me with his baby lol! I always wait for the articles to come in and then I will use a mix of my knowledge of the film/ band/ artist etc and also the information gained from the article to design my layout.

Chris:  As an artist, who gives you inspiration?
Jason: Wow, you may have just opened a can of worms right there hahaha! Surprisingly a lot of the artists that influence me and I love, my work doesn’t actually resemble what they are doing, except the fact we both work in the horror realm. First off, would be Tony Moore, obviously he was the original artist on the ‘Walking Dead’, he also has the amazing ‘Fear Agent’ which, if you haven’t read, everyone should check it out, you know what, if you see Tony Moore’s name on a comic or trade, just buy it, because you won’t be disappointed by the art. Secondly I’d say David Hartman, he is the artist responsible for a lot of Rob Zombies stuff, he also did the art on the ‘American Witch’ video for Mr. Zombie. David has a lot of really amazing pieces, I just love his style, use of colour and his eye for gore and guts! An artist I have just really started to get into is Greg Capullo, he worked on ‘Haunt’ and the lastest DC52 ‘Batman’ his work is sublime. Another artist is Gary Pullin, his horror artwork is brilliant. You can just tell he loves the genre, every piece of his you would love on your wall. For the rest I’ll just list as we will be here all night otherwise hahaha… Jacen Burrows, artist on ‘Crossed’, Jeff Zornow, he does a lot of the Fright Rags t-shirts and also is the artist on the ‘Demons’ comic, Corlen Kruger, twisted pin up artist, I love his retro style. Okay now I really just will list hahaha: Brett Parson, Franchesco, Leinil Yu, Jim Lee, Tim Seeley, Martin Abel, Bryan Baugh, Adam Hughes and Dan Mendoza, plus a whole heap of people I’ve probably forgotten lol! You did ask lol!

Chris:  Tell me how did you get the job at Shock Horror Magazine?
Jason: I came on board early on, when Dean was forming the idea of making Shock. Dean was working at another horror mag, I shall not name, I had sent him some samples of my layout work and artwork relating to that mag, which I guess he liked, as when he started looking to make Shock into a reality he approached me about coming on board as the creative editor. Which I jumped at, had we been in the same room, I’d have probably torn his arm off! Dean and I spoke at length about how we wanted Shock to look and our concept behind it. We always wanted it to be a horror culture magazine rather than your run of the mill horror film mag.

Chris:  What was your favorite horror movie as a child?
Jason: My favourite horror movie as a child, was probably ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’. That was the one that popped my cherry so to speak, so I have to say that. It was the first horror movie that grabbed me and awoken me to what was out there.

Chris:  Where do we see Jason if there is a Zombie Apocalypse?
Jason: Protecting my family, lets face it, I’m a massive zombie geek, who better to protect them. Also I would probably fighting the urge to go look for people that have wronged me in life, so if they have been turned I can chop their heads off hahaha!

Chris:  Do you look to fellow artists like Gary Pullin of Rue Morgue fame for any inspiration into your designs and layouts of your magazine or do you prefer to do your own thing?
Jason: I think it would be a pretty evident lie if I said I didn’t look to Gary for inspiration once upon a time. His work on Rue Morgue was amazing! But that is as far as it goes. I really do, do my own thing. I always said to Dean, I wanted to keep the magazine organic and keep producing fresh looks for each article we did, I would hate to just do a standard three text column layout, pasting the odd picture in, how boring. I take it as a massive compliment to even have my name mentioned in the same setting as someone like Gary, it shows me that we are really doing something people like. It’s also testament to what I am attempting with Shock, in regards to layout, when people like yourself take interest enough in my work to discuss it with me.

