Monday, 21 May 2018

Interview with Steeve Leonard and Caroline Labreche - Directors of Radius

Ahead of Horror Channel’s UK TV premiere screening of RADIUS, directors Steeve Leonard and Caroline Labreche talk last minute casting, corpses and making the FrightFest audience cry…

Horror Channel is broadcasting the UK TV premiere of RADIUS. Are you a fan of the channel?

Steeve: We unfortunately don’t have Horror Channel in Quebec, but from what I’ve seen from you guys, it looks awesome. I would’ve loved growing up with that on my TV!

The film has a highly original premise. Where did the inspiration come from?

Steeve: It was a long process, 4 years I think… At first we wanted to do something like Oldboy, with a man and a woman who realize they share a dark past; that’s where the serial killer aspect came to mind. We didn’t write much based on that alone. Then later, when the radius of death idea came to us, we decided to merge these two ideas and see if we could intertwine them together.

The film carries us into deep emotional waters as well as being a cleverly-spun Sci-fi thriller. What is the underlying message you want people to take from the film?

Caroline: We always wanted people to exit the movie and start asking themselves: “if your memory is erased, are you still guilty for your past crimes, can you be convicted if you truly don’t remember”? And we, as the writers, still don’t have a clear answer for this. Liam’s redemption (or at the very least, his punishment) was always something along the lines of what we have now. Our idea was that upon learning and absorbing the fact that he used to be utter scum, the good half of Liam would turn out to be stronger, and it would make him do the right thing. But again, does he truly deserve to die, now that his good half is aware and repentant? Hmm…discuss!

What were the biggest challenges you faced making the film?

Steeve: As with any film, big or small, the answer is: time and money. I’m sure Ryan Johnson (Star Wars) would say the same thing.

Is it true that the lead actor, Diego Klattenhoff, was only cast four days before shooting started?

Caroline: Yep! So was Charlotte Sullivan (Jane). Sometimes casting just happens that way. Getting the right actors on board is a combination of timing, budget, schedule, personality, marketability, etc… And sometimes getting all of these things to click takes a while. We got our leads late in the process, but we got exactly what we needed: talented actors who took the material and made it their own. We love the work they did.

There’s a funny production story about you trying to make a corpse out of a sack of potatoes. We’d like to know more!

Steeve: There’s a scene in the movie where (SPOILERS Diego has to dump a wrapped up body in a pond, and, we didn’t have the necessary dummy to wrap up. Anyway, the props department had to work fast, so they told us they’d make a dummy out of 50 pound sacks of potatoes. We said okay, and they built the thing — wrapped it up in a tarp and everything, and it looked like a human body. So… on the day, we get Diego on the boat and the crew hands him this wobbly, 200 pound body, and then we get the camera ready — we had a drone above him, too, and we were pretty excited about that.

So anyway, we get ready and then we tell him to drop this thing in the water on the count of three, and we were gonna do this thing where, as soon as the body starts to sink, we’d fly the drone upwards really fast, creating this cool dizzying shot. So we countdown: 1…2…3… he dumps it in and… It. Does. Not. Sink.  And then it hits all of us at the same time: oh… yeah… potatoes float. I felt my soul step outside my body and slap me in the back of the head for being such a moron. Anyway, we tried to punch holes in the tarp to make it sink. We tried it again but it never really worked. So we had to move on without that shot. I made it work in the edit, but that cool dizzying shot never got made.

When the film received its European Premiere at FrightFest last year it got a tremendous reception from both critics and the audience. What are your abiding memories of the event?

Steeve: Obviously, the UK showings were a great treat for us. Everybody was nice and very supportive of the film. But I think the two major moments Caro and I will take away are, firstly, the moment we walked into the theatre and saw the Imax-sized screen the film was going to be shown on. At that moment, we felt very small, very undeserving, very nervous. It was like: “oh crap, how will the film look and feel on such a huge screen”? But when it started, it was also very cool, very epic to see. The second moment was at the end of the movie, when Liam pulls the trigger: I turned around and looked at the audience, and I saw a bunch of guys wiping the corners of their eyes. I turned to Caro and said: “I can’t believe it, we made English people cry! This is working!” It was a good feeling!

How did you start your filmmaking career together?

Steeve: Caro and I have been making films ever since we enrolled in film school. We’ve always worked together. Caro has done some side projects without me — she’s actually shooting another movie this fall. One day I fear that she’ll finally realize that I serve no purpose whatsoever in our directing duo, hahaha!

How would you describe the chemistry / working relationship between you?

Steeve: On set, Caro usually deals with the technical side of things, while I go and talk to the actors. Then we meet up and discuss everything, make some adjustments, and that’s about it. We do a take or two, then try some variants that either me or her have in mind.

Caroline: we also like to be extra prepared. We discuss and over-analyse everything in advance, we storyboard as much as possible — we always have a shot list on hand. When we get on set, we usually have an answer for every situation.

Steeve: and we never argue on set. We keep that for home, hahaha!

Finally, what’s next?

Caroline: We’re currently working on another sci-fi thriller, this time with horror undertones.  We can’t say much right now, as we’re getting ready to shop the script all over town.  We also have a robot sci-fi film and a slasher film with a neat twist in the works.

Radius is broadcast on Fri 25 May, 9.00pm, Horror Channel

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Interview with Jim Hickcox

Shot in just eleven days, sci-fi horror Soft Matter premieres on VOD 5/22 from Wild Eye Releasing.

Jim Hickcox's feature debut tells of two graffiti artists that break into an abandoned, reportedly haunted research facility in hopes of creating an art installation, but stumble upon a team of demented researchers who are in the process of resurrecting an ancient sea creature - who they now must fight in order to not become their next experiment.

How would you describe the movie, sir?

I'd call it a "party horror" – it's the kind of horror movie that's going to be more fun with a crowd.

Is it fair to say that audiences will be surprised by what's on offer here?

I'm going to answer this with a direct quote from a review of Soft Matter by Bad Movie

Night: "I don't know how you could expect this movie."

Who or what were your influences on the film?

Stuart Gordon, the color pink, slimy trash, a fear of death.

And in terms of your directing choices, any shots inspired by other filmmakers?

