w w w. l i v i n g d e a d m a g a z i n e . c o m
legends of horror John Carpenter Sara Karloff Tom Savini Svengoolie Michael Berryman Fangoriaâ€™s
s a A m d o e h r T ur e t a n n e i F ha i l l t Na M
“It’s as much fun to scare as to be scared.” –– Vincent Price I have to admit that when we decided to do a “Legends of Horror” issue, it wasn’t because we thought it would be a big seller or a fan favorite. We did it for purely selfish reasons—we all had a list of people we had been dying to interview and bombard with a diary full of questions, and the horror kid in us just squealed at the chance to put it all together into one huge issue. It’s not even the people we interviewed that makes this issue exciting—it is the unique way we went about showcasing the guests, the not so obvious questions we asked and the surprising answers we got that made this issue one to put into our horror spank banks. Things you should not expect in this issue are the standard film questions, the standard photos, the standard artwork and PG language. If you want to hear another story about Michael Berryman on the set of The Hills Have Eyes, this isn’t the issue for you. But if John Franklin celebrates the 30th you want to hear about what life was Anniversary of Children of the Corn like for Michael growing up, his advice to kids being bullied and about why we chose him to be our very first “Scarer Who Cares,” then you will absolutely love this issue and hopefully want to add it to your “keep forever” horror collection. And if you want to read yet another story about Butch Patrick growing up on The Munsters, again, not the issue for you. But we do have this really great story about him growing up in a haunted house that his grandma owned, and then over 40 years later his attempt to save the house and start monthly paranormal/horror weekends there. From Sara Karloff to Jack Ketchum and Tom Savini to Svengoolie, we cover the spectrum of horror legends—horror hosts to makeup artists and directors to authors. As a lifestyle horror magazine, we wanted to showcase everyone “killing it” in the horror field, not just the talents in the film genre. We want to thank all of you for getting us through each issue and proving to us and the world that print is far from dead. I personally just can’t read magazines in digital format— it does nothing for me and even though we offer digital format, I am being truthful when I say, you will never get the full effect of how beautiful and impressive this magazine is until you see it in print format. It isn’t a magazine you want to give away, let alone throw away. The print quality is just too good. As with every issue, we just hope you fans love it as much as we do. We have so much fun doing every issue, despite the long long hours and no pay, and we hope it shows in our writing and layouts how much we love horror and the community who embraces us time and time again. So cheers to celebrating the legends, and maybe one day many years from now, we will still be around and be worthy of making someone else’s horror legend list. So, from everyone here at Living Dead Magazine, “Welcome to the Living Dead Family! Where zombies are created from toxic waste, vampires only come out at night, women are pale skinned with big ta-tas squeezed into tiny black dresses, real men carry machetes, and we always have someone….I mean something, cooking in the kitchen for when you arrive.”
Deanna Uutela Editor-in-Chief
Editor-in-Chief Deanna Uutela Sales
& Marketing director James R. Beach
Creative Director Miss Mandible Assistant to the editor Lisa Burchell Columnists Gary Castleberry Tim Attuquayefio Jeff Dean Erin Kerley Jesus Figueroa Michael “Dedman” Jones Matt Majeski Robert Poole Nowal Massari (ZeeGee) Queenie Thayer Melissa Thomas GUEST WRITERS Erika Instead Kino McFarland Miss Mandible Debby Dodds Tiffany Scandal Amanda Rebholz Trevor Nordgren Copy Editor Ashley Rask Cover Art “30th Anniversary - Nightmare on Elm Street” by featured artist Nathan Thomas Milliner Living Dead Magazine Issue #4 would not have been possible without the generous contributions and support from our fans; the promotional assistance of Lisa Burchell; all of the amazing photographers and models who sent us their work; and our dead sexy models, The Living Dead Girls. Living Dead Magazine is published 6 times a year with schedule available on our website and accepts no responsibilities for unsolicited manuscripts, photos, art or other materials. Freelance submissions accompanied by S.A.S.E. will be seriously considered, and, if necessary, returned. For Advertising Information, Contact: James R. Beach, firstname.lastname@example.org Entire contents copyright Living Dead Magazine 2014. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Printed In The United States By: Keness - Homestead, PA USA
Send Submissions To Living Dead Magazine 10055 NE Weidler St. Portland, OR 97220 email@example.com
Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Nightmare on elm street
actor butch patrick saves Haunted family home
Texas frightmare weekend review
6 news of the dead
clive barker’s "midnight meat train special anniversary edition"
9 Stalker’s Corner
five questions with a legend : john carpenter
14 staff flick picks
an interview with special effects master tom savini
16 the gospel of gore :
featured artist : Nathan thomas milliner
Frankenstein’s daughter : Sitting down with sara karloff
an interview with funny man / horror host, Svengoolie
introducing the expendables of horror : Smothered
book review : Max hawthorne’s kronos rising
catching up with fangoria’s editor-in-chief, chris alexander
getting cozy with horror author jack ketchum
actor john franklin talks about his new graphic novel--prime cuts
Actor thomas dekker’s all grown up rocking the horror scene
B-Movie Reviews with the rev jeff jugular
18 new column : scarers who care 22 It Came From Kickstarter 36 Monster Makers 40 Bitchin’ Babe of the Month
on tour with The koffin kats
vampira & Me, a brand new documentary about the woman behind the first horror host
50 new column : t-shirt reviews by melissa 64 comics from the crypt with tim attuquayefio
74 indie horror tv spotlight slasher studios 78 galleria macabre
Every Town Has an Elm Street
Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of a Legendary Series by Michael ‘Dedman’ Jones
A series that was sprung from the mind of Wes Craven in 1984, the Nightmare on Elm Street (NOES) series and the character of Freddy Krueger have left an incredible mark not only in the horror genre, but also across many different mediums in everyday life. While people may enjoy hashing over whether Jason, Michael, Leatherface, Pinhead or Ash could ever take down Freddy in a fight, one thing is for certain, Freddy—perhaps more than any other horror character—has transcended the horror genre and has clawed his way into mainstream life. Even after 30 years, Freddy is the face you still fear when you drift off to sleep at night. Whether it be the witty one-liners he throws at his victims right before their gruesome demise, or the complexity of his kills, his character has always had a certain swagger about him that has made him one of the horror genre’s enduring legends.
We thank Freddy for 30 years of awesomeness, and we thank Robert Englund for being so good at his craft that we still can’t see his face without recalling that iconic Freddy grin. We want to celebrate the 30th anniversary of NOES by recalling our favorite Freddy moments, if this were The Oscars sappy music would be playing right now while a slideshow of NOES clips flash by you on a Jumbotron, as the crowd oohs and aahs. But this isn’t The Oscars, and we don’t have budget for an iPad let alone a Jumbotron—guess you will just have to use your imagination.
FAVORITE FREDDY QUOTES
FAVORITE FREDDY KILLS
“Where’s your pass?” “Screw your passssssss.”
Part I : Tina Gray dragged across the ceiling, and the Blood Geyser
“How’s this for a wet dream, Joey?” “Told ya comic books was bad for ya!”
Part III : Phillip’s marionette death
“Welcome to prime time, bitch!”
Nancy Thompson in Dream Warriors, because come on—the Final Girl dying? Epic.
Freddy to Tina: “This... is God,” as he shows his claw.
Roach Motel Squash
We started Living Dead Magazine not only to showcase all of the amazing horror work and businesses being created every day, but because we are huge fan boys and girls who worship and respect horror actors and directors who have perfected their craft. So when these same celebs respond back with the same respect and love that we shower upon them, it is something to be proud of that we just have to share! And we want to hear from you too, got a fan photo of yourself with our merch or magazine? Please don’t be shy to send it our way and we will share the pic in our next issue:
l i v i n g d eadm agazine@ g mail.com
Yes folks, under all of the makeup and blood that actor Bill Mosely usually dons in horror films, Bill is one cleancut, nice guy who loves his fans.
Actress Linnea Quigley is just as sexy and fun off screen as she is on. Here we are posing with her at Frightmare Weekend with the “Women in Horror” issue she was featured in.
We were thrilled to review the monster surf rock group The Alder Kings in our Supernatural/Paranormal issue of Living Dead. To show their appreciation the theatrical bandmates took this promotional shot with the issue they were featured in.
Tom Savini may be the hardest working guy in the horror biz, but even with a busy schedule of directing, acting, teaching, and writing, he still took time out to do an interview in this issue “Legends of Horror.”
Iconic actor and horror fan favorite Tom Noonan of The House of the Devil, The Monster Squad, and most recently the television show Hell on Wheels, shows his love for Living Dead. Stay tuned for more from Mr. Noonan in future issues!
NEWS OF THE DEAD Est. 2013
By Living Dead’s Lady Terminator (Erika Instead)
LEGENDS OF HORROR
The Night He Came Home! The eerie flickering glow of the jack-o’-lantern, John Carpenter’s instantly recognizable synth score, the first-person perspective of the killer’s voyeuristic view, a kitchen knife clenched in his tiny fist. This, of course, is the opening sequence of the 1978 film, Halloween. Not only did it firmly place the legendary character of Michael Myers forever in our pop-culture collective mind, but it spawned its own franchise with legions of fans and inspired numerous slasher films to follow suit in the years after its debut. Now, thanks to the combined forces of Anchor Bay Entertainment and Scream Factory, fans can take home every Halloween film made. The definitive, Blu-ray box set, Halloween: The Complete Collection is available in both a limited edition, 15-disc deluxe set as well as a 10-disc version. For more details about all the fantastic features included in this phenomenal collection, check out anchorbayentertainment.com and get ready to bring Michael home September 23rd!
One of us! One of us! Gooble-gobble, gooble-gobble! FX’s anthology series, American Horror Story, appears to be following in the footsteps of Todd Browning’s classic 1932 horror film Freaks with its upcoming fourth season, “Freak Show.” Set in Jupiter, Florida during the 1950’s, it stars series regular, Jessica Lange, as a German ex-pat managing one of the few remaining freak shows left in the country, and Sarah Paulson, as the two-headed sideshow woman. “Freak Show” introduces newcomers Michael Chiklis (The Shield) and brings back many familiar faces from previous seasons including Kathy Bates, Evan Peters, Angela Bassett and Frances Conroy. Get your freak on with American Horror Story: Freak Show’s premiere Wednesday, Oct. 15 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on FX. And watch out for our own special ode to the history of freak and geek shows in our October issue.
Welcome To My Nightmare! The Godfather of shock rock, iconic musician Alice Cooper, will be creeping into your nightmares this fall in an ongoing comic book series that shares his name. Joe Harris, screenwriter for The Tripper and comic book writer for The X-Files: Season 10, will be expanding the macabre mythology behind Cooper’s legendary persona. The storyline has Cooper not only rockin’ his dark stage theatrics, but inflicting nightmares upon the deserving in his role as The Lord of Nightmares. Alice Cooper : Issue #1 will be available September 3 from Dynamite Entertainment. Look for it online, in comic book stores near you and in your nightmares.
REAL-LIFE HAUNTED HISTORY By Nowal Massari
Butch Patrick is best known for growing up in the spooky house on Mockingbird Lane. However, little Eddie Munster is no stranger to the unexplained, as he spent summers in his grandmother’s real-life haunted house. The Victorian style Macon, Missouri home is said to house 13 spirits, though Butch himself never ran into any of them, probably because he was too busy playing outside. However, his grandmother and sister, Michele, had their fair share of encounters. In an interview with paranormal consultant Bonnie Vent, Michele said that she always felt safe in her grandmother’s home, despite frequent sightings of a mournful looking woman in a long dress. In an interview with FOX411, Butch said that he would visit the house even after his grandmother had passed, driving by every 20 years or so just to check in. Upon his last drive-by he discovered that the house was in foreclosure and revealed, “It was close to being wrecked, so what I’m doing right now is working with banks to try and save it, and lo and behold, we found out it’s haunted.” I had the chance to speak with Butch about his old family home and get an update on what his plans are.
Living Dead Magazine: So, the last time we spoke you mentioned that the house was going up for auction. Any news? Butch Patrick: It hasn’t come to auction yet. We’re still waiting patiently for the banks to do whatever they need to do to get their paperwork in order, or the owners to sign off on it. It’s been two years now that we’ve been waiting. But it should happen soon, we’re hoping it’ll happen within the next 30–60 days LDM: I know you had said that originally you thought about turning the house into a haunted bed and breakfast, but decided against it. What plans do you have now? BP: Yeah, B&Bs are too much work. We decided now that every six to eight weeks we are going to have a mixer on the property—invite people from around the country to do a meet and greet, show some movies, talk and swap ghost stories, do whatever.
BP: During that 72 hour period, I’ll record six of my radio shows that will be syndicated— utilizing the guests’ presence, their stories and their input into “Music from the Other Side.” It’s going to be my hook for the syndicated music show about dead musicians. While he didn’t elaborate on the ghosts that reside inside, I wouldn’t be surprised if he allowed small groups to investigate the home in the future. With a lot of love and determination, fans of his can expect seriously spooky fun as soon as he gets the house ready to party. In the meantime, the actor is working on a “coffin table book” that will feature fan stories of The Munsters.
Be sure to check out his website (munsters.com) and his Facebook page (facebook.com/Butchpatricktoo) for all the latest news and his appearance schedule.
LDM: Would it be a one day/all day thing or an entire weekend of fun? BP: We’d feed them lunch and dinner, let them find housing in the town and charge $150 for the weekend—Friday, Saturday and Sunday—to hang around. LDM: That sounds like a really good time. Any other plans for these spooky weekend mixers?
STALKER'S CORNER by Tiffany Scandal Welcome to Stalker’s Corner where we openly creep out and obsess about what’s new with celebs, artists, shows, body parts and anything else that makes our pants tight and our hearts stop. For this “Legends of Horror” issue we update you on the film that brought us the queen of all bitches Alien.
The Loss of a Legendary Artist The world might still be stuck in a bubble of stereotypical aliens dressed as little green men if not for the imagination and talent of artist/sculptor H.R. Giger, whom is best known for designing the iconic “Xenomorph” in the Alien movie franchise. This sexually terrifying creature was based on a print from Giger’s 1977 book Necronomicon, which inspired director Ridley Scott during the planning phases and influenced his decision to hire Giger on to produce concept art for the film. Giger passed this May 2014 at the age of 74, but like he eloquently stated in an interview with Blick, “I do not want to live again. Once is enough. It’s also all so terribly exhausting. But, even if I’m gone, my art lives on. I’m glad, and I hope that it finds recognition in future generations.” Giger’s work continues to be shown in exhibitions around the world and its popularity is far from waning. We thank you for your huge contribution to the sci-fi and horror world Mr. Giger, and we hope to meet you one day painting the walls of horror heaven!
New Video game "Alien : Isolation” A first-person survival horror stealth game developed by The Creative Assembly and published by SEGA. The game is set in 2137 and follows Amanda as she searches for her mother (Ellen Ripley). Little does she know, there’s an Alien aboard the ship. This is not an action-shooter game -- you have to use stealth tactics to survive. The Alien onboard cannot be killed and has been programmed to actively hunt the player by sight, sound and smell. Intense, huh? You can crouch behind crates, hold your breath, MacGuyver weapons for self-defense, and hack into computers to detect the Alien’s activity. The game was stylized after Ridley Scott’s original Alien and is even said to bring together the voices of the original cast and crew, which hasn’t been done in decades. Alien: Isolation is slated for an October 7, 2014 release.
alien ‘nostromo’ Toy Collection Titan has teamed up with 20th Century Fox to bring us Alien TITANS: The Nostromo Collection, a twelve-piece collection of vinyl figurines featuring Ash, Ellen Ripley, Brett, Dallas, Lambert, Parker and the various evolutionary stages for Alien (two of which, the Facehugger and Chestburster, depict Kane as the victim. Easy favorites). The figures will be blind-boxed, and the collection will feature four hidden chase figures. Alien TITANS will be available for preorder through Diamond and Entertainment Earth (US), and through Forbidden Planet (UK). Figures should drop in stores January 2015. LIVINGDEADMAGAZINE.COM
The Pros of Cons your guide to the season of horror
by kino mcfarland
In the United States, fall is Horror Season with haunted houses opening their doors again, spooky décor being placed on store shelves, horror marathons running on TV, and all of the major horror releases of the year (whether it be games, books, movies, or new seasons of our favorite shows) come out. It is the equivalent of Christmas for the disturbed in society. So what better time than autumn to meet your favorite horror icons and attend some of the maddest monster parties of the year? From September through November, we can pack your schedule with vampires, zombies, maniacs, and the people that make them absolutely alluring.
Son of Monsterpalooza
September 5-7 • Indianapolis, IN
September 12-14 • Lexington, KY
September 12-14 • Burbank, CA
Jason Patric (The Lost Boys), Larry Cohen (It’s Alive Trilogy), Mads Mikkelson (Hannibal), Edward Hermann (The Lost Boys), Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead), Robert Maillet (The Strain) and more will be in attendance. There will be panels, a film festival, vendors, and a pajama dance party featuring a live performance by Harley Poe.
Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings), Corey Feldman (The Lost Boys), Jamison Newlander (The Lost Boys), Jake Busey (The Frighteners), Catherine Hicks (Child’s Play), guests from Ghost Hunters, and a number of vendors and entertainers in costume will be in attendance. Events include gaming, film festivals, a costume ball and contest, and even a ghost hunt in the historic Kentucky Theatre.
Guests include Angus Scrimm (Phantasm I-V), Don Coscarelli (Phantasm I-V), Gunnar Hansen (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Teri McMinn (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Lori Cardille (Day of the Dead), and Bela Lugosi Jr. They will also have films to watch, a Miss Dead Bikini Pageant, a costume contest, original artwork by Clive Barker and more.
Mad Monster Shadow over Seattle October 3-5 • Seattle, WA
Nell Campbell (Rocky Horror Picture Show), Patricia Quinn (Rocky Horror Picture Show), Barry Bostwick (Rocky Horror Picture Show), Chris Sarandon (Fright Night), Stephen Geoffreys (Fright Night), and Peter Criss (KISS) will all be gracing the Emerald City with their presence.
Walker Stalker Con
October 17-19 • Atlanta, GA
November 1-2 • Phoenix, AZ
This convention has a huge guest list that includes many stars from The Walking Dead such as Chandler Riggs, David Morrissey, Jon Bernthal, Michael Rooker, and more. Also in attendance will be The Vampire Diaries stars, Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley.
Theodus Crane (The Walking Dead), Ken Foree (Dawn of the Dead), Oliver Robins (Poltergeist), Debbie Rochon (Tromeo and Juliet), and Mark Torgl (The Toxic Avenger) will all be at this event. Stay for feature films, short films, and a paranormal investigation! LIVINGDEADMAGAZINE.COM
Texas Frightmare Weekend Setting the Standards in Goretainment By Editor-in-chief, Deanna Uutela With the sponsors of the weekend, Fangoria’s Editor-in-Chief Chris Alexander, and Marketing Director Rebekah McKendry
With artist Gary Pullin
My assistant, Lisa Burchell and I left the safety of our vegan comfort food loving, Cosby sweater wearing Portland, Oregon last May to go to the rough and tumble, good ol’ boy state of Texas to cover Frightmare Weekend. Being a serious fly-by-the-seat-ofmy-pencil-skirt type of gal, I hadn’t gotten reservations at any hotel after our original plans fell through, and so getting off the plane at almost midnight I was just hoping that the fellow horror fan I had met on Facebook was still going to allow us to bunk with him and that he had no intentions of recreating his own horror film moments using us as his victims. The horror gods shown down pleasurably upon us once again, luckily, and our roommate not only had the free bed he had promised us in the hotel where the convention was being held, but he was a wonderful comrade and kindred spirit the entire weekend. After a good night sleep and coffees in hand, we were off to explore the scenery and everything Frightmare had to offer us in the following days. First of all, the Hyatt where the convention is held in is just fantastic—really nice rooms, the absolute friendliest and helpful staff and the perfect layout for a convention of this size. The Hyatt also has a decent sized bar and restaurant, a large pool/lounging area outside and huge nicely lit screening and vendor rooms with comfortable chairs. I don’t think I could ever go to Frightmare and not stay at the Hyatt. They spoiled us so much that they have ruined us for any other hotel. In order to prepare for and accommodate the thousands of people attending Frightmare, the Hyatt even comes up with a Frightmare Weekend themed menu with a handful of delicious options all with some sort of horror inspired name attached to them. My only complaints would be that it gets quite spendy simply eating (we ended up eating an actual meal only once a day), the choices sound less and less appealing after three days of only this one menu, and as much as I enjoy meat, I also love vegetables, and I found out it strange that besides one very sugary sounding salad, they didn’t have any vegetarian options on the menu.