Chris:  I asked Dean this and i'll ask you, what are your thoughts on the current state of horror in Hollywood?
Jason: I think Hollywood level horror is pretty shocking right now. We are just getting slapped with remake after remake and the worst part is that now they have finished with the big franchises, they are now tackling the lesser known films, such as ‘Fright Night’, what next ‘Punk Rock Zombies’?!?! There is so much potential with horror at the moment, so many fantastic directors are appearing, such as Ti West, Adam Green, Michael Dougherty, James Wan and of course Rob Zombie (to name a few), why not give them a huge budget for an original project, rather than releasing another rubbish rom com with 50 different actors in based loosely around a seasonal event. I wouldn’t even mind the big four franchises getting some fresh films out, but enough remakes, enough origin stories, how many times can they re-launch a series. The worst part is, horror doesn’t even need a huge budget, it just needs to be fresh and challenging for it to work. That’s really where Hollywood gets it wrong, they want instant returns in this financial mess we are all in, new horror released around Halloween time will always give you a return, no question. They just got to let these guys off the leash. For good horror you have to wade through indy film after indy film to find a few decent ones, there are a few decent ones out there believe me! I do think Hollywood could learn a lot from the French and Spanish at the moment, but rather than making poor reproductions of their films, look to them for what can be achieved on a low budget! Rant over hahaha!

Chris:  Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Jason: Wow 10 years… I’d like to say alive, a few pounds lighter and still to be retaining my hair hahaha! Seriously tho, hopefully still working on Shock Horror, surely by then we would have taken over the horror world. I wouldn’t mind a few horror comics with my name attached to be out there as well. Other than that, I’m quite a simple man, I’d like to be (finally) married, have a couple more kids that I can mold into mini versions of me and just to still be providing for my family.

Chris:  Finally thank you for this interview Jason, and if you have any plugs or websites to talk about please do so now sir.

Jason: No thank you for wanting to interview me. It’s been fun! Well I’ll obviously push shockhorrormagazine.com and also my own art site which is truetilldeath.net
On my personal art site you can contact me for commissions etc. Also I am appearing in a zombie book coming out this year. Its huge! Literally, it has over 150 artists involved, with a lot of big names thrown in there. Its entitled ‘The Zombook’ and you can pre-order it from amazon.co.uk now!

Once again thank you for interview and thank you to everyone for reading Shock Horror!

Friday, June 15, 2012

My interview with the minds behind: Shock Horror Magazine (part 1) Dean Boor

I'm doing this in 2 parts as i'm interviewing Dean Boor (First) and Jason Miller (Second). So sit back and lets talk Shock Horror Magazine With Creator Dean Boor.

Chris:  Dean, Please tell my readers a little about yourself, where are you from?
 Dean: Many moons ago a genius scientist created life, Frankensteins Monster. One messy evening after a few jars and a vindaloo, said Monster took a visit to the gents to take a dump and gave birth to what would one day be the creator of Shock Horror Magazine!
  I've been a fan of Horror since a young boy when my older brothers made me watch Nightmare on Elm Street and Freddy invaded my nightmares, it all grew from there really. I'm a fan of Horror movies old and new, Horror ink, Horror bands, Horror comics - I love it all! Fun fact: the one film that still scares the crap out of me is The Exorcist, that film has something about it, it's evil! 

Chris:  I love the title of your Magazine, who came up with that title?

Dean:  If memory serves it was my wife that actually came up with the name when we were throwing ideas down for the new magazine, it worked and so it stuck. Glad you like it!

Chris:  Your magazine is the new kid on the block compared to established publications like Fangoria and Rue Morgue, who do you convince people to pick up your magazine over theirs?
Dean: I don't think it's a matter of convincing people to buy over the likes of Fango or Rue, I think if people love Horror they'll check us out for something different and then they'll continue to read us from there. Rue is a kick ass magazine that I'm a big fan of, I only hope that one day Shock Horror can be the UK equivalent.
 In some respects it's good to be the new kid on the block, people don't know what we're all about so there's that curiosity there. Come check us out Creeps! 

Chris:  Who inspired you to become a horror magazine publisher? 

Dean:  Gah that job title sounds swanky, I'm just a Horror geek in a Horror themed candy shop having fun!
 It didn't really kick off that way to be honest, I was working for another UK Horror Magazine that wasn't going the way I wanted and decided to leave. Shock Horror was born out of frustration that there was no decent UK Horror Magazine around at the time, and as a fan I wanted to create something UK Horror fans could enjoy. I guess if anyone inspired me to create Shock Horror Magazine it is other like minded Horror fans. 