A lot of the framing choices were pretty heavily influenced by A Walk to Remember, starring Mandy Moore, but the lensing was more referential to the original Taking of Pelham 123.

How tough a shoot was it?

The day before we started, the city cut all the utilities to the building, which was a huge hurdle, and on day one it started pouring and half the building flooded. We also, because the building was condemned and "haunted", had to deal with mildew, ghosts, and occasionally discovering containers of human waste.

What's one thing you learnt on this movie that you will or won't apply to the next one you do?

We shot this in eleven days with almost no money, so I made a lot of choices very fast. I think that kind of pacing and scale is a thing I'll continue to work with. There's one moment that I wish I had one more shot of coverage of, so that's a lesson for me, and a few things we didn't have time to adequately test out in preproduction, which I'd like to take more time for in the future.

Is there a moment in the film that you're particularly proud of?

The real standout in the film is obviously Mister Sacks, so that's a big joy for me, because I've loved him since the writing phase. I also have a lot of fondness for "Jaws 3".

What's next for you?

I have several plates in the air - I'm starting a small production company ( with a couple of friends, and we're halfway done shooting our second feature, a werewolf movie co-production. We also have scripts written for a few more projects in the $30k-$200k range, and we're hoping to start pulling together resources to start work on one of them soon.

Monday, 30 April 2018

Signature Entertainment and FrightFest Join Forces in Frightfest Presents Deal

LONDON – Mon 30 April 2018.

Leading UK independent distributor Signature Entertainment and FrightFest, the UK’s premiere horror fantasy film festival, have entered into an exclusive partnership that will see Signature release FrightFest curated films under the festival’s thriving label  ‘FrightFest Presents’.

In a move that sees the label set to expand following its two year tenure with Icon Film Distribution, selected FrightFest endorsed films will be made available across physical, digital and TV/SVOD platforms in the UK and Ireland, via Signature’s established network of partners. Each release will have the collective backing of Signature and FrightFest across marketing, PR and social channels.

Paul McEvoy, Co-Director of FrightFest commented, “We’re delighted to be joining forces with Signature, who have always passionately supported FrightFest and understood our mission to open up new audiences to horror and fantasy, a genre which already has a clear, devoted and dedicated fan base. With Signature as our new partner, we very much look forward to releasing the cutting edge of next generation genre releases”.

Jon Bourdillon, Signature’s COO, added: “We are truly thrilled to be partnering with FrightFest.  The combination of their expert knowledge and contacts in the genre and our outstanding commercial relationships makes this a winning partnership.   With horror fans increasingly flocking to the FrightFest brand, together we can make it easier than ever to consume the FrightFest endorsed movies at home”.

Acquired titles will be announced soon.

About Frightfest
Dubbed “the Woodstock of Gore” by director Guillermo Del Toro, FrightFest, set up 19 years ago, has grown in size and stature since its cult roots at the Prince Charles Cinema and today is internationally renowned for discovering exciting and original horror fantasy genre films and for supporting the talent behind them. Over the years the festival directors, Greg Day, Alan Jones, Paul McEvoy and Ian Rattray, have developed FrightFest into a brand leader for horror film, expanding its footprint in the UK by hosting special events throughout the year and joining forces with the Glasgow Film Festival, where they run an established three-day event. It has helped launch the careers of directors such as Simon Rumley, Christopher Smith, Eli Roth, Neil Marshall and Simon Hunter and recently teamed by with FAB Press to publish a series of ‘The FrightFest Guide To…” books.

About Signature Entertainment
Launched in 2011, Signature Entertainment is the UK’s number 1 independent film distribution company. The team combines a wealth of film expertise with a fresh commercial outlook, delivering diverse quality entertainment to a broad audience in cinemas and at home. Signature has released over 700 titles into the UK market since inception, leading the way with innovative, bold ways of releasing and quality productions. Signature’s recent releases include Beyond Skyline starring Frank Grillo and Iko Uwais, Jungle starring Daniel Radcliffe and The Titan starring Sam Worthington with an upcoming theatrical slate including David Tennant’s Bad Samaritan, Steve Coogan’s Ideal Home and Jon Hamm’s Beirut.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Channel 4’s new show TRUE HORROR begins on 19 April, for 3 episodes - with the final of 4 eps going out at Halloween.

From the BAFTA nominated producers of The Enfield Haunting, this dramatised documentary series will take you into the heart of four terrifying true horror stories.

Ep. 1 Hellfire Farm – 19th April
This dramatised documentary tells a terrifying true horror story: An artist, his new wife and their young children find a rural idyll in a Farmhouse in the Welsh hills. But it becomes a nightmarish crucible of demonic activity which drives the family apart

Liz and her partner, artist Bill Rich move into a dream home - a farm house nestling in the hills of the Brecon Beacons in Wales. Two children arrive in quick succession. Liz collects a menagerie of rescued farm animals. Bill at last has a proper studio space.

But almost immediately, things start to go sour in their perfect home: Things move around the house inexplicably; Bill’s artwork stops selling; animals begin to die. Their precarious finances are hit by insanely high electricity bills – which no-one can explain.

Bill retreats into his painting, which gets darker and darker, fuelled by the weird visions the farm conjours. Liz, meanwhile, is absolutely petrified and turns to the local priest for help. As the marriage crumbles, the haunting reaches a terrifying climax.

Ep. 2 Ghost In The Wall – 26th April
This dramatised documentary tells a terrifying true horror story: A young mother fears that her dead father-in-law has returned, with a horrific plan: to steal her children.

Jason and Sam are teenage sweethearts. Jason’s dad, Jimmy doesn’t approve of the relationship. Jimmy is desperate for grandchildren. Before Sam can make her peace with Jimmy, he dies suddenly of a heart-attack. Meanwhile, Jason’s dreams are plagued by visions of demonic figures.

Sam and Jason are joyous when they finally have children – just sorry that Jimmy isn’t around to see them. Or is he? For Sam, Jimmy’s desire for grandkids takes on an apparently sinister turn. When one of her children is seriously ill in hospital, Sam  becomes convinced that Jimmy has come to take her children. As Jimmy intrudes on their lives in more and more sinister ways, Sam realises she will have to fight to protect her children from the ghost of their grandfather.