With the Twisted Twins, The Soska Sisters
But food aside, everything was just perfect at Frightmare. Friday is always less traffic than the rest of the weekend, so we just got to walk around connecting with old friends (John Kassir, Linnea Quigley, Fangoria crew) and connecting with wonderful new ones (Soska Sisters, Tom Savini, Gary Pullin, Bill Moseley). It was the perfect start to the weekend just being able to get the interviews, connect with vendors and take in all the fans and parties that Frightmare has to offer. I’ve got to say, I have been to quite a few conventions, and this is the first one where as press I was treated as royalty. Fans were happy to see us and wanted to know who we worked for, horror guests were gracious and appreciated the coverage and the Frightmare staff made sure we had good seats at screenings and the front row at panels. It was everything I wish every convention could be like. My absolute favorite people I met at Frightmare weren’t even any of the guests—it was Frightmare creator Lloyd Cryer and longtime Frightmare hostess extraordinaire Deb Burke. I have always heard about southern hospitality, but I somehow figured that wouldn’t apply to the confines of the convention walls. Boy was I wrong. Deb in particular immediately embraced us with her sweet southern charm, gorgeous smile and an accent that made me want to crawl into a fetal position and rock back and forth to sleep to the gentle tone of my adopted horror mommy. She helped us with every question, every concern, every hair out of place was fixed, and she did it all with that glorious charm and smile. I want to go back to Frightmare just to hang out with Deb again. But speaking of horror celebs, they were there, and believe me Frightmare Weekend does not skimp on the crowd favorites (Bill Moseley, Tom Savini, Linda Blair), impressive reunions (Terminator crew) and the biggies (George Romero). The most refreshing part for me was the fact that celebs weren’t quarantined off in little booths with handlers who glared at you and lines that weaved around like at the freaking DMV. Celebs were behind tables, just like the vendors—easily approachable, easily accessible, smiles on their faces and no evil volunteers yelling at you
Fear Clinic cast and fans representing at a Frightmare Weekend panel discussion to move along because you were apparently staring at the guest for too long. It is also perfectly normal to see horror guests wandering around the convention looking at vendors, hanging out at the bar, enjoying a film screening and even talking it up with fans after hours. The artists and vendors there were also the best, and it was difficult to walk out of that weekend without selling your soul and the clothes off your back just to fund your horror lifestyle. Some of my favorite vendors there were artist/guest Gary Pullin, Kitty Korvette Perfumes, Kreepsville 666 and Rooster Republic Press who had some fantastic reads there like the ever popular Tall Tales with Short Cocks. In-between talking with fans, taking absurd pics with guests, spending way too much and eating massive amounts of chips and cheese, we managed to sneak in some film screenings, guest panels and parties. Finally getting to see the highly anticipated Billy Pon film Circus of the Dead amongst a huge crowd of enthusiastic horror fans was one of the highlights of the weekend, as was the Fear Clinic panel, that might of started an hour late but made it well worth our time by providing an abundance of sneak peeks and insider tidbits that you would never get outside of this convention. The parties are definitely better than the majority of lame zombie proms and costume balls that most conventions try to push off as fun for fans, but the bands they hired were pretty terrible (just because horror fans like dark movies doesn’t mean they like goth electro metal), and the deejay, like most at conventions, didn’t seem to understand his crowd. Most horror fans do not want Top 40 pop music. What is wrong with playing something from horror film soundtracks, some horror rock, some ‘80s metal? The majority of people there are adults, not tweens, so play to the crowd puhlease. Highlights from the weekend would have to be dancing with the Soska sisters, pouring an adult beverage into the mouth of our hotel neighbor one floor down on his balcony, documenting on Facebook the Fire & Ice condoms we found and a fan’s caption for the pic (“Winter is Coming!”), handing out hugs and peace signs to the spiritually connected Scott Wilson after hours, and overhearing Robert Patrick talk about how he didn’t want to miss the next film screening because it had nudity and “you know how much I like boobs!” If you are wondering if we will be making the trip down to Texas again this May, the answer is HELLS YES! And most likely the year after, the year after that and so on, until we are too old to make the trip and have to just live vicariously through our photos and memories.
FAVORITE horror Director
Guillermo Del Toro
What would the horror community be without slasher films? Tobe Hooper not only directed, but also cowrote the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), later directing The Funhouse (1981), Poltergeist (1982), and other twisted sci-fi and horror films.
Known for combining fantasy with elements of horror, Del Toro’s repetoire of gorgeous films includes Cronos (1993), Mimic (1997), El Epinazo del Diablo (2001), Blade II (2002), Hellboy (2004), Hellboy II (2008), Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), & Pacific Rim (2013).
A jack-of-all-trades, Barker came onto the scene in the 80s as author of the Hellraiser and Candyman series. Directing many of his own stories, Barker’s creations have also made their way into comic books and video games.
Bava has been referred to as the “godfather of Italian horor” for his work on films like I Vampiri (1956), Black Sabbath (1963), and Kill Baby Kill (1966). His work kickstarted the giallo film genre and the modern “slasher film.”
Known as “the godfather of gore”, Fulci spent many years directing horror films in Italy before reaching international acclaim for directing Zombi 2 (1979)--known here as Zombie. He continued to direct a handful of films critics considered the “goriest.”
Michael (The Dedman) Jones
Nowal Massari (ZeeGee)
Creator of everyone’s favorite slasher villian, Freddy Krueger, Craven is known for horror staples including A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), The Hills Have Eyes (1977 & 2006), The People Under the Stairs (1991), The Scream films (1996-2011) to name only a few.
You might recognize him as ”The Bear Jew” from Inglorious Basterds (2009), but this actor has got some serious directing chops too, with films like Cabin Fever (2002), Hostel (2005), Hostel : Part II (2007), The Green Inferno (2014), and upcoming Knock Knock.
Heavily influenced by German Expressionism, Whale was an English director best known for directing horror classics Frankenstein (1931), The Old Dark House (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), and The Bride of Frankenstein (1935).
A true man of “horror”, Ittenbach was our worst nightmare before he turned to film--a dental technician! This German director is known for Black Past (1989), Legion of the Dead (2001), Evil Rising (2002), and did special effects for BloodRayne (2005).
Creator of cult classics, many of the staff members wanted to claim Carpenter as their favorite director. While many of his films were considered box-office failures, no one can deny the awesomeness that is Halloween (1978), Escape from New York (1981), The Thing (1982), They Live (1988) & Christine (1983). 14
A cross-genre director, Kubrick is known for film classics that touch both on sci-fi futurism as well as psychological horror with acclaimed films like 2001 : A Space Odyssey (1968), A Clockwork Orange (1971), The Shining (1980), and Full Metal Jacket (1987).
Director of film and tv series across multiple genres, Green is also president of the company ArieScope Pictures. He directed Hatchet (2006), Spiral (2007), Hatchet II (2010), Chillerama : The Diary of Anne Frankenstein (2011), and has many more projects coming down the pipe in the near future.
GOSPEL OF GORE WITH THE REVEREND JEFF JUGULAR Join Reverend Jeff Jugular as he praises the virtues of living a life filled with subversive cinema. He will help cleanse your soul of the boring megaplex madness by suggesting the very best and worst in horror/ cult cinema.
Holy Shat! Hello, my name is Jeff and I am a Shatnaholic. And proud of it! Watching William Shatner in action makes me feel all warm and tingly. Same sorta feelin’ you get when you down a shot or two of Canadian whiskey on an empty stomach. Usually around this time of year I begin to suffer from the summertime blues. You know, too much sunshine and such. I’ve discovered a little remedy for when you’re feelin’ a little down. Being the helpful soul that I am, I’m gonna share it with ya. Have yourself a ‘Shatnerfest’. All you need is some dynamic viewing entertainment starring the great William Shatner, and maybe a six pack of Romulan Ale, and you are on your way to blasting those blues away! William Shatner is best known as that “Priceline Guy” or as that starship captain with a fondness for bedding space babes and karate kicking Klingon ass. In between stints as Capt Kirk, he starred in a good number of genre films. And it’s these films that helped make me a full blown Shatnaholic!
Incubus (1965) A beautiful succubus is tired of luring sinful men to their damnation. She wants the challenge of tempting a good and noble man to his doom. She meets her match in William Shatner, a man who is courageous and pure of soul. Obviously,
Shatner is the only man alive who could turn the tables on a succubus and make her fall in love with him, right? This is an eerie, atmospheric and haunting film, with outstanding cinematography by Conrad Hall. It features an impressive soundtrack by Dominic Frontiere. The film is written 16
and directed by Outer Limits creator, Leslie Stevens, and is the only film shot entirely in the artificial language called Esperanto, which greatly adds to the film’s unique, otherworldly feel.
horror at 37,000 feet (1973) Disaster and supernatural films were all the rage during the 1970s, and they collide in this amusing TV movie from 1973. Bill flies the unfriendly skies as a washed up priest who just so happens to be on a cross country flight with an ancient artifact that contains an invisible demon. When all the aging film stars and TV actors prove useless against the menace, it’s up to our guitar-strumming, alcoholic priest to step up to plate and vanquish the evil. Shatner appears disinterested through the first half of the film, but springs to life during the climax.
ever was one), a small town veterinarian who discovers his town is under attack by an angry horde of arachnids. This low budget feature is made all the more impressive considering there is no computer generated or animatronic spider effects at work here. Kudos to Bill, he gets up-close and personal with a good number of real spiders, letting them crawl on his face, through his hair. He has dozens of tarantulas crawling on him in a number of scenes. Filled with likeable characters, some fine set-pieces and a fantastic climax, this is one of the best films in the “nature runs amok” subgenre.
The Devil's Rain (1975)
Impulse (1974) This insane gem stars a coked-out Shatner as a conman who likes to befriend rich widows, charm their pants off, milk them of their savings and then choke the life out of them. This is strictly TV movie material made wonderful by the unhinged performance of our man of the hour. This is Shatner at his most unrestrained and entertaining, seesawing between charming and bursts of psychotic madness within the same scene. His attire of 70s polyester leisure suits make this a pure pleasure. This is a true trash classic if there ever was one!
Kingdom of Spiders (1977)
Decked out in a cowboy hat, a ginormous belt buckle and ball hugging jeans, Shatner’s heroics are on full display here. He plays Rack Hansen (a stud’s name if there
Shat battles the Devil’s disciples for hundreds of human souls that are kept in a glass fishbowl...in the basement of an old New England church...in the middle of New Mexico? YES. It’s that mind-numbingly awesome. This fun cult classic features a great rural landscape, a fantastically bizarre score, buckets of gooey gore and Ernest Borgnine in devil makeup. Oh, and it has a shirtless, screaming Shatner being tortured by the devil. If that doesn’t grab you by the junk, nothin’ will! And finally, I would like to leave you with this. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Shatner. I stumbled up to him, sweaty palms and all, and babbled something about my love for Kingdom of the Spiders. He blankly stared at me and before I could wrap my arms around him, I was whisked away by security within 6 seconds. I will always have those 6 magical seconds. They were simply Shat-tastic!
I Like My Legends with a Side of Gore By queenie thayer
Everyone has different views on who the legends of horror are. Of course there are the agreed upon ones in the horror community as a whole, but individual likes can and will be vastly different. For some of us, we see the word “legend” in a different light. Legend doesn’t necessarily mean how long someone has been in the business of horror. It can and does for a great many people, but personally, when I name someone a legend of horror, it’s because they marked me with their work in a profound way, making their work transcend into a dimension above the norm. When something shakes me to the core, I remember it. It becomes embedded into my sense of self. I am forever changed by it. I prefer my legends to be covered in gore and reveling in madness. I enjoy watching the spectacle of violence. Anything that is taboo draws me in. Sex and violence are hugely taboo subjects in our culture—especially sex. And I know I’m not alone in this. I know there are others of you out there who seek out the even darker side of horror—the stuff you won’t be seen covered all over lunchboxes and t-shirts. That when you turn to horror, you know it’s a genre that will expose all the nasty secrets of the human condition. That we are in this together, and because of that, we find community. We need the grisly, bone-suckling meat of horror to help us grow and explore our own darkness. We need to see what’s screaming under the skin. So in honor of this being our legends issue, I wanted to share with you all my view of legends, from a more gory, bloody, messed up point of view. I have picked these three because they have consistently produced material that is not only blood-soaked, but have had a profound influence on how I view horror today. Anyone can rip a body to pieces and throw it’s entrails at the viewer, but it takes a true master to make you feel the demented reasoning behind the carnage.
Clive Barker’s Hellraiser TAKASHI MIIKE You can find horror creators everywhere, and one of the things I love about Asian horror is their unique perspective on what horror means to them. Some of the most frightening ghost stories are done by Asian cinema and manga, but the extreme cinema that I have seen from Asia blows a lot of the stuff in the West out of the water. Takashi Miike produces cinema that leaves your skin crawling, and a disdain for humanity that lingers long after viewing. His stuff is gory and downright morbid—stuff that even those who adore torture porn cringe at the mention of. Take for example his film Audition, just the mere name of the film makes people wince and the guy has an entire library of films just as gut-wrenching as this one.
Dario Argento’s Opera
CLIVE BARKER I used to own a collection of his Tortured Souls figures, which are great representations of what the word “tortured’ actually stands for. They are mangled, twisted creations very much like the Cenobites themselves from Hellraiser. They depict a kind of artistic cruelty that transcends human flesh. They are lovely in their hideous deformities, and are transformed into divine, demonic beings through the suffering they have undergone. Clive’s ability to continuously create creative and horrific displays of violent suffering that straddles the line between horror and beauty more than gives him legendary status.
Takashi Miike’s Audition
DARIO ARGENTO Some say Italian horror was put on the map by Dario Argento. That his work was like a gore soaked painting, or if you pardon the pun, like you were watching a horror opera. He knows how to draw things out and create a dream-like atmosphere, and also likes to do gruesome and terrible things to his characters. Like the directors I have mentioned above, the thing that makes his work so interesting is that he can create a beautiful scene and storyline while still being completely grotesque and bloody. Gore is more than just shock value for Dario Argento—it is a masterpiece, which is why he is most definitely a legend of horror.
The beautiful thing about the horror genre is the fact that boundaries can be pushed, like flesh being peeled off skin. When you peel back the layers, it’s more than meat and blood. It can symbolize a variety of things; beauty in destruction, our innate fragility, how dark the human spirit can be, how close sex and violence really are, and so many other deep caverns of the mind. A good horror creator gets that, and these three men understand how to use blood as paint for their fleshy dark canvases. LIVINGDEADMAGAZINE.COM 17
Berryman as Pluto in The Hills Have Eyes—the role that cemented him as one of horror’s leading stars.
When it comes to acting, Michael Berryman is as good as it gets, and when it comes to his stance on bullying, environmental issues, animal activism, etc., the man is downright saintly. We are truly honored to have the legendary actor Michael Berryman as our first ever “Scarer Who Cares”—a column to honor those in the horror industry who are not only making a huge impact in the horror community, but making a huge difference in the world at large. In this issue we showcase Berryman’s acting career, as well as the work he does with places like The Boggy Creek Camp and The Wolf Sanctuary. Living Dead Magazine: Mr. Berryman, it is such a pleasure to get this opportunity to feature you. When it comes to the horror community, you are a god. For me personally, you are one of my top favorite actors of all time. Perhaps it is the amazing characters you play, or the fact that you can say so much without uttering a word, but you command the attention of the audience like few can. I know you had no formal training before getting your first part in 1975 in the film Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze. So, how did you develop your acting? Did it just come naturally?
Who Care a new column by deanna uutela
MICHAEL BERRYMAN 18
Michael Berryman: Thank you for the kind words. I studied art history while attending the University of California at San Luis Obispo. I have always loved the arts, but realized that I could not draw, so I studied photography. I had thoughts of homesteading in Alaska, back in the early ‘70s. When I left college, I moved back to my hometown of Santa Monica. My professors had always told me that the arts were a tough field to make a living in, unless you had a teaching credential. Regardless, I have always appreciated artistic expression in many fields. So, not knowing where to go next, I put one foot in front of the other. I opened a small art/gift shop with a friend in Venice, California. It was a time  of the continuing of the ‘60s art movement. During the months in Venice, I met many musicians and artists. The atmosphere in Venice has always been eclectic and artistic—lots of fun, very stimulating. One night my partner and I attended a showing at our business neighbor’s high-end gallery event. That was the night when I met George Pal. George had an impressive resume in the field of fantasy and great stories—War of the Worlds just to name one. He asked me if I was an actor. I said no. He said, “You have an interesting face/look. Will you be in my
EVERY SET I WORK STARTS WITH
"Thank you, George! " movie?” I said yes, and the journey began. I only worked two days but George made sure I had my Screen Actors Guild card. I have been forever grateful to George for being a visionary and a gentleman. He was one of the good ones. George’s casting director was gearing up for Cuckoo’s Nest, so I was introduced to Milos and Michael and Saul. We joined the team, and the rest is history. One day I asked Milos for guidance. He walked me in front of a Panavision camera and said, “Have a love affair with the lens.” It was the best advice I ever got. I began to study the glass, the math, the depth of field. I asked tons of questions to my DP. Thank you Haskell Wexler. I was on the set every day I could. I was an artistic sponge. I wanted to know what everyone’s job was and why it mattered. My new family embraced my enthusiasm and gave me honest answers. So, I learned that the lens captures everything. I would study my face in the mirror for hours. I mapped the subtle topography of my eyes, nose, etc. I would see emotion dwell to the surface and the lens captures it all. I wish more actors would have the same journey. Too often I see immature actors with the attitude of “capture me.” I say, learn your craft and that includes knowing your focus points, work with your DP and director. Know your fellow actor’s lines, and bring the performance to life. I really am happy you see the effort I place in even a small nuance. While watching a scene, I like to see what the other actors are doing while another actor is delivering lines—see how the great ones can support the entire cast. It brings depth and emotional content. Have confidence and love what you do. Every set I work starts with “thank you, George!”
Guest appearing on Star Trek : The Next Generation as Captain Rixx.
LDM : You have been in over 90 films/television shows since you started your career in 1975. And by the looks of your schedule for 2013 and 2014, you aren’t looking to slow down anytime soon. Are you still excited after all of this time for each role you play? MB : I love to work. Even if the role is limited, I always try to have a personal history in my mind for the character I portray. Horror, not splatter, is my preference. I do like Evil Dead—fun stuff. I will work until I can’t. LDM : Many people are unimpressed with a lot of the new horror that is being made nowadays, which is most likely why we see a lot of remakes from the ‘70s being made like Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Carrie and even The Hills Have Eyes. What is your take on these remakes and why do you think that horror directors and enthusiasts just can’t get enough of the characters from this time?
Berryman stole the show as a mutant biker in Weird Science.
TRUE HAPPINESS—BERRYMAN DISPLAYING HIS LOVE OF ANIMALS.
with that, but gratuitous violence and slaughter is not my bag. Implied threats are more compelling. While working with Michael Landon, Victor [French] told me that Michael saved his life by letting him play a sidekick to an angel. Victor had been typecast as a rapist, and other bad guys. He was a heartfelt man—a real good soul, but drinking was killing him. He was always grateful to Michael for this gift. I have been at meetings where studio execs made fun of Michael’s “sugar coated, Pollyanna fodder.” I would politely and firmly tell them they had no clue of the pulse of the viewing audience, and people are sick and tired of carnage and television about going to jail, and on and on. Better writing and humanity in stories will make you money and Oscars that really have depth in my opinion. LDM: You have such an impressive resume from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest to The Hills Have Eyes, The X-Files, Weird Science, Tales From the Crypt and newer films like Devil’s Reject and Lords of Salem. When you look back, are you still taken aback by the amazing opportunities you have had and continue to have, and the huge productions you have been able to be a part of? Is there anything from your long list of acting credentials that has made you the most proud? MB : Well, there are many amazing stories from my resume, and I’ll just say this: I am writing my book. It will be filled with lots of good stuff.
MB : I like some of the new horror films. Most though are rehash, bloody-filled attempts. I always say, story is king. Ask yourself why are these characters worthy of our interest? LDM : Many of the films you have been in are very controversial and deal with sensitive topics that are hard to watch like rape, torture, mental illness and violent killings. As someone like yourself who is spiritual and believes in doing good and respecting your fellow man and nature, is acting in these films sometimes difficult for you? Are you yourself squeamish when it comes to these difficult topics? MB : I limit my screen time with regard to excessive violence. There must be a worthwhile underlying theme. Is the hero really challenged even to their limit? I can portray evil to allow the hero to step up, but I like to have my role embrace inner issues as to why my character does what he does. Sometimes important societal issues are disturbing. I’m good 20
LDM :That is one book I will for sure keep my eye out for. I hope you do it sooner rather than later. You must have a lot of good stories to tell considering you have worked with an amazing list of people. Are there any directors or actors you have really enjoyed working with over the years? MB : Kane Hodder and Bill Moseley are great friends of mine and are very talented. We always have a great time shooting together. It is a treat to have such friends to create with. We encourage each other and push for a better scene than even the director envisions. LDM: I think most people are aware that you have a rare disease called hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia, which is a disorder that results in the abnormal development of structures including the skin, hair, nails, teeth and sweat glands. Often with diseases that cause you to look or act different, you are faced with some level of teasing, bullying or misguided judgments. I would expect a lot of people in this position would shy away from the spotlight and be more introverted and possibly even shy. But you are the complete opposite. You command the stage and
I encourage everyone to help make the world a little kinder.
We can do it when we see the importance of humanity rising.
steal the show in every film you are in. How did you get through this, and what advice would you give to adults and kids who are bullied for being different and might feel hopeless and worthless? MB: I’ll tell you this: It is true that all the medical issues and surgeries were extremely challenging. The skull re-construction saved my life. The outward appearance was what I had to live with. My early years—seven years old through my 20’s—often were excruciatingly painful. I mean the pain of medical procedures that I had no control over. My doctors and nurses and parents were very important. What hurt even more was the painful, cruel behavior of others. I was quick to anger and to fight. When enough was enough, I would explode. In the ‘50s and ‘60s counseling was rare. At that time, it was expected that children suck it up and obey. My parents were very understanding, but outside of my home, the world was often crushing and mean. I would challenge a parent when their kids were mean and tell them they would someday regret the future behavior of these brats.
Working with animals is just one of the many things that Berryman does to give back.
There were many dark, sleepless nights. I don’t mean to sound self-absorbed, but people need to know that bullying causes suicide. If you have nothing good to say, then ask how others are dealing with what you may see as weird or “funny looking.” They will answer your query. I was on the committee in my town for input for the President’s Council on rights for the disabled, and many other schools for anti-bullying, etc. As for those struggling with self-worth—trust in your good heart. Don’t buy into those who are trying to bring you down. Be honest to your values and know that true friends are few and precious. Cultivate trust only to those who really appreciate you for you. It will be OK. Be gentle with yourself. Life is for learning who we are. Be at peace in this world, and it will help you and allow you to help others. Humanity is the key. Never sell yourself short— you have value. Try not to be so hard on yourself and remember to laugh when it is appropriate. Avoid mean people. It’s all good. LDM : You are involved with a lot of fantastic causes like Camp Boggy Creek, a camp founded by the late Paul Newman that was designed to “foster a spirit of joy by creating a free, safe and medically-sound camp environment that enriches the lives of children with serious illnesses and their families,” and Wolf Mountain Sanctuary, a non-profit, educational organization dedicated to the preservation, protection, and proper management of wolves in the wild and in captivity. Can you talk about some of the work you do and what advice you have for others wanting to make a difference in their own community and beyond?
Michael Berryman, left, and Neil Shubin look at some fossils that shed light on the evolutionary origin of conditions known as ectodermal dysplasia for PBS.
man to participate with the Boggy Creek Gang—Paul, Arnold Palmer and General Norman Schwarzkopf. I have found other areas like raising awareness for shelters for battered mothers and safe houses for their children and mothers, visiting the elderly, reading to blind students, volunteering at The United Way, etc. There are many ways to help. I encourage everyone to help make the world a little kinder. We can do it when we see the importance of humanity rising. We want to thank Michael Berryman for granting us this interview, for continuing to act as much as possible because we just can’t get enough of that face of yours and for being an inspiration to all of us, horror fans or not. Please take the time to check out the fantastic work being done by places like Camp Boggy Creek (boggycreek.org) and The Wolf Mountain Sanctuary (wolfmountain.com).