Chris:  I love the layout of your magazine, do you do that all on your own or do you discuss it with your arts department? 

Dean:  I think that's one of the biggest compliments I always get, and it's down to Jason Miller and his talent - without him the magazine wouldn't look anywhere near as great as it does. Generally I'll send over Jay an article and he'll come up with an idea for the layout and we'll take it from there. Nine times out of ten he'll hit the nail on the head as we have a very similar vision of how the magazine should look. Jay is the man, I need him to knock me up a Shock Horror tattoo design actually.

Chris: What was your favourite horror movie growing up as a child? 

Dean:  My favourite Horror film growing up as a child would have been Nightmare on Elm street, I went out and got a 1428 tattoo I loved the film so much. The franchise had a huge influence on my love for the genre, that yellow school bus from the films still pops into my nightmares every now and then. There was an avalanche of Horror favourites from there, but the Nightmare on Elm street series is what started it all off for me.

Chris:  Being in the printing business, do you feel that the advent of the Nook and Kindle has hurt your medium or helped it? 

Dean:  Interesting question! To be honest because we are still relatively new and growing it hasn't really had an impact as we have nothing to base it against. If we had been going for ten years or so then the Kindle hit then it would be a different story. Technology has definitely had an impact on printed media, after all why pay to read a magazine when you can get it for free online? For me personally, and I guess with the readers of Shock Horror, we still buy printed media because we like to collect and hold something tangible. When I was a kid I'd spend ages in my local comic store, I love the smell of the comics and being able to collect, I don't think that ever left me and I'll still continue to buy magazines and comics. Once our generation is in the grave maybe that's it, but for now there's still value in being a geek!

Chris:  What are your thoughts on the current state of horror in Hollywood? 

 Dean: The obvious reply would be to start ripping into the remake nightmare! Hollywood fizzed out a long time ago, I don't know where originality went but it certainly wasn't Hollywood. I get more excited about small indie films now, the lower budget films that make films for the love of making films. The Adam Greens and the Ti Wests are the guys that are worth watching, forget Hollywood go pick up Hatchet and a copy of FEAST.

Chris:  A loaded question, what film do you truly feel deserves a remake for our generation?

 Dean: Haha what are you trying to do to me man?! Hmmm, I always think that a lot of kids TV shows from the 80's or 90's would be amazing Horror films. Don't hate me just yet! I mean do you remember 'Aaah!!! Real Monsters'? Imagine if you made a live action film of that, with Adam Green directing, notched it up to cert 18, lots of old school blood and gore. I'd pay to see that. In terms of movies that I think should be remade, I really can't think of any off the top of my head. Let's not hate all remakes though, John Carpenters The Thing is a remake and is one of the greatest Horror films in history!
Chris:  Thank you Dean for being so kind for allowing me to interview you, if you have any websites or plugs you'd like to make please do so now.
 Dean: No way dude thank you for taking time out for us, it's appreciated.
 Check out Shock Horror Magazine and what we are all about over at www.shockhorrormagazine.com and if you like what you see order us online or subscribe. If you like to social network hit us up on www.facebook.com/shockhorrormagazine and www.twitter.com/shockhorrormag

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A note about my interviews

  First i want to thank, Kevin Forte, Irenia Guajardo, Joe Garcia, Mars HomeWorld, Morbid Vision Films & Ray Garton for all being wonder interviewees and your all welcomed back for follow up questions in the future. I want to next thank all of you awesome people out there for reading my blog, and as i continue my interviews i've changed it slightly. I will now post one interview a week, and it'll be on Fridays.  I've lined up another array of great indie talent for you to feast you eyes upon and i hope you like the upcoming interviews as much as i did giving them.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My Interview With the Owner of: MORBID VISION FILMS

 A lot of you might not know who Morbid Vision Films is, but i can attest after this interview you'll want to go out and buy their DVDs.  So let's pick the brain of the man behind Morbid Visions Films.