Ep. 3 Terror In The Woods – 3rd May
This dramatised documentary tells a terrifying true horror story: Two prank-obsessed teenagers escape suburban boredom into their fertile imaginations.  When they dare one another to spend the night in some haunted woods, they experience terror beyond their wildest imaginings.

Stephen is always trying to persuade Todd to go camping with him in the woods outside their small home town of Horsham. The forest has a reputation for being haunted, and are some say they are home to mass graves. Todd thinks Stephen might be setting him up for a prank, especially when they end up pitching their tents near the haunted church in the middle of the woods but he goes along for the ride.

Late that night, their torches and phones stop working and they are surrounded by all kinds of terrifying noises and apparitions. As the night goes on and the activity becomes more and more disturbing, both of them are left shaken and traumatised - breathing a sigh of relief when dawn comes and they can return to the safety of their suburban homes.

But a week later, Stephen - still pale and not eating - has the uncanny feeling that something has followed him home. He calls in paranormal investigators, which leads to the boys’ most horrifying experience of all.

Ep. 4 The Witches’ Prison – October, Halloween special
This dramatised documentary tells a terrifying true horror story: A single mother’s battle to protect herself and her defenceless baby boy from a haunted house with a tormented past.

Successful saleswoman Vanessa Mitchell buys a house which is rumoured to be a former Witches’ prison in St. Osyth, Essex, the village she grew up in. ‘The Cage’ is a cute Tudor cottage but as soon as Vanessa and flatmate Nicole move in, they witness increasingly strange events. Flying objects, mysterious pools of blood and an invisible entity that rattles doors and pushes people downstairs are enough to spook anyone.

As friends and housemates are gradually scared away, Vanessa is left virtually alone. Before she finds that, to her astonishment, she is five and a half months pregnant.

Increasingly isolated and oppressed as a working, single-mother in a house besieged by paranormal activity, Vanessa vows to let nothing hurt her new-born child. But can either of them survive the increasingly viscious attacks they endure?

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Acclaimed sci-fi thriller RADIUS amongst four UK TV premieres on Horror Channel in May

The gates of Hell are well and truly opened on Horror Channel in May, as the UK’s most popular TV destination for genre fans plays host to chilling Chinese legends, sinister sorcery, deadly zombies and a rampaging Arnold Schwarzenegger.

There are four prime-time UK TV premieres this month, headed by Caroline Labrèche & Steeve Léonard’s unusual and compelling sci-fi thriller RADIUS (TX: Fri 25 May, 9pm)

Premiered at FrightFest in 2017, it weaves an ingenious plot from the moment Liam (Diego Klattenhoff) wakes from a car crash with no memory of who he is. As he makes his way into town to look for help, he finds only dead bodies, all with strange pale eyes. Liam's first assessment is that a virus is present in the air. However, he soon discovers the terrible truth: that anyone who comes within a 50-foot radius of him dies instantly. Then he meets Jane (Charlotte Sullivan) with whom he seems to have some sort of bizarre connection. However neither is prepared for the terrifying and appalling truth that binds them together…

Also receiving their first outings on British television are The Blair Witch Project co-director/writer Eduardo  Sánchez’s SEVENTH MOON - a devilish spell-binder starring Amy Smart, (TX: Sat 5 May, 9pm), Matt Eskandari’s tense, underground adventure THE GAUNTLET (TX: Fri 11 May. 9pm) and post-apocalyptic zombie actioner EXTINCTION, directed by Inside helmer Miguel Ángel Vivas. (TX: Sat 12 May, 9pm)

Fans of Arnold Schwarzenegger will welcome the clone-seeker’s top-notch performance in THE 6TH DAY, which receives its prime-time Network premiere on Fri 4 May, 9pm, along with John Ottman’s smart slasher sequel URBAN LEGENDS: FINAL CUT (Fri 18 May, 9pm) and Damiano Damiani’s diabolical prequel to The Amityville Horror - AMITYVILLE II: THE POSSESSION (Sat 19 May, 9pm).


Thursday, 29 March 2018

Interview with G.A. Minton by David Kempf

When did you first become interested in writing?

Truth is stranger than fiction…so I’ve heard. I’m a believer in that adage, because it happened to me and it has changed my life! This is how my recently published novel, Antitheus, and my debut novel, Trisomy XXI, came into being. Antitheus, which was released October 16, 2017, is a dark, supernatural tale of horror that takes Good versus Evil to a whole new level. The way in which Antitheus and Trisomy XXI came into being is even more surreal than their storylines. Let me start from the beginning. A few years ago, I was rear-ended by a speeding, drunk driver, who totaled my car and landed me in the hospital emergency room with a closed-head injury. As a result of this devastating accident, I was left with memory loss and aphasia, resulting in problems with expressing my speech and communicating with others.

After numerous visits to a neurologist and months of taking medication used by patients afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease, my injured brain slowly began to mend itself. But when the damage to my brain finally healed, I noticed something very different in my thought patterns. Now, I had this overwhelming urge, this compulsive desire to put on paper a fascinating story that my mind had mysteriously created. I can’t explain it, but my thoughts were now primarily focused on writing this tale of horror. That’s how Trisomy XXI was born. One could only surmise that the damaged neurons in my frontal cortex had rearranged themselves into a different pattern, thereby enhancing the creative elements in my brain. God only knows…stranger things have happened! I didn’t choose to be an author…it chose me. Weirdly enough, it was a car accident that was responsible for my newfound passion for creative writing (a true story, even though it sounds like something conjured up from the twisted mind of Stephen King).

The definition of a savant is “a person who does not have normal intelligence but who has very unusual mental abilities that other people do not have.” Savant syndrome “is a condition in which a person with a mental disability, such as an autism spectrum disorder, demonstrates profound and prodigious capacities or abilities far in excess of what would be considered normal.” I do know that I don’t have savant syndrome, because I am not autistic, and my IQ has been measured at 161. Another form of savantism, known as acquired savant syndrome, is attributed to “a person who acquires prodigious capabilities or skills following dementia, a head injury or severe blow to the head, or other disturbance.” According to medical studies, acquired savant syndrome is an extremely rare condition, affecting very few people in the world. This is apparently what happened to me. I now regard my bizarre mishap as a gift, even though at the time I certainly didn’t, having concerns that I would be left with a permanent neurological deficit for the rest of my life. As long as I can retain this newfound ability, I will continue to write—especially since I do have a passion for it!

