In Preparation for his upcoming appearance at Screamfest, (www.screamfestla.com) Legendary writer/director Stuart Gordon was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for SKNR.NET and I wanted to thank him and the good people at Screamfest for arranging the interview.
GVK: How did you become involved in Screamfest and what is your function at this year’s event?
SG: I am making my first appearance and I am really looking forward to it. I am going to be screening Re-Animator and I am excited about the whole event.
GVK: what drew you to horror and what have been some of your biggest
SG: Probably when I was younger and my parents forbad me to watch horror, which in response only made me want to watch it more. I remember the William Castle film “The Tingler” with the vibrating seats; it had me running for the lobby in no time once the seats started in.
GVK: The film Matinee was inspired by him and some of his publicity ideas wasn’t it?
SG: That is correct, he had the ambulance in front of theaters, the 3D effect that made the monsters seem to come off the screen, which was actually a skeleton on a pulley. He was a genius at marketing. He also came up with the idea for “Rosemary’s Baby” but he was persuaded to let Roman Polanski direct it but he did cameo in it.
GVK: Which modern horror directors are you inspired by?
SG: I really like David Cronenberg, his early film “They Came from Within” was amazing. It scares the Hell out of you, then you get the parking lot and you start to think about it, and how deep it is. “Dead Ringers” is also another of his that is very disturbing as the ending scared me.
GVK: You have created some enduring moments in the genre, and as such
What do you think of the current state of the Horror genre and where do you think it will head in the future?
SG: I think the genre is very strong at the moment, as we seem to have a Renaissance going. Zombies and plague related films seem to be very popular as this may reflect a sign of our times. People have a fear of infectious disease, and the decay of society and order as well as widespread catastrophes.
GVK: Which do you prefer writing or directing and why?
SG: I have always thought of myself as a Director first. I do like writing though as it is very cheap, it is simply pen to paper and in writing, anything is possible as the ideas and opportunities are countless.
GVK: What did you think of the most recent Re-Animator and what kept you from doing more films in the series?
SG: I have never been one who was very big on sequels, I believe I was committed to another project when the first sequel arose and could not do it. I thought the most recent one had some moments and I loved the fight scene with the rat, as it was very inspired.
GVK: Between Horror and Sci Fi if you had to select, which would you say is your true passion?
SG: I like both as I find them hard to separate. H.P. Lovecraft always
based much of his work on science and that helps draw the audience in as there is a basis in fact.
GVK: What are you currently working on and what drew you to the project?
SG: One idea I am kicking around is “House of Re-animator”. It is a political satire that should certain people be back in office, then I would do it. I hope I do not have to go ahead with it, but if I do, it would be about V.P. Cheney passing from a heart attack and since he basically runs everything, Dr. West is called in to bring him back. I would only go on with this in the event of re-election as otherwise it would be old news.
Another project I am looking at is a project with Jack Ketchum called “Ladys Night” it is about a toxic spill that happens in Manhattan. It only affects woman but turns them into killing machines and it is a mix of real time, mayhem, and carnage.
GVK: When might we see this one?
SG: That is hard to say, as it is still in the planning stages and we have not begun casting or filming on it yet, but it is being worked on.
GVK: What is your stance on Digital filming vs. standard filming?
SG: I like it and I am looking forward to working with it. I have not had the chance to yet but it is clearly the shape of the future and not only does it make FX easier, but it saves on the budget, as much less money is needed for it.
GVK: With all of the remakes such as “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, “Dawn of the Dead”, and “Day of the Dead” to name a few, has anyone approached you to remake “the Re-animator”?
SG: Not yet and I am surprised at that as I expect it to happen eventually. I do think though that the genre needs to create some new monsters and horror needs to have some new classics instead of constantly replaying the films and creatures of the past.