Ron Oliver [Interview]

 

Welcome to Day 17 of Trainwreck’d Society’s Annual Month of Horror Showcase! We have a fully loaded month of all things horror for you fine folks! October is our favorite month for this very reason, and we are so excited to share 31 full days of film showcases and interviews with some of the finest folks from the world of horror, just as we have been doing for the last 6 years. What started as a simple 5 day showcase, has now blossomed into a full blown month long event. You’re going to love this! Enjoy!

 

Hello Folks! We are keeping things rolling with another amazing interview for our Month of Horror. We are beginning to break out the big guns for dear readers! Not that we haven’t had some heavy hitters in the previous 16 days, but I am simply promising that it is going to get even wilder from here on out! Today we have a guest who not only has the perfect first name, but is a damn fine filmmaker and writer not only in the world of horror film and television, but just an overall wonderful talent in the art of filmmaking and writing. It’s Ron Oliver, Everyone!

In the world of horror, Ron has worked within the tremendously popular, for good reason, Prom Night franchise, which we will discuss below. Oliver has also managed to be a man who has been involved with projects that have affected me personally throughout my entire life, strangely enough. He worked on a series we have brought up on here before entitled Are You Afraid of the Dark? (see last year’s Month of Horror with Gerald Wexler!) as well as the television adaptation of the Goosebumps series. But, behind the world of horror, he has also done some of the best Christmas themed TV movies you can find (which has a weird connection I’ve noticed to ALOT of folks from the horror world. I might have to look into that one day), as well as directing episodes of classic shows like The Secret World of Alex Mack, Degrassi: The Next Generation, and more recently the absolutely hilarious Grand-Daddy Day Care starring Danny Trejo and the legendary Garrett Morris. He’s an insanely talented workhorse of a man who has put out so many amazing works of art that should all be appreciated individually. I’d implore you all to check them out, but the odds are that you already have.

So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the absolutely brilliant filmmaker, Ron Oliver!

 

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What inspired you to get into the world of filmmaking? Was it an early aspiration you can always remember having since your youth, or did you just find yourself in this world one day? 

When I was a kid, my parents gave me a Christmas gift of a flip card projector, this sort of movie viewer which was designed for I guess 5 year olds to watch the original Frankenstein and Dracula – back then, horror was for kids. The images were single stills but when you turned the handle they would animate much in the way of a motion picture film, frame by frame. I was obsessed with it, and the idea of making moving pictures, especially monster movies because i loved horror so much as a child. I decided then and there that one day I would make movies. 

What was your first paid gig in the world of filmmaking? And were there any kind of lessons learned from this project that still affect your work today? 

I wrote a spec screenplay called Camp Out, basically an anthology horror film with a wrap around story about some college aged kids who go on a road trip and encounter a creepy guy whom, they think, is a threat. There’s a significant twist ending which attracted the attention of some producers in Toronto, Canada, where I lived – one of them liked it enough to hire me as a full time writer, developing genre projects to produce. We never made Camp Out but i used the techniques of that script when i wrote The Haunting of Hamilton High, my first produced screenplay, which eventually was retitled as Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night 2. If i learned anything from either of those projects it was this – be true to your original idea and follow it through. There are plenty of roadblocks on the way to the fulfillment of any creative notion, and you have to stick to your guns and believe in the idea, or … why bother doing it at all? 

You began early in your career penning the second and third, directing the latter, installments of the Prom Night franchise, which were incredible by the way. So what was it like to jump into the world of Prom Night that early in your career? 

Prom Night was an interesting phenomenon – it’s not a particularly original film, and there are a lot of reshoots that went on (I found out later) to cash in on Jamie Lee Curtis’s fame at the time, so I think it was really not much more than a solid concept – slasher at the prom – which enjoyed the benefit of a terrific star, great promotion and excellent timing. 

When I wrote The Haunting of Hamilton High, we weren’t thinking of Prom Night at all, other than having a Prom as the final denouement in the script. Ultimately, the Samuel Goldywn Company, who bought the movie, decided to cash in on the box office of the original Prom Night – which was a very smart decision obviously – and call it PN2. 

Look, I loved horror movies, and to be able to become part of an established company – with a movie produced by Ray (The Wizard of Gore) Sager for heaven’s sake! – was a dream come true for a kid from rural Ontario, Canada with absolutely no connections to the film industry at all. And then to have my first movie be released theatrically internationally and to become, after all these years, an actual cult film is still a bit mindblowing, frankly. 

My entire life changed because Peter Simpson – the executive producer of the film – decided to take a chance on me, solely because he liked my writing. If he hadn’t given me that break, I don’t know what I’d be doing now. 

So I’m indebted to a lot of people who believed in me over the years, and I try to pay that back by encouraging and mentoring younger filmmakers. 

