TWS Week of Horror Day 1: Jody Wheeler [Interview]

Jody Head 1 Revised - Version 3


Welcome back Everyone to an all new Week of Horror! It is that magical time of year where blood and murder and chaos are not only acceptable, but preferred! And we hare kicking this off with some great words from writer, director, producer, up and coming cult leader, all sorts of things doer, Jody Wheeler. Hardcore horror fans will know him as the man behind the new classic, 2014’s The Dark Place. But, his work has spread across so many different genres, and has even been a championing of sorts of the LGBTQ community. Which is definitely something you should support and look more into, but we are hear to talk about the HORROR! Oh the HORROR! Jody has a new film, WTF, coming soon that I seriously believe will blow all of your feeble minds.

With that, please enjoy this digital conversation with Jody Wheeler!


Can you tell us a bit about the upcoming film WTF!, which you are an executive producer on, that looks absolutely terrifying, yet so much fun?

Yes! I really think it is. Classic group-of-friends go to the woods story and mayhem ensues. This time, there’s some nice wordplay, betrayal, treachery, classic video gaming, and a wonderful moment in keeping with the title of the movie, one where you question everything you’ve seen. There’s also boobs, butts, and blood. But no one ever watches a movie for that. 🙂

Your 2014 film The Dark Place has seemed to become one of those cult thrillers that I’ve heard nothing but good things about. Can you tell us a bit about why you wanted to make this film? What was your end goal, and do you feel like you accomplished what you were trying to do? (P.S. I feel like you must have, because it is so great!)

Thank you for the cult remark. I’ve always wanted to be a cult leader. That whole “hoods-in-candles-and-shadow” has always been a favorite look of mine.

The story came from a collision in my brain between a family drama and twist and turning thriller. I think I was also watching too many BBC mysteries, too. I blended that all together with some humor for flavoring and think I got a pretty good movie out of it. Even though the script is original and not based on an existing series — the car crash was in my mind after all — I imagined I was adapting the first book in a series of mystery novels, trying to set up a hero and his relationships with those he loves and the larger world. You’d want to see him in future adventures as he traveled the world, hoping just maybe you’d run into Keegan (and Wil) if you had troubles of your own that needed solving. They are great characters and I’m proud to have shared them with the world.

You have a wide range of work in your catalog, definitely not just horror and thrillers. But, given that this is Horror Week, can you tell us how much you enjoy working on more frightening projects?

I love scary movies. I’m not a big torture-porn fan, but things like Poltergeist or Let the Right One In or Bug are such a trip. The real world suddenly goes sideways and you are up to your earlobes in doom, with no good options, and no idea if you are the virgin who survives the movie, the first friend to die or, worst on worst, you are actually destined to survive until the last few minutes, and are then taken out by some other twisted fiend. That’s why I love them. Since I’m also a big scifi fan, if the horror film is also scifi or the scifi film is also horror — like The Mist or Event Horizon – even better. To that end, I have a project I’m working on now. It’s horror, with a bit of comedy and scifi added into the mix.

What does the future hold for you? Any other projects you might be working on that you would like to talk about?

With my business partner, Steve Parker, we’re working on the release for WTF!, taking a short he directed called Love, Colin out and around to various film festivals, and working to get that comedy-horror off the ground, plus working on a co-production for a YA time-travel adventure series. So basically, I’m slacking. We’re hoping to be able to announce the comedy-horror project in the next few months.

Do you have any big plans for this coming Halloween?

If that cult-leader thing comes through, I’m hoping the stars will finally be right so I can have my cult open the gate at R’lyeh and bring the Old Ones back through, destroying reality as we know it. Otherwise, I’ll just go to a party.


What is your favorite scary movie?

Oh, there are so many: Alien for the sheer epic isolation of it all. A Nightmare on Elm Street because the idea of exploding into gore after being sucked into the bed always freaks me out. Evil Dead 2 because that was the first time I realized you could laugh so hard your sides hurt while watching someone get their sides ripped out. Ben & Arthur because never has a love story between two men been more bereft of both love and a story (and skill, and talent, and visuals, and sound and…) than that film.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

I smile a lot, so that’s a generally hard one. I will say my most recent unexpected smile came yesterday, on a walk through the marina near my house, when I came across a yacht with a helicopter on the back. Clear canopy two seater. Blades folded in. Lashed an attached to the ample back of this beautiful boat. It’s was right out of a Bond film. Easily stood there for ten minutes. Would have marveled longer if the bald guy with the scar and monocle, and stroking a white cat hadn’t told me to move on…

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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