FEATURES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Interview with D.M. Cunningham, writer and director of The Spore
By James Whittington, Saturday 16th October 2021
DMC_SetPic copy

If you like your horror with a huge lashing of gruesome effects and a strong story then The Spore is for. Showing at Grimmfest Online, the movie from D.M. Cunningham is a smart take on the body horror genre. Here he chats about this movie which is guaranteed to get under your skin.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be a director?

DM: I started out wanting to be a makeup effects artist. After seeing Night of the Living Dead and discovering Fangoria magazine I was hooked. Tom Savini was a huge influence on my trajectory toward becoming a filmmaker. It wasn't until later that I discovered that you could boss the monsters around on set being the director. That's when I was like, oh, that's what I want to do!

HC: Where did the idea for the movie come from?

DM: Originally I had this idea to have a cleaning lady get infected while cleaning some old house. Then I heard this news report (might have been on NPR) about the melting ice in places like Antarctica and the possibility of toxic spores getting released into the air from millions of years ago that had been frozen. That sent me into a spiral of ideas.

HC: Did it take long to write?

DM: It was written in a few months. The segments of the movie presented themselves in waves. And we actually started filming before the last segment was fully written. We took a page out of Roger Corman's book there. Let's just go and figure it out!

HC: Was it all shot on location?

DM: Yes. It was shot in Lowell, Michigan. 90% of it was shot on Keith Golinski's (Producing partner and DoP) property. He has these wonderful 20+ acres of land with cabins and roads. It's like our own personal back lot. We wrapped the movie a week before we were shut down in the US. Mid march of 2020.

HC: Were you limited by budget at all?

DM: We're independent filmmakers, so that would be a resounding yes! But, those limitations really force you to be creative and use your resources. It's challenging and fun and always keeps you on your toes.

HC: The first half an hour has little dialogue but is such a thrilling section of the movie, were you nervous that that set up wouldn't work at all?

DM: Thank you for saying that! If this were a studio movie I would have been fired for doing that! When you make independent films you have a lot of space to experiment. Since we were producing this film and it was a bit of a Hail Mary pass we just went for it. Some people may not like it at all, but the response to it so far has been very positive.

HC: The cast go through some rough moments, what was the atmosphere like on set?

DM: The filming of the movie was a riot. Everyone was in great spirits and really had a good time. It was tough at times because of the heat in the summer and the bitter cold in the early winter while filming, but everyone was a trooper and made it a great filming experience.

HC: There's some incredible SFX here, which one was the most complicated to realise?

DM: Thank you! All those years doing makeup effects on films and TV shows really prepped Brian and I to do these effects. I would say the Wendy piece (Laura Golinski in the cabin) was the most work. That had the most parts. Appliances, puppet stomach piece, spore goobers attached to the floor and walls and Brian trapped in the corner behind Laura working the mouth.

HC: Do you prefer writing or directing?

DM: I prefer both for different reasons. Writing is awesome. I love creating a story. I often listen to soundtracks and drink lots of coffee in the early morning to write. That's my time of day. But after you've spent months in solitary confinement writing, you really need to get out and socialize and realize that vision. Directing lets me work out all those ideas from the page and bring it to life. And if I may add, the post-production process for me is something I really enjoy as I edit and compose music (with my band mate Chad Cherry in Dreaming In Neon). The movies take on a whole other life then. I always say you make a movie three times. Write, Direct, and Edit.

HC: So, what are you up to at the moment?

DM: I'm finishing up our latest feature 3 Demons (that we shot during the pandemic) and prepping it for delivery to the distributor. That one should be out in the first half of 2022.

HC: D.M Cunningham, thank you very much.

DM: Thank you so much! I greatly appreciate it.


MORE FEATURES
Horror Channel announces raft of premieres for February
Posted on Thursday 13th January 2022
The Midnight Man - WEB1

February on Horror Channel keeps genre fans alive with the UK TV premiere of What Keeps You Alive - another suspenseful knife to the throat of 21st Century genre cinema from the deliciously warped mind of Colin Minihan, director of It Stains The Sand Red.

And expect more total shock and abject terror in the UK TV premiere of Paul Hyett's sinister sci-fi horror fantasy Peripheral. This twisted cross between Ex Machina and Videodrome boasts an astonishing performance from Hannah Arterton.

