RW Spryszak- Author Interview (2018)

I am so pleased and honored to introduce you great readers to an astounding writer by the name of RW Spryszak. I have a few interviews under my belt but have never felt like I was reading literature when reading answers. Mr. Spryszak has done that for me here. So eloquent and illuminating that they are a joy to read, I hope that you will enjoy them as much as I did. His book Edju was very hard for me to put down. So without further ado, please enjoy and here is a small bio to get you started.

Bio- RW Spryszak’s recent work has appeared in Peculiar Mormyrid, A-Minor Magazine, and Novelty (UK), among others. His early work is archived in the John M Bennett Avant Writing Collection at the Ohio State University Libraries. He is editor at Thrice Fiction Magazine* and recently produced “I Wagered Deep On The Run Of Six Rats To See Which Would Catch The First Fire*,” a collection of contemporary surrealist and outsider writing from around the world for 2018 under that banner, which is also available on Amazon.


Who are some of your favorite authors, or authors that have inspired you?

What inspires me to work is work that isn’t produced. I go into a bookstore just to browse and leave without buying anything. You could ask my wife this. She would verify what I’m saying. This happens a lot. And a long time ago I asked myself, well, what did you want to find that you couldn’t find? And maybe that is what you should write. Write what you’d like to read but can’t find. This is how I work. So, it isn’t what authors have written that inspires me, as you say, it’s what they haven’t written. It’s only a void I’m filling. In my own universe anyway.

Now, as an example of writers whose work has influenced me I have to go back to when I was young and didn’t know what I liked but found things that stayed with me. Gogol’s Dead Souls, first of all. I still have that old worn Penguin Classic copy from when I was in high school. The pages are quite yellow now. Of course, everybody who is a reader discovered Kafka as a teenager I think. But it was people who wrote things that made me go – “You can do this??” I mean when you’re young or naïve you expect a story to go from A to B to C, and twists and unexpected things make your head snap. So, there are the poems of Dylan Thomas and Guillaume Apollinaire. Thomas creates these spiraling images and ideas that blend and weave in and out of each other until you find yourself trapped in his crazy tornado. And Apollinaire writes the kind of things that make you say – “you can do that??” His work is one hundred years old and a lot of it reads like it was done yesterday.

But there’s Robert Walser. Naguib Mahfouz. Jan Potocki. I’m saying these names but I’m quite sure no one is going to look them up or anything. Still, I don’t think – for your audience – you can call yourself a true fan of horror if you haven’t read Potocki’s A Manuscript Found in Saragossa. Just saying. Maybe kitsch horror, but not gothic horror. Dracula, Frankenstein, certainly. But if you haven’t read Manuscript you have a missing part in there. An aspect that would make you say – “you can do that??”

When did you start writing, or what prompted you to start writing?

So how do I answer your question? I don’t know. I used to make up stories in my head as a little boy. Full technicolor epics before I would fall asleep. Wash up. Brush teeth. Go to bed. Roll around making up movies in my head.

And my first rejection letter came from Stan Lee. I wrote a story that pitted Doctor Strange against The Hulk. I was 10 years old. I sent it in and, with the innocent expectations of a kid I also sent along 12 cents to buy the issue my story would appear in. Well, of course, Marvel Comics would never use a hand-written story from a 10-year-old who didn’t know the highway from a footpath. So, here’s my Stan Lee story. 1963 or 4. I got a hand written note back from Stan Lee saying he enjoyed the story but could only use their own material. And – get this – the 12 cents I included with my submission was taped to the blue card he sent back with his note in an envelope. Was he the coolest guy ever? Yes, he was. By the way, Doctor Strange did face The Hulk in one adventure eventually, I think, sometime in the 1990’s I believe. I ought to sue, don’t you think?

How would you describe your style of writing?

I don’t think I think like a writer. I’m influenced by the visual. I look at things like a painter or a sculptor but I couldn’t paint or sculpt to save my skin so I write the form. Writing and acting were always easier than painting. Concepts. Visuals. I think probably because I was influenced by TV and movies when I was small. In Edju, in particular, I used something I learned from my long-ago acting days. How to stay in character from start to finish. Edju is a first-person story, so it’s vital you don’t “break character,” as actors would say.

Though I’m not in the Surrealist camp, so to speak, and never claimed to be, I do use the techniques they’ve developed. They try to bring the unconscious truth to things and so Arp’s ideas about Chance often come into play. Then there’s the process of automatic writing or even sentence collage. These are things I’ll utilize. Take for example in Edju, I used automatic writing as prompts. The start of some chapters is in italics. That was straight from the back of the brain and unedited automatic writing. Then I connected them. I left the strictly Surrealist process when I connected these prompts with a willful, consciously-produced narrative – which makes me not a Surrealist, I think. I don’t know. You’d have to ask them if I’m one of them or not. I mean, several Surrealists, people who have been with that worldview for decades, have supported my work – Max Cafard, J. Karl Bogartte, the New York Surrealist group – but I think that’s because I love the work they produce and have spoken up for their movement – which never went away, contrary to what the New Yorker may think – for years.

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And, really, I think this is a question better asked of my readers than of me. There are people who like my style and people who can’t stand it. Folks who tell me they can’t put it down and folks who can’t get through the first two pages without screaming and burning the damn thing. I know my stuff is difficult sometimes. So, what do I say?

Do you set a certain plot, or go where your writing takes you?

I could never work from an outline. I tried when I was younger. I couldn’t do it. It was like – I’ve written the outline and so the book is done, right? I have nothing but a vague idea and I’ve never known how things were going to end. Not ever. In Edju, I was going along and going along and wrote If I didn’t need to eat I would never trust your world again, and I would stay in these rooms till the spiders wept.” And I stopped and looked at it and said – Okay. That’s the last line. I’m done, now for the edits. And that line will lead into the first line of the next book because Edju, conceptually, is a trilogy. I have two vague notions about the two next pieces but I have no idea where they are going to go. The second book has been started at least five times and I think I only just settled on what to do last week. So, I guess my answer is I go where it takes me after a vague notion, or something like that.

If, while writing, I can’t visualize a title for the thing? I know I’m onto something. Whenever I’ve had a title first, nothing ever works. I don’t understand that. When I get to the point where I can’t come up with a title no matter what and it comes down to I don’t even care what anybody wants to call it, just get it away from me, you decide – it gets published. When I start with a title, it never even gets finished. It’s weird.

What are some of your favorite works of literature?

