ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Brand New Interview With Adam Rifkin Co-Director Of Chillerama
By James Whittington, Thursday 11th April 2013
Adam Rifkin

The superb shocker Chillerama was given its UK Television premiere last month on the Horror Channel and can be seen on April 11th. This comic horror anthology was directed by four of the most talented directors around at the moment; Adam Rifkin, Joe Lynch, Adam Green and Tim Sullivan.

Over four nights we're posting interviews with these fine fellows about this movie and what other projects they're working on. Tonight it's the turn of Adam Rifkin.

HC: Did you know from an early age that you wanted to be working in the film industry?

AR: I grew up loving movies from as early an age as I can remember. My first love was monster movies. The classics; Frankenstein, Dracula, etc. I figured out pretty early on that someone had to behind making them. I didn't understand at that age what a director was, I just knew that someday I wanted to make movies too. The first movie I saw that opened my eyes to the idea that film can be more than just scary monsters and rubber heads was One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. I saw it when I was quite young and it really had a profound effect on me. Suddenly I realized that films can make you cry. Can make you think. Can change the way you look at the world. After that I became a real student of film. All kinds of film. I watched movies constantly. I also spent all of my play time making little movies with my friends. It was always fun... and it still is. I feel so lucky that I get to live out my childhood dream and actually make real movies for a living.

HC: Your career hits many different genres, do you have a favourite?

AR: I love movies. All kinds of movies. I also love telling all types of stories. Funny stories, sad stories, scary stories etc. That's why I feel beyond lucky that I've been able to spend my career so far making all kinds of movies. Big movies, tiny movies, family movies, tragic movies. In Hollywood it can often be perceived as a liability if you're not easily categorized into one box, but I've never been a subscriber to conventional wisdom. When an idea hits me I've learned that the best thing for me to do is to run with it. That's part of the fun, the challenge of telling a new and different tale every time.

HC: There's been a resurrection of the Anthology genre recently, why do you think that is and do you have a recent favourite?

AR: I like to think it's because they're fun. Conventional three act story structure will never go out of style, but sometimes audiences just want a sampler platter of stories. A buffet, if you will. Or in Chillerama's case, a "pu pu platter". When I was young there were tons of anthology films. Many of them were horror themed, like Creepshow and Tales From The Darkside, and Tales From The Crypt and Spirits Of The Dead before those. There were lots of comedy anthologies as well; The Groove Tube, Tunnel Vision and the granddaddy of them all, Kentucky Fried Movie. The anthology film that most directly inspired Wadzilla, and is still probably my favourite anthology movie, is Woody Allen's Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex But Were Afraid To Ask (there's a segment in which Woody and a hot blonde are chased across the countryside by a giant woman's breast). Anthologies went out of style for a while because Hollywood got stuck in a formula rut. Anthologies didn't fit into the Robert McKee three act structure format that studios became so obsessed with for so long (and still are to a large degree). Luckily some recent anthologies slipped through the cracks, got made, got some attention, made some money and opened the door for more. My favourite of the current crop would have to be Sin City. Mickey Rourke as Marv can't be beat.

HC: What was the inspiration for your story for Chillerama?

AR: Like with all of the segments in Chillerama, each of the 4 films was meant to be homage to a particular era of B-Movie. Green's was 1930's and 40's Universal Horror, Sullivan's was 1960's Corman-esque beach movies, Lynch's was late 70's and 80's zombie flicks and mine was to be a tip of the hat to the "giant atomic monster destroying the city" movies of the 1950's. The Blob was probably the one I was most inspired by, as well as The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, The Amazing Colossal Man, and of course, Godzilla. Knowing I wanted to have some fun with a giant monster movie, the first thing I wanted to do was to decide what would be the funniest giant monster I could think up. A gigantic sperm cell just seemed like the silliest thing I could come up with, so once that hit me I just dove in balls deep.

HC: Was it a hard piece to cast and how did you get a certain Hollywood mega-star to appear (without giving the game away who it is)?