 

 

Throughout the 90’s you worked on a series that I absolutely adored as I was the target audience at the time. And that series was the wonderful Nickelodeon series Are You Afraid of the Dark? Our friend and past guest Gerald Wexler also worked the show. So, I am curious to know how you enjoyed working on a horror series meant for younger kids. Where there any similarities to your previous work in adult-oriented horror? 

I loved every second of making that series. DJ McHale, the creator/producer of the show, saw my Prom Night 3: The Last Kiss on video and thought I had the right sensibility for what he had in mind. 

As a kid, I loved The Avengers (the English TV series, starring Patrick McNee – who coincidentally used to own the house my in-laws live in) and Robert Fuest’s Dr. Phibes movies and of course John Waters. To be able to meld all of those styles with my own, and then to have the kind of creative freedom to write and direct 2 episodes like “The Tale of the Full Moon” or “The Tale of the Ghastly Grinner”, both of which are stories that – on the surface – seem like simple kid monster shows but are, I believe, actually about much deeper issues, was yet another dream come true. 

Horror is always at its best when it is an allegory, and when I was a kid I remember the deeper themes at work in the monster movies I loved – so I tried to bring those things to the work, and tell stories which had a little something to say, as well as hopefully scare the pants off the audience. 

In your own personal opinion, what do you believe it is that makes the horror genre special? What sets it apart from other genres you have worked in? 

As I said above, horror works best as allegory. A movie like Train to Busan, which is in my humble opinion one of the best and most important genre films of the past decade, or Attack the Block, as significant a piece of socio-racial commentary as we’ve seen since the 60’s, can deliver their messages subtextually in a way that mere polemics rarely do. I’m proud to be a genre filmmaker, and would make more genre films if the industry would allow! 

What is your favorite scary movie? 

Evil Dead II. No question. 

Do you have any plans for this coming Halloween? And fun traditions that you try to stick to every year? 

I’ll be working, as usual, making a mystery movie set in an alternate reality of 1960’s bossa nova and romance. I used to dress up as “Morty The Clown Of Death” at my sister’s house in Toluca Lake, Los Angeles and scare the crap out of kids by giving them candy and telling them “You’re going to see me twice in your life. Once tonight…and once at the end….” We used to get huge 3 lines down the block, with parents bringing their kids to be terrorized into good behavior…. Sadly, she sold the house and I’ve been making movies pretty much nonstop for the past five years so….Morty Is on hiatus. For now….. 

 

 

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers? 

Right now I’m directing a movie I wrote for The Hallmark Channel (the anti-thesis of your audience I suspect) called Christmas At The Plaza which I developed because I love The Plaza hotel in New York – it’s where my husband and I fell in love – and I wanted to honor it with a holiday film. It’ll be broadcast on Thanksgiving weekend. After that, I’m doing two mystery movies back to back – the Picture Perfect Mystery franchise – and then we jump into Big Fat Liar 3. 

Genre wise – we have been talking at my studio, Universal, about a reimagining of Ghost Story….we have a treatment and we’ll see what the next step brings us…. 

What was the last thing that scared the hell out of you? 

The election of Donald Trump. I met the man years ago and was astounded by his ignorance. I am not delighted to see he has lived down to my expectations. 

What was the last thing that made you smile? 

My husband found a praying mantis floating on top of the pool; he rescued the insect, and now Mr Mantis lives on a bamboo tree in our living room, happily ever after. I haven’t stopped smiling about this. 

 

 

 

 

 

Larry Rosen [Interview]

Welcome to Day 16 of Trainwreck’d Society’s Annual Month of Horror Showcase! We have a fully loaded month of all things horror for you fine folks! October is our favorite month for this very reason, and we are so excited to share 31 full days of film showcases and interviews with some of the finest folks from the world of horror, just as we have been doing for the last 6 years. What started as a simple 5 day showcase, has now blossomed into a full blown month long event. You’re going to love this! Enjoy!
Hello Folks! Day 16 is upon us, and we are so happy to be able to share some words from a man who lives and breaths filmmaking! In all aspects of the job, The great Larry Rosen as seen and done it all. He has a massive body of work not only in the world of horror, but a great deal within the community. He has released some of the finest indie horror films you can find over the last decade, whether it be as a producer, writer, director, all of the above really. He has even directed some of our favorite folks in the world of horror like Genoveva Rossi! He is a man with a wide range of talent and we are so excited to have him join our beloved Horror themed family for this month, our Month of Horror.
So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the brilliant Larry Rosen!
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What inspired you to get into the world of entertainment and filmmaking? Was it an early aspiration you can always remember having since your youth, or did you just find yourself in this world one day?