Well, yes, I mentioned these. Dead Souls, The Manuscript Found in Saragossa. Mahfouz’s The Journey of ibn Fattouma. Walser’s Jakob Von Gunten. But also, from a writer’s viewpoint, there’s technical aspect too, that you have to have. I’m not a big fan, but even if you don’t like him you have to say that Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea is the perfectly executed novella. And it’s good to have a grounding. In fact, I’ve always felt you need a grounding in the classical and traditional before you can go off “experimenting.” You’ll find Picasso’s early stuff more traditional than you’d at first think it would be, being Picasso. Then, when he “got it,” so to speak, he created his own world and his own rules. But I’d say he couldn’t do it until he understood the starting point. I think that’s true for everyone to some degree. So, until you can read Dickens and explain why he’s a lousy writer, and he is, you should keep reading the traditional until you “get it.”

What is the most important aspect of writing for you?

Well it’s a compulsion that has to be fulfilled, isn’t it? When I was in my twenties I used to worry about getting published. Have to get published. It must happen. And so on. Of course, that’s when nothing ever happened. It wasn’t until I finally said, you know what, it doesn’t really matter if it gets published or not because I’m going to sit here and write anyway because I have to or I’ll just explode or go crazy. I would write because it was going to happen whether anybody was ever going to read it or not. That, of course, is when people started to accept and publish things.

Oddly enough, after that, I got this crazy notion that I wanted to bust into the mainstream. I had all this alternative work done and it was archived and I had a tribe and – for some reason – I said I’m going to try to break into the big time or something and – poof. Came the drought. I wanted to get published. I needed to get published. And nobody wanted anything I was doing. A couple of the bigger wigs even laughed at it. Because it was actually pathetic stuff, to be honest. So, okay, I went back to just doing what I’d always done and forgot about “trying” so hard and… what do you think? All of a sudden (to use a term that should never appear in anything you ever write), there I was back in print.

That’s the long way around the barn to say the most important aspect of writing, for me, is to not only be yourself, but if it’s working there’s nothing that needs to be fixed. If it ain’t broke. Stay true to your own voice, no matter how trite that may sound. Find your tribe and dance with them.

Do you put any of yourself in your writing?

Yes. There are dozens of things that happened to me, mostly filtered by metaphor, in Edju. Shards of dreams I had. People I’ve met. Or aspects of them. There’s even a scene in the book that I wrote forty years ago for something else. Something I wrote, never kept, but never forgot. It goes on for pages as if I was copying out of an old notebook. I never forgot the scene and it just came into the book on its own. That scene came from a particularly intense part of my growth as a writer. But, yes, they are all over the place. However, well-disguised. And this is all I will say about that.

What led you to write in this genre?

This is crazy because I didn’t write Edju to a genre. I just thought – a book. Maybe Literary Fiction. Maybe Dystopian. I didn’t have a target. When Spuyten Duyvil*, the publisher, first put it on Amazon they listed it as “Gothic.” To be honest, I didn’t even know what Gothic was. Gothic Horror – sure. I’d heard of that. And I didn’t know if there was a difference. Then a few people contacted me and said “Horror,” or “Speculative.” To tell you the truth, I don’t know what it is, exactly. So, my approach is like that old song – “any world that I’m welcomed to.” I’m becoming convinced it belongs in that Gothic category that the publisher listed it in. But you’ll have to believe me when I tell you I seriously didn’t have any kind of thing like genre in my head.

Do any movies or TV shows influence your writing?

Not off hand, no. I don’t watch a lot of TV anymore. My TV is mostly old movies and Baseball. Baseball is my escape hatch. Outside of that it’s just all noise. I suppose, growing up in the late 50s and 60s there were influences that happened then, but I couldn’t specifically tell you one thing or another.

Any future writing projects you would like to talk about?

The plan is to complete a trilogy with Edju as the lead before I croak. I have no idea what to call it, and that’s a good sign I think. But – you shouldn’t take anything for granted. I’m doing this but there’s no guarantee anyone will take it. Life in the small press universe is like that and you have to expect it. Unless you’re a best-seller you don’t make much money in writing. All the writers I know have a regular job somehow. Teaching, editing, or anything. Every one of them. You have to stay real.

I want to thank RW Spryszak so much for his valuable time and marvelous answers to my questions. For more information or to read his works please check out the following links:

Edju is at https://www.amazon.com/Edju-RW-Spryszak/dp/1947980890

*Spuyten Duyvil is at http://www.spuytenduyvil.net/

* “I Wagered Deep, etc.” is at  https://www.amazon.com/Wagered-Which-Would-Catch-First/dp/1945334045

*Thrice Fiction Magazine is at http://www.thricefiction.com/

http://www.rwspryszak.com/



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Dead Air: Movie Short Interview (2018) Gremlins on a plane!

I am really excited to bring you an interview with some of the people involved in the making of a great new horror short called Dead Air! From IMDB description:

Set on a plane traveling to a final gig, Dead Air tells the story of Monster Kitten, an all-female punk rock band who end up on a flight with some nasty little creatures with all hell breaking loose at 30,000 feet.

Geoff Harmer the Director (Overtime, Addict, Smile), Peter Hearn the Writer (Smile, Scrawl, Motto). Our Actresses Stacy Hart (Get Real, The Beach) as the drummer, Charlie Bond (Vendetta, Strippers vs Werewolves) as the singer, Johanna Stanton (Nightmare Box, Sinatra: All or Nothing at All) as the guitarist, and Kate Davies Speak (Horizon, Deadman Apocalypse) as the bassist. And our master puppeteers Andrew James Spooner (Muppets Most Wanted, Muppets Treasure Island), Tony Lymboura (Muppets Most Wanted, The Muppets Christmas Carol) and Nicola Buckmaster. And a special appearance by Dave (IMDb finds him to controversial to cover) as The Creature but he reminded me he is an actor, not a puppet.

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GEOFF HARMER and PETER HEARN
How is the script going?

PH – The feature script? Well, there is a complete 125pg draft which is massive but a bit unwieldy and therefore I am in the process of writing a smaller, madder version, with fewer characters and a more contained feel. Funny thing with both, each version has a different lead, so to speak, even though it’s ultimately an ensemble piece and different people die at different times. It’s fun to approach the material from completely different angles, like a horror comedy Rashomon.

Why did you decide to do a short first?

GH – It was always intended to be a short film, the feature idea grew as the project progressed. When we first embarked on our journey, the project was a very different kettle of fish to what we ended up making. The original premise was a full-on zombie horror film set on a small passenger-carrying bi-plane. ‘Dead Air’ is still set on a plane, albeit a much larger one, and still handles the idea of infection, but that’s it. As Pete’s script grew in length and grandeur, we realized we were going to struggle to show everything we wanted in a 15-minute short film.