MB : I have had the pleasure to be invited by Paul NewLIVINGDEADMAGAZINE.COM
Leviathan : The Story of
The Hellraiser Series by nowal massari Good news Hellraiser fanatics! Filmmaker Kevin McDonagh and his incredibly knowledgeable crew have reached their Kickstarter goal and will be releasing the ultimate Hellraiser documentary, Leviathan: The Story of Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II, which includes over 25 interviews with the cast and crew of the legendary films. On their Kickstarter page they say, “Following the story of the films from their inception through production to release and their subsequent lives and growing fan base, we aim to show fans and those less familiar with the films both the technical skills, the creative idea, the symbolism and the legacy of these movies.” Hear about how the cast and crew felt about the idea for the film, the production and the final film when it was completed, as well as how they were influenced by the production and Director Clive Barker, and how the films have contributed to their futures. Delve deep into the director’s vision and ambitions for the project, exploring where he came from, where his career has taken him and the inspiration for the story and world he created. To sweeten the sound of razors through flesh, or just to get fans of the franchise more excited, a bevy of behind the scenes stories and rare images will also be included. Once the UK portion had finished, the crew made their way stateside to interview Tony Randel, director of Hellbound: Hellraiser II, and the man under the pins himself, Doug Bradley. Currently there is no official release date, but speaking as a huge Hellraiser fan, I am very excited about the sights they have to show me.
MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN A SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY EDITION BY TREVOR NORDGREN Clive Barker's Books of Blood series is now considered a classic in the horror and fantasy fiction world. Originally published in 1984, the first three books quickly gained a following worldwide and the subsequent three volumes were also hugely popular. Stephen King himself championed Barker and his stories early on as the new face of horror fiction saying, “I've seen the future of horror...". One of these stories was "The Midnight Meat Train,” which follows a man named Leon Kaufman who discovers a series of gory subway train murders in New York City and vows to uncover who is behind it all. It was one of the stories that helped Barker earn the title ‘Splatterpunk,’ along with John Skipp & Craig Spector, David J. Show and others. Clive Barker says the original story came about from a trip to New York City when he was in his mid-20s: "I was scared shitless. The problem was, I was people watching and writing all at once, so I got lost. At the time, someone was killing people on the subway so I made notes while I was there." And the book title Barker claims was, "A gift from the gods." Thirty years later, Dark Regions Press is publishing Clive Barker's “The Midnight Meat Train Special Definitive Edition.” There's been quite a few other ‘Anniversary Editions’ as of late from writers Stephen King, Robert McCammon, Peter Straub and Barker as well. These have been successful to varying degrees, but one thing seems to be common with fans of these type of books—they like bonus materials: new introductions, artwork, never-before-seen related materials and so on. So what's to separate “Meat Train” from the others? Publisher Chris Morey says, "Well, this book includes the original story along with a bunch of all-new material: a new afterword written by Clive Barker, nine color paintings based on the story by the author, a new introduction by Phil & Sarah Stokes, a foreword by the movie screenplay writer Jeff Buhler, the first complete commercial printing of the movie screenplay, never-before-seen photos, notes, sketches and more.” How did the book come about? "Our editor R.J. Cavender and
I were at the Bram Stoker Awards in New Orleans when Mark Miller, Vice President of Seraphim Films, accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award for Clive Barker. After the ceremony was over, we approached Mark about our interest in working with Clive in any capacity, and I told him that I had connected with Clive's agents Phil and Sarah Stokes and they had already given us permission to reprint one of Clive's works. After chatting for a while, he told us they were looking for a home for a signed collectible edition of Clive's classic story "The Midnight Meat Train," and it all came together to form this amazing project. Truly the definitive edition of the story that I'm confident Clive Barker fans will celebrate,” says Morey. Morey adds that they don’t have any definitive plans on future projects with Clive Barker, but they are definitely interested in doing so. Dark Regions Press does have some other exciting anniversary collections they will be releasing soon though. “We are doing some anniversary editions of books from another author, the late Richard Laymon. These will be very special anniversary/deluxe editions with a lot of bonus material like the “Midnight Meat Train” edition. We will also be releasing some brand new Joe R. Lansdale books, and an anniversary edition with a well-known, popular author. And we're working with each author to write introductions and afterwords and sign the books as well. We want to make each Dark Regions book one that people are proud to have on their shelf,” says Morey. “The Midnight Meat Train Special Definitive Edition” is currently offered for preorder in three signed limited edition hardcover formats (a $50 signed/numbered hardcover, a $250 slipcased/lettered hardcover and an ultra/traycased edition for a cool $1300) and is expected to be in stock by August of 2014. So far the Slipcased/Lettered HC are already gone in preorder and the other two editions are right behind it. This is the first and only printing of this special, comprehensive signed hardcover edition. So grab a copy of this collectible while you still can!
Preorder it now from Dark Regions Press: www.darkregions.com LIVINGDEADMAGAZINE.COM 23
Sometimes in the entertainment business an in-demand celebrity might only have time to answer a few of your questions. As hard as that can be to narrow down your few best, as a newer horror magazine, we are just thrilled to be acknowledged at all by our idols. Such is the case with legendary director/writer/composer John Carpenter. We could care less how many questions he answered, the length of his answers or even what he said in the interview, to be honest. All we know is, we just made contact with one of the most legendary names in the horror industry and it made us squeal inside like a stuck pig. We are honored to get our five questions with the Horror King: John Carpenter. There is a general feeling amongst horror enthusiasts that horror films have unfortunately gone the way of many film genres these days—over-the-top special effects, less suspense and more shock factor and a lack in character development. This is most likely why so many of us cling to and are obsessed with horror from the past. We haven’t encountered much in the past 20 years to connect with or inspire us. What do you think of the state of horror as it stands? Is there anything new out there that has peeked your interest, and is there any current director or writer that you are excited about?
And while we are speaking of classic horror monsters, at one time you were contemplating doing a Creature from the Black Lagoon remake. Would you be interested in returning to directing your Creature from the Black Lagoon script if presented the opportunity, and what draws you to that particular Universal monster? I had a good script and a great design from Rick Baker on Creature From the Black Lagoon. The issue at the time was budget. I’ve learned something in the business: never say never.
Essentially there are too many horror films being made for the wrong reasons. The same thing happened in the ‘80s. Producers see a successful formula (cheap movie, big returns) and overdo it. But I believe horror will recover. Innovation and vision will do it. On the set of Big Trouble in Little China with star Kurt Russell
A blast from Halloween past; the crew on the set of the 1978 film Halloween. November 15-17 2013 in Pasadena they celebrated “35 Years of Halloween” with a huge convention connecting stars from all ten movies. It has been 35 years since you created the character of Michael Myers and he is still as popular as ever. I know that for me personally Halloween was a game changer for me and Michael Myers above every other character in film has remained my favorite. Why do you think out of all of the fantastic films you have been a part of, this one in particular still resonates so strongly with horror audiences? I don’t know why. But I try not to question it. 24
You really are a “master” at creating films that play on people’s worst nightmares: The Boogeyman, Big Brother, imprisonment, aliens, diseases, war and even parenthood. And you have said that many of these characters are a reflection or a response if you will, to what was happening in the world during that time. If you were going to create a new monster for today, what fear(s) would this character play upon? Hard to say. There is a massive divide in our country right now. And in some quarters a willful ignorance about what constitutes fact. The union is tearing itself apart. This will change over time, hopefully. Now there is paranoia and disunity, which makes for great themes for horror or science fiction. The last full length film you directed was the psychological thriller The Ward in 2010, which was a fantastic ode to ‘70s horror, and included a wonderful cast of upand-coming young actresses. Can we look forward to anything new you might be directing, writing, or collaborating on? I’m working on several projects right now, although at a slower pace than when I was younger.
tom with his ‘babies’; photo courtesy of Douglas Education Center
Tom Savini’s Monster Army Molding the Monster Makers of Today by Matt Majeski (The Horror Kid) Destiny—such a strange concept when you really think about it. Do any of us know what our futures will entail? For a young Pittsburgh boy in the 1950s who was fixed on a steady diet of Universal Monster movies, Famous Monsters of Filmland magazines and makeup appliances, he could not have possibly fathomed the legend he would eventually become. That boy was none other than Tom Savini. Being witness to the fantastic horrors of the silver screen in his youth, and the realistic horrors of Vietnam in his early adult years, Tom slowly rose in the 70s and 80s as a cinematic magician, transferring that knowledge of both fantasy and reality into gruesome gore effects and malevolent monsters in films such as Friday the 13th, Maniac, The Burning and The Prowler, among others. The textbook definition of a true renaissance man—makeup artist, actor, stuntman, director—Tom has certainly earned his title in the world of horror. However, let us shed some light on his extraordinary collaborations with the Godfather of Zombies, George A. Romero, his successful acting career and everything in-between, which all helped to transform Tom into the legendary twisted and sick mind he is today.
Living Dead Magazine : First off Tom, let’s start from the beginning. Many fans know that your love of makeup blossomed from seeing the artistry of Lon Chaney and Jack Pierce, the creators of the classic Universal Monster looks. Who were some of the other makeup effects artists that had a profound effect on your affection towards creating monsters? Also, what was it like growing up a monster kid of the ‘50s and ‘60s? Tom Savini : Of course, Rick Baker was a huge influence for me. I hated him. I would see him in Famous Monsters, and even at the age of 14 he was so advanced and so ahead of me. I was just this little Italian kid struggling to make edges disappear in my makeup, and here he was already using foam latex. Obviously I didn’t really hate him; I envied and respected him. The ‘50s was the most favorite time of my life. The movies and monsters were real, and I was learning how to create them. Life was innocent and people loved each other, and you dressed up before ever leaving the house. Look at the photos back then and you will see that everyone was dressed up if they were on the street. I recently went to see the Phantom of The Opera on Broadway and there were guys sitting there wearing tank tops. It offends me. LDM : No respect anymore. Now, you first met George Romero when you were a sophomore in high school. He was supposedly starting a film that never got off the ground unfortunately, and it was called Whine of the Fawn. What was your first impression of him? TS : A cool, smart, tall movie maker. I wanted to be him. LDM : I think almost everyone in the horror community wants to be him. Because you were stationed in Vietnam at the time of filming Night of the Living Dead, you weren’t able to be apart of the film crew. Eventually, you were able to work with George on Martin in 1976-77. Can you relate to us any special memories you had first making that film? TS : Yeah it was great fun—guerrilla film making at its best. No studio, low budget. I did the makeup, played a part and did the stunts. It was great fun shooting in the Bubba house after a particular bloody scene, having Tony Bubba’s grandmother go into the bathroom and find the sink filled with blood. That was the beginning of a long career of pulling pranks on people. LDM : Very cool. Probably your first big success in terms of being noticed for your makeup effects was in Dawn of the Dead, which is one of my top ten favorite horror films of all time. From what I understand, you were very dissatisfied with several end results regarding the makeup, including the skin tone of the zombies, who were supposed to have grey skin instead of blue skin, as well as the fluorescent paint like color of the blood. Are there any particular effects or effect shots in the film that you recall being really proud of? TS : Oh, I’m proud of all of them. The thing was the zombies were all initially grey, as you said. That was my way of separating the humans from the zombies. The lighting however photographed them strangely, and sometimes made them look blue or green on camera. And the blood? Oh my God. Looked good in the bottle. It was stage blood from the 3M Company, and it looked like melted crayons— real bad. It was before I learned the Dick Smith formula.
LDM : Regarding Creepshow, another classic of the genre, you had a lot of difficult effects to pull off, including applying the vegetation makeup to Stephen King, which he was allergic to in “The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verill” and the creation of Fluffy in “The Crate.” TS : I actually didn’t do any of the stuff on Stephen King. That was the costume department. Fluffy was very difficult because I had never done an animatronic creature before. I spent a lot of time on the phone with Rob Bottin who taught me how to do it since he had such success the same year with The Thing. LDM : Working with George has given you the opportunity to develop realistically gruesome gore effects like the disemboweling scenes in Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead, as well as creating creatures and monsters, be it Fluffy in Creepshow or Bub in Day. Do you think that that sense of realism, in terms of practical effects, can still be achieved in film today, especially with this oversaturation of CGI that we have? TS : Yes and no. Personally, I am totally pissed off at the lack of realism in today’s movies. If you read my column in Gorezone’s next issue I make a big deal out of … “When your dead your mouth is open!”. I don’t believe for a second when someone is supposed to be dead if their mouth is not slack jawed and open. I was a combat photographer in Vietnam, so I saw a lot of dead bodies, and the mouths were always open. The muscles holding the jaw closed don’t work anymore, just like the arms or legs. This is a big mistake that everyone makes. LDM : Everyone’s just trying to look pretty for the camera I guess. From working with George on Martin and Dawn of the Dead, you’ve managed to gain experience through those films as a stuntman. Even though you performed those stunts because of the lack of crew, did you give any serious thought into possibly doing more stunt work for a living? TS : No, that career had a limited lifespan. I did it because I am very physical and was a gymnast. Plus, it was just plain fun. LDM : And of course, those films led to a career in acting as well, which has caused you to become so recognizable worldwide. What joys and hardships come from being an actor?
LDM: I understand. I’ve heard that George’s style of filmmaking is very easygoing in the sense that he gives free reign to cast and crew members to do their own thing, rather than having it set in stone and ordering them to do it as such. Since you’re privy to that directing style, with him encouraging you to come up with several effects on your own, do you speculate that that’s the secret to his longevity as a filmmaker? And do you think that that freedom is what helped you achieve your full potential as a makeup artist? TS : Absolutely. So many times the script would be specific about what was called for, but with George mostly not. We filled in the gaps. I remember a telegram I got from him before Dawn of the Dead. It said, “We have another gig. Start thinking of ways to kill people.” LDM : Nice. Let’s talk about your makeup school at the Douglas Education Center in Pittsburgh for a moment. How did that start out? Was there a desire to create a school where kids could learn how to become professional makeup artists? And how has that been going? I’ve seen that many Face Off contestants and other new faces in makeup are all graduates from your school. TS : Every time Face Off is on, there are at least four contestants who have been students at my school, which is great. My school is the number one school in the world. In fact, our students come from all over the world. It’s because we are a 16-month degree program, which parents love, and it costs so much less that other schools that are only 11 weeks or four months. We aren’t kidding around—16 months. And the student’s attitude towards it is like, “this is school?” They are having so much fun making their dreams come true. LDM : Good to hear. One last thing we’d love to promote is your upcoming biography, which you’ve been working on with Michael Aloisi, who also collaborated with Kane Hodder with writing his biography, Unmasked. Can you tell us how it was working with Mike on your life story, as well as what fans can expect to read about when your book comes out? TS : I love Mike. The book is going to be full of surprises, and filled with stuff you had no idea occurred in my life. And lots and lots of photos, of course.
TS : The main joy comes from being many different people, and you only have that joy when you seriously believe you are that character. It’s like living other lives than your own. Acting is the hardest thing to do, in my opinion.
LDM : Fantastic! Tom, thank you so much again for your time. I highly appreciate it!
LDM: Speaking of different positions, George has also allowed you to step into the director’s chair a few times, directing a few episodes of the Creepshow spinoff horror anthology series Tales from the Darkside, as well as the 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead, which I thought was spectacular. What complications and rewards come with directing, and do you plan on doing more directorial work in the future?
I’d like to thank Tom once more for giving us a little insight into the mind of a true renaissance monster man.
TS : The main reward is that you are the head of all departments. It’s your vision, and if you’re lucky, you collaborate with so many other talented people to get it on the screen. And yes, I am being considered for a few directing gigs right now. Unfortunately, I can’t talk about them yet.
Oh, you’re not going to, eh?
TS : Anytime, and best of luck with the magazine!
You can follow up on him at savini.com, and be sure to look out for his book soon.
[Breaks out machete.] “Say goodbye, creep!”
th e P r ese rve r o f Horror
Nathan Thomas Milliner by deanna uutela
I recently read a discussion between horror fans and Fangoria’s Editor-in-Chief Chris Alexander on the subject of what makes someone a horror legend. Fans questioned Fangoria’s choice to refer to Rob Zombie as a horror legend. I agree one hundred percent with what Chris said in response to Fangoria fans, which was basically that being a horror legend is not just about someone’s filmography or length of time even in the industry. Being a horror legend is about making a positive impact in the horror community, and contributing to keeping horror alive every single day on a worldwide scale. You might not like Rob Zombie’s films, or even music, but he has been a huge fan of horror and has been contributing to it since the ‘80s, as a leader in the horror rock movement. For us at Living Dead Magazine, we salute all horror legends, big or small, and we want to thank them for pressing on and continuing to fight for this lifestyle and culture we love so much. And amongst these warriors in the horror field— battling with his paper and pen—is the world-renowned horror artist Nathan Thomas Milliner of HorrorHound and Scream Factory. He is a man who does what he does for the love of the genre, and whose contribution to the horror community includes being a part of a huge revival of grindhouse style artwork and DVD covers. If you love horror art, then you probably already know Sir Nathan Thomas Milliner. Yes, we have officially knighted him as a “Preserver of Horror,” which is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon him.
Living Dead Magazine : We love the story of how you got your start as a professional horror artist—horror fan/self-taught artist works hard doing what he loves, never gives up, takes some big risks and attracts the right people, proves his talents and skills and lands his dream job at HorrorHound and then Scream Factory. Any artist will tell you how hard it is to get reliable paid work, and how difficult it is to break into the industry. Perhaps this is why you have stated before how grateful you feel for every second you get to spend doing what you love. Did you spend a lot of time paying your dues at the beginning of your career before you landed your dream jobs? Nathan Thomas Milliner : Yes, I am incredibly grateful about what I have been allowed to do as a career. I have been drawing since I was five years old and being an artist was all I ever wanted to be, but I also always knew that it wasn’t just that simple. There are millions of artists out there, and some get lucky and some struggle and struggle, and I don’t always think it has much to do with how experienced or how far along one is, but I think it comes down to one simple factor: are you what the client is looking for based on their own personal taste, and did they find you at the right place at the right time? I don’t think there is any magic answer on how to get a break. It was slow moving for me. I was 32 when I landed my job at HorrorHound Magazine and even then, while I felt like I was finally published and maybe on the right track to going to the next level, I still wasn’t in demand or anything. I was very patient. There is that old saying that you only get one chance to make a first impression. I think a few issues artists have to deal with is they have to gain confidence in their work first. A lot of us are our own worse critics and are hard on ourselves, and you really do need to be confident in that you feel you are ready for the next big steps. It takes a lot to put yourself out there and show the world what you do, opening yourself up for criticism and failure. Failure and rejection is just a part of the arts. I always say that every artist will hate what they are doing right now five years down the line. When I look back at my early HorrorHound work, I cringe. But I always had that voice in my head that always said, “one day the break will come.” I never once believed that I’d never be discovered. I was willing to wait for it. I started out drawing and writing my own comics, and did that for about four or five years before I sent an e-mail to HorrorHound. I was a fan artist for them for about two years before Editor-in-Chief, Nathan Hanneman, gave me a chance in their 13th issue, and from there it’s been a ride. I guess 13 is a lucky number for me. As far as jobs I have worked, I worked at a grocery store and I work for UPS. I didn’t try a lot of jobs. I’m a stick to it kind of guy—very grounded and cautious. I have a family to support, and I came from a family that really instilled hard work and responsibility, so I’m not a risk taker. Which may have been another reason for my delay in finding work in art. LDM : You got your start as a comic book artist, and you have said in the past that it was a fickle business, and that your work wasn’t as well received as the work you do for the horror industry.
