ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Exclusive Interview With Legendary Director Kevin Connor
By James Whittington, Tuesday 7th August 2012

Kevin ConnorLegendary film maker Kevin Connor left school at sixteen, and entered a documentary film company, British Films Ltd., in London's Soho, as an Assistant film editor. From here on in he progressed to being one of the most celebrated directors around. With the release of some of his classic films onto DVD for the first time we decided to chat to this in demand director about his ongoing career and his time at Amicus.

HC: How did you get started in the movie business?

KC: I left school at 16 in 1953 and managed to get a job by writing to every Film Company in the London Telephone Directory. After many negative letters I finally landed a position as a Trainee Editor with a company called British Films in Soho. I wanted to go into the camera department but as it turned out the editing experience was the best route to go.

HC: Which directors did you admire whilst you were growing up??

KC: Carol Reed - John Huston - David Lean - John Ford - Lindsay Anderson.

HC: What was it like working for Amicus?

KC: An absolute delight. Milton Subotsky had come across some scripts I had adapted with two friends of mine - he took four of them and made them in a 'compilation film' and added a linking story - and offered me the directing job. 'But I've never directed …' I told him. 'Editors make good directors and I'll surround you with the best technicians' And he did. That was From Beyond The Grave. Milton and Max never imposed themselves or interfered with me on the set and left me entirely to my own devices. They were both great. I was very lucky.

HC: Your were involved in many of their classic movies including the aforementioned From Beyond The Grave, The Land That Time Forgot and At The Earth's Core. What was it like working on such movies?

KC: Again, Milton and Max left me totally alone once the script was locked and as long as I completed the days work and didn't go over budget - they were happy. I used to edit the films very quickly and Milton was generous with his comments on my cut and we worked amicably together to complete the final cut. The composer, editor and sound editor were always my choice - the boys rarely came to the mixing theatre and never viewed the movie until the final graded print was delivered. It was a wonderful luxury.

HC: Did you ever have large budgets to play with?

KC: Not really. From Beyond the Grave was miniscule. In the early 70's the film business was in the doldrums and we could get a superb cast for almost minimum Equity. Land was around $250,000, as far as I know. But that was hand puppets and front projection. We shot the plates on a small Vista Vision Camera to get the best quality. No CGI in those days! Earth's Core and People were somewhat higher, probably around $450,000 - $500,00 – more ambitious because we tried to develop the technique of putting stunt guys inside the beasts. We also went to a foreign location on People. The largest budget I had after that was for Arabian Adventure - $4,000.000. but that wasn't really an Amicus film.

HC: You worked with Peter Cushing n a number of occasions; what are your memories of this great gentleman?

KC: My strongest memory of Peter was his wearing of white cotton cutting room gloves when smoking off camera - to stop his fingers being stained by the nicotine. Peter Cushing was indeed one of the great gentlemen. Grave was my first directing assignment and Peter was very supportive and responded to my direction and ideas with out question. I did several films with him and he never changed his love for everyone on the crew and fellow actors. I saw him in Olivier's Hamlet the other week - what a career Peter had.

HC: Why do you think your Amicus movies are to this day still loved around the world?

KC: Basically, because they were innocent movies and made in the era of 'Saturday morning pictures'. I couldn't believe the response from the all kids at the premiere we had in London. Just like when I was a kid - booing the baddie - cheering the heroes and groaning at the love scenes! There was no CGI and the trickery was very basic - and that's what it was - pure adventure stuff. Not pretentious in any way.

HC: Would you like to remake any of them using today's technology?

KC: No, I don't think so. They were what they were and had their own charm. Move on.

HC: Do you have a favourite genre you like working in?

KC: I love high adventure pictures and thrillers. Not so much horror these days. Everything is so graphic whereas I firmly believe that what you don't see is more frightening. I’ve done many big TV Mini series all over the world - usually in exotic locales - taking the crew and actors into the dunes of Mongolia or up the mountains of Africa and creating drama and chases is just the best way to make movies for me.

HC: You're still working hard, what drives you to a project?

KC: Yes, I'm still at it - mainly TV these days but I am still pressing ahead with several features that I am passionate about. Those are the hard ones to get made! When the phone stops ringing... as they say!

HC: Kevin Connor, thank you very much.

