Interview: Mick Garris on the Most Surprising Things He's Learned Through His Post Mortem Podcast - Dread Central
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Interview: Mick Garris on the Most Surprising Things He’s Learned Through His Post Mortem Podcast

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Photo Credit: Ryuhei Kitamura

Several years ago, Showtime aired an anthology horror series dubbed “Masters of Horror” for two seasons. A place to showcase stories told by some of the greatest horror directors the genre had to offer, it was created by Mick Garris, the man who brought us Sleepwalkers, “The Stand”, “The Shining”, and Psycho IV, among others. The series brought forth such classic episodes as John Carpenter’s “Cigarette Burns”, Don Coscarelli’s “Incident On and Off a Mountain Road”, Joe Dante’s “Homecoming”, and Takashi Miike’s “Imprint”.

For years, Garris has been the voice and face of the Post Mortem brand, which began as a FearNET series and has since become a podcast that was recently acquired by Blumhouse Productions, the home of Shock Waves. It was about this endeavor that we got in touch with Garris so that we could learn more about his Post Mortem podcast, to understand its impact, and, let’s be honest here, to catch up with a horror legend! So, enjoy our interview with the one and only Mick Garris!

You can follow Post Mortem on Twitter and listen to the podcast on iTunes.


Dread Central: The Post Mortem brand has been going on for almost a decade now. On top of having a legacy of creating horror, you’re not well on your way to creating a legacy of preserving and extolling it. What is your ultimate mission with all things Post Mortem?

Mick Garris: A few things I hope the show offers: Having the opportunity to provide a lasting conversation with filmmakers that we admire, something other than just a strict interview. I’m hoping these talks will be intimate and conversational and informative, and something that anyone interested in the genre, or in filmmaking in general, can turn to, regardless of the date. And it’s also an opportunity for me to learn. I don’t ever want to stop the process of creative evolution.

DC: You’ve had the chance to sit with some of the biggest names in the genre over the years. What are some of your favorite moments from a couple of interviews?

MG: I always hear something I’ve never heard before in every one of these we do. Perhaps most surprising was learning about Robert Aldrich almost directing Alien from Walter Hill. Or the hilarious and spirited conversation about politics we did with Joe Dante and John Landis (which might have cost us some listeners, but oh, well…). Talking with William Friedkin about The Exorcist and Sorcerer was amazing. Years ago, about 1980, when I talked to Friedkin for my Z Channel show, he was so heated about the sequel that the legal department would not allow them to air the show, afraid he was being libelous. All these years later, it never aired until I posted it on my interviews site.

DC: One of the differences between someone like myself conducting an interview versus someone like yourself is that you are seen as an equal, making these more like conversations than interviews. Due to that dynamic, what do you suppose Post Mortem offers listeners that other podcasts might not be able to attain?

MG: Well, I wouldn’t call myself an equal, but yeah, we are professional peers. It’s nice to come at it from a position of experience in the trenches, being able to talk on the same level about the process, about the actual nuts and bolts and practicality of getting films or television made. I know that the interviews I’ve done since becoming a filmmaker definitely have changed since before I did. And I think it helps put the subject more at ease when you’ve actually fought the same wars, dreamed the same dreams, worked with talented people in so many different departments and fields. It’s certainly a different perspective.

DC: You recently announced that your podcast would join Blumhouse Productions. What does that move mean not only for your podcast but for you yourself?

MG: I really appreciate the opportunity Podcast One gave us in doing the podcast in the first place. They are the world’s biggest podcaster, and it was great to be part of that team. But we are more a niche show, and I think being the second of two podcasts on the Blumhouse Network takes us more directly to the audience that is passionate about the genre. I think we probably got lost in the list of over 200 shows on Podcast One, sandwiched between Adam Carolla and Dr. Drew and the Housewives. I think it might not have been the best match. The guys at Shock Waves are my friends, and I really look forward to seeing where this takes us.

DC: You’ve been a part of the horror genre for decades. What changes to the genre have you seen that have excited you?

MG: If you mean in recent days, I really love that there is much more horror intended for adults, rather than just at teenagers. Seeing more grownup fare like The Witch, Get Out, The Autopsy of Jane Doe, Train to Busan is incredibly encouraging. I’ve been fortunate enough to be invited to festivals around the world, and it’s really great to see how other cultures represent the cinematic interpretations of fear.

DC: What’s next for you?

MG: We’re in post-production on a new horror anthology feature film called Nightmare Cinema that will be in theaters later this year. Five different stories from five directors from four countries: Joe Dante and myself from the U.S., David Slade from the U.K., Alejandro Brugués, and Ruyhei Kitamura from Japan. We’re also at work on a possible unrelated series, and I’m doing the occasional episodic TV show as a director for hire. I did a couple of “Once Upon a Time” shows; the second one will be the first to air when the show returns in March. I’m going to at least a half-dozen festivals in as many countries this year, so it’s a very busy and happy time.

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