NTM : Well, I never went for the pros in comic books. I think I was a little afraid I wasn’t good enough. I drew and wrote comics for myself from the time I was 13 to 32. I still do them here and there, but mostly for the joy of storytelling. I really got into comics because of my love for movies. I saw comics as my chance to make movies, just in a different format. I self-published my own comics, and that isn’t a career. It’s a passion, but it is still just a hobby. Most comic book fans aren’t really interested in indie comics. Even indie comics that are considered breakthroughs like Hellboy or The Goon. If you listen to their creators, you will find that even they don’t really sell that much. In the grand scheme of things, it would appear the only major success stories in indie comics are Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Walking Dead. And there are so many indie comics being made now that most of us get lost in the sea. Everyone thinks they have the next Walking Dead, and there are some really great indie comics out there, but no one is seeing them. The industry is squeezed by DC and Marvel. You make indie comics for the love of it. If you are in it for the money, it just isn’t going to be there. Comics are hard work—very hard work, and they do not pay well unless you are very popular and in-demand. I enjoyed telling my stories my way, so I stayed on the indie trail and treated it as a hobby. I was realistic about it, so I wasn’t crushed when they didn’t fly off my table at conventions. The horror world was far more rabid about the prospect of new artists. I was almost instantly embraced by the horror community through my work in HorrorHound, and it felt good. I had fans of my comics, but with horror, I was meeting people from all around the world who knew my work, and as an artist, you just want to have your work seen and enjoyed, and the horror world really helped me get to that point in my life. LDM : You are best known for your grindhouse ‘70s style artwork. Does the horror art that you grew up with dictate your style? Do you think the huge number of cult classics being rereleased, remastered or even remade right now, has propelled the popularity of this style of art even more? How do you make each piece you are commissioned to do your own? (Recognizably Nathan). NTM : Coming from comic books, that was my style. I draw. I never had much need for color. I honestly never colored anything until I took my job with HorrorHound. I love working with lines and the ink, and even still I am not a pure inker because I never use brushes or quills to ink. I use technical pens, preferably micron pens. When I got the job with HorrorHound in 2008, I realized I needed to add color to my work because no one publishes black and white drawings in commercial art. So I figured the quickest and easiest way to color would be to take up digital coloring. I’m old school. I held off from computers forever. I didn’t work with computers in my educational years. In high school, the only computer I used was in accounting class. In college, I never touched a computer. So I was green. I never did take any classes. I skimmed through Photoshop for Dummies at the library and basically experimented. I knew comic books were being colored this way. You do the ink drawing, scan it in and color under the art, so that is my process. Perhaps because
60 percent of my art is actually hand drawn on paper with real pencils and pens, I could never work 100 percent digitally. They’ll have to take my pens and paper from my dead cold hands. My style comes from comics mostly, but also the greats like Bernie Wrightson, Barry Windsor Smith, Jim Lee, Drew Struzan and Frank Frazetta. We take a little from each artist we are influenced by, and eventually we have our own style. It just sort of happens. I don’t think I have a distinguished style, but fans seem to say they recognize my work immediately. I don’t think artists ever recognize that they have a style. The grindhouse influence comes from growing up in the ‘70s and ‘80s and just being exposed to that sort of artwork. Luckily there is a nostalgia for it these days, which isn’t shocking given the cold and distant photo manipulation era of movie poster making that we have been seeing for the past 20 years. LDM : The issue you are being featured in and you were specifically asked to be in is all about horror legends, from directors to authors to makeup artists and musicians. When our staff sat down to discuss our featured artist for this issue, and who we all considered to be of legendary status, the first name that popped out of our mouths was Nathan Thomas Milliner. One of our staff writers had commissioned you to do a piece for their company, and you of course killed it. Another buys your work every time you are at conventions, and pretty much all of us knew your work from HorrorHound and Scream Factory. There is hardly a horror website, blog or Facebook page that hasn’t referenced one of your pieces of art at one time or another. As a huge horror fan yourself, is it still surreal to you that you have gotten to meet so many important figures in the horror industry? And how does it feel to be a part of this circle and to be so respected and recognized in your horror community? Besides yourself, who would you consider to be a legendary horror artist? NTM : First off, it is both an honor and a shock that I would be considered a legend. There are so many amazing artists out there who I feel make me look like an amateur and who I feel I am always chasing, so any time someone says anything in terms of me being the best at what I do, or one of the best, it is very strange for me to accept it or understand it. But it feels good for sure, and helps motivate me to stay consistent, as well as pushing myself to do better. I am always trying to push myself to at least attempt to be on the level of my peers and I have some big shoes to fill in my opinion in trying to do that. Being a public artist has been very rewarding in that I have gotten to meet many heroes and even work with or alongside some of them. I am still just a big fan/geek who freaks out over getting to meet Jim Steranko or Robert Englund or George Romero. These people helped mold me into the artist and storyteller I am today, and I will never forget that influence and inspiration. These people helped me and it is so rewarding to pay them back with art like having someone like Dick Warlock excited to meet me because he feels I made him an icon on the Scream Factory covers for Halloween 2 and 3. As insane as that notion is, I appreciate someone like Mr. Warlock even thinking I did anything of the sort. To have your heroes know your work and know you when you come to meet them
is surreal and humbling and always a shock. To meet other artists who know my work and to have them compliment me is also unreal. I still feel like the same guy who was struggling making his own comic books ten years ago with 50 readers out there. I still write people and I am shocked that they know who I am and are a fan. Most artists are pretty humble and don’t think of themselves as celebrities or legends. We just draw, we just paint, we just write. I once interviewed Jack Ketchum for HorrorHound and when I asked him about his fans he said, “I don’t have fans. I have readers.” That always stuck with me. As far as being respected in my circle of horror peers and fans, it is still something very odd to me. There is this weird thing that happens when people stop you at a con when you are going to the restroom or something and they want to say hello or get a picture or an autograph; when people write you up telling you how much they love what you do; when someone like Greg Nicotero writes you up telling you he spent an hour on your website and is in awe of your work. How do you get used to something like that? I don’t think I can. I am just a t-shirt and jean wearing good ol’ boy from Kentucky. To understand that there are so many people out there who know and enjoy what I do is really hard to comprehend from my world. I just get up, draw, spend time with my family, work my day job and repeat. As for who I would consider to be legendary horror artists I would have to go with the standards— Bernie Wrightson, Basil Gogos, Ray Harryhausen, Jack Davis, HR Giger. And the guys I am working next to these days like Daniel Horne, Jason Edminston and Gary Pullin. These guys
motivate me to up my own game and try to even attempt to be as good as they are. LDM : When it comes to horror films in particular, cover art and movie posters play a huge part in the financial success of a film. Is there a science to making successful artwork for a horror film? About how long does it take you to complete, for example, a piece like what you did for Sleepaway Camp? What are your favorite film posters, past or present? NTM : When it comes to designing a poster for a horror movie, it comes down to a lot of factors. In my case, I am usually designing artwork for Blu-ray covers and not posters, and I am also designing for well-known and loved movies that are 20–40 years old. That is a different beast. Movie posters give you 27X40 inches to work with. Blu-ray covers give you 6X5 inches, so what is easy to view on a one sheet in a movie theater isn’t easy to view on a small Blu-ray cover mixed up with hundreds of others in a store. You have to find a way to make that cover stand out amongst the other covers on that shelf. Also, I am working with material that is already known and loved, and your audience is ready for you to resell them a movie they already own, so you aren’t exactly trying to keep mystery in your design. Some people will complain that some of the Scream Factory covers are too revealing or too full and should be more simplistic as they were on their original posters. But the difference is when those artists were hired to do posters for those brand new horror movies, they were selling something new that no one knew about with characters and actors that no one really knew yet. It wasn’t
about the who, but the what. But fans, which is who HorrorHound and Scream Factory target, know and love the characters and know the actors. Horror fans know the composers and the zombie extras, so they want to see Cropsey on the cover. They know the movie. But I also often do covers for new movies, and the challenge is always to find the core of the film, find what commercially will appeal to the public and most importantly, sell the movie. My job is to attract business. An indie horror film has two things going for it—word of mouth and cool artwork. Artwork will make or break your film. It is the first relationship the person has with your movie. If they don’t stop to pick up that DVD, then they won’t watch your movie. The face of your product is the success of your product. Even bad movies have been successful because of the great movie posters. The Blu-ray covers I do for the most part average about 10-20 hours depending on the cover. The Sleepaway Camp took maybe 10 hours—it’s fairly simple. Dog Soldiers took a long time. My favorite horror movie posters are Matthew Peak’s A Nightmare on Elm Street posters 1-5. They are just amazing and all hang in my mancave. LDM : At conventions, horror posters are as popular as ever, but fans seem to be less into buying the traditional poster created by the movie studios and more into buying an artist’s rendition, or fan art as it is referred to. Why do you think this is? NTM : I think there is a rejection from fans of what Hollywood and distributors are feeding them when it comes to the movie poster. Distributors and marketing feel artwork is dated and looks
of the time what it means to us to live a horror lifestyle, and we would love to hear your thoughts on the topic. Do you think horror is about much more than film? Do you consider it to be a culture? And if so, what would that lifestyle/culture look like to you, and where do you fit into it? As a father, does your child/children fit into this picture as well?
so different from the normal movie poster today that they aren’t seeing or thinking that way. I have done so many posters for indie movies only to have my art scrapped when the distributor buys their movie and releases it. They release it with some awful photoshopped mess that looks like every single other DVD on the shelf because that is the norm. I think fans are just sick of the coldness and are wanting a throwback. They want life and color and magic in their movie posters again. They want to get excited about them again. If you really pay attention to the covers you see, and the movie posters you see coming out every day now, you notice how bland and uninteresting they are, and how they hardly tell you what the movie is about. A new action film and the poster is Tom Cruise standing in front of an explosion and it reads “Tom Cruise is Jack Reacher” in red font, and that is what you get. OK, I know the movie is a Tom Cruise movie and he has a ridiculous tough guy name. But what is the movie about? What am I going to see? I have nothing. They are selling Tom Cruise. They aren’t selling the story or the movie itself. I don’t know why that is. Maybe it’s the unhealthy fascination with celebrity we have today. And for the most part, who is in the movie seems to be the selling point for a lot of people. I think studios realize that and feel there is no point in wasting money and time on making a special movie poster. You know it is bad when Del Toro hires Drew Struzan to paint a Hellboy poster and the studio doesn’t use it, but uses a photoshopped photo poster instead. LDM : Living Dead Magazine’s slogan is “Don’t Just Watch Horror, Live It!” which refers to the magazine being a horror lifestyle/culture magazine, not a film magazine. We get asked all
NTM: There is certainly a horror lifestyle out there. Horror is the bastard child of film. It is the one that rarely gets the respect or appreciation that it deserves. People write it off. So those who embrace the genre are outcasts, and there is something kind of sweet about being an outcast because it separates you from the same and the dull. When you meet another person who is a horror fan, there is no wall between you. You connect. All I see at horror cons are smiling faces and people getting along and having a blast at relishing in all things horror. Horror fans come in all shapes, sizes, ages and shades of black t-shirt. I love horror, and I have loved the genre for 25 years or more but I can’t say I live a horror lifestyle. I love film in general, but horror is the genre I get most excited about usually because there is rarely anything as engaging or as fun as a good horror film. I could never limit my art expression and appreciation to only horror. I often run into people who only watch horror movies or only read horror books and while that is fine, it also saddens me that they aren’t expanding their horizons and experiencing other great stories out there being told. I am a lover of storytelling—be it a story about some housewife in Georgia during the depression era, or a serial killer who collects womens’ heads, it is all open to me. There seems to be a movement in horror of who is a true horror fan—an elitist movement, and I find that kind of sad. Horror fans have always been the outcasts, and in today’s circles horror fans are trying to outcast the casual or new horror fans. It seems odd to me. Some kid who loves The Walking Dead is not worthy of this lifestyle? There is enough to go around for everyone. Just because your Aunt Hazel is watching a horror TV show doesn’t make her or anyone else who enjoys it a poser. As for my own daughter, she has been exposed to horror since it is my career, but I do not show her the movies. She is five and I just don’t think she is ready for them. She loves stuff like Frankenweenie, and that is right for her speed at this time. I expect her to be a horror fan when she gets older if she takes a shine to it. I’m her old man—it is bound to happen when your house is full of Freddy gloves and Michael Myers masks, and when you walk into the house daddy is painting a picture of Jason Voorhees
on the computer every day. LDM : Anyone who follows your work and interests at all knows that you are a huge Nightmare on Elm Street fan. You were involved in doing artwork for a new Kickstarter project by Red Rover Books, LLC, Never Sleep Again: The Making of “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” This project was successfully funded in May and the creators hope to have this coffee table book available to the public by November in time for the 30th Anniversary of A Nightmare on Elm Street. How did you get involved in this project, and are you looking forward to seeing the final result? NTM : I was lucky enough to get the job on the Never Sleep Again cover because one of the guys involved in it was a fan of my work and had wanted to commission me for a personal piece a few years earlier. Through that we became friends on Facebook and they were looking to include some artwork on the interiors of the book and were looking for artists. He knew I was a Nightmare fan, and knew some of my part 1 art so I was the first artist on his list. When I found out they were doing the book—something I had dreamed about for 25 years and had considered writing myself many times—I basically poured my heart out to them about how much I wanted to do the cover for it. They already had cover art for it and were not even thinking about commissioning art for it. But after I told them how much it meant to me and showing them some sketches, they gave me a shot and I did the art and they loved it. So it was basically taking a shot and a little begging. It was something I just really wanted and I figured the worst they could say was no. So I threw pride aside and told them how much the film meant to me, and that I would do the cover for a penny. Sometimes, you just have to lay it all out there. LDM : Are there any new films or television series that you would really like to recreate visually? NTM : New films or television series I’d like to do art for? I am a huge Walking Dead fan and they keep hiring artists each season to do exclusive art for the show, usually at Comic Con. I’d love to get that phone call to be one of those artists. LDM : And in closing, you are also a film director / writer. Can you tell us about any new projects you have going on in that arena? NTM: Well, my directorial debut, A Wish for the Dead, which was based on a comic short I wrote and illustrated years ago, is about to hit the film festival circuit and at horror cons. It will be playing at ScareFest and Epic Con this fall as of right now. It is a feature film influenced loosely by The Monkey’s Paw. In October, I am directing a short titled “The Encyclopedia Satantica,” which will be part of a horror anthology titled Volumes of Blood. It is part of a film school through a library in Owensboro, Kentucky. I am one of five directors working on the project and I am honored and excited to get back into the director’s chair. This will be my third film. My first was Girl Number Three from 2009. As I said, film has been my true passion since I was a kid, so getting to make movies is a really rewarding experience. I don’t consider myself a professional director, but it has been fun to be a part of. Just another rare opportunity I have been lucky enough to have because of my artwork. LIVINGDEADMAGAZINE.COM 33
BearManor Media $32.95
This is my dog, Max. Heâ€™s very excited by these books. And birds. Books and birds. And balls. Books. Birds. Balls. BearManor.
MONSTER MAKERS by gary castleberry
of Hands of Horton Designs
Artist Bruce of Hands of Horton Designs Living Dead Magazine : Bruce, did you get the model kit bug like other kids, meaning did you start out putting together things like planes, trains and automobiles, or did you get your inspiration after seeing monster movies, such as the great Ray Harryhausen movies? Bruce Horton : It was a little bit of both. Ray Harryhausen and King Kong were my first inspirations. I saw the 1933 Merian C. Cooper King Kong masterpiece when I was a kid and became hooked on monsters and sci-fi movies, plus figure model building ever since. As a novice modeler, building the old Aurora monster model kits was how I fed my imagination and love for fantasy films. After seeing all of Ray Harryhausen’s wonderful films, I knew without a doubt that creating fantastic art, premium quality statues and display models for collectors was to be my career and vocation.
Welcome to Monster Makers where we shine the spotlight on those talented people who actually make the monsters we know and love come to life. We have sculptors, model kit makers, mask makers, those who make full size props, special effects makeup artists and many more talented artists whom we are thrilled to feature in every single issue. In this issue, our “Legends of Horror” issue, we spotlight horror artist Bruce Horton of Hands of Horton Design. Bruce Horton is a master sculptor, artist and builder of museum quality kits for clients who would rather have their finished product done by a professional like Bruce. We welcome Hands of Horton Design to our funky little family here at Living Dead Magazine. LDM : As a kit builder, and being a Ray Harryhausen fan. What did he mean to you as an artist and a fan of his great work? BH : Ray Harryhausen has been the biggest influence on my career as a pro-figure model builder. His films and work continue to inspire me to continue the creative process in the fantasy and monster figure kit genre. Ray’s work has compelled me to further develop my imagination and bring it to life within my sculptures and models. LDM : How do you approach painting certain kits? Do you have a plan of attack with a kit, or do you just go free form and see what the kit looks
like once you have reached the end? BH : Every kit is different; therefore, free form is the way I approach the building and painting process for each project. The process should not be mechanical as in steps one, two, three. The basics of cleaning, priming and painting a kit are academic; however, the true creative process cannot be measured in steps, but with the heart. The great kit builder and painter feels the process by doing, and then just knows when a project is fully realized. LDM: The model kit business has changed and evolved over the years. In the mid-‘90s the industry was boom
LDM : You have done build ups and painting of kits from Bogart to Bigfoot to King Kong. As an artist what are some of your favorite kits you have done for people in the past? BH : As an artist, the most favorite models I have completed for my clients include the GeoMetric Design King Kong custom dioramas and of course, my Bigfoot custom display models. The scratch built model dioramas I create are also my favorite because they are one-of-a-kind artworks unique to my style and technique. Ray Harryhausen’s Gwangi, Cyclops and Talos character resin kits sculpted by Joseph Laudati have also always been a favorite of mine and my clients. There are so many great monster figure kits out there created by wonderfully talented sculptors. LIVINGDEADMAGAZINE.COM 37
ing with magazines such as KitBuilders, Modeler’s Resource and Amazing Figure Modeler offering all things related to kit building. Now there is only one magazine to my knowledge and that is Amazing Figure Modeler. It seems ike the hobby or industry is slowing down, but if you go on eBay there are over 3,000 models to bid on, and some at very high prices. Can you give us your take on the current state of figure kit modeling? BH : Figure model building is still very viable in my opinion. Magazines come and go, but the best magazines—such as Amazing Figure Modeler—are still thriving. And the garage kit industry is still plugging along, putting out some of the best figure kits ever made. It is a passion for the sculptors and producers of independent kits. So many kits have been made since the ‘80s, and especially the 1990s. There is a huge secondary market which accounts for the vast amount of kits being offered on eBay and other auction sites worldwide. Independent garage kit companies still do well selling to fans of the genre. The best representations of the great monsters of filmdom are created by the fantastic garage kit sculptors. People are nostalgic about their favorite monsters and characters of the movies. They’ve got to have them on their shelf to look at and admire. In my opinion, this will never end. Therefore, the garage kit industry, companies and magazines will always be there to provide our needful things. LDM : What do you see in store for the future of kit building? 38
BH : I believe the future of kit building has good prospects. There will always be kids out there who are seeing a Ray Harryhausen or King Kong movie and will want to build a model kit to play with or look at on their bedroom shelf. When those kids grow up they will be the next pro model builders and kit makers of their generation. The novice and pro model builder both enjoy building and painting model kits. The most important thing to remember to do with this hobby is to have fun, enjoy what you make and then share it with others. LDM : I’m sure you’re asked this question many times, but how in the world do you get the eyes on your works of art looking so real and lifelike? Many say the eyes are the hardest part of any figure kit, and the smaller the scale, the tougher the eyes are to do. Is that a Horton family secret, or can you tell our readers how to achieve that lifelike look in the eyes of a kit? BH : The eyes are the soul of a figure kit—the richer they are rendered, the more lifelike the appearance. The eyes on my figures are a Hands of Horton technique—my painting recipe. A good tip when painting the eyes of a figure is to look at real eyes and photographs of eyes. Look closely and then paint what you see, not what you think the eye should look like. The eye is very intricate with lots of details and reflective highlights. Concentrate on rendering as many of those details as possible when painting the eye, and then add a little gloss varnish for added realism.
LDM : Who are some of your favorite figure kit sculptors? BH : There are many sculptors whose work I admire and respect; however, there are some artists whose work has inspired me personally. They are Joseph Laudati, Izumi Takabe, Tony Cipriano, Shawn Nagle, Mike Hill, Jeff Yagher, Mark Newman, Jeff Taylor, Joe Simon and Joseph Williams, creator and sculptor of superior figure base kits and accessories. LDM : One final, perhaps silly question, unless you are a kit builder, have you ever super glued your fingers together putting a kit together like so many kit builders have done but never admit to? You can plead the fifth here if you like. One of our staff members (me) has done this and had to pry his fingers apart ever so carefully. BH : Any full time kit builder who says they never had a superglue finger accident when building a kit is a liar. It happens to the best of us. All part of the creating process. You just have to jump in with your kit—glue, paint and all. I call it having fun. It’s my joy! Bruce, it’s been great having you in our Monster Maker club and we all wish you the best for the future.
Should our readers want to view some of Bruce’s masterpieces, go to Bruce’s Facebook to see more of his amazing creations and visit his website handsofhortondesign.com to buy finished pieces or commission some work of your own.
of the month
Model Name : Kristina Kreep Age : 29 Location : Maryland / DC Occupation : Domestic Goddess / Jewelry Maker at My Darling Frankenstein / Gorelesque Performer (horror-themed burlesque) What do you love most about horror? : From early childhood I have been obsessed with Halloween, so my taste for the macabre has always been there. It started with kooky spooky and extended to gruesome. I love dark, spooky things—the way it looks, the way it makes me feel. It’s just a natural love. Some gals want diamonds—I just want a hearse with a toe pincher coffin. Skeleton included.
Favorite Classic Horror Monster: That’s tough because I really love both the Frankenstein Monster and Dracula. Favorite Slasher Film Villian : Leatherface. The saw is family. How many horror tattoos do you have & what are they? : My whole body is covered in them. I have over 20 bats—the two biggest make up most of my chest piece. My left arm has Lily & Herman Munster, a full sleeve of pink spiderwebs with candy corn, a bloody skull, jack-o’-lanterns, plastic vampire teeth, bats, a retro Halloween black cat and spiders throughout it. My right arm has Elvira, Lydia Deetz and a sugar skull. I have a coffin on my index finger, the words “trick or treat” on my ribs under the gals, 666 Omen style on my backside, a zombie cupcake on my right thigh and four various 13s. It’s tradition to get a 13 every Friday the 13th I can.
Best Horror Convention Moment : I am usually vending my jewelry or signing calendars with my burlesque ladies so there are countless crazy, awesome moments, but I have to say meeting Elvira, Cassandra Peterson. She has been a huge influence on me, if not the biggest. She is the queen of Halloween after all. We got to talk for a bit and after leaving her table, she had her assistant track me down to come back to get a picture of me that she later tweeted. I know it happens often, especially for fans with Elvira tattoos, but it felt amazing. And she loved the photos of me modeling as her in a magazine. It doesn’t get better than having the Elvira stamp of approval. Name your choice for “Legends of Horror” : Director : John Carpenter or William Castle. Actor : Vincent Price, hands
down. Actress : Jamie Lee Curtis is the scream queen. Author : Clive Barker. What does living a horror lifestyle mean to you? : I feel like my family and I are modern day Munsters. We are the weird neighbors with a spooky aesthetic living this lifestyle. It’s everything. And it’s natural. My business is horror based, my personal style has been described as “walking Halloween,” and my house is a horror museum. Every day truly is Halloween in my home. Horror has founded many of my friendships, and introduced me to the amazing people at cons, modeling, etc. I mean, going to conventions you build a horror family with people. It’s awesome nerding out over the genre with people living the same lifestyle with the same passion for it. LIVINGDEADMAGAZINE.COM
the daughter of
an interview with
Sara Karloff by gary castleberry Living Dead Magazine : Ms. Karloff, I’m going to ask you a question you have most likely been asked a million times. How was life growing up with one of the— if not the most famous—monster that ever graced the screen or stage? Sara Karloff : In early life, my father could not have been more different from the roles he played so, being around him was a delightful experience for friends and family alike. He was a soft-spoken, warm, funny typical English gentleman. He was well educated, articulate, well read, loved animals, gardening, children and was passionate about the English game of Cricket. LDM : You were born during the filming of Son of Frankenstein. It was said that your dad got the news and rushed to the hospital right from the set. Did anyone ever tell you if he had time to take off his makeup or did he come dressed as the monster? SK : That makes for a terrific story, but no, the studio was not about to let him out in public in that outfit and makeup. He had to wait until the day’s shoot was over to go to the hospital. There is a photo at the hospital of his holding me with a nurse at his side. He is wearing a very respectable suit.