Plus, there are channel premieres for the gore-filled, stomach-churning zombie chiller Death Trench, Producer M. Night Shyamalan's claustrophobic supernatural thriller Devil, the...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel ushers in 2022 with zombie invasions
Posted on Tuesday 21st December 2021

Evil-Dead II-WEB2

January weekends on Horror Channel are invaded by the undead with the UK TV premiere of Lin Oeding's newly-flavoured zombie horror-comedy Office Uprising, and the two highly acclaimed Zombie apocalypse road movies - Stake Land, receiving its Channel premiere, and the sequel The Stakelander, enjoying a UK TV premiere.

Plus, there are channel premieres for the bone-chilling The Wretched, directed by The Pierce Brothers, Sam Raimi's classic Evil Dead 2, once again starring the demon battling Brue Campbell and the original Dolph Lundgrem/Jean-Claude Van Damme futuristic thriller Universal Soldier.

Here's everything you need to know:

A VHS classic on the 8th as Je...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel premieres zombie musical Anna And The Apocalypse on Xmas Day
Posted on Tuesday 30th November 2021
Anna & the Apocalypse-WEB2

There is a Xmas Day treat in store for genre fans, with the Horror Channel premiere of Anna And The Apocalypse, a pure gore delight with a mental, maniacal and magical edge. John McPhail's infectious zombie musical stars Ella Hunt, Mark Benton and Paul Kaye.

Anna is looking forward to the end of high school. But while her widowed father dreams of university, she has other plans - jet-setting around the world to experience life before settling down. Suddenly a zombie apocalypse threatens her sleepy Scottish town, forcing Anna and friends to struggle, slash and sing their way to survival, facing the living dead in a desperate race to reach their loved ones. Shaun O...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel unwraps eight UK TV premieres for December including Tales From The Lodge, Aquaslash and Sacrifice
Posted on Tuesday 16th November 2021
Horror Channel Dec highlights - tweet banner

Horror Channel comes bearing gory gifts for the Xmas season, presenting eight UK TV premieres, including Abigail Blackmore's gruesome and comically dark Tales From The Lodge, starring Mackenzie Crook, Sophie Thompson and Johnny Vegas, cosmic chiller Sacrifice, starring horror icon Barbara Crampton and Aquaslash, a mad exploitation slasher harking back to the classic 1980s era of gushing blood and teenage turmoil.

Also showing for the first time on British TV are Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead's romantic body horror Spring, Greg McLean's supernatural horror The Darkness, starring Kevin Bacon, deadly thriller, Desolation, Brit mon...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel takes off with premiere of action series Airwolf from Thursday 25 November
Posted on Thursday 11th November 2021

Horror Channel is dedicated to bringing great cult action thrillers to its audience and this trend continues with Season 1 of the 1984 US military drama series Airwolf, created by Donald P. Bellisario and produced over four seasons.

A renegade helicopter pilot, Stringfellow Hawke, played by Jan-Michael Vincent, is given the chance to know the whereabouts of his imprisoned brother if he conducts daring missions for a shadowy intelligence agency. Hid first mission is to go to Libya and steal back a high-technology military helicopter, code-named Airwolf, at all costs. With its riveting, high-tech, battle scenes, AIRWOLF is consid...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel invaded by week of Sci-Fi Horror
Posted on Wednesday 3rd November 2021

Horror Channel goes extra-terrestrial with Sci-Fear Week (Saturday 20th to Friday 26th, 9pm), in which strange science, terrifying tech and insidious invasions takes control, highlighted by the Channel premiere of jolting sci-fi thriller The Last Days On Mars, starring Liev Schreiber, Romola Garai and Olivia Williams. It also includes the channel premieres of 1980 British science fiction movie Saturn 3, which stars Farrah Fawcett, Kirk Douglas and Harvey Keitel and XTRO, an unsettling slice of Sci-Fi Horror and one of the few British films that landed on the UK film censors' infamous 'Video Nasty' list. The week also includes Scanners, Ce...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel unveils an unholy host of premieres for November
Posted on Thursday 21st October 2021
Nov highliights-social-1

Long weekends just got scarier as Horror Channel announces eleven premieres for Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights across November, including five UK TV premieres, three by emerging female directors.