PH – I think in this day and age you need to show people what it’s going to look like and sometimes a script isn’t the best way of doing that. Plus we wanted to make it and if it just ends up as a short that goes no further at least it exists. So many features disappear because people cannot find the funding, we thought this was too good an idea to not film and share with the world. Next up, with some luck, the feature will follow.

How did you decide on the name for the airline?

PH – Crampton Air came from me knowing Geoff was a huge Barbara Crampton fan and throwing it his way. He liked it, I liked it. We thought it was a great homage to one of the most enduring ladies of horror. Who wouldn’t want an airline named after them?

When we came to put a name to the airline, I knew it had to be something special as well as an in-joke for the horror fans. Having been a fan of Barbara Crampton since Re-Animator and From Beyond, when Pete mentioned it, I just had to use it.

How did you decide on Dan Hall for composing the score?

I’ve known Dan for years, ever since he scored ‘Motto’ the semi-prequel to the Daisy Ridley horror feature ‘Scrawl’. He’s my go to, and now Geoff’s go to. I think this is the 5th, maybe 6th project we’ve collectively worked on with Dan.

Dan originally scored a piece of music for a teaser trailer I was putting together for another film idea that I was working on, called ‘Angel of Saigon’. His sweeping melodic score simply blew me away! I’ve never looked back since! I think it’s great that we’re into the same films and composers, which really helps when we discuss how the score will sound.

I saw that PANTYCHRIST will be doing the music for Monster Kitten, how did that come about and will there be any sound bytes from either them or Dan?

GH – Pantychrist came out of a call for punk bands, specifically female punk bands. Their music fit so so well. It was like it was made for the film.

Whilst we were shooting Dead Air, I played a few tracks from Pantychrist in between takes. I got a good vibe from it and it felt like the right attitude and sound for our band. I approached their Manager and he has been extremely helpful in working with us to get the right sound for our band. I’m blown away by their generosity!

DAN HALL (composer)

How did you get involved in scoring Dead Air?

Having worked for both Geoff and Pete on a number of projects already, it just seemed like it was a team dynamic that really worked so I don’t think whether we were working together again was ever questioned. At least not to my knowledge. That and I really liked the concept. I read the earlier drafts of the script very early on and I thought it would allow for some fun musical opportunities.

What influences did you draw from?

John Carpenter, Brad Fiedel, Vangelis – all those quirky 80s horror movies with great synth scores. Of course, there’s a hint of Gremlins in there as well. On the more modern side, listening to the score to Stranger Things and also Le Matos who did the score for Turbo Kid. Loads more to mention but those are the foremost.

How did you come up with the score for Dead Air?

I figured early on that this punk rock band on a plane was obviously going to need a punk rock-based score, and then it became apparent that there would be rock songs placed in the movie. So I had to rethink because you can’t contrast rock against rock. You need something that will accentuate those musical
transitions so when the song comes on you really notice. It’s not always the job of the score to ‘be noticed,’ but often just to serve the film well. So it was natural to go for synth because it already works well alongside rock, and then the B-movie leanings of Dead Air sort of pushed me gradually towards vintage sounding synths. Probably because of that nostalgic value I associate with watching low-budget, cult horror films when I was younger, and how I could see Dead Air fitting into that
niche.

What do you like about composing?

I think it’s just creating something that someone else might enjoy listening to essentially, or that fills a void in a project like this. The film was great fun before the music went in, but it’s a case of looking at it and thinking, can I elevate this project even further by including music and how do I go about doing
that? Can I ratchet up the tension, give it some emotional emphasis, make someone in the audience jump? That sort of thing. It’s a creative puzzle and I enjoy those.

Do you find composing for horror easier/trickier than anything else?

I don’t know if easier would be fair to say. I think I’ve gotten quite accustomed to working on horror type films with Geoff and Pete and other filmmakers before that, and as a result, I think I’m improving my methods. But the challenge is always there regardless of the genre. I think horror is particularly satisfying to work with though because of the extreme situations you find yourself scoring music too.

What would you like to tackle next?

I’m like many creatives out there and I sort of jump between different projects, some personal and others collaborations. I’d quite like to get back on the writing and finish a short script, maybe a novel. And while I’m doing that, I’ll wait for the next scoring project to appear.

Who is responsible for the makeup special effects and how did you decide on the looks?

PH – Tankfall FX did the makeup and we threw some ideas at them and they came back with the look of the monsters.

GH – Tankfall FX came up with a number of pencil designs after we passed a few ideas and references to them.

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Why practical effects over CGI?

GH – Even as we started to work out how we were going to tell our story, we always had Practical Puppets in mind. Both having a huge love of the creature features from the 70’s through to the 90’s, we felt it was the right way to go. As our creatures we’re always quite small, we knew that we were looking at going down the same path as films like ‘Gremlins’ and ‘Critters’. There is a small, but very essential element of CGI in the film. Having an incredibly talented VFX artist on the case to put this work together is an absolute godsend.

PH – We have a great love for the practical, due to the era in which we grew up, but ultimately we have had to have a mix of practical and CGI as glowing eyes on set was a no go. I would say 85% is practical with some amazing touches of CGI by our amazing CGI artist. Think ‘Jurassic Park’ but instead of ‘Dinosaurs’ we had little creatures called ‘Dave’

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How has the puppeteering changed from the 80’s and films like Gremlins?

ANDREW JAMES SPOONER

Well, on a purely technological level everything has improved. The mechanics and controls for animatronics have changed vastly. What would take maybe 3 or four people to control can now be done with one RC controller? The basics of rod puppets are the same, but new materials can make things much lighter, and with the advent of computers we can remove all the rods, wires and the like much more easily. We can achieve much more complicated, dynamic and exciting shots because we can shoot with all the puppeteers in the shot, and remove them digitally later. This was much harder in the past, so much more time was spent finding clever ways to hide the puppeteers so it could all be shot “in camera.” We still do this as much as we possible, but it’s not so much of a necessity.

Now a quick interview with the star (puppet actor) 😉

Dave: My Favorite horror movie? That’s easy! Mary Poppins! Some awful, stuck-up woman, falls from the sky and tells you to tidy your room and then go and fly kites! Fuck that.

Favourite Director.
Dave: I’d have to say, Geoff Harmer. But only because he’s standing behind me with a gun in my back. If he wasn’t here I’d say, Guillermo Del Toro.

Ouch! Geoff! Stop poking that thing in my back, you wanker.

