IFI Horrorthon Short Film Showcase

Horrorthon are proud to present the following selection of short films at this year’s festival.

Jar (Ireland)

The Raven (Ireland)

Life’s A Wish And Then You Die (Ireland)

A Doll Distorted (UK)

An Beanshi (Ireland)

Delicacy (UK)

Mannequins (UK)

5 Minutes to Midnight (Ireland)

Besoin Dead (France)

Gluten Freek (Ireland)

Bus to Dublin (Ireland)

The IFI Horrorthon Short Film Showcase screens on Monday 29th October 2018 @ 12 noon. Tickets available at https://ifi.ie/horrorthon-2018-short-film-showcase/

Many thanks to all who submitted short films for consideration.

Horrorthon 2018

IFI Horrorthon is back from October 25th to 29th 2018 with it’s usual mix of bloody madness and mayhem! Packed with Irish premieres and special guests, 2018’s festival is going to be one to remember! Tickets sold individually, with multi-film and day passes available directly from the IFI Box Office.

Thursday, October 25th
19.00 Overlord (Opening Film)
21.15 What Keeps You Alive
23.10 Boar
23.15 All The Creatures Were Stirring
23.15 Camp Cold Brook

Friday, October 26th
13.00 The Cleaning Lady
14.50 Framed
16.30 Knuckleball
18.20 The Devil’s Doorway with Director – Aislinn Clarke
20.20 Nightmare Cinema with Director Mick Garris
23.00 Double Bill: Critters 2 / The Fly II
23.10 Double Bill: The Axiom / Living Space
23.20 Double Bill: Road to Hell / The Tokoloshe

Saturday, October 27th
13.00 Horror Express with Author John Connelly
15.00 Wolfman’s Got Nards
17.00 Lifechanger
18.50 Secret Santa with Director Adam Marcus & Cast
20.45 Anna and the Apocalypse
22.50 Book of Monsters with Producer Paul Butler & Cast
23.00 Lady Frankenstein
23.10 Lust

Sunday, October 28th
13.00 Sir Christopher Frayling – On Frankenstein plus Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell
16.00 St. Agatha
18.05 Surprise Film
20.20 Suspiria (2018)
23.00 The Dark
23.10 Killers Within with Directors Paul Bushe & Brian O’Neill
23.20 Sleepwalkers with Director Mick Garris

Monday, October 29th
12.00 Short Film Showcase
14.00 Ravers
15.45 Videoman
17.40 Piercing
19.20 Await Further Instructions
21.10 One Cut Of The Dead (Closing Film)

For further details and booking visit http://ifi.ie/horrorthon

IFI Horrorthon Short Film Showcase

Horrorthon are proud to present the following selection of short films at this year’s festival.

Inexorable (Ireland)

The Wake (Ireland)

Eldritch Code (Sweden)

Winston (USA)

Into the Mud (Spain)

Bye Bye Baby (Spain)

Teddy Bears Picnic (UK)

RIP (Spain)

Le Plan (France)

The Box (Ireland)

M.A.M.O.N. (Mexico)

The IFI Horrorthon Short Film Showcase screens on Sunday 29th October @ 1510. Tickets available at http://ifi.ie/horrorthon

Many thanks to all who submitted short films for consideration.


IFI Horrorthon 2017

Tickets : http://ifi.ie/horrorthon

OCTOBER 26th-30th

19.00- OPENING FILM – TRAGEDY GIRLS : Q&A with Director Tyler McIntyre


Including a tribute to George A. Romero

19.10- HABIT : Q&A with Director – Simeon Halligan


Including a tribute to Tobe Hooper

14.45- 78/52
16.30- TAG
18.10- OUR EVIL


17.10- THE MIMIC
21.10 – 68 KILL
23.00- TORMENT
23.10- REPLACE


13.00 – RE:BORN
16.40 – THE LAPLACE’S DEMON : Q&A with Director Giordano Giulivi
19.10 – STILL/BORN

Opening and closing films: €11
All other screenings: €10

5 films for €45
10 films for €80

1 day pass – €45
2 day pass – €77
3 day pass – €104
4 day pass – €130
5 day pass – €135


Horrorthon 2017 Teaser

Here is it loyal Horrorthoners. A teaser of four excellent new films that will be screening at this year’s IFI HORRORTHON (October 26th – 30th). Hell and gore, and expect info on more…….Coming Soon !!!