 

When I was a kid, I would watch at least 10 films per week. So I always had an interest in filmmaking. In college, I started writing, having had a few pieces published. Then into my twenties, I combined my writing and interest in filmmaking, to start making films.

What was your first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any kind of lessons learned from this project that still affect your work today?

 

My first paid gig was in a horror short film. I was hired as an actor, then ended up pitching in on crew. I’ve always felt that learning was a lifelong process. This helped enhance my philosophy as I watched and learned from the crew I was helping. It also helped with my belief that people can wear multiple hats on a film set and sometimes need to.

In your own personal opinion, what do you believe it is that makes the horror genre special? What sets it apart from other genres you have worked in?

 

Horror is one of the most fun genres to work in. You are trying to create a scare or something that will affect your audience. It has less limitations than most genres, because you can have extreme gore, or use loud screams, or no sound, and still work towards that goal. You also have the most freedom to play with emotions and snap between them. In a drama or comedy, if you went from happy to scared at the flick of a light switch, you’d lose the audience. In horror, it will keep them at the edge of their seat.
You have an absolutely massive body of work, according to IMDb, in just about every job available in the world of film! So with that, what would you say is your favorite part of the filmmaking process? If you were strapped to only work in one gig, which wouldit be?
My favorite part of filmmaking is casting and pre-production. I love meeting actors and finding the right fits for the roles. Then planning for the film shoot, getting everything ready, preparing to create this world that comes from your mind, is invigorating. In terms of jobs on a set, I also like doing the special FX makeup, especially playing with blood. If I had to stick to only one job for a film, it might be writing, because ideas always pop in my head and I love to create a world from them.
What is your favorite scary movie?
While it isn’t very scary, it would be Scream. Because it incorporates humor within tense situations. They utilize the jump scare, red herrings, and telling you who the killer is to throw you off.

Do you have any plans for this coming Halloween? And fun traditions that you try to stick to every year?

This coming Halloween, probably going to go to horror movies at the park (outdoor horror screening). I don’t have any traditions that I follow.
What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers? 
I direct and act in a lot of horror films. However, I just starred in a romantic comedy feature which is making its way around the festival circuit. I also am in discussions to go into pre-production on a horror/killer in the woods feature.

What was the last thing that scared the hell out of you?

 

I was doing a film where I get slashed with a machete. In the stunt, the actress hits me in the chest at full speed with a real machete. As the machete hit me, I thought the safety board cracked and had a moment of “what was I thinking?” Luckily it did not crack and the stunt went off without a hitch.
What was the last thing that made you smile?
I just found out today that one of my features I directed will be screening theatrically.

Jesse James [Interview]

