When you talk about horror legends, one name that has to be included is Tom Holland. From Fright Night to Child’s Play, Tom has had a hand in some of the most memorable horror films of all time. He recently sat down with Dread Central to talk about his projects past, present and future.
Holland will spend the next year helping to organize and host Ship of Fear, a horror convention cruise sponsored by Chiller that will set sail on October 28, 2013. Between now and then Holland and his team will create the most intense festival they can imagine… and then ship it out to sea. “The idea came about because I’ve been watching the horror convention circuit grow more professional,” Holland said. “I’ve only done two in my entire life where I had to leave LA, and one was in Franklin, Indiana, which is about half an hour from where my father was born, so that was doing it for the home team. And only one other than that, and that was a Fright Night reunion. And at first it felt like a cottage industry where a bunch of horror fans would get together and say, ‘Hey, let’s have a convention.’ And a lot of them were sort of fly-by-night operations and not terribly well organized. But as the fans base has grown, they obviously have become very, very professional.”
So just how exactly did Holland get the idea to put a horror convention on a cruise? “I’d been talking with my music supervisor, a fellow named David Chackler. David has been my musical supervisor since Fright Night,” Holland said. “He’s the one who put together the soundtrack album. He had the great idea in Fright Night to do the songs so the needle drops were oriented with what was happening in the movie, which at the time was rather innovative. So David has a smooth jazz catalogue, and they were doing smooth jazz cruises. He didn’t know anything about horror conventions, but he knew about cruises and I didn’t. So I’ve been talking to him about how interesting I’ve found some of the horror conventions because they’ve been growing more intelligent all the time. The panels are interesting, a lot of the stuff they had for sale when it went more toward the arts just became more interesting. And he (David) was the one who made the leap and said, ‘Why don’t we take a horror convention and put it on the ocean?'”
And right from the get-go Holland loved the concept. “I thought it was just a terrific idea and that’s what we’re doing and that’s where the idea came from,” Holland said. “And it came about because David already had a relationship established with Time Life and Carnival Cruises. They were used to doing the themed cruises. And I’ve known they’ve tried to do horror cruises before, but I don’t know that they’ve ever had the same level of professionalism before because this is a large undertaking. It takes a lot of coordination from a lot of different levels, and so far the response has been very encouraging.”
And who better to bring in heavy-hitting horror celebrity guests than an icon like Tom Holland? And the planning of his Ship of Fear cruise definitely reflects that. “I know so many people. The directors scheduled to appear are people I’ve known for a long time, and I respect all of them,” Holland said. “They’re talented people and I like them. Some I’m closer to than others. I’ve known Mick Garris it seems like all my life. Since ‘Amazing Stories.’ I did an ‘Amazing Story,’ and he was one of the writers. I think they’re all just great. Joe Dante, Mary Lambert, Don Coscarelli. Those people I went to directly because I have a relationship with them. Then I tried to find actors that had appeared in their movies. And we’re going to continue to add to the list of horror celebrities. I wanted to put together a cruise where during the day we could have multiple panels where the directors could discuss their films with the actors that had been in them. I think that’s interesting. It elevates them. It’s about the art of filmmaking and the art of making horror films, and a lot of these people did really seminal works.”
In addition to horror celebs, Holland has plans to add music and some other fun to the cruise. Alice Cooper and Dee Snider are already scheduled to appear. “The horror conventions I’ve been to, on Saturday nights they’ll have the thrash metal bands and you can feel people really liking to party so we got some great acts for that,” Holland said. “But what I’m hoping for is that we’re going to have some great discussions about film and make-up and the art of sculpting during the day, and then I’m hoping at night we can all get totally trashed and dance our brains out and have a great time. You don’t have very far to go to get home. You don’t have to get in the car. All you have to do is make sure you don’t fall off the boat and you can stagger your way back to the cabin.”
If this sounds like a fun vacation to you, the dates are set and you can secure your reservation now. “Ship of Fear will set sail next Halloween, October 28 through November 2, 2013,” Holland said. “We’re going to be adding celebrity guests and laying it all out. We’re going to be doing a Halloween Ball with full-on costumes. We’ve got make-up artists that will work with the contest winners for the Halloween Ball. We’ve got the Screech at the Beach because we have our own private island. We’re going to mingle for five days and the celebrities will mingle with the guests…and I think a lot of the fun will be had at the various bars.”