For the chance to try and win a set of Amicus movies, some directed by Kevin on DVD click here.


MORE INTERVIEWS
Interview with James Moran, writer of Tower Block
Posted on Monday 25th November 2019

Writer James Moran is about to do what few other writers have done in the past, the Horror Channel Triple! He is one of the few creatives who has had three of his movies play on the channel; Cockneys Vs Zombies, Severance and now Tower Block which is playing on November 29th. So, we decided to chat to this talented chap about this superior thriller and the rest of his career.

HC: Your first movie, Severance is a huge favourite with Horror Channel viewers, were you ever tempted to pen a sequel?

JM: Thank you, I'm really glad that people can still discover it with every new screening. Everybody wanted to do a sequel, we actually had several meetings about it. Nothing came of it, they carried on with...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Gary Dauberman, writer and director of Annabelle Comes Home
Posted on Saturday 23rd November 2019

Gary Dauberman has been the scriptwriter for some of the most successful horror movies of the last few years including IT: Parts 1 and 2, Annabelle and The Nun. His latest movie, Annabelle Comes Home which is also his directorial debut, has just been released onto DVD and Blu-ray. We caught up with this talented chap about his career to date.

HC: What was it about the horror genre that grabbed your imagination and made you want to become a writer?

GD: The earliest movie going experience I can remember was my parents taking me to Raiders of the Lost Ark and I was 4 or 5 or something and I had to sleep with them for a week, you know the opening up of The Ark and the face melting, a rea...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Cameron Macgowan, director of Red Letter Day
Posted on Friday 1st November 2019

FrightFest 2019 exposed a lot of new talent in the movie industry and one of the stand-out pieces was Red Letter Day from Cameron Macgowan.

HC: Where did the idea for Red Letter Day come from and did it take long to write?

CM: I have long been a fan of the 'Humans Hunting Humans' subgenre of film (Battle Royale, The Running Man, Hard Target, etc.) and was inspired to set one of these films in what many people consider the 'safe' location of the suburbs. Suburban communities feel like the perfect setting for a horror film as you can walk for miles without seeing a single soul all while knowing that you are surrounded by many people. This mixed with a desire to satirise the current socio-political climate ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Carlo Mirabella-Davis, director of Swallow
Posted on Wednesday 30th October 2019

Ahead of the UK premiere of Swallow at Arrow Video FrightFest Halloween, director Carlo Mirabella-Davis reflects on the personal inspiration behind his feature debut, healing psychological wounds and his empathy for the genre.

HC: Swallow is your directorial debut. How difficult was it to get the project off the ground?

CMD: Getting a film made is a fascinating process. My late, great teacher at NYU, Bill Reilly, would always say "script is coin of the realm". The early stages involved perfecting the screenplay as much as I could, writing and rewriting until I felt confident sending it out. The sacred bond between the producer and the director is the catalyst that brings a film into being. I ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Paul Davis, director of Uncanny Annie
Posted on Wednesday 16th October 2019

Ahead of the International premiere of Uncanny Annie at Arrow Video FrightFest Halloween 2019, director Paul Davis reflects on working for Blumhouse, bemoans attitudes to British genre film funding and reveals the movies that inspire him the most...

HC: Tell us how Uncanny Annie came about?

PD: Uncanny Annie is my second movie for Blumhouse as part of Hulu's Into The Dark movie series. I had the opportunity to actually kick off last October with a feature adaptation of my short film The Body (which had its world premiere at FF in 2013). The concept was to release a movie a month, for twelve months, with each revolving around a holiday or particular day for the month of its released. With The Bod...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Lars Klevberg, director of Child's Play (2019)
Posted on Thursday 10th October 2019
CHILDS_PLAY_Universal_2D_BD_Pakcshot_UKIt was the remake everyone was against! The interweb was ablaze with negativity but director Lars Klevberg and his team managed to pull off one of the best horror movies of 2019. Here he chats about the smart shocker, Child's Play.

HC: How nervous were you taking on a re-imagining of such a beloved concept and franchise?

LK: I was in fact very nervous the minute I signed on to do the movie. Before that, I worked relentlessly for weeks to get the job, but immediately after getting it my body had a very stressful reaction. I was fully aware of the legacy I was about to re-open so, I didn't sleep one minute that night.

