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INT: Blood Types #7

04.27.2007by: The Arrow

Part 7 of 10
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CHARLES HALL INTRO: They have terrorized the likes of Jamie Lee Curtis and Linda Hamilton, and have walked down the aisle with Uma Thurman. They did battle with a flesh-eating creature, demon-hunting brothers, and a possessed doll. And they unleashed upon the world a sadistic serial killer, a vengeful tooth fairy, the deadly Ocularis Infernum, and a silver-eyed antihero. For them, itís all in a dayís work.

Over the past few months, I had the pleasure of interviewing the ten individuals described above. These Ďblood typesí include actors Courtney Gains (Malachai, Children of the Corn), Travis Schiffner (Jeepers Creepers II), Elias Toufexis (Decoys, TVís Supernatural), and Alex Vincent (Andy Barclay, Childís Play, Childís Play 2).

Also in the mix are actor/former special FX makeup artist Christopher Nelson (Kill Bill: Vol. 1 & 2), and actor/stuntman Christopher Durand (Michael Myers, Halloween: H20). Rounding out the pack are scribes Kieran Galvin (Feed), Joe Harris (The Tripper, Darkness Falls), Neal Marshall Stevens (Thir13en Ghosts, Hellraiser: Deader), and Ken Wheat (Pitch Black, The Fly II). Together, they have helped shape our darkest nightmares.

In addition to thanking the participants, I would like to extend special thanks to
John Fallon and Christopher Showerman for their generosity and encouragement. I hope readers enjoy Blood Types as much as I enjoyed creating it.

HALL: Which horror films, if any, left a lasting impression on you? Why?

NELSON: There were two, actually. The Exorcist, for many obvious reasons. It dealt with a human condition and a fear within everyone. It was a reflection of its time in both style and content. It made evil and the devil palpable within the most vulnerable of vessels. It's William Friedkin's best work. The other is John Carpenterís Halloween. I remember it was near Halloween and my mother called from California to tell me she saw it and to watch out and be careful when I went trick-or-treating. I could go on and on about this film. A good example of everything working together in independent filmmaking to create a classic. Oh, and George Romero's Night of the Living Dead scared the liviní sh** out of me. I lived in Pennsylvania, and it made me feel there was a zombie around every corner. Needless to say, the social message, which I'm not entirely convinced was planned.

HALL: Psycho, Night of the Living Dead, The Omen, and other landmark horror films have been remade in recent years, and there are more remakes in store. In general, how do you feel about remakes?

SCHIFFNER: If a movie still holds up over time, it was magic. Take Psycho, for instance. If I sat down and watched that movie by myself now, it will still scare the crap out of me. I guess I feel that if the movie was really good, itís tough to do remakes. I mean, just look at Star Wars. No offense to people who loved the prequels, but the originals were true cinematic magic. Itís hard enough, I think, to make a really good movie, but to try and remake a classic -- thatís some tough shoes to fill. I havenít yet seen The Omen remake. Weíll see.

HALL: What is your fondest memory of working on Thir13en Ghosts?

STEVENS: I think it was probably my dealings with Joel Silver, who is a pretty impressive (and intimidating) guy. In a business where a lot of people will smile and pat you on the head, and then wait until youíve left the room to screw you, Joel Silver, whatever else you might say about him, will tell you exactly what he thinks. That obviously can be pretty scary all by itself, but Iíd much rather work with somebody like Joel Silver than a lot of other people that Iíve worked with over the years.

HALL: If you were given a chance to do it over, is there a moment or a period in your film career that you would revisit, revise, or perhaps change altogether?

TOUFEXIS: I auditioned for an episode of Masters of Horror last year. [Note: Toufexis refers to 2005.] It was probably my third or fourth time I auditioned for the show. It was an on-tape audition and there was no director at the first casting session. That same day I had an audition for another TV show that, for some reason, I deemed a better part.

So I focused mostly on that other audition and went to the Masters of Horror one with a kind of ďletís get this one over with so I can get back to working on the Ďmore importantí auditionĒ mentality. So I didnít get the part on Masters of Horror, obviously. Only to learn that the episode was directed by John Carpenter! Iím such an idiot. It goes to show you never know. Audition your ass of at every auditionÖI didnít get the other part either.

HALL: What was the last horror film you saw in a theater? What was the last horror DVD you rented or purchased? Did the films live up to your expectations?

VINCENT [circa July 2006]: I saw Saw II in the theater. It was good. I liked the first better. I recently rented The Hills Have Eyes. I never saw the original, but I thought the new one was pretty good. Most horrors are a little cheesy to me.

HALL: Horror fans are famously loyal. Could you tell us about some of the more interesting fan correspondence you've received? Have there been any memorable festival or convention encounters?

WHEAT: I got a couple of cute notes from kids after I did the Ewok movie, but I've received virtually no correspondence from horror fans. [Note: Wheat co-wrote and co-directed Lucasfilmís Ewoks: The Battle for Endor.] I did get a nice email once from a guy with a Pitch Black site, which I set aside with the intention of doing a nice long reply, and then never got to it. I've always regretted that, although I was amused to discover later that he found some comments I made to friends at a writing newsgroup, which he edited to express (perhaps too candidly) some of my thoughts about the film.

I'm afraid I've never been invited to a festival or convention, so I can't report on any encounters of that sort. (Hint, hint.)

HALL: The range of horror films--from the psychological suspense of Rosemaryís Baby to the visceral terror of Hostel--is evidence that different things scare different filmgoers. What scares you?

DURAND: I fall into the psych category. The best way to scare me is to set the stage and then back off so I scare myself.

HALL: Which single horror film do you consider the most underappreciated or misunderstood? Why?

GAINS: I canít speak to that.

HALL: Tell us something about yourself that we donít already know and may be surprised to learn.

GALVIN: I was born without a navel. Really. No, just kidding. I was 37 years old the first and only time I ever voted in an election. Will that do?

HALL: Whatís next for Joe Harris?

HARRIS: I have more movie and comic projects in the pipeline. Stay tuned and Iíll reveal everything, in time.

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Source: AITH



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