AR: Actually, casting Wadzilla was easier than we thought it would be. Most of the key players I had worked with before, like Lin Shaye, Ray Wise and Miles Dougal. I just called them up, pitched them the idea and they all agreed on the spot. Casting Louise, was challenging only because it's never easy as it should be to find an exceptionally hot girl who can do great comedy. Luckily we found Sarah Mutch. Casting the lead was actually the most challenging role. We had, at one time or another, various big name comedic actors who had agreed to play the part. Unfortunately each one had to bow out due to scheduling conflicts. At the very last minute I agreed to play the role myself, but believe me, I was my last choice. And casting that Hollywood mega-star you refer to was a snap. I actually had known said star and his wife (who's also his manager) from meeting them at random Hollywood functions throughout the years. When I called them up and told them what I was doing and asked them to be a part of it, they laughed their asses off and agreed immediately. They got the joke and had a blast with it.

HC: Was it a fun shoot and what was the atmosphere like on set?

AR: It was ridiculously fun! First of all, anytime you're free as a filmmaker to get to go all out and be as crazy as your imagination allows, it's always a blast. Secondly, everyone involved was really only there to have fun. From the cast, to the Chiodo Bros., who agreed to do all the creature effects, to the rest of the crew. We all love movies, and the chance to get to make something this outrageous is just a rare opportunity for us all. Because of that, there were lots of laughs on set. Additionally, dumping garbage cans full of fake sperm of people's heads is something that doesn't happen everyday. How could it not be fun? The mood was pretty crazy everyday.

HC: It really captures the spirit of the crazy B-Movies of the 50s, are you a fan of this era?

AR: Very much so. Growing up in Chicago I was exposed to all the monster movies and B-movies I loved on a local TV show called the Son Of Svengoolie. Svengoolie was (and still is) the hippest horror host with the most and in addition to all the Universal monster movies, the Hammer Films and the Japanese monster movies he'd show, he'd also show a litany of 1950's atomic era classics. I loved them because not only were they fun, but they were always the ones that were the most philosophical. The monster movies with the moral center. The cautionary tales. I definitely tried to poke a little fun at that in Wadzilla and Ray Wise is brilliant as the 50's-esque scientist who comments on the philosophical responsibilities that comes along with living in a nuclear age.

HC: Would you like to be part of another anthology film such as the recent ABCs Of Death?

AR: Definitely! I love short form content. There's so much fun to be had telling a story in a limited amount of time. I hope I get to be a part of many more anthology films.

HC: You must be pleased Chillerama got its UK premiere on the Horror Channel?

AR: Beyond thrilled. It's the perfect home for Chillerama. Although I believe that Chillerama can be enjoyed by all audiences, Chillerama was made expressly for horror fans. Adam, Tim, Joe and myself are all horror movie buffs and Chillerama is our love letter to 100 years of scary movies. We just know that the Horror Channel audience with get all the jokes.

HC: You're a man of many talents; writer, director, actor do you have a favourite?

AR: Well, writing and directing is, has been and always will be my passion. It's what I've dreamed of doing from the time I was a little kid. That said I'd always suspected that the actors have all the fun. And the more acting I find myself doing, the more I prove myself right. Acting is a blast. That said if I had to choose one, writing and directing would win out.

HC: So what are you working on at the moment?

AR: I’ve written and am about to start directing a film that has been my passion project for the last several years. We finally start prepping in a few months but I’m sworn to secrecy for just a little while longer. As soon as I can talk about it I’ll give you all the delicious details.

HC: Adam Rifkin, thank you very much.


MORE INTERVIEWS
Interview with Julien Seri, director of Anderson Falls
Posted on Tuesday 18th February 2020

Ahead of the UK premiere of serial killer thriller Anderson Falls at Arrow Video FrightFest Glasgow 2020, director Julien Seri reflects on this, his first 'American' experience, challenging fight scenes and the importance of personal vision.

It has been five years since we premiered Night Fare at FrightFest London, what have you been up to since then?