Chris:      Brian, first please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from?

 Brian: I’m from Seekonk ,MA, which is a small town about ten minutes from Providence Rhode Island. This is where we shoot all of our movies for Morbid Vision Films. I have been obsessed with horror films since I first saw The Howling back when I was about thirteen years old. But even before that I was a kid who loved Halloween, ghosts, monsters and everything that was said to be lurking in the dark. I have always been fascinated by the unknown and the occult, which definitely inspires the kind of stories I like to tell.  Music is also very important to me. I have my own Black Metal project that I have been working on for years in which I will hopefully get around to recording some day.

Chris:  Who inspired you to become an indie horror filmmaker?

Brian: My interest was ignited the first time I saw the video Scream Great’s Vol.1 – Tom Savini back in the 1988. I thought it was a behind the scenes look at horror films, not realizing it was about a special make-up artist. Tom Savini’s work fascinated me so much that I started trying to learn how to do effects that weekend. I sold some expensive stuff and ordered everything I thought I needed to do make-up effects. The problem I had was that I quickly became bored with spending hours creating an effect then removing it after taking a few photos.
At this same time The Evil Dead had become my favorite movie and I was watched it over and over again. That movie inspired me to start writing and want to go beyond simply be a viewer and to take part some how. That’s when my friend Rich George and I started shooting short horror videos in 1990.

Chris :  Your films are always high on the blood and gore factor, do you pride yourselves on that as a company?

Brian: Absolutely. I’m proud of the fact that we have become known as one of the bloodiest film companies in America. It’s what got us noticed, especially after Unearthed Films signed us. I have always been a fan of extreme gore. I saw Peter Jackson’s BrainDead in the theater and it was one of the most fun theater experiences I have ever had. I enjoy shocking people and it’s fun to try to top ourselves with each movie. It’s amazing that we managed to build a fan base that waits to see what we are going to do next, and I think of them all the time while we make a movie. We could have finished shooting Cryptic Plasm by now, but I keep coming up with more over the top ideas and elaborate effects. And each effect is spewing over a gallon of blood on each take. We always do at least 2 or 3 takes each time. That is a lot of blood! We make movies to please the underground gore scene.

Chris:      You seem to get a lot of big name "indie talent" for your films, is that due to the high quality in your scripts?

Brian: It’s definitely not because of the scripts that’s for sure because I hardly ever have a finished one to show anyone! I’ve had the opportunity to meet quite a few people and people will usually get involved just from talking with them and asking them if they would be interested. If we ever get the opportunity to raise a budget we actually have the personal information of a lot of horror icons that said they would be in one of our films. It’s just a matter of being able to pay their fees, which we haven’t been able to do yet.

Chris:      For my readers out there dieing to get a look at your body of work, where can they a trailer or the like?

Brian:  Most of our trailers are uploaded on youtube. Cryptic Plasm, Bone Sickness, Fetus, BloodPigs are all there. As well as the foreign trailers for Bone Sickness. They can also go to our website and click on the trailers page at http://www.morbidvisionfilms.com

Chris:    As an indie horror director, what are your thoughts on the indie horror community versus that of Hollywood?

Brian:  That main difference is that the indie horror scene is more concerned with making a movie rather than churning out the latest assembly line product whose one goal is a big opening weekend. The indie horror scene is like one big fan community where the filmmakers themselves are fans as well and enjoy hanging out and talking movies with fellow horror fans. The indie horror scene has been a bit blurred now though with the internet, VOD, Netflix etc, because underground films are sitting right along side major films now.
Bone Sickness made it into three different major rental chains and was sitting right next to The Bone Collector on Hollywood Video’s shelves! I even received hate mail from people who were “20 year veterans of Hollywood” who were pissed at me because they thought I had no business being there when their “film” friends had 35mm films collecting dust in their closets. That was amusing.

Chris:      You do all your in house special effects, did you go to a school for that or learn it the classic way (on the job)?