Welcome to Day 15 of Trainwreck’d Society’s Annual Month of Horror Showcase! We have a fully loaded month of all things horror for you fine folks! October is our favorite month for this very reason, and we are so excited to share 31 full days of film showcases and interviews with some of the finest folks from the world of horror, just as we have been doing for the last 6 years. What started as a simple 5 day showcase, has now blossomed into a full blown month long event. You’re going to love this! Enjoy!
Hello Folks! Hot damn do we have a good one for you all today for our Month of Horror showcase! I have actually been hoping to chat with this person for quite a long time. He has done some amazing work in the world of horror, but it was far from the only reason I have been wanting to have him on the site. It’s the incredible performer Jesse James, Everyone! And by some strange account, I happened to remember the fun fact that one of Jesse’s first film role was alongside the greats like Helen Hunt, Shirley Knight, and Jack Nicholson, in one of my favorite film’s of all time, As Good As It Gets, as the young asthma-riddled Spencer who is essentially saved by Jack and the late great Harold Ramis. If that doesn’t make sense, please watch this film. It’s absolutely perfect in so many ways.
But, beyond this one role over 22 years ago, James has done so much incredible work, especially in the world of horror, which is obviously our main focus this month. He worked on the brilliant Andrew Douglas’s reboot of The Amityville Horror starring Ryan Reynolds, which is a brilliant film that is on par with the original, a rare feat in the world of horror. Other roles include spots in The Butterfly Effect and The Darkroom, which features our old friends Richard Riehle and Michael Hurst. He’s had a wonderful career that is only looking up, and we are so excited to have him on the site today!
So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the great Jesse James!
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What inspired you to get into the world of entertainment? Was it an early aspiration you can always remember having since your youth, or did you just find yourself in this world one day?
The first jobs I can remember aspiring to have were paleontologist and paper-boy, I just liked Jurassic Park and riding bikes. When I was 5 years old, I got into this business as a fluke; my dad was getting headshots taken by Dino May, a photographer friend who was also a talent manager. I was tagging along and Dino saw something in me and offered to get me some auditions/an agent if I wanted to give acting a try. I shrugged and said ‘Sure, why not?’ and it ended up working out and being fun, but it wasn’t until I was 12 or 13 and getting to play roles that were more complex and dark and different from myself that I realized I really wanted to keep doing it for the rest of my life as a career. Life is so short and there are only so many things you can do/be, but getting to be an actor means getting to live dozens, hundreds of different lives/professions/experiences, and that’s what drew me in and kept me here.
What was your first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any kind of lessons learned from this project that still affect your work today?
I did some Tommy Hilfiger and Brooks Bros. and GAP print ads but was pretty much just paid in clothes, a Dominos commercial where I was basically ‘background’ and a Sesame Street episode. My first real paid gig was As Good As It Gets, and there’s a laundry list of lessons I learned on that set, that was what started everything. Dino managed to get me an audition for a new James L. Brooks movie (it was called “Old Friends” at the time, all the way through production), even though the role was for a ‘chubby 12-year old redhead’ and I was skinny, blonde and 6. I went in for several callbacks, and got to play around with Jim Brooks, who let me improvise and taught me a lot about being natural. The process of getting that part taught me that just because it might not seem at first like you’re right for the role on paper, sometimes they don’t know what they’re looking for until they see it in person.
In 2005, you appeared in the amazing remake of one of the best franchises in the horror world, The Amityville Horror. I am curious to know what it is like to be a part of this legendary franchise? And how was it to shoot such a dark film? Where there any tactics to try and keep it light on set?
It was an honor to get to be part of such an iconic franchise, “Amityville” is such a quintessential haunted-house story and the ‘real-life’ aspect gives it so many fun layers and twists (and controversies). That shoot was a really good time. It’s odd, but on horror sets the mood tends to be fairly light-hearted and humorous, because you’re surrounded by scary, awful stuff but you know it’s fake and you get to live outside of it, and sometimes it’s hard not to laugh at certain things. For example, doing schoolwork with the other kids between takes in the school trailer, but one of the kids is a sweet little girl with a gruesome bullet hole in her forehead and a gaping wound in the back of her skull. It’s too surreal to be scary, so it’s just funny. And Ryan Reynolds is obviously a very funny guy, so he had everybody laughing. There were a couple of creepy moments, where the lights would all turn on in the house after everyone had gone home for the night, and I think during filming just about everybody woke up at 3:15am at some point with the heebie-jeebies.
Beyond the world of horror, and as you mentioned previously, you appeared as a very young man in what I consider to be one of the greatest films of all time, and that film would be the aforementioned As Good As It Gets. The film is not only great, but stacked with legendary actors from top to bottom. So how was it working with some absolute pros as such a young man? Any takeaways from this film as well?
At one point during the shoot, we were setting up on either side of a small crosswalk and in between takes I went to go running across to get a snack or something. Right then a big hand clamped on my shoulder and yanked me back, and VROOM, the taxi cab we were using pulled up quickly right where I was about to be running. The driver didn’t see me, and I definitely would have been hit. I looked up and there was Jack Nicholson with his hand on my shoulder and he says “Don’t die now, kid, we need you for the movie”.
So perhaps my biggest takeaway from As Good As It Gets was: “Always look both ways before crossing the street!”
I was really fortunate for that to have been my first experience on a film set, I learned so much from everyone. It was like a Master class but at such a young age all I could do was keep my eyes open and ask questions and try to absorb whatever I could, I didn’t realize then how useful it would be later, it was just fun and exciting.
In your own personal opinion, what do you believe it is that makes the horror genre special? What sets it apart from other genres you have worked in?

Humans have such vivid imaginations and we’re capable of so many deep emotions that every genre is a necessary outlet for those aspects of our psyche/soul. Horror might be even more necessary than the rest, because it’s an outlet for our absolute darkest places; it’s a pessimistic take on the “What if?” question. What if a family moved into a house and was terrorized by ghosts? What if the dead came to life? What if a psychopath attacked a summer camp? What if my dreams could kill me?

