Interview with Paul Hunt and Julie Kauffman directors of The Brilliant Terror
By James Whittington, Wednesday 1st September 2021

The filmmaking process is a long difficult one, but even harder for those working at grassroots level. Paul Hunt and Julie Kauffman's superb documentary, The Brilliant Terror is showing on the Horror Channel Screen today at Arrow Video FrightFest Online Edition today and it takes an in-depth look at this micro-budget genre and the people whose dedication has created some memorable movie moments. Here we chat to the directors about this acclaimed piece.

What inspired you to make The Brilliant Terror?

The original inspiration for the doc was based around an imagined scenario from Paul's childhood - a sort of Kobayashi Maru test of horror. We cut that piece from the movie a month before we finished editing. This brought the film into sharper focus, delving purely into the story of the filmmakers and fans - their motivations and methods and the community bond of grassroots creativity. One thread that survives from that initial premise is the theme of how we deal with our fears.

HC: What do you think is the major difference between "grassroots" and "Indie" filmmaking?

The grassroots filmmakers in our case are working on no-budget or microbudget filmmaking - it becomes all about your friends and the community you cultivate to help you fulfil your dream of making a movie. Grassroots has that DIY attitude and determination. Indie now seems to have become larger in scope, budget wise and control wise.

HC: There's been a number of docs recently covering filmmaking such as Clapboard Jungle, why do you think there's so much interest in horror filmmaking at the moment?

I don't think the interest in horror filmmaking has ever gone away. Nearly every DVD/Blu-ray extra includes a making of - from the studio EPK types to multi-part segments covering every layer. We all love to see what it takes to make a movie. It's hypnotic to witness the joys and pains the filmmakers go through or how they created a particular effect. I could endlessly watch the unedited sequence of Mike Lombardo and his crew shivering on the icy bathroom stall floor spitting blood and wrangling tentacles. But it's getting harder to see honest, warts-and-all behind-the-scenes moments these days because everyone wants to come off as perfect. So when those real gems squeak out, they're glorious.

HC: It focuses mainly on multi-talented creative Mike Lombardo and he's not shy in explaining the raw truth about the process, how did you first meet?

A month before we were about to wrap on our doc, we were checking the line up at a local film fest and discovered a zombie short made by Mike. We had been across the country interviewing people, but were still hoping to include local filmmakers from our central Pennsylvania area. So I called and left a message with Mike. The initial answer was no. But later he called back, agreed to an interview, and invited us to film behind the scenes on the set of his movies. And then he couldn't get rid of us. He was a charming triple threat - a great writer, director, and practical effects artist. The funny thing is we found our muse, Mike, just around the corner from us - literally 15 minutes away. And that took us on a 7-year journey that ultimately became the heart of this film.

HC: His enthusiasm is at first infectious, but seems to change much over the seven years you shot this, is this how it was?

You're always raring to go when you start filming a new project and all that prep seems to be paying off. But over time the giddy excitement turns into tiring hard work. Frustrations inevitably surface when your vision is not coming together like you want, especially when you're working with friends, many who are volunteering. Hence the reshoots and more reshoots. All great material for the documentary!

HC: Do you think qualifications are better than experience or vice versa when it comes to filmmaking?

For us as a two-person team, we followed the same path as Mike (not going to film school) and taught ourselves filmmaking. Twenty years ago we picked up a GL1 and filmed stories of artisans and their craft in India, and then a local puppeteer's production of Treasure Island. It was always about seeing the creative process. And we learned by doing and by watching many docs in many genres. We also both come from creative fields - graphic design and illustration - and filmmaking for us is just another way of expressing a compelling story.

HC: Were there any interviews you couldn't set up?

At one point, we were hoping to include a section on international grassroots horror and explore the traditions/monsters/folklore specific to people's homelands. We reached out to the Nigerian Nollywood horror community and had leads in Thailand and Japan, but nothing panned out there. So we dropped that thread, keeping only one filmmaker outside the U.S. in the doc - Ashley Thorpe. His animations explore British folklore inspired by his haunting Devonshire backdrop.

HC: I feel this will inspire many to try and create their own movies, is this your hope for the movie?

I'm not sure this is a good lesson in inspiring someone to make movies as Mike's experience is equal measures masochistic and joyous. We do hope it inspires a producer to reach out to Mike and invest in his talents.

