Horror Icon Tom Holland Talks Ship of Fear, Twisted Tales, The Ten O'Clock People, and More
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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