Holland is a lover of horror art, and that will certainly be evident when the Ship of Fear sets sail. “I’ve gotten into what Eliot Brodsky is doing with Monsterpalooza because that’s an emphasis on horror art and sculpting,” Holland said. “I’m very familiar with that because I’ve almost always done in-camera F/X. I’m a big fan of the artwork that goes into it and also of storyboards because I’ve been dealing with that. I just like the horror art.”
The Ship of Fear will certainly be a thrilling event for every level of horror fan, from the casual observer to the die-hard fanatic. “I would like to make it a five-day immersive experience where it goes beyond any individual and the whole thing works together and you have a variety of experiences that take in every facet of making a horror movie,” Holland said. “We haven’t gotten them all yet, but we’re hoping to have the big people that do the in-camera F/X. I’m inviting the people that create the make-up. You’ll have the actors… I’m trying to do the stuff they do at the traditional horror conventions. You’ll have the monsters, you’ll have Kane Hodder and Tony Todd and Chucky, and I’d like to have panels that can have serious film discussions at the same time. I want to put up sort of our own Hollywood maze, sort of a haunted corridor, that kind of thing. We’ll have a wide range of things that appeal to all horror fans from the surface fan to the hardcore fans that want to know how the films get made.”
In addition to organizing the whopping undertaking that is the Ship of Fear, Holland has a laundry list of other projects going on. He recently set up an online store where fans can go to get some authentic props, memorabilia and horror art. Be sure to check out Tom Holland’s Twisted Curios for an opportunity to own some amazingly horrific items. “I’ve set up a store called Tom Holland’s Twisted Curios for the fans because over the years I’ve been getting requests for signed autographed pictures, so they are there,” Holland said. “But what I’m hoping to do is bring in more horror artists. Now I’ve got Clint Carney on there, and I’ve just signed someone else to come on. So I’m hoping I can provide a place for people who are into horror art and turn it into a place where you can go and look at a wide variety of artists who are echoing the themes and characters that we’ve all come to hate and fear and love.”
With Tom Holland’s Twisted Curios, Holland is really hoping to provide a venue where horror artists can show and sell their works. “I’m hoping that as the site becomes more credible, I’ll be able to add more horror artists,” Holland said. “And I’m going to take the props from ‘Twisted Tales’ and put them up on the site, too.”
And, of course, the “Twisted Tales” Holland is referring to is “Tom Holland’s Twisted Tales,” an anthology-style television show produced by his and Chackler’s Dead Rabbit Films company that will be premiering on FEARnet next year. “I’ve been very fortunate,” Holland said. “I got some terrific performances there. A lot of friends coming together to help. Angela Bettis is wonderful. Ray Wise is wonderful. William Forsythe, Danielle Harris…it’s just an endless list.”
Describing what fans can expect from “Tom Holland’s Twisted Tales,” Holland said, “We’re going to put it out as 10 episodes. It’s an anthology series. They go from short to half-hour and hour programs. It’s a mix. I’m sure the people are going to like some episodes more than others, but conceptually, creatively, it’s very interesting. We had very little money to work with, but I know all these actors from over the years, and they came down and made it affordable for me to work with them. I got some really great performances. I’ll compete with anything out there on television in terms of the acting. I’m very enthusiastic about the actors. You’ve got Amber Benson; you’ve got James Duvall and Angela Bettis in one episode. I mean, that’s a helluva cast. William Forsythe and Danielle Harris going at each other. Yeah, I’ll watch that.”
Additionally, Holland will again collaborate with Stephen King to bring the short story “The Ten O’Clock People” to the big screen. “They’re in negotiations right now with the cast,” Holland said. “We’ve got Rachel Nichols for the heroine, but we’re in negotiations for the male lead. We’re hoping to be shooting by the first week in December in Providence, Rhode Island. I think everyone knows it’s a Stephen King short story, I’m very excited about it.”
Asked whether it sticks close to the original story or ventures off, Holland said, “Oh, we venture off a lot.”
