The Arrow Interviews Rod Gudino
I've always been proud of being Canadian-- we're such great freakin' people! But when genre mag "Rue Morgue" hit the scene, I felt even prouder! Finally, a Canadian rag that celebrated the genre with class and quality! The man we all have to thank is Rue Morgue head honcho Rod Gudino. And now with the "Rue Morgue Festival of Fear" heading our way from August 27-29, 2004, we have even more reason to feel "happy, happy, joy, joy"! I spoke to Rod to get some info on what, to my knowledge, will be the first such major Canadian Horror Convention ever and here's what he had to to say!
ARROW: What’s your favorite horror movie?
ROD: I honestly don’t have one. The last movie I saw that blew me away was IRREVERSIBLE by Gaspar Noe. I really liked THE LAST HORROR MOVIE by Julian Richards as well.
ARROW: What would you say is the most fulfilling aspect of your job as Editor in Chief of Rue Morgue Magazine?
ROD: I guess it’s the prospect of turning Rue Morgue into a quality force of horror entertainment – in movies, publishing, music, maybe theatre too. I guess the possibility that I can make everything I ever believed about horror (ie. that it is not just about popcorn movies) into a reality is very fulfilling.
ARROW: Rue Morgue is now expanding its claws by launching a Horror Convention named “Rue Morgue Festival of Fear”. What prompted you to take that route?
ROD: Well, it was a bunch of things. The timing was right and the people who approached us to make it a reality (Hobby Star Marketing) are very cool and had the right mindset. Really it was more a matter of seizing the moment than anything else. But I’ve always been urged by Canadian fans to start a horror con here and their persistence kept me on track, so I’d like to say they had a part in it too.
ARROW: What measures will you and your team take to make sure the convention is a pleasant one?
ROD: We’re going to focus on the quality; not too many vendors but the right ones; not too many celebrities, but the right ones, that kind of thing. Having said that, this year will be our first time out, so it’s going to be a learning curve and, hopefully, the fans will be kind to us as we find our legs.
ARROW: The guest of honor will be horror maestro George Romero. How much access will us fans have to the man?
ROD: A lot. George will be doing autograph sessions as well as an intimate and interactive for at least two out of the three days. I’m trying to make it so that every fan has a chance to shake hands with the legend.
ARROW: I hear the convention will also put out “exclusive parties”? What type of shin dig can we expect? Any strippers? (I had to ask)
ROD: If you’re interested in volunteering for a striptease, we can definitely discuss that.
ARROW: Kool! I'll have my agent call ya! (i.e. my mother)
ROD: There will be a lot of event parties going on, given that the Rue Morgue Festival will be taking place alongside comic, science fiction and anime expos. I’m just coordinating the details now, but definitely Nash the Slash will be performing live to the film Nosferatu on Friday night, which is going to be a ton of fun. The rest will be announced closer to the date.
ARROW: Will just anybody be able to attend these soirees? Or is there some VIP tag we need to attain?
ROD: I’ll know the answer to this question in a month or so, so hang in there…!
ARROW: How big and varied do you expect the dealer room to be?
ROD: There are a total of 350 dealers for the entire expo. Of those, about 50 will be exclusively horror and in the Rue Morgue area. The dealer room is fairly large and will be able to accommodate everyone and leave room for autograph ups.
ARROW: Having had bad experiences when getting autographs at other conventions (cough, cough...Creationet...cough...cough), what actions are you taking to make sure that getting a signature off a star won’t be World War 3?
ROD: The Rue Morgue Festival of Fear will be taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the country’s largest exhibitor room and this is exclusively to ensure people will be able to get to the stars with minimum hassle.
ARROW: Will the autograph sessions take place in a different room than the “Guest Speaking” area (cough, cough...Creationet again...cough...cough)?
ROD: Yes, absolutely.
ARROW: THANK YOU! I've also heard that film screenings will be part of the festivities. Care to name some titles that will screen at the convention?
ROD: Actually, I’m just getting together the list of films which will be shown at the Festival and I’m waiting to confirm so I can’t give you any scoops at this time. However, keep an eye out on the Rue Morgue website for updates; we’ll have it up there soon!
ARROW: So far, guests of the likes of Bill Moseley, Doug Bradley, John Kassir and Tom Savini have been confirmed. Any other names have been recently confirmed? Who else are you going for?
ROD: Douglas Buck (Cutting Moments) and Larry Fessenden (Habit) will also be there, as will creepy multimedia artist Vincent Marcone from MyPetSkeleton. I’m waiting to hear back from a cult figure who hasn’t been in the country for fifteen years, but can’t really leak the name at this point. Keep your fingers crossed.
ARROW: I heard a while back that Rue Morgue wanted to eventually expand to "film production". Where is that at right now? Is it still one of your goals?
ROD: Absolutely! We’re definitely moving in that direction, only it’s a big step and I want to make sure I do it right. I can tell you I’ve been writing scripts and I have a ton of submissions on my desk as well. Economically, there are some chips that have to be set up as well, but we’re working dutifully on them. I want to mention too that films are only part of what I see in Rue Morgue’s future: look for Rue Morgue Radio coming soon to our website which is getting an entire overhaul over the next few months. If the Rue Morgue Festival of Fear does well, we may expand it, so the sky is the limit. Hope to meet you in August!
I'd like to thank Rod for dropping by the site and would like to wish him the best and a Molson for the upcoming "Rue Morgue Festival of Fear"! I'll try to be there with bells on and clothes off! VIA RUE MORGUE!