Sara Karloff with her famous father When one thinks of classic horror or classic monsters, the first thing that comes to mind is Frankenstein’s monster, portrayed by Boris Karloff. Many have tried to duplicate this role and many have failed. Mr. Karloff was the only one who could give this monster the life and the iconic personality we have all come to recognize and imitate today. Boris Karloff was not just the iconic figure of Frankenstein—he also portrayed many a spooky and eerie character in over 158 movies during his lifetime. Many don’t know that besides being a horror star, Mr. Karloff was also a versatile actor wearing many faces. Even with a hectic schedule, he found time to be a good family man. He gave back to the community via charities and was an all around class act. We here at Living Dead Magazine are truly honored to have interviewed Ms. Sara Karloff for this “Legends of Horror” issue. Our issue would not have been the same without hearing from someone connected with a Universal Monster legend. We hope you enjoy what she has to say about some well-known—and perhaps some very little known—facts about her famous father.
LDM : Many may be shocked that Mr. Karloff won a Grammy award in the spoken word category for his rendition of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Was he rather taken aback by this huge achievement or did he just take it in stride as another talent he had?
boris visits newborn Sara at Hospital
SK : My father loved doing How the Grinch Stole Christmas. In fact, he loved doing any work that involved children. He recorded some 20 plus children’s albums and did Peter Pan on Broadway. He was in England when the Grammy awards were held that year, so his agent Arthur Kennard accepted it for him and kept it in his office until the next time my father came back to the west coast. My father went to Mr. Kennard’s office and Mr. Kennard said, “Well, Boris, here is your Grammy.” My father took it and looked it over and said, “It looks like a bloody door stop,” and walked over and put it down by Mr. Kennard’s door where it stayed for many years. As much as my father loved his work, awards were not important to him except for his Screen Actor’s Guild Gold Card. That he cherished. LDM : Speaking of voices, your father had a wonderful speaking voice. My dad and I never missed the series Thriller, and no matter what was shown as the main presentation, we both would have tuned it in just to hear your father speak. SK : My father’s voice was as recognizable as his face. He could do most anything with his voice—scare or soothe you. The same could be said for his eyes. He also used his hands beautifully as an actor. Those three things distinguished him in his career. LDM : On top of being a family man, and having a hectic film schedule, Mr. Karloff still found time to dress up as Father Christmas and would go to a hospital for handicapped children to give out gifts. Did he enjoy doing charitable work? And how in the world did he find time to fit this into his busy life?
Boris enduring the long hours of makeup to transform him into the Monster
problems between Bela and my father were not true. They worked together on seven films and had a great professional respect for one another. LDM : When Mr. Karloff sat in Jack Pierce’s makeup chair, he sat there for hours having that extensive makeup applied for the Frankenstein role. Other actors, such as Henry Hull, the first Werewolf for Universal, and Lon Chaney Jr., the second Wolf Man for Universal, did not see eye to eye with Mr. Pierce. Did your father get along well with Mr. Pierce, or did he have issues as well? SK : My father always referred to Jack Pierce as an absolute genius and the
best makeup man in the world. He credited him with making the Frankenstein monster what it was and making my father’s career turn around. They got along famously, and Jack said my father was patient as a horse. LDM : One burning question that causes great debate and often heated discussions is, what was the true color of the makeup used on your father for the Frankenstein monster? SK : Jack Pierce was a genius at makeup for Universal and did all the makeup on my father. In my home movies from Son Of Frankenstein, the skin had a greenish tint. Mr. Pierce tinted the makeup with a slightly greenish color knowing
SK : My father was a very kind and caring man. His work as one of the founding members of the Screen Actor’s Guild speaks to that. His card number is number nine. He participated in many charity events. But all things of this nature he did quietly, and without any fanfare. LDM : Your father worked with many other actors. Who were some of his favorite actors that he enjoyed working with? We hear so many stories of certain horror actors of that era not getting along well. SK : My father did not bring his work home, nor did he talk about other actors. However, the stories about there being
Boris Karloff and Vincent Price on the set of The Raven
or turned it down? I know that in Bride of Frankenstein, he didn’t believe the monster should talk. Yet, when he played the part, he spoke with such elegance and grace. He made the moviegoers understand that it wasn’t he that was the monster—it was the townspeople. Did he scrutinize each movie script before taking a role?
Boris as The Mummy
SK : You are correct that my father didn’t think the creature should speak in Bride, but history has proven him wrong, and he played the part with great pathos. He objected to any role with unnecessary violence or gore, but he loved his profession and was grateful to be able to work, almost literally, until the day he died. He had a full range of parts throughout his career, and television and Broadway allowed him to leave the horror genre many, many times. One of the highlights for him was performing in The Lark with Julie Harris and being nominated for a Tony. He had three television series of his own, did a huge body of radio work, children’s albums, Broadway and film. He considered himself a very lucky man and I am very, very lucky to have been his daughter as he was a wonderful man and father.
“He had three television series of his own, did a huge body of radio work, children’s albums, Broadway and film. He considered himself a very lucky man and I am very, very lucky to have been his daughter, as he was a wonderful man and father.” that when it was shot in black and white, it would turn out to be a deathly grey. Jack Pierce was clever enough to know that, and also a testimonial to his greatness. This is why you see many toys and posters with many shades of green. LDM : Ms. Karloff, what are some of your fondest memories from growing up in Hollywood and being the daughter of such a huge star? Did you fully understand the magnitude of how great a man your father was? SK : Since my father lived a very quiet non-star like life, I was not really aware 44
of his fame. Also, a famous name did not stand out in Hollywood. In later years, riding in an elevator with him was always an interesting experience because people didn’t know whether or not to mind their manners or to take advantage of a captive situation. But, most of the time, there was a lot of nudging, but they waited until we got off to point. He handled his immense fame with grace and dignity, and was always very lovely to and grateful for his fans. LDM : I’d like to close with this question: Did Mr. Karloff have a checklist of what he wanted within a movie role before he accepted
LDM : Ms. Karloff, thank you so much for granting us this interview. We hold your dad in high regard here at Living Dead Magazine. I, personally, have at least seven model kits of your Dad and do this in homage to his great work in films. We wish you the best of everything in life and again, I thank you for taking the time to speak with me. SK : Please thank your readers for their interest in my father and his career.
the history of horror hosts Celebrating the funny man of horror
svengoolie by gary castleberry
Most of you readers should be familiar with horror hosts (Vampira, Elvira, Sir Graves Ghastly) and what they do, but perhaps you don’t know how they came to be over the course of time. Let’s walk back in time just a bit and give you a little horror history lesson on the creation of horror hosting. You see kids, in the 1950s, television was a fairly new and great invention. Before television, folks relied on the radio, going to the theaters and making out in the back seat of a car for entertainment. When television was invented, it became the greatest invention in the world. There were only four stations during that time—ABC, CBS, NBC and one independent station that was local. In October of ‘57, Screen Gems went to all independent television stations around the U.S., offering a package of movies called Shock! They also encouraged the stations to add a host for the shows. It was common to see a local weatherman as a horror host on Saturday night. The stations called this Shock Theater. It was an instant hit, showing all the old Universal Monster movies and select B movies. Other packages were offered called Son of Shock and Creature Features. The first hostess was Vampira, and she might have only lasted from ‘54–‘55, but she paved the way for future horror hosts and became a legend all her own. On the east coast they had Zacherly, and later on the west coast they had Elvira. North Texas had the great Bill Camfield as Gorgon, and Chicago had the original Svengoolie. Elvira is still around and as popular as ever, but is more about product lines and appearances than horror hosting. Svengoolie is the only horror host that still has an active Saturday night presentation. Now that the educational part of this interview is complete, let’s get on with the show. Living Dead Magazine is proud to present Svengoolie, who has come out of his brand new coffin just for this interview. [Warning: bad jokes and sexual innuendos may follow.]
Living Dead Magazine : Welcome to our nightmare, Svengoolie. Can you give our readers the history of how you became Svengoolie, the top horror host in the universe?
The Original Sven Jerry G. Bishop
Svengoolie : Am I really the top host? I thought I just wore a top hat. (Yeah, that was bad.) Anyway, the basic story—as basic as I can make it without putting people to sleep—I was a fan of the work of Chicago deejay and TV personality Jerry G. Bishop—a very funny guy. Jerry, as the staff announcer on duty during the Friday night monster movies on WFLD in Chicago, started doing this character he called Svengoolie while doing the announcements, and gradually built it up into full audio bits. Since I was a fan of his, I just started submitting jokes to him, as other viewers did* (see disclaimer below), and this eventually evolved into actual video segments of the host. I kept sending material, including commercial parodies, song parodies, etc. Jerry liked them, and must have seen something in them, because he asked me to send more, and even gave me specific ideas for bits to write. Eventually, he had me working with him on the show writing, doing voices and bit parts, artwork, etc., paying me out of his own pocket. When the show was cancelled, I went along with him to do drive time radio as a second banana and writer. Along the way, a local station asked him if he’d want to—just as a sort of summer lark—do Svengoolie again, just for the summer. He was reluctant for a few reasons, but he had the idea that I could be Son of Svengoolie, and he would produce and co-write the show with me. We had some false starts, and nothing came of it. Shortly after, Jerry got a job in San Diego, and before he left asked me what I was going to do, since I’d been freelancing at a bunch of jobs. I told him I might try to pitch a local station on a show, and he suggested I try the Son of Svengoolie, and gave me his blessing to do so. After shopping it around, I finally got an audition and eventually I got the show on air at WFLD, the same station at which Jerry had started the show. I did it there for three and a half years, winning three Emmys, until they cancelled the show because the Fox Network was coming in. I did other television and radio, but during that time people always asked about Son of Sven. When television visionary Neal Sabin was asked to take the reins of a local station WCIU, and turn it into a classic independent station, he hired me as a personality and specifically wanted me to do Son of Svengoolie. Just about that time, Jerry G came into town, and while we were visiting I told him about the WCIU gig and said I was thinking of shortening the name, since at this point, and even by the end of my WFLD run, a lot of people asked, “You’re Son of Svengoolie. Who was Svengoolie?” Of course, all the old school fans knew, but new generations started watching. At that point, Jerry said, “Look, you’re all grown up now. Just be Svengoolie.” How incredibly generous of him to allow that. Anyway, I went on the air on WCIU in 1995 and eventually on some of our sister stations, and then when Neal got MeTV off the ground, he insisted that Svengoolie be a part of it. Now with eight regional Emmy awards and broadcasting to over 90 percent of the country, I’m very flattered that horror fans have embraced the show. *I need to add every time I tell this story: please do not send me material and think I will hire you. Jerry always said that he had just about done all the shtick he knew when I came along, so he needed my help. Quite honestly, I’m still coming up with stuff, and we don’t take outside submissions. Plus, Jerry and I agreed long ago that I would be the last member of the Svengoolie family.
LDM : During your show, before and after commercials, you do lots of punny humor—impersonations of people from Beaver Cleaver to Harpo Marx, and you team up with your “in studio organ donor” or keyboard player, Doug Scharf, to create very funny, awesome songs. Who were your heroes of comedy that influenced and inspired your great sense of humor? SVEN : It’s a pretty long list, ranging from film comedians like the Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy, Bob Hope, the Three Stooges, etc., and radio comics like Jack Benny, Burns and Allen and Phil Silvers, as well as Stan Freberg, Bob Newhart, George Carlin, Albert Brooks, Johnny Carson and radio deejays and personalities like Jerry G., whom I was so fortunate to actually work with. I also love the great Dick Orkin, the radio comedy genius who created Chicken Man and did all sorts of great radio commercials, whom I also worked with and learned so much from. I know that’s a lot of names, and there are even more, but they all influenced me in various ways. LDM : It’s always amazing to me that many of your movies only run for 60 to 90 minutes and even with commercials you have to fill in the two-hour time slot with your funny bits. How do you get this done so well and down to the last second of your show? SVEN : We work towards a set time. We have the run time of the movie, the amount of time that we have to leave for commercials and what’s left is the amount of time we have to fill with Sven
content. I write to that specific time. I think my experience in writing 30 and 60 seconds has actually helped me a lot with the show—I can write the segments so that we’ll fit things into the time allowed. We can make some final adjustments through editing, but we try to get as much of, if not all of the movie, in as possible. I also personally go through the movies, break them down into segments, decide what to omit when we have to and if we need to edit it for time, I’ll try to do it so that it doesn’t effect the flow of the movie or get rid of stuff important to the plot. We even will try to match background music on edits so the edit isn’t noticeable. LDM : Svengoolie, you’re a monster kid supreme. What are your three favorite horror movies and who are three of your favorite horror movie actors or actresses? SVEN : Quite honestly, I have different favorites for different reasons—I can’t just pick three. I’ll try to narrow it down a bit, though. First, the original Universals are favorites, especially Bride of Frankenstein, and on through the Gill-Man, and Abbott and Costello meeting Frankenstein. Then I think the original Halloween is a true modern classic, though I’d have to make it a tie with Nightmare on Elm Street; and then I have a soft spot for The Abominable Dr. Phibes, Psycho and The Birds and House of Wax and see, I’ve failed to just pick three. And I haven’t even gotten to ones that are totally cheesy favorites. Like I said, I like different movies for different reasons. As far as actors, I like Karloff, Vincent Price and Robert Englund (followed by Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. D’oh, I’m doing it again! Three of my favorite actresses would include Tippi Hedren, Julia Adams and Hazel Court, which is actually the name of a street in a neighborhood I lived in a few years ago. Mentioning all the actresses that I think are hot would only cause trouble for me. LDM : Being in the horror business all these years, I’m sure you have seen it all in the way of scary movies. What scares you? What makes you jump and grip tightly to your armrest at the theater during a great scene? SVEN : Well, a lot of the gore stuff is more disgusting than frightening these days, though a quick unexpected spike through the eye or beheading will make me jump. I think that’s the key to what still scares me—the quick unexpected scare that comes out of nowhere, and isn’t telegraphed. Also, just the sheer tension of a victim trapped with seemingly no escape and the monster, force or whatever the menace is, slowly coming closer and closer— that can still send a chill down my spine. Maybe even back up my spine if it’s done well enough. My spine is a two-way street. LDM : Monster movies have changed quite a bit over the decades. What is your biggest issue with our current state of creature features today—good or bad? SVEN : I’d say the idea of redoing a horror movie that was good enough the first time is a bad trend. Making a reboot is fine if, and only if, you are really bringing something new to the story, and maybe even improving upon it. I also have a great appreciation for actual physical effects, as opposed to CG. Even though the CG stuff can sometimes be amazing, I’d hate to see the actual, handcrafted, hardcopy effects go away. I also don’t want to see real stop motion animation disappear. I understand it’s so much faster to do it with a computer, but from King Kong to all the great Harryhausen stuff—which I would have gotten to if you didn’t try to box me in with just three favorites. No, just kidding. Kind of. LDM : How can I box in a horror host who sleeps in a coffin? Please, carry on sir.
SVEN : There’s something about that incredible art form that horror and fantasy movies need to keep alive. Those flying brains with the spinal columns that sputtered raspberry jelly when they were shot in Fiend Without a Face will never be equaled. LDM : We agree. I also have one question for Kerwyn, your lovable mascot chicken. Kerwyn, on Svengoolie’s website svengoolie.com, you tell a joke for your fans, and it’s sent to you from your fans. When Svengoolie tells a bad joke, he gets pelted with rubber chickens. My question to you is, when you tell a bad joke, why don’t you get pelted with rubber humans? Kerwyn: I have an order of protection from my law firm, Florentine, Benedict and Overeasy, Ltd. Actually, depending on when you read this, in the Sven show “She Wolf of London,” we show a shield, similar to Sven’s chicken protection one, that a dear fan made for me, and she also made some little rubber Svens that do end up being tossed at me. I guess that doesn’t qualify as rubber humans, but… LDG : Svengoolie, Rich and Kerwyn, it has been a real pleasure doing this interview. You are loved by all your devoted fans around the world who love what you do. Many times we tune in to your show just to catch your act between commercials, and the trivia you tell your audience about the movie at hand. Do you have any parting thoughts or any special announcements or special causes you would like to share with your fans and our readers? SVEN : Just a few. First, and this is among the last times I want to bring this up, but I do want to thank everyone for showing
such concern and compassion back when I had my near fatal cardiac arrest in November of 2012. The outpouring of thoughts, prayers and love from you all means more than I can ever adequately say. So, hopefully for the final time, thank you! Another thank you definitely goes to all the loyal fans around the country who are such big fans of our show. I especially find it so flattering that the fans who grew up with and/or watched their own local hosts have embraced what we do and our fans, rather than dismissing us because we’re not the host they knew and loved.
Always the jokester. What Sven failed to mention is that May of this year the Illinois General Assembly also passed Illinois House Resolution 1041, which officially declares October 31, 2014 as Svengoolie/Rich Koz Day in the state of Illinois. So, I guess if you live in Illinois you won’t be handing out candy to little kids on Halloween, you will be throwing rubber chickens at them. Wocka Wocka!
I never thought I’d be doing this character for this long, or that it would be seen around the nation, much less be a success everywhere. I am grateful to everybody who tunes in and comes back every week for more. I love the movies, and I’ve always basically done stuff that I think is funny and hoped that you would too. I know that I’m very lucky and that I wouldn’t be anywhere without all of you out there. By the way, the plan right now is for my original coffin to be installed in Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications with a special event this summer, and for it to be displayed permanently there. Hopefully, without me in it.
“…am I really the top host? I thought I just wore a top hat!”
Artwork Courtesy of Artist Brian Maze of Maze Studios LIVINGDEADMAGAZINE.COM 49
ouija board t-shirts by
Reviewed by melissa thom as of Li t tle BL o g of hor ror BigtimeTeez is a company well known for their funny t-shirts inspired by popular movies and television shows. The folks at BigtimeTeez are also huge horror fans and offer some pretty amazing horror inspired t-shirts. To go with the legends of horror theme, I am reviewing the Captain Howdy’s Ouija Boards T-shirt, inspired by the legendary 1973 film, The Exorcist. I love how the design of this t-shirt is laid out. It is simple, yet very well detailed. The t-shirt comes in many different colors, but I loved the contrast of the black t-shirt and the white design, which I think really makes it pop. The screen printing is flawless. There are no cracks, peeling edges or signs of any other printing mishap. The quality of the t-shirt is fantastic and is very refreshing to see considering so many places out there really skimp on materials. It is true to fit and very comfortable. It is not heavy and breathes really well, making it perfect for any season. I have had some nightmare experiences with other online t-shirt sites where I have paid $20+ for a t-shirt and I received it with a hole in the side seam or the armpit area, but this has never happened with BigtimeTeez. This t-shirt is also preshrunk, and unlike other situations, this is true. I have washed and dried this t-shirt a couple of times and the t-shirt looks the same as it did the day I received it. This Captain Howdy shirt, as well as their other shirts, is also available in men’s and kid’s sizes ranging from small to 5XL. It is also available in more cuts than just a classic t-shirt. The Captain Howdy’s Ouija Boards T-shirt starts at only $14.95, which is a great deal. To order this t-shirt and to check out the full list of awesome products, visit BigtimeTeez.com. Be sure to like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter and Instagram (@bigtimeteez) for more deals and new design alerts.
E XC LU S I V E Living Dead Magazine Discount Code: LD15 (15% off everything except sale items. Valid through October 31, 2014)
What do you get when you combine the biggest names in horror with a convention from hell on Friday the 13th? Smothered, a brand new horror comedy from Fairlight Films, written and directed by John Schneider (The Dukes of Hazzard, Smallville). Smothered has an insane cast of some of the biggest names in horror: Kane Hodder (Jason X, Hatchet), Bill Moseley (The Devil’s Rejects, Repo! The Genetic Opera), Don Shanks (Halloween 5) and R.A. Mihailoff (Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, Hatchet II). Bill, R.A., Don and a few others play themselves, but Kane and most of the other cast members go by scripted names. The film will also feature other horror greats like Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes), Brea Grant (Halloween II), John Kassir (The Crypt Keeper), Dane Rhodes (True Detective), Shanna Forrestall (The Last Exorcism), John Schneider (Smallville), Adria Tennor (Mad Men), Andrew Bowmen (Magic City) and Amy Brassette (Pawn Shop Chronicles), and even Christine, yes, the car from the iconic film Christine.
Actress Brea Grant and actors Bill Moseley and Kane Hodder, getting into their whiskey tango roles.
There were a few script and casting changes made by Schneider before the film was entirely to his liking. Dane Rhodes’ role of Randy was originally written for wrestling and horror icon Roddy Piper. Unfortunately, Piper could not accept the role due to scheduling conflicts, so the role was entirely re-written and renamed for Rhodes. Another series of changes that were made were to Bill Moseley’s character. While writing the script, Schneider changed the name of Moseley’s character several times before deciding on the name of Soggy Christian—a recovering alcoholic who dawns a sweater and fedora combo that resembles Robert Englund’s iconic Freddy Krueger look. A dark comedy that is being called “The Expendables of horror,” and has been compared to the hit comedy This Is The End, Smothered places our favorite icons of fright at the worst horror convention ever created, on Friday the 13th, and where else but in a trailer park. This group is used to doing the chasing and the slashing, but the tables turn quickly and they become the targets. The film was a huge hit at its mid-May 2014 premier in New Orleans. There is currently no official nationwide release date, but it is receiving a lot of media attention and there have been offers made to Schneider from distribution companies.
Well-known faces of some of the cast and crew of Smothered.
For more behind the scenes photos and news on the film, Smothered can be found all over social networks, and watch for an official film review once this little monster is released.
facebook.com/SmotheredTheMovie • twitter.com/Smothered_Movie
It’s still not safe to go into the water...
author max hawthorne • Review by gary castleberry If Chief Brody needed a bigger boat in the movie Jaws, then Sherriff Braddock is going to need an aircraft carrier in the new gripping piece of paleo-fiction by Max Hawthorne appropriately titled Kronos Rising.
recalls. “On it, they had one of his desks and the typewriter he used to pen The Old Man and the Sea. The ‘lure’ was irresistible. Once I sat where Hemingway sat and tapped on those very same keys, I was instantly ‘hooked.’”
The name Kronos is synonymous with a colossally sized monster, often destructive in nature and a mystery to the natural world. For instance, in the 1957 science fiction film Kronos, a gigantic slow-moving machine attacks power plants, draining them of all their energy. This results in Kronos growing in size each time, becoming larger as it consumes more and more energy. In this instance, the threat is more to humankind’s way of life and the film’s writer surely created Kronos to warn of the consequences of over consumption of both natural and man-made resources. In Hawthorne’s book Kronos Rising, the fear of the unknown is the real terror, and with it comes the warning that as humans we might not be as prepared or as indestructible as we think.