Working on horror films certainly leads to some of the most memorable experiences. How many people can say they’ve been crucified by their own mother? (This guy!) And fake blood, oh man, so much fake blood. Horror films are the only time you routinely go home from work every day, take a shower, and the drain looks like a Hitchcock shot. I’ve had my contact lenses get permanently stained pink from blinking away all the fake blood. It’s a sticky business. Horror also forces you to really let go and be in the moment because those moments are so extreme and out of the ordinary. You can’t think about how you would react if you were being chased by a screaming zombie or whatever, there’s no time to plan it or ‘make choices’, once it’s screaming and coming at you your brain just sort of takes over and puts you there as if it were real and you operate on adrenaline, it feels good.
What is your favorite scary movie?
Probably The Shining. I’m a massive Stanley Kubrick, Jack Nicholson and Stephen King fan, so it’s sort of perfect for me. The story, the atmosphere, the performances, everything about it, I could see it 1,000 times and never not enjoy it. Also gotta love The Exorcist, Event Horizon, The Devil’s Backbone, The Witch. I’m always more interested in slow creeping psychological/supernatural horror rather than ‘splatterfests’.
Do you have any plans for this coming Halloween? And fun traditions that you try to stick to every year?
I don’t have any plans yet, I do love Halloween though. Especially as an actor, because it’s the only day where everybody else dresses up in a goofy costume and walks around too. It’s like “Welcome to my world!”
No real fun traditions, though I did dress as a Simpsons character two years running (Ned Flanders, Otto the bus driver), which was fun. I’ve also done Beavis and Butthead with a friend, H.I McDunnough from Raising Arizona, Alex from Clockwork Orange, etc. It’s almost always a character from film/TV, which I’d never really thought about until now. Funny, I wonder what that says about me.
8. What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers? (THIS GOES LIVE IN OCTOBER)
The future is looking good, I have a few screenplays that are in development; hoping to have my first feature “written, directed by, and starring Jesse James” completed by next year. I’ve been teaching acting classes/workshops in Vancouver, BC as well, which has been rewarding. Nothing coming out immediately, but I recently guest-starred in an episode of “The Good Doctor” and Nat Geo’s “Valley of the Boom”. Your readers can always follow me on IG at @theactorjessejames or on Twitter at @jessejamesactor
9. What was the last thing that scared the hell out of you?
Donald Trump scares the hell out of me every day. Also, potato bugs (a.k.a Jerusalem crickets) make me run away screaming and hooting like Daffy Duck.

 

 

10. What was the last thing that made you smile?
I’m really close with my parents and siblings, they make me smile. I just got to spend a good amount of time with them on our family farm in Canada, and the memory has me grinning like a champ.

Jonathan Floyd Walker [Interview]

Photo by Kevin Clark Studios

Welcome to Day 14 of Trainwreck’d Society’s Annual Month of Horror Showcase! We have a fully loaded month of all things horror for you fine folks! October is our favorite month for this very reason, and we are so excited to share 31 full days of film showcases and interviews with some of the finest folks from the world of horror, just as we have been doing for the last 6 years. What started as a simple 5 day showcase, has now blossomed into a full blown month long event. You’re going to love this! Enjoy!

 

Hello Folks! And welcome back to another great week of interviews and showcases for our Week of Horror here at Trianwreck’d Society! And do we have a damn good interview for you all today! It’s the great Jonathan Floyd Walker! He is a phenomenal actor that you know and love. Die hard horror fans are bound to recognize Jonathan from the 2005 classic film Land of the Dead. But even more impressive is his work behind the camera as a producer, writer, director, all of the above really, on such projects such as the extremely popular Van Helsing series, as well as his addition to the beloved Lake Placid franchise, which we will obviously discuss below!

So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the brilliant on and off screen legend himself, the great Jonathan Floyd Walker!

 

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What inspired you to get into the world of entertainment? Was it an early aspiration you can always remember having since your youth, or did you just find yourself in this world one day?

As a kid growing up in England I remember watching my Mum on stage in community theatre. I liked watching a crowd react to what people were doing on stage and I remember wishing I could experience the feeling of entertaining others. I was always a bit of a mischievous kid who wanted to get attention, good or bad, so my first steps into this industry was as a child performer.

What was your first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any kind of lessons learned from this project that still affect your work today?

I did some English TV commercials as a kid. In those days you didn’t get the money, your parents did… so I guess lesson number one was keep track of your money and make sure you get paid! I think a far more simple lesson was to always pick work that you enjoyed. If you do gigs simply for a paycheck but hate the experience then you’re selling yourself short emotionally. I try to always spend time making projects that I enjoy being involved with, ideally working with people I enjoy collaborating with. It doesn’t always work out that way but you can eliminate a lot of needless trauma but listening to your gut and avoiding work that takes more from you than it offers.

 

Photo by Kevin Clark Studios

 

In the world of acting, you appeared in the wonderful Romero-directed addition to the “Of The Dead” franchise he created, 2005’s Land of the Dead. I am curious to know how your experience was working on a film like this, and working under the direction of George himself?

It was a great thrill to work with George. He was, even late in his life, a passionate and dedicated filmmaker and storyteller. He gave me the opportunity to act opposite Dennis Hopper which was a dream kind of gig for most actors. It also gave me a front row seat to see the creature FX master Greg Nicotero at work. George also hated shooting during the day. He made a plan to shoot pretty much all of that movie at night, even the interiors. He gave all his actors, small parts and leads, a lot of input and he crafted that story as it unfolded in the shooting. At the screening he pulled me aside and really wanted to know what I thought. My opinion mattered to him and that felt like its own validation and reward. But more importantly it showed how much the work meant to him.

