INTERVIEWS

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Brand New Interview With Tim Sullivan Co-Director Of Chillerama
By James Whittington, Tuesday 9th April 2013

Tim SullivanThe 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 the next four nights we're posting brand new interviews with these fine fellows about this movie and what other projects they'’re working on. Tonight it's the turn of Tim Sullivan.

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

TS: Pretty much yeah. Once I saw Bela Lugosi as Dracula on television when I was five years old, I just KNEW I had to make monster movies. I used to take my GI Joe action figures and pose them and move them around as if they were in movies that I would make up. I would always steal my baby sister's Barbies to be the 'femme fatale'. Even then I knew you had to have a ‘final girl’.

HC: Is it true you worked on movies such as Godfather III?

TS: Nah, I just made that up to look cool on IMDb. JUST KIDDING! Absolutely. Godfather III, Cocktail, Coming To America, Scrooge, a host of others... After I graduated from film school, I immediately went to work on the streets of New York working on Hollywood productions that would come to the Big Apple to shoot mostly exterior scenes. I was a Production Assistant, which is a fancy way of saying 'grunt'. I did everything and worked my ass off for five years, learning from observing amazing directors such as Coppola, De Palma, Mike Nichols, Richard Donner, and my all-time fave, John Landis, with whom I formed a lifetime friendship. These were the days when one actually worked their way up the ladder and gained 'in the trenches experience and wisdom' didn't just post a homemade video on You Tube and get a studio deal to direct the next super hero franchise. LOL

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

TS: Quite honestly, I think Chillerama lead the flock. There was actually an article here in the States about how Chillerama started a trend. We did come out long before Theater Bizarre, VHS and ABC's Of Death ya know. And before Chillerama, I wrote Hood Of Horror. I tell ya - I think a lot of it has to do with the short attention span of folks these days who are used to quick little vids on YouTube or tweets on Twitter. An anthology film is like a great way to explore lots of different styles and stories and themes within one sitting - often with several different directors - which is actually quite different from the anthology films that inspired me and Adam to create Chillerama - films like House That Dripper Blood, Dr Terror's House Of Horrors, the original British Tales From The Crypt - all those great Amicus classics. They all were done by the same director. Even Creepshow in the 80's was all George Romero. I may be wrong, but until Chillerama, the only horror anthology I can think of with several directors was Spirits Of The Dead from the 60's.

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

TS: Being gay, as a teenager, I was very much aware of the gay subtext in a lot of 'teen angst' films, whether it be subtle such as I Was A Teenage Werewolf, where the main character is wrestling with the 'wild beast inside', or films such as Freddy's Revenge which was not so subtle at all, I mean come on - the scene in the shower with the gym coach and all those whips and leather? So since the whole point of Chillerama was doing it at such a low price that all four of us could literally make whatever we wanted (sort of like when the KISS members all went off and made their own solo albums showcasing their individual personalities), I thought this was the perfect (and maybe only) opportunity for me to make a statement thru comedy, music and horror about how the lack of love and acceptance by society can truly breed monsters- or in this case, werebears. And remember werebears need love too. LOL

HC: Do you think you've created a new horror genre with your story?

TS: I've been told I'm the father of "Queer Fear"! LOL I was at Amoeba Records here in Hollywood the other day, and they now have section called Queer Fear! I Was A Teenage Werebear was the only movie in there! LOL

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

TS: It truly was a fricking blast. Even with all the pressure of the limited budget and shooting schedule, we all had so much fun. Everyone knew exactly what we were making and gave in to the hilarity of it. Just being on the beaches of Malibu with beautiful talented people shooting my personal twisted version of Grease with blood, nakedness and dance numbers? I mean- can I take a time machine back there now please?

HC: Did you all have similar sized budgets?

TS: Not at all. Green shot his for $20k. I shot mine for $35k. Rifkin shot his for about $75k. Then Joe took all the money we saved and hoped to pay ourselves a little bit with and blew it all on zombie puss and excrement. B******d! LOL

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

TS: Honest? I'd rather be part of my own idea! (As in a follow-up to Chillerama, wink-wink.)

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

TS: Thrilled. I am a HUGE fan of Horror Channel and all you guys who run it. You guys are the real deal. You really love this stuff and it shows in the way you run your network. I must say, it is a bit surreal having the movie premiere on the Horror Channel without it being followed up by a proper DVD release. I've been told by the 'powers that be' that no distributor in the UK wants to touch it. Are we really that controversial and politically correct? Guess we've really pushed the boundaries. And that’s why I LOVE the Horror Channel - you guys rush in where others fear to tread!

HC: Would you like to go back to your 2001 Maniacs series?

