FEATURES

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 FEATURES
Horror Channel launches assault of premieres for June plus further seasons of Farscape
Posted on Thursday 12th May 2022

Ryan Simon's British supernatural chiller Demon Eye, starring Darren Day, and Liam Fox, and Brad Baruh's Coen-sequel mystery thriller Night Drive, starring AJ Bowen and Sophie Dalah, both receive Friday night UK TV premieres on Horror Channel.

There are also channel premieres for John Carpenter's cult classic Assault On Precinct 13 and Finnish-German sci-fi Nazi horror spoof Iron Sky: The Coming Race, directed by Timo Vuorensola (Iron Sky) and starring Udo Kier, reprising his role as Adolf Hitler.

Plus, cult classic Farscape returns with the channel premieres of Season 3 and 4. This Australian-American Sci-Fi TV series, created by Rockne S. O'Bannon, has proved a big hit with Horror...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel celebrates history of genre cinema with The Vintage Vault
Posted on Thursday 21st April 2022

Starting in May, Horror Channel journeys into the history of genre cinema with The Vintage Vault, which will present double-bills of classic sci-fi and horror films every Sunday night.

The season premieres on Sunday May 1st with The Invisible Man, in which Claude Rains delivers a remarkable performance in his screen debut. This is paired with Bride Of Frankenstein, the celebrated sequel to the 1931 classic with Boris Karloff reprising his role as the monster. Then on Sunday May 8th, we have Christy Cabanne's frightening chiller masterpiece The Mummy's Hand, followed by Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman, featuring the original Wolf...

SHARE: READ MORE
Kim Newman dares to check out this weekend's Classic Sci-Fi event
Posted on Thursday 14th April 2022
Kim Newman

Respected journalist, film critic, and fiction writer Kim Newman takes us through the celebrated B-movies joining Horror for our Classic Sci-Fi Weekend event running from 16th-17th of April.

The Horror Channel returns to a decade riven with fears of devastating climate change, imminent global war, mutating diseases and general paranoia... albeit in black and white, with miniature effects and make-up masks rather than CGI and the kind of urgency that means world-menacing phenomena can be invoked, allowed to run rampage and then dispelled in well under ninety minutes of crisp, sometimes poetic, sometimes bombastic melodrama.

The times weren't really simpler, and neither were the movies i...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel reveals raft of UK TV premieres for May plus channel premieres for Dalek movies
Posted on Thursday 7th April 2022
May prems-twitter image

Stewart Sparke's award-winning dark comedic monster movie Book of Monsters and Audrey Cummings's grisly chuckler She Never Died, starring Olunike Adeliyi, are amongst the raft of Saturday night UK TV premieres on Horror Channel during May.

Also in prime-time slots are the UK TV premieres of gruesome action thriller Becky and Henry Jacobson's stylish crime chiller Bloodline, starring Seann William Scott. There is also a Channel premiere for Peter Medak's classic supernatural horror The Changeling, starring George C. Scott.

Plus, there are channel premieres for Dr Who and The Daleks and Daleks Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. The films star Peter Cushing as Dr Who and al...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel adds Channel premiere of Farscape to Sci-Fi Zone from Monday 4 April
Posted on Wednesday 30th March 2022

Horror Channel is dedicated to bringing great cult sci-fi programmes to its audience and this trend continues with the channel premiere of Season 1 of the 1999 Australian-American Sci-Fi TV series Farscape, created by Rockne S, O'Bannon and produced over four seasons.

Astronaut John Crichton (ben Browder), on an experimental space mission, is accidentally hurled across the universe to the midst of an intergalactic conflict. Taken on board Moya, a huge bio-mechanoid "living ship" desperately trying to escape captivity, Crichton is trapped among alien creatures wielding deadly technology and hunted by a merciless military race. H...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel celebrates Sci-Fi B-Movies with a second Classic Sci-Fi Weekend in April
Posted on Tuesday 22nd March 2022

It's back to terrify once more! Horror Channel once again celebrates the Sci-fi B-movie world of strange creatures, alien invaders and weird science with Classic Sci-Fi Weekend 2, a follow-up TV special to the popular Classic Sci-fi weekend broadcast in April 2020. The fifties are acknowledged as the Golden Age for Sci-fi movies and Horror Channel has picked ten of the most iconic, which will be broadcast on Saturday 16th April and Sunday 17th April.

The season includes five channel premieres: the heart-pounding Alien invasion classic It Came From Outer Space, pulp-horror favourite Tarantula, featuring an uncredited Clint Eastw...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel reveals raft of UK TV premieres for April
Posted on Tuesday 15th March 2022
April Banner

Rob W King's gripping dystopian thriller The Humanity Bureau, starring Nicolas Cage, and Rob Grant's twisted survival drama, Alive, starring Angus MacFadyen, are amongst the raft of Saturday night UK TV premieres on Horror Channel during April.