As a writer, you added to the Lake Placid franchise with Lake Placid: Legacy. What inspired you to get into this franchise? And what are your thoughts on the final film?

I was brought in by Peter Nelson at Sony. I pitched what I thought could re-boot the franchise a little, maybe take it away from camp and ground it more but still connect to the original story from the first film. Peter had some great ideas too. The broad strokes of that pitch were what got me the gig and most of those story beats ended up in the film.

I think the film turned out mostly how I expected it to. It’s always difficult making horror on a relatively small budget and without a big practical and/or VFX house selling the creature effects. But there are some good moments for sure. It was also a surprise when the production ended up in South Africa because the script I wrote had the story set in New England just upstream from the original lake in the first film. I don’t think the film ever named where they were so the exteriors don’t really say rural New York State but… maybe nobody noticed!

In your own personal opinion, what do you believe it is that makes the horror genre special? What sets it apart from other genres you have worked in?

Bottom line… real people stuck in the worst kind of circumstances facing the kind of things that give us all nightmares. Horror digs into our primal fears, triggers us in a way a crime drama or comedy just isn’t going to. When people tell you they couldn’t stop thinking about something you wrote because it haunts them, that’s high praise. Horror should always be like skating on thin ice. You know the danger and you know you have to do it… but chances are you’re going to fall through. There’s a dopamine and adrenaline response to horror which is a kind of high you just can’t get from other types of more conventional genres.

What is your favorite scary movie?

Hard to narrow it to just one. Goodnight Mommy ranks right up there with The Exorcist. Seen at different points of my life but both left a mark and still manifest for me from time to time.

 

Photo by Kevin Clark Studios

 

Do you have any plans for this coming Halloween? And fun traditions that you try to stick to every year?

I had a scary clown outfit I wore a few years back that people in my neighborhood still talk about. I went out trick or treating with my kids and people were avoiding me. Mostly the parents who couldn’t actually tell it was me. I was actually asked to wear the costume again to someone’s party which I don’t think has ever happened before… so maybe that’s becoming a tradition.

Other than that our house is known in our neighborhood as a fun place to stop on Halloween. Good decorations and candy for the kids and signature festive cocktails for the parents. Everybody gets a treat!

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

Check out a series I produced for Netflix called Wu Assassins. It went live this summer so take a look if you haven’t already. Van Helsing season 4 began airing on SyFy in late September so get caught up on their website or tune in Fridays at 10 pm to see that. I’m one of the cast in TBS’s Snowpiercer which will air in March. Not straight up horror but certainly scary and edge of your seat in many places.

What was the last thing that scared the hell out of you?

I’m a parent. My wife called me in a panic one evening saying our son had gone missing at a community event and nobody could find him. Flashes of the worst kind of nightmares went through my head. Stuck out of town there was nothing I could do except hope for the best while trying to chase away the deepest of fears. He turned up an hour later… he’d been hiding, as kids sometimes do, not knowing or understanding the panic he’d caused. So, scary situation with a thankfully happy ending.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Again, kids. They make me smile each and every day. But the less saccharine answer is probably… Comicon. We went this year and met some of the most amazing and dedicated Van Helsing fans. Their passion and appreciation for what we make certainly made me very proud and exceptionally happy.

 

 

Sunday Bloody Sunday Matinee: Hellmington [Film]

Welcome to Day 13 of Trainwreck’d Society’s Annual Month of Horror Showcase! We have a fully loaded month of all things horror for you fine folks! October is our favorite month for this very reason, and we are so excited to share 31 full days of film showcases and interviews with some of the finest folks from the world of horror, just as we have been doing for the last 6 years. What started as a simple 5 day showcase, has now blossomed into a full blown month long event. You’re going to love this! Enjoy!

 

Synposis:

“In 1999, outside the sleepy town of Hellmington, troubled high school senior Katie Owens mysteriously vanished.

Nine years later, Detective Samantha Woodhouse, a former classmate of Katie’s, returns to Hellmington for the first time since graduation to deal with the unexpected death of her father. His passing just another tragedy in an already devastating year for Sam: her own daughter was murdered, resulting in a downward spiral of anguish and guilt that has slowly destroyed her marriage and career.

Sam soon discovers that her father’s demise is one in a series of suspicious deaths over the last several years, and it appears that the grisly fatalities are becoming more frequent. Even more alarming, every victim circles back to the troubled Katie Owens.

