ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Interview with D.M. Cunningham, writer and director of The Spore
By James Whittington, Saturday 16th October 2021
DMC_SetPic copy

If you like your horror with a huge lashing of gruesome effects and a strong story then The Spore is for. Showing at Grimmfest Online, the movie from D.M. Cunningham is a smart take on the body horror genre. Here he chats about this movie which is guaranteed to get under your skin.

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

DM: I started out wanting to be a makeup effects artist. After seeing Night of the Living Dead and discovering Fangoria magazine I was hooked. Tom Savini was a huge influence on my trajectory toward becoming a filmmaker. It wasn't until later that I discovered that you could boss the monsters around on set being the director. That's when I was like, oh, that's what I want to do!

HC: Where did the idea for the movie come from?

DM: Originally I had this idea to have a cleaning lady get infected while cleaning some old house. Then I heard this news report (might have been on NPR) about the melting ice in places like Antarctica and the possibility of toxic spores getting released into the air from millions of years ago that had been frozen. That sent me into a spiral of ideas.

HC: Did it take long to write?

DM: It was written in a few months. The segments of the movie presented themselves in waves. And we actually started filming before the last segment was fully written. We took a page out of Roger Corman's book there. Let's just go and figure it out!

HC: Was it all shot on location?

DM: Yes. It was shot in Lowell, Michigan. 90% of it was shot on Keith Golinski's (Producing partner and DoP) property. He has these wonderful 20+ acres of land with cabins and roads. It's like our own personal back lot. We wrapped the movie a week before we were shut down in the US. Mid march of 2020.

HC: Were you limited by budget at all?

DM: We're independent filmmakers, so that would be a resounding yes! But, those limitations really force you to be creative and use your resources. It's challenging and fun and always keeps you on your toes.

HC: The first half an hour has little dialogue but is such a thrilling section of the movie, were you nervous that that set up wouldn't work at all?

DM: Thank you for saying that! If this were a studio movie I would have been fired for doing that! When you make independent films you have a lot of space to experiment. Since we were producing this film and it was a bit of a Hail Mary pass we just went for it. Some people may not like it at all, but the response to it so far has been very positive.

HC: The cast go through some rough moments, what was the atmosphere like on set?

DM: The filming of the movie was a riot. Everyone was in great spirits and really had a good time. It was tough at times because of the heat in the summer and the bitter cold in the early winter while filming, but everyone was a trooper and made it a great filming experience.

HC: There's some incredible SFX here, which one was the most complicated to realise?

DM: Thank you! All those years doing makeup effects on films and TV shows really prepped Brian and I to do these effects. I would say the Wendy piece (Laura Golinski in the cabin) was the most work. That had the most parts. Appliances, puppet stomach piece, spore goobers attached to the floor and walls and Brian trapped in the corner behind Laura working the mouth.

HC: Do you prefer writing or directing?

DM: I prefer both for different reasons. Writing is awesome. I love creating a story. I often listen to soundtracks and drink lots of coffee in the early morning to write. That's my time of day. But after you've spent months in solitary confinement writing, you really need to get out and socialize and realize that vision. Directing lets me work out all those ideas from the page and bring it to life. And if I may add, the post-production process for me is something I really enjoy as I edit and compose music (with my band mate Chad Cherry in Dreaming In Neon). The movies take on a whole other life then. I always say you make a movie three times. Write, Direct, and Edit.

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

DM: I'm finishing up our latest feature 3 Demons (that we shot during the pandemic) and prepping it for delivery to the distributor. That one should be out in the first half of 2022.

HC: D.M Cunningham, thank you very much.

DM: Thank you so much! I greatly appreciate it.


MORE ARTICLES
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...

SHARE: READ MORE
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...