Being shown for the first time on the small screen are Elle Callahan's allegorical paranormal thriller Witch Hunt, Amelia Moses' lyrical lycanthrope horror Bloodthirsty and Coralie Fargeat's directorial debut, the slickly gruesome Revenge. Also getting their first showings on TV are Nicolas Pesce's smartly sadistic Piercing and John Berardo's subversive slasher Initiation.

Neil Marshall makes a welcome return with the channel premiere of Doomsday, as do the Sosk...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Michael Mayer and Guy Ayal from the acclaimed movie Happy Times
Posted on Saturday 16th October 2021
thumbnail_HT_set_Marie Alyse Rodriguez

Happy Times, which is showing at Grimmfest Online, is a movie that takes the home invasion genre and turns it inside out! Directed by Michael Mayer and co-written with composer Guy Ayal, the movie is a bombastic, bloody and hilarious piece of cinema. I chatted to them both about this dinner party from hell.

HC: Where did the idea for Happy Times come from?

MM: The idea for the movie started forming when I was invited to a Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year's) dinner in Los Angeles. It was the first year of Trump's presidency and wherever you went all people wanted to talk about was politics. One thing to know about the Israeli expat com...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Ben Charles Edwards, co-writer and director of Father of Flies
Posted on Saturday 16th October 2021
Father of Flies director

A vulnerable young boy finds his mother pushed out of the family home by a strange new woman in Father of Flies, and he must confront the terrifying supernatural forces that seem to move in with her. This intense and chilling movie is showing at Grimmfest Online Edition so we chatted to director and co-writer Ben Charles Edwards about this movie.

HC: Where did the idea for Father of Flies come from?

BE: It came from my childhood experiences. When my good friend and journalist Dominic Wells was talking to me about my next project, he told me to draw on real life experiences. So, I did. My own experiences were neither as heightened nor as traumatic as they may...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Marcel Sarmiento co-writer and director of Faceless
Posted on Friday 15th October 2021
Faceless Director

Showing at Grimmfest Online Edition is the incredibly inventive horror/sci-fi hybrid Faceless. Here, co-writer and director Marcel Sarmiento speaks about this superb movie.

HC: Have you always been a big horror movie fan?

MS: Definitely as a kid. My first movies made with my Betamax were all about scaring one other and how gross we could push makeup effects. We mostly strangled, stabbed, and threw each other off buildings. I think as I got older, I appreciated what you could do with horror more than horror for horror's sake. I love that you can make characters do things that in any other genre you couldn't make them do and still come out the other end liking them and routi...

SHARE: READ MORE
Universal Monsters are back on Horror Channel and Kim Newman is here to tell you all about them
Posted on Thursday 14th October 2021
Kim Newman

Respected journalist, film critic, and fiction writer Kim Newman takes us through the Universal monsters joining Horror for our Classic Horror Halloween event running from 30th-31st of October.

With Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Wolf Man (1941) and The Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954), Universal Pictures introduced the lasting icons of horror... combining the presence of stars Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney Jr with the make-up artistry of Jack P. Pierce (except for the Creature who came later in the day and was designed by the extraordinary Millicent Patrick ). These are the genre's cornerstone fiends, and - despite the way they have been domesticated an...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel goes out of this world to bring Channel premiere of Brit sci-fi thriller series UFO from October 20
Posted on Wednesday 13th October 2021

Horror Channel will be continuing its commitment to bringing great cult and classic sci-fi to its audience with Season 1 of the 1970 British science fiction TV series UFO, created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and produced by the Andersons and TV mogul Lew Grade.

One of the best of its genre, the 26-part series combines the remarkable talents of the Andersons with those of special effects director Derek Meddings. And with a stellar cast including Ed Bishop, Michael Billington and George Sewell, it proved a popular hit at the time.

Following syndication in the US and favourable ratings, a possible second series was plann...

SHARE: READ MORE
Features Archive: 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007
PICK OF THE WEEK
The Darkness
THE DARKNESS
Wednesday 26th January
9.00 PM
Quarantine 2: Terminal
QUARANTINE 2: TERMINAL
Sunday 23rd January
10.55 PM
Stake Land
STAKE LAND
Friday 21st January
10.45 PM