Hawthorne definitely does a fantastic job of illustrating the monstrosity of this creature and the methodology behind each of its kills—his description of Kronos makes Jaws sound like a sardine. What is truly terrifying while reading this book is the fact that Hawthorne’s Kronos isn’t too far off from reality. Just recently a tracking device that had been placed on a 9-foot great white shark washed ashore off the coast of Australia. Oceanographers determined that something huge had eaten the shark, but they have no real answers as to what could have done this to a creature of this size. Until now, great whites have had no known predators. Reading this book, I couldn’t help but question if I was reading a novel or a survival guide.
Much like in Jaws, Hawthorne’s story begins with a sheriff, Steve Braddock, who has vowed to keep law and order in his sleepy little coastal town where fishing is the hobby and living for many of the towns people. Things have been pretty quiet and easy for Sheriff Braddock thus far, but that is quickly about to change. When a huge whale washes up on shore—not just beached but horribly mangled and torn up—and people around town start missing, Braddock soon discovers that something very old (65 million years old to be exact) and very deadly has come to his peaceful little town, and it’s huge, mean and it’s hungry.
But this book is much more than just a monster story—it is also a story about relationships and the people in this town, from all walks of life, who each handle this tragedy and their fears in different ways. You can relate to these characters and feel their terror and fight for survival every step of the way. It is a story of epic proportions that just begs to be adapted for the big screen, which, lucky for us, Hawthorne says he has had that in the back of his mind from the beginning.
A lot of the inspiration for this book came from Hawthorne’s own childhood and experiences in the outdoors. He grew up surrounded by prehistoric life, having a rock hound for a dad, and he always enjoyed being on the sea and the lure of the unknown.
9.5 / 10 skulls 52
“Movies and paleo-art played a part of course in me writing Kronos Rising, but I’d have to say that Earnest Hemingway was the ultimate catalyst. I was in the Florida Keys and happened to board a boat he once fished from,” Hawthorne
“I’m working on the screenplay for KR right now, and it’s coming out great,” Hawthorne said. “I’m blessed to have a mentor who has written some amazing motion pictures. With his guidance, I’m crafting a script which, when completed, will not only be worthy of the novel, it will also have the studios drooling over it like a hungry pliosaur, in anticipation of bringing it to the big screen.” For now we will just have to pour over the pages of Kronos Rising, and use our imaginations to unveil the terrors in the deep. I personally give Max Hawthorne very much credit for scaring the daylights out of me. In a ten skull rating system, I heartily give Kronos Rising a solid 9.5.
• The Wizard Behind the Curtain • • An Interview With Chris Alexander • BY MICHAEL ‘DEDMAN’ JONES OF HORROR SOCIETY
You know how every travel writer or photographer when asked what their dream job would be responds with “working for National Geographic, for sure”? Well, that is pretty much how most of the writers in the horror industry feel about Fangoria—it’s the Holy Grail. Bringing horror to the masses since 1979, the same magazine we loved as kids is still the number one source for horror news and entertainment today. Much like Elvira’s DDs, Fangoria just seems to get bigger and better with age, and a big part of that is they only hire the most knowledgeable and dedicated staff members like their insanely hard-working, down-to-earth Editor-in-Chief, Chris Alexander. In addition to tackling the beast that is Fangoria and her twisted twin sister Gorezone each and every day, Chris is also a director, writer, composer and former radio personality—we are pretty sure that Canada’s water supply is tapped with pixie sticks. From the website to the magazine, and everything in-between, there are very few people in the world that have their fingers on the pulse of what is going on in the horror genre like Chris. So the fact that he took the time out of his immense schedule to talk to us about film making, composing, editing and the legend that is Fangoria , says a lot about the type of guy that he is.
Living Dead Magazine : So Chris, since taking over as editor-in-chief from Tony Timpone in 2007, you have pushed Fangoria to even further heights and delighted horror fans by even bringing back Fangoria’s sister magazine Gorezone. What do you feel you have brought to the magazines as a writer and editor that you took from your time as a writer for Rue Morgue and The Dark Side? Chris Alexander : Just like most people of my age group who love horror, I was and I am a fan of Fangoria. I mean, that was my gateway drug into the genre. It was the outlet that legitimized my love of horror. I didn’t feel alone when I found Fangoria, and it showed me the wizard behind the curtain. It was my adventure. It was my religion. That may be a little heavy-handed, but I was never a church going lad, so I found my heroes and my myths in horror, and I got to “meet” them in the pages of Fangoria. When I discovered Gorezone Magazine, I was introduced to the writing of Chas Balun, which literally changed everything for me. It put everything into sharp focus in the sense that I firmly believe that words are nothing but notes and that the best writers are musicians, and it is how they put the notes in a certain rhythm that communicates what they are trying to say and how they are trying to say it. I think Chas Balun was not just a great writer and a great scholar of horror, but also a kind of a jazz musician. I won’t say I ripped him off 100 percent, because my style of writing and outlook on the genre is singular and my own, but certainly he was the strongest influence in what I do. My time at Rue Morgue was spent honing that voice. That six years was spent developing my public personality where readers knew who I was, what I liked and how I articulated myself for better or worse, so that when I got the keys to the kingdom to take over Fangoria, that voice was in place and now I had a wide canvas to apply my sensibilities and beliefs in art, films and music. I would not be here if it was not for that magazine.
LDM : How much do you think the internet and social media have impacted how the genre is being covered? CA : I think that times have changed radically. The whole point of what Fangoria excelled at back in the ‘80s and ‘90s was that it was the leading edge in the sense that it had all the scoops, and so as a reader if you wanted the news, you waited for that issue and went to the newsstands to buy it. But now, when something is news it is all over the internet in five minutes and forgotten the next day. Big hot news scoops really should not be the main driving focus behind Fangoria Magazine anymore. Knowing that, that was one of the first things I changed. It doesn’t have to be 100 percent timely. It has to be exciting, interesting and great storytelling, maybe timeless so that it could be read any time and place. I am not a huge fan of set visits because they are instantly dated by the time they go to print. You don’t know what a movie is until it is cut, edited and absorbed by the masses. I still do set visits, but I try to present them in a different way. Most of the stuff Fangoria used to excel at—being the leading source of horror news—we now filter that to our website. The rest of the craziness, bizarre storytelling and retro stuff like looking back at the genre through fresh eyes is what the print version does due to the internet completely altering that landscape. The magazines have to be collectable. The horror fans want something they can hold in their hands and pass on. On the internet, everything is disposable, no matter how good it is. LDM : What was the main catalyst for bringing back Gorezone? CA : Gorezone—being the more relevant periodical for me—one of the first things I wanted to do immediately when the opportunity presented itself was to bring the magazine back and make it be even better. I remember Gorezone being a great magazine as a kid, but it was never quite as gory as you remember it, as it was a newsstand publication. The point of the new Gorezone is to put out there a wall-to-wall Balunesque carnival with all kinds of unpredictable material, extreme violence, sense of humor and gonzo stuff you won’t find in Fangoria. LDM : In light of everything that happened with the Lianne Spiderbaby incident, were you surprised by the enormous amount of anger the fans expressed, and does Fangoria and Gorezone still accept indie writers? CA : There were a lot of misconceptions about that entire period, and that period was almost the darkest during my five years here. One of the joys in being the wizard behind the curtain was to facilitate dreams. So I was always on the lookout for passionate people that loved this stuff, burned for this stuff and that would come to you dripping for the opportunity to prove their passion for this stuff. My door is always open. I met her once when I was at Rue Morgue, and she came to me and sent me all of this stuff and was just enthusiastic and a burst of excitement. I gave her a chance. I think she was printed eight times in the magazine. She took that byline and the fact that she was associated with Fangoria and she ran with it. It was great for a while because now suddenly you have
About Horror Society & Michael ‘Dedman’ Jones Horror Society is your voice for independent horror including film, music, art, and performance. Their goal is to support those in the industry, share with fans, and create a sense of community for those who love horror. You can visit the website (www. horrorsociety.com) that focuses on indie news, book, movie, and comic reviews, and more. It is truly the perfect way to supplement your time between reading each issue of Living Dead Magazine. Our regular contributing writer, Michael Jones, better known as the Dedman is a Producer, Actor and FX Artist (Slit of the Wrist FX) based out of Raleigh, NC. Besides writing for Living Dead Magazine, he is also one of the head writers at Horror Society, where he does interviews, film & music reviews, retrospective and opinion articles. He is also the Program Director for Horror Society Radio and hosts The Calling Hours Horror Podcast on Tuesday nights. Recent guests on his podcast have included FX artist Bill Mulligan, Andrea Amanda Albin & Joanna Shirley of Bloody Bombshell Entertainment, Rising Scream Queens Tristan Risk, Tianna Nori, Dani Thompson, Josh Chaney, great-grand-nephew of Lon Chaney, and Directors Mike Bredon and Michelle Tomlinson, just to name a few of the talented and interesting horror industry people he’s covered. He can be contacted on Facebook or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Listen to the weekly podcast at : blogtalkradio.com/horrorsociety/
this flag waver out there who people seem to like, and hell, if people like her then I guess we better keep her around. Eventually it started to get a bit bizarre. When she started chumming around with Tarantino, it started getting a little weird. Is she using the brand to fast track her dream? When it collapsed, and it was announced she was plagiarizing, your heart just goes into your toes, because you’re like “Fuck! Fuck, are you serious? Is this happening?” You talk to her and she starts denying it, and you know the gun is in her hand and the blood is on her shirt, and you know she did it. The only thing I could say to her was “It’s over. I can never ever, ever let you write for the magazine again. It’s going to get worse. This is going to get really fucking bad,” and boy did it get bad. So on one level, I was broken hearted and still am. On one hand she gets what she deserves in that sense, but on the other hand she was and is a human being. I knew her enough to know that she was not an evil person—she was just a person who made some really bad decisions and thought she could get away with it. She got her comeuppance—boy did she ever. But the people that paid the biggest prices are the people like me, Lucas, Video Watchdog, FearNet and all those guys that gave her a chance now have to answer for her crimes, so to speak. But my nature is my nature. I will never ever stop taking chances on people. I will be a little bit more diligent, a little less tolerant of certain behaviors, but I will never stop taking chances on people that have that passion. To me, it is passion first (of course you have to be able to write), but I will never close my door on new writers, new voices and exciting potential new talent. For every Lianne Spiderbaby, you are going to get a dozen good people who will actually do good work.
LDM: Outside of all the writing you do for Fangoria, Gorezone and the website, you are also a successful book writer as well. In 2009 your book Chris Alexander’s Blood Spattered Book was published through Midnight Marquee (which covered a wide spectrum of genre film favorites and interviews with some iconic names), and this year Bear Manor Media is said to be releasing your new book The Twilight Zone Legacy. With covering so much genre fare in the magazines and the website, how do you find the time to juggle all of your responsibilities while writing a book, and did you find book writing easier than running a monthly publication? CA : Luckily, I do not write the whole magazine. Certainly, most of the cover stories are me, and I am the editor so I get final cut of what goes in the magazine, even when I don’t write 100 percent of every article, but between myself and Michael Gingold (my managing editor), who has been here for 15 years, we certainly tweak things so our words are in there from stem to stern. But as far as timing goes, I have always been multi-hyphenated in the sense that I do not do it for the money (it is my job), but I love what I do. I love to communicate my passion for bizarre arcane art. Crazy cinema is my driving force and has been since I was three years old. Bizarre pop culture has been my window into the world, this genre. Being able to have the luxury and privilege to be able to have multiple platforms to express myself is amazing. So, if the concept to have a book about my favorite TV show of all time arises, I am not going to say no to that. I will find the time. If someone comes to me with a few bucks and says “You can make any movie you want to make,” I am going to find the time to do it. If I have to not sleep for a couple of nights, that’s fine. I will catch up the next day. One of the beauties of what I do is that I don’t do it 9 to 5. I don’t commute or clock in, so I can work anytime I want. It’s just about managing my time and setting firm deadlines and meeting them.
LDM : In addition to all of your writing, you have also managed to squeeze film making into your resume as well. Not only have you been a director—Blood for Irina (2012) and
Queen of Blood (2014) — you have also been a producer, editor, composer, cinematographer and writer. With the vast knowledge that you have of the genre, how much do you think back about films that you have covered while you are working on filming projects, and what do you find to be the most difficult part of the creative process?
CA : I love all movies. When it comes to horror, I am a very forgiving horror fan. You look for these moments—they don’t have to be perfect films. I think most horror films are not perfect, and that’s what I love about them. They are messy. Horror is my punk rock, sloppy and rough around the edges. It was those amazing moments that make you go “wow,” and that’s how those movies stick with you. I absorb it all and I love it all. I can find something in almost every horror film, whether it be a strain of music or a performance or atmosphere that I can appreciate. The two movies I have made so far are incredibly low-budget. Because I had no money to make them, I didn’t have much responsibility in the sense that they didn’t have to be commercial and I could make what I consider to be pure cinema. The vision is so personal on both of these films; I wouldn’t trust the vision to anyone else. I did all the music, shot them, cut them. They were things I had to do. We didn’t have to meet a deadline to get a theatrical release—they didn’t have to test with an audience or sell Happy Meals.
LDM : Earlier in your career you were a radio personality on “The Jon Oakley Show” on 640 AM in Toronto (2004-09), and you were also on “Rue Morgue Radio” (2004-07). With podcasts being such a popular format these days, are there ever any plans for Fangoria to bring back Dee Snider and Debbie Rochon to host a new show? And what can you tell us about “DreadTime Stories” hosted by Malcolm McDowell, and how that concept came to be? CA : I don’t know the exact reasons why that show was pulled from the air. I know that Debbie has gotten busier, Dee has gone off to do whatever Dee does (and has his own show), so if Fangoria Radio comes back in any way, shape or form, and we have discussed doing a podcast, I would love to do it personally but it is a commitment, that’s for sure. You are basically running an audio magazine, but you don’t want to do it half-assed. If we don’t have the team to run it properly, it is not worth doing. There is talk of doing it. It is on the back burner and if we bring it back, it will not be the same entity that it was on Sirius Radio with Debbie and Dee. “DreadTime Stories” was produced by Falcon Pictures, who are the same guys that did the “Twilight Zone” radio dramas. They were a third party that came to us and said, “we want to put this together, we want you to produce it and do the music.” I think they are really good shows, but every month I would get a new drama sent to me with no music and it was up to me to design a one hour audio landscape for it. That was amazing because it gave me the discipline to keep creating music, so I had a reason to do it, but by the same token, it was too much. A complete score every month I had to crank out on top of everything else. It went under because the company decided it was not making the money from it. They are still online at Fangoria.com. I am really proud of those episodes, and I think Malcolm did a hell of a job hosting it.
LDM : Will fans ever see Fangovision 3D come back? CA : Fango 3D was cool. It was a fun little gimmick and I am a 3D junkie. It was a bit daunting to put together in the sense that we had to anaglyph the photos because they were not 3D, and the logistics of printing 3D glasses and placing them in the magazine. As much as I loved it and the fans sending in photos wearing the glasses, I don’t know how well it hit to justify doing it again. Maybe somewhere down the pike we will do a one shot FangoVision 3D magazine that will cover the history of horror in 3D from a-z—do a smaller run for the collector who wants to pick it up.
“At its heart, Fangoria is still back to where it was in the ‘80s—a scrappy, experimental, uncouth, rough around the edges magazine that will pop you in the face.” LDM : The genre has certainly changed over the years, with fans finally getting to see the uncut versions of old classics on Blu-ray, and directors being given more freedom to release their films the way that they want. Self-distribution and VOD has made the product available to almost anyone that wants it. Do you think the collectors market (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS, etc) is collapsing due to VOD and illegal download? CA : Yes, of course. I work on the side with Charlie Band. There was a time in the ‘70s–‘90s that this guy was king and was making money hand over fist because he knew the market. This was back in the day when a new VHS would cost $120 and video stores were king. That is dead now. I don’t know what the value of a movie is anymore because nobody makes a nickel off of them. I work with other companies outsourcing titles for distribution and these guys are desperate. Everyone is making movies these days (and that is a double-edged sword) with the technology so there is a glut of films looking for a home. Nobody cares if they make money—they just want to get their shit out there. There is no money to be made because everyone is ripping it off and want something for nothing. You see studios doing this all of the time. They issue a release of a film in a small quantity because they don’t want crate loads sitting. LDM : Fangoria, Gorezone and the website continue to be the standard bearer for the genre. Digging graves and taking names since 1979, what do you feel has been the most important article/topic that Fangoria has ever run? What do you think Fangoria’s enduring legacy will be? CA : I don’t know how to answer that. I don’t know what to say. Horror is so subjective, so what we may think is the most im-
portant thing we have ever run, if it does not register with the reader, then it is not as important as we thought. Then, everyone who loves horror love many different things. Everyone has a different idea of what the most important thing that Fangoria has ever run, and I think that is the beauty of a magazine like this. It is a pure reflection of the genre and the wide appeal of it. For me personally, it was discovering Jess Franco with Tim Lucas’ extensive articles in Fangoria and Gorezone. All of the exhaustive cataloging of Franco’s films Lucas did, deciphering the mysteries of them, and then treating these movies that were forgotten by time and released unceremoniously to VHS, not as just a product, but as art films. It was because of Lucas’ work that we value Jess Franco today as the auteur that he was. That would never have happened without Lucas’ work, and that was brave and bold because the average Franco film is not that good. You have to appreciate the body of work and the man. It was brave for the magazine to give Lucas the space to write about somebody who was thought of with such indifference, or even reviled as a serious artist. Fangoria has always rallied against censorship and against conforming. As pop culture changes, so does Fangoria. We are the longest uninterrupted entertainment magazine (35 years). Fangoria did what it did for me and everyone that discovered it. It changed our lives. At its heart, Fangoria is back to where it was back in the ‘80s—scrappy, experimental, uncouth, rough around the edges magazine that will pop you in the face. People think Fangoria is corporate, but it is a momand-pop thing. It is a nasty looking reflection of a nasty little genre that people seem to love. LIVINGDEADMAGAZINE.COM 57
scariest man in america an interview with
by gary castleberry Man lives in the sunlit world of what he believes to be reality. But... there is, unseen by most, a place that is just as real, but not as brightly lit...a darkside. Tales from the Darkside had it correct. There is another side of this world, and in this darkside you will find one of the greatest horror authors of all times—Jack “Scariest Man in America” Ketchum. Although he also writes thrillers and crime pieces, horror is his trademark and specialty. After being mentored by Robert Bloch, who gave us Psycho, it’s not a shock to hear other top authors of horror, like Stephen King, consider him to be one of the best. We don’t need a bottle of holy water, garlic or even a cross to speak with Jack Ketchum. He might write about some of the most terrifying subjects ever in existence, but in reality Jack Ketchum is just one hell of a downto-earth, nice guy.
Living Dead Magazine : Jack, first, let me thank you for allowing me to invade your space and time. I watched a trailer recently from a movie based off of one of your books, The Woman. They promote it as being “from the twisted mind of Jack Ketchum.” Did your literary mind always think in terms of horror or did your mentor, Robert Bloch, have that influence on your writing style? Jack Ketchum : Promotion is promotion. I don’t mind if they say I’m twisted. But my writing’s all over the place, not just in the horror field. A lot of my stuff is dark comedy. I even write essays occasionally. Hell, my next release will be a book of poetry. It’s called Notes from the Cat House and there’s not a single scary or spooky thing about it. Bob Bloch was an early influence, yes, especially in the area of dark comedy. But since then I’ve learned from dozens of writers, and I’m still learning. LDM : Like so many “monster
kids” that grew up going to monster movies and reading Famous Monsters of Filmland, did you also grow up with a love for monsters and horror related books and films? JK : Absolutely. I owned the
first edition of Famous Monsters of Filmland. My parents let me stay up late so I could watch the old Universal pic60
tures: Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Wolf Man, etc. And since my dad owned a candy store with magazines, comics and paperback racks, I got to snap up all the good stuff early. I was really pissed off when the comics code came in and I couldn’t get Weird Tales anymore. LDM :
Some say your book, The Offspring, is a follow up to The Woman. Did you have that in mind when writing them, or are both books two totally different animals concerning cannibalism? JK : My first venture into the world of people eating people was Off Season, at the end of which I killed off all my cannibals. Then, ten years later, I got the urge to contrast cannibals with the damned sociopaths all around us, and at the same time explore the idea of innocence, so I said what the hell. One of them lived and fashioned a new tribe, and wrote The Offspring. At the end of that I killed them all off too—likewise, in my screenplay. But when the director, Andrew Van den Houten, saw Pollyanna Mcintosh’s performance as The Woman in The Offspring, he said no way, she deserves a sequel. So he let her live. Lucky McKee and I saw her work and thought, damned if he isn’t right, she’s great! So we wrote the film and book The Woman just for her character.
Your writing about cannibals is just fantastic. I believe it’s far worse and more frightening than a Jason or Michael Myers because a cannibal will kill you and then eat you as well. Do you intend to shock and disturb your readers with such subjects, or do you envision how it feels to be devoured slowly, then write about this and just flow with the feeling? JK : If I don’t imagine as distinctly as I can what it feels like to be hurt or eaten, then I’m not doing my job. If I’m not imagining what it feels like to be a woman who loves her child, then I’m not doing my job either. But I think violence should be up close and personal, so we can truly empathize with the victim, put ourselves in their shoes. And of course in these books I’m out to shock and disturb. It’s disturbing material. LDM :
Your book The Girl Next Door has been said to be a darker Stand By Me. What are your feelings and thoughts on those comments? JK : Yeah, Stephen King said
that, which I took as a high compliment. I loved that story, the body and the movie. I think that yes, it does have a lot in common. Both are
first-person reminiscences from an adult on what went on when they were kids. And both are concerned with friendship, growing up and loss of innocence. But yes, mine— maybe because it’s based on a truly nasty real life murder— is the darker of the two.
just let the thing flow. LDM : I heard that Chuck Norris checks his closet and under his bed for Jack Ketchum before going to bed. I ask this question to many celebrities, but what scares or spooks Jack Ketchum? What sends chills down your spine?