Dave: When on set I like to have moisturizer at hand. My skin can get very dry. Oh! and a pint of blood from a freshly killed calf. Yums.

Dave: Trailer! You think these cheapskates would pony up for me to have a trailer! Nono. They just shoved me back in my box. NO AIR HOLES EITHER! They have no respect for artists.

I want to thank everyone involved so much for taking their valuable time to answer my questions! I will keep you all informed for when it is released. To say I am excited is an understatement, the premise is so fresh and there are so many great people coming together to make this film that I know it will be utterly fabulous!

 

 

 

Dan Klefstad Author Interview (2018)

Radio host, Podcaster, and Author. This amazing man that I have befriended on Twitter is so inspiring. His novel Shepherd and the Professor offers fascinating plot lines and many twists and turns that make it a must read in my book! I am very glad to get to introduce him here to my readers at Chills From the Quill, so lets get to the questions!

Can you tell us a little bit about what you do for WNIJ News and NPR?

I’m the morning host for NPR station WNIJ, and the newscaster for two other NPR stations covering the length of Illinois.

How did you get into podcasting?

The president of the Rockford Writers’ Guild, Connie Kuntz, launched the “Guildy Pleasures” podcast one year ago, and Connie invited me to be the first guest. She read my first novel, Shepherd & the Professor, and was reading my more recent stories about humans who work for a vampire named Fiona. So I went into the studio with Connie and her husband Jesse who engineered the podcasts. During these sessions, I used my experience as a radio announcer to deliver the kind of recordings Connie and Jesse were looking for. We did the first five of my Fiona stories, and they got a great reception — I’ve heard nothing but good things about them.

Are you a horror lover?

I love to be frightened, I love Gothic atmosphere, and I enjoy stories that play up erotic tensions between monsters and humans. I’ll admit I’m not into splatter or torture. But I’ll never refuse a challenge to write this if I think gore can lead to a truly great story.

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Where did the idea for Fiona come from? And are you a fan of vampire fiction?

I’ve always been fascinated by vampires because they work on different levels. As mythical creatures, they transcend human limitations. They’re stronger, sexier, and live forever – who doesn’t dream of this kind of power? But they’re also rich metaphors for things that suck our life force. Your emotionally insecure neighbor is the vampire hidden in plain sight, ambushing you with questions when you return from work, draining whatever energy you have left. The vampire might be your lover, mother or pusher. I guarantee you: somewhere, somehow, a hidden thing is latched to your neck, taking from you and never giving back. When you finally see it, and admit your role in these encounters, I hope you have the strength to put a stake in it.

Favorite or inspiring authors for you?

Anyone who writes vampire fiction owes a debt to John Polidori, Bram Stoker, and Anne Rice. As a horror fan, I also owe much to Mary Shelley, Shirley Jackson and Stephen King. In college, I was fascinated by Albert Camus and his treatment of the absurd – where humans desperately seeking meaning are confronted by a universe that offers none. There’s a connection to horror in absurdist philosophy that Jean-Paul Sartre brings home with No Exit. The final line of this play is: “Hell is other people.”

 What are some of your favorite books or works of literature?

To the above, I’ll add John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel, Let the Right One In.  Lindqvist also wrote the screenplay for the 2008 movie of the same name, but the book contains an entire plot thread involving Eli’s caretaker, Håkan, that’s gripping and absolutely terrifying. Best horror novel I’ve read in many years.

Do you have a favorite quote?

I’m tempted to repeat that one by Sartre but I’d prefer something more hopeful. With your permission, I’d like to quote a character, Daniel, from my story “The Remains of the Daylight”:

“Because if one person thinks you’re good, you are good – right?”

(That line gives me hope)

What would you really like people to know about you?

I’m an optimist. Readers are often surprised to hear me say that.

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What inspires you to write?

Wow, that stumped me. I’ve done several interviews, but nobody asked me that before. The most truthful answer I can give is: I don’t know. I simply must.

And lastly can you tell us a little about your work and do you have any writing works set for the future?

I’m gathering all my Fiona the vampire stories that appeared in Dark Dossier Magazine’s Halloween issue (11 of them) and will add nine or ten more. These will be chapters in a book called The Guardian which I hope to finish this summer.

Thanks so much, Jaye, for the opportunity to share my thoughts, inspirations, and stories with you. You’ve been a wonderful host!

I am eternally grateful to Dan for taking the time to answer my questions and I hope we have inspired you to read some of his works! You can find links here for podcasts and readings:

The Caretaker” http://bit.ly/2lx3HyD 

“The Interview” http://bit.ly/2m9HKpX 

“Solstice” http://bit.ly/2D47OJg 

“Wolf at Fiona’s Castle” http://bit.ly/2GCZAKt 

“Hauptsturmführer Fillennius” http://bit.ly/2E6OSNL

You can also find him at Twitter at: https://twitter.com/danklefstad?lang=en

And on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/dan.klefstad

And at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dan-Klefstad/e/B01IC5A1XK

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roger Jackson-Author Interview (2018)

Roger Jackson another friend from Twitter was kind enough to let me ask him some questions about his writing. He is a Whovian and a self-proclaimed proud geek and an intelligent and fun one at that! So lets get to the questions!

What do you love about horror?

Its flexibility as a genre. We can have Horror stories so many elements, romance or comedy or social truths and yet the core ideals of the Horror story remain undiluted. It rarely plays well in the other direction. I can have a love story about werewolves and it still works as a Horror story, but throw a lycanthropy grenade into the middle of Verona and Romeo and Juliet’s asses are mine.

Why do you write horror?

All of the above, but I think the most straightforward answer is that my brain is wired to embrace the darkness. I didn’t have any parental or familial influence as a child, which rather wonderfully meant that I was left to my own devices, and I was always drawn to the forbidden, the scary movies and books and comics. They’ve always been the most comfortable and natural way to process the world around me, and in the end that’s what writing is, processing the internal and external worlds through one’s own personal filter.

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Who are some of your influences?

I’ve been influenced more by concepts and events than by individuals, I think. Certainly, the more media I consumed, the more I saw what worked and what didn’t. I remember seeing my first dead body when I was perhaps five or six, a child a little older than me pulled from the mossy waters of a local river, and almost at once making the link between the fear and queasy excitement of the assembled onlookers and my own feelings when I watched a Horror movie. I saw that bridge between the real world and fiction, and I suppose that was a key point in terms of an influence.

Favorite books, authors, and films?

My favorite book would have to be Pet Sematary, if only because it’s so unrelentingly bleak. The pages are soaked in death and futility. I don’t really have a favorite author, though, because everyone brings something to the table. I have a least favorite author, but let’s not go there! Favorite movies? So many! The Devil’s Rejects, most likely, because the ending makes me cry.