Battling hallucinations, insomnia and her own personal demons, Sam struggles to uncover the disturbing truth of what really happened to Katie Owens; a mystery that will lead her to a secretive, centuries-old cult of revenge.” – October Coast PR

 

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For our next edition of the Sunday Bloody Sunday Matinee, we are showcasing an absolutely brilliant film that may not entirely be a horror per say, but it is definitely terrifying as shit! With elements of suspense embodied into a detective based crime mystery, Hellmington is a brilliant showcase of the emotional responses that can happen when you begin to think that things couldn’t get worse, yet the most certainly do. I always feel a great bit of joy whilst watching a film and just KNOWING that some shit just isn’t adding up. And yes, sometimes I appreciate when I figure out the ending pretty early on in the viewing. But, I am also pleasantly surprised when things fall completely into disarray and one’s guess is as good as another as to what the hell is going to happen. And the latter is exactly what you will get with a viewing of this fantastic film!

 

 

And hot damn what a great cast Hellmington has for you all! Nicole Correia-DaMude gives a performance of a lifetime in the lead role, and Michael Ironside is, well, he’s Michael god damned Ironside, that’s who he is. Of course he’s fantastic. Correia-DaMude though, seriously! I was very aware of her work on Shadowhunters, but this right here is some next level work that is extremely compelling in so many ways. I would dare put her performance up to any that I saw throughout 2019 as some very stiff competition. She was just that great. The film in itself is just so wonderful, and if you are looking for a truly suspenseful experience, I can not recommend Hellmington enough.

 

Hellmington is available now on DVD and VOD wherever you watch great films.

 

Splatterday Special: Scooter [Film]

 

Welcome to Day 12 of Trainwreck’d Society’s Annual Month of Horror Showcase! We have a fully loaded month of all things horror for you fine folks! October is our favorite month for this very reason, and we are so excited to share 31 full days of film showcases and interviews with some of the finest folks from the world of horror, just as we have been doing for the last 6 years. What started as a simple 5 day showcase, has now blossomed into a full blown month long event. You’re going to love this! Enjoy!

Synopsis:

“The Three Amigoes are life-long best friends and partners in crime. They became internet famous after their YouTube channel went viral. Each episode of their antics has them undertaking some ridiculous challenge. From racing cars to tricycles and from the waters of the South Atlantic to the bottom of a swimming pool, there’s no challenge too stupid. Like a pack of cats, they always land on their feet.
The Amigoes latest challenge is to ride scooters from Miami to New Orleans. Each person has $1000 to get a scooter, pay for gas, food, and lodging. After they select their vehicles and pack their bags, it’s time to hit the road. They soon find that their 50CC scooters are no match of I-95, and they retreat to the side roads to continue their epic 900 mile journey. While the road is smoother, the trip gets a lot bumpier. One of the scooters break down, the friends start to fight amongst each other, and their troubles reach a climax when they witness and video a murder.

Stuck in rural Florida with two working scooters, they have little hope of escape, and the killer is hot on their trail. What was once a leisurely trip becomes a fight for survival. They end up captured, tortured, and it’s clear they won’t all survive. When those who are sworn to protect you are the problem, where do you turn? Will they all die in a small backwater town, or can they once again defy the odds and come out alive?” – October Coast PR

 

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Today we are celebrating a film that is truly and experience, more than it is a film. It is a brilliant expose on what the future could hold. It’s some beautiful irony that it is the 20 year anniversary of the release of the first major blockbuster “found footage” film (The Blair Witch Project) and that now a film like Scooter is available to showcase how far we have advanced technologically ever since the year we thought the world was going to collapse as we entered a new millennium. And while some old geezers like myself to relish in the past at times, it is undeniable just what can be accomplished with such great ease these days. And it’s also undeniable to the natural art of genuinely good storytelling has never subsided, which is further proven in the incredibly unique story that is Scooter. Utilizing the technology that we only once imagined in science fiction to be possible, this film tells a very dark and highly stylized story that you are simply going to love!

 

 

 

 

Scooter is available in select theaters now, including at the following screening in Brooklyn, New York:

 

October 16
7:30pm–8:57pm
Brooklyn, NY at UA Court Street 12 & RPX

 

DVD and VOD release to be announce soon.

 

 

Victor Mathieu [Interview]

 

Welcome to Day 11 of Trainwreck’d Society’s Annual Month of Horror Showcase! We have a fully loaded month of all things horror for you fine folks! October is our favorite month for this very reason, and we are so excited to share 31 full days of film showcases and interviews with some of the finest folks from the world of horror, just as we have been doing for the last 6 years. What started as a simple 5 day showcase, has now blossomed into a full blown month long event. You’re going to love this! Enjoy!