SHARE: READ MORE
Finally, Argento's masterpiece to get 4K restoration release
Posted in News, Saturday 4th December 2021
46601_2_PHENOMENA_EXPLODED_PACK_UK_V12

From master of horror Dario Argento (Suspiria, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage) comes Phenomena - one of his most eccentric and unique thrillers, featuring telepathic insects, maggots galore, and even a razor-wielding chimp!

Jennifer Corvino (Jennifer Connelly), daughter of a world-renowned movie star, arrives in the so-called "Swiss Transylvania" to attend an exclusive girls' school. However, a vicious killer is targeting the pupils, and sleepwalker Jennifer finds herself in the assassin's headlights when her nocturnal wanderings cause her to witness the death of a fellow pupil. Aided by paraplegic entomologist John McGregor (Donald Plea...

SHARE: READ MORE
Video nasty classic Don't Go in the House will reopen next year
Posted in News, Saturday 4th December 2021
47326_2_DONT_GO_IN_THE_HOUSE_OCARD_2D

A legendary title from the Video Nasties era, Joseph Ellison's relentlessly bleak and disturbing Don't Go In The House has lost none of its power to shock in the decades since it was first censored by the BBFC and seized by UK authorities.

Donny Kohler (The Sopranos' Dan Grimaldi in a gripping central performance), a disturbed loner unhealthily obsessed with fire, comes home from his factory job one day to find his abusive mother has died. Now all alone in the large Gothic mansion he calls home and consumed in an inferno of insanity, he is finally able to fulfil his violent revenge fantasies against her. Soon, any woman unlucky enough to enter...

SHARE: READ MORE
Hammer returns from the grave!
Posted in News, Wednesday 1st December 2021
Woman in Black (photo c Hammer Films)[3]

Network Distributing has concluded a deal with Hammer Films to form Hammer Studios Ltd. The new company will manage and control Hammer's interests in its substantial library of content such as The Woman in Black (2012), Let Me In (2010), Dracula (1958), The Abominable Snowman (1957) and The Quatermass Experiment (1953), and will see heavy investment both in restoration and new production development from both its owned and newly created IP.

Network's Managing Director Tim Beddows and Financial Director Jonathan Lack, and Hammer's CEO Simon Oakes will head the new company.

Network Managing Director Tim Beddows said: 'This partnersh...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel premieres zombie musical Anna And The Apocalypse on Xmas Day
Posted in Features, Tuesday 30th November 2021
Anna & the Apocalypse-WEB2

There is a Xmas Day treat in store for genre fans, with the Horror Channel premiere of Anna And The Apocalypse, a pure gore delight with a mental, maniacal and magical edge. John McPhail's infectious zombie musical stars Ella Hunt, Mark Benton and Paul Kaye.

Anna is looking forward to the end of high school. But while her widowed father dreams of university, she has other plans - jet-setting around the world to experience life before settling down. Suddenly a zombie apocalypse threatens her sleepy Scottish town, forcing Anna and friends to struggle, slash and sing their way to survival, facing the living dead in a desperate race to reach their loved ones. Shaun O...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel unwraps eight UK TV premieres for December including Tales From The Lodge, Aquaslash and Sacrifice
Posted in Features, Tuesday 16th November 2021
Horror Channel Dec highlights - tweet banner

Horror Channel comes bearing gory gifts for the Xmas season, presenting eight UK TV premieres, including Abigail Blackmore's gruesome and comically dark Tales From The Lodge, starring Mackenzie Crook, Sophie Thompson and Johnny Vegas, cosmic chiller Sacrifice, starring horror icon Barbara Crampton and Aquaslash, a mad exploitation slasher harking back to the classic 1980s era of gushing blood and teenage turmoil.

Also showing for the first time on British TV are Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead's romantic body horror Spring, Greg McLean's supernatural horror The Darkness, starring Kevin Bacon, deadly thriller, Desolation, Brit mon...