TS: Ah, 2001 Maniacs. I love my maniacs and miss them deeply. Hell yeah I'd like to go back. The possibilities are endless with where we can go with those characters and the concept. What I'd really love to do is make the third one epic - get every 80's horror icon and divide them up into the north and the south - do a Zombie re-enactment of the Civil War with a bunch of idiot 'victims' caught in the crossfire. Basically what The Expendables is to 80's action icons but with 80's horror icons. I'd bring back brother Robert Englund AND Bill Moseley and have them be the Buckman brothers with Lin Shaye's Granny Boone fighting over them both. Any financiers out there interested? LOL I work cheap! Just ask my Chillerama producers! LOL

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

TS: I've got a couple of things up my sleeve going back to my rock and roll roots of Detroit Rock City. First up, I am writing and directing a film based on The Poet In Exile, the novel written by The Doors co-founder Ray Manzarek that imagines "what if" Jim Morrison had NOT died, and all these years later reaches out to Ray to explain why he faked his death and why he’s coming back. It's a real departure for me from my 'splatstick' projects. It's subject near and dear to my heart and soul, and I am beyond honoured that Ray trusts me to tell this story. I also have a crazy-ass reality show with my pal Gene Simmons – but if I say any more about that, he’ll kill me. So - 'nuff said on that. Lastly I've been asked to develop I Was A Teenage Werebear into a play for the UK stage! I always saw Werebears as a truncated version of a bigger vision. In fact, I designed it with two extra songs and a lot more campiness that worked as a 40 minute stand-alone Hairspray meets Rocky Horror short film, but in the context of Chillerama was way too long.

HC: Tim Sullivan, thank you very much.


Related show tags: CHILLERAMA
MORE INTERVIEWS
Interview with Alexis Kendra, the writer and producer of The Cleaning Lady
Posted on Tuesday 15th June 2021
Alexis Kendra-4

Ahead of Horror Channel's premiere of The Cleaning Lady on June 26, the film's star, writer and producer Alexis Kendra talks about playing a 'Goddess', coping with lockdown and why she can't watch horror films on her own.

HC: The Cleaning Lady is having its channel premiere on Horror Channel. Excited?

AK: I love you guys. Always have, always will. I'm honoured.

HC: It's a very disturbing film, dealing with abuse, addiction and hidden rage, yet the characters are sympathetic and have real depth. It's horror with a twisted heart. As a co-writer, alongside your director Jon Knautz, what were the main challenges in getting the balance right between acting and writing? <...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Jen and Sylvia Soska, directors of Rabid
Posted on Tuesday 1st June 2021
Soska sisiters-WEB-1

Ahead of Horror Channel's premiere of Rabid on June 12, Jen and Sylvia Soska reflect on the challenges of re-imagining Cronenberg's body horror classic, meeting the great man and their new monster movie, Bob.

HC: Rabid is having its channel premiere on Horror Channel. Excited?

SS: The Horror Channel has supported us and our work since the beginning, so it's a special treat to have the newest film premiere there!

Js: We are so excited. Having Rabid on Horror Channel feels like coming home. They've been very kind to us. We are happy to have so many of our films on there.

HC: We all, of course, remember that Rabid was one of David Cronenberg's earli...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Mickey Fisher, creator of sci-fi series Extant
Posted on Thursday 6th May 2021
Mickey Fisher 1

Horror Channel will be continuing its commitment to bringing cult and classic sci-fi to its audience with Seasons 1 and 2 of the CBS Studios/Amblin Television production of Extant, starring Halle Berry as astronaut Molly Woods, who returns home to her family, inexplicably pregnant after 13 months in outer space on a solo mission.

The series begins on Horror May 11th so, we decided to chat to its creator, Mickey Fisher about how the series came to be produced and what it was like working with Hollywood royalty.

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

MF: From the time I was maybe five or six years old I wanted to be an actor. Going to see Star...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Gary J. Tunnicliffe, writer and director of Hellraiser: Judgement
Posted on Saturday 20th February 2021
Gary J. Tunnicliffe doing SFX make-up on the set of Hellraiser Judgement

Director and long-time Hellraiser franchise SFX artist Gary John Tunnicliffe has a new entry into the Hellraiser series for us all to enjoy, Hellraiser: Judgement. Here he chats about this gritty horror.

HC: Was there one person or film which inspired you to want to be in the effects industry?

GJT: I can't remember one film that directly inspired me to be in the effects industry, it would definitely have been around 1982 (when I was 14) when The Thing AND American Werewolf in London came out (as well as a mass of FX laden movies) but more than anything it was when s...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Chee Keong Cheung, director of Redcon-1
Posted on Wednesday 17th February 2021
Director Chee Keong Cheung

Fast-paced British zombie thriller, Redcon-1 will be having its UK TV premiere on Horror on Saturday 20th February so we decided to chat with its writer and director Chee Keong Cheung about this acclaimed movie.

HC: Where did the idea for Redcon-1 come from and are you a fan of zombie movies?

CKC: I'm a huge fan of the zombie genre and in particular, Danny Boyle's '28 Days Later', Zak Snyder's 'Dawn of the Dead' and of course George Romero's original works which helped to pave the way for the genre and was a real inspiration for me growing up. I remember watching 'Saving Private Ryan' and 'Black Hawk Down' on TV and had always been drawn to the men on a m...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Scott Reiniger star of the original Dawn of the Dead
Posted on Sunday 15th November 2020
DAWN_OF_THE_DEAD_3D_BD_SLIPCASE_PACK_ (1)

On the eve of a stunning new 4K box set of George A Romero's Dawn of the Dead from Second Sight Films, we chat to one of its stars, Scott Reiniger about this incredible film.