Brian:  I actually learned most of the techniques by watching instructional videos. If you don’t have the money to go to a school, videos are a great learning tool. The best video I bought was called Michael Burnett’s Techniques of Special Make-up Effects Vol. 2. It taught you from start to finish how to create a facial foam latex appliance. I also signed up for Dick Smith’s Advanced Special Make-up Effects course and learned a lot. I had the opportunity to speak with Dick Smith on the phone a couple times. He is an extremely nice person.

Chris:      What is your main goal with your company, do you want to go bigger? 

Brian:  My main goal is to be able to make this company profitable enough to be able to turn making movies into a full time career, and for me to be able to hire my friends that volunteer their time to work as crew. I would love to go bigger because I have some ideas that are large scale and will take a lot more money to be able to pull off. As long as I am still free to make the kind of movies I want to make, there is no reason for us to stay underground. Movies should be seen by as many people as possible. If they can stomach them that is. The one thing I will never give in to though is using cgi for creatures and gore. Morbid Vision Films will always remain a practical effects company.

Chris:      What was your favorite movie, or movie monster tv show as a child?

Brian: Growing up in the early eighties in Massachusetts, we had Creature Double Feature on Boston’s Channel 56. This was the best show ever! Every Saturday afternoon I would be in front of the television set watching Godzilla, Daimajin, Gamera, War of the Gargantuas, Reptilicus! It was one of the best parts of my childhood that probably had a huge impact on what I do today. Godzilla vs the Smog Monster was probably my favorite movie that they played.

Chris:      Thank you for the interview Brian, if you have any websites or movies you'd like to plug now, please do so sir.

Brian:  Thank you for your interest! You can find us on Face Book under morbidvisionfilms and our dvds are for sale on Ebay and www.morbidvisionfilms.com And watch out for Cryptic Plasm to be released on dvd around Halloween 2012.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

My Interview With Mars Homeworld:Writer for Fangoria & Indie filmmaker

This is my interview with film composer (www.deadhousemusic.com) and Fangoria's SOUND SHOCK column writer, Mars Homeworld. So sit back, relax and enjoy this interview with one of horror's true geniuses.

Chris: Mars, please introduce yourself to my readers. Where are you from?

Mars: Greetings boils & ghouls! Mars here. I'm a film composer working in indy genre film ( Horror / Sci-Fi / Fantasy etc)  I'm from Auburn, California. Birthplace of Kane "Jason" Hodder, actually.

Chris: Mars, your a contributor to Fangoria, please tell me how that came about?

Mars: Fangoria editor Chris Alexander wanted a composer to interview other composers for the magazine, and he & I had known each other since meeting in Toronto in 2007. Thru our email correspondences, he felt I had a way with words. So, he gave me a shot at it.

Chris: You've done many musical scores on films, what do you prefer your writing or music?

Mars: Music definitely, music. It is something that (cheezy as it sounds) flows thru me day & night. I'm always writing in my head, so I really look forward to sitting down & getting those ideas out thru music. I don't really look forward to writing a column, although I have enjoyed doing the interviews, as it's a chance to talk shop with other musicians. Many of whom I admire quite a bit.

Chris: You also work or have worked at Rue Morgue as a reviewer, what are the differences between the way Fangoria runs things compared to Rue Morgue?

Mars: Well, I don't know much about how things are run on the business end. I think RM is a really high quality magazine, and I was honored to write music reviews for them, but Fangoria gives me a bigger stylistic canvas, and a MUCH bigger word count to work within.

Chris: Your currently working on a film project can you please tell us a little something about it?

Mars: Sure. TRANSCENDENT, it is a short film that I've written, directed, produced and will score the music for as well. It's influenced by the story "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" by H.P.Lovecraft, who is my favorite horror author. It's about a woman who lives here life feeling like an outsider, and one day she hears the call of the ocean , and she goes on a journey to become a new life form. The film Stars Cassie Mosher and Teal Sherer (best known as "Venom" from THE GUILD), with guest appearances by Cleve "Monsterman" Hall, as well as Horror & Sci-Fi journalist Staci Lane Wilson. The film is black & white and mostly silent, but does feature music. It's a very old school approach we're taking with it, and we will even have a latex creature make-up instead of CGI, so I'm very happy about that.