 

Hello Folks! We have an incredible interview for you fine folks which we have wanted to have on the site for quite a long time. In fact, I believe our guest was meant to be on last year, but schedules permitting, he was unable to make it. But, we are so excited that he is with us here today to grace our digital pages. It’s Victor Mathieu! Victor has worked in a plethora of fields in the world of film and television, and in several different genres. But his work in the world of horror has been especially compelling. And that is essentially what we are here for this month, amiright? In recent years, he has developed two extremely compelling horror flicks that I truly cannot say enough great things about. Those would be The Monster Project and Dead List. The latter being distributed by our friends at High Octane Pictures, who regular readers will recognize as a company we have featured so much work from over the years.

Victor kicked off his career as production assistant on such amazing projects like An Inconvenient Truth and Mamma Mia, and has worked his way into our hearts as one of today’s finest talents. And we are so excited to have him finally be a part of our Month of Horror series. So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words fro the great Victor Mathieu!

 

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What inspired you to get into the world of entertainment and filmmaking? Was it an early aspiration you can always remember having since your youth, or did you just find yourself in this world one day?

I discovered a love for the arts through music at an early age. When I was young, I was in a band and fell in love with being on stage, so I pursued acting. Through that, I discovered a passion for directing. I went on and directed a few films and other content, until just about two years ago during which I closed that door to produce full time.

What was your first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any kind of lessons learned from this project that still affect your work today?

My first gig in LA was working for Lawrence Bender at A Band Apart. I was a part time production assistant on an Oscar winning documentary he produced at the time called An Inconvenient Truth, and through that, I discovered the rush to succeed in the world of cinema at that time and have been addicted to it ever since.

I am very intrigued by a TV mini-series, according to IMDb, that you did in 2017 entitled The Smiling Man. Can you tell us a bit about this project? What made you want to tell this tale?

The Smiling Man is a creature that evolved tremendously during the post-production phase of The Monster Project. The creature was never meant to be shown in any shape or form in the film, hence why you really only see him in the form of static throughout The Monster Project. We all kind of fell in love with the terrifying look of this demonic character, designed by special effects guru Jim Beinke. We explored the idea of launching a viral marketing campaign for the film and with that came the mini-series. If you watch the Smiling Man on its own, it may not make sense during some moments since the goal of the viral marketing campaign was for the ‘participant’ to unlock videos as you attempted to crack codes and riddles on a viral website we had created to promote the film.

 

 

In your own personal opinion, what do you believe it is that makes the horror genre special? What sets it apart from other genres you have worked in?

I’ve always loved feeling the adrenaline rush that I get from watching a horror film. Frankly, it makes me feel alive. Not falling asleep because I watched Paranormal Activity? Or Insidious? Well, that’s part of it too. I love that feeling, and I hate it too. In some ways, the reason why I love the horror genre (particularly supernatural horror) is because demons, ghosts, spirits etc. No matter how scary they are, logically, if those entities exist, that must mean there is life after death. I personally find that comforting and reassuring.

What is your favorite scary movie?

I’d have to list two: Evil Dead II, and The Shining.

Do you have any plans for this coming Halloween? And fun traditions that you try to stick to every year?

I do. I’ll be releasing a VR Horror Series which I wrote, directed and produced called Scary Nights. Think Tales Form The Crypt meets Creepshow in VR with an all new iconic character who greets and leaves you at the top and tail end of each episode. If you like witches, scarecrows, clowns, etc… and if you’re a Goosebumps fan, then you will want to check it out.

As for Halloween traditions, I throw an intimate horror film viewing every year with close friends, for which I pick 4 horror films. We start with an old classic (generally Nosferatu or The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari), then move closer towards more recent horror films. Everyone cooks horror themed meals (hand meatloaf, eye popping soup, puking guac pumpkin).

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers? 

I’ve made the switch into full time producing nearly two years ago. I’ve started my own production company, CineWorld Pictures, and focus primarily on producing dramas. Surely can sound disappointing to some horror fans, but I haven’t forgotten about the horror genre. Maybe I’ll return to it when I find a horror script that I fall in love with.

As for plugging projects…though I would love to share, I unfortunately cannot at the moment. But I am working on some very exciting dramas with some extremely talented people that I cannot wait to share with the world.

What was the last thing that scared the hell out of you?

A supernatural nightmare I had last night.. Something about a possessed veiled old lady inside an old Victorian style mansion. Most definitely too scary to share. Proves however that the world of horror cinema quietly whispers for me to come back to it at night. And one day I shall, and I’ll make sure it’s a very good one, not found-footage, and more sophisticated than the ones I’ve done so far. Something more to the likes of The Shining or The Exorcist.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

My Border Collie sitting by my side as I’ve been writing my answers to this interview.