With a lifetime of experience, we asked Holland what kind of big changes he’s seen since his early years in horror through today. If you want a crash course in horror, pay attention when you read this: “Digital has crushed the cost of production and it’s given rise to found footage, which has become an incredibly inexpensive way of making movies,” Holland said. “Blair Witch was 13 or 14 years ago, and that was the first time anyone saw it as a genre and they tried for 10 years to do something commercial with it and failed, failed, failed. But then, because of the advances in technology, because of the hi-def cameras getting better and cheaper and because they started to become prevalent in the household with the security cameras and the cams to watch the baby, they made it possible to take the found footage genre and advance it to where it was second nature in the house, and that became Paranormal Activity. That’s one example of technology working with horror to reflect what’s going on in our daily lives. So all of a sudden the baby camera becomes one of the most frightening things you can imagine.”
Finally, Holland spoke about his love and respect for the horror genre. “Horror is the most consistently remunerative of the genres,”Holland said. “By that I mean you have the best chance for making some money on your investment, traditionally speaking, in horror. Because horror is comparatively cheap to produce, you can make horror movies quicker and get them out there quicker, and they reflect the anxieties that we’re dealing with in our society. So horror represents what’s happening socially and politically quicker and better than mainstream movies ever will. The other thing is the mainstream movies, the $100 million movies, are about taking risk out of the financial bet. Whereas horror costs comparatively little to make and is more often than not about the risk the filmmakers take. It’s also, in terms of film technique, the genre that’s quickest to advance, whether it be the shaky cam or the handheld or the ‘you are there’ which leads to cinema verite, which is what you get in Traffic. It’s probably the conduit that certainly stylistically influences major films both in editing and how the film is shot. It comes first through horror, and horror is the first not only to adopt the technological change, but also to reflect what’s happening in terms of our social consciousness. It’s the most vibrant. If you didn’t have horror out there, God only knows what mainstream films would look like. They’d still be making Stanley Kramer films from 1957.”
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Buy Stuff From Eibon Press, Get More Stuff For Free
Eibon Press have announced that they’re starting Black Friday a day early and will be running their specials for almost a week, through November 28th. This year, they’re doing something a little different, a little more interesting. Rather than reduce prices on their inventory, they’re doing a deal where depending on how much you buy from their store, you’ll get a certain amount of free swag in addition to your order.
The first tier sees anyone who makes a purchase getting two double-sided mini-posters featuring art from their upcoming Bottomfeeder and Maniac and The New York Ripper series. The second tier sees anyone who spends at least $30 getting a free copy of their VHS Comics titles Laserblast plus the mini-posters. The final tier is for those who spend $50 and more and that will net the mini-posters, the #1 issue of Laserblast, and a free copy of Lucio Fulci’s Gates of Hell #2.
Lastly, five random people will receive an extra bonus gift, which they won’t reveal but promise that, “…you’ll love it!”
All order cans be placed via Eibon Press.
KISS Meets Army of Darkness in New Comic Miniseries!
Dynamite Entertainment just announced that they are planning to bring two of their bestselling brands together in “KISS/Army of Darkness #1”. The new comic book series will unite the rock band with none other than Ash for some Deadite ass kicking.
The series will be written by Chad Bowers and Chris Sims and illustrated by Ruairi Coleman. And the debut issue of “KISS/Army of Darkness” features three art covers from Kyle Strahm, Goni Montes, and Ken Haeser.
You can find all three covers below along with quotes from the creative team. After looking through all of that make sure to hit us up and let us know how excited you are about this new hybrid comic series in the comments below or on social media!
“With Ash vs. The Army of Darkness, Chris and I were given kind of carte blanche to do whatever we wanted to the world of AOD, and we went for broke,” Co-writer Chad Bowers says. “We introduced some new characters and concepts, and built a legacy for Ash’s comics adventures that I’m immensely proud of, but not in a million years could I have guessed we’d get to continue that momentum with the added bonus of tossing the world’s greatest rock n’ roll band into the mix! I’ve been in the tank for KISS since I was in middle school. I remember buying the KISS tribute album, KISS My Ass for the Lemonheads (they covered Plaster Caster), which lead to me picking up Greatest Hits, and so on. But when I found out there was a KISS comic with blood in it, I signed up for life! Of course, I adore the songs (literally listening to Do You Love Me right now), but I’m just as obsessed with the way KISS transcends the music to become something of a genre themselves. It’s something I think about a lot, honestly, so no surprise, it’s a big part of our story too!”