Tell us about the art that is your heart-kintsugi?

Well … most people know that Kintsugi is the art of repairing ceramics or pottery with a lacquer dusted with powdered gold. Rather than throwing a broken object away, Kintsugi means to extend its life and make something beautiful out of its scars. A few years back, I was ill and at the same time experienced from someone close to me a level of coldness and cruelty that I didn’t think they were capable of, and as a result there was some emotional breakage. I picked up on the Kintsugi thing because that’s how I am now, proud of the scars I’ve been left with. Everyone should be proud of their scars. They’re symbols of survival. 

What do you prefer British or American horror and why?

I’d have to say British. There’s a weird kind of glamour to a lot of American Horror, whereas the British stuff is often realistically ugly and decaying.  Movies like Death Line or Mum And Dad or even Human Centipede 2 (set in London) have this wonderful texture of griminess and threat that’s often lacking in American stuff.

What are some of your favorite weird things, or what do you like to do that is weird?

Weirdness is subjective, but I love art like Goya’s Witches’ Sabbath, because I like things that subvert expectations or accepted morality. I don’t know if I personally do anything weird, but … if I pass a dead animal in the street, a crushed cat or slaughtered bird, I always take a snapshot on my phone. I have quite the collection, but I think that when the corpse has been removed and the last of the blood dispersed by the rain, it’s important to remember that the animal had lived at all.

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What do you want people to know about you?

Probably that I’m not as scary as these answers make me sound!

Do you have a personal motto or mantra?

“Get Better, Not Bitter.”

I want to thank Roger so much for taking the time to answer my questions and you can read more of his work here:

https://jabe842beyond.wordpress.com/

https://www.instagram.com/jabe842/

The HORRORCIST Interview (2018)

I have a good friend on Twitter with a fabulous website called The Horrorcist from London, England. Great trailers, and movie reviews and amazing discussions on all things horror. I was fortunate enough to get to ask some questions from the team, so lets get to all the enlightening horror answers!

Why horror?

I just love horror! The way it makes the hairs on your arm stand is like nothing you’ll ever feel in another genre.

What scares you and your team?

I think for myself, the things that scare me have to be the supernatural paranormal side of things. I mean, it could happen right and if it did, the demons you’ll face are demons you’d never ever wanna face or could even imagine existed.

What is the best horror genre and why?

It’s hard to say what’s the best horror genre as I love them all to be honest. You’ve got your good old slasher for the gore side of things and then the paranormal side of things that really scare the shit out of you as well as a jump scare. If I really had to pick, it would be supernatural/paranormal Horror.

Some of your favorite slasher horror films?

My favorite slasher films will have to be your Halloweens, Friday The 13th’s, A Nightmare On Elm Street films, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Scream.

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Some of your favorite paranormal horror films?

Some of my favorite supernatural films will be the likes of Insidious, Sinister, The Conjuring, The Exorcist and Poltergeist to name a few. The list goes on haha oh, and I’d like to mention IT and The Final Destination franchise!

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Some of your favorite Horror comedies?

My favorite horror comedies will have to include Shaun Of The Dead. I absolutely love that film. Nick Frost and Simon Pegg are the perfect duo. Severance is also another good horror comedy along with the obvious, Scary Movie franchise.

What type of horror do you think we are gonna move into in the 2020’s?

I think we’ll see a lot more slasher films in 2020. The genre will stay host of your paranormal films still as that will be big in the coming years but, personally, I can see some more slashers hitting the big screen. This year’s Halloween will kick start the slasher hype again along with the news that another Halloween film is already in the works that could be released next year! Also, could we potentially see another Friday The 13th film? Who knows…

Favorite horror directors?

Some of my top horror directors will include a lot of other horror fans pick such as John Carpenter, Wes Craven and George A. Romero but, I’d also add James Wan, Andy Muschietti ,Scott Derrickson, and Tobe Hooper. I’d like to mention a couple of upcoming directors from the indie scene who are going to be a name in horror. Michael Kehoe and Charlie Steeds. Both these guys are super talented.

Favorite guest and stories from the Demonic Podcast?

I can honestly say every guest on The Demonic Podcast was amazing. It was great to hear about their roles in horror and how their journey began. The Demonic Podcast will be returning again soon for sure and I’ll be co-hosting alongside  Zobo With A Shotgun and Rachael Rumancek.

I want to thank the Horrorcist so very much for taking the time to answer my questions! To learn more about the site and catch up on The Demonic Podcast just go to:

http://thehorrorcist.com/

Kelli Maroney-Actor Interview (2018)

From Fast Times at Ridgemont High to the Chopping Mall, and from Night of the Comet to True Blood, and many other great roles, Kelli Maroney can do it all. I became a huge fan when I first saw Night of the Comet. So many films at the time had women tripping and falling and basically being helpless and here come this blonde cheerleader who gave as good as she got! She was not a victim and there is nothing better then a bad ass female kicking ass and driving off into the sunset! I was very excited to be able to ask Kelli a few questions and being the kind and gracious actor that she is, she kindly answered them. So without further ado lets get to the questions!

I know you were headed to the National Shakespeare Company in New York but you immediately got cast in Ryan’s Hope, did you get any formal acting classes?

Yes, I had a whole season at the conservatory the summer before, plus I was an apprentice at the Guthrie Theater before attending that school. We, the apprentices, were “extras” in the productions, and visiting rep actors like F. Murray Abraham, Steven Lange, and William H. Macy taught us classes in lieu of paying us for performances, because there were so many of us that the LORT theater couldn’t pay all of us. Or, any of us, for that matter.

You started young and I know you wanted to leave acting for awhile but you are still huge today. How did you stay grounded and do you have advice for young girls and women coming up in Hollywood and or the movie industry?

It’s not really that I wanted to leave acting, it’s that I was in-between “Young Babe” and “District Attorney” roles, so was starting to get a lot of victim roles, which I hated playing, because as I found out much later, they go against what we call now my “brand.” So I started looking around for other things to do with my working life to put food on the table. I wasn’t making enough money during that period to support myself properly and I was tired of compromising and trying to be what I thought they wanted, so acting became not fun for that period of time. My advice is always, “Be true to yourself. If something doesn’t feel right, it isn’t. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. Don’t sell yourself short because you think it will get you somewhere in the end. You’ll be torturing yourself unnecessarily. Focus on learning your craft and being professional. Meet people as human beings and not as “connections.” They notice that. You won’t feel powerless as long as you remember that you have something to offer others, so focus on what you have to give and not so much on what you want to get.” That’s about it.