LDM : Jack, before you begin
to write a book or short story, do you see the whole picture of the subject in your head, meaning do you see a mental movie version of your writings beforehand—as in start to finish—or do you have just a basic idea and just freeform write it?
JK: Bob Bloch always told me to know where I wanted to go before I started. By that he meant, know the feeling you want the reader to have when the story’s finished, not necessarily how you get there. So I know the tone I want beforehand, the characters, theme and general plot. Once I have that, I
That’s nice to know I’m scaring Chuck—news to me! What really scares me is Alzheimer’s. Next to that, snakes. And next to that, what the guy next door might be doing to his kids. Then there are religious fanatics and the Tea Party. LDM : Jack, do you believe as Dr. Jekyll did, that most all of us have a primal Mr. Hyde inside us that only needs a certain trigger to be unleashed? JK : I think we all have a
touch of that, to a greater or lesser degree. We’re none of us—one thing only. We all have aspects of our lives that are hard to control and
"What really scares me is Alzheimer's. Next to that, snakes. And next to that, what the guy next door might be doing to his kids. Then there are religious fanatics and the Tea Party."
some of us don’t even want to control them. But Hyde can be all kinds of things. Hyde can be self-destructive as well as destructive. Hyde can be bulimia. LDM : On the lighter side, I’ve seen some pictures with you and pets. Are you an animal or pet lover? Also, on the lighter side, what do you do for fun and pleasure? JK : I’ve always had pets. In
my adult life, it’s cats. I have five of them. George and Gracie, Lily and Sam, and now a kitten named Emma who we found hiding in the divider between the north and southbound lanes on Broadway just a couple of months ago. She’s named after another tough survivor, Emma Peel. For fun I read a lot of books, watch a lot of movies and hit my neighborhood bar for an hour most days just to see how my friends are doing. I also spend far too much time messing around on this damn computer. LDM: In closing, do you have any parting advice for the young horror writer or writers in general? Any do’s or don’ts you can suggest? JK: Don’t be impatient. Accept the rejections. And don’t start writing until you’re sure you have something worth saying, and don’t expect success until you have the experience to know how to say it. That means reading a lot, and writing a lot and failing a lot. Mostly write from the heart. Writing’s a seesaw and there’s somebody just as real as you on the other side, who you can probably help a bit by giving him a good ride. LIVINGDEADMAGAZINE.COM 61
Actor John Franklin’s Post-Apocalyptic Take on the Classic Sweeney Todd By Deanna Uutela
Authors of Prime Cuts, Tim Sulka & John Franklin Actor John Franklin typically prefers to stay out of the limelight these days, choosing to leave a legacy of a different kind—as an educator instead of an actor. But with the 30th anniversary of Children of the Corn happening this year and a brand new graphic novel to promote, Prime Cuts, John Franklin is taking off his teaching cap for awhile and rejoining his horror family once again, and boy are we glad to see him! Living Dead Magazine had the pleasure of meeting John Franklin and his writing partner Tim Sulka at Texas Frightmare Weekend, where we were able to catch up with them and hear all the juicy tidbits about Prime Cuts. Living Dead Magazine : John, your background is in screenwriting and Shakespeare, so why do a comic book? Are you and Tim big comic fans? Tim Sulka : To give you some backstory, John and I are not only writing partners, but we’re also first cousins. We’ve been writing together since high school, where we wrote plays and a murder mystery musical that we produced and starred in. Once we reconnected after college in Los Angeles, we started writing screenplays together. After our first produced screenplay, Children of the Corn: 666, we wanted to find another classic story that we could bring into the modern age. We are both fans of the Sweeney Todd legend and thought it would be a good fit for a comic book. John Franklin : I think we have both read comics from childhood and I was always fascinated by the simple way a story could be told through pictures. With updating the Sweeney Todd legend, we thought that developing it as a graphic novel would be a good way to not only share it with a new and different audience, but it would be a great way to bring a visual aspect to the piece—in writing screenplays, you can only suggest that in the writing. LDM : Well, your interpretation of Sweeney Todd set in a post-apocalyptic world where sex is traded for meat is truly an interesting and quite imaginative take on a classic, dark story. Why Sweeney Todd? What attracted you guys to this storyline? TS : Since it first appeared in the penny dreadfuls of the 19th Century, the Sweeney Todd legend has been a very strong force in the horror genre. It was even used as the basis for a Broadway musical. I think, though, the audacity of the story—killing people and baking them into pies—has always had a delicious wickedness about it and one that had a sly sense of humor about itself. JF : We’re naturally comedy writers, and with our love of horror and comedy, we thought it would be a lot of fun to tackle this story in a whole different arena. No one has ever presented this story in another time and place other than London’s Fleet Street. And since we both have a twisted sense of humor, we had a good time figuring out how this idea would be treated today. The result is Prime Cuts.
TS : I also think the character of the piemaker, Electra Love, has been an interesting exploration. In Prime Cuts, the pie shop is a pizza parlor. We wanted Electra to be a strong female character. There aren’t enough of those in horror—usually you only find a helpless female victim. We loved playing with her manipulative qualities. She also seems to hate the world. JF : Not to mention, most of her customers [are] the local gangbangers. She was a lot of fun to write. Electra isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty to get what she wants. LDM : The characters in Prime Cuts are definitely the dark and twisted variety, that is for sure. The comic has some pretty R-rated moments (sexual assault, prostitution, brutal deaths), so clearly the series is aimed at a more mature audience, and most adult horror and comic book fans are familiar with John from the Children of the Corn franchise. Are you hoping to show your fans a different side of yourself, John, and/or are you hoping that horror fans’ association with you as a horror icon already will help them transition easily into seeing you as a horror comic book writer? JF : Children of the Corn is now celebrating its 30th anniversary, so the original fans are older and wiser. The older teenagers and young people of today have been exposed to far more adult language and topics via movies and video games that make Prime Cuts actually somewhat tame. I think that the fans of the novel will appreciate the humor that is always sneaking around the corner. I cannot watch more than a few minutes of some of the current horror/torture movies—there is just violence for violence’s sake and certainly no humor. Exploitive and gratuitous. As with any piece of literature, one must look at what character is saying objectionable words and then think about why that character would say that. Sometimes the F-bomb is necessary to make a point or to show the ignorance of that character. LDM : How long have you guys been working on Prime Cuts? TS : The story and script took about a year, but once we got involved in the production of the graphic novel, that took quite a bit longer. Working with our talented artist Rob Gutman, we had to develop the look of the characters from head-to-toe, as well as design the settings, decide on a color palette, tone, etc. to create the world. The whole process took another year or so. JF : Then when we were ready to lay out the story in pictures, we worked with filmmaker Amy Neswald, who helped us define panel size and shape and camera angles for the cinematic feel. TS : Finally, to elevate the book beyond a comic, we added the voice of a snarky, omniscient narrator who comments on the action through the prose sections. I had also formed the company, Laddsville Entertainment, with two partners, Pamela Lloyd and Christian Pimsner, to get the book off the ground. Laddsville is producing the novel and subsequent volumes.
LDM : John, what do you love about writing compared to your experiences acting? JF : Writing, whether with Tim or by myself, is a very powerful experience. The writer is the complete lord of the universe—the puppeteer that all must obey. At least until you meet with the producers. Acting requires a completely different set of skills as you first analyze the script (usually other writers’ words) and then try to connect with the material. But both writing and acting are very fun and fulfilling—creating a world and then bringing it to life. LDM : What style would you say this graphic novel falls under? What do you want fans to take away from this series? TS : We definitely wanted to create a different look for this novel. It didn’t feel like Japanese anime or traditional Marvel comic style of artwork. It has an indie feel to it, which works for the world it is depicting. I think I want fans to take away the idea that a traditional, classic horror story can take on new life with a bold, new concept. JF : Also, I hope that people get the humor in the piece, even though it’s a bit dark and cynical. The world is askew and we approach it with humor. I also hope that they enjoy the new look of the familiar Sweeney Todd characters. LDM : What can we look forward to in the next issue and in the series in general? When will the next issue be released? TS : In the next issue, we learn more about Todd’s past and what has driven his vengeance. We will also finally get to the “meat” of the story as Electra discovers a unique way to dispose of a pesky, horny trucker. JF : Todd also starts realizing that what he thought was his fate is really something else entirely. Hopefully, the next issue will come out sometime in 2015. A lot depends on building a fan base for Prime Cuts to help keep demand for the story going. TS: And we’re really grateful to Living Dead for this opportunity to get the word out. Anyone interested in reading the book can buy it directly from indyplanet.com. You can either get a hard copy or download it to your computer or mobile device. JF : And I want to thank all my fans who have been so supportive throughout the years. It means so much when I hear about how Corn and Isaac has been an important parts of their lives—who would have known? And now I hope they enjoy our new devilish offspring, Prime Cuts. Enjoy the pizza! Happy anniversary Children of the Corn, and congratulations on the new fantastic graphic novel guys, we are happy to have you out of retirement. Fans should check out Prime Cuts and purchase a copy at
Horror Kid to Horror
Rockstar Thomas Dekker’s
Rise to the Top By guest writer Amanda Rebholz
At four o’ clock on a Friday afternoon on Hollywood Boulevard. I am standing in a Halloween shop debating the merits of a fog machine with Thomas Dekker. Full of energy and verbally ticking off a checklist, he juggles an armful of costume pieces and props we’ve already scavenged for tonight. In addition to being an actor, musician, filmmaker, writer and photographer, Dekker is currently working as the production coordinator and stylist on a massive photo shoot that’s taking place in a few hours, and one can’t help but wonder, what can’t he do? Thomas began his prolific acting career at the age of five when he was cast as the lead child, David, in John Carpenter’s remake of The Village of the Damned. Once in the public eye, he firmly stayed there with roles on Seinfeld, Touched by an Angel, Honey I Shrunk the Kids and Star Trek: Voyager, as well as many voice acting gigs in various animated projects. While initially his boyish good looks and bottomless reserves of charm landed him jobs in things like 7th Heaven and Heroes through his adolescence, it was his edginess and willingness to push boundaries that nabbed Dekker the spot of John Connor on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. At this point, Dekker’s career started to lean more toward independent and horror cinema, and as he progressed through his late teens and early 20s, he threw himself headlong into creating. He has a seemingly endless backlog of video clips, songs and photos from this period in his life. Jokingly he stated, “Other kids were out with their friends doing whatever on the weekends, and I was calling mine and going, ‘I wrote this script for a short film and I’m going to shoot it this weekend, do you want to come over and be in it?’ And I was lucky enough to have friends who indulged my weirdness for the most part. They just went along with whatever chaos I dragged them into.”
Most recently, Dekker’s credits include The Secret Circle, Fear Clinic, Squatters and The White City. His enthusiastic involvement in cult films like Kaboom! by director Gregg Araki (The Doom Generation) and All About Evil (directed by drag icon Peaches Christ), in particular show that he is no longer a fresh-faced, innocent little boy. Dekker has evolved into an androgynous, charismatic powerhouse who alternates between an eerily intense focus and practically being unable to sit still long enough to finish a cigarette—qualities which helped him land the role of Gregory Valentine, a gay ex-hustler art thief, in the upcoming FOX TV series Backstrom. Starring Rainn Wilson as the surly, foul-mouthed homicide detective, Backstrom sees Dekker as the sardonic post-punk roommate who pulls double-duty as Backstrom’s link to the seedy underground world. The role requires Dekker to bring a lot of sass, a fashionable Mohawk haircut and empathy for the outcast to the table. Luckily, these are all things that he’s intimately familiar with. “One of the best things about Valentine is his relationship with Backstrom,” Dekker said. “You’re supposed to think that Valentine is messed up. He’s lived a rough life, has a lot of friends who aren’t exactly upstanding citizens…he steals, he gets around, he draws looks wherever he goes because of his appearance. But he’s actually kind of got his shit together, and he is protective of Backstrom, he has his back, he takes care of him and guides him through some rough situations. “They have a fantastic relationship and I think it’s great that he’s such an outsider but he’s a very strong, important character and someone that even the hero can rely on in a bad spot. It’s also a formidable, intelligent, interesting gay character on mainstream TV, which is so exciting.” It’s been a crazy few months for Dekker. In between traveling back and forth to various cities to do promotion for Backstrom, he’s been taking meetings about future projects, working on producing a new film that he intends to direct, doing an appearance in Texas to promote Fear Clinic and dropping an album with his musical outlet Zero Times Zero. “Zero Times Zero is a complicated thing,” Dekker laughed. An accomplished pianist and guitarist with a voice that calls to mind singers like David Bowie and a little bit of Bjork, influenced by everyone from Billie Holiday to the Pet Shop Boys, he’s been creating music since he was a child, and his self-titled album Psyanotik came out a few years ago. “I felt that creating music under my own name sort of changed people’s perceptions from both end of things. I couldn’t do quite as much as I wanted because I had to worry about how it would impact other aspects of my career, etc.,” Dekker said. “So I started thinking about what it would be like to create anonymously—a kind of freedom that would come from a big art collective where no one really knows who is doing what. “That’s where Zero Times Zero came from. It’s a collaboration of artists—we have visual artists, photographers, actors, models, clothing designers…everybody all working toward the same end result. We all have a similar vision of what we’re creating. As far as the music department goes, I’m definitely the ringleader there, but there are so many people involved and it’s a very fluid group.” Zero Times Zero’s first album, Equals Zero, debuted on iTunes in May. It’s certainly different than Psyanotik, with a
darker, edgier feel and a more mature, complex sound from Dekker. Anthemic hits like “Rage On,” “Not Forgiven” and “Bored” are simply made for fist-pumping in your car, while songs “My Favorite Vice” and “The First Love Song” are full of aching longing and haunting vocals. As with everything he does, the music showcases the versatility and contradictions that make up Dekker. He dreams of touring, waxing hopeful about opening for someone like Gary Numan. His most recent film role, Blake Patton in Fear Clinic, was unlike anything Dekker had had the opportunity to portray before. Alongside Fiona Dourif (daughter of icon Brad Dourif) and Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund, Dekker was isolated in a repurposed old hospital in rural Ohio during the frozen month of December, playing an invalid. “Blake’s a very unique character in that when you meet him, he’s almost completely unresponsive. He’s in a wheelchair with a huge scar on the side of his head, he doesn’t speak, there’s no cognition in his eyes when people talk to him. He’s basically a prop,” Dekker said. “But as the story goes on, something in him is awakened and he starts to relearn how to talk, how to walk, how to interact. He develops a very close bond with Fiona’s character very quickly once he remembers how to connect with someone. It’s an interesting transformation for me to play, and I had to figure out everything from body language to eye movements to the tone of his voice. How would someone talk if they hadn’t been able to for a long time?” The film marks the fourth collaboration between Dekker and Director Robert Hall, as well as an exciting cast that also boasts the film debut of Slipknot and Stone Sour front man Corey Taylor. “Corey’s such an amazing musician and such a great guy. He was really professional on set, very natural. I grew up on the Nightmare on Elm Street movies—in addition to acting in the remake, of course—so working beside Robert Englund was awesome,” Dekker said. “He has a million stories to tell and he’s got his finger on the pulse of pop culture. Robert will recommend new movies or TV shows, or tell you about some new actor he just found out about, and he’s so enthusiastic about spreading the word about things like that. He has a real passion for what he does.” “It was great working with this cast, they were all really fun and we were all in that cold, damp location in Ohio together, so we definitely had time to bond. But Fear Clinic is different than anything I have ever done. The script grabbed me right away and was just interesting to me. It isn’t like most mainstream horror coming out right now—it’s more cerebral, more Cronenberg or something along those lines. A lot of hallucinations and mind games and psychological scares more than gore, which is going to maybe surprise people who hink Rob [Hall] was just making another Chromeskull movie.”And what about Chromeskull, the iconic villain of Hall’s slasher franchise Laid to Rest? In both, Dekker plays Tommy, who has thus far managed to survive the ruthless killer’s body count. aCtor / Model : Thomas Dekker Art direction & Photography : Amanda Rebholz Hair : Sarah Ault Makeup : Kelly O’Leary
“Well, Hall announced at Texas Frightmare Weekend back in May that he has every intention of making another installment of the film,” Dekker said. “When he originally asked me to work on the first movie, I was just a small part. I’m only in like the last 20 minutes of the movie. In the sequel my part was much bigger. What’s weird is Tommy has kind of become the ‘final girl’ of the series, which wasn’t really anything we expected or planned on. So if he does another one I’ll be there, of course. The audience has to know what happens to Tommy.” When we arrive at the warehouse where we will be conducting the photo shoot, Dekker immediately flips a switch and becomes all business, rushing around coordinating outfits for each model, arranging props and approving set design. In between tasks he darts to the stereo, DJing the shoot with haunting industrial music. In eyeliner and perfectly styled hair, checking his cell phone for texts from a model and explaining that the cropped leather jacket model Natalie Alyn Lind is wearing was actually once owned by Sid Vicious, it’s hard to imagine Dekker as he was earlier today, in a torn tank top and singing along to Billy Idol in the passenger seat of my car. But it’s exactly this unpredictable, contradictory versatility that makes him one of the most capable and formidable entertainers working today, and as he moves to take his place in front of the camera, one gets the impression that for Dekker, the sky isn’t the limit—it’s just the beginning of how far he intends to go.
At the time I am writing this article, The Koffin Kats are well into their annual European Tour, most likely drinking copious amounts of Merlot, local liquors and fine dining in the form of burgers and hotdogs, in the respective countries they are playing in. Many a fan will tell you that you don’t just go to one Koffin Kats show--once you’ve seen them once, you’ll realize their showmanship and high energy is enough to get you hooked, and as a fan of the Koffin Kats, I have had the pleasure of seeing them play live at least half a dozen times, due mostly to the fact that these boys don’t ever rest. Until recently, The Koffin Kats I was most used to seeing included the lineup of frontman / heartthrob Vic Victor, drummer extraordinairre, Eric Walls, and friendly neighborhood guitarist, Ian Jarrell (except for that one time he was deathly ill and had to have Gunn fill in). That said, the Koffin Kats recently brought in a new guitarist, Johnny Kay, to take the mantle from Ian. Johnny initially began working with the Kats as a producer on the albums Drunk in the Daylight, Way of the Road, Our Way and the Highway, as well as their most recent release, Born of the Motor. I won’t say I wasn’t sad to see Ian retire from the Koffin Kats, but after talking with Johnny and seeing him play, I think it’s safe to say that the Koffin Kats are still the epitome of what it means to live out the true meaning of sex, drugs, and Rock ‘N Roll. Living Dead Magazine : When did you guys discover you had talent. Vic, your voice is pretty deep, did you just hit puberty and realize you had this really deep voice? Vic Victor : No, I had no intentions of being a singer or a lead singer until the start of Koffin Kats. It’s one of those things where if you wanna do something, you gotta get it, gotta do it yourself. Before that I was just back up singing, or do a few songs here or there, but I never had my heart set on being a full-fledged singer. It just turned out that way. I was never in choir or chorus or anything like that. I liked to play guitar when I was in school, then I got an upright bass. I kinda went backwards. Eric Walls : I’ve always played drums. I started playing when I was 11, 12, 13, somewhere in there. And my brother played when I was really young--I always thought that guitar was the cool instrument and until I sat down on a drum set and really played it--like, I refused to play it because we were brothers and I kept doing the childish ‘Well I can’t like it ‘cause you like it.’ type thing. And when I sat down his drum teacher was like “Oh you’re--well, obviously, you’re not great at it, but you’ve got natural talent.” I instantly started playing and shortly after then, that’s when me and Vic started to hang out, playing in bands in high school and stuff like that.
Johnny Kay : It’s all I’ve wanted to do since I’ve had a conscious memory. Since I was two years old I’ve known I wanted to be a musician. I feel like I’ve won the lottery. I mean, we work hard, but everyone works hard at a job they love. It’s what we get back from our hard work. The rewards are fantastic, tangible and intangible. I’m very happy. People ask me when is Ian coming back? And I tell them I’m not going anywhere. Nobody is replacing me. Don’t even worry about it. LDM : Some of the stuff you sing about is about partying and drugs and it seems like you are saying that’s the real horror in this world. VV : You answered your question with a question. You know, really the shift from the early material till now was a move not to be so cliche. Was to not be like “Oh no, here comes another Ghost in the Graveyard album.” Those first three albums-those were like songs I had written when I was still a teenager. I was just getting into all this stuff. It was compiled ideas that I had spread between all of this albums. After those albums were done, I was like, ‘Alright, well, been there, done that. I don’t really want to be running out of ideas if I stick to this one thing.’ And yeah, at that time I was growing up, and growing up the hard way, learning things the hard way, so you draw much more influence than when you’re sitting in your house as a teenager watching horror movies. It’s just natural progression. 70
LDM : Any favorite horror movies you watch?
LDM : What about the equipment?
EW : You know what’s funny? We don’t watch a lot of horror movies. We watch a lot of documentary stuff and listen to talk radio. Stuff like that. We’ll get the random CD that we’re like “Ah, fuck, put that in, let’s listen to that, “ while we’re driving.
VV : We just fixed it. I got a picture of my neck broken off, my head stock broken off. I found out of the blue, it’s called Obi, but it’s basically the Home Depot there, and I got clamps and screws.
VV : When every night is music music music, or zombie this, zombie that--which believe me, I like it. But you need a break sometimes. Maybe it’s just cause we’re older now and we like talk radio. But really one of the big reasons is that we drive a lot and to get sucked into a topic or even like an audio book. It makes the drive so much faster. LDM : So I’m super into the post-apocolypse, think like Mad Max, Road Warrior, and you’re basically like Road Warriors. How would you guys survive if shit ever hit the fan? VV : I’d move to Missoula, Montana. Mountains to the south, east, north, west. LDM : Why is that? VV : I don’t know.
JK : Missoula is beautiful. We were just there a couple days ago. It is gorgeous. We were half joking about relocating the band from Detroit to Missoula because the pace of life. Just walking up and down the street. EW : And he has a weapons arsenal.
VV : Well, yeah, we have a buddy there and he has arsenal. EW : And I mean, if shit got weird we’d probably
EW : I think we lost that, and a drum. So we were able to borrow another drum and bass. We had to frankenstein it. VV : But the pain of that tour because it was like a quarter of the way into the tour, oh, man it was something else.
EW : I didn’t get hurt at all ‘cause I’m made of steel. VV : You had your legs up in front of you.