How did you get involved in fantasy/horror?

From my earliest recollections as a young child, I’ve always loved the genres of horror, science fiction, and fantasy, so that’s probably where Antitheus and Trisomy XXI were spawned—from the deepest reaches of my inner mind. As a result of my savant-like experience, I am now able to pen novels in a  freestyle fashion, almost in a stream of consciousness, relying on no outlines, formats, or templates for any assistance. Fortunately, the narrative is able to flow freely from my vivid imagination, ending up with a thrilling storyline that contains an ordered sequence of events for my readers.

Tell us about your publisher.

Both Trisomy XXI and Antitheus were published by World Castle Publishing, a traditional publishing press. I chose to traditionally publish my novels because I believe that a royalty-paying publisher is willing to invest their money in a book that is not only well-written, but also has an interesting storyline that will catch the attention of those readers willing to purchase it. A traditional publisher is in business to make a profit, so I felt that my book had the best chance of attaining success through the help of a publisher via their professional editing, financial backing, and marketing support. I’ve read horror stories (no pun intended) about authors dealing with their publishing companies, so I am very fortunate to have selected World Castle Publishing as my publisher. So far, my journey into the world of book publication is going smoothly and has been very enjoyable. All things considered, I couldn’t have asked for a nicer experience! Karen Fuller, award-winning author, book publisher, and owner of World Castle Publishing used her special artistic skills (along with some magic) to create the amazing covers for both Trisomy XXI and Antitheus.

How would you classify the genre you write?

First and foremost, I would consider myself a horror and science fiction writer, with my tales of terror containing anything of a dark nature. My novels are a combination/blend of genres that also contain elements of mystery, thriller, suspense, and the supernatural. Trisomy XXI is a sci-fi/horror/mystery/thriller story, whereas Antitheus is a supernatural horror/mystery/suspense novel.

Why do you think horror and fantasy books remain so popular?

Horror and fantasy books will always be popular with readers because they elicit emotions and feelings related to fear, horror, shock, surprise, and mystery. They also stir up a sense of wonder, awe, and interest in the reader by stimulating the imagination. Good horror stories tend to have one thing in common—fear—especially fear of the unknown. As H.P. Lovecraft, the master of the horror tale in the twentieth century once said, “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” Horror is defined as an intense feeling of fear, great shock, disgust, and/or worry caused by something extremely unpleasant. A unique genre of fiction, horror has the capacity to frighten, scare, disgust, or startle its readers or viewers by inducing feelings of horror and terror.

The components of a good horror/fantasy story usually include fear, surprise, suspense, mystery, foreshadowing, and imagination. Fear is paramount to any horror story. Scaring the reader with fears they may or may not have (fear of the unknown) is key to writing a spooky tale. A strong emotion of fear sets horror apart from the other genres, and expanding on that fear can contribute to surprise. If an author is unable to elicit the feeling of fear in the reader, then the story probably shouldn’t fall into the horror genre.

What inspires your stories?

Prior to my accident, I had neither the desire nor the ability to write anything of a creative nature. It was only after my brain had healed from the closed head injury I sustained that a number of dark tales spontaneously erupted from my newly-acquired neuronal network. It’s hard to put into words, but these story visions came to me from out of the blue, much like an epiphany, or something spawned de novo in my mind. I’ve now amassed a long list of new concepts for tales of the macabre…I only hope that I’ll have the time to write them all! Antitheus, like many of my other ideas for stories, appeared to me while writing Trisomy XXI. As soon as I finished penning Trisomy XXI, I immediately started composing my second novel, Antitheus. Like Trisomy XXI, Antitheus was written in a stream of consciousness-like manner, taking me around three months to finish. I don’t use any outlines or notes, and my writing inexplicably flows in a freestyle fashion, starting with chapter one and ending upon completion of the novel. Coincidentally, when I finished writing Trisomy XXI, it ended up having 21 chapters…while the evil Antitheus has 13!

What do you think the difference between American horror and British horror is?

There are some exceptions (i.e., Clive Barker), but it appears that British horror hasn’t quite yet reached the level of violence, sexual content, gore, and sadism that American horror has attained, all things considered. British horror also seems to be based more on British culture, as compared to American horror, which includes folklore, superstition, and myths from all over the world. Presently, I think that the innate differences between the British and American cultures tend to drive their variances in horror, but in time, this will probably change as the two countries become more connected.

What are your favorite horror books?

They are too numerous to list, but generally any works by Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Shirley Jackson, H.P. Lovecraft, Bram Stoker, Michael Crichton, Mary Shelley, Jack Ketchum, Ray Bradbury, Dean Koontz, plus a host of other great authors.

What are some of your favorite horror movies?

From my earliest recollections as a young child, I have always loved the genres of horror and science fiction. I’ve seen so many amazing Sci-fi and Horror movies over the years that it’s hard to remember them all. Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Dracula, War of the Worlds, Psycho, Night of the Living Dead, Mysterious Island, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, A Nightmare on Elm Street, From Dusk Till Dawn, Alien(s) series, The Exorcist, Halloween, The Thing, Hellraiser, Star Wars, Star Trek, The Silence of the Lambs, Jaws, Planet of the Apes, The Shining, RoboCop, The Fifth Element, Blade Runner, The Matrix, Terminator, Predator, IT, along with so many other great tales of horror are only just a few of the great movies that have left a long-lasting impression on me.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as an author?

I am humbled that both Trisomy XXI and Antitheus have garnered several prestigious book awards and have been well-received by their readers and reviewers. I would also consider it a great accomplishment if I am fortunate enough to have Trisomy XXI made into a feature film…please keep your fingers crossed for me! If readers derive as much enjoyment out of reading Trisomy XXI and Antitheus as I had in writing them—and I truly believe they will—then I have accomplished my goal as a writer. Just being able to put your thoughts down on paper, creating an entertaining story that can both be shared and enjoyed by others, will give you an adrenaline rush that no amusement park ride can even come close to. For me, it’s all about pleasing the reader!