Also in prime-time 9pm slots are the UK TV premieres of Owen Egerton's supernatural horror Mercy Black and Jonathan Zarantonello's sinister, psychological thriller The Butterfly Room, starring Barbara Steele and Ray Wise.

Plus, Padraig Reynolds's suspense-filled neo slasher Open 24 Hours, starring Vanessa Grasse, gets its channel premiere.

Here's all you need to know:

Our first UK TV premiere of the month arrives on the 2n...

SHARE: READ MORE
I am not a number. I am a free man! The Prisoner tries to escape this March on Horror
Posted on Tuesday 1st March 2022
The Prisoner-socialmedia-1

Horror Channel is dedicated to bringing great cult thrillers to its audience and this trend continues with The Prisoner, a taut psycho-thriller about a secret agent who retires and finds himself thrown into a Kafka-esque world of mindplay and enigma - a man known only as No. 6.

A major cult following has built up around one of the most inventive and ground-breaking TV series ever produced. Multi-talented and twice winner of an Emmy, Patrick McGoohan who stars, also created and produced the series and wrote and directed many of the episodes.

Produced by Everyman Films for distribution by Lew Grade's ITC Entertainment, a single series of seventeen episodes wa...

SHARE: READ MORE
A tasty release from Burning Witches Records, A Banquet
Posted on Saturday 19th February 2022
A-Banquet-OST_Cover-Artwork_final+small

On March 11th, London based composer, sound designer and recording artist CJ Mirra releases the OST to IFC Midnight and Hanway Film's A Banquet, which premieres at Cinemas on the same date. A limited run of Pea Green vinyl will be available via Burning Witches Records .

A Banquet is a visually arresting, slow-burning psychological horror that uses subtle supernatural elements to create tension within a family in the midst of a breakdown, exploiting the complicated bond between three generations of mothers and daughters. Variety likens it to Lars Von Tries' Melancholia and Jeff Nichol's Take Shelter. A Banquet sees composer CJ Mirra reunite with...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel announces Killer Thriller week for March
Posted on Tuesday 15th February 2022
Killer THriller Week

Horror Channel turns up the tension in March with Killer Thriller Week, featuring the UK premiere of mystery thriller Paradise Cove, staring Mena Suvari and the channel premiere of cat-and-mouse road thriller Cop Car, starring Kevin Bacon. The ultimate 7-day suspense ride also includes Gus Van Sant's revival of the Hitchcock classic Psycho (1988), the 2014 version of erotic thriller The Loft starring Karl Urban, Colin Minihan's deliciously warped What Keeps You Alive, Rod Lurie's 2011 pulsating remake of Straw Dogs and Bad Samaritan, starring a cunningly murderous David Tennant.

Plus, there are four additional UK TV premieres, highlighted by the late Johnny Kevorkian's last fi...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel announces raft of premieres for February
Posted on Thursday 13th January 2022
The Midnight Man - WEB1

February on Horror Channel keeps genre fans alive with the UK TV premiere of What Keeps You Alive - another suspenseful knife to the throat of 21st Century genre cinema from the deliciously warped mind of Colin Minihan, director of It Stains The Sand Red.

And expect more total shock and abject terror in the UK TV premiere of Paul Hyett's sinister sci-fi horror fantasy Peripheral. This twisted cross between Ex Machina and Videodrome boasts an astonishing performance from Hannah Arterton.

Plus, there are channel premieres for the gore-filled, stomach-churning zombie chiller Death Trench, Producer M. Night Shyamalan's claustrophobic supernatural thriller Devil, the...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel ushers in 2022 with zombie invasions
Posted on Tuesday 21st December 2021

Evil-Dead II-WEB2

January weekends on Horror Channel are invaded by the undead with the UK TV premiere of Lin Oeding's newly-flavoured zombie horror-comedy Office Uprising, and the two highly acclaimed Zombie apocalypse road movies - Stake Land, receiving its Channel premiere, and the sequel The Stakelander, enjoying a UK TV premiere.

Plus, there are channel premieres for the bone-chilling The Wretched, directed by The Pierce Brothers, Sam Raimi's classic Evil Dead 2, once again starring the demon battling Brue Campbell and the original Dolph Lundgrem/Jean-Claude Van Damme futuristic thriller Universal Soldier.

Here's everything you need to know:

A VHS classic on the 8th as Je...

SHARE: READ MORE
Features Archive: 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007
PICK OF THE WEEK
It Came From Beneath The Sea
IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA
Sunday 22nd May
10.35 PM
Paradise Cove
PARADISE COVE
Thursday 19th May
9.00 PM
I Spit On Your Grave (2010)
I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (2010)
Tuesday 24th May
10.45 PM