Chris: As a multi talented artist, who are some of your biggest influences growing up?

Mars: I was a musician from a very young age, so there are all those influences (Rush, Sabbath, film composers like Richard Band, and Basil Poleodouris, great hardcore bands like Bad Brains, and early death metal like Celtic Frost, Morbid Angel, thru the early wave of Norwegian Black Metal like Mayhem, Enslaved, Emperor, as well as brilliant solo artists like Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, Tom Waites, Leonard Cohen..etc...LOTS of great , diverse stuff , but I also painted,drew, and was interested in film and many of the artistic aspects involved in that kind of creativity. So, H.R. Giger, Wendy Pini, Richard Corben as well as artists like Hieronymus Bosch, and DaVinci. For directors: Fulci,Bava, Jean Rollin, Romero...the list is just too huge.

Chris:  What are your thoughts on the current state of horror right now in Hollywood?

Mars: Hollywood? Awful. Just truly piss poor, unimaginative and recycled crap.
There are wonderful, and excite\ing things happening in indy -horror though, and THAT is what keeps me coming back to this genre I've loved since childhood.

Chris: If you had the chance to work with any composer living or dead, who would it be and why?

Mars: Wow, that's a tough one to answer. I would gain so much from that kind of collaboration, and I'm sure I'd learn different things from different people. Obviously someone like Mozart would kick my ass and just take me to school in such a way, that I'd probably just crawl into a hole....so, maybe someone more modern. I'd like to work with Brian Tyler I think. I've met him a few times, and he seems a really cool guy. He's done film scores I love Like BUBBA NOSFERATU, and he came from a rock background just like I did.

Chris:  As we stated before, your working on a film, is there a website that people can find a trailer for it, or help donate to it?

Mars: Yessir. We've just hit our goal for completion $ on Kickstarter, but if anyone wants to pre-order a poster (drawn by Dungeons & Dragons /Star Wars artist Mike Dubish), DVD, or get their hands on a prop from the film, they can go to:

For the next 5 days to make a donation. After that , there will be a donation link (paypal) on the film's website: www.transcendentfilm.com

Chris:  Finally sir, i want to thank you very much for your time as i know your a busy man, do you have any websites or plugs you'd like to make before we leave you?

Mars: You're very welcome Chris, I've enjoyed it. Keep the Metal BLOODY!

I'd like to thank everyone who has donated to TRANSCENDENT already, as they're helping bring independent film to life.
I'm scoring a documentary called MEN IN SUITS for WYRD Studios , and that is all about those wonderful actors that work in elaborate monster/creature make-up. Doug Jones (PANS LABRINTH, HELLBOY) , Tom Woodruff Jr (ALIENS), Camden Toy (BUFFY), Haruo Nakajima (THE original GODZILLA!) Are in it.
Here is the trailer:
And I'm working with Wendy Pini (creator of the legendary ELFQUESTcomic) on a Musical version of Poe's MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH. It's a very unique adaptation, and we hope to bring something new to Broadway with it. It will mark the heaviest music to ever play to that kind of audience, as well as be a genre-defining show in it's depiction of gay lead characters, and it is going to be a bloodbath in the last act. Here is an animatic that shows what we have in mind:
And the rest of my projects, and films coming up can be seen at

Thank Chris!

My Interview with Indie Filmmaker & Author: Irenia Guajardo

Today’s interview is with fellow co-writer of Succubus: The Beginning, writer, independent filmmaker and dear friend Irenia Guajardo. I hope you enjoy how candid and sometimes uncensored she gets about her work, creative interests and the horror industry as a whole. Sit back, relax, don’t look over your shoulder and enjoy this really cool interview

C.W: Irenia, can you let my audience know a little about yourself for example: where are you from and so forth?