Do you enjoy doing horror films and what are some of your favorites?

I love horror, I love making movies, and every role I do is my favorite for one reason or another. I love paranormal horror and possession stories but haven’t gotten any of those kinds of scripts yet. I loved what Vera Farmiga did with THE BATES MOTEL, creating the role of Norma Bates and producing the series as well as starring in it. It was fantastic.

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Why do you think it is important to have more women in film?

Well, we are at least half the population of the human race, so it’s likely that we have pertinent things to say about it. The “boy’s club” is in the process of being dismantled, but it’s difficult to change things when they’ve always been a certain way forever. So, it’s a process. Some of the covers are being pulled as to the way it’s operated previously, and hopefully people will speak up more now, and not be silent when things are unjust. Everyone will be happier if/when that happens. The industry is evolving as we are evolving.

What was it like working with John Hughes and Alan Ball (I know it was a shorter time with Mr. Ball)?

I never worked with John Hughes, although people often think I was somehow involved in his films for some reason. I auditioned for him once, and Molly Ringwald was reading with the other actors. She absolutely towered over me in a not-great way. I It was actually very funny, but not going to work for those scenes.  Alan Ball was wonderful He loves the genre films of the 80’s and treated me like a queen. I was very honored. It went by too quickly for me, and I wish I’d gotten to work with him more. There had been talk of making my TV Evangelist a recurring character, but they had so many potential story lines that it never ended up happening. I’d have been so delighted  to do that, as I LOVED the show.

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Can you tell us about Rick’s Martini Bar? 

It’s a podcast that I was interviewed on for FAST TIMES. The episode went well, and the podcast host and creator, Jerry McCarty, invited me to co-host. I’ve been doing it for around 8 years now. Not every show, but I book celebrity guests and Jerry and I bounce off each other for a nice contrast. It’s syndicated and available for free on iTunes. I believe it’s winding down now, and I’m thinking of doing another podcast, but don’t have any details on that yet.

What are some of your upcoming projects?

I was just a judge for the film festival SHRIEKFEST, which is a great honor. The film festival opens tomorrow evening! EXORCISM AT 60,000 FEET will premiere pretty soon, but no hard date at the moment, as It’s just coming out of post-production now. I’ts a horror/comedy with me, Lance Henrikson, Bill Mosley, Adrienne Barbeau, Bai Ling, Kevin O’Connor and more. It’s sort of a cross between AIRPLANE! meets THE EXORCIST meets SNAKES ON A PLANE. The comedy is just..wrong– is the best way I can describe it! I’m sure people will have a lot of fun with it. 

And  I was thrilled to work with Tyler McIntyre (SUICIDE GIRLS) on BLOWING UP EVERYWHERE, a festival short that will be making the rounds. I’m looking forward to having a few films on the festival circuit. Next year I’ll shoot TO AVENGE, A crime-thriller set in Ocean City, MD. Of the things that I can speak about, that’s all the info I have, so far.

If you could play any role, what would it be and why?

I’m more of a gun-for-hire than an actor who has dream roles, honestly. It’s what I’ve done my whole career so far. One thing I know from experience is that my “brand” is Survivor and Final Girl (Woman) and I dislike victim roles. That may change as I work and grow. We are always growing. Plus, that could be an over-reaction on my part to the really ridiculous number of  “victim” roles I’ve come across, and it could be that I’ll snap out of it eventually. 

Do you have a personal mantra? Is there anything you would like people to know about you?

Always raise the vibe of any room you enter, every time. You’re there because you have something to contribute that is needed, even if you don’t know what that is at the time. Ask, “How can I help? What can I do to support you?” 

I want to thank Kelli so much again for taking her valuable time to answer my questions. To learn more about her or to follow just go to:

kellimaroney@aol.com

http://www.kellimaroney.com

Badass Cheerleader Productions

contact@kellmaroney.com

kellimaroney@gmail.com

 

Erik Henry Vick: Horror Author Interview (2018)

I had the good fortune to meet Erik on Twitter and he quickly became a favorite of mine with his wit and intellectual comments. After reading his book Demon King I was thoroughly intrigued and had to learn more about him, his wife Supergirl, their rottweiler named after the thunder god and their two crazy cats. Erik has done so many amazing things. Erik has a B.A. in Psychology, an M.S.C.S., and a Ph. D. in Artificial Intelligence.  He has worked as a criminal investigator for a state agency, a college professor, a C.T.O. for an international software company, and a video game developer. Whew I am tired just writing all of his accomplishments! So let us find out more about this talented man!

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Why horror/fantasy?

~My fiction has always had a dark streak. When I was young, I heard the adage: “Write what you read.” At the time, I was reading a lot of science fiction, with a smattering of horror, so I thought I should write science fiction—dark scifi, granted, but scifi. I wrote some cyberpunk and tried very hard not to recognize that as much as I love reading scifi, I’m wasn’t that great at writing scifi. Let me put it this way—my “scifi” was frequently compared to Dean Koontz or Stephen King 😊

 

When I returned to writing fiction after being disabled, I first had the idea while re-reading one of my favorite authors, Stephen King—specifically I was reading the Dark Tower series and thought it would be cool to write something with the same depth, with the same “Epic Quest” quality. I had been playing around with an idea in my head about a serial killer that was a wendigo, and the Blood of the Isir series was born. It was so easy to write dark fantasy, and even easier to write straight horror, I was sure I found the right genres. Having said that, I do have plans for a scifi horror novel at some point.

What and who are some of your favorite horror films, books, and authors?

~I love Stephen King, Dan Simmons, Robert R. McCammon, Anne Rice, Ambrose Ibsen, Joe Hill, Walter Jon Williams, and many, many more.

As for films, I seem to be drawn heavily to scifi horror like the Aliens franchise and Pandorum, but I also love original movies like the Babadook, Gerald’s Game, A Quiet Place (I love, love, loved this movie!), The Others, etc. Having said that, I almost never turn down a horror movie.

What I dread in either setting is formulaic, repetitive stuff. You know what I mean… “So-and-so has sold a gerbillion books writing about butterflies, so my next book will be about butterflies. I’ll call it ‘Butterflies on a Train!’” Yech.

Can you tell us a little bit about your work in A.I.?

~I spent most of my time trying to make artificial characters into something more than talking heads. My Ph.D. explored building synthetic personalities by basing character drives and emotions on trait-based personality theory (from psychology). I also did some work in Natural Language Understanding and machine learning.

Also can you tell us about some of the video games you helped develop?

