LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Exclusive Interview With FrightFest Man Paul McEvoy
By James Whittington, Tuesday 20th July 2010
Paul McEvoy is a man of many talents. Not only is he part of the crew who deliver FrightFest every year, was part of the team behind The Cinema Store chain and is one of the newest additions to the team here at the Horror Channel. With FrightFest 2010 only a matter of weeks away, we decided to chat to this enigmatic chap.
HC: Can you recall when your interest in cinema and particularly horror cinema began?
PM: It would have been very early on. The key turning point film, following years of watching and loving TV fare such as Doctor Who, The Tomorrow People and Children Of The Stones, was watching Don’t Look Now. The film and especially its shock to the system ending scared me so much I had to sleep in my parent’s bed that night. The ending kept replaying in my very young and fragile mind.
HC: How did you get The Cinema Store going?
PM: It started with my friend Neil Palmer and I travelling the length and breadth of the country selling magazines and posters at every single film fair and comic convention. This grew to incorporate a small mail order business. This in turn prompted us to open a small shop on Monmouth Street in Covent Garden, London. This became too busy so we opened the two multi-level stores on Upper Saint Martins Lane. We have always sold a very wide range of exclusive merchandise form all areas of film and TV that you just can’t buy anywhere else. Having been around the world seeking out such stores I can honestly say that it is the very best place to get film memorabilia under one roof. Although now because of my other commitments I no longer have any involvement with the stores.
HC: How did you, Ian, Paul and Greg (the other members of the FrightFest Gang of Four) create FrightFest?
PM: It was spawned from a one off beach holiday that I took with my then girlfriend. By the swimming pool I had a sudden flash of strange inspiration which I wrote down in full and detailed form there and then - from the people I wanted/needed to get involved, to the format and what I would personally want from a festival. This was born from my frustrations that no one was doing a genre event in the UK at that time, or at least that I was aware of. My favourite festival before that was Alan Jones and Stefan Jaworzyn’s seminal Shock Around The Clock events which lead to the NFT based Fantasm events – but for various reasons they were no longer in existence.
HC: FrightFest is much larger now than it was when it started, there’s no way any of you could have expected it to grow into such a huge and respected event?
PM: A very good question. I think me, Alan and Ian Rattray always hoped that it would be a must attend staple of the genre fans annual calendar. All I can remember from the get go way back in 1999 when we were putting the first event together is that we wanted to create something that we as fans would want to attend. I am the audience – and the audience is THE most important consideration at all times. The best films, guests, atmosphere, surprises, freebies etc. So it all came together.
HC: How do you start to put a FrightFest programme together?
PM: It almost feels like we have been putting FF together since 1999 non-stop! As each year’s event ends we are already seeking out and planning the next years. In fact this years main event announcement came just as I had locked two of the key movies for our expanded Empire Screen 2 based Halloween event…so it really is never ending.
HC: Was this year’s selection of movies hard to choose?
PM: There was the usual tears and tantrums over certain selections as always, we all get so passionate about the films. Also some films just weren’t ready in time and we had a couple fall out for political and release pattern reasons at the 11th hour – but these are now scheduled for future London and Glasgow based FrightFest events.
HC: You have gone back to your Independent roots, why is this?
PM: A combination of the lack of truly exciting product from Hollywood at the moment and the fact that our core audience seem to respond more to our choices that at the time many have never even heard of …recent examples like The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Let The Right One In, The Human Centipede and many, many more that have thrilled the FF audience in the past spring to mind.
HC: What jewels should ticket holders look out for this year?
PM: So many… Monsters – a low budget UK SF film is sensational on all levels, The Loved Ones … Australia is the new France in terms of exciting genre product.
HC: Do you have a personal favourite in this years line up?
PM: A very tough choice – I love so many of the films – I think the World Premiere of Johannes Robert’s, F will be amazing a cross between Ils and Assault On Precinct 13 in a school. The most fun afternoon will be the FrightFest International Short Film Showcase with 14 shorts from around the world along with Andy Nyman’s audience interactive extravaganza Andy Nyman’s Quiz From Hell.
HC: What are your five favourite FrightFest films?
PM: For various reasons… Audition, Battle Royale, Land Of The Dead, Old Boy, Switchblade Romance, Let The Right One In, Donnie Darko, Martyrs, Pan’s Labyrinth, Hatchet, Giallo, ooops that’s more than five but I could go on!
HC: Do you have a single stand out moment from the first 10 years of FrightFest?
PM: The double header of Guillermo del Toro introducing Pan’s Labyrinth to the first audience outside of Cannes – and saying that this was the films premiere. Edgar Wright screening an especially cut FrightFest exclusive trailer for the then in production Shaun Of The Dead and Danny Boyle and his team world premiering the first 20 ungraded and unmixed minutes from 28 Days Later to a shocked spellbound audience.
HC: FrightFest is a world renowned brand now, what next do you have for it?