I.G: Well, I was sprouted in Salinas, California. I say sprouted because I could have been an experiment, but then again I have transplanted to different regions of the West Coast from Southern California to Mountain Home, Idaho…then moving to Central U.S known as Wisconsin…land of cheese.

C.W: You've stated before in a previous interview that you started out writing in another genre, but changed because life related situations that led you into Horror. My question is would you ever return back to your original genre?

I.G: There has always been an underlying love for horror ever since I watched Alien and wanted one so it could eat my mother. Yet, I would love to write a fantasy novel or stories because of the fact it is another genre of horror. Horror is described as something appalling….and yet even fantasy can have some undertones of horror. Maybe one day, if I fall in love again…maybe I would write fantasy full-time, but until than I have tons of story ideas that are horror related.

C.W: You have made it known that you are a single mother. Do you find it difficult as an indie artist juggling your craft and raising a child?

I.G: Raising a child in a regular single parent environment can be hectic. I do mean a single parent, no family or boyfriend/partner assistance but you by yourself juggling life and raising a child. Let’s add creative projects on top of that. It can be very stressful, but it’s worth it. I want to be her hero. I want her to understand that despite me being a single parent I’m not giving up on my dreams. Yes, times are difficult but I want her to look back and realize that demented ass mom never gave up. We already have a tight ass bond even though we butt heads, but she has already proven to be extremely creative. She is my accidental miracle…and I wouldn’t trade her for the world.

C.W: What are your thoughts on the current climate of horror films in Hollywood?

I.G: Sad as it is, there is a lot more action and less suspense. People want to see the creature…want to know why the place is haunted. In a day and age where people are debunking shit because of science…no one is going by “it’s the way it is-pure fucking evil” scenario. I love Japanese horror because they explain things by story and even though I don’t understand a damn word they are saying, I still enjoy the suspense in it. Of course America has to remake shit, redo shit and reboot shit. It’s a lot of “re” in their life because they have gone with the easy proven market. Every horror movie has the same predictable pattern. A “proven formula”. I actually find more fun in the cheaper, badly done movies that Hollywood produces versus the high octane, massive explosives and no story-line or repetitive story. But at the same time no matter what people will pour their hard earned money into 3D and not realize that every $15 ticket they shell out that they are fucking up their eyes.

C.W: What author, filmmaker or other artist really inspired you to become a horror writer/filmmaker?

I.G: It was actually a variety of artists. Ridley Scott with his Alien and how fucking awesome the set looked. Clive Barker’s demented mind to produce classics like “Hellraiser” and to let people know that only we are limited by our imagination. Stephen King’s descriptive words to bring you into the book as if you were part of the action. Allen Poe’s dark poetic world that was more psychological thriller than gore. Giger’s beautiful other worldly creatures that he produced to even inspire Ridley Scott and many other people. It takes one artist to be our trailblazer to teach us to blaze our own trail. Granted, I was also inspired by my daughter’s father, Trevor Murray who simply believed in me when I didn’t so he is in the list of inspirational artists since he is an indie actor/director.

C.W: What are your thoughts on the use of CGI effects versus the classic use of Practical effects?

I.G: Oh this a tough one, because I have seen some fucking awesome digital effects that can blow your mind. Of course there is practical effects that can also shatter your perspective in well constructed sets and awesome creatures. But like everything there is the bad side to this….using CGI but you can tell it’s badly created like 75% of the films out there and of course some badly done practical effects that can show a werewolf like a bunch of shag carpet attached to each other. I guess I’m a perfectionist….if you are going to use one or the other make sure it looks as natural as possible…even if that means you need to take a digital arts course to help. I love practical effects but if it can be enhanced with digital effects to make even a more superb film. I’m for it.

C.W: I know you have mentioned that you are both a writer and soon-to-be filmmaker. Would you be willing to divulge some of your projects?

I.G: Actually I consider myself more of as an Indie artist because I haven’t confined myself to just writing and my aspirations of being behind a camera. I’m a very creative individual. I have finished writing my third set of children’s stories/manuscripts, but I am going to attempt to draw two of the children manuscripts: The Maple Leaf story that is somewhat based on myself in letting go of the branch and allowing myself to float with life. There is also my daughter’s inspirational demented caterpillar story, which will be more credited to her with a series and some other hand crafted projects that will be associated with Hellmouth Creations.