~I worked on Madden directly, and as a character AI adviser on many others under the Electronic Arts umbrella. Probably the most fun I had in the game industry was working on a project that never made it into production—an MMO concept set in Frank Herbert’s Dune universe.

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I love the Hank & Jane IRL, would Supergirl like to comment on you and or your work?

~Direct from Supergirl:

Erik is one of those people who is good at everything he tries. This amazes and annoys me in equal parts. At the time he got sick, he was a professor at a private university. We had moved thousands of miles from family a few years prior so he could take the job. It was a difficult time and eventually, even with all the help and support the university provided, he had to stop working. I remember the day I filled the car with the contents of his office. The next few years are a blur to both of us, him due to pain and medication and me due to working and handling the family and house stuff. I do remember that we started to go for drives as a way for Erik to get out of the house and for us to chat.  We have always been the kind of couple who enjoys spending a lot of time together.

At some point Erik began talking about wanting to write a story with a character that had RA. I encouraged (or nagged, potato/potahto) him at every turn because I wanted him to have something of his own again and be more than the RA. I told him we didn’t need to worry if it ever got published or how long it took to write but that the writing was what he needed to do. We set up the office with a recliner and a swing arm for his monitor and keyboard so he would be able to sit long enough to write more than a sentence or two. There were flares that interrupted and the writing went in fits and starts for a while but eventually he had something.

Any interesting stories (that you can tell) from your criminal investigative days?

~I can’t say much from the investigative days, but my experiences drive my writing, to be sure. There are far more horrible things in the world than we give it credit for. One of the scariest moments in my life was an interview with a homeless man when gradually realizing the depth of his paranoia and persecutory delusions, then discovering he was armed with .45 caliber pistol.

My years working on a psychiatric intensive treatment unit also fuel my work—in fact I am developing a concept for a novel or two pulled directly from my time there, and parts of Demon King came from this part of my life, as well (and not just the obvious bits 😊).

What would you like people to know about you?

~I have a so-called invisible disability. It’s not really invisible—it must easy to see based on the glares I sometimes get when Supergirl pumps the gas, holds the door open for me, or cuts my steak in a restaurant. It’s especially not invisible for my family and friends. It has changed me-physically, but it has not conquered me, and it has not changed who I am at the core (a big, dumb, stoic Viking). For more about my pointy-stick collection, please see:

https://erikhenryvick.com/2017/06/11/how-can-you-do-that/

https://erikhenryvick.com/gear/

Even with this stupid disease, I love life. I’m a positive person most of the time, and I try to have fun with whatever I’m doing because that’s the best sharp, pointy, monster-poking stick I can find. I love to laugh, and I love meeting and talking to people.

How do you combat writers block?

~I don’t really suffer from writer’s block. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when I shouldn’t write, and most of the time, I’m bright enough not to waste time on those days, I just go relax with a good book or movie. I mostly have the reverse problem. I have far more ideas than I can write in the time my Personal Monster™ allows me. I’m rapidly filling up a digital notebook of ideas, beginnings, endings, characters, etc. Hopefully, I’ll be able to figure out a way to write faster (or develop implant technology that sucks the stories directly from my head while I sleep).

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Any advice for other writers facing their own “personal monsters”?

~Push that monster out of the way and get to work. Find a way to do what you need to do. Experiment, take notes—whatever is necessary. DO NOT LET THE MONSTER WIN.

Do you have a personal mantra?

~If I do, it involves Personal Monsters™ and sharp, pointy sticks. Or maybe something funny.

I want to thank Erik and Supergirl so much for taking the time to answer my questions and give us such a personal look inside this amazing authors mind!

You can learn more about Erik and his books here : https://erikhenryvick.com/

 

 

Gary Scott Beatty: Webcomic Designer Interview (2018)

Gary Scott Beatty has been coloring comics since 1999. He also writes and designs his own comics and books and has designed the Webtoons Webcomic the Gods of Aazurn. He also has does  book cover art along with digital painting illustrations and Jazz illustrations. I was very fascinated to find out about online comics being a comic book lover myself. So let us get to the questions so you can go out and start reading these amazing comics also!

Why a horror comic?
~When I began the Gods of Aazurn stories in the Indie Comics #1, #2 and #3 anthologies they were dark fantasy, positive myths cynically turned to despair.
There are horror elements in every genre of entertainment. Where would Shakespeare’s Shylock be without his demand for a “pound of flesh?” Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” without Cobain swearing he doesn’t have a gun? “Game of Thrones” without winter coming?

Horror is drama, that place in a story when you see that the dark places gaining the upper hand. Why not horror? It’s everywhere.

Who are some of your favorite comic artists and writers?

~I recently got halfway through a top 10 list of comics that most influenced me before writing and drawing Gods of Aazurn weekly on Webtoons.com took over my time.

That list included Enki Bilal, Philippe Druillet, Moebius and (later) Richard Corben in Heavy Metal Magazine #1; Barry Smith and Roy Thomas on Conan the Barbarian #7 (1971); Robert Crumb on Big Ass Comics #2 (1971); Gilbert, Jaime and Mario Hernandez on Love and Rockets (1982-1996); Jamie Delano, Garth Ennis, Paul Jenkins, Warren Ellis, Brian Azzarello, Mike Carey, Peter Milligan and more on the original run of John Constantine: Hellblazer (Jan. 1988).

How did you get into coloring and comic art?

~I just always wrote and drew stuff. I wouldn’t recommend anyone get into this if they intend to pay the rent. For me, it’s always been a compulsion to tell stories.

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Do you think there is higher intelligence out there?

~There’s certainly a higher intelligence than me

Where did you get your love for Lovecraft?

~I first remember reading H.P. Lovecraft and other Strange Tales magazine reprints in paperbacks in my early teens, most likely attracted by some trippin’ cover art. I’m not sure where I bought them, but I own a set of Arkham House hardcovers from 1963 that I’ve felt compelled to reread over the decades.

Why do webcomics and not physical copies?

~I have graphic novels readers can buy. They can find them from my publisher, Caliber Comics, by going to http://strangehorror.com/

That website is also a good way to get to the free webcomic. Webtoons.com has a pretty long URL for Gods of Aazurn, I usually just go through http://strangehorror.com/ because it’s easier to remember.

Tenacious readers usually figure out that online reading is just reading, and go back and forth without a second thought. Google Books, for instance, is where I go to read Lovecraft’s contemporaries and influences, like Clark Ashton Smith and Lord Dunsany.

Tell us about the new “Welcome to Dunwich” webcomic.