Do you have any advice for new writers?

In my humble opinion, there are three important things needed in order for a writer to become successful: writing talent, discipline, and creativity (a little luck along the way never hurts, either)! Language is how we communicate. If you don’t pick the right words to use in a sentence, then you risk not being able to connect with the reader. Words to an author are like colors to a painter—you have to choose the most effective ones in order to create a masterpiece that will be enjoyed and appreciated by its observer. Read, read, and then read some more—it’s all about learning and fine-tuning your craft. Select any pertinent information about writing on the web, in book form, or through a workshop that you think will be beneficial for you, and would help make you a better writer. In order to hone your craft, read as many books by different authors as you can.

Novice authors looking to get their work published by a reputable book publisher need to first write a great story, then compose a compelling cover letter and synopsis to catch the eye of the submission editor. If you truly have a love for writing, don’t allow yourself to get discouraged—and most importantly, never give up! Since the publishing industry is very competitive and constantly changing, it is extremely important that authors do their homework. Be sure to research any publishing companies or small presses that you are considering submitting your work to. Check to make sure they are reputable and that they will remain in business. Unfortunately, there are publishers and literary agents out there who are just lying in wait, ready to scam the unsuspecting author at the drop of a hat. Don’t ever forget the old adage, “a fool and his money are soon parted!” Approach all book dealings/contracts carefully, along with a healthy pinch of paranoia.

You’re probably never going to get rich as an author, so write because you love to. Authors, like all artists, should perform their craft because they have a passion for it, and not just for the money or fame. Like some other famous writers, Edgar Allan Poe wasn’t recognized as a great poet and horror author until after his death. Unfortunately, he died homeless and destitute, the exact cause of his death still unknown to this day.

What is your opinion of the new self-publishing trend?

Nowadays, it is very difficult to get your novel accepted for publication by a traditional publisher, especially considering the fierce competition involved. All authors have experienced their fair share of rejections by publishers, a reason why many choose to self-publish their own books. There are definite pros and cons involved with traditional vs. self-publishing, so learn as much as you can about each one before making your decision. One of the problems that I have with self-published works is that the formatting and editing of the text may not have been done properly or professionally.

Anyone can self-publish their work, whereas traditionally published stories are usually held to a higher standard of review. There are always exceptions to the rule, but generally speaking, (unless a reader is familiar with an author’s work), one who buys a self-published book has no idea whether or not it has been professionally edited. I totally understand the reasons why some authors choose to self-publish their work, but if you are a novice author, I would encourage you to initially seek out a reputable, royalty-paying publisher to submit your work to for consideration. If you are unable to traditionally publish or don’t wish to go that route, then by all means self-publish your books—just make sure that you have your work professionally edited. Some writers (both novice and established authors) are now choosing a “hybrid” approach by both traditionally and self-publishing their books.

What are your current projects?

I’m a horror/sci-fi author who has published two novels thus far (World Castle Publishing). My debut novel, Trisomy XXI, was published on June 6, 2016, and my second horror novel, Antitheus, was released on October 16, 2017. I’ve recently completed the screenplay for Trisomy XXI, and am presently working with a movie producer to turn it into a feature film. Currently, I’m busy at work writing my next novel, a story of the macabre with some bizarre plot twists that should both mesmerize and horrify its unsuspecting reader. One of my trademarks is that my novels contain an O. Henry or Rod Serling surprise ending—hopefully intended to baffle even the most astute of mystery readers! I have several other dark stories in mind, so hopefully I will be able to find the time to put them all down on paper…if only I could write faster!

Please in your own words, write a paragraph about yourself & your work. 

I write because it gives me the freedom to openly express my creativity—a way to transcribe my thoughts and allow my imagination to go into overdrive. I love the sense of fulfilment received while penning a story down on paper. Writing has allowed me to connect with others through my novels, hopefully stirring up those emotions that will bring excitement and entertainment to all of my readers. Writing also gives me peace of mind, a sense of accomplishment, and teaches me patience—a necessity for any author who wishes to write well. Just being able to put your thoughts down on paper, creating an entertaining story that can both be shared and enjoyed by others, will give you an adrenaline rush that no amusement park ride can even come close to. To me, that is what’s great about being a writer!

Quotes by G.A. Minton:
“Words give you power, so use them wisely.”
“Fear of the unknown is a horror writer’s best friend.”
“Try to live your life in the present and not in the past.”

G.A. Minton Biography 
From his early childhood, G.A. Minton has always been a diehard fan of science fiction and horror. Whenever a scary movie was playing down at the local theater, he was there in attendance with his friends, loudly screaming in terror alongside them. G.A. enjoys many hobbies, but the game of golf is one of his favorites, having lettered on his high school golf team. Besides writing, he also enjoys reading, traveling, fishing, swimming, snorkeling, working out, listening to hard rock music, and watching great movies—especially those genres that encompass horror, science fiction, mystery, and comedy.

Strangely enough, it was only after G.A. was rear-ended by a drunk driver and suffered a closed-head injury that he developed a newfound passion for writing (even though this story has the makings for a bizarre Stephen King horror novel, it is nonetheless true). After numerous visits to a neurologist and months of taking medication used by patients afflicted with  Alzheimer’s Disease, his injured brain slowly began to mend itself. When the damage to his brain finally healed, G.A. noticed something very different in his thought patterns. Now, there was an overwhelming urge, a compulsive drive to put on paper fascinating stories that had formed de novo in his mind. That’s how Trisomy XXI, his first novel and recipient of multiple awards, was born. One could surmise that the damaged neurons in G.A.’s frontal cortex had rearranged themselves into a different pattern, thereby enhancing the creative elements in his brain (a rare medical condition, known as “acquired savant syndrome”). God only knows… stranger things have happened! G.A. is now referred to as “the savant horror writer” by many of his friends.

G.A. has recently completed his second novel, Antitheus, a dark supernatural tale of horror that takes Good vs. Evil to a whole new level. Currently, his brain is busy at work, meticulously processing the text for another story of the macabre that will both entertain and horrify its unsuspecting reader. One of G.A.’s trademarks is that his stories contain an O. Henry or Rod Serling surprise ending that would baffle even the likes of the great Sherlock Holmes! G.A. lives in Texas with his wife, a son and daughter, and two Bengal cats named Phinneas and Shamus.