PM: We take each year as it comes – so who knows? The latest development has been the free E-zine which is very exciting and seems to have been received brilliantly by the fans, industry and film-makers.
HC: Can you tell us a bit about your position here at the Horror Channel?
PM: I’m really excited by this new role and it is a match made in heaven or perhaps hell. Through my film company and industry talent contacts I can hopefully bring to the channel some exciting and innovative ideas. Some exciting things to watch out for is Director’s Night where we film introductions to three films by horror directors. So far we have done Jake West, the Zombie Diaries chaps Kevin Gates and Michael Bartlett, Joe Dante which is coming soon and Tim Sullivan. Other outstanding Horror Channel highlights include a Dario Argento season with special filmed intros by Alan Jones, the UK premiere of Joe Dante’s audience interactive series Splatter and a brilliant David Lynch series of special events including screenings of Eraserhead, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and Lost Highway. Along with both seasons of Twin Peaks which is now in its 20th anniversary year and hasn’t been shown in the UK for ages. So the next few months are going to be sensational for the channel! Watch this space… literally!
HC: Paul McEvoy, thank you very much.
MORE ARTICLES 12 Hour Shift score coming to vinyl in November
Posted in News, Friday 25th September 2020
Festival fave 12 Hour Shift is a stunning 2020 American black comedy, horror, thriller film written and directed by Brea Grant and stars Angela Bettis, Kit Williamson, and David Arquette.
Already a massive hit across the globe the film concentrates on Bettis who plays Mandy, a drug-addicted nurse involved in a black market organ-trading scheme. But things turn ugly across her night shift and she has more to deal with than moaning hospital patients!
Burning Witches Records will release the superb score from Matt Glass on limited edition Scrubs green vinyl with download card and insert print with liner notes by Glass and Brea Grant plus artwork from Ben Turner. The movie is out on V...SHARE: READ MORE Arrow Video FrightFest cancels October Cineworld event midst growing COVID restrictions
Posted in Frightfest, Wednesday 23rd September 2020
Arrow Video FrightFest will go virtual for the second time in 2020, having taken the difficult decision to cancel its planned physical event at the Cineworld, Leicester Square. due to continuing COVID restrictions making the event socially, practically and commercially untenable. The digital edition will run over the same days, from October 22-25 October, and will combine the in-cinema and proposed Halloween digital event into one online festival experience.
Ian Rattray, co-director, said today: "It's with a heavy heart that we announce the cancellation of the Cineworld event. Although cinemas are not affected by the new hospitality rules, it was the tipping point in...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel to present a Halloween double-bill of Corin Hardy's The Hallow and Ante Novakovic's Fright Fest.
Posted in Features, Tuesday 15th September 2020
October boasts eleven premieres on Horror Channel, including a hellish Halloween night double-bill of Corin Hardy's impressive Irish monster movie debut The Hallow and Ante Novakovic's rampant Halloween slasher Fright Fest. Both channel premieres will be broadcast on Saturday 31 October, at 9pm and 10.55pm respectively.
There are also four prime-time UK premieres: Demon chiller Firstborn, with Misfits star Antonia Laura Thomas, hashtag horror Selfie From Hell, the haunting, award-winning Echoes Of Fear and the pint-sized gold-digger is back in the sequel, Leprechaun Returns.
There are five further channel premieres: Pet, a twisted tale of obsession and ...SHARE: READ MORE Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula to open Arrow Video FrightFest October 2020
Posted in Frightfest, Thursday 10th September 2020
Four years after Train to Busan was voted the most popular FrightFest Closing Night film ever, comes the hotly anticipated stand-alone sequel, Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula, which will open this year's Arrow Video FrightFest October event, courtesy of Studiocanal. The film will play on Thursday October 22, 6pm, across three screens at the Cineworld, Leicester Square.
FrightFest co-director Alan Jones commented: "Ask any die-hard FrightFester what their favourite ever Closing Night film was and they will say the fabulous Train to Busan. The continuous standing ovations, cheers and applause engendered by our sell-out screenings of that ins...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with the legendary actress Lin Shaye about being part of The Horror Crowd
Posted in Frightfest, Interviews, Wednesday 9th September 2020 Lin Shaye is an actress that need no introduction. Her screen work over the last few decades has seen her appear in countless movies such as Nightmare on Elm Street, Critters or more recently the Insidious series of movies. Here she chats about her career and her why she appeared in Ruben Pla's superb doc, The Horror Crowd.
HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be an actress?
LS: No, I never had the dream. Ever. I had the need to tell stories and from a very young age and my dad, when he tucked me in a night we would tell what we would call "Candyland Stories" and they were stories about a little girl named Linda, and they would start when she was just falling to sleep...SHARE: READ MORE The Walking Dead Delux gets six Charlie Adlard connecting covers
Posted in News, Wednesday 9th September 2020
Image/Skybound Entertainment is pleased to reveal a series of six highly collectible, connecting variant covers by Charlie Adlard, which will be unleashed over the course of the first story arc of The Walking Dead Deluxe full color editions. The iconic independent series that took the entertainment world by storm 17 years ago, The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman (Fire Power, Oblivion Song) and Charlie Adlard (Vampire State Building) will be reissued starting in October as The Walking Dead Deluxe and fully colored by Dave McCaig.