Milk is Murder: A look into the minds behind “The Herd”

Released for free online streaming via Viva and the vegan White Lies website on Monday the 1st of February Melanie Light’s short film The Herd is a brutal allegory for the horrors of dairy production wherein adult women are transposed in to the place of dairy cattle. The film follows Paula (played by Victoria Broom) who along with many other women is imprisoned for her breast milk by a sinister shadowy corporation , represented in the film by the brutal harsh guards (played by Jon Campling-who played a Death Eater in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1 as well as having roles in many UK horror productions- and Billy White) and the terrifying icy nurse who is played by Pollyanna McIntosh (the star of Let Us Prey who rose to fame in an incredible performance as the feral titular character in The Woman). Other recognizable faces include Andrew Shim better known for playing Milky in This is England and Shane Meadows regular Seamus O’Neill.

The short is just under 20 minutes long so I think it’s particularly wise not to delve too deep in to the films plot. In fact I think it is best that before you read this interview you watch the film available at http://www.whitelies.org.uk/resources/video-footage/herd and then read what the creators have to say. Suffice to say however the captive women are subjected to the litany of abuses which are usually reserved for dairy cows. They are kept in cramped squalid pens, forcefully inseminated and then have their children taken at birth (the phrase “it’s a boy” will haunt you after viewing the short), all so they can be brutally milked.

The short is brutal but also compelling and emotional with a strong, original core concept. The production design and cinematography are fantastic, the equal of any recent extreme horror feature and it’s all sound tracked by a brilliant score by Laurent Bernard (or “Lags”) of popular hardcore band Gallows.

The film’s director Melanie Light began working in the art department of films The Devil’s Chair and Inbred before beginning to make her own shorts. The Herd however is sure to be the short of Melanie’s to get the most attention.

Horrorthon’s Patrick Thompson spoke to Melanie Light and screenwriter Ed Pope about the project.

Herdstill copy

Horrorthon: Firstly what was the genesis of the concept of The Herd?

Melanie Light: The original idea came from Ed, it’s a concept I had seen in various forms in the past, but it hadn’t been put to film with a narrative, which is why I felt it was a worthwhile project.

Ed Pope: I met a lot of people who considered veganism to be a bizarre concept. Many people thought drinking plant-based milk was strange, and could not see any merit in my response that drinking the breast milk of another species was perhaps at least as weird! There’s a mindset that views the consensus of the masses to be correct, and without question. I’ve never felt that way, so in this instance I wanted to frame the dairy issue in a manner that even the most disconnected people could empathise with. So the concept was largely born of frustration!

H: To both Melanie and Ed, what does “feminist vegan horror” mean to you? As much as the films violence and the treatment of the women is justified by the concept and the message of the film I do think that in the hands of a male director it could be harder to justify some of this content. Would you agree or do you think that’s irrelevant?

EP: Thematically The Herd was entirely conceived as a vegan allegory. However, veganism and feminism are intrinsically linked. For the production of dairy and eggs, it is the female reproductive system that is exploited for commercial gain, so you can’t separate the two without admitting speciesism. Horror and veganism are even more closely linked, and this was very important to me when writing the script, to express the horror experienced by dairy cows as precisely as possible. So to me “Feminist Vegan Horror” means that if you’re writing a film that is thematically about the vegan take on how animals are treated, you can’t avoid the other two.

Before I started writing I was very clear that I wanted to ensure that there was no risk of this film being titillating or sexual in any way. This was planned right down to what the captives wore, and how certain scenes were composed. I’ve known Mel since 2003, and very soon into the writing process I knew I wanted to give her the script when it was done. This had nothing to do with her gender, and everything to do with her filmmaking abilities and artistic style, and how I knew she’d handle the subject matter; but to some degree I do agree that it is best that this film was directed by a woman. Not that a male director with the same integrity couldn’t have done it justice, but there’s no doubt that Mel was the perfect person to helm this project, in many ways.

Herdstill2 copyML: I agree, to even begin to make this film was walking on dangerous ground, it straddles a lot of sensitive issues. Ed and I worked on the script together after the initial draft, it became a labour of love for us all. You are always liable to be misunderstood, but we are dealing with ideas that intersect- for me as a vegan and a feminist, understanding the fight against oppression of women from a very basic level, be that human or non-human, is about the right to control our own bodies. This film is trying to highlight suffering, regardless of species. We could have changed the women to men and had their semen collected, but it would betray the suffering inflicted on female cows, which was the overall point of this film. Others might not agree but I do not distinguish one suffering from another, we are not trying to belittle one suffering by highlighting another. The Herd is very blunt and deliberate yes, but everyone agreed, we had a point to make, and that point is that if you’re a vegan feminist, you care about all females.