HC: What's the single, greatest piece of advice you can give to budding filmmakers, actors, crew etc?

Watch and read everything you can on all flavours of filmmaking and storytelling, not just your personal taste. And watch the bad stuff too. We've learned so much more from documentaries that were just okay, because we end up trying to figure out why it didn't work, why it didn't take you on a journey.

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

Apart from running around the U.S. filming for nonprofits, we'd love to make a documentary about practical effects legend Rob Bottin - where did he go? Why did he walk away from it all. Anyone have a contact? Put Mike next to Mr. Bottin and see what happens. Or making a doc on Clint Howard, the man Mike hopes would play him in his biography.

HC: Paul Hunt and Julie Kauffman, thank you very much.

Related show tags: FRIGHTFEST
Arrow Video FrightFest 2022 announces bumper Glasgow Film Festival line-up
Posted in Frightfest, Thursday 20th January 2022
FrightFest Glasgow 2022 - headline banner

The UK's No.1 horror and fantasy film festival is back in person at the Glasgow Film Theatre, which for 17 glorious years has been FrightFest's second home, as part of the internationally renowned Glasgow Film Festival.

From Thursday 10th March to Saturday 12th March, FrightFest opens its terror trove to present twelve tasty treasures; an extravaganza of the dark arts, embracing the latest genre discoveries from around the globe, spanning eight countries in three continents, which includes World, International and UK premieres.

Alan Jones, co-director of FrightFest commentated: "It's with great delight and with every single b...

Classic slasher, Hatchet for the Honeymoon gets Blu-ray treatment
Posted in News, Tuesday 18th January 2022
Hatchet for The Honeymoon

From director Mario Bava, the Godfather of Italian horror, comes Hatchet for the Honeymoon, a superlative early 70s slasher which places us and the erstwhile filmmaker back in the realm of the Gialli feature, a cinematic sub-genre he practically invented. Limited to 3000 units this edition from 88 Films is now.

With echoes of Psycho (1960) and Peeping Tom (1960), this unsettling production sees troubled protagonist John Harrington (Stephen Forsythe) turning to a life of serial killing. Refused a divorce by his uncaring wife, and haunted by childhood trauma John takes out his murderous frustrations on a string of would-be brides who innocently c...

Horror Channel announces raft of premieres for February
Posted in Features, 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...

Marco Beltrami and Brian Tyler's Scream scores get new releases
Posted in News, Sunday 9th January 2022
Scream Soundtracks

"Hello, Sidney"

Varese Sarabande celebrate the return of Scream with two very special releases. Marco Beltrami's scores from the first four films get the box set treatment via a 4-LP set, 6-CD set (exclusive to, and digital releases. Featuring a trove of previously unreleased material, both physical sets come in packaging that folds out into a Ghostface mask. The digital album is now available to stream wherever you get your music!

Meanwhile, Brian Tyler's score for the brand new Scream is getting an LP, CD and digital release as well... The expanded 24-track CD and digital version of Scream: Music from the Motion Picture are out n...

Who ya gonna call for help in the Afterlife?
Posted in News, Wednesday 5th January 2022
Ghostbusters Afterlife

From director Jason Reitman and producer Ivan Reitman comes the next chapter in the original Ghostbusters universe, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, available to Download and Keep on January 10th, to Rent on Digital on January 31st and also on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Starring Carrie Coon (Gone Girl, The Nest), Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things, It), McKenna Grace (Young Sheldon, Gifted), Annie Potts (Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II) and Paul Rudd (Ant-man, Avengers: Endgame), the film is written by Gil Kenan and Jason Reitman.

When single mum Callie (Carrie Coon) and her two children Finn (Finn Wolfhard) and ...

Stagefright - Blu-ray review
Posted in Reviews, Thursday 30th December 2021
Stagefright CoverStagefright
Shameless Entertainment
Certificate 18

Also known as Aquarius, Deliria and Bloody Bird, Michele Soavi's bold directorial debut Stagefright finally gets the Shameless treatment. Released at the backend of the slasher trend this 1987 effort takes the genre in a far more artistic direction than most of the era and stands up to close scrutiny to this day. More recent movies such as Halloween (2018) and Climax (2018) seems to have taken some themes from this which is a fine reminder of why slasher movies don't just start and end with the more famous franchises.