SHARE: READ MORE
Swallow to get an extra special release.
Posted in News, Monday 15th November 2021
Swallow Cover

Second Sight is delighted to announce Carlo Mirabella-Davis' visually stunning, critically acclaimed feature debut Swallow is set to receive a fantastic Limited Edition Blu-ray Box set release, complete with a slew of fascinating new bonus content this November.

Haley Bennett (Hillbilly Elegy) gives an outstanding performance as Hunter a young woman who on the surface appears to have it all, the handsome, successful husband, the idyllic house, and a baby on the way. But is her life as perfect as it seems? As domineering husband Richie (Austin Stowell), and his overbearing family put pressure on Hunter to play the dutiful wife, she becomes overwhelmed and powerless. Desperate to reclaim contr...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel takes off with premiere of action series Airwolf from Thursday 25 November
Posted in Features, Thursday 11th November 2021

Horror Channel is dedicated to bringing great cult action thrillers to its audience and this trend continues with Season 1 of the 1984 US military drama series Airwolf, created by Donald P. Bellisario and produced over four seasons.

A renegade helicopter pilot, Stringfellow Hawke, played by Jan-Michael Vincent, is given the chance to know the whereabouts of his imprisoned brother if he conducts daring missions for a shadowy intelligence agency. Hid first mission is to go to Libya and steal back a high-technology military helicopter, code-named Airwolf, at all costs. With its riveting, high-tech, battle scenes, AIRWOLF is consid...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel invaded by week of Sci-Fi Horror
Posted in Features, Wednesday 3rd November 2021

Horror Channel goes extra-terrestrial with Sci-Fear Week (Saturday 20th to Friday 26th, 9pm), in which strange science, terrifying tech and insidious invasions takes control, highlighted by the Channel premiere of jolting sci-fi thriller The Last Days On Mars, starring Liev Schreiber, Romola Garai and Olivia Williams. It also includes the channel premieres of 1980 British science fiction movie Saturn 3, which stars Farrah Fawcett, Kirk Douglas and Harvey Keitel and XTRO, an unsettling slice of Sci-Fi Horror and one of the few British films that landed on the UK film censors' infamous 'Video Nasty' list. The week also includes Scanners, Ce...

SHARE: READ MORE
One for your Christmas list, the new book from Kim Newman
Posted in News, Wednesday 27th October 2021
Something More Than The Night Cover

From the award-winning author of Anno Dracula comes a masterclass in wit and cinematic vision as the legendary maestro of horror teams together two icons of page and silver screen in a daring and horrifying tale that puts a twist on the genre, as only Kim Newman can. Something More Than Night promises to be a genre-bending horror thriller that brings together two icons of the 1930s.

Hollywood, the late 1930s. Raymond Chandler writes detective stories for pulp magazines. Boris Karloff plays monsters in the movies. Both understand that these streets are dark with something more than night. Under Home House, the mock gothic mock mansion of a film mogul, is a mad science du...

SHARE: READ MORE
88Films to release the classic euro horror The Doll of Satan
Posted in News, Tuesday 26th October 2021
The Doll of Satan

After her uncle dies unexpectedly, Elizabeth Balljanon inherits his sprawling castle. The walls are crumbling, the electricity doesn't work and there's a fully equipped torture chamber in the cellars but interior decoration is the least of her worries: a black-gloved killer haunts the halls at night and, even worse, the tales she's been told about the castle's ghosts might not be stories after all...

Part giallo, part modern-dress Gothic, The Doll of Satan is a gloriously ripe slice of Italian horror, heady with atmosphere and steamy eroticism too. 88 Films has rediscovered this genre gem and given it a superb HD release in the UK for the very first time.

Extras...

SHARE: READ MORE
Articles Archive: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
The Darkness
THE DARKNESS
Saturday 11th December
9.00 PM
Lake Placid: The Final Chapter
LAKE PLACID: THE FINAL CHAPTER
Monday 6th December
9.00 PM
The Quiet Ones
THE QUIET ONES
Sunday 12th December
10.50 PM