I don’t think we need a man to direct a film about an issue that only effects women, and this film portrays a very real perspective. As a woman directing a female cast with this subject matter, there needs to be an inherent trust and affinity, which we had and I noticed subtle things like their shared body language and mannerisms as a result of this horrible setting,that I encouraged. They caressed their fake pregnant stomachs instinctively, their upset during the drowning scene was palpable, in fact the whole cast and crew found many of these scenes harrowing. Even though it was Ed’s story, we were portraying a reality, and in many ways what we filmed was not only a collaboration between director and writer, it was the horror of the situation that made it all the more disturbing. To that end, this was very much a vegan feminist horror.

H: To you are the concepts of feminism and veganism innately linked?

EP: As above, yes. But feminism is only a constituent part of veganism, and then only in my opinion. As we show in the film, male calves are useless to the dairy industry and are either killed at birth or sold into the veal trade. Male chicks are killed as they hatch in the egg industry too, for the same reason. Veganism and horror are much more closely linked.

ML: Yes. At a very basic level, they are both about drawing attention to the suffering and enslavement of females.

H: In my experience sometimes horror fans, upon hearing the term “vegan feminist horror” are expecting something very different from the end result. Why I love the film is that it has a point and a message, which I find is lacking in the majority of extreme horror. Was it important to you to make the film work beyond being a polemic allegory or to you is that (polemical aspect) so integral to the film?

EP:  Absolutely. I had no interest in writing a pure propaganda piece. I’m a life-long horror fan and wanted to ensure that the story could exist on its own without the theme. This is another reason why I thought of Mel early on in the creative process, as we both share a love of the genre. Thanks to Mel’s realisation of the script and the excellent cast we had, I believe the film can stand on it’s own as an effective horror film if the viewer chooses to ignore the thematic elements. If you enact what society does to these animals on screen you cannot avoid making a piece of extreme cinema.

The Herdstill3 copyML: It is a horror film because the subject matter is horrific. You cannot make a film about the dairy industry without that. It will always be torturous and violent and sad. That being said, those who watch horror films will identify with the horror aspect. Horror is about creating a monster and then destroying the monster. I think you can watch The Herd without understanding the allegory, the end result is the same, the monster gets his comeuppance. We were aware that when making a violent film with a political narrative that isn’t immediately obvious it runs the risk of offending those who see it as just another torture porn flick, or even worse, those who share our values but worry that the only thing that will register with people is the violent abuse of women. This is why we added the end credit sequence, so that no one is left in the dark about our message. Using tortured women, I can see this being a problem for a lot of people, and I was sensitive to this, but on the other hand, I am a woman, and I wanted to make this film specifically because this is an issue that only effects women.

It is true that there are people in the world who might see this film and dare I say, enjoy it for all the wrong reasons. It’s a disgusting thought to entertain, but we can only hope that the majority of people who watch it understand that the violence portrayed in the film is wrong on every level, which is the entire point we are trying to make.

H: Melanie what was your background in film prior to making this film?

ML: I’ve worked in the art department in Film and TV for over 10 years. I did a lot of Production Design but more recently work as a Stand-by Art Director. Prior to making ‘The Herd’ I had made three other short films and a couple of music videos.

H: Melanie at what point were you approached about the film and how did the script change over time?

ML: Ed sent me the first draft of the script about a year and a half before the actual shoot. I had to wait until I knew I had the right funding and time to really get it off the ground.  We developed the script in those few months and the location we used influenced the final draft. As we got closer to a shooting script it became a very collaborative effort with input from my partner and our actor Pollyanna made some vital changes too.

H: The performances in the film are amazing. Pollyanna McIntosh in particular is terrifying as the nurse character in charge of inseminating the women and birthing their children. What was the casting process like for the film?

herdstill4 copyML: Pollyanna is a brilliant actor, I was a huge fan of her work in ‘The Woman.’ We had met on set of the short film ‘Him in Doors’ which I was designing. We stayed in contact and she was always in my mind for the nurse character in the film. Pollyanna is disturbing as it appears she is working against her own sex, and is also caught in a system that allows her staff to belittle her, her own struggle to exercise power as a woman whilst desensitising herself to the horrors she inflicts. I personally find the male captor’s more terrifying, especially the character played by Dylan Barnes.