“When it comes to Army of Darkness, I guess you could say that Ash is a bit of a gambler, but he’s nobody’s fool,” Co-writer Chris Sims says. “And since our first story was set back at Alan Shepard High, we’re looking forward to showing him some things that you can’t learn in school. Okay, okay, I’ll stop with the deep-cut lyrics now, but for real — if you thought Deadites at Homecoming and the Supernatural Military-Adjacent Response Team were taking Ash in a new direction, just wait until you see how we team him up with the Starchild, Space Ace, the Demon, and the Catman. In the grand tradition of the film, we’re tearing up the entire space-time continuum and if you think you know how weird this is gonna get… well, you sure know somethin’!”
“Having done some work for Dynamite in the past, I’ve really been wanting to get my foot in the door here for a long time so I can play in the sandbox of the amazing licenses they have,” Artist Ruairi Coleman says. “Chief among those, and high up on my bucket list, is Army of Darkness: Hail to the king, baby! So, when I was offered the job of drawing the KISS/Army of Darkness crossover, I couldn’t believe my luck! The concept is totally bonkers, but in a way, that would make complete sense in the world of Army of Darkness. Thinking about it, I’m surprised it hasn’t been done already and I’m honored (and more than a little intimidated) to be the guy who draws it.”
“After a more than 40-year career, KISS continues to be one of rock’s most celebrated bands, while Army of Darkness continues to be a staple in the comic book industry. We’re both honored to have the opportunity to work so closely with Gene and Paul to bring their world-renowned alter-egos to comics alongside our very own Ashy Slashy,” says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment. “The raging guitar chords and pyrotechnic spectacle of their stage shows could have come straight from the pages of the Necronomicon, and this epic battle between The Demon and Deadites will appeal to the hellions in all of us!”
Issue #1 will be available on digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, Kindle, iBooks, Google Play, Dynamite Digital, iVerse, Madefire, and Dark Horse Digital.
The KISS/Army of Darkness miniseries event hits February 2018.
KISS is on top of the world and rocking faces until the night disciples of The Destroyer show up and the band disappears. With the tour canceled, a young Ash misses one of the most important events of his life that will change his destiny. Now the Chosen One has to get back on the right path and join the KISS ARMY OF DARKNESS!
Jason Lives Director Pitched Follow-Up: Jason Vs Cheech and Chong
One of my favorite entries in the Friday the 13th series is director ‘s Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. The mixture of old-school gothic horror and comedy is always a welcome treat around these parts.
But why wasn’t McLoughlin asked to write and direct the follow-up?
Actually, it turns out he was asked to follow up Jason Lives, McLoughlin recently told Mick Garris on the Post Mortem podcast.
But his pitch – Jason vs Cheech and Chong – didn’t go over so well…
“[Frank Mancuso Jr.] wanted me to do another film after we did Jason,” McLoughlin says. “And I said, ‘What are you thinking? I don’t know what it could be now.’ And he said, ‘Well, what do you think about Freddy (Krueger) and Jason?’ And I go, ‘But Freddy’s at New Line and the guys at Paramount have [Jason].’ And it’s like, ‘Well, we’re going to try and see if we can work something out.’ So, I started thinking about that, going, It doesn’t make sense. I mean he lives in one realm and — you know, I take this stuff very seriously, what realm a monster’s supposed to stay in. And he came back, he goes, ‘Eh, forget it, it’s not going to work anyway.’ And I said, ‘You know what? You guys own Cheech and Chong. What if we do Cheech and Chong-meets-Jason? They’re like camp counselors or something. It’s like, ‘Hey, man, I saw Jason out there.’ ‘No, man, that’s a myth.’ But he said, ‘You know what? No.’”
Too bad. While I don’t know how well a Cheech and Chong/Friday the 13th flick would go, with McLoughlin at the helm, the film would have at least been funny as hell.
Plus we already got these two knuckleheads in Part III.
Are you upset we never got Tom McLoughlin’s Jason vs Cheech and Chong? Make sure to let us know in the comments below or on social media!
You can buy Friday the 13th: Part VI – Jason Lives on Blu-ray HERE.
Buy Stuff From Eibon Press, Get More Stuff For Free
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