When a masked killer infiltrates a group of actors rehearsing overnight in an isolated theatr...

Horror Channel ushers in 2022 with zombie invasions
Posted in Features, 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...

The best kind of honey trap! Doctor Who: Hornets' Nest is coming to vinyl
Posted in News, Thursday 16th December 2021
Doctor Who Hornets Nest

On limited edition vinyl for the very first time, Demon Records presents Doctor Who: Hornet's Nest, the unique audio adventure that first instigated Tom Baker's remarkable return to the role of the Doctor.

This release will include an exclusive, frameable portrait of the Fourth Doctor - every copy of which has been individually signed by Tom Baker himself and is just one of the treats inside this stunningly designed package which also includes an impressive, die-cut removable outer sleeve houses a hornet-adorned lidded box, inside which are 10 individual, exquisitely illustrated LP sleeves featuring full cast and credits for each story.

Also included is The Do...

Interview with Abigail Blackmore, writer and director of Tales From The Lodge
Posted in Interviews, Tuesday 14th December 2021
Abigail Blackmore 1

Ahead of Horror Channel's Xmas Day broadcast of her horror comedy feature Tales From The Lodge, director Abigail Blackmore recalls the brutal weather conditions, the challenges of casting and the joy of playing at FrightFest.

HC: Thanks to Horror Channel, Tales From The Lodge finally gets its UK TV premiere on British TV. Excited or what?

AB: So excited! I know a huge amount of people watch the Horror Channel so I'm hoping it opens TFTL up to a whole new audience.

HC: Looking back to its showcase screening at FrightFest in 2019, what are your abiding memories?

AB: It was a wonderful experience! FrightFest has long been one of the highlights of my ...

Interview with Barbara Crampton, star of chilling horror Sacrifice
Posted in Interviews, Wednesday 8th December 2021
Sacrifice Image 1

Barbara Crampton is a Horror Channel favourite. This much loved and much admired creative is starring in the UK TV premiere of Sacrifice, which is showing December 12th at 9pm on Horror so we chatted to her about this movie and her plans for the future.

Note that there are some spoilers for Sacrifice in the interview.

HC: Can you recall how you felt the first time you stepped onto a TV or film set?

BC: Yes, I remember the first time I was ever on a television set, it was for the soap opera, Days of Our Lives, and it was my very first job, and I had one line, "Hi. I'm your cousin Trista from Colorado". It was to the character Marlena Evans and subsequently I had w...

Stagefright to be released thanks to Shameless
Posted in News, Saturday 4th December 2021
Stagefright Cover

Combining graphic, blood-splattered set pieces with his trademark wit and filmmaking elegance, Michele Soavi's (Dellamorte Dellamore, The Sect, The Church), Stagefright is now unleashed in a new 4K restoration.

When a masked killer infiltrates a group of actors rehearsing overnight in an isolated theatre, thesta ge is set for carnage! Featuring an abundance of over-the-top kills and spills, shot with Soavi's typical style, marvel at the mayhem as the iconic chainsaw wielding 'Owl Man', delivers a bloodsoaked performance for the ages.

From one of the masters of Italian horror, Stagefright is at the pinnacle of 80s slashers. Michele Soavi was schooled by Dario Argento and Terry Gil...

Scream - Legacy cast posters revealed
Posted in News, Saturday 4th December 2021
Neve Campbell (“Sidney Prescott”)

It's always someone you know.

Twenty-five years after a streak of brutal murders shocked the quiet town of Woodsboro, a new killer has donned the Ghostface mask and begins targeting a group of teenagers to resurrect secrets from the town's deadly past.

Neve Campbell (Sidney Prescott), Courteney Cox (Gale Weathers) and David Arquette (Dewey Riley) return to their iconic roles in Scream but will all three survive?

The cast also includes Melissa Barrera, Kyle Gallner, Mason Gooding, Mikey Madison, Dylan Minnette, Jenna Ortega, Jack Quaid, Marley Shelton, Jasmin Savoy Brown, and Sonia Ammar.

Paramount Pictures and Spyglas...

Articles Archive: 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
Thursday 27th January
9.00 PM
Tales from the Lodge
Thursday 3rd February
9.00 PM
The Dead 2
Thursday 3rd February
10.50 PM