All the actors took the script and ran with it. Victoria and Charlotte are so powerful and a great duo. They shared a great energy and the scene in the cage is so strong it rips my heart out every time I see it. There were a few casting struggles and changes towards the start of the shoot but everything just fell into place. Most of the actors I knew through other projects that I had worked on before.

H: I know that Laurent from Gallows was involved from the point at which the film was being crowd funded but how did this come about? On a side note I loved the Momentum track “Realities of the dairy industry” that finishes the film- why did you make this choice?

ML: Laurent and I had met via Twitter, he had private messaged me after I tweeted something irrelevant to him! He offered to compose music for anything I had coming up. I eventually employed his talents for The Herd. He is brilliant to work with. He’s a natural at film scoring. Momentum were a vegan hardcore band who I was familiar with and this song title speaks for itself, so was a fitting end to the film!

H: A friend of mine who watched the film commented that as shocking as the film was nothing affected him like the reality footage during the credits? Why did you choose to include this footage?

ML: Without it I felt that for many, the film would just be a sad tortuous story of women being used to make the anti-ageing cream. We had to make sure that people made the connection even if it is heavy handed. I personally still can’t watch this myself, it is so awful but it has to be on there, people need to see the reality behind this film.

H: Since it’s Women In Horror month and giving your connection to the movement (having curated a calendar for WIHM) what does WIH mean to you and do you think the situation for women in horror is changing?

WIHM has changed a lot for me over the years. I was fortunate enough to be involved from the beginning with the ‘Ghouls on Film’ festival where my first short film ‘Switch’ was shown. Being a strong believer in equal representation for women in not just the arts but all professions, when WIHM came about I was so excited, It felt like I’d finally found a community that shared all my interests and beliefs. I feel there is still more opportunity to use this as a platform for drawing attention to women’s skills and abilities within art, media and the film industry.

The calendar was a result of this, I wanted to highlight a mixture of creative talent, with each month depicting a different artist or director or writer. I was lucky enough to have a great photographer friend named Tina K. The women involved all came up with their own looks and styles for their images. For me this is what WIHM is all about.

H: How many of the cast and crew were vegan during production and did the film inspire a change in anyone?

ML: I’m not sure on the full numbers but I know for sure there were about six vegans and many vegetarians. We had vegan catering throughout the shoot with a generous donation of food from Fry’s, a popular vegan frozen food company based in the UK. We definitely educated a few crew to the delicious cruelty free diet. I know one person went vegan as a result.

H: Finally Melanie you have revealed teaser artwork for your first feature project Covetous. At this stage what can you tell us about this film?

HERDPOSTERNEW(2) copyML: Right now it is still in its infancy, and I am trying to source the right Producer and to get some funding. I have a couple of actors attached. It is all very early days but the only way to get a film made is to start the ball rolling! I have worked on the script for over 5 years on and off and my partner Alex has been a great input too. The film is about a woman who, having spent her life in a secure unit is released into society for the first time and follows her fight for survival. I guess it’s a social horror thriller?

Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Melanie and Ed!

The Herd facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TheHerdMovie/?fref=ts

Richard Stanley Interview (Horrorthon 2015)

St Michans Church Crypt

Richard at St. Michan’s Church Crypt in Dublin

One of the Guests of Honour at Horrorthon 2015 was Richard Stanley, director of Hardware and Dust Devil and subject of the recent documentary Lost Souls about the tortured production of The Island of Dr. Moreau from which he was fired as director. Horrorthon’s Fiona Foskin sat down with him during the festival for a most enlightening conversation.

Horrorthon: We’re interested in your creative process, you have produced some very interesting work over they years, how do you ‘work’ ?

Richard Stanley: The worst thing about ideas is I have to write them. I’m not a writer by trade, I’m a film maker by trade, but I’ve learned that if you want to control the underlying rights you have to be a writer. If you get a project that is brilliant and everyone wants it they will break your fingers to get it away from you they will not let you keep it; I found that out on Dr. Moreau. Once you’ve got an idea that is worth 75 million dollars people will do anything to take it. I realised then that I had to write the idea from the top to be inseparable from it. Which forces me to be a writer. if there is a pre-existing script there is always a legal possibility that someone can take that project away from you.