EW : I was on my computer and had my legs propped up. VV : The thing is, I would have been fine if I didn’t land on a case of fucking sparkling water. There’s liter bottles of sparkling water. I fucking hate sparkling water. We don’t need the bubbles. Europe loves the bubbles. We’re always going to the supermarkets there and squeezing the bottles to make sure there are none now.
EW : And if you shake the bottle a lot, the bubbles don’t go away. LDM : What’s your favorite thing you have to have on the road when traveling through all the countries, like food-wise? EW : We’re an open band, none of us have crazy food allergies.
have to eat Johnny. New guy, I’m sorry. He’s still kinda tender.
VV : We have to have meat.
EW : We can still get that liver.
VV : Food is a big one. And wine. Over the last couple years, we’ve acquired a taste for wine.
VV : Yeah, he’s not as polluted as we are.
JK : Eric doesn’t lift weights. He has no core strength. He’s on drums, so he’s got arms and legs, but no core. I could take both of them. I’m dirty. LDM : What’s the most horrific thing to happen to you guys on tour? EW : Car accident.
VV : Yeah, there’s two terrible things that can happen. You can lose your transmission or get in a wreck. And we lost our whole vehicle and got into a wreck--and we weren’t even in this country. We were in the Transylvanian region of Romania, in the middle of nowhere. EW : We got lucky.
VV : Yeah, we got really lucky. We were in a springer van, like a cargo bus. And there was a truck in front of us, hit a car full of gypsies, and it slammed on it’s brakes. Our driver was too close, didn’t have enough stopping time, and slammed into that truck. And you have to know that over there it’s custom to ride each other’s ass. It’s a race to the finish. And there’s a semi-truck behind us and they had no time to stop, so of course they accordianed us. And all of our gear was in the back and my bass got smashed and some other stuff. But it was the gear and all the t-shirts that took the impact so that we didn’t get killed. I remember I flew off of the seat, Ian flew off of his seat. He cracked some ribs, I cracked some ribs. And it sucked really bad. And a day or two days later, we were playing a show.
EW : “Give us what you got. This is your area.” And usually they wanna show us.
LDM : When Ian came in there was a shift in the style and sound, and I think he brought more of a heavy hardcore punk feel to the sound, moreso than the horror punk. I’m curious about Johnny’s music and contribution. EW : There’s definitely a difference in their playing, but I think it’s a good thing. We’ve gotten a lot of good feedback for Johnny. That was the one nervous thing for me and Vic. Whenever you switch a player in a band, it evolves one way or the other, but so far, so good and we’re real happy. One thing people don’t realize is that Johnny has been working with us since 2007. He did roadie stuff recently. He was our recording engineer for Drunk in the Daylight, Way of the Road, Our Way and the Highway, and Born of the Motor. And he did a lot of side projects--we did some compilation stuff. So he’s been behind the scenes and some of his backup vocals are on Drunk in the Daylight. VV : I think also with those albums, once Ian came in, that was right about the time when Tommy left and there was a shift for us that we were doing the whole time. And we wanted to then make sure we had the most professional sound we could get across. So with Ian coming in, we worked really hard and made everything as tight as possible. When you put the album in, it stands up to any multi-million dollar recording.
JK : I’m very green to this rockabilly / psychobilly thing. Not normally what I listen to. I do some different chord inversions, I’m not a big metal, shreddy-solo stuff, and I’m not very shouty-screamy. I’m very melodic and I sing like Elton John. I’m a classic guy. So, back up vocals, engagement with the crowd. When they hit me up in January to tell me that Ian was leaving and offered me the position, it was a thing like “Ok, well if you wanna do this, you’re leaving with us less than three days. You’re gonna do sound and merch and Ian’s gonna teach you the guitar parts when we’re on that tour.” So that was the reason I was on that tour. And not only that, but to see if I could handle being on the road, which I can. LDM : Since Ian just left the band and you just dropped Born of the Motor, you’re still on tour playing that stuff. But now that Johnny is here, will you be working on a new album in a year or so? VV : Within a years time or so, we’ll have something announced or in the works. We’re not rushing into it. We’re going to stay relevant and keep putting music out, but I’m not in any hurry. There’s people still realizing we have something new out. People still think we’re on Forever For Hire.
JK : One of the first things we talked about on the road, even when Ian was around, was to get me on a record as soon as it’s logically possible. So we’re probably gonna record in January. I already got a skeleton of a song in my head. We’re gonna work on a full album, maybe split it across some 7”s. LIVINGDEADMAGAZINE.COM 71
the purge : anarchy two reviews one film
Despite what the posters and trailers might lead you to believe, The Purge: Anarchy is more Mad Max or The Road Warrior than it is Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Friday the 13th. That is to say, it’s a thriller with more tension and psychological torment than horror or gore. If you can accept the concept—that in a near-futuristic society crime is kept low by instituting a twelve hour period of time when most crimes (including murder, rape, burning, etc.) are allowed—it’s an engaging flick. Surprisingly to me, some people had a problem with that dystopian premise, even though it’s not an unusual concept in many ancient cultures (the Japanese Hitobashira, virgins in volcanoes, weeklong Aztec festivals) or literature (both Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery and Ursula LeGuin’s Return to Omelas come immediately to mind.) I didn’t see the first Purge, but that didn’t matter. I never felt lost or deprived. I don’t even know if there were any nods to the first, but there didn’t seem to be. The actors, particularly Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo and Michael K. William, were believable and the pacing served the film well. Some political commentary on the government and the rich seemed a bit heavy-handed. There was no re-inventing the wheel as far as creative deaths, special effects or even the surprise twist at the end, and nothing stood out as brilliantly genre advancing. But it was a serviceable summer thriller that elicited some genuine jumps and giggles. --Flesh Fiction Editor, Debby Dodds
I was recently invited to enjoy an advance screening of The Purge: Anarchy here in Portland, Oregon. I saw the first Purge when it was still in theaters. The concept was simple: one day out of the year, all crime is legal for 12 hours. It's 2022, and we have some crazy New Founding Fathers that present the purge as a catharsis to expel negativity and repressed urges—really, those fuckers just introduced a new method of population control— it's hunting season and the poor and defenseless are the targets. Fucked up? Yeah, it is. I was curious to see what they were going to do to follow-up the first one. While I don't remember being overly impressed by the first film, I will happily watch anything that promises a fair amount of gore and violence. The screening was slated for 7 p.m., and a crowd was already outside of the movie theater when we got there at 6 p.m. I got to sit in the snazzy cordoned-off press section and patiently waited for the film to start. The theater filled fast. Chitter chatter gave way to silence when the lights dimmed. A cell phone goes off. Someone courteously shouted, "turn off your fucking phone." As the culprit started to shout back something about previews, the opening sequence of the film started to play on the big screen. The theater was now completely quiet. The film takes place in 2023 (one year after its prequel). Almost immediately we are introduced to the main players we will follow throughout the movie. We have a single mother who works as a waitress to support her teenage daughter and ill father, a man bent on revenge, and a young couple whose marriage has run its course. The film reminded me a lot of the Resident Evil series in execution from its prequel, and films by Robert Rodriguez with its gratuitous violence and bad jokes. This film is much more enjoyable if you think of it as a comedy.
This movie has gore. This movie has violence. But the story only moves forward through coincidence. The waitress is attacked by a gross neighbor, who gets killed by RoboCop looking soldiers, who all somehow get shot down by the guy bent on revenge as he happens to drive by her house (which is nowhere near the location that he tries to get to throughout the whole movie). As revenge dude is on a shooting spree, he leaves his car door unlocked, leaving the young unhappily married couple access to temporary sanctuary as they flee a gang of Slipknot devotees. That is how we get our gang of protagonists together. More convenient events occur, and that is how our protagonists get from point a to point b to point whatever at the end of the movie. There were also a few moments where I kind of cringed because lines that were uttered made no sense if you paid attention to the plot line (e.g., waitress shouting, "Do you have a car? We need you to drive us now!" right after emerging from a perfectly nice, parked car that still had the keys in the ignition). Despite the lazy storytelling and lack of attention to minor details, the cinematography of this film was fucking gorgeous— beautiful shots of ugly acts making each still look like art. Oh, and fans of the television show The Wire might get stoked to recognize Michael K Williams as Carmelo, a Malcolm X type character who encourages the working class to rise against the purge. His character was pretty badass, but also a little too conveniently placed. I wish we would've seen more of him in the film. Also, much to the disappointment of the person sitting behind us, there were no cannibals in this movie. But despite the lack of cannibals, overall, I'd give The Purge: Anarchy three out of five rotting skulls. --Living Dead Magazine’s Talented Intern, Tiffany Scandal LIVINGDEADMAGAZINE.COM 7z
IndieHorror.TV was created by life-long horror fan, Robert Poole, after attending many a convention where he spent time watching indie horror films in dark rooms. Realizing that many of these films were seen only at these events, and admiring the hard work that directors poured into the creation of these films, Robert decided to find a way to promote these unseen gems. While attending Horrorhound Weekend 2012 in Indianapolis, he rushed upstairs to his hotel room, bought the domain name for IndieHorror.TV and immediately returned to the convention floor to network with directors to get content for the channel. Initially a site meant only to promote Indie Horror films, IHTV has expanded to encapsulate goals such as being a consistent contributor to a community of like-minded fans, holding live events and sponsoring film festivals that help connect directors. Future goals include changing the entire film distribution model so that everyone can participate and benefit from the fruits of their labor. And it is in fact a labor of love for Robert. Insofar, Robert has funded IHTV completely on his own dime, hoping to bring to the world the results of blood, sweat, and tears including, but not limited to, the directors and their teams of actors, designers, writers, makeup artists, producers, and so on that make up the magic that is the horror film.
Founders of Slasher Studios, Steve Goltz and Kevin Sommerfield
When Kevin Sommerfield was just five years old he was introduced to the character of Leatherface, in a date with destiny that would change his life forever. Most kids that young are watching Nick Jr. or PBS, and are barely registering anything that would be thought of as a major influence on the direction of their lives. But over two decades later, Kevin still remembers his first time like it was yesterday, and his passion for horror has grown even stronger. Now no longer satisfied just watching horror, Kevin is thrilled to be in the director chair, making the horror films he loves as a part of a company he and his longtime friend Steve Goltz founded, Slasher Studios.
Be sure to check out IndieHorror.TV for the newest lineup of films available on their channel, as well as chat with directors about their films. Actor Mike Goltz in Teddy 74
“Today’s horror films are missing an element of fun. There’s this thought that horror needs to be something more--a thriller, a suspense, or it needs some sort of twist. Horror just needs to be fun.” If you’ve ever watched a Slasher Studios film, you’ll immediately notice the influences that drove them to filmmaking. Growing up huge Wes Craven fans, there’s a borrowed sensibility from Wes Craven’s New Nightmare and the Scream series that shines through in every script. “Today’s horror films are missing an element of fun,” Sommerfield said. “There’s this thought that horror needs to be something more—a thriller, a suspense or it needs some sort of twist. Horror just needs to be fun.” Both Sommerfield and Goltz attended Arizona State University and as part of their classes, decided to make their first horror film together, Teddy. Filmed in the snowy mountains of Strawberry, Arizona in February 2011, you would have had a hard time knowing this film was shot thousands of miles away from Sommerfield and Goltz’s home state of Wisconsin. Teddy played off some popular horror themes like a Friday the 13th inspired parental revenge, but it also brought a lot of fun new elements, including Mike Goltz’s character being possibly one of the biggest jerks in film history. You can check out Teddy and two other Slasher Studios shorts regularly on the IndieHorror.TV schedule to watch the fun for yourself. It was a learning experience for both as they had put together a fun slasher film just as they set out to do, but they also ran into a common roadblock for horror filmmakers: requests for censorship and toning down the content. Ultimately, Sommerfield and Goltz stuck to their guns when ASU faculty wanted changes to the film and haven’t looked back since. Teddy had a tremendously successful run on the film festival
circuit and Slasher Studios figured out that artistic compromise isn’t the road they want to take with their films. After producing three other short films themselves, they sought out the popular crowdfunding platform to get their first feature-length film funded, Don’t Go To The Reunion. They chose Kickstarter in the same no-compromise vein that had gotten them this far. Kickstarter is all or nothing—if you don’t reach your goal, the fundraiser ends and nobody is charged for their contributions. On IndieGoGo you can take whatever you raised even if you don’t reach the goal for a small percentage. The thought process was, if they raise less and accept that, they were not going to be able to make the film they wanted to make. In the final 10 days of the fundraiser, Sommerfield was posting practically once an hour to try to get the word out and raise the funds. As it turns out, they met their goal with just six hours left to go. Though those last 10 days meant a lot of hard work and sleepless nights, Slasher Studios was going to make their first feature on their terms. The film premiered at the Oshkosh Horror Film Festival in October 2013 to a packed theater and an excited, receptive audience. Shortly after, it premiered on IndieHorror.TV and received a similar reaction. For IndieHorror.TV it was also a success, as it was one of nearly a dozen films in 2013 that we had a hand in personally contributing funds to and spreading the word about. It’s that tight-knit community that really makes this genre so special and definitely makes it easier to find out who is releasing what in a crowded sea of distributed films.
With the success of that first film, they’re back with another script and at the time of this writing, fundraising for another feature-length film, Dismembering Christmas, which is scheduled to begin shooting in January 2015.
When pressed for details on what makes this different than other Christmas slashers, Kevin offered just one hint. “Unlike other of the better-known Christmas slasher films like Silent Night, Deadly Night, Black Christmas or even Christmas Evil, we took great pains to make sure every death in our script was either weather or Christmas related.” Sounds like the sort of holiday gift every horror fan will want to unwrap. You can check out Slasher Studio films on Indie Horror TV at indiehorror. tv, and purchase a copy of any of their films at slasherstudios.com
Vampira & Me
a film documenting the woman who started it all by Jesus Figueroa In our interview with horror host Svengoolie, staff writer Gary Castleberry gives us all a little history lesson on the origin of horror hosts, with Vampira being the first ever chosen host. Acting as emcee for classic horror films and forgotten B movies to television stations across the country, Vampira, born Maila Nurmi, apparently based her character off of “Snow White’s evil queen, Morticia Addams, and Sunset Boulevard’s Norma Desmond.” The stunning and eccentric Vampira floated on screen through a mist of fog and eerie music, beginning each show with a blood-curdling scream followed by a downright erotic smile, luring you into her 17-inch waist and long black dagger nails. But little is still known about this horror host legend, and with Nurmi’s death in 2008, it seemed that perhaps so many unanswered questions and secrets would follow our beloved Vampira into her final resting place. Determined to make sure Maila Nurmi’s story gets told, documentary filmmaker
Ray H. Greene has brought together never-before-seen personal and intimate interviews with the original horror hostess and gothic screen queen legend, Vampira, to fans world-wide with his new documentary Vampira and Me. “There’s something about Maila. She was so entertaining to be around, but also such a tragic person in some ways,” Greene said. A labor of passion for Greene, this project is something that came after the passing of Nurmi, but he believes this would have been something Nurmi would have been proud to have been a part of. “One of the things about Maila is that she was a wonderful conversationalist and if you were a friend of hers, and got to the level of trust that fortunate for me that I was able to achieve, her personality and the way you interacted with her was an important part of your experience of her,” Greene said. The cult icon Vampira found a home among the pop icons of her time. She was more than a mere host of television shows—she quickly became a star, hanging with the likes of Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney Jr. Her fame exploded
after being on the cover of LIFE magazine, and she soon became a household name. Greene said that she was syndicated for west coast audiences and central audiences, plus she appeared on variety shows, which made about a third of the adult American audience. But the famed life wasn’t all fame and fortune, as Nurmi lived a secluded life for many years after Vampira left television. She struggled after being taken off air. The famed character she created had been a huge part of her life. The studio would try to replicate that iconic character, but there was no matching Vampira. Nurmi had not just created her character, she had become Vampira. When Nurmi was Vampira, she was not Nurmi playing a character—she would dive into the role and completely become Vampira. Greene said that Nurmi was adamant about telling her story—the ups and the downs— and showing the world who Nurmi and Vampira were. He came across Vampira not from the goth scene but more from the punk scene, while he was working as editor-in-chief of a magazine. “I come to Vampira from a different direction than the norm. I’m not really a goth, I really came at Maila from the punk direction,” Greene said. “I came at it because I was exposed to it from the punk side of the ledger. What basically happened was that in—whatever the year that Maila and I met, ‘94 maybe ‘93—I became the editor-in-chief of a magazine I was working on rather suddenly. There was a big shake up and the editor was moved one jump ahead of the owner because he had his family on the staff, and suddenly I was made the editor-in-chief and I could do whatever I wanted. I didn’t have to ask anybody. I could write about whatever I wanted. When I sat down at my desk and thought about who I wanted to write about, I swear to you, the first story that came into my head
was I want to write about Vampira because she always seemed interesting to me.” The re-emergence of Vampira in the punk scene brought her to a new generation and showed just how ahead of her time Nurmi was in creating the character Vampira. With more exposure came imitators, such as Elvira, who Nurmi fought over copyright issues, but later decided to just drop the case. In 1994, director Tim Burton made Ed Wood where a reenactment of one of Nurmi’s role was shown, but as for original footage from the actual Vampira show, it is scarce. “At the time when I interviewed Maila, we knew of no footage whatsoever of the Vampira character,” Greene said. Through help from friends and colleagues, tapes were restored and a new side of Nurmi came to light and was added to the film. Greene was thrilled to be able to hear Nurmi’s voice on tapes, which once were thought to be unable to be restored. “Maila never saw any footage of herself as Vampira. You can hear her say it at the end of my documentary. If you go to the end,
past the credits, you can hear her say, ‘I can’t do it, it’s been so long. If I can just see one.’ She has never seen one, never seen an episode of the show,” Greene said. “Over 400 percent more footage was discovered because of the project [Vampira and Me], and that is something I know Maila would have been proud of.”
her as I knew her precisely. I think that was the moment I knew I was going to bunker down and get this film out to the world.” The documentary Vampira and Me is now available on DVD, Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes Movies and Vudu.
Years after Nurmi’s death, Greene set up and worked on bringing the story of Vampira and Nurmi to the public—a beautiful tribute to a friend he admired. It wasn’t until nine months later, during a fantastic night in London, that he wasn’t only reminded of Nurmi, but felt the need to make the project. “I hadn’t seen the footage in about ten years. I sat down to watch it at a small screening in London. It was a great, wonderful night. I was a guest of honor, and everything was set up just perfectly,” Greene said. “Then the lights go down and Maila is the first thing in the movie, and there she is on the screen talking to me the way she had always talked to me. I could hear my own voice responding to her. I found it so completely moving to see her again, to see
“Classic Monster Series” courtesy of artist Malcolm Gittins
Among the rugged peaks that frown down upon the Borgo Pass
Remembering Carla Laemmle By Matt Majeski
With each passing year, memories are stored away within our minds, waiting to be opened one day. Of course, many times those memories become lost, obscured, forgotten, until we have no recollection of them, which is a horror all its own. This is why it is so valuable to have firsthand witnesses to the making of our favorite horror films. Sure, you can gain a perspective of it from a book, a documentary or a biopic. But nothing can compare to talking to a person who has witnessed incredible moments in cinematic history, basking in the knowledge and experience that they were fortunate enough to be privy to. So it becomes a tragic loss when a person with that wealth of wisdom passes on, especially one of the last links to the early days of cinema. For Universal classic horror film fans (including myself), that pain was felt as sharp as a wooden stake in a vampire's heart. Carla Laemmle, niece of Carl Laemmle, the founder of Universal Studios, and the last surviving actor from The Phantom of the Opera and Dracula, passed away on June 12, 2014 in her home in Los Angeles, California. She was 104. Rebekah Isabelle "Carla" Laemmle was born in Chicago, Illinois to Joseph and Carrie â€œBelleâ€? Laemmle on October 20, 1909, sharing the same birthday with her future co-star Bela Lugosi. In 1920, the life of the 11 year old Rebekah Laemmle would be forever changed when her uncle Carl invited her and her family to stay with him at Universal City. So she, her mother, father and maternal grandmother, Emogen Isabelle Norton, travelled away to the far off fantasy land of Hollywood in January of 1921. Rebekah Laemmle eventually shed her first name, changing it to Carla. And around 1924 she channeled her talents as a ballet dancer into a film career, gaining an uncredited part as the prima ballerina in the 1925 classic, The Phantom of the Opera, starring Lon Chaney as the title character. During the shoot, she was lucky enough to witness many scenes, including the filming of Mary Philbin unmasking Chaney as the hideous phantom, among others. In 1930, she acquired yet another small but vital role as the bespectacled coach passenger in the 1931 film Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi and Dwight Frye. In the movie she became a part of cinema history, uttering the first lines of dialogue in one the first talkie horror movies of the silver screen. How did it go again? "Among the rugged peaks that frown down upon the Borgo Pass are found crumbling castles of a bygone age." This introduction marked the beginning of a new era of horror films, and ultimately allowed the genre to bloom into what it is today. After her contract ended with Universal in 1935, Carla slowed down her dream of becoming an actor. She supposedly retired from film in 1939 with an uncredited role as a ballet dancer in the film On Your Toes. Eventually, Carla briefly came out of retirement in the 21st century, appearing in bit parts in films like The Vampire Hunters Club. Her last film credit was in Mansion of Blood as Maribelle, and is expected for release on October 15 of this year. In the end, Carla Laemmle remains to be a fantastic example of one who maintained a truly enriched live. She demonstrated how one human being can live life to the fullest, well into old age, and right until one ultimately leaves this world. May Carla's family and closest friends find the strength inside themselves to help them overcome this huge loss. May Carla's fantastic cinematic legacy continue to thrive onwards, as undying as the Universal Monsters themselves. And may her soul finally find peace, be it in heaven, or among the rugged peaks that frown down upon the Borgo Pass.
You can read more about Carla and the rest of her family's history at laemmle.us.
issue 5 coming this October Celebrating American Horror Storyâ€™s Return with a Carnival / Freak Show Edition With Cast of Circus of the Dead Director Fred Olen Ray X-Men Writer David Hayter Killer Klowns from Outer Space Funhouse, Freaks & So Much More!
Our biggest issue yet, both in size & celeb interviews, we cover the legends in the horror industry from makeup artists to authors & directo...
Published on Aug 19, 2014
Our biggest issue yet, both in size & celeb interviews, we cover the legends in the horror industry from makeup artists to authors & directo...