JS: I worked on two, very singular, projects as a producer and/or director. I signed for both with Wild Bunch, but we've failed to produce them yet. So I keep fighting. And I did a lot of commercials, TV series and music videos.

When did you first hear about the Anderson Falls script and why did you think it was perfect for yo...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Adam Stovall, director of A Ghost Waits
Posted on Sunday 9th February 2020

Ahead of the World premiere of A Ghost Waits at Arrow Video FrightFest Glasgow 2020, director Adam Stovall reflects on getting through depression, creating paranormal romance and the influence of Tom Waits...

You have an interesting CV - from comedy theatre and film journalism to writing for The Hollywood Reporter and second assistant directing. Was all this a game plan to becoming a fully-fledged director?

AS: I've known since I was a little kid sitting in the basement watching the network TV premiere of Back To The Future while holding my Back To The Future storybook and waiting for them to premiere the first footage from Back To The Future 2 during a commercial br...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Simeon Halligan, director of Habit
Posted on Sunday 9th February 2020

Simeon Halligan is one of the busiest people working in the industry today. Writer, director, producer, director of celebrated film festival Grimmfest, in fact the list goes on.

His latest film is the neon tinged, blood-splattered masterpiece Habit which is showing on Horror February 14th so we thought we should get the story on how he brought this shocker to the big screen.

HC: When did you first become aware of the book by Stephen McGeagh to which Habit is based?

SH: I read the book a couple of years back and really liked it. A combination of gritty realism and dark fantasy; set within a very recognisable Manchester. There's a juxtaposition in the book; from a kind of soc...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Jackson Stewart, director of Beyond The Gates
Posted on Wednesday 22nd January 2020

Jack Stewart's sublime retro horror Beyond the Gates was recently shown on Horror. Jackson is one of the strongest creatives around at the moment but he took time out of his busy schedule to talk to us about this contemporary classic and his future movie plans.

HC: Was there one film that you saw growing up which gave you the idea that you wanted to work in the film industry?

JS: There were definitely a number of them; I think the ones that stick out strongest in my memory were Temple Of Doom, Batman '89, Nightmare On Elm Street 4, Raising Arizona, Back To The Future, Marnie, Army Of Darkness, The Frighteners and Dirty Harry. All of them had a big emotional impact on me. Dirty Har...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with acclaimed author Shaun Hutson
Posted on Friday 20th December 2019

The British horror legend Shaun Hutson is back with Testament, a new novel featuring one of his fans most loved characters, Sean Doyle so we decided to catch up with this talented chap about his acclaimed work.

HC: Was there one author who inspired you to become a writer?

SH: My inspirations were always and still are cinematic if I'm honest. Even when I first started writing my influences and inspirations came from things like Hammer films, from TV series like The Avengers (with Diana Rigg and Patrick Macnee) and from old Universal horror films. I read the Pan Books of Horror Stories when I was a kid and I think they were probably the first "literary" influences I ever had. I also read lo...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Tyler MacIntyre, director of Patchwork
Posted on Thursday 12th December 2019
On the eve of Horror Channel's UK TV premiere of Patchwork on December 14th, director Tyler MacIntyre reflects on body image issues. twisting audience expectations and his admiration for current female genre directors.

HC: Patchwork finally gets its UK TV premiere on Horror Channel. Excited or what?

TM: Relieved actually. It's been a long time coming. The third screening of the film ever happened at FrightFest in Glasgow and since then I've had people asking me when it was going to come out. The UK genre fans are among the most diehard in the world, so I'm very excited to finally have it available for them.

HC: You were in attendance when Patchwork, your directorial feature debut, rece...

SHARE: READ MORE
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
Interviews Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
Malibu Shark Attack
MALIBU SHARK ATTACK
Sunday 8th March
6.45 PM
Urban Legend
URBAN LEGEND
Sunday 8th March
9.00 PM
Tales From The Darkside
TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE
Sunday 8th March
8.30 PM