HC: W...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Chris Bavota, co-director of Dead Dicks
Posted on Sunday 6th October 2019
ChrisBavota_DeadDicks

Horror is the perfect genre for getting across very serious issues. Dead Dicks, which is showing at Grimmfest today does exactly that by looking at the sensitive subject of mental health. Here co-director Chris Bavota talks about this intriguing movie.

HC: How did you and co-writer and co-director Lee Paula Springer first meet?

CB: In case people don't know, Lee and I have been married for almost 10 years and we have 2 young daughters. Making movies somehow came as a natural evolution of that but wasn't really a part of our lives until about three or four years ago. We originally met back around 2004 through a mutual friend and honestly, we didn't really ge...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Robi Michael, writer and director of Every Time I Die
Posted on Saturday 5th October 2019
Robi Michael

Grimmfest 2019 is well underway and one of the stand out movies so far has been Every Time I Die from director Robi Michael. Here he chats about this gripping movie.

HC: Was there one person or movie that you saw that made you want to be a director?

RM: Hard to think of one person or movie, because as long as I remember, it was clear to me that all I want to do is make movies - I was in love with films and decided to pursue it from a very early age. I was too young to realized what it takes to make movies or what is the job of a director. I can say that an early big influence in story telling is the legendary graphic novel writer, Alan Moore. Books like "Watchmen" and "V for...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Tom Botchii, director of Artik
Posted on Wednesday 2nd October 2019
Tom Botchii

Grimmfest 2019 begins tomorrow and Horror will be there bringing you news of all that happens as well as three Facebook Live events on the 4th, 5th and 6th of October.

One of the movies showing is Artik from director Tom Botchii so we chatted to him about this superb, brutal shocker.

HC: Where did the idea for Artik come from?

TB: The idea of Artik came from two things -
1) Getting my car broken into and seeing the initials A-T-K tagged on the wall behind it. When discussing with police they said that stands for a local gang member named ARTIK and when he spray paints ATK it means that you're marked and he or one of the other gang members is coming back to brea...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Rob Grant, director of Harpoon
Posted on Monday 30th September 2019
Rob Grant director

Grimmfest 2019 is only days away and Horror Channel will be there delivering all the info you'd want from this fear-filled festival as well as bringing to you three Facebook Live events on 4th, 5th and 6th October.

Here we chat to Grimmfest regular Rob Grant about his superior psychological shocker Harpoon which is showing at the festival this year.

HC: It's been a couple of years since we last chatted when Fake Blood played at Grimmfest, what have you been up to since then?

RG: Been very busy... was a director for hire on Alive. that I unfortunately had to miss at last year's Grimmfest due to an illness in the family, made Harpoon and been travelling around ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Brand new interview with Dee Wallace, star of Cujo, The Howling and now Beyond the Sky
Posted on Sunday 12th May 2019
Cujo

Dee Wallace is one of those people who seems to have be around forever and yet never ages in enthusiasm or her ability to bring to life some of cinema's most memorable characters. With a resume that includes E.T., The Hills Have Eyes, Cujo and now Beyond the Sky, we chatted to Dee about her career to date and how she prepares for each acting project.

HC: What made you want to be an actress?

DW: Oh, you know... I was born! (laughs) Seriously, I think creative people are just born to be creative and they have to find an outlet for that. My mother also was a beautiful actress, locally in my hometown and did all the plays at church so I think I naturally found my way into a family that supporte...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Horror's Channel Manager Stewart Bridle
Posted on Friday 10th May 2019
Stewart Bridle is Horror Channel's longest serving Channel Manager. He has guided Horror for almost a decade and has managed to bring to our screens many classics as well as introducing us to some new horror movie talent. In this, our 15th anniversary month we chat to Stewart about his role and some of the juicy pieces he has lined up for the rest of 2019.

HC: Have you always been a horror movie fan?

SB: Yes! I've always been interested and fascinated with horror and all genre stuff. I have an older brother who would manage to rent or get bootleg VHS of some great horror titles and I have memories of watching things like the original Dawn Of The Dead or slashers like The Burning while far too youn...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interviews Archive: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
Starry Eyes
STARRY EYES
Saturday 21st December
10.45 PM
Joy Ride
JOY RIDE
Monday 16th December
10.50 PM
Howl
HOWL
Monday 16th December
9.00 PM