Writing is a painful and annoying process. Films are back-loaded with money, not front-loaded so there’s never any money upfront so the writer always get paid terribly and post-production people get paid disproportionately well, e.g. animators, press production people, there’s lots of money at the end of the movie but in the beginning there’s never any so it’s a painful and lonely process, writing always is, it’s a little bit shameful. It feels somehow like masturbation or like extruding piles because you have to go into a room on your own. Generally I find the best creative time for writing is early on. I try to identify some music which evokes the theme of the movie to me. It’s good to find some music which doesn’t have any other associations except for the thing you’re writing, so don’t use theme music. For the Island of Dr. Moreau I always put on the Forest of the Amazon by Villa Lobos the Brazilian composer. Every time I hear that I think immediately of the island, I think of the Beast Folk and they all come back into my head. The music is essential because when you are interrupted you have to get back into the zone, get back into the flow. It can take days or hours to find the zone. There comes a time when you’re close to it when you can feel it running through you when you can’t get it down fast enough, when the characters find voices of their own and they start talking to each other, that’s when it starts moving. To get to that point is quite hard. Once it reaches that stage the characters will stay alive no matter what happens. I have numerous dead projects that never got made. I’m still haunted by those fictional characters, I still feel a great allegiance to my Beast People from Dr. Moreau, even though almost none of them made it into the movie, but I know them well, Azazello, etc. they’re all in my head even though they’re not in the movie. I know how they, the characters speak, I know what they want, but I haven’t been able to express them. Sometimes once the movies made, it’s over. Most of the characters from Dust Devil have shut up and stopped bothering me.

H: So would unmade projects be stuck in your head, would there be things that you feel that you have to do?



RS: Yes, usually the ones that get made are the ones that have to get made and they keep coming back, the dream that always returns, the thing that year after year still remains fresh and still wants to be expressed  in some way and those are ususally the ones that survive; more lightweight ideas evaporate over the course of time, so they aren’t worth the trouble. The ones that want to be born are like the Golem, the Jewish idea of an unborn thing which needs to be manifest and drawn down to be brought into being. These ideas that cluster around your shoulders and start to advise you, they want  their expression. Of course once you’ve made the damn thing it goes out into the world and makes it’s own friends and before you know it you have fan-fiction and people are producing their own stories  about the same characters, they get out there. The characters from Hardware survived and they made their own friends on the far side of the world in places like Japan, you’ll find 20 years later people wearing t-shirts with your characters on it.

H: To talk more about writing , you obviously have a very strong vision, how do you find working collaboratively on a film project? What for you are the ups and downs of the collaborative process?

RS: Well film making is a collaborative process and it has to be because no one human being can make a movie on their own; part of the glory of film making is that it’s an expression of so many art forms all in one pot, it should be the greatest medium of expression we have because it brings together writing, art, acting, photography, music, costume design and makeup artistry, so many great mediums of artistic expression and plainly if we were smarter and were able to actually not be totally dependent on money the way that we are now, then the medium has the potential to be the greatest art form available to man. Obviously no one individual can do all those things. When you’re making a movie you try to find the best people, get the best team together, if you can harmoniously bring that together and then bring the final product into light, when you take all that stuff and turn it into something ephemeral. Once you’ve caught the light and you torture it and duplicate it again and again until it’s just a piece of captured light and tortured  time which is then sold and resold, well it’s a funny old thing when you’ve actually created that bit of light. It’s an extraordinary medium and I’m still in love with it. Film has been horribly abused in the 21st century because America has convinced us all that film is entertainment, which isn’t quite true, if we believed that art and writing was entertainment then we would have nothing to read besides Mills & Boon and Barbara Cartland. Obviously films has the potential to communicate powerful messages and not just entertain. Right now we are buying into a paradigm where all movies have three acts and we all have to make the audience feel that they have been suitable entertained, rather than traumatised or enlightened. Whereas in the 70’s we still had Ingmar Bergman and Andrei Tarkovsky trying to either enlighten the audience or brutalise them, bringing us to a point where we would see life in a different way. I don’t think modern audiences could deal with Goddard or Truffaut in the same way which is a shame. It won’t always be that way, things will change in another twenty years or so.

H: Could you talk us through the work you have showing at Horrorthon this year, Dust Devil, Hardware and a collection of shorts.