Deluxe editions of the series will also feature a variety of other variants including covers by David Finch, Tony Moore, Jul...SHARE: READ MORE Dawn of the Dead "the zombie movie to end 'em all" rises again in Limited Edition 4K UHD and Limited Edition Blu-ray
Posted in News, Wednesday 9th September 2020
This Autumn, Second Sight Films presents the horror release to end all horror releases. Fans, aficionados and collectors are in for a treat as horror maestro George A. Romero's long-awaited, highly anticipated Dawn of the Dead, finally gets the home entertainment release it deserves.
Widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest horror films of all time, this seminal work has been painstakingly restored and arrives in two separate format releases: Dawn Of The Dead Limited Edition 4K UHD and Dawn Of The Dead Limited Edition Blu-ray on 16 November.
Both Box Sets arrive in stunning packaging featuring the original iconic poster art...SHARE: READ MORE Look to the skies... in November for Mothra on Blu-ray
Posted in News, Monday 7th September 2020
Eureka Entertainment to release Mothra, Ishiro Honda's stunningly inventive monster adventure-fantasy, on home video for the first time in the UK. Available on Blu-ray from 16 November as part of The Masters of Cinema Series in a Limited Edition set of only 3000 copies, featuring a Hardbound Case, 60-page Perfect Bound Collector's Book & Reversible Poster.
One of the most iconic Japanese kaiju, Mothra has appeared in over a dozen feature films. Presented here is her debut, a gloriously vibrant piece of filmmaking that forever changed how kaiju eiga would be produced in Japan.
Following reports of human life on Infant Island, the supposedly deserted site of at...SHARE: READ MORE New label, Danse Macabre is coming soon
Posted in News, Saturday 5th September 2020
Jinga Films have announced the launch of their new distribution arm, Danse Macabre. Under the Jinga umbrella, Danse Macabre will be focused on the distribution of horror films in the English speaking territories, UK, Ireland, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Danse Macabre will also act as a horror sales sub-label within Jinga Films whilst Jinga itself expands to include a wider range of genres, including arthouse.
Much like Jinga Films, Danse Macabre is co-owned by Julian Richards and Rosana Coutinho. Julian was thrilled to confirm the news. "Danse Macabre will be the home for horror, run by horror fans for horror fans. We travel the world, select the best films and will br...SHARE: READ MORE The Circus of Horrors is coming to town
Posted in News, Saturday 5th September 2020
A gem of classic 60s horror and an early example of British exploitation cinema, Circus of Horrors will be released on Blu-ray for the first time, fully restored with new bonus content, courtesy of Studiocanal's Vintage Classics Collection on 12th October.
Starring Anton Diffring (Beast Must Die, The Man Who Could Cheat Death), Erika Remberg (Mord in Rio), Yvonne Monlaur (The Brides of Dracula), Donald Pleasence (Halloween) and directed by Sidney Hayers (Night of the Eagle) from a screenplay by George Baxt, Circus of Horrors, with its depiction of voluptuous scantily-clad women meeting violent and sadistic ends amidst the lurid backdrop of the circus, is considered to be the third f...SHARE: READ MORE The Moorcock Library: Elric The Eternal Champion Collection
Posted in News, Saturday 5th September 2020
Seminal sword and sorcery author Michael Moorcock weaves stunning blend of magic, heroism, and wonder as his legendary Eternal Champion Elric features in two rarely seen adventures, featuring artwork from legendary French artist Phillippe Druillet.
Based on Michael Moorcock's beloved original stories, through the brilliant artistry of James Cawthorne this book revisits and reimagines his iconic hero, Elric of Melnibone, nearly fifty years after his inception. Elric has been continuously in print since the 1970's, and has been a staple character in pop culture, having appeared in comics, album covers, song lyrics, and even role-playing games.
Essential reading for all fans o...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Steve Villeneuve, director of Hail to the Deadites
Posted in Frightfest, Interviews, Thursday 3rd September 2020 FrightFest 2020 delivered some incredibly entertaining and informative documentaries. Hail to the Deadites from Steve Villeneuve is a celebration of the the Evil Dead series of movies and truly gets under the skin of what the franchise means to those who created it and those who are mega fans! Here Steve talks about this amazing doc.
HC: Can you recall the first time you saw an Evil Dead movie and what it was that grabbed your attention?SV: I guess I was 13. I actually saw Army of Darkness first on television. Years later, spot the cover of Evil Dead 2 in a video store. Then, rent Evil Dead one without knowing it was the first film because here in Quebec, The Evil Dead is ca... SHARE: READ MORE Articles Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 PICK OF THE WEEK
Sunday 4th October
Monday 5th October
Wednesday 30th September