~They are frightful and dark and divine, and their subjects despair. Earth humans are lucky. So far, the Gods of Aazurn do not care about us, even enough to reach down a mighty hand to be cruel. That’s about to change.

As of this writing I’ve posted nine stories that could be read individually or as chapters. The Rescue is a story that begins to pull the others together.

The Rescue is in actuality a teaser for the bigger GOA story coming after the newly colored and formatted Welcome to Dunwich, beginning September 19.

Welcome to Dunwich is a nicely self-contained story with an eerie beginning and horrifying end illustrated by Mark Bloodworth. Unfortunately for me, I also like the characters, and they won’t leave me alone, so I may have to do more story in the town of Dunwich. After all, the twins have yet to be born.

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What do you want people to know about you?

~As little as possible. Mystery makes me interesting.

I’m not one to dwell on past accomplishments. I’ve been producing stories for decades, but the best ones are available to read now! My world is at http://strangehorror.com/

For more background and behind the scenes, people can sign up for my Fan List there. I usually post something engaging and entertaining once a week.

Do you have a personal mantra?

~I’m not a big believer in mantras, Horrormadam. There is so much that is true in the world and it’s the journey that leads to discoveries. There is no formula, other than stay sharp, keep thinking and be hyper-aware. Sort of the same skills it takes surviving the zombie apocalypse.

Such true words, I want to thank Gary Scott Beatty so much for taking the time to introduce me to webcomics and for taking the time to answer my questions. You can learn more here at : http://strangehorror.com/ and http://www.garyscottbeatty.com/

 

 

Damian Maffei: Interview (2018)

I had the definite joy of speaking with Damian Maffei from the new Strangers: Prey at Night but also from such films as Closed for the Season, Christmas With the Dead, Wildfires, and I’m Dreaming of a White Doomsday.

The new Strangers is about a family’s road trip taking a dangerous turn when they arrive at a secluded mobile home park to stay with some relatives and find it weirdly deserted. Under the cover of darkness, three masked psychopaths pay them a visit to test the family’s every limit as they struggle to survive.

I really enjoyed the film and Damian’s performance in it but he does not consider that acting and he should know. He was born in Queens, New York on June 27th, 1977 and went to school for acting at William Esper Studio in Manhattan where they teach the Meisner technique and the “Reality of Doing” with such notable alumni as Christopher Meloni, Steve McQueen, and James Caan. So lets ask him a few questions :

Why do you love horror?

~Who knows. I’m sure there’s some psychological reason for it. I just know that when I’m searching for a new movie to watch, I’ll immediately browse the horror genre. Or if I’m trying to get something going creatively, push a project, it’s in the genre. Dark, brutal, most of the time. I just know that when I was a kid, and I was sneaking downstairs to watch something on TV… I’d try to find a horror movie.

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So I wanted to find out about some of his favorite horror films, films, and the actors and actresses in them.

~Fave Horror: Alice Sweet Alice (1976) with Paula Sheppard as Alice and also starring a young Brooke Shields, Jaws (1975), Alien (1979), Alien III (1992), Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), Christine (1983), and all time favorite is the original Black Christmas (1974). He is huge fan of the slasher sub-genre in horror.

He also for TV shows loves House of Cards and Glow.

Some favorite actresses- Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim VS the World, 10 Cloverfield Lane), Sigourney Weaver (Alien and Ghostbusters franchises), Amy Adams (Sharp Objects, and Nocturnal Animals).

Actors- Kane Hodder (Jason X, Victor Crowley, Hatchet , Jason Goes to Hell), Guy Pierce ( Memento, LA Confidential), Jake Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko, Zodiac), Christian Bale (The Dark Knight Rises).

The Most fun I had talking to Damian is when he said Weekend at Bernie’s was his favorite horror comedy, I had never thought of it that way but he is right it was a very macabre film when you think about it. But we both agree it is actually time for a reboot of the film and in this day and age we would flip the script so that the roles played by Andrew McCarthy and Johnathan Silverman from the 1989 version would now be played by Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon with Damian as the new Bernie! I would definitely pay to see that!

What do you want people to know about you?

~Oh, I don’t know. That I’m out here just trying to do some quality work, make the most of whatever time I have in the things I’m lucky enough to be in. And when I’m not menacing people onscreen I’m usually being overpowered by my 3 sons and 10 pound dog. My favorite decade for movies, particularly the genre, is the 70’s. By far and away.

Any funny stories from sets?

~On Prey at Night I charged Lewis at the pool and swung so hard I lifted my entire body into the air and fell on my back. I was embarrassed, and pissed off, so I just laid there for a couple of seconds not moving or saying anything. But… I had the sack on my head, so everyone thought maybe I had knocked myself out. I’ll do another Strangers one, there’s a scene in a van where I get in, and the other character is sort of pinned to the seat via this wood plank that’s gone through the windshield. So I get in, and there’s all glass on the dashboard. Fake glass though. Looks real! Movie magic. So I sit down, and I get the idea to just… Play with the glass a little bit before I turn my attention towards the radio. Wipe some glass and blood off the dashboard. Little cleanup. So I do it. Johannes liked it, told me to keep it in. So I did it again on my next take. Take after that, I sit down in the car, start to wipe the glass off, and I feel my skin being penetrated and let out a yelp like a sleeping puppy being poked in the ass with a knitting needle. Apparently, during the other character’s shifting in his seat, the wood plank had shaved off a sliver of actual glass from the window, and it landed in the glass pile. You can tell the difference if you give it a real good look, but not when you’re in the zone, man! Anyway… For all that, the bit didn’t even make it into the theatrical cut. And to think I bled for it…

Do you have a personal mantra?

~A personal fave is Ray’s “I’m not going to listen to this, I’m not going to hear this now.” from The Burbs. I trot that one out often. Otherwise I like to bastardize Dylan Thomas’s “Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night” and appropriate Galaxy Quest’s “Never Give Up, Never Surrender.

I want to thank Damian so much for taking his valuable time to speak with me. I am a fan of his and as I look on IMDB there is an upcoming film that he will be in called Haunt by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods both known for being writers for A Quiet Place and Nightlight. Damian could not tell me much about it except that it was one of the most fun times he has had shooting a film. IMDB’s description is as follows: On Halloween, a group of friends encounter an “extreme” haunted house that promises to feed on their darkest fears. The night turns deadly as they come to the horrifying realization that some nightmares are real. The film is still in post-production but it sounds like a lot of fun and I for one am looking forward to it and Damian’s performance in it!

If you would like to learn more about Damian I have included some links:

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0535541/?ref_=tt_cl_t5

https://www.instagram.com/damianmaffei/

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