Dust Devil

RS: Well, Dust Devil, which is playing in a few hours, is a very difficult movie, one of the most difficult I’ve ever made. It’s a Namibian movie. I made it for Namibia and the people of South Africa, who are a missionary culture. They were ruled by the Dutch Reform Church and  they hated the Devil. In South Africa when I was growing up The Exorcist was banned, any reference to the Devil was cut out of culture under the Apartheid regime, when the Hammer Horror movie ‘Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell  played in South Africa the censor went over the prints with a felt tip pen and cut out all reference to Hell, so the movie read ‘Frankenstein and the Monster and *blip*’. This censoring gave me the idea that I wanted to make a South African Devil movie,which was  targeted at the people who refused to speak about the Devil in such an extreme way. ‘Dust Devil’ came out of that. It was also the easiest idea for a movie I could think of at the time, I thought whats the simplest and cheapest thing we could shoot. It was a story with a girl driving across the desert and she picks up the Devil. It’s just two actors and the car for the whole movie, the landscape felt like  the simplest and the cheapest movie I could possibly write or come up with. It took a while to get made, it went through so many twists and turns.


White Darkness

The Shorts, they don’t get a lot of airtme. Among the shorts is one of my documentaries, White Darkness which is a film about Voodoo and about the American occupation of Haiti, which I think is probably my best work. I think the middle of White Darkness is the material I’m most proud of, that I have shot. It’s got a very good middle, it manages to be political, supernatural and completely jarring because we’re seeing stuff which the audience will never expect. In this case it’s the brutality of the American regime, the Baptist Marines, you see the evident evil of the Christian characters who were trying to forcibly convert the Voodooists to their Christian religion which is not something we expect to see when we get into the movie. As the movie goes on the treatment of the Voodooists gets worse and worse, very disturbing, we also managed to get the head of the Marines deposed, Colonel Walter Walker Junior , he was removed from power as a result of this documentary. You can see that they are so obviously out of fucking order, you can see that they clearly believe that you have to have  a Christian consensus in a nation before you can have a democracy. His version of democracy is based on Christianity, he believes they have to crush the Voodooists before they can have a democracy. It also shows the Crusader mentality, weirdly enough the Conservative Baptists Missionaries use the Georges Cross as their symbol, they actually have it on their uniform. Most of the Marines you see in White Darkness  were sent to Afghanistan afterwards, they are all very clear thst they’re Crusaders. The Taliban and ISIS aren’t wrong when they say that the Marines are Crusaders, it really was the Crusades through a filter.

Sea of Perdition

Sea of Perdition

The other shorts are all things that I shot because I was bored or on a dare. The Children of the Kingdom was shot because of a bet, whether I could shoot a short movie in one day in London for 99euros. So it’s a 99euro, one day in London, shot on the underground movie, but I wouldn’t have done it unless someone had bet me to do it. Sea of Perdition was a film about Martian Exploration, it’s set during the colonisation of Mars. It’s interesting because if it was made now you’d assume it was a rip off of the Ridley Scott movie The Martianbut I asked them to play it because it’s so soon after the discovery of water on Mars, which is a factor in The Sea of Perdition. We shot it in a Volcano in the Arctic, it was minus 7 above ground, below ground it was very hot. We found this warm water lake beneath the Arctic by going down a Volcanic vent in Mount Krafla, which I was doing because I was following some notes from the Nazis. In another film I spent much time tracking down all surviving members of the Ahnenerbe SS, the folklore department of the SS, which gathered information about folklore, witchcraft and mythology. They were purged in 1939 and most of them were killed by the Christian SS, who came to fear them. Goebbels was gathering material to incriminate Himmler and the SS, when they became an embarrassment, so they were gotten rid of. Their research was shoved into the mass grave of Nazi information, until we decided to start back engineering it in 1998. There was a huge amount of folkloric data and mythology there, which no one was reading because it was all tainted by Nazism. I started going to the different sites that they had been excavating.That’s how I found the underground lake, it’s also how I found out about Montsegur where I live now from reading that material. World War Two set back the occult lodges and the Pagan movement for decades, they were all on the wrong side. In the 1950’s & 60’s it almost died. There was a time when the European hidden tradition almost died. The Nazis had also banned all the secret societies, the Freemasons and the Rosicrucians. It wasn’t until the hippies, when people started doing acid and reading Aleister Crowley and busting out their Madame Blavatsky that things came back.