There is my different variety of stories that I write from short that will be going to a series called Dementia Twisted Tales. I have an already self-published tale called “The Devil’s Hand” that will be placed in to this 13-piece collection. I’m also finishing up on my werewolf novella and returning to an old love called “The Gathering” and making that my official break out novel

The second art of my writing is the screenplays that I am writing that includes “The Final Offense”, a commissioned script, along with my campy horror movie script that has no working title yet and a couple of short scripts that I would be filming eventually.

As for filming, I will be filming my first feature film called Rejection in Wisconsin along with my short-short film called Side Effects.

Of course I’m just giving the tip of my fucked up 13-layers of what I’m working on.

C.W: To dig further into your projects, what is your first feature film about?

IG: Rejection is about a reclusive, shy aspiring fantasy romance novelist that wanted to create the next best selling romantic novel, but her true aspirations was to be traditionally published. Despite what her friends and family thought she kept meeting rejection letter after another. Yet that wasn’t the only thing rejected her in life, but past lovers and even indirectly by her friends. She was given a challenge by filmmaker, Cory J. Udler, who happens to be playing himself to create a script that harbors some life experiences and he will film it. The catch is not to write anything fluffy or romantic. A simple challenge turns into an unknowing pleasure into her dark side resulting the removal of those that have hurt her in the past.

C.W: What is your ultimate goal you hope to achieve?

I.G. My ultimate goal is to be able to smoothly produce my projects without all the stress that I have been going through and to let others know that they can follow their dreams despite the horrors of their past. To see my daughter blaze her own trail because her mother never accepted defeat even though I have wanted to throw in the towel

C.W: Most people find the movie business a magical place where "dreams" come true, please shed some light on the process of filmmaking for anyone that's interested in entering the field.

I.G: One, I would slap the stardust out of their eyes. If you want to know the true business it’s sometimes a one-man show. You may have to do things that you may not want to do like Robert Rodriguez who participated in a medical research where he got injections in his back to fund his movie. If you are going to enter the filmmaking business you have to have passion for your craft. You could be that success story, but then again-those success stories happened because they wrote a commercial quality script. Yes, you can still be a success and write a bad script, get some past A-lister actors attached to your project and broadcast it on Syfy, but again…do you want to be remembered as lower than a B-list director/producer/writer that wouldn’t be taken seriously. Once you become an A-list director/producer/writer, you can write what ever the hell you want. Yet success isn’t overnight. It’s hard work, but if you are aiming for money and glory because your eyes are filled with stardust. Wake up!! Tons of directors, producers, directors or even actors starved before they achieved their dreams.

Granted making a movie is hard work. If you are going to make a movie with a creature in it, but are limited on funds. Learn your craft from monster making to digital effects to editing your film. Become friends with those that share your passion. You may become friends with an aspiring creature maker and if you pay for his supplies, gas or maybe even help him a bit-they may assist you. Yet don’t always rely on having friends with talents.

Remember it’s a learning process. Keep your first feature film simple or even practice on shorts. The more practice you get the better you’ll be. The main thing is…have passion…love and don’t rely on others telling you what you can or can’t do. It’s like having a child…either you keep it or abort it. The choice is always yours. But like having a child there is going to be lots of sleepless nights, frustrations, stress and yet in the end it will be the best thing ever to happen to you.

C.W: Do you have any plugs that you would like to make?

I.G: Well I have several plugs that I would love to make. One I’m not going to insert myself into a medical research because I’m a single mother, but you can make a donation to help fund my directorial debut to either rejectionthemovie.blogspot.com where there is a paypal donation button or to the indiegogo page at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/104009 and there is my fan page at Facebook.com/hellzwriter which is connected to my twitter account of the same name of hellzwriter.

C.W: Irenia, thank you for time.

I.G: Anytime for Fat Man…