HC: How did you first become involved with Dawn of the Dead?

SR: Well, I was in New York, I was a stage actor in New York and I went to college with Christine Forrest, who later became George's wife and she asked me if I wanted to audition for this film called Dawn of the Dead, she wanted to know if I knew who George Romero was and I said, "Yeah, he was the guy who directed Night of the Living Dead". So, they sent the script over and I read it and it was pr...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Steve Speirs, star of Concrete Plans
Posted on Sunday 1st November 2020
Concrete Plans poster

Welsh, Scottish and Ukranian dialects clash in Concrete Plans, a stand-out movie from Will Jewell which has just been released by FrightFest Presents via Signature. Its a super and very dark thriller with an outstanding cast headed up by Steve Speirs. Here he chats about this amazing piece.

Be warned this interview contains some spoilers about the movie. If in doubt watch the movie before reading. You have been warned!

HC: Was there one actor of one film you saw when you were younger that made you want to be an actor?

SS: Oh, I've never been asked that actually. When I started to get into watching films, I'd always wanted to be an actor for as long as I can ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Shayne Ward, star of The Ascent
Posted on Thursday 22nd October 2020
SHAYNE WARD NEW PROMO HEADSHOT 2020-6

A special ops team on a mission in a war-torn country find themselves trapped on a never-ending staircase that they must climb - or they die! This is the premise for Tom Paton's superb, action-packed horror The Ascent which is having its UK TV premiere at 9pm on October 23rd. Here its star, Shayne Ward tells all about his career to date and how he became involved in this sci-fi shocker.

HC: How much did the X-Factor change your life?

SW: Oh, like anyone can say who has been on it, who has done well on the show, it does change your life because it catapults you into the limelight, into the public eye. One day you are relatively unknown...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Ryan Kruger, writer and director of Fried Barry
Posted on Sunday 11th October 2020
Fried Barry

Anyone who as been to Grimmfest will know that the team behind the event try their very best to bring to their audience films that challenge and push as many envelopes as possible. Fried Barry from director Ryan Kruger is such a movie. Packed with mind-bending imagery and and emotional punch, this polarizing movie has to be seen just for its creativity and strong storytelling. Here, Ryan chats about this incredible movie.

HC: Where did Fried Barry come from?

RK: Fried Barry was born out of total frustration where I was in my career. I am known in South Africa as a music video director for doing narrative story telling within music vids and sharp visuals. Although I al...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Deiondre Teagle, star of Death Ranch
Posted on Sunday 11th October 2020
thumbnail_Brandon Blood

Grimmfest 2020 is packed with new talent and one actor that stands out is Deiondre Teagle who styars in Charlie Steeds' grindhouse homage, Death Ranch. Here Deiondre explains his role and what it was like being part of such a bold movie.

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

DT: I've definitely known my whole life I've wanted to be an actor. One of my favourite movies of all time is the original Men In Black. When I was little (about 3 or 4 years old), I would re-watch my VHS copy of that movie over and over and over again. I would re-enact every scene. Since then, my love for acting and film has just grown. I have such a love for the...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Faith Monique, star of Death Ranch
Posted on Sunday 11th October 2020
FAITH MONIQUE INTERVIEW PHOTO

Grimmfest 2020 is packed with world premieres and none so bold as Charlie Steed's Death Ranch. We chatted to one of its main stars, Faith Monique about her role in this brutal and brilliant movie.

HC: Was there one person you saw at a young age who inspired you to want to become an actress?

FM: Funny fact, I grew up without a TV! So, at a young age, I never had an actor that inspired me and to this day I still don't. Acting did not become a dream of mine until 2016 and for inspiration, I like to dig deep into my own soul to find truth to bring into each character.

HC: Are you a big fan of horror movies and were you aware of grindhouse and e...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Charlie Steeds, writer and director of Death Ranch
Posted on Saturday 10th October 2020
CHARLIE STEEDS EDITED-23

Horror movies and controversy always go hand in hand but when they tackle serious issues by using extreme violence to hammer home a point they can be very worthy. Death Ranch from Charlie Steeds is having its world premiere at Grimmfest so we chatted to him about this very strong movie.

HC: What inspired you to write Death Ranch?

CS: I'd always wanted to try making a movie with a 70s Grindhouse/Exploitation style and was watching old Grindhouse trailers for inspiration. I came across the movie Brotherhood of Death, where black characters fight back against the KKK for some of the film (the tagline is 'Watch these brothers stick it to the Klan!') and that conce...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interviews Archive: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
John Carpenter's Vampires
JOHN CARPENTER'S VAMPIRES
Friday 6th August
10.45 PM
Village Of The Damned
VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED
Saturday 14th August
10.55 PM
Star Trek: Voyager
STAR TREK: VOYAGER
Monday 16th August
7.00 PM