You can find out more information about G.A. Minton and his books at:
G.A. Minton Author Website:
G.A. Minton Author Webpage at World Castle Publishing Website:
Goodreads author page for G.A. Minton:
ANTITHEUS by G.A. Minton on Amazon: (Kindle), (Paperback), or (Hardcover).
TRISOMY XXI by G.A. Minton on Amazon: (Paperback), or (Kindle).
G.A. Minton Facebook Pages: and

G.A. Minton Twitter Page:

Barnes & Noble link for ANTITHEUS:

Barnes & Noble link for TRISOMY XXI: 

ANTITHEUS Book Trailer:

TRISOMY XXI Book Trailer:

Friday, 23 March 2018

Interview with Richard Hochman Star of Bus Party to Hell

While his big TV break was a sitcom (FOX’s Grounded for Life), and the genre that encouraged him to follow his dream was action, it’s a full-on horror movie that’s putting Richard Hochman on the map. We speak to the scene-stealer who plays Alan in the April release Bus Party to Hell.

How did you get into acting, Richard?

I’m a rare Los Angeles native, and was surrounded by aspiring child actors and all of my friends were in acting classes and performing groups, and I wanted to be included, and became infatuated with portraying other people. I also was obsessed with movie watching, especially action movies, and I always knew I wanted to act.

And you did a lot of TV shows early on – what did you learn on shows like 7th Heaven that you found handy later on?

I did a lot of work as a child/ adolescent actor, and with these jobs, I really learned what is was to be a professional on set, and learned some of the things you can only find out by being on a real set, things like how far good energy goes on set, how important excellent craft services is to the cast and crew, and to always be prepared and present and ready to roll with the changes that are frequent on a TV shoot.

And during those early years did you work another job, too?

I worked a lot of temp jobs to keep my schedule open for auditions. I was one of those annoying kiosk guys selling to you in the mall when I was 18, I always made extra cash going to the pool hall in those days and playing guys for money.

And you’ve done quite a bit of web series and TV work in recent years. What appealed to you about doing the smaller-screen stuff?

I would say every genre has an appeal to me. I’ve always been a horror film lover but had never acted in one! I always imagined they would be a ton of fun to do, and surprisingly, after finishing Bus Party To Hell, not only was it a good time, but it was physically exhausting. Lots of running and yelling in horror films! It can get pretty tiring on long days, but well worth it!

But features are the goal, I imagine?

I started my journey in acting because of movies, and the movie theater viewing experience, and it’s always been the dream for me to act in the movies.

Give the readers an idea of what ‘Bus Party to Hell’ is?

The movie is just a wild ride from start to finish. It has very much an 80’s horror film vibe, with all the horror film essentials, gore, cheesy jokes, and nudity. It has jumps, sex, and a twist as well..

And what’s your character’s responsibility? 

Alan Armstrong generally is looking out for his own survival, and looks out for himself in general. All he wanted was to have a wild time in Burning Man, but he knew he couldn’t do that alone, and when things go nuts, he knows he can’t survive without the others on the bus as well.

What was your toughest day, as an actor, on this one?

Without giving any spoilers away, there was a 14 hour day with a lot of blood, running, and heat. Once again, horror movies can be physically exhausting to shoot! Coincidentally that was my last day on the shoot, so I was game to go as long and as hard as was needed. I had a celebratory cocktail right after.

In terms of creative choices, were there ever disagreements between you and the director?

Rolfe is very meticulous, knows every shot and is editing the film in his head as he goes. I couldn’t believe the details he was able to keep track of! After day one, I saw his attention to detail, and fully trusted every direction he gave me.

Any idea why the name was changed?

Search results! We gotta be in the ABC’s baby!

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Infection season spreads across Horror Channel this April

April on Horror Channel sees an INFECTION SEASON spread across Saturday nights with a highly contagious collection of outbreak action, headed by the network premieres of Danny Boyle’s 28 DAYS LATER and the equally impressive sequel 28 WEEKS LATER, starring Robert Carlyle. There are also welcome re-showings for Breck Eisner’s critically-acclaimed remake of George Romero's 1973 movie, THE CRAZIES, and M. Night Shyamalan’s boldly unsettling survival movie THE HAPPENING.

Giddy carnage, retro violence and touching romance rule in the UK TV premiere of TURBO KID, an outlandish romp through a pitch-perfect pastiche of hip 1980s popcorn flicks, and there’s also a UK TV premiere for big bug sci-fi thriller SPIDERS 3D, a glorious homage to the creature features from the 1950′s and 1960′s

Fans of Anthony Perkins and the Psycho franchise are in for a treat as Sunday nights at 9pm are devoted to the network premieres of PSYCHO II, PSYCHO III and PSYCHO IV: THE BEGINNING.

Other network premieres include Jeff Wadlow’s violent slasher CRY WOLF, which has Jon Bon Jovi playing a spectacled teacher, Tobe Hooper’s colourful horror ride THE FUNHOUSE and Asif Kadadia’s supernatural terrifier THE RETURN, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Full film details in transmission order:

Sun 1 April @ 21:00 – PSYCHO II (1983) *Network Premiere

Twenty-two years after the famous murder of Marion Crane, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) is declared sane and allowed to return to his now dilapidated motel. But, when the murders start up again, Norman realises an old friend is awaiting his return - Mother! Co-starring Meg Tilly, Robert Loggia, and Dennis Franz, this sequel to the Hitchcock masterpiece .is now viewed as a unmissable classic in its own right.

Fri 6 April @ 21:00 – SPIDERS 3D (2013) *UK TV Premiere

In New York City’s subway tunnel, a new species of poisonous spiders is discovered. To make matters worse, the spiders quickly begin to mutate and grow to gigantic proportions before beginning to wreak havoc on the entire city. It’s up to a few scientists and military personnel to stop the deadly creatures, end their reign of destruction, and reclaim the city.

