ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Exclusive Interview With FrightFest Man Paul McEvoy
By James Whittington, Tuesday 20th July 2010

Paul McEvoyPaul 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 INTERVIEWS
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
Interview with Chris Bavota, co-director of Dead Dicks
Posted on Sunday 6th October 2019
ChrisBavota_DeadDicks

Horror is the perfect genre for getting across very serious issues. Dead Dicks, which is showing at Grimmfest today does exactly that by looking at the sensitive subject of mental health. Here co-director Chris Bavota talks about this intriguing movie.

HC: How did you and co-writer and co-director Lee Paula Springer first meet?

CB: In case people don't know, Lee and I have been married for almost 10 years and we have 2 young daughters. Making movies somehow came as a natural evolution of that but wasn't really a part of our lives until about three or four years ago. We originally met back around 2004 through a mutual friend and honestly, we didn't really ge...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interviews Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
The Unspoken
THE UNSPOKEN
Monday 24th February
9.00 PM
The Grudge
THE GRUDGE
Thursday 20th February
9.00 PM
Dr Terror's House of Horrors
DR TERROR'S HOUSE OF HORRORS
Sunday 23rd February
6.35 PM