Exclusive: Tom Holland Talks Twisted Tales, The Ten O'Clock People, and Fright Night 2
With Tom Holland’s latest series now available on FEARnet and VOD entitled “Twisted Tales” and his group of short stories exclusively for the Kindle, “Untold Tales”, Holland is entering into a new creative stage in his long and varied career as an actor, writer, director, and producer.
The legendary creator of Fright Night, Child’s Play, Cloak & Dagger, and Psycho II (just to name a few), Holland recently reached out to Dread Central to discuss his thoughts on the new incarnation of Fright Night 2: New Blood (review) from director Eduardo Rodriguez, the new FEARnet series, and his upcoming projects including his desire to remake his 1982 screenplay The Beast Within. There’s also a great update about adapting Stephen King’s “The Ten O’Clock People” showing how both writers are working together to make the story fit more into the modern world.
Dread Central: So, you saw the newest reboot of Fright Night 2 and liked what Eduardo did with the film, correct?
Tom Holland: How do you put it? Surprisingly, I liked it very much. Yes, I did.
DC: When I spoke with [Rodriguez], he said he was limited in what actors were available, but I thought the new Charley - an actor named Will Payne - did a nice job even if there will never be anyone close to Roddy McDowall as Peter Vincent.
TH: You know I’m prejudiced; we’re all prejudiced that way. I thought it was very solidly cast. They’re mainly Brit actors doing American accents, right?
DC: There’s only one actor, I believe, that was American; the rest are European.
TH: It’s all terribly competent as far as the acting’s concerned. It was very well-made. This guy [Yaron] Levy did a good job with the cinematography. The shots are pretty much all steadicam but they’re really nice. It’s well cut and, surprisingly, it has good production values. It looked like Romania has a lot of production values in its locations that I hadn’t expected. For a limited budget, they did a terrific job as far as the production design was concerned.
DC: It was nice how, with Gerri Dandridge, there was a tie-in with Countess Bathory which I thought was interesting.
TH: Yes, all that’s good. Girl on girl is very good.
DC: Girl on girl is very good. It’s timeless.
TH: Always good! (laughs) They tried it with the sequel way back when, I guess it was ‘87 or ‘86, Herb Jaffe did a sequel. They did the same thing and made Jerry Dandridge into a girl with that.
DC: I enjoy Jon Gries in that film as well. I liked Fright Night 2 - the original. With the new series “Twisted Tales”, you’ve allowed all nine episodes to be available immediately. It’s the new way everyone’s watching shows by binge-viewing ...
TH: Isn’t that interesting? Yes, when I started out, Peter Block wanted to put one out a week but, now, because of Netflix, I guess, binging is the new norm.
DC: Do you think this kind of format is changing the way we remember television? I think that part of the reason why a classic series like “The Twilight Zone” is still relevant is because it was a part of our lives for years. You were even a soap star once and those shows are still popular because people live with those characters for a long period of time. Do you think binge-viewing is too disposable or do you enjoy the freedom of doing the episode run without fear of cancellation?
TH: I think it’s great. To go back to Fright Night 2, it was a nice nod to the original. It was a nice updating, you know? It was made by people who obviously loved the genre; it had a nice spirit to it. Now, moving to “Twisted Tales”, everything you said is true. Yes, television, certainly viewing, is changing. Everybody wants to either binge or watch it when they want to watch it or on what device they want to watch it. I do think that’s terrific for the filmmaker or the content creator, I guess, as they’re calling us now. They do have to order more. They’re more disposed to order an entire season’s worth because that’s the way they get traction. So, yes, that does make the filmmaker slightly more secure. What “Twisted Tales” is, is a sort of mix of “Tales From the Crypt” and “Twilight Zone”. I did three of the “Tales From the Crypt”, so I was intimately involved. I’m also the host of the show so I’m the new Crypt Keeper and hopefully I’m better looking. I may not be as much fun but I’ll look more human, anyway.
DC: I’m glad that you’ll be appearing on screen. Is their any desire to act a bit more after things like Hatchet II? It must have been something to go from acting with Anthony Quinn and Ingrid Bergman to Victor Crowley.
TH: (laughs) Yeah, but it took me thirty years to do it! It’s a lot of fun to act. What’s really nice about it is you can sit and enjoy it; directing, it’s every moment. There’s no chance to relax. If you’re an actor, there’s a chance to hang out with the other actors. There’s a sense of community that happens among a group of players whereas, if you’re a director, all you’re doing is just trying to get through the day and get the work done.
DC: And is that where you got connected with Danielle Harris? She’s appearing in “Twisted Tales”, correct?
TH: Yes, Danielle Harris and William Forsythe. Danielle and I met doing Hatchet II but William Forsythe starred for me in the “Masters of Horror” that I did.
DC: Of course, “We All Scream For Ice Cream”, sure.
TH: Right. And the two of them turned out to be friends and had always wanted to work together. They had met each other at various conventions. It was a perfect situation because I was able to get two players of that caliber in a very bare-bones production situation. Danielle also came in and helped me produce one of the “Twisted Tales”. It’s called “The Vampire’s Dance”. We started that as a music video. I wanted to do a dance club that was really a lair of vampires because I thought it was hysterically funny - the concept of dancing vampires. The value of “Twisted Tales” is that I have so many terrific actors and a lot of them are genre favorites. I can’t name all of them because I forget: I’ve got Noah Hathaway, A.J. Bowen, Sarah Butler, Ray Wise, Angela Bettis. It goes on and on and on. It’s worth looking at for the acting. They represent a cross-section of the horror genre today.