Sat 7 April @ 21:00 – 28 DAYS LATER…(2002) *Network Premiere

A group of misguided animal rights activists breaks into a medical research lab and release virus-infected chimps. When London bike courier Jim (Cillian Murphy) awakes from a coma a month after, he finds the city deserted, save for zombie-like victims of the “Rage”. Jim stumbles upon a group of survivors, including Selena (Naomie Harris) and cab driver Frank (Brendan Gleeson), and together they embark on a perilous journey…

Sun 8 April @ 21:00 – PSYCHO III (1986) *Network Premiere

Troubled runaway nun Maureen (Diana Scarwid) seeks refuge in the Bates Motel, only to trigger Norman’s killer instinct, as she reminds him of someone from his past…Anthony Perkins makes his directorial debut and gives another chilling performance as the deeply disturbed Bates in the third instalment of the Psycho series.

Fri 13 April @ 21:00 – CRY WOLF (2005) *Network Premiere

In this terrifying thriller, a group of high school seniors decides to follow up a recent murder in the woods by creating a fictional serial killer they name ‘The Wolf’. It's all just a silly hoax until the real Wolf begins to hunt them. The cast includes Jon Bon Jovi and Gary Cole.

Sat 14 April @ 21:00 – 28 WEEKS LATER (2007) *Network Premiere

Six months have passed since the rage virus annihilated the British Isles. The U.S. Army declares that the war against infection has been won, and that reconstruction of the country can begin. As the first wave of refugees returns, Don Harris (Robert Carlyle) and his wife Alice (Catherine McCormack) are reunited with their children but the virus is not yet dead, and this time it is more dangerous than ever.

Sun 15 April @ 21:00 – PSYCHO IV: THE BEGINNING (1990) *Network Premiere

Released from a mental institution once again, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) calls in to tell his life story on a radio programme. Norman recalls his days as a young boy living with his schizophrenic mother (Olivia Hussey) and the jealous rage that inspired her murder. In the present, now living with his pregnant wife Connie (Donna Mitchell), Norman fears that his child will inherit his split personality disorder and "Mother" will return to kill again.

Fri 20 April @ 21:00 – TURBO KID (2015) *UK TV Premiere

In a post-apocalyptic future, The Kid (Munro Chambers) lives alone in his underground bunker, scavenging for relics from the old world and obsessing over comic books. But when he meets Apple (Laurence Leboeuf), it’s not long before The Kid has to face his fears and challenge the sadistic Zeus (Michael Ironside), who has declared himself leader of the “Wasteland” and taken control of the water supply. Armed with his ancient turbocharged weapon, he embarks on an incredible journey to rid the Wasteland of evil – and discovers the true meaning of justice and friendship.

Sat 21 March @ 21:00 – THE CRAZIES (2010)

Sheriff David Dutten (Timothy Olyphant) and his pregnant wife, Judy (Radha Mitchell), find themselves trapped in a once-idyllic town they can no longer recognise. On the run from infected neighbours, loved ones and friends, targeted by the ruthless military and terrified of getting sick, they are forced to band together with other survivors in a desperate struggle for survival.

Sun 22 April @ 22:45 – THE FUNHOUSE (1981) *Network Premiere

A trashy carnival has pulled into town and thinking it would be fun, four teenagers decide to spend the night in the campy "Funhouse" horror ride, However, when they witness a murder by a deformed worker wearing a mask, they find themselves trapped and must evade the murderous carnival worker if they are to survive the night.

Fri 27 April @ 21:00 – THE RETURN (2006) *Network Premiere

Joanna Mills (Sarah Michelle Gellar) begins having terrifying visions of a woman's murder, and it seems that she is the killer's next target. Determined to solve the mystery and escape her apparent fate, she follows her visions to the victim's hometown and finds that some secrets just do not stay buried. Also stars Sam Shepard as her estranged father.

Sat 28 April @ 21:00 – THE HAPPENING (2008)

M. Night Shyamalan’s first R-rated film centres on an apocalyptic threat to humanity, which arrives with a series of violent, inexplicable deaths spreading across the country. The cause of the terrifying phenomenon remains unknown, prompting science teacher Elliot Moore (Mark Wahlberg), his wife Alma (Zooey Deschanel) and his colleague Julian (John Leguizamo) to try to elude the invisible killer in Pennsylvania's farmland. Soon it becomes clear that no one is safe.


Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Interview with Dylan Reynolds

The first-ever “stoner slasher” film 4/20 Massacre is released on VOD and DVD next month. We speak to writer/director Dylan Reynolds in this puff-y piece.

Now is 4/20 Massacre based on a true story? Something you’ve heard about?

Lol- not exactly based on anything I’ve experienced in my actual life but a couple elements were “inspired by” real world stuff.  For one- the concept of the “weed famer as a slasher” comes from the actual problem that exists in national parks where individuals known as “guerrilla growers” set up illegal marijuana farms that have been known to cause damage to the environment and in some instances these growers have attacked or killed unwitting hikers that have stumbled upon their “turf”.

The second “real world inspiration” is derived from the actual date of April 20th (4/20).  While doing research for the film I found that not only is the day the “official holiday for weed enthusiasts” but the 20th and “late April” have been host to some real-world tragedies- ranging from the birth of Hitler to the Columbine mass shooting.  It was these “coincidences” that got my imagination going and I built upon the concept of 4/20 MASSACRE as a “holiday set slasher film”- or “Friday the 13th… but with weed”.

Would you call it a straight-up horror film or is it a mixed bag of everything?

I like to think we went into making 4/20 MASSACRE with the goal of telling a good all-around story that is both “an indie drama…  but then a killer shows up”- or in other words- creating likable characters that you’d actually care about when they die.  But at the same time it is a fun/ campy/ gory throwback slasher flick.  However-  I didn’t want to make an overtly meta or self-referential film- instead I tried to take the “slasher formula” and actually treat it with some respect and reverence- which from my perspective isn’t often done- especially today.

What makes our villain tick? What gives him his motivation here?

Without getting too much into spoilers I’ll say that I tried to approach “the villain” as I would any other character and come from a place of positivity.  As far as I can tell humans all want one thing: “to love and to be loved”.  So the villain may be doing some awful and reprehensible things in the story- but in their mind they are doing all they can to protect their well-being and those that they love.

What was it about Jamie Bernadette that made her the right woman for the role?