H: Besides your own work what would you recommend at Horrorthon 2015?


The Golden Voyage of Sinbad

RS:  Out of the bunch Scherzo Diabolico, directed by Adrian Bogliano who made Late Phases and Here comes the Devil, a couple of years ago. I know Adrian quite well, he’s a talented lad and he knows what he’s doing. Personally I can’t resist The Golden Voyage of Sinbad in the presence of Caroline Munro, it’s just one of my favourite movies of all time, I’ve adored it since I was around 10 years old, it’s totally inspired me, it still touches my hear. The Voyage of Sinbad & King Kong definitely opened up my mind to the possibilities of cinema.

H: We wondered what you thought of current movie monsters and animatronics, can you talk us through some of the best and worst examples you’ve seen.

RS: Recently we’ve been a bit challenged because of the existence of CG, thanks to the ability to have everything fixed in post live animatronics have suffered, people have abandoned stop motion animation entirely. There are almost no animators left who are capable of the level of work that we saw from Ray Harryhausen and Willis O’Brien in the old days, which is a huge shame because it occurs to me that with computer animation we could perfect the process. What was wrong with Harryhausen’s work is that it strobes because every single frame is in focus as it’s photographed frame by frame, with computer techniques now we could overcome that problem. No ones got the talent to build the maquettes and the armatures, or the patience, which is a shame. I still think that the best monster movie ever made is The Thing  by John Carpenter, I haven’t been grabbed by a monster movie as strongly ever since . It’s for a bunch of reasons; the Thing keeps evolving and changing, you never get a sense of what it actually looks like, whereas in Alien, we eventually realised it was a humanoid guy, it became less terrifying. Alien with Sigourney Weaver was terrifying for me up until the moment when she blasts it into space and you see it’s rubber tail! The game we all play with movie monsters is that you have to show it, you can’t not show the monster, you do have to show the monster, how long you show it for and how long you can keep the audience afraid is the most difficult part.

H: Richard would you have any advice for aspiring film makers?

RS: Whatever you do just keep shooting and don’t wait for permission, if you wait for somebody else to let you shoot you’ll be waiting forever. People are always waiting on the money, waiting for someone to agree to something, that stops you from being a film maker. You have to just get your goddamn camera and shoot anyway, shoot anything, keep shooting!

H:  What should we look out for from you in the future, are you taking on Lovecraft?

Colour-Out-Of-Space-posterRS: I am, I adore Lovecraft, my mother introduced me to Lovecraft, she was a big  fan, luckily for me. I got into Lovecraft when I was about 6 or 7, my gateway drug was Dreamquest for Unknown Kadath, a Lovecraft story for children, my mother read it to me when I was five or six, that provided the gateway. Lovecraft is very dear to me, and it occurred to me that there were not many decent movies on Lovecraft. The screen adaptations were often very poor and ususally played for laughs which is weird. The Last Call of Cthulhu and Whisper in the Darkness are sort of campy, pastiches. I liked Stewart Gordon, I played a fish monster in Dagon, I’m there with a bunch of other fish monsters in the sacrifice scenes which was fun, but it’s still a silly movie. I’ve always wanted to see what would happen if a Stanley Kubrick or an Ingmar Bergman or an Andrei Tarkovsky had taken him on. Lovecraft defined his theme as Cosmicism, cosmic terror, man’s frightful position in the cosmos, the fact that we’re surrounded by black seas od infinity, with no control over our destiny whatsoever. It’s a world that I don’t think anyone has ever been into, I don’t think any of the Lovecraft adaptations convey any of that. it seems to me that the main purpose of his work has been left offscreen, it hasn’t been tackled. It’s a theme that someone like Kubrick would really have made something out of too. Of course  we’re not going to have a Kubrick style budget, but given what we have we’re going to try to do a serious Lovecraft adaptation, which doesn’t mean there’ll be no humour in it, human beings are still entitled to make jokes, but the human characters won’t have any chance of understanding what’s happening to them, the thing itself will be irrevocable, unfathomable and beyond anyone’s ability to deal with, unnameable and indescribable, as it should be. We’re doing The Colour out of Space, which technically can’t even be seen because it’s outside the spectrum, but it lives at the bottom of this family’s garden and exerts its malign influence on the family and their farm and the various characters struggle with that!