I had seen Jamie in a number of indie films- especially in the horror genre- and I was always impressed with her work and “presence” on camera.  I ended up meeting her at a screening of my last film and over the years we ran into each other and talked while I was developing 4/20 MASSACRE.  She was always my first choice for the role of Jess and I was excited to create a “Linda Hamilton/ Sigourney Weaver”- esque role that I knew she would knock out of the park.

Where has the film been released so far?

On April 3rd folks will be able to buy the DVD on Amazon, Diabolik and a few other places on line.  The chain Family Video will have the DVD available for rent and it can be rented on various VOD outlets including Amazon Video.

Over the next few months we will be rolling the movie out onto other outlets- people can follow our Facebook and Twitter pages for future updates:

What do you think US audiences will get from the movie?

Hopefully it will be a fun “roller coaster ride of emotions” for audiences- you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll jump with fright- maybe get a couple surprises along the way- and maybe even gleam a little more insight into humanity.  We also set out to create a strong ensemble of female characters- something which I think is unique and therefore we will be giving something “a little new” to the genre. 
But mainly I just hope people don’t think it sucks.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Interview with Kim Cormack

When did you first become interested in writing? 

I always have been in some way or another. I used to write songs. I even produced a country cd many moons ago. (Almost twenty years ago) Now, I write Dark Paranormal Fantasy. I think it’s all relative but how I began writing again is a rather peculiar story. On February 28th of 2009, I had this dream about being in kindergarten holding a baby chick. I texted it into my cell phone in the middle of the night but didn’t remember doing it. Months later, I found the story while switching files over to a new cell phone. I’d written a children’s book about those little moments of joy that we only notice as a child. I had a publisher for Being Four rather quickly. I wrote my second children’s book, Shark Boots on a B.C Ferries ride from Vancouver to Vancouver Island as an homage to my hyper active toddler. This all happened in the year I was diagnosed with M.S.

How did you get involved in fantasy? 

Shortly after my M.S diagnosis, I had a messed up utterly brutal nightmare in the middle of the night and once again, I wrote it down. The terrifying dream began at a front door left slightly ajar, shifting in the wind and ended with a creepy lullaby. Even the words to that song were there and that’s how Sweet Sleep became book one in my series. I switched genres in a heartbeat. The story that formed around that nightmare was just too incredible to walk away from.

Is this a full time job? 

I prefer to think of it as a calling…I’d spent over sixteen years working in Early Childhood Education. I was a gym obsessed runner when I was forced to retire. Writing this series keeps me from losing my mind each time the M.S. Fairy resurfaces. (I refer to relapses as the M.S. Fairy giving me a shove because it adds some humor to an otherwise messed up situation.)

How would you classify the genre you write about? 

This is a tricky one…Let’s make a list.
Dark Fantasy
Paranormal Fantasy
Dark Comedy
Paranormal Romance
Science Fiction
I could keep going but I usually lead with Dark Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. The series fits in many genres.

Why do you think horror and fantasy books remain so popular?

Immortality is freeing. We live in a society with so much fear. Almost everyone has lost someone before their time. Most of us identify with the stages of grief for one reason or another. We can place ourselves into that character’s shoes as they struggle to survive and then applaud within ourselves as they stand back up whenever they fall. Throw in a little magic and the child we’ve lost emerges to light up our brains with renewed hope and deeper meaning. We all secretly want to believe in magic and something larger than ourselves when the reality of life makes us feel small. These books make our adrenaline rush. They may terrify us to our core, but they become the inner voice that prompts us to fight when we’re ready to give up. My series has brutal graphic violence. I had to be brave to release it. It would have been less upsetting if I’d altered the character’s ages. Yes, there’s a good chance you’ll be traumatized, but in the next breath, you’ll be laughing at something completely inappropriate. With Horror and Fantasy, it’s all about the rush.

What inspires your stories? 

My struggles through life and a gloriously messed-up imagination.

You put a variety of monsters in your work. What are your favorite monsters? 

Oh, there are so many. I always find demonic toddlers entertaining. I have one kick a character’s ass or skin them alive once in a while… It keeps them humble. My series covers both supernatural and reality-based deviants. I have Lampir, Lycanthrope, ghosts, demons, and even mortal serial killers. Anyone can be a monster on the inside.

What do you think the difference between American horror and British horror is?

I’m Canadian, I’ve read some impressively dark shit from both countries.

What are your favorite horror and fantasy books? 

I do love me some Stephen King. I also adore C.S Lewis.

What are some of your favorite horror movies? 

I’m a huge fan of cheesy B movies. Stuff like Snake Head Terror. Scaring me is next to impossible so I need some dark comedy in there. As Above So Below was upsetting because of the way they filmed it. I’m not a fan of enclosed spaces. I’m always most impressed when I can’t guess the storyline five seconds into the movie. I find myself frustrated when your three movies deep in a franchise and the main character doesn’t fight back.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as an author? 

Staying true to the original version of the story during the editing process without altering the ages or brutality of a character’s demise. During the Immortal Testing in Enlightenment, the characters die in thousands of increasingly brutal ways until their partially mortal minds can comprehend what it takes to be immortal. In Wild Thing, Lexy is only eleven when she’s drugged, kidnapped and held captive. The brutality she faces there is how she evolves into a warrior.

Do you have any advice for new writers? 

Stay true to yourself and the story you’ve written. It takes guts to release something seriously dark.

What is your opinion of the new self-publishing trend?

I really hate seeing new authors being suckered into paying to publish.

What are your current projects? 

I’m writing the third book in Lexy’s series. I have several other books almost completed that are not in the series. I definitely won’t have time to release one of those this year. Once I’m finished the book I’m writing now, I’ll be diving right into book five in Kayn’s series.

Please in your own words write a paragraph about yourself & your work. 

A little bit about me...

I began writing this series shortly after my M.S. diagnosis. I had many reasons to fight. I had incredible children, a wonderful family, and amazing friends but this series gave me purpose. Whenever things become dark, I use my imagination to find the light within myself. No matter what life throws your way, you are stronger than you believe. My hope is that the character's strength becomes an inner voice for the readers that need it. Stand back up and if you can't stand... Rise up within yourself.

We are